Even if you hate tattoos, it's hard to scroll past Chaim Machlev's designs.
That talented tattoo artist either makes very striking, minimalist designs with perfectly symmetrical lines and dots, or extremely detailed mandalas. Wherever the tattoo is placed, it seems to perfectly fit the contours of the person's body – It's almost like it's meant to be there.
"I experiment a lot, like on a daily basis — which is a bit risky when it comes to a non-reversible form of art, but I guess that is the only way to develop your own style as an artist, and create something individual daily," Machlev told Inked.
But it's not just Machlev's style that's unique. His journey to becoming a tattoo artist is just as fascinating. Just a few years ago, Machlev was an IT manager living in Israel, where he's originally from. Despite tattoos being sacrilegious in Judaism, he got his first tattoo in 2011.
"I found the process very spiritual and it changed my life," Machlev told Idea Tattoo. "Every person I saw I conceived with the lines that they walked down the body, and I thought it would have been really interesting to be a tattoo artist, to decide which lines run better on the single body, devoting his life to live the experience of changing people's bodies."
So, he decided to leave his well-paying job and family behind in Israel and move to Berlin to pursue his new passion. With little knowledge of German and no experience tattooing, Machlev struggled to find work in the beginning. Finally, someone took a chance on him, allowing him to practice tattooing in the back of her shop. He's been tattooing ever since.
Now, people wait anywhere from one to two years for an appointment with him.