As Emily Malice’s amazing tattoo designs are taking over social media, we talked to her to find out how she incorporated quantum physics, anatomy, and botany into her trademark style, and on how her new clothing line will make you feel both cute and filthy.
How did you first get into tattooing? What was the first tattoo you got yourself? What is your favorite tattoo you gave yourself?
I started tattooing when I was 24, and my first tattoo happened when I was 15- it’s a piece of tribal I have on my ankle that I got whilst standing on the kitchen table.
How would you say you developed your trademark style?
I’ve always drawn subjects that interest me, I use art to answer and ask questions. I like to create my own icons or celebrate existing ones (eg Divine, Marilyn Manson, Pikachu) I’ve moved onto work questioning quantum physics, through anatomy and botany. I think it’s important to have a visual language and to have something to say with your art, show vulnerability and give your audience something to start a fire inside.
Do you love plants as much in real life? Which plant would you identify with the most and why?
Hahaha do you mean in relation to my Instagram? Yes, I do. Plants are essential to our existence. They can heal us and also kill us. I identify with the sexy and dangerous Atropa belladonna aka the deadly nightshade- I love the shape of the petals.
I love your recent drawings inspired by the transference of energy and more esoteric and occult thoughts. How did you get into that mood? Where do you usually get inspiration from?
Myself and my father bond over knives and the beauty and theories of our universe. We were recently looking at the Kybalion and Steven Hawking’s brief history of time- I was fascinated by the fact that energy cannot be created or destroyed, it can only be transferred, our universe is a beautiful connected web of actions and reactions, cause and effect. Learning this really changed my life and how I act in this world.
Did you ever turn down a customer? Why or why not? If this hasn’t happened what sort of tattoo would you never agree to do?
I am very grateful to have my assistant Ems who is quite good at talking to potential clients and seeing if It would be right for both of us. Sometimes I am not the right person for the project and I would rather the client got the best tattoo than me just taking their money. I take great pride in my work and I respect the trust people give me with their bodies.
What are you working on at the moment? What would be your dream project? Would you consider a book of your drawings any time soon?
I have been very busy with mine and my best mate Steph’s blossoming clothing project FILTHY CUTE. I’m grateful to have such a passionate partner. We wanted to create versatile sustainable attire that can be dressed up or down, for when you are feeling filthy or cute haha. We are all given a choice in this world, to feed into the right energy. We have made conscious decisions to be ethical and fair within our company, our tracksuits are printed here in London and made in Europe in safe working environments. If you buy from these big brands capitalizing on cheap labor you are supporting their behavior. This is our time to change that and stop these landfills of cheap nasty clothes. Like Vivienne Westwood said- buy less, choose well and make it last x