Angel Patawaran, 12, gave her first tattoo almost six months ago and this summer she already has a wait list.
The high school student from Manila has been exposed to tattoo-making since she was a child, and from the age of five has aspired to be an accomplished tattoo artist just like her father, Ruel “Wewe” Patawaran, who has won awards for his religious and Band Aid-size tatoos like this Last Supper design.
When Wewe taught Angel how to ink last September, he got scared. “She held the machine with confidence. She was even better than me,” he says proudly. Her break came after a quarrel with her siblings. To make them stop, Wewe promised to teach his eldest daughter how to give a tattoo.
Wewe’s apprentice volunteered to be Angel’s guinea pig. Wewe created the design—a spade—and Angel did the rest.
She was nervous the entire time because she was afraid she couldn’t follow the outline. “It was my father’s design,” she recalls. “When you invert it, it’s his logo.”
She was a natural. “I’m always at papa’s shop,” she explains. “I am always observing him and I like to draw. I also like playing with Barbie dolls and watching LA Ink. My idol is Kat Von D.”
Still, Wewe, who himself learned how to give tattoos when he was 13 years old, wants his daughter to finish her studies first. Her favorite subjects are English and Filipino, and she likes to read books about art and drawing.
Since he posted a video of his daughter giving her first tattoo (watch below), friends have been requesting for a tattoo by Angel. But Wewe wants her daughter to first finish her education.
Would she like to get a tattoo for herself? “I don’t have one yet, but I want one eventually. But it has to be by papa,” she says.
All images courtesy of Ruel Patawaran