Tattoos Ideas

Interview with Tattoo Marketer Sandy at Inksane

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Tattoo marketer and artist Sandy (@sandy_inksane) owns Inksane Tattoo in Belgium. Not only does she create amazing art but she’s also developed a digital agenda system for tattoo studios. Here we dive into her tattoo style and how she’s helping other artists in the industry…

First of all, tell us more about your work as a tattoo artist, how did you get into it?

I’ve been asked this question a lot and I still don’t have a fancy story for it. I was young, 24, full of energy (still am), and I just wanted to do it. Being self-employed and making an income with art was appealing to me.

How would you describe your tattooing style? 

My style was black ‘n’ grey and colour photorealism. In the last few years, I’ve evolved into bio-organic tattoos. This style has always been more of a hobby for me. I would do it when I was drawing or painting for myself on a daily basis. I would do this type of art more on a canvas rather than on actual clients.

Can you tell us more about what bio-organic tattoos are?

Bio-organic is a style that pays a lot of attention to the anatomy of the to be tattooed bodypart. It follows the muscles. It was first done by HR Giger, who also created the creatures and scenery for the Alien movies. I guess it can be compared to biomechanic, where the mechanic version is mostly insinuating metallic, smooth shapes. The organic version is insinuating ‘organisms’. We use a lot of textures we find in nature in these tattoos. You see a lot of unearthlyy shapes flowing, some would describe it as a horror style.

What’s your studio like and where is it? 

My studio is called Inksane (www.inksane.be ), and it’s located in Roeselare, Belgium. It’s been around 13 years since I opened it, and we’ve been growing steadily ever since.

Every time it got too busy or our waiting list per artist was over six months, I’d accept an extra artist or apprentice. It grew to the point where we had 15 artists working on a daily basis. To manage all of that I hired a marketing manager and a shop manager. Also my partner helps with the reception and bookings. Because of the pandemic and the economy we’re now at around 12 artists a day, so we are still a large studio.

Around four years ago, we started expanding the studio to different locations through a franchise scheme. The other two Inksane shops aren’t run by me, but they’re under a franchisee system.

From left to right: Anke (receptionist Roeselare), Michael (owner Brussel), Maxim (owner St-Niklaas), me, Danny (reception Roeselare, my partner).
Photo taken by our marketing manager Tom. For an Inksane promotional campaign.

Where are the two other Inksane shops and who runs them?

We have Inksane Roeselare run by me. Inksane Brussel by Michael, Inksane St-Niklaas by Maxim and Inksane Gent will be run by Cristian.

What’s the tattoo scene like where you are?

The tattoo scene around here is normal, steady, and friendly. Nothing fancy either. There are a few smaller conventions in the area on a yearly basis.

Do you remember what first made you fall in love with tattoos? 

The focus. The way you can get sucked in and keep drawing and practising for days and weeks and years. Also the ongoing learning process. It never ends. You can get better every year for the rest of your life.

And what do you still love about the tattoo world now?

I’m not tattooing much these days. I gradually moved into business and marketing. It was not a consious decision.

In the past, when I was tattooing, I felt guilty I was not working on my business. And when I was doing marketing, I felt guilty I wasn’t drawing or tattooing. This inner fight took about 10 years, until I gave in to the business side. 

Now with my studio (and the franchise locations) I make sure that our artists can focus on only being creative. We do all the other work for them. Like social media, drawing, managing customers, taking bookings, answering emails, reception and ordering stock etc.

We have the right person in the right place and the right tools – like our agenda system.

What exactly is a digital agenda system? What does it do?

Tattoogenda.com is a digital calendar/CRM (customer relationship management) for tattoo studios. Think Google Calendar, Calendly, Square, but mixed and fine-tuned to the tattoo industry.

It takes digital deposits from clients, sends automated reminders via sms or email, it has consent forms, waiting lists, aftercare emails, keeps track of deposits, etc. You can also use booking forms on your tattoo studio’s website to take consultations or piercing appointments.

Sandy standing and teaching her receptionists & franchise managers some marketing. “We do this on a monthly basis. Every month we have another topic to teach or talk about.”

How does it work for your studio? And are other studios using it? Is it a global thing?

I designed it myself so we could be more organised when running our own studio. When I made it available to my franchise locations, I realised I could also offer this software to other studios, too. Everybody can now take out an easy online subscription at www.Tattoogenda.com/pricing, so indeed it is a global thing.

I have the best development partner that takes care of the engineering part. I do quite a bit of development myself now. I also help other tattoo studios get set up with Tattoogenda and integrate it with their website.

Left to right: Michael (Brussel), Maxim (St-Niklaas), Sandy, Anke (reception at Roeselare), Danny (reception, Roeselare). Photo taken by Tom (marketing), for an Inksane promo campaign on a monthly franchise day.

What are your hopes for the future?

My goal is to work together with more tattoo professionals from around the world on getting their tattoo studio organised. Also improving my software along the way.

At the same time I enjoy running my own Inksane studio and intend to keep it that way. We will be opening a third franchise location next month in Gent. I’m very exited about that. The franchisee (manager) is a tattoo artist that has been working with us for a long time and I’m very proud of him.

Make sure to follow Sandy on Instagram.

We’re always talking to amazing tattoo artists, check out our latest interviews.

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Makes Noise is a blog where you can find all the juicy details on a variety of topics including health and fitness, technology, lifestyle, entertainment, love and relationships, beauty and makeup, sports and so much more. The blog is updated regularly to make sure you have all the latest and greatest information on the topics that matter most to you.

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