As part of our Day in the Life series, The Style Sheet spends the day with Hong Kong tattoo artist Jenna Chu, who works from Friday’s Tattoo’s eclectic parlor in the heart of Tsim Sha Tsui
Thanks to her unique style of work that reinterprets traditional Japanese tattoos with a twist, Jenna has established herself as a sought-after artist after only a couple of years in the industry. While being creative has always come naturally, the initial road to finding her calling was a winding one. ‘I tried photography, jewellery design, even diamond grading… Finally, I ended up in university doing interior design. I thought it was super boring. I really hated it. You need to follow a time schedule. You need to follow rules. I found it very limiting,’ she says. ‘While I was at university, my boyfriend started as a tattoo apprentice, and I thought “Oh, this is actually interesting to me! You can draw something on human skin.” So I learnt more about it, and fell in love with it. I finally felt free — I could draw what I wanted to draw and at the same time learn about history, build on it and create something new.’
Here, we kick off Jenna’s not-so-typical day at noon.
Tattoo artist Jenna Chu of Friday’s Tattoo works in the classic Japanese style
‘I’m a nighttime person, so I think my schedule is quite different from most! I usually wake up at eleven or twelve o’clock. Usually I get a coffee and take the MTR to Friday’s Tattoo. I like to be in the office at least an hour before any appointments are scheduled so I don’t feel rushed, and I can prepare everything for the session. If I’ve got time, I usually draw tattoos or do research. Although I’m not from a Japanese background, I mainly focus on Japanese-style tattoos because I really love the culture and their drawing techniques. When I started out, I had a hard time getting clients as a lot of people in Hong Kong think Japanese-style tattoos are for gangsters or the Yakuza, but actually it’s a style that’s rich with positive history and meaning.’