In today’s society, only social pariahs are those whose bodies aren’t adorned with tattoos. This is in stark contrast to society’s previous perspective on tattooing, which considered tattoos to be the mark of persons involved in, shall we say, less-than-admirable activities. These days, the question isn’t whether to get a tattoo or not, the real question is who do you go to, to receive legendary ink?
Look no further, FYI Houston has done the leg work for you! We recently caught up with long time friend and soon to be legendary tattoo and graphic artist Munit (MuMu) Tadesse. Here, MuMu tells us a little about how she got her start in the tattoo industry, her unique skills as an artist, and how YOU can get laced up your body or on paper by one of Houston’s newest talents!
When did you start tattooing?
I started tattooing in August of 2007.
Do you have any special training?
I always wanted to pick up the craft; back in my college days I started asking tattoo shops about the process but was soon discouraged after finding out an apprenticeship was $10,000. I finally just ordered a tattoo kit off of Ebay and taught myself, using family and close friends as guinea pigs.
Tell us about your style of work.
I like using only black in to create the illusion of depth, it’s a challenge. I mostly do gray wash tattoos.
What inspires you as an artist?
I would say my artistic background sets me apart from other artists, and my style of graywash shading. Tattooing is just another medium, I’ve been an artist my whole life and have even branched out into the graphic design field.
Which tattoo artist(s) do you most admire?
The top three artists that I admire are Cartoon from LA, Boog from Dallas, and Miya Bailey from Atlanta.
Before someone gets a tattoo, what advice do you give them?
Before you get a tattoo I would recommend that you think long and hard about what you want, do your research…it’s permanent.
What kind of tattoos do you look forward to doing?
I look forward to doing sleeves and chest pieces, it gives me an opportunity to really sit down and get into my artwork.
Is there a tattoo you haven’t done yet that you are dying to do?
I haven’t got the opportunity to try a biomechanical piece, I like the 3D effect and how it looks like it’s coming out of the skin.
Where is your favorite spot to tattoo?
I’ve tattooed almost every area on the bottom but the most outlandish have been the bottom of the foot and someone’s armpit.
What other mediums do you work in? How have you branched out from tattooing?
Like I said I’ve branched out to graphic design over the years, I also paint, and work in pencil, but I’ve worked with charcoal, pen ink, and scratchboard.
Tell us more about your website, tagbymu.com.
Tagbymu.com is my personal portfolio site for all things art that I do collectively, however tattoos are now covered by Inkhole. Graphic services offered are logos flyers, business cards, calendars, album covers, photography, images for websites, etc. Pricing depends on the services that need to be done. I can send a quote out after me and the client has discussed what exactly it is that needs to be done. Startup packages for logos are $300 and include 500 business cards. Flyers are $75, business card designs are $50, album covers are $100 <—-just to give you a feel of how my prices are but it varies.
What about Inkhole, and your tattoo services? Tell us more!
Inkhole is open Wednesday-Sunday from 6pm-3am. I may be changing the hours soon, but tattoos are by appointment ONLY. The Inkhole is located at 2412 Pierce, in 3rd Ward near downtown, right past Grooves.
[UPDATE – The Inkhole is no longer open.}
Where can we see more of your artwork, or find out more about your graphic designing?
Tattoos by MU!