Interview Penelope Tentakles - Tattooist, Business Owner

In the interview seat this week we have Penelope Tentakles.
Penny owns Peril Tattoo and is the head tattooist there. My girlfriend Jordan has received more than a couple tattoos from Penny and her work is always exceptional.
This is part one of our interview together.
If you wish to see more of Penny’s work or to book in a Tattoo at Peril Tattoo, follow the links.

How long have you been tattooing and what made you get into it?

I've been tattooing for a bit over 5 years so far!! I've always been interested in body modification and art in general, plus tattooing honestly just seemed like a cool job. The appeal of being able to make a full time living as an artist is pretty rare, and constantly being able to improve your skills at something while enjoying it makes it a continuously gratifying career.


Are you formally trained in any particular art form?

I finished year 12 and started a tattoo apprenticeship about a month later, so no I haven't had any formal art training besides doing a whole lot of drawing every day for the last 5 years. And in my opinion a lot of art based education is probably not as helpful at improving technical artistic ability as just practicing a lot, I'm not sure I've met anyone who thought that time spent at tertiary art education was entirely worthwhile.


If you weren't tattooing, what would you do instead?

I love doing heaps of different crafts besides traditional art so could definitely see myself doing something weird involving fashion or jewelry making. If money wasn't a concern I would like to build a house and start a commune but that might be something quite a bit down the track.


What do you find are the three most difficult things about running your own business?

1. Making myself do things when there is nobody around to tell me what to do, and not having someone to give me constructive criticism or praise about my work which sometimes makes it difficult to improve.
2. Anything regarding money, tax, insurance, bills or bookwork. I am absolutely terrible at keeping on top of financial things.
3. The fact that I don't get paid leave, super, sick days, health insurance etc. Rent doesn't pay itself when I take time off, and the busiest season in summer is usually when I want to be out doing things. Running a business is extremely expensive and it can be disheartening to spend all your money on bills.

Thanks Penny! Great responses and thank you for the insight into the troubles of a business owner.
Stay tuned for Part two!!

- Ryan Dickinson