OWN IT 2018


Berlin Tattoo  |  19 King St. E, 2nd floor  |  theberlintattoo.com

photo of animal skulls inside Berlin Tattoo  

As far back as Colin Higgins can possibly remember, he's dreamt of making art for a living. 

Colin has always loved to draw, and a passion for tattooing stemmed from that relationship with art. He pursued this at the University of Guelph through a Bachelor of Arts in studio art, and study became practice after he graduated. Colin is now one of the co-owners of Berlin Tattoo downtown. 


"I completely fell in love with tattooing. Doing this job essentially allows me to draw on people to support myself, and I'm quite happy," he says of his role at Berlin Tattoo. 


Now in its ninth year downtown, Berlin Tattoo was initially founded by long-time friends, Ben Ryan and Dustin Barnhart. Having worked together previously in another tattoo shop, the two already had a solid basis for their business. 


Berlin Tattoo's clientele over the years ranges from the everyday, middle class tattoo fiend to school principals. Colin attributes the wide demographic to Kitchener's identity as a "tattoo city." 


"I've tattooed people from every walk of life; I've tattooed a nun, I've tattooed school principals, cops, coffee shop workers, office and factory workers," Colin says. "Everyone gets tattooed in KW, which is nice because you don't get that in every major city."


While the client's happiness is absolutely their first priority, Colin and the other artists have a range of favourite tattooing styles.


"Fine line black and grey tattooing, commonly referred to as traditional, Asian or Japanese tattooing, [we] like that kind of style. We're also fond of American traditional tattooing, with more bold lines and bright colours."  


Berlin Tattoo puts a huge emphasis on quality, but when it comes down to it, Colin favours traditional styles. His theory: anything visually pleasing should be done. If you haven't seen it before, it's probably because it doesn't work.


"I find the best way to tackle tattooing is to adhere to tradition, to do your research, study it, and try to develop it with a sense of your own voice within the work." 


Nathalie Bouchard  |  @nathalieyb

Photography: Dean Landry  |  dvision.ca


 Colin Higgins sketching a tattoo inside Berlin Tattoo



interior of Berlin Tattoo: a wall lined with various tattoo-inspired art



Berlin Tattoo artist