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Constance Eller - Gallery & Bio



"Life is what happens while you're busy making other plans, “John Lennon sang, and my life has affirmed that as truth. My name is Constance Eller, and my early life was one of violin lessons and playing in symphony orchestras, with no clue as to what destiny held in store for me. I was introduced to tattooing in 1978, and my now ex-husband taught me the career that has lasted 23 years. It was not always the easiest of roads, but I never seem to do much the easy way. We ran our shop in a manner that allowed our two daughters to grow up with us and around the shop. They are both grown now, and my younger daughter, Charissa, works with me as a second-generation tattooist.

Every January, Deana Lippens hosts her “Marked for Life Expo”, in Orlando. The beauty of this event is a winter break in Florida.  It is an

Constance Eller at work

all-female tattoo artist event - although males do attend, and we welcome them with open arms! The women come from all over the U.S., Europe and Japan, sharing our experiences with each other. Of course, we also ply our trade while there, and love the people that come to see us every year. We stay up until the wee hours and catch up on our tattoo community news, relishing the conversations and connections an event like this offers. The common thread running through most of our philosophies is the view that our profession is a spiritual process.

We feel like new-age shamans, and realize that, although our methods are aided by modern machines, pigments, and sterilization procedures, the actual exchange is the same as thousands of years ago. Women are nurturers by nature, and women tattooists take that to another level, by nurturing with the images we craft, chosen by our clients to express their inner self. Each tattoo seems a type of ritual for the client, either to gain strength or healing in some way, or to take possession of one's own body. The reasons are as numerous and curious as our clients themselves. Never one to encourage conformity, I have tried to help celebrate each client's uniqueness, allowing them to get in touch with that part of themselves, and show it to the world. Nurture, nurture, nurture, women's work is never done.

The projection of sexism on the female tattooist has decreased, as it has for women doing other non-traditionally female work, since the 70s. The act of getting a tattoo is truly intimate, yet transcends the sexual feel, and becomes an exchange of energy, like a dance, that connects the soul to the skin. Awareness and respect are bi-products of our work. The knowledge we have gained has made the trade safer for both our clients, and ourselves. Our commitment to cross-contamination prevention and clean, artistic work is something all the tattoo sisters share. Our paths are all different, yet familiar. When you contemplate the number of female tattoo artists, and the thousands of tattoos done by each of us for all these years, the size of our communal tribe is indeed like a large web that extends around our planet, and resonates in the sparks of creativity we have channeled into it, one image at a time. It will continue to grow, and as we pass on, we will vibrate through that ever-expanding web.

Blessings to our tribe.



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