JOSIE FLORANCE  


How Will That Look On Your Wedding Day?

Why is it that a woman is more likely to be questioned about the choices she makes regarding her self-expression? When those choices do not fall in line with people who have more traditional values, how can they imagine the moments in that woman’s life? In considering judgement of physical appearance, specifically regarding the choice to get tattooed, why are women held under such scrutiny?

Over the past decade, the popularity of tattooing has exploded – and for the first time, women are more likely to have tattoos than men. By taking a glimpse into the world of tattoo, what can outsiders learn from the women who tattoo, are tattooed, and who aspire to be? What can we learn about ourselves and our own biases? Is there more to what meets the eye when it comes to tattooed skin? Most likely.






INTERVIEWER: But it’s probably nice, I think, that person is coming to you for the service you can provide them with, whether you know them or not, that a beautiful thing because it’s a mutual respect. They chose you and you can give them something that they chose you for, which is really cool.

THE TATTOOIST: It’s also nice knowing that... When you really see a difference sometimes when they [the client] really enjoyed their time... And it feels really nice that you gave someone something that they’re really happy about. For me personally, I love getting tattooed because I feel like... I feel more like myself with every tattoo. Another empty space on my body is being filled and sometimes I choose these things because its what I find aesthetically pleasing. It’s what I chose and it’s what I want. So it’s like I am getting more things that represent myself, that represent my personality. Every single time I get a new tattoo I feel like a new person and I get really excited. I like looking at it, I like taking photos with my new tattoo, you know... Like, “Oh my god! It looks so good on my arm!” It’s like getting a cool haircut or like when you buy a new shirt and you’re so excited to wear it. It’s nice to attribute those things that you can give someone, that kind of like improves their [self] image or makes them feel better about themselves and be happy about the experience too. It’s definitely like therapeutic.



INTERVIEWER: I feel like tattoos–they started decades and decades and decades ago as marks of being– I know it sounds cliché– but, being in a gang or whatever. And even before that people who were sailors went to exotic places and got tattoos [by native hands] as marks of their travels. It’s interesting to see how it’s evolved as a mark of passage almost.

THE TATTOOIST: I think now it’s definitely more of an artistic thing. I know a lot of artists who tattoo as another medium. It’s just another medium now.

INTERVIEWER: Even just looking around in here [the studio we are talking in] I can tell that. (Paintings and drawings adorn the walls).
THE TATTOOIST: So it’s really cool that its become a medium and that its almost become a collectors thing. There’s so many different styles and everyone’s style is unique and everyone’s content is unique. Some people are definitely just tattoo collectors. With the popularity of tattoos it has become more mainstream... You’re seeing it on TV now, you’re seeing it on social media more. Everyone at least has one now.





THE TATTOOIST: ...I feel like my style is more appealing to women... because it’s fine line, it’s cute, it’s small, and it’s a lot of images that females would like on their bodies.

INTERVIEWER: So it’s hard to say that it’s because you’re a female [tattoo artist] or that it’s your style is more delicate which attracts more female clientele to you.

THE TATTOOIST: My style is definitely more delicate. I have had a few men who have reached out to me, like several, but I feel that being tattooed by a female tattoo artist, as a female, you feel more comfortable. You feel like you can let down your guard a little bit. And for some reason, I’ve honestly not had a bad client yet... When you are talking to a client on email or Instagram, it’s hard to get a sense of their personality and then sometimes you’re like, “oh shit” they might feel like they’re kind of annoying or requesting a lot, but when I meet them in person I’m like, “okay.” We’re connecting over what we watch, our relationship, it’s almost therapeutic in a way. And in my opinion, maybe hand poking is sometimes more personal. You [the client] do [does] spend longer time with the artist and there is less noise you’re talking over... And then I feel like talking to a lot of my clients we’ve definitely talked about things that were going on in their lives, personal relationships, and all that other stuff– it’s almost therapeutic for me as well. It’s fun making a connection with another person. And it makes me feel really good after if they had a good time and that they enjoy their tattoo and you know– I almost feel like a therapist (laughs) in some sort of way. You establish this connection with them. You have this bond. This short a lotted time where you guys bond and it’s someone you wouldn’t regularly be friends with– or never have a chance to be friends with. So I really like that...And I feel like that’s what a lot of women are looking for sometimes when they’re getting tattoos...


THE TATTOOIST: It’s also nice knowing that...
When you really see a difference sometimes when they [the client] really enjoyed their time... And it feels really nice that you gave someone something that they’re really happy about. For me personally, I love getting tattooed because I feel like... I feel more like myself with every tattoo. Another empty space on my body is being filled and sometimes I choose these things because its what I find aesthetically pleasing. It’s what I chose and it’s what I want. So it’s like I am getting more things that represent myself, that represent my personality. Every single time I get a new tattoo I feel like a new person and I get really excited.