November 12 2013
Confessions from Kylie Gibson at Liquid Amber
Written by Gastown Admin
How long have your been tattooing? What got you interested in tattooing?
I’ve been tattooing for four years. I’ve always been an artist, but I learned that it was hard to make a living creating art. However, I saw tattooing as a means to not only do what I love everyday, but also be able to pay the rent bill.
What was your first tattoo? Was there any meaning behind it?
I received my first tattoo at eighteen in some obscure shop by some nameless lady. Needless to say, I didn’t put a lot of thought into it.
Are there any artists that have influenced you?
Everyday I discover a new artist and fall in love with their work. Some of my favourites are Jeff Gogue, Mike DeVries, Ivana Belakova, Audrey Kawasaki, and Sylvia Ji.
Do you still do traditional artwork in addition to tattooing? Does one medium influence the other?
I love to explore all mediums. I work mainly in oil and acrylics, but there are times I love using a good old fashion pencil. I find that most mediums translate and flow into one another, and that a technique developed for one lends itself to another.
How would you describe your style?
That’s a good question. I guess I would have to go with semi-realistic with a painted twist.
What do you think a client should expect from you as a tattoo artist, and what do you expect from a client to make a successful tattoo and good collaboration?
I find I do my best work when the client not only has an awesome idea, but is also willing to let me have some artistic freedom. A certain degree of trust is involved. If someone feels they have to micro manage every little detail, then I feel the creative aspect of my job to be restrained, held captive by their lack of faith in the process. If however, a client comes to me with their idea and openness to interpretation, I’m instantly inspired by possibilities.
Who are your typical clients?
I don’t feel like the clients I tattoo fit into a specific niche. In Vancouver, people from all walks of life get tattooed, from mature individuals to the barely legal.
Do you have a routine to prepare yourself before tattooing a client?
Have you ever had a client come to you and ask you to do something that you don’t feel comfortable doing?
It’s rare, but occasionally people request a private area. I generally feel like my day would just be better off not staring into the abyss of some unknown crotchal region.
What do you think makes a good tattoo? Alternatively, are there any tattoo styles/imagery that you don’t like?
I prefer to work on bigger pieces as they allow for more detail, and the longer I’m able to work on something, the more it starts to feel like a work of art.
What do you think is one of the biggest tattoo myths?
That we design and tattoo at the speed of lightning. Thank you, television.
If you could tattoo anyone in the world, who would it be?
J.K. Rowling. Really, any excuse to be in her presence, I’ll take.
If you weren’t tattooing what profession do you think you would be doing?
Paramedic or writer.
Do you have any advice for someone who is considering getting their first tattoo?
Don’t pick something generic off of a wall. And don’t do it in someone’s basement.
Liquid Amber Tattoo
62 Powell Street