Cat Bugni has been a resident at Meatshop Tattoo since it opened in Barcelona two years ago.
Here is her story.
How long have you been tattooing?
I have been tattooing for five years now! Apprenticeship included.
Tell us a bit about yourself – what/who inspired you to pursue your career as a tattoo artist?
I’ve never had one person that properly inspired my pursuit to be a tattooist. I just got into all of this suddenly. Once I started digging into tattoo culture, I became fascinated by it. Thinking about making kick-ass art on people’s skin, while being surrounded by all of the artists I’ve always admired became one of my biggest dreams.I get inspired daily by so many tattooists, it is really complicated to just focus on only one person or only one reason.
If I had to mention some names that have impacted my artwork heavily – one would be was Matt Buck when I got my chest tattooed by him. Also, Peter Madsen, the owner of Meatshop has been a great inspiration to me. He is someone who has helped me a lot to discover what I want to do with my tattooing and where I want to progress towards.
Why did you do the style of tattooing that you do?
I don’t know hahahahaha. I think it is the one I enjoy the most – I hate doing blackwork, geometry, watercolor, minimalist, or traditional artwork. At one time I thought maybe I was good at neotraditional but… I ended up seeing that I am not comfortable and don’t want to do “any style”.
I just want to recreate the aspects I enjoy most in painting and art in general. Bringing those concepts and make them into a tattoo.
What is it about tattooing that you enjoy the most?
The sensation I get when I finish a piece that works properly as a tattoo, and a great unique piece of art.
What is the furthest a client has traveled to get a tattoo from you?
What is your favorite tattoo on you that you have?
One on my leg made by Onnie O’cleary. I traveled to Amsterdam especially to get it!
Tell us a little about it.
The tattoo is me sitting on a rockstar’s face. I saw a guy at a festival from a metal band and I thought that I really wanted to f*ck his face!!! I don’t know how but he ended up in my bed, in Barcelona! (funny thing that I saw him first in London) I ended up having a completely weird and good story to make a tattoo from it – and the style and art of Onnie fits perfectly for this piece.. Now I can tell everyone a crazy story, then suddenly show my tattoo and yell “I F*CKED A ROCKKSTAAAAR”… one day he is going to see it, which makes everything even funnier because he doesn’t know I have it. It is pretty big guys!
What made you decide on Barcelona to continue your tattoo career? How did you start at Meatshoptattoo.
Barcelona has always been a city I feel attached to and its very special city to me. I came here two years ago searching for a job as a professional tattooist and ended up working in one. Then one year ago Peter Madsen sent me a message on Instagram, asking me if I wanted to join him at Meatshop. Of course, I said yes!!!! It was just the best opportunity ever.
Have you ever had a bad experience with a client? What did he or she do? How do you stay professional under these conditions?
Yeah, I think I had lots of them hahaha. I think there are many different ways that a customer can get pretty tricky/annoying… from not accepting that some things cannot be done for a tattoo, to asking for a piece that was made by another artist. Even if you are telling them that you can’t copy others artist’s work. Clients not being patient with the sessions or making you feel uncomfortable… also as a female tattooist, sometimes male clients can act, speak inappropriately. In these situations, I just make things pretty clear and keep going forward with the tattoo. At some point, you get to know how to deal with people and what to do in those kinds of situations, in a professional manner.
Do you listen to music while you’re tattooing? Who are some of your favorite bands to listen to while you work?
Sure, I can’t work without music. I listen to a lot of variety actually -and also it depends on who I am tattooing. I like to play black metal sometimes but of course, I try to be careful with those genres because I don’t want my customers to freak out in the middle of a session! Bands I’ve been digging lately on were: The Melvins, Oranssi Pazuzu, Slo Burn, Massive Attack, Omar Rodriguez Lopez, Nine Inch Nails, The Cure, Aphex Twin, High on Fire, Radiohead, Conan, Electric Wizard, Fugazi, Sleep, Om, YOB, Baroness, At the Drive In, Sonic Youth, Wolves in the Throne Room… jesus I just listen to a bunch of music!!!
If you could tattoo any person in the world, who would you choose?
Shia LaBeouf getting his own face tattooed on himself, with big letters around it saying, “DO IT, MAKE YOUR DREAMS COME TRUE!”… maaan that would be awesome.
Besides tattooing, what else are you passionate about?
Art in general and also writing sometimes. My guilty pleasure is I love doing narrative role-play on the internet. I had that kept hidden for so many years, but I never stopped it since I was a teen!!! I do also enjoy playing video-games… and especially going to all the gigs I can realistically afford hahaha. If I am not tattooing -for sure you can find me head-banging heavily at the first line.
You are relatively new to the tattoo world. Where would you like to see yourself in 5 years time?
Keep tattooing for sure, while growing as an artist. I want to see how much my art can evoke from when I started. Every year I feel more excited about where my tattoo pieces are going creatively and technically.
Any advice for aspiring tattoo artists who are trying to make it into the industry.
Even if someone says “no” to you, keep the “yes” louder in your mind, and fight for it. And draw, paint, create a lot. Never stop creating your art. Ever.