The Bay area continues to attract many talented tattoo artists from all over the world and, for a few months, Mimi-Sama is one of them.
The specialist of manga and blackwork styles is now a resident artist of the tattoo parlor Black Serum.
Tattoo artist Mimi-Sama.
Tell us about your work?
"I am a manga tattoo artist, so I base a lot of my work on the original manga drawings to create my tattoos. Most of my tattoos come from manga panels or scenes and are done in fineline and black ink with the obsession of keeping the final tattoo as close as possible to the spirit of the original. It can mean changing details to adapt it to the body and respecting the overall aspect."
What is Mangala?
"Mangala (manga plus mandala) is a blend of manga themes with a graphic treatment that can remind you of mandalas. Mangala pieces are for ones seeking to fulfill their commitment with a manga or anime but also want something more ornamental than a replica of the original design. The designs are shaped to fit the body and create a unique graphic manga tattoo."
What's your story?
"I was born in Portugal and grew up in France. I started to tattoo because I needed to breathe again. I quit my previous job in the hostelry in Paris, and I needed to reconnect with my passion for drawing, So I entered a tattoo shop owned by a friend to kill some time, and when the shop closed a few months later, I have done my first tattoos. After some good and bad but always valuable learning occasions, I started my own studio in Paris near the Pantheon. It was by myself at first, but I started to have some recurring guests. I was working hard and it was rewarding to build a business, but it didn't allow me to get better technically and artistically. So I chose to close the shop and travel. My plan was to tattoo and travel. In five years, I tattooed in more than 15 countries over four continents. During this journey, I stopped by Tokyo for almost a year, and as a big fan of manga, it will always be a special place for me."
Why are you coming to San Francisco?
"After visiting many countries, I chose to come to the US, in San Francisco. This area is gifted with many tattoo talents, vibrant cultural life, and a great lifestyle. It's a wonderful city to create art and meet amazing people. I am so grateful for how I have been accepted by the clients and the team at Black Serum. I am only here for a few months and I really feel at home after many years of travel."
Which manga do you prefer to tattoo?
"I like too many mangas to have two or three preferences, but lately I really like working on Dorohedoro, Chainsaw Man, and Demon Slayer. They are all very different but share strong contrasts in their drawings. I am always happy to tattoo some classics from Akira, Dragon Ball, Berserk, or Naruto. I hold my first manga 25 years ago, it's a huge source of inspiration!"
(Courtesy of Mimi-Sama)