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bad tattoo. Trust means everything to me.” A client trusting Nathalie gives her more confidence to put all her perfection energy into a tattoo, helping clients gain more self-esteem. “I enjoy helping my clients feel good about themselves, even if that means covering up my old designs and changing it into something new.” Nathalie still sees stigma attached to tattooing in Oklahoma. Oklahoma seems like the last frontier for tattoos, since before 2006, most people had to drive out of state to get their ink. Although tattooing in Oklahoma is legal now, folks in the state still get their tattoos in places that can be hidden. But Nathalie still enjoys small tattoos. “I enjoy the small secret tattoos just as much as the large outgoing sleeves.” Some of the changes Nathalie’s seen in the last few years are Native people getting traditional patterns on their fingers or arms, alongside leg bands. For Nathalie, social media has changed the tattoo world in both positive and negative ways. “It’s become more challenging as an artist to be original because some clients are set on getting

OUTFIT DETAILS Sweater: Mia Riddle (Choctaw); IG: @anubis_ the_angel Clay beaded necklace: Kathy Sierra (Cherokee) Gold & Pink acrylic earrings: Kristin Gentry (Choctaw); website: kristingentry.com Silver ring: Nathalie Standingcloud

the same tattoo that’s trending,” Nathalie explains. “Some tattoos online have been Photoshopped and create unrealistic design ideas.” But social media has helped the tattoo world explode with a variety of styles from all over the globe and has helped connect artists and clients. “I’ve had a couple of out-of-state clients who found me on social media. It’s a great tool if used in a positive way to get inspired and get connected and also help change the negative stigmas.” Tattooing also helped Nathalie become a better artist and painter. “Tattooing has brought me a lot more focus and confidence in my paintings when before I would struggle to finish most of my artwork.” While learning how to tattoo, Nathalie had to learn to trust herself because she knew that tattooing on someone was permanent, unlike painting on canvas. “It made things more serious, so I had to do my best to be as perfect as possible.” But this helped Nathalie become less serious with painting and more confident in her artwork outside tattooing. “Painting without fear or too much judgment because it’s my artwork

on my canvas.” An emerging tattoo artist herself in a world of ego, Nathalie isn’t hesitant to talk about a fellow Native woman tattoo artist she respects and appreciates. “Kira Murillo!” she excitedly says. “She’s a Shoshone-Bannock and Pima tattoo artist from NDN Time Studios in Pocatello, Idaho.” Though she doesn’t have any large visible tattoos due to her acting career, Nathalie wouldn’t waver letting Kira cover up one of her arms or legs. “I’ve been a fan and follower of her work online for a while now and have bought her clothing. Her style is clean and sharp and very vibrant in color.” Kira Murillo’s tattoos are signature, with some ranging from large symmetrical geo patterns to beaded floral. “It’s awesome to be able to recognize a Murillo tattoo because of how skillfully she’s been able to show her culture through tattoo design consistently. I aspire to be like her in my own way.” Some of the creativity, techniques, and preparations Nathalie applies to her tattooing today have been working with different mediums, including going digital. Nathalie often works with

Profile for Native Max Magazine

Native Max Magazine - November/December 2020  

Welcome to the Native American Heritage Issue, featuring Muscogee Creek, Colville, Salish-Kootenai, and Cherokee tattoo artist and actress N...

Native Max Magazine - November/December 2020  

Welcome to the Native American Heritage Issue, featuring Muscogee Creek, Colville, Salish-Kootenai, and Cherokee tattoo artist and actress N...

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