This pic is Me, my little chi 'Diego' (the badass pooch) and 'Hell Bound' the 1940 Hotrod Pickup truck my dad and I built.
of which... The Counts Kustoms crew featured! see below wuhoo!!!
Hi there, welcome to the Black Widow Tattoo and Kustom website.
I’m Erika some people know me as 'Flossy' typically in New Zealand. I’m the dreamer, curator, and passionate artist of Black Widow Tattoo and Kustom.
My world revolves around: The thump of a V8 engine and the Hot-rod custom truck 'Hell Bound'.
The beat of a heavy metal kick drum as I am an avid 'metal' music lover and the Buzzing of a tattoo machine which is my daily grind. The solvent abusing Kustom paint craziness which feeds my soul
and the snore of my stinky little Chihuahua… \m/
My road has not been mapped out for the faint hearted and so far I've managed to complete two apprenticeships, worked in various countries, have an extensive client network of which I am humbly grateful for. I have also written a novel and completed a screenplay whilst battling the Archaic Tattoo Industry mechanisms in place that tries to disable 'legitimate' Modern Tattoo Business Operators.
Both career paths I chose are within very male-dominated industries. Automotive Refinishing and Tattoo Art.
I have been automotive painting for over 25 years and Tattooing for 20.
A journey it certainly has been...
I always thought to myself when I was undergoing my apprenticeships that as soon as I was good enough, I’d be accepted by my industry peers as one of the team and back then they were all men...
I was wrong.
The better my skills became the worse certain industry peers became. I personally don’t understand the gender diversity and not sure I ever will? It is still very much alive today in 2020 and in my life time I’d like to be a positive, influential individual promoting awareness and change. (Actual change, not just a poster girl on the cover of an Auto-paint magazine holding a spray gun portraying 'all is good with women in trades' when the stats and experiences are vastly opposing).
You see, I do not comprehend what is so bad about women or females being good at a craft and loving what they do?
I would consider that a more solid support network in any given area of life can only make main the objective or end game easier to achieve no matter the gender?
So as a passionate, Car and Tattoo loving lady with customising in my genes and hot-rod blood coursing through my veins…
That is what I've a set out to do!
Coming from nothing and nowhere all I ever had was the ability to work hard. Being stubborn, having a dream of what I hope to accomplish & being 'far beyond driven' as an individual is why I have the portfolio here to show you, today.
I have been "crushed like a bug" more than anyone would know. I've faced unnecessary hardships, inequality, ostracism and do not have any Idea how I have survived it. Let alone continue to be "Gloved up and still in the ring"!
I tell myself my purpose is to go through it all. Continue and share my story with others, hoping to encourage a better way... To be honest this is the only way I can digest my devastating life experiences. Communicating about them and exploring better more progressive avenues.
As a women in automotive and tattooing here 'down under':
Rather than witnessing jealousy of magnanimous measures and derailment agendas more so than anything else.
I should have received: Acceptance, Industry Support and Encouragement!!!
Tattooing / Customising / Hot-rodding - above all - is the love of Art!
It is where Passionate and Artistic Individuals dare to push creative boundaries.
Courageously, Motivatingly, Collaborating and Networking to achieve 'EPIC' goals Together...
My advice is: If you love something so passionately then you owe it to yourself to stick with it, NO matter what and remember, most opinions given are self-servant, therefore be choosy about whom you seek encouragement from and:
Choose your own endeavours in life.
IT IS YOUR Life and YOUR ROAD!
Welcome to my mine x