Meet the Neo-Traditionalists
A quartet of female tattooists from as far afield as Bejing and Rome are bringing their Neo-Traditional designs to September’s London Tattoo Convention at Tobacco Dock. This week, The London Tattoo Convention introduces 4 of the best female neo-traditionalist tattoo artists in the world...
Studio: Haloink, Beijing
Need to know: Born in the Dongbei region of Northeast China, Dashuai studied art and began tattooing in 2012. With no tattoo scene in China at the time, she ordered a tattoo machine online, and practiced on pigskin. “The idea of being able to draw people permanently electrified me,” she told Tätowier Magazine. “The thought of it kept me from sleeping for days.”
Dashaui works at the Haloink Studio in Beijing but has also been touring and appearing at events around Europe – including this year’s London Tattoo Convention.
In her own words: “A good tattoo must fit the person, it has to be in the right place – just a cool design means nothing to me.”
“Some tattoo artists who imitate me even tag me in their plagiarism and ask me how I find their work! In the beginning, I almost burst with anger, but it would be best if I just focused on my work and just ignored it.”
“My grandma told me, 'You're a good girl, but you have to find a job!' The younger generation (in China) knows more about art and tattoos, so it's getting better and better and better.”
Tiny Miss Becca
Studio: Jayne Doe, Hornchurch
Need to know: Becca has been running her shop, Jayne Doe, in Hornchurch, Essex since 2009 and has a huge following online.
After fate decreed she wouldn’t take an MA in Sculpture at the Royal Academy, she turned to tattooing instead. However, she became increasingly frustrated because she felt her employers weren’t taking tattooing as seriously as she did. The day before she was due to fly to Australia, she saw an empty shop in her hometown of Hornchurch, Essex. Becca decided that if it was still empty when she came back from holiday she’d turn it into her own studio. That shop became Jayne Doe, and she hasn’t looked back since.
In her own words: “You get to travel the world and people travel the world to come to you. It’s a pretty sweet life.
“There happened to be one artist, Alan Barton, an American guy, and I remember being blown away by the artwork he would create on skin. Seeing the difference between what somebody could pick off the wall and what somebody could create, that made me want to get tattooed.”
“I genuinely become friends with most of my clients and you learn so much more about people. I couldn’t imagine going to an office from nine to five and not talking to anyone. What would you learn about people, about life, both good and bad?”
Studio: Seventh Son, San Francisco
Need to know: Born Giulia Frederica Dardani Chen, the half American-Chinese and half Italian Miss Juliet hails from Long Island, New York, and in 2009 graduated in painting from the Brera Academy in Milan. Although she’s based at Seventh Son, San Francisco, Miss Juliet also guest-spots around the world, and is always in demand to appear at the leading conventions.
In her own words: “To me, it’s not just a job; it’s my life, my everything! I love every aspect of the process, from the first design to the execution of the tattoo.”
“I’m a very curious and a hyperactive person. I research, and I experience all the time, both with design and tattoo. I think it’s a side of my character that is unconditionally reflected in my art.”
Studio: La Mujer Barbuda, Madrid
Need to know: Cherrys is recognised as one of the world’s best neo-traditional artists, working out of La Mujer Barbuda tattoo studio in Getafe, on the outskirts of Madrid. Her first tattoo was a bunch of cherries for her partner, Adriano, hence the name. As well attracting legions of fans, she’s been winning awards at conventions across the globe, including 3rd Best of Friday and Saturday at last year’s London Tattoo Convention.
In her own words: “Tattoo is my passion and it is what I love the most. I consider myself a very lucky person because not only can I live from that, but I do what I like the most.”
“I discovered the traditional neo, which is so complex and consists in fusing the bases of the traditional one, which I consider to be the most important for a tattoo of quality and durability, with realism, with the simple and ornamental. Finally, I found my style.”