What Makes an Artist

This past weekend I was in Biloxi Mississippi for a tattoo convention, Due South Tattoo Expo. They had artists from all over in this one spot. I drove from Atlanta on Thursday so I can get mine finished by an artist I absolutely love, Ivana Belakova, and who lives in CA. She worked on me Friday (7 hours) and I drove home Sat. Depending on traffic it took 7-8 hours. I made this same drive a year ago when she was a guest artist at Twisted Anchor Tattoo in Ocean Springs. Her work is like no other, a real artist. I had to make this trip, it was my 40th birthday gift to me and I turn 41 come January. Anyway, it got me thinking about what makes an artist. I paint in my studio, with all of my paint and what ever I may need. And I work in acrylics and use many layers so if I don’t like something I can paint over it no problem, no big deal… but a tattoo artist, now that is the real deal. First of all you need to have a steady hand, talent and confidence and then inflict pain on someone while you are trying to create (yes it does hurt) and what you create is permanent, no redos, no bad days, no oops. And who you work on has complete trust in you and you have to be on your best that day and every day. Wow, I know I couldn’t handle that pressure. These artists are bad asses in my eyes. I know not everyone likes tattoos, you either like it or hate it, but even if your in that not so into it camp you have to give the tattoo artist credit. That is talent and I saw some amazing work while at the convention. Stuff I couldn’t do on paper let alone on a person who you know is not sitting still.

Then at the end of the day I entered the tattoo into a competition and we won First Place in the New School Fresh category. When the judges saw it they absolutely loved it too. I had other artist come to me in awe of Ivana and her talent. It was such a fun experience.

These photos are not the best but will give you the idea of the talent Ivana has. When I first saw her I told her I wanted a sunflower and the word believe and that was it, I wanted it to be in her style which I love. I love the idea of having art on my body, something I live and breath. I came home from the trip and started painting and noticed on my glass their was paint, I also noticed while driving for 8 hours their was paint on my steering wheel, there is usually paint on my nails and on my clothes. Its part of me and now on me.

If your curious on why I wanted a sunflower and the word believe is to remind myself how I was in a deep depression, where I couldn’t’ see the light but a sunflower, which is my favorite flower, points to the sun, even if its cloudy, they know where the light is and faces it. It always sees the light and shows me that I too can see the light and I finally did and started climbing my way out of that depression. I still am but I am in a much better place now. The word believe was my word for that year. I have jewelry and lots of other things that say believe on it to remind myself to believe in Me. That i can do it no matter what comes my way, I am strong. If your curious my word for this year is strength and wow did that sum up what I needed this year. Not sure what next years word will be, I’ll decide that in January. Love to you all!

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