Stephanie Tamez for TEMPTU at the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show!

December 5, 2012  |  Backstage with TEMPTU, Press

The Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show is the most watched fashion show on earth, and TEMPTU was lucky enough to be front and center at this years show! One of the most controversial looks of this years show was “The Painted Lady” look on supermodel Liu Wen, and groundbreaking tattoo artist Stephanie Tamez created all her custom tattoo’s with TEMPTU tattoo transfers.

We got an exclusive Q & A with Stephanie Tamez to get you all the behind the scenes scoop!

TEMPTU: How did you get started in the industry?

 ST: I have been tattooing for many years now… I started learning to tattoo in San Francisco while I still worked for Tower Records as a display airbrush artist.  Since then, various friends in advertising and fashion have asked me to do temporary tattoo work for editorial work and films, etc.

TEMPTU: What was your inspiration for the Victoria’s Secret tattoos? 

ST: I was asked to make the tattoos feel and look like classic Americana tattooed circus lady style.

TEMPTU: Can you describe the process of creating the Victoria’s Secret tattoo from start to finish?

ST: I met with the designer Todd Thomas and he had a very clear feel for what he wanted- he wanted an authentic painted lady vibe and had researched circus ladies with tattoos and wanted that feel- but with maybe more skin showing, since it is Victoria’s Secret.  Also we decided we wanted only sweet and positive images, so we worked out our options and I gave input as to what I believed would feel accurate.  I drew up images to size, ran them by Todd, they approved them, and then I had TEMPTU make the stencils from them. Larger stencils are far more difficult to apply and so we figured we might need to hand paint most of them the day of.  I asked two other female tattooers to assist me and Sophia sent me two other assistants, one from TEMPTU, who had experience with the stencils and a make up artist who also had experience with TEMPTU stencils.  We stared at 8 a.m. and with five people working on her non stop we finished just shy of 6 hours. A long day for all of us, but I am happy with the results.

TEMPTU: What was it like being backstage at the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show?

ST: It was wonderful to see all the production that goes into such a huge project.  It is unbelievable- the models are of course gorgeous and all the custom made outfits are truly a great deal of craftsmanship done by a lot of hardworking people. I loved hearing and seeing Rihanna.  I thought the opening circus production was fantastic- so clever with all the staging and outfits.  I also loved the pinball set.

TEMPTU: What is your favorite ‘look’ to work on?

ST: Personally, I love anything that feels authentic – designs and images that are true to history and respect to it- whether it is tribal, Americana, or Japanese. 

TEMPTU: What inspires your tattoos?

ST: Most of my tattoo work is inspired by woodcuts and copper engravings- but that is just one style I love.  I am pretty versatile and I like it like that.  It keeps me from being bored.

TEMPTU: Do you have a signature style?

ST: A tattoo is all about being “memorable”- so everyone I do I try to treat as just that.  This is meant to live a lifetime with someone- so make it classic- make it cool- make it beautiful – make it tough- make it look like you would want it all the days of your life.  That’s my mantra to myself and I hope that reads to my clients.

TEMPTU: Who are your artistic inspirations? 

ST: I am inspired by just about everything I see and read and experience- really.  I get influenced from all things I expose myself to.  I also get inspiration by going to the museums here in New York.

TEMPTU: What other projects do you have coming up?

ST: I have just begun teaching a tattoo and emblem class at School of Visual Arts this semester and I enjoy it.  I also just became co-owner of SAVED tattoo shop with the tattooer and fine artist, Scott Campbell, and I am very excited about these new stages in life I am challenging myself with- and of course, I still do my own personal paintings and mix media artwork.  Oh, and I tattoo of course five days a week, so life is full but somehow I squeezed in the Vicoria’s Secret project and I am glad I did- it was cool!!

Thanks for talking with us Stephanie, your work tattoo’s are simply amazing! 


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