Based in East London and hailing from Portugal, artist Ana Afonso makes marks on both paper and skin. Driven by a desire to create beautifully detailed drawings and refine her practice further, she came to tattooing in 2019 having being gifted a tattoo gun (and their body to practice on) by a friend, and now is one of London’s most exciting artists on the scene today.
“I don’t remember a day that would go by in which I didn’t feel the need to grab a pencil and fill up a white piece of paper. Without thinking too much, with no expectations, my inner child always felt the need to create, to explore the boundaries of the mind.
Being able to sit down and disconnect from the outside world can be a blessing for me and drawing provides me with that stillness. It’s my form of meditation. In 2019 I decided I needed to get out of my comfort zone and experiment with other types of canvas and so alongside paper I started to draw on skin. Without building a lot of expectations, this change brought me more than I could ever imagined.
Being able to mark someone for the rest of their lives is something very deep and meaningful, providing me with a sense of purpose. I see this interaction as an exchange between me and the client, a collaboration that is based on trust and open communication, which naturally creates a beautiful energy and experience. I give myself freedom to explore different themes, mixing a delicate, smooth and realistic touch, finding beauty in mundane things.”