Who Did Your Ink?: Amanda Siebert pays homage to the mystical archipelago of Haida Gwaii

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      Who Did Your Ink? is the Straight’s weekly feature, where we ask badass Vancouverites about the talented artists, indelible stories, and, at times, questionable antics behind their most treasured tattoos.

      What's your name?  Amanda Siebert.

      What do you do?  I’m a staff writer (and sometimes photographer/one-woman film crew) at the Georgia Straight, and a freelance photographer.

      Who did your ink?  This particular piece of ink was done by Sean Barry of Philadelphia Eddie’s Chinatown Tattoo while I was on a university trip in 2014. Sean’s been tattooing longer than I’ve been alive!

      Why did you choose this artist to do your tattoo?  I actually decided on the shop first, because it’s the oldest one in Philly—and it happened to be two blocks from my hotel. (I had heard some great things about it and the artists that work there.)

      After perusing each artist’s work, I decided on Sean—I was (and still am) a huge fan of the way he approaches the old school/Americana style. 

      Is there any meaning behind it?  I’m a born-and-raised B.C. girl and have spent a fair amount of time in the outdoors, thanks to my family.

      From a young age, my father took my brother and I on hunting, fishing, and camping trips, teaching us practical skills and showing us the value of being able to live off the land in a responsible way. This spurred a lifelong passion for B.C.’s terrain and wildlife and led me to take a photography job at a sport fishing lodge in Haida Gwaii in 2011.

      If anyone’s ever been to this mystical archipelago, aptly referred to as "the edge of the world",  you’ll know that it’s a place unmatched in its beauty. Every time I mention it to someone, I get chills. It’s the only area I’ve ever been to in the world where the effects of how shitty humans are to the Earth are not felt.

      For four seasons in a row, I spent four months at a time cruising around the open ocean in a 19-foot boat with a camera (and sometimes a fishing rod) in my hands, and I’ve been completely obsessed ever since.

      This tattoo honours all of it: the mule deer for my pops, the Dogwoods for my unending love for B.C., and the salmon for an experience that I’ll be sharing with people until I die. 

      Who's your favourite local tattoo artist?  Funnily enough, only one of my tattoos was done locally and that artist is no longer tattooing.

      There are a handful of people whose work I follow and who I would absolutely love to get pieces from. I have plans to get my the rest of my arm filled in by Billy DeCola at Kiku Tattoo Parlour in Burnaby, but I also admire the work of Katie Shocrylas, Ryan Halter, TioLu, and Chris Hold.

      What's next on your ink list?  I’m working with Billy on a landscape-type piece based on an image that I shot while I was working in Haida Gwaii that will be going on my upper arm.

      One day, I hope to have the whole limb filled with little pieces that pay homage to the Pacific Northwest.