Tattly Temporary Tattoos - Blog

DIY Ornaments

DIY Ornaments

Apply your favorite Tattly on simple ornaments for a unique holiday gift or party activity. Here's your step-by-step guide to creating your own Tattly DIY Ornaments.  Read more

Just because your skin is covered head to toe doesn't mean you can't still have fun applying Tattly! Stick them on your favorite holiday crafts for a shiny new creation in minutes. Here's a step-by-step guide for DIY Tattly Ornaments.

DIY Ornaments

What you’ll need:

  • Ornaments with a clean and smooth surface
  • Sponge
  • Water
  • Tattly by your favorite artists!
  • Your favorite clear sealant
DIY Ornaments
Cut away the negative space, but give yourself room to hold the paper without touching the design/adhesive. Make slits to help the application cover the round surface.

DIY Ornaments

Applying to ornaments is the same as applying to skin. Instructions are on the back of every Tattly and we also have this fun video.

Don’t forget that you are working with adhesive and the designs are meant to be temporary. Handle your ornament with care and try to not touch the designs as you apply more.

DIY Ornaments

Apply your favorite clear sealant and make one for a friend! 

Featured designs: Gold Floral, T Rex, Diamonds, Rifle Paper Co.

Psst.. Metallic Tattly apply a little easier and gosh, they look good! Tattly Sheets are also ideal for this type of DIY.

 

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We Heart Art Teachers! Our Black Friday Sale with Donors Choose

We Heart Art Teachers! Our Black Friday Sale with Donors Choose

We know each of our artists got their start somewhere. That's why we're excited to partner with Donorschoose.org to support these visual arts projects in schools where more than half of students come from low-income households.  Read more

Do you have an art teacher that made a difference in your life?

We know each of our artists got their start somewhere. That's why we're excited to partner with Donorschoose.org this Black Friday to support art classrooms around the country. Take 30% off until Monday with code HEARTART30, and we'll donate a generous cut from the sale to these visual arts projects on Donors Choose.  

Donors Choose is a site where teachers can raise funds for their classrooms for specific projects that haven't been supported by their district. They have the highest rating on Charity Navigator, and we're big fans of the work that they're doing. 

We gathered 25 creative projects from schools where over half of students come from low-income households. These projects include K-12 classrooms specifically engaged with visual arts, and funds will go towards supplies like cameras, quality paper, paint, clay, and printers.

We know the importance of having the right tools to learn the principles of design and the analytical and creative skills that come through practicing art, and we hope that in our own small way we can encourage kids to pursue careers in the arts. (We know it isn't always easy!) 

"My students are amazing," says one of our featured teachers, Ms. Vanessa, who teaches in the Bronx. "Our high school is a transfer high school, meaning that our students are under-credited and overaged." 

Ms. Vanessa is trying to fund a project to teach her kids the basics of stop-motion animation. (How cool is that?)

"Having a wide variety of materials to choose from, like clay and paint, to build sets, characters, and sculptures will help my students to make more thorough and creative stop-motion animations and sculptures," she says. "I love to teach animation, and I think it can be so important and so empowering for students - it's a really special and engaging medium."  

If you'd like to shop our collection, everything is 30% off until Monday! Use code HEARTART30 at checkout. A big cut of all our proceeds from this sale will go towards these projects, and we'll update you with our progress on Giving Tuesday.

If you want to skip the Tattly and donate directly, head on over to our Giving Page to see what these amazing art teachers are working on!

 

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DIY Holiday Cards!

DIY Holiday Cards!

Customize your own holiday cards with this simple DIY! Trim, add water, and repeat for all your loved ones.  Read more

 

https://tattly.com/collections/peagreen-designs

Customize your own holiday cards with this simple DIY!

Here’s what you need: 

- Blank cards, preferably using thick-stock paper
- A pair of Tattly (or more, depending on your design)
Sponge
- X-acto knife

Step 1: Peel the plastic film off your Tattly. (We used Heart Chart by Peagreen Designs.) 

DIY Holiday Cards

Step 2: Place the Tattly face-down on your card. Please note that once you place the tattoo, the adhesive on the ink will stick a little and it may not be  removed easily. Make sure that you place it on a predetermined spot!

DIY Holiday Cards

Step 3: Use your sponge to carefully apply the Tattly to your card. Pro tip: the sponge should not be dripping wet as you only want water to get on the Tattly and not the rest of the card.

DIY Holiday Cards

Step 4: Peel the paper backing to reveal your design.

DIY Holiday Cards

Voila! 

DIY Holiday Cards

Step 5: If you want to include a Tattly inside the card as well, use an X-acto to cut out two corners to place your Tattly. 

DIY Holiday Cards

Ta da! 

DIY Holiday Cards

Add a greeting! 

DIY Holiday Cards

And you’re done! Repeat and send to your loved ones.

DIY Holiday Cards

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DIY Starbucks Mug

DIY Starbucks Mug

Curated by Starbucks & customized by you! This #TattlyDIY uses the designs from our limited-edition collaboration set to create a personalized coffee cup that’ll help you start your morning with a smile on your face. 

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Curated by Starbucks & customized by you! This #TattlyDIY uses the designs from our limited-edition collaboration set to create a personalized coffee cup that’ll help you start your morning with a smile on your face.

Starbucks Tattly DIY

Step 1: Gather your supplies. This custom set of designs is currently in 8,000 Starbucks across the country! You’ll also need a clean ceramic mug and a pair of scissors. 

Starbucks Tattly DIY

Step 2: Open the package. 

Starbucks Tattly DIY

Step 3: Decide which Tattly you’ll want to use.

Starbucks Tattly DIY

Step 4: Trim your chosen designs close so they’ll bend over the curve of the mug. 

Starbucks Tattly DIY

Step 5: Make sure to remove the protective cellophane from the Tattly, and press onto your mug with a damp sponge for 30 seconds. 

Starbucks Tattly DIY

Step 6: Tada! That looks great. Seal on your design with a layer of clear nail polish or your favorite sealant. 

Starbucks Tattly DIY

Share your design with us at @Tattly and @Starbucks

 

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Meet Tattly Artist Camille Chew

Meet Tattly Artist Camille Chew

Camille Chew is a printmaker and illustrator whose work focuses on themes of mythology, witchcraft, and the occult.  Read more

Camille Chew is a printmaker and illustrator whose work focuses on themes of mythology, witchcraft, and the occult. She is the illustrator of the books Basic WitchesThe Astrology of You and Me, and the newly released Modern Witch Wall Calendar

This week, we’re celebrating the release of her Good Luck Charm Tattly. Learn more about her work and inspiration below. 

Camille Chew in Her Studio

Hey, Camille! Tell us a little about your latest Tattly, Good Luck Charm.

The design began as an illustration about how the fingers-crossed hand gesture can be used both in a very positive way — to wish yourself or someone else good luck, and in a more negative way — to indicate that what you’re saying is a lie. This is, of course, the more positive hand from that illustration, covered with symbols for good luck.

Have you ever considered being a real tattoo artist?

I often make illustrations that work well for tattoos. I’ve even had several people get my art tattooed themselves. My drawings of hands are a very popular choice! But I wouldn’t want to become a tattoo artist myself. I’d be too nervous putting a permanent piece of art onto someone!

For now I’ll be sticking with with digital illustration and printmaking; I’ll be going to grad school for printmaking at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) this fall, while I continue to work as a freelance illustrator.

Camille Chew's Good Luck Charm

Tell us a little about your fascination with the occult. Do you practice as a witch yourself?

Though I’m very inspired by magic and witches in my art, I don’t practice witchcraft myself. I mostly relate to the views on it described in the book Basic Witches, a favorite illustration project I’ve worked on. The authors, Jaya Saxena and Jess Zimmerman, often use spell work and rituals as forms of self-care.

Thanks, Camille! See all of her designs here

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Tattly Pride Week

Tattly Pride Week

NYC’s Pride March is this weekend and we’ve been celebrating all week long! We spoke to seven Tattly-ed individuals about what Pride means to them.

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What does Pride mean to you?

NYC’s Pride March is this weekend and we’ve been celebrating all week long! We spoke to seven Tattly-ed individuals about what Pride means to them.

Ben Wagner, Designer and Art Director

“It’s interesting to celebrate Pride for a weekend or a month out of the year, because for a lot of queer people, that’s just your lived experience. I feel really lucky to live in New York and be out and proud all the time, and not everyone can say that. I think it’s important to remember that while it’s this super fun weekend of celebration, a lot of people are out there everyday doing the work.”

Tattly Pride 2018

Ben Wagner is an art director and designer based in Brooklyn, New York. A dollar from every sale of his Forever Rainbow Pin purchased on his or our site goes towards a queer nonprofit such as GMHC, the Transgender Law Center, or the Ali Forney Center.

 

Juwan Crawley, Actor, Singer, Songwriter

“Pride is important to me because it is the time when we get to honor the people whose sacrifice is so often forgotten. It is a chance to remind the world that we are here, and our arms are open ready to receive them. Above all, Pride is the chance to remind myself that regardless of everyone’s thoughts and feelings, my authentic self is more than enough.”

Tattly Pride 2018

Juwan Crawley is an actor, singer, and songwriter living in New York City. He is currently starring in Aladdin where he made his Broadway debut as a standby for the Genie. He also played a role in one of his favorite shows, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. He loves music, fashion, art, coffee, theater, film, but above all people.

 

Lisa Cifuentes, Head of Community at Creative Mornings

“Pride to me means recognizing my privilege to live authentically. I owe a lot to my brothers and sisters, and specifically the trans women of color, who came before me and fought for the rights I have today. While we still have a lot to achieve, this is a time for our community to come together and celebrate who we are.”

Tattly Pride 2018

Lisa Cifuentes is the Head of Community at Creative Mornings, a free breakfast lecture series with chapters in 188 cities around the world. She is based in Brooklyn.

 

French Smith-O’Connor, Director of Global Initiatives at Out Leadership

“I celebrate Pride, out loud and in the streets, because I know viscerally what my visibility means for people who cannot be visible where they are. I’ve been out and proud for 18 years, and now it’s more important than ever.”

Tattly Pride 2018

French Smith-O’Connor is the Director of Global Initiatives at Out Leadership, a network of LGBT+ leaders in business. “I have the privilege of working with inspirational #OutLEADERs and many of the world’s best companies who understand that advancing LGBT+ equality helps them realize #ReturnonEquality." 

I’ve been out and proud for 18 years, and now it’s more important than ever. 

Jordan Ho, Theater Artist

“Pride is inheritance. I am only able to express this ‘pride’ because of queer outlaws who came before me and their labor – the foundation they set for us to march on. I can only hope to continue the fight for queer liberation.”

Tattly Pride 2018

Jordan Ho is an Asian non-binary interdisciplinary theatre artist living in Brooklyn. Catch xem at Dixon Place July 10th (7:30 PM) in Brin Solomon’s song cycle “Defiant, Majestic, and Beautiful” featuring a completely TGNC creative team!

 

Dani Martineck, Actor, Writer, Scientist

“The short answer to what Pride means to me is community. We all find community in different ways, but as deeply prosocial beings, most of us find it one way or another. What community means to me is the myriad small ways we find to support and uplift each other. I feel Pride as an extension of that for my LGBTQIA siblings: a time to remember and to celebrate what we can uplift in ourselves and each other.”

Tattly Pride 2018

Dani Martineck is a New York-based non-binary actor, writer, and scientist. Connect with them on Instagram at @dmartintheneck. Or come see them act in Blackbox Playlist: Pride Edition on June 24th, hosted by Dan Savage at The Pit, with all proceeds benefiting the It Gets Better Project.

 

Julio Gomez & Larry Henderlight

“I came out late in life, so Pride for me may have a different meaning than for many. To me it is a celebration of the diversity of our community, of all the progress that we have made, and the work that is left to be done.”

Julio Gomez (left) is the dad of two talented daughters (Cristina and Ana), the husband of a extremely handsome and smart guy, and an engineer working in London, living life loud and proud. ⠀

Tattly Pride 2018

“To me Pride means having the FREEDOM to express myself as a gay man without fear or shame. It is a time to express gratitude to those who fought and struggled for that right. We’ve come a long way since Stonewall but in this political climate we still have a long way to go. It’s a time for reflection as well as planning how best to move our cause forward."

Larry Henderlight is a pharmacist with a passion for healthcare. He’s also an avid trombone player, and plays in @atlantafreedombands, an LGBTQ volunteer community band that promotes acceptance through visibility in the Deep South.

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Meet Tattly Artist Estée Preda

Meet Tattly Artist Estée Preda

In honor of her latest Tattly, Flower Cat, we talked with Estée Preda about what’s inspiring her now - from William Blake to working with yarn.  Read more

“Everything I draw is based in escapism.”

Can't get enough of Flower Cat's style? We talked with artist Estée Preda  about what inspires her work, from William Blake to working with yarn. 

Meet Tattly Artist Estee Preda

The painter, who lives in a forest outside of Quebec City, is inspired by folktales and Brothers Grimm, and her Romanian heritage has a big influence on her aesthetic. As a child, she was sensitive to spooks and nightmares. Growing up, she said, “she lived across the hall from her grandmother who was prone to night terrors." Somewhere between observing these reveries and the ephemeral seasons of Quebec, her signature dark, folky pattern design was born. And we love wearing it as a Tattly.  

 

5 things about Estée: 

Surprising:

“I originally studied economics. Then for about 10 years I created snowboarding videos for companies like Roxy. I started painting about four years ago.”

Flower Cat Tattly by Estee Preda

A New Love:

“I have a natural attraction for that everything that’s handmade. Right now I’m really getting into fabric and embroidery. I work with yarn because it’s faster. I’m very influenced by folkloric textiles, especially eastern European folklore and embroidery.”

Tattly Artist Estee Preda in her Studio

Inspiration?

“William Blake. I always loved his poetry and I’m just discovering his art. He has watercolor works for Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. It’s dreamy and inspiring.

I’m also looking at Greek and Roman things lately. I’ve rediscovered sculpture and the Romantics – how painters in the 1700s and 1800s were bringing back their inspiration.”

Flower Cat Watercolor By Estee Preda

What’s Next?

“I’m trying new directions again. I’m doing more with patterns and backgrounds, moving away from white backgrounds, and adding more layer and depth into my patterns.” 

Flower Cat Tattly by Estee Preda

Merci, Estée! Learn more about her here

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Tattly + Weddings = A Perfect Match

Tattly + Weddings = A Perfect Match

Customize your own Tattly to commemorate your wedding. Custom Tattly adds the perfect personal touch and they make great wedding favors.  Read more
Wedding season is upon us! Here are some ways that you can incorporate Tattly into your special day.
Custom Wedding

Custom Tattly

Customize your own Tattly to commemorate your wedding. Custom Tattly adds the perfect personal touch and they make great wedding favors. 

 

Custom Wedding

Tattly Stations

Set up a Tattly station! Leave Tattly out for guests to apply during your reception or hire our events staff to apply them for you! Here’s a great example of a wedding that set up their own Tattly station!

Tattly Wedding

Accessorize your party! 

We have a great selection of designs in our wedding collection. Interested in buying bulk for your big day? Use YAYBULK10 for 10% off orders of $100 or more and YAYBULK25 for 25% off orders of $500 or more.

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Oliver Jeffers Wildlife Set is Here!

Oliver Jeffers Wildlife Set is Here!

With eight beautiful animals from his best-selling book Here We Are, we’d understand if your kid never wants to take these off. Read more

Oliver Jeffers Tattly The highly anticipated launch of the  Wildlife Set by Oliver Jeffers is finally here! With eight beautiful animals from his best-selling book Here We Are, we’d understand if your kid (or, ahem, yourself) never wants to take these off.

Oliver Jeffers Tattly

 

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Tattly Hack - Witch Tattly?

Tattly Hack - Witch Tattly?

Can you tell witch Tattly we used to make this festive Halloween Hack? Read more

Can you tell witch Tattly we used to make this festive Halloween Hack?

Tattly Hack - Temporary Witch

Heart Lolli by Tuesday Bassen
Safari by Vogue
Peacock by Stina Persson
Facial Expressions Sheet by Team Tattly

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Tattly Visits Materials for the Arts

Tattly Visits Materials for the Arts

In May of 2016, Materials for the Arts (MFTA) became the newest Tattly Does Good not-for-profit partner. Read more

Tattly Visits Materials for the Arts

In May of 2016, Materials for the Arts (MFTA) became the newest Tattly Does Good not-for-profit partner. The organization, based in Queens, is New York’s premiere reuse center. Its 35,000-square-foot warehouse is a materials haven for educators in the New York City, particularly for public school teachers. CD jewel cases, normally an after-thought and a relic of the recent digital past, now have use as mini canvases for collages and dioramas. When the Metropolitan Museum of Art digitized its archives, thousands of 35-millimeter slides were given to MFTA, which in turn commissioned five artists to create works.

Executive Director Harriet Taub and her team took Tattly through the space recently. During the visit, the warehouse was also occupied by school groups of young children, whose trip culminated in an art class on site. Tattly’s Yng-Ru Chen asked Harriet a few questions about Materials for the Arts. 

 


 

Yng-Ru Chen: Harriet, tell us about Materials for the Arts and why it’s so unique in terms of it being a city organization that works with the departments of cultural affairs and sanitation and education.

Harriet Taub, Executive Director of Materials for the Arts

Harriet Taub: I am so glad you asked that! Materials for the Arts occupies a unique space in City government. It is supported by the Departments of Cultural Affairs, Sanitation and Education as it serves all of their missions. By collecting unneeded, excess materials and giving them away for free to nonprofits and public schools and providing training and classes on how to use these non-traditional arts materials, MFTA hits all the right spots: supporting arts and culture; promoting sustainable practices and environmental sustainability, and creating access for organizations large and small. Besides these three government entities, MFTA also works with dozens of other City agencies to provide them with free materials for their programming or infrastructure. We probably have more .nyc.gov email addresses in our data base than any other City agency (except maybe Payroll Administration!). In addition, in 2002, we started our own nonprofit – Friends of Materials for the Arts. Catchy name right? We raise money through Friends in order to supplement the menu of things we can provide and that the City money will not cover. That includes all of our educational programming, our Artist in Residence and Gallery program and our extra transportation initiative which helps us hire additional trucks to pick up materials.

Materials for the Arts

The 35,000-square-foot warehouse in Long Island City, Queens. 

 

YRC: The breadth of your reach is incredible. How many teachers does the organization serve every year? How many students?

HT: Last year, MFTA reached over 17,879 students and served 3,874 teachers and school staff members through workshops, courses and on-site residencies.

YRC: And on the flip side, you have the businesses who donate the supplies. Can you give a couple of examples of the types of companies that provide the materials?

HT: We seem to occupy a niche as the go-to people when someone wants to donate almost anything. That said, we work within a network of similar organizations such as Big Reuse, which accepts building materials; The Salvation Army, Goodwill, and Housing Works which take in clothing and bedroom furniture. We often make referrals to these organizations when a donor’s items would be better placed with them. Since New York City is a fashion and design capital of the world, we take lots of fabric and trim from fashion houses, home furnishing businesses and event planners. The film and TV production industries also donate props and set pieces, paint and costumes. And regular people like you or me when they are moving, cleaning out and purging often donate the most interesting items. Photo collections, vintage patterns and buttons. Our regular donors include Marc Jacobs, Estée Lauder, and McKinsey. Besides giving items away through our warehouse operation, we have an online service for our members where we can place one small item – a laptop for example or a refrigerator or a piano. It works like Craigslist and we move tons of materials that way.

Tattly Visits Materials for the Arts

Spools of thread are organized by color in the warehouse.

 

YRC: What was the most unusual or surprising donation in your experience thus far?

HT: That is hard to answer as everyday there are amazing donations. Once a midtown Manhattan hotel was renovating and they donated all of their lobby palm trees! Google once donated 100 Razor Scooters and I had this idea that they might be an amazing addition for a dance piece. We sent out an e-mail to all of our dance organizations and they were soon in the hands (and feet) of dancers and choreographers across New York City.

YRC: Are there certain types of materials that you’d like more of in terms of donations? Maybe Tattly can help get the word out!

HT: Well the things our members use are pretty varied but generally everyone wants paper – large and small. They also want vibrant fabrics, trims, ribbons, buttons and beads and great technology – laptops, iPads. Household items for real use or as props and musical instruments are also in demand. Rolling office chairs and stacking chairs are also hot ticket items when we can get them.

YRC: We loved seeing some of the examples of projects made by school students using items normally headed for the trash. What is your favorite example of reuse for art? It can be at MTFA or by any artist you admire.

HT: I personally love when people take a material and transform it into something completely different, like when paper looks like steel or when metal bends like fabric. One of my favorite artists is El Antsui, a Ghanaian artist who transforms wine labels and metal soda tops into large breathtaking wall hangings. He has pieces at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Art and Design. I also love the masks that are made from repurposed file folders. They show the flexibility and ingenuity of materials that can be found all around you and repurposed into new and dynamic projects.

Tattly Visits Materials for the ArtsBunke by Lotta Jansdotter is a Tattly design sold to benefit MFTA.

Bunke by Lotta Jansdotter is a Tattly design sold to benefit MFTA.

 

YRC: As the executive director, what is your biggest challenge in running MFTA?

HT: Money is always a challenge and I say that in the best possible way.  Even with support from our City partners and our nonprofit, there are always needs that go unmet. Our work in schools has proven to be so successful but there are costs to providing two teaching artists and the schools are not always in a position to pay the full amount so we often raise funds through grants or through private dollars to support this work. The other challenge is staffing. People come and people go. Our salaries often can’t compete with the private sector so we lose quality people as they move on. However that also offers opportunity for new, energetic staff members to come on board. In the end that is just life in the work world.

YRC: Many teachers will want to know more about MFTA. How do they get access to the programs and materials?

HT: Most schools are already MFTA recipients. Teachers should speak to their principals about being added to the school’s list of authorized representatives. For any questions about the school’s account, teachers can email education@mfta.nyc.gov

YRC: Thank you so much, Harriet! We are so happy to have MFTA as a partner here at Tattly.

Tattly Visits Materials for the ArtsBunke by Lotta Jansdotter is a Tattly design sold to benefit MFTA.

Bunke, a design by artist Lotta Jansdotter, is sold by Tattly to benefit Materials for the Arts. 80% of the purchase price of this Tattly is donated to help MFTA achieve its mission.

 

All photographs, unless otherwise specified, by Natasha Janardan for Tattly.

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Tattly Hack #264 - Pinned Bugs

Tattly Hack #264 - Pinned Bugs

We’re buggin’ for this insect collection hack!  Butterfly 1 by Fiona Richards, Honey Bee by Julia Rothman, Green Bug by Peagreen Designs, Arrows ... Read more
We’re buggin’ for this insect collection hack! 
image

Butterfly 1 by Fiona Richards, 
Honey Bee by Julia Rothman, 
Green Bug by Peagreen Designs, 
Arrows by Wesley Stuckey

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DIY Tattly Wallpaper

DIY Tattly Wallpaper

Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum curator Sara Raza has a trained eye for hanging artwork on museum walls. When it comes to her home, she literally applies that skill with Tattly!  Read more
 
 
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum curator Sara Raza has a trained eye for hanging artwork on museum walls. When it comes to her home, she literally applies that skill with Tattly! 
 
Tattly DIY Wallpaper
 Tattly DIY Wallpaper
 
We were so inspired by her home-improvement hack, we had to share. She used the Scented Pink Peony Tattly by Vincent Jeannerot as well as Custom Tattly by artist Susan Hefuna for a recent Guggenheim exhibition. 
 
Tattly DIY Ideas
 Tattly DIY Wallpaper
 
Share your own Tattly DIY or home-improvement hack by posting photos using the hashtag #TattlyDIY! What else needs some DIY love in your home?
 
Tattly DIY Ideas

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Tattly Hack #237 - Sad Eyes

Tattly Hack #237 - Sad Eyes

Feeling Blue? We see all the colors of the rainbow. Read more

Tattly HackFeeling Blue? We see all the colors of the rainbow.

Whirl by James Gulliver Hancock, 
Now or Never by Cristoph Niemann,  
Skipping Rainbow by Lim Heng Swee

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Tattly Artist Q&A: Stina Persson

Tattly Artist Q&A: Stina Persson

Our latest Tattly Artist Q&A is with the wonderfully talented Stina Persson, the artist behind some of our ever popular watercolor designs. Catching her on Skype on a grey Stockholm afternoon, Tattly team member Katherine chatted with Stina about her studio, working in watercolor, and her thrift-store addiction! Read more

Our latest Tattly Artist Q&A is with the wonderfully talented Stina Persson, the artist behind some of our ever popular watercolor designs. Catching her on Skype on a grey Stockholm afternoon, Tattly team member Katherine chatted with Stina about her studio, working in watercolor, and her thrift-store addiction! Scroll on to read the full Q&A.


Katherine: It looks like you have a wonderfully bright studio there.
Stina Persson: It’s bright, but messy. I should move things around. My studiomate isn’t here, so then it becomes all like this. (Stina looks around behind her and gestures to clutter which is out of sight)
K: When your studiomate’s not around there’s no one there to make sure it’s clean for, right!
S: She’s coming tomorrow though so, I better… (she runs off and shuffles some things around!)

K: You share your space with just one other, right?
S:
 My brother works with me sometimes, but then I share with this amazing interior designer. She’s a very inspirational woman. She used to have this tv show for Swedish kids where she restyled their rooms but together with them and without the parents knowing, and making it really wild. She has all these very fun, different projects. Isabelle McAllister. She has a great blog and great Instagram feed, and she’s really lovely!

Stina Persson Interview

K: So let’s start with a little about you: you’ve lived in a number of places, and you’re currently based in Stockholm. Are you originally from Sweden?
S:
 Yeah I’m a Swede, but a southern Swede, not from Stockholm.
K: What made you choose to move and study in Italy?
S:
 Coming from a very cold country I just wanted something warm and I’d studied Italian in school so it kind of made sense. My best friend wanted to study fashion design and I said “should I come with you?” and she said “this school has courses in Arts so why don’t you take one of those?” And I did.

K: You studied Fine Art in Italy, Fashion Design in Italy, and Illustration at Pratt here in New York. What lead you into watercolor illustration?
S:
 I didn’t actually do any watercolor in school. When I took the class in Illustration at Pratt, I think most illustrators back then were really jaded and kind of sad about the industry because it changed. It wasn’t so well looked upon. This was in the late ‘90s, like ‘95, ‘96, and they were all really disillusioned because they had been very good illustrators and then they didn’t have any work. So I think everything I learned in school I avoided a little bit. Then illustration picked up again and it became this very exciting thing that so many people do at this point. But watercolor, I don’t know, it comes easy to me I think. I don’t have to struggle too much. If I can choose I prefer black ink. Working with watercolor can be a slippery slope into being kitsch or too feminine or too soft. I like it more edgy and hard.

K: You can definitely see that coming across in your work. It certainly doesn’t feel soft, but instead it is quite edgy or strong, as well as being feminine. A lot of your work seems to be focused on the woman or feminine form, is there something in particular that draws you to the female/woman as a subject? 
S: 
I think the shapes of the woman are more interesting than a man. A muse is more common than a, I dunno, a muso I think. Also then you have makeup and hair, and I mean not always but often [that’s] easier to exaggerate and to work with. I think I’ve gotten a lot of work in things that are about technology or like, a car, and they want it to be more feminine, so then they ask someone like me to give it something more soft or something more feminine. It’s kind of become a niche.

Stina Persson Interview

K: You do a lot of both commercial and personal work. I’m wondering if you find there’s a difference with how you approach the two?
S:
 I think that in the beginning there was a big difference. My personal work looked one way and then my more commercial work looked a very different way. Over the years I think I’ve managed to be more happy with my commercial work, making it look more personal. And I’ve kind of become better at convincing clients that my personal way is the way I think, which is great!

K: Where do you pull inspiration from, how do you stay fresh?
S: 
As I’m getting older I think I get more inspiration from nature and its shapes. And also people-watching. (Stina makes a bit of a face, like she’s about to admit a dirty secret or indulgence) I’m a real thrift store addict. You know, old magazines, and prints, and dresses, and stuff like that. I try to stay away from looking at too many illustrators because I think that, I feel I get more inspired by artists or people who are not exactly in my field. I mean, not because people aren’t talented or to be inspired by, but I think for me, I get more material from elsewhere.

K: Being a thrift store addict, does that mean you have a large collection of stuff that you’ve picked up over the years or are you more of a looker…
S: 
Unfortunately I have lots of stuff. Like dresses. I think being a Swede with a short summer, I have way too many summery dresses and summer clothes, and like, one winter jacket!

K: Do you have any specific rituals or routines that you use to get into working each day?
S: 
Yeah I do. I go to the local coffee shop and I get my coffee. I bring my own cup because I don’t want to waste too many paper cups, and it tastes so much better. And then I listen to BBC. A lot. When they start cricket results I turn it off and get into podcasts or something like that.
K: What are your go-tos?
S:
 This American Life, This is Criminal, Reply All, Radiolab, yeah, the regular ones, I think that’s the normal bunch.

Stina Persson Interview

K: You’ve mentioned that you love working with ink at the moment. Do you have any favorite tools that you like to work with?
S:
 I like watercolor too. I mean I love color. (Turns around and looks at collection of brushes that is out of sight) I really like these inexpensive brushes because I tend to mess them up, like this bamboo pen. But I have SOO many brushes, I mean tons and tons. 
K: Do you end up keeping all of them, or is it a sort of a trade-one-out-when-you-get-a-new-one type of thing?
S: That’s what I tell myself in the store, “this time I’m going to take care of these” nah, not going to happen… but you can still keep them. I mean, like this one (picks up a brush with bent bristles, looks at it) when they’re bent they’re really not very good. You leave them in the water, you know, and then you go home and then the next day they’re like that. But yeah. I have many. But I should take better care of them (small wry smile).

K: So, how did you become involved with Tattly?
S:
 I really liked Swissmiss the blog from the very, very beginning. It’s really just Tina, and really a one man company. And she found me somehow, and put me under her wing. Her Swiss wing. And we met, I had a solo show in New York, and she came, and then she asked me, I think I was one of the first that she asked to do something for her. And that was great.

K: How did it feel to be asked to design Folk Flore, your Tattly Does Good design for The Pink Agenda?
S: 
I mean, my older sister had breast cancer, and my very best friend did, so I loved to submit something for them, and I think the images that turned out were so beautiful.

K: Which Tattly is your favorite, that isn’t one of your own?
S: 
I like them all! I prefer the black and white ones. My kids love the watch. (she starts scrolling through the designs on her computer) I like the typed ones, (while scrolling she asks if she can get back to me later) I really like those ones that are kind of like, like the anchor one, the ones that are a little more retro like… (Stina did get back to me a little later to let me know, and it’s Bear by Nic Annette Miller. That’s one of her favorites!)  

K: Thanks so much for chatting with us!
S:
 Thank you for chatting with me!
Skype: bleep bloop

Stina Persson Interview

***
Check out all of Stina’s Tattly designs here and see more of her work on her website. We also recommend following her artistic styles on Instagram
A big thanks to Isabelle for the fun photographs!
Missed a Tattly Artist Q&A? Read them all here.

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