She transforms ordinary objects into unique tattoos. In this interview with tattooist Fluffy, she talks about her journey and inspiration.
Like ᴘᴀɪɴting, sometimes you can identify the tattooists by looking at their tattoos. Tattooist Fluffy is one of them. She combines feminine floral patterns with animals, waves, and elements in nature and creates something beautiful. Her style is so unique that it’s hard not to be impressed.
With almost 100k followers on Instagram, her designs reach more and more people. I am so glad to be able to interview this South Korean tattoo rising star and ask her about her views on art, career, and more.
Interview with tattooist Fluffy
The start of the career
Tattooist Fluffy is an artist under the South Korean tattoo studio StudioBySol. If you scroll through her Instagram profile, you will find many flower, animal, and wave tattoos. She loves natural elements and gradually builds her dreamy, whimsical tattoo style.
But she didn’t start out with a clear goal in mind. In ғᴀᴄᴛ, she first worked as a designer. Unfortunately, that didn’t work out for her as she was searching for a job where she could be more creative.
Fluffy was introduced to tattooing by a friend. And she immediately fell in love. She always loves to draw, and tattoo gives her a chance to shine while doing what she loves.
Being a tattooist is fulfilling. But it can also be daunting at the beginning. “It’s hard to fix tattoos, and most of my works are small . So if I make a mistake, it can be more obvious.”
As a mature tattooist now, Fluffy faces a different challenge. “Now that I’m more skillful, coming up with new ideas becomes my top priority.” As she mentioned, drawing skills, hygiene management, and customer service are the three pillars of tattooing. And just like many other tattooists, Fluffy is practicing daily to improve those three skills.
Turning ordinary into extraordinary
Cats, flowers, butterflies, and other natural elements have been tattooed a trillion times worldwide. And to build one’s own brand, you need to find a recognizable and aesthetically pleasing style. And that’s what fluffy did.
By combining the ordinary like waves and the moon tattoos with different color combos and floral patterns, she creates something out of the extraordinary. “Cats, waves, flowers, and butterflies are common in our lives. So I try to be creative and make them look different than they used to.”
One reason why tattooing animals comes so naturally to Fluffy is that she loves animals herself. “If I were an animal, I would want to be a bird to fly freely. Or I could be a cat so I would understand what my cat is thinking.”
She is also inspired by great ᴘᴀɪɴters like Vincent Van Gogh and Alphonse Mucha. They were both masters in using colors. And that influences Fluffy’s color choices in her tattoos.
Bringing new life to old tattoo
Tattooing from scratch can be a fun process, but the task gets more demanding when doing a cover-up.
“I’ve done a lot of cover-up tattoos, and most of them were really challenging. I remembered a girl came to me for a cover-up. She had a tattoo that represented a memory for her. But that memory no longer sparked joy. So she wanted it replaced. I covered the original tattoo with flowers and butterflies. And I still remembered how she lighted up and smiled. That’s when I realized tattoos could actually change people’s lives.”
Cover-up tattoos are all about balance. They have to have good coverage. And at the same time, they have to be beautiful on their own. That’s what makes cover-ups so difficult. Tattooist Fluffy uses floral patterns, galaxy backgrounds, and so on to brilliantly cover the old designs. They took longer than creating a new tattoo, but the results were worth the effort.
How to find the right tattoo design
The tattooing part is not the only work tattooists need to handle. A tattooist is also a creator, communicator, and advisor. Knowing the clients’ style preferences, ᴘᴀɪɴ sensitivity, and jobs lays a solid foundation for a good tattoo.
“If the client wants to show off their tattoos, arm tattoos are a good choice because of the exposure. But if they want something discreet, I would recommend tattoos on the back or below the collarbone.”
Choosing the proper placement also helps to reduce ᴘᴀɪɴ in the process. “ᴘᴀɪɴ sensitivity differs from person to person. But generally speaking, placements with thicker skin or ғᴀᴛ are less ᴘᴀɪɴful to tattoo, such as the back of the arm.”
When it comes to getting one’s first tattoo, Fluffy has a different practice than most tattooists. “Instead of giving advice, I would want my client to have a direction. That gives me something to work on. If they have absolutely no idea, they may regret what I choose for them afterward. So it’s best for them to explore and reflect before coming to a tattooist.”
At the same time, she tries to be open-minded and takes most of the inquiries. “As long as it’s not a controversial topic, I am happy to work on it.”
Tattooist Fluffy has accumulated a reputation and success in a short period of time. But she understands she has a long way to go.
“I want my works to reach more people, both domestically and internationally. But, at the same time, I never stop drawing. And I hope that one day, my art will be displayed in different forms.”
In South Korea, only doctors with a medical license can legally tattoo another person. And that remains the concern of many local tattooists. “I hope that one day they will fix the problem. Artists shouldn’t be restrained. And clients would want the diversity and creativity we have to offer.”
That’s all for the interview with tattooist Fluffy. If you have a question for her, leave it in the comment down below. Also, don’t forget to check out her Instagram for more tattoo designs and inspirations.