In 2017, 1 in 3 people have a tattoo. However, it’s one thing to commit to a single piece and another to dedicate your whole body to something much more substantial.
Las Vegas-based artist Lil Guz got her first tattoo 8 years ago. Over the years her own tattoo collection has grown and grown. Recently, she’s been working on her tattoo body-suit project and documenting its journey online.
As a fellow tattoo collector, following her progress from afar has been a huge inspiration for me – not only is her body art beautiful, but she shares it with the world alongside some important truths about image, judgement, acceptance and diversity. I think we can all learn a thing or two from her outlook on life.
So, I was really excited to grab time with her this week and hear about how she feels as she reaches the last stages of this momentous artistic personal journey…
Inkluded: Lil Guz! So, you’re reaching the end of completing your body-suit now. Where are you up to?
Lil Guz: I am so close to being finished now – all that’s left is adding pattern-work to a few gaps.
Inkluded: Are there any parts of your body that you considered getting tattooed and then didn’t?
Lil Guz: I don’t have any other ideas for the face, so I am happy with the pieces I just have on the sides of my face.
I might do my hand palms if I think of an idea that I would really love for it, but I don’t plan on getting the bottoms of my feet done at all!
Inkluded: A lot of your tattoos are connected to your faith, aren’t they?
Lil Guz: Yes, this is a huge part of it for me. I am very faith-based and I believe in Jesus as my Saviour. I have many tattoos representing my faith – either thoughts and feelings about my faith or certain bible verses.
Inkluded: Do you have plans to do a second layer over the top?
Lil Guz: Even though my suit will be ‘complete’, as in, there will be no more blank spaces, I most likely won’t be done getting tattooed completely.
I might get a few blast-overs and re-work some pieces. I already have two small blast-overs (one on my shoulder blade and the other on my hand) but I don’t plan on doing a whole second layer. I am too attached the pieces I already have to want to do that.
Inkluded: Will you feel sad at all when you reach ‘the end’?
Lil Guz: I am very excited to ‘finish’ or feel like there are no more blank areas! People ask me all the time, what am I going to do when I run out of space? I’m going to relax! I will feel complete and I am very excited to feel the completion of this long but yet short journey.
I guess the only ‘sad’ or nostalgic part of finishing would be missing working with all of these amazing artists that I have been blessed enough to get tattooed by. I have so many great memories to look back on and that’s why every session I just tried to enjoy the experience and appreciate the process as much as possible.
So what will I do when I am finished?
I will still collect art! It will give me an opportunity to invest in other mediums with out putting my body through so much anymore. I’ll collect more paintings and prints from the artists I love.
Inkluded: You’re an inspiration to many because your tattoo story is very much about acceptance, and not judging others. I love that.
Lil Guz: Yes, I am very passionate about all of those things: unity in diversity, loving your body, appreciating all body types and breaking down gender norms.
I have always felt unique and like I needed the freedom to express myself and be my true self, but when trying to do this, society will make you feel like you are doing something wrong. I do not believe that I am. We are supposed to be different from one another, it’s a good thing.
That is why I like to share thoughts of unity in diversity, because we need each other, just the way we are, in all of our beautiful differences.
I also talk a lot about gender stereotypes because this is something I personally feel attacked on a lot, and I think it is ridiculous. Some might feel that a woman with her whole head shaved and tattooed is ‘masculine’, but I have never felt more beautiful, feminine, and free this way.
I hope that I can be encouraging to any gender – like what you like and that is OK! Wear what you want! Have your hair any way you like!
I have gotten tattooed in a way that best expresses me – these tattoos make me feel more myself, and I love my body even more now because of it.
Inkluded: Last but by no means least, let’s share a list of the artists we should go and follow that have helped create your masterpiece…
Lil Guz: Nico Roussin (IG: @nicoroussin), Carrie Cameron (IG: @cmctattoos), DJ Tambe (IG: @djtambe), Neal Scoggins (IG: @oakcitytattoo), Holly Azarra (IG:@babeink).