Written for Time Out - 27/07/2016
Tattoo artist Giorgia Mae is perhaps best known for having appeared on the first season of the TV show Bondi Ink, but that’s never where she saw herself. As an animation student at university, she struggled to find her passion, until a friend in the business suggested she try tattoos. “He gave me the confidence and I very quickly got an apprenticeship,” Giorgia shares. “I needed someone who believed in me.” From there, she went to Bondi, and now she works at Hibernia Tattoo Studio, a private studio in Surry Hills, Sydney. “It’s amazing. My boss is the best person I’ve met in entire life. Going into work is like being at home. I go into draw on days off and I get to work with my idols in the business.” Giorgia says she’s attracted to the “darker side” of things in her work – “But I’ve also started doing brightly coloured animals. And I’ve become interested in awareness for endangered animal species, like the Ethiopian wolf and the white rhino.
I draw these bizarre animals that I find, and I put them up on Instagram after I’ve designed them, and write a big comment explaining their story, and people request them.”
On top of her tattoo work, Giorgia has also teamed up with designer Felix Chan to create the Find Your Magic Collection; a range of men’s accessories in partnership with LYNX, based on her personal style. You can buy her work online right now.
Giorgia says the key to her success is hard work, although she knows it sounds like a cliché. “But you don’t get anywhere without hard work. You know, I lived off noodles for years to get where I am. I’ve been a struggling artist for five years, barely making rent, but I stuck it out because I thought, ‘This has to work for me.’ When I’m not working, I’m still working and putting stuff out there. You do have to give up a bit of social life, but with hard work and determination you can make it.”