Interview with the owner of ‘Rebel Tattoo Riga’, a tattoo artist, expert in the Realistic style, and beauty all chanced to be in front of the camera at once.
Hi Regina, can you tell me something about yourself?
I was born and am currently based in Riga, Latvia. I discovered my passion for tattooing when I was 16 years old while watching ‘Miami Ink’ and decided to try tattooing myself. Didn’t like it at first but tried it again two years later and since I was living in a small town people noticed me quite fast and I had a lot work.
You started your career as a model and then became a tattoo artist? Or has tattooing always been high on your list of goals to accomplish?
I can’t say that I ever had a model career! (laughs) Photography is just something I always liked. Before becoming a tattoo artist I was a photographer doing photo shoots for others and I never even thought about me being in front of the camera.
Then something changed, didn’t it?
Yeah. After discovering my passion for tattooing I grew more confident in myself and started to show my face in the pictures more and more and people seemed to like it. I think it’s very important for clients to see how their tattoo artist looks to feel if they want to get tattooed by such a person or not; but a pretty face definitely should not be the main criteria when choosing an artist.
How did you discover that Realistic tattooing would be your go-to style? Have you always enjoyed drawing people’s faces?
Yes. I always loved drawing faces and when I started tattooing I already knew this would be my style. In my 10 year tattoo artist career I’ve never doubted my decision and couldn’t imagine doing something different.
What is your dream portrait that you currently haven’t had a chance to tattoo on your client’s skin?
I’d love to do a Scarface/Al Pacino portrait in colour.
Tell me about your kingdom, aka ‘Rebel Tattoo Riga’ which is based in the city of the same name…
‘Rebel tattoo Riga’ (IG: @rebeltattooriga) is always developing and will never stop. I started this business in a space just 16 metres square around 7 years ago and now ‘Rebel’ is one of the biggest studios in Latvia with 5 great artists (Oskars, Davids, Kate and Luize) and many more to come.
My concept is to teach artists not only how to do great quality tattoos, but also to become a top level artist without constantly depending on the studio.
Let’s talk for a moment about your ink and the tattoos you sport. Is there a trusted artist you have to celebrate in particular, or does everyone who has been involved in tattooing you deserve a sincere “thank you!”?
I’d like to thank my dear friend Charly Huurman (IG: @charlyhuurman) who invited me to my first solo guestspot to his studio ‘Utopian Tattoo Tribe’ (IG: @utopiantattootribe) in Valencia. It took me out of my comfort zone and opened my eyes to the whole tattoo industry and freedom that tattoo artists can have.
Who is that wild man (I can’t find any other word for him) you have on your right arm?
It’s a slightly modified picture of the Aghori man taken by Joe.
Can you give us a sneak preview of a project close to your heart that you would like to see become a reality in 2022?
My main goal for 2022 is to develop the first clothing collection (more info here – IG: @meraett. Ed); teach young tattoo artists how to become better and more ambitious; find a way to be more, even more sustainable and eco-friendly as a tattoo artist.
And your famous last words to Tattoo Life readers are…?