A switch of colors can change everything. In this interview, tattooist Pokhy shares how she makes a tattoo stand out.
When I first saw the work from independent tattooist Pokhy, I was in awe of how she dealt with colors and opacity. Her tattoos are not necessarily small. But they still feel light and soft.
What impressed me the most was her blue tattoos. Blue flowers, blue snails, blue jellyfish, you name it. Although blue is not as vibrant as red or other warm colors, it captures your attention and distinguishes her work from the rest.
That’s why I am eager to talk to her about her inspirations, tattoo process, and style. In this interview with tattooist Pokhy, she will also share her thoughts on choosing a good tattoo for yourself.
Interview with tattooist Pokhy
The start of career
Unlike many of her peers, tattooist Pokhy didn’t plan to be a tattooist when she graduated. The artist from South Korea used to be a graphic designer for seven years until she decided to pursue a new career.
“I bumped into tattooing by accident. I used to work for a company where work was really demanding. I had to work overtime a lot, and it affected my health. So I had to take a break. And that was when I first discovered tattooing.”
Upon the first encounter, Pokhy became more and more obsessed with the idea of switching paths.
“Being a tattooist means your work stays on another person’s body for a lifetime. And that’s challenging yet fulfilling.”
So Pokhy began to apply her skills in graphic design to tattooing. But it was a rough start.
“I struggled to find my own style at the beginning. And my work became even more difficult because of my lack of experience with ink and needle.“
But she never stops practicing and perfecting. During the last five years, she has transformed from a beginner to a rising star with over 100k followers on her Instagram. She works more efficiently, and her work has evolved along the way.
But what doesn’t change is her constant search for her own style.
“I will always be learning and improving. And I will take what I learned to reshape my style.”
Tattooist Pokhy described her current style as sophisticated fine line tattoos of natural objects. But they often have a twist on the colors.
“I work on flowers, butterflies, and natural objects a lot, most of which are in fine lines. But I always try to make them unique.”
To do so, she opts for cool color tones. You can see a lot of blue, green, and purple in her work. But they grab your attention because they are less common than warm colors.
“I draw a lot of my inspiration from vintage posters and pictures. And when I see something in real life, I immediately consider whether it can be a good tattoo motif.”
When she has a topic, she will keep looking for the best color combination that fits into the design.
“I think a harmonious color palette is essential. So whatever I am working on, I always go for dense colors that look good together as well as high quality. That’s how to make a tattoo pop.”
The second technique is opacity. By depicting her objects as translucent, tattooist Pokhy can show the structures of a flower, butterfly, or sea turtle like an X-ray. It makes her tattoos more captivating and unique.
Struggles and challenges
Being a tattooist is not as glamorous as many people would expect. Quite the contrary, tattooist Pokhy used to face rejection and misunderstanding. One of the hardest to swallow was from her mother.
“In the beginning, my mother hated my job. She was not supportive of my career change. But over the years, she watched me grow as an artist. And she started to understand why I loved my job so much.”
And her mother got a tattoo from Pokhy a month ago. It was a cover-up tattoo for a scar. But it was also a form of recognition and trust. “She loves the tattoo I gave her, and that means a lot to me.”
For Pokhy, being a good tattooist means being responsible for the customers and being able to put out high-quality work.
“I find it difficult to draw a long, fine, straight line, but I must overcome that with practice because everything has to be perfect.”
Finding the right tattoo design and tattooist
For many of us, we don’t have to struggle with ink and needle. But if you have ever been in a tattoo-hunting process, you may know it’s not always easy.
To help you find the right design and person to do that for you, tattooist Pokhy shares her point of view.
“If you are getting your first tattoo, remember not to rush. It’s better to keep looking instead of letting someone else tell you what to ink.”
And not only with first tattoos, think thoroughly before getting any tattoo, so you will less likely to regret it later in life.
“Also, it’s important to find the right artist for the style you want. For example, I don’t do Irezumi or old-school tattoos because those are not my expertise. So make sure you browse through the artists’ portfolios to better understand their styles.”
As an aspiring tattooist, Pokhy has plans to take her work to the next level.
“I really want to work on huge tattoos such as full-sleeves, full-backs, and tattoos that cover the entire leg. With such a big canvas, I can be creative and push the limit.”
She will also do a lot of guest work at different studios. If you want to see more of her work or to know about her schedule, don’t forget to check out her Instagram profile.