Could you imagine how gratifying it must feel to know that your art lives on the skin of human beings around the globe? DTLA Based and traveling tattoo extraordinaire who perceives the whole world as her HQ, Miryam Lumpini, is creating some of the most eccentric and downright mind-boggling vibrant pieces in the game right now. I caught up with the soulful lady behind the tattoo machine and touched base on her vision, artistic style and more.
First and foremost, introduce yourself to our readers. Who is Miryam Lumpini?
I have quite the story. It all started in Sweden. I was around seventeen years old when I started tattooing and began in Gothenburg on my punk rock friends. We always loved music and listened to so many different genres. The passion we found through music and expression led us to going to a lot of festivals, and I ended up working at this festival in Sweden at the same time that I moved out there to begin my apprenticeship.
Where did you move from?
Basically, I moved from the West Coast in the Gothenburg area to the other side of the country. I was really young doing a lot of art and also involved in music. I designed the festival poster, although I was a tattoo artist apprentice. One of my favorite bands was From First To Last, and I told the festival that I perceived Skrillex from From First To Last is about to blow up and they should book him. They said that they didn’t really like his music, etc, and then they did book him. They introduced me to Skrillex at the festival and him and I ended up staying in touch which led to me tattooing his OWSLA label on him.
Girl, and look at what OWSLA has blossomed into now.
Right?! And now I am seeing billboards of the logo all over LA. That was his only tattoo, and I think it is still his only tattoo unless he hasn’t done something crazy lately. I came from nowhere into LA and I saw opportunity, and that’s how the whole process began.
How would you describe your artistic style, and what are some of your specialties?
I love magical things. Color is my superpower. When a client wants something, I like to add a little extra magic to it. That’s my way of empowering people; giving them that little extra magic through my energy, and have them carry that. A lot of people call my work whimsical, but also very detailed. I put in a certain type of energy into my artistic style and I feel that they are drawn to that. That’s how the magic comes to life.
Your work has an ethereal vibe to it. It’s heavenly. The energy that I feel from it through simply viewing photos displays to me that it’s really an artistic embodiment of internal power.
Wow! Thank you. That’s so cool to hear from you, no one really tells me stuff like that.
If you were only allowed to create one more tattoo for the remainder of your life, what would it be and who would you create it on?
This one is a fun one. I would tattoo whoever is down to get a picture of me tapping out; an interpretation of me tapping out from tattooing.
You are a living, breathing canvas yourself. Give us the details behind your personal favorites and the artists that brought them to life?
All of my pieces are from Swedish artists except one American artist and one artist from Spain. Most of them are from female artists. My whole sleeve was done by one of my best friends and motivation, and it’s not done because I can’t even handle the pain anymore. The more traditional stuff that I have is done by a really good friend as well.
I have a Corey Divine piece, and he is one of the only American artists that I have tattooed on my back. All of my stuff is halfway done. (laughs)
If I were to spend the day at The Witch Doctor Studio, explain to me the buzz and energy circulating through the place?
First, you walk in and you walk through a hallway where you see my art, and you ask yourself what this is leading to. And then you see a bright light at the end of the tunnel, and I always have dope music playing. Everyone is welcome to take a look around and everything that is on my social media is displayed for everyone to see as well. There’s always good vibes. Depending on who the person is, the vibe always goes that route, in a good way. We talk, we sit down, and we get to know each other a little bit. And then we start collaborating. The clients can bring whatever they want to feel at home and it’s always a very welcoming feeling. I have friends coming to the studio at times that meet my clients, and they end up talking and listening to music. You never know what it will turn into; it’s a full day of kicking it with my client. It’s a very personal experience, and that motivates me to do this because it is very unique and inspires me as well.
I perceive that you run off of intuition per individual, and that’s very welcoming. That opens doors for the client to lucidly give away their interests and share that piece of themselves.
Yeah. Just so we can be as real as possible. Happy, calm and as comfortable as possible. No worries about other people, time, where we’re at or who is there; this is your moment, this is my moment. We’re in it together, let’s do this together. It’s usually very long and painful sessions. We always make sure that we have snacks and order food to keep the good energy up so that I can be comfortable working for so long and they can be comfortable being here for so long.
When you are not tattooing, what other creative projects are you working on?
When I migrated to America, it took me two years. I wasn’t allowed to work or leave the country. So, that’s when I created all of my paintings. I don’t have time to paint now because I am tattooing very frequently, but paintings is my own true expression that doesn’t have to do with any individual but me and my vision. It’s more my direct voice. During that time, I did fifteen pieces that are hanging at my studio for display.
Do you feel as though you incorporate what you have learned through painting into tattooing?
I just feel like, how can I take what they want and translate it into my style?
Do you perceive that the rise of feminism has played a role in tattoo culture?
Absolutely. There are so many more female tattoo artists who are handling their shit. It’s a part of evolution, I think.
Do you have any wisdom to share with those who are interested in breaking into the Tattoo business or apprenticing?
Yeah. Always stick to your vision that makes you feel the most complete. Stick to that. Anything can happen. There are no wrongs and there are no rights. There are many ways to do things, but in order to do your thing, you’ve gotta figure out what exactly is the right thing for you. I know that what’s good for a black and gray artist is not good for me; you build something around your vision that works for your vision. No one else's vision is going to work for your vision.
Do you feel as though your art changes and shifts as you mature and grow as well?
Yeah, definitely. Always. Constantly.
Last but certainly not least, what do we have to look forward to from you and The Witch Doctor Studio in the near future?
You’re going to see a lot of things that you’ve never seen before. Keep your eyes open and get ready for it.