Poet John Donne once said, “No man is an island, entire of itself,” and in doing so, made a profound statement about isolation. In tattooing, the job can be very lonely, but some tattooers choose to bring a companion along for the ride. Tattoo artist Sad Amish and his work/life partner Alexandra work in tandem, proving that two really are better than one.
They’ve come together as a cohesive unit and when it comes to creating stunning works of art, they’re showing what it means to be a power couple. We sat down with this dynamic duo to learn how they found art, how Sad Amish formed his signature style and how they approach artistic expression in a censorship-heavy world.
When did you fall in love with art?
I’ve been drawing since I was very young. I drew as a child and my mother always encouraged me to do so. When I was in middle school, my art teacher supported me in my artistic endeavors and helped me to gain self-confidence. Discovering the world of tattooing has heightened my attraction to art, and I’m also very interested in photography and painting.
Alexandra: I was interested in different art forms at a very young age, thanks to the many museums I had the chance to visit through my travels. I was able to discover the art of tattooing when I met Nicolas, and it was this thirst for discovery that allowed us to work together afterwards.
Did you have a traditional apprenticeship and, if so, how did it mold you into the artist you are today?
Yes, I had a classic apprenticeship. It allowed me to learn how to work with a team and get the best experience from the people within the tattoo shop. Learning from other professionals gave me access to several styles and techniques of tattooing in order to find the one that suited me best, which in turn helped me to perfect my own style. Having a traditional apprenticeship in a tattoo shop presented many advantages, but also the consequence of having a somewhat closed vision by learning in a framework formed only of tattooers.
Alexandra: Our meeting allowed us to have a more human vision and to see the customer relationship in another way, because I was foreign to this environment. It turned out to be very important and useful, more so when it comes to being able to accompany people on their first tattoo. Our duo allows a balance: I am present from the first contact to the completion of the project with our clients, and Nico takes care of the creative and production part.
How did you form your signature style?
Looking back, I realize that I didn't choose a particular style. One day, a friend asked me for something very different from what I usually did— it was a bit of a naughty tattoo. After posting it on social media it went viral, and Alexandra gradually received requests for only this style and not the neo-traditional projects I was doing before.
When did you start drawing female figures/faces?
I have always drawn characters. When I was a child, I was very influenced by my favorite manga and anime. I’ve always had a certain fascination for drawing human bodies.
How have you made your own style of drawing women? Has it changed over time?
Sad Amish: I adapted the pencil stroke technique used in neo-traditional and drew human bodies and mythical figures in place of the many flowers and animals that were asked of me before.
Alexandra: With my influence, the designs have a feminine touch and thanks to the always creative requests of the clients, the designs have become more complex and detailed over time.
How has censorship on social media impacted how you market your tattoos?
Today, censorship impacts everyone in tattooing, even though it’s not meant to affect art at all. Unfortunately, this slows down the distribution of our work and we can’t post every tattoo.
What types of tattoos do you hope to do more of in the future?
It's an ever-changing world, so it's hard to know what I’ll like to do more of in the future. We just hope that our clients continue to have cool ideas to make, [ideas] full of emotion and detail to bring their favorite characters to life.