Meet the Maker: Abby Drielsma
Abby is a tattoo artist and a babe. I had the pleasure of getting my first 'real' tattoo by her a few years back (it is of a skeleton with a "too far to stop" banner underneath it, fyi) and have been a fan girl since. You can check out her werk right hurr.
Hello, how are you today?
Hello! I'm good thank, enjoying a quiet Saturday at home after a couple of busy weeks of work.
Tell me about your cat, please.
She's a 18 month old Sphynx named Cloud who is a sweet baby cherub and we are obsessed with each other. She likes to takes naps whenever I do and curls up in a little ball on my lap when I draw, and I fall asleep spooning her every night. She makes little sounds all the time like a dinosaur and she feels like a warm peach.
How do you describe your drawing/tattooing style?
I've struggled in the past to describe my style in a concise way but at the moment I would probably say it is illustrative black and grey which is often focused on historical appropriation where I draw inspiration and reference the art movements of the Renaissance, Gothic, Baroque and Neoclassic periods as well as different mythologies and folklore's throughout history.
What is something about you that you want your (potential) customers to know, that they don't already know?
I think all my future clients should probably know that contrary to what my instagram might indicate, I'm actually a massive dork and I will always do my best to make you feel comfortable and welcome in our shop. I think there is also a myth floating about that I have a huge waiting list but at the moment I'm trying to only book myself a month or two in advance at a time.
Do you remember the first tattoo you've done? What was it?
It was a tiny little colourful dream boat (little ship with some z's next to it) that looks like a child's drawing
What were you doing for a living before tattoo? Do you miss it?
I had recently finished my degree in Graphic Design and was doing a bit of freelancing and I was also the in house graphic design for a leagues club in Newcastle where I worked on newspaper ads, menus and other soul crushing menial tasks. I do not miss it.
Do you even go "sorry mum" when you get new tattoos anymore? Or is she super cool about them now?
It's kind of funny because my mum was always pretty against the idea of me getting tattoos and every time I got a new one she was like "Okay you have enough now, you can stop" but the minute I started tattooing as a career she became instantly cool with it and is very supportive. I think she's just really happy to see me work in a job where I get to create art all the time :)
What is the one thing you treasure the most?
Oh jeez. That's a tough question. I’m going to be uncooperative and give more than one answer: my cat, true friendships and self love.
Any tips for artists who wish to start a tattoo career?
The best tip I can give is put in the work. Working towards a tattoo apprenticeship and building it as a career can be a real struggle in the beginning and you may get a lot of rejection and criticism (hopefully constructive) of your work which you need to be ready to bounce back from and not get too discouraged from. Do as much drawing and painting as you can, experiment with different styles, get tattooed as much as possible and talk to as many good tattooists as you can so you can start putting together a really solid portfolio which demonstrates not only your skills as an artist but also how hard working and passionate you are about this career path.