TULSA – Cherokee Nation citizen Nathalie Standingcloud took up tattooing 4 years in the past so as to add to her creative repertoire. She stated she’s has all the time been an artist, starting younger however probably not taking it critically till she was in school.
“I grew up being left-handed, which is sort of totally different. Lots of people say left-handed individuals are sort of artsy-fartsy on the market,” she stated. “It wasn’t till highschool that I actually began drawing much more, however I didn’t take any artwork courses. It wasn’t till I hit school that I noticed I ought to have taken these artwork courses and be taught the strategies and be taught the historical past and every little thing.”
Her preliminary tattoo work was drawing on pals and herself with markers, and getting in hassle by academics for doing so.
“One time in school I used to be drawing on myself,” she stated. “I drew this robotic arm with Sharpies and I acquired in hassle by my trainer, which is humorous as a result of years down the road I ended up tattooing that very same trainer that acquired onto me. So it sort of got here full circle.”
She stated tattooing got here into her life when she began attending to know her father, who can also be a tattoo artist. She grew to become intrigued by his work and he inspired her curiosity.
“I used to be curious to know the way you do the tattoos, I needed to observe and be taught,” she stated. “He was like ‘Right here take the machine, we’ll put it in your hand and we’ll see the way you do.’ I actually preferred the texture of it. I acquired the cling of it fairly quick. My father pushed me to get licensed, too. It wasn’t simply me making that call. However I needed to be skilled if that is what I used to be going to do as a result of it’s everlasting, it’s for all times.”
She then took on a two-year apprenticeship and labored at River Metropolis Tattoo in Tahlequah for a number of years. In November, she started working at Inkjunkys Tattoo in Tulsa with veteran tattoo artists Mel D and Bret Blevins.
“Mel D has been tattooing for over 40 years. He’s the tattoo wizard and he has been educating me a lot every single day,” she stated. “Bret’s like a brother to me and we simply giggle and assist one another. It’s an amazing household setting, no judgment, simply love. It’s nice.”
Standingcloud’s tattoo artistry has modified so much since beginning, she stated. She initially took on each shopper to achieve expertise.
She can also be “dabbling” in numerous kinds equivalent to American conventional tattooing and the usage of daring traces. She stated she has completed loads of plant matter and animals photos and desires to be taught extra kinds and tackle totally different imagery.
“I sort of dabble in all types of various areas,” she stated. “Tattoos are particular to the individual. So everyone has their very own story, their very own concepts and stuff and I take the time to speak to them and have that dialog. Hopefully deliver their creative concepts to life.” In the case of Cherokee-based tattoos, she likes to teach purchasers on the historical past and background particular to Cherokee tradition.
“To start with, I needed to tattoo what I may tattoo,” she stated. “I stated sure to every little thing as a result of it simply meant I had a job on the time. Now that I’m in a spot the place I can say no in a assured matter, I’m in a position to actually filter what I need to put my identify with. So when individuals are available and so they have this concept of what Cherokee may be and normally it’s like a pan-Indian picture of like a headdress or a dreamcatcher or teepees, and people aren’t essentially Cherokee. So I take that chance to attempt to educate them in the event that they’re open to listening and hopefully I can steer them in the fitting route and get one thing that’s authentically Cherokee.”
Standingcloud stated her designs have been upgraded from designing on paper to designing on an iPad.
“It wasn’t till I acquired this iPad, possibly two years in the past, that it modified up the sport for me,” she stated. “After all it’s all artwork, you understand. The instruments and every little thing have modified it made the sport simply so totally different and enjoyable. I adore it. It makes my job a lot simpler. If any artist on the market can get their arms on an iPad, go for it.”
She stated she by no means thought that her art work may turn out to be a profession.
“I all the time knew I used to be good at art work, however I by no means actually thought I may make a profession out of it. I didn’t suppose anyone would pay cash for a bit of paper,” she stated. “In the case of tattooing, that’s a luxurious. You possibly can’t promote that tattoo as soon as it’s in your physique. It’s very particular to me. It’s art work for all times. It’s with you till you die. It’s such an identifier. It’s a narrative. It’s self-expression. It’s stunning and I simply adore it.”
Standingcloud’s tattoo pricing is predicated per hour. For data, go to Inkjunkys Tattoo on Fb or name 918-615-3310.