Self-Expression and Healing Through Tattoos with Cora Mylene | #14

The Conjuring Up Courage logo, a photo of Cora, and the words, "Self-Expression and Healing Through Tattoos with Cora Mylene Episode #14"

Click here to access a written transcript of this episode.

Cora Mylene has been tattooing me for the last several years. During that time period, we have built a friendship that extends beyond the tattoo shop and her beautiful artwork. I invited her on the show to talk about her experiences as a tattooer because I love the role tattoos can play in a person’s body story.

Cora chatted with me about the intimate connection she has with her clients and the different ways people use tattoos, including for self-expression and to improve body image (herself included!). If you love tattoos or are just curious about tattoos and the artists behind them, you’ll enjoy this episode.

We discussed:

  • How Cora got her start in the tattoo industry.
  • The old-school aspect of apprenticeship in tattooing.
  • The reasons Cora thinks that tattoos are especially popular with this generation.
  • Why some of Cora’s favorite clients are clients covering up scars from mastectomies, self-harm, etc.
  • The way my mom views my tattoos versus the way I view my tattoos.
  • How Cora tattooed her grandma at the age of eighty.
  • The body image insecurities of many of the clients who come to Cora to get tattooed.
  • Using tattoos as a kind of armor to deal with body image insecurities.
  • The role Cora sees herself playing in the lives of her clients.
  • The fast intimacy and connection between tattooers and their clients.
  • What it’s like having to say “no” to people who are interested in working with her.
  • Our shared love of Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
  • Sexism in the tattoo industry and people who assume Cora is the shop assistant.
  • Why it was important to me to have a woman tattoo artist.
  • What inspired Cora to start doing tattoo charity events for local organizations, such as the Girls Empowerment Network.
  • How Cora defines health and wellness for herself at this moment in her life, including being active and unlearning a lot of beliefs about health.

Mentioned in This Episode

Featured in This Episode

A headshot of Cora. She has a visible tattoo on her temple and a ring in her septum.

Cora Mylene (she/her) has been tattooing for about five years and feels very lucky to be able to do what she does. She loves connecting with people and using tattooing as a platform to host charity events. Outside of work she enjoys spending time with her favorite being and dog, Crash. You can find Cora on her Instagram and website.

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