The Traveller - Jens Svensson

Published: 19 September, 2011 - Featured in Skin Deep 203, September, 2011

What drives 23-year-old Jens Svensson to repeatedly make the 400-mile round trip to get tattooed by the same artist? Emil Edge is a big part of the reason, but there’s more...


"Where did it all start? I guess it all began with my love of motocross and all kinds of extreme sports. I used to watch a lot of these kinds of movies and documentaries, and this is where I really got into tattoos.

For my first tattoo, I went to a real amateur who did a star with a skull inside it – and it was really crap! A friend told me he knew of a really good artist, so we went around to visit him and he fixed it up. After that it looked all right. The same tattooist also did my next tattoo on my upper arm. It was supposed to be a flower, which I don’t know the name of and it was almost impossible to see that it was a flower! For the next six months, wherever I went, I always wore a hoodie so no one could see the crap work on my arm!

I started to search for someone good and I couldn’t find anyone I really felt a connection with. I decided to have another look around, this time with my friend Marcus. Marcus showed me the studio where he got all his tattoos, South of Heaven, which is located in Västerås.

It was at this studio that I first met Emil Edge (who was working at South of Heaven before he moved over to Fisheye Ink with Jimmy Lanjen) and saw his portfolio which blew me away immediately. I had never seen anything like his art before and I fell in love with it instantly.

After meeting Emil, I sent him an email, asking him if he could fix up my arm. I told him he could do whatever he wanted, as long as I didn’t have to look at the old shit ever again.

My first trip to Emil ended up with me getting a shaved arm and that was it! The problem was, he didn't think the drawing he had done in preparation, would work as a cover-up. It was at this point that I knew I could trust Emil completely; he had proved that he wasn’t just thinking about earning some money. He wanted to do a really nice tattoo.

A while later, I saw the drawing that Emil had done for me and I was super pumped to get it done. In my last session, about three hours before I was due to arrive, I asked him if there was enough time to do my ankle. I asked him to draw up a disgusting bird and he came up with something that was just the way I pictured it in my head. After those two experiences, and with the end results, I knew I would be stupid to look for another artist. I had found the perfect one for me!

For my ribs, I gave Emil the freedom to do whatever he wanted. The only thing I requested was that it be something funny. That is how I ended up with a zombified man with a flower pot on his head and the lucky bastard found out that the smell of the flowers was the cure that would turn him back into a human again. So far I have had about ten sessions with Emil, running in at about 47 hours and I still have about six hours left on my ribs. We are also planning a design for my other arm – we have talked about a diver in the ocean for the arm, but we haven’t reached a decision yet – and maybe later a chest piece.

What I like most about Emil’s work, is the way that he twists all of your ideas and makes them a hundred times better then you could ever have thought. His style is also very unique in Sweden, I have never seen anyone in my town with the same tattoos. I love this as I know I will always be sure that my tattoos aren’t a copy of someone else’s work!"


Emil Edge

"We started with his triple cover-up sleeve and had a bunch of ideas before settling with this one – a mutated alien, escaping earth and being killed by these other spacemen who were trying to contain the infection on our planet. It was a troublesome sleeve. Super fun but there was a great deal of drawing before I could decide on an idea of a layout so that it would be interesting, and at the same time cover the old tattoos he had.

Later we did the infected bird as a one-shot piece once we had finished the sleeve. We had a few hours left on that day, so Jens asked me if I wanted to do one more tattoo and this is what came out.

Right now we are working on his ribs – an infected human being is cured after getting hit with a flowerpot on the head. This is one of the first cures recorded in zombie history. They had noticed some creatures had been cured before, but no one really had an idea of how this happened. This is the big break-through… provided anyone survives and is able to tell the scientists. I’ve been tattooing Jens for a while now and he is a super nice guy and always a laugh to have at the shop. Definitely the model client, always up for fun ideas and willing to leave a lot of the decisions up to me. I hope he will continue getting tattooed by me – I feel like we got a couple more nice stories to tell."


Fisheye Ink

Herradsgatan 13

0046 0730716779