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My trip to Helsinki was in March, 2017 but I’ve never gotten around to writing about it until now. Blogging has been something I haven’t had much time for anymore. My priorities have changed as well as my readership’s, but I keep this blog as an archive so it is important to me to get this written down. Better late than never, right?

Blackheart Bettie– Bettie came to Paris to perform in a burlesque festival in February 2016. She contacted me because she wanted to collaborate on a tattoo project. She sent me many reference images, and a clear description of what she wanted, plus the freedom to interpret her idea as I saw best. Just how I like to work!

Here’s what I did on her.

We share many of the same passions and are attracted to similar imagery; costumes of the Follies Bergère, boudoir imagery, lithography of the 19th century. During the tattoo process, curious to go deeper, I tried to learn more about her, seeing as how we had similar tastes. I learned that she was a painter too! I asked her to show me her work, I loved it and was also delighted to find out that she is appreciated by the contemporary art world in Finland. She has shown in museums. Her artist name is Petra Innanen.

Later she contacted me and said she wanted me to somehow participate in the, Helsinki Burlesque Festival, that she organizes with her husband Frank. It would be the 10 years anniversary, also the last year. Bettie feels that Burlesque has changed and has lost some of the magic that made her love it in the first place. Bettie explained to me that she and her husband had fell head over heals in love with New Burlesque during a trip to California where they saw The Velvet Hammer. Maybe were present together at the same show? Funny how small the world is.

Backstage- hanging out backstage in theaters is magic; time stands still, the energy is high and you get caught up in the vortex. It’s a world not many outsiders get to see. I was very lucky to be invited backstage as I wasn’t performing. I asked to take photos and it was a good way to start a conversation with some of the artists.