Advertisement: Click here to learn how to Generate Art From Text
We talked to this Russian-born artist who works in Munich and amazes with her refined works. Find out more about this real “nature storyteller”.
Sofia, did you always want to be a tattoo artist in life or did you come to this profession after other life experiences?
I never thought I’d become a tattoo artist and be lucky enough to find myself. I have a bachelor’s degree in translation but I knew I don’t want to translate for a living. So I worked as a SEO specialist and I liked it a lot, but I felt that there was something missing, something not right.
I always drew as a hobby and loved tattoos, so one day I just realised that I should try tattooing… And it turned out to be something that really makes me happy!
I know that your surname is ‘Lanbina’. So what are your origins? You have a very Italian-sounding name, you know?
(laughs) Well, I’m from Russia but I get what you mean. However, it’s read with the stress on the first “A” which makes it sound less Italian!
They called you a “nature storyteller” even before you were a tattoo artist. Do you find yourself in this definition?
People who come to me with a tattoo idea often want a tattoo to represent some story, memory or person. I believe you can achieve that by creating a flower/plant/nature tattoo.
From the top of my head, whenever you’d like to get a tattoo representing a person, you don’t have to get their name tattooed.
You can rather make it less obvious and more interesting by assigning a flower for this specific person.
Why mainly flower subjects? I know that they represent 90% of your artistic universe…
I was influenced a lot by flowers, growing up. We always had flowers at home, so it’s just something that feels really familiar to me. Spending time in nature, I always did quick sketches of different plants in my sketchbook. All this made me feel very confident and at peace creating flower designs.
I know that your technique involves freehand tattooing without the aid of any stencils. Is this a way of feeling more comfortable with your vision of art?
I’ve started using the freehand technique because it makes the experience truly personalized. I create designs right on the body considering the flow of that particular placement and the specifics of a particular person like birthmarks or scars.
Since there is no initial design, I come up with all the details right while tattooing which is my favourite part.
It helps me create a perfect tattoo and I love my clients for trusting me enough to let me do this for them!
Your work is very delicate, ethereal, graceful that seem to almost touch the skin rather than tattoo it deep into the epidermis. Do you agree with me?
I agree. My tattoos look very delicate, it’s achieved by using a single needle and not only black but also grey tones. However, the ink goes deep enough into the dermis to heal perfectly. I share a lot of healed tattoos on my Instagram (IG: @betstattoo).
Tell me about your private tattoo studio? It’s in Munich, right?
That’s right! I have a private studio in Munich where I work on my own. It has a very calm and welcoming atmosphere full of light and plants.
Do you listen to music when you tattoo? Do sounds and melodies help you to stay focused?
I always turn on some music at my studio, I like it to be in the background but I never listen to music in headphones while tattooing because this makes me feel disconnected with a client.
I like being present, knowing what’s going on around me and speaking to a client whenever I want.
I love music though, it plays a big part in my life. I mostly listen to rock, country and folk music. I have several favourite bands, some of them are All Time Low, Rise Against and Sum 41.
And your last famous words are… ?
Chase your fears, guys – it’s so worth it!