Did you know that women are more likely to be tatted up than men? And for some reason, it looks like most of the people who are reporting on these statistics are surprised by the whole thing. (Do a quick search and you’ll find a whole lot of, “Strangely enough, women love tattoos,” kind of talk.) The tattoo industry has always been dominated by men, but women have been involved for centuries. From the 2,500-year-old tattoos found on the remains of a Siberian princess to the legendary work of 19th-century tattoo artist, Maud Wagner, women have asserted their presence in the tattoo world. Female tattoo artists all over the country are taking tattooing into their own hands. And why shouldn’t they? As long as they’ve got the skill and the right tools, there’s nothing stopping them except some grossly outdated stigmas.
Read on to find out more about how female tattoo artists are changing the game and why we would say that it’s for the better!
Women Tattoo Artist – What’s With the Boys Club?
Why has it been so difficult for a female tattoo artist to get the recognition they deserve in the tattoo industry?
In part, because for a long time tattoos were associated with deviance. If a man with tattoos was considered “outside” of society in some way, a woman with tattoos was considered downright improper. (Oh, my stars, how unladylike!)
In American culture, tattoos were usually associated with masculinity, as well. People expected the tattooed to be sailors, bikers, or warriors. (Funny thing is, these are all roles that women have fulfilled.) Even in the 21st century, male tattoo artists have typically been more visible in the tattoo industry. It took eight seasons of the popular tattooing competition show, Ink Master, for a woman to take the crown. Tons of the women contestants on the show have noted discrimination in the tattoo industry, both from male tattoo artists and male clients. Now, there are tons of women who are here to say, “No more to discrimination,” and are opening shops of their own. Let’s take a look at a few of them.
Women Tattoo Artist: Spreading the Love
Woman-run tattoo shops aren’t just beneficial for female tattoo artists. They’re also great for any women with tattoos! Sometimes it’s nice to find an environment where you know that your artist is going to listen to you and respect your taste, no matter how new to the tattoo world you are. Many women find male-dominated tattoo parlors intimidating or uncomfortable, whether it’s because of the artists’ demeanors or the vulnerability of getting tattooed in usually-covered places.
Here are a few of the female tattoo artists who have increased the number of welcoming, non-discriminatory tattoo studios!
In 2017, Kelli Kikcio co-founded the Brooklyn, New York-based tattoo studio, Welcome Home Studio. Originally from Toronto, Kikcio received a degree in Design and worked for a handful of Canada-based fashion labels. She eventually started giving her self hand-poked tattoos after finding that most professional artists wouldn’t give her the kind of tattoos she wanted. With the help of friends and Instagram, word spread of her skills, and strangers started asking for appointments.
Welcome Home Studio is appointment-only and the location is only available after clients set an appointment time. The studio is staffed entirely by women and nonbinary artists, over half of which specialize in hand-poked tattoos.
Bambi Wendt has been tattooing in Minneapolis, Minnesota for over a decade. Eventually, she decided to open her own shop, Jackalope Tattoo, in 2013. The entirely female-staffed tattoo studio is known for it’s pleasant, happy atmosphere. In fact, Wendt cited the misogyny in the tattoo industry as her primary reason for opening up her own shop. She and the other artists at Jackalope were tired of the treatment they were receiving from male artists and wanted to work in an environment that was safe and respectful.
Jessica Dwyer decided to open Nice Tattoo Parlor, another tattoo studio in Brooklyn, in 2017. Her main objective? To give people a place to get tattoos that felt, you guessed it, nice! The interior of Nice Tattoo Parlor looks less like a traditional tattoo parlor and more like a mid-century modern living room. Clients can get tatted up in comfort by one of Nice Tattoo’s many artists, including Dwyer, herself. Many of Nice Tattoo’s artists are women and several of them specialize in beautiful fine line work that proves that not all tattoos have to be bold and traditional.
After fifteen years in Eastern Poland, Natalia Borgia moved to the United States. As a teen and young adult, Borgia was always drawn to art and worked in photography, graphic design, and illustration. It was only natural for her to transition into the world of tattooing.
Today, Borgia is the co-owner and one of many female resident artists of Beaver Tattoo in New York. Borgia has noted that she’s certain that discrimination against women isn’t just a product of the tattoo industry, but rather the world at large. She has also noted that she doesn’t let it phase her.
The artists of Beaver Tattoo can cover every style of tattooing, but Borgia herself models her work off of classical art. She’s a master of shading and doesn’t let the linework steal the show.
Women Tattoo Artist – Feeling Inspired?
To all the female tattoo artists out there who have ever felt like the tattoo industry didn’t want to include them, it’s time to rise up! Why try to make a name for yourself in someone else’s shop when you could open your own? It may seem like a lot of work to open a tattoo studio from scratch, but it doesn’t have to be. There are plenty of tools to make your life a little easier, like the tools on InkBook Software that help with appointment booking, payroll, and more.
Ready to become a revolutionary in the tattoo industry? Want to show the world that you are tatted up and ready to rumble? Sign up for a free trial of InkBook Software and find out how much our services can help you!