9 to 5: Kim-Anh Nguyen, Tattoo Apprentice

new feature!

This week I am featuring one of the loveliest ladies on the internet- Ms. Kim-Anh!  She is no stranger to this blog - check out her Tattoo Tuesday- and I'm so happy to have her back.  Be sure to check out her blog and shop for some great posts and gorgeous art!


Tell us about yourself. 

My name is Kim-Anh Nguyen, I'm a Swiss girl from Vietnamese descent. I'm 22 years old and right now I'm working as a tattoo apprentice, since January 2011, at Inkvaders Tattoo (Carouge, Geneva, Switzerland.

Before beginning my apprenticeship I had a blog where I posted some of my drawings and paintings. After some months of having the blog people started asking me for commissioned works, so most of my time was dedicated to drawing or painting.   I don't have any formal studies in art... I succeeded at the admission tests for art school when I was 15 but my parents convinced me not to follow that path. 

So before having my blog and begin my tattoo apprenticeship I did some business related studies and worked a little bit for the city administration, but never felt happy doing that.

I live in Carouge with my boyfriend... :)

Describe a typical day at work.

I wake up at 7am, shower, coffee, breakfast, geeking, etc...
8am, first attempts at sketching some drawings or I try to finish or progress some others...
at 9am I begin my work day at Inkvaders Tattoo shop: various housework chores before the first clients arrival. Tubes cleansing. Daily shopping (supermarket, drugstore, etc)... Tattoo stations set-up...
Lunch time around 12pm and back to the shop at 1pm...

Afternoon: I just started tattooing some days ago, so I set-up my working space, draw the stencil, etc...
If I don't have any tattoos scheduled I work on some paintings or tattoos projects for future customers.

Thus said, some afternoons will only be about cleaning tubes!
Also a lot of phone answering and appointment setting (so funny how the telephone rings a thousand times a day on a rainy afternoon but just once or twice if it's a sunny day! ;)
A lot of email answering too...

End of the afternoon: tattoo stations cleansing once the tattoo sessions are over and prepare the next day stuff as much as I can!
Discussing some tattoo projects and ideas with some customers...
Back at home at around 7:30pm on a lucky day, most of time it's way later (except for summertime). :p

Back at home: Food, food, food! Tv... internet... drawing and painting with the TV as background noise...

Go to sleep at around 12am extremely tired... then, LOUD SNORING!!! 

Did you always want to be a tattoo artist? How did you get into this field? 

A Tattooer? Not really... thus said, I've always been into drawing and painting, since my childhood. I've always dreamed of an art related job. Then I began to get tattoos at around 15 y.o. and the idea (dream) of becoming a tattooist began to make its way on my head at around 18 y.o. It began to seem "logic" at some point as I was passionate by drawing and tattoos.

Is this what you hope to do for the rest of your life? 

I hope to become a tattooer someday soon (in the next years) and be able to do it for a living. I really don't know about that "for the rest of my life" part, it's still too far away right now, but I surely want to do this for the next years to come!

If you could tell your 17-year old self anything about your life today, what would you tell her? 

Well, I'm not so far away from the girl I was when I was 17 y.o. I'm still a lazy person a lot of times, procrastination is definitively in my blood... So, in a way, I'm still in that phase where I'm fighting against those bad habits... The main difference would be that I've become aware of it and I'm trying, as much as I can, to change for better.