October 2008 Skin and Ink "outsert"
13 Top Women Tattooists - FEATURING PAT FISH
PAT FISH Tattoo Santa Barbara Santa Barbara, California
Pat Fish, a tattooist most famous for her amazing Celtic designs, is another woman who had no problem getting started in the tattoo profession. And as with Vyvyn Lazonga, it was the work of Cliff Raven that got her all fired up about tattooing. "I went to the person who I thought was the best," she explains from her studio, Tattoo Santa Barbara. "I got my first tattoo from Cliff and then asked if he would teach me. He said yes, and that was all there was to it."
Pat was thirty at the time. Having already acquired a degree in Studio Art and Film Studies, she felt it was time for a career change, one that enabled her to exploit her abundant creative talents. So she switched from journalism to tattooing. After studiing with Raven she set up her own studio in Santa Barbara in 1984, where she has been tattoing professionally ever since.
When asked about defining a feminine tattoo, Pat refers to Japanese tattooing and criticizes Western tattooists who don't understand human anatomy or lack artistic training. "The Japanese designs are so effective because they use the tattoo in a kinetic way to enhance the shape of the body," she states. "For my designs I spend a lot of time trying to get the placement of the tattoo just right. So, for me, a feminine tattoo is one that accentuates and enhances a woman's innate beauty by working with the form and placement to make it look more integrated into her body."