It’s always interesting to see the work of a tattoo artist with a fine art background. Their work tends to lend itself to numerous different styles, and their multiple stylistic backgrounds give their work an openness and accessibility that usually isn't found in most portfolios. What’s even more interesting is when the artist goes to school in a completely different part of the country than where they learned to apprentice, much like artist Lauren Vandevier. A Pratt alumni, Vandevier spent her summers in Cleveland, Ohio at Voodoo Monkey Tattoo completing her apprenticeship, before graduating and eventually taking up a permanent artist residency at the shop.
Tattooing in both the traditional and illustrative style, Vandevier focuses primarily on black and grey work. If you look at her fine art, there’s a definitive sadness to it that echoes throughout her work as a tattoo artist as well. Mixing the bold lines of traditional with the beautiful line work patterning that is found in the illustrative style, Vandevier creates magnificent floral tattoo beauties. “There’s nothing I love more than an inventive idea combined with the bold simplicity of traditional American tattooing to make a great custom tattoo,” says Vandevier.
Where other artists prefer realism, her floral arrangements take on more of an ornamental element, never quite resembling a specific piece of flora, but rather acting as a decorative focal point instead. For those few times when Vandevier does call on nature for inspiration, she often borrows from plants whose namesake ties in with the “sadness” that runs throughout her work, like bleeding hearts, and the Scottish thistle which often represents pain and protection. Vandevier’s booking is closed until May, but you know what they say, April showers bring May flowers. That was cheesy, we know. We’re sorry.