Feb201128
The Proust Questionnaire for Tattoo Artists
01:47 PM
shanghai kate.jpgWikipedia: "The Proust Questionnaire is a questionnaire about one's personality. Its name and modern popularity as a form of interview is owed to the responses given by the French writer Marcel Proust."

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Vanity Fair does it. Inside the Actor's Studio does it. And now NeedlesandSins.com. The (modified) Proust Questionnaire for Tattoo Artists is a quick and dirty Q&A with the goal of offering a more intimate glimpse of the people behind the portfolios. We asked the inimitable Shanghai Kate Hellenbrand (shown above with her clients Howard Stern & Beth Ostrovsky) to start off the fun and here's what she had to say:

The Proust Questionnaire for Tattoo Artists

What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
  Desire, envy, greed & jealous.

What is your idea of earthly happiness?  To do what one loves without harm to others.

Your most marked characteristic?
Curiosity & patience.

What is your principle defect? 
Despite all my patience, I act too quickly (probably from empathy). I'm impulsive, I guess. I often don't consider the big picture. I'm working on it.

Who are your favorite heroes of fiction?
  Admiral Adama (Battlestar Galactica), Mal (Firefly)...Do you see a Sci-Fi theme? And possibly Jesus...I'll say no more~

Who are your favorite heroes in real life?
Buddha, Jose Silva, Dr. John Bradshaw, Nelson Mandela, Stephen Hawking. And possibly Jesus...I'll say no more~

Your favorite painters?
  I love 'em all but Van Gogh and Georgia O'Keefe are always at the top of my list. Very fond of Robert Williams & Joe Coleman too.

Your favorite musicians?
  Too many to count. Leonard Coen; Love all the Texas Troubadors like Dave Alvin, Guy Clark, Tom Russell, Billie Joe Shaver, Ryan Bingham, Dale Watson; Old Country like Merle Haggard and Vern Gosdin to name a few. Soul music from James Brown, Wilson Pickett, Marvin Gaye; Folkies and 1960s Hippies like Bob Dylan, Janis Joplin and the bands from SF during that era; World music like Dead Can Dance, Gipsy Kings. Music is food for my soul. Anything but angry rap.

Who are your favorite writers?
  Again, so many but...Dylan Thomas, TS Eliot, Oscar Wilde, Shakespeare, John Updike, Tom Robbins, Dorothy Allison.

The quality you most admire in a man?
  Kindness.

The quality you most admire in a woman?
  Fairness.

Your favorite virtue?
  Empathy & honesty.

Who would you have liked to be?
  I am living my dream and have no regrets. I consider myself one of the luckiest people in the world. If I want to be it, I become it. As a kid, I fantasized about chasing dinosaurs, soaring through space and being a cowgirl. I made the cowgirl part happen. Time wasn't really on my side for the other two.

Where would you like to live?
  I try to live everywhere. And I succeed.

What are your favorite names?
Jasper, Galina, Samartha, Kanin. If wanted to name any children, I'd have these names but I forgot to have kids!

What natural gift would you most like to possess?
  To sing like Streisand.

How would you like to die?
   Someway extremely abrupt. I keep trying. No long illness or torture for me, please. I've fallen off mountains, been run down by dogs and cars, kidnapped in Mexico City, drowned, tore my left foot off my leg, broken my back 5 times. It isn't the initial impact that hurts--it's the recovery! I fantasize now about being eaten by Kodiak bears, but that would violate my no-torture clause, so no go. But it would be natural and organic, right?

What is your present state of mind?
  Joyful and grateful.

What is your motto?
  This too shall pass & Karma is a bitch!

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If you're a tattoo artist who would like to take a stab at this questionnaire, hit us up through the contact link. We'll try and get to as many as we can. 


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EDITOR IN CHIEF:
Marisa Kakoulas
CONTRIBUTORS:
Miguel Collins
Craig Dershowitz
Brian Grosz
Sean Risley
Patrick Sullivan
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