V A D E L M A

Natalie’s story. From Architecture to Tattoos!

 

Hello Everyone, it’s Natalie Vadelma here! 

 

Getting a tattoo is a big thing. Choosing the right tattoo artist for Your specific needs is crucial to be satisfied with the project in the long term. You will have that ink for your whole life, and as some people say “Only time should be the right measurement of beauty and artistic value”. It is especially true for architecture, music, paintings, movies and yes! tattoos! I am sure, You can easily recall some true artistic masterpieces that constantly shine with greatness. What was it in Your case? What appeared in Your mind? 

 

My Biography ( short version )

 

I have been drawing my whole life. Paper, pencil and crayons used to be my favorite toys. Flowers, plants and leaves – where my favorite objects to sketch. I began to learn how to draw professionally as a teenager. I attended to “Studio Rysunku Gabriel and Kos,” a drawing school in my hometown Opole/Poland. It was a 3-years extracurricular course that prepared people for architectural studies. It gave me a strong foundation to develop my style of tattooing. 

 

From 2013-2017

I studied Architecture in Gliwice, graduating with the title of engineer-architect. In the meantime during the last years of studies, I did my internship and first job in one of the local architectural offices. At that point I realized that my true self is craving for real artistic expression and architecture is not for me. 

In mid 2017

I moved for the first time abroad – to Rotterdam and then to Schiedam. As a result, I reconnect with my artistic passion. With a little help from Simon Vadelma, I decided to give tattoos a try. I attended a tattoo school in Cracow. Great, complex lessons with an experienced teacher. That’s how it all has begun. 

In 2021

I moved to Helsinki. It was a wonderful practice for me, and what’s more importantly, Vadelma Tattoo was born there. From the sketch and plan to the grand opening in fall of 2021 in Turku – 4th largest city in Finland. Since that time, Simon has been working and tattooing with me.

 

After almost 3 years in the Nordic Country, I decided to live in Amsterdam. There is something about the Netherlands that I truly love and wanted to come back to. 

Vadelma Tattoo re-opened on the 1st February 2024 in Amsterdam. It is located on the Bilderdijkstraat 77. 

In my free time, I enjoy drawing ( never get enough ), long walks and a good coffee. 

 

My Biography ( long version )

 

I was born in the mid 90’s in the south-west part of Poland. From early childhood, honestly, as long as I remember, I was interested in drawing and doing creative stuff. I could spend whole days with the pencil and paper, being the happiest child in the world! Good for my parents! Eat, sleep, draw – repeat! Not too much changed over the years, still working to develop my work. Parallel to that – I attended a majorette dance group for a couple of years. It teached me perseverance and awareness of the importance of training and sport. Our biggest achievement with this group was to represent Poland in the EXPO 2008 in Zaragoza, Spain. I knew that I wanted to connect the artistic/creative part of me with my future profession, but the first choice was not a tattoo artist.

 

I decided to become an architect!

 

Easier to say, than to make. Even though I could draw very well. I needed a teacher to guide me. Luckily, there is a drawing school in my hometown where I attended for almost 3 years. We had lessons on the weekends. Drawing for 6-8 hours, plus homework. I learned a lot about the secrets of drawing there. It really shaped the way I make tattoos. I literally draw on skin with a tattoo machine, that’s why I decided to do freehand tattoos too. It is impossible to fake it, either You can draw or not. 

 

At the university where I wanted to study, there was ( probably still is ) a separate, additional entry exam ( plus normal final exams of high school, including math!). It is a drawing exam with an unknown topic to the very last second. My group received a poem ( not kidding! ) and our task was to draw a staircase based on our own interpretation of that poem. I know how it sounds, but in reality it is a great creative exercise that helps expand Your thinking. Plus – examinations see immediately how artful new students are. 

 

Few years at the university went by and I graduated as a bachelor in architecture. 

 

I am grateful for those years. So much did I learn there! It wasn’t always easy, but it was worth it. Architecture is a beautiful topic. It is all around us and defines the space where we live, how we feel there and how we, as a human being, function in cities, towns, societies. Maybe I will tell You something more about that period of my life, but let’s leave it for another time. First job! Ok, more internship. I started working in a small architecture studio that specializes in custom projects of single-family houses. From the very beginning, they gave me my own clientele and my own projects to make ( Thanks for trust! As I know, they are still standing! ).

 

The work itself was good, but something deep inside me was telling me – it is not the THING that I want to do in my life. Luckily, I know Simon at that point ( You know him too! For probably the most beautiful, minimalistic text tattoos! ), and he encouraged me to try something different. It’s not that architecture is not creative and artistic, but the technical part is huge too! I didn’t want that compromise. So, did I change everything? Quit my Job ( Internship ) and become a world famous tattooer in a split second? 

 

Not so fast 🙂 

 

First, we decided to go to Rotterdam ( my first time in the Netherlands ). Original idea was to go there for a few months, find some job and see what happens. For a while, I was struggling to find work in architecture, and it was the time when Simon was constantly saying to me that I should try out something different. And he told me that I should start tattooing! My first thought was : “No Way! I was studying soo hard and so long to become an architect, and I won’t stop, just because the very beginning wasn’t a piece of cake!” 

 

Second : “Hmn, What if .. ?

 

I am trying to be flexible and open minded. It is in my opinion one of the most important things in life. Especially nowadays, when we are in front of the 4th Industrial Revolution, with AI, Chat GPT, fast growing technologies and changes. The only constant thing in life is change, isn’t it? In my case it was maybe a bit easier, because I liked tattoos before. I didn’t have to force myself to it. It was a genre of art that I admired and respected, partly because I know how much time people need to sacrifice to achieve a level of mastery in any given profession. Partly, because making a tattoo is always a one-take action! No eraser, no second chance! There is some deep meaning in this and specific metaphor of life. If You fail to prepare, You prepare to fail. 

With my scholar mindset ( Hermione Granger from HP was my idol in childhood ), I found a tattoo course! Very good one. Based in Cracow/Poland. One week of intense mentoring. Plus necessary portfolio ( they required real drawing skills, and showing Your work before agreeing to take You to that course. What lovely times! No rubbish about teaching You how to be a tattooer in 2 days! ), and of course a huge fee! Across that week, I had lessons about the hygienic protocol, technicalities, basic techniques, anatomy, trials on fake skin and much more! ( Yes, topic for another blog! ). The course ended up making Your first tattoo ( of course with Your mentor and full  guidance ) on a volunteer ( Simon in this case ). 

 

This is how my journey began.

 

Autumn 2018. I am extremely thankful for the support I received those days from my closest people! Now, I couldn’t imagine myself not tattooing! For me, it is the best connection between my passion and work. 

Seeing happy people, who trust me with their skin is great! Making beautiful floral tattoos and sharing art with others feels like changing the world around me for better. “Little by little, inch by inch” – as John Mayer sings in one of his songs. For me every project is important, because it is a representation of myself. To accept a design, first I need to feel good with it. After a few years of tattooing, and much more of drawing itself, I have a clear vision of art I want to create. Imagine a famous singer. Let’s say Harry Styles. People admire his music, not because he plays everything from jazz to death metal and tries to satisfy every single person on the planet, but because Harry Styles is consistent, he is characteristic. He is not trying to mimic someone else, and his fans respect that. 

 

Same is true in the world of tattoos.

 

If I chose to specialize in floral tattoos, I did it for a reason. I love flowers ( basically most plants count too, for example many trees have awesome leaves, that look great as a tattoo – just a small digression ) and I feel good drawing and tattooing them. That’s why I decided to master that specific topic and be the best version of myself as a floral tattoo artist. 

It gives me a big advantage. I treat every project as a great learning opportunity. I also  somehow study previous tattoos, to make them even better in future.  Big focus on details and anatomy of the natural flowers, how they are “built” in reality and how they should be transferred to a project. I am passionate about it and eager for more. Tattoo sessions are a pick on an iceberg of the massive amount of time and effort that I spend constantly improving myself. In the studio, customers see “only” crème de la crème – which is obviously the tattoo, but it took me, and basically everybody who are professionals in their genre, years and years of deliberate practice to achieve such results. It is a never ending story and I am grateful to all the people who are there with me, helping to write new chapters. 

 

See You in the Studio! 

Natalie Vadelma 

 

“Tattoos that matter – for people who care” 

 

 Delicate flower tattoo Amsterdam
 Floral tattoos - Amsterdam
 Floral tattoos - Amsterdam
 Floral tattoos - Amsterdam
 Floral tattoos - Amsterdam
 Floral tattoos - Amsterdam
 Floral tattoos - Amsterdam
 Floral tattoos - Amsterdam
 Floral tattoos - Amsterdam
 Floral tattoos - Amsterdam
 Floral tattoos - Amsterdam
 Floral tattoos - Amsterdam
 Floral tattoos - Amsterdam
 Floral tattoos - Amsterdam
 Floral tattoos - poppy flower Amsterdam
 Floral tattoos - poppy flower Amsterdam
 Floral tattoo - poppy flower Amsterdam
 Flower tattoos Amsterdam
 Floral tattoo Amsterdam
 Floral tattoo | Forget-me-not flowers 1
 Floral tattoo | Forget-me-not flowers 2
 Olive branch - floral tattoo Amsterdam
 Lily of the valley - tattoo Amsterdam
 Iris flower - tattoo Amsterdam
 Delicate peonies tattoo - Amsterdam
 Poppy tattoo - Amsterdam