A young Kate Waiss was fascinated by tattoos; she loved to draw and paint. As she grew up, she wanted to pursue a career in tattooing. Kate found herself going into shop after shop facing constant rejection. She was told that she was “too young” and a “girl” but she didn’t let that stop her.
She spent the next year improving her art while waitressing at a local bar. While waitressing, Kate met some tattoo artists and one of them finally gave her the apprenticeship she had been working so hard towards. She apprenticed at a small shop in Tel-Aviv’s central bus station mall for a year and a half. In 2004, she started tattooing professionally.
After working in some of the biggest shops in Israel, Canada and frequently taking on guest spots in Denmark and Germany, Kate began working as a freelance artist. She rents a corner in a colleague’s shop and works by appointment only. She also does guest spots 3-4 times per year in Europe. Kate is very focused on improving her style.
She describes her style as illustrative realism/new school with touches of watercolor and trash. Her tattoos are a reflection of what she likes to draw: 3D animations. Her passion for animated movies, cartoons, and superheroes is mirrored in her work. She cites Hayao Miyazaki and Tim Burton as major influences.
Kate considers herself a spiritual person. When she’s not tattooing, she’s traveling and connecting with nature.
What advice do you have for someone planning his or her first tattoo?
I guess the main myth about tattoo artists is “the ability [to guess] what fits for someone the most without even knowing the person.” I mean, artists are very open minded, and most of us will gladly give some other aspects of your idea, but it’s still a craft. So please come to the shop only when you know what exactly do you want, do your homework and give trust in the artist you have chosen.
What advice do you have for a tattoo artist who is just getting started?
I think it’s very important to do the apprenticeship in a good shop with solid artists and being able to understand the critics.
Learn from everything and everyone and be patient. And get tattooed before starting tattoo on others!
Kate’s preferred method of contact for scheduling appointments are direct/personal messages on social media, Instagram and Facebook, and also e-mails.