To see more of Stanislava’s work, follow @m_i_s_o_ on Instagram.
For Stanislava Pinchuk (@m_i_s_o_), an artist in Melbourne, the delicate tattoos she draws for friends are creative exchanges. Their stories inspire her work, and in place of payment, her friends give her things they’ve made, whether art, furniture, jewelry or even dinner.
“I see it as artwork my friends carry with them,” she says. “It’s very intimate, and charging for it seemed strange, so I’ve traded since day one.”
Stanislava tells the story of each tattoo and trade on Instagram: twin wildflowers traded for whiskey, a map of a family traded for a drawing, a galaxy traded for a photograph. Alongside these stories, she shares pictures of her work and studio with the creative community she’s built. “The collaborators and contacts I’ve made from Instagram are incredible,” she says. "I’ve been in touch with so many people I look up to because of it.”
Prince or Captain Constantine was, according to legend, forcibly tattooed by Burmese or Chinese tattoo artists. The tattoos “consisted of 388 symmetrically arranged and closely interwoven images that covered his entire body, including his face, eyelids, ears, and penis. The designs, according to his publicity, consisted of crowned sphinxes, dragons, serpents, monkeys, elephants, leopards, tigers, lions, panthers, gazelles, cats, crocodiles, lizards, eagles, storks, swans, peacocks, owls, fishes, salamanders, men and women, fruit, leaves, and flowers. Most of them were quite small but exceptionally exact in their detail.”
“I would say the disadvantage [of being a female artist] is that as a woman I have to work twice as hard to prove myself in a largely male-dominated field, and the advantages are that by working harder I have become a better tattoo artist.”
Having someone other than your tattoo artist design your tattoo
Let me add this to the ask as well, because I just saw that someone added that they will design your tattoo/design tattoos. The whole point of looking through a tattoo artist’s portfolios is to find the artist that you trust to design and do your tattoo. By all means, bring in pictures that inspire your tattoo, but expect that the tattoo artist will tweak it and change it to to fit the human body. The body is a curved canvas, and will not portray exactly the same thing that is on the paper. There are things/designs that look beautiful on paper but will look like shit on your body. Your tattoo artist should know what will work and what will not.
Don’t waste your money on creating a middleman that doesn’t need to be there.
As a side note: picking things off of flash at a reputable shop is also awesome.
Circus performer Maud Wagner began her career as an aerialist and contortionist. She met tattoo artist Gus Wagner at the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair, where he billed himself as “the most artistically marked up man in America”. The two married several years later, and she learned how to give traditional “hand poked” tattoos as his apprentice. Through these lessons, she became one of the first known female tattoo artists in the United States.