What was it like growing up in Finland and how did it shape you as an artist?
I personally feel that Finland can be a very cold environment to live in, and by that I’m not referring to the obvious issues with a northern climate, but rather the way people are introverted. I spent my childhood drawing and entertaining myself. It was my favorite pastime, and that grew into a career as an art teacher, and later as an artist and tattooist.
What led you to leave Finland and begin a new career halfway around the world?
I never felt like I fit in Finland culturally. I enjoy working in customer service and I enjoy talking to people. One of the best parts of being a tattooist is the ability to meet interesting clients and spend time talking about their lives, loves and careers. In Finland, the people never would open up and lacked the passion for life I was seeking.
Which came first: your career as a model or as a tattoo artist?
Oh God, I still cringe when the term “model” is used. I do not know why. But yes, being a model definitely came first. I took up modeling as a hobby to make new friends and find a pastime that included something creative rather than sitting at bars. Later on, that hobby turned into organized commercial modeling. Although, fairly short lived it was an eye-opening experience. I am beyond grateful I did it for as long as I did and I am humbled for the connections and friendships I made during those years.
What is the biggest misconception people have about tattoo artists who model?
I don’t know if there are any misconceptions, other than the stereotypes. In the end, the path I took had little to do with tattoos or tattooing, so it is hard to comment.
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