I bumped into Bodine Ester ( you maybe recognise her
face from the show InkMaster) at the 10 year anniversary
of Schiffmacher & Veldhuis and after a quick scroll through
her Instagram page I was mesmerised by her amazing
collection of sadgirl-, flower- and other cool detailed tattoo’s.
We spoke about her work, what she loves about her line of
work and what it’s like to work in a mostly male dominated
How long have you been a tattoo artist?
For 2,5 years now! 1,5 professionally!
What was your first tattoo?
Three little tree spirits from Princess Mononoke Hime
(anime movie) on a calf with a 3 liner in my bedroom on
one of my first clients (Who is still one of my best clients!).
How would you describe your tattoo-style?
Influenced by neotraditional and anything sad, badass and
What is the most memorable tattoo you’ve created?
I’m not sure! I’m guessing it’s probably the weed leaf in the
colors of the Dutch flag I tattooed in someones neck..
In creating a sketch or a tattoo, how much is it the
client’s idea and how much is it your advise or tips?
That’s completely different each time. For me the best clients
are the ones that just give me an idea and let me run with it.
But not everything about tattooing is doing what you want.
It’s very common for people to have a certain idea and even
already an image ready of how they want it. I will re-design
and advise in the best way I can in these cases. The worst ones
are when people say “I love your style” and then want something
completely the opposite.
What do tattoos and tattooing mean to you?
Everything! I’m becoming more and more obsessed as I develop
in my skills. I can hate myself for days or even cry when I don’t
like what I drew, painted or tattooed. But when I’m proud of
myself it makes me feel like I own the fucking world.
Tattooing used to be regarded as a sub-cultural activity,
now it seems to have become more mainstream. What
are your thoughts about that?
I love the fact that everybody is getting tattooed. Its easier for
people to overstep that boundary of getting one. But with everything
that becomes mainstream,comes a bad side. There is loss in creativity
and authenticity. Also the skill itself isn’t being taking so seriously
anymore. For people like me who did sacrifice a lot to get where they
are that can be annoying. People seem to forget that cheap tattoos
aren’t good and good tattoos aren’t cheap!
Do you often notice you working a mostly male dominated
territory or does that make standing out more easy as a
female tattoo artist? I do feel that its harder to prove myself as an
artist because I’m a young girl who just started tattooing. I don’t mind
working in a male dominated work space because I like the way men
think and act in groups. Although sometimes a female has an approach
a man will never be able to have. I’ve never worked for women so I can’t
tell you the difference in that! I do feel like the women that are in the
tattoo world should support each other more often and maybe try to make
sure we don’t feel too different.
Text by Nine Balk
Photo’s by Texas Schiffmacher