I have been obsessed with arts and crafts all of my life. Since 1995 I have devoted most of that energy to tattoos of the natural world. In 2004, I helped found Diving Swallow Custom Tattoo where I live in Oakland, California. I am deeply inspired by my fellow female and gender queer artists at Diving Swallow and love the diverse and creative community that we have had the privilege to serve over the years. I am tremendously grateful to the many wonderful clients who have chosen to work with me–they have enriched my world in countless ways. My primary artistic satisfaction comes from collaborating with clients to create an image on their body that brings them joy.
I am now in my last decade of tattooing. While I wish to continue translating my clients’ particular imagery, I also find myself drawn to working up artistic ideas from my own inspirations that I hope will resonate with some of my clients. I would like to tattoo more of the native flora and fauna of Northern California in a manner that has an affinity with the Birds and Flowers woodblock print series of Rakusan Tsuchiya’s from the late 1920s. I’m not wanting to imitate Japanese art, but rather continue with a trend in my work towards a more stylized realism that shares something with Rakusan’s sensibility. I especially love Rakusan’s depiction of particular plants and animals within a very specific moment and season.
In 2012 my husband and I established the Elder Creek Center for The Land at my other home in the north Sacramento Valley. Our work there is very much about learning from relationships within our specific living community as it moves through the seasons in order to better live in a regenerative manner within it. So it is a natural extension of that life work to create art from those relationships that I love. Please visit my photos page for seasonally appropriate pictures I’ve taken of some of the plants and animals that most inspire me.
Thank you so much for taking the time to read about my work! –Marie