I. Leila D’Amato

In My Own Words…

I began tattooing in late 2003 in Oak Park, a suburb of Detroit, Michigan. Apprenticing under Billie Kirk, I quickly acclimated to producing the repetitious flash tattoos that were popular at the time. Fine line lettering, portraits of religious figures, or the old english “D” were executed at the whim and budget of our spontaneous clientele.
Within a few years I became disenchanted with this style of tattooing and took a part time position as a makeup artist with MAC Cosmetics, while continuing to tattoo.
Unbeknownst to me at the time, makeup and facial anatomy would play an integral role in finding my personal style as an artist.
By 2011, change was long overdue so I packed my things and the few years that followed were quite a rocky road. The rougher the road, the happier the ending though right?
It took some trial and error but I eventually found my home at Eclectic Art Tattoo in Lansing, MI.
I feel like I’ve gotten a chance to start over again. A chance to aggressively take hold of my tattooing career and mold it into exactly what I want it to be. After almost 12 years in this craft, there is no time left to waste.

I like to describe my style as vintage gothique with an introspective twist. Yes, I made up those words;) Lately my muse is the woman’s face. “Who is she?” people ask. The answer is no one, and everyone. Mostly she is an amalgam of light and shadow, planes and surfaces. I never want her to be anyone in particular. In the end she simply is her expression. Maybe a time will come when I am no longer so enamored with the female face, but maybe never…

As a person I am a self proclaimed introvert. Awkwardly sarcastic, if that’s a thing. I overthink almost everything, especially my art. I become each project that I take on, which is a part of why I am so picky about the things that I create. Unfortunately, I promise to give 100% of myself to my work, wether it is a willing sacrifice or not. Art can be all encompassing, it takes over all of my priorities, all of my mind.

I have had the pleasure of feeling the endorphin rush that comes with being acknowledged for some of my accomplishments. In 2013 I was the first ever tattooed model published for the North American Hairstlying Awards. Later that same year one of my paintings would be transformed into an album cover for hip hop artist, Danny Brown’s “Old”.

I live in southeast Michigan with my dude and two Bengal cats, Siren and Chie. My hobbies are video games, nerding out on cartoons and collecting antiquities.

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