Ink & Honey Tattoos has been providing exceptional tattoo work and service to the good people of British Columbia for a while now and show no signs of slowing down. With a dedicated team of artists, Ink & Honey takes pride in their art and reputation. One of their artists, Janaya Singer, 23, took the time to read some of our questions. Read Below:
Hey Janaya, start off with some background info; Where were you born? Where did you grow up? What are your hobbies etc…
I was born in Coquitlam, and grew up there until I was 12; I’ve been in Port Coquitlam ever since. When I’m not tattooing I can usually be found hanging with my husband and furry kids. I also love being outside, anything to do with being out in the forest or near a body of water hiking or fishing.
Are you an artist outside of tattooing? ie: do you paint, sculpt, draw, sketch, play music, etc.
I usually invest all my artistic time into my tattooing. Once in a while I will start up a project just for myself. I have done some stuff for charity and public youth events. Painted a few skateboards for a youth competition, and other things like that. I do enjoy crafty things as well. scrap booking, card making, wood working. Anything that can be a creative outlet.
What were you like growing up? Were you artistic? Did you sit in front of the tv practicing? Have you entered any art contests?
I was a very artistic child. Lots of realism. When I was 6-8, I would set up my toys and porcelain figurines and draw them. All I did was draw, and if I wasn’t drawing I was singing and writing music and playing guitar. I wanted to be Leonardo DaVinci or Robert Bateman, who I would frequently replicate painting as a child.
How long have you been a professional tattoo artist? When did you realize you were ready to pursue it as a career?
I have been a professional tattoo artist for 7 years now. When I was 12 I already knew that I wanted lots of tattoos. It was around that time that my friends and I were introduced to punk rock and we would see all theses people at shows with tattoos and I thought it was fucking cool. When I was 15 I had decided that it was something that I really wanted to try and pursue. When I was 16 I got my first tattoo. I was asking general questions about apprenticeships and how they worked. When my tattoo appointment was done, Steve (the owner of Ink and Honey Tattoos) offered to give me a little help with my drawing. He would give me weekly drawing assignments and I would come in and show him. Eventually I purchased my first crappy machine and power supply and practiced on melons as much as I could. And the rest was history. I fell in love. I’ve been working here at Ink and Honey ever since. Tattooing has been very kind to me. I’m very fortunate
What have been the biggest sacrifices you have made in order to achieve your dream?
I wouldn’t say I’ve had too many sacrifices. I started at 16, and I was devoted, so I missed a lot of social gatherings and hanging out with my friends after school and such. I insisted on graduating school, leaving was never an option. I was good at it and I enjoyed it. I worked whenever I could; I would go to the shop right after school three days a week, and then my summer holidays were six days a week. So just being a lazy teenager was never in my cards. Missed family gatherings quite a bit, but it has been all worth it.
Have you worked at any other tattoo parlors before your current location?
I have only ever worked at Ink and Honey. I have dreams and goals of opening my own private studio and touring doing conventions and guest spots. I don’t feel like I’ve quite earned that yet.
What tattoo styles do you prefer to do? Are there any that you excel in?
I was taught to be versatile and be able to do everything. I love doing both colour and black and grey. I go through phases of which I like better. I always enjoy doing anything organic and nature-esque. Plants, flowers, animals, floral embellishments. I don’t care much for doing automotive, pornographic, demonic, gnarly stuff..
Describe your relationship with your clients? Do you build long lasting friendships with customers? Do people travel to get tattooed by you?
I love the clients I get. I have a lot of female clients, quite a few middle aged, younger men as well. I have a few long time clients that I always had a special place for. A few have become some good friends of mine. I do have a few regulars that travel down to get work by me, which is always a nice feeling.
Are there any artists that you really admire? who are they and why?
The list of artists I admire is endless. I go through phases. Right now I am really into Greg Whitehead, Justin Heartman, Jeff Gogue. As for our local artists, it would be the likes of James Acrow, Sam Smith, Steve Moore. We have lots of amazing talent in the Vancouver area. I draw inspiration from these people, and many more, daily. It’s what keeps me going. I want to be up there with these artists one day.
Do you have any memorable tattoo stories or experiences? what is your wildest tattoo related story? Be it somebody you tattooed, somebody that has tattooed you, or anything in between.
I have had to tattoo lots of interesting people, and there are lots of funny ridiculous stories, but I seemed to be most impacted by the clients who have stories or experiences that really hit home for me. I think the most difficult that I had to tattoo was Amanda Todd’s father, Norm. He had just lost his daughter and it was all over the media nationwide. She had booked a tattoo with me a week prior to her passing. He got the tattoo that she was going to get. All of the emotions were still all so fresh and the media was there. I couldn’t keep my hands from shaking and had a hard time to not cry. I could feel his loss so intensely, and I have to maintain my composure and make him feel comfortable and keep conversation. I had no clue what to talk about and what was appropriate or inappropriate. That was the most difficult tattoo I ever had to do, and at the same time the most simple tattoo, as it was just small writing. I have been very blessed to meet all different walks of life and take what I can from each person and grow from it. It’s very humbling.