Years Tattooing: 2.5
Favourite Style: Illustrative and Neo-Traditional
Our favourite Faerie, River brings the Magik with her every time she steps foot into the studio. Having come to Australia from England many years ago, River is an artist at heart and fell into tattooing as a way to express her art and her spirituality with like minded people. River, being amongst the most gentle of creatures, tends to flow through, leaving a gentle impact on our days, but what is it that makes River... River? Let's find out!!
So River, easy one to start with, where and who do you draw your inspiration from in your art?
I have always been really into baroque and medieval art so fine detail and figurative work has been something I have always looked up too and found very magical and inspiring. These days I am absolutely in love with fairy and fantasy illustrations such the works of Mary Cicley Barker and Ida Outhwaithe or the Pre Raphaelite Brotherhood movement which I feel taps into a lot of fantasy as well with its finesse, whimsy and story telling. Also the colours they use like artists such as Millais or Fuseli really takes me to another world, destructive or beautiful or both, in some way or another I feel it influences the tattoos I do.
Not just that but I am massively influenced by modern illustrative works that are created by other queer + female artists. Works by Hikari Shimoda, Marmite Sue, Natalie Koromoto, Goatshrine, Littlestarchild and Yosuke Ueno are just a few of my favourites. Anything that is tragically cute but also radical I love to support. Anything that promotes vulnerability as less of a weakness and more of a strength and self empowerment I love. This makes me find magic within the small spaces of my day to day life and makes me feel inspired.
For tattooing I take a lot of influence from tattooists who are inspired by Art Nouveau and Neotrad. Some of my biggest influences would be Tiny Miss Becca, Torie Wartooth, Summer Heath, Kate Gill, Aimee Cornwell, Alan Ferioli, Brando Chiesa and Natalie Gardiner. I could go on and there are so many who inspire me but those would be my current biggest inspirations.
Wow! So many different sides of the inspiration, which we can see really shows in your unique style! What led you to the spiritual and magikal side of things?
I guess that’s a hard question because its been something I have always been connected too and felt a deep need to pursue and research. My family were never that way so I was always the black sheep in that regard but since I can remember I have always collected crystals and esoteric readings. Since being a child I have just grown and developed my knowledge on spirituality through practice. My craft means so much more to me now then ever as it has allowed me to develop and manifest abundance in my life and to connect to myself more authentically, and give it back to people through my art.
Your style and your look is something that draws people's attention, and in an extremely positive way! We've heard you went through your closet and literally threw out every piece of black clothing, is this true?
I love to wear anything cute really, anything that makes me feel like I can make myself feel happy is a good go to for me and lavender is my favourite colour so : ) . When it comes to my own illustrative work I enjoy drawing things from my heart that either relates to nature or cute sad characters that tell a story. I feel liberated drawing this, it makes me feel I can give back to my clients in my own way by drawing what makes me and my client happy and connected not just to their body’s but themselves on a deeper level. My work references a lot of astrology or magick which I feel connects more personally to my clientsand I love to give that back to them so their tattoo has its own personal / sacred meaning. Spirituality is something that gave me self empowerment when I struggled with my own mental health so to give people tattoos that relates to their own self empowerment and allows them to reclaim their bodies really gives me a lot of joy. I also tattoo a lot of queer people too so tattooing is very personal as it gives them the space to reclaim their bodies with living art. I feel by doing this it gives a new dimension/purpose to their tattoo. Also yes all my black clothes have specifically been removed from my wardrobe, which after countless years of black for me, is a big change, yay!
Well they say a change is a good as a holiday, and we completely agree with doing what makes you feel best and happiest! Back to the tattooing, what's the strangest request for a tattoo design?
Strangest tattoo design would defiantly be some James Cooper (local perth illustrator) work I did on a friend whilst apprenticing.
Thank you River! I feel we've definitely got to know you better, and hopefully our fans have too! We definitely look forward to seeing more of your amazing work, and getting to spend time with our favourite faerie!
Thank you for listening to me ramble!