Just the Tip An Interview with Tattoo Artist Sarah Wright - theHumm June 2021
Just the Tip An Interview with Tattoo Artist Sarah Wright - theHumm June 2021
By Kris Riendeau
Over the years, I’ve learned that when one artist highly recommends another, it’s generally a good idea to follow up on the tip. In this case, the tip came from Kaajuk Kablalik, who is profiled in the April 2021 issue of theHumm. Along with the headshot for his Artist Trading Card, Kaajuk sent along a photo of his tattoos (shown here), which were done by a visual artist and graphic designer living with their four kids on a small homestead in Brooke Valley. I followed the link to their website justthetiphandpoketattoos.com and was immediately intrigued by what I found there — definitely not your average tattoo parlour! I contacted Sarah Wright to find out more about their art and vision.
theHumm: As soon as I landed on your homepage, I felt an immediate sense of calmness and welcoming. You have clearly put a lot of thought and effort into creating a space that is different from a stereotypical tattoo parlour. Why was this important to you, and has it helped you reach a clientele who may not be comfortable in a more traditional setting?
Sarah Wright: I’m so happy to hear that feeling of welcome came through. It is the absolute MOST important thing to me that my clients feel safe, heard and respected. When I started tattooing, I was thinking about what it was in the tattoo shop environment that made me feel uncomfortable and how I could try to foster the opposite feeling by creating a safe and beautiful space for people who shared my feelings of discomfort. I get to do a lot of first-time tattoos for folks of all ages, and whether it’s the nervous 17-year-old with their mom or the confident 65-year-old who never thought they would get a tattoo, I am honoured to be able to provide a space where they feel empowered to make a choice about their body, and humbled by the personal space they share with me.
Your FAQ page is welcoming of “all bodies”, and I see that you offer free colour swatches so people can find out how different colours will look on their complexion, no matter what their skin tone is. You also clearly indicate that there will be “no space for racism, sexism, transphobia, homophobia or any kind of hateful or oppressive behaviours”. I don’t really have a question about all that — I just think it’s very cool and wanted readers to know about it. But if you would like to comment on it, please feel free!
I want ALL people to feel empowered in my shop, regardless of gender, skin tone or body type. Too often we see only “thin” white able-bodied people portrayed in the tattoo industry. But this does not represent most people. I identify as queer and disabled and wanted more people like me to feel comfy and welcome in that space. I have heard countless stories (not to mention my own experiences) of people feeling bullied or pressured into getting a tattoo that wasn’t exactly what they wanted, or treated like they were an inconvenience to the artist. So many women have told me about subtle (and not so subtle) sexual abuse and undertones during their tattoo experience. To me that is horrifying. It can be a major decision to mark your body in such a permanent way — for some people years in the making. Offering free colour swatches for people with darker complexions is an important part of inclusivity. The skin acts as a window over the ink, so the way that colours will look when healed (e.g. brightness intensity of some colours) varies depending on different skin tones.
What have been some of the challenges — and advantages — of setting up a shop in a rural setting?
I love working in the Ottawa Valley, I’ve moved my shop around a bit from Cordwood Studio in Brooke Valley to a Gothic manor B&B in Lanark, and am currently working out of The Lash Nook in Carleton Place. To be honest I haven’t really felt any disadvantages to working in a more rural setting, maybe having to light a wood stove for heat! I don’t miss doing that — my new location is thankfully a little more modern. I find that people from as far as Toronto are happy to come out to get a one-of-a-kind hand poke tattoo and seem to really love the “Valley experience”. It’s so beautiful out here and there’s so much to do in Lanark County.
Can you briefly describe what a “hand poke tattoo” is, for our readers who have not yet run across this technique? Why were you drawn to that technique?
Hand poke tattoo is just like traditional tattooing but without the machine! Think of it more as pointillism than a line drawing. Hand poke tattoo does not use a tattoo machine or “gun” but instead each mark is poked by hand. I explain the process throughout the tattoo, regularly checking in with my client about how they are feeling both physically and emotionally.
The gentler pace and fine detail of the work allow for a quiet and calm space that often opens up to some incredible conversations. The stories and honesty people share with me is such a gift.
Because hand poke is very gentle on the skin, I often have clients remark about how little it hurts. “That’s it?!” is usually their first sentence after the initial pokes. They also tend to heal much faster than traditional tattoos.
I’m guessing that by naming your studio “Just the Tip” you are indicating that you have a sense of humour. Is that important in your line of work?
Naming my studio Just the Tip is just a bit of cheeky fun; it’s memorable and gives folks a good chuckle. I think having a sense of humour is important in all aspects of life, and during such an intimate procedure it definitely helps people to feel more at ease.
You can find out more about Sarah and hand poke tattoos at justthetiphandpoketattoos.com , on Facebook or on Instagram.
Frank Sammut —Fine Wood Working - theHumm June 2021
By Sally Hansen
Art… and Soul
Kokopelli Custom Woodworking is Frank Sammut’s celebration of the natural beauty and wonder encapsulated in the trees that fall on his 87 acres of bush lot near Maberly. His lifelong fondness for working with his hands has culminated in a passion for creating one-of-a-kind pieces of furniture that showcase nature’s beauty. Wood speaks to him. And he creates poetry in response.
Frank’s artistic tables and benches are as much sculptures as the......
Warden Christa Lowry (Mississippi Mills Mayor) has proclaimed June as PRIDE Month in Lanark County and encourages residents to reflect on the ongoing struggle for equality faced by members of the 2SLGBTQ+ community while celebrating the contributions that enhance the county.
The proclamation expresses support for every citizen to experience equality and freedom from discrimination, and notes all people, regardless of race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, marital status, genetic characteristics or disability, hav......
By Susie Osler
It is mid-May. Late Spring. The air is pulsing with life. The miracle that is migration parades a blessing of beautiful birds back to parks, forests, streets and yards, along with their chorus of songs telling us, again, to listen, look, and revel in Life. Amongst the flurry of feathery delights, another migration of sorts has also been underway. Postmarked packages containing thousands of little genetic bundles criss-cross the continents on flightpaths of their own — from seed producers to the mailbo......
Rural Root’s Comedic Double-Feature - theHumm June 2021
After winning the Ottawa Faces Magazine People’s Choice Award for Favourite Theatre Company, Rural Root Theatre Company is hard at work bringing live theatre to the community again.
Rural Root’s third virtual production is a comedy extravaganza that features Dagny Jackson’s Fishing for Fate and Peter Paylor’s Tea with Roger. It is being presented live via Zoom on June 3, 4 and 5 at 7:30pm and on Sunday, June 6 at 2pm. The show is free, and you can choose your date by visiting ruralroot.org .
Imagine hailing a cab only to f......
Pop Up Summer Theatre - theHumm June 2021
By Juli Heney
Studio Theatre Perth is happy to announce a plan to return to live theatre at the end of summer — but in a new, Covid-friendly, engaging and exciting way!
During the weekend of August 28 and 29, there will be 10-minute plays popping up all over downtown Perth and in a few other select locations. We are joining forces with Kanata Theatre in presenting plays that were developed through a playwriting workshop facilitated by award-winning playwright Guy Newsham.
There will be......
Gayle Kells:Rooted in Time - theHumm June 2021
From May 26 to July 2 (leading up to Canada Day), Sivarulrasa Gallery is pleased to present Rooted in Time, an intriguing installation by Ottawa-based artist Gayle Kells that uses art to explore Canadian identity in the 21st Century. Kells was born to two Lebanese Canadians who both had parents who immigrated to Canada at different times. The installation can be viewed virtually until the current lockdown is lifted; at which time we will open our doors again to in-person view......
Art in the Garden is back at Kiwi Gardens this year in an extended format following Covid protocols. From June 18–20 and 25–27, come wander their 10 acres and find delightful art for enhancing your home garden, produced by local artists, artfully displayed in shady woods and on sunny lawns. Bring your parasol and come for a stroll!
Art in the Garden is open Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 9–5, but tickets and car passes must be purchased for specific time slots to ena......
Destination: Downtown Smiths Falls - theHumm June 2021
By John Pigeau
When things slowly begin opening up again in Smiths Falls, folks in the area will have a whole lot to be excited about — and it’s safe to say that Amy Rensby, owner of C’est Tout Bakery, might be a little more excited than most.
She has good reason to be.
In June, C’est Tout Bakery — the little bakery that could — is set to become the first commercial tenant to open its doors at the newly restored and renovated Rideau Hotel on Beckwith Street. Understandably, Amy is pretty thril......
By Kris Riendeau
There’s a tangible sense of optimism brewing amongst visual artists and galleries in our area. After months (and months) of moving-target restrictions, many are eyeing mid-June as the time they might be able to begin the gradual return to “normal”. One artist and gallery owner who has already chucked “normal” and set her sights on “better” is Sarah Moffat sarahmoffat.com . Sarah has spent the past several months doing major renovations to h......
Invasive Perennials — Buyer Beware! - theHumm June 2021
By David Hinks
I find that gardeners who choose perennial flowers to grace their yards and gardens face a bit of a dilemma. One the one hand gardeners want plants that will thrive; on the other hand they want plants that will be well behaved. Many people go into gardening with perennials believing that it will be effortless — put in the right plants and your new perennial border will be maintenance-free.
Not completely true! I find that the essence of gardening is really our desire to “shape unruly nature” to e......
Harmony Concerts Come to Perth! - theHumm June 2021
By Kris Riendeau
Although this last year or so has been exceedingly tough on artists and performers, we are starting to see some light at the end of the tunnel. One very positive sign is the announcement of a new concert series taking place at Studio Theatre Perth! Organized by Ottawa-based Harmony Concerts, the series will open with Lynn Miles in late-June and continue right through to December with a fabulous line-up that features fiddling, folk, jazz, blues and more. We (very excitedly!) contacted Harmony’s......
Mom is On Your Shoulder! - theHumm June 2021
By Glenda Jones
Listen here, You! You can’t do whatever you please and think that no one is noticing. Your Mom is noticing, and she refuses to stay silent any longer. You’re being a bad person when you abuse others, send nasty emails or anonymous Tweets. Your Mom knows, and by golly, you are going to pay! She definitely doesn’t approve of your behaviour. You know full well what’s worse than a darn good spanking, don’t you? It’s when Mom stands in front of you, with her arms crossed, and quietly says, “You’ve disappointed me. I thought you were better than that.” Yikes, you’ve been reprimanded big time. A......
By Andy Fisher is with the Lanark County Neighbours for Truth and Reconciliation
Thousands of years before European settlers arrived in what is now called Lanark County, Algonquin/Omàmìwininì People thrived in these lands. When Samuel de Champlain first encountered Algonquins in the 1600s, the land was not empty. Rather, the Algonquin People had complex social and political structures for governing their homeland. These structures worked at an individual and collective level to maintain balanced relationships within the Natural World, fulfilling the Algonquins’ responsibilities t......
By Chandler Swain
If you’re wondering what’s going on in Lanark with Climate Action and how you can contribute, consider this: municipal governments control or influence half of all greenhouse gas emissions produced locally.
This is good news as we try to figure out how to help create the changes needed to confront the Climate Crisis. There is significant headway to be made to address these issues here in Lanark County. We have the capacity and the power to do this. But where to start?
For the last year, membe......
By Danielle K.L. Grégoire
When I first moved to Almonte in 2007, it was for what I called my favourite Ps: Poetry, Puppetry and Pottery. I was lucky to live there when the Puppets Up Festival was in full swing, bringing thousands to our fair town, and right now I am revelling in the memory of those giant crowds and all the children laughing and experiencing the joy of puppetry. I moved away to Seattle in 2012, and when it came time to return to Canada there was only one place I wanted to be: the town where I h......
Cycling in Miss Mills - theHumm June 2021
Ever consider joining a bicycle group so you can share some of your rides with others? Maybe now is the time to get organized for when the Covid restrictions end. Many of us will haul out a bike this spring. Some will ride to do errands around town, a few to commute to work, others to explore the beautiful quiet roads and trails in the area, while still others will enjoy a long, hard workout. Hopefully, we all do it for pleasure. Sometimes we prefer to ride solo and sometimes the kil......
By Kris Riendeau
Over the years, I’ve learned that when one artist highly recommends another, it’s generally a good idea to follow up on the tip. In this case, the tip came from Kaajuk Kablalik, who is profiled in the April 2021 issue of theHumm. Along with the headshot for his Artist Trading Card, Kaajuk sent along a photo of his tattoos (shown here), which were done by a visual artist and graphic designer living with their four kids on a small homestead in Brooke Valley. I followed the link to their website
Go Jump in the Lake, Kids! - theHumm June 2021
By Sarah Kerr
This month’s Little Humm topic was an easy one after many weeks in lockdown with my family. We’ve all been feeling the need to tell each other to go jump in the lake this month — figuratively and literally! I don’t know if you’re in the same boat or if you need a dinghy at this point, but since we’re all enrolled in a provincial three-step program which involves nothing social until at least mid-month, I thought the best lifeline I can toss your way is to share a little backwoods tour of sw......
May 12 - Jun 18 Exhibition: Close to Home
May 26 - Jul 2 Exhibition: Gayle Kells' Rooted in Time
Jun 18 - 27 Art in the Garden
Jun 19 - Jul 4 Abstract & Landscape art show
Jul 3 - 4 Almonte Celtfest - Virtual Edition
- Frank Sammut —Fine Wood Working
- Warden Proclaims June as PRIDE Month
- Seeds(or, Tiny Bodies with a Determined Will to Flourish)
- Rural Root’s Comedic Double-Feature
- Pop Up Summer Theatre
- Gayle Kells:Rooted in Time
- Art in the Garden 2021 Event Allows for Social Distancing
- Destination: Downtown Smiths Falls
- Abstract + Landscape An Interview with Sarah Moffat
- Invasive Perennials — Buyer Beware!