Today we’d like to introduce you to Milla Sofia Press.
Milla, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
It’s funny because I absolutely never saw myself becoming a tattoo artist, or really any kind of visual artist in general. I grew up acting, performing on stage and behind camera has always been a passion of mine and is still something I continue to strive towards while also tattooing. In high school, I gave my first boyfriend his first tattoo and MY first stick and poke, and surprisingly it came out pretty well. Over the next couple of years, people would see the tattoo I gave him and randomly ask me for a stick and poke, so I just started saying, why the hell not, sure yeah. Eventually more and more people kept asking, and my handpoking was improving, so my friends pushed me to start an Instagram account for my work. Around the same time, my best friend, Anne (@babyconartist) was learning how to tattoo as well, and she really pushed me to transition from handpoking to tattooing with a machine. I am so so so thankful for all of the people who let me practice on you, as I am completely self-taught, and as a self-taught tattoo artist, we all know we’ve all done some fucked tats on some incredible people who still tell me they love the “‘bad” tattoo because they are just happy to be a part of my growth and now they still come back for more.
Obviously, I have greatly improved with using the machine over these past three years, but I am just beyond thankful for my clients — who so many of them truly truly have become my friends — as they have supported me from day 1 and continue to no matter what. If you guys are reading this, I really feel the love, and I love and appreciate you guys so so much because I would not be able to be doing what I’m doing and creating and sharing my art without you guys.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
I don’t really think anyone has had a “smooth road” haha, I struggled a lot just trying to find myself after being so sheltered at an all girls catholic school for seven years. Being thrown into the real world, especially young and in LA, it was such a culture shock for me, so quickly after graduation I got so caught up in drugs and that 2017 LA “Trap Life” that honestly was so toxic and I am so happy that I have come so far from that. Being in an all girls school, I rarely interacted with boys, so post high school I fell into an abusive and violent relationship that I genuinely believed was the only one I could ever be in. Drugs of course played a huge role in all of this, but sadly it set me back a little I missed out on amazing opportunities I could have got for myself regarding my acting career especially.
But thankfully, I had so much support around me, I was able to get out of my toxic lifestyle, and create a new life for myself. I could never keep a “real job” and tattooing honestly found me during this awful time in my life — I’m just so grateful it pulled me out and literally gave me a sense of purpose. Made me feel like I am on this earth for a reason, and I deserve to be, which is something I didn’t believe for so long. Since then, I have done over 300 tattoos, tattooing at bars, events, and out of own private studio space. I also have booked three commercials last year and I plan to keep pushing myself to book more. I really have seen first hand that life throws you the absolute worst so that you can learn from it, grow, and strive to become your best self.
Lambxchop – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
Tattooing, I go by “Lambxchop” and I specialize in cute, cartoonish but still clean, fine linework. My art style is still evolving, but I love drawing and tattooing anything that I think is cute or would want on my body myself. I’m mainly inspired by those vintage retro drawings of lambs, deer, bunnies, etc. I am also greatly inspired by religious art as I went to catholic school for so long and grew up catholic. My absolute favorite things to tattoo are cherubs and angels, I just have always felt connected to them as my grandma would pray with me every night when I was little, and my favorite prayer was this one about a cherub watching over me. To this day, even though I don’t consider myself religious anymore, that prayer still stays with me and makes me think of my grandma. So, cherubs will always have a precious place in my heart.
Other than that, I am mainly known for doing small, even sometimes super tiny dainty tattoos. My tattoo style is literally like my doodles, I don’t do many huge pieces or too much shading, but I have an amazing clientele who my art speaks to in particular and always have people wanting my designs. I love that art is subjective, and I don’t need to be doing “traditional style” tattoos to be able to have a career. I also create my own merchandise for my designs, so during quarantine I released my second collection of just hoodies, stickers, shorts, t-shirts, blankets, etc. and surprisingly my drop went very well. I hope to even expand my art into make more clothes by collaborating with other upcycling clothing designers.
Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
I think the best quality to have, I don’t even know if this is considered a quality or just a way of thinking, but trusting that EVERYTHING IS SUBJECTIVE and NOT HOLDING YOURSELF BACK because you’re scared of judgement. My best piece of advice for any and all artist would be post everything you make. Share it all. Don’t even think twice, if you have created art, show it to the world before you second guess yourself, because yeah, there will always be “haters”, but I can fucking guarantee that there will be ten times more people who will be touched by your work, whatever it is, and will find it beautiful and inspiring. This is something that took me a long time to accept, but once I have accepted this, I am so much more open and my art and career have grown so much. I never thought I would be this successful tattooing but I swear, just trust in yourself and your art and don’t be afraid to share it.
- My minimum for tattoos is $40
- Website: https://lambxchop.myshopify.com/
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: www.instagram.com/lambxchop/