When you need a new illustration for your coffee alternative business, you obviously reach out to...a tattoo artist, right? Well, that's what we do at Raven Roast anyway.
Fraea Foxtail is the talented tattoo artist who illustrated the birch tree on our new Chaga Blend labels. When I told them we wanted birch trees with obvious chaga burls growing on them there was some initial skepticism.
Our Chaga Mate Coffee Alternative featuring Fraea's work
Fraea “you...you do know that chaga isn't “pretty”, right?”
RR “well, yeah um...maybe some lumpy chaga-esque heart shapes?”
Fraea “YES! Perfect. Lumpy chaga hearts will be much better.”
Fraea and their super cute little!
Fraea is a life long artist, and did their first tattoo in grade 9. They currently reside in BC with their partner and work out of a studio in Victoria. Fraea was kind enough to take some time out of their busy work and family life and answer some questions for Raven Roast.
You can see more of their work on Instagram @foxtail.tattoos
Leafy Forest arm by Fraea Foxtail
RR: How long have you been an artist? When did that art transform into tattoos?
Fraea: I had trouble in school and art was something I did a lot. I was the weirdo kid drawing in the corner.
I did hand poke tattoos on and off until I got some training and picked up a machine at 28 years old.
RR: Where do you work/ live and how long have you been there?
Fraea: For the past 13 years I have lived off and on in Victoria BC (Lək̓ʷəŋən Songhees, Esquimalt, and W̱SÁNEC). I currently work at The Brass Iris and am enjoying my 30s with my partner, dogs and lil bb.
RR: What were you up to before that?
Fraea: In my 20's I traveled around Canada and the States playing music, being awkward, sassy and gay, screen/block printing and getting into trouble.
What, it's just scissors. Jeez guys.
RR: What made you choose tattooing as an artform and profession?
Fraea: It felt hard to be in my body. I didn't like it or feel connected to it. I wanted to decorate it and make it feel more like my own. I feel that in my work now I get to decorate other people's bodies and bring a bit of that reclamation and magic to our projects.
RR: How would you describe your style?
Fraea: Illustrative line work.
RR: What fills you with inspiration?
Fraea: I'm inspired by the world! It's such a beautiful and messed up place. I think art can be an act of rebellion and connection in the face of struggle.
RR: What makes you most excited about tattooing?
Fraea: I'm excited about the change I see in tattoo spaces. There was a time not so long ago where it was just bros who made fat jokes and were gate keeping access to shops and spaces. I love being in a queer space that is a bit more gentle and community focused.
RR: Do you have a formally trained artistic backround/education?
Fraea: I do not and have very little formal/school education.
RR: What was the first tattoo you ever did?
Fraea: I gave my first tattoo in grade 9 art class to my best friend Kate at lunch time. I used a protractor and ink and do not recommend any one do this.
Wraparound leaves by Fraea Foxtail
RR: Do you practice other art forms or do you find tattooing fulfilling enough for you?
Fraea: I have done a bit of music and a bit of queer cabaret theater stuff. I think my brain needs to find a way to make things creative to feel fulfilled, maybe to my detriment. But it is a good way to interact with the everyday world. Charm and be charmed by it.
RR: What was your longest ever tattoo session?
Fraea: Ooo I did a 10 hour sitting once. Lots of breaks but wow, what a wild experience to sit down with a person you've never met before and spend that long of a time talking.
RR: Any artistic influences or tattoo artists you fan over.
For your time and for our lovely new labels!
Remember to check out fraea on Instagram @foxtail.tattoos
and visit their website at https://www.foxtailinkworks.com/