Vitraž Lexicon 09 –  Can Erim Özen

Be honest, bare and naked with Vitraz Q&A. The 9th episode is with unique tattoo artist from Turkey Can Erim Özen.

We are introducing the lexicon section, in which we will be real, bare, and naked. Famous people, followers, acquaintances. Without any differences. It seems that we are becoming increasingly estranged, so we want to do our part to bring us back together through basic human interaction. Through honesty, interests, and recommendations. 

Many spend years together without asking the right questions and really get to know each other. Maybe you’ll read the answers you’re looking for, perhaps someone will be an inspiration, a surprise. Honesty is the most incredible luxury we can afford.

In this episode we hosted Can Erim Özen, born in December 1993 in a beautiful and inspiring city called Alexandrette, near Antioch. Until university he spend his time in this historical coast city. His surroundings was always related the art. “You all know the hot coastal cities, they drives people do art, dunno why :)” as he put it. Then he went to college and got bachelor degree on Fine Arts Faculty (department Graphic Arts). Since that day he is tattoo artist and illustrator. 

Your childhood dream, a trait you carried along into adulthood

If I remember correctly when I was 7 I was trying to fall asleep but suddenly started to think about concept of the afterlife and ending of this life. It was giving pain and fear because as a subject “eternity” both scares me a lot and also concept of the eternal loop was far from the reach of my understanding. It caused some sleepless nights for a kid. Then I started to think about this concept and it starts to turn to a dream for me to understand this concept. But this dream has started to fade away after the childhood, now It’s a memory for me, I know that I’m not gonna be that great philosopher 🙂

In my 30 I can say that I’m not carrying any dream, just hoping and praying for a better future for all of us and working to create a peaceful space for me and my wife, eventually we are sharing love, doing art and having fun from this life together, gonna keep to protect that if this counts as a dream? 

Three qualities you value the most in others

I think the first one is directness in human relations, people need to express their demands, feelings and thoughts more clearly. Most of us are living every feeling inside nowadays in this way we’ll also give our surroundings burdens to carry.

Secondly, intelligence or creativity is perceived by the society as if these concepts are inherent in people or cannot be developed. But I believe with a little effort everybody can build their self potentials. I think that individuals within communities should enlighten each other, nourish each other in terms of intelligence, and inspire each other.

Cool and Beautiful – I’m not talking about a perception of beauty created by social norms here. I think that every individual has a beauty that they can create in their own way. This is exactly what seems cool to me.

Three qualities that repulse you the most 

lack of energy and productivity; 

Sometimes I suffer from these problems too, but I try to do everything I can to find a way out. Sometimes people pull the community or the people they are with into this hole because they do not realize that they are in this situation or because they are not disturbed by the situation they are in.

Lying / Fraud

I don’t know why, but some people try these methods by imagining themselves smarter than everyone else, but I think that in modern society, most of us are equipped to analyze character and understand people’s true intentions. My suggestion to everyone who wants to try these methods to find a solution is that you are embarrassing yourself 🙂
And the worst part is, like every human being, I rarely choose to resort to these methods and find myself in a very helpless position.

flattery/lack of self-esteem

I know I can’t blame anyone for this, but what I mostly witness is that people spend their lives without realizing their potential. As for flattery, many people crush their self-esteem and flatter people in power in order to advance in their careers or to be loved in their environment. This situation that I have been seeing around me lately makes me incredibly sick to my stomach. I hope everyone realizes their own potential and understands that they do not need anyone to exist.

Unfulfilled dream

Nowadays I wanna stay at a beautiful spot in nature, half disconnected from society and full of friends and loved ones. Maybe some wood on fire. I know it sounds too old man type desire, but I want to create things, discuss concepts and long talks with this people as a community, and I’m curious about results. Hope I can do that soon 🙂 

Greatest individual success

When I first saw this question, I briefly thought of the college I went, economic freedom, exhibitions, paintings, studio I work in tattooing scene. But I quickly realized that there isn’t only an answer for that question, I believe every action I take is my individual success, even my faults prepare my self for the future.

But there is one story I want to tell.
The place where the earthquake has happened in last year, February 2023 was most devastating was around the city where I was born, and I set out with only a backpack on the day of the earthquake. From Istanbul to Hatay (Antioch).
In next two days I become a part of a small civil initiative focused on emergency aid with the people I met on the way, the people I used to know and who survived and wants to be a part of a healing process. The point where we started was a large workplace owned by my father by the beach.

We continued our activities without a break for almost 3 months, we met and worked with 200 volunteers, aid was sent to the initiative from all over Turkey and we reached more than 70.000 people. In a natural flow, the movement came to an end, but something that I will never forget for the rest of my life is what a group of people could achieve when they came together in the face of sad news. It was a great lesson for me. Now I can only pray for all the victims.

You can see a small part of this story on Instagram.

Which compliment would please you the most, in regards to yourself.

Someone watching when I’m doing my art action either tattooing or drawing, or sculpturing if I can focus someone to watch It shows that I’m on the right path.

Favorite song (at the moment, all time…)

Favorite song (at the moment, all time) This question came in too complicated time of mine, I’ll drop two different songs. This explains where I am at. First one is:

And the second one is “Zubi – Sugar”.

But need to send some respect to the Guns N’ Roses, Rage Against the Machine and Sir Chester Bennington for making my teenager times amazing.

Favorite book

It’s like looking for a needle in a haystack.

  • Secret Teaching of All Ages – Manly Palmer Hall was one of the most time-spended books for me. 
  • John Steinbeck – In dubious battle also one, there is lot of concrete to build ourselves. But this two came into light with this question.

Scenario, scenery, ideal, that you dream about (description if needed)

I imagine sipping whiskey, watching from afar as a king is dethroned. The surroundings are a little damaged, some places are on fire, but people are free now. The king and the people here are just abstract concepts. The dream of breaking every taboo that I think will liberate the individual that inspires me.

What do you fear the most?

Defeat, unwillingness to work for art and lack of learning desire. This question is looking generic in first impression but when start to think, it goes deep, because I want to say more things like spending my time meaningless is also a huge fear for me. Thanks for that question Pavle, it drives me think a lot on it.

What do people lack the most?

Tolerance, empathy.

What do you lack the most?


Most significant regret

One July morning nine years ago, my girlfriend woke me up to tell me that my phone was ringing several times. The call that came to my phone was from the boss of my childhood friend of 15 years, and it said that my friend had passed away and probably committed suicide. After the funeral while I was checking my phone that evening, I realized my friends sent me a message via messenger while I was sleeping: “Where are you? What are you doing?” I saw his messages and missed calls he left on my phone. The biggest helplessness I felt in my life was not being able to take back that moment, and the biggest regret was choosing to sleep early that day.

Favorite movie

This also really hard to tell. The Green Mile was the first movie in the cinema when I was seven, it was daylight, fully emotional and unforgettable. In my adulthood I realize feel the same emotions in “Of Mice and Men” – Steinbeck’s novel, the similarity between them was remarkable.

Also Matrix series (forget about 4 (: never watched it), entered my life too early, in my first time couldn’t get it exactly, but that soundtracks, visuals on those days, concept all was amazing for me, It turned to life-time series and 4-5 times I watched If I remember correct.

Three favorite spots from your favorite city (tip, recommendation, doesn’t have to be your hometown)

Hamburg, almost everywhere in the city was amazing. Belgrade, another amazing city I saw, both romantic and realist at the same time. I have saying for this city “The European wind reflected from the dark color of the Soviet ruins meets the warm oriental touch of the Balkans.”

Istanbul, especially Akaretler, Maçka.


Three to five qualities that u find in opposite/same sex that take your breath away (description if necessary).

Euphoric – cheerful – colorful, these qualities are luring me to her!

Strong – Also it’s the woman’s natural habit but its suits some of them more, that’s also make someone attractive for me.

Bold & Trustworthy  – Those types of friends always keep my hopes for the future awake. Think it works on both gender.

Intellectuel –  Everybody needs to listen to someone deeply, many of are forgot this action. But still people who teach me something, they are one step ahead 🙂 

Describe yourself in one word


Your message, favorite quote, moto 

“Creativity is contagious, pass it on.” Albert Einstein

Three things without which happiness seems unattainable

  • My wife, love, light. 
  • Hopes for a better world 
  • Creative energy

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