Lady Tattoo Artists We Love: Sophie C'est la Vie

sophie c'est la vie

Sophie C'est la Vie has had quite the month. The Brooklyn-based tattoo artist spoke to us only weeks after tying the knot in a gorgeous outdoor ceremony. It was a wedding that was magical and enchanting and incredibly lovely (check out her Instagram page for more inspiring shots!). A curator of all things beautiful, Sophie takes what she sees around her and turns it into art. 


Originally from Texas (with a "giant Texas-sized sweet tooth"), Sophie now lives and works in Brooklyn at Saved Tattoo. She also has a "ridiculously cute" Brussels griffon named Fendi. Sophie is into paper cut art, collage, and painting -- her talents all lend themselves to the creations she makes on skin.

How did you get into tattooing?    
I have always been a creative, but with tattooing it honestly was something I'd never thought of. The thought just didn't cross my mind that tattooers made a living making art for people.

Then the realization of tattooing as a career option randomly popped into my head and I became really curious about it. I was living in Atlanta at the time. There was a tattooer that had tattooed a few of my friends and we would go to the same parties and ended up getting introduced. I eventually sent him a really naive MySpace message (yes, this was in the classic MySpace era!) and I asked him point-blank if he would teach me to tattoo.

I had no idea about the industry, or anything about tattooing at all at the time. He never responded and I saw him out again at a party where we were all hanging out and he asked if I was serious about the message. I said yes and he told me to come by the shop. I went by a few times with my portfolio and drew a bit there and he ended up agreeing to apprentice me. It happened a lot easier than it usually does and I feel really lucky that it happened that way for me. I feel really humbled and grateful to be able to be a tattooer today and do this for a living.    

sophie c'est la vie tattoo

sophie c'est la vie tattoo

sophie c'est la vie tattoo sophie c'est la vie tattoo

What was the first tattoo that you got?
A black and gray butterfly with a sparkle that I drew up that was in between my shoulder blades. I was 17 at the time and my friend knew a guy who would tattoo us. She came back with a giant tribal tramp stamp and I was hooked on getting something, too. Looking back, I don't know what I was thinking, as I prefer color -- I always have and I'm not sure why I went with black and gray. The design itself was not that great as well. Needless to say, that tattoo no longer exists and is covered now.  

More from CafeMom: Lady Tattoo Artists We Love: Inma

Share a story about a tattoo that you have done.  
I once tattooed a woman at a convention who had cerebral palsy. She was in a wheelchair and wanted something on her shoulder. I can't remember what the design was, but getting tattooed was on her bucket list. We did the tattoo and she was so happy about it.

A few months later, her friend that also got tattooed that day wrote me and told me she had passed away from complications with the illness and thanked me for giving her the tattoo -- that it was something she really wanted to do in the short time she had left. This tattoo was one of the first times that I felt a real sense of affecting someone's life through tattooing. I feel happy that I was able to do that for her.  

More from CafeMom: 20 Heartfelt Tattoos You'll Fall in Love With

Have you ever tattooed yourself?
I have two tattoos I did myself, but it's definitely something that I don't see happening again! The first was an outline of a feather that I did when I first started tattooing. My mentor had me tattoo myself before I was able to start doing my free apprentice tattoos -- it was kind of along the lines of having to trust myself to tattoo myself before anyone else can trust me to tattoo them. The other tattoo I did on myself also very early in my tattooing was a patterned origami crane. I wasn't able to really shade the color in the way I needed to -- the whole process sucked and I don't even know why I attempted to do something so detailed on myself. That tattoo still needs touching up to this day; I should really get on that!

Interestingly enough, it forecast my love for origami designs that you see in my work today!

sophie c'est la vie tattoo

sophie c'est la vie tattoo

sophie c'est la vie tattoo

Who and what influences you in work/life?  
I'm influenced by everything around me, life, nature, fashion, and experiences. I take everything in and am inspired by so many different things, it's really hard to make a list.

I'm heavily inspired by the past as well, vintage and antiquities, delft pottery and blue china, flowers, floral patterns, scientific renderings, and the occult. I'm also inspired every day by the people that I work with here at Saved as well as the talented friends I have made at the many guest spots I do on the regular.    

sophie c'est la vie tattoo

sophie c'est la vie tattoo

sophie c'est la vie tattoo

Check out Sophie on her Instagram: Sophie C'est la Vie 


Images via Sophie C'est la Vie

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