Artists: Miss D’jo
1610 Old Country Road
Westbury, NY 11590
What year did you start tattooing?
I started apprenticing in 1999. For the first half of the year, they “let me” show up every morning to wash the floors, clean the tubes and work there. Back then it was not common for women to want to tattoo and as a result it took six months of drudge work for one of the old timers to sit me down and show me how to solder needles. It was only at this point that my real apprenticeship started.
How did you get into tattooing?
I got my first tattoo at 13 but never considered it a possibility to become a tattoo artist. I studied fine art and at a showing of my work, a tattoo artist named Pol Godro saw one of my pieces and asked if I ever thought about tattooing. I was so excited—as I never thought it could be possible—that I excitedly agreed. We boiled a needle, I tattooed him that night and that was it—I found what I wanted to do.
Where did you apprentice?
I started my apprenticeship at Tattoo Compris in Montreal but then the shop closed. In a panic, I took out a loan from the bank and opened my own shop with Godro. We called it Lucky You Tattoo.
Do you have any special training?
Since I opened my shop so early, I was specially trained in dealing with payroll, taxes and rent from the start. It was a quick lesson to me that I was going to be a lot happier dealing with the art side of tattooing and not the business side.
What conventions have you worked at? Have you won any awards?
New York City, Montreal, Paris, Berlin, Belfast, Dublin, Barcelona, Melbourne, Osaka. I won first place at the NYC convention (1st female, three years in a row).
What inspires you as an artist?
Anatomy books, Charlie White, Gottfried Helwin, champagne, Diane Arbus, Space Ghetto, taxidermy, the Montreal Canadians.
What other mediums do you work with?
Pencil, oil and blood.
What tattoo artist do you most admire?
What kind of tattoos do you look forward to doing?
Is there anyone that you would like to tattoo?
Before someone gets a tattoo what advice do you give to them?
Study the portfolio and be confident enough to just walk away if it doesn’t feel right.
Is there a tattoo that you haven’t done yet that you are dying to do?
A medical plate from the 1800′s that describes how to perform a leg amputation.