Straight outta ‘Straya, Becky Salter is a resident artist at her shop, Oakleigh Ink. What sets her apart from most other artists we’ve interviewed is not her hailing from the Land Down Under, but that she doesn’t consider herself a tattoo collector, but rather someone who just appreciates meaningful tattoos. “The ones I have are very meaningful to me and that’s how I like it. I feel I can relate to many of my clients in that way. I like to make sure they’re in love with what they’re getting, and feel happy and comfortable with the overall experience.”
Share and share alike, tattooing in Australia is similar to tattooing in the United States, and that includes meeting with people from all walks of life, some more colorful than others. She tells us about a “lovely” group of young men all clad in pink tutus who came into the studio, and all requested matching tattoos on their asses.
“No judgement though! They all got matching giraffes.”
Before she became a tattoo artist, Becky Salter spent her time drawing and painting, always striving to work with different mediums and tools. She would find photographs of her family members and try to draw them to the best of her ability. It was her favorite subject to draw, so it had a hand in leading her into her career, and influence her style therein.
“I love doing realism and portraits. I like to pay close attention to detail. My favorite part is always the eyes. I like each face to have a personality, like you could look at them and tell what they are thinking.”
She talks about the evolution and growth of the industry, and how, with it, has come a lot of ego, but that “there has never been more amazingly raw talent” like there is now. She would like to remind artists that it isn’t a competition against each other, and to be humble and grateful, because tattooing is a privileged industry.
Every artist has inspirations, and Salter is no different. “I appreciate all art forms, and all styles of tattooing, but a few of my favorites who I draw inspiration from would have to be Alex Sorsa, Bolo Tattoo, Miguel Bohigues, Teneile Napoli, David Garcia, Arlo Tattoo and the New York-based oil painter Relm.”
Being from Australia lends itself to her relaxed and easy-going nature, and Becky approaches her art with the same mindset. “I feel that when I’m in a more positive mind frame, my tattooing style flows best.”
While she tells us her shyness has held her back from really pushing herself, she has nevertheless just opened her second studio in Melbourne, by the name of Reverence Tattoo. She will be promoting the shop at the Rites of Passage Festival that takes place during April 7-9 of this year.
In conclusion, she adds a parting message: “To all aspiring artists, don’t be afraid to get out there and make beautiful art for the world to see. Just believe in yourself and keep pushing!”
You can check out her shops at reverencetattoo.com.au and oakleighinktattoo.com.au, and you can follow her on Instagram @beckysaltertattoo.