The Work Diary of Mira Mariah, Tattoo and ‘Girl Culture’ Expert

In an ideal world, Mira Mariah would always be celebrating.

“I so deeply love parties, and I love how much of parties are about girl culture,” she said in a video interview. “That’s something I love to study, and love to be a part of, and love to talk about, and love to make art about.”

The 28-year-old, who tattoos as @girlknewyork at the Fleur Noire tattoo parlor in Brooklyn, designs art for people who, like herself, want to adorn themselves with symbols of indulgent days and effervescent nights. As proclaimed in her Instagram bio, this makes her not only a tattoo artist but a “girl culture expert.”

Her illustrations are inspired by a world where drunk strangers forge friendships in the bathroom and serendipitous celebrations compel people to pop the bottle of Champagne that’s been sitting in the back of their fridges.

https://www.instagram.com/p/CCUaiTdnNrr/

When not tattooing, Ms. Mariah is raising her daughter, Margot, and translating her work into other media. This year she designed jewelry for Erotikk, neon signs for Yellowpop, and packaging, stickers and temporary tattoos for Fresh beauty products; worked on projects with MeUndies; modeled for Nike; and created an astrological series of temporary tattoos for Inkbox.

“I’m naturally interested in helping people look cool and feel like they look cool,” she said in one of our interviews late last month, “so I wanted to find different ways to get people from Point A to Point B.”

Interviews are conducted by email, text and phone, then condensed and edited.

Tuesday

7:30 a.m. I usually take Sundays and Mondays off, so Tuesdays are the beginning of my workweek. I wake up, make breakfast and grab some cold brew from the fridge. I walk my dogs — a Pomeranian named Sulei and a Chihuahua named Chi Chi. I do some light yoga and get dressed.

11 a.m. I arrive at 250 Broome Street, where I have a space that’s shared with a hair salon.

11:30 a.m. My business manager, Camilla, comes to meet me. She brings six candle samples to review, since we’re trying to develop a scent that feels like “Girl Knew York.” We have the same favorite smell, which is like a spicy-honey-leather scent. I told the candlemakers I wanted something that smells like New York in the morning during the fall, when you’re wearing a leather jacket holding bodega coffee and a cigarette.

1 p.m. We have a call with Nordstrom about a project for the holidays. I want to do more styling and fashion work, and this is a cool opportunity to put this goal into action.

2 p.m. I email photographers and models about a photo shoot for my collaboration with MeUndies while working on the pitch deck. I like to work with mood boards, since they help me visualize which photographers, models, accessories and locations I’d want to use.

4 p.m. I have some mushroom toast with bacon and my third coffee of the day. I like to take some time to gossip and catch up about nonwork things with Camilla.

6:30 p.m. Camilla and I meet with another illustrator and frequent client for a drink. Broome Street has bars with outdoor seating, and it’s a nice 75 degrees in November. I have an espresso martini, and we plan the client’s tattoo of Bob Dylan, which we’re doing on Sunday.

8:30 p.m. I go home to my boyfriend. Margot is already sleeping and my sister is out with her friends, so we get some quiet time. I send emails and look at possible art studios for us to share. He’s getting into making furniture and has been doing quarantine carpentry in his apartment, which is loud, messy and not great for the neighbors.

10:30 p.m. I draw some tattoo flash — predrawn tattoos for people to choose from — for the December booking email, which should have already gone out.

2:16 a.m. I accidentally stay up working on a Nordstrom deck.

Wednesday

7 a.m. I snooze my alarm and sleep in a bit.

8 a.m. After sleeping in, I realize that I forgot to send paperwork to my daughter’s school. I spiral a little about why I always forget details like this! Big guilt!

10:30 a.m. My boyfriend built a table for my shop, so he delivers and finishes it while I meet with my booking girl. She requests 50 pieces of flash for December. I’ve done about 20, so I’ll be drawing tonight.

Noon. I eat a breakfast burrito and buy some supplies for my tattoo shop. I text my friends pictures from the deck that I was working on last night to make sure it’s good.

2 p.m. I FaceTime my photographer. They used to be my daughter’s nanny, and also I used to be in love with them. Now, we’re good friends and work together really well. They agree to shoot my Nordstrom content and possibly my MeUndies content, but I’m not sure if using the same person all the time is weird. I guess it’s OK because Kim Kardashian does it.

4:30 p.m. I draw to make a dent in this endless flash void. My booking girl is spackling the walls because she’s handy, and my daughter is watching “Adventure Time” — more mom guilt, but she seems so happy. I’ll read her extra books at bedtime to make up for this!

7:30 p.m. I get back home, feed the girls dinner and make good on my promise of five bedtime books. I’m really tired and fall asleep in my daughter’s bed halfway through lullabies.

10 p.m. I wake from my accidental nap to draw on the couch while my sister watches “Baby Driver.” I draw some swans that I saw Monday morning when my boyfriend and I drove to Mastic Beach for the sunrise.

Thursday

6:30 a.m. I wake up and bribe my daughter to brush her teeth and hair.

8 a.m. I drop Margot at school. I’m taking cars today because the leg that I wear a prosthetic on is hurting me. I’m wearing a temporary leg until I find a way to get a permanent one through insurance.

9 a.m. I arrive at my shop to paint the walls.

1 p.m. I start my first tattoo appointment of the day, doing a scorpion and woman wrapping around an ankle with flames.

3 p.m. My next client comes in for a spider tattoo. My daughter comes to the studio after school to see me, since I’m going to be working past bedtime, and she’s thrilled to see the spider. After I finish, Margot tells me about her school day while we eat deli sandwiches. I draw some flash while we hang out.

6 p.m. My client cancels at the last minute, so I ask someone from the salon next door to wash and blow out my hair. All my beauty services are on trade, but I still tip generously.

7 p.m. My last client of the evening is so cute; she gets a tattoo of a cloud and an ornate mirror.

9 p.m. I go to my boyfriend’s house to see more of his quarantine carpentry projects before we drive back to my house.

11 p.m. I take a really hot bath — my body is in PAIN! I cracked the temporary prosthetic today while on my knees painting.

Midnight. I should draw and do some emails, but I just go to bed.

Friday

7 a.m. I get up and get myself and my daughter dressed.

9 a.m. After dropping her off, I meet my friend for breakfast. She just started a linen company, so she delivers a set that I ordered. New linens sound nice to me because I think we’re going back into house arrest soon, which is good and healthy for my city but terrifying for my mental and financial health.

10 a.m. I arrive at my shop and add another coat of paint. I style my jewelry collection on the tables so my clients coming in can see them. I send some emails and send out the decks I’ve been working on all week.

2 p.m. My first client comes in for a strawberry tattoo.

4 p.m. My daughter comes to visit me at work! We get food and chat while I post content and draw the design for my next client.

5 p.m. I tattoo a beheaded Marie Antoinette. I listen to the Strokes to honor Sofia Coppola.

7 p.m. After I finish tattooing, my apprentice and I give the shop a good clean. We discuss tattoos that we want to give each other — she’s really young, but I learn so much from her. The notes come back from the project I sent out, and a lot of it will need to be redone. I’m frustrated and FaceTime my business manager, who promises to help and says it’s not a bad thing.

8 p.m. I get home, and my daughter is awake! I’m elated, and we eat Oatly ice cream and dance to Paris Hilton’s “Stars Are Blind.” I put her to bed a little late so I can enjoy my extra time with her.

10 p.m. I don’t watch much TV, but everyone is talking about “The Queen’s Gambit,” so I watch one episode while wearing three Lidocaine patches because my leg is really hurting. I text with my prosthetist about how we can get a new prosthetic approved. I should draw, but I’m in a lot of pain and go to bed.

Saturday

8 a.m. I get up with my daughter and start making adjustments on the project.

10:30 a.m. I do yoga for 10 minutes and give up and get dressed.

12:30 p.m. I think I’m tattooing the most interesting man in the world. He gets a huge leopard with vines instead of spots. I feel so blessed that my clients share so much of their lives with me. He tells me about breaking in horses in Costa Rica, dancing in the “Nutcracker” ballet at West Point and acting in Paris.

4 p.m. My second client comes for a tattoo, but they’re feeling off and I’m feeling off about it. I don’t like to tattoo anything big like that, so I offer them a small tattoo for free and a reschedule.

6 p.m. I’m home just in time! Rosaluna Mezcal gifted me dinner and drinks to share with friends in exchange for posts. My closest friends — my apprentice and business manager and sister — all get really dressed up so it can feel like the old days, when we used to go to parties. We make mezcal Negronis. It’s just girls that have been in my pod since June, but wearing lipstick and eating and dancing is such a luxury these days.

9 p.m. I excuse myself from the dinner party to put my daughter to bed. I lay in her bed sending emails while she falls asleep and then rejoin my friends.

3 a.m. My sister passes out. Everyone goes home, and I go to bed.

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