‘The Queen’s Speech’

Posted: 30/12/2012 in Uncategorized

‘The Queen’s Speech’ is obviously a bit of a joke, what I do try and do is to take stock of my journey as an artist, and the end of the year is as good as any to sit and reflect.

2012 has been a busy year for me, for a number of reasons. Above all because of you, dear tattoo fans, who have kept my diary booked for 6 months in advance, with your dedication to getting big pieces and your faith in me as an artist to fulfill those ideas.

For that I am extremely grateful. It has allowed me to concentrate on my chosen style, refine, change and develop some aspects and grow into the subject as I went along.

I am in a position most tattooists dream of, where you as customers mostly give me free reign to draw on you -with just the most general of guide lines only- having faith in my ability as a tattooist and as someone who is able to interpret your tattoo wishes.

It’s quite astonishing if you think about it, I know some of you have met with disbelief from your friends that you just ‘let her do what she wants on you’ when you describe the process of freehand tattooing.

Obviously it’s not ‘just what I want’, I like to have input from the wearer so that I can tailor my ideas to suit the person, I see it as a collaboration between me and the wearer, their ideas and physique. The other ingredient is less tangible and more spur of the moment, impossible to nail down, but it’s what keeps it fresh and different from the last time I did that sort of design.

I have been concentrating on Japanese style work for a few years now, and I’m still in love with it, the way it can flow over the part of the body it fits, the meaning you can attach to it in a historical way and the timeless look of it.

I have noticed myself getting more and more into the flow of the background, I’ve been moving away from the flat, traditional look of Japanese tattoos, and introduced more form and illusion of depth. I’m aware that this might not appeal to everyone, especially those who are looking for a more traditional look to their Japanese tattoos, and on occasions I have recommended a customer visit another artist who can do this style more justice.

What I like to do is plain from my blog, which has been a great tool to share my personal style and bring like-minded customers to me. On occasion, customers have recognised each other from their tattoos featured on my blog, what a wonderful sequence of events 🙂

Another feature of 2012 was the development of my painting. I always considered myself more of a draughtswoman, with an affinity to drawing and design based work, mostly I suppose due to my work as a tattooist-the ultimate design based art form to my mind.

Although tattooing will always be my first love, I have been exploring oil painting in its most traditional approach for the last couple of years, and to my surprise, discovered that it appeals to me than I imagined. My long history of tattooing is still reflected in my painting, with an unfashionable attention to detail and form (in the art world) and narrative, and it’s relatively small dimensions.

One of the things I like about oil painting is that I can be free of the burden that someone will be wearing this for the rest of their lives- I can just chuck the canvas in the bin if I don’t like it- and it allows me to experiment more than would be advisable on skin.

I hope this will help me develop ideas that will work their way back into my tattooing, but at the moment I’m just having too much fun being silly. Who know where the whole painting thing will take me, possibly on a completely different track to tattooing, maybe this time next your I’ll be telling you about my blob of blue paint on a blue background and why it’s going to open your third eye. Ok, maybe not that kind of silly!

A round up of 2012 wouldn’t be complete without a mention of how proud I am of our newest Tribe artists. Tim and lately Nik have worked so hard to become fully fledged tattooists with their own style, they both bring something unique to our team of artists. Our Italian girls Raffi and Bru have immersed themselves in their respective styles and have gained a loyal following, and Alex, Simon and Erik have pushed the envelope in their fields and watched their waiting lists grow.

It hasn’t gone unnoticed; we’ve recently been approached by an American tattoo magazine who wants to features us as a group to show our diversity, it’s great to have such an amazing team of artists around me!

I’m a lucky girl and looking forward to what 2013 has in store  🙂

  1. Emma Plant says:

    As one of those folks who are happy to just let you draw on us, if I can quote her highness: ‘I’m a lucky girl and looking forward to what 2013 has in store’… Happy New Year Tribesters!!

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