Zhuo Dan Ting of Shanghai, China

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When people ask ‘do your tattoos hurt?’ I show them my tattoo answering their question.

You're the first woman in China to own and operate a tattoo shop. What challenges have you faced as a female tattoo artist?

A woman in China, especially when I started out, was thought to be at home having kids, cleaning house, dressing down, having no tattoos or colored hair, looking the same as everyone else -- no individuality, no self. Never paid much attention to other people's opinions though as I have always had my own, and that's what makes me move forward as a professional artist and business owner.

Tattoos have ancient origins, and they've served different purposes throughout history. What purpose do they serve for you personally?

I love tattoos, always have thought they were beautiful since the first time I saw one as a little girl. Back when I started getting tattoos (In China) they were far, few and between. My tattoos' real significance is that they make me who I am today.

It sounds like your first encounter with death metal played a big role in sparking your interest in tattooing. What role has music continued to play in your work since then? Do you use music for inspiration in your designs?

Yeah of course! Good music puts me in a good mood which makes smoother art and flowing tattoos. I have designed plenty of artworks/designs with heavy music as an influence.

You have some pretty fascinating tattoos yourself. Do you have an interesting story behind one of them that you can share with us?

All of my tattoos have a story behind them either from the time i got them to the design i chose. One being my "Yes! Tattoos Hurt!" tattoo in red ink on my thigh. When people ask do your tattoos hurt? I show them my tattoo answering their question haha.