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  • Writer's pictureNathan Tersteeg

Making tattoos and friends

I've been tattooing for almost a year now, and since I started, most of my work has been on people I've known from work, social, or art world connections here in Richmond, Virginia. It's been my privilege to put into into the skin of people who've enriched my life and trusted me to help them with their tattoo goals. I loved how quickly some of these folks jumped at the opportunity to have me do work for them, well before I began actually tattooing alive human people. Shout out in particular to Michael Birch-Pierce, whose enthusiasm completely caught me off guard as we were doing an install at the Iridian Gallery, the lgbtq+ gallery that we co-run. Here's the piece I did for them, a piece I still count as one of my best so far:

But as I grow my practice, expanding my clientele's been an absolute pleasure. I have several new pieces that I did for people I'd never met before our appointment, and I've been really lucky to work with these awesome folks, making cool pieces that actualize their visions of themselves.

Here's the pair of pieces I did for an absolutely inspiring person. It's a tribute to the film Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, a movie that's equally charming and bizarre. These images are taken from a point in the film in which the two adult leads in the story disguise themselves as giant dolls to infiltrate the castle of the evil villain.

It was really awesome getting to know this client over the course of our sessions, and I'm really excited to make these kinds of connections and continue working with great people doing cool projects!


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