Thursday, July 21, 2011

Featured Tattoo Artist | Stacey Ann

What attracted you to tattooing?

"I think what initially attracted me to tattooing was my dad. He had a lot of tattoos, particularly a lot of traditional tattoos. He was in that generation where if you went home with a traditional heart and banner with mum in it, mum can't get mad. That was his first tattoo, so i have always been around it."

How did you get into the industry?

"I really wanted to be a tattooer when I left high school but didn't know any tattooers or anything about tattooing so i went and did another profession. I was a drug and alcohol worker and about 5 years into that profession I got offered a reception job at a shop in Melbourne called Tattoo Magic, it was then that I heard about an apprenticeship going at another shop so i did what I could to get it!!!!"

Was it hard to find an apprenticeship?

"For me personally it wasn't so hard looking for it, but it was hard to get it! I think I was extremely lucky, I met really good people that helped me more than I could have ever hoped and believed I had something in me worth cultivating."

How many years have you been tattooing?

"I have been tattooing for 7 years."

Have you ever felt the tattoo industry is different for women?

"hmmm.. not really hey, if you work hard no matter what sex then it shouldn't matter. I have been to places where the female tattoo thing is still not as prevalent but I have only experienced this overseas. I think personally if your gonna do a good tattoo you will do one no matter what sex and i don't think it should ever be an excuse because personally speaking i have experienced and done things in tattooing that males have as well, i think no matter what sex if your kind to tattooing it will be kind to you!!"

What inspires you?

"Everything!! life!!!! The longer I tattoo the better I have gotten at being able to pull inspiration from non tattoo related things! I look at old vintage photographs, I look at different cultures and their patterns, movies, music, buildings, anything really! I'm constantly looking, whether it be a color that I'm attracted to or a shape! Travel inspires the shit out of me also! People inspire me too, and of course the people i get to work with."

Who are some of your favourite tattooers?

  "I think my all time favourite tattooers of all time would be Chad Koeplinger, Thomas Hooper, Bugsy, everyone at Frith st, due to how much these people helped me! Mike Wilson, Ed Hardy, Johnny Dollar, Smith Street Tattoos, Andrew McLeod, Fillip Leu, Ben Corday, Rick Luder, I have lots of favourites! Everyone I have gotten to work with whilst travelling also have become faves."

What have you learned in your 7 years of tattooing?

"Shit! I've learnt soooooooooo much! When you start tattooing you don't realise how much tattooing changes your life. I've  learnt how to tattoo 7 years worth, obviously there is still a lifetime more to learn! But tattooing has taught me hopefully, good morals and it has enabled me to become well travelled.  I've had to learn to not be sensitive and to take criticism. I've learnt a shit load on the history of tattooing also."

What advice would you give to people considering careers in the industry?

"Get tattooed a lot! By good people!!! By people you look up to no matter where in the world they are, the price you will pay to travel and get tattooed by these people will be completely irrelevant when it comes down to what you actually gain in the long run, spending the time effort and money to get tattooed of these people is priceless! Draw and paint a lot and respect the right people, and know the history and most of all don't rush! Don't be in a hurry it could take a lifetime!!"

What are some of the best things you have experienced as a result of your career?

"Since tattooing I have experienced and done things I never thought possible. I have travelled and worked in some of the best shops in the world. I was lucky enough to spend 2 years at Frith Street Tattoo in London with people like Thomas Hooper, Steve Byrne, Alex Reinkie, Ian Flower, Aaron Pewit, Claudia Derossi, Chad, Eli Quinters, Steve Bolts, Jason Kundell, xam, Frank Carter etc so I was extremely lucky! Especially since when I got the job at Frith street I had only been tattooing around 8 months!!! I was lucky Thomas Hooper was there and Chad would guest there, they taught me a lot of what i know! As a result of getting the  job at Frith I was then able to travel to more places and work at more well known shops.  I was able to go to Top Shelf in Queens (Bert Krak's shop), Name Brand Tattoo with Jeff Zuck in Michigan and Ink Smith and Rogers with Mike Wilson in Florida."

"I was also luckily enough to work the Milan Tattoo convention. I worked at Tattoo Paradise Washington DC, Chad Koeplinger and Matt Knopp's shop. I worked in San Francisco, Oakland, LA, New York, and one of my biggest achievements though would probably be tattooing in Alaska! That shit was crazy!"

"At the time no other Australian tattooers had tattooed there in Alaska (Fairbanks). Still not sure if any other Australian tattooer has? It was amazing! They lived so different to us and it was the end of their summer and colder than a London winter!! They have natural lights in all the houses so they can try and grow veggies etc for the winter and they hunt for food on their lunch breaks and nearly always have a gun or slingshot on them for those purposes! They live so simple and are happy with that.  Tattooing there is great! It's busy and a lot of army guys are there due to a base residing there! I was also lucky enough to see the northern lights! I was lucky to be able to travel with Bugsy and learn with him for about 3 years! We gave up everything at home and just moved, I didn't see my family for 3 years but they understood I had to do what I had to do to get to where I wanted!"

"I was also lucky and had the pleasure in London of working on collaborative project with a high end shoe designer Olivia Morris. I worked with her for 7 months. I had to do tattoo designs for her shoes. It was a pretty cool and crazy experience, it took up a lot of time but still great experience and all because of tattooing."

Where do you currently tattoo?

"I tattoo at Five Star Tattoo in Freemantle, Australia. I work for an awesome character named Rick Luder. He started off in the circus and has travelled and tattooed for about 40 years. He has great stories and memorabilia and keeps us all in check! I feel lucky to be able to work for him."

 "Tattooing has enabled me to achieve things I never would have if i didn't get into tattooing. But it didn't come fucking easy that's for sure!! You have to pretty much want to be tattooing more than anything else and put it before everything!!!! Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. I think we were lucky in the timing due to not many people doing tattooing overseas at that stage to the degree we were. We would meet people and they would offer us to come to there shop and we would do it. We always did what we said we were going to do! I cannot imagine what my career would have been like had I not have travelled"

How would you describe your tattoo style?

"I like to do traditional. Anything traditional really and anything that is going to age well and always be readable. I try and think about that a lot nowadays! I also like to paint ladies and butterflies."