Meet Rae Pich artist behind Shop Silver's Pierrot Graphic

Tell us about yourself?

My name is Rae and I’m a 26 year old tattooer originally from Orange County (to which I never truly felt like I fit in). I moved up to Los Angeles a little over a year ago after going to college at a small liberal arts college in Portland Oregon and then spent a few more years post grad in Costa Mesa / Newport Beach. I studied film photography and ceramics. I've only been tattooing for a little over a year and a half so I’m definitely still very new. In my current world of tattooing, I specialize in fine line and modern ideas of colored line work. 


How long have you been drawing? When did it become serious?

I’ve actually never really considered myself an illustrator or even good at drawing. I was always “an artist” and loved to draw and paint as a kid, but I found myself fascinated with photography, specifically film (35mm, 120mm, and moving picture 8mm) - what I studied in college. I would do some graphic design/collage on my photo work and took on simple projects for friends, but never considered myself ever “good” at drawing. 

During my final two years of college, I started working with clay (where I ended up double majoring along with photo) and found most of my work to involve painting and etching designs and doodles into the clay forms I’d throw on the wheel. Even while doing this I still didn’t consider myself much of an illustrator, but looking back all my drawings within my ceramic work are exactly what my tattoo flash is now. Even when I began tattooing and starting to draw and paint flash, I was still skeptical and honestly to this day it doesn’t come easy to me. 

So realistically it wasn’t until I started tattooing, which is still relatively new to me, that I gained confidence and started looking at drawing in a professional way.


From music or art, who or what inspires your style of drawing? Are there any artists that have been significant in your profession as an artist?

I definitely have a large variety of inspirations through multiple mediums of art. Photographers Jimmy Marble and Larry Sultan have always been two of my greatest influences. Their work is dynamic, dreamy, colorful, and playful which I feel strongly relates to my work. The photo book “Jens F” by Collier Schorr and their collage work within the book is one of my all time favorites and always inspires me. Children’s books and comics are also a huge inspiration to my work. 

My ceramics mentor, Ted Vogel, who sadly passed away shortly after I graduated, was also a huge inspiration to me and support to my beginning work in clay and illustration which ultimately transitioned into my tattoo flash. 

As for music, I feel a lot of my tattoos and flash lend themself to nostalgia. Bands like Slowdive and The Mama’s and Papa’s give me a sense of nostalgia and always motivates me when I’m feeling stuck. A wide variety of music inspires me daily from Phoebe Bridgers to Turnstile to Waylon Jennings.

Lastly my friends are consistent inspirations for me - surrounding myself daily with like minded folk (stylists, tattooers, photographers, videographers, clothing designers, animators, etc) has encouraged me significantly when it comes to my success as a tattooer. 


What are your personal favorite drawings that you’ve created?


I’m not sure if I have an all time favorite. As I release new flash that usually takes place as the “favorite”. I think I like them all in a special and specific way. Putting my drawings onto someone for forever is crazy concept especially when it involves pain and the trust of a stranger. In general, my full color pieces tend to be more of my favorite. I love when clients trust me with my colorful visions over black & grey, but sometimes I impress myself with what I can do with something as limiting as greyscale. 


Do you consider yourself an introverted or extroverted person?

I would consider myself I pretty standard mix between the two. I love socializing and being with a group of people; that energizes me. However, I also love and need my alone time to recharge efficiently. I love meeting new people but I also have pretty bad social anxiety. I try to balance it all as much as I can, but would definitely say it leans more on the extroverted side on a daily basis. 


Do you follow any rituals when you are drawing?

I do a lot of reference searching before starting drawings or a flash sheet. I’m definitely not the type of artist who can just create or draw up something amazing from my mind. Books, everyday findings, vintage embroidery patterns, photographs, vintage sticker packs, old school nostalgic characters, items within the home space, and even American traditional flash are my go-tos before I begin drawing. I usually try to compile together a group of things that work together for a flash sheet of 10-20 drawings then begin sketching, combining, and altering the references into what I want. 

Usually I sketch 2-3 different updated variations before taking it to the final line work stage where I work out color-ways and shading. I go through huge artistic bursts and ruts where I usually knock out 2-4 flash sheets at a time and then don’t work on any for another 2 months. Sometimes finding inspiration and references is super easy and other times not so much. 


How would you say your creative vision and aesthetic were formed? Do you have any childhood memories of how your interests led to art? 

I’ve definitely always been into the arts, even as a small child. My twin sister and I are both very artistic and always have been so as a kid I feel like we definitely fed off each other. As a kid, I always wanted to be a clothing designer, which I ironic cuz now that’s what my sister does. I’ve dabbled in so many different mediums throughout the years of my child, teen, and adult life (painting, fashion and design, photography, ceramics, graphic design, mixed media, and now tattooing) that has ultimately formed my creative vision and overall aesthetic as a tattoo artist. My work, regardless of medium, has always been colorful. I always preferred color over black and white film and always added bright and contrasting colors into my bodies of work. 

Clients always ask me if I knew I always wanted to tattoo and realistically I never thought I was capable or a good enough illustrator to do so. I initially thought I’d be working on sets as an editorial and commercial photographer. Although stylistically I’m fairly self taught, My partner, who also tattoos, was a huge part in helping me get started and taught me all the fundamentals. I definitely owe a lot of my success now to him and the studio space he gave me. I don’t think I would’ve ever taken tattooing seriously if it weren’t for him. 

I think the journey of an artist is a lot of trial and error and experimentation. You have to be ready to try a lot of different things and expect a lot of failures (which I guess could be said for any career path) through a multitude of different mediums. One thing I wish I had the time to explore in college was sculpture and woodworking - I think I would’ve been terrible at it, but it could’ve been very beneficial to my overall artistic practice and is something I ultimately missed out on.