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For those of us who live in the United States, we know Sarah Lo as one of the many rising tattoo stars coming out of Miami. But back in her native Brazil, she’s known not just as a tattooer, but also as a successful rapper by the name of MC Katrina. Think of her as a tatted-up Hannah Montana. We sat down with Sarah to learn how she entered the industry, how she found her signature style and more.

When did you realize you were an artist? I’ve loved drawing since I was a kid and at 7 I watched my first TV show about tattoos. After that, I wanted to be a tattoo artist.

What was your first tattoo experience like and how did it turn out? The first time I tattooed, I didn’t know what to do. I was at a party when I was 15 and a guy said, “Yo guys, I have a tattoo machine, who wants a tattoo?” I immediately saw this was my opportunity and said, “I know how to draw, let me do the tattoo.” At first, he didn’t trust me with the machine but I drew the design by hand and he loved it. The tattoo was a skull with angry, square eyes. He let me tattoo him and I didn’t know where to start or what to do. It’s always recommended to start the tattoo from the bottom so the stencil doesn’t wipe off but I started from the top and the stencil started to wipe off. However, he was also very drunk and started throwing up mid-session. It was a shitshow and I didn’t finish the tattoo—it just had the top line of the head and two crooked squares. I wonder what happened to this tattoo, if he still has it or if he covered it up.

How did you learn how to tattoo from there? I never had the opportunity to be an apprentice. All of the shops in Brazil rejected me, so I had to learn on my own. My family also did not support me, so I would escape to my friends’ houses to tattoo them. At the time, I didn’t have much money so I sold bottled waters on the street to afford my first tattoo machine. I started giving tattoos in exchange for supplies, so each person helped me build my first tattoo setup. It was not the best and the machine was very bad quality. This experience taught me that no matter what the situation is around you or what people say, you always have to follow your dreams.

How did your career change when you moved to the United States? When I moved here, I didn’t know anyone and I didn’t speak English. My style was also blackwork and lettering. When I moved to Miami, these styles weren’t too popular, so I started learning to do small tattoos and microrealism. I also tattooed some celebrities like Trippie Redd, Ski Mask the Slump God, Ronny J and Mario Judah, which helped my work get noticed.

What’s one of your craziest tattoo stories? One day, when I was at the shop at 11pm and I was done tattooing, Trippie Redd walked through the door and I didn’t know who he was at first. He looked at my face and asked, “Are you a tattoo artist?” I said, “Yes, I am,” and he wanted to get three face tattoos done right then. I ended up tattooing him until 5 in the morning and although I was very tired, it was an amazing experience for me.

Tell us about the significance of your butterfly tattoos. I've always loved butterflies because I feel they symbolize the challenges we face in life and new beginnings. Before a butterfly gets beautiful wings and flies, it’s just a caterpillar. Sometimes we need to go through struggles in life to grow into what we want to become.

What are some of your favorite things to tattoo on faces? I love doing face tattoos so much that I’m willing to do them whenever and on whoever is down to do it in the moment. Script is one of my favorites because it looks so good on everyone.

Where do you hope to be in five years? I hope to have my own house and bring my family from Brazil to live here with me. My plans will also be more focused on doing music, because I’m also an artist in Brazil and I strive to be big in the American music industry as well. I started doing music and tattooing at the same time. Now, I live a double life, like Hannah Montana.