Sonia managed to find some time to chat to me about being a tattoo artist, and what being a woman means to her.
What made you want to join your industry?
I think what really made me joined the industry at the beginning was my love of art, and the idea that someone would want to wear my artwork on them for life – if you think about it, that’s quite an honour, and a responsibility. I feel that I have always had a strong desire to do my absolute best in my profession. Always look forward and push yourself.
At the start of my career there was one guy who went around telling people that he only got tattooed by me so he could look at my breasts. It soon got back to me, and he was subsequently banned from the shop. Sexist comments like that didn’t tend to happen in the shops I’ve worked in; the people I work with don’t tend to stand for that, male or female.
Being a woman to me is all about being happy with who I am. I have never let anything negative get in my way, and never will.
I don’t think my gender has helped or hindered me at all. Being a successful tattoo artist nowadays is all about producing high quality, clean artwork. That said, I guess some women might feel more comfortable getting tattooed by another woman, particularly if they want a tattoo in more private areas.
I am really inspired by Frida Kahlo. She was a Mexican self-portrait artist who suffered from lifelong health problems. She was strong, bold, and beautiful! Kahlo never hid her personality from the world. She swore, drank, wore amazing and outrageous clothing – and most importantly, she bared her soul through her incredible artwork.
I would say be yourself – don’t wear a mask! And keep pushing yourself to create artwork you’re proud of.