Comics artist and gorgeous model too, Danielle leadss us towards the pleasure of Fall season with tattooed subjects “to represent transformative moments in my life”

Danielle, tell me your feelings about your feature in Tattoo Life Calendar…
My feature in Tattoo Life Calendar came as a really pleasant surprise to me!

I’ve always thought Tattoo Life featured models who were really gorgeous.

So being among so many other beautiful, tattooed, and talented women was pretty flattering.

Danielle Otrakji, ph by Cooper Naitove
Danielle Otrakji, ph by Cooper Naitove

What do you remember most about your shoot with Christian Saint?
Working with Christian Saint was awesome! He’s incredibly professional and superb at his craft. He has such a solid understanding of light and composition, and was really fun to work with. He lets the subjects direct a lot of the shoot in their own way and works really well with what they’ve got.

Tattoo model Danielle Otrakji photographed by Christian Saint
Tattoo model Danielle Otrakji photographed by Christian Saint

How did you discover tattoo art for the very first time in your life?
I always liked them. Good tattoos and bad tattoos of all kinds, whether they were polished or crude, I liked what they represented at a really young age. A lot of my cool friends, band members I loved, and respectable artists had them. I know there’s a lot of history and culture involved in tattooing, but personally I’ve always just loved how tough they look on people. I wanted to look tough too.

Danielle Otrakji, ph by Yuya Michael Ohashi
Danielle Otrakji, ph by Yuya Michael Ohashi

Do you personally draw your tattoo subjects or do you simply place your trust in a particular tattoo artist’s vision?
I’ve designed a couple of my own tattoos and brought my own sketches for tattoo artists to work from, but these days I choose who I get tattooed by based on their personal work.

I select the designs they create or ask them to design something entirely from scratch.

I think it’s important to go to an artist based on the work they enjoy producing, and not asking for artwork that isn’t in line with a tattooers skills and strengths.

Danielle Otrakji, ph by Yuya Michael Ohashi
Danielle Otrakji, ph by Yuya Michael Ohashi

Who are your favourite tattoo artists that you’ve met and worked with so far?
My favourite tattoo artists are actually a few of the guys I’ve been lucky enough to get tattooed by. Matt Buck and Chris Fernandez are two of my favourite artists and long time friends. Both amazing at their respective styles of tattooing, both really rad dudes, Cris Cleen, for his romantic and European influence and approach, and Gordie Jones, whose work is so distinctive in design and style, and truly one of a kind.

Do you have any particular subject on your skin you are especially attached to?
The use of various animals to represent transformative moments in my life, and romantic imagery, are subjects in my tattoos I seem to be drawn to most. I also love skulls!

Danielle Otrakji, ph by Greg Manis
Danielle Otrakji, ph by Greg Manis

Why a tattooed rose tied to a pair of handcuffs on your left arm?
I’m a very romantic person. Falling in love can be a restraining and shackling experience. I like that this design is simple and complicated at the same time.

I also just love the imagery of roses and handcuffs together.

Which of your tattoos is your favourite ?
“OUCH!” on my lower stomach. I played in an all girl punk band when I was a teenager and the bassist and I got matching band tattoos. It’s not the best looking one I have, but it has the greatest memories attached to it.

Danielle Otrakji, ph by Anthony Zakharia
Danielle Otrakji, ph by Anthony Zakharia

Last question: are you working on any forthcoming comics releases?
I am currently illustrating covers for “The Beauty and Hackslash” with Image Comics and would love to continue to do so! I’m aiming to produce a comic in the upcoming months that is in the genre of horror, and hope to collaborate with some very talented writers and artists on it.

Follow Danielle on Instagram: @danielleotrakji