Home Life Series

Inside the Mornington Peninsula home of fine line tattoo artist, Kate Landry

This week on the Home Life Series we’re hanging out with the extremely talented and cool tattoo artist Kate Landry, AKA @kalula_tattoo. 

Known for her delicate, fine line tattoo designs mostly exploring the natural world; the sun, seas and flora and fauna, Kate’s unconventional method of tattooing is what sets her apart. Specialising in the ancient stick & poke technique, this unique process is completely hand rendered, demonstrating her incredible skill, creativity and attention to detail. 

Join us as we tour through Kate’s Mornington Peninsula home, where her love for tranquil views and abundant native wildlife is evident in every corner. We also deep dive into what fuels her creative energy and some seriously gorgeous art adorning her walls!

Photography by @under.my_umbr_ella

Hi Kate! We are long time fans of your incredible work, with many Kip&Co employees inked with your designs! For those who haven't heard of you, can you please introduce yourself and what you do?

Of course, first thank you for having me part of this incredible series. My name is Kate and have been tattooing under the name Kalula since 2015. I use an unconventional method of tattooing which is called stick and poke. I specialise in fine line designs exploring mostly flora and fauna. I work out of Fine Line Tattoos in Carlton but have grown up on the Mornington Peninsula, where I still live today with my beloved golden retriever Theo.

Talk us through your career journey thus far - was becoming a tattoo artist something you’ve always wanted to do?

Growing up I always knew I wanted to do something creative, but I didn’t necessarily have a direct plan into the job I have now. I started drawing as soon as I could hold a pencil, I have always been attracted to creating, and find it to be an essential part of life. My dad, an artist himself, made me draw every day for at least half an hour. Through tantrums and tears I learned a valuable lesson about consistency and putting in the time to see growth in craft. 

Before tattooing was my main squeeze, I spent most of my days working on portraits, obsessed with faces, I would work hours and hours on the one drawing. As well as working with realism I would pick up jobs along the way with logo design, murals and commissions. Saying yes to each opportunity that came my way gave me a lust for using new mediums and increasing the range of style within my portfolio. Tattooing friends just as a social hoot quickly turned to a full-time job. 

I have been given great opportunities along the way, Cholo from Fine Line Tattoos really took me under his wing and help set off my career. Being self-taught in a newly popular medium, has helped me gain a unique style within the industry. I like to work with custom pieces for each client based on their brief or vision and the delicate result of stick and poke with its connections to an ancient art form. I find that being a female artist in the tattoo industry is an amazing thing. I get to really empathise with my clients from a female energy. I enjoy hearing their stories and making connections with people of all walks of life. There is no better feeling than seeing a client leaving the shop with a big smile on their face!

Shop the look

Your work specialises in the good old ‘stick & poke’ technique. What can you tell us about this traditional tattoo method and why would you recommend it?

Stick & Poke is an ancient hand laboured style of body art. Completed by repeated poking motions to deposit the ink under the skin. It is a less intrusive method of tattooing, which can be less painful but can be a slower process. The result is a unique look that can be thick bold tattoos or fine and detailed. Completely hand rendered with care. 

Tattooing is an ancient feminine art form, only women of royal blood were allowed to practice the art of tattooing. I find this an empowering fact as a female artist in the modern day.

Your Mornington Peninsula home (with a seriously epic view) feels like the perfect place to inspire, create and stimulate the brain. What consistently fuels your creative energy?

I feel very lucky waking up to this view every morning. The natural light and openness of this home provides the perfect space to create. This balcony is constantly being visited by cockatoos, king parrots, butcher birds, even a baby Currawong, which may play a part in why native birds make their way into my design work. Whenever I feel creatively fatigued a beach walk, cooking a yummy meal or reading always help.

How would you describe your interior aesthetic? What are the special touches or pieces that make your space feel like home?

My interior aesthetic is such a mish mash. One day I can be a maximalist and the next a minimalist. I’m constantly moving things around but just love surrounding myself with trinkets that remind me of a certain memory or loved one. I am inspired by Danish (Hygge) and Japanese culture, keeping things clean and uncluttered. But there is always space for a new book or plant. In the words of Steve Carrell "I love lamp". I feel like a home can never have too many lamps. A comfy space, in dim warm lighting with a cup of tea is my kind of heaven!

Shop the look

You’ve got some serious art hanging on the walls - can you tell us a bit about your collection and why they resonate with you?

I am always on the lookout for interesting artwork and how any piece can change the feeling of a room. A lot of my friends are artists and photographers so I don’t have to look far for interesting imagery.

What does a day-in-the-life of a tattoo artist look like?

Lots of positives like slow mornings walking my dog and yummy breakys, but it also means long hours and late nights. But I am so lucky to get to do what I do!

We're dying to know, are there any new and exciting projects in the pipeline?

I have a few things in the pipeline but am wantng to expand and start using different methods of creatvity. More drawings on paper and designing some fun merch. Also keep your eyes peeled for some interstate guest spots.