A love of tattoo art is the catalyst for a book of historic interest.

It is fair to say that Clare November Miles is a fan of the tattoo.

“I’m definitely the ‘black fish’ of the family,” she laughs. “I’m a fan of tattoo art and culture.”

A chance encounter at university where Clare completed her Bachelor degree in Visual Arts helped fuel her passion.

“I was lucky to be at uni in Townsville with two brothers whose dad is Les Bowen—a famous tattooist. I used to hang out at his shop all the time.”

Now Clare has her own studio called The Painted Lady and has written a book: Painted Ladies: The history of female tattoo artists in Australia – the first book of its kind which seeks to show the accomplishments of outstanding Australian female tattoo artists past and present.

“The book searches out the reason for their successes as well as the overwhelming obstacles that preclude most from achieving greatness,” Clare says. It features interviews with: pioneers Kate Witter (Brown), Cathy Felton, Kiwi Kim, Lou TatuLu Conlon, Ex de Medici and many more.

It also includes an interview with Australia’s only female Aboriginal tattoo artist Monica Kirk and perhaps Australia’s youngest tattoo artist starting at six years of age, Kai Heymer. Today Clare says she is one of a number of female tattooists in Brisbane.

“We’re still outnumbered by the men,” she says.

The book has been three years in the writing and can be purchased on Amazon.

Clare’s tattoo art can be seen at www.thepaintedladytattoostudio.com.