Cana­dian artists of all gen­res

Outdoor Lifestyle Magazine - - Contents - By KIM­BER­LEY FOWLER – CAMP­BEL­LVILLE, ON

It’s a com­fort­able scene on a snowy day. Schools are closed and Jenny Hen­der­son is home watch­ing Willy Wonka with her nine-year-old daugh­ter. This com­fort­ing aura is in­her­ent in Jenny’s per­son­al­ity, and it sets her apart as a tat­too artist in Hamil­ton. Her stu­dio, Sa­cred Blue Tat­toos has a soft, com­fort­able, hip­pie vibe —it’s one of the rea­sons her clients, some of whom are also moms, bring their 18-year-old daugh­ters in for their first tat­too.

Jenny grad­u­ated from the On­tario Col­lege of Art and De­sign with a Bach­e­lor of Fine Arts and al­though she al­ways dreamed of be­ing a tat­too artist, she went to teacher’s col­lege in­stead. She taught art for sev­eral years be­fore find­ing the courage to give up a sta­ble teach­ing gig to fol­low her dreams. “My fi­ancée gave me a tat­too kit and his leg,” she says. That was the push she needed. “When I was younger, I didn’t have con­fi­dence, and as a tat­too artist you need con­fi­dence. ‘Grow a set of man balls,’ my men­tor told me.”

She did, and with the help of her men­tor, Stephen Wil­liams, she em­braced her tal­ent and her con­fi­dence grew. “Com­ing into Hamil­ton I’ve been em­braced by the com­mu­nity which has been big,” she says. It’s here that she’s done art shows at Home­grown, Sealed Art and Su­per­crawl.

When Wil­liams, who owns Xquisite Ink moved to Brant­ford Jenny fol­lowed him. But, with a fi­ancée, a daugh­ter and a 17-yearold step son, the com­mute was too much. So, a year ago she rented space in the Down to Earth Shoppe and opened Sa­cred Blue Tat­toos. The risk paid off. In less than a year Jenny made a name for her­self, no small feat con­sid­er­ing Hamil­ton is a hub of cre­ativ­ity and tal­ent within the tat­too in­dus­try. “We have fan­tas­tic artists and shops here,” Jenny says.

So how does she dif­fer­en­ti­ate her­self in a town that houses some of Canada’s best? “Tat­too artists are artists. I’ve al­ways been a painter so I tend to look at the body for it’s nat­u­ral, or­ganic aes­thet­ics. I’m very con­cerned with how the tat­too will look from far away, not just up close,” she says. “I fo­cus on neg­a­tive space and the over­all body, not just the in­di­vid­ual piece.”

An­other thing that sets Jenny apart? “I re­ally like work­ing with clients rather than telling them what they want…So many peo­ple have a tat­too they were talked into based on what the artist wanted to see, but I like to re­mind peo­ple that it’s their tat­too, not mine,” she says. “Your work is your advertisement and I want to en­sure ev­ery piece I do is lovely.”

This strat­egy is pay­ing off as word of Jenny’s cre­ativ­ity, tal­ent and caring ap­proach spreads. “Peo­ple come in be­cause they saw some­one else’s tat­too, or they’ll see some­one’s tat­too on In­sta­gram.”

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