Cori James has a wide range of colorful and inspiring tattoos. Aside from being a talented tattoo artist in Atlanta, Georgia she also finds time to participate in races. Cori inspires women through her girl power attitude and constantly pushing herself to accomplish more. We were excited to catch up with Cori and ask her what she loves about being an artist & what she has planned for 2019.
Check out more on her Instagram! @Corijamestattoo
What do you love about being a tattoo artist?
I love the people. I love getting to know my clients and making their ideas reality. That feeling when you finish a tattoo that you feel like you totally nailed and your client checks it out in the mirror and validates that feeling with a massive smile...woof...that feeling makes the terrible posture and backaches totally worth it. I’m lucky to have a shit load of really great clients who give me creative freedom (and their trust) and make tattooing super fun.
Another trend in your work is the message of Girl Power. What does Girl Power mean to you?
I love the saying “girl power” because it’s an empowering statement that includes all females (anyone identifying as female) - young and adult. It’s important that young girls know they are included in the power! I was really insecure when I was younger and that led to lots of jealousy towards other girls, which also led to me surrounding myself with mostly male friends. It wasn’t until I started getting older, that I realized how important and powerful female relationships really are. Watching women (and anyone who identifies as female) own their womanhood and be proud of their strength is absolutely hair rasing-ly amazing. It took me a long long time to feel strong as a woman, especially in such a male dominated industry. But once I found my footing, stopped trying to be “one of the guys”, and started being myself, I found more and more strength. Girl Power is real, powerful, and so fucking beautiful. Scream it from the rooftops, ladies!!
There's a lot of awesome pop culture pieces in your work, so we gotta know if you went to Hogwarts, what house would you be in?
(By the way, I love you for asking this)
Gryffindor for life, baby!! I’ve taken tons of different sorting hat quizzes (including the one on Pottermore) and I always end up in Gryffindor! I feel like it’s totally fitting!
What’s your motto? LOVE Y’ALL
It’s tattooed across my knuckles and on every bit of merch I’ve designed over the years. LOVE Y’ALL. MEAN IT.
How would you describe your style of tattooing?
I always say I’m a traditional tattooer. I know I’m not a “4 colors only” purist by any means, but I base my tattoos off of the tried and true traditional methods: heavy black outlines, plenty of black shading, topped off with bold colors. I try to tattoo with the intent of it looking good years down the road, not just in the moment. It’s my own spin on traditional tattooing, I suppose.
If you couldn’t be a tattooer, what would be your back up?
Fun question! I have like 50 passions at all times so this is a tough one! If I could somehow magically increase my abilities as a triathlete by about 10 fold, I’d love to be a professional triathlete. Getting paid to train for triathlons?? The dream. I have a deep love for fitness and actually have a YouTube channel called, “Let’s F*cking Workout”, where I lead legit workouts littered with cuss words and dumb jokes- with the intent of making workouts fun, funny, realistic, and inclusive. So I think a career in fitness of any kind where I could promote self love and the idea of getting strong and healthy (and not trying to look a certain way) would be amazing. I also dream of writing a book one day. I really love writing and would love to write an inspirational book that helps lots of people make big awesome changes in their lives. (My grammar isn’t perfect, but that’s what editors are for, right?) That way I could travel all over the world (another one of my favorite things) promoting the book and helping folks. I could probably list like 20 more things, but I’ll stop there. Ha.
On the subject of pop culture, who is your favorite Parks and Rec Character?
(seriously, I love you!)
I don’t know if I could choose just one even if I tried! I relate to damn near every character on the show and that’s one of the billions of reasons why I love it SO MUCH. I relate to April’s love of all the weird shit in life, Andy’s doofy innocence, Leslie’s strength and belief in herself, Donna’s love of the finer things in life, Ethel Beaver’s grumpiness (and all around amazingness), Ron and Leslie’s love of breakfast food, Joan Calamezzo’s desire to call all of her exes while sitting on a washing machine....I could go on for days!
What do you love about tattooing in Atlanta?
I love the diversity of Atlanta. You can find any and every culture here! From the food to the communities, you can find it all and each culture intermingles and coexists and it’s really quite beautiful. I was born and raised in a much smaller town here in Georgia, but I’ve lived in Atlanta for the last 10 years and it’s been quite the roller coaster watching it grow like crazy. The traffic is only getting worse (and by “worse”, I mean “we’re on lots of lists for having the worst traffic in the country”), but that’s the price you pay in a city that’s growing quickly. And it’s growing quickly because it’s awesome and has so much to offer so many different kinds of people. The food scene here is incredible, the art scene is constantly growing, and you never run out of things to do. But, I’d have to say the people of Atlanta are the reason it’s so rad. There’s a lot of city pride here!
What are you looking forward to most in 2019?
I’m looking forward to lots and lots of travel this year. I’m already signed up for races in California and British Columbia and plan on doing some tattooing trips this year too! Traveling is one of my favorite things in life, so I’m always finding excuses to hop on a plane and get out of town for a bit.