For some art lovers, the next big step is having your favourite poem, drawing, or artist tattooed onto your body permanently whether it is … and as drag is appearing more and more in mainstream media, the amount of tattoo artists producing their own interpretations of our favourite drag artists has increased tenfold. One of our favourite tattoo artists, Brighton based, No Friends Tattoo Club resident (https://www.nofriendstattooclub.co.uk/artists/), Georgina Langford-Biss has been turning out some beautiful femme and floral pieces we cannot get enough of!
We grabbed a quick chat and talked all things drag, art, and fashion.
Drag Adventures: To start off, how did you get into tattooing? Was it a career you saw yourself doing as a teenager?
Georgina Langford-Biss: Tattooing has always been an integral part of my personal life, I started getting tattooed at 18 and have never stopped. There was something about being in tattoo shops that I found exciting, inspiring and weirdly comforting! My visual style and the way I dress has always been hugely important to my sense of self and getting tattooed became a central part of that expression. Although art, design and fashion had been my obsessions as a teenager, I originally pursued writing as a career, working my way up through fashion and music journalism for nearly a decade. When I hit my late twenties I decided to radically change my life and instead of just getting tattooed, I wanted to be involved in the tattooing! I slaved my way through a horrible apprenticeship which nearly crushed my soul BUT that proved to me how much I wanted to continue on the path to being a tattooist and now it is my work, my life, my everything. Zero exaggeration. This job takes over your brain.
DA: How did you discover drag?
GLB: Burlesque was probably my gateway drug to drag, that was something that hugely inspired me as a teenager and during university. I wrote my dissertation on Burlesque, Glamour and the Return to Sexuality in Fashion…which explored gender themes and the definition of femininity/femme style so perhaps the inkling of drag crept in to my subconscious a long time ago. Subcultures, or any alternative way of living & dressing have always attracted me like a magnet. I also live in Kemp Town in Brighton, arguably one of the drag capitals of the world; it’s totally normal for me to see a Queen either in full look or just full face on her way to a show, sometimes at 11am, and no-one bats a (false) eyelash at them.
DA: Who is/was your favourite Drag Race contestant?
GLB: VIOLET CHACHKI FOREVER. I also have huge soft spots for Max and Sharon Needles, because of the deliciously spooky creepiness they include in their lewks.
DA: What drag queen would you love to tattoo on one of your clients?
GLB: Now that I have done Her Majesty Queen Violet, probably Sharon because I think her gothic style could work well with my darker tones…
DA: On the flip side, what drag queen would you love to design some ink for?
GLB: Probably Katya, just because I’d love to hang out with her for a few hours. Or I’d give Max a permanent beauty mark.
DA: This isn’t necessarily a drag related question but your personal style is gorgeous! Where do you seek inspiration from for your fashion choices?
GLB: Thank you! I’m an absolutely disgusting hoarder of visual inspiration. I’ve been making scrapbooks of fashion shoots, film stills, runway looks and artwork since I was 16. Certain people, like Courtney Love, Isabella Blow, Vivienne Westwood (whose diaries everyone should read!) Sofia Coppola, Dita Von Teese have always been icons of style for me, but my main ideas come from being a charity/vintage shop explorer, I love the thrill of not knowing what I might find, and every time I’m touching a vintage dress, I’m thinking about the story of the previous owner and when they might have worn it. Those pieces have soul! I dress dependently on my mood, trends can get in the bin. Where’s the fun in looking the same as everyone else? It genuinely hurts my heart to see a group of teenage girls all wearing the same jeans, the same urban outfitters top, the same trainers (I also just hate trainers). My clothes are an inseparable part of my identity. I believe more is most definitely more, because life is far too fucking short for a boring outfit.
DA: We have featured multiple young artists, what advice do you have for them on a future in the art industry?
GLB: It’s brutal, but keep going, even when you feel like shit and hate everything you produce, because if it’s a choice between pushing yourself creatively until your eyes bleed or being a slave to the man in a soul destroying air conditioned office, there is no choice. That’s my personal experience, anyway.
DA: And finally, what can we expect to see from you in the rest of 2018?
GLB: A new clothing and merch range, finally! I’m an anxious perfectionist so it’s taken me a while to get my ideas together, but it’s my favourite yet. Also no doubt lots more weird flower tattoos, and a little more writing too.
Georgina’s books are currently closed until September so if you have fallen in love with her and can get to Brighton, get your tattoo ideas together and get an email shot over as soon as you can!
For more of Georgina’s work:
Written by Jen Mcanally