Women in the Tattoo World: Portrait of Em Scott

Em Scott is aN extremely talented tattoo artist working in Los Angeles, from Southern California. She is born and raised in Los Angeles and grew up around classic cars, bikes, tattoos, music, art, LA lifestyle since the beginning. Her Grand Father was a painter and her parents are musicians. She has been drawing script and painting since she could hold a pencil.

She was attracted to art and became interested in tattoos when she was real young… She got her first tattoo at 16. At the age of 18 she started to get more tattoos from Kevin Hinton (an old timer with more than 30 years experience) in Venice Beach. At the time she was designing streetwear clothes next door to his tattoo studio. They became friends and he could see that she had artistic ability to draw and paint. He was about to open a bigger shop and asked to take her on as his apprentice. At that time, she was balancing designing streetwear, working in a coffee shop, as well as trying to sell her paintings. But making money and finding a way to make a living with fine art and streetwear was difficult.

Em Scott by Zozios
Em Scott by Zozios

She didn’t know where tattooing would lead her, but she decided to give it a go. She started her apprenticeship with Kevin. She tattooed herself and some friends that were down to be a guinea pig and shortly after began tattooing walk ins. He taught her everything that he knew and she worked under his supervision for the next 3 years. She was already doing lettering and was really interested in fine line black and grey tattoos but she didn’t know at the time that it will be her style.

She never gave much thought about being a woman in a male dominated industry. For her, everything was about the art… and nothing else. Kevin Hinton was really open minded. He saw in her as a serious woman focused on drawing and learning the craft. So during their partnership, she was able to tattoo any customer’s wish walking through the door. She did traditional, tribal tattoos, Japanese flowers… and her mentor told her not to worry about her style, adding that it would come with time naturally. Learning how to tattoo was extremely difficult and trying.

She started tattooing pretty young and it took a few years for things to sync in, but quickly her work began to speak for itself.

She later moved to another shop in Venice beach for a couple of years where she continued to take walk ins. There she learned about life and it it definitely helped her to get more matured… but the experience was weird and complicated. It was time to move on.

She packed her bags and moved to Hollywood where she ended up getting a job working with Chente Rios at Under The Gun Tattoo. She has been working there for more than 5 years now and it is the place where she has found her style.

She met Robert Atkinson at Under The Gun. He would come tattoo Chente and his wife at the shop and later Em got a bunch of tattoos from him. They became friends and Robert opened his shop. She considers the talented artists at Under The Gun and Ten Thousand Waves to be like family and she works between the two shops when she is in Los Angeles.

Even though Em does fine line black and grey tattoos, her own personal tattoos are a mixture of black and grey, realistic and a lot of japanese tattoos… At «Under the Gun» she feels inspired by all black and grey and lettering artists as everyone there does Black & Grey, realistic and fine line tattoos. At «Ten Thousands Waves» she gets to hang around some amazing Japanese tattooers who have been tattooing since the 90s.

The past 5 or 6 years she has been guest spotting and doing at a lot of tattoo conventions in the states as well as in Europe (especially in Netherlands – Amsterdam).

Throughout her tattoo career she has gotten tattooed by people she has looked up to since the beginning. Making these connections and developing these relationships has taught her so much and has shaped who she is as a tattooer. She has met all her tattoo heroes. A lot of whom she has worked along side and who have also now become close friends of hers.

When she started getting into tattooing, her mentor opened her eyes to some amazing tattoo artists that he looked up to, one of which was Filip Leu. Em always wanted to get tattooed by Filip. For 10 years, she was saving her left arm to get tattooed by him and through mutual friends was able to get a tattoo appointment with Filip. She went out to his shop in St. Croix where he tattooed the majority of her arm in 5 hours.

Like her idols, she works very hard, always trying to grow and learn something new. Queen of Roses, «single needle goddess», her fine line art will definitely blow your mind…

Em Scott by Zozios
Em Scott by Zozios
Contacts:
Em Scott on Instagram: @emscottla
Under The Gun on Instagram: @utgink
Chente on Instagram: @chente_tattoo
Ten Thousands Waves on Instagram: @tenthousandwavestattoo
Robert Atkinson on Instagram: @robertatkinson_tattoo