Updated: Apr 7, 2021
In line with International Women's Month, we get to chat with Patty Tiu-Thompson as we discuss about the women of today, adjustment on being conservative and treating a woman's body as a temple by designing it.
1. In a Catholic and conservative country like the Philippines, when and what made you realize you wanted to pursue body piercing and start Arte?
Arte Tattoo was founded and built by Charles Arteta and Kel Laquin when it originated in Charles' home studio in 2012. From 2017, Patty Tiu-Thompson became one of Arte Tattoo's loyal clientele, and a year after became a partner of the two. A branch in Poblacion Makati by 2019, and branches in Malingap QC and San Fernando Pampanga year 2020 -- Arte Tattoo has become the go to place for first timers, personalities, and tattoo lovers alike.
Arte Tattoo's mission is about creating a safe space for those who want to improve their internal and external self through the experience of tattoos.
The values and goals of the founders are shared throughout the team and we are doing our services for the universe and all those in it who want to heal.
2. What kind of discrimination and judgement did you receive or continually receive until this day?
Times have changed! But I still get discriminated sometimes by the older generation, which I understand completely (the era when "if you have tattoos, you're a criminal"). Over the years it's something I have learned to tolerate and live with. I know that if I'm going to be in a public place where that sort of generation will be present, I cover myself. For their own comfort and mine. If I know I'll be in the zone where there will be no judgements, I wear my marks proudly.
3. What kind of advice would you prefer to give to women: your body is a sacred temple or my body, my opinion?
The tattoo marks on my body represent a lot of things. Family, friends, milestones in my life I never want to forget, statements I live by everyday, painful moments where I learned that I need to be reminded of, it's a window to my soul. My body is a sacred temple, and I wanna design it! We only have one life to live. Live it to the fullest/foolest!
4. In your own personal opinion, with the increasing interest of women in body piercing and tattoo, do you consider that this is just a trend, or is the Philippines finally becoming liberated and breaking away from conservatism?
I started getting tattoos when I was 20 years old. I'm turning 32 now! I can say that over the years, the interest and love for tattoos of Filipinos have progressed, and it is most definitely here to stay! It's such an amazing experience to be able to find Charles Arteta who gave me an amazing opportunity to be a part of the Tattoo Industry. I will forever be grateful.
5. Do you think Philippines is now ready to accept tattoos as a part of our culture and not as a symbolism for negativity?
When women wear tattoos we change the world. We take back our bodies and our heritage. Historically those who wore and gave tattoos to other tribal members were women. We were keepers of the arts and history. We shared stories and energy through the ink that we gave others to proudly wear.
When women wear ink we remind the world around us of the strength we possess, both inner and outer. Tattoos are a reminder to all that the things we sometimes fear as a society are the very things we once respected.
As women we are the holders of our fate and the creators of the future generations.
Interview by: Erla Munsayac
Photos by: Andrea Beldua
Tattoo by: Charles Arteta for Patty Tiu Thompson