Molly Jean: The Village Ink
Molly Jean is a tattoo artist at The Village Ink in Yorkville, downtown Toronto, but she doesn’t stop with tattoos; art is her life, if you ask her. If she’s not tattooing, she’s painting, drawing, and creating outside of the studio.
She’s skilled in a variety of tattoo styles, from cartoon illustrations, abstract portraits, geometric designs, and delicate line work. Her favorite styles to ink are pop culture animation, color, watercolor, and illustrative work.
Her specialty is a naked woman’s body with a different head, and they look just as cool as they sound! Lisa, who recently had one of these designs tattooed by Molly (a woman’s body with a groundhog head) raves about her work, and says that Molly “is rad”.
We talked to Molly to find out what her experience was like getting to where she is today.
As a woman with tattoos or a woman in the tattoo industry, have you found that you (or any of your female clients) have been ‘slut-shamed’ or received negatively because of the fact that they are a woman with a tattoo?
I’ve encountered the occasional comment along the lines of “you’re such a pretty girl, why would you ruin your body with tattoos”, but overall I haven’t had too much negative feedback. Tattoos are so common now, that I think people are just more used to seeing tattooed women and so they don’t say anything about it.
Q: Do you think that there is a general stigma around women having tattoos in the modern day world?
I think that it’s only slightly more acceptable for men to be tattooed. To be honest, the general stigma around tattoos is fading – people don’t really care anymore. And I think the stigma that does still exist is more career based rather than gender based – I’ve heard stories from teachers and people working in healthcare about how they get really judged for having tattoos, regardless of gender.
Q: What has your experience been in becoming successful in the tattooing field?
I did experience some gender based problems when I first started my tattoo apprenticeship. The first guy I ever worked for continuously made creepy, sexual comments towards me, and then tried to fire me because “his girlfriend thought I was a threat”.
I ended up going to work for someone else who wasn’t so terrible, but as an artist just starting out in the industry it was a little disheartening. I have heard even worse horror stories from female tattoo artists, apparently I got off easy.
Molly is a great example of a talented, dedicated, and creative tattoo artist. To see more of Molly’s incredible work, check out her Instagram @maddmoll.