Dear Diary : Tamara Santibañez
Heavy metal mami chula is Tamara Santibañez‘s spot on way of describing herself. As a professional tattooer and artist, she gains inspiration from darker tattoo aesthetics and Paño art. Tamara was awesome enough to take us through her day in Brooklyn. It’s great to find out what makes her tick, curb stomping boots, weird signage, and crime dramas.
This is Tamara Santibañez
Good morning! This is my neurotic way of starting the day. I line up a coffee, juice, and water, and make breakfast according to my own invented “color theory breakfast” method (totally unscientific). I usually catch up on emails/internetting while I eat.
I go over to the art supply store and pick up a bunch of paper and india ink. After working on a number of realistic watercolor renderings over the past few months, I make a quick ink drawing instead to decompress and change gears for a second.
I end up having to clean my studio a little every day before I start working. I have a bad habit of making little (or big) piles everywhere so “cleaning” usually means shuffling piles around.
Today, I went over to LQQK Studios to talk to some friends about getting yardage printed for an upcoming project and getting an edition of collaborative prints with Heather Benjamin made. My friend and frequent tattoo client, Mike Cherman, is there doing work for his company ICNY and I snag this photo of the partially healed rose I did on him last week.
On my walk, I get some good photos of signage on Graham ave. My friend Zac Jones and I constantly trade sign photos back and forth via text. I love this storefront and the hand written signs in the windows.
I meet up with one of my favorite people, tattooer and artist Daniel Albrigo, for lunch. We have noodles and he hooks me up with a killer Spanish nail zine he got on a trip to Mexico!
I get home and start drawing for a backpiece in my newly clean(-ish) studio. As usual, I watch a lot of Law & Order while I work.
Take a break to make coffee. This coffee looks especially scary because one wall in our kitchen is black and it was dark out.
I get frustrated with drawing and take a break to read an article in the New Yorker about distance swimmer Diana Nyad. She attempted to swim from Cuba to Florida in her youth, failed, and tried again at AGE SIXTY, finally making it. This article is an excellent distraction, full of gruesome details about marathon swimming and contains this very relatable quote from Nyad circa fifth grade: “I need to practice hard every day. I need to sleep as little as possible.”
I finally get to a good stopping point on drawing and put an episode of Criminal Minds on to fall asleep to (I find crime dramas strangely comforting). Goodnight, B.A.U. Goodnight, Dr. Spencer Reid’s brain. Goodnight, Derek Morgan’s tattoos.