FYTA meets Nastia:


Nastia Zlotin enthralls her fans with surreal plant metamorphosis and anatomically accurate drawings. We needed to know more about this Berlin-based tattoo artist, so we sat down with Nastia and discussed her love of plants and tats.

Born in Ukraine and raised in Israel, Nastia and her husband moved to Berlin five years ago to focus on her flourishing career as a tattoo artist because civil service wasn’t for her. Nastia longed for breathing room and more peace. In Berlin? A capital city and peace? It may sound a bit backward, but for Nastia, Berlin is an inspiring haven of calm.

“Everything in life is made of comparisons–compared to Bangladesh, Tel Aviv is a tranquil city. But compared to Berlin, Tel Aviv is very hectic. And life is also a bit more easygoing in Berlin.”

When Nastia speaks about her love of nature and plants, her enthusiasm is palpable, and you can almost hear the flower petals rustling. Plants have always been a vital part of her life, but her admiration has grown exponentially since moving to Berlin. Plants are as important to her as the air she breathes, both at home and in the studio. The German winter may also be to blame. While Nastia was surrounded by colors and green leaves all year in Israel, she encountered the German contrast for the first time in Berlin.

“In Israel, it’s just green all year round, and you’re not even aware of it. But after my first winter in Berlin, I fell into a seasonal depression: everything was so gray.”

Tattoos to Kick the Winter Blues

Nastia didn’t let the first gray winter get the best of her. Instead, she let it be an inspiration for her work. Her love of color existed before she moved north. The bleak Berlin winter landscape, on the other hand, inspired her to combine colors and natural motifs. Her tattoos now appear to be an antidote to seasonal depression, with lush fern leaves, exuberant flowers, and entwined plant stems arranged in colorful arrangements.

” I knew right from the start, when I had just started tattooing, that I wanted to do colored tattoos. I love colors. For me, a life without colors is no life. From then on, I started to integrate plants into my art to make the world a bit greener.”

Plant Stories Written on the Skin

At the tender age of seven, Nastia’s interest in tattoos was fully formed. She was captivated by body modifications, tattoos, and any form of skin art. This is still the case today.

“I love it when the flowers and leaves move on my clients’ bodies, like on a living canvas.”

Nastia’s clients often come to her with their plant stories to be part of their tattoos. One client requested her favorite plants be united in a half-sleeve, including her green roommates that accompanied her from seedling to the present. These commissions send an excited shiver down Nastia’s spine.

“It was a great project; she sent me pictures of all her plants. Some of them she has had for years and has built up a special connection with them. But of course, a heartfelt project like this is enjoyable.”

She considers herself to be a “supposed to be nature-girl.” Animals frequently accompany her explosive and colorful plant creations. When she picks up a pencil, wild and natural motifs emerge as animals and plants that come to life on her clients’ skin. Leopards peek mysteriously behind butterfly masks, and dogs blend in with fruit bouquets.

Living with plants, according to Nastia, is not a fad but rather something that penetrates deep beneath the skin and into the human soul.

“I believe that love of nature and plants, in particular, is part of our DNA. We cannot and should not live without being surrounded by greenery. Especially the younger generation, who spends much time away from the screen, misses nature deep in their hearts.”

To Have and To Hosta

Her husband, Ed Zlotin, would also enjoy some space in their shared apartment and tries (mostly in vain) to steer her away from plant stores as they walk by. Nonetheless, over time, Nastia has collected about 60 plants.

“You start with one plant. Then you buy the next one. It’s like an obsession. I’m someone who sneaks the next plant into the house without her husband knowing. It’s hard for me to walk past a plant when I’ve already fallen in love with it when I walk into the store. It’s a kind of vibe that then develops between you and the plant. I buy spontaneously, and I am not a plant hunter by feeling.”

Nastia quotes the Russian proverb and says, “Her eyes rejoice at the sight of plants.” She spends time with her green soulmates intentionally and intensively, without distractions like a cell phone or music, just her and her plants, and meditative gardening to merge with nature and feel this connection with all of her senses. This connection to nature is also why Nastia and her husband follow an entirely vegan diet.

“Every true plant-lover worth their salt has at least one Calathea on their conscience. I love these plants and hate them in equal measure. They are so beautiful, but it’s also always sad when they say goodbye, and you’re just left with the question: What did I do wrong again this time?”

To this point, we say, nothing at all, Nastia. The ways of a diva are unfathomable, and we can’t get enough of Queen Calathea either. Nastia has a clear message for any city dwellers who haven’t gone down the green tunnel yet: “Surround yourself with plants; it will make you happier!” In your home and on your skin.