We had the good fortune of connecting with Melissa Martell and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Melissa, why did you pursue a creative career?
Art has been a part of my life since childhood. I was always drawing instead of doing homework, skipping class to hang out in the art room and doodling in the margins of my notebooks. I was on a mission to make art, even though I didn’t really have an end goal in mind, I simply found joy in creating something. As a tattooer, I get to make art every day and I think my childhood self would be thrilled to know I’m still doing what I love!
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.
My work is bold and precise but also cute, light and playful. I love how challenging tattooing can be from a technical standpoint and continue to strive every day to meet that challenge. I got to where I am today through self reflection and an openness to constructive criticism and collaboration from my mentors and coworkers. I learned that it’s (more than) okay to ask for help, that there is a wealth of information out there from my fellow artists and tattooers. You just have to be willing to put yourself out there and ask. I hope people see the results of the work I’ve put in and that they can find a connection with my art. Ultimately, my goal is to give the wearer a tattoo that makes them happy!
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?
Check out the historical Outer Limits Tattoo and Museum in downtown Long Beach, it’s the oldest tattoo shop in the country! Another downtown spot I love is Modica’s Italian deli. It’s a great local restaurant with outdoor seating and good food and drink selection. I also love taking my dog to Rosie’s dog beach and walking the Shoreline pedestrian bike path in Long Beach. 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’ve been lucky enough to have some wonderful and talented mentors who helped me throughout my career journey. Justine Serebrin (owner of Earth Altar Studio in Los Angeles) has been an inspiration to me for her freedom of creativity and her courage to think outside the box. Evie Yapelli, (owner of Show Pigeon Tattoo in Orange, CA) has also been an inspiration for her strong artistic voice and aesthetic. Both women have used their work to help their communities and work for causes they care about. I am lucky to have worked with both of them at different points in my career. I am so excited that as of January 2021, I will be working with Evie out of Show Pigeon Tattoo. Show Pigeon Tattoo is an intimate, art-focused studio where we provide high quality tattoos by appointment.