Freshly Inked Interview With Anastasia Rice
How did you decide what style of tattooing to focus on?
My top priority early on was trying to make tattoos last as best as I could. It is important for me to see them heal and settle nicely and have happy clients even years after our sitting. Because I learned to love a solid and elegant linework a lot I started to put lots of effort in the composition of the design combined with attention to detail. So there was only one style of tattooing I could end up with. It was more sort of a natural selection‘ if you will.
What's one challenge with being a tattoo artist that most people don't know?
Being self-employed I‘d say. Most people I talk to believe it‘s all fun and games and I won‘t complain, but it takes a lot more dedication and work both before and after the tattooing process itself. That part is often invisible to the public.
Any funny or strange stories from inside the tattoo shop?
That‘s the question I get asked the most by all clients because they expect the strange stories quite often so it seems. The truth is: Yes, sometimes there are fun requests and sometimes you also dive deep into your client‘s personal space. But overall I never had any real ‚weirdo‘ clients myself.
From outside the box a lot of our daily routine may sound exotic to some, but you get fairly used to getting real close and personal to a stranger for some hours every day. It‘s a somewhat strange but also intimate and beautiful connection when there‘s trust on both sides.
So I‘m dodging out of this one!
Where do you currently tattoo?
Million Miles Tattoo in Hamburg, Germany. A nice, quiet private shop, still in the heart of the city.
What do you hope to accomplish in 2020?
Being in Hamburg since last year has really opened up some doors for me: a great percentage of my clients are willing to travel quite some distance to get tattooed by me and I‘m super grateful for that and hope this will extend even further, for I enjoy the reflection and exchange. I would also like to travel more and visit some tattoo conventions with friends/colleagues, have good conversations, see different perspectives, get inspired.
What are three words you want to be associated with your tattoos?
Solid, harmonized, elegant.
Where do you find inspiration for new pieces?
Mostly nature. Books and series/films, oftentimes also from my childhood. Sometimes nerdy, at times popular. And then some vague influences from both contemporary and classic art. And of course, there‘s an undeniable influence watching your colleagues work, in both style and technical handling.
Compared to the beginning of your career, how much has your work changed or evolved?
Before I started tattooing I did rarely paint, but drew a lot, mostly realistically. Tattooing really helped shape my style in a lot of ways, mostly through continued repetition. There is this constant question floating above your head of ‚how can I make this even better?‘. Willingness to improvement is important to me and I sincerely hope I will never fully settle, because I believe that‘s your most powerful drive as an artist.
What's your advice for upcoming tattoo artists?
Believe in yourself. But always take good advice when it comes your way. Try to develop and learn as much as you can and try to stay flexible. Be humble. Appreciate your clients from day one on, without them our work wouldn‘t be possible at all. And last but not least: get a proper education, please.
Lastly, here's a fun random question: if you could time travel would you want to go forward or backward and why?
I‘d do a classic and go see Elvis, cause following his musical career is surely something I missed during my time being.