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Tattoo shop a permanent part of West End

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Katrina Fuchs is the owner of Rising Phoenix Body Art, a new tattoo shop in the West End. It officially opened on Aug. 30 this past summer.

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Katrina Fuchs is the owner of Rising Phoenix Body Art, a new tattoo shop in the West End. It officially opened on Aug. 30 this past summer. Photo Store

From makeup to ink, Katrina Fuchs enjoys drawing on people’s bodies.

Fuchs remembers being suspended from junior high school for drawing on herself with cosmetics. Even though her teachers didn’t appreciate her artistic ability, Fuchs didn’t let that stop her from continuing and building her craft.

Now Fuchs, 27, is the owner of and tattoo artist at Rising Phoenix Body Art, a tattoo shop located at 462 Sherbrook St., which recently opened on Aug. 30 this year.

Fuchs’ interest in tattoos originated from a lack of tattoo parlours in northern Manitoba where she grew up.

"The closest tattoo artist was four hours away," Fuchs said.

Fuchs studied tattooing through an apprenticeship with a tattoo artist in Winnipeg.

"There’s no course for tattooing in Manitoba," Fuchs said. "Most people prefer the apprenticeships that you get under an artist, because it gives you the foundation of working with customers."

Fuchs got her apprenticeship by asking a tattoo artist that goes by the name of "Fat Phil" to take her in.

At the time, Fat Phil didn’t have his own tattoo shop, so he worked out of other people’s shops. Fuchs provided him with a portfolio of her work, to prove she had the skills to become a tattoo artist.

Her apprenticeship lasted a year. She started out by helping with appointment setups and teardowns, drawing out tattoos for the artist, and practising tattooing on fake skin.

"Then you get thrown into tattooing once you’ve got your certificate for body modification," Fuchs said.

Fuchs has been an official tattoo artist since 2011, but is a first-time tattoo shop owner and operator. Finding a location took three months. Fuchs began searching in January, and eventually chose the Sherbrook Street location.

The process of getting permits, gathering community approval, and going through the inspection process took another four months.

"I had to make sure the community wanted me there," Fuchs said. "I got a lot of ‘no, we don’t want you here.’"

Fuchs’s tattooing repertoire consists mainly of colourful designs and cover-ups.

"I do a lot of bright work with nice, dark splashes in it to make it really pop," Fuchs said.

But Fuchs is up for any challenge — except for human greyscale portraits, for the moment anyway.

"Human greyscale portraits are one of the harder things to do, because you’re trying to make something look identical to a photo," Fuchs said. "That’s something you learn with experience."

However, Fuchs is building on that skill by playing with greyscale on a smaller scale, drawing animals and iconic figures.

For more information about Rising Phoenix Body Art, visit risingphoenixwpg.com or call 204-417-4441.

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