Home Tattoo Artistry Interview with Fan Wu

Interview with Fan Wu

by белый

Today we’re speaking with Fan Wu (@fantattoo531).  She is originally from Shanghai, China but has been working at Gristle Tattoo (New York City), a vegan tattoo shop, for 4 years. We are absolutely in love with Fan’s anime work.

Interview with Fan Wu

When did you decide you wanted to be a tattoo artist?

I really love drawing since I was a kid. I’m introverted so I spent most time on drawing. I studied abroad in Philly, and that’s the first time I got closer view to tattoos because not many people have tattoos in China at that time. My major was printmaking in college, which all related to hand made process, so I think that’s similar with tattooing since it’s just like drawing on the skin instead of on the paper. I was so curious how the tattoo process is, so I started to learn it by myself first, and the more I got to know about the tattoo world, the deeper I love it. I can see a lots of different styles and the technique from all over the world. So, I transfer myself as a tattoo artist instead of a printmaker after I finish an apprenticeship.

Interview with Fan Wu

What steps did you go through to become a tattooist?

First, I have to draw a lot and make sure my drawing skill is good enough and then I can start to use a tattoo machine to practice.

After I practice on the fake skin, the first real tattoo I did was on myself, since I must know how much pressure I should use and how much pain it was so that I can know how other people will feel.

During the apprenticeship, I can only do walk-ins, which was barely practiced my tattoo skills. But I still drew my own flash every single day, after the time goes by, more and more people recognize my style and my drawing, and I started to accept my own appointments. 

Interview with Fan Wu

Interview with Fan Wu

What challenges did you face on those steps?

I think the first challenge is telling myself don’t give up! I know I really love and enjoy the drawing and practicing time, but I still need to make a living. So, the very first beginning of tattooing life is hard to insist. But if you love tattooing enough, all problems can be solved. 

The second challenge for me should be getting enough rest. Since I love my job so much, I will take any appointments I have. So, I’m overworked, and it’ll makes me feel tired and stressful. It’s not good for doing my work properly. Then I realized how important it is to have enough rest and enjoy the real life.

Tell us about the studio you are working at

Gristle Tattoo is an awesome studio in NYC! I feel free while I’m working at Gristle Tattoo. The shop is well organized, we attend lots of conventions, interesting events, and interview opportunities. It’s a vegan shop, and everything we use is all vegan, the creams, ointments, razors, soaps, inks, and the stencil paper. It’s safer for people’s skin and health. Gristle tattoo is vegan owned and actively supports and fundraises for various animals related causes. Gristle is also a gallery, we accept different artwork from different artists in all different fields, so people can also see various artworks, not only tattoo works, but also paintings and shows in the studio. The tattoo artists in Gristle all have their own style, so people can choose the artist or the style they like and then make an appointment.

Interview with Fan Wu

Can you share an accomplishment you’re most proud of?

I think the accomplishment is people start to recognize my style and love my anime work, it’s always a big encouragement for me. I cannot be who I am without my clients and people who always support me.

Interview with Fan Wu

Interview with Fan Wu

See also
How Much Does a Tattoo Cost? – Guide W/ Calculator + Examples

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