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Artist Spotlight: Keera Harriman from Issue Three

Keera Robyn is a 25-year-old tattoo artist based in Easington Village in County Durham. Her overall interest in art started at a young age, mainly from the encouragement of her family. Her parents always encouraged Keera to express herself through painting and drawing, and she has fond memories of being taught to shade realism drawings by her Granda at around 7 or 8 years old. They would sit at her Grandma’s dining table and try to draw exactly what was in front of them. Her Granda would then add detail to her outlines to show how light and dark change an image. The exact drawing of her Grandma’s teapot is now framed in her studio as a reminder of where her love for art came from. 

Keera's love for tattooing as a medium, in particular, started at around age 14, as she came across the TV series “LA Ink” and instantly thought about how being a tattoo artist looks like an amazing job. Kat Von D in particular stood out from then onwards as a massive role model for pushing a prominently male populated industry to something that was accessible for women. Having worked in male-heavy studios since starting out, her love for tattooing developed, even more, when she finally had her own space to be in control of. Tattooing isn’t just the stencil and ink, it’s being able to sit and speak to clients, and help play a part in their expression through their choice of tattoo. 

She also likes to try a range of styles with her work, as she is constantly seeing space for improvement. However, her main focus tends to fall into black and grey tattooing - finding comfort in working with black and grey throughout her experience in school and college whether that was with the use of pencil or pen. Her brain automatically switches images in black and grey when it comes to any medium and there is something so classic about the finish of a black and grey piece.

While she will tattoo various subjects depending on what design my client wants, Keera's preference is tattooing anything nature-based – flowers, forests and animals. The love for these subjects comes from her personal love of animals and the world around us. Someone who is extremely passionate about animal rights, and believe that any animal should have just as much right to live as we do, by adding animals to people’s skin through tattooing, it pushes the message of the beauty of nature and how we should all collectively try to appreciate and support the beauty of the world around us more. 

On the surface, tattooing may look like an easy job, but there is a lot more hard work involved than what meets the eye. Keera is fortunate enough to be able to tattoo as my full-time job now after years of hard work but it hasn’t happened overnight. Being able to build a clientele in this industry takes commitment, criticism, failure and having the love for art as a whole. Their workday doesn’t end when they put down their machines, because hours worth of drawing waits at home.