Continuing from last weeks post, Tattooist Spotlight, where we met artist, Jessica Weichers and learned how she got into tattooing, what she thinks of being a female in a male dominated industry, and what she wants clients to know about her industry, below are five more questions.
1) Skin art is an ancient practice—something I’m not sure a lot of people know. Although tattooing is widely accepted, a stigma lingers. How funny that something so ancient could be taboo, right? How do you deal with tattoo “haters”?
We have always tattooed. It’s a part of who we are, where we came from, who we can be. Not everyone is meant for tattoos—yes, I agree with that—but individuals in ancient tribes (like Scythians) who did not get tattooed, didn’t have passageway to the afterlife or never went through the life’s trials to achieve a status worthy of body art. Tattooing has become more popular, giving us the chance for a solid career. But when people get tattooed because it is the popular thing to do, it waters down the meaning. I remember getting beat up and being treated horribly by some of my peers for having tattoos in high school. Now if you don’t have one you’re “uncool”. It’s amazing how quickly things have changed. I’ve even had a man come up to me once and say “who would marry you looking like that?” or the oh-so-favorite “If you were my daughter, I’d smack you”. Both of those comments came from men that I didn’t know. I believe tattooing is an ancient art form that deserves the respect it had long ago. If you don’t like it, don’t look and keep your mouth shut.
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Everything else in your life can be taken from you, but the tattoo is there forever. You might not remember my name, but you will remember how special that tattoo is to you.[/blockquote]
2) Have you ever experienced something mysterious surrounding a session or client? For example, you couldn’t get your gun to work right or you couldn’t get to the shop for strangely odd reasons.
I have noticed several odd things over the years. I perform Sacred Tattooing where I combine energy and crystals with tattooing. That has always ended with very interesting results. When you work with people so closely and are in their bubble, you almost get a 6th sense about some of them. I’ve had clients look sick and weak coming in and, when usually I won’t tattoo someone like that, after healing sessions their coloring comes back and they have a glow about them as they skip out. That is what I want to give back to my profession. This my purpose for this business.
3) What are your biggest career achievements?
This coming March I have been tattooing for 9 years. The first 3 years were spent going to seminars, conventions (not working them), and getting tattooed by better more knowledgeable artists. And I learned so much getting tattooed myself. Since first holding a machine, I have had the ability to travel all over the world and tattoo—New Zealand, Costa Rica, all over Canada, all over the states, Norway—so I have a pretty good following worldwide. Thanks to my work, this past year I got my first sponsorship by a tattoo machine company, Neotat. I love their machines and was honored when I got that email (I almost didn’t believe it and asked if the email was suppose to be sent to me, LOL.). I’ve also been invited to other areas of the world to tattoo and do my Sacred Tattooing but have not quite gotten there yet.
4) Aside from the shop, where can people find you this year? Conferences or conventions?
This year I won’t be traveling as much as I usually do because I will be honing in on my art and spiritual skills. On the schedule for now I will be at the Detroit Motor City convention in February and The NIX convention in Toronto, Canada in June.
5) What is your favorite part of your job?
My favorite part is being able to give the feeling back to others the feeling that I get when I get tattooed. I know that when I look at myself, I see my tattoos as a part of who I am and that’s what I love to see when my clients look at their finished piece. Everything else in your life can be taken from you, but the tattoo is there forever. You might not remember my name, but you will remember how special that tattoo is to you.
And here’s a bonus question, lovelies:
You aren’t just an artist. You have ink too and lots of it. Tell us about some of your own favorite tattoos?
I have so much work done on me that I’m running out of room. Haha. Some of my pieces are very personal and others are just for fun. Right now I have a very personal backpiece in progress. It has a lot of symbolism to me but I know when others look at it they would never know. To them, it would be just a pretty picture, which I am absolutely fine with, but to me my backpiece makes me a little closer to who I am. There was one session on my back when I went into a deep meditative state and learned a lot more about my tattoo than I ever thought possible. After that session, I knew I was getting the right thing. I have several tattoos of my furbabies. I have pugs and adore them—they are my children. So of course they are tattooed on me. My right sleeve was done first. It is a Japanese themed piece all about geishas, but not because they are pretty (but it does help make a nice drawing). The meaning behind the geisha is what drew me them. Being some of the very first women to hold their own by being living pieces of art was very appealing to me. So it’s my dedication to female artists and making it on your own. My left sleeve is all nature, which is my sanctuary. I also have mandalas from Cory Ferguson that mean a lot to me. I have a little more room to go but I’m quickly filling up. It just means my temple is almost where it should be!
Now it’s your turn. Have questions for Jessica? Have you been dying to ask a tattoo artist a particular question but too nervous to ask? Post your queries in the comments and Jessica will answer them next Monday.
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