Tattoo Artist And Musician Shannon Perry Talks Ink And How She Gets Her Signature Red Lipstick To Last

Spoiler alert: She's hella cool

Photographed by Ashley Armitage.

When did you start tattooing?

About a decade ago, but I hadn’t been properly trained and only wanted to tattoo myself. Tattoos are expensive, and I figured I was good enough at drawing and poor enough to try to overcome my fear of needles. I didn’t properly apprentice until I was almost 30 years old. Getting my own studio was just a matter of being in the right place at the right time. It’s a beautiful space, and I’m very lucky to be able to share it with my awesome flatmates, [the owners of] Actual Pain, whose name is probably more appropriate for a tattoo shop, but they sell clothes.

How would you describe your tattoo aesthetic?

I always knew I was more into a line-based style, and part of the reason I ended up tattooing myself is because I didn’t see that kind of work anywhere. Nowadays, there are tons of alternative-style tattooers and line-based tattooers. It’s nice to see the world of tattoos opening up! I pretty much just converted my drawing style over to tattoos. I actually avoided following tattooers when I started out for fear that I would subconsciously assimilate to what was “normal,” or accidentally rip someone off. Nowadays, however, I feel very comfortable with my personal style, so I follow a ton of tattoo artists. There are so many nuanced styles out there; it’s really fun to watch.