Artists: Shannan Meow
Artistic Skin Art
Unit 4, 146 Great Eastern Highway
Midland, Western Australia 6056
>> FRESHLY INKED: What year did you start tattooing?
SHANNAN MEOW: Early 2009, but in 2010 I restarted at Sink or Swim and had to relearn everything I’d been “taught.”
>> How did you get into tattooing?
Well, I had a lot of friends who were tattooers, and they always offered me work in their shops, but I wanted to know that I got it on my own merit. Basically, I took two weeks off work as a waitress at Cosmopolitans in Fortitude Valley, a really scummy cafe where people like me could work. I was a bit of a dirty goth at the time. I got my head down and did up a portfolio with a bunch of designs, and took them into Psychedelic Tattoo in Mt. Gravatt. Paul told me to go home and redraw the portfolio and then bring it back in a week. I did, and he seemed surprised to see me back, but he was impressed and put me on the counter and I started my apprenticeship.
>> Where did you apprentice?
I was at Psychedelic for about a year before I started learning to tattoo, doing general apprentice duties, earning no money!
>> Do you have any special training?
When I started at Sink or Swim I was fortunate enough to work alongside Basto, a longtime friend, and he’s a line Nazi. He pretty much retaught me everything, and it changed the way I tattoo completely.
>> How do you describe your style?
No idea. Usually a bit dark, and girly. It’s fun, but it depends on my mood! Sometimes I’m really upbeat, or super serious, and it shows in my work, I think.
>> What inspires you as an artist?
Fluffy animals, unicorns, dark video games, demons, jewelry, and nature.
>> What sets you apart from other artists?
Nothing! Everyone is different in their own way.
>> What other mediums do you work in?
I try and do acrylics and watercolors as often as I can get motivated!
>> What tattoo artists do you admire most?
Milly Loveknuckles at Rock of Ages, mostly. She has inspired me to be a tattooist from the moment I met her 13 years ago. As for art admired there are just way too many to list—so many amazing artists now doing so much amazing, unique work—but Sam Rulz and Zane Gooneytunes are the most standout for me.
>> Before someone gets a tattoo what advice do you give them?
I’m not sure if you would call it advice, but if someone is freaking out I just tell them that I’m the biggest pussy when it comes to getting tattooed, and I’m covered, so they will be fine! And if they need a break or don’t feel okay, to let me know—and there is no pressure to finish the tattoo at once if it is hurting them.