A mother, a small business owner, and a tattoo artist. Panumart Ahm is the owner of Panumart Tattoo in Chiang Mai, Thailand.
Q: Being a mom and a full-time professional is a challenging task, what advice do you give to other working mothers out there?
A: As any working mom will know, balancing parenting with a career is not easy at all. As mothers we are dedicated people, but it is hard to give it your all in the sense that if you try your best to focus on your children, you’ll likely be doing less than stellar at work.
Or if you focus your attention on work, then you’ll likely have little time for your kids. I do my best to make this balancing act work. That means giving it my all at work, but knowing when to pull the plug and say “the rest can be done tomorrow.” That’s when it’s time to be a mom, close my mind to work, and focus on my love.
Q: the tattoo industry is largely run by males, how has it been as a female in this macho man world?
A: Everything I do, I do it my way. It doesn’t bother me that most tattoo artists are men, nor do I worry about trying to fit into the “hardcore” world. I am a girl. I like sweet things. I’m not hardcore. I don’t care about the things I’m not. I just stay true to myself and try to be the best me that I can. It surely helps, though, that I have my own tattoo shop and don’t have to work for someone else.
Q: You come from Thailand, one of the most popular tourist countries in the world. What can you tell us about your country?
A: Most of my customers are foreigners, so I’ve had a chance to see how outsiders look at my home.
What I can say is that Thailand actually is a very diverse place. We have many different cultural and ethnic groups. Our towns, cities and villages differ greatly. We have many different environments.
I’d recommend anyone coming to Thailand to visit a rural locale. There you’ll get a very interesting look at Thailand. My home of Chiang Mai is a great place to visit because we have many modern amenities, without being a big city. Plus we are surrounded by really nice mountains, waterfalls, and other natural scenery. To reach a farm or a village doesn’t take much of a drive.
Q: Whether someone is looking to get a tattoo in Chiang Mai, Thailand or anywhere else, what would you recommend to them when it comes to finding an artist?
A: First you’ve got to know what style of tattoo you want. Tattooing is all about styles. Many great artists actually specialize in only one style of art. So you could hypothetically go to a great artist and leave with a bad tattoo if the styles don’t match.
Beyond that, check their work to make sure it’s up to your quality. Give a look to see if their shop looks clean. And if possible, try to interact with them to see you mesh together. Because when you’re spending hours in pain, its better when you get along with the person inflicting it.