“When I was little the only dream I had was to live as an artist.”
That was Sullay Melo Aponte’s dream and he achieved it. At 28 years old, Melo Aponte is dedicated to one of the most complex arts in the artistic world: tattooing.
She was never far from art because from a very young age her mother, who is also an artist, prepared a space for her to sit next to her to paint. “I grew up watching my mother painting parents for commission and clothes for commission to make extra, to be able to buy things. I grew up in a world of making art, “he said.
About four years ago Sullay picked up a tattoo machine for the first time.
“The interest was there for a long time, but I had not dared. First, because one is going to deal with skin, where there is no rubber where you can erase ”, he explained.
The step was taken when he had a conversation with friends in which they wondered what they wanted to do and they had not done it out of fear. Melo Aponte said that there he revealed that he had always wanted to tattoo and then his friend David insisted that he dare.
Before venturing out, she contacted tattoo artist Joy Garcia to teach her.
The first tattoo she made was a lotus flower to who is now her husband.
The rejection of women in your industry is evident
Contrary to other women, Sullay explained to THE SPOKESMAN that she has felt the constant rejection within the tattoo industry for being a woman.
“The rejection is still felt. They are not negative rejections. It’s kind of strange. Sometimes you don’t know if someone invites you to be in their tattoo shop because of your talent or because you are a woman ”, he explained.
The artist explained that at the beginning of her career, several tattooists who owned tattoo shops approached her to ask her to work with them “because I’m crazy about a girl.”
“Do you want me to be part of the crew because I’m good or because you simply have clients who want to tattoo with women and you don’t have a woman to offer them that?” He wondered.
Melo Aponte has also faced men who have offered to teach them because they prefer that if someone is better than them it is a woman.
“They are micromachisms that annoy a lot,” he said.
It wasn’t until she found the owner of Blade Tattoo that she approached her because of the talent.
High growth experience
Regarding his experience in tattooing, Sullay assured that he has had a lot of growth.
“It has been a very enriching experience. Of personal growth. It has been a roller coaster of emotions and learning ”, he assured.
The experience has led her to follow her passion to do what truly completes her as a human being. “If I wanted not to get bored with this, I had to do the things that I liked. What was making art. So I started making the art that I liked ”, he said.
In her four years as a tattoo artist, she has specialized in lines. In addition, he makes different series that he publishes on his social networks so that customers choose the design they prefer. Thus, he tries not to repeat his pieces in the clients.
He assured that his art “is a strange art.” “It is not an art that people are used to seeing tattooed, but it is the art that I wanted to see in skin. They were my strengths together, the ones I wanted to see in an image ”, he added.
The artist, excited, said she was proud of the person she is today. “I am proud of the person I am right now. You know why? Because when I was little the only dream I had was to live as an artist and I didn’t know how. But I always told my mom. For the family, it is the worst dream a child can have. Living from art is a fear because you will not live well. But suddenly my mother knows that my daughter is living well and is living her dream, ”he said.
“My goal is to be better every day and surpass the tattoo I made the day before,” he concluded.