Next up in our “Women of Emerald” series, is KC! She’s a female tattoo artist that works out of our Modesto location. You can check out more of her work here. If you haven’t been by to meet her, don’t be a stranger! Keep reading to get some insight on who KC is, and what has gotten her to this point in her career as a female tattoo artist!
Do you have family support for being in this industry?
I am fortunate to have an abundance of family support. I will say my Dad was never a fan of me getting a lot of tattoos but now that I have found my passion he is all about tattoos and saves pictures of my tattoos on his phone to show people. He was always my number one fan when it came to my art. My boyfriend was my practice dummy and has my very first tattoo. He also made sure the bills were paid while I focused on my apprenticeship. My Aunt Shannon helped me build my clientele in Reno by hustling the referral train. Haha I really could do an entire interview on my family alone. Then there’s my main hype girl Shell-Bee, at my first shop My Religion Tattoo in Reno.
When did you get your first tattoo? What as it?
Oh dear, I wish I could say something epic like a panther, but it was a bible verse on my wrist. I was 18.
If you weren’t in the tattooing/body modification field, what would you be doing instead?
I probably would’ve finished my bachelors and become a high school art teacher. So many artists get rolled over in school and I’d want to create a positive and creative outlet for teens. While also working on my own art.
Do you have a favorite t-shirt?
I think the right question is do I have a favorite flannel. The answer would be, it changes.
What’s your zodiac sign and is the description accurate?
I’m an Aquarius. I would say a good chunk of it is accurate. It’s a pretty laid back, do things your own way, with intensity, kind of sign. I’ve heard they lack empathy and that would be far from the truth though.
What’s your go to song to sing in the shower?
There’s no one song. It’s usually whatever was playing in the shop that day.
What’s your favorite movie?
I’m more of a TV person. Anyone not emotionally ready for Game of Thrones to end?
This or That? Would you Rather?
This or That?
Puppies or Kitties? Puppies but I love my black cats dearly.
Dracula or Frankenstien? Dracula
Vintage or Modern? Vintage
Soft tacos or Crunchy tacos? Fried corn tortillas
Morning person or night owl? Night owl.
Michael Jackson or Prince? I went to a celebration of life for Prince when he passed…so…
Would You Rather…
The world have giant locusts or giant crows? GIANT COWS!!
Wear dentures the rest of your life or have no fingernails? Dentures.
Snore loudly or talk about your secrets while you slept? What if you already snore…kinda loud…
Lose your ability to concentrate or your ability to be creative? Lose my ability to concentrate and just become a wacky cool surreal artist.
Your voice sound like Elmo or Kermit the Frog? Elmo
Be a skyscraper window washer or a dog walker picking up dog poo all day? Dog walker, I’m too clumsy and I’d fall to my death as a skyscraper window washer.
When did you start tattooing? What was your background before then?
I started tattooing a little late in the game at 27. But I started practicing painting flash around 25. My art background was painting. I also was a fine arts major but quit when I couldn’t get enough art classes. So I went to a trade school and got my Associate of Arts degree instead. Other than art I was a volleyball coach for 7 years and I worked in insurance.
What/who pushed you to become a tattooer?
I think any artist is told at some point “you should tattoo.” But I was into tattoos at about 12. I designed my moms first tattoo with the help of the tattoo artist. Then what really got me into it was getting tattoos and absorbing the environment/traditions, learning the styles. Most importantly it’s one of the last art forms that isn’t being completely taken over by technology. I hope there’s never a day when I see robots in tattoo shops instead of tattoo artists.
What are the challenges of being a woman in the tattooing industry?
It can be intimidating being in a male dominated industry. However, I have been fortunate enough to only have positive experiences. There are small things though. At the first shop I worked in it was primarily an all girls shop, and often clients would assume the male shop apprentice was the tattoo artist. Women have fought hard to have a respected seat at the table in this industry and you feel a duty to honor those trailblazers.
Are there any women in the industry who have been an inspiration to you?
Oh boy. Currently my favorite is Jo Black in the UK. Hannah Flowers. Speaking of trailblazers though, Cindy Ray is the shit.
What are your favorite subjects to tattoo?
Anything that I can play around with line weights (bold and thin lines) Supernatural type stuff, mythology, fantasy, etc. Pretty much anything that strays from reality.
How would you describe your tattooing style?
I would say I have two separate tattoo artists residing in one body. One, wears oversized flannels and wants all the American traditional tattoos and lives by the mantra “bold will bold.” The other wears a lot of black and dreams of interesting color schemes and how many different lines can we put in one tattoo…she’s a bit extra.
Do you work with any other mediums other than tattoos?
For the most part it’s acrylic paint on wood, watercolor for flash, and playing around with markers. I also have painted shoes and murals, and have made jewelry since I was a kid.
In the time you have been in the tattoo scene, how has it changed?
I’m way too much of a tatter tot to weigh in on this. Catch me in 10 years. Lol
What’s the strangest tattoo request you’ve ever had?
Chargers logo on the bottom of a big toe.