An arty style that results in Illustrative mastery – Introducing Tattoo Artist, Lauren Peachfish. We catch up with Lauren getting to know her work, career and what inspires her as a full time artist.
Brought to you by Zappa.
Full name: Lauren Peachfish
Shop: Fallen Heroes
Years tattooing: 6, I think.
Tattoo style: Illustrative, Arty
Hourly rate: R1300
Give us some insight into the life of Lauren as a full time tattoo artist?
It’s busier than you’d expect! Tattooing is time-consuming, and designing tattoos is also time-consuming. So being a full-time tattoo artist is pretty consuming. But also fun and rewarding and, how did I get so lucky?!
When did you know you wanted to become a tattoo artist and what were the steps that followed?
I used to airbrush for many years and once I made a painting that someone wanted but couldn’t pay for, so they traded me a basic tattoo set-up for it. One time when I was airbrushing with Sean Perrins, he made me give him the ratchet kit I had and he went about making kak beginner tattoos all over himself and some other poor unsuspecting bastards. Then he got really really good and I said if ever there was an opportunity, I was curious to learn how also, because I wanted to be like Sean. I especially wanted my hair to be like his. When Fallen Heroes opened, he joined the team and called me up to be their apprentice. After a year of servitude and education, and some yelling from Sean, I started tattooing. A few years later, when the deafening doubt in my abilities began to ebb, and I could pay the bond for the first time in my life, I knew I wanted to become a tattoo artist.
How long did you apprentice for and under who?
For a year, and at Fallen Heroes. I was a general helping/ learning person to all four artists at the time. Sean Perrins, Jan Munky Giebelmann, Bryan du Rand and Thys Uys.
What do you feel were some of the most valuable lessons learnt while apprenticing?
Never put the ink bottles on your station when you’re pouring inks out, even if your station is clean because you haven’t started tattooing yet! Sean came for me so hard that day even my client was apologising.
What went through your mind when you tattooed a client for the first time?
I’m finally cool.
What does the average day in the life of Lauren consist of?
Wake up and hurry. Wardrobe crisis. Put make-up on while driving. Pull off a design. Tattoo all day while forcing my clients to like my music. Or at least, silently pretend to. But I prefer when they actually like it. Torture them with inane music trivia that I find exceedingly meaningful. Go home. Sometimes cook for my family. Get lost in that hopeless little screen (as Leonard Cohen so perfectly describes it). Sleep poorly because of swastika shaped toddler in the bed. Repeat.
What does the tattoo industry and its style of artwork mean to you?
It means I have found a place where no matter how talented you are, you are always humbled by how much talent there is out there. No matter how much you learn, you are always only dipping your toe into how much there is to learn. We have a love/ hate relationship, tattooing and I. I love doing it every day, but it’s such an enormous contrast to the way I’m used to making art. And I’m dying because I feel like after so many hours, so many tattoos, shouldn’t I be totally brilliant by now?!? It’s a double edged sword. On the one hand it’s gratifying and immensely enjoyable, on so many levels, and on the other it’s just this vast, mystifying, merciless ocean of technical knowledge I don’t have! I am becoming increasingly intrigued by tattoo as an art form. And I love the industry. Y’all are the best.
The evolution of the industry has changes a lot over the years. What do you feel has been the most important/ welcoming change?
I like the thing that means that tattoos are very popular these days so I keep having a job.
What do you like to do to make sure you keep progressing as an artist?
What style of tattoo do you enjoy doing the most, and why?
I like doing illustrative things. I love conceptualising pieces that need to integrate many disparate elements. I like finding harmony in design. It’s problem solving. So I like quite collaged pieces. I like quite expressive pieces. I like doing all the styles I’ve tried, really. They’re all challenging and that’s fun, mostly.
How long have you been a part of the fallen Heroes family and what’s the vibe in the shop like?
I’ve been at FH since almost the beginning, which was maybe 6 or 7 years ago? The vibe is great. I love the place. I am very spoiled. I have my own space because I’m funny that way and for some reason they tolerate me. The vibe in my room is the best vibe because I play the best music at the best volume.
Which local and international artists do you aspire to?
The artists I work with are totally top drawer, and I learn from them every day. But there are so, so many. Tattooing is so complex. Well, to me it is, and there are just so many artists bending it to their artistic will impeccably. You can get lost in looking at the mastery these artists have. It’s exciting. To name a few tremendously inspiring artists I want to throw in the towel because of: Bob Mosquito, Xoil, Maison Metamose, Mowgli, Caio Miguel, Artem.
For anyone wanting to book an appointment with you, what’s the next step?
Call or email Fallen Heroes, or message me on Instagram – @laurenpeachfish.
Tattoos by Lauren Peachfish
Photos by Alexander Wolf Photography.