Miso’s beautiful home-made tattoos

Her street works were some of the first to really catch my eye in Melbourne’s lanes a decade ago, + to this day Miso continues to be one of my favourite artists. I am super-thrilled to have two new, very special Miso artworks accompany me wherever I go now, + I couldn’t be more in love with them.

I had been chatting with Miso during her print residency with Ghostpatrol at Harvest late last year; the conversation ranged from their latest works, to my paintings, what food we should eat for dinner, printmaking techniques, gospel music + tattoos. I mentioned my fear of needles + my love for Miso’s delicate, unique style of tattooing by hand. I was particularly taken by the overlap between her tattooing + her broader art practice; her designs were equally delicate + powerful on both paper + human skin. That she only tattoos friends, for trades, made the whole process even more attractive to me. She very generously offered to tattoo me when I was ready, if I thought I could handle my needle-phobia.

We made a time for me to come in to her studio for my first home-made tattoo. The design, one of her beautiful constellations/maps, represents five of my most important places. I was so anxious that I couldn’t even look at my arm as she started to poke the first design into me using a tattoo needle strapped to a pencil:

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(photo courtesy of Miso)

Miso was very patient with my worries, + had a surgeon’s steady hand. I was stoked with the result, + amazed that it wasn’t nearly as traumatic as I’d anticipated. I couldn’t wait to get my next tattoo! A few weeks later I returned + after playing with designs, we settled on a geometric gem-shaped image for my finger, no longer a homage to my love for coffee beans so much as a symbol of my lifelong love of geology. I adore the superfine dots on this delicate piece:

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(photo courtesy of Miso)

In return for the first tattoo, I made Miso a painting of her, Ghostpatrol + the darling Edie:

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I’m now designing her another painting as the trade for my second, awesome tattoo.

To see more of Miso’s incredible work + keep up to date with her exhibitions + projects, check out her website: http://m-i-s-o.com/

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About Kaff-eine


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