Welcome to a world where the past is concealed and reborn beneath the hands of a magician, where ink is more than pigment—it's a potion of transformation. In the buzzing enclave of her tattoo studio, a sorceress of skin art, BlvqWulph, invites us on an enchanting journey that travels deep beneath the surface of the skin and straight into the realm of imagination.
BlvqWulph isn't merely a tattoo artist; she's an alchemist of aesthetics whose delicate touch has turned countless scars of regret into emblems of beauty. With a career that spans almost two decades, Blvq possesses the rare ability to make the old disappear and the new emerge in a dance of color and form.
In this exclusive interview, we get up close and personal with BlvqWulph as she unveils the intricate techniques that make her a virtuoso of cover-ups, reveals her philosophy on the art of tattoos, and shares her fervent passion that elevates this ancient craft into modern masterpieces. Drawing more than just tattoos, BlvqWulph draws us into her world—a place where artistry meets transformation and every inked line is a testament to the enduring allure of the tattooer's tale. Ready to peel back the curtain? Let's delve into the mind of an artist who redefines the canvas of the human body, one exquisite cover-up at a time.
Can you tell us about your background as a professional tattoo artist and how you got started in the industry?
Sure! I actually didn’t have a “typical” tattoo apprenticeship…I started working at a shop in Baltimore after showing the owner a few sketches I’d drawn up on the spot, and he pretty much hired me right then and there. I worked at the front desk for about a month, then one day he says “here, do a tattoo” and shoves a machine in my hand. One of my friends offered themselves up as a guinea pig, and nervously tattooed a thorny rose on their calf. It wasn’t too bad for my first piece, but considering my skills on paper, I had a long way to go.
How would you describe your style of tattooing? Are there any particular themes, techniques, or designs that you are known for?
I would have to say, my style is illustrative realism with a heavy influence of afro-futurism and 80’s nostalgia. I’m known for using bright, vibrant colors in my pieces, and one of the tattoos that really turned some heads was a beetle on the outside of my client’s knee that appears to open its wings as they bend their leg.
What is your process for working with clients to design and execute their tattoo ideas? How do you ensure that their vision is accurately translated into the final artwork?
It depends on the client. Sometimes they already have an idea that they want me to embellish upon, other times they have no idea what they want and it’s up to me to pick their brains to flesh out a concept. Once we’ve got that figured out, I’ll either jump right into the designing process by sketching it out with Sharpies write on their bodies, then tattooing from there, or taking a few extra days to draw out the design on my iPad.
How do you stay updated with the latest trends, techniques, and tattooing technology in the industry? Can you give us an example of how you have integrated a new technique or technology into your work?
I keep up with everything through social media, like Instagram, Facebook and TikTok. I follow a lot of other artists and tattoo supply companies that post their new products and brands, I talk to other artists I work with to see what their favorite brands are, etc. When wireless tattoo pens were introduced, I was initially a little skeptical of how well they worked. But after trying it out for myself, I highly doubt I’d ever go back to using corded machines again.
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Can you share any challenging or unique tattooing experiences you've had in your career? How did you successfully navigate those situations?
My most challenging tattoos are almost always a cover-up of some sort. And the most challenging of those are the ones that are really dark and dug into the skin so deep that the line work is raised and scarred. When approaching these types of pieces, I take a photo of the old tattoo and draw a new design over it using my iPad. I make sure that the new design will effectively “disguise” the old work with strategically placed shadows, highlights, midtones, and color. When applying the new tattoo, I also have to keep in mind to not overwork the areas where the old ink is to ensure there will be no additional scarring and the new tattoo will heal appropriately.
How do you prioritize and manage your workload as a tattoo artist? How do you ensure that you can deliver high-quality tattoos within set timelines?
My incredible wife has taken on the task of managing my social media presence so that I can prioritize my workload and stay on top of communicating with my clientele. Once the consultation is out of the way, I set aside the necessary time to create designs that need to be planned out. If the tattoo is on the larger or more detailed side, I arrange for the sessions to be broken up into multiple sittings and leave time in between for the healing process.
Are there any specific safety or hygiene protocols that you follow to ensure a clean and comfortable environment for your clients? How do you address any concerns related to cleanliness and sterilization?
I keep my BBP (Blood-borne Pathogens) certification up-to-date and renew it every year. In my studio, I maintain proper safety protocol by cleaning and sanitizing everything I work with and on before and after my sessions. I also make sure that my client practices proper hygiene before our session.
Can you describe a time when you had to handle a difficult or dissatisfied client? How did you approach the situation and ensure client satisfaction?
I haven’t really had too many issues in that area lately. But, when I used to work at shops in rough areas, it brought in that type of clientele; they wanted cheaper work and would try to haggle your prices down. They’d walk into the shop with Jordans on, or with brand new hair, nails, and lashes, but would bitch and moan over a $50 deposit. Once I figured out the type of artist I wanted to be and the type of clientele I wanted to attract, it all began to manifest in that way!
What steps do you take to continually improve your skills and stay inspired as a tattoo artist? Are there any specific artists or influencers who have had a significant impact on your work?
It can be hard to keep the motivation up sometimes, but I follow so many incredible artists who give me inspiration and push me to outdo myself with every tattoo I create. When I’m in a rut, I scroll through their IG pages, look through my TikTok feeds, or browse Pinterest for fresh concepts and ideas. Some of my favorite artists are Danger Dave, who excels at black and gray realism, and Miryam Lupini, who does beautiful color work, but the list definitely goes on!
How do you handle the emotional aspect of tattooing, especially when working on sentimental or meaningful tattoos? How do you provide support to clients during the process?
I’m very sensitive and empathetic. I’m also a Pisces (lol). As someone who knows all too well what it’s like to lose a loved one, it comes very easily to me to work with clients who want to memorialize their loved ones with a tattoo. It’s incredibly heart-warming to be able to create a piece that’s meaningful to them and by the time we're done, there usually isn’t a dry eye in the room. Happy tears, though!
What’s next for Blvq Wulph? Where can we keep up with you?
Well, I just relocated to Memphis…I'm in a whole new environment at a well-established shop. So, right now I'm just getting settled in while I gradually rebuild my brand and get to know my new coworkers and clients. And I'm on all the basic social media apps, Instagram/Threads, TikTok, Facebook, and X (twitter)
Twitter X: @blvqwulph
Written by: X. Elysium, Blogger, Author