We had the good fortune of connecting with Aline & Alena Petunia and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Aline & Alena, what do you attribute your success to?
Our success is to be unique and colorful. Our two pink Tattoo shops called “Petunia Twins Ink” bloom in the heart of Hollywood. They are focused on professional high end tattoos and custom designs for an incomparable customer experience. Our inspiration is our nature so we live the vegan lifestyle and offer vegan tattoos as a special service. Since vegan lifestyle is on the rise, many people want their tattoos to be cruelty free. We chose the petunia flower as our brand, because the flower reflected us. Everyone searches for the best way to live and grow. So like the petunia flower, petunias will grow in positive energy and therefore develop strength. Like our pink Tattoo Shops! We love vibrant colors and it’s very important to us that tattoos keep their shine over time. This might be the reason why I (Aline) found myself doing a lot of Neo-Traditional tattoos in combination with watercolor, for which I even won some prices. In contrast I (Alena) found my way to the abstract watercolor artwork. I guess our affinity for strong colors comes from the acrylic paintings we still do a lot. Also you can always find imagery of flora and fauna in our work. We like to combine animals with abstract elements. However, we try to not force ourselves into a certain thing, which allows us to grow. As an artist you should be able to work without restraint and let yourself breathe from time to time. We have many female customers, since there’s a lack of female tattoo artists We think. As a women we understand that bold tattoos can make you look very manly, so we always fit the tattoos to my customers needs. The thing we’re most proud about is probably the fact that we have each other who We can share our visions with. I (Aline) know it’s something very special and we are lucky to have each other.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Somehow it already started in our childhood. We used to draw cats and dinosaur when we were little children . While growing up we found a way to channel our emotions into art, so we made colorful acrylic paintings on canvas, which sometimes were really wild and sometimes calmingly beautiful. Making art never felt like work to us, it’s more like having a vision and following your intuitions. Then, after we got our first tattoo with 17 we felt in love with tattoos. This was the beginning of this beautiful story. When we were still in high school we started tattooing ourself and the word began to spread. It was crazy, everybody would come and want a tattoo. By this time We knew that this was the right path for us. Right after our diploma we found a studio where we could follow our passion. However, We were never alone: we have each other. People started knowing about us since there aren’t many female twins who are both tattoo artists. We started modelling for alternative fashion brands and adopted the name “Petunia Twins”. This is how We got our name Petunia Twins. Every start is difficult – even more in the tattoo scene. As a newcomer you can’t tattoo a person right away. You have to practice and understand the human skin and body. As you proceed it’s very hard to find somebody who wants a tattoo from a newcomer. Also, tattooing is quite not the same as painting with a pencil, since it’s harder to make a straight line or fill out parts with color. For both of us the nervousness was the most horrible thing. Have you ever tried drawing a straight line with a trembling hand? And then there is competition. It’s very big in the tattoo business and it takes some time until you gain respect in the scene. However, it’s important to not give up on your dreams just because the road might be tough. You got to commit and look forward to your goals.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Our favorite place besides our studios are the hills. We love the nature with its colors and plants. We enjoy the distant views after you’ve hiked all the way up and we’d definitely want to share this beautiful experience. We’d also take them on a trip to the desert. Joshua Tree is what comes to mind first! the desert fascinates us with its vastness and appearance. The next point on our list would be Echo Park. There’s always a lot going on with people having a good tim e with their friends and families while having a barbecue or picnic. We love life and to be active, that’s why we are on the road very often. In the evening we love going to bars and clubs. Our favorite club is the Echoplex in Echo Park. We’d take our best friends to Emo Nite and rock out with them. We love going to concerts and there’s many of them in LA! The Roxy or Rainbow on Sunset are also on the list! We’d definitely have to go to our favorite restaurant Crossroads on Melrose! We think that it is one of the best vegan restaurants in LA. Every bite is a treat. There are many amazing vegan places in LA, but this list would get too long! For one or two glasses of wine we’d definitely want to visit our good friend and neighbor Matteo, who sells the best wine at Froma on Melrose. On some days we spend several hours there. We have experienced and visited a lot and every place had something special. We love the many options that LA has to offer. There are different events for every type of person!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Next to our parents there is Salvo, my (Aline) husband, and his father Luciano. They are very special to us. Salvo is very dedicated to making music and he’s always hungry for adventure. When we were back in Germany he opened our eyes and made us understand that we had more possibilities. That’s when we stopped our routine and left our old work in a small tattoo studio. He’a a very open minded person, always looks outside the box and encourages everyone to follow his dreams, but also to appreciate every single step on the way to your destination. Now we’ve moved together to Los Angeles to achieve our dream. Salvo’s father Luciano is a believer and an important anchor for us to help us stay safe and sturdy in this dangerous water stream. When we need help or advice, he is always there for us. Luciano’s strong hopes give us strength and help us be ready for the adventure!
Sasa Stubbs (Salvo Galiano)