If you're a bar-goer in Saint Louis, and have an affinity for alternative or indie music, and have frequented fashion events, you might have bumped into this groovy lady at some point. Brittany Browers has been DJing for several years, for both party people and stylish folks. She's also spent a good deal of time collecting a variety of tattoos. Welcome to our first installation of #TatChatTuesday, where I feature friends and their love of this old art form!
When it comes to “collecting,” Brittany and I both share the same background: we’ve both always wanted to join the tattoo crew. She says, “As long as I can remember as a kid, I would draw on myself and pretend they were tattoos (I mean, that's what gel pens were for, right?).” With about 10 pieces, Brittany says that a few of her pieces are significant, but others represent something she likes. For as long as I’ve known her, I can recall her interest in extraterrestrial life, which the beautiful work photographed in this post showcases (find the artist that did her UFO tattoo here). One of the best things about getting a tattoo to represent something you’re passionate about is that it can be done in just about any way - including humorous ways!
Everyone collects tattoos for their own personal reasons, but I also agree with Brittany when she says "I also feel like someone can tell a lot about me by the subject matter of tattoos." We both have work by Lauren Busiere, an artist you might remember hearing about a few times on my blog (here and here). Lauren has referred to a lot of her work as "cosmic jewelry," and Brittany views her collection as a sort of "permanent jewelry," which also echoes my opinion. It's art that I will have forever.
Speaking of the permanency of ink, Brittany has a few thoughts for those considering to jump into a chair: "Make sure it's something you're committed to. Even if it's 'funny' or a 'joke' tattoo (hey, we all have 'em), that shit is going to be on you forever, so make sure it's something you're ok with for always. For example, when getting a Friday the 13th tattoo, I almost got a little beer mug. Funny now, yes, but then I thought about being like, a 50 year old mom or something, and did I really want beer on me? The answer was no. So I went with something else (the little dice duo you see pictured)."
One of the questions people often ask is "Does it hurt?" Every location on your body is different, and everyone handles the pain in their own way. Brittany has a gramophone done by Lauren Busiere on the inside of her upper arm, and says that it was likely her most rough piece to receive. She pointed out that in the same tattoo piece, one part may hurt much worse than the other, and I can confirm this! I have a large piece on my right leg, and the back of my thigh is infinitely more tender than just several inches over. Something I always reiterate to folks interested in starting a collection of their own is this: getting tattooed is essentially undergoing a prolonged moment of receiving an injury, and you will have to learn how your body reacts to it. Brittany suggests paying attention to your breathing and focusing on that helps her stay steady during sessions.
I asked Brittany if there was anything she wishes she'd known about tattoos before diving into a collection, and she says that being warned how addictive they truly are may have helped. She says, "I don't know of anybody who has just one tattoo and is totally satisfied with having just one. I'm sure those people are out there, but I don't know them." I myself will realize that I'm in the middle of getting tattooed, and my mind wanders off to what I might potentially want next! Brittany says she's also almost always thinking about what is next on the docket for ink - even if it just happens to strike her out of the blue.
A lot of people have a dream tattoo that they're chasing down. Some people get it immediately, and some people take a few years and sessions to happen upon the idea. Brittany's dream piece is a large work based on a photograph of her Nana riding a horse. Because I'm an ultra creep, I remember that Brittany once posted an Instagram of this photograph, so I dug it up for you. It's so joyous! I bet it will make a stunning tattoo, and I'm excited to see her start it.
Thanks to Brittany for being a lovely subject!
Follow her along on her own blog, Denvious, and her DJing page here.
Photography courtesy of A. Gillardi Photo.