With the obvious rise of Tattoo popularity over the past decade or so, it is far easier to get drawn into the magic and beauty of the art form. All kinds of people, all walks of life… politicians, doctors, school teachers… have tattoos. It is difficult, sometimes even surprising, to meet someone who doesn’t have, or hasn’t thought about getting one. How remarkable is it to watch the transition of a craft that used to be taboo evolve into a social and cultural norm that now rarely raises an eyebrow. In fact, it is celebrated, appreciated, and made a marvel. Perhaps one could call me impolite, but I very much enjoy sitting and working in a cafe, walking down any street in the Downtown core, meeting new people, and riding the TTC and/or driving around the city, and STARING and admiring and deciphering and absorbing and analysing and taking in other people’s ink. I certainly doubt there isn’t a soul who lives in any urban infrastructure, where the population is mainly young professionals, that has not done this at least once.
Being as enthusiastic as most people, I find myself very much enamoured by the art. Like most things, it takes raw talent to master, and that comes with dedication, practice, experimentation, courage, and even a certain amount of instinct to stand out as an artist. I remember getting my first tiny tattoo at 18 years old. Despite it’s macro size, and predictable location, I loved it so much, and still love it today. Over the years, many more have made it into my collection, and like most people, I am keen on the practice of client loyalty to one, or perhaps a small handful, of professionals. It is so unbelievably wonderful to be able to say that I have known my artist since I was just shy of 14 years old.
Caroline Tattersall has only been tattooing professionally now since 2012, but is incredibly gifted at what she does. I have had the privilege of watching her love of drawing and art unfold and evolve over many years, now having revolutionized into tattooing. Although living in Toronto with her two dogs, Taco and Nacho, and her equally-talented and fantastic husband, Peter John Belej of TCB Tattoos in Queen West, you can find Caroline in the Trafalgar/Uptown Core of Oakville at the reputable Good Point Tattoos shop.
What I think makes Caroline stand out as an artist is her ability to not ‘specialize’ in one particular style. Her credentials, technique, and styles have ranged from ‘watercolour’, portraits, dot work, sailor, and much more. My favourite is her flair and propensity for pretty pieces done in bold, bright colours. Her versatility is something that is not only evolving, but will no doubt propel her towards further and inevitable success. to see more of her wonderful work, you can also follow Caroline on Facebook.
Her segment took place on a very beautiful day in the park, accompanied by both Peter and her fantastic pooches. I thank them both for such a delightful afternoon, and I am eager to watch Caroline further herself as an artist. I remember in highschool asking her on many occasions to draw for me. Looking back, I thank her for her patience, because I must have been so annoying. But she always did, with enthusiasm and humour. And I am so pleased to be able to treasure, years later, her incredible art on me, and be able to do so every day. Art that is meaningful, bold, beautiful, and special. Just like Caroline.
Q – What is most rewarding about your craft?
CT – I got into tattooing because I wanted to see where I could take my artwork. I’ve always had a love of drawing and noticed over the years that I showed improvement the harder I worked. It is truly one of the only careers where you can physically see your progress. I am interested in seeing how my artwork changes over time. Tattooing is such a head game, there is a lot of self-doubt and inner criticism that can negatively affect you on a daily basis. I remind myself that it is my brain creating something, not me, I’m just an observer. That way, when someone shoots my work down, I don’t take it personally. Being able to take rejection is a huge part of my job and I want to soak up as much criticism as possible and apply it to my next tattoo.
That being said, the other rewarding part about tattooing is the interactive aspect of it. I have met some amazing people through tattooing that have made me feel so accepted and loved and inspire me to keep doing this for as long as I can. You realize that it takes so little to make someone feel important, and I try to treat all my clients as though they are friends. I’ll sing and dance a lot during the tattoo just to keep my head in a fun and creative mood and my clients don’t seem to mind, it usually makes people laugh!
Yes, there are days that I feel exhausted from the work load and it can be tiring when working with difficult people. But for the most part, I work with talented artists, and we generally get on well and have a laugh all day. I come home tired, yet so satisfied from a hard day’s work, and to boot, there’s money in my pocket. I wouldn’t trade this career for any other kind of job.