Marcel Bernhard best describes himself as being empathetic and enjoys getting to know his customers very well after a short time. His relationships with his clients are very important to him because he explains, “That I can only do my best when we both feel good and are comfortable.” Marcel considers himself to be a perfectionist and wants his client to have a quality tattoo. He will not stop working until he feels the tattoo is perfect and satisfaction has been met.
Beauty in the Dark
What were some of the risks involved in your career path? How did you handle obstacles to shape your current success?
I think one of the biggest risks I have taken so far, was giving up a job with a steady income 7 years ago, to start my own business as a tattoo artist. It was unclear at the beginning of how, and if I could pay my bills. In addition, my wife also took the step into self-employment. People told us that it would be difficult in the beginning with both of us starting up new businesses. I had some concerns because we lived in a small town, making it hard for the startup. However, that did not stop us and we worked hard to build our clientele and seeing success.
What impact did that success have on the community of Chur? Did it add value to the way people viewed certain aspects of your new business and life?
Yes. I continue to get messages from people who write to me that I am inspiring them. Some people are so inspired by my paintings that they have started to paint as well, or simply pick up a pen or pencil and want to create art. I think it’s nice when you can give people something positive with your art and in turn, continue to stay inspired and creative in your free time. It also feels good that you can make a lasting impression with people by looking at my drawings. Every viewer sees it with different eyes and usually tells a completely different story to a drawing than it was planned.
What elements in art and life inspire your techniques and creative process? Do you engage in any specific routines?
I like dark, disturbing elements that are implemented in such a way that they are aesthetically pleasing… almost erotic. Opposites have always attracted me and since I am in the same city as H.R. Giger grew up, I came into contact with his dark but beautiful art as a child. I am fascinated if I cannot say to myself, why I do not know at the moment of looking at, whether the picture disturbs me or calms me down in its beauty.
HOUSEINK: Interesting… probably a little bit of both.
Influenced by dark art… do you think this defines your style? What makes you unique as an artist?
I think I can implement my client’s wishes, but with the influence of my style. Kind of a creative compromise that you will. It is important that both sides are satisfied. This is the only way to create something beautiful, with the influence of the artist from a client’s idea.
When you look back to your first tattoo/ sketch, what is your reflection? Thoughts?
On the one hand, I definitely see that it doesn’t come close to the quality of my work today. On the other hand, it is exactly what I think is beautiful. I am able to see the process of my work as an artist and my growth. To look back and see my younger self and the work that I did… thinking to myself, this is really good. Now I can never keep up with quality and strive every day to learn and grow as an artist. I feel like I always have room to improve and it keeps me humble.
Moving forward what do you wish to accomplish in the industry as well as your own personal growth?
I want to continue to develop myself as rapidly as before. I want to stay hungry for knowledge and always exchange ideas with other artists, pushing each other forward. Standing still would be the worst thing for me. If I could get further out into the world to show my art to as many as possible and share my ideas, I would be very happy. That would be the best success of all!!