Interview with Jema Ferrer

   Hello Jema Ferrer! Thank you so much for taking the time to do this interview. It really means a lot having you here. Please start by telling us a bit about yourself and your background. I was born in Caracas, the capital of Venezuela, and moved in with my paternal grandparents when I was three. I was fortunate that my grandmother, a very artistic and creative person, instilled in me a love for painting and music. From a young age, I was surrounded by an environment full of artistic expression, including dance and painting. The talent was always within me. It developed naturally. I was always a creative and artistic child. My first encounter with realism was through portraits of people, which have always been my favorite. I am
captivated by symmetry, textures, and especially the eyes that convey deep emotions. From a young age, I found inspiration in creating models.

Q: What type of art do you like the most? Do you have a favorite
artist who inspired you to draw?

A: I feel a strong attraction to various art movements, especially Romanticism, Impressionism, Expressionism, and Surrealism. I find it fascinating how each style uniquely conveys emotions and concepts. Among my favorite artists, I deeply admire the works of Claude Monet, Vincent van Gogh, Frida Kahlo, and Salvador DalĂ­. Each of them has left an indelible mark on the art world with their singular vision and
distinctive techniques.

Q: What sparked your interest in tattooing?
A: I have always been obsessed with the technique of permanently imprinting the skin with ink, which could be in different styles, techniques, and gradients. This captivated me from a young age. I used to draw on my friends' skin with markers at school, and I always knew. When I was old enough to start tattooing, I knew it was what I wanted to do. My first three tattoos were on my best friend, who served as a
guinea pig and still proudly wears them to this day.

Q: When did you do your first tattoo? What was it?
A: The first three tattoos I did were on my best friend, who served as a guinea pig and still proudly wears them to this day. The first one was a phrase that said, "She was like art," a quote from her favorite childhood book.

Q: How long have you been tattooing professionally in a tattoo studio?
A: I have been working in this field for seven years, five of which have been professionally. The first professional studio I worked at was AngryMom, located in Colombia.

Q: Was it difficult to get into this business? Did you face any challenges? What kept you motivated?
A: Yes, definitely. Entering this industry was a challenge, especially since it was primarily dominated by men. The talent, discipline, and skills of women were underestimated. Additionally, my youth was an obstacle in gaining clients' respect initially. I didn't have much experience and was mostly self-taught, so I had to dedicate several years exclusively to tattoo art, being the first to arrive and the last to leave the studio. All this effort was necessary for my rapid career evolution. My motivation is that art, for me, goes beyond a simple job; it has become a lifestyle, a necessary routine. I feel deeply connected to society through my artistic expression and interaction with clients. Knowing their stories and helping them process and ink them onto their skin is an invaluable blessing to me.

Q: How long did it take to discover your creative direction?
A: I believe that creative direction is a constantly evolving journey. While I have always been attracted to realism, techniques and designs are continually changing. I think defining oneself too rigidly can limit possibilities, so I remain open to exploring other styles and techniques. I am always learning, experimenting, and staying open to new ideas and approaches.

Q: You learn to tattoo with realism, but each tattoo has its own
style. How would you define your style?

A: In art, I prefer to see it as a free expression rather than categorizing it into specific styles. As an emotional person, I aim to offer my clients something that suits their personality, skin tone, and the concept we are exploring together. Therefore, I don't limit myself to a single style of expression; I always seek the best option for each individual.

Q: Tell me about your creative process. Do you draw some sketches
before the session, or do you allow clients to bring reference images?

A: In my creative process, I usually start with some sketches before the session. For specific projects, I can dedicate days or even weeks in advance. In the case of conceptual projects for conventions, I might take over a month to create the design. However, for realism projects with clients, the process is usually more fluid. If we don't finalize the design during the session, I'm willing to take another day to ensure that both the client and I are satisfied with the result. Generally, I appreciate it when clients come with clear ideas about what they want for their tattoo. I recommend they seek inspiration before the appointment to have an idea of the style and result they prefer. Although the final design will be my creation, I always strive to respect the client's decisions on how they want their tattoo to look on their body.

Q: Do you have a favorite tattoo you've done?
A: I genuinely enjoy every tattoo I create, from the experience with my clients to the design, execution, and final result. However, one of my
favorites was a biorganic-style tattoo, where the client allowed me to draw directly on their skin. I had complete freedom to choose the colors, making it one of my favorites.

Q: Which part of the body is the most difficult to tattoo?
A: I believe each part has its difficulty due to pain, skin complications, or positioning discomfort. But if I had to pick one that combines all three, I would say it's the neck area.

Q: How do you encourage your clients during long sessions? How do you
manage them? Good stamina, concentration?

A: I usually try not to make my sessions too long. My sessions typically last about 5 or 6 hours. I aim to make the studio space comfortable for my clients. To stay focused, I maintain a balanced diet that keeps me comfortable all day and drink plenty of water.

Q: How is the tattoo scene in Sweden? Do you see progress? Please let us know if you are available for bookings. Write the location of your studio and your email.
A: The tattoo scene in Sweden is quite strong. It is one of the countries with the highest number of tattooed people per capita. The most popular styles would be blackwork, ignorant tattoos, and traditional tattoos. I think we are now expanding more in terms of styles, including realism and oriental. Over time, I believe there will be more variety and color. I am available at Studio75 Studio location: Kammakargatan 47 Email: Jema.citas@gmail.com

Q: As a traveling artist, what is your favorite place and your ultimate growth point?
A: Currently, I frequently travel to countries like France, Germany, and Belgium. My favorite place is in France, at an international studio called La Machine Infernale Tattoo, which has many diverse artists. It is a learning environment, a mix of cultures, and that's very enriching. I do this for a few weeks, but I try to spend the rest of the time in my home city, Stockholm, to work on large-format projects and more complex designs that require multiple sessions.

Q: Your talent is undeniable, and I'm glad to see major brands supporting your career. When did these wonderful collaborations begin?
A: I feel very excited and fortunate to have the opportunity to work with major brands in the industry. Many of these collaborations started two or three years ago when they saw my work, believed in my process, and offered me products to try. They were also interested in my feedback and invited me to represent them at conventions and competitions. My sponsors include brands like Yossi Tattoo, which makes the best needles I've tried. I've been working with them for about three years and am very satisfied with their products. I am also sponsored by Raw Pigments, with whom I've had a very gratifying experience over the past two years. Their pigments are easy to apply, and the healing is impressive. I use Dermalize for skin care during and after the work, and their products are amazing for healing. Additionally, I use TKTX, an anesthetic I apply when my clients experience a lot of pain.

Q: The tattoo industry in the United States is undeniably powerful. Could it be a possible destination for you?
A: The United States leads the global tattoo industry, hosting many of the world's most important conventions. The open-mindedness of American consumers towards artistic expression, combined with their online presence, provides artists with great creative freedom and makes them true tattoo collectors. Additionally, the abundance of tattoo studios with renowned artists offers a unique opportunity for learning and professional growth. Living and working in such a place is one of my biggest dreams, as I am sure it would enrich both my career and my personal development.

Q: What do you like most about being a tattoo artist?
A: There are moments when I feel especially inspired, creative, and connected with art, but I understand that no process or feeling is linear. There have been ups and downs, but discipline and determination keep me on the right track. Over time, my perception of tattooing has become more mature, and I believe my enthusiasm has evolved rather than stayed the same.

Q: The best moments of your career?
A: When I received the proposal to tattoo for the first time in Sweden. When I conducted my first seminar in Colombia, alongside my sponsors and some invited colleagues. The experiences I've had at international conventions.

Q: What advice would you give to those who want to try getting into professional tattooing?
A: I believe that each path in art is unique, but if I could give myself advice when I started, it would be to seek out the muse rather than wait for her to come. By this, I mean that you need to actively work for creativity to flow, as the best ideas come while you are creating.