Tattoos Ideas

“Tattooing is based on mutual respect, so It’s important to find the middle point between what the customer wants and what I want,” tattoo artist Isle


Tattoo artist Isle (@1sle_tattoo) works in Korea and has been honing her craft for the past five years. We sat down for a chat about her journey, her inspiration and what’s next for her beautiful botanical tattoos…

What first made you fall in love with tattoos? Do you have a strong first memory?

I’d always wanted to get a tattoo since I was a college student. But Korea was a very conservative society at the time, and the various styles of tattoos didn’t exist like they do today. I just thought that people with the tattoos looked so cool. After college, I switched my thinking, I started to think about what I actually wanted for myself and my life.

My body is mine, and I thought I should do what I want no matter what others think.

So I got my first tattoo, and two years later, I started learning the craft. The reason I started was not because I liked tattoos, but the more I did it, the more difficult it became, and the more fun and rewarding it was. It’s the same now, five years after I started tattooing.

What made you want to become a tattoo artist?

I’ve been doing painting whole my life since I was kid. So I’ve been thinking about how I can use my paintings commercially – other than exhibiting. And I wanted to learn a technique that will never disappear.

How long have you been tattooing for and how did you practice?

I started tattooing in 2019, so it’s heading to five years now. At first, I learned tattooing from my teacher. He thought me basic skills and then I practiced on a silicon pad. I repeated it until I drew the line straight, practised with my drawing, and I got confirmation from my teacher. I did it many times, and I finally did it on the human body. It became my graduation work and my first work.

We absolutely adore your beautiful botanical style, how would you describe it? 

Thank you for the compliment. In fact, I don’t just stick to botanical tattoos, I can draw anything interesting. But most interests come from nature. That’s why I’m drawing a lot of things related to nature. When I draw for tattoos, I use an iPad and a coloured pencil brush the most. Sometimes I use a watercolour brush when I want to express it in a different way. My style is hard to describe in one word, but I think it’s a mixture of asian and western paintings. Since I majored in oriental painting, I think that kind of atmosphere naturally manifests itself.

Where does your inspiration come from?

Art work, films, landscapes, everything visual. Most of the subjects are nature, and the way of expression and colour are inspired by many things such as paintings and the scenery made by light.

You’re currently based in Korea, what’s the tattoo scene like there? Do you often tattoo tourists or mostly locals?

Mostly local. Korea’s tattoo scene has grown so quickly. As I said, Korea was a very conservative about tattoos but suddenly it became a trend. A lot of tattoo artists in Korea have good skills and a unique style. 

How do you like to work with your customers to bring designs to life? Is it a collaboration, or do you prefer to have full control of your work?

Normally I prefer to have full control of my work. Clients come to me believing in my paintings and abilities so I want them to trust my aesthetic. Tattooing is based on mutual respect. So It’s important to find the middle point between what the customer wants and what I want.

Do you tattoo flash pieces or mostly custom?

Mostly custom I think. I’d love to do more flash works, but it takes a lot of time. Flash designs are good because I can present more in the direction I want.

What are your hopes and dreams for the future?

I want meet a lot of clients who can make a bond with me. I want to do more big pieces and develop my skills and style. And I want to draw many paintings and maybe even put on an exhibition.

Any other thoughts on the tattoo world itself?

It’s getting more competitive. With different styles emerging and blurring the boundaries between tattooing, painting and illustration, more artists seem to be entering the field.

It’s a good thing for the clients, but I’m not sure if it’s a good thing for an artist. Tattooing is not a must, so it’s also an industry that is badly hit by the economic situation. I think it’s been tough worldwide since COVID-19. Still, I love this job and I don’t think I’m going to quit art, so I try to survive.

Do you have any plans to travel for guest spots?

Maybe Europe. Since I started this work, I have become more brave. To live in a place I don’t know well, meet various people, experience culture, etc. After going through it, it’s not as difficult as worrying about it, but I think it’s a good experience to expand my world.

Make sure to follow Isle on Instagram for more stunning botanical tattoos.

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


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