Zensa sat down with the lovely Giorgia Mae, formerly of the TV series Bondi Ink to chat about her experiences as a travelling tattoo artist. Currently living and working in a private, all female studio just off Commercial Drive in Vancouver, BC, we chatted about the weather (of course), her passion for combining her love for travel and tattooing and her favourite moments in her career so far. Walking into her studio was instant good vibes. The small but spacious studio is hidden on the top floor of a commercially zoned house on the corner of Grant and Commercial. The walls are covered with drawings and stencils from previous tattoo designs that will inspire your first tattoo or an entire sleeve. Catch her in Vancouver before she heads off on her next adventure.
I started my apprenticeship back in 2012, I did 2 years of unpaid work before I picked up a machine, I didn’t start tattooing full time as an apprentice until 2015 and finished up early 2016.
I am really inspired by other artists in the industry that take risks and break the rules with their pieces. I’m also influenced by the places I travel too.
Some of the artists that really inspired me to get into tattooing are some amazing Australian women such as Rachi Brains and Emily Rose Murray.
These days I am inspired by so many amazing female artists such as Ellie Thompson, Megan Massacre and Hannah Flowers.
When I’m not tattooing I’m usually drawing for clients, I honestly don’t get any time off in my week to week so I take big trips when I get the chance to make up for it.
My favourite tattoo artist of all time will always be Rachi Brains, she’s unbelievable and her work is always progressing.
My favourite moment in my career so far? That’s such a hard question and I’ve never really had to think about that before... I guess I would say the moment when I realized I didn’t have anxiety before every tattoo anymore. Everyone goes through struggling with nerves early on in their careers and its the best feeling when you go to work and you just feel relaxed because you actually know you can handle any obstacle.
I don’t like to make plans that far into the future because it makes for a boring disappointing life haha. It’s better to have goals but also let life take you where you need to be, I definitely didn’t think I would have ended up living half the places I’ve lived but is all been totally amazing.
I’m in the process of legally immigrating to America right now so if all goes well i’ll be living in New York by January 2018.
I would describe my style as neo-traditional sometimes a little illustrative and sometimes I throw a little bit of realism in there, I get bored of doing the same thing all the time so I do try and mix it up.
It’s hard to figure out what makes me different because everyone’s individual style is the thing that sets them apart so I would have to say my unique take on animals that I’ve developed over time would be the thing most people come to me for these days.
I love tattooing animals, it’s definitely my favourite subject matter. As for tattoos I don’t like doing, I think everyone knows by now that I hate script haha, I also hated being forced to do things like infinity symbols and dandelions that turn into birds flying away during my apprenticeship at Bondi Ink.
I always tell them it’s not going to be as bad as they have made it up in their heads and it never is.
I’m really keen to tackle a detailed black and grey portrait. It’s not my specialty or my style so it would be nerve racking but I would love to do something like that.
If you want to see more of Giorgia’s work, or book your next tattoo follow her on Instagram @Giorgiamae_. No matter what tattoo you choose, Zensa's tattoo numbing cream will help you take the edge off a long session. Also check out Zensa Healing Cream - it'll help you heal faster and keep your tattoos looking fresh.