delicate polar bear tattoo by lu loram martin, top large blackwork floral tattoo specialist, and illustrator, based in toronto, canada

Tattoo interview: Vivi-G

This is a tattoo interview with Vivian Grace, an incredible creative and shoemaker. She’s launching her clothing and shoemaking business this year. Check out her work and brand @itsanostan!
Hi Vivi-G!
Thank you so much for taking part in this interview :)
So let’s start back at the beginning, you were tattooed in August 2022 at Black Cloud tattoos, and we did the polar bear piece on your thigh! Here it is just finished (for the readers)...
fineline, delicate, polar bear by lu loram martin, top large blackwork floral tattoo specialist, and illustrator, based in toronto, canada

Was this your first tattoo or had you been tattooed before? 
The polar bear was my 18th tattoo! 

What made you decide to get this particular tattoo? It was something I had sketched and then you chose it as a tattoo, what drew you to this piece?

From the get-go I wanted Lu to design and tattoo me. I was traveling from Montreal to Toronto, making my way back west, and was hoping to get a tattoo spot. I knew it would be tough to get a custom one, with my tight scheduling. So when Lu shared some old sketches she had done in the past and wanted to tattoo them, I decided to select one of those. That’s how I got the polar bear. I have always had a love of polar bears and this one had the sweetest and most gentlest energy. So I selected it. Lu and I worked together to add more leave and some Arctic flowers, which I think contributes to the whole playfulness of this tattoo. 

The original sketch was soo scrappy...

polar bear and rabbit sketch by lu loram martin, top large blackwork floral tattoo specialist, and illustrator, based in toronto, canada

Do you remember how you felt the days before getting tattooed, or the morning of?
Because I wasn’t in my home city and staying at a friend’s house, I was a bit anxious, trying to get everything ready: clean sheets to sleep in, clean towel to dry my tattoo with, lotion for when the tattoo got itchy, snacks and water for the session. I was also worried about being late and catching the wrong bus. But once I arrived everything was great. 

What was the process of getting tattooed like for you?
The process was easy. Email communication with Lu was great. The studio was calming.

Did you find the experience painful, and was it as painful as you expected it to be?
The experience was not painful at all. I already have a tattoo in a similar spot on my left thigh, so I was aware of how much pain I would feel. And Lu’s style of tattooing is a light touch. I easily fell asleep while being tattooed 
Do you remember how you felt after getting tattooed?
Leaving the studio, I felt good after getting the tattoo. It was a sunny day and I wished I had gone home straight rather than stopping at a couple places in the city. So I do recall that I was a bit tired afterwards. 

And how about the day after? What was it like having a brand new fresh tattoo?
The next day it felt great. I followed the caring process and took it easy. 
Let’s chat a little more about life with your tattoo…
What is it like living with this tattoo? 
Life is great with this tattoo. I wish it was on a spot on my body that is more visible as I love seeing it. But because it is in a hidden spot (upper right thigh front) it is also a lovely secret. 

How were the reactions from people close to you?
My friends really love this tattoo: the playfulness, fine lines and the paws of the polar bear. Everyone compliments it is the sweetest tattoo. 

In what ways has your tattoo changed your life, or sense of self?
I wouldn’t say this tattoo has changed my life, it’s added to it. Tattoos are an expression of one self and the connection you have with your artist. Whenever I look at the polar bear it makes me happy. So I guess in some ways, it has become the image I look to when I feel low as it always makes me smile. 
Let’s skip forward to today?
How do you feel about your tattoo right at this moment?
I still love it!

Have you gotten any more since this tattoo (or do you plan to?)
Yes, just one new tattoo this year. And yes, I plan to get more! I would like Lu to add to the polar bear tattoo with other Arctic mammals. 

If you could give any advice to someone thinking about getting a tattoo what would you tell them?
Tattoos are for life, so make sure you are getting a subject that you love/have a connection with. Collect images of what you’re looking for, so you can share them with your artist. There are many styles of tattoos. It’s always good to familiarize yourself with them and decide what style you like best. And then from there, try finding an artist in that style. You can google online or head to Instagram. It’s always good to ask questions about style, process and cost. Communication is key. And if you can give your artist creative freedom, I think that is the best thing. Then it’s your idea and their interpretation of the idea and you, which makes the tattoo unique to you. 
As for tips on getting tattooed, I always use the breathing pattern of breathing in 3 times and breathing out 3 times. This helps get oxygen to your brain quicker. No holding your breath!! Try to relax, listen to music or like me, go to sleep. If you need to sneeze, cough or go to the washroom, tell your tattoo artist. Don’t be shy about taking a break. And just be mindful, once your tattoo is finished and you walk out the door, the healing process if all up to you. So make sure you follow the care instructions your artist gives you. 

Thanks so much Vivi-G this was such a cute fun tattoo, and I'm so glad to hear how happy it makes you!


Thanks for reading, if you are interested in getting tattooed by me you can find all of my booking information here!

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