In Conversation with: Here Now Tanya

Community is care and that’s something I’ve been trying to implement more of in my life. As you know, In Conversation with is an ongoing series I have on this blog, but this month I wanted to write about women and femmes making spaces for others, going after their creative vision and creating work that feels representative to marginalised communities. The first Women’s Month piece focused on Kirsty Davids, co-founder of KARE for Women, an initiative that distributes and collects care packages in and around Cape Town.

In Conversation with Here Now Tanya

This time, I’m talking to my friend and artist Tanya Swemmer, who opened her own studio Here Now in late 2021. She’s responsible for a lot of my tattoos, and most recently – my backpiece.

Although, it’s not the first time Tanya has had her own space, Here Now has other artists who guest and work full-time out of the private studio. As you may know, I worked with Tanya for about two years? She’s booked and busy, and if you’re wanting to enquire about booking an appointment – you can email herenowtattoo@gmail.com for more information.

You opened your own studio in 2021, after tattooing for a number of years, what was the process like?

Having worked privately in the past it was a lot less daunting than you’d think. The opening of Here Now felt kind of inevitable, the right space became available and I was ready. 

Here Now feels like a moment to step into the present, what inspired the name and what’s the ethos/space you’re aiming to cultivate. 

It is exactly what it is.

It’s where I am, where you are, when you’re in the studio to get a tattoo then you are here now too.

The name is definitely inspired by my own spiritual practices and aims.

I’d like the studio to be a fair and calm space for myself and anybody who visits. 

Tanya Swemmer

You recently changed your name over to Here Now Tanya, is this a new era for you?

I’ve been tattooing for 8 years now and a lot has changed.

Getting sober, travelling, style change ups, more honesty.

The Lady Luck name just felt like someone else and I stopped identifying with it. I’m really happy with the new name. 

Who is inspiring you? What are you listening/reading/watching?

I’ve just come back from some guest spots in Europe which was huge for me.

Humbling and validating at the same time. I’m mostly inspired but just observing how other people work and live and their processes. It’s made me question a lot about my own ways.

I’m reading a Taschen book called Witchcraft and it’s inspiring me to get back into Yoni Shakti by Uma Dinsmore-Tuli. I like books that feel like a study more than a read.

Oh, I’m also obsessed with a podcast called This is Actually Happening.

Besides getting tattooed, how can people support you and your work? 

I’m not great with social media in general, but it’s a necessary tool, so following myself, the studio account and engaging with posts is really helpful.

Buy merch and prints, there are usually a few available at the studio. 

Are there any future projects in the works?

Part of the new studio, the name etc is to watch things unfold. I want to work a little less, engage in other creative pursuits and travel as much as I can. 

All with Here Now as a steady base. I don’t have too much planned, we’ll see where it all goes. 

Follow Tanya on Instagram, check out Here Now Tattoo and enquire about appointments or availability from artists in studio via the email in bio.

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