Q & A with Peta Heffernan.
I recently found Peta's profile on Instagram and instantly felt drawn to the style of drawing and imagery I seen! Peta is an Australian freelance designer and has recently started a tattoo apprenticeship.
• Who are you, where do you come from and what do you do?
My name is Peta Heffernan, and I was born and raised in coastal Australia, before moving to the capital Canberra. I started my career as a freelance graphic designer and illustrator, before changing to a tattoo apprenticeship in 2016.
• How long have you been drawing for and when did you first get into it?
I've been drawing for as long as I remember. Arts was really the only things that interested me in school, and when my teachers encouraged me, I decided to pursue a creative career.
• Do you enjoy any other kinds of creativity?
I've always enjoyed being creative. I love the satisfied feeling I get when I create something new. In addition to illustration and design, I also love pottery, gardening, and crafts.
• How long have you been tattooing and how do you find it compared to drawing?
I started my tattoo apprenticeship 3 months ago. So far, I've only had the chance to tattoo a handful of people, and its been a huge learning curve! A lot of the same principles apply with tattooing and illustration. For instance, the way you handle the pen/needle, and how you need to nail it on the first go (black is the only eraser in tattooing!), but there are also massive differences. Using a vibrating machine on an uneven and moving surface can been hugely challenging. You have to consider the condition of the skin, its elasticity and how thin it is. This changes on every person, and on every part of that person. The way I illustrate had to change too; when tattooing, lines need to be at lease 3mm apart to prevent them from running together when the tattoo ages. This mean I need to be much more careful with my line work!
• What does it feel like progressing something you've drawn into a tattoo permanently on someone's skin?
It's been amazing. I'm lucky enough to have been able to exclusively tattoo my own designs so far. It’s an amazing feeling to see my clients pleased when seeing themselves inked for the first time!
• What influences your drawing style, particularly the style of images you post on your Instagram profile?
It took me a while to figure out what I liked to draw. In the past I've experimented with watercolour, oil, graphite, and many, many different art forms. I started working exclusively in blackwork styled illustration about two years ago, and just fell in love with the style. I'm influence by the works of other artists such as Karl Kwasny, Susanne König and Sam Larson.
• Do you see yourself branching out into getting t shirts, patches and stickers printed? Definitely something I'd personally love!
Absolutely! I've just opened my Etsy shop, where I'll be selling prints, stickers, and temporary tattoos!
• What's your plans for the near future?
I plan to continue tattooing, and to build up a solid clientele. It's my hope that I can make a profitable career out of my art, and eventually start selling more of my designs online!
You can check out Peta on Instagram at @peta.heffernan