The Bay Area continues to attract many talented tattoo artists from around the world, and for the past few months, Mimi-Sama has been one of them.
The specialist in manga and blackwork styles is now the resident artist of the Black Serum tattoo parlour.
Tattoo artist Mimi-Sama.
Tell us about your work?
“I’m a manga tattoo artist, so I base a lot of my work on original manga drawings to create my tattoos. Most of my tattoos are from manga panels or scenes and are done in fine line and in black ink with an obsession to keep the final tattoo as close to the spirit of the original as possible. This may mean changing details to fit the body and respect the overall look.”
What is Mangala?
“Mangala (manga plus mandala) is a mix of manga themes with a graphic treatment that may remind you of mandalas. Mangala pieces are for those looking to fulfill their commitment to manga or anime but also want something 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 tattooing because I needed to breathe again. I left my previous job in the hotel industry in Paris, and I needed to reconnect with my passion for drawing, so I went to a tattoo shop owned by a friend to kill time, and when the shop closed a few months later, I got my first tattoos. After a few good and bad but still valuable learning opportunities, I started my own studio in Paris near the Pantheon. It I was alone at first, but started having recurring guests. I worked hard and it was rewarding to starting a business, but that did not allow me to improve technically and artistically. So I chose to close the shop and travel. My project was to tattoo and travel. In five years, I tattooed in more than 15 countries on four continents. During this trip, I stopped in Tokyo for It’s been almost a year, and as a huge manga fan, this 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 United States, to San Francisco. This region is blessed with many tattooing talents, a vibrant cultural life and a great way of life. is a wonderful city to create art and meet amazing people. I’m so thankful for how I’ve been accepted by the customers and the team at Black Serum. I’m only here for a few months and I really feel at home after many years of travelling.
Which manga do you prefer to tattoo?
“I love too many manga to have two or three favorites, but lately I’ve been really enjoying working on Dorohedoro, Chainsaw Man and Demon Slayer. They’re all very different but share strong contrasts in their designs. I’m always happy to tattoo classics from Akira, Dragon Ball, Berserk or Naruto. I made my first manga 25 years ago, it’s a huge source of inspiration!”
(Courtesy of Mimi-Sama)