One thing you'll notice about Anya Proshchina's tattoos is the realistic details she puts into every one. With soft lines, muted colors, and floral designs for days – It's no wonder why her appointment book is filling up with clients looking to get one of her beautiful pieces permenently penned into their skin by her. We talked with Anya about how her love of nature inspires her art and has helped cultivate her style of tattooing.
Shop: Glass Moon Tattoo, Denver
Years Tattooing: 5 Years
Style/Specialty: Color and Black & Gray realism, Floral or Nature related
Drink of choice: Glass of Pinot Noir
What would you be doing professionally if you weren’t a tattooer?
I'm pretty sure I'd still be doing something artistic, absolutely sure it'd be something with my hands, I always remember myself creating something. I can also see myself doing something with plants or animals involved.
Do you have any hidden talent(s)?
Hmm… let me think haha, I can do headstand – does this count? I can move my ears. One of my friends said “find brand new items at thrift stores. Also I can pack my bag for travels in a very short time- but I think that's not a talent, I just traveled quite a bit in my life already!
What’s in rotation on your playlist right now?
As of right now it's: Thievery Corporation, Tetra Hydro K, Emancipator and probably Drumspyder and L'entourloop the most.
What made you want to get into tattooing?
Well, I couldn't find an artist that would fit my request to finish my leg tattoo and my friends were like, “Anya you draw all the time you should just learn how to do it yourself”. Long story short, my leg is still not finished today. One day!
First tattoo you ever got?
It was a little bird that got covered up a long time ago. If we are talking about a normal size of a tattoo then it was a rose on my hip.
Do you have any tattoos you regret? (Getting or giving)
I definitely have less favorite tattoos on my body that probably will get covered up or reworked eventually! About given tattoos- I don't really think so! I am always trying to be open and straightforward about everything. I always let a client know about all concerns of the design or placement they picked for example, I also can say no if I think that design is not a good idea or it doesn't align with my beliefs for example. Of course I had some stubborn clients in the beginning of my career who had very particular requests that I had to accommodate too but luckily for me those days are over. I feel very lucky with my clients today. They have the coolest ideas and are always open to hear my suggestions if I have any.
What’s the strangest / most unique tattoo request you’ve gotten?
One that comes to my mind first: I remember I was working in a walk in shop and two dudes came in to get “bro tattoos” (how they said it!). It was 2 unicorns having sex under a rainbow, they wanted to place it on their butt cheeks but one of them already had it covered in other funny tattoos, so they both got it as tramp stamps. I think that was the strangest.
What is your favorite part about being a tattoo artist, and what is the most challenging?
My absolute favorite part of my job is the emotion I see on peoples faces when they see their finished tattoo for the first time. Especially when coverups are completed. Most people expect a cover up to be something not pretty and obvious cover up looking, but my cover ups are not like that. I’ve seen the same person come in hating some part of their body (scars for example) and then walk out of the shop the same day wanting to show it off to everyone now- that's probably one of the best moments of my job. I'm so happy I can do that for somebody. The most challenging is probably when I have to say “no” to some ideas. I always feel bad even though I am always trying to refer people if I know other artists whose skills will fit the request better.
What kind of changes have you seen with tattoo trends over the years and what’s been the worst one(s), in your opinion?
Tattoos that are going to look like poop within 1-3 years! All the tiny tiny thingys, scripts or symbols that were made in the wrong size and not going to last. There's definitely a trend of not good quality tattoos. Equipment these days is accessible and can be affordable if you are not looking for good quality. Overall I'm ok with it all. I love to work on cover ups. I just absolutely hate to hear all the sad stories about people's bad experiences they had to deal with.
Where do you get inspiration from?
Since I prefer to do a lot of nature related stuff I definitely take my inspiration from nature a lot. I love plants so much and always take reference pictures when I have a chance. Other artists can definitely be my inspiration sometimes. I also try to explore other art mediums besides tattooing in my free time and I think that also keeps me going a lot.