Bringing New Life to Floral Tattoos


Breathtaking doesn’t begin to describe the work of Brazilian tattoo artist Karol Dias. Inspired by our earthly surroundings, the tattooer has an eye for translating the fluid imagery of nature onto the curves of human skin. More than that, Dias soars in her ability to combine animals and fantastical creatures with her botanical themes, as well as introduce striking pops of color within otherwise illustrative blackwork pieces. In our exclusive interview with Dias, the tattooer reveals how she found her path to tattooing, the process behind crafting her signature pieces and the most rewarding challenges that come with tattooing in this style.

Can you introduce yourself and tell us a little bit about who you are? 

My name is Karol Dias and I’ve been tattooing for 10 years. I’m from a small town in the south of Brazil. I currently live and work in Los Angeles and do botanical and floral, fine line style tattoos. Tattooing has changed my life drastically and the love I have for my profession is immeasurable. I can say that I still haven’t reached my goal professionally, but I keep working hard for this.

When did you first realize you were attracted to art?

When I was a child, I saw tattoos for the first time and in the same moment I was enchanted. I saw all the shows and videos available during that time about tattoos.

Tell us about your journey of becoming a tattoo artist. Did you start off with an apprenticeship?

In the city where I lived, there were only two older tattoo artists and at the time they were not very receptive, maybe due to the culture of the small town. So, I got a tattoo kit and started tattooing friends without having any idea what I was doing. After four months of practicing, with the help of my grandfather, I opened my first shop. In three years I moved to São Paulo, where I could really learn about tattoos.

What made you want to tattoo in LA specifically?

I decided to move to LA to be closer to great artists and new opportunities, and at the same time be able to be in contact with nature, which I didn’t have in Sao Paulo because it is a very big city. To live in LA was always my dream, the art is here.

How did you find your tattoo style? What do you love so much about it?

My style found me. Clients started to come more and more in search of florals. Most of my clients are women and I love this—this exchange of experience, we always talk during the session and I can meet so many amazing people.

How do you decide when to add color into your otherwise monochromatic pieces?

I’m open to listening to my clients, I use colors when the client really wants to. I always create a design that is between the client’s personal taste and my experience as an artist. But I’ve always preferred black and white, I think it is timeless.

Where do you draw your artistic inspiration from?

My greatest inspiration is certainly nature. Natural flowers are the best inspiration, but I also have great references in the world of tattooing. I try to absorb as much as possible from each artist with whom I share my daily life, even if they have different styles. We always have something to learn.

What are some unique or unexpected challenges that come with fine line tattooing?

Tattooing is a daily challenge, and fine line is an even bigger challenge because there is no margin for error. A combination of things is necessary—the quality of the needle, machine, ink, light, and mainly the client’s trust.

What have you learned about yourself since becoming a tattoo artist?

I’ve always had a lot of ambition in relation to art but humility will always come first. Respecting others—old artists and newcomers—and giving space for the new generation and learning from them, because I was once in their place, and I know how necessary it is to be respected as a human being beyond anything.

Where do you see your art going in the future? Do you work in any mediums other than tattooing?

Today I dedicate myself 100% to tattooing. I have a good career in Brazil and I just arrived in the US, so for now I’m building my history here. Besides tattooing, I’m a high fashion and makeup appreciator. Maybe in the future I’ll include my art in something like this. Keep your eyes open, I have a lot of plans. My mind is always working and inventing something.

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