Kristen Sorrenson is young, gorgeous and without any tattoos. As irony often proves, Kristen is also one of the most talented, rising tattoo artists in the industry. Tattooing in Queensland, Australia, Kristen studied Interior Design before changing careers out of curiousity and passion.
With a steady hand for Realism and black and grey tattoos, Kristen explains why becoming a tattoo artist has made her stubborn, driven, and an independent force to be reckoned with.
What tattooing style do you specialize in?
I wouldn’t necessarily say I specialize in any particular style as such as I’m still fairly new to the industry. Although I would have to say I enjoy the process of a sweet realism piece.
The majority of my clients request my grey wash work, nevertheless I do appreciate a good hearty colour piece every now and then.
How do you find new inspirations for your tattoo designs?
Travel! There is something extraordinary about traveling that changes my entire realm of thinking.
I’ve become addicted to traveling and attending tattoo conventions. Mingling with other artists, sharing knowledge and ideas always has me returning home with a wealth of new inspiration.
I also look to the Internet like the rest of the world (ha ha). I’ll admit to wasting a lot of my spare time searching the deep dark depths of the Internet for a reference piece.
I've noticed you are not heavily tattooed. Which is pretty fresh! How many tattoos do you have, and how do you believe that influenced your reputation as an artist within the industry?
Ok.. to be completely honest, I actually don’t have any tattoos.
Strange I know! (Ha ha.) I get this question a lot so you would think by now I would have a foolproof explanation.
Truth is I don’t actually have an explanation, I mean the concept of getting tattooed is not completely written off as such. It’s just right now I’m focused on becoming a respected tattoo artist for the recognition of my art.
Admittedly there is a lot of pressure in my position to get tattooed however I’m some what stubborn, I’ve always managed to go against the grain and achieve the opposite of what is expected of me. (Ha ha) who knows it’s more or less a phase nevertheless it’s a phase I’m happy and confident in remaining.
What personal sacrifices have you made to become a professional tattoo artist?
My profession as a tattoo artist possesses me the potential to exert achievements beyond my wildest dreams. Applying myself to my work has been so rewarding. I don’t believe I’ve had to personally sacrifice anything, yet further reevaluate my priorities in life.
My family will always come first and work second. My family is so supportive of me on my mission they understand I don’t have much of a social life outside of tattooing.
Let’s be honest tattooing is a very social event. For me personally I’m very hands on, I like to have control over every aspect of my business, it’s a job that never stops (with sleep optional).
Sometimes it’s hard to switch off but I love how demanding this lifestyle is I’m constantly pushing myself through my comfort boundaries.
I guess I have missed out on a lot of the shenanigans that most kids my age are doing these days. However I’m so focused on my career that it doesn’t interest me the slightest. I’d much prefer to spend my Saturday night tattooing then pissing it up in the nightclubs.
Describe a time you where you believe your talent truly helped someone?
I’ve done a few memorial pieces now where I have recreated an artistic representation or a portrait of a lost loved one. I find these pieces the hardest to work with yet the most rewarding.
I say they are the hardest to work with as I feel the most pressure when these particular pieces are requested of me. Being an extremely emotional person I pour my heart and soul into my work and these pieces always seem to knock me around a little bit.
The rewarding part is at the end of the session when I feel I have truly done my best in recreating an original piece with a personalized touch and that my client can leave with a new outlook on life. (Lots of overwhelming tears from both parties)
What is the greatest professional goal you have achieved as a tattoo artist?
Becoming self-sufficient. I’m extremely independent and have been lucky enough to work along side some of the world’s most amazing artists whom have shared their wealth of knowledge and showed me the ropes. I have since found going my own way has become the most rewarding.
When you aren't tattooing, you can be found…
With my family, drawing, trying to sleep or on my computer ;)
Images courtesy Kristen Sorrenson