We interviewed the gritty Ukrainian metal singer and made her talk about the Quetzalcoatl serpent, Frida Khalo, Native Americans and stylish Jinjer artworks.
Hi Tatiana, you said in a previous interview – I quote – “I don’t have any special meaning to any of my tattoos». Is thatt really so?
Well, maybe I didn’t express myself correctly. Most of them are dedicated to a certain theme, but if you ask me “Why this image in particular?”, I don’t have an answer.
The reason is I loved that particular picture enough to get it tattooed on my skin.
Who did that Quetzalcoatl (feathered serpent) on your throat?
It was a guy from “Barma Tattoo Studio” in Kiev (Ukraine). I try to visit different tattoo artists as I am in search of the right one…
By the way are your favourite tattoo artists all Ukrainians?
Mostly I got tattooed by Ukrainians because I only had time for that in between tours when I got back home. But I also have tattoos from foreign artists: USA and Japan. Unfortunately, I can’t tell much about Ukrainian tattoo studios, because I don’t remember them all, plus they might not exist any more.
Whysome Native American characters (Big Chief and his granddaughter) tattooed on your right arm? Do you feel close to those fascinating cultures?
Two or three years ago I spent two whole weeks at home watching movies and documentaries about the First Nation. It was super inspiring for me! I even started to make beaded jewellery with Native American ornaments.
That was my only way to express love, admiration and support to these brave men and women…
One of your most amazing tattoos is that smash-up between Amy Winehouse and Frida Khalo on your left arm. Who made it and how did you get that brilliant idea?
I found this portrait on the internet some time ago. It was painted by Argentinean artist Carolina Gallo. So as you can see the idea is not mine. I don’t remember the tattoo artist’s name but it doesn’t matter to me, because he was not a very polite person.
On your left sleeve you have dotwork tattoos and some Mandala subjects. Is it just an aesthetic thing or is there “something more” behind it?
Well, behind it there’s a crappy tattoo that needed to be covered, that’s all! (laughs) Definitely just an aesthetic thing.
Do you think the “Macro” artwork (Jinjer’s last album released in October 2019) has a chance of being transformed into a colourful tattoo by some of your diehard fans?
You know, I am pretty sure there are tattoo-friendly influences on those artworks out there… (smiles)
In my opinin the “Macro” artwork in particular and the “Cloud Factory” too (I mean the 2014 skeleton in stylish clothes) have a great tattoo art appeal.
Yeah! I think I’ve seen some of them, especially the skeleton, which is awesome!
Read the continuation of the interview with Tatiana Shmailyuk of Jinjer in a future issue of Tattoo Life magazine.