Today we’d like to introduce you to Ruby Quilter.
Ruby, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I started tattooing in the UK, where I’m from, about eight years ago. I began in a smaller shop, moving to London after about three years into my tattooing journey. There are not a great deal of female tattooers comparatively to men, especially in London where the tattoo scene is quite intimate, so I found myself constantly trying to embrace femininity in my work. This has since become the main focus of a lot of my work.
I tattoo single needle style tattoo’s, which gives me the freedom to put detail in I otherwise wouldn’t be able to, and also creates a more delicate and precise aesthetic. After many years working in London, I moved to LA last year and now work from a private studio in Downtown LA.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Tattooing still has echoes of being a male-dominated industry, which has thrown up its obstacles along the way. These experiences in my career have ultimately shaped my opinions and place within this community, as it’s become incredibly important to me to create an experience for my client that feels safe and is handled with the importance the appointment deserves. I have found that being a women and navigating a predominantly male space has shaped what I draw and how I tattoo, it has inspired me and compelled me to keep the feminine energy alive in my work.
We’d love to hear more about your work and what you are currently focused on. What else should we know?
I specialize in single needle black and grey tattoos. I tattoo a lot of classic art, portraits, floral work. My clients are incredible, and we work together to create a design they are happy with and connected to. I love Renaissance art, neoclassicism, and the pre-raphaelites, and try to convey this with my tattooing where I can. I paint oil figurative work when I’m not tattooing and have found in recent years the lines separating the two mediums has become increasingly blurred.
What is “success” or “successful” for you?
Success to me has so many variances, and I have been guilty of associating my productivity with my worth. For me success is reflected in the fact I have clients to tattoo and ideas to convey. For everybody, this changes and depends on what you want out of life. I am lucky to feel happy in my work, I love my friends and my community here, living in LA has taught me so much about myself and my art.
- Instagram: @rubymayquilter