Art can be appreciated in many ways. Music, movies, paintings, even tattoos are listed as arts. Nowadays, the latter is our current obsession, so Letter F had a session with Jakarta’s female tattoo artists from Revolver, Christine and Jessica. Both of them are active as tattoo artists and enjoy painting their bodies with beautiful tattoos. Ever since three years ago, they do their passion as an exciting job.
Could you tell us the story behind your tattoo artist career to the point you have your own tattoo studio?
Christine: “So I was introduced with tattoo in 2012 and I made tattoo by myself. And then in 2015, I met Joan, who is our manager right now, and started from that, we formed a team and began to join tattoo competition. Since then I kept on searching for new tattoo artist for the team. One day, Jessica made an appointment with me and I looked to her drawing portfolio, and then I offered her to join my team.”
Jessica: “Yep, true. I was once Christine’s client and never in my mind that I would become a tattoo artist. I just love tattoo. But because I can draw and coincidentally she was searching for a tattoo artist to help her out, I gave myself a chance to learn; eventually, I love the process.”
Did you learn from the pro or you self-taught yourself for being a tattoo artist?
Christine: “At first, I only bought the machine without knowing how to use it. Then I learned it from the store where I bought it. After that, I searched around about the right procedure of tattoo, even went to outside the city to get better understanding. Other than that, I learned it myself through YouTube, and did an experiment, and got an input from clients, and so on.”
Being a female tattoo artist, what’s the common stigma that people labeled you as?
Jessica: “Yeah I mean, it’s well known that women with tattoos have this stigma as naughty ones, but in fact we are just the ordinary women. Plus with this job, sometimes our customer underestimated us, just because we are women.”
How do you overcome it?
Christine: “We solemnly show our artworks. We are just as equal as another men tattoo artists.”
Misconception that you would like to straighten up about being a female tattoo artist?
Christine: “Being a female tattoo artist isn’t about that hideous act.”
Jessica: “Yeah, just because we are tattoo artists don’t mean we are thugs or something. And tattoo can be safe and fun. In fact, tattoo is an art.”
Who inspired you to have a tattoo?
Christine: “My friends got a lot of tattoos and I suddenly wanted to have one too.”
Jessica: “My younger sibling asked me to ink myself back then (laugh).”
What does tattoo represent to you?
The deepest story behind a tattoo you have made.
Jessica: “I was once doing a tattoo for a woman who already had a family tattoo. The portrait contained her husband, herself, and her twin children. When she came to me, she wanted one of his twin added a hello ring just above the head. Turned out that the kid was sick and passed away, and wanted to make her kid as her angel. I guess that’s the most memorable one.”
Have you ever received bad treatments as a woman with tattoos?
Christine: “One time I was eating on a food stall and there was this mom and her kid beside me, and suddenly the kid pointed at me and said, ‘Mom, why would she has tattoo?’. And the mom answered with, ‘Don’t be like those kind of people when you grow up’. I was like, geez, that hurts. I mean she said with fully knowing that I might hear their conversation, and that was just plain ignorance.”
Advice for people who would like to get a tattoo but are afraid of the judgement that follow?
Jessica: “If you are still new to tattoo and afraid of the judgmental people, you can make it on the place that is not visible to other’s eyes.”
Christine: “Though you have to take a risk by the judgement too. If you are ready to have one then you are ready to another one too.”
What do you wanna say to the society as a female tattoo artist?
Christine: “Searching for more about tattoo and do some experiment also. Beside, you have to consider other things before you got yourself a tattoo. The thing is you have to be ready for all the consequences.”
Jessica: “Yes, and search for a potential tattoo artist when you want to have a tattoo. Because not all tattoo artists are the same. Don’t regret it later.”
Writer: Adhinda Latifa
Editor: Olivia Elena
Digital Imaging: Rendra Martin
Photographer: Ganang Arfiardi
Videographer: Iqbal Syafei
MUA: Nadia Renata
Location: Revolver Tattoo Studio
Wardrobe: Studio Imaji, NOHO The Label, Titan Tyra x Sadara, all available at TheFThing.com