”My passion? It is to work, to create. To try to find some kind of satisfaction in the end of this all – but, at the same time, to set my standards higher than yesterday.”
My name is Titta. I was born and raised in a small place called Salla in the Finnish Lapland. My parents had a quite traditional and normal set of life – marriage, kids, a house in the countryside. My mother comes from a small family with the views of a bank manager and a teacher as my dad from a dairy farm with 10 siblings. Due to my home surroundings I value nature a lot. I had a very happy childhood with my sisters and 30-something cousins – learning that difference is more a blessing and a strenght than an inconvenience.
In the far north it was all about real work. I didn’t have a clue how the arts could be someone’s profession. When I was young, my closest artistic influencer was my grandad. He was a teacher and loved expressing himself with pen and paper. I was fond of drawing and sketching around as well but didn’t make a big fuzz about it. I truly thought that art could only be a hobby.
The closest tattoo shop was 130 kilometres away and tattoos were really a rarity in the small Salla. I was a teenager when I saw a tattoo of an eye on my uncle’s shoulder. That stopped me right there. I couldn’t wrap my head around it – it was the coolest thing I’d ever seen! I started to buy tattoo magazines, draw mimicing the tattoo flash and imagine what would it be like to actually tattoo someone. I wanted to become a tattoo artist but I didn’t know how.
I learned very young not to care what people think and that everyone has a chance to do what they dream of – as long as one works hard for it. I have always been keen to try new things and my curiousness took me to see the world after the studies. During my travels my goals and determination became stronger and I found new confidence in me. Instead of making excuses and rejecting new ideas I started to ask myself “Why not?”.
In 2010 after traveling and moving around in Finland and Europe I found my way to Phuket, Thailand. I managed to get a position as a tattoo apprentice in a shop called Climax Tattoo. I travelled around with my mentor tattooing and trying to learn as much as I could. I was very fortunate to be able to tattoo almost every day, and for that I thank all those who took the chance with me. In December of 2011 I moved back to Finland and in the spring 2012 Free Bird Tattoo was born in Tampere.
In August 2014 I got into trouble with the lease of Free Bird Tattoo due to a sham from a person I thought I could trust. I got a week notice to empty my studio. I had customers waiting for tattoos but nowhere to work. Thankfully, Mikko Inksanity saved my ass by suggesting a place to work in the same spot as he did: Precious Tattoo – amazing tattoo shop owned by Hexa PDC. Everything happened fast and sooner than I realized I was tattooing alongside artists I had looked up for years.
Since February 2015 I have been working in a beautiful two-storey tattoo shop Below Zero Tattoo Gallery in the center of Tampere. Right now I feel excited about the future. I work at the best shop that I can imagine for me, I travel in Finland and around Europe for conventions and I have inspiring people around me to keep me going with my little projects and events. I am excited to push my art even further and feel lucky to have this kind of life!
Thank you for sharing your time and reading my story.