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

Hi Natalie, what is the most important factor behind your success?
Kindness. The world’s view on tattooing has changed drastically over time, in a positive way. We’ve done really well to shake stigmas around being a tattooed person. But I continue to hear the same tale from clients time and time again: they’ve had a bad experience with a tattoo artist that made them question whether they wanted to seek out getting another piece. Sometimes it’s that the artist didn’t listen to what the client wanted, and pressured them into getting a design that they didn’t like. Other times, it may be that the artist treated them very poorly throughout the tattoo process. In some cases, the client may have felt violated or even worse. None of these should ever be the case.

Consent and comfort levels should always be asked for and respected. Clear communication is needed from the time the client first emails you their idea until the moment they leave your studio. The time a person spends in your chair may be temporary, but their tattoo, along with the memories associated with it, are permanent. I think there are a lot of tattoo artists out there that may have forgotten that along the way. Customer service can oftentimes get replaced by ego.

Success for me is knowing that I provided a healthy and positive experience for my client. A return client is worth their weight in gold, and creating a tattoo for them that improves their perception of self is the truly the greatest reward.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Hello! I’m a professional tattoo artist living and working in Columbus, OH. I got a tattoo apprenticeship at a shop my friend was working at in 2015, after graduating from Columbus College of Art & Design. Short story, my apprenticeship was non-traditional, meaning I wasn’t taught much about about the history, culture, or even the actual practice of tattooing before a machine was put in my hands. The learning curve was probably the biggest challenge to overcome. The translation of a design from paper to skin a huge difference! Additionally, it’s harder to be a woman in this industry. I feel there’s been many times I wasn’t taken seriously, talked down to, gaslighted or flat out not given opportunities because of my gender. I’ve dealt with this the only way I know how, keeping my head up and continuing onward. You cannot help the way others think of you, you can only help the way you think of yourself.

I’ve now been working as a tattoo artist full-time for 6 years! It’s absolutely a dream come true for me, I wouldn’t trade it for anything, hardships and all. I’m also extremely excited to say that I’ll be opening a private studio with three other talented female artists this coming month, called Last Moon Tattoo. Currently, I believe that will make us the only all-female owned and staffed tattoo studio in central Ohio, which is really rad! We’ve all worked really hard for this, and we’re so excited to provide our clients a great space to get tattooed, where all are welcome. I can’t wait for all the growth and happiness that is to come!

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Oh man, I don’t even know where to start!

For breakfast, The Lox Bagel Shop is at the top of the list! Also Upper Cup for coffee.
Woodhouse Vegan is the best vegan food to ever bless your mouth, enjoyed by all dietary types!
Dirty Frank’s Hot Dog Palace is a true gem and great comfort food! Paulie G’s for pizza. If we want to get a little fancy, The Pearl for oysters and deviled eggs! Lastly, Lawbird Bar for some craft cocktails and immaculate vibes.

We’d definitely have to go to Otherworld, which is an immersive, interactive art exhibit. Next up is COSI, which is an interactive educational museum. They host adult nights once a month and have an amazing dinosaur exhibit! If you’re into nature, we have tons of great metro and state parks in central Ohio with tons of hiking trails. Throughout the year we have lots of great conventions and festivals, like the Italian Festival and Food Truck Festival.

There’s honestly too many places to list, don’t snooze on Columbus!

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My parents deserve a lot of credit! My dad always inspired me to be successful like him. My mom always encouraged me to pursue art. They both worked incredibly hard to provide me with an education and I can’t thank them enough for that.

Also, I need to thank my ladies in this industry! Nicole Elisa, Sam Little, Caitlin Watters, Krista Drummond, and more. The tattoo world can be so daunting as a woman! I felt very alienated until I found all of them. Thanks so much for all the love, advice & tips, support, growth, and friendship.

Website: www.ratcult.com

Instagram: ratcult / lastmoontattoo

Image Credits
Brennen McMurray

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