19, Tattoo Artist @maxinengps
Some people wear their heart on their sleeves, but Maxine wears hers on the front of her neck, which is adorned with a tattoo of a heart pierced by seven swords.
“It cuts me off from the corporate world because this is not a piece that can be covered up easily,” she says. “I got it after my first year as a tattoo artist because I want to commit to this.” Currently inking at Iron Fist Tattoo along Club Street, Maxine is best known for her botanical artworks that are unapologetically delicate and feminine.
How she started: “I used to date someone who was an apprentice at a tattoo parlour. The wife of the owner complimented my artwork and told me that I should try tattooing them. When I graduated from secondary school, I was thinking about what I’d want to do in the future and decided to give it a shot. I started at Iron Fist Tattoo in December 2016 and it’s where I’ve been ever since. I only have an O-level certificate but it doesn’t bother me that much.”
Her signature style: “I specialise in botanicals, and I got the inspiration from my mum, who loves flowers. Every week, she’d go to a florist in City Hall and bring fresh flowers back home. I don’t use thick lines in my tattoos. I want them to look like second skin; like pressed flowers on your body.” On being a female tattoo artist: “I think we offer a different kind of style. Male artists tend to produce more ‘masculine’ work, which might not necessarily be what women want on their bodies. Female artists also know where all your curves are, which helps with the placement, as well as the sensitive areas. When my clients tell me they’re on their period [when their skin is extra sensitive], I’ll do my best to make sure the process is as comfortable as possible.” Why you should never ask your tattoo artist for a discount: “I understand why people ask, but I feel like this should be initiated by the artist. Because when they do this, they make the artist feel like their work is not worth the price [they’ve quoted].”