We had the good fortune of connecting with Eleonora Balducchi and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Eleonora, as a parent, what have you done for you children that you feel has had the most significant impact?
I’m probably not in the position to answer this question, not now, my child is only 5, and ultimately he will be the judge of it. But here are some thoughts.

Every day as a parent we face choices that will, in different measure, impact our children’s life wishing it is the best decision for them. It’s always about gauging a hypothetical perfect balance, and there is often a compromise to be made.

My personal choice of many years ago of moving to a different country is something that will significantly impact my child’s life.

At the age of 26 I left Italy to experience life in a different country and lived for the following 8 years in London, England. There I met my husband and together we moved to New York, where in fact my son was born 5 years ago. We are now based in Los Angeles, thousands of miles away from both our families and friends.

I am well aware that this experience is something I share with many, particularly in a multicultural city like LA, welcoming people from every corner of the world.

Being born here, from foreign parents, offered my child the valuable gift of multiple citizenships. What this means for his future is opportunity, a higher degree of freedom and movement; ultimately the possibility of choosing where he will want to be, in a world that once again seems to prefer building walls rather than toppling them.

Embracing travel, different languages, cultures and traditions has been a constant part of our daily life, having an enriching and mind-opening effect on all of us.

However, as I mentioned above, compromise is often a factor. The fact that our child is not directly experiencing on a regular basis the love and care of grandparents and other relatives is the other side of the coin and as a parent it’s impossible not to feel a sense of guilt and sorrow about it.

But I believe that life is being open to chance and hope that through my experience, my son will develop the same sense of curiosity and independence as I did, will understand my choices and one day be ready to make his own, whatever they will be, without being afraid to open doors to unknown places and explore.

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.
One of the most common questions I’m asked by new clients is how I started tattooing and what brought me into this field and I always enjoy sharing my story because I hope people can find it inspirational.

What brought me here in the first place is my passion for art, which has roots in my childhood and has accompanied me throughout my life. I haven’t always given myself the opportunity to practice art as much as I would have wanted. For many years I somewhat neglected it, favoring other duties such as studies and work, or friends and fun, but the flame was always alight inside me.

As mentioned, my journey into tattooing started with a career change. After graduating in architecture I worked for around 15 years as an architect, both in Europe and the US. I didn’t move away from architecture because I felt tired of it, in fact I never stopped loving architecture, it’s something that triggers my interest every day and I certainly miss many aspects of that profession.

When I moved to LA I took the opportunity to invest more time in practicing art, focusing on painting and drawing; I managed to draw on a daily basis, exhibit some work in a few galleries, and ultimately build an up to date body of work that allowed me to secure an apprenticeship as a tattoo artist, and that was a dream came true.

Since then I’ve been learning something new every day and been trying to improve in each aspect of this profession, from management and organization to customer service and obviously all the technical skills necessary to deliver a great tattoo to my clientele.

I specialize in fineline tattoos and realism, using both color and black and gray. One of my most requested subjects is floral composition, but I’m really happy to accept a variety of requests ranging from portraits and botanical art to lettering and minimalist geometrical tattoos. I love creating a unique custom piece for each client, based on their original ideas, which can be as detailed as a book or as vague as a single word. The creative process is something I thoroughly enjoy and I value every project that comes my way.

If nothing else, this journey of mine has rewarded my persistence and determination and goes to show that it’s never to late to start a new adventure; life is a constant learning experience.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
In this city I’m a tourist myself, I’ve been living here for about 4 years and given the peculiar circumstances of the past 2, I still feel quite new. In fact, the list of places I’d like to explore in LA and the surrounding areas is constantly growing instead of becoming shorter.

So when a friend comes to visit, it’s usually an opportunity for me to tag along and check out something new.

Leaving aside all the touristy things of which LA has plenty to offer, what most fascinates me here is the beauty of nature. California offers a variety of unique landscapes and stunning scenarios that when I first visited felt like nothing I had experienced before.

The desert for a start is something that has captured my heart, every time I have a chance I love to head east and immerse myself in that unique environment, vast, quiet, minimal: the undisturbed okra color of the earth and blue of the sky. Joshua tree is probably my favourite destination nearby.

But you don’t need to leave the city to experience the beauty of nature. Beside numerous hikes and parks, a stroll along the Venice canals becomes a fairy tale-like experience: quirky residences, colourful gardens and a fascinating ecosystem to discover between the occasional rocky spots.

I love the ocean. A walk on the beach being greeted by seals and dolphins is absolutely breathtaking.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My journey into the tattooing industry is somewhat unusual; for many years I’ve flirted with the idea of becoming a professional tattoo artist without being able to make a decisive move towards it. A number of things had to come together for me to change my career from architecture into tattooing, and I believe I would have never made it without the constant push and encouragement of my husband Ian.

Undoubtably many are the people I need to thank for getting to this point -which by the way is still only the beginning-: the one person who gave me a chance and introduced me to tattooing, my mentor Zoey Taylor of The Warren Tattoo, as well as the people who allowed me to work at their studios, Royal Heritage Tattoo and Piercing and Fleur Noire Tattoo; some friends and colleagues who’ve been standing by my side providing advice and guidance when needed; and obviously my incredible clients to whom I’m beyond grateful every single day.

But my husband Ian is the one who pushed me to make that first essential step which is believing in myself and my potential. He has supported me ever since I first mentioned the idea of a career change, he made me believe it was possible and I just needed to make it happen… And thankfully he didn’t change his mind not even after I gave him my very first tattoo!

Instagram: @balducchitattoo

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