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Meet Gal Zohar “Galsunshine” in Venice

Today we’d like to introduce you to Gal Zohar.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Gal. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I’ve always made art, it’s an important part of my life. I remember the talk I had with my mom around the age of 12, she told me that an artist’s life is a harder life, that I’ll always have to work hard to get what I want. I made it a goal to keep learning as much as I can, finding new practices to master. I’ve collected many techniques over the years; sculpture, jewelry making, printing and painting, but my favorite art form was always drawing.

While traveling in the Philippines, in 2013, I had the opportunity to learn how to tattoo. I found it exciting and similar to drawing so I immediately took to it. I did my apprenticeship in Cebu City and then went back to Israel, where I’m from, and started working at a tattoo studio. Tattooing was what I was looking for. This way, I could express myself artistically and make a living! In 2017, my husband and I moved to Los Angeles and I started working at Art & Soul Tattoos on South Robertson. I began to build a clientele, finding my style – I love creating nature and animal art, delicate black and gray work, similar to the drawings I always love doing.

In May 2019, I started working at Ink Ink Tattoo in Venice, one of the first woman-owned tattoo studios in LA. We make sure to give a relaxing experience for first-time clients, making all people feel safe and welcomed. I love what I do! As a tattoo artist you get to work closely with clients, creating a special design for them and once you get a clientele going, you get to use more of your own art as well. People now reach out to me for my style and designs and I’m always open to do commission work, that way you get to try new and interesting things.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Being an artist has its difficulties. Having to pour your heart out with every art piece you produce is both satisfying and draining. Starting to work on skin is the most challenging thing I ever did. I treat it as a partnership with the client. Tattooing is a very intimate process and there’s a reason that in many cultures, it has been a part of a religious or mystic ceremony, a rite of passage. Being a tattoo artist means you have to be sensitive and a great communicator. To read and understand people when they can’t always express it in words.

And with it comes the need for boundaries. As a female tattoo artist, I had to deal with chauvinism; I had male clients dismissing me as an artist or a capable tattooer. It’s a delicate situation because you have to be polite (as you are still working at a shop and can’t be rude to customers) but you also want to do something about it, so you change their mind with your work. I also had male clients that mistook the closeness of the tattooing for a date invitation, so it’s another thing you have to deal with as professionally as you can. All and all, this journey has been great, with some struggles along the way.

Please tell us about Galsunshine.
I’ve started tattooing seven years ago. As drawing is my favorite art form, I work on recreating my techniques on skin. I love doing black and grey work, and I mostly create floral and animal designs, using delicate linework, soft shading and cross shading, like in etching, I create my realistic impressions of the natural world.

I see tattoos as means to decorate one’s self, just like jewelry. You cover your body with symbols that bring you strength and joy and help you remember the challenges you’ve had. I love taking the time with each client and help them bring their thoughts on paper, using my style and creating their original and special tattoo that will be with them forever.

If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
As I wrote earlier, being an artist means you are forever in some kind of struggle. It’s hard to be content with your art. If you feel like you have it all and you’re the best- then you better stop doing art altogether. There is always something new to learn and ways to become better.

If I could start over, I would definitely try to doubt myself less. Working on skin has its hardships. Giving the fact that it’s on someone else’s body and it’s a mark they will carry with them, a part of you for them. I wish it could be easier, but then again, that’s part of the process.

Pricing:

  • Hourly rate is $150 an hour

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Ariel Renee

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