As we wade our way through the floods and debris left by Hurricane Sandy, I want to focus today on the beauty, rather than destructiveness, of nature. The first artist who naturally came to mind, particularly with her floral-form bodysets, is Michele Wortman
of Hyperspace Studios
I had a wonderful time interviewing Michele and her husband -- renowned biomechanical artist Guy Aitchison
-- for an upcoming issue of Inked
magazine. In it, we talked about how their distinctive artist styles developed, some of the controversy behind their approaches, and how one can be a better artist through attitude adjustment.
Here's a taste of that interview where Michele describes her bodysets: ethereal, organic tattoos with a unified look throughout in the large scale projects.
Michele, how did your style develop?
My style originated from being a collector and not necessarily resonating with the early work I collected. I started to assess it more and realized that I wanted something that was more unified, that had less weight to it, and that reflected more of how I was feeling rather than what the styles were available at the time.
Around when was that?
It was around 1995 when I first got a half sleeve. I know that's not very much coverage but, at the time, it seemed it because you didn't really see women with the coverage you see now, and it felt like a big step. Then I got a chest piece a year later. My work had a fair amount of black in it, and I wanted something that felt lighter and a little freer. So I started getting lasered, getting rid of all the black in my ink so that I could reconstruct it, and during that period of time, I became a tattoo artist.
Would you say your style is more feminine?
It's interesting you should say that because, originally, I had wanted a half sleeve of flowers and this girl looked at me, rolled her eyes and said, "You would get that. How typical of you." That bothered me, so I decided I would rebel against my "feminine nature" and get architecture, which is very masculine in my opinion, very man-made. The fact that I rebelled against my feminine nature in the beginning only to come back to it later was an interesting lesson for me-to be comfortable and enjoy things that might be associated with having feminine qualities and not try to fight it and be someone I'm not. That had a lot to do with the energy I was putting into my tattoo work and that became my defining style.
More of our interview will be in an Inked
"Icon" feature. I'll do a follow-up post when the issue is out. To view more of Michele's work, check her Facebook page
as well as the Hyperspace website