InkSpired Magazine Issue No. 42 - Page 74

Tattoo Artist: Claire Reid CLAIRE REID Interview: Ákos Bánfalvi Claire Reid was born in England in 1982 and has always had an obsession for art. As a child, she was constantly drawing or spending time in nature. She loves all forms of art and self-expression. Over the years, Claire delved into many different mediums that enabled her to express her voice in many ways. She has a story to tell and a perception of the world as distorted as the next person and she loves to express this in her art. “I am an artist primarily and foremost interested in the other realms beyond our conscious mind and the beauty of our planet. My main inspiration and drive as an artist comes from these two things and I am on a constant journey to be able to portray them on skin and canvas. Tattooing is an incredible medium to work with as not only am I able to create beautiful images, I am also portraying people’s journeys on their skin. I love to try and connect with what my customers want to get tattooed, and understand who they are and what they are trying to express.” How long have you been a tattoo artist? Did you have a formal apprenticeship? I first became interested in tattooing when I was 16 as I loved art, anything alternative, and body modification. I went to college and studied sociology as I was told that art would not get me a job and didn’t follow up with tattooing until I finished college in 2004 and I became a piercer. I started tattooing in 2005 and had a 6 week apprenticeship that gave me the basics of what I needed to know. From there, I started a journey to study with some of the most incredible tattoo artists around the world. I have been incredibly lucky and worked alongside many famous tattoo artists who have all taught me everything that I know. After 9 years of tattooing, I still feel that I am an apprentice just scratching the surface of tattooing and all that I could know about the profession. What is it like being a female artist in a primarily male industry? I love working in a predominantly male industry with male tattoo artists and have always been treated with the utmost respect. There is always so much laughter in the studios and I think that tattoo artists are a whole different breed to others in normal society. Many of us do not fit into the box or society and it takes a certain person to be drawn to this lifestyle. We have the freedom to travel all over the world with our art and experience so many 72 incredible cultures. It takes courage to live a form of selfexpression that many hide from the rest of the world and because of this, we are free. I love the family that I have found through tattooing. Do you feel that male customers treat you differently? I have the most incredible customers, the vast majority being male. All of my customers have had amazing journeys and I feel honoured to be a part this. My customers generally know that I believe tattoos to be a rite of passage and they want their tattoos to have that deeper meaning also. I love talking over the metaphysical aspects of their journeys and delving under events for greater understanding. By marking the skin people are transformed and wear their journey and transition that took them from where they were to who they are now. It is important to express who we are with tattoos being a window to the soul as such, and it is important to find the right tattoo that can portray what the person is wanting to express. Though the dynamics are constantly changing, there are still obviously many fewer female tattoo artists in the industry than men. Has being a female ever presented challenges to you along the way? Do you feel you have had to work even harder to achieve the success you have than might have been necessary for a man? I have found that my s