The Life of Chaim Maсhlev: From Tech Guy to Tattoo Artist

Chaim Machlev
Meet Chaim Machlev, a computer guy turned tattoo artist, who shuns traditional styles in favor of minimalism and abstract lines. Buckle up and get ready for his story!

We know Chaim Machlev as the owner of Dots to Lines tattoo studio, an open-minded designer and artist with a unique philosophy. However, before he carved out his creative niche, his journey began in a world far from skin, ink, and art. We reached out to Chaim, who kindly shared his life story and tattoo path with us. 

In this article, you will learn that it’s never too late to change your profession and do what you really like, while seeing examples that show that creativity has no limits, as well as getting to know Chaim’s life a little bit closer. Ready to dive in? Let’s go!

Getting to Know Chaim Machlev

Photo of Chaim Machlev

Photo of Chaim Machlev

We had an opportunity recently to talk with Chaim Machlev, learn about his career and personal life, and gain useful insights about the tattooing profession. Now we invite you to get to know this fascinating person and cool tattoo artist.

Early Life

Chaim has an interesting and atypical story of how he got into the world of ink. “I got my first tattoo 13 years ago when I was living in Israel, and I was a computer guy,” he told us.”The experience was very spiritual for me, and it led me to try to be a tattoo artist.

The impact was so strong that he left Tel Aviv, his hometown, and moved to Berlin to study tattoo art. “And that was a very hard process because I never did art before,” Chaim recalls. He had to start from scratch and also find someone to teach him the craft.

Chaim Machlev’s work process

Finding His Style

Chaim found a mentor, but he wanted to avoid trying traditional styles like Japanese or old school. Instead, he was interested in something simpler, a style that seamlessly blends with the body. Minimalism became his thing. “I started to develop my own style with lines and taking the body as an object. I aimed to make tattoos to emphasize the physique, and not just take a tattoo and put it on, but create a tattoo to tailor it to the individual body.

Chaim wanted his tattoos to reflect the uniqueness of each person. He didn’t just draw lines, he followed the curves and muscles of that particular body using just a few well-placed strokes. After all, less is more, right? But it wasn’t just about simplicity. He has his opinions on what abstraction on the body can convey.

The works of Chaim Maсhlev

Philosophy of Chaim’s Works

I have a whole Japanese bodysuit on my body. Because, at the end of the day, when you’re doing abstract stuff, it’s very easy to attach meanings to it in the future,”

Chaim reflects.

He considers abstraction a superpower. Unlike a specific image that’s frozen in time, an abstract tattoo can evolve with its owner. After all, all of us change throughout our lives, gain new experiences, and of course change our views on things. That’s the beauty of this style—it gracefully changes with you. 

The completion of the entire Japanese suit on Chaim Machlev's body

The completion of the entire Japanese suit on Chaim Machlev’s body

“If you’re doing a tattoo of a turtle, it’s going to be a tattoo of a turtle all your life. It’s not going to change to be something else. But if you do something abstract, it’s always going to work with the body if it’s been done right. And it’s much easier to look at it even in 20 years and still be happy with it if you’re happy with your body.”

Along with his unique artwork, Chaim believes that our bodies are pretty natural with tattoos. This is all very relevant because there are still people who believe that only criminals get tattoos,  or that tattoos desecrate and destroy the natural beauty of the human body. He wants to show people that you can walk, move, and look good with inked lines on your skin, and that it’s not ugly or repulsive.

The incredible tattoos of Chaim Machlev

Endless Possibilities of Ink Art

Forget your notions of tattooing as a staid and predictable art form—Chaim’s work proves that it’s an artistic field full of unexpected possibilities. Prepare to have your definition of tattoo art forever redefined.


Chaim’s creativity breathes life into subjects not normally considered suitable for tattoos. He partners with different brands and pushes the boundaries of what the art of tattooing can be. Here are some of his recent collaborations:

  • Mercedes-Benz

A sleek Mercedes was transformed into a rolling canvas under Chaim’s touch, proving that luxury and ink can make a stunning statement.

Chaim Machlev’s collaboration with Mercedes-Benz

Chaim Machlev’s collaboration with Mercedes-Benz

  • Haize

Their art space received a modern touch with Chaim’s “tattooed” leather jackets, creating a limited collection that blurred the lines between fashion and body art.

The styling of a jacket by Chaim Machlev for Heize

The styling of a jacket by Chaim Machlev for Heize

  • Indian Motorcycle

A collaboration between Chaim and the Indian Motorcycle company resulted in a 3D model of an “inked” motorcycle, demonstrating the breadth of his digital artistry.

Chaim Machlev’s vision of the Indian Motorcycle model

Chaim Machlev’s vision of the Indian Motorcycle model


This large-scale sculpture and installation art company collaborated with Chaim to create a lighting fixture adorned with ornaments, a theme close to his heart.

Chaim Machlev’s collaboration with HYBYCOZO

Chaim Machlev’s collaboration with HYBYCOZO

Tattooing Celebs

Machine Gun Kelly and The Cure’s Simon Gallup are two quite famous musicians Chaim has worked with. But it’s not the fame that attracts him, it’s the opportunity to tell unique stories through personalized tattoos. Each tattoo is distinctive because it’s custom-made based on the person’s story, and engraved with the precision of an artisan storyteller.

Chaim doesn’t go for quick lines or fleeting trends; he creates intimate, time-woven “parts of our bodies” that stay with the wearer for years to come.

Machine Gun KellySimon Gallup


Chaim’s exhibitions have opened a path to new audiences for the multifaceted world of tattooing in cities such as London, Rome, and Tel Aviv. He believes in showing not only the product but also the process, emphasizing dedication, collaboration, and the flow of a quality tattoo session.

That said, Chaim’s work challenges the perception of tattoos as mere ornamentation, demonstrating their potential as intimate narratives, artistic expressions, and even meditative experiences.

Unique tattoos done by Chaim Machlev

Tattoo Aftercare Insights

We asked Chaim about tattoo aftercare, as many people are fascinated by this type of body art, but are intimidated at the prospect of aftercare. With over a decade of experience as a tattoo artist, he has studied this issue thoroughly, as well as observed his clients, so he had a few words about it to share with us.

The main thing is to use an individualized approach to each person and keep in mind that there is no one-size-fits-all solution. “Some people bleed a little more during the tattooing process, some people don’t bleed at all. It really depends on how the person reacted during the tattooing process and their experience. Then artists will usually look for the right way and the right recommendation.” 

Examining the finished tattoo, assessing the skin’s reaction, and understanding the design (lines, colors, shading) all determine the artist’s recommendations. It’s a dynamic process, far from a static set of instructions.

Chaim Machlev's work process

Chaim Machlev’s work process

General recommendations regarding cleanliness, sun avoidance, and a ban on bathing remain important. Specific ones such as the duration of the bandage and the choice of ointment are best tailored to each individual.

We also asked Chaim to debunk the popular myth about the direct effect of sleep on the speed of healing after a tattoo session. The artist recognizes the importance of sleep in overall recovery but also emphasizes the individual characteristics of healing. “When a person doesn’t sleep at all, then, it will be hard to recover from everything. … But again, some people are healing better than others by nature. It’s enough to have a customer and observe. If a person tells me that they had many cuts a few months ago, but you don’t see any notice of it, then they have a very good healing capacity.

Sleeping is probably one part of it, but nutrition is also a very big part of it and how they (customers) treat themselves.

A large-scale work by Chaim Machlev

Q&A: Chaim’s Life

In this section, we step away from the world of tattoos for a bit to dive into Chaim’s life journey. Get ready to know him better, hear about his values, and discover what kind of person he is.

Q: Did you face any challenges on the way to becoming a tattoo artist?

Chaim: Yeah, of course. Many challenges. I moved to Berlin. When I moved, it was very hard to find somebody who would teach me how to be a tattoo artist.

It took a really long time to find an apprenticeship and to make it into the way of actually being able to let somebody trust me. So it's a lot of dedication and devotion to overcome, a lot of problems that you might expose when you get that.
Chaim Machlev’s work

Chaim Machlev’s work
A tattoo done by Chaim Machlev
A tattoo done by Chaim Machlev
Q: Can you please tell us how you overcame these challenges?

Chaim: It required a lot of persistence and having a really big dream, and always remembering that you're doing it for a certain reason, and just trying to do it even when it's really, really hard. Just like many other things in life that we're trying to do, and we realize that it's maybe a little bit hard or not so comfortable to do, but it's about persevering through those moments.
Q: What's the most unusual or memorable tattoo request you have ever received?

Chaim: I really like doing tattooing and connecting people with tattooing. So I do a lot of tattoos that expand on different body parts of two, three, four people. And it's always very interesting to do this kind of work because it's very unusual. If it's been done right, you can make pieces that look good, but when two people or three people come together, it looks even better.

It's actually performing the whole circle together and fulfilling the whole picture. These things, I think, are very unusual and very cool because it's kind of taking tattooing to the next level and making it more body art than just tattooing.
Chaim Makhlev's tattoo for three people

Connecting the 3 members of the famous band Biffy Clyro
Chaim Machlev and his family
Chaim Machlev and his family
Q: And, what is the one thing that you could never go without?

Chaim: My family, I guess. I mean, it's changing because it's different levels. The more, the more my life is changing. But I can't do anything without my wife.

She's also helping me with the work because she's doing all the communication with the emails. We also have a young baby now, eight months old. So it's always getting a little bit more of the stuff that you need to feel happy.


Today we’ve delved into the life and perspectives of Chaim Machlev, the owner of Dots to Lines studio. Chaim shared his insightful views on tattooing as an evolving art form that holds stories, expressions, and even meditative experiences.

We hope that you’ve come to understand that the tattoo industry has unlimited possibilities and, if you’re a tattoo artist yourself, that you can develop your business and creativity in many different ways. And if you wish to become a future client of Chaim, now you have an idea of his philosophy and approach to work.


⌚ How Long Does a Session at Dots to Lines Studio Last?

The duration of a session at Dots to Lines varies depending on the complexity and size of the tattoo. Chaim allocates a whole day for one person, which guarantees a thorough approach to creating the desired tattoo. On average, sessions can range from one to several hours.

🩹 Is Tattoo Aftercare the Same for Everyone?

Tattoo aftercare is not one-size-fits-all. The process depends on individual factors such as skin sensitivity and healing tendencies. Dots to Lines Studio emphasizes personalized aftercare recommendations, considering the unique aspects of each client’s tattoo and skin.

📈 What Are the Career Possibilities for a Tattoo Artist?

Beyond owning a studio, artists can explore avenues like collaborations, international exhibitions, and partnerships with brands. Chaim Machlev’s journey exemplifies the limitless opportunities within the evolving field of tattoo art.

🔞 Are There Age Restrictions for Getting a Tattoo at Dots to Lines?

Yes, Dots to Lines Studio adheres to age restrictions for tattoos. Chaim only works with people who are at least 18 years of age. This ensures a responsible and ethical approach to the art of tattooing. You can read about the appointment criteria on his website.

🌎 In Which Cities Can I Find Dots to Lines Tattoo Studios?

Currently, Dots to Lines Tattoo Studios are exclusively located in Berlin and Los Angeles.


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