Welcome to Meet the Tattoo Artist, a series where we aim to showcase a variety of talented Twin Cities tattoo artists who are creating spectacular art on peoples’ bodies in Minnesota. This week: Rachel Radiant is a younger artist who’s learning at The Present Tattoo Parlor.
Do you have years of tattooing experience?
I’m just a little tater-tot, with only one year tattooing! There is still so much to be learned and I am grateful for the clients that want to tattoo with me and my friends and family.
You are! Born in St. Louis Park and raised in Golden Valley as well as Plymouth. After graduating from U of M Twin Cities Graphic Design, I lived in Minneapolis until college. Now, my boyfriend and our cat live together in St. Paul’s Como neighborhood.
How did you get into tattooing?
After pursuing a handful of other creative/visual arts careers–photography, videography, graphic design, marketing–I started getting tattooed and talking with tattoo artists. I met a former graphic artist who loved drawing, just like me. He encouraged me to get serious about tattooing and helped me build my portfolio.
It was that simple. For two years I continued to draw almost every day. After that, I presented my portfolio and sketches to several artists. My mentor was not the first tattoo artist I approached. I found her mentor much faster than I thought. I’m forever grateful for that.
Which were the biggest hurdles or struggles you faced in your career as a tattooist?
I’m very lucky that my young tattoo career has all taken place in a shop that is so inclusive and welcoming to all. So many traditional tattoo shops are still a boys’ club, but The Present has made me feel so safe, and in that safety, I’ve been able to create tattoos for people who also might not have felt safe in other shops. So I’ve been very blessed to have fewer struggles compared to other young female artists.
That being said, I do have a very different style than traditional tattoo artists, and I’ve had those types of artists try to invalidate the style of tattoo art I’m creating. My tattoo work is often very inspired by femininity, so it makes sense that a male-dominated, “tough” industry wouldn’t always be onboard with it.
Are you more inclined to a certain style of tattoos?
Although my style is constantly evolving and changing, it can be described as playful, illustrative and bold. It’s also linework-based. My favorite adjective would be magic. Every tattoo I create evokes a magic feeling.
Three things have inspired you in the beginning of your career.
- Artistes in tattoos Chris Kirkpatrick.
Name three things you find inspiring right now.
- Illustration of vintage botanicals
- Artistes in tattooing Ruth Callaway.
Is there a tattoo that you’re particularly proud of?
My favorite piece of skeleton body art is this one. I’m very pleased with the healed linework, the vivid color palette, that my style translated well into such a detailed piece, and that this piece of art lives on a good friend of mine who has been supporting my creative endeavors for many years.
What about the weirdest/most original/most random tattoo you’ve even done?
The surreal work of a snail eye liner comes to my mind.
Are you able to create different types of art?
I don’t give myself much time to make art for fun. Those who know me know I’m always thinking about tattoos. But when I do have time for something creative outside of work, I’m either taking bass guitar lessons, drawing/coloring/painting in my sketchbook, or playing with/making stickers.
Where can we find you when you’re not tattooing?
You are at home. Homebody fo’ life.
Were you looking for someone to help us find you?
The Present Tattoo Parlor has a tattoo of my name.@thepresenttattooparlor You can find my work on Instagram (@rachelradiant At rachelradiant.com.)
Have you got any ideas or projects that are worth our attention?
There are so many tattoos. Stay tuned for new tattoo flash design updates on Instagram and my website.
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