As soon as they saw the Lomo'Instant Square, tattoo artist Michelle Santana and her manager Naomi Perkins, both based at Sacred Tattoo in New York City, had some really exciting ideas of how they might use it around the shop. Check out their ideas, insights, and photos below!
Seems like you've got a pretty cool job, tell us about it!
Michelle: I’m a tattoo artist and have been for about 6 years. I started tattooing when I was 18 - I love to draw and this is the field where I felt I could make a living but also do what I love. The love I put into my tattoos reflects in the quality and I enjoy the personal connection with clients. Them trusting me with putting ink on their body is the best part.
Naomi: My job is awesome - I get to work with my best friend and around phenomenal tattoo artists. I manage Michelle Santana, so I'm handling any appointments and press that may come her way, along with connecting with clients in person on a daily basis!
What inspires you? Why tattooing?
Michelle: Street art was a big inspiration for my art and to start tattooing. When I started tattooing, I thought it was badass and I was the type of woman who wanted to be covered in tattoos.
Naomi: I'm not a tattoo artist, but I have a huge respect for what they do. This industry is tough as nails - I kind of fell into it on accident. I never planned on working for tattoo shops/artists but I did. The idea of collecting art in the most permanent form is a beautiful thing. The more tattoos I got, the more friends I made which eventually led me to working in a shop!
Do you have any advice for those wanting to get started tattooing?
Michelle: They just have to make sure they know what they’re doing in terms of design and drawing. I’m not one to say what’s right and what’s wrong about tattooing because when I started I was on my own doing it my way. If you’re not someone who is willing to invest the time with pen and paper, you won’t want to do it on skin. Get an apprenticeship - you learn so much more in a shop than on your own. Also, do your job for your clients, not for yourself. Make sure everyone is walking away with what THEY are happy about, no matter how silly the design may be.
Naomi: To anyone wanting to tattoo - become an apprentice, have patience and practice!
What advice would you give to your 15-year-old self?
Michelle: I would tell my 15-year-old self to stop playing games and focus on your drawings. When you start to feel like partying and meeting people, it's a moment that won’t give the same opportunities as staying focused on your art. If I wasn’t as rebellious, I would be a lot further in my work than I am now. And listen to your mom!
Naomi: If I could give my 15-year-old self any advice it would be to focus more on school and not take life so seriously. You're young and dumb - enjoy it while it lasts.
What are your thoughts instant photography?
Michelle: I think it’s a shame that new technology takes that out of our life - having the physical copy is so much cooler than in your phone. It's sad that we lost that and it would be awesome to have that back.
Naomi: I think instant photography is great, especially in a world where people like instant gratification. I also love having physical copies of pictures instead of it just being digital.
What do you think of the Lomo’Instant Square? How might you use it around the shop?
Michelle: I think the size of the picture is perfect, it gives the same feeling I felt as a kid when I saw random pictures in my house. The only photo I have together with my father is on an instant photo. I take photos with my clients and now that we have the Lomo’Instant Square, my clients have a little something to take with them (other than the tattoo).
Naomi: I think Lomo's Instant Square is really fun and easy to use, Michelle and I immediately started talking about wanting to take photographs of her with clients and making a wall/backdrop out of it. It would be so cool!
How do you like the pictures taken with the Lomo'Instant Square?
Michelle: I like them when I look pretty haha.
Naomi: Usually I'm camera shy but something about Lomo made me excited. Being in front of the camera I felt very comfortable and love the way the photos turned out. They feel very old school!
What do you like about the square format? Remind you of anything? Old school or otherwise?
Naomi: When I first saw the Lomo Square I thought it was a reaaaaaally old camera, I almost expected a puff of smoke to come out when the photographs were taken! Carrying this around would catch attention and I think a lot of people would be curious to know more about it!
Michelle: I like that it looks old fashioned - hopefully, you’ll do the same camera but in pink! :)
Thanks for showing us around the shop!
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