Everything began when I was working as a grave stone engraver…
Already back in school, I had purposed to become a sculptor when I grew up. It was clear as day to me that I chose my high school areas of study accordingly. I held several sculpture exhibitions and was an active member of the Kuusankoski art club in Finland. One of my most intriguing summer jobs came in the form of a grave stone engraver one year.
Making a good tattoo requires precision, caution and a steady hand. Good artistic drawing skills are always a big plus, since usually all commissions have to be altered somewhat and developed to a certain degree. Almost all professional tattoo artists have some basic schooling in graphic artwork, and I am no exception. I have undertaken thousands of hours of sculpting, graphic design, painting and drawing. Among my teachers have been names like Eero Eirto and Esko Tiironen, both known and recognized names in Finland.
After being picked up in 1977 as a copywriter for a certain advertising agency out of 3000 applicants, my creative talents took a turn for the literary. I drew less and the written word took up much of my time. I wrote a book about my extensive travels abroad called ”Maailma on minun” (The World is Mine). I freelanced as a writer for several magazines and newspapers and then television came into the picture. My oil paints and markers dried up in their storage cabinets but my old drawing aptitude wouldn’t let me rest. After 20 years of working in the advertising field and as a journalist, I left that world behind when I decided to return to my roots and do that, which I truly loved.
The acclaimed and respected tattoo artist Diego Villanello took me as his prize pupil protégé, working with me one-on-one, and over the course of a couple of years, I gained the knowledge and skills to work in this field. Later on, I worked alongside my mentor in his tattoo studio. To borrow a line from Diego: ”You learn from a true pro in a few years about tattooing what others will take ten years to learn from somebody else, when you take the hard road of trial and error.”
Now I have my own tattoo parlor in Helsinki’s Kamppi suburb downtown, near the metro station, located at Malminrinne 2, and another tattoo shop in Tallinn, flanking the railway station, located at Kopli 4.
In addition to traditional tattoos, I also do burn tattoos and scarification, cosmetic tattoos and henna tattoos. I do not have limitations when it comes to body parts or themes of tattooed pictures and artwork.
I simultaneously ran an advertising agency and worked as temporary marketing manager at Helsinki’s City Theater, in addition to running my own tattoo parlor.
I write articles for the press and I make radio and TV programs. I produce films and various productions, I work as a lobbyist and publicist, and I help facilitate contact networks for various members of the arts. I have been a decision-maker for the peoples of Helsinki on the city council, police advisory board, as well as the economic advisory board.
I got the spark – one which lasted six years – to study to become a psychotherapist, brief therapist and NLP trainer. I utilize these acquired skills with my clients in both my personal psychotherapy services, as well as in the customer service that I offer alongside my husband to a large range of clients. My husband Olli’s Jälkipoltto Ltd is a company that specializes in wellbeing in the workplace, with services in both Finland and Estonia.
Currently, I operate my Inky Queen Tattoo studios in Tallinn and Helsinki, my Shit and Stuff gift store in the Kalamaja district of Tallinn, in addition to Grazy Granny’s Cafe, which has already achieved cult status.