Tattoo Artist Kelly Violet at the London Tattoo Convention 2017

There’s more than just a pair of skillful hands behind these lovely tattoos in black. There is plenty to discover: music, films, books, passions, and a philosophy of life.

We interviewed Kelly Violet a while ago (you can find the full article on Tattoo Life – January/February)

Read an abstract of our interview by Stefania Perosin, check out our gallery and be ready to meet her next week-end at the London Tattoo Convention!

Tattoo by Kelly Violet, Parliament Tattoo, London
Tattoo by Kelly Violet, Parliament Tattoo, London

Hi Kelly! Do you want to start by telling us a little something about yourself?
My name is Kelly Violet, and I’m a tattooist working in London. I grew up in the New Forest in Hampshire so I’m used to being surrounded by feral deer and vast expanses of sweeping green beauty. I’m now privy to aggressive broadband salespeople, 1 litre lattes, low tolerance of slow-walking people, and grey concrete landscapes.

I’d like to hear more about the young woman you used to be, with your strange hairstyles and unusual tastes in music and art. What school did you attend, and what did you do in your free time?
I’m an old DIY punk, always have been, always will be. I try my hardest to live by that ethos. That music is a massive part of my life and the community involved with it that I’ve had the pleasure of surrounding myself with, has shaped the person I am today. I was brought up to treat others as you’d wish to be treated yourself. Being thoughtful, and not a dick is a good combo. I try and not dwell on the past too much as it’s been a pretty bumpy road, but full of learning curves that I’m grateful for, and will forever be putting to use.

Let’s talk about your style: predominant black, traditional and new traditional, graphics and illustration, femininity, a touch of dark and vintage. Did I choose the right words to describe your work?
I try to cater to each individual client and the impression I get from them via the booking process, so I can come up with something that suits us both equally. I mean, everyone will have a different way of describing an artist’s work as it will speak to people in different ways. I would never say someone’s opinion was wrong as I think it’s subjective. Personally, I very much like to think of my work as gender neutral. Femininity isn’t something I’m accustomed to being or exuding, and apart from my obviously massive boobs, I try to keep gender as far away from my career as humanly possible. I’ve never let it become a defining factor in anything I do, from being in bands to the way I dress.

Tattoo by Kelly Violet, Parliament Tattoo, London
Kelly Violet, Parliament Tattoo, London