For our first ever #FollowFriday our choice was obvious. Introducing Nalea Kim, of Milestone Studio, the heroine that tattooed a group of us when Alia & co. came to visit Alex and I in South Korea. Plus, her name is technically NaLEA so she’s basically a “LIA” girl too!
After the idea of keeping the Toronto tradition (when Alia, Alex & I got tattoos) alive we easily convinced our other two friends (Chris and Reynold) to get inked while on vacation.
However, it was a little hard to find a studio, since most shops advertise on Instagram due to the culture still surrounding tattoos. Then I remembered that Nalea was already following me on Instagram. She liked all of my #fireinmyseoul posts and I loved her style so the next step was logical: DM her and book an appointment! Everything fell into place.
She’s super sweet and was helpful during the whole process – from the booking to the actual session. She definitely made our first timer friends feel at ease too. We even managed to be done much quicker than we thought!
What got you interested in the world of tattooing?
NK: I got interested in the world of tattooing because I wanted to make money doing art. I didn’t go to art school because I felt like I [couldn’t] make money after graduating from art school. However, tattoo business fulfilled both.
Who, or what, are some of your influences?
NK: I get influenced from many stuff like music, movies and works of other artists. I learn a lot from YouTube and Instagram just by looking at tattoos or any forms of artwork.
What was your first tattoo?
NK: My first tattoo was a tiny infinity sign that I got with my boyfriend.
Adorable! How do you think the tattoo culture is changing in South Korea?
NK: The tattoo culture is definitely changing in South Korea. Before, it was only for gang related people but these days, many young people are getting tattoos and they think of it as fashion.
Also, many Korean celebrities are getting tattoos and since Korea gets controlled by the media (and follow trends a lot), there are more people who want tattoos. However, still some people stare at you if you have tattoos.
What are you currently listening to?
NK: Right now I am listening to Noah Kahan’s “Young Blood”. I used to only listen to rock music but now I listen to everything and mostly chill music.
So if you’re ever in Itaewon, Seoul, South Korea definitely hit Nalea up. However, if you’re not planning on visiting South Korea (which I don’t see why not) you can follow her on instagram: @naleak_tattoo
Below, Alia and I have selected five of our favourite pieces that Nalea has posted on her Instagram.