Lube Your Brain


We had a chat to experimental Brooklyn tattoo artist Astrid Elisabeth.

"Honestly, someone once asked to have one of my drawings tattooed on them and after that, my own drawings and paintings became inspiration. I enjoy the challenge presented when someone asks me to interpret an abstract idea or dream or even just says, "This type of plant, but in your style."

I like to look up porn images on google by typing in strange titles, like "women long boobs gay porn iguana" and use whatever comes up as inspiration. Portraits are usually taken from looking at photographs. Layered faces are just done spur of the moment. I don't believe in tracing and that's about it, unless someone wants an exact plant from a photograph.

After college, I didn't create art for a long time because no one was making me. Having several tattoo requests has helped lube my brain and I make sure to always have a notepad in my backpack. One of my favorite pieces I drew when I first got back into creating is a simple head looking down with some abstract line going on inside the head. It was the first thing I had drawn in almost a year and really catapulted the way in which I made everything else. I just kind of let go and made it very quickly and it was that rushed, loose, sincere line that has made it one of my favorites to date. I just get a feeling or think of an image or concept I like and I try to get it down immediately, one time. I've never drafted works, they come out once and that's the finished product. You can't mess with stuff too much.

I like to look up porn images on google by typing in strange titles, like "women long boobs gay porn iguana" and use whatever comes up as inspiration.

[For drawing materials] I like toned paper, pastels, browns and greys. I use creamy colored pencil, pens, and sometimes charcoal. I'm getting back into acrylic paint, but its not my forte."

Being a tattoo artist, people trust you to take an abstract concept or a flat image and make it interesting and unique. In regards to tattoos in popular culture, I think the stigma has lifted significantly, so people feel more encouraged to get tattoos. There was too much at stake years ago-- disdain from family, job restrictions, etc. It's easier to get art on your body when you don't have to jump those hurdles.

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Follow Astrid on her Instagram for more awesome artwork