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Heather Sutherland



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Heather Sutherland

Name: Heather Sutherland


Age: 34

Location: San Diego, Ca

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BAW: What made you want to become a Tattoo Artist?
I have always been an artist and I had alot of friends that were either tattooing or tattooed... it seemed like a natural progression for me.

BAW: Who are your influences?
: That is a tough question because there are so many talented artists out there that I have watched from afar and admired. I think the biggest influence for me was Dean Semple from Streamline Tattoo in San diego who actually helped me get started and Katherine Gossett, my boss at Dogstar Tattoo.... both amazing artists.

BAW: What is your favorite style of work?
Of course I love "the New Oldschool" style of tattooing. But lately I have really been enthralled with some aspects of putting realism and dimension in a tattoo. Stone objects and black and grey. Stuff like that.

BAW: Tell us about your first Tattoo Inkspierence?
If you mean my first tattoo... well Dean Semple put it on me. It was my astrological symbol on my ankle. A good friend of mine and I got it together. It was a great experience. Dean is a wonderful Tattooist. This was 10 years ago.

BAW: What is your favorite piece you own?
Wow. That is a tough question as well,I love all my tattoos. I take great care when deciding on a tattoo. I currently have 5. But, there is a tattoo on my lower back that I designed that I love. Glenn Wilson did it about a year and a half ago.

BAW: What is your most memorable Tattoo given and why?
That would have to be a tribal shark that I put on another tattoo artist in LA. It was my very first tattoo.

BAW: What is your most outrageous tattoo given and why?
Nothing to me seems outrageous.

BAW: Is there a part of the body you won't Tattoo and why?
I don't tattoo genitalia by choice.

BAW: Do you feel that female Tattoo Artists are treated fairly in the business? How do you feel things have changed for women in tattooing as well as yourself and when you started out.
HS: Being a female in this business has both advantages and
disadvantages. It can be very hard dealing with male artists especially if they have been tattooing for a long time. Some men just have issues with women already and that comes out at work if you question something they might be doing that could be considered wrong or outdated. For the most part I get treated pretty well in this industry. But I have also
had mostly female bosses. I think that women tattoo artists are much more accepted and respected now and alot of shops like having a female artist working for them. I also find that alot of customers feel more comfortable with a female artist.

BAW: Do you support supply co. that sells to the public?
I don't agree with that mostly because the product those companies sell are inferior and hard to use. So someone that doesn't know what they are doing already is really going to mess someone's tattoo up.

BAW: Do you feel there now should be mandatory schooling for soon to be tattoo artists?
 I think that a mandatory course on sterilization and cross
contamination would be good but as far as a tattoo college... well I don't think so.

BAW: Do you feel Tattooing has changed over the years, and if so why?
Absolutely! Almost everything about it has completely progressed and tattooing is a respected art form now. You can create a masterpiece on someone's flesh. It is amazing!
Of course you still must respect the old timers because what they were doing back in the day was way ahead of their time. Sailor Jerry kicks ass!

BAW: Do you think it is important to do as many conventions and shows as possible?
Not really. It is a great experience though and I have worked at the Inkslingers Ball in LA with Art and Soul Tattoo Co.( a kickass shop in LA) But I think that conventions are kind of big shmooz fests. And that's cool but I don't think it is vital to your career. It is a great place to watch the big shots in action though and to buy up lots of cool flash.

BAW: What advise can you give to someone who is starting or looking to get into the tattoo business?
HS: It takes alot of dedication to become a GOOD Tattooist. And that is the key. There are a lot of good Tattooist but there are far more very bad Tattooist out there. And that is NOT what you want to be. If you really want to tattoo for a living you will feel it in every fiber of your being and you will find a way to make it happen. Art background is essential if you don't have it take some classes first.

BAW: What could you say to someone who has had a bad first Inkspierence?
Take it in stride and hope that it can be covered up or lazered off. Always, Always ask to see the artists portfolio before you get tattooed by him/her.

BAW: Please share any other comments or views or questions to the public you might have.
I love what I do and I feel extremely lucky to have had the help and opportunity that I have. 

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