Artist Spotlight – UNELUNE

We are back again with another interview! It is always a treat working with our next guest, as her positive energy flows from her tattoos, her being as well as her entire creative space. We all hope one day she just re-decorates the entire shop in the night. She can be reached for bookings via email tattoosbyunelune@gmail.com

This Artist Spotlight is dedicated to Lana (aka – Une Lune).

Avalon: What style of tattoo are you doing these days? 

Lana: Mandalas, ornamental and linework. I feel like I am getting an influx of people looking for those types of style. I’m definitely trying to focus more on ornamental designs. I find it speaks me, related to inner peace.

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Avalon: Out of all the work you have done, what is your favorite tattoo to date?

Lana: Fresh out of my apprenticeship, I did a dark owl tattoo. I still look at how small it is compared to my more recent work, and I’m amazed on how I still really love what I did, and how far I have come. To date, my most favorite is an ornamental piece I did for my friend Sam who sits really well. They didn’t want to change a single thing from the design and I went in feeling really good about it. It turned out wonderfully and I am super happy with the result.

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Avalon: Who do you look up to as an artist? 

Lana: Justin Vernon. As an artist he has managed to continually evolve his sound, which speaks to me. I too try to evolve my artistic expression, and I deeply respect that process. I immediately recognize his music when it plays. The way he seeks to continually evolve and adapt inspires me to do the same. I also believe that greatness is found in seeking mastery, not in seeking fame.

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Avalon: There are so many different ways to express art, what was the deciding factor of becoming a tattoo artist? 

Lana: I’ve always loved art, I’ve always been an artistic person. Finding my favorite medium took some time. I tried painting with acrylic, watercolors– seven years ago on a hallucinogenic adventure I found my calling in fractals and geometrics, which lead me to realize that this is what I wanted to do. It flowed from me so naturally, and tattooing was the next step.

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Avalon: What do Tattoos and Tattooing mean to you? 

Lana: I started experimenting with body modification when I was 14 or 15, grade 9 in high school i was exposed to a lot of different ways of life, , I resonated towards the rebellious ways, i love art, i love body art, I love piercings, I had my ears pierced at a very young age because of my family, and I started stretching my ears. To me tattooing is the epitome of self care, realizing life is impermanent and there is a permanent sense to what you are doing and like -fuck it, I’m just going to do it! That’s what I love about it, its a story for someone, and everyone just gets to be themselves.

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Avalon: You are tattooing in a time when technology and creativity are pushing the boundaries of what it means to be a tattoo artist, looking back at how the industry used to be before- is there anything you wish had not changed or stayed traditional? Anything you wish you had experienced? 

Lana: I feel that the industry itself is changing, and changing for the better. I’ve noticed in the shop, in this collective we work in now, is mostly females. I think that’s amazing as in the past females were excluded from the industry. For women coming in to the industry now I feel that there is way more opportunity for them to get started, and not have to just luck out with opportunities.

One thing I wish I was around for was back when soldering our own needles and setting up a coil machine was still common practice. I was fortunate enough to have a mentor who believed in the purest form of tattooing. Tattooing is so easy now with the new technology. You don’t get that sense of nurturing and tinkering that used to exist with coil style machines. Only downside to the old way is the long term effects of damage to your hands from those machines. The old way is very nostalgic to me.

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Avalon: Once the pandemic subsides, are you looking forward to conventions and competing? 

Lana: I was only a year in to tattooing when the pandemic struck. Im not very good with air planes but Im excited to go for sure. One thing I’m excited about for conventions in the future is that now I am more experienced and confident I feel that I can approach these artists I’ve looked up to for years and introduce myself and initiate new relationships amongst my peers.

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Avalon: What is your favorite part of tattooing? 

Lana: I’m a very extroverted tattoo artist. I love to speak with people and hear their stories. When it comes down to it I feel that tattooing gives me a way to continually learn something new each day. Finding new ways to optimize my work flow, fine-tune my setup and business system. Its not a linear journey and I love that this is such a malleable career choice.

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Avalon: What is your least favorite part?

Lana: The imposter syndrome. Learning that not everyone is going to appreciate what I do and giving myself time to rest. In the past I’ve found myself putting everything I can in to making my customers happy, working myself to the bone without breaks to try and fulfill that but sacrificing myself and my wellbeing to do it. Being too tired from working too much and having nightmares about trying to make my customers happy as I neglect to take breaks and take care of myself. I’ve learned a lot but it is easy to slip back into those habits.

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Avalon: Have you always been interested in art? 

Lana: I grew up in a very sheltered family, we didn’t have a lot of money. My mom was an accountant and the most accessible medium was drawing with pens and paper. I was stuck inside a lot, watching tv shows and drawing anime. I was obsessed with it and kept finding ways to grow my creative expression.

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Avalon: How Long have you been practicing?

Lana: I’ve been tattooing for over 3 years now. I was very fortunate to start tattooing in a positive environment where I felt supported.

A special thanks to Lana for taking time to chat with us and share her story. There’s way more to this then we captured so feel free to ask Lana questions when you come in for your next tattoo! She can be reached for consultations at tattoosbyunelune@gmail.com

Leilani – Coming to Windy City Tattoo Convention, Lethbridge (Sept 17-19)

Leilani is making her way to Lethbridge, and has a few spots to fill for the convention. Leilani specializes in Black & Grey Realism style tattoos. Send her an email to start your consultation and get booked for the convention!

To Book, Email her Here: leilanitattoos@gmail.com

or visit her website leilanitattoos.com

You can also view her portfolio on Instagram: @leilanitattoos

Artist Spotlight – Lisa Kao

Hello and welcome to Avalon’s premiere post! We want to share what makes our collective special, and what better way then to shine a light on the exceptional talent that makes us who we are.

This weeks Artist Spotlight is dedicated to Lisa Kao (aka – Kao.Ink). We were lucky enough to steal some of Lisa’s time between her very busy schedule for a quick interview! You can see her portfolio on Instagram at @kao.ink. She can be contacted by email at lisakao.ink@gmail.com Check it out!

Avalon: What style of tattoo are you doing these days? 

Lisa: I mostly do illustrative tattoos, but I sometimes dabble into black work and colour. 

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Avalon: Out of all the work you have done, what is your favourite tattoo to date?

Lisa: I try to make every project my favorite and do my best in what I put out. If I had to choose one. It would be a color rose I did.Β 

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Avalon: Who do you look up to as an artist? 

Lisa: I have many people I admire. A few of them being @ziwah_tattooer, @tattoo_ham, @hoon unco / uncogrim, and @heeme_tattoo

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Avalon: There are so many different ways to express art, what was the deciding factor of becoming a tattoo artist? 

Lisa: I knew I wanted to do art for the rest of my life and chase my dreams of happiness. I decided on tattooing because I can share my art on people’s skin forever. 

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Avalon: What do Tattoos and Tattooing mean to you? 

Lisa: Best way to describe it for me is Tattoos are like perfume. When you see it; you get a reminiscence of where/when/why you have it. What Tattooing means to me is a historical art form that takes total concentration and life dedication. 

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Avalon: You are tattooing in a time when technology and creativity are pushing the boundaries of what it means to be a tattoo artist, looking back at how the industry used to be before- is there anything you wish had not changed or stayed traditional? Anything you wish you had experienced? 

Lisa: I wouldn’t change anything. Today’s technology helps tattooing to be easier. Light weight machines help save the hands. I wish I experienced how to make a coil machine and solder my own needles. 

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Avalon: Once the pandemic subsides, are you looking forward to conventions and competing? 

Lisa: I’m eager to go and meet many more artists and learn. I definitely want to compete and see what I am capable of. 

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Avalon: What is your favourite part of tattooing? 

Lisa: I always feel honoured to be part of someone’s expressive journey with a tattoo. That, and adding in white highlights. 

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Avalon: What is your least favourite part?
Lisa: Applying stencils can be a real challenge sometimes.

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Avalon: Have you always been interested in art? 

Lisa: I’ve always been in love with art. When I was 5 I went to my first art class and loved it. 

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Avalon: How Long have you been practising?

Lisa: I’ve been tattooing for almost a year, but have been practising for over two years now!

A special thanks to Lisa for her time in answering some questions. She is currently booking a month out, so if anyone is looking for some beautiful art you can reach her through email (lisakao.ink@gmail.com)