Lauren Winzer, Sydney tattoo extraordinaire, shares her tattooing tips

Sydney-based tattoo artist Lauren Winzer is fast becoming a household name, having inked an impressive array of celebrities, from Post Malone, to Sophie Turner, to Miley Cyrus.

If there’s one thing worth noting about Lauren, it’s that she’s passionate when it comes to self-care, as she recently fronted Bepanthen Tattoo’s 2021 ‘thINK before you INK’ Tattoo Culture Report. The report aimed to detail all the important precautions aspiring tattoo wearers need to take to get the best results, both for the look of the tattoos themselves but also for the person’s own health.

In light of this, Happy Mag caught up with Lauren to chat about her experience in the tattoo industry, the work ethic required to do her job well, as well as the future she sees for tattoo artists and wearers alike.

HAPPY: Where did you discover your passion for ink?

LAUREN: I have always loved the look of tattoos, particularly when I was growing up and saw them on bad ass characters in movies.

HAPPY: What was your first tattooing experience like?

LAUREN: So scary! The first tattoos were on friends and I remember being so stressed out and I’d cry sometimes after from putting my friends through pain or not doing them perfectly. Now when I offer to redo them not one friend has let me as they love the memory of them and having part of my journey on them for life, which means the world to me, even though I cringe when I see them!

HAPPY: What do tattoos mean to you?

LAUREN: For me, tattoos are mostly about collecting art or collecting memories in the form of art. I have a few sentimental tattoos and tattoos of things that remind me of happy times in my life, but I also have tattoos from artists whose work I just love and want a piece of with me forever.

HAPPY: What is your favourite tattoo and why?

LAUREN: It says “mum” and my mum tattooed it on me, it’s not perfect by any means but it’s hugely sentimental in the fact that my mum did it when she really understood my job and what I was doing.

HAPPY: What is your creative space like? How does it influence your work?

LAUREN: My creative space at the moment is at work and being surrounded by art and artists. It’s always inspiring to me, or if I have an idea but can’t figure out what’s missing I’ve always got my workmates to bounce ideas off or get different perspectives from. Unfortunately, I don’t have a creative space at home at the moment, but hoping to change that as soon as possible as I feel most creative at night. At the moment, I just have a couch and three dogs jumping all over me which I love, but it’s super hard to get anything done with three cute distractions fighting for your attention.

HAPPY: When tattooing somebody well known, does your process change at all? Like tattooing a friend, where you already have a notion of their style or personality.

LAUREN: It’s exactly the same for me and I have the well-known people to also thank for not asking for special treatment for example, and coming in the shop just like everybody else so I don’t have to compromise my process. These people also already know my work and what they’re in for, and so we already share common interests in the style of art that I love and am lucky enough to create.

HAPPY: Are there any cons to the trade that aren’t spoken about too widely?

LAUREN: The cons are so insignificant compared to the pros that I think that’s why they aren’t talked about much, but I guess like anyone who essentially works for themselves, it is that we don’t get benefits like paid sick leave. However, we are truly lucky with how much we get to work, that it all evens out. I don’t know if I’m just thinking out loud here but I think I just cancelled that con out in my answer haha.

HAPPY: What advice would you give to those seeking out their first tattoo?

LAUREN: Find an artist that suits your style! You have endless resources online to find a reputable artist that’s going to understand your vision and be super pumped to do it! If you’re nervous about the whole experience ask for an in-person consult first so you can get to meet your artist and see the space and ask any questions or bring up any concerns you might have, so we can put your mind at ease and turn scared nervous energy into excited energy!


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HAPPY: You recently fronted Bepanthen Tattoo’s 2021 ‘thINK before you INK’ Tattoo Culture Report. What led to you getting on board and were there any findings you were surprised about?

LAUREN: I instantly said yes when offered the opportunity even before knowing exactly what we were doing together. Since I started tattooing, I’ve been advising and using Bepanthen to heal my customers and my own tattoos and have seen nothing but great results. I was so excited to see they were bringing out the tattoo ointment after all these years of us using it, because now the clients will feel even more confident using it as it’s formulated for tattoos specifically.

I got really shy when we filmed and super anxious, but because I have used this product for a decade now and literally talk about it every day at work with my clients, I knew I had the knowledge under my belt already, so that in itself gave me so much confidence. I was also shocked by how many Aussies don’t know how to care for their tattoo before hitting the chair! Aftercare is just as important as choosing the right artist, but it seems we’re not putting equal effort into both.

HAPPY: Is there anything more anecdotal you’d add to the report, based on your own experiences?

LAUREN: Nothing specific, but I did have someone mention the other day, and I get this a lot, but the smell of Bepanthen cream reminds and excites people about being and getting tattooed. I love that as I get the exact same nostalgia when I smell it myself, it reminds me of getting my first and the excitement of it all!

HAPPY: Tattoos are becoming more accepted nowadays, especially in workplace culture. What do you see as the future of the tattoo industry?

LAUREN: I love that so much! As someone who used to work in offices and had a hard time with the way I looked, it makes me so happy to hear that tattoos are becoming more accepted. Having tattoos don’t affect your quality of work or your personality, unless it’s making you feel more confident! I think we will continue to see more styles evolve and be accepted as more and more different types of people are getting tattooed. Now there’s a style to suit everyone, so if people are wanting tattoos, they now have the option to find something and someone that they feel fits their personality and style.

HAPPY: Have you ever had to turn down a design, purely based on its content? If so, what happened?

LAUREN: I haven’t yet and I hope it doesn’t happen, but if anyone was to bring me something offensive I’d have no hesitation in turning them away. I’m open to doing any style or design even if it’s not my personal taste, who am I to say what’s good or bad, as long as it’s done well and the client is happy that’s all that matters to me!


Keep up to date with Lauren by following her on Instagram.