I’m Amanda Chanfreau, and This Is How I Tattoo
Amanda has been an artist for the last ten years, and her work has been exposed in many exhibitions around the world
Hailing from the nice city of Malmö, Amanda Chanfreau's practice has evolved to encompass painting, visual art, textile work and sculpture, and perhaps surprisingly, tattoos.
She started her tattoo apprenticeship four years ago in Mexico, when a friend came up with the idea to start tattooing. You can now find her at Malört in Malmö, Sweden. We love her illustrative style, heavily influenced by her background as a painter, so we reached out to learn a little about how she tattoos.
- Located in: Malmö
- Style: Illustrative
- Tattooing career: as a hobby since 2012, formally since 2014
- Waiting list at present: 4-5 months
- Hourly rate: 1500 SEK (swedish crones)
How did you start as a tattoo artist?
My friend wanted to learn how to tattoo and convinced me that we would learn together. I started practicing on him, and then I was hooked. I started out as a not so serious apprentice in a small studio in the town in Mexico where I was living, and doing tattooing like kind of a hobby at first. But it wasn´t until I came to Malört in Malmö that I started a more formal apprenticeship and learned the trade properly.
If you could get tattooed by any artist living or non-living, who would you choose? What would you get?
I´ve admired the artist duo Expanded Eye for several years and I think they do amazing works. I understand they do tattoos inspired by people’s stories, and only choose the stories that inspires them. It would be an honor to get one of their designs on my skin.
Which tattoo artists have influenced your work? What inspires you?
I´m not very familiar with the tattoo community, it is still quite a new world for me. I come from a different background and I still think my inspiration comes mainly from the art scene and illustration. I also enjoy textiles and embroidery a lot, and ornaments in traditional arts and craft is a great source of inspiration.
Describe how you work in one word.
Tell us a bit about what a typical day is like for Amanda.
I have three different kind of days, depending on what I´m doing. There are the days when I tattoo, the days when I draw for customers, and the days when I have time to be in my own workshop doing non-tattoo related drawings and paintings. I enjoy all of them a lot when there is a balance, I enjoy a bit of change.
Has there been some turning point in your life/career?
I guess that must have been when I walked in to Malört to get a tattoo, and got to know the owner, Thomas Rosén, who later became my teacher. That is when tattooing became a big part of my life.
What are the apps, software or tools without which you couldn’t live?
I don´t use any apps or specific software in my work. When I draw I use a normal pencil, or sometimes a wax marker. When I paint I use acrilics, nothing fancy.
What is your workspace like?
How do you organise your working calendar?
I try to have about 4 customers a week, that gives me time to do good designs and hopefully i`ll have time for other projects as well. I try not to book customers too long ahead, since I like to be able to have some freedom to travel or do other things.
Do you have any techniques, tricks or secrets that you could share?
I really don´t know if I have any tricks or secrets.
Is there anything that makes you stand out above the rest?
I don´t know, maybe the fact that I started out as a painter. I didn´t “grow up” within the tattoo community and I think that gives me another angle of what tattoos can be. Many people tell me that they didn´t know tattoos could look like mine. That is encouraging to hear.
How do you see the world of the tattoo in ten years’ time?
I’m hoping that we will continue to see new developments of styles and artistic expressions in tattoo. That people will stop copying each others tattoos, start appreciating tattooing as a form of art and choose their tattoo artist because of their unique style.
Are you reading anything at the moment?
Unfortunately I don´t have much time for reading. I like to listen to audiobooks while drawing and I find that very relaxing, but lately I have mostly listened to documentaries. I love reading and I want to find the time to do it again.
What do you do to recharge your batteries?
It sounds strange perhaps, but I draw. If I get time to do non tattoo related artworks; to sit alone in my workshop, that is like recharging my batteries.
What’s the best piece of advice you have ever been given?
Trust your instinct and your own artistic judgement.
Which tattoo artist would you have us do this interview with?
I admire Mariñe Perez very much and it would be interesting to read an interview with her.
Interview number III of the How I tattoo interview series.
The How I Tattoo series asks the best tattoo artists to share how they tattoo. Every few days we’ll feature a new tattoo artist and the workspaces, routines, gadgets, apps, tips, and tricks that they use. Have someone you’d like to see featured, or questions you think we should ask? Email us to firstname.lastname@example.org.
How I Tattoo interview series is inspired by Lifehacker’s How I Work series.