This self-taught tattooist, who began painting when she was 9 years old thanks to her artist mother, picked up the tattoo machine in 2005, and has since developed a signature style that plays with various forms outside of traditional tattooing. She says of her influences:
I am inspired a lot by abandoned industrial sites in decay, rusted
pieces of machinery, destroyed cities landscapes, architectural
landscapes and also of course geometry. And I am fascinated with
contrast such as organic shapes versus extremely technical geometric
pattern, shape or design.
My tattoo influences are artists such as Little Swastika, Gerhard Wiesbeck, Rob Hoskins, Cory Ferguson, Xed Lehead, Jondix, Vincent Hocquet.
I also asked Maika about her tattoo process:
As for my Organic/Industrial Geometry work, I usually work first on paper, of course, after having consulted once with the client. But, to make it fit nicely on the body, I usually draw parts of the design on the clients and build it on them in the first session. [...]
Some clients give me more details and are more specific on what they want, but in the end, I do what my creative mind tells me to do. So there are times where I don't include everything they ask for simply because, esthetically, technically, or for whatever other reason, it wouldn't fit nicely. Once I explain that to them, they are pretty ok with it, or we adjust depending on if there's something I previously took out and that they really wanted in there.
I also try to keep them away from cliches, or if I keep the cliched idea, I make sure I totally destroy it by making it something new and beautiful -- and other times a cliched [design] can be pretty beautiful -- maybe I should call these ideas "classics"; it is all really a feeling based on who's in front of me and how I feel in the moment, so it's a very "organic" way to work and it changes with each client and project.
When asked about her particular clientele, Maika explains:
A fascinating thing I have noticed is that a lot of my clientele are engineers, biologists, scientists of some sort, architects, doctors, mathematicians ... they come from the left side of the brain and I've found it an interesting mix: their left side of the brain encounters my right side of the brain! Ha! It feels like it's an opening, a welcome sign, for the left-sided brain people into the world of tattoo. There's a lot more "geeky" & "nerdy" tattoos in the world now, where before there wasn't! I think it's exciting!
Maika often does guest spots out of Edmonton, Toronto, Quebec City, and will be expanding her travel into Europe. She'll be working the Frankfurt
Convention in 2014, among other shows.