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Laura bennett

ARTIST INTERVIEW 

 
 

                     

TATTOOS DONE BY

Laura Bennett

 
Hobbies and interests:
Tarot, astrology, reading reading, writing, kids, dog, being Clean and Sober and learning/teaching/growing with Nick.
Laura Bennett 

 

Site: www.flyingcolorstattoo.com

 

Age: 43

 

Address: 3373B California Way

Napa (Whine Country) CA 94559
 

Phone Number:  707/226-8986

My influences:
I admire the work of Kari Barba, Vyvyn  Lazonga, Dawei Zhang, Joe Leonard and Julie Moon. I try to give each client the style and look they want though, so I don't have a "style" per se; I love fine detail and gave up painting because it never looked finished until I outlined the whole thing with black...Nick is broadening my horizons art wise though, maybe I'll try paint again soon.
 
What made me want to become a tattoo artist?
In high school (in the 70s) many of the people I hung around with broke arms and legs, and since none of us really went to class I would spend hours drawing on their casts with sharpie pens; huge elaborate murals; then when the break healed the cast would be cut off and there goes my cool Rick Wakeman keyboard...This guy came to school with a tattoo- (He had a mustache, all the ID you needed to get a tattoo in those days) -A pinup girl on his forearm with a snake wrapping around the arm 'holding it on". That was the first tattoo I remember ever really seeing and a light bulb went on over my head: Wow, if I did this no one would ever cut it off! I decided that I wanted to be a tattoo artist when I grew up. I had lots of trippy jobs for the next ten years; telephone operator, bartender, sign language interpreter; I started really pursuing an apprenticeship right after I got my first tattoo at 29. I did my first tattoo on my thirty-first birthday.
 
My favorite style of work:
I love anything that looks 'real'...Flowers, animals, metal objects. I love to work with other artists to make their tattoo look like they did it themselves. I love to help people work lots of symbolism into their tattoo so it means something as well as looking pretty. I love to do teeny tiny stuff too!
 
My first tattoo experience:
It was my birthday...A friend of mine had a bunch of tattoos that looked like they had been done late at night in a bar with a screwdriver dipped in motor oil. I knew if I did a tattoo with my eyes closed using my right hand I could do better than what he already had. I did a small feather with some leather and beads and it was over way sooner than I was ready for! I felt like I had finally found the thing I was born for.
 
The favorite piece I own:
Bluebells I tattooed on my inner right forearm with the word "Surrender" in the middle. I also love the lower angel on my back, but I don't really get to see those girls too often.
 
The most memorable tattoo I did:
Wow, there are so many! Tattooing Nick, because I love him and it didn't matter if I bobbed his hand...Tattooing this guy with a piece about how sad he was to be breaking up with his girlfriend while the two of them talked-- faces inches away from each other--and cried about how sad it was to be breaking up...This guy who didn't speak English that I tattooed on his stomach while he sported a giant woody under my elbow the whole time...ALL the "in Memory" tattoos that had to be done before the funeral.
 
Body parts I won't tattoo:
Palms of hands and soles of feet because it will look terrible in a few years...Penises because...Well because I only want to deal with one of those and I like it too much to hurt it!...
 
I ABSOLUTELY NEVER ORDER FROM COMPANIES THAT SELL TO THE PUBLIC. I make plenty of money covering things that were done in garages or hotel rooms, but tattooing IS NOT something that someone should try without a proper apprenticeship!
 
Do I think there should be mandatory schooling for tattoo artists?
I would like to see state board examinations given to people who want to do this...A hair-stylist needs to pass a test and all they can do is make you look bad! I favor the old-fashioned one on one apprenticeship method of learning this.
 
Has tattooing changed over the years?:
Of course! Everything has changed! We have AIDS and Hepatitis C to worry about now, so sterile procedure has become paramount. Also the people who get tattoos are now crossing every single socio-economic line. Tattoos have joined the world of fine art and seem to be less symbols of rebellion or anti-social statements. People's moms have tattoos now.
 
Conventions and shows:
I'd love to! I have been raising kids for the last bunch of years though, and can't just leave them (or the shop) to go all over the place. If it was important to me to be 'famous' as well as just do the best work I can, then yes, I think that would be important. I own the first and only professional tattoo studio in my town...I'm busy every day so being famous would just take too much time!
 
My advice to someone wanting to do this:
GET AN APPRENTICESHIP!  Kids, don't try this at home! Draw, draw, draw and take your work to professionals until someone will agree to teach you! There is NO shortcut that will turn you into a good tattoo artist. (Prison experience doesn't count toward learning this the right way, sorry.)
 
Had a bad tattoo experience?
Watch an artist you are considering getting a tattoo from work on someone else! See in person how good their work is, and how they treat their clients...I've been doing this for almost 13 years and have never advertised...I have a steady, loyal clientele because I know how to treat people and put them at ease; I think making the customer happy is way more important than inflating my own ego. If you've dealt with someone who made you unhappy, try someone else, but only after you have checked out their energy and their work!
 
Comments or views:
The thing I feel most strongly about is that some people insist on doing this in their garage or kitchen or whatever...Tattooing minors...There is a 'prison-style'  (I can't even refer to him as an artist) guy in this town that does the kids who aren't old enough to see me yet. I see crooked, blobby-pointed, ugly stuff out of his garage all the time. His work is cheaper than mine; These teenagers will have to live with these ugly tattoos (or giant cover-ups) for years if they can't afford laser removal, all because this guy is willing to exploit their youth and take their money. I hate it that there is one of these guys in every town! Parents: If your kid comes home with a tattoo like this, report it to the authorities! Help put a stop to this kind of dangerous tattooing! It endangers your kid and my legitimate livelihood. That's my story and I'm sticking to it!

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