Visual Female of the Month – February
– Kimberley Purton
Kimberley is an extremely talented tattooist in Christchurch, New Zealand. Her work has a strong femininity while also having a lot of spunk and essence. Not only a tattooist, but an artist and a piece of art herself, Kimberley is more than worthy of being this months Visual Female. If you are interested in getting in touch with her for a piece for yourself, contact her on firstname.lastname@example.org or check out her workplace Epic Ink for a full portfolio.
Now for the interview….
When did you start tattooing and what got you into this?
I started tattooing when I was 20, after I dropped out of Fine Arts school (wasn’t my thing). Art had always been my favourite subject at school and my favourite pastime. I spent a while floating around not knowing what I wanted to do – I had tattoos and wanted to be a tattooist but never thought I would be capable of doing it – too much pressure trying to draw permanently on people’s skin without making a mistake! So I started studying again (painting) and decided to take a risk and approach my local tattoo shop with my portfolio about working there. Things worked out and I got an apprenticeship – unpaid of course. It was hard, I cleaned, did reception, did every average little tattoo I was told to and generally had no life. But it worked out in the end!
What are your goals/plans within tattooing and/or any personal creative ventures?
Basically I want to be the best I can, in tattooing and in my art work. The thing with tattooing is that it is always a work in progress – you never reach the point where you know everything and there is always improvements to be made. I want to develop a clear style, a clear market and a clear image for myself. There is so much emphasis on personal image and self promotion in this industry (we are in charge of how we are perceived and how much work we get), particularly because it is a male based industry – although that is starting to change.
How many tattoos do you have yourself (if you know)?
Haha hmm I stopped counting a long time ago, now big sections are just one tattoo really. I have both sleeves (almost completed) my chest, one side of my neck, my hand, knuckles, both front thighs……and more to come!
If you somehow hurt your vision, would you choose to wear glasses or contacts?
Glasses. I could rock Marilyn-esq cat’s eye glasses….haha.
Excluding sight, what two other senses are your favourites?
Smell – I’m a sucker for perfumes, flowers, and the way smell links so strongly to memory.
And touch – I’m extremely tactile, to the point where I have to touch almost everything I see, haha, plus the only way I learn to do anything is through physically doing it myself.
5 most pleasant things to look at:
1. A beautiful face
2. Good art work
3. The stencil of a rad tattoo I’m about to do
4. Love, of any kind
5. Kittens! Always kittens.
5 least pleasant things to look at:
1. Bad tattoos
2. Bad photoshopping
3. Bad lighting
4. Injections – hate them!!
5. Misogynistic assholes
Who is the most inspiring woman you know and why?
I don’t think I can think of just one. I think all the women I consider friends and family are all inspiring – otherwise I wouldn’t consider them so. I admire them all, for their perseverance, tolerance, confidence, and the ability to re-invent their lives when things go wrong.
What is your favorite thing about yourself?
Probably my ability to stick to my guns – when I have an opinion, I never waver from that. And when I want something, I make sure I get it. I’m not afraid to prove a point no matter who disagrees. This is also probably my biggest flaw too haha!
What is on your bedroom walls currently?
Nothing! Asides from a Sourpuss shower curtain I’m using as a piece of art, awesome Zombie ladies haha. I put all my favourite things in the living room so I can see them all the time. Too much Marilyn Monroe….
Favourite clothing / accessory / product at the moment?
I have many! Always a black smokey eye. Maybe the Dark Purple Lipstick I bought the other day. Nothing says ‘don’t fuck with me’ more than a solid dark lip. Heeled boots. And cutting up guys tee’s into cool singlets.
And finally, any words of advice for people stepping into the creative sector?
Work hard on your portfolio and your work, be confident and sell yourself well, be persistent, never think you know it all, take on board criticism but don’t let it control you, have a thick skin – be prepared to pick yourself back up many, many times.
And if you do something well, never do it for free.