L’ain Freefall is a lifelong Doc’s wearer and internationally renowned tattoo artist. She first fell in love with tattoos aged eight, when she saw the classic Chow Yun-Fat film ‘God of Gamblers’ in which the female lead reveals her extensively inked shoulder before a kicking ass in a fight scene. L’ain’s elegant tattoo aesthetic – liberally demonstrated on her own skin – combines tribal and historical influences and she now tattoos in some of the best studios around the globe. In our new #WORNDIFFERENT campaign, she wears the tough Beaumann boot. Read on to discover more about L’ain…
Dr. Martens: How did you first discover tattooing?
L’ain: I’ve always been exposed to tattoos and started getting tattooed as soon as I could. I was 23 when I was given my apprenticeship and 25 when I started tattooing full time. A bit late for someone in my generation but I’m glad that I’d worked enough to know that this is really what I wanted to do. The pressure was on to not give up and work harder.
What was your big career break?
I’m tattooing. That’s my break. I’ve been given the opportunity to do what I really love, everything else is a bonus.
I wanted to be tattooed because it made me feel confident that I had control.
What is it that you love about tattoos?
I don’t really know anymore. When I first started getting tattooed, it was just cool to me. I wanted to be tattooed because it made me feel confident that I had control of [my body] and what I want.
Then through my apprenticeship, I realised it was so much more than that. I became part of a tribe and a family of my choice. The tattoos I have on me are a constant reminder of what I’ve learned over the years, through the artists and friends that I’ve met and partners that I fell in love with. The tattoos themselves may not mean anything… but the story behind them during the time I had them tattooed tells the best story.
What makes a good tattoo?
In my opinion, strong clean lines, good contrast, mainly a good use of black, clean and bold.
Where’s your favourite place in the world?
I haven’t figured it out yet. I’m still living on the road but I find, right now, it’s wherever I’m with the people I love.
How would you describe your personal style?
I’ve tried to change my style many times. I used to work in fashion and always felt pressure to fit in then you fall in to the trap of trying to be more of what you think others want you to be but I always end up in what makes me comfortable. Usually all in black. Skinny jeans or print leggings and a T shirt or vest of some kind. Staple Dr. Martens boots, Made in England’s usually.
Do you remember your first pair of Doc’s?
[They were a] 90s black 16 hole. When my friends have baby showers, I’ll be the one buying the baby’s first pair.
How do you feel when you wear Dr. Martens?
I feel like me, boots are a staple part of me. I wear them throughout the year even when I’m in the desert. Wind, rain or shine.
I truly stand for happiness. Genuine love, friendship, family and fun times.
What do you stand for?
Serious tattooers. Me. I’ve survived a lot in life and I’m getting older. It’s been tough, fun, sometimes a let down. I truly stand for happiness. Genuine love, friendship, family and fun times.
Discover the rest of the #WORNDIFFERENT cast