Laura Yahna aka „The Girl with the Matchsticks“
How did you get into tattooing? I was into tattoos …
Stay Cold talks to "Laura Yahna" about fear of flying, feeling like an alien, and tattooing as an emotional outlet.
How did you get into tattooing?
I was into tattoos since puberty, when I hit 15. While I was studying graphic design, I
was tattooing friends. A tattoo artist saw one of my pieces on a friend and told him to
ask me to join her studio. Ela is my mentor and my boss, but she’s also one of my
best friends now. She was supportive from the beginning and believed in my
potential. She never told me what to draw, she just encouraged me to find who I am
as an artist.
Was tattooing something that came naturally?
Starting tattooing was so painful for me. I was scared to show my work to people I
didn’t know and to have them judge it. I was really anxious, redrawing designs 20
times until they were super perfect. This can be a common issue with all artists, but I
had Ela who was super supportive. It probably took a year before I stopped feeling
fear whenever I went to the studio.
Tattooing is still not an easy craft for me, and there is still so much stuff you could
learn or become better at. There’s days when I think I really suck at it, but this is also
the reason I am still into it, or otherwise, I would have already been bored. This is the
longest relationship I ever had. For the past eight or nine years, I see tattooing
everyday and I’m still in love with it.
Have you been able to get support for dealing with your problems?
I was always a very, very open person who talked about the shit I was going through.
When I was very young, I learned that a lot of people people aren’t into that and they
can’t deal with it. I used to think I was wrong for talking about it, but now the older I
get, the more I understand, that I just hadn’t met the right people. Now I can gather
people around me that appreciate the way I handle life. It makes it way easier if you
meet people who share that understanding.
What do you think about social media today and how it affects young people?
Instagram is about building up an image so other people like you. It doesn't
necessarily have anything to do with real life. I don’t post too much private stuff, but
at the same time, I do want to, so I can be honest. But it's such a complicated thing,
because everything you put out there on the Internet is open to other people’s
judgment. For someone who’s really sensitive, it’s very difficult to post private things
on the Internet, because you care what others think about you,
Do you consider yourself to be a sensitive person?
I always felt very different to other people as a kid, a little bit like an alien, like I don’t
belong here. My mom says I was born hyper sensitive, but I think we are all sensitive
and the difference between people is that some break faster, and others get stronger
through the things that happens to them. I don’t feel like an alien so much anymore...
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