interview Akos Banfalvi / photos Justice Howard

“I don’t think the rise of the tattoo is just fashion”….AJA HASSETT

 SG:  Please tell us shortly your biography.

Aja Hassett:  My family is very musically and artistically inclined. My dad played guitar and piano, so music really resonates with me. My mother was a model and an artist as well. I’m quite lucky in that aspect so it has really helped to shape the way I view things.


SG: What kind of modeling do you do? And what made you get into modeling?

Aja: I was an Elite model between the age of 12-22 years old. I got to travel all over the world and experience so many different things and cultures and it without doubt that some of these experiences helped to shape the person I am today. It helped that my mother was a model; she always encouraged and inspired me. Also, being six feet tall at the age of twelve didn’t hurt much either.

SG: A typical day in the life of Aja Hassett would be?

Aja:  A typical day for me includes chasing my 3 year old son around, he can be a bit of a handful sometimes, but what 3 year old isn’t a handful, right? Being a mother in itself is very rewarding. My little boy is the best thing in my life! I also love to work on my art, a lot of which is inspired by my son. Whenever I can I love to attend live music shows and go to art exhibits. I’m also a hair and makeup artist by trade. I have a busy, but yet fun life, but in the end I enjoy what I do very much.

SG: The well-known photographer Justice Howard has done some amazing photos of you. Could you tell us about this photoshoot please?

Aja:  I have always been a huge fan of Justice Howard, personally and professionally. She is an amazing photographer and no doubt a force to be reckoned with. I finally got the chance to meet Justice when I went with my friend to a photoshoot. I expressed my desire which I’ve always had to shoot with her and within a couple of months, it finally happened! I’m so lucky!

SG: How did you start collecting your tattoos?

Aja:  I used to be married to a professional piercer, so I was around tattoo shops for years. It made me very selective as to what I put on my body. I met Dejah Garcia at one of the shops he worked at. I love her work and I knew I wanted her to tattoo me and it just so happens that she has done all of the tattoos on my leg! My other friend, Opie a.k.a Ryan Mueller, tattooed the one on my chest.

SG:  Which was your first one? And why did you make it?

Aja:  My first tattoo is the peacock on the back of my leg. Dejah Garcia, who owns Trusted Tattoo Company in Corona, CA did it. And after she did, it was needless to say that she was going to be the artist that would do my whole leg. I chose a peacock because they are beautiful and proud creatures. They are also loud, which I love since I am a bit vocal as well! So overall the work I get done on my body is very symbolic and dear to me.

SG: Among all your tattoos, which one do you prefer and why?

Aja:  I chose my chest piece because I collect Day of the Dead Catrina Dolls and shadow boxes. So having said that, when I saw a Day of the Dead Cherub doll, I used it as inspiration for my tattoo. All of my leg tattoos are Sailor Jerry style. It is all traditional and reminds me of my grandfather. My grandfather was a sailor, so we can say that contributed to my overall choosing.

SG: Have you got an idea of the next one?

Aja:  I already know what my next tattoo will be! I’m having a mermaid holding a baby and I’m going to get it done on my thigh. It represents me and my son.

SG:  What do you think about the rise of tattoo, is it a fashion or a new breath for the body culture?

Aja:  I don’t think the rise of the tattoo is just fashion. I just think that the next generation is more comfortable with their bodies and expressing themselves through art as the canvas of skin.

SG: Finally, any future plans you would like to share with us?

Aja:  The future is exciting for me! I feel like I’m on a new path in life. I am forever grateful for every new opportunity that presents itself to me! I will hopefully be working more with Justice Howard, getting tattooed a lot more by my friends, and just being happy and enjoying life!

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