Tattooing is a form of art that allows me to be of service and act as a conduit for my client's transformation. It is a powerful tool that changes how clients perceive themselves and how others perceive them. I chose to specialize in botanical tattoos because depicting nature with the body transcends trends. I usually ask my clients what specific plants they have in mind for their piece, and if they are open to suggestions. My search is based on what colors would look and hold up the best with their skin type/tone.

It can be challenging to draw for someone knowing it needs to flow on a 3-D surface. I take or have the client send pictures of the area beforehand, and if there are any gaps in the design due to warping or wrapping I use a surgical marker and redraw areas to fit the body better. The biggest priority in designing a tattoo is making sure it complements the area of the body it's on and flows properly. Developing an eye for this just takes practice and experience.

Getting a tattoo takes endurance and dedication, especially when it requires more than one session. At the very least, a good tattoo can boost one's self image, and at most it's a cathartic experience that inspires inward change and growth. When you ascribe meaning to something and then go through the pain of making it part of you it serves as a powerful tool for change or affirmation. Many clients get tattooed to help cultivate more self-love. Others do it to embrace who they are and use tattoos as an exercise of self-expression and acceptance.

I personally didn't grow up in a community where being tattooed was common, and after moving away from home I saw a lot of tattoo studios where I lived. I realized I would feel most fulfilled working with people directly instead of using my creativity for advertising or marketing purposes. My core purpose for every tattoo is to enhance the beauty of each person it's designed for and help them feel good about themselves.

Kari Powell earned her BFA in Communication Design at Texas State in 2014. She began tattooing in 2017 and lives in Austin, Texas. She focuses on botanical tattoos and works in both color and black and grey. It is of the utmost importance to her to offer services with compassion and understanding. She is thankful every day to connect with others and help transform them through this beautifully shamanic practice.