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An Interview with Tattoo Artist Julia Stizza

Tell us a little about yourself and where you’re from.

my name is julia stizza! i’m 21, i use she/her pronouns. i was raised in mcalester, oklahoma, but moved to ada for college. even more recently, i moved to tulsa. i’m finishing up my senior year at east central university, studying deaf services and interpreting. when i’m not working or going to school, i love snuggling my two cats and spending time with art, music, and nature. i am a diy hand poker and i love what i do.

Have you always considered yourself a creative person? How have you changed creatively over time?

i would say so! it’s always been important to me to have a creative outlet. i've drawn and painted since i was little and i was put in piano lessons at the age of five! when i was in middle and high school, i focused mainly on the clarinet, because i thought playing classical was something i wanted to pursue as a career. my art has changed over the years and though i have always been passionate about it, i never felt like i truly excelled at or fell in love with any one medium....until tattooing!!! i was (still am) nervous about whether or not i had (have) the drive or motivation to keep creating art consistently enough to be a successful artist, but i’ve never experienced anything like the process of giving (and getting) a tattoo. tattooing pushes me to create and be creative.

What sparked your interest in tattoos? What was the first tattoo you got?

i remember being interested in tattoos when i was in high school and first logged on social media. i followed artists from all over the country and i was certain that i was going to get tattoos as soon as i turned 18 (i didn’t LOL). my parents were very much against the idea of me getting tattoos, so it wasn’t until the summer of ‘18 that i got my first one, a tiny constellation on my ankle.

How did you get started doing hand pokes?

in a way, i kind of jumped into it headfirst! i got my first diy hand poked tattoo a few months after my first [machine] tattoo. there’s definitely a stereotype regarding stick and poke tattoos, but i was immediately intrigued. i did a bit of research about hand poking and on how to practice safe and sterile tattooing, and i did my first tattoo on myself in march of 2019! i immediately did another on my friend, but i didn’t begin to consistently do them until around august.

What are some of your inspirations when working up flash sheets?

i pull a lot of inspiration from my surroundings! every day objects, nature, folk art, jewelry/fashion, vintage aesthetics, architecture, etc.. the community i’ve found from tattooing continues to inspire me, as well.

What are your favorite things to hand poke, or what has been your favorite piece you’ve done?

i get asked this a lot and it’s very hard hard to narrow it down completely, but i love to tattoo natural things! plants, fruit, and insects, especially. one my very favorite pieces that i’ve gotten to tattoo is a simple drawing of a hand holding a satsuma. it was one of my first bigger pieces and it took nearly four hours but i was sooooo pleased with the result. oh, and i tattooed it on my best friend.. it was a really sweet experience for us both :,)

Any tattoo ideas you’ve been itching to try out?

i recently put out a flash sheet of ribbons that i am so so excited about. also super interested in taking on bigger pieces !!!

What advice would you give to someone interested in tattooing?

do your research! take a blood borne pathogens course and purchase quality supplies! practice safe tattooing and ask questions! if you’re interested at ALL, i think anyone can do it!! i am still very new to tattooing, but i am learning every day! it is important to me to work hard to create a safe space for my clients! i am endlessly grateful for the trust and support i receive.

And finally, where can we find your work?

located in tulsa, oklahoma. find my work on my instagram @plum.pokes! :)

Hi Averi Here!!

While working on this interview I became so obsessed with Julia's work that I made the trip up to Tulsa to get one myself! Here is my new tattoo by Julia from one of her latest flash sheets <3

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