Art student creates designs that make you (th)ink

Anja Zhou '19 spent the summer as an apprentice at a tattoo shop. As a studio art major, Zhou was able to use her art skills in a new and exciting way. / Courtesy of Anja Zhou

[In honor of the first issue since summer break, we want to showcase some of the student body’s summer breaks. Ranging from working as a camp counselor to apprenticing at a tattoo shop, these four varied narratives provide insight into different Vassar students’ interests and summer experiences.]

Courtesy of Anja Zhou

This summer, I apprenticed at a tattoo shop. I am a studio art major, so I figured it’d be good experience, plus I’ve always been into tattoos; there’s something deeply satisfying about it.

Courtesy of Anja Zhou

I looked around for a bit and decided on this small but friendly studio to study at. I liked that everyone at the shop smokes and that my teacher thinks it’s cool to vape. Sometimes someone would bring their dog, and so far we had five huskies who chilled with us. I was especially lucky to have a driven teacher who talked about his vision and about my design style. I just feel really grateful to have the chance to start doing my thing and to be able to do something this cool so young.

Now I can both be a tattoo artist and an art student, which is amazing because I can express myself in yet another medium while still growing as an artist. Also, working at a tattoo shop counts as field work so I get half a credit and cheaper car rides.

Courtesy of Anja Zhou

It’s like the Art Department is saying, “This kid is being really cool and we reward artists for being cool so here take this credit.” So if you want a tattoo you can email me (xuzhou[a]vassar.edu).

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