We first noticed Tessa on her Instagram decking out people's bodies permanently with sweet cherubs, black butterflies and serpents and got very excited. After deciding to resist the urge to fly to Melbourne to get inked by her at Third Eye Tattoo, we asked if she would draw us an angel for some tees that just happen to fit perfectly with our teen nostalgia story, Youth World. Et voila!
Name / profession / residence?
Tessa / tattoo artist / Melbourne
It wouldn't bee a teen nostalgia themed interview if we didn't as who your biggest crush was?
Leonardo DiCaprio obviously
How did your birds and the bees talk go?
I can’t really remember ever having one... so it mustn't have been too traumatic!
What's your funniest memory of being a teenage girl?
Hmm. Lots of nutty memories, we had a dress up day in high school and everyone came in pretty dresses looking gorgeous and I dressed up as MTV washed up comic Andy Dick in a tweed suit and drawn on glasses, people didn’t really get it.
So what do you think is the biggest lesson you've learned since becoming a grown up?
I definitely don’t feel like a grown up yet, but I guess persisting in what you love, despite what anyone else tells you is the “right” choice. Life’s too short to hold back.
What was your first tattoo and when?
Chapel Tattoo when I was around 21 - a little fox on my ankle. It’s crazy how much more normal it is for young people to have tattoos in such a short period of time. I was the only person I knew that had one at the time. Now it seems weirder if you don’t have one!
True. How did your parents receive it?
I think they struggled initially, which was to be expected, they are pretty open people and respected my choice.
What was your favourite item in your wardrobe you remember from that time?
A Sonic Youth T-shirt - the goo cover - I was obsessed and wore it until I think my Mum threw it out because it was so filthy!
For baby Tessa, what was the most difficult part about being a teenager?
Ahhh so much! I do not miss it to be honest, just the general insecurities, self loathing, high school, feeling like I didn’t fit and misunderstood. It was a really intense time!
If you could, what would you tell your younger self?
Be kinder to yourself, it’s okay if you fail, just as long as you pick yourself up and persist after
Okay, rapid fire time.
COLOUR? Blue! I love the ocean and all the creatures that live there
DECADE? I’d have to say 90s for the music and the clothes
SCENT? Santal 33 by Le labo
LOCATION? New York! So magical
HABIT? Always humming or making up weird songs to fill the silence
PET HATE? People embarrassing others on purpose, I think it’s the cruelest thing you can do
OBJECT? A ceramic sculpture my Mum made of our late family dog, Mischka
ANIMAL? Seals!!! I’ve had the most relaxing dreams of them since I was a child, I think they are my spirit animal
RITUAL? Watching Seinfeld in the morning whilst I get ready for work
TALENT? I do a fantastic Frank Sinatra impersonation
If you like your tees extra cute and are partial to sweet cherubs (who isn't?) then take a look at our collab with Tessa - right this way.
Follow Tessa on Instagram here: @tessa___claire
Listen to Tessa's teen nostalgia playlist and a bunch of other women's here
Tap to read our interview with the ~actual~ Dolly Doctor, Melissa Kang
Mood swings, mood rings. See the Youth World mood board here