Imagine you found The One. Not romantically though - I’m talking about the one tattoo artist whose work embodies everything that you love about the medium, whose aesthetic is perfectly in tune with yours, with talent and skills to match.
Then imagine that artist is not only living and working literally half the world away from you, they are incredibly famous and in a very high demand. Getting work done by them sounds like an impossible dream, right?
That’s what I thought - until that fateful day in September when I was sitting at my desk staring at my phone screen in complete disbelief. Brazil, it said. Curitiba.
Do you know how big this country is? It’s the 5th largest country in the world, with many cities much more famous and prominent than Curitiba. And yet, there it was - Rita was coming to my city, mere months before I’m moving out of the country for good. I’m a highly sceptical person, but this is the closest I’ve ever been to believing in signs/fate/destiny/what have you.
Rit Kit is an acclaimed Ukrainian artist specialising in botanical tattoos. The thing that makes her work so unique is that she uses real plants as stencils, making each one completely one-of-a-kind. Of course, I immediately knew which plant I wanted to get.
Dicranopteris Nervosa, colloquially known as Samambaia-de-Barranco, is a species of the Gleicheniaceae family. Dicranopteris genus isn't very rare, but this particular species is only found in areas of Southern Brazil, Argenitna and Paraguay. Doesn't get much more local than that!
Of course, I didn't know any of this when I came across this striking fern back in the beginning of the year, when we were making our way through the jungle towards a hidden waterfall. We actually had to come back there right before the tattoo just to get some fresh cuts, as it looks considerably different when dried. A six hour sitting later, there it was.
By mid-November it was healed, I've just finished shooting my previous tattoo, and I was starting to think of how to style a shoot for this one. Luckily, I was about to take off for a long-anticipated trip down to Uruguay (more on that next week), and the place I was staying at made for a great set - interesting furniture, warm colour palette, tall ceilings, lots of bright natural light streaming in through giant windows. Here's the result.