Clara Sinclair is a tattooist working out of Jolie Rouge in London. Known for her beautiful ornamental style tattoos and love of cult movies. We caught up with her to talk about all things form nerding out at geek cons, to honing her style in Prague. Check out what she had to say…
How many Times have you worked Brighton?
Once! Last year was my first year, and that was when I was with the Circle in London, and yeah that was really really fun, we were upstairs and we had a nice view of everyone, it was amazing.
I am excited to see the new venue this year though… it’s so nice that everyone is going to be in the same space.
How do you like conventions generally?
I love conventions, I always get a bit nervous before but as soon as I start tattooing its alright. I haven’t done that many conventions but from what I’ve done Brighton is definitely one of my favourites. I mean you get to see a lot of work via Instagram, but it’s nice at Conventions to see it in the flesh, everybody working – it’s awesome.
Could you tell us a bit about Jolie Rouge and your tattooing career so far…
So I joined Jolie Rouge in March or April last year, I’ve been there about a year now, and it’s just an amazing shop, it’s completely opened my mind, and to be honest I was kind of a bit dubious because you know to me it seemed like quite a bit of a new school shop, it wasn’t my vibe, but when I joined I realised that everyone really does their own thing and develops their style together, and it’s like a family you know, we hang out together outside of work and we’re really good friends. It’s really important to have that family thing -no bullshit, no drama, no assholes. I think that’s so important, because if you have a bad environment it affects your flow and your work… so when I joined there it was just so amazing. I can learn off of everyone there, it’s so inspiring, and I really love being there.
I’ve been tattooing about 4 years, 4 and a half? It was really hard at the start, but I’m starting to get my own style now, so its not getting easier but its getting more fluid in my thoughts and the drawing process and everything like that, so I feel like I’m slowly getting there.
So how has your style developed from when you first started to where you are now?
It’s definitely more filigree, so if anyone doesn’t already know, I do ALL the lines and ALL the filigree. So that my obsession now, I just focus on that pretty much in my designs. When I first started tattooing I hated lines and I got really frustrated… I just wanted to do simple bold stuff! But as I travelled a lot more, I went to Prague and that was the pin point of me blossoming and having my obsession with filigree and everything 18th, 19th century – I just do everything ornamental now I guess. That’s the road that I really want to go down.
I’m mainly working in black and grey, but I like to add some brass tones in there and antiquey colours…my favourite is to put pomegranate red in things as well as an accent. But I’m pretty flexible to be honest, with the colour.
I’m such a lover of Greek mythology and all the roman stuff, and even like roman architecture and French baroque and things like that, I think it’s important to play with your style as well, and not just be lie, ‘ok so I just like that era and lets just stick with that’ I think its important to bring the modern things in as well. Because you know the amount of good comments I’ve got from for example Storm Trooper with filigree bits on it, it’s because people can relate to it, and its pop culture.
So how much do you like Star Wars…
See I’ve always liked Star Wars, but I’ve always been a nerd, a geek, a gamer, ad that will be with me ’til I die! But when I met Matt [Difa], it all sort of came out and I realised like, FUCK! being nerdy and picked on as a kid in school for being a geek it has all sort of come out, and it wasn’t for nothing! So I think because we’re so close as a couple, I wanted to join in with him and do his nerd cons and especially being at home and seeing his drawing and being inspired by him as a person, that’s kind of reflected on me a lot as well.
So you’ve been travelling a lot haven’t you?
Its been a crazy crazy year this past year. I’ve been doing all the nerd cons, which has been absolutely amazing. Literally I could nerd out on everything, it was amazing! So we went to Florida and tattooed at Mega Con,Yeah we tattooed in Florida, met Stan Lee, that was awesome! There are plenty of photos of him watching Matt Difa tattooing and I’m in the background like ‘Oh My God’! Then we went to LA, me and Matt tattooed at the Star Wars celebration, so we went all out Star Wars and that was fantastic! We have another Star Wars celebration coming up in July, but that’s in London this time, so we can show everyone how we do it London style so that will be a good one.
Find Clara Sinclair working at the 9th edition of the Brighton Tattoo Convention with the Jolie Rouge crew. Taking place on the 30th April – 1st of May at the Brighton Centre, tickets are available here. Keep your eye out as Clara will have prints for sale, including her ornate Storm Trooper prints. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for appointments during BTC, Clara will also be accepting walk ups so drop by the her booth for your chance to get tattooed.