A favourite artist of mine is a young tattoo artist who goes by the name Madame Buraka. I first discovered her work through Instagram where she has a pretty large following of over 56 thousand people. (Go find her over on Instagram – @burakatattooflash .)
After growing up religiously watching LA Ink and it’s Miami/London/New York spin-offs, reading Kat Von D’s books and idolising rock n’ roll stars who were covered in ink, I always had a fascination with tattoos, and knew I wanted them as soon as I was old enough. I always thought there was something really precious and charming about having art that you love on your skin forever. However, when I turned 18 there was no one particular design that I had yet fallen in love with, and I didn’t want to rush into something for the sake of it. All I knew was that I wanted a tattoo that somehow represented London; after looking through hundreds of traditional style tattoos that featured the London skyline in a frame, and realistic landscapes, I decided I wanted something different, and more my style – if only I knew what that was exactly. Finally, I came across Madame Buraka and I instantly fell in love with her style of design, the more minimalist line drawings were exactly what I was looking for.
I kept Madame Buraka in mind as I kept looking at different artists, but months passed and I was still thinking about her designs, asking friends and my parents what they thought. Eventually I sent her an email, asking if she could tattoo me the next time she was in London, and at first it was hard to get hold of her as she was travelling between cities, tattooing in Paris, London, and New York. Eventually we set a date, and I was all booked in to get my first tattoo.
Diana sent me an address of where to meet her, it was a pub in Camberwell, South East London. After using maps on my phone, and getting a little lost – I’m a North-East London girl and we rarely go South of the river – I found the pub. I know it might sound a little sketchy but I can assure you it was a nice pub and the staff inside were friendly (it wasn’t like rocking up to your local Wetherspoons.) One of the ladies working there assured me that Diana would be down soon and to wait for her inside. She came downstairs and greeted me with a hug and a smile which made me feel more at ease, and then I followed her upstairs into the shared flat that she was staying in. As Buraka is a travelling tattoo artist, she works out of her room, which was actually a really comfortable setting, with her photographs and artwork pinned up on the walls.