Masters of Ink is a Konbini original introducing you to a whole spectrum of tattoo artists from all over the world. Custom designers specializing in every style from modern dotwork to traditional Americana tattoos – tune in for something new every week!
In many cultures, women have been responsible for the handing over of magical traditions to future generations through hand poke tattoos. And even if Tati Compton says she doesn't feel particularly connected to any tradition, her work is perfectly illustrating the beautiful link between tattooing, magic and women.
The Los Angeles-based tattoo artist's designs focus on female divas, whether it's vintage beauties to grungy heroines. Oscillating between pin-ups, artistic icons and deities, they are avoiding labels. Tati explains:
"My friend once told me that it seems like they exist in a different realm, which I took as a great compliment. I find it hard to describe them which someone attributed to making them that much better - because of my unawareness."
The style of Compton's tattoos is also part of the mysterious aspect, both in her technique and concept.
Indeed, Tati is using the method of stick and poke. When discovering body art, the artist wasn’t attracted by tattoo shops. She preferred doing them at home with friends or by herself, with her DIY materials: sewing and illustrating, she had needles and India ink already at her disposal. She tells Konbini:
"I enjoyed acting upon the moment, urge, or desire and doing it myself with no monetary transaction or anyone else’s approval needed. It was empowering which is a great trait of tattoos."
Beyond the laidback process, there is a deeper dimension linking hand poke practice with magic. Repetition (such as drumming or chanting) can open pathways to the spirit world and positive rituals. Tati’s hand poked tattoos involve a long repetitive movement that becomes quite meditative or trance-like. It can bring an extra power to her work.
"Crowley’s definition of magic is the art of effecting change in accordance with will – which can parallel getting a tattoo as one has physically changed their body in accordance with their will to.
I think that tattoos can have a positive power on people. It can complete or start something for them."
Tati's art combines the poise and spiritual eroticism of her designs with the empowering act of tattooing, but the creative mind prefers to "take it as it comes" and keep it low-profile. She says:
"I generally react to situations from my intuition. I believe that true art arises from the necessity of having to make it in order to live (as in being alive) and not even needing anyone else to see it, that it is only for yourself."
Follow Tati Compton on Instagram and see more of her work below: