Brazilian newcomer Kat Alden began tattooing to “support people in the process of building homes for their spirits.” She feels the body is a house for the soul, an empty space in need of decor before it feels more like a home. “A tattoo can change the way a person sees themselves,” she explains. “It can change their behavior, which is a way to alter their reality.” Like many tattooers, she considers the process inherently sacred.
To be of maximum service to each client, she meditates daily to rid the mind of clutter. “I feel it’s my responsibility to do this. But to take time to observe what’s around, and what’s within your own mind is always valuable, no matter what the reason.”
Alden’s private rituals of self-examination carry over into her public life, as she works to understand as much as possible about each person sitting in front of her. The goal is to ensure each design helps the wearer feel more at home in their body. “The most noble thing I can do as a tattoo artist is to make people feel better about themselves, to make them feel their appearance matches their ideas and their values.”
Photos © Kat Alden