Leaf Tattoos: Exploring the Unique Vision of Foret
Dive into the artistic universe of Foret, a tattoo maestro whose work is an exquisite fusion of creativity and expression. Having shifted towards a predominantly female clientele, Foret's tattoos resonate globally, attracting visitors from diverse cultures. As Foret reflects on the profound impact of travel on her craft, her journey unfolds as a testament to the transformative power of art, where every stroke leaves an indelible mark on the canvas of skin.
Tell us a little about yourself. Why did you decide to become a tattoo artist? What were you doing before tattooing?
- Back in my college days, I took a fearless leap away from academia, and that's when my six-year tattoo adventure began. A cheeky thought struck me when I saw a friend's tattoo: "I can do better than that." Haha. The desire to cover skin with my own art led me to the world of tattoos.
Your career's origin story is quite intriguing. How did it all kick off, and who guided you through this artistic journey? Were there any difficulties in mastering this craft?
- Tattoos naturally drew me in with my design background. Three solo years later, I crossed paths with Nando (my mentor), collaborating with various artists since. Learning the art was a challenge, demanding skill, but after mastering it, the path became clearer. My mentor saw talents in me that I hadn't recognized; I simply followed the path he paved so well.
Is tattooing to you an art form, a profession, or something else entirely?
- In all honesty, it's a delightful means to earn a living. The satisfaction it brings makes it much more than just a job.
You truly have a diverse portfolio, featuring a lot of fine line, floral pieces, and even watercolor. However, they all share a common trait — relatively small tattoo size. Can you tell us why you focus on miniature works?
- That's right. I've done a lot of different things so far. While I personally lean towards larger pieces, my clients, mostly women, favors smaller tattoos. Their preference guides my showcase, primarily featuring miniaturized art.
What tattoo styles do you find most appealing among the ones you use? And why?
- I think it's my signature work, Leaf Tattoos. It's because I can show a big flow in their body in my style. I spent a lot of time trying to create my own style. The leaves I draw have an unrivaled style that reminds Foret as soon as I see them.
What unique features can you identify yourself in your work?
- My own design, understatement, and neatness are the three things that represent me.
What is the most important aspect of tattooing for you?
- I think tattoos in Korea are a bold self-expression. People are more desperate and frank about it because it is regulated. Tattoos allow you to see those invisible desires with your own eyes. It's an interesting part, so sometimes I imagine their life with the tattoos they have.
It seems that you predominantly create designs for women. Is that correct? Tell us about your clients. Who are they? Do you have many foreign clients among them?
- That's right. In the past, there were often male customers, but now there are almost only female customers. Most of them have the same taste as me because they like my paintings. As travel restrictions have been eased due to the end of COVID-19, many foreign customers from various countries are visiting. Thank you very much for visiting me in a strange place.
Do you have favorite tattoos, clients, projects, or perhaps some unusual stories in your career?
- Above, I talked about how I started tattooing to cover my friend's tattoo. In fact, when my tattoo career improved, I covered my friend's tattoo really hard. After the tattoo, my whole body was soaked with sweat. Haha, I don't know how nervous I was. It was a moment when I achieved my goal. The cover tattoo work I did at that time is still something I like and feel proud of myself.
Do you travel a lot? Where have you been already, and where do you feel most comfortable?
- I have been to Cambodia, Vietnam, Guam, Japan, Germany, and Singapore. Among them, Singapore was a really good fit with me. Food, environment, and security were the countries that felt most similar to Korea. I want to visit again as soon as possible. And I love all the other countries, too.
Are there tattoo artists or artists who inspire you? Whose work do you follow, and do you have any favorites?
- If I can say everyone, I'll write it down here Nando, Sol, Woozy, Piece, Mooncheon, Como, Silo, Saegeem, Gong Greem … There are so many. As the same artist, I respect them for tattooing like a work of art.
How do you assess your popularity? And in your opinion, how can it be measured?
- I've been working as Foret for about three years, but I'm getting too much love. I have consistently shown my work, but I don't think the current popularity is natural. Sometimes, I feel like I'm being evaluated more than that, so the title is burdensome. But I am grateful as always. I want to work harder and show myself that I have grown up.
What is the most important thing in your career as a tattoo artist? What goals do you set for yourself?
- The most important thing these days is to find a place where I will stand on the line between commerce and art. Furthermore, I maintain a healthy mental state. I have to be healthy to get a healthy design and result. There is no clear goal. Currently, I am focusing more on what I want and how to live rather than on a clear goal. I'm still trying to find an answer.
Share your creative plans for the near future.
- After 2023, I want to stay in other countries for a short time and often to work. I am most happy and confident when I work, so I want to create an environment where I can work constantly.