A new tattoo parlour in the city has a quartet of women at the helm. We hear from each of them as to how their business and partnership came about.
How long have you all been tattooing?
I’ve been tattooing for about four years.
How long does it take to learn the skills needed to do it professionally?
There’s no set answer to this question. Everybody progresses at a different pace. Personally, I feel like you never stop learning and developing as an artist. In regards to the technical side and the knowledge required to apply a ‘good’ tattoo in a hygienic environment, the time depends on how fast the individual naturally learns. Also how much you dedicate yourself to improving and understanding the art form, the canvas and the equipment, as well as the artists you surround yourself with and how helpful they are with providing this information and knowledge. It all plays a big part on how fast an artist will progress.
Where did you hone your craft?
I definitely think for me the answer to this is when I moved to Dublin in Feb 2019. I realise now I had very little knowledge when it came to the technical application, understanding my equipment to the full, focusing on the longevity of the tattoos I was creating etc. I’m indebted to the artists I worked alongside in the studio when I moved to Dublin. The talent, encouragement and support I was surrounded with pushed me every day to be better. I was given the knowledge and help I needed to progress, picking up tips and techniques off every artist of every different style. This, and the amazing clients I’ve had the pleasure of creating with since moving, has really allowed me to hone my craft and develop a style that feels natural and special to me.
How did Girls Don’t Cry come about? Had you all worked together before?
We all worked under the same studio name previously so knew each other well. Myself, Niamh and Maja worked alongside each other, however, Agne was based in a different shop location. It’s something that happened very fast. We all had the same desire, just never discussed it together before. Once the realisation came to light that we were all on the same page with the same vision, we decided to make it a reality immediately. Everything fell into place very fluently and felt natural. It was meant to be.
How would you describe your individual style?
My style is probably best described as dark or gothic blackwork.
Tattooing has blown up globally in the last few years and that has created a lot of competition and opportunity in the market. What’s your approach for Girls Don’t Cry and making sure you stand out from all the others?
I don’t view tattooing as a competition. That’s a very old school approach to the industry and there’s room for everyone. Art, like music, is a very personal taste depending on you as an individual. I think what I love the most about Girls Don’t Cry is that we all have the same love, outlook and approach to the industry and tattooing. Instead of focusing on how we can stand out from all the others, we focus internally on being the best we can be ourselves and constantly allowing artistic growth. Not everyone is going to like my work, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. There’s an artist out there for everyone.
How has it been setting up a new studio in the middle of this global challenge?
Challenging but incredibly rewarding.
Any advice you would give others considering carving their own paths and creating their own luck?
Just go for it. If the idea terrifies you, even better, the satisfaction of finally achieving it will be all the more euphoric then.
Who are your tattoo inspirations/who are you inspired by?
There’s no short list for the artists who inspire me, there’s so, so many and the list is constantly being added to as time goes on as well.
18 Eustace Street, Dublin 2 (currently closed under level 5 lockdown restrictions)
words: Richard Seabrooke
photos: Gary Cullen