Today we’re talking to local tattooer Suzanna Fisher of Bellwhether Tattoo. She’s been enamored with the art form ever since she saw a TV show on Indigenous tattooing at age 10. Now, she works in the style of illustration and photo realism to tattoo everything from floral bouquets to saintly chihuahuas. If that kind of art is up your alley, you can catch her work, along with that of many other tattooers, at the Seattle Tattoo Expo next weekend. Suzanna grew up in Seattle and has lots of love for the city’s hustle and bustle, salty air, local music and much more. Tell us about it, Suzanna!
Who are you? What do you do?
I am a local, nerdy cat lady who is obsessed with music and art. I own and operate my own little tattoo shop in the Wallingford neighborhood of Seattle.
Wax poetic for a minute and tell us: what brings you most alive about this city?
I grew up in a suburb of Seattle and have had a love affair with this city my whole life. I am happiest frequenting my favorite venues and experiencing the local music that Seattle inspires. I love being downtown and experiencing the hustle and bustle of the city while still being able to smell the salty air from the Puget Sound.
Share your other top three destinations for where you’d go on your perfect Seattle day.
My perfect Seattle day would start at Luna Park in West Seattle where I would grab some excellent diner grub and enjoy the nostalgia. Next, I’d go walk along the waterfront at Alki to watch the ferries and listen to the sea birds. I would end my day back downtown, grabbing some Dim Sum in the International District and then seeing a concert at The Showbox.
What’s your favorite local social media account (Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, or etc.) to follow and why?
@vanishingseattle on Instagram is a must-follow for those of us who’ve lived here a long time. They also highlight long standing businesses in Seattle who are still operating and could use some love.
Tell us about the journey that brought you to tattooing!
I saw some sort of TV show about Indigenous tattooing when I was around ten years old and have been enamored with tattoos ever since. I spent all of my youth designing tattoos and drawing on myself and others, and when I got my first tattoo on my 18th birthday it cemented my love for the artform. I graduated from the University of Washington with an art degree and no clear career path. I was still obsessed with tattoos and figured it was as viable of an art career as anything else, so I started working the front counter at a tattoo shop, found someone to apprentice me and here I am now!
How would you describe your style of tattooing, and how do your surroundings inform that style?
I tattoo in a couple of different art styles— mostly illustration and photo realism. The overarching theme in all my work is an interest in all things organic. Since we live in such a lush and beautiful place, there is an unending amount of nature to draw inspiration from. The flora and fauna of this area make for excellent tattoos.
How does your work and/or Bellwether Tattoo stand out in the Seattle tattoo community?
I’ve been tattooing professionally since 2007 and have had Bellwether Tattoo since 2014. I have experienced watching tattoos age and I care a lot about making sure I’m giving someone a tattoo that is going to continue to look good over time. There is a lot of responsibility when it comes to putting permanent marks on peoples’ bodies and I take that responsibility seriously. I don’t say yes to every idea, not because I have an opinion on what type of art someone is getting, but because I want to make sure that the art works on skin.
How would you describe Seattle’s current tattoo scene? What do you wish there was more/less of?
I would describe the current scene as evolving. For a long time the tattoo community here was fairly small for such a big city and I was familiar with most of the artists in town. There are so many more shops and artists now who specialize in a certain type of art, so someone wanting a tattoo in Seattle has a lot more options. I wish there was more of an emphasis on inclusivity in tattooing in general.
What are you looking forward to at the 2022 Seattle Tattoo Expo?
I am looking forward to reuniting with my Seattle Tattoo community friends and picking up some rad tattoo swag from other artists!
Interested in learning more about Suzanna Fisher? Want to check out what’s new at Bellwether Tattoo? You can learn more about Suzanna’s work on Instagram and what’s happening at the studio on their website. If you want to learn more about the Seattle Tattoo Expo happening August 19 – 21, you can do so on the event’s website.
Know of a person or organization that we ought to feature? Send us an email to [email protected] with the subject line “Evergrey, Locals to Know,” and you could see their name in an upcoming newsletter!