Sara Beazley X BurgerFuel
We’ve come along way since having a great resume and tattoos were enough to not get you that job you applied for. It’s safe to say BurgerFuel has always been a day one supporter of the human canvas, it’s a huge part of our cultural history and continues to have a big influence in our creative DNA.
I first crossed paths with Sara in Mexico on a New Years night in 2016 with a group of friends. Fast forward to today, she sits high on my inspiration feed, has a huge following and a decent wait list for her services. We sat down with Sara to hear about her journey as an artist and where she’s heading in the future.
Haser: Thank you for joining us, for those that are first time observers of your work, can you tell us who you are and where you’re from?
Sara: Hi! I'm Sara, a Māori tattoo artist based in Auckland
Kia ora. Straight to the point, when did you start tattooing, and what got you into it?
I quit my job so I could travel for a few months and when I got back Tri, the owner of Seventh Day Studio, asked me if I wanted to work for him. A few months later he tried to fire me, but ultimately missed me (LOL) and invited me back as an apprentice.
Haha, that’s a great come up.
I don't remember exactly when I started tattooing but it must've been around 2018. I am forever grateful for him.
I don’t think I can stress how important it is for people to up and leave their job and travel the world, it’s the kind of move that deserves a “No Regerts” tattoo.
Most of us remember a time when tattoos were considered a good ol ‘job stopper’. Based on how booming the tattoo industry is today, do you think they’re more accepted in society now.
Absolutely! Tattooing has always been associated with negative stereotypes in many cultures but over the last few years I've noticed more advertising campaigns and representation of people with tattoos.
It sure feels good to be welcomed back into society.
Do you have any goals as a tattoo artist?
My main goals are to keep learning and enjoy every piece I do. Other than that, actively try to avoid permanent back/neck/wrist pain
Keep at it, and try adding a chiropractor to your monthly bills, that’ll get you some extra kms in your journey. It’s hardly a career highlight when you’re complaining about your back problems at your 30th birthday.
Most tattooers I know usually have another artistic practice that acts as a gateway into tattooing. Do you occupy any kind of artistic practice outside of tattooing or is skin your only canvas?
Painting has always been something I loved the process of doing but I only do it to relax. Making art is something I predominantly like doing alone so anything I do outside of tattooing is usually for myself. I completely zone out and ignore everything unless a song I hate is playing in the background, it's the only thing I can't block out.
A bad song can really ruin your day innit. Hopefully we get a glimpse of these works one day.
What’s an average day for you?
On an average work day I usually go to pilates in the morning then start work at 10am. I have to ease myself into the day because I pretend I'm a morning person but my brain doesn't wakeup till 11am when my first client arrives. Recently I've had medium to large pieces so I generally have one client a day then go home to draw before sleeping. I'm extremely fortunate to have flexibility with my job so three months in advance I choose the days I will be available then my assistant Lisa books my clients in.
Wow, good on you, that’s a really good setup. I dream of forwarding people on to an assistant one day #lifegoals.
Now that the borders are open-ish, what country will claim the first page in your passport?
I've already clocked my first stamp! I went to Australia and covid was my parting gift.
I've booked a trip to Mexico soon so i'm really looking forward to linking up with mates living outside of NZ, being immersed in another culture and eating my way around.
Awesome, tacos are life. Mexico is very high on my favourite country list, hopefully it opens the door for some tattooing opportunities.
You spend your days leaving your artwork on peoples skin, are you collecting any artwork of your own, on your skin or in the flesh?
Three of my favourite pieces I've purchased are a painting by @killjohnkaye, a photograph by @mookimooks & a print by @tyronelayne
All great artists, shoutout to John Kaye who also spent 2 weeks in New Zealand painting our BurgerFuel stores in 2016.
When art isn’t at the forefront, what else do you do to occupy your time? And does that inspire the process or do you prefer to keep your art and life separate?
By nature I am drawn to adventurous activities. I'd say this is my best and worst trait because i'll change my whole schedule in summer to fit around being outdoors, especially near the ocean.
That’s the way it should be.
That’s why I love tattooing as no two days are exactly the same. Although you use the same skills, each day you problem solve something different and meet a new person. That can be exhilarating and exhausting so it's perfect for me.
It sounds like the present is going pretty well for you, where would you like to see yourself in the near and distant future, artistically and personally?
In the future I'd like to be able to tattoo overseas and personally let go of my imposter syndrome haha
Imposter syndrome can be a positive thing, it’s a reminder that you’re living the life you wished for.
What advice would you give your younger artist self?
Utilise all the tutors and facilities at Elam so your $30,000 degree is useful
Ahh, the ol $30k lesson we all seem to learn the hard way.
Here’s a few questions to get a better understanding of where you sit on BurgerFuels astrological calendar.
BurgerFuel has a large fleet of classic vehicles, what’s your dream machine?
A self driving car so I can nap to the destination
Very futuristic, until then though, you might want a full time driver that lacks conversation and doesn’t mind car-aoke, aka uber driver.
What songs/artists are hogging your playlist at the moment?
Last last by Burna boy was the last thing I listened to. Also lots of Jay Prince, Vince Staples, Little sims, Tom Misch, Tems, Pip Millett, The 25th January Tape by Lucky Lance and Christoph El Truento
Last but not least, favourite burger from the Fuel?
C n cheese!
Thanks a lot for your time Sara, if you would like to see more of Sara's work you can follow her on the grams.