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Meet Emily Kay of Obsidian LA

Today we’d like to introduce you to Emily Kay.

Emily, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I’ve always been a visual artist, drawing, painting, making. After two years of design school in New York, I dropped out of my product design program and moved home to Los Angeles. I struggled with the commercial aspects of the design industry and yearned to find a medium where I could apply my creativity and make connections with others through visual art.

I started getting regularly tattooed once I was 18, any chance I had to spend my last dime at the tattoo shop I would. My love and curiosity for the art form led me to a tattoo shop in Silverlake, where I currently still work, I found my mentor D’mon (@dmontattoo).

After a few years of learning and working in the shop and a rigorous apprenticeship, I started tattooing. I am grateful to have found a career where I can create a visual representation of inspirations and experiences, whether they be in my life or my clients or both.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
It’s never a smooth road for women in a male-dominated industry, I started working in the shop at 19 and really didn’t know a thing. It was challenging learning to navigate my place as the only young female in an environment alongside so many strong personalities, as well as trying to soak in as much about tattooing as I could from watching and asking questions.

I feel like the struggle is never really over as I’m always pushing forward to progress my own creativity and art. Some of the best advice I’ve received is to take everyday day by day and to be present at the moment. As long as I’m always focused on moving forward, it doesn’t really matter what the obstacles are.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Obsidian LA – what should we know?
I am a tattooer at Obsidian LA in Silverlake. I mostly tattoo black and grey fine line, illustrative/traditional. I love natural elements like botanicals and animals and a lot of western imagery.

I am mostly excited by the opportunity to work with so many different individuals where I can apply different techniques and styles to their tattoos.

Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
I definitely wouldn’t be where I am today without my mentor, boss, and friend D’mon (@dmontattoo). I’m incredibly grateful for his support and guidance through tough times, tattoo related or not.

I also want to thank every single person who’s gotten tattooed, friends, family, clients, because it really wouldn’t be much without them.

Contact Info:

  • Address: 3321 w. Sunset Blvd. Los Angeles CA 90026
  • Website: Obsidianla.com
  • Email: emmbuns@gmail.com
  • Instagram: Emmbuns

Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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