We had the good fortune of connecting with Anouk Aumont and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Anouk, why did you pursue a creative career?
I can’t remember a time in my life where I was given a choice to not pursue my creativity. Even when I was waitressing tables at 14 years old and through my college degree, I was simultaneously making art. I’ve never been so sure about anything in my life than pursuing the arts.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
After receiving my under graduate degree in psychology out of Oregon, I moved to Los Angeles with the desire to try tattooing full time. Expression through art in different mediums had always been a passion of mine, but diving into it head first scared the shit out of me. Here I was, 23 years old with no classic training trying to make a name for myself in a primarily male-dominated and heteronormative industry. Through relentless self advertising I was able to create relationships with my clients, and in turn a trickle effect of organic referrals made their way to me. It was at this point that I realized that my practice was unique for my background in psychology- which I thought was left in Oregon- had unconsciously surfaced through my interactions with my clients. This propelled my desire to forge a space meant for those of us who feel that they’re outliers. People who don’t feel heard and can step into my studio and have a safe place to lay their guard down. In many ways tattoos are a way to honor our past, present, and future selves through symbolic imagery and words. This coupled with a vulnerability to share those experiences is what I believe sets me apart. Its the environment I’ve created. My studio is situated in an unassuming warehouse which butts up against the recently thriving LA river in Frogtown. The rolled up garage door lets in natural light which dapples the white walls, Papier d’ Armenie burning and echos of Sade’s “lovers rock” plays softly in the background. The studio is adorned with sacred objects from my past, in -progress paintings line the walls, this space lends itself to my expression- which is a constant state of ephemera. When I draw, or paint a piece I routinely throw it out, or paint over it. Once it is out of my system and on the page I have no use for it— it has served its purpose for me. When I tattoo clients there is a very similar cathartic feeling… I get to sit down with a stranger, and by the time I’ve finished the piece it has found its home and it no longer belongs to me. Tattooing has given me the opportunity to repurpose my art, to offer a space and experience that is different than a traditional parlor, to connect with people I’d otherwise would have never crossed paths with, and everyday I’m completely blown away that my clients trust me and continue to support my practice.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I owe the freedom I had in my young adult life to my parents, my biggest creative inspirations. Both originally from France; My mother is a Furniture & Interior designer, my father a Sculptor artist and Writer ( both whom are self-taught) Raised sans the confines of Western/American pressures of career and wealth, I was left to honor my own creative instincts. I discovered my love for various mixed medias by watching my parents fail and succeed in their own arts over and over again.
Portrait of me by Justin Tyler Close ( @justintylerclose)