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Posted on April 7, 2014 by Isabella Cecconi

Who is a tattooist? It usually is an individual who applies permanent decorative tattoos. The craft is achieved by apprenticeship, under a trainer or and experienced mentor. To become a tatooist, you must have a passion for art and for drawing and be able to draw. But what if this skill, based on ink evolves into a visual media? Art on skin with Cheyenne Randall has become art on photo images. A tattoo artist, a  digital artist, a 360° artist. The old perfect techniques mixes with new technological devices..and the result is rather mesmerizing. I had the chance of stumbling into Cheyenne art and fell in love with it immediately. Old images get twisted but maintain a refined and elegant allure. What follows is a small interview we had: 

Hi, my name is Cheyenne I’m…

… a mixed media and digital artist from Seattle, Wa

What is a tattoo according to your opinion?

Ink permanently placed under the skin through the use of a sharp penetrating device.

I think what makes a good tattoo is what ever makes the person who’s body is on it happy. I’ve been tattooed by some really awesome people with years of tattooing and still one of my favorite tattoos is a homemade “stick and poke” tattoo one of my best friends gave me. it’s a heart with an upside down cross above it. it’s a good tattoo.

Do you have a favorite tattoo style? Traditional? Tribal?

Yes American Traditional is my personal favorite. It’s timeless. I can get a panther head today and it’ll still be a panther head when I’m 80 same as the panther heads on 80 year olds right now. I also think the same thing with Japanese Traditional. It’s an incredibly beautiful craft that I respect immensely.

What inspires you the most?

Thinking about how hard my mom worked her butt off single handedly to put food on the table and to hear all the many times she’s mentioned how much she just wants a modest little house so she can garden and such. I get that vision of her in her garden as she’s getting older and it drives me more and more each day to make that happen for her. Through art it’s a tough road but I think it can be done.

Is there a criteria you use to choose a personality instead of another one?

Yeah sort I won’t touch famous people just for being famous unless its tongue and cheek or parody or i’m just in a goofy mood like my Miley Cyrus mix ups for instance. It is a type of commentary on what I call “candy fame” just garbage in the airwaves and covers of tabloids in line at the grocery store. It’s crucial for me to pick people that have left lasting impressions on me. People of substance. People with talent. Classic beauty. As an artist just looking at some people can be joyful. Acknowledging the lines and beauty of a young Liz Taylor. I have a difficult time sometimes with drawling a line with some people. I’ve pulled Kurt Cobains photos into photoshop and just don’t feel it’s right. at least I haven’t found a way to work on his image without it feeling like I’m trying too hard. It’s not necessary for me to do Shopped Tattoos on people just because it’d be cool. The whole process as a whole has to feel right or I abort.

You have Native American Ancestry. (We loved the pic of little Cheyenne with braids) Do you feel your origins influence your art?

Thanks yeah I always like to tease people and tell them that photos of me with my braids was my little sister or thats my daughter.

Yes absolutely I have a strong sense of connection to my father or his echoing spirit. He passed away when I was in high school. He was an incredibly gifted artist, perhaps in my opinion one of the best. His drawing were absolutely next level. I’ll attach one. He was full blooded Lakota born and raised on Rosebud Indian Reservation. But he wasn’t much of a traditionalist. He didn’t sweat or do sundance. He was on his own trip. Sort of a blend hippie / renaissance man. He always lived out of the city in a farm home and made knives, grew marijuana and painted out by a big Oak tree. But he spoke Lakota and influenced me in many ways. He artwork always had some type of Native imagery in it. He was proud of our culture. As I am in my life today. I bring that into my original artwork very much. In fact I often say when I”m drawing it’s like my dad takes over my hand.

Wouldn’t it be nice if with the use of technology we could really re-imagine or re-create what we are?

In some ways yes. I don’t really see that being too far from a reality. I do personal commissions all the time where I put tattoo’s on peoples personal photos they send in. I’ve been told that’s change there lives and they now are going to go out and start collecting body art. Its pretty badass.

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