Feeling Inspired? Share this Artist
I had a painting studio next to a methadone clinic on 37th street and was spending a lot of time getting tattooed and hanging out at the shop.Zoe Bean
LadyTattooers: What year did you start tattooing
Zoe Bean: I did my first tattoo in 2005. I finished my apprenticeship and started tattooing for money in 2008.
LT: What did you do before tattooing?
ZB: I was living inIn Chelsea (Manhattan) bartending and trying to be a painter. I had a painting studio next to a methadone clinic on 37th street and was spending a lot of time getting tattooed and hanging out at the shop. I also have two masters degrees that I’ll be paying for for the rest of my life.
LT: Describe your first tattoo experience?
ZB: I was 15 and in some guys apartment in NYC – tattooing was still illegal in NY so it wasn’t that easy to find someone to get tattooed by. I don’t remember the guys name, just how mean he was. I felt lucky to walk out of there alive.
LT: How much of your body is tattooed?
ZB: A good amount of me is covered and yes, I always want more.
LT: What’s your opinion of hand and neck tattoos?
ZB: I think that they are something that should be earned by having a large part of the rest of your body tattooed. I will rarely do them.
LT: What do you do for fun besides tattooing?
ZB: For fun – I like to cook and bake. I obsessively make ice cream. In general if I like you, I’m gonna feed you.
ZOE’S THOUGHTS ON SOCIAL MEDIA, HER INSPIRATIONS AND MORE…
LT: Has social media affected your career?
ZB: I think it has been a useful tool in someways and a soul crushing ego killer in other ways. However I do get a good number of clients through social media.
LT: What current tattooers or artists inspire you?
ZB: So many artists inspire me. The artists in my day to day life – my husband Sweety & the people I work with. Being around people making stuff always pushes me and gets me excited to make stuff too. For 10 years I shared a studio with 2 painters who’s work really continues to influence me, Emily Sartor and Lisa Sanditz. When I first started working in tattoo shops. I was very fortunate and got to work with Andrea Elston. She had already been tattooing 20 plus years at that point and was something of a quiet New York City legend. She made me want to be a tattooer. She was really different from the guys I knew who tattooed. She could go toe to toe with the guys and was really tough but she was also super nice, especially to her customers. She was feminine and pretty but not a whore and not a bimbo. I still aspire to to be like her.
LT: What style of tattooing do you prefer?
ZB: Lately I’ve been pretty obsessed with dots. I have always been interested in mark making and small details. The stippling really speaks to my aesthetic and I think it works well with the subject matter I am most draw too – plants and animals.
LT: If you could tattoo anyone pastor present, who is it?
ZB: Dolly Parton
LT: IT’S BEEN GREAT CHATTING WITH YOU ZOE, THANKS!