Artist Spotlight - Ana Varela | Freehand

Artist Spotlight - Ana Varela

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Ana is a 25 year old tattooist from Portugal. We interviewed her about her life, her thoughts about tattoos and why you should hire her to bring your tattoo idea to life. You can follow her on Instagram here.


What area in Portugal are you from?

I'm from Espinho, a city by the ocean near Porto.


How many tattoos do you have and where are they on your body?

I have 10 tattoos. One of them I did myself! They are on the top of my foot, near the ankle, above my heel, on my thigh, on both arms (forearms) and right below my neck on my spine.


What was your most painful tattoo?

The one on top of my foot! The tattoo I have on my back, right on my spine is a very close second place, but the one on the top of my foot is definetly the winner!



How long have you been tattooing?

I've been tattooing for about a year.


Who is your inspiration in the tattoo world? Do you have a favourite tattooist?

I like to follow a wide range of artist on social media so that I can get a little bit of everyone and learn more that way. I don't have a favourite artist at the moment.


Are tattoos in the workplace accepted in Portugal? For example, do people with lots of tattoos find it harder to get jobs? 

It depends on the kind of job you have, but some workplaces are slowly becoming more receptive to people with tattoos, but I feel that most still won't even consider you for the job if you have tattoos. I'm a full-time Graphic Designer, and because it's an artistic kind of job, I haven't really felt that kind of discrimination. However, I know about close friends that work in more traditional companies and their bosses say they'd never give a job to someone with tattoos and not even give them a chance. This makes me very sad that there's this kind of close-minded people in recruiting, but I'm hopeful that this new generation will be more open-minded and change the way companies see potential employees. 


Do you have your next tattoo planned? What idea do you have?

Yes I do! I have a few ideas for my next tattoos, but I'd like to tattoo something related to Harry Potter, the ocean or Pearl Jam 🙂


What are your hobbies outside of art and tattooing?

I love taking walks by the ocean, going to the beach as soon as there's the slightest bit of sun and going to the movies!


Would you rather get a neck tattoo or a hand tattoo?

A hand tattoo! I don't have any yet but it's something that has already crossed my mind to get.


Do you have a formal art background or did you teach yourself?

I'm a full-time Graphic Designer which helps me have the creative way of thinking that's required for tattooing. I've had a mentor who's taught me everything I need to know to get into this world of tattooing. Since then I've been mostly teaching myself, doing online courses and at the moment I'm on my way to get an apprenticeship at a tattoo shop!


Why should people hire you to draw their custom tattoo design?

I love creating custom designs based on your story. If you want something simple or more mainstream, I always put a little of yourself to the design to make it exclusive for you and you'll have a tattoo no one else in the world has!

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