Just a few years ago Pete, his wife Anda and their daughter Sidonie, back then 2 1/2 years old, gave up their life in Brooklyn to make Berlin their new home. Anda, a graphic designer for Etsy.com, illustrator and all-round-DIY talent and Pete, a tattoo artist quickly fell in love with the new city. Reason enough to add to the family! Last year their son Jude Alvin was born.
Vor nicht so vielen Jahre sind Pete, seine Frau Anda und Tochter Sidonie, damals zweieinhalb Jahre alt, von Brooklyn nach Berlin gezogen. Anda, Grafikdesignerin für Etsy.com, Illustratorin und DIY-Talent und Pete, selbst erlernter Tattoo-Künstler verliebten sich schnell in die Stadt und blieben. Letztes Jahr kam Söhnchen Jude Alvin auf die Welt. Hier erzählt Pete von ihrem Leben in der deutschen Hauptstadt.
Dieses Interview ist vorerst nur auf Englisch verfügbar.
How does one become a tattoo artist?
I’m a self-taught tattoo artist. So, that means I practiced a lot on my own legs. I was also quite lucky in that pretty much as soon as I started tattooing I had plenty of people willing to let me tattoo them as well.
We see a lot of your tattoo art in the pictures above. Where do you get your inspiration from?
Wherever I find it really. Anything from folk art paintings to hand-painted signage to children’s book illustrations might make a good a tattoo. Also, old tattooists like Herbert Hoffmann, Stoney St. Clair and Lee Roy Menugh have great style. Right now I’m obsessed with this book Mauvais Garçons that is pictures of French penal colony tattoos from around the turn of the 20th century. Really tough stuff.
When are your kids allowed to get their first tattoo ?
I get this question a lot. Almost as often as: “Have you ever tattooed your kids?” Of course I haven’t! But, I have designed temporary tattoos. I gave some to our daughter, Sidonie, for Christmas last year.
Anda, your wife, designs her own fabric and sews clothes for your kids. You both are super creative parents…What do you plan for Alvis first birthday party?
Alvie’s first birthday is going to be “Thumbs Up!” themed, since when counting on the hand in Germany one uses the thumb as “one”. In the states we use the first finger. His birthday is only a few days before mine, so I think this year I might not get much of a party myself, but that’s OK.
Why did you decide to live in Berlin? Something about the US that you miss?
We came to Berlin about 4 years ago. Berlin has tons of parks, good schools, good vibes and decent Mexican food. It’s also a major European capital city that is still affordable and welcomes people from all over the world. It’s pretty much perfect. I love it here, I hope we never go back! Just kidding. I miss family and friends back stateside but I don’t miss living there. Too hectic.
Last June the second child, Alvie, was born. How is family life with the second one?
We’re a square now, no longer a triangle. It’s a big change but Sidonie, who is 6 now, is an awesome big sister. She helps out a bit, feeding him some food or just entertaining him while we work on something else. But now when Anda or I want to give each other a break we know the other will have two to deal with.
How do you guys manage to get some couple time?
Well, we share a studio at home and spend time there together almost every night. It’s great. We were both very productive this winter. I’m hoping that Alvie will be ready for a babysitter before fall so Anda and I can enjoy some summer nights in the Bier Garten, ohne Kindern.
What’s the best advice parents-to-be can get?
Remember to sleep. Trade off mornings with your partner so one of you can always sleep in. Also, travel as much as you can in the first few years. Infants are great travelers.
What’s the hardest about being a dad?
In a lot of ways my life is much easier now that I’m a father. I mean, sure, there’s a lot more to think about and coordinate, balancing work and play and life and love but I like that. Things can get monotonous when all you do is make art, skate, work a bit, drink coffee and tattoo. But real talk, living overseas has made me really aware of how much easier life is with family around. So I am very thankful living with Anda and the kids.
What’s the greatest?
Kids. Kids are the greatest.
Thank you Pete!
View Pete’s tattoos, flash art and other inspiration on his blog petecorrie.tumblr.com. Follow Pete on Instagram @notimeswan, or on Facebook. If you’d like a tattoo consultation or to set up an appointment, email Pete at email@example.com.
Pictures: Cornelia Thonhauser
Interview: Marie Zeisler