That’s how Hart & Huntington tattoo artist Arianna Marotta sees the art of tattooing.
It’s great when tattoos have meaning, but they don’t have to. Tattoos are art, and if you want to decorate your body with art that’s aesthetically pleasing, then that’s cool too.
She’s known here in our Orlando shop for her bright and colorful botanical designs.
I do a lot of florals and female faces. They’re just beautiful to me.
Arianna’s especially drawn to Art Nouveau, including the ornate works of Alphonse Mucha.
There’s a lot of symmetry and bold lines, but there’s also something very classic about his work. I’m working on infusing it into my style but haven’t quite gotten there yet.
Arianna’s own tattoos reflect her love of the style. She has a lot of symmetrical, almost henna-like jewelry tattoos on her: matching on both wrists, legs and the tops of her shoulders.
They’re mostly designs I came across that other tattoo artists wanted to do, and I let them do it on me. They turned out great because they were super excited to bring their ideas to life.
Arianna, who grew up in Plymouth, MA and moved to Florida when she turned 11, got her first tattoo when she was 18: a simple peace sign. But she didn’t start tattooing professionally until about eight years later.
I thought it was a crazy thing to be able to walk around with something on your body that somebody created for you. There’s no better way to express yourself.
But putting something permanent on someone made her nervous. She ended up going to school for Interior Design, but it wasn’t speaking to her.
I knew tattooing was what I really wanted to do, so I brought my artwork into a tattoo shop, and they agreed to apprentice me.
She knew it would be difficult, but her apprenticeship taught her to believe in herself.
It helped me gain confidence in my abilities as a tattoo artist. My mentor gave me a whole list of things to draw before they’d begin to teach me anything about tattooing. They had me redraw them countless times, because you often have to do that for your clients until you get their design just perfect. They really wanted to instill that there’s an artistry behind tattooing, and you need to be proficient in those skills before you do the real thing.
Arianna came to realize that tattooing was just another way of selling her art. For as long as she can remember, she’s been an artist at heart—doodling and drawing on things. It was in middle school, when she started taking real art classes, that she discovered it was something she was passionate about.
Art became a way to express myself, to use creativity to channel my thoughts onto paper.
And it was a way to get outside of myself, a form of meditation. It took my mind off anything else that was bothering me at the time. I had to use all my abilities to create whatever I was creating.
From there, she developed a love for drawing people.
I specifically like drawing eyes because they’re the windows to the soul. You can tell a lot by looking at someone’s eyes. They’re very expressive.
For her, it’s all about the fine details.
I also like to draw wrinkles and things people may not normally think are stereotypically beautiful. I find beauty in things that are different and interesting too. My house is filled with antique furniture. I just appreciate things like that.
But as much as she appreciates the fine tunings of a tattoo, Arianna always tries to remind her clients that smaller isn’t always better.
People often come into the shop having seen a big, detailed tattoo and ask to have a super small version of it. It doesn’t work that way, and it won’t age well. I have a photo of Russian dolls on my phone to illustrate my point. The big doll is really ornate and detailed, but when you get to the smallest, it barely has anything on it at all. The smaller you get, the fewer details you find.
Above all else, Arianna wants her clients to leave with a beautiful piece of art that they’ll love forever. Her advice ensures that.
One of my favorite pieces I did was for a super sweet lady. It was a crescent-shaped floral piece. She just asked for flowers, but otherwise gave me the freedom to do whatever I wanted. It came out beautifully because she gave me so much liberty. Things just come out better that way.
Both Arianna and her client went home happy that day.
I drove home smiling. It truly made my whole week! It was the best feeling ever, even better than a day when you make a lot of money as a tattoo artist. That feeling of gratification is way more important— it’s priceless.
As part of the Hart & Huntington Orlando team, she gets to relive those kind of moments daily.
Being in CityWalk is a really cool, different environment. There’s a lot of energy and the shop itself is aesthetically cool. But the best part is that I’m surrounded by so many talented artists. Everyone is open to sharing ideas and learning from each other.
And with her own set of talents to offer, it’s not surprising that Arianna fits right in. Her clients always leave our shop with a smile on their faces.
I just want to perform the best I can and make people as happy as possible. I want people to seek me out for my style, especially as I get more into the Mucha-esque botanical stuff I’ve been working on. And when I’m gone, I hope to be remembered as a kind artist that was innovative and unafraid of doing something different.