Freshly Inked Interview with Samantha Thompson

What attracted you to Dark Surrealism?

I have always been heavily attracted to dark imagery ever since I was young kids starting with my obsession with vampires and Gothic decor, especially anything to do with Tim Burton. There's something real and relatable about the dark that I enjoy and that I find ease in. I've always struggled with trying to figure out just what I wanted to draw, and create but would always have difficulty with trying to make it to "perfect" or exact. Surrealism allows me to be able to stretch the truth of the image and combine it with, basically anything I want, without having to provide a reason. so I figured and combining the two and be a good idea in that the possibilities of the dark or endless and what you can pull out of them can be either deeply horrifying or intensely beautiful.

Can you describe the atmosphere or "vibe" of your tattoo studio?

My studio is a very calming and relaxing space to work in for not only myself and apprentice but also for our clients. It is also a safe space for all of my clients and is welcome to all. I have a very modern Gothic decor with vintage frames and furniture mixed with modern aesthetic touches. I like to set the mood for each of my appointments by lighting a plethora of candles and incense. I find that not only taking time to set the mood of the space to create a different environment and atmosphere for each session but also is very special and unique to each client.

What's the most recent tattoo you did?

The most recent tattoo I completed was actually a bit of a marathon. On the last day of the Winnipeg Tattoo Show this past February, which is hands down one of the best in Canada, my client and I managed to complete 11 pieces on her of varying sizes, all of the course witch-themed. The last piece of that session was 'WITCH CRAFT' on the back thigh area in a fancy witch inspired font style.

Do you prefer walk-ins or appointments only?

Be that I currently have a private studio, I am unable to take walk-ins, however when I am at shops, or conventions I absolutely love talking walk-up work. Not knowing the amazing idea someone is about to tell you about is so exhilarating. It could be an idea I've been wanting, or have always wanted to do..... You just never know, plus the people are always so amazing. You never know what story will sit in your chair next. 

What conventions/guest spots are you doing this year?

Where do I start... We have Regina next week, Saskatoon the month after (April). May & June I will be guesting in Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia. In July we return to Kelowna for the Okanagan Tattoo Show, followed by a month-long road trip over to Ontario for the Inked Circus Barrie, and London shows. On the way back in late August I will be back in Winnipeg for the second time this year, guesting at Living Canvas Tattoo with their amazing crew! In September we have the fabulous Lethbridge Show in which I will be competing in their annual 'Pound of Flesh' competition. Wrapping up our touring season is the month of October, where I will be taking part in my local show, Calgary Tattoo Convention and finishing the year at the Sarnia Tattoo Convention.

What made you want to become a tattoo artist?

This is always a tough question to answer. The tattoo industry was not my first initial thought for my life, in fact, I never even saw myself getting tattoos until I had started college. I was studying art but never really saw it as something that could be such a huge part of my life. what makes me want to be a tattooist every day is all of the wonderful clients I have and will be able to have in the future, as well as hearing all of the inspiration and creative ideas that all of my clients and friends have.

What's the weirdest tattoo request you've gotten?

this actually happened recently, I was approached by a convention go we're hoping to get a tattoo of a vibrator on her. She was wondering where it would look best but unfortunately, she had no ideas. to go along with the joke obviously, I said that you know the inner thigh would be perfect, but with the type of work that I do, I did not take that particular request. That's about it, that's the, unfortunately, we are just one. Not all that weird.

What's your favorite scary/horror movie? Have you gotten to tattoo any characters from it?

I've never really been too much into scary and or horror movies through most of my life, however, I do enjoy the imagery from them. I do enjoy the remake of the classic it, as well as The Conjuring. I'm not such a fan of Freddy and Jason and those movies per se, but I do love Dracula all the different versions of it, most supernatural movies and shows as well. So far I have not gotten any tattoos of characters, I am working on trying to build full sleeve pieces and ideas, rather than building piece by piece.

What's your advice for people getting their first tattoo?

I would definitely say plan, plan, plan. Make sure that you do the proper research with the artist that you're wanting to get work from and the style that you're wanting. Don't just go on a whim, I mean every so often it can be quite exhilarating to do so, walk-in and get a new piece But I would definitely say for bigger pieces, or pieces that are placed in areas of that are very prominent, I would definitely think it through and plan for it. 

See more from Samantha Thompson by following her on Instagram @Little_witch_tattoo

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