This Tattoo Studio Takes An Intuitive Approach To Body Modification
Considering we live in a place and time where partaking in spirit animal sessions and intuitive aromatherapy readings are among the energetic practices gaining popularity, it was only a matter of time before someone thought to promote the possibilities of a more spiritual approach to tattooing and other forms of body modification. Los Angeles based artist/healer Justine Serebrin is taking on that role in Eagle Rock, where she recently opened Earth Altar Studio.
For Serebrin, learning to tattoo was a byproduct of her spiritual journey. Before ever picking up a needle, she first got the idea to combine that form of art with energy work through a meditational vision. Justine also wanted to offer an alternative to the standard tattooing process: a space less dominated by masculine energy that didn't threaten or intimidate anyone in search of thoughtful body adornment. In opening Earth Altar, she has created a nurturing atmosphere where your session begins with a reading from a customized tarot deck and then utilizes crystal therapy. Additionally, Justine has chosen to offer a handful of other services (including laser hair removal, piercing, and permanent makeup) to create a complete beauty destination. We visited the gorgeous Eagle Rock studio and chatted up Justine about her vision for Earth Altar, her intuitive tattoo process, and more.
How did you first come up with the concept to connect your energy work and tattooing?
The two informed each other. It started with one of my first visions when I was learning to meditate 10 years ago. I saw myself sitting on a beautiful wood-floored studio overlooking the ocean. I was tattooing a woman's back and something about it was healing her. At that time I didn't know really anything around tattooing or healing. It felt like it was my calling and I've spent the last 10 years chasing this vision, trying to put all the pieces together. My ultimate goal is to get back outside and tattoo professionally in our most natural habitat under the sun, moons, and stars.
Tell us a bit about how your process works.
My goal for the intuitive tattoos are to use abstract symbolism representative of meaningful intention to activate awakening, transformation and personal evolution. Sometimes one may know that they want a meaningful tattoo but don't know what design they want. That's the little sweet spot where my work fits in. I feel like each intuitive design I tattoo is essentially a gift, a very unique code that only they know the true meaning of. I begin each session with a card reading; I created my own deck of cards that I use to help me tap into the subconscious of my client. It helps to open a deeper dialogue and get to the intention needed to be active for the tattoo. Then I hand draw the symbol on the desired are of their body and once approved I begin tattooing. I use a crystal or gem stone chosen by the client and tattoo them with the added benefit of the crystals healing properties, which they go home with as a totem from the experience.
When you decided to create Earth Altar, what was the goal?
The goal was always to create a safe, peaceful environment for people to feel free to be themselves: a place to be vulnerable and comfortable through these "painful" procedures. I think we've all been craving balance in our lives and I felt that the tattoo industry needed a space that balanced out the harsh, intimidating and dark vibe that I had experienced before. I've designed a structure for our studio, a customizable experience from start to finish that one feels a part of creating the process rather than thrown into the process. We offer herbal organic tea and raw foraged water to all our clients. You may choose a scent of soap to be used through the tattoo session. We have sage, Palos Santo and aromatherapy to help satiate your senses. Fun music and headphones if you'd like to zone into your own tunes. The overall goal is the offer a safe, lovely space for all to transform within, a magical cocoon to become your custom butterfly.
How did you decide on the other services you wanted to include?
We wanted to be a well rounded tattoo studio, knowledgeable about how all forms of tattooing work so that we could better serve our clientele. The custom tattooing came first, then I learned cosmetic and medical. As I opened up to the permanent cosmetics it made sense to flow into some med spa services; we are starting with laser hair removal and may expand to organic tattoo removal and possibly injectables. I hope to be able to offer these other med spa services in such a comfortable and creative and safe environment and I'm trying to bridge the gap between the body modification industry and med spa industry.
Is there a favorite piece you've done?
I am most exited about the large scale intuitive pieces I've been working on. I just finished a large side body piece, all black lines and spanning from below the knee to the back shoulder. I'm also finishing up two large abstract intuitive back pieces , one for Melissa Martell our other artist and for a male client of mine. I'll be posting the pics soon on my new ig accoun @intuitivetattoo . Each design stemmed from a card reading and my lovely clients granted me the freedom to translate the deep meaning they needed into a permanent personalized tattoo design.
Earth Altar is located at 1615 Colorado Boulevard in Eagle Rock. The studio is open Sunday and Monday from 11am-5pm, and Tuesday through Saturday from 11am to 9pm. Make an appointment by calling 323-407-8443 or email firstname.lastname@example.org with questions.