Orca Woo, a speedy and mobile tattoo artist

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Orca Woo is a freelance tattoo artist who has been in the industry for 6 years. She wanted to further spread awareness about the art of tattoo and some stigmas around it with her first event, Ink Me held at The Hive. With various elements and booths like tattoo tryout, portfolio display, on site tattoo demonstrations, Cat Welfare Society's booth, temporary lining tattoos and a tattoo showcase session.

Being a mobile tattoo artist, she is able to set up wherever the client or occasion is at, much less her own event. During the onsite demonstration, she proved herself to be fast without sacrificing quality. Works that were estimated to take 2-3 hours only took her 1 hour and 45 minutes to complete.

We caught up her to find out more about how she even started her tattoo career, her specializations, and of what took place during the event.


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Tell us a bit about yourself and what you do?

Hello, I'm Orca Woo, a home-based freelance tattoo artist based in Singapore. I have been working as a tattoo artist since 2012 and have worked under reputable tattoo parlours such as William Tattoo, Johnnytwothumb, Naked Skin and Seven Sins Tattoo.

Eventually, the experiences gained has led me to opportunities to build a home business, as an artist. I decided to venture on my own in 2017 where I got to organise and host events, to gather different artists and the public together. Being a freelance artist has given me the opportunity to work towards the direction I've always wanted.


How did you even start thinking about being a tattoo artist?

Being a tattoo artist is closest to being a doctor performing a surgical procedure. Corpses will go under the knife where pathologists perform autopsy. My clients will go under my needles where I perform modern practice of tattooing.

Humour aside, I have enjoyed listening to stories of my clients and would like to thank them for sharing it with me. They've put their trust in me and given me the opportunity to translate their story into a beautiful piece of art on their skin. I've really enjoyed putting all the pieces of their story together and seeing all of it come to life. The end result? A tattoo, which belongs to no one else but them, individually.


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Do you remember your first ink on someone? How did you feel?

My first client was an American. He has multiple tattoos on his body and he was looking for a small symbol tattoo on his wrist. Truth be told, I have overworked on his tattoo where I injected my needles deeper into his skin than I should. During my apprenticeship, I learnt to tattoo by practicing on mock skins. Through practice, I am able to hold my machine firmly and confidently. However, mock skin does not allow me to gauge how deep my needles should be injected compared to human skin.

I was blessed. I was lucky. The American is an angel. Not only did he allow me to complete my work, he guided me on the pressure point on his skin and signed off with praises. Everybody has to start somewhere. Perfection does not happen straight away.


Designing a graphic compared to inking on someone’s body permanently is very different. What is your take on it?

Yes. It is different for sure in many ways. You have seen temporary tattoo stickers and henna tattoos everywhere. It is not uncommon. Tattoo is also not a 'ctrl+z'. People who want to have their body permanently inked on usually have a story to tell. A person, who has permanent tattoos, wants to express who he or she really is. Their personality and character doesn't change, neither does the tattoo on their body.


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What is the most interesting ink you have done?

Call me crazy but the most interesting ink I have done is inking on myself. Yes. Come find me and I can show you all my work I have done on both my thighs. Be impressed. I am impressed by my own work, even till today.

I want to feel what a bad tattoo feels like. I want to feel what pain is to me. I want to feel which area hurts most. I want to tell you that I know how it feels.

On a side note, I have done another interesting ink which is unforgettable. An older women has virtually ‘bought’ a younger man as an escort. She brought this man to my tattoo parlour and requested to mark her initials right above his “flesh flute”, just for fun.


Are there any particular styles you prefer doing?

Many tattoo artists have a style of their own. However, do you know that many artists are unable to evolve to other styles once the public has fixated that particular version of you? For instance, there are talented artists who are inclined towards realism work; however they might end up getting many tribal art works instead. #justsaying

“Jack of all trades, master of ALL.” I study different artists’ work and different art perspectives every day. I do not want to major in any style yet. That’s because I am in love with almost every style. Be it abstract, geometric, neo-trad, maori, semi-realistic, different interpretation etc., I will do my best to bring out the best in you.


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Tattoo Tryout

Participants were allowed to try their hands at handling the tattoo machine, on practice skin while wearing gloves, with a volunteer stationed there to guide them on how to operate it safely.


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On Site Tattoo Demonstration

Throughout the event, she had customers coming in for appointments. Consulting them on their final design before prepping them. It was also a way to show the process of getting a tattoo done, as well as what happens while she’s tattooing.


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Tattoo Showcase Session

As part of Orca’s tattoo awareness event, they also had a small showcase session where those who were previously inked by her, showed their tattoo and spoke about the story behind the tattoo, while participants could look at the line work and detailing on the piece. One big piece was a full back line work done by Orca.

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Cat Welfare Society

20% of the proceeds from her appointments were donated to Cat Welfare Society, and they had a booth where they sold merchandises.


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Is there a take away message you like to leave for our readers?

People in today's society are accepting tattoos and use body art as a form of expressing individuality instead of linking it to signs of gangsterism and irresponsibility. Tattoo is no longer permanent. With all the advanced technology, you can remove your tattoo through laser procedures and it will not leave you any scars. You should not regret what has been inked on you because it is also an expression of your inner character.

Everyone has a story to tell. Embrace your uniqueness. Time is much too short to be living someone else’s life. To each their own.


Orca Woo

Website   |   Instagram   |   Facebook

Years of Experience
6

Ideal Career
In it already

Creative Approach
Everyone has a story to tell. Embrace your uniqueness. Time is much too short to be living someone else’s life. To each their own.

One thing you want people to know about you
I don't smoke, always a whisky lover and I'm gym freak.

FUSSY about
Everything.


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