In collaboration with Culture Cartel, we put the spotlight on 5 alternative individuals that have taken the road less traveled. We chat with them on their passion and journey, and hear out on what inspires them.
Photos by Dju-lian Chng
Then you might want to consider Josephine Chan.
Hi! I’m Josephine, tattoo artist at Tooth and Nail Tattoo Studio, I mainly focus on illustrative or neotraditional tattoos and drawings. When I’m not tattooing or drawing I’m usually just wondering around, either exploring on long walks or pondering over random stuff with friends over kopi and long talks.
What got you started into tattooing?
Long story short, having already developed an interest in tattoos, upon graduation I found a job where my tattoos wouldn’t need to be hidden, and serendipity brought my mentor and his wife into the store, got my apprenticeship from there. To be honest, at that time it wasn’t entirely conceivable to “apply” for an apprenticeship like you would a regular job, so it didn’t really occur to me that it was a viable career till I started getting more tattoos and talked more to the artists in the industry. But I would have to admit I was really really lucky
Lol. Honestly if you know yourself well, you’ll know if youre the type that would or would not regret certain things, and depending on that you can start to consider your tattoo and so forth. Try not to look at photos of tattoos to get an idea, rather it’s better if maybe you already have an idea of what youre looking to get before doing your research. And when you do pick your tattoo artist, trust them and trust the process.
Sometimes tattoo artists may not explicitly explain to you the rationales behind why they designed it the way they did, other times it just hard to put in words but more often than not theres a good reason and you should trust them!
Of course, if something doesn’t sit right with you speak with your artist about it, but avoid micromanaging if you can, it kills the design process and you might miss out on a better design :)
And lastly, any tips for aspiring tattoo artists out there?
Listen to Josephine's Spotify playlist here:
Little Dark Age - MGMT
Really enjoy the contrasting mood of the song, but chill and yet emotional at the same time.
When I’m Small - Phantogram
Dreamy daze great for slow walks at nights.
Cherry-coloured Funk - Cocteau Twins
Even more dreamy and more hazy, personal favourite for bus rides in the rain.
Electric Love - BØRNS
Feels like a partial time warp
Lost In Yesterday - Tame Impala
Tame Impala is one of the bands that I will probably never ever tire of, but this track is my current favourite of theirs.
Deadcrush - Alt J
Another one of my all time favourite bands, and this is probably one of their more unforgettable song for me. This and Taro (also one of theirs).
Here Comes The Night Time - Arcade Fire
Watched them live in Perth with my girl friend (also first time out of Asia), recalling the moment the sun set and the sky turned dark as they sang “here comes the night time” still send chills down my spine.
Obstacle 1 - Interpol
The first line got me hooked.
Eat Raw Meat = Blood Drool - Editors
Came for the music video, stayed for the song.
"It’s turning my milk sour"
An Honest Mistake - the Bravery
This is one of those songs that will slip out of the atmosphere for a bit then return ever as familiar as before.
One Way Trigger - The Strokes
Oddly upbeat for a such a sad song, gave me the good kind of weird feels, from someone who likes sad songs.