Johan Meier
6 min read

Interview with Mr J - Fineline and single needle artist

Fineline style is getting more popular than ever and it's all thanks to artists like Mr J who are dedicated to making their everlasting art increasingly memorable. 

Sitting at almost 90k followers on Instagram, Mr J is making single needle microrealism pieces to die for. 

He’s the owner of in Düsseldorf, Germany, and is talking with us today to tell us a bit more about himself, his path to become a tattoo artist and future plans.


So Mr J, how was the start of your career like? 

Actually the start of my career came pretty recently in my life. I started tattooing in October, 2021 when I was 27 years old (I am still 27). I became interested in tattooing by seeing what amazing artworks some artists were doing on instagram.

I discovered how small and fine details were possible to put into the skin and fell in love with this style. So I decided to buy a tattoo machine and supplies to try this out on fake skin. I never drew or painted in my life before this but I thought tattooing is different because I must just follow the stencil so It should be simple. In my mind at this point I thought that I could try to do small outline designs. I started from the first moment with single needle tattooing. After much trial and error and very much researching on the internet and asking other artists on instagram for tips I slowly started to understand the fundamentals of single needle tattooing. 

Single needle is a very hard and peculiar technique. Tell us a little bit about your path to becoming the artist you are today and why this technique.

So I really liked the single needle tattoos because of the amount of detail that you can make on a small area and this is why I choose to become an artist in this technique. Yes, single needle is very hard to learn and even more when you don't have anyone showing you.

I obsessed a bit about how to make it work and I tried everything (voltages, machines, inks, cartridges, fake skins, movement, depth, gauge of the needle, etc.) Even getting a stencil printer to print the lines thin enough took me time. After making hundreds of tattoos on fake skin and 2 tattoos on my own body I decided to offer tattoos through instagram and making them from my house.

I started out charging just 10$ for a tattoo to see if I could get any customers. Turned out people loved cheap tattoos and I was bombarded with messages. So after doing many tattoos and learning from tattooing on real skin I started to raise the price accordingly to the quality of tattoo I was making and seeing what other studios were charging. 


I saw that your work ranges from microrealism pieces to minimalist ones. What’s the type of tattoo you prefer to work on?

I love to mix micro realism with fine line geometric shapes and ornamental enhancement. When I add the geometric patterns they are never random. Every pattern of lines or circles have a special meaning which I explain to the clients. I always like to follow the patterns of 3, 6 and 9 in my work as I believe the relation of these numbers have to do with our universe. 

What would you say is for you the hardest part of being a tattooist?

The hardest part is to be a very patient person and have enough motivation. You need very much patience and motivation to learn and not give up. Lucky for me I learned when I was a teenager to play Guitar and later went to college to get a degree in Music. Every person that has learned to play an instrument knows how patient you must be. Once I started tattooing I was already a very patient person thanks to music. 

Also I am an obsessive person when it comes to learning things that really motivate me so I put endless hours to learn as much as I could to become the artist I am today.


Did you ever have a tattoo project that went wrong? And how did you deal with it?

Yes! One time in my first month of tattooing a man wanted big dark words on his neck and this was my first neck tattoo. Of course I should have done this tattoo with at least a 7 or 9 round liner but I only had single needles… So I thought oh well I will do these huge all black filled words with a single needle It can't be that hard. It was. The man's neck was sweating a lot and after the first letter outlined the stencil was pretty much completely gone. Not only this, I was using a shader machine with a single needle to make this tattoo. If you are a tattoo artist you know how hard it is to pack black ink with 1 needle on a shader… I was sweating, very stressed out and the skin was bleeding quite a bit. In the end I was kinda able to free hand the lettering and kinda filled it with black ink. The client was somehow happy with the result and I was happy that it was over. This was by far my worst project!

What’s a funny story that happened to you with a client (or in the studio)?

Somehow my client fell completely asleep during the tattoo sessions while I was tattooing. Seems perfect right? Client is sleeping, not moving. NO. The client started to sleepwalk and talking weird languages while shaking her arms every 10 seconds. I would wake her up constantly but after 5 minutes it would be back to sleep. In the end I just had to hold down the arm very hard to stop it from moving. In the end the tattoo turned out great!


If you could say something to all your future / potential clients, what would it be?

Please take good care of your skin and use moisturiser lotion! This will make all the difference in the final result of your tattoo.  

Do you have any ongoing / future projects you’d like the readers to know about?

I will be soon travelling to many countries as a guest artist so be sure to follow me on instagram to be the first to know If I come to your city! 


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

Best way to contact me for a session is on Instagram. On average I would say between 1 and 2 months so not that long. 

Make sure to follow Mr J on Instagram @mr.j.fineline and show your love for his art.

Did you enjoy this interview? And who would you like to see next? Request your favourite artists via
[email protected]

More Content

How to Open and Grow A Tattoo Studio

Interviewing Mikhail Nechaev - Minimalism & Sketch artist

How to get more clients by taking better photos (for tattoo artists)