The Block

Art & Culture — 3 years ago

Process: Rio Sipos

Rio Sipos, aka i am baby king, is as well known for their distinctive hand poke tattoos as they are for cofounding queer Berlin tattoo collective Fantasy along with six of their friends. Made up of Rio, Yeda, Rozita, Anny, Theo, Coco, and Aron, Fantasy was born out of the crew’s dissatisfaction with Berlin’s conventional tattoo studios.


“We needed a place like Fantasy, because otherwise we wouldn’t feel safe,” says Rio. “Tattooing is an intimate process. If you have a bad experience, that will stay on your skin for the rest of your life.” Fantasy, and Rio too, are masters at translating their designs onto tees, including their T4T design, which raised funds for the vital surgeries of different members of their community.


Having featured in our Community Broadcast series over on Instagram, here they take us on a whistlestop tour of their studio, their own tattoos, and why they take inspiration from their friends. 


Shop Fantasy’s fundraiser T-shirt, designed by Yeda Zweifel, here

Courtesy of Rio Sipos


Courtesy of Rio Sipos

This is my workspace, where I draw and sketch out ideas. I like having lots of past work pinned up to motivate and inspire me.

Bigboy Zine

Courtesy of Rio Sipos

Bigboy has been my sweet friend and a big inspiration for me both artistically and personally for the past few years. The way they use colour in their work has definitely pushed me to experiment with colour in tattooing and drawing. And also their way of being silly, but at the same time very sincere and genuine, is something that is very close to my heart. This is a page from a zine they made, and I also have the same sentence screen printed on a sweater they made for me. 

Krause Tattoo Long Sleeve

Courtesy of Rio Sipos

Anny has been my studiomate and friend for a while now. They hand dyed and screen printed this shirt themselves, and seeing all the amazing clothing they have been making the past years definitely inspired me to start thinking about designing clothes myself, and to start to think about my drawings in the context of putting them on garments.

Tato Coco Painting

Courtesy of Rio Sipos

Coco’s work has been such a huge inspiration for me, for much longer than I even knew them personally. Their ability to find the humour in weird, hyperspecific everyday details, that are simultaneously funny and heartbreaking, is something I really aspire to. 


Courtesy of Rio Sipos

These are my friends (from left to right: Anny, Yeda, me, Bean the dog and Koala), they are all amazing tattoo artists who’ve helped shape who I am as an artist today. Looking at these pictures of the times when community was built through art and tattooing is very precious to me, and keeps me going in these weird Covid times when I can feel so isolated.

Carson Foyle Zine

Courtesy of Rio Sipos

Carson is one of my favourite artists of all time, which some people find surprising as our styles are so different. But the way his brain works, and how he constantly pushes the boundaries of what tattooing can be inspires me a lot. 

My Tattoos

Courtesy of Rio Sipos

I got this tattoo from my friend Eva (mostly known as Rita Salt), who is a true genius. Her way of tattooing really showed me that there are no limits to what a tattoo can be. 

Consent Zine

Courtesy of Rio Sipos

This zine from Dudley is really important, and something everyone should read. Consent in tattooing is such an important topic and reading about consent in a queer context was very helpful for me. Also their art is super cute!


Courtesy of Rio Sipos

I surround myself with plants both at my home and in the studio, they make me feel so at home.  I used to draw lots of plants, they were one of my main subject matters, and even though that is not the case anymore, I think the way I draw and how I’m trying to make my lines dynamic is still inspired by plants a lot.

Read More: Process: Julim Rosa