Today we’d like to introduce you to Lidia/Lidz Bressoud.
Lidia/Lidz, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I am a Salvadoran-American tattoo artist born and raised in Los Angeles (Hollywood area). From an early age, I was not like everyone else. I always kept to myself since I was an introvert, quiet, and shy because it was very hard for me to express myself. In school, I didn’t really try to make friends so I would befriend my teachers instead. I’ve always felt like an old soul which made bonding with adults easier for me. My parents had their fair share of issues and it also didn’t help that they were foreign in this country, trying to make ends meet.
Around 1st/2nd grade, I took it upon myself to go mute (crazy, I know), but being mute gave me a sense of control because it was a chaotic Salvadoran household. One day a parent-teacher meeting was held with my dad to inform him of my behavior. My teacher told him that maybe I needed another outlet to express my feelings since I wasn’t doing so verbally. My dad got me a polaroid camera and told me (in Spanish) that since I didn’t want to speak my feelings, that maybe taking pictures would help me amplify my voice.
In middle school, I learned about pointillism which fascinated me. The idea that a bunch of tiny little dots could create a bigger image blew my mind. I dedicated a lot of time to drawing and painting. My father was a jack of all trades and in his spare time he would paint. I used to love picking his brain because he knew so much about everything. He, too would use pointillism in his own art. I felt so proud because I saw art as a way to connect with my father.
In High School, I knew that I wanted to continue creating, but little did I know that this would be the first obstacle in a bumpy road full of detours. All this immense pressure to “join an art college/university” made me feel as if I was being set up to fail. I knew that my parents couldn’t afford expensive art universities like Otis, Academy of Art or Artcenter. In addition, being an art major in a Salvadoran household wasn’t praised upon. My family would question why I wanted to pursue creativity as a career. I knew what I wanted to do but felt misunderstood.
In 10th grade, I experienced my first panic attack. I was sitting in my English class feeling something looming over me. I started to feel sweaty, my heart started racing, and I started to shake. I never knew nor realized what anxiety was until I began experiencing these panic attacks. They hit hard and I didn’t know how to contain them. Once it would pass, I was left with a strange feeling, an emotional hangover. At the time I just felt like giving up because I didn’t know what was going on with me. All I knew is that I felt lonely, angry, vulnerable, and unheard. This pushed me into my hobbies deeper; I knew that being creative was the outlet. So I said screw it.
I as a tattooer have taken the route of tattoos as healing work and a connection with my ancestral lineage. I come from a long line of ancestral healers from Midwifery to Spiritual practitioners and medicine womxn. Tattooing can help people to begin a healing journey or awakening because tattoos can be very therapeutic. Once you go to the right person who can hold space for you, then tattooing becomes a whole different experience. Most of us walk around feeling unseen or unheard. I am here to let those people know that I see them, I hear them, and I am one of them.
Has it been a smooth road?
Not a smooth road at ALL. Overthinking and being stuck in my own head would keep me up at night. I became overly pessimistic and started viewing the world in a glass half empty kind of way. Anxiety enabled me and made me fall back into repetitive cycles which did not serve me in any way. Once I learned how to navigate those waters (which truthfully wasn’t until recent) I started to feel clearer in my mind.
Being a young mom was a struggle on its own. I got pregnant at 19 years old and I had no idea how to raise a child. I knew it in my heart that the world would view us in a stereotypical way because I was a young Cipotx mom. However, my heart and soul was ready for a child. My daughter made me feel complete and she gave me purpose. My parenting has always been to be mindful of my child’s needs since I was raised the opposite way. Becoming a mom truthfully gave me the strength to pursue something my child would be proud of. I wanted to show her that dedication towards a passion could lead to success even if odds are against you.
So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Brujita Tattoos story. Tell us more about the business.
I am a POC tattoo artist located in the NELA/East LA area that specializes in dot-work shading done with my tattoo pen. I love how ritualistic tattooing is and dot-work gives me this warm fuzzy feeling in my heart because I connect with my father (he has passed on to become my ancestor). Dot-work is a bunch of tiny independent dots which allow me to have more precise control. My style is very dainty, exquisite, unique, and looks expensive! But this is what I love about being a tattoo artist because I continue to learn different techniques and this trade allows me to evolve. I also bring spirituality practices to my tattoos in the sense that I cleanse my space calling in good energies. I want to provide an overall therapeutic service because within the BIPOC community a lot of us either don’t have access to mental health resources or some of us have created a stigma based upon our upbringing in getting help. I want each person to be able to express whatever deadweight is pulling them down and move forward. At least that’s the way I view it.
One of the goals of my company is to create an all-round safe haven/space for my in-betweeners who utilize tattooing as healing work. An inclusive space for those socially outcast from the world because they’re choosing to live as authentically as they can. My demographic and clientele are mainly BIPOC womxn or those that identify as well as the LGBTQIA+ NB community. Don’t get me wrong, some people like the typical tattoo shop atmosphere and that’s cool, but a majority of us want to feel taken care of. Tattooing is incredibly intimate and puts both client and tattooer in vulnerable positions. Clients deserve to have a memorable experience, filled with an overall great quality of service from the moment they walk into the studio. I want them to leave and feel empowered, not judged or intimidated.
Me, myself and I is what sets me apart from other tattoo artists. I love tattooing because you meet so many different tattooers who have their distinct style and abilities. The key as a tattooer is that you must have the right personality for it. I am whimsical and personable because I want my clients to feel that I am here to take care of them. I proudly showcase my Salvadoran roots by incorporating Salvi folk art into my flashes/designs. By the end, my clients will know a Cipotx tattooer and will be able to identify El Salvador on a map.
How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?
Yes, the tattoo industry is changing thanks to non-conforming tattooers joining and shaking up the old school structure of what we have known tattoo parlors to be. Safe space tattoo studios are opening up who have their own ideology, but the common ground is to make tattoo studios less intimidating and more inclusive. Studios like Howdy LA in Atwater Village and Diving Swallow in Oakland, CA (and many more) are laying down the pavement for the new wave of tattooing. I see a bright future because tattoo culture is becoming more accepted and more inclusive in and of itself.
- $65 studio minimum. Tattoos must be no larger than 1 inch (think Dollar coin size)
- Website: https://brujitatattoos.bigcartel.com/
- Email: Tattoosbylidz@gmail.com
- Instagram: https://instagram.com/brujitatattoos?igshid=1m0668geqssl0