Body of Work

 In Culture, Feature

Lauren Busiere, nomadic tattooist, graphic artist and vintage upcycler, is hitting the road to show the world what she can do but St. Louis will always be home.


Lauren Busiere is an artist’s artist; the kind of creative individual you envision when you think of someone whose life is defined by artistic expression and who lives that existence proudly and without apologies. The Collinsville, Illinois native and tattoo artist at TRX Tattoos & Piercing, inks people’s bodies with aweinspiring designs that look like a cross between the artwork that could decorate the halls an emperor’s palace or a Hello Kitty-loving rebel teen’s bedroom wall.

After years of emblazoning the flesh of hundreds of St. Lousians, Busiere’s is taking her show on the road to do a guest stints at tattoo shops across the country—her latest stop will be Seattle. And though she says she has no plans of setting up permanent residence in a city other than her beloved St. Louis, she’s excited about taking her art to new places. “I’m officially a nomadic tattooer until further notice,” she says. “But I’ll be home at least once a month; St. Louis made me who I am, so I’ll always need to come recharge in my home base.”

In her youth, Busiere’s friends would go home with their limbs covered in magic marker drawings of her creation. She was a natural at drawing and knew she would always create art, but it never occurred to her to pursue tattooing as a career. “Tattooing initially attracted me as kind of a lark,” says Busiere. “I lived in a very tattoo-less world growing up, so I think once I realized it was a possible career choice, it seemed like the one for me.”

“My relationship with tattoo has been beautiful; it’s the only relationship I’ve ever had that repays every stitch of work I put in. It’s a totally fulfilling existence for me, which just makes me work harder and challenge myself more. It’s pretty rad, to be honest.”

But Busiere’s art doesn’t stop at tattooing. “I’ve been thrifting professionally since I was 13—picking through thrift stores, fixing up old junk and turning a profit,” she says. “I opened an online store with Etsy about five years ago, which basically supports my habit for collecting neat junk.” Her Etsy store, “Made by Lauren B,” features prints of her original watercolors and “tattooed originals,” which consist of found vintage accessories, clothing and other objects that Lauren has beautified with her art. She custom designs pieces for customers and has shipped her art all over the world. “I’m an avid reuser/recycler, just because I hate waste,” she says. “I definitely fall in love with the ‘design of things,’ which makes me work harder to rescue lost souls from the past.”

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722_364.jpgTattoo artist Lauren Busiere


Photo credit: Photo by Steve Perotti

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