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Time Out with tattoo artist Stephanie of Ink Ink Tattoo

We sit down with the brassy tattoo artist behind Venice's all-girl ink shop

 (Photograph: Jakob N. Layman)
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Photograph: Jakob N. Layman
Karina Mayorga (left) and Stephanie (right) of Ink Ink Tattoo
 (Photograph: Courtesy Stephanie)
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Photograph: Courtesy Stephanie
Tattoo by Stephanie
 (Photograph: Courtesy Stephanie)
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Photograph: Courtesy Stephanie
Tattoo by Stephanie
 (Photograph: Courtesy Stephanie)
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Photograph: Courtesy Stephanie
Tattoo by Stephanie
 (Photograph: Courtesy Stephanie)
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Photograph: Courtesy Stephanie
Tattoo by Stephanie
 (Photograph: Courtesy Stephanie)
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Photograph: Courtesy Stephanie
Tattoo by Stephanie
 (Photograph: Jakob N. Layman)
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Photograph: Jakob N. Layman
Ink Ink Tattoo
 (Photograph: Jakob N. Layman)
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Photograph: Jakob N. Layman
Ink Ink Tattoo
 (Photograph: Jakob N. Layman)
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Photograph: Jakob N. Layman
Ink Ink Tattoo
 (Photograph: Jakob N. Layman)
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Photograph: Jakob N. Layman
Ink Ink Tattoo

RECOMMENDED: The 10 best tattoo artists in LA

Time Out: Do you remember the first tattoo you ever did?

S: You always remember your first tattoo, like the first time you had sex. Mine was actually a touch-up. A long time ago, you had to start out doing a tattoo apprenticeship that lasted anywhere from nine months to three years, and my master wouldn't let me do lines until I learned how to do color. Lines are much harder to do, because you can spot a mistake immediately. Someone came in once with a scorpio symbol with a rose that had faded, and I was allowed to touch up the color. Holding the machine kind of felt like having an electric hamster in your hand!

Time Out: How would you describe your style now?
S: 
Original and unique and hopefully humorous, based on the client's wishes.

Time Out: How did you pair up with Karina, your tattoo partner at Ink Ink?
S: I first started tattooing in 1992, and I started working with Karina in 1999, so it'll be 15 years of us working together this year. I was looking for a comfortable place to work on my clients closer to home, so I approached her and she said yes. We have an extraordinary partnership. Just a couple of goofball girls with tools, old-school values and twisted senses of humor, lucky to enjoy one another's company in this wacky business.

Time Out: What is your rapport with clients like?
S: I'm truly blessed with wonderful clients, and we collaborate on ideas. Sometimes we chat during the session, sometimes we laugh, and sometimes they take a nap. If they're happy, I'm happy.

Time Out: What's the strangest tattoo you've ever been asked to do?Or the strangest situation you've ever been in while tattooing?
S: A name on someone who didn't know anyone with the name I tattooed on them! Then there was a woman who kept yelling "Me love you long time!" during the entire two-hour tattoo! I've tattooed during an earthquake and a power failure, but luckily I work with DC/battery and it was daytime, so we just kept going.

Time Out: What is your favorite music to tattoo to?
S: We listen to music from the 1930's to the early '90's, and mix it up. Our clients are always surprised. Basically, we like anything that sounds like the musicians were actually playing in the same room together.

 

RECOMMENDED: The 10 best tattoo artists in LA

Follow Amanda Montell on Twitter: @AmandaMontell1

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