Hannah Pixie Snowdon based in Sheffield, UK…Private studio opening Sept 2014 (by appointment only). http://www.blackstabbath.com
Photo credit: Stuart Mitchell
Image Credit: Marco Ferrari
1. Where are you from?? I was born and raised in Doncaster where I lived with my mum until I was about 15/16. It’s a funny little town that’s for sure but it certainly has character!
2. Where do you currently live?? I’ve been living in Sheffield for almost 2 years now and I love it here- the peak district is about a twenty minute drive from my house, one of my favourite places.
3. What Made you Want to Get your First Tattoo?/When did you first become interested in getting tattooed? I don’t really know where my obsession came from with tattooing, but I distinctly remember my mum taking me along when she was being tattooed once – in a bid to put me off – needless to say it had an adverse effect and my fascination only grew. I got my first tattoo underage in a small street shop and its the only one I’ve had removed. I didn’t hate it, but it wasn’t particularly good and it was taking up some prime real estate! I was a bit of a mess at the time and I rushed into it. I can’t stress enough how important it really is to wait until you’re of age to get tattooed, not even necessarily because you’ll regret it – but primarily because no respectable tattooist will usually be wiling to break the law and put their reputation at stake to tattoo someone underage!
4. Where did you get your first tattoo?
It was at the nape of my neck, a traditional horseshoe with roses. The roses looked more like little baby cabbages though! I actually had one session of laser removal on it before i had it covered. I would actually recommend it – as it lightened it a great deal- enough so that I didn’t have to compromise at all with design when covering it. I have a back piece now that comes all he way up into my hair.
5. How did you start tattooing?
I left college after second year to start apprenticing at a small street shop in Scunthorpe. The people were lovely but I didn’t learn anything other than how to be a badass receptionist – I’d say I actually learnt how to tattoo at the second shop I apprenticed in called Holy Mountain, with two of my closest friends as bosses. I decided to go it alone after a while for various reasons, but they gave me the confidence I needed to make a career out of doodling.
6. When you are not tattooing, how do you like to spend your free time?
I definitely have spent a great deal more time doodling on paper this year rather than people, but that’s largely because I’ve put all my time and energy into setting up my own workspace. I don’t really want to call it a studio, because its not as such, with all the bells and whistles, but its the most perfect little private space for me to work from. I don’t have that much experience at the end of the day and I don’t want to get ahead of myself, but I’m so happy with what I’ve created, and so grateful for all the love and support from not only my close friends and family, but from everyone who digs my stuff! I also love travelling and have so many opportunities to, to which i never refuse. I love tattooing and I couldn’t imagine my life without it, but it’s definitely not my whole life. I love creating in every sense of the word and I try and express myself through every medium that gets thrown my way. I like to create a life for myself that is surrounded by beautiful and inspiring things, as well as people.
7. Who are your artistic influencers?/Mentors?
As I mentioned previously, tattooing definitely isn’t my life, but there are a number of tattooists i deeply respect for their commitment and skill in the trade. People like Grace Neutral, Raph Cemo, Jemma Jones, Gre Hale and all the guys at Rain City and AKA London, they draw relentlessly and it shows. Their work never fails to impress me. I get tattooed by a bunch of people, usually close friends, and also Guy Le Tattooer, who I first met when I’d just turned 18. He was a huge influence at first because other than the odd few there was no one out there I could find creating work in his style. I wouldn’t say I have any mentors as such but I like to draw inspiration from everyone and everything around me, and when you surround yourself with the right sorts of people, it comes so easily!
I’m inspired by most ancient cultures and their artworks, but predominantly I got into this style when I discovered sacred geometry and it opened up a whole world of awesome. The idea that everything is interconnected, everything affects everything else, and everything that is, is because other things are. That’s an ongoing theme throughout most things I draw.
8. Any heroes?
Not in particular. I know it sounds cheesy but I believe you should be your own! I find many people so inspiring and influential, some I don’t know personally and some are close friends/family etc. I don’t think I would call any of them idols or heroes though. We’re all made of the same stuff at the end of the day, if anything surrounding yourself with people who’s actions you admire should only inspire you to better yourself further, rather than looking up to them as if it were unattainable for you personally.
9. How has being tattooed affected your life?
For the better! That’s for sure. I know it’s not the same for everyone but being tattooed has never inhibited anything I’ve personally wanted to do. Its only pushed me further in the right direction. I do have the luxury of being in this profession though. I wouldn’t change any of them, but I do wish I had more space!
10. What tattoo has the most meaning for you?
I don’t know if I can pick just one! I have tattoos for family, numerous matching ones with friends and my fiance, but I love them all for different reasons. They all re-evoke the emotions I felt at the time of getting them, and I have none I can associate with any negativity. Even the meaningless ones I have, I love them simply because I find them beautiful pieces of art. Everyone has their own personal interpretation of beauty, so as long as it’s beautiful to you, who gives a fuck?! You can’t and never will please everyone, so you should please yourself.
11. What are your inspirations inside & outside of tattooing?
I guess I already covered this one as far as tattooing goes, so as for outside of tattooing, there are a bunch of beautiful people in my life right now that inspire me regularly.
My friend Ana, she is such a creative! Again, 100x different from an artistic viewpoint but she just doesn’t stop! I find her inspiring. My mum, she is for too many reasons to list. There are a bunch of spiritual teachers I also find inspiring, to whom i regularly listen. I read a lot, it brings me peace and when I’m at peace, I work best. So everybody wins. Eckhart Tolle is probably my favourite though if I had to pick.
12. What tattoo has been your most favorite/memorable?
I think it would have to be the flower of life pattern I did on my friend Plaz over 2 years ago. After that tattoo, that design literally haunted me. He made me look into sacred geometry before I did it and from then I became obsessed. It was soooo hard to tattoo and I wasn’t particularly experienced at the time, yet it was the most pleasant tattooing experience I can remember! The part it played the following year in my life was beyond weird and erased any doubts I had in that there is no such thing as coincidence and you really do attract things into your existence.
13. Favorite shops to tattoo at?
I haven’t worked at many to be honest, I get pretty nervous and anxious in that environment and I feel as though I work way better alone, but there’s a bunch of awesome shops my friends work at/ I’ve been tattooed in like Good Times in London, Rain City in Manchester, and Shangri-La in London. I worked at AKA in London briefly and it was awesome, those people rule, and as I mentioned before I learnt how to tattoo at Holy Mountain in Scunthorpe.
14. Favorite style of tattoos?
I don’t particularly have a favourite style, I mean obviously I’m a dotwork artist and I love that stuff but personally I’m covered in all sorts – as long as it’s black I’m down!
15. Do you have a “specialty?”
Dotwork – although I’m game for almost anything as long as its black. No point coming to me for neotraditional though or photo realism unless you wanna walk away with an abomination of an attempt haha!
16. Best way to set up an appt.?
I’m currently only taking appointments from close family and friends for the next month or so while I get back into the swing of things – but I’ll make public as soon as I’m taking appointments again and I’m only planning on booking ahead a month or so at a time. My life is way too unpredictable to look further than that into the future! I’ll be setting up a new email address for bookings specifically that I’ll release as soon as I’m ready.
17. Do you have any favorite places to travel? & Where would you like to go?
I’m incredibly grateful in that I’ve been able to go to so many different places and see so much already- one of my favourite places was Vietnam last year. So insanely beautiful and largely untainted. The next trip I’m planning is India. I’m taking my mum as a thank you for all the travelling we did when I was young. She really nailed it with adventuring.
18. How do your travels inspire the tattoos you like and like to do?
I just find different cultures so inspiring and their own interpretations of art, I take so many pictures when I’m away and I draw inspiration from the tiniest details. I love religious buildings – from temples to cathedrals and while I’m not particularly religious myself (in the traditional sense of the word) I would say religion is one of my main influential factors when I’m drawing.
19. What music are you listening to currently?
This is a tough question because my music taste is so schizophrenic! I like to listen to pretty mellow/happy stuff when I’m working but I am such a sucker for nu metal and I’ve had a long love affair with doom! It’s all about the mood. Nirvana will be my favourite until the end of time though. I’ve got my superfan Uncle to thank for that.
20. Last words?
Be excellent to each other, and party on dudes! (Bill and Ted – philosophical genii)
21. Shout outs?
I think I covered everyone throughout the interview but I guess I should send some big love to my parents, in laws and friends/boyfriend for being HUGE contributing factors in the success of creating my baby Black Stabbath Tattoo! And cheers to you guys for having me.