We kick off our new segment of this series which talks all things tattoos and travelling and how these two have influenced each other according to special tattoo guests from around the world. First up, Emily Malice, one part of the illustrious Femme Fatale crew.
Scroll down for a recap of Grace and Emily's conversation.
G: My name is Grace and I’m here to talk to you about tattoos & travel and we have special guest here and friend, Emily. Emily, can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
E: I'm tattooer at the worldwide renowned Femme Fatale, which you (Grace) are the big cheese. I’ve been tattooing for about seven years now and I moved to London about six years ago, where I worked at Into You, then Parliament then Femme Fatale.
G: Me and you have done a lot of travelling together, and separately, could you just tell me and everyone, what travelling has meant to you as a tattooer?
E: It’s been life-changing and wonderful. I didn’t go on an airplane 'til I was 18, so once I was able to see the world outside of England and the UK, it just completely blew my mind. To really get immersed in the soul of a city, meet new friends, go to galleries. I remember going around all the murals in Mexico and in LA, and walking around causing trouble. Getting to go to New York and visit the MoMA. It’s just really different to experience these places - go to their car boots, their flea markets - and feel the energy and the story of a place. I get really inspired by these stories in these places that exist and the new ones I make, along with new friends, shenanigans…
G: And that’s why I love travelling with you especially, cus you love to have an authentic experience. We never do the “touristy” attractions, it’s about finding local people, stories and connecting with that culture in whatever way we can. So, can you tell me about a few of your favourite places you’ve tattooed at?
G: But be careful - just a disclaimer - be careful with what you say cus there are some stories that can’t be shared!
E: Yeah, I’ll keep it PG. Haha. So, I remember, actually, when I went to Mexico - it was so beautiful! I can’t speak Spanish, but I know the basics, and I was with Raf at the time, who could speak many different languages, and for me it stood out cus I really got to learn about people through their movements and body language, and that was really interesting. Also, getting to watch Dr Lakra work, cus I studied him in college. So being able to see him in the studio and how beautiful his shop was was a highlight. That’s another thing about travelling; you get to see everyone’s shops and you get to see all these different artists in one place and the energy they have with one another.
G: Tattoo shops are really special, unique places. Everyone’s different and the energy within everyone is different. Essentially, it’s a work place and also, a creative space and a family. So, I feel like that’s what’s so special about travelling around the world; you’re basically going around staying with different tattoo families and being able to immerse yourself in their world. It's so exciting and I, personally, and I know you do too, learn so much from travelling. We’ve tattooed on people who’s styles are so different from our own, but you learn so much from them, you know, whether that’s technically or tattoo ethics or whatever it may be - you pick up so much and it’s really cool to always be learning from this and getting that opportunity to travel.
E: Another place really special to us was 'Love Letters' in LA. Just watching Norm draw stuff on with a Sharpie and learning tips and tricks. Also, learning about the unique tattoo culture there and its history and the different tattoo families. It’s really special to be invited into family homes and I think that’s why it’s so special with the tattoo community because it’s a universal language that binds us all and we all have this common ground.
Stay locked for more conversations next Tuesday.