087: Intersection: Alison Zou, Tattoo Artist

Updated: 7 days ago

In the previous episode, we met Sana Riyazali Merchant who discussed the ways in which history and culture influence her work, the interesting challenges associated with drawing on hands as canvases and how her medium (henna paste) is uniquely tricky to work with. She also discussed how she helps share stories through her art and today’s guest agrees.

Allow me to officially introduce you to today’s guest: Alison Zou.

Alison Zou is a tattoo artist based in Toronto, Canada. Her art career began with an apprenticeship at Chronic Ink Tattoos in 2012. While learning to become a tattoo artist she also began studies at the Ontario College of Art & Design, University, through the Drawing and Painting program (OCAD-U 2014-2018). Alison became a full-time tattoo artist and developed her fine-line tattooing style, focusing on anime and manga subject matter (2018-present). In July of 2021, Alison opened Duskwood Ink, a tattoo studio located in Markham, Ontario. Presently she continues to explore the possibilities of fine-line tattooing, undertaking even the most complex manga panels.

In our conversation, Alison and I discuss how she entered into the tattoo industry, the technicalities of fine-line tattooing and what her own, personal tattoos mean to her.

Key Ideas Discussed:

  • Alison has always been artistic but she never knew if she could be a tattoo artist because of her strict parents/culture