The ink on Femke Fatale

Femke Fatale from Belgium

Where did you grow up?
I grew up in Loppem, Belgium.

How was it growing up there, would you say that it influenced you?
It’s a very small city with conservative life style so I always had the feeling I never fit in. As a kid I always had a fascination with people who were different! I knew I wanted to be like them, an outcast. My mùom always thought it was just a phase in my life but it wasn’t, to her disappointment! But, in the end she started to accept my lifestyle and skin, and now she is my biggest fan! I guess people are scared tattoos are going to ruin their life, their future, but if you play it well and know what you want in life, it won’t.  Just don’t get fully tattooed too fast, before you know what you want to do in life! If you do this, you might be fucked! Too bad.... but that’s how it is!

When did you start getting tattoos?
I started getting inked at 18, and I didn’t really know which style I wanted so I started with a tribal, oh yes, a tribal! I regretted it immediately and started looking online, going to tat shops, talking to friends about tattoo artists and styles and I realized Jean from Harai Tattoo ( was my man. His style is amazing, colorful, and unique. I love his work because it is all custom work. He refuses to repeat a design and I love that. When I saw his work I knew it was my style, so I started getting inked by him. He covered up my tribal and I was ready for my colorful skin. I started getting inked on places of my body I could hide, as I didn’t know yet what I wanted in life. But, as soon as you run out of space you start thinking, why not my arms, hands, knuckles, neck, every time you take it further and further! By the time I knew I didn’t want to be a police man, a lawyer, and it didn’t matter.
I started meeting other artists who worked in the same style as Jay, who is always moving around. I met him in London, but now he is in Sweden, I found Cancy Cane from Holland, Martha from Mexico City, whom all are amazing people. I never really had a fixed job. I always went on tour; selling merchandise for my friend’s traveling bands. My first job was working in SIX, a lil jewelry store in Bruges. I couldn’t show my ink there, which sucked, I felt like I could not be myself, so I quit that job very soon and started working at H&M, where I could be who I was, with ink wherever, I could be myself. I finally felt at ease; I work at H&M part time because I do modeling and hostess jobs too; mixing both together makes it a very exciting life! I get to travel, kickass, meet so many new and creative people, which is the best thing for me. If I lived a normal life, I’d be too bored. I think I would get depressed. I need a challenge and adventure.

How would you describe your style?
My style is just Femke Fatale style! Colorful custom work!
I have been tattooed by different tattoo artists in this style like:
Candy Cane, Lady Luck Tattoo and Piercing Shop, Weert, The Netherlands, Jay Jay from Dallas,
Martha Rosenthal from Mexico, Iris Lys, East Side Tattoo , London Joe dynamite, Glory bound Tattoo, Belgium’s Jean Harai, Harai Tattoo, Belgium’s Rin Us, Vanity Tattoo, Knokke, Belgium’s Eva Mpatschi.
Some tattoo artists are a bit darker like Uncle Allan, Copenhagen (he is the best) and Vinnie stones from Belgium. I have started to collect portraits; my cry baby has been done by Tibi, from Modern Angels in Belgium. All my other portraits have been done by Alexandre Mansuy, from East Side Tattoo, London.
I like to mix my colorful skin with black and grey portraits. At the moment, Alex Mansuy is working on my butt piece; an Edward Scissor’s hands portrait with his castle in the background.
Alex is my favorite portrait artist; you should most definitely check him out.

Do you consider tattoos as a serious art form?
Yes, I consider tattoos a real art form! It’s like a one chance art; the canvas being the human body in which the artist cannot be like 'oops I made a mistake, I’ll delete it and start over again’ I think if you look at many tattoos, they are real art, and it’s so unreal how they do it. Alexandre Wuillot did my back and it looks like a fucking painting, it’s just soo amazing! So yeah, it’s totally an art form. I’d love to sell my body, so when I die, they can keep my art/tattoos forever and ever! Like many tattooed people do!

How do you see the tattoo culture right now?
The tattoo culture is growing so fast! Due to T.V. shows like LA Ink and singers with a lot of tattoos, making it more commercialized. On one hand I like it, for you get accepted more. But, on the other hand, people nowadays get tattooed at a young age just to be cool and they only get their visible body parts tattooed, like hands, necks, arms, which I think is pretty lame! Do it for you! Not to please others or just for an image. There are also so many tattoo conventions, but only a few are good, so do a lot of research before you decide to go. I work at the International Brussels Tattoo Convention and the Summer Ink Fest in Belgium and I love these conventions! They truly have some of the greatest artists from all over the world, cool alternative shops, and cupcake stores. Everyone should come, the convention in Brussels is on the 23 24 and 25 of November 2012 and the Summer Ink Fest is on the 26 and 27 of May in Genk. Write it down in your diary people!

What’s your favorite piece?
My favorite piece I cannot say! All my ink has a meaning to me. Some are more significant than others but if I would start all over again, I’d get the same pieces. Like Johnny Depp says “My body is my journal and my tattoos are my stories,” so I cannot choose! But, if I have to I’d say my most recent one which is a vintage suitcase with a banner that says 'always on the road,' which I am always on road for photo shoots, and conventions.  The piece was done by Phil Kyle from Magnum Opus who will be at the Brighton Tattoo Convention this weekend. I LOVE it!
I have tattoos for my mom, my cat (Bijoux, he is almost 20 now, yeah baby he is a rock) my best friends, tattoos that mark bad periods in my life (what doesn’t kill me makes me stronger) tattoos that are memories of good times, or a cupcake tattoo just because I love it.

Do you catch people starring at you because of your ink?
Yes, people always stare at me! Especially kids which is funny to see, they just can’t stop looking at me. Their parents get embarrassed but it’s just kids, so I don’t mind. I’m used to people staring at me, some people say they’re sorry in doing so, but they’re just so intrigued by the art. Some people speak out loud so I can hear that I look like an ugly white trash chick. Some people tell me they dislike ink but they like mine because the pieces of art are so well done. I get a lot of different reactions, but the staring is always there. No matter where I go, or what I do. I’ve learned to live with it and now I don’t notice it anymore. I’m so used to it but my friends; they can get annoyed by it. They dislike it and always have the tendency to protect me. They are sweet, but to me it doesn’t bother me. I must say, there was a time where it did bother me, and I would get soooo annoyed by all the staring and the shit talking but now I just ignore it. People have a right to their opinion, and sometimes the way they do it isn’t nice but he, that’s life! I made this choice and I live by it and I have never regretted it.

What’s your most significant tattoo and why?
My inspiration, to be honest, I never really am consciously busy with designs, they just come to me. Maybe I’ve seen something and it influenced me but I don’t do research when I want new ink. I just know what I want. It’s hard to explain but I just do.

What advice would you give to someone wanting to get their first tattoo?
My advice is, do what you want, get what you want, don’t do it to be cool or to be someone you’re not. Don’t go to just any tattoo artist because it’s cheap; go to a good one, one that’s worth the wait and money, believe me! If you go to a shitty one, you’ll get a shitty tattoo and you might end up covering it up, which will end up costing you more effort and money.
I travel for my ink, I spend money on it, and I don’t mind. You only live once, tattoos are forever and they are an investment! Don’t get covered too fast! Think before you act or in the end you’ll get stuck with tattoos you don’t like. I’ve seen too many of these situations. Research the artists, save money, go to conventions (to see what’s out there, maybe find the artist of your life) be smart about it. Don’t think just about the cash.

Will you be getting anymore?
Yes, I want more! So many plans, so little space left. But, I don’t regret it. I’ll just find an empty canvas boyfriend and make him get tattoos! Kidding!
What is one thing that life has taught you?
Life has taught me that it’s too short to have regrets, do what you want, live your life to the fullest, and don’t do things because others expect it from you. I live my life like how I want to! I don’t care if everyone says I have to settle down, have a man, have a kid, and a house; that’s just not me! Not everyone should do this, I am happy with my life and I could die right now and I’d be happy. I did everything I wanted, well not everything but a lot of it! I do still have a lot I want to do and I’m working on it.

Do you have a favorite quote?
My favorite quote is "I'm selfish, impatient and a little insecure. I make mistakes, I am out of control and at times hard to handle. But if you can't handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don't deserve me at my best." Marilyn Monroe and
“My body is my journal and my tattoos are my stories,” Johnny Depp.

Anything else you would like to add?
I must say, being an independent tattooed woman, makes it hard for me to find a man! I talked to a lot of girls like me and they all say the same thing, I guess men are indeed frightened and intimidating by us. But, don’t be fooled by our appearance, we are very gentle, nice girls who need love and affection too! People always judge me on my looks, but I’m a very soft, nice girl. I can be shy sometimes and insecure, like everyone else. I’m not a wild child, drug abuser, or alcoholic! When people meet the real Femke, they always say 'wow you’re sooo different than what I thought' so never judge a book by its cover. (Another quote I Love)