In Pursuit

Featuring

Jess
Tattoo Artist

Wearing

Top

Evening Club

Sports Bra

Adidas

Pants

Evening Club

Shoes

Buffalo

Accessories

Topshop

You wear many caps—from making music, to running a vintage apparel shop, and being a tattoo artist. How do you manage them all?
I know this sounds like a non-answer, but I’m very motivated to try out everything (laughs). Something that helps is that I live alone, so my list of restrictions are a lot lesser than what I might have if I were staying with my parents. There are also sacrifices you have to be willing to make: Singapore’s an expensive city to survive in, and sometimes you have to prioritise survival instead of artistic pursuit.

How does a day in your life look like?
I try to limit my work hours to about six hours a day, but I’d work every day of the week so I can complete everything I have. My days are quite varied, because it depends on the projects I need to work on. Some days, it’s more collaborative and communal work. Other days, I’m working on an idea for a client project or exploring new tattoo designs. Creativity needs a degree of freedom to survive and truly thrive, and the 9-to-5 grind of the corporate world can be stifling to artists.

You mentioned you’ve been bleaching your hair since the age of 16—what’s the secret behind keeping your hair healthy?
Don’t wash your hair everyday—that’s one of the most important tricks. The oil from your scalp is so necessary to encouraging growth and retaining moisture, especially if you bleach or dye your hair regularly. A good hair mask, conditioner, and regular trims are also key to maintaining healthy hair.

What’s a personal project you’re currently working on?
I’m currently brushing up on my Japanese. I like to immerse myself in the culture of the country that I’m visiting or going to visit—I think it helps you see a side of the place that isn’t tourist-targeted. Before Covid-19 struck, I had been planning to visit Japan to meet a friend, but while it’s on hold, I’m working on the language aspect so I don’t get stuck in a convenience store (laughs).

What would say is the hardest part about being a freelancer?
Late payments, cliffhangers or ghosting, and creating to earn money rather than creating for the sake of it.

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