Discovering a nomadic tattoo artist (now working between Holland and Scotland) who would like to create in the most incredible places on Earth simply because she believes in freedom.
Hello Maiza, can you tell me how you found out you wanted to be a tattoo artist in your life?
I found out I wanted to be a tattoo artist when I was 19 years old (now I’m 29). I started drawing very late – around 17 years old – just after a tense period of my life where I had to do a surgery to figure out if I had cancer or not. Because I didn’t know if I would live long with the freedom of not going to a hospital, well, I started to try new things – skateboarding , graffiti etc. This is when I started to draw and like tattoos.
I didn’t know how to draw until I first tried and got some sort of special comfort in that.
When did you get your first tattoo ever?
At the age of 18. I had saved the money my mom was giving me for my lunch at the school. For 5 months at least, just to pay for my chest tattoo, which was my first one! (laughs)
Do you have a definition for your tattooing style (if there is one)? For me, you know to mix a lot of influences: NewTrad, oriental vibes, floral subjects, surrealist digressions etc.
Well, I think my style today is still in development. I mean – I started to mix NewTrad with botanical vibes and using more thin lines. Before I was following instead the rules of NewTrad and Neo Japanese style and it was as if it did not fully represent me.
Then there was a defining event in your life, right?
Yeah, I came to Ireland for a short trip and started to buy so many Celtic books. I fell in love with poems, fantasy, fairy tales and feelings. In the past there was this lack of feelings into my art and now I put my heart in all my works and I don’t follow any rules, believes or limitations. Everything I want is to translate feelings, but those old good feelings that makes us feel alive.
I like a lot of poems and I try to create tattoo designs based on that “short words that touched my heart”.
I’m a dreamer and I want to touch people’s heart with my work. I want they to look at it, stop for a second and try to understand.
With your sandals, sneakers or flats, often scooting through city streets, you give me the impression that you are a tattoo artist always on the run? Am I wrong?
Yes, I’ve been a traveller since always! I like to explore landscapes, foreign places etc. Many times while you are tattooing the whole day exploring is not possible. So I have to get up early to catch the sunrise and do something fun with my mornings. I try to show a bit of it when I’m making my videos on Instagram. (smiles) The process behind for me is so important. From waking up in the morning until I start to work, this is a long process, that I’ve been in love with for so long; and I like to show it. I run for enjoying life and make what I love the most.
I have seen thousands of tattoo artists working in their studios or at conventions but I swear I have never in my life seen anyone tattooing in an idyllic mountain landscape…
Well, I have a strange connection with mountains and I follow many professional video-makers, I mean people who make videos for storytelling. Those videos that transport you to another place, in magical beautiful places. Those videos always inspired me the most for the “fantasy” they show. Inspired by storytelling and adding my love to the mountains which always have been inspiring me so much, I decided to make a video directly there. In a place that brings me so much joy, inspiration and keeps this feeling of dreaming inside of me alive. I was so happy!
What do you achieve most in life? Feeling free to roam the world or winning awards and receiving hundreds of appreciations related to your craft of tattooing?
I think I achived more than I could ever thought. I’m very thankful for everything, I love to be part of people’s life and I know – even though we are all different – there is something that connects us. And, yeah, I have a few fantasies to achive and it’s not very commom as I don’t know how to make it! (laughs)
I speak about tattooing between icebergs in Antartica or Greenland or even in the desert. Maybe one day in front of the pyramids in Egypt…
Staying in more conventional territory will you be attending tattoo conventions soon?
Actually this March I will be at ‘Scottish Tattoo Convention’ (IG: @scottishtattooconvention) for fun and in May I will be at ‘Wild Tattoo Show’ (IG: @wildtattooshow) in Belgium as a member of the jury.
Would you like to name your trusted tattoo artists who have “decorated” your body?
I love the majority of my tattoos but my favorite one is my arm with peonies made by Rodrigo Souto (IG: @rodrigosoutobueno) who lives in London and has been doing his amazing work for a very long time. I also have something related to painting done by Hannah Flowers (IG: @hannahflowers_tattoos) which I love. Other tattoos that I love so much are my Vincent Van Gogh and Anne Frank portraits right at the back of my knee, made by Francisco Lourenço (IG: @francisco_lim) in Brazil. Those were painful! (laughs)
When you write on your Instagram page that you live between Holland (Amsterdam) and Scotland (Glasgow), does that mean you tattoo in both these cities? Do you have well known tattoo studios in the city or private locations where you meet clients?
I am a nomad at the moment. I just added Amsterdam and Glasgow as my next stops for work. I do love to work in private studios because I can be freer with time. You know, my work takes me very long time, many tattoo shops are not so flexible with time and they want you to finish within a certain time; and I definitely don’t like to work with pressure!
Can you describe your ideal day?
My ideal day is always going to start with some nice indie-folk songs. My favorites have always been Florence & The Machine, Of Monsters and Men or some dream pop acts such as Cigarettes After Sex. I love to go out to take street photographs. I like to see people as raw in photography and, of course, go for nice places with a beautiful landscape just to draw. I have a nice dinner alone (or with a friend) and of course I drink a lot of Matcha tea throughout my day.
You are a redhaired girl and red hair for me have a strong attitude. So your last famous words are… ?
Yes, I am and I would say my last famous words are “your work is too different to sell’’.