"A modern woman who tackles her goals with fearlessness and authenticity."
Who doesn’t want to get inked, nowadays? Once a practice famously associated with gang members or rockstars, tattoos have now evolved to become an artform revered globally. Today, we can see tattoos decorating the bodies of professionals, celebrities and even world leaders like Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
In the Philippines’ notably conservative society, tattoos have increasingly broken the negative stigma previously attached to it. Enter successful tattoo artist and current medical student Katz Lorenzana. Katz offers us an insightful peek into what drives her to pursue a career as both a tattoo artist and a surgeon, where she touches on her creative process, the sentimental aspect of working closely with people, and living in an excitingly progressive era:
How would you like to be introduced? Tell us something about yourself.
Hallo, my name is Katrina Lorenzana but I like to be called Katz. I am a tattoo artist and I am currently pursuing a medical degree. I have dreams of one day becoming a surgeon. I love reading fiction and I enjoy watching documentaries and Ted Talks. To unwind, I watch beauty gurus on Youtube (like Tati and Kathleen Lights) whilst running on a treadmill in the gym. In the mornings, I enjoy having quiet moments before everyone is up. I journal and write down things I am grateful for. I drink my coffee black. I love painting with acrylic and watercolor.
What’s it like being a tattoo artist in the Philippines?
I cannot speak for all tattoo artists, but I feel very fortunate to have been working at a time when perceptions towards tattoo artists and tattoos have begun to change. As a female tattoo artist, my experience had been extra awesome. I was able to meet women who were empowered, fiercely independent, and unafraid to stand out and speak out.
What made you decide to be a tattoo artist?
It was a long process that took about three years to come to a solid decision. From about 2006 to 2009, I struggled with learning the most basic aspects of tattooing–from building your own machine from the bottom up to understanding the science behind how the ink sits beneath the skin. Tattooing is such a beautiful art and there’s so much I do not know about it. Meeting the people and seeing how I affect their lives and they affect mine are probably the two most important reasons that I decided to become a tattoo artist.
What inspires you to create the kind of designs you do now?
I get inspired by nature and the biomorphic form that is the human body. I used to rely on order and symmetry to give me relief when I feel that there are some some things I could not control. Straight lines, rigid architecture, and repetition felt safe. It was later on that I understood the beauty in asymmetry, chance, and flow. All these could be found in nature and the way our body is built. I am thrilled with how tattoos flow on the skin and the way they move with the body.
Can give us a glimpse into your creative process?
First of all, I meet with the client. I encourage them to tell me about themselves and to not be afraid that they’ll say something “wrong.” A lot of people are actually more in touch with what they don’t want vs what they actually want. It is my task to hear what they are saying and to be able to translate it into something visual. At the end of the day, the only thing I am really able to do is to work this imagery into something that is fit to become a tattoo.
Do you have any tips for budding tattoo artists in the Philippines?
Ask for help, learn, make friends, share your knowledge. 🙂
I am still learning today and it’s best to enjoy the process. Be receptive to modernization and to the idea that we may never truly know everything there is to learn about tattooing. Again, have fun!
Any future plans?
I would love to be able to work on nipple reconstruction/tattoos for breast cancer survivors.
Katz’s bottomless thirst for improvement and teeming self-awareness are what allow her to constantly reach greater heights in whatever she pursues. She is a modern woman who tackles her goals with a fearlessness and authenticity—inciting everyone around her to believe that she can overcome any hurdle that comes her way.
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