Chin tattoo by Sway
It's always exciting when you discover a tattoo artist who has a truly distinct style. Fidjit is one of those artists. Her work is literally and metaphorically bold, full of imagination and character.
Can you tell me a little bit about your first tattoo experience?
I got my first tattoo when I was 18. I got a half sleeve based on paintings by Kit Williams. Unfortunately I am now having it lasered off!
How did your journey as a tattoo apprentice begin? What were the biggest challenges?
I served two apprenticeships. My first was a very old school apprenticeship in Scotland. I started that when I was 19. It was intense and I definitely learnt a lot. I didn't tattoo during these two years. I then moved to London and got an apprenticeship there, which I served for a further year. It was much more relaxed than my first and I began tattooing within that year. There were definitely challenges along the way; the amount of discipline that is involved and the patience required, to name a couple, however these challenges are all character-building and make it even sweeter when you eventually start tattooing.
What do you think it takes to become a tattoo artist?
It takes a lot of drive and dedication. You have to have a genuine passion for it.
What's the tattoo that you're the proudest of from your portfolio of work?
I really like any Tudor-themed tattoos that I get to do, I enjoy doing them a lot. I don't know what piece of work I would say I was specifically proud of. If my client is happy and enjoys their new tattoo then that's all good with me.
Tattoos by Fidjit
Are there scenarios where you would (or have) turned someone's tattoo request down?
If someone came to me with something that was perhaps suited to another artist I would send them in the right direction. Also, if someone came in with something particularly offensive that I didn't want my name attached to then I would turn them down. Fortunately I haven't actually been in that position! Most of my clients are super clued up on the work I do and have ideas that work with my style. I'm very lucky.
What role do tattoos play in your life? Are they a form of self-expression, or do you draw confidence from them?
I definitely feel a lot more like myself with each tattoo that I get. For me, it's a way of getting to carry memories around on me. I'm a very nostalgic person!
Designs by Fidjit
Can you tell me a little bit about your chin tattoo? It's quite a brave thing to do - did it feel like that to you?
I got my chin done when I was 21. I had it done as a celebration for overcoming a mental health problem that I have struggled with for most of my life. The tattoo says "I don't scare easy." For me, it had to go in a super prominent place because of how important it is. It's definitely still my favourite thing that I have because of the weight that it holds. I don't know if I would describe it as a "brave" thing to have done, but it was definitely cathartic.
Are there differences between the way women and men exist within the tattoo industry? For example, do you have different conversations with female tattoo artists, or is a male-dominated studio just like any other workplace?
The only differences that I have noticed between men and women within the tattoo industry is that women get asked this question and men don't! In my personal experience there's no difference between what I'll talk to a male tattooer about or what I'd talk to a female tattooer about.
Tattoos by Fidjit
You're currently undergoing tattoo removal on some of your tattoos. Can you tell me about those tattoos and what learnings you would pass on to others about your experience with getting tattoos that you've later regretted?
I am having my full left arm lasered. I rushed into getting a lot of coverage as soon as I could because I was super excited just to be tattooed. I didn't put a lot of thought into them. The main reason I am getting them removed is because they are all coloured. I've also had extensive cover-ups done on my left leg which are almost finished. The absolute joy of seeing a bad tattoo disappearing and being replaced with something beautiful is indescribable! All that I can recommend is putting good research into the artists that do your work. Instagram makes it really easy to do this now, there's a whole world of high quality work there to browse through.
Tattoo by Fidjit
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