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Lizard Milk and Harpy Stew: Interview With Tattoo Artist Nomi Chi

Lizard Milk and Harpy Stew: Interview With Tattoo Artist Nomi Chi

Tattoo Artists10 min Read

In this interview with Nomi Chi we talk gender politics, queer community, and the multi faceted thing called life.

The serpent tiger swallows the harpy whole, only to have her slice a blade through its belly. Third eye ablaze, she stands above it but with it, nurturing the hybrid's corpse with her soft feathers. There are stars in the ethereal violet sky; lichen and moss creep carefully across the sinew of an extraterrestrial landscape. Bodies meld fluidly like crystal jelly creating anthropomorphic forms, the corporeal embracing duality. Everything is graceful but visceral, beautiful but brutal. 

From what I gather you were apprenticing/tattooing while also going to Emily Carr University of Art & Design for your BFA, which sounds daunting and exhausting to say the least. How did you get into tattooing and why were you drawn to the art form?

What are your thoughts on ignorant tattooing and the DIY tattoo scene?

The connection between animal and human within your work is very thought provoking and often emotionally charged. Where do your ethereal creatures come from...do they stem from an interest in primitivism, earth conscience art or other magical witchery? 

I’m sorry, I’m scared too, and I don’t have the answers, but here I am and you’re not alone.

Do you consider your work as a catalyst for political or philosophical change? 

Your work is incredibly inspiring, as is your personal philosophy and how openly you embrace your identity. What has your experience been like as a queer, femme-bodied bi-racial person in the tattoo industry? How do you think people can help cultivate better understanding and support for/within/around the LGBTQIA+ community?

From mural to sculpture to tattoos and prints, your aesthetic is beautifully honed and easily recognizable. What advice do you have for others trying to find their voice or style within their artwork? How do you define success?

What does 2018 look like for you? Any collaborations, travel, or new materials you hope to work with?


Justine Morrow
Written byJustine Morrow

Social Producer, Journalist, Editor, and Curator for Tattoodo I am here to support you 🌻 IG: @lathe.of.heaven

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