Bicem Sinik is an internationally appraised tattoo artist whose unique, geometric, delicate art became viral in the digital space. Born in a family of teachers, she moved against the flow, becoming the beautiful and talented rebel that she is. After having her own stylish studio in Cihangir, she is now conquering the world and planning on having her own tattoo residence in New York, where clients are patiently waiting for her to leave a unique mark on their skin. Her graphic design studies launched her into advertising, at Y&R. While learning and perfecting her art direction skills, she was already longing for something more meaningful. Initially despising the community for charging big bucks for no effort, after her first tattoo she understood there is nothing easy in this craft. What started as a hobby in 2016, evolved into a passion and a way of life.
What would make your soul sing? What makes you happy?
Spending time in the outdoors always refreshes and inspires me. Taking a hike or strolling along the beach is incredibly rejuvenating. I also keep a sizeable collection of natural objects I’ve gathered on my travels over the past years.
A childhood story that announced the creative person you are today:
I am from a family of highly talented and creative people. My mom, dad, sister, aunt, grandpa, and grandma are all art teachers and painters. Since I was a child, I have enjoyed drawing and sketching, even before I could read. Our home was filled with art books from the most renowned painters in the world, along with encyclopaedias about nature and animals. I recall spending hours poring over those books, attempting to recreate the same paintings and animal drawings.
Best context ever for inspiration was:
I am constantly inspired by nature and the cosmos. Additionally, I was privileged to be involved in the Burning Man Project in the Black Rock Desert, Nevada, last year. I was part of an artistic group who conceptualised, created, and installed a large art piece that was featured at the 2022 event. All the art cars, costumes, and other elements were so distinctive that it gave me the idea to design tattoos based on the theme of the 2022 event, “Walking Dreams.” from Burning Man.
The project you loved most:
I have participated in several projects with well-known brands, including Adidas, and Samsung. I collaborated with Adidas Turkey on their “Future House” project, where I taught tattoo workshops and seminars.
I also played in a Samsung commercial with Samsung Turkiye to create their first pen cell phone, which allowed users to design tattoos on their phones. I was featured in their commercial demonstrating how to create a tattoo design using a Samsung cell phone.
The project others loved most:
Adidas Turkey had me teach tattoo workshops and seminars at their “Future House” project. Participants were thrilled because I was printing out a variety of geometric designs on transparent and transpiring paper, which they got to cut and layer on top of each other to come up with their own tattoo designs. I then transferred the design onto the participants’ arms or other body parts, as well as demonstrated the process of tattooing.
The best thing about your nation’s Creativity is:
“An artist that it says without a country”. I felt like I didn’t belong to any particular country, so I chose to travel as a guest tattoo artist. Moving to New York was a way for me to find inspiration and get a different viewpoint on life, as well as meet other artists.
Advice for international head hunters, related to Creatives from your country:
In the past, I have tutored many individuals in the arts of design and tattooing. Being a graduate of an art college, I always encourage my students to be creative and find their niche. Stand out from the crowd, don’t copy the styles of others, but be inspired and create something new that others can then draw inspiration from.
Your views on spirituality:
I strongly believe that having a positive attitude helps not only you but also those around you. Even though I prefer to spend time alone, I’m still well-liked and I usually do things on my own. I dedicate my time and only have space and energy for things that are meant for me.
Your views on money:
I have chosen art as my passion, and it gives me a great emotional outlet to create and be inspired. Money is just a means to make this happen for me. I’m so fortunate that I get to do something I enjoy so much as my job. The only way I’m interested in money is because I’m working towards opening my second tattoo studio and gallery in New York. This space will serve as a tattoo studio, art gallery, and teaching space for those interested in learning to tattoo or draw. There will be resident and guest tattoo artists from all over the world, with a focus on teaching the craft to aspiring tattooists. I’m so close to making it a reality!
A book or other inspiration source you recommend for someone to evolve as a creative person today:
I am always drawn to books of art that feature illustrations and hand-drawn engravings. I especially love vintage books that have this kind of aesthetic. I can only appreciate books that provide me with informative or navigational content, that provide useful information or knowledge such as encyclopedias.
How did you become famous as a tattoo artist in such a short time?
When I started tattooing there was no such thing as social media. I design and tattoo what I like to draw which is geometric fine line engraving style tattoos. Nobody was doing such designs or tattoos. I was the pioneer of that style. I have been honored to be shared as the first tattoo artist and Turkish Female artist on Bored Panda and 9GAG social media platforms.
The Voice America and Plus 90 visited my studio in order to conduct an interview and shoot video footage. They subsequently shared the video on their respective YouTube and social media channels.
I had been featured in The New York Times America’s 36 Hours television program in the Istanbul episode. This program played all over the USA tv channels. These made me even better known in the industry.
Have you been to any competitions?
Yes, I have been to some Tattoo Conventions In 2014 and 2015, I had the privilege of attending the Istanbul Tattoo Convention as a tattoo artist. At the convention in 2014, I was delighted to be nominated for and receive the 3rd Place award for Best Tattoo Artist in the Black and Grey Geometric Tattoo category. I won the prize of a sculpture and two awarded certificates. Which is just given to the first three people who won.
The following year, I had the honor of serving as a jury member for the convention.
In 2019, I was honored to take part in the Marmaris Tattoo Convention Festival, where I was awarded the 4th Place prize for the Best Small Black and Gray Tattoo. I returned to the Marmaris Tattoo Convention Festival in 2022 as a jury member, where I evaluated the participants’ work.
Do you create or design something other than tattoos:
I enjoy designing of all kinds; I studied industrial design and I even make furniture like tables and lights. I employ natural materials such as wood and stones, and sometimes I paint them using actual tattoo ink.
As well as my tattooing, I also sell my designs and paintings based on my tattoo work at shows and tattoo studios. During the past three years, I have hosted three exhibitions, two of which were located in New York. I’m currently getting ready for my next exhibition, which will showcase a new collection of my artwork. To create my pieces, as a tattoo artist, I use authentic tattoo ink and a tattoo machine. My canvases are made from both faux leather and softwood, giving my work an individual and distinctive feel.
In addition to these classic pieces, My other passion lies in creating jewellery using minerals such as Clear Quartz and Black Tourmaline. These pieces are meant to bring positive energy and healing to their wearers. My jewellery has been worn by celebrities, musicians, and fashion influencers, and has been featured in many magazines and websites. They symbolise healing, spiritual growth, clarity, and creativity. Through my experience in tattooing, I have been inspired to develop jewellery based on my existing tattoo style and designs.
What schools did you graduate from?
I went to Fine Arts High School where I honed my skills as an artist. In 2016, I graduated with a degree in Fine Arts Education from University, with a focus on Painting Education. My studies in the Department of Fine Arts Education over the course of four years have given me a strong basis in the discipline and I have perfected my skills as a tattoo artist via several years of commitment and practice. My course to becoming an artist began when I triumphed in the Special Talent Exam to attend the TR Ministry Of National Education Fine Arts High School.
Over the course of my academic journey, I have had the pleasure of exploring a variety of artistic mediums, including painting, graphic design, photography, ceramics, sculpture, textile, industrial design, serigraphy, oil painting, pencil drawing, and art history. Moreover, I have obtained ample training in current art, museum learning, design philosophy, art instruction, and the English language. This ample learning has provided me with the opportunity to gain a profound appreciation of art and the skills to craft one-of-a-kind and mesmerizing tattoo designs.