Dan’s Papers Cover Artist Jackee Sandelands-Strom Talks Tattoos & Painting

February 28, 2020 Dan's Papers cover art (detail) by Jackee Sandelands-Strom
February 28, 2020 Dan's Papers cover art (detail) by Jackee Sandelands-Strom

Jackee Sandelands-Strom, who moved to the United Kingdom in 2014 after living in the United States her whole life, lives and breathes art. In addition to her painting, Sandelands-Strom is also a talented tattoo artist, inking dynamic and intricate work on clients.

Jackee Sandelands-Strom in her studio
Jackee Sandelands-Strom in her studio

What was the inspiration for this piece?
The inspiration for this painting was simply watching a bouquet of fresh roses start to wither. The way the petals started to curl and the tones started to change was beautiful and fascinating so I felt like I needed to paint it, delicately caressed by the hand that cared for it.

Talk about your artistic process.
I don’t really have much of an artistic process, or if I do, it’s too ingrained to realize it is a process. I am inspired by things on a daily basis, whether by their color or their texture, and when I sit to paint, I get excited just to try to accomplish the complexity of what I’ve seen. I pick my references—often I get photos on my cellphone of people out and about—and I keep them nearby while I start to try to capture the tones and textures of that experience.

Tell us about your art studio, The Keep.
The Keep is a collaborative studio with my husband, Tom Strom, who is an amazing artist and tattoo artist, and our good friend Elliott Wells, a very successful tattooer from England. We inspire and challenge each other daily to push the limits of all the creative outlets we have, and we have a good time doing it. We are based in Edinburgh, Scotland, although Tom and I are originally from America. I am a dual citizen between the U.S. and U.K. We have lived away from the States since 2014 and have been in Scotland since the beginning of 2017.

How does your artistic process with fine art differ from tattoo art?
The fine art process is a bit more freeing for me, as I paint what I want to paint, versus styling a tattoo specifically for someone. Other than that, my painting process doesn’t really compare to tattooing, I don’t think anyone would have the patience to allow as many layers as I do in a painting to be tattooed on them. But as most people familiar with my work know, I am inspired by the tattoo world and love painting tattoos.

See more of Jackee Sandelands-Strom’s work on Instagram @sandelands and at thekeepedinburg.com.

February 28, 2020 Dan's Papers cover art by Jackee Sandelands-Strom
February 28, 2020 Dan’s Papers cover art by Jackee Sandelands-Strom

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