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A picture of Amanda Brooks

Amanda Brooks

Tattoo artist

in artist, mac, tattoo

Who are you, and what do you do?

I'm a tattoo artist at Hot Copper Studio in Melbourne, Australia. I've been tattooing since 2016, and have loved tattoos ever since I was about 14 and I first saw beautiful Japanese body suits on

I got into the tattooing game later in life than most people, starting my apprenticeship at roughly age 30. However, late is always better than never! Before I started tattooing, I worked as a graphic designer which helped lay the foundations for my work ethic and for my understanding of the design process.

Although I'm drawn to Japanese tattoo aesthetics, my specialty is bright, cute, colourful pop culture-inspired tattoos. I just love anything that makes people smile and laugh when they see it.

I also draw geeky non-tattoo related stuff under the name quantivore. Like tattoos, I fell in love with anime and manga at around 14 years old, and I adore stuff like Sailor Moon and Pokémon.

What hardware do you use?

For tattooing, I currently use Mark Sender, On A Mission and FK Irons machines with a Critical power supply unit. Inks-wise, I'm slowly moving over to Solid Ink - I love that all their inks are marked cruelty free and vegan right on the bottle which is comforting for both myself and many of my clients. I use a ton of different needles, but my current favourite is the Tatsoul Envy Traditional liner.

When I work in traditional media, I prefer to use Holbein watercolour paints (in 30+ assorted colours); Rotring Tikky Graphic pens in sizes 0.2, 0.4 and 0.8; and whatever mechanical pencils are lying about. I won't name the paintbrushes I'm currently using as they are absolutely on death's door and the brand names have rubbed off.

I've also got an absolute shed load of art books, comic books, manga, video games and other assorted reference materials. Plus roughly 15,000 reference images saved to my computer!

For the design process, I use a 12.9" iPad Pro (Gen 3) with an Apple Pencil Gen 2. I also use a 21.5" iMac running macOS Mojave (mostly for reference images... and watching anime while I work) and an iPhone XR for photographing the tattoos that I do.

And what software?

I do 90% of my drawing and designing in Procreate for the iPad. Roughly 9% is done with traditional media, as listed above. The last 1% is Clip Studio Paint, which I use for any design work that Procreate can't handle. I also use Instagram to post my artwork online.

(And I use Spotify, Netflix, AnimeLab and Discord to keep me entertained whilst at home!)

What would be your dream setup?

I'm darn lucky to be working in my dream studio and to have a beautiful work space in my own bedroom. If I could improve it at all, I'd love to have a more ergonomic setup to help with my back. I'd also love to be able to update my smartphone every year, just so I can keep up with advances in phone camera technology.