BETTY ROSE + DOUBLE EXPRESSO
As a native New Yorker growing up in the 90s, life was skateboarding and punk rock, and everyone knew the cool part of that was tattoos. All of the most interesting skateboarders and bands had them, so you can imagine what happened next... I started looking for parlors that were lenient with IDs. The first few tattoos fulfilled the rush of adrenaline and adventure I craved. Over time, I’m not sure exactly when, it stopped being about that and became a genuine appreciation of the art & beauty. Which led me to a hard-won apprenticeship in 2004 at a premier studio in NYC, and my current career. Eventually I moved on from the shop I apprenticed at and took a position as a resident artist at Eight of Swords Tattoo in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Which evolved into managing the shop, total side–note if you ever stop by pet the lovable shop–cat named Baby D for me (gosh, I miss her). After several years making my bones in NYC I tired of the big city and moved down south to work at Golden Age Tattoos (Austin, TX), and recently became a co-owner with artist Annie Mess.
One large corner of my work and what I may be most well-known for are my cat tattoos or cattoos as I like to call them. I adore cats and feel akin with their humans, and in tattoo history, cat tattoos have always been present, whether it was through imagery of large wild cats or memorial pieces for lost furry family members. Now more than ever clients are paying tribute to their domestic felines. I even have a series of playful cat illustrations called Kinetic Kitties (@KineticKitties); those designs often become something I end up tattooing on fans. As a tattoo artist in particular I’m really focused on my designs, and I feel responsible for making something that fits the person. That being said, I hope people take away a feeling of being comfortable. There’s a lot of great artists with their own style, yet I’ve always wanted to go the extra mile in making people know that beautiful art can be a fun experience. There’s few jobs in this world that give you the chance to interact with people on such a personal level, and I know how to treasure that. Another fun way I get to contribute to the industry is through @LadyTattooers. I founded the Instagram page in 2012 as a way to showcase the world’s most talented female tattooers. It’s a passion project which has helped thousands of people connect to amazing artists.
In short, good tattoos are built on a solid foundation and with that in mind, my goal is to take my client’s vision and combine it with the sound design principles I’ve learned throughout my career, principles like balance and proportion, then add in clean lines to create a quality tattoo. That commitment to principle is what I believe creates something truly wondrous. To me a tattoo is more than art, it’s both that and a story, which creates a connection to something classic. Tattooing is my life and my passion.
How to connect:
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE GO TO COFFEE DRINK?
Double espresso—I shoot it back quick to inhale the much needed energy boost without having to deal with the bitter flavor. Then immediately following I'm drinking a Mint Tea or Chai to cleanse my palette (hahaha)
DESCRIBE YOUR MOST MEMORABLE EXPERIENCE ASSOCIATED WITH COFFEE?
A few things come to mind... First, as a child being woken up to the sound of the electric grinder my father used in the kitchen to make fresh coffee. It's a clever tactic for any parent who wants their kid to wake up without having to actually physically nudge them. Second, one of my first jobs as a teen was being a barista (although back then no one called it barista, haha) at a place called The Runcible Spoon Bakery in Nyack, New York. There I learned how to perfect the foamiest lattes and also how grumpy people can be before their first cup-o-joe, haha. Lastly, fast forward some years... roughly about 9 years ago, I met my husband at a Starbucks in the Macy's on 34th St. NYC.
DO YOU MAKE COFFEE AT HOME? IF SO, HOW DO YOU PREPARE IT?
Yes, indeed! I hand grind french press for my hubs every morning. I love the process of scooping the beans, churning the grinder, and pouring the hot water over the grounds—it's very cathartic. Most recently we got a simple espresso maker and most mornings I'll make my husband and I a single shot. I like very aromatic beans but I'm not great at choosing flavors so I leave that up to my husband.
WHAT WAS THE CRITERIA FOR CHOOSING YOUR PLAYLIST?
Soothing, ambient, relaxing, nostalgic. I made this playlist on Spotify a couple years ago but I still love it. The first dozen tracks or so makes me feel so warm and nostalgic.
Probably owing to its higher amount of suspended solids than typical coffee which is absent of essential nutrients, espresso has significant contents of the dietary mineral magnesium, the B vitamins niacin and riboflavin, and 212 mg of caffeine per 100 grams of liquid brewed coffee.