Female tattooist illustrates hip hop icons with stunning photorealism

Chavez's journey to tattoo artistry started with a decision made after eight years working as a graphic designer: That her love of drawing was a passion she wanted to make priority. But it's not just her killer tattoos that are earning her a dedicated following, Chavez's pencil portraits of hip hop icons are truly stunning. "Lucky for me, they were looking for a new apprentice at the time. A year and a half later, I was tattooing full time," she said. Tattooing a portrait takes me between five to eight hours depending on how much detail is involved." "I grew up listening to hip hop ... and have always loved drawing portraits of hip hop icons. I love capturing detail and like challenging myself with highly detailed pieces to push myself to get better." "My followers have doubled in the last year and most of the tattoo inquiries I get are from people who have come across my Instagram." "I loved what the campaign was about. Women using Instagram to tell their stories.

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Last year Instagram launched their #MyStory campaign; an
initiative aiming to highlight the work of exceptional and talented
women on the platform.

Australia’s Iva
Chavez
is one such woman, whose intricately-detailed tattoos have
earned her a position as a featured creative.

Chavez’s journey to tattoo artistry started with a decision made
after eight years working as a graphic designer: That her love of
drawing was a passion she wanted to make priority.

Considering herself as an artist generally, Chavez says that her
tattooing is what finally allowed her to express that art. But it’s
not just her killer tattoos that are earning her a dedicated
following, Chavez’s pencil portraits of hip hop icons are truly
stunning.

The tattoo industry is largely a male-dominated one, but Chavez
says this motivates her to do her best work.

“If anything, it makes me want to step up my game to show that
females can do it just as well as males,” she told
Mashable.

That drive to succeed hasn’t made her exempt from the occasional
misgendering of her work. “I’ve had a few people tell me, at first
they thought I was a guy just from looking at my work. I don’t like
that.”

“I’ve had a few people tell me, at first they thought I
was a guy just from looking at my work. I don’t like
that.”

However, transitioning careers after almost a decade as a
graphic designer was much easier than Chavez expected it…

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