From tattoo shops to indoor skate parks, give her a place with wall space and she will curate, as well as create! My first taste of her was at “First Taste”, her first art show consisting of non-tattoo artists works. The house was packed & it just goes to show the type of love this bold & beautiful tattooed woman gives & receives from the arts community. Each of her shows raises money for a chosen charity & gives people from all over an opportunity to mingle & meet & buy & sell all sorts of sick art. I ended up purchasing a cool art piece & wound up winning my first ever raffle prize, a free tattoo by Magie Serpica.
Tariq: So tell me, how long have you been tattooing?
Magie: 11 Years,
T: What made you start?
M: I Don’t know, the tattoo world wasn’t really foreign to me, my dad was always getting tattooed by some old school Brooklyn guy like Mike Profetto, some times in someone’s kitchen, he was completely sleeved out & my sister and I were always with him on the weekends so we were exposed early. I was also going to FIT for illustration and he had suggested it. My first tattoo job was a summer in Coney Island at the Bowery & it was in the shittiest conditions.
T: Wow, what made it the shittiest conditions?
M: It was one of those kiosks kind of like shops like shoot the water in the clowns mouth, only there was tattooing going on, there was no air conditioning, middle of summer, stencils sweating out, kids passing out, like the shittiest conditions really.
T: Haaa, that’s a nice way to get yourself broken into the tattoo world!
M: Seriously that’s what makes me feel so grateful to work in any condition better than that in every way, & Liz too (Liz is her partner at Milk & Honey Tattoo Parlour) she’s worked in the worse conditions. So we’re both really really thankful to be where we are now.
T: That’s so cool. So tell me what drives you?
M: My kids, wanting to show them that they can do anything, even things that are difficult & not accepted. If you believe & work hard you will be successful.
T: Wow you are really driven, I respect that! So tell me about the “Many Hands” art show, what was that about.
M: Well “Many Hands” was the fourth art show that I curated. There was also “Ladies Ladies” at Tattoo Culture Gallery in Brooklyn, it was a tribute to all women tattoo artists. It was the biggest show in terms monies raised, but “Many Hands” was the biggest in monies raised for charity. I worked with two other co-curaters for this particular show. “Many Hands” raised over $6,000 for Hurricane Sandy Charities. It was a really optimistic experience to see all these art shows go so well. Cause its the first things people stop purchasing when times are tough, Art! Now I’m just excited to curate art shows in my own venue, in my own space.
T: Right, your space, tell me about your space. Milk & Honey right next door.
M: Yep Milk & Honey finally opened, it was a lot of work but I think I have you to thank for telling us about the spot first. It was just good timing because my partner and I Liz were talking about wanting to do something. We were in similar situations, being moms and all, realizing that we don’t have the same freedoms and luxuries of time of people who are single and without children or whatever the case is. We decided that it would be in our best interest if we went into business for ourselves because we’re getting older, so are our kids. Plus its difficult for females in the tattoo business.
T: Why do you say that?
M: Because it’s a predominately male dominated industry. Though its becoming more accepted for female tattooers I think it also has something to do with location. Cause if you go to Manhattan, no one blinks an eye at female tattoo artists.
T: Why is that? Because an artist is an artist if you can create and are amazing I don’t see why there would be difference.
M: Well I think its kind of an old school mentality. I think what we’re doing is helping to change that mentality. When people come into our shop they will see that we are extremely knowledgeable, confident and experienced plus we have good portfolios so ultimately that speaks for itself. Then they’re put at ease. We know it happens and it sucks but we’re not taking any offense by it. We just want to show them and let people know. In the same sense this Island has been good to me, my network and customers have always been super supportive, they follow me to every shop.
T: So tell me about your kids. I know they have to be your biggest fans.
M: Levi is 2 and half and Lakota is 8. Yeah, Kota was really excited the entire time we had meetings or had to come down and do something in the shop. She would ask, “are we having a business meeting today” she would say we. And I’m really glad that she got to see the process. Me being a single mother, opening a business against the odds. So I keep her informed about how the shop is evolving.
T: Awwww, how cute! So that’s gotta be really inspiring to her, she is really going to have that strong woman mommy spirit in her.
M: Yeah, I tell her all the time she’s going to be the kid with the cool mom with the tattoos. She’s probably not going to think that, but I’d like to think that she would think that. [laughing] My little twerps.
T: So tell me what’s in the future for Milk & Honey Tattoo Parlour.
M: Well we have a lot of events planned cuz we’re using the space as a gallery also. Which is great having creative control and not having to deal with anything that may be limiting & still do our charity things. We’d like to get some sketch book sessions going down with the youth in the community, ages 15-18, get some of my artists friends to come out and work with the kids. It’s a great way to keep them in the neighborhood and off the streets in a supervised creative environment. As long as they stay out of trouble they’re welcome to come.
T: How do you like the neighborhood so far?
M: The neighborhood has been very receptive. So many people have been coming in welcoming us. Not even inquiring about tattoos, just being really warm and welcoming. Plus its exciting being next door to you guys, you’re motivating.
T: No really I can’t tell you enough how excited we are to have your energy over here on Castleton Ave. You’re great to work with, and next door to. Suffice it to say I’ll be sleeved out in no time working full time next door to a tattoo shop.