PAT FISH Tattoo Artist
Pat Fish decided to learn how to tattoo almost 30 years ago. She wanted an occupation where she could pursue art full time, and have direct contact with the person she was making the art for. Pat went to Cliff Raven to get her first tattoo, and afterwards showed him her art school portfolio. In a remarkable stroke of good fortune, Cliff agreed to teach Pat his art.
From the beginning Pat has focused on bringing the knotwork of ancient Irish Celtic illuminated manuscripts and the carved Pictish stones of Scotland to life on skin. She does other types of tattoos, but these intricate patterns fascinate her the most, and she takes pride in being able to work in the ancient style to create custom designs. To take a knot that may have been carved on a gravestone many centuries ago and transform it to fit a client's body is a challenge she greatly enjoys.
Her assistant Colin Fraser performs a vital step in the process by taking Pat's line drawings of knots and morphing them in Photoshop to conform to the relevant body part of the client. They work as a team, switching from analog to digital. What begins with something that Pat draws on graph paper with a light box then moves to a Mac, where it can be stretched and transformed, thereby accelerating the project with digital magic. The photos in this book show a custom creation of one continuous piece of interlaced knots, giving the impression of body armor.
Pat is proud to be able to offer this style of tattoo work to the people who come to her to become art at her studio in Santa Barbara, Southern California.