Miryam Lumpini is the absolute definition of a firecracker. At just 21 years old the Swedish-born tattoo artist packed two small suitcases, and made the move to Los Angeles to pursue a career in her craft. Since she couldn’t work during her immigration process, Lumpini just painted a lot, sharpening her artistic skills in preparation for her business. And in 2015, the self-proclaimed “Witchdoctor” finally opened her own private studio.
With a specialty in cover-ups and free hand designs , it wasn’t long before the talented beauty became a go-to for influencers and celebrities seeking out the best for their body art. Now, she’s one of the most sought after Black tattoo artists in the country. And with a roster of clients that includes names such as Jhené Aiko, Chris Brown, Swae Lee, Cynthia Erivo, and soon Kehlani (to “redo the sunflower on her shoulder”), she’s making her mark (no pun intended) on the tattoo world.
It’s no surprise that earlier this year BIC tapped the now 28-year-old tattoo artist as global creative director for their line of BodyMark by BIC temporary tattoo markers. ESSENCE caught up with Lumpini in a rare free moment to talk tattoos as beauty markings, being a global creative director for a major brand, and which celebrities are pros at taking the needle.
I love to talk about tattoos as part of the beauty industry.
That’s actually something that I’m really working hard for people to understand, that, in today’s society it’s different now. How people view body art is different. And why people carry body art is different. And nowadays, you can have most jobs, and still have tattoos too. But I feel like a lot of people haven’t realized it and still live in fear that they can’t have body art. But actually, they kind of can, because it’s changing so fast. And now it’s not really like, ‘Do you have tattoos or not?’ It’s more about, ‘Who did your tattoos? What’s your style? What do you wear that with?’
I’m a fan of Jhené’s tattoos. I talk about them all the time.
I did her Big Sean, and then I covered the Big Sean. And now I’m doing a whole back piece cover-up on her. And then she wants to go down her whole butt. But you know, we’re both busy people. So, whenever we have time to get in it’s like glory time, try to knock out as much as possible. And she’s badass. We’re both tiny, and I’m really bad at getting tattoos. She just sits through it.
And now you’re the global creative director for this amazing line of temporary tattoo markers?
It’s just cool to see how powerful it is when a big company like BIC comes together with the right type of artist, with the right type of heart behind a product. I put my whole heart and soul into this. So, it’s just been a really cool journey. Like my life has changed crazy drastically in the last year. I’m just restructuring everything, and just planning and strategizing for 2020. So, it’s a lot of excitement right now.
Did you come up with the actual artwork for the temporary tattoos?
Yes. Together we came up with the name, how we wanted the packaging to look, what colors to use. We did a how-to video on an app where you can go and explore more about BodyMark. And I also created the artwork. It’s me on the packaging so we [covered up] my tattoos with makeup, so that it looked like I had an empty sleeve. And then I created my own designs, and then we added them to my arm so you can see the variety that you can have with the product.
Is there anything right now, that’s trending in the tattoo world, that you’re seeing more people are gravitating towards?
Yeah, I mean the trends are always going to come and go with anything. Lately it’s been trending with the smaller tattoos, the little micro-tattoos. Because it makes people feel like they’re tattooed, even though they don’t have to really show off much of a tattoo, or a big space of a tattoo. I feel like that’s super trendy because it’s not so noticeable.
When it comes to your beauty, besides tattoos, what’s your go-to?
I absolutely can’t have dry lips. Because I have big lips, and I feel like if I have big, dry lips it’s so like in your face. So a good lip gloss or a lip balm for sure. And Black Jamaican castor oil.
You do keep those edges laid.
The secret is the magic. It’s in the magic.