Results tagged “Proust Questionnaire”

12:20 AM
maika abstract tattoo.jpgsnowflake tattoo maika.jpgPlaying with geometry, mandalas, industrial forms and organic shapes, Montreal-based tattoo artist and painter Maika Zayagata goes beyond traditional tattoo vocabulary to create unique and engaging tattoos. A few months ago, I got to meet Maika in person, and she has a truly unique and engaging personality as well!

I shot her our Proust Questionnaire, and she shared her thoughts on earthly happiness, good reads and being eaten by sharks, among other secrets.

What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?  
To be alive in a body where the eyeballs are the only moving part...but ultimately, human beings killing human beings is a great misery of this world that affects me deeply.

What is your idea of earthly happiness? 
Peace of the heart and mind...but...on some days, it is simply chocolate...ahaha!

Your most marked characteristic? 
Organized...almost too much sometimes.

What is your principle defect?  

Your favorite painters?  
I do get impressed by paintings...but I don't have ONE favorite painter...when I look at a painting, it has to captivate me somehow, or disturb me...or something in me needs to happen... I did find myself quite impressed with some of the paintings in (17th century) Frederiksborg Castle, when I was in Denmark. I also like dark creepy horror, surrealist art...the collective is a site that I (almost) always love what they post...whether it's paintings, sculptures or else.

Your favorite musicians?
That's hard... so much good music out there... so I'll talk about what I last remember...I had a craving for listening to Jimi Hendrix lately and when I did, I remembered how good it is....damn!!!
And on a (very) different note I really like my electronic music, psy-trance and good old D&B... ...And, again...on another much different note.... some Milanku (post-hardcore music band from Montreal) is ALWAYS welcome.

Who are your favorite writers?  
I like to read Osho...though he is not technically a writer...but he makes me laugh and smile.
I'm also reading right now:

     * The Tibetan book of the living and the dying by Sogyal Rinpoche
     * World War Z, an oral history of the Zombie war by Max Brooks
     * Intermediate German for Dummies by Wendy Foster...ahaha!!

Your favorite virtue?
Integrity.... to have the ability to be whole and undivided.

Who would you have liked to be?
Someone born where I could have been at the beach surfing everyday of my life.

How would you like to die?  
While surfing -- more drowned than eaten by a shark...though they can eat my body all they want after I'm gone...I won't care...hehehe!

What is your present state of mind?

What is your motto?
One day at a time!  and : Breath.

See more of Maika's work on her site, Facebook, and Instagram.

maika dotwork blue tattoo.jpg
12:03 PM
Holly Azzara tattoo.jpgHolly Azzara Geisha Backpiece1.jpgIn today's Proust Questionnaire, ultra-talented tattooer (and cat lady) Holly Azzara opens up about her principal defect, earthly happiness, favorite artists and more. Holly tattoos out of her by-appointment-only studio Always and Forever Tattoo, in Watertown, MA, right outside of Boston.

Holly learned to tattoo from Stephan Lanphear, who sued the state of Massachusetts for 10 years to overturn the state-wide ban on tattooing, which was finally lifted in 2001. It was at that time that Holly began her apprenticeship, and she credits Stephan and Little John Bury as having the greatest impact on her career. Holly works in an array of styles, and especially enjoys color, black and gray, traditional, realistic, flowers, skulls, and birds.

What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?

Waking up and realizing I'm out of coffee..perhaps a road trip with no music, a lukewarm shower, never being able to do/get tattooed or pet a cat again.. All of those sound pretty torturous to me.

What is your idea of earthly happiness? 

Being able to spend the rest of my life in a room full of kittens with an endless supply of paper and colored pencils.

Your most marked characteristic? 

Cat lady-ness

What is your principle defect?

Perfectionist... Which leads to being a workaholic and habitual list maker--- I'm lucky there's good music venues in the area so I have a reason to take a night off when I good show comes around.

Holly Azzara 2014 tiger blue chrysanthemums half sleeve cover up spread.jpgWho are your favorite writers? 

Lewis Carroll is probably my favorite. I honestly don't have the attention span to make it through I sentence in an email in one shot so I don't tend to read much.

Who are your favorite musicians? 

I do love me some hardcore and metal (Terror, Pantera, Sick Of It All, Killswitch Engage, Baroness, Machine Head, Lionheart, Walls of Jericho, etc... I'll just list my whole iPod here) but I do love my "mellow moments" which involves a lot of Lucero and a Journey moment from time to time.. I just leave my iPod on random and it is very random at times.

Who are your favorite artists?

TeeJay of White Tiger Tattoo in NY inspires me everyday! I have been able to work and draw next to her on many occasions which usually leads to me not being productive because I just end up watching her paint or sketch. Kore Flatmo of Plurabella Tattoo in Ohio has probably influenced my tattooing and how I work with my clients the most.. Over the course of getting tattooed by him and getting to know everyone around there has had a huge impact on me, each visit is always so warm and welcoming and I leave incredibly inspired ... not to mention, I fucking love my tattoos!!

Who would you have liked to be?

One of my own spoiled cats.

How would you like to die?  

Being smothered by kittens.

What is your present state of mind? 

Almost awake.

What is your motto?

"This ain't your ma's titty rose!"

See more of Holly's work on her site, Instagram, and Facebook. Also check her Lucky Cats Brands, featuring clothing and merchandise with her original tattoo art.  

Holly Azzara 2014 Pirate Cat Healed.jpg
07:15 AM
goddess backpiece shane tan.jpgShane Tan Ganesh Tattoo.jpgshane tan tattoo.jpgI'm loving this new Proust Questionnaire, featuring the hilarity of Shane Tan of Feather Cloud Tattoo. After 7 years in Zurich, Shane has returned to Singapore, where he began his tattoo career 14 years ago, and opened up a private tattoo atelier. The good news is that, for the first time since January 2014, Shane will be taking on new work.

In our email Q&A, Shane talks about high powered-meeting sports shorts, Sid Vicious, and being an "Asian Superman." 

What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?

Approximately 2 months ago, I had a couple of builders and contractors over at my home/studio. It was our very first meeting and prior to that, there were only email and phone conversations. They arrived in the morning, equipped with their measuring equipments and their catalogues of paint colors and some kind of portfolio. Very professional. I woke up a wee bit too late, as all tattooers do. I spoke to them for about an hour, with a cigarette in the side of my mouth huffing and puffing away. I showed them the rooms and what I wanted to be done. Paint jobs, wallpaper, lights and all that renovation stuff. Speaking rather seriously, I emphasized that I wanted every single thing promptly done to my expectations. No shortcuts. No lazing around. No messing about. After acting like a CEO of a multi-million dollar company, I decided to take a toilet break. I wanted to just drown myself in the toilet bowl when I realized I had put on my shorts inside out! I'm sure you own or have seen one of those sports shorts, with the inner underwear thing? It's kinda like a netted underwear attached to your shorts. Its good for holding your jewels when you run, but turned inside out, it made me look like Superman with dreadlocks in a fishnet and gave me super powers of stupidity. Nobody cared to inform Asian Superman about his mishap. For the whole time, they were probably laughing whenever my back was turned. I'm sure they would have filmed it and let it run wild on Youtube...Bastards...Now if that isn't misery, what is? Why am I wearing sports shorts for a meeting? Because I can.        

What is your idea of earthly happiness?

To love and be loved. I wasted too many years chasing something that never existed. Spent too much time worrying about career directions and financial issues. Like most human beings, we strive to do better. To succeed and to provide for our families, but in the process of it, we drift away from them, build some kind of thick protective wall around us and plunge ourselves into a deep hole of personal struggle. I think happiness is when you remember to love the ones who are awaiting your return.

Your most marked characteristic?

My wife says I'm the Immovable Sleeper.

Shane Tan tattoo sleeve.jpg What is your principle defect?

I lack focus on most things non-tattoo or art related. I forget a lot. That's the shitty part of tattooing and painting for me. I can't do anything else. Can't read, can't write, can't count, can't speak proper. Thank the heavens I learned how to tie my shoe laces when I was a child. It would be too complicated for me to learn anything now.
Who are your favorite musicians?

Sid Vicious was innocent. And he was my favorite musician because he lacked so much in musical talent, he had to divert his attention towards wrecking stuff (including himself) on stage to gain attention. You are dearly missed, Sid. I use Sid's technique of diversion a lot. I know I lack a lot of talent, so I make up for it with pure desperation and determination. Some people draw a dragon once and they achieve perfection, I have to draw the same one 200 times over before I think I'm ready to use it.  

Who are your favorite artists?

I would say Hokusai. The body of work this master has produced is just amazing. I steal A LOT of his manga. And I love Kyosai. So provocative and so recognizable.

Who would you have liked to be?

A pop star. So I can worry about what color socks looks best on me. And have people type out this interview for me while 5 surrounding photographers fight amongst themselves to snap pictures and compliment me on my latest outfit, The-Inside-Out-Trousers designed by Luis Vuitton. I'd do a hit song called, "I'm your Asian Superman."

How would you like to die?

Hey why do you have to be so final? I've just started to live. I think I'd like to die holding my loved ones. Preferably the last thing I see should be the faces of my wife, my baby boy (preferably grown up by then) and my family. Hopefully, not a cop dragging my body out of the dumpster.

What is your present state of mind?

Right now? Well, I'm high off my face from good food and some laughs. I had really nice chocolate cake and a lot of good food at a Chinese restaurant in Pan Pacific Hotel today. We met my mum and gang for lunch. It was awesome. Since I quit drugs, my state of mind has been very clear. Motivated as hell.

What is your motto?

Give everything your best shot.

See more of Shane's work on his site and Instagram.

07:18 AM
shawn mcdonald tattoo.pngtiger and dagger tattoo.jpgmcdonald painting.jpgColorado-based tattoo artist and painter Shawn McDonald of American Standard Tattoo Gallery in Fort Collins, CO, has been on the road, doing guest spots across the country, but he took some time to play along with our Proust Questionnaire for Tattooists, the Q&A designed as an old party game -- offering some insight into one's personality, including particular affection for Scarlet Johansson. 

Shawn will be a guest artist at New York Adorned in NYC
from October 27th to 30th, and then at Mainstay Tattoo in Austin, Texas from November 13 to 16th.

I believe Shawn may still have some free spots left at NY Adorned this week, so hit them up to see if you can score some time.

Now, here's our quick & dirty Q&A:

What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery? 
Being uninspired, there's nothing more miserable than having no idea what to make next.

What is your idea of earthly happiness?
Those final exciting moments when a great tattoo or painting is about to completed.

Your most marked characteristic? 
I'm bryllhient!

What is your principle defect?
At times, I'm maybe too submerged into my work, not giving enough time to normal.

Your favorite painters? 
Caravaggio, Leonardo DaVinci, Angelica Kauffman, Timothy Hoyer, Mike Davis, Albrecht Durer.

Your favorite musicians?
Clint Mansell, Juicy J, Sargeist

Who are your favorite writers? 
Oscar Wilde, DaVinci, Harlen Coben

Who would you have liked to be? 
Who married Scarlet Johansson?

How would you like to die? 

See more of Shawn's work on Instagram.
 clipper ship tattoo.pngcreature tattoo.jpg
03:45 PM
orrin hurley tattoo.jpgBack from the holiday daze and looking for some fun, so I roped in Orrin Hurley of Daredevil & Fun City Tattoo studios in NYC to take our Proust Questionnaire for Tattoo Artists. At the shops, Orrin tattoos in all styles but is particularly known for bio-organic and painterly work, taking clever approaches to playing with the form of the body and using a wide color palette. That said, the "bold will hold" traditional ethos is ever present throughout his portfolio.

You can see more of his tattoo work on Facebook. For a look into this personality, here are his answers to the Q&A:

What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?  A world without art and music.

What is your idea of earthly happiness?  To reach my full potential as an artist, father, and human.

Your most marked characteristic?  Being unpredictable and well rounded.

What is your principle defect?   I have a habit of focusing so hard I lose the big picture.

Who are your favorite heroes of fiction?  Dexter, Hannibal Lecter -- for the workings inside their mind, not their murderous tendencies.

Who are your favorite heroes in real life? Be your own hero. Blaze your own path.

Your favorite painters?  Robert Venosa, Dali, Flemish painters, Chris Mars, Femmke.

Your favorite musicians?  My music taste is so out there. Anything with musical value. I've been a Drum and Bass DJ for years so Electronic is close to my heart. Hardcore, Metal, Death Metal as well.

Who are your favorite writers?  I dont have a fave,  just whatever I'm reading at the time.

The quality you most admire in a man?  Consistency of character.

The quality you most admire in a woman?  Consistency of character.

Your favorite virtue?  Empathy

Who would you have liked to be?  No one but me ... my journey in life is mine to live.

Where would you like to live?  Maybe Japan, Portland OR, or somewhere in Cali.

What are your favorite names?  My son and daughters names:  Kai Maynard and Aeris Jane

What natural gift would you most like to possess?  I'd like to take the ones I have to the next level instead of trying a new one. I was born to do this.

How would you like to die?  Something epic that makes everyone remember ... like some crazy 15 min long Family Guy skit type thing. A massive fight with a giant chicken.

What is your present state of mind?  Clear. Perfect clarity.

What is your motto?  Ride the wave of life.

orrin hurley tattoo 2.jpg
orrin hurley bio tattoo.jpg
12:25 PM
ron russo tattoo.jpgIn this installment of the Proust Questionnaire for Tattoo Artists, we hit up Ron Russo of 570 Tattooing Co. in Wiles-Barre, PA.

On August 7th, 570 Tattooing Co. will be holding The Art of the Dead/Horror art show at The Mines in Wilkes Barre. The one-day show will include work from numerous artists, live painting and pastel collaborations, as well as food, drinks and music. For information on attending or submitting art, email

The Proust Questionnaire for Tattoo Artists

What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery? Not being in control of your life or your own destiny.

What is your idea of earthly happiness? Spending time with my daughters, tattooing, painting and racing quads.

Your most marked characteristic? My tattoos.

What is your principle defect? Nothing. I am perfect! [laughs] No, I would have to say I'm a little high strung.

Who are your favorite heroes of fiction? Skeletor, Space Ghost and Leather Face.

Who are your favorite heroes in real life? Phil Anselmo. Nobody says they don't give a fuck like Phil.

ron russo hand.jpgYour favorite painter? Dan Henk. Not because he is one of my best friends but because I've admired his paintings from day one.

Your favorite musician?
I'm into some really brutal stuff. I listen to the Acacia Strain more than any other band at the moment. The positive message really moves me.

Your favorite writer?
I'm a fan of John Grisham and Dean Koontz, but I really don't read much.

The quality you most admire in a man? Hmm...I don't know how to answer this. [laughs]

The quality you most admire in a woman? Every quality that my wife possesses.

Your favorite virtue? I try to be cool to everyone and live happily.

Who would you have liked to be? I'm pretty happy with myself. I never really wanted to be anyone else.

What are your favorite names? Brilee, Madison and Lucifer.

What natural gift would you most like to possess? To be an art genius.

How would you like to die? Hopefully of old age or going very fast.

What is your present state of mind? My present state of mind is thinking of how much I always need to accomplish and get done. Crazed!

What is your motto? Who gives a fuck? Keep rollin...

See more of Ron's work here.

connect with us

Marisa Kakoulas
Miguel Collins
Craig Dershowitz
Brian Grosz
Sean Risley
Patrick Sullivan
Needles and Sins powered by Moveable Type.

Site designed and programmed by Striplab.

NS logo designed by Viktor Koen.