Adriaan (@magic.dimensions) creates tattoo rituals in Berlin, Amsterdam and Hamburg. We chatted to the spiritual tattoo artist about his divine art and how tattooing allows him to tap into his higher self…
How long have you been a tattoo artist? I’ve been tattooing for around 15 years.
How have you seen the industry evolve since you began? It’s been such an incredible journey to witness. I love the way everything has evolved; from tattoo machines, to diverse color palettes, to the way tattooing has become an incredible art of expression and uniqueness.
Tattooing has evolved into a way of connecting all kinds of people with very different backgrounds.
How would you describe your work? I can describe it as my own expression of art, magick and energy on skin and canvas. It combines the aesthetics and exaltation of beauty, spirit and esotericism. I love tattooing contrasts and ornamental designs which decorate the anatomy of the human body.
Has your style changed? Yeah definitely. I feel that I have the same techniques and foundation of bold lines, strong colours and contrasted palettes. But what has definitely changed are the meanings and designs I create.
My style changed as my view of the world changed – I’m much more focused on the meaning of the designs now.
It feels as if the designs themselves want to be expressed into this world.
Sometimes I feel amazed at just what is wanting to be created and manifested. My works are similar to the beautiful mandalas Hindu and Buddhist monks create in the Himalayas by channeling these symbols directly from higher consciousness. I too can tap into and channel that energy to create beautiful art in this reality.
What inspires your tattoos and what do you like to create? I’m inspired by the beauty of this world. Beautiful paintings, beings, objects and nature are my favourite.
I’m also inspired by my personal journey and life story. I’m telling stories through my emotions, my learnings, my life, my personal growth and constant transformation. I feel that my tattoos also reflect exactly what I’m experiencing in that time of my life.
You introduced yourself to us as a spiritual tattooer, can you tell us more about this? In an intense part of my life I had a spiritual awakening triggered by a body and soul breakdown. In this hard time I had to go deeper into my inner world to find out what was happening to me. It was a beautiful transformation of my heart and soul.
I went in deep to find my conditionings, blockages and shadows and the more I found the more I changed my art.
At some point I questioned if tattooing was the right tool for me, but the answer from my heart and soul was yes. That it was always a tool for creating, healing and transformation. That I already choose this path at a soul level to help and expand consciousness in me and others.
Was there a turning point or experience that made you seek a more spiritual path? Yes, a series of very intense experiences in my life meant I reached the point where my personality came to its limit and broke. When it broke it felt like the whole world collapsed and I suddenly awakened to something completely new.
It was indeed painful in body and spirit, but something beautiful started to emerge. I started to feel more real; I explored who I really was without a personality and I started to learn and reparent myself with what I really wanted to know and be.
I changed my art and pushed my tattoos in a different direction. I started expressing my inner worlds in my art.
It was a full transformation which is still an ongoing process, it’s an eternal evolving of the soul.
How does your spirituality translate to your tattoos? It translates in form of shapes, symbols and energy. When I transformed, my art transformed as well, as I started drawing more elaborate designs.
I added new symbols and I used different colour palettes. When I did guest spots around the world my customers changed as well, they were more aware of themselves as if they were also mirroring how I felt inside.
Now when I’m tattooing I’m feeling the energy of the person and what needs to be open or changed. Tattooing helps open the energy system and the symbols used instantly transform consciousness.
It’s a beautiful thing to witness and how all of us, as human beings, are emotional, energetically and spiritual connected.
Do you see the act of tattooing and receiving a tattoo as a healing experience? Yes. At some point I started to reflect about tattooing itself and where it came from. It seems that ancient cultures used it as a form of ritual and they used symbolism in it. It was made by shamans or higher priests and priestesses, who had the purpose of healing and creating mágick.
I learned that when you’re getting new symbols of magick and power the physical pain and enduring this pain are part of the process to release energy. It’s also a tool to release karma and recycle ancestral energy.
These rituals were created not only to transform the energy of the person getting tattooed, but also for the person giving the tattoo. So, the shamans and higher priestesses were healing and expanding their consciousness as divinity channeled through them. When I understood this, my love for tattooing increased.
What’s been your proudest and happiest moment in your career so far? I remember when I started tattooing it was a very unknown and mysterious road. I felt that I needed to create my own art and truly believe in myself.
When I did I was surprised, that in a short time, I started tattooing at big conventions, winning awards and getting articles in magazines. This made me so proud and happy, I was grateful that I believed in myself and trusted my heart from the beginning.
Later in my career I felt I needed to change my art and I was nervous to show my spiritual side. As before I believed in myself and knew I needed to follow this path. Again I was surprised to feel so content and be successful.
I was travelling the world meeting amazing people, guesting in amazing shops and helping myself and others to heal and evolve our consciousness – this makes me feel so proud and happy.
How does tattooing align with yourself and the life you want to live? Years ago I went to India for a yoga teacher training and I started teaching yoga in Europe – it opened a new path for me and how I can manage energy.
I felt then that yoga and tattooing aligned in me and that they both complement each other. Tattooing ignites my creativity, outer expression, intuition and magick. Yoga ignites my concentration, balances my system, expands my breathing and my inner reflection.
It’s amazing to see how tattooing has been a powerful and healing path in my life. It has given me so much that I’m eternally grateful for.
Tattooing is a divine art which has shown me a beautiful way to some of the most magic dimensions.
Follow @magic.dimensions for more tattoos, travel dates and yoga.