Interview with Anna Mimink | The official blog for Things&Ink

Tattoo artist Anna Mimink, works as a guest artist in several shops,and she can often be found at Artoria Tatouage in Paris. Currently Anna is working in Montreal, Canada at Magnum XIII Tattoo, we caught up with her to find out more about her travels and tattoos…

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How long have you been tattooing? What inspired you to become a tattooer? I have been working as a tattoo artist for five years now. I’ve always had a strong bond with drawing; when I was a child, I started to talk quite late on and drawing was my first way of expressing myself. But, I never fitted in when it came to art lessons and education, so I just kept drawing alongside my studies.

I was working in Paris in a luxury hotel and I felt burnt-out, and fed up with my career, so I went to see a friend who owned a tattoo studio. I ended up coming to the shop everyday, just to draw at first. But I really liked the carefree atmosphere and the positive impact that the tattoo had on the clients. So when he proposed that he would teach me, I was more than happy, even if it wasn’t my vocation at first.

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What is it about tattoos that you love so much? What especially do you love about black and line work? For some people, it’s very hard to truly express themselves. I love it when a client comes to me with a project is, that is a true expression of their inner feelings. The human contact is so important to my job. We are talking about people not just art! I am still very moved when people I don’t know trust me enough to mark their skin for life.

I regards to the art, I have always loved art that is clean and well defined. I am quite manic in real life, and I think it comes through in my art. I also like the simplicity, or the efficiency of the blackwork. It gets straight to the point, no flourish. That’s how I like to express myself. Two other things that are important to me in a tattoo piece, and can be found within blackwork are; there is a good contrast and the tattoo will last very well with time.

What do you love to tattoo? What would you like to do more of? I really love to tattoo manga pieces. I am quite a geek, especially towards the Japanese culture. So these subjects are so much fun for me to work on. Especially, when I can rework them. It’s very intimidating but also rewarding to follow the steps of great mangaka (manga authors) that I love and admire. So of course, I would like to do more of manga pieces, especially some lesser known ones. I like doing some Naruto or Dragon Ball but it’s also great to work on other titles.

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You have travelled and worked in so many countries, which was your favourite? Good question! I will split your question in two, my favourite country for travel and my favorite country for work. China was my favorite country to travel. It’s so big and so diverse! It gave me the feeling that you could spend your whole life trying to know more about it. And it’s the origin of so many Asian cultural streams. For the work, I would say Australia, the clients are very open-minded and they easily trust your work even if you are a foreigner.

What country/experience has inspired you the most? Where would you like to go back to? The Taiwan Tattoo Convention was my best memory of working in another country. I only spent a few days there, but the customers were so nice, they were very interested in my work. The local artists are so good and so open-minded and welcoming. Taiwan was like a perfect mix of China and Japan, and last but not least, the food was great! I really want to go back there one day !

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Who has been the most influential person you have met? Or the one that has taught you something new about tattooing? Lately, I traveled around California with my family and I met an amazing artist in San Francisco, Brucius Xylander, owner of Black Serum tattoo studio. His sense of detail is just amazing, and it really gave me the will to work in a different way and develop new techniques to bring more details and more precision to my work.

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Has becoming a mother changed your outlook towards your career? Or your style? It hasn’t change my ambition to become one of the best tattooers one day. But it really changes the way I look at my own work. I always considered myself as a dark person, and my drawings were a reflection of that. But after becoming a mother, I just wanted to spread more joy around me. And that’s where I started to specialise in manga. I wanted to tattoo more positive and innocent pieces. Even when it’s a sad or trash manga, it’s only  fiction, it’s less sad than a crow skull or dead flowers to me. So yeah it definitely changed my style. And I am very happy about that change, I don’t have to carry the weight of my clients bad feelings like I had to sometimes, now I just share a common passion with them. It’s just perfect!

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