Israeli artist Chaim Machlev works in Berlin as a tattoo artist, under the professional moniker Dots to Lines. Machlev left Israel after living there until age 30 because he wanted to dedicate his life to the art of tattooing and realized that, in Israel, he couldn't train in the way he desired. He bravely left his job as a service manager at a famous IT company and his life of relative wealth and comfort to start over in Berlin.
Machlev tattoos mostly in black ink. His designs make heavy use of geometric shapes, into which he often blends mandalas, insects and other images. The artist elaborates on his style,
"I actually started to make those designs because it was weird for me that people try to categorize tattoos and other art forms. I could say that I have that split in my designs, just like in my personality; I make those art-minimalistic lines — the computer kid inside me — and very detailed mandalas, the spiritual man inside me."
Chaim Machlev takes the line and curve of the bodies of his clients into account before he creates his proposed design. He said of his process,
"My designs are based a lot on the shape of the body of the particular client that I’m tattooing at the time. The process starts with meeting the clients and trying to understand what it is that they want to express. Then I observe their body and the location they had in mind for the tattoo, and I try to create something that will look organic and be in harmony with the body. I draw up a rough design before I start, and the final result is something that the client cannot predict. So it takes a lot of trust to get tattooed by me.”