Time and time again my clients have this feeling that their tattoo feels like 'it's always been there'. For some, this happens immediately upon applying the stencil. For others it's a revelation the next morning when they 'barely notice' their very new, very prominent tattoo in the mirror. The truth is, it has always been there. It's not my job to simply make something to put on your skin. I am trusted with bringing to the surface what has always been there, but lies unseen. Tattoos are the symbolism and art that inherently already lives in us. With the advent of modern electric tattooing and subsequent colonization/westernization of tattooing, the deep spiritual & energetic connections of ritual in tattoo work have been stripped away from most experiences. While picking something off a flash sheet on a design-filled wall is certainly a valid way of choosing your tattoo, it is not how I seek to further my practice. I believe that each tattoo should fit the body, and the energy, of the person who seeks it. In this way, Intuitive tattooing is as much about 'what' you want as it is about the 'why'. For some it's for themselves and their journey (who they are or who they're becoming). For others it's about a person or people (family, ancestors, loved ones). Some seek guidance and the art contains the steps they are about to take in their lives. Many are healing from traumas of their personal past or traumas embedded in the epigenetic makeup of our lineage. Still more are reclaiming their bodies from toxic cultural ideals and the traumas that causes.
Ultimately, tattooing in this way is spellwork. It honors the matriarchal lines of ancient blood magic and brings verbal & spiritual intention into the tangible realm and onto the body. It is a ritual that honors the self, one that I am honored to play a role in. The reverence for and responsibility to this practice is something I hold in the highest regard. This path is not for every client, but if this is something that resonates for you and it is a journey that you are willing to embark on, I know you will find what you are looking for. The process is different for each client because each client is different. Many have a general thematic sense of what they want but are unsure of the details. For example, they may be drawn to a specific animal but also want to incorporate nature aspects that speak to their journey of self discovery, compassion and courage. They may have experienced great injustice and trauma, only to find their voice, face their demons and heal from deep emotional wounds but not know how to communicate that visually. They may simply know a part of them is missing and leave it completely to me to find that piece in tattoo form.
Whatsoever the client feels they need to share with me, I hold space for that. I often have a few clarifying questions and there is in depth discussion as needed of course. After the seeker has given me all the information they want me to have, I have my own process to go through to bring the art forward. I've practiced divination for over 20 years. Ask my high school friends, I used to read tarot in the quad during lunch. ;-) Much of my process still centers on divination of that nature. I have a familiarity with flora and fauna that holds deep meaning and connection, which is why you will see plants, flowers and herbs in a vast majority of my work. Astrological and mythological correspondences can play a part as well. Ultimately, it may sound sort of vague, but it's so very different and personal to each client that the process cannot be summed up in a cookie cutter thesis.
Things to consider:
1. Style: Let me know if there's a particular style of mine that you're gravitating towards for this piece. Totes ok to send images of tattoos that have the right 'feel' even if the subject matter isn't perfect.
2. Why: tell me about why you want this piece. As much or as little as you are comfortable expounding on is welcome. There can be some 'whats' you want tattooed in there as well, but the 'why' is what I will expound from.
3. Consent: let me know if you are energetically open to me meditating on your journey, pulling cards, etc. to illustrate things and gain deeper insight to create the piece. I do not go this deep unless the client gives me permission as I see it as an invasion of energetic privacy. Also, I can't really tap in if you're not open to it.
4. Location: Send me a photo of the area 'to be tattooed': have someone take it for you so it's straight on, no angles/selfies. This way I don't over or under design something and I can fit it directly to your body/muscle structure.