These tattoos are relics of remembrance. They are also spells of forgetting, paradoxical rituals of letting go through enacting symbols of permanence. They are created through an intimate ritual that can create portals to the divine: they are living doorways, or perhaps door-jambs, and are sacred. In addition to the value they have as a means of practicing listening, empathy, and channeling energies external to myself, the importance they have for me in my larger arts practice is that they are a means of letting go--they are "mine" only for the time it takes to shape them.
Tattooing is compelling to me because of the concentrated nature of dissolve it embodies. So much of making is rooted in listening to the places we overlap--the point where our sense of self merges with our sense of others, where our bodies dissolve into our environment, where our present self dissolves into our memory. The process of tattooing is then a powerful synthesis of all of those points of overlapping.
I think of every tattoo as a prayer (or medicine) specific to the situation brought forward by the recipient. It has ties to intuitive and holistic approaches to medicine (herbalism, clairvoyance, shamanism, therapy). Tattoos can combat dysphoria, disassociation, and trauma. As such, I prefer tattooing with individuals who have a nebulous, textural idea that needs a form, but also a powerful desire or need for the tattoo.
The highest compliment I have received for my tattooing practice was that the tattoos that I give feel innately and inherently a part of the person they are for; that after it is finished, it seems as though it were there all along. As my other primary visual art practice is woodcuts, I can't help but associate the process of revealing light (woodcuts) with the process of revealing a tattoo that was always there. My hope as a tattoo artist is to be a delicate but confident searcher--that together, we can find the thing that your skin is concealing.
I identify as genderqueer (she/her/hers, or they, them and theirs pronouns), so when emailing me, please keep that in mind.