SEPTEMBER BLOG- MELISE HILL
Is it Fall yet? Well, almost.. but it is time to fall for our Maverick Family Artist for September! (haha I make myself laugh!) With a sense of humor that is like no other, let me introduce you to Melise Hill. She is from a small town in Ontario Canada where she began her tattoo career. After moving to the states in 2015, she started working at Ironclad Tattoo Co. directly out of Detroit, Michigan. Melise also just opened a private studio in the Great City of Detroit, CONGRATS! You can currently find her there today. Melise specializes in full color and illustrative work usually incorporating natural and botanical elements. Her personality is extremely relatable and she has some great advice on how to deal with stress. We’re so happy to share her interview with all of you, we know you’re going to love her work!
Check out what Melise had to say about being part of the Maverick family below:
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT MAVERICK?
I love how personal the interactions with Maverick have always felt. It doesn’t just feel like a brand, but more like friends. The communication is always quick and helpful, and of course, they make pretty solid needles!
Be sure to check her out!
Want to learn more about Melise? KEEP READING-
WITH HAVING TO PROMOTE YOURSELF ON SOCIAL MEDIA, HOW DO YOU MAINTAIN A POSITIVE MINDSET?
Social media is just a part of the job! I think as long as you can separate it from real life, it’s not too bad. There’s so much inspiring content on there, I just have to remind myself not to spend too much time scrolling!
WHO IS THE MOST UNIQUE TATTOOER YOU HAVE EVER MET?
Oh man, this whole industry is made up of unique characters! I’m going to go with my good friend, Kurt Ross. I’d definitely watch him on reality tv!
THE PENGUIN IS THE MAVERICK FOUNDER'S SPIRIT ANIMAL. WHAT'S YOUR SPIRIT ANIMAL?
Ohhhh, probably something super basic like a golden retriever. Who doesn’t want to be a family dog?
WHICH STATE ARE YOU LOCATED? WHAT DO YOU LIKE MOST ABOUT WHERE YOU LIVE AND WHY?
I’m in Michigan. I haven’t been here that long and haven’t taken much time to explore the state, but I really do love the city of Detroit. There’s so much history and character here, and a strong sense of community, which is what drew me there in the first place.
I grew up in the country though and I’d like to move back to Canada eventually, it was a great place to grow up. I really appreciate trees, water and open space.
WHAT IS SOMETHING WEIRD YOU DO BEFORE BEDTIME?
Well, I just had a baby, so I’m sure I’m about to get into some weird baby bedtime rituals… I’ll keep you posted.
WHAT WOULD YOU SAY IS THE BEST WAY TO DEAL WITH STRESS?
If we’re talking specifically tattoo artist related, I think it’s important to have a life outside of tattooing. There can be a lot of pressure to be a certain way, or produce a certain quality of work and it can sometimes be overwhelming. So I think it’s helpful to have something else to be able to step away from all of that when it gets to be too much.
DO YOU HAVE A MOMENT THAT CHANGED YOUR LIFE? DO YOU MIND SHARING?
Honestly, this whole pandemic has really changed my perspective on things. I used to be very busy all of the time and thought I had to do everything. Being forced to slow down has helped me to enjoy the moment a lot more and it’s a mindset I’ve maintained, even as life has started to pick back up.
IF YOU WERE TO WIN BEST TATTOOER IN THE WORLD WHO WOULD YOU THANK AND WHY?
So many people! My mentor, Kris Kani for taking me on as a scared little apprentice with hardly any tattoos, the guys at Ironclad for taking a chance on this rookie from a foreign country, and of course all of my amazing clients who have trusted me artistically and allowed my career to develop in the way it has. Wouldn’t be here without you guys!
WHAT ARE SOME FUNNY TATTOO MOMENTS YOU HAVE?
I don’t want to put anyone on blast here too bad! But I did have this client one time, as I finished up the tattoo, I looked down and realized that he’s peed all over the floor, and I was like, is that pee?! And he just looks at me like yeah? So? Like what, you don’t pee your pants every time you get tattooed?
IF YOU WERE TO CHOOSE A BAND TO BEST DESCRIBE YOUR ARTWORK, WHICH BAND WOULD YOU CHOOSE AND WHY?
Something with pretty, ethereal lyrics like the Shins. Although, my actual work playlist is more along the lines of Shania Twain and the Backstreet Boys.
TOP 3 ARTISTS YOU ADMIRE. CAN YOU GIVE US A BRIEF DESCRIPTION?
This changes fairly often, but most recently I’m really into an artist from the UK named Eli Gander or @eliluciitattoos on Instagram. She does these beautiful recreations of vintage botanical prints that end up healing in a way that looks painted on the skin.
Kelsey Ellis or @honeybasiltattoos has been a big inspiration of mine for a while too! She has definitely perfected her style of illustrative botanical.Third, but always my biggest artistic inspiration is British painter, Jenny Saville. Her use of color and creating texture with paint never ceases to amaze me!
CAN YOU DESCRIBE YOUR FIRST TATTOO EXPERIENCE ? HOW OLD WERE YOU? WHAT WAS IT OF AND WHO WAS THE ARTIST ?
My first tattoo wasn’t until I was 19, moved away to college, and got my student loan. That’s what student loans are for, right? I got the Eiffel Tower on my side by a guy named Ralph at Perfect Image in London, Ontario. I was a really annoying client, you know, brought my own drawing and said it had to be exactly like I drew it, size and all. I think I’ve improved as a client since then.
WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE GROUPINGS TO USE FOR YOUR TATTOOS?
I use cartridges primarily for shading. It’s cool to work with a brand that offers such a variety, so even though the 13 mag is my go to, I dabble with any size 11-19, curved or flat.
MAVERICK'S GOAL IS TO HELP OTHERS WHERE WE CAN. AS PART OF OUR 'GIVE BACK' PROGRAM, $1 FOR EVERY CARTRIDGE BOX SOLD GOES TOWARDS THIS PROGRAM WITH A CAP OF 1K MONTHLY. WE TRY TO TARGET FOOD, ART, AND MUSIC (FAM) BASED NONPROFITS OR THINGS RELATED TO THE TATTOO COMMUNITY AND ARTISTS (LIKE SPECIFIC GOFUNDME PAGES FOR ARTISTS). IS THERE A SPECIFIC ORGANIZATION THAT YOU ARE INTERESTED IN? FOR YOUR SPOTLIGHT MONTH WE ARE GOING TO DONATE MONEY FOR AN ORGANIZATION OF YOUR CHOICE. PLEASE PROVIDE THE WEBSITE TO MAKE SURE WE GET THE CORRECT ORGANIZATION. WHAT MAKES YOU PASSIONATE ABOUT THIS ORGANIZATION?
Not exactly art related, but an organization that’s personally dear to me. My sister has some developmental challenges and the Windsor Family Network has been a staple for my family as long as I can remember. They support families of children with disabilities. https://windsoressexfamnet.ca
SECRET HIDDEN TALENT? WHAT IS IT?
I’m really good at spelling, which has been helpful to have never made a spelling mistake on a tattoo!
WHAT IS YOUR KRYPTONITE?
Tequila shots …. gets me every time.
ANY PERSON THAT YOU WOULD LIKE TO TRADE PLACES WITH FOR THE DAY?
Someone who was a professional at some sort of extreme sport like wingsuit flying or volcano surfing, you know, assuming I inherited their skills for the day too.
WHAT BOOK OR MOVIE WOULD YOU SAY EVERYONE SHOULD READ OR WATCH? WHY WOULD YOU RECOMMEND THAT SPECIFIC ONE?
I can’t come up with an answer for this one, sorry! My taste in books is more for entertainment rather than anything too moving or educational.