Johan Meier
6 min read

Freehand Tattooing: Interview with Victoria Rose and Photon_Ink

Today we’re speaking with Victoria Rose and with Lucille (Photon_ink). Together, they gave life to a freehand tattooing project that took place this January in Berlin. 

Freehand tattooing is when the tattooed person gives the artist full artistic freedom to create. They don't prearrange the design nor tweak it during the session. Instead of a stencil, the artist starts by drawing directly on the skin with permanent marker and once he is satisfied with the project, he brings out the needles to eternalize the artwork. 

Victoria is a Berlin based Model, Actress and Performer and she shares our love for tattoos. She recently volunteered her arm and gave full artistic freedom to her tattoo artist, Lucille.

Lucille specializes in abstract linework, often times using sketch and watercolor style to produce beautiful art pieces.

And so we spoke with them in order to get to know them a little more, explore this project and understand how it intercepts with their tattoo philosophy. 

But before we dive into the interview, check out some of Lucille's tattoo work:

So Victoria, for those who still don’t know you, can you explain a bit more about your artistic work and what projects you’re currently working on?

With my modeling and performances I enjoy pushing limits with each project to achieve the right impact, whether they be physical or emotional. Going outside my comfort zone is an exploratory release for my creative urges.

What drew you to tattoos in the first place? And how old were you when you got your first one?

In my early teens I was introduced to rock music, and eventually to metal music. The freedom of expression and rebellion in these genres ran rampant through the lyrics, melodies, music videos, and tattoos. Once I was exposed, there was no changing my path.

Photo by Kate Flora 

And Lucille, Tattooing is a tough business, especially in such a crowded city as Berlin. How did you get started in this business? 

To be honest, I had totally different life, I grew up in Moscow, got my medical education as a dentist, and was working for a couple of years when I realized, that my world was different from my dreams. So I quit my job and started to search for my dream job.  Soon I realized that I like to draw, and have some talent. Also, I like tattoos, so why not to try?  I learned tattooing in Moscow, with the help of @disciplina_tattoo but in those days I was already in love with Berlin. Over 2 years I have made 30 trips to Berlin. Obviously I needed to move here.

For those who aren’t familiar with your work, can you describe in two words your style of tattooing?

Delicate and personalized.

Is there any work you’re most proud of that you’d like to share with us Lucille?

I believe in the power of the moment, it's like collaboration between artist and customer. The way I make tattoos is connected to the way I feel the person. It's always very individual. maybe that's why it's so interesting. i like a lot of my tattoos, everyone has something interesting,  just check my instagram. 

Victoria, those who follow you know you have several tattoos. Can you tell us about the meaning behind some of the most interesting tattoos you have?

There are 3 owl tattoos on me, I have always admired the independence, silence, and strength of these birds. There are a few music related tattoos, one being a logo of “The Offspring”, which was the first rock CD that I ever bought on my own. My recent tattoos have been abstract and freehanded.


Where does the inspiration for your ink generally come from?

In the beginning my tattoos were nature related. I grew up in the woods and find my peace there. As time went on my love for some artists and art in general influenced what I showed on my body.

About the recent abstract linework you did with Lucille, how did the project come up?

Lucille had shared a post online some months back. She was searching for people to volunteer some skin for her linework project. I Immediately wrote to her as this was right up my alley. 

It must be intimidating starting a tattoo session not knowing what tattoo you’re going to walk out of session with. How does it feel to be completely in the hands of your tattoo artist?

When a painter creates they have artistic freedom with the blank canvas in front of them. I think the best tattoos come when you allow your artist full artistic freedom. I enjoyed being this blank canvas for Lucille. When you are excited about a new project, you have all the confidence in the world. When someone believes in you it helps keep that fire lit. 

And how satisfied are you with the experience? 

I absolutely love it. Can’t stop looking at it, and each time I look down I notice a new part of the way it flows that I didn’t notice before.


Do you see yourself doing something similar in the future?

Absolutely, I would gladly sit again for Lucille or for any artist with a fun project. Use me and abuse me.

And from your side Lucille, was it your first time doing something like this?

It was my first big freehand intuitive project . I'm so happy to meet such a confident and open person like Victoria, I just showed her my paintings and we started our project.

And how did it feel to have total freedom with the ink?

I'm a painter from childhood, my imagination has no limits and when I meet support and trust , I want to make the best.


How do you see your work developing in the next 10 years? 

I have no idea, but it will be not boring, for sure.

For those who want to get some ink from you, what’s the best way to contact you and, on average, how long do they have to wait to get their session?

Drop me a message via Instagram @photon_ink

What about you Victoria, is there any future project of yours you’d like to share?

Sure! I just recently finished performing in an art film directed by Julia Patey for the Erika Lust Studio, and I constantly have projects and collaborations in the pipeline. If anyone is interested in seeing my past and future work they can follow me through my Instagram.