Tagged: Australia

Interview with Rachie Rhatklor

27-year-old tattooist Rachie Rhatklor works out of Blue Lady Tattoo in Melbourne Australia and creates beautifully fierce tattoos. We chatted to Rachie about the strong women who inspire her and her own sassy women tattoos… 

IMG_4072

How long have you been tattooing? I’ve been tattooing for eight years now.

How did you start? What did you do before? I was living in Auckland, New Zealand at the time. I took a gap year after high school working at a cafe. I really wanted to start tattooing, so I quit and focused on drawing and painting flash for months and months. When I felt like I had some what of a portfolio to show (looking back now it was so bad), I approached as many tattoo shops as I could find. I was shit scared and the tattooists I spoke to were definitely intimidating.

Eventually one guy, Clint Jones at Blue Lotus Tattoo, told me that he couldn’t pay me and he already had an apprentice, but that I could hang out a couple of days a week. I showed up everyday and worked my ass off and eventually the other apprentice was let go. It was a fairly old school apprenticeship. We didn’t use pre-made needles, Clint made them every morning and taught me how to. I would do all the cleaning, emails, scrubbing tubes, setting up and breaking down, draw all his tattoos and stencil them by hand and more, plus trying to squeeze in learning what I could. That apprenticeship was tough as hell but I really appreciate it all now. That’s how it should be.

IMG_0223

Do you have a background in art? Art was my strongest subject in school for sure. I didn’t really care about anything else at the time.

What drew you to the tattoo world? Drawing came naturally to me and I had some outside influences like some family members and friends who were getting tattooed. It always fascinated me, it’s one of the oldest cultural traditions around. I also wanted to be able to make a living off of what I loved to do, and I was really drawn to tattooing because of every other challenge it involves. There’s a lot to learn, it never stops either.

IMG_3121

Describe your style, how has it changed? I would say it borders on traditional because of the way it’s put down – bold lines and simple shading and colour. But I’m trying to push different images, using references from sources other than traditional flash and where I can, from my own head.

What do you like to tattoo and draw? I think my absolute favourite subject to draw is women. Every aspect is always different, the hair, the face, I never get bored with them, they’re always fun to tattoo. I like to draw tough, sassy ladies and anything that ties into that theme.

IMG_4085

What inspires you? Strong women, I am lucky to know so many of them! Especially my mum who had the hardest childhood and still managed to raise three kids, work full time and now rides a Harley! She’s a big inspiration, which is why I think I like to portray strong women in my artwork. Also, vintage playboy, cars, movies and beauty advertisements, old tattoos, nature, classic hip hop & soul, 90’s girl grunge bands and my boy Jordi who is the hardest working person I know and influences me everyday.

What would you love to tattoo? I love tattooing from my flash of course, ladies, man’s ruin themes etc. I still enjoy traditional flash too. I think as long as there’s people wanting to get tattooed I’m happy to do anything.

IMG_2398

Do you have any guest spot or conventions planned?  I’ve just come back from a guest spot in New Zealand at Two Hands Tattoo. No other plans set at this stage, but I would love to get over to the States, Asia and back to Europe in the next couple of years!

Can you tell us about your own tattoos? Most of them are from trades with good friends I’ve been lucky to have worked with over the years. You guys rule!

Interview with Tan Van Den Broek

27-year-old tattoo artist Tan Van Den Broek works out of Dark Cloud Electric, a private studio in Fitzroy, Melbourne, and creates beautifully colourful neo-traditional tattoos. We chatted to Tan about her love for hard working bees and a dirty olive colour pallet… 

IMG_1384 (1)

How long have you been tattooing? It’ll be my sixth year of tattooing this August, I completed an apprenticeship over three years in two separate studios. I’m currently working in a private studio in Fitzroy, Dark Cloud Electric, with Dean Kalcoff.

What did you do before? Before tattooing I was at university completing a Bachelor of Creative Arts in Drama. Performance and art have always been an important part of my life, so it seemed fitting to do a degree in it. While studying I was waitressing (classic part-time actor job) and continued to waitress over the weekends while apprenticing. I would work five days a week at the studio, weekends waiting tables, drawing every other moment.

How did you start? Straight after I graduated uni, I applied for an apprenticeship in a local tattoo studio that was just opening up. He already had an apprentice, who had a fancy tattoo nick-name and lots of Kohl eyeliner, but I dropped by the studio with my folio of work anyway. He set a two year apprenticeship for me, I spent the first six months just observing and cleaning before I was allowed to tattoo.

IMG_1797

Do you have a background in art? Yes, I was a really quiet child and so I escaped into drawing imaginary worlds and what was around me; lots of flowers, animals and vegetables! I grew up on a organic vegetable farm, and both my parents are avid gardeners. I took on life drawing classes and later completed my drama degree doing as many visual art subjects as they would allow me to do. I stayed in most nights during my adolescence drawing, I guess nothing much has changed.

What drew you to the tattoo world? Music and my sister. Most of the bands I was listening to when I was younger had tattoos and their cover artwork always made me start brainstorming my first tattoo ideas.

My sister got her first tattoo under age over new years eve. She lied to our parents saying it was semi-permanent and that the pigment would fade away after a year. After a year rolled by and more tattoos were added, my parents clued on. Every tattoo she got, I just kept thinking that I could’ve drawn that better for her and made her happier.

IMG_1991

Describe your style, how has it changed? My style is neo-traditional but more on the bold, colourful traditional side. I like bold lines balanced with finer details.

Initially I wanted to be strictly a traditional tattooist, I loved the work produced by Andrew Mcleod and Jaclyn Rehe (still do) and loved the aesthetic. Tattoos that look like tattoos. Bold and badass. Vintage photographs of men and women adorned with ropes, ships, butterflies, women got me going! I quickly discovered I would over complicate my traditional drawings and I could not restrict my colour palette. I liked soft pastels and dirty olives. Neo-traditional was a better fit.

IMG_1421

What do you like to tattoo and draw? Easy! Animals, flowers and Birds! Lately I’ve been tattooing lots of Native Australian flora, which can be a challenge but I LOVE the challenge and the colours of our flowers.

What inspires you? Beautiful gardens, climbing roses, old buildings, lakes, lead-light windows, crystals, Scandinavian towns, autumn leaves, caves and good coffee.

What would you love to tattoo? Monkeys, I love their expressions. Big cats, toucans/horn-bills, fishing birds, flowering fruits and more native flowers.

IMG_1385

Do you have any guest spots or conventions planned? I’m heading back to Hobart for a week in June, then my next convention will be New Plymouth NZ Tattoo & Art Expo in November. Then Three Eyes Convention in Adelaide in February 2017. I’m currently planning a trip for Aug/Sept, fingers crossed I’ll be heading to United States or back to Europe. I miss Vienna and Göteburg.

Can you tell us about your own tattoos? Sure, my left thigh, left sleeve/hand and left side of my neck was tattooed by my amazing co-worker Dean Kalcoff. My sleeve is inspired by my love of Art Nouveau and 1920s fashion. I’ve got a big orange rose on my neck, my hand has another rose and a Mike Pike Teacup machine. My left thigh has a rabbit being constricted by a snake.

My chest was tattooed by Emily Rose Murray, fuck I was lucky to jump in on a last minute availability! That piece makes me feel really beautiful, big soft peony roses and a little bee. I have three bees tattooed on me (so far), I love their meaning of female strength, hard work, self sacrifice and the importance of teamwork for a greater good.

I have four tattoos from my dear friend Clare (Clarity) Hampshire, one is a vintage nurse with red poppies for my G’ma who served as a head nurse here in Melbourne during the second World War treating the returned soldiers and my G’pa who passed due to WWII PSTD. I have only one matching tattoo with my best friend Jen, it’s a little teapot with the words “Tea For Two” We always catch up over a cuppa, and it’s helped us get through the more difficult times in our lives. Tea just seems to help, you know?

IMG_1771

You, Me & Bones

27-year-old Waan Pivasiri is a candle maker and creator of You, Me & Bones in Melbourne, Australia. We chatted to Waan about what inspires her creepy and cute candles… 

IMG_2457

How long have you been making candles? You, Me & Bones’ third birthday will be at the end of April!

How did you start? What did you do before? It started as a hobby; I wanted to gift my friends one off hand-made products rather than things that are mass produced in a factory. I was a front end web developer at the time and after a year or so, I went part time so I can focus more on candle making. Then a year after that I went full time on You, Me & Bones!

Do you have a background in art? Not really, however, I’d like to think I’m pretty creative. I used to draw, paint, sketch and all that but I don’t think I was ever really good at it. I like all things crafty and I like making’things, I’ve been dabbling a little in cross stitching and well as pottery and I’m loving it!

What is the process behind each one? How do you make them? I brainstorm ideas of what I’d like to make then my sculptor Dan create a master for me and we go ahead and create molds off the cast. Sometimes we have to remake the cast if, say the candle won’t burn down nicely, etc, but most of the time it’s perfect. I then make candles out of the mold! The best bit is the first time you unmold your new design. I get super excited!

jj-halloween

What inspires you? Everything I create or want to create are the things and people I am fascinated with and would like to have in my own home. I find dolls so creepy but I just can’t pull away from them. I have a small collection of random doll parts but I have them tucked away so I don’t see them because sometimes they just weird me out so much. I know, it doesn’t make sense, but things that don’t make sense inspires me.

 Can you tell us about your own tattoos? Apart from my shoulder tattoo (which is also my favourite – done by Lee Stain from Inktricate), all my other tattoos are kind of hidden. They are mostly on my the front and sides of my thighs – I feel like they would hurt the least so I get tattooed there. My sculptor Dan Danckert is also a tattoo artist at Killer Bees Tattoos and he did a beautiful Victorian doll head candle on my thigh. I also have a lot of candle and cat tattoos on me!

Where can people buy them and do you do commissions? You can find my products on my webshop. You can also check out my Instagram for updates and the like. Unfortunately I normally don’t have time for commissions but it never hurt to send me a nice email to ask about it!

Interview with Sasha Mezoghlian

26-year-old Sasha Malvina Mezoghlian lives and works in Balmain, right in the heart of Sydney at her studio The Darling Parlour, alongside her husband Moses (a.k.a Dave). We chatted to Sasha about her love for all things floral and how she began tattooing…

unnamed (3)

How long have you been tattooing? This will be my seventh year of tattooing but I really feel it’s only the last few years that I have been finding my feet and knowing what I really love and really want to tattoo!

How did you start? What did you do before? I started dating this guy and he had been tattooing for a few years. I had no desire to tattoo and felt like I would never be able to even if I wanted to. I had a dream to be an athlete and after a bad injury I was told I could never do that again! My life turned directions so quickly and my partner suggested that I could maybe start tattooing. It sounds easy enough but I had no idea how hard it would be and I feel in love with it straight away!
Tattooing has been the only job I have ever done. And I think of it as a total gift! (I married that guy early last year, best thing I ever did).

image3 (1)

Do you have a background in art? I struggled at school a lot, being dyslectic and having trouble reading I naturally focused more on the art classes and the physical elements in school! But again I wasn’t one of those kids that picked up a pencil and was amazing! I have had to work really hard at making my designs ready to put on skin.

What drew you to the tattoo world? I suppose if I really think about it, it’s the element of freedom and passion that fascinated me and it was something that I just really wanted to get good at!

unnamed (4)

Describe your style, how has it changed? My style now would be girly traditional, botanical and illustrative. But it’s forever growing and changing and I feel like I keep adapting my style. It has changed a lot in the last few years and it has just come with practice and experience and knowing what I like to tattoo. Also my customers always have the best ideas!

What do you like to tattoo and draw? I love anything floral, colourful, bright bold and eye catching! Also anything cute!

What inspires you? Nature, the amazing people I work with, my heritage, my amazing husband who is the smartest man I know! My family and trying to live a spiritual path. Oh and coffee!

unnamed (7)What would you love to tattoo? Flowers everyday!

Do you have any guest spots or conventions planned? I’m planing to go to back to Melbourne soon and hopefully Brisbane. If all goes to plan I hope to go visit my beautiful friends in Norway again! Which is where is all started for me.

unnamed (9)

Can you tell us about your own tattoos? Most of my tattoos have been done by my dear friends and people I have met over the years travelling with my husband including a goldfish on my left arm by my good friend Shiryu from Japan, a whale by the amazing Deno from Madrid Spain, a diamond with wings from my old boss Pero from lucky 7 tattoos Norway and  a watermelon and lemon fun times by my good friend Leonie New from Mans Ruin in Melbourne.
All of my tattoos have so many memories and I remember where I was and what I was doing and they mean so much to me! I am incredibly blessed and feel so lucky and grateful to be tattooing and to have a job that I love so much.

unnamed (2)

The art of Frances Cannon

Frances Cannon is a 23-year-old artist and student from Melbourne, Australia, we chat to her about her body positive illustrations and what inspires her…

Frances

Do you have a background in art? I have been drawing ever since I was a kid. It was fairly obvious to me from an early age that I wanted to study art and become an artist! I have just finished my Bachelor of Art (Fine Art) and I hope to study more and keep growing and expanding as an artist!

What inspires you pieces? I am inspired by humanity. Whether I draw about the body, emotions, relationships, life/death, dreams – everything revolves about what it is to be human. I am currently involved heavily in the body positive movement as well as empowerment of women and a lot of my art that I post online focusses on that subject.

francesss
What message are you hoping to spread? I want people to see my art and feel connected. To feel warmth and happiness when they see it and to know they are not alone in their experiences.

Do you consider yourself a member of the body positive community? Absolutely! I had a lot of trouble loving my body when I was growing up, but over time I have learnt that hating myself takes way to much energy and that loving myself is so much easier and makes life SO much better! I definitely recommend.

frann
What medium do you use? What types of things do you draw? What medium I use depends on whether I am working from home or from my studio. My apartment is very cramped and doesn’t really have space for big works of art, so I usually do ink drawings or small watercolour paintings. When I have a studio I expand to doing big drawings in charcoal, or big watercolour or gouache paintings. I draw naked ladies a lot (though I do draw other things as well). The naked form is something I find truly beautiful and I find it empowering to draw bodies similar to my own.

Do you have any tattoos? What do you think of tattoos in general? Yes I have many! My current favourites are a tattoo of the character from The BFG, a book by Roald Dahl (my favourite childhood author). Another favourite is one of my own drawings of a girl hugging herself (a little reminder to love myself and my body). I love tattoos (especially black line-work tattoos) and I plan on getting lots more!

flower

Interview with Alexis Hepburn

Tattoo artist Alexis Hepburn, 22, works out of Gold Coast Tattoos in Queensland Australia, where she creates beautifully dark and traditional tattoos. We chatted to Alexis about her dark style, inspirations and tattoo collection… 

Processed with VSCOcam with hb1 preset
How long have you been tattooing? I started tattooing a little over two years ago.

How did you get started? Listening to heavy music in my teens, I guess I always had the influence around me and from the people I looked up to. I begun to draw traditional tattoo flash when I was 16 and would ritually draw everyday. My best friend in those years was working as a shop hand for Jed Hill in Ballarat. A couple of years down the line I took a trip to Ballarat to catch up with Jed and get a tattoo.. However he put a turn on things and threw me straight in the deep end. “You’re not going to get a tattoo today, you’re going to do your first one” he said, and the crazy ride of learning to tattoo started from that moment.

Processed with VSCOcam with c9 preset

Do you have a background in art?  I never formally studied art in university or anything, however my family has always been very artistic and encouraging of my practice. I grew up watching both my mother and father paint leisurely, and both my grandparents on my mother’s side were artists also. I grew up going to their exhibitions to see their abstract oil paintings and textile hangings every few months or so. Norman, my grandfather, was also the Dean of Arts at the Victorian College of Arts.

How would you describe your style? It’s difficult to pin point it in a word, so to put it plainly I guess I utilise the structure of a traditional tattoo. The subject matter isn’t strictly traditional however, you could say it has a grim or folky spin to it.

Processed with VSCOcam with c7 preset

What inspires you? As much as I am constantly overwhelmed by work from other tattooers, I generally take more inspiration from outside the immediate tattoo world. I love looking at old illustrations in books or on post cards. I love old wood carvings, vintage erotic art, browsing antique and vintage stores, and all things strange. If I’m painting leisurely or at my own accord I often find myself taking inspiration from the music I’m listening to, translating the lyrics into a visual. That’s my favourite way to paint.

What do you like to draw and tattoo? More than often I’ll find myself drawing girls, and I love doing anything with flowers, moons, cats and skulls. Anything dark and kinda spooky is always enjoyable.

Processed with VSCOcam with c7 preset
Is there anything you wouldn’t tattoo? I’m sure there would be more if I thought about it deep enough, however I would never tattoo anything discriminatory. No tolerance for racism or sexism. That and I will probably never be willing to attempt a photorealistic portrait!

Processed with VSCOcam with c9 preset
Can you tell us about your own tattoos? All of the tattoos I have on my body are in black and grey, there isn’t a single drop of colour. Up until I started tattooing all of the tattoos I had were on my legs and torso, and although I have built up a collection on my arms now I’m hesitant to ever go past the wrist or collar line. Some of my favourite tattoos I have are by Luke Braniff, Octoriver Daniel, Heather Bailey, and Drake Sheehan. Although one of my favourite experiences getting a tattoo was getting tattooed by Bev Robinson (aka Cindy Ray)! I feel very fortunate to have met such an inspirational lady.

Love your body with Laura Vudé

 Laura Vudé is a 25-year-old Australian artist, photographer and plus size model. We chatted to her about being a body positive advocate, her style inspirations and the tattoos on her body…

IMG_1074

How did you get into modelling? I was photographing people and realising my selfies were killer and wanted to have people take my photo because I’m super vain. I’m only half joking. Then people on my tumblr started to respond to them, so I started collaborating with Melbourne based designers like Lunasea Creations last year and realized that it made me feel so positive and like I was doing something worthwhile so I continued from there. It also helped being surrounded by beautifully creative folk.

Do you have any tips for readers for loving themselves? Or not giving a crap about what others think? I get comments most days which are so kind coming from women who are so happy to see a fat beautiful person (because yes, we exist.) and for so long I felt the same way. Try and surround yourself with people who make you feel on top of the world. Who don’t put you down and who honestly make you believe you are worthy of love, kindness and push you to not only better yourself but help you strive for what you are after. I am so, so fortunate to have such an incredible network of close friends who are as body positive and are all differing sizes and willing to talk about it.

74940008

Photo: Michael Brock

How have you become body confident? Honestly through taking a lot of selfies. I used to do a lot of self portraiture back in 2009 when I suppose I started to really feel beautiful and I really liked my eyes. Then a few years later once iPhones were a thing, I found myself taking more and more images. I started taking pictures of myself in lingerie because I hadn’t seen anyone who looked like me in lingerie anywhere. The internet responded well and was mostly women responding to them and it felt like something special. The body positive movement on tumblr really helped me become more confident as well, just seeing other plus size women flaunting their beautiful selves was very inspiring.

What does plus size mean to you? Do you consider yourself plus size? I do consider myself plus size, curvy, fat, whatever you want to call me I’m fine with. It took a lot of time but when you break it down they are just describing words and it’s the inflection the person uses, is really how it will always be taken.

static1.squarespace-1

Photo: Lucy Dickinson for 35mmstyle

How would you describe your style? 50% mesh, 20% lingerie goddess, 25% pastel princess, 5% goth.

Where do you get your inspiration from? Sounds super cliche but I’m inspired by my friends and the queer community. Im inspired by femmes wearing pastel lipstick and outrageously high platforms. I’m in love with colour and will usually look to be one of the more colourful folks in the room.

tumblr_nqektwpxkF1tsjjbbo4_1280

Photo: Hana Haley for Alexandrea Anissa Lingerie

Can you tell us about your tattoos? Okay I’ll go feet, up: On my ankle I have “me” in a heart to remind myself that I’m the best by my friend Kyle. On my left calf I have an avocado and avocado tree surrounded by mountains because my favourite thing is avos. Which was a stick and poke done by Grant.

IMG_7994
My right thigh has a pin up named Audrey, who isnt actually based on Twin Peaks Audrey but it kinda just turned out that way. I’m pretty into it. By Kat Weir at Fox Body Art in Collingwood, Melbourne. My left thigh has a pink jacket with the words “it’s like the rules of feminism” written around it- a Mean Girls quote. Mean Girls was important for me as a teen, which was one by someone at Third Eye Tattoo in Carlton, Melbourne but to be honest was a bit of a jerk who almost mispelt feminism on my body. What an ass.

IMG_4418
Above that I have another new pin up who’s still in the very beginning stages. Chris drew me a chubby witch and I had to have her. Whilst I was in New York I got a beautiful fern by my friend Moritz and it’s one of my favourites. Keeping New York close to my heart.

Just this week I got a hand holding lavender and baby’s breath flowers done by Amelia at Berserk Tattoos, who’s a doll, whilst a friend of mine was down from Brisbane.

IMG_5482

Which was your first? Do you still love it? My first professional tattoo was my pin up, done at Fox Body Art in Collingwood Melbourne by Kat Weir. She’s a super talented, sweet babe and I’m so happy with how my pin up turned out. My first tattoo ever was a home job by a friend of a friend. I had just moved out of home and was feeling super free and felt like having femme written on my body was very important for my own identity. Still is.

I love all of my tattoos. I love my body. Even if I end up disliking some at some point I’ll remember the time when I got them and that’s part of the great thing about tattoos. They show a significant or not so significant decision in your life. It’s a beautiful mark.

Do you have any tattoo plans? Not too many because I somehow have gotten four tattoos in the past month! I do want to get a cute girl power tattoo at some point though, something really simple with basic line work.

michaelbrock1

Photo: Michael Brock

Mum banned from breastfeeding in Australia after she gets a tattoo

In a decision that has shocked breastfeeding supporters, a judge in Australia has banned a mother from breastfeeding her 11-month-old son because she got a tattoo. A court in Sydney has ruled that the woman’s decision to get it done has exposed her baby to harm.

The child’s dad raised concerns about the  tattoo in an ongoing parental dispute. The ban was ordered by the Federal Court in Australia despite the mother testing negative for hepatitis and Aids/HIV.

Judge Matthew Myers said there was “still an unacceptable risk” to the baby because the tests were inconclusive.

However breastfeeding supporters are shocked. “I think if it were reasonable then we would have very, many women in Australia who would be quite horrified and perhaps child protection authorities should be taking action because many mothers who are breastfeeding get tattoos – very often of their children’s names,” said Dr Karleen Gribble from the University of Western Sydney.

An appeal against the ruling is due to take place in a family court in Sydney on Friday.

What do you think? Have you breastfed and got tattooed?

Photo from rebelcircus.com

Yay Lauren Winzer’s got her things&ink

I absolutely loved featuring the work of Lauren Winzer in issue 2. And after weeks of waiting, she has finally received her copy of the magazine…yay. I am pleased to say she loves it and I really hope either I can go visit her soon in Australia or she comes to do a guest spot in the UK. Not only would I love to get tattooed by her, but I would love to do a bigger feature on her – I adore her style. She ROCKS, she is such a Things & Ink girl 🙂

 

Lauren Winzer in Things and Ink magazine Lauren Winzer in Things and Ink magazine

 

 

Check out her interview and work  in The Face Issue – get your copy here thingsandink.com

And this tattoo is just one of the reasons we love her. It’s Britney bitch.

It's Britney bitch