Interview with Alex.
I’ve known Alex a long time, we met because we both went to shows in Portsmouth and hung around with some of the same people. She eventually worked with me at a little sandwich coffee shop, so we got to know each other pretty well. The things that really stand out to me, about her, is her great sense of humor and humility. She’s so like-able, but at the same time, honest. She’s beautiful, and not just because she’s physically attractive, but also because she lights up the room with smiles. Also, it doesn’t hurt that we read all the same books and can nerd out together! Also, she’s a great hairdresser and does amazingly intricate updos.
How old were you when you got your first tattoo? What was it, and why did you decide to get it?
Alex: I got my first tattoo when I was 16. My boyfriend at the time stick and poked me two tiny Japanese characters that mean freedom. It’s kind of silly now, but they are the only tattoo on my back.
Can you give us a rundown of your tattoo collection? What do you have and who did it?
Alex: Most of my tattoos were done by local artists in the area Jason Scott, Fat Tony, George, Watson Atkinson, Stina and James Wulfe to name a few. I try to take advantage of an artists style and what they are good at. Jason Scott does great traditional and I love his color, all the pieces I have by him are as bright as the time they were freshly healed. Watson tied together my left sleeve and we still are working on it a bit, but he does amazing textural tattoos and is also huge into making collages so I knew he would be great tying together my hodge-podge sleeve. I love working with Stina, her mind is a flood gate of beautiful oddities. Most recently she did a cat tattoo based on my cat and I absolutely love it.
Do you ever encounter criticism because of your tattoos? If so, how do you react?
Alex: I used to feel really judged in a negative way when I was younger. I’m not sure if its just people have more respect for the art form now, or if I just grew up. It’s always fun walking around downtown Portsmouth in a tank top mid summer and watching the tourists eyeballs pop out of their heads. But for the most part I think people are curious. And in the seacoast area we have had more and more good tattoo shops open, featuring talented artists, and I think that helps the whole criminal/biker stigma. The general public is now aware of tattoos as an art.
What sort of jobs have you had and how have your co-workers felt about your tattoos?
Alex: I worked in kitchens for years with lots of tattooed boys and gals. I started doing hair about 5 years ago. When I was still in school a woman who owns several high end salons in the Portland, ME area came in to talk about business and marketing. The subject of tattoos came up (not by me) and she said she does not hire people with visible tattoo and has required a few of her stylists with visible tattoos to keep them covered. She also told me specifically I would have a very difficult time finding a salon who would hire me looking the way I did. And this woman didn’t even know, I was one of the top students! Appearances are more important then skill I guess. I was hired by one of the best salons downtown Portland and they never even batted an eyelash at my tattoos. Now I work in downtown Portsmouth, NH and several of my female coworkers are also heavily tattooed. Sometimes new clients get a little nervous I might do something really crazy to their hair because of the way I look but once I give them a bomb shampoo/head message they forget all about it!
That’s so funny seeing as you work at a really well known salon, now, and you’re so popular and well known in the area! What has being a tattooed woman taught you about self perception and society’s views on beauty?
Alex: It’s important for woman to have the choice to do whatever they want to their appearance. I feel blessed to live in a part of the world that is cool with that. Tattoos, makeup, clothes, hair color, it’s all the same to me. Confidence and strength is beauty to me. And wearing tattoos gives me both.
What are some of your other loves and hobbies?
Alex: I just started snowboarding this year and I’m so into it! I love getting all wrapped up and breathing in the cold air. It’s made the winter go by so fast!
I’m also into hip hop dancing and rapping. I’m working on a few music projects as of late. I also enjoy reading, hiking, swimming in the ocean and cats.
What one word best describes your tattoo style?
Alex: menagerie, Im all over the place. I have home done tattoos, crazy old punk skulls and beautiful cats with luscious eyelashes.
What are some tattoo projects that you have planned for the future?
Alex: I really want a Prince portrait! I keep saying I want the cover of lovesexy. I don’t have any pinups so I like to think Prince will be my first.
How do you go about choosing your pieces and designs?
Alex: sometimes I just see a design and I love it. Stina always has great flash she has draw up and only will tattoo once. Most of the time I have an idea of what I want and find an artist I think will be able to see my vision. We can work on it together but ultimately I want them to be proud of their work, so I usually take their advice.
What piercings do you have?
Alex: I have two microdermals in my dimples. Done by Steph Stobbs.
What’s your favorite piercing?
Alex: my cheekies!
Name some music that is in your playlist right now?
Alex: I love Beach House, Victoria Legrands vocals are so beautiful. The xx, die antwoord, angel haze, lil Wayne, prince, grimes, purity ring, Sebastian Tellier, Miami horror, future islands.
THANKS TO http://www.sarahvanessaphotography.com for the use of her photos!