“Having a hobby turn into a lifelong career is definitely like living in a dream.I couldn’t imagine any other job that allows such creativity, while allowing to reap such rewarding benefits like telling ones story in a forever lasting work of art on skin, one of the most precious canvases one has to offer.”
Yi Shi is a Hangzhou-born, Toronto-based artist working at Golden Iron Tattoo Studio.
Having attended The University of Toronto as an Art and New Media major student, Yi has devoted the majority of her time perfecting her skills in tattooing. It has been quite the journey for her since first starting at Golden Iron Tattoo Studio in the summer of 2015.
Having taken over a decade of drawing lessons due to a lifelong interest that blossomed from a very young age, Yi has mastered many tattooing and drawing techniques including linework and hatching to name a few.
In the process of turning traditional drawings into tattoo designs, Yi has gradually found a beautiful balance between two radically different artistic practices. She has developed a unique style in blackwork and dotwork.
Yi also thoroughly enjoys the welcoming work environment that Golden Iron has to offer.
“Each artist has their unique style and strengths to offer while always remaining humble, positive and caring individuals that are always a pleasure to be around.
“Ive always been very proud of taking part of the Golden Iron family. I mean this is the place where I picked up the machine for the first time! I really couldn’t think of any other studio that I would have rather started my career in. We are definitely one of those teams that everyone grows together. I’ve witnessed the rise of our team, as they have witnessed my growth not only as an artist but also as an individual. We definitely help each other become better artists and all around better people.”
There have been obstacles along the way, nevertheless;
Born to a supportive but very conservative family, Yi has been hiding her own tattoos since the very beginning.
“Thankfully tattoos have become increasingly accepted as the social norm and as a common artistic practice making it hopeful for me to believe that one day I can proudly show my family not only the art that I ink on others but also the art that’s inked on my own body.”
Yi also adds that her career has many perks that come along with the journey. “I love it when my clients tell me the little secrets and stories behind their thoughtful custom tattoos. It makes me proud that I can help them bring their visions to life and help them build somewhat of a confidence when they show off their new tattoos.”
Yi finishes off by explaining; “It’s small moments like these that inspire me and keep me going even when times get tough. I wish to continuously keep growing and to continue helping others grow by marking their new beginnings and ends with pieces of my art.