Install The Inkbox App

Install this application on your home screen for quick and easy access when you’re ready to trace.

Posted on Oct 11, 2018

Q&A with 60__8

"Tattoos and me are one." Read on to learn about the tattoo artist who's left her mark on a number of inkbox employees and hear why she prefers hand poke over machine, her favorite tattoos, and who she'd love to tattoo more than anyone in the world.

Meet the handpoke artist who's tattooed 13 of our inkbox employees and counting. Melina Mansing has been tattooing since 2016 and is currently based out of the studio at inkbox HQ in Toronto. Scrolling through the 60__8 Instagram feed, there's a combination of minimalism, whimsy, abstract, and natural elements. From mirrors, plants, benches, vases, snakes and simple linework, Melina's work is constantly evolving. Read on to learn about why she prefers hand poke over machine, her favorite pieces, and who she'd love to tattoo more than anyone in the world.


How would you describe your art?

My art is definitely still evolving but at this time, I would best describe it has a minimal, geometric style. I have been collaborating with a few local artists, which really challenges my craft of tattooing and gives me the opportunity to tattoo a style I can't create myself. I tend to follow a lot of symmetry in my art. Symmetry to me, makes everything better.

When did you first consider yourself an artist?

I have still yet to consider myself as an true artist, it will come soon! I think it really comes down to your own goals and where you want to reach before considering yourself accomplished, which comes with the title.

How has your art developed over time?

It will forever be developing.

What inspires your artistic style?

Gosh, I'm not sure if I can give a solid answer. Surrounding yourself with creative humans and talent really remind yourself of the creative freedom we all have and how there really isn't a limit. 

How did you get into tattoos?

Rebellious child > piercings > tattoos - how it went for me. Although I never stopped and now tattoos and me are one :)


Why did you choose hand poke instead of machine tattoos?

I began tattooing with a machine but eventually switched over to hand poking. I enjoyed holding the individual needle. It felt like a pencil which I was comfortable with. What I really liked about a machine free tattoo was the rawness of it but I'm not opposed to using a machine.

What’s the biggest misconception about hand poke/ machine-free tattooing?

That it hurts more. It does or doesn't - it all depends on your body.

Favorite tattoo you’ve ever given? 

This cute little doodle my client drew! There are many I love, but this one always stands out to me. It was back in 2016 so when I was just started and it just turned out beautifully. I waz proud.


Favorite tattoo you’ve ever received?

My hand and my chest tattoo were probably my favourite.

If you could tattoo anyone in the world - who would it be?

I honestly would love to tattoo my mama. She's a baby and hates my tattoos but I know she secretly wants one. 

If you could tattoo anywhere in the world - where would it be?

No where specific! I would love to eventually do a road trip in the States but going to Europe would be a thrill as well.

Why do you think some people want to test out their tattoos before getting them?

Many reasons! Career, placement, permanency, commitment, design... However, someone told me years ago that they don't worry what is on their bodies. At that point in their life, it meant something. It's all a growing experience and if you enjoyed it then why not appreciate the value later on.

One tip for tattoo for first-timers?

Don't get your last name, an infinity sign or a f**ing palm tree. Taking your time is also okay, but don't be afraid to get that last minute tattoo as well.

See Melina's work at @60__8 and email to book an appointment.