Claudia De Sabe Highlark

Working out of London’s Seven Doors Tattoo, Claudia De Sabe is especially well versed in Japanese traditional tattooing. So much so that she has developed an entirely fresh take on it, drawing from her own influences and incorporating them into the style. Meshing astrological symbolism with Japanese motif, she creates pieces that dignify age-old techniques and themes found in the traditional sphere while also allowing for improvisation. Her imagery is refreshingly fluid, making for a truly customized tattoo and an equally original message.

One the defining components of Claudia’s portfolio is that of a woman whom she uses as the foundation for a good number of pieces. The recurring image of a Venus-like figure, often surrounded by chrysanthemums and cherry blossoms, is a sound example of the artist’s ability to introduce her own characters into a traditional art form. De Sabe is able to retain the telling compositional elements of Japanese-style work, yet isn’t limited to the standard juxtaposition of flora and fauna that is the core of such tattoos.

The underlying theme of female empowerment found woven through a lot of Claudia’s work is particularly intense. Especially because of the sheer physicality of the tattoo ingrained into the skin, the feminine energy is eternally present both in the design itself and its receiver.

Her penchant for astrology gives her an immensely interesting edge as an artist, especially because she incorporates these enigmatic themes into her art, giving her designs additional dimension and profundity. The pairing of certain symbols provides a sense of harmony, as if the various forces interact on more than a visual level. The composition is calculated, as are the subtle relationships within it.

This is especially obvious in the series of prints Claudia sells through her website, along with apparel. Among other products, there is a collection of Japanese Zodiac prints that perfectly exemplifies Claudia’s ability to see beyond the obvious, both stylistically and conceptually. Her unrestricted understanding is what gives her tattoos their open nature and deep symbolism.

Claudia De Sabe is, above all, unafraid to explore the art of tattooing to its full potential. Instead of adopting a singular style, she has achieved a level of proficiency in many which gives her license to put her own spin on things. The result is a visual narrative, not quite traditional and not quite conventional, but always evolving.


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