Riding the waves: interview with tattoo and henna artist Kat Winifred

“Without challenges, we don’t grow…”

 Kat Winifred StudioKat Winifred

Bristol-based Kat Winifred has been a henna artist since 2007, and a couple of years ago she took the move into tattooing. She runs a tattoo studio within Emily Rose, a vintage shop in Griffithstown, South Wales. She offers tattoos and custom henna at the shop, and also henna appointments from her home in Bristol.

Kat Winifred Henna Kat Winifred Mandala

I was keen to quiz Kat about the influences behind her unique and striking style. “I’m a lover of symmetry and anything nature inspired. I’m a fan of traditional tattoo styles as well as mandalas – they are my favourites to draw! The best thing about my job is I draw what people want which means I’m never short of a challenge. Its a good thing because without challenges, we don’t grow. I’m thankful of my clients who help my artistic growth.”

Kat Winifred Mandala Tattoo Kat Winifred Dagger

But is it a challenge working on both tattooing and henna application, two completely different forms of art? “Between tattooing and henna here a some similarities as well as differences like comparing different mediums however having been doing henna has helped me deal with working on the skin, from curves to contours. Having my henna skill has helped me fund setting up in tattooing from purchasing equipment to setting up the tattoo studio at Emily Rose.”

Kat Winifred Henna 2 Kat Winifred Shark

“My interest in henna started in 2007, when I hopped on a plane to work a summer season on a small Greek Island called Ios. I made a friends with some locals and next thing I knew I was working as a henna artist for a woman who runs a jewellery shop. After the season was over I returned home to Bristol where I continued to work as a henna artist at events, markets, parties and private appointments. I have spent three summers working on the beaches in Cornwall.”

Kat Winifred Sleeve

Kat had a beautiful tattoo sleeve. I asked her to chat through her different tattoos. “I have a few small ones: a triskele symbol, a feather and flowers, and two larger pieces: a henna style dot work piece which I have tattooed myself and still has one more session to go as well as a mermaid ¾ sleeve (pictured) which was done by Matt at Drunken Sailor in Newquay, Cornwall.”

Kat Winifred Owl Kat Winifred Moth

So what does a tattoo/henna artist do in her spare time? “I love to escape to nature in my spare time, mostly to go in search of waves because I love to surf. Being in the ocean puts everything in perspective for me, I leave all my mental notes at the shoreline and it’s just about having fun! I like to explore by finding waterfalls or woods to roam in. I’m no stranger to getting cosy at home with a cup of tea and my sketchbook or read a good book.”

Kat Winifred Tattoo Guitars

“The next year or so is looking to be an exciting one for me. I’m looking forward to meeting all the people I will be tattooing and the images I will be creating during the next year. It’s an exciting time for me right now and for that I’m so grateful. I’m embracing every minute of the ride!”