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I first met Christina Platis while we were both living in Long Beach. She was finishing up a degree from Cal State Long Beach in Studio Art – Drawing and Painting. We had some mutual friends and instantly gravitated toward each other.

Photo by Lindsay Lohden

 

It wasn’t long after we started hanging out regularly, riding our skateboards around town, and watching our friend’s bands play at the local bars, that she started apprenticing as a tattoo artist. After graduating from college, she was working in graphic design and quickly realized that the, increasingly digital world of graphic design just was not the environment she belonged in. Christina always preferred hand drawing over a computer screen. Her, bright and bold American Traditional tattoo designs really came alive in paint and I couldn’t wait to see how they transformed on the body.

 

As someone looking in from the outside, it was incredible to see how naturally and quickly, she fine-tuned her craft. She would tell you that long hours of patiently learning and lots of practice went into becoming the artist she is today. I recently asked her if she has any specific philosophy about tattooing. 

Photo by Heidi Zumbrun
“I have many! There are so many aspects to tattooing, including technical application, client interaction, and business choices. I do my best to focus on making the best tattoos I can for my clients, but I get the most fulfillment from the permanent change I make in people’s lives. I believe that tattoos can hold a lot of power for people, and I feel honored to facilitate that.”

She eventually became part of forming a team of all-female Tattoo Artists for Babes Ride Out events. This crew inked hundreds of ladies throughout our campout weekends. For many of them, it permanently marked a monumental occasion or achievement. Maybe the tattoo commemorated an epic journey across the country or their very first time riding long distances on a motorcycle. I actually walked in on Christina tattooing my mom at one of our events. Babes Ride Out had been the catalyst that got my mom back on a motorcycle after over a decade. 

Photo by Genevieve Davis

 

After seeing how many lives Christina had touched through her art I had to ask her if she had a favorite or most memorable tattoo. 

“That’s a tough question. I have so many that mean a lot to me, but one that stands out was when I tattooed Jessi Combs at Babes Ride Out 6. To be able to tattoo somebody I admired so much, and at an event that is very dear to my heart, was a very special moment for me. I just remember having the most fun with the best people and that’s really what it’s all about for me.” 

1 year before Christina had started tattooing at Babes Ride Out she had gotten her M1 license herself. I still remember how excited she was when she rode out to the event for the first time. She once told me that motorcycles gave her life when she felt lost. Since then she has had a few different motorcycles eventually settling on both a 1997 Harley Sportster and a ’94 FXDWG. 

 

Photo by Lindsay Lohden

 

Christina has brought so much to the Babes Ride Out community. Not just through all of the tattoos, she has done but also through the countless hand-painted helmets, gas tanks, and jackets she has created to donate towards Moto F.A.M. fundraiser in an effort to help riders in need. She has created some of the most coveted prizes in raffle year after year. 

 

Christina has tattooed at motorcycle events across the country and currently tattooing at Historic Tattoo in Portland, Oregon. She is an extremely talented, self-made woman and I am honored to have a few pieces from her on my own body. 

Written by Anya Violet