Discover the trajectory and references of Chilean tattoo artist Polilla Tattoo
Edward Lorenz's Chaos Theory states that small decisions can have profound consequences in our lives. Florencia Landaeta, better known as Polilla Tattoo (@polillatattoo), is living proof of this. After her husband — back then her boyfriend — gave her her first tattoo, the graphic designer became interested in this discipline and found a calling she continues to follow to this day.
Moth fell in love with the trade, which allowed her to keep her interest in drawing. Three months after that first session, she held her first tattoo machine.
Luckily, she had the opportunity to start tattooing right away, starting with her closest friends and family members. Her "baptism" took place during a party in which she tattooed several friends and someone that would end up becoming something like a mentor in her first steps of this art.
A week later, she decided to set up a studio at home. The road, however, was not easy: "The biggest obstacle is that, when you start drawing on the skin, you realize that what you are drawing does not look exactly as it did on paper", she says. The secret to overcoming this? Practice. "It's like a musical instrument; if you don't practice every day, the results won't be good".
Polilla also had to face resistance from her parents, who did not look favorably on her new profession. She also had to make her way in a trade then dominated by men. Today, six years later, you can say that everything has worked out ok. El Bosque, the studio she founded with two other partners, has a team of ten tattoo artists and more than 42,000 followers on Instagram. The numbers on her personal account are even more impressive: 147,000 followers.
Here are some of the references and things that inspired Polilla Tattoo:
From an early age, Florencia watched a lot of animation, and Miyazaki, the co-founder of Studio Ghibli, was one of the directors who impacted her the most. "Miyazaki opened my eyes and made me realize that characters are not just characters, but the sum of the world around them and the story they need to tell".
Polilla also appreciates Miyazaki's talent to convey personality in small gestures. He makes, she says, simple but very expressive drawings. Another aspect of the Japanese artist that she sees reflected in her work is the humanization of animals: "I like to draw paratrooper cats or pigs who are chefs, and this comes from everything I learned from Miyazaki when I was little".
Fran Meneses and Catalina Bu
Although she does not consider herself an expert in comics, she has approached some Chilean artists' work, mainly that of Fran Meneses and Catalina Bu. From Bu, she admires Diario de un solo. "She has managed to create a character that I love and that many people identify with". Polilla draws a parallel with her clients, who also need to feel a connection to the drawings they will have tattooed.
From Fran Meneses' graphic novels, she highlights the narrative and emotional capacity: "There are warm moments and sorrowful moments, often represented with simple strokes, exactly what we use in tattoo art".
Susanne König, better known as Suflanda, is a German tattoo artist currently living in Manchester. Her tattoo art is unique, often linked to children's stories and their characters, presented in different contexts and textures. Polilla considers her one of her first inspirations.
This French tattoo artist based in Barcelona looks for new symbolism using traditional styles. It keeps the lines thick and the colors flat, but instead of classic motifs such as hearts, roses, and anchors, she has created a dreamlike world of strange and surreal characters.
This Korean tattoo artist is Polilla's greatest botanical-themed inspiration. She creates large black and white flower tattoos with masterful use of shading.