Max­ine Ng,

19, Tat­too Artist @max­i­nengps

CLEO (Singapore) - - DEAR SINGAPORE -

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].”

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