In our latest Tattoo Artist feature we delve into the story, and making of, full time artist, Sarah Jardim. From the early days of first starting out to now owning and running her own studio, Autumn Tattoo Studio, find out more below.
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Full name: Sarah Jessica Jardim (@sarah_jardim)
Shop: Autumn Tattoo Studio
Years tattooing: 3 1/2 years
Tattoo style: Pending
Hourly rate: R1000 ph
Tell us your story of how you became a full time tattoo artist?
In all honesty I was just very, very, lucky. Before I became a tattoo artist I was working as an in-hospital physiotherapist, mostly in ICU. After a while the emotional strain became too much for me to handle and I knew I had to make a change. I had always been drawn to something in the art world, and fortunately for me I had spent a lot of time at Fallen Heroes (@fallenheroes). They saw something in me that I did not see in myself, and took me in. It was an incredible experience and such a blessing to learn in a shop with so many talented artists. I will always be grateful for the opportunity they gave me. I must also say I’m thankful for my parents support during such a drastic career change.
If you weren’t a tattoo artist, what would you be doing professionally?
Realistically I’d probably still be a physiotherapist. However, had we been speaking hypothetically, I’d say second to tattooing, my dream job would be an aerialist in a traveling circus.
What first attracted you to the industry, and what drives your passion for it now?
Initially what pulled me to the industry was seeing the versatility in tattooing. I had watched many artists create masterpieces, it blew my mind and lit a fire in me. Now I’d say what drives my passion is the constant desire to improve as an artist, as well as meeting people from all walks of life. From clients to other artists, its been an honour every step of the way.
What style of tattoo do you enjoy creating the most, and why?
One of my favourite things about tattooing is the fact that one medium can create so many different styles. As a result it’s been really difficult for me to figure out which style I love the most. I mostly do animal portraits as I have a fascination with trying to create texture and detail, however I also love the freedom of watercolour. More importantly I think it may be too soon in my career for me to specialise in any one thing, there is still way too much to learn.
What were some of the hardest skills to learn when you were first starting out?
One of the greatest challenges for me was, and still is, to take a client’s vision and turn it into something that works with the body and that they will love forever. It’s a huge honour every time someone chooses you to tattoo them, so taking what’s in their head and turning it into a design that flows nicely and portrays their message is always a high pressure moment.
How do you like to make sure you keep progressing as an artist?
For me it’s about never letting myself get comfortable, and how that started was by deciding I’d never say no to anything (within reason of course). The second is to always be around other artists. I have had the incredible luxury of being able to travel and tattoo. With every new artist I work with I try to watch as much as I can and ask as many annoying questions as possible. Since for now there are no conventions and no travelling, my new goal is to meet up with other studios. We just had a drawing session with the wonderful artists at The Painted Lady (@paintedladytattoos) and next week I plan to go watch Nicole (@twiggzy_tattoos) do some line work for a few hours.
Tell us something most people don’t know about you?
When I was 5 years old I decided I no longer liked walking, so I did roly-poly’s everywhere, even up and down stairs. In fact I sometimes still do. It’s just a fun form of transport.
What have been some of the highlights of your career?
The greatest thing that has happened through tattooing is that it has helped me face many of my fears. In 2019 I booked a one way ticket to Europe and went with very little money and no real plan. Managing to work with other artists from so many different backgrounds has been the biggest highlight for sure. Finding Laura’s Tattoo Factory (@laurastattoofactory) in Brussels, my second tattoo home, has been a dream come true and I miss them dearly.
If you had the opportunity to tattoo any celebrity, who would it be and why?
I may be judged for this, but it would be Ed Sheeran. It’s a long story but I weirdly associate his music with making my own decisions and being my own person. Plus his tattoos are just ridiculous and tell great stories, and I’d love to be a part of that.
Give us some insight into your new shop, Autumn Tattoo Studio?
Our new shop is based in Bordeaux, Randburg. Myself and my partner, River Makings, wanted to create an environment that better suits who we are as people, as well as artists. Our studio is private, relaxing, and you are surrounded by imaginary from our different backgrounds, including River’s circus photography. A long term goal would be to create a place where artists can come guest. This is important to me as so many other studio’s have taken me in and helped me grow.
Tattoos by Sarah Jardim
Photos by Alexander Wolf Photography.