Top women tattoo artists you should seek out at Dutdutan Festival 2017
MANILA, Philippines – By now, women tattoo artists are not unheard of – it is 2017 after all. And anyway, weren't women leading the Philippine tattoo game long before today? For instance, there is Whang-Od, the almost-100-year-old Kalinga tattoo artist, who has been driving thorns into people's skin for generations – initially only for the indigenous, and now tourists.
Whang-Od’s legacy is being passed on to another female, her young niece Grace, who is learning the art of hand-tapped tattoos from the expert herself.
Of course, for other women artists, answering the call to be a tattoo artist was more unexpected.
"Everybody faces challenges taking this path as a free artist because of fear of not making enough, or due to conservative and old-fashioned family members. As a woman, and the only tattooed and only daughter in the family, it was hard for me to see my parents hurt to see me tattooed and not take a corporate job," shared Minnehaha Calleja, the founder of Goodhand Tattoo.
"But trust in time and follow your heart and it shall one day enlighten everyone that this is a Divine calling. This is who you are. And eventually, people will accept that. But of course, the first person to acknowledge and accept who you are is you," she said.
Evidently, the tattoo industry is not just a man’s world, because at the end of the day, it's the quality of the tattoo that matters.
“The thing about the tattoo industry is that the main goal is to have an excellent tattoo. It's more of an output driven industry,” said tattoo artist Wiji Lacsamana.
“I personally don't feel like it's hard being a female in this industry. What's hard, I guess, is to be a highly respected [artist], and that is what I strive to be,” she said.
Wiji’s body of work, as seen on Instagram, is made up mostly of botanical tattoos rendered in watercolor and pastel hues. Her style is decidedly feminine – like tattoo versions of Sofia Coppola films – but Wiji is just one of many female artists making waves in the industry today.
It'd be hard to generalize what a woman artist's work would look like – and perhaps that is the point. From Wiji’s girly pastels, to Mia Claravall-Reyes's precise line and dotwork, these pieces show what women in the industry are up to:
Wiji's tattoos are sweet, pretty, and so very delicate, it's easy to forget they're actually scars.
If there's any local female artist whose work could belong on an old-school sailor's bulging bicep, it's Dennese – who gives contemporary pop culture a retro twist with her mastery of traditional sailor style ink.
Aldrich's first tattoo all done in one sitting! His idea of a colorful ship that stands for courage . . . . . . . . #traditionalclub #tradworkerssubmission #oldlines #boldtattooart #boldwillhold #classictattoo #bright_and_bold #brightandbold #radtrad #truetraditionals #realtraditionaltattoos #tattoo #ink #artph #manila #philippines #topclasstattooing #traditionaltattoo
Meticulous line and dotwork define Mia's style – and her portfolio is filled with clean, perfect pieces that stand out in all their starkness.
Chinoy's tattoo done at @chronictattooculture I don't think I'm going to get tired of dots and lines #tattoo #wolftattoo #wolf #geometrictattoo #custom #customtattoo #pointillism #dots #lines #stippling #pointillismtattoo #mialocatattoo #mialoca #chronic #chronictattooxculture #philippines #manila #pinoy #pasig
Minnie's bright colors and bold lines bring that retro feel to life, and look especially good for portraits.
Day 2 of Mak's Punk girl tattoo: Skin is dry, wrinkly, and peeling soon. At this stage, it is best to leave it untouched to let the skin heal itself naturally. But if preferred, u can apply a thin coat of mild lotion to soothe dryness. Aloe Vera is a good choice as it is mother nature's healer for the skin.
Gigie's fine outlines, light shading, and graceful curved shapes make for especially elegant tattoos that are best worn with dark glasses, black dresses, and an air of mystery.
Katz is all about colors. Her neo-traditional style comes to life with the rainbow of hues that she is not afraid to work into her designs.
Tattoo I just finished a few minutes ago with Karla @karlaczarina at #katztatztattoo Thanks for coming back! Fourth na pala I really enjoy working on these tiny tattoos! Moooooore! Follow me on snapchat to see the newest inks first! (Kasama na makeup at food haha) katzlorenzana For all tattoo inquiries: www.katzlorenzana.com
Catch these artists and a lot more at the Dutdutan Tattoo Festival, which will run until September 2 at the World Trade Center in Manila. – Rappler.com