Artist Profile: Lara Scotton
Italian tattooer and painter Lara Scotton has made NYC her permanent home since 2011, and as part of the East Side Ink crew, she's catered to the tattoo needs of the city -- and to many cities in her extensive travels. She graciously took time from busy schedule to chat about her work, life, and share what's currently on her bookshelf, in her headphones, and on her computer (and much more). Here's how our Q&A went:
What do you think has been your greatest experience as a tattooer -- and what has been the most difficult?
Not too long ago, a took a day to tattoo an entire family of 6 cousins. They were my clients already and it was great having people all around that want to commemorate their union and you are the chosen one to do it! I'm the family tattooer. I find the bond between tattooer and clients beautiful, when they keep coming back and they ended up being your friend. Same thing when you have to tattoo another artist, especially if it's a friend. I can keep going on tho...it is such a pleasure doing what I'm doing.
The most difficult experience for sure was the beginning, struggling to try to work everyday, and show people that you are really serious about it. Working in 4 different shops, sometimes far from each other, carrying all the equipment around -- that was really hard and confusing at the same time.
When did you join East Side Ink?
I used to guest spot at East Side Ink when I was traveling between Europe an US. I was in the States spending three months in the summer and three months in the winter; that was in 2010/2011. Then one day, I was working in London and the East Side Ink manager called me to ask me if I wanted to come to New York; they needed an artist at the time. The very next day I bought my flight ticket, and a month after, I moved to New York. Now are 3 years I'm there as a permanent tattooer.
What have been the biggest differences in tattoo culture between NYC and your hometown of Milan?
NYC was a good school for me. I feel like I really started tattooing in here. People can be easy: they go from having no tattoos, to starting a full sleeve. I feel Milan and Italy didn't reach that point yet. People think a little more about having a sleeve done. They start with little things and eventually they getting bigger work done.
You have a diverse portfolio, with some particularly beautiful lettering work. What style of tattooing do you particularly love to do?
I like to do lettering. I love drawing the tattoo for my clients, and I try to put flowers in everything that I do. I love doing black and gray and colors with patterns and Asian influences.
What would be your dream project?
Dream project? Well, having an entire body to tattoo would be great!
Do you find a lot of tattoo influences in your painting, and vice versa?
Yes, lately I found it really hard to paint something that doesn't look like a tattoo design. It gets all mixed up. But that doesn't happen the same way when I have to tattoo. When I'm working on skin,I'm always trying to think about how it is going to stay after few years.
What guest spots and conventions do you have coming up?
I'll be at Everlasting Tattoo in San Francisco at the end of July (I'm doing guest spot there every three months); at The Family Business in London at the end of August; and in the beginning of September I'll be in Italy -- Adrenaline in Follonica, Tik tak Tattoo in Cantu' e and probably in another shop in Milan, but I didn't decide yet. Next year I would love to do more European conventions but I didn't go that far yet with planning.
What is something that people would find most unexpected about you?
I play tennis every Wednesday and I have a lot of plants!
What are you currently ...
Reading? "Sacred Bleu" by Christopher Moore
Listening? I'm going backward with music; yesterday I was listening to Mad Season.
Watching? I just watched How to be a Man on Netflix. Really funny!
Following? I follow More Glimpses of Unfamiliar Japan.
Finding? I was at a concert and I saw Jimmy Page.
Find more of Lara's work on her site, Instragram, and Facebook.