Minka Sicklinger is a New York based artist with a unique outlook on art— she strives for authenticity and passion, which she exudes in conversation and in her artistic and personal style. Looking inwards for meaning, Sicklinger strives to create tattoos that represent her client based on their needs and wishes— setting aside Western trends and aiming for a more honest interpretation of her clients’ narratives. She believes that people need to manifest with intention who they want to be, instead of finding outside symbols to shape them— connect with themselves first, then relay that connection on the body if the desire remains. Sicklinger has collaborated with a number of brands, such as DS & Durga and Doubleday Books, and we are excited to welcome this longtime friend of Boketto for a collaboration on September 28th in the form of a tattoo pop-up, where she will exhibit her raw talent and energy through a collection of tattoo flash which will be available for tattooing.
How did you develop your style and what influences/inspires you?
My style has just developed naturally over time. I have always done aesthetically/visually what felt right to me rather than what I was told was good or bad or “correct”—not just in tattooing but life in general. I get inspired by things that I like, love and hate—no rhyme or reason or any identifiable connection to them. I’m a very visual person and am always walking around looking and observing and things that I see will naturally filter into my work in some way or other, and there is a lot of intuition in my process where I will ideate from internal rather than external sources: dreams, epiphanies and the like.
Do you have any favorite things to tattoo, or based on our conversation, is joy sparked from the client?
It’s always changing but I like simplicity. It’s always fun reworking traditional designs with my take on it— my tattoo style has definitely changed a lot and evolved over the last eleven years so I guess my favourite things to tattoo are those ideas and subject matter that allow me to continue to explore this change and evolution—and those possibilities are infinite.
What do you say to people who have never been tattooed before when they come to you for their first?
Exactly the same things as my clients that already have them: I answer any questions, hopefully make them feel comfortable, and make sure they are invested and certain of their idea.
Does your space influence your work?
I think anyone who is empathetic and creative is influenced by their environment, but you also have to make the best of what is available. I would say that the people sharing that space with you irrespective of relationship will always have more of a profound influence on you and your work than the actual space itself.
Do you have any mantras that you live by? Philosophies?
To live is to be willing to die over and over again” Ani Pema Chödrön
Boketto roughly translates into English as “To gaze vacantly into the distance without thinking.” What does “Boketto” mean to you as someone who has fostered a close relationship with Jelena over the years?
That there are as many answers within as outside of us—this is a belief system we saw in each other as soon as we met. I believe that it is the space where the conscious acknowledgement of where the internal and external meet is where your intuition lies. Nurturing this space allows for all faculties, both physical and spiritual, to operate at their optimum.
How do you practice wellness and/or self-care? What does self-care mean to you?
Self care for me is whatever I know I intuitively need in any given moment. Sometimes it’s a day alone, sometimes it’s physical activity, sometimes it’s drinking way too much wine and talking and dancing all night. I practice it by listening to myself and constantly trying to gain a greater understanding and insight of both my physical and mental being—self-evolution always!