Most tattoo artists accept money in exchange for permanently adorning a client’s skin, but Stanislava Pinchuck, aka Miso, prefers the bartering system. The multidisciplinary artist draws minimalist-style tattoos while working in Tokyo and Melbourne. However, they aren’t something that just anyone can receive; Miso reserves these special images for friends and family. In exchange, they offer her some sort of creative trade.
Miso has kept with bartering because these tattoos feel too important and intimate for her to accept money as payment. “A trade for what someone feels its worth – maybe they teach me a skill in return, cook me dinner, give me a book I would love, assistant work, whiskey,” she explains. “You never know, but everyone feels good about it, which I like. But more and more, I feel like it’s becoming a bigger part of my practice.”
The homemade tattoos are inspired by memory, space, and geography, and then delicately-lined imagery is translated onto the body. They are often inconspicuous, small works that can be hidden easily with clothing. But, these tattoos seem to be more about the exchange and an enjoyable experience between both parties. The artist receives something that’s much more personal than money – time and meaningful items from loved ones.