Artist Stories

Ceci is no stranger to change

Ceci doesn’t want to be defined by tattooing, but it’s a career path that offers the flexibility to create on their own terms.

Change has been a recurring theme in Ceci’s life, from the rotating places they’ve called home to their exploration through the world of art. “I've moved around a lot,” they say. “It's just built into who I am.”

Ceci has worked as a tattoo artist since they first started hand poking art on their friends in 2019. But they don’t want to feel defined by the medium. “Sometimes I get frustrated about the broadness of how much I love to create,” they say. At nine, Ceci discovered crocheting—a craft they still practice today—and in high school there were oil paints. These days, they’re journaling daily and exploring the art of dancing. 

Having a wide variety of creative pursuits is important to Ceci’s creative process. “I find sometimes I get stuck in the space where I just can't create and I have to do something else,” they say. And turning to another medium recharges them, igniting the creativity again. “I feel like it's all interconnected.”


That fluidity has defined Ceci’s tattoo career too. After starting solo, they worked a brief stint at a traditional tattoo studio before it closed abruptly. “They gave me very little notice,” they say. Since then, they haven’t had a permanent studio, opting instead to move around to guest spots in southern Ontario, Montreal, and most recently, Vancouver.

It’s amazing to have that joy at the end of the appointment. We worked together and created this thing.

Ceci is drawn to the collaborative and social aspects of tattooing. “I kind of like when people do variations to flash,” they say. “Because it's gonna be on their body.” They consider their clients partners in the process, and getting to know them helps with the collaborative process. “It’s amazing to have that joy at the end of the appointment,” they say. “We worked together and created this thing.” To foster this intimacy, they’ve focused their career on hand poking as a quiet alternative to the noisier machine. 

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To supplement tattooing and their other creative passions, Ceci plans to return to tree-planting this summer—a ritual they’ve had for many years. Beyond the benefit of the strong community they’ve built, the gig pays well and it’s temporary. “It kind of gives a bit of space and freedom to do other things once the season is over,” they say. “I've done that before—just created art for the winter.”

Learning comes naturally to someone who’s disposed to change. And Ceci feels like they still have a lot to learn. Gaining more experience in their practice and exploring new styles may mean settling into a more consistent studio at least once a week. “I feel like that would be really nice right now,” they say. 

But those plans may be put on hold for a while as Ceci is already making plans for the near future. “I'm going to move around a bunch in the next few months,” they say. “I'm just trying to find random gigs to cover my bases.” They have Montreal in their sights again, as an opportunity to connect with friends and integrate into the community.

There’s more change ahead for Ceci, who has long term plans to expand their dancing practice and attend grad school. “I also want to write a book one day,” they say. As they navigate through this non-linear career path, tattooing remains a constant, offering the flexibility for Ceci to be creative in their way, on their time.

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