Tagged: Botanical

The Best Botanical Tattoos on Instagram

Our guest writer Katie Houghton shares her favourite botanical tattoos…

It’s been scientifically proven that being around plants improves happiness, lowers anxiety, enhances your perception of space and positively adapts the air around you, so getting tattoos of plants must make you almost goddamn invincible, right? Botanical tattoos are peaking in popularity right now, and I wanted to create a list of some of the best trailing their way across Instagram.

Joanna Świrska 

The work of Poland’s Joanna Swirska almost feels like the art of screen-printing meeting skin. Layered and beautifully toned, I love how she’s blended the shape of snaisl and snippets of foliage into something solid yet sweet.

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Kate Scully

The tone of her client’s hair in contrast to the blackwork. The perfect alignment of the tattoo. The soft botany alongside the dauntless lines and thick shading. The fern. The fern. The fern. Yes, this is a love letter to Kate Scully.

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Britt

If you’re tattooing monstera deliciosa you’re probably already catching my eye in some capacity, but it was the shell and the dotwork that meant Britt’s botanical work found its way onto this list. From the blanketing of leaves to the stippling of tone, this is an undeniably pretty piece.

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Nomi Chi

Resident at Gastown Tattoo Parlour in Canada, Nomi Chi makes no apologies for her work, going big and certainly not going home. Catching my eye for all the right reasons, this is a stunning example of torso tattooing, giving botany the domination it deserves.

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Alexis Hepburn

A Sydney kid, Alexis Hepburn does botanical tattoos in a distinct, bold and unafraid fashion. Clearly inspired by the lines of 50s sailor tattoos, Alexis has taken this classic style and switched it up, giving the flora an ornamental and pretty edge.

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Pastilliam

Sticking it out in Stockholm, this work by Instagram name Pastilliam is as distinct as they come. With those thick lines juxtaposing the lushness of leaf, I love how this artist has pieces that you’d be able to spot a mile off.

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Lilly Anchor

Fine, I’m biased. Having been tattooed by Lilly already, it’s pretty easy for me to champion her work, but you only have to catch her on Instagram to see that she’s the queen of clean botany, with some of the most polished lines in the business.

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Interview with Kirsten Holliday

30-year-old Kirsten Holliday tattoos out of Wonderland Tattoo in Portland, Oregon and creates beautiful botanical tattoos with a muted colour pallet. We chat to Kirsten about the things and people that inspire her… 

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Photo  taken by Adrian Whipp of Lumiere Tintype in Austin

How long have you been tattooing? Five years, not including my apprenticeship!

How did you get started? I’ve wanted to tattoo since I was 16! I finished college and was studying for the GREs to try to get into a PhD track program in rhetoric and writing and realized I was chasing my second choice profession in which there were no jobs. I packed up my car and moved to Portland without really looking at the insane licensing process here, but I lucked into an apprenticeship at a shop rather than one of Oregon’s infamous schools. I learned from Melanie Nead, who used to own Icon Tattoo here in Portland. I just showed up with an armload of framed work and threw myself upon her mercy! I’m super grateful to have learned there.

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What drew you to the tattoo world? I started getting tattooed by Scott Ellis, who now owns Triple Crown Tattoo Parlour in Austin, Texas. I think that cemented my feelings that tattoo shops were places I wanted to be; I loved being in the middle of a shop where people were talking and joking and having conversations about art. It had (and still has) such a feeling of community. I get to work there when I go home now, which is such an honor and still kind of intimidating in the best possible way.

What did you do before? The usual mishmash of college jobs. I worked at Starbucks, I worked at a law office as a legal assistant and a runner, I worked at a gelato shop.

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Do you have a background in art? My grandmother Betty Jo was a watercolour artist and started me drawing from still life when I was two, and I took high school art. I was fortunate to have an incredible art teacher in high school. Other than that, not really!

What do you like to draw and tattoo? I think my portfolio speaks to that – botanical and naturalistic work, animals, lady heads. I​​ love doing American traditional tattoos, too, though I haven’t been doing as much of that in the last few years.

How would you describe your style? Illustrative, with roots in American traditional

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What inspires you? Vintage science and botanical illustrations, vintage postcards, traditional tattoos, the world around me. The Pacific Northwest is such a beautiful, ecologically diverse place and that certainly influences all the work that comes out of Wonderland.

Are there any artists you admire, do they influence your work? I’m super lucky to work with really talented artists at Wonderland – Alice Kendall (who has been making incredible botanical tattoos for years in this town), Sean Wright, and Alice Carrier. I think we all influence each other a lot. Joey Ortega at Triple Crown has been a friend and mentor for years and his work is a huge influence on me. Josh Stephens in Richmond does such unique, strong floral work. I’d love to do more large work, so right now I’ve been specifically looking at a lot of large work compositions, too.

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Can you tell us about your own tattoos? I have mostly piecework. I have one large piece from knee to armpit on my right side by Joey Ortega and the rest is mostly pieced together. The most recent tattoo I got was from my friend Alena Chun at Icon, who is amazing. It’s a cat and a skull on my kneecap inspired by a Kuniyoshi print – we saw an exhibit together in Paris in October and it was so inspirational. We traded Kuniyoshi tattoos afterward; I did the samurai frog I included in my photos on her. I have a lot of tattoos from Silje Hagland at Scapegoat (we used to be room mates!), a couple from Atlas here in Portland, four or so from Sean Lanusse at Blacklist. I have a ton of small to medium sized tattoos from a ton of people. I did get tattooed by Eckel last year, which was such a dream! ​

The Floral Fox

Amy Rose is a 29-year-old artist from the Cotswold, who creates soft pencilled botanical art in muted tones. We chat to Amy about what inspires her and her tattoos, and she created the piece Winter’s Hand just for us… 
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Winter’s Hand 

Do you have a background in art? The only art course I have done is a Btec national diploma in Fine art when I was 16 and I had no idea what I wanted from it. I have been drawing from a very young age and haven’t stopped ever since.

What inspires you? Mostly I am inspired by botany and the natural world. I am also a trained in florist, so my flower knowledge helps me when I am looking for botanical inspiration. I also get inspired by objects that I collect which can be anything from antique books, framed moths and bugs, bones and other curiosities like that.

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What do you like to draw? Anything botanical, animals, insects and oddities. I usually spend hours reading up on certain plants, flowers or animals and finding out about natural habits and behaviours  before I start a piece. I have a big collection of natural history books and botanical books that I have collected and inherited from my grandad that keep me inspired.

What medium do you use? I use coloured pencil on coloured paper, normally soft prismacolor. I also like to use black ink but find that with botanical work it looses certain elements when you don’t use colour.

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Where can people buy your art? I have a shop on Etsy.

Do you have any tattoos? What do you think of tattoos in general? I only have five tattoos so would love to add to them in the future. I love tattoos, I love how diverse tattoo culture is and how it keeps evolving, there is so many different styles my favourite being botanical black work.

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