Each week our intrepid artist liaison and generally jovial Eikon staffer Patrick Coste, sits down with a tattoo artist to get to know them a little better. This week, he's catching up with Saga Anderson.
He owns his place in the trade. He's not the oldest, but he loves tattooing like we do, and he's able to bring it to another level! - Patrick Coste
Name: Saga Anderson
Years tattooing: 8.5 years
Years actually good at it? hah: 😅 LOL, definitely took a few years to figure it out!
Place of business: Ink by Saga, Calgary , Alberta, Canada
PC: Wassup Saga, been a while eh? I believe last time we chatted was at the Calgary Tattoo and Arts Festival and you'd just finished work on the lovely @hip_bean. You evil man, she was tired but what a piece you did!!
SA: Thanks, you bet! We added a falcon on her inner thigh, part of the leg sleeve we just recently completed on her actually. I’m not sure if it will ever be fully done though. We’re working on a full body suit on her, so I’m sure I’ll be going back into it to add more as time goes on. So far we’ve put in around 54 hours in a lot of sessions on it, she’s such a champ! She also wants zero input into the design and sits so well so I’m completely free to make the best work I can. So lucky, best girlfriend and canvas ever!
PC: I've been meaning to ask you this for a long time, how did you get into tattooing?
SA: It was a long journey! I went to university for almost ten years training in psychology and worked in that field for nearly as long, but had always wanted to be a tattoo artist. I was lucky enough to be introduced into tattooing informally and decided to take a leave from grad school, and take a leap into the field in my early 30’s. Needed a life change! Took quite a lot of effort to get into a shop and establish myself, but it’s been so worth the effort...lol! My family definitely thought I was crazy quitting my career to start over.
PC: When did it click for you - "Ok, ok, I got this. I’m not bad, let's keep going"?
SA: To be honest, after doing my first tattoo I was hooked! Even though it was just a Canadian flag I was recoloring, I thought it was the coolest experience and I knew it was for me. It wasn’t until I started doing realistic tattoos though, a few years into my tattoo career, that I realized the true potential of where I could envision my art going and all my varied art experiences and skills finally coalesced together into the style people recognize today. Until that point I had considered myself a fully illustrative artist, enjoying tattooing in every style except realism, as I had never attempted anything realistic and thought it too challenging. Now I’ve moved fully into my own little niche and love exploring the painterly aspects of realistic art.
PC: You were doing quite a few seminars last year, any others this year?
SA: Definitely. We’re going to be holding some across Canada and the US this year, PEI, Halifax, Calgary, Oklahoma City, Manhattan, Victoria are confirmed...probably more! Passing on knowledge and teaching other artists has become one of my big passions in the last 2 years. It’s super rewarding to see artists get excited and reinvigorated in their careers with some new skills to try. I taught myself to tattoo and have a very unique approach to both artist development and tattoo design/equipment use, so most of what I show artists isn’t the standard approach they’ve seen before.
PC: Where can we see you and get tattooed by you this year?
SA: As usual we’ll be all over Canada and the US this year, for shows and seminars. For conventions we’ll be in Edmonton, Saskatoon, PEI, Halifax, Empire State, Lethbridge, Illinois, Calgary, Victoria, Tahiti...and one or two more to be announced!
PC: It was a pleasure to chat with you Saga, see you on the road quite soon!
SA: Thanks so much, see you out there!
Follow Saga Anderson - Ink by Saga on instagram https://www.instagram.com/inkbysaga/