Big Star

Mandalay’s First Female-Run Tattoo Studio

In 2016 that dream came true with the opening of Big Star, Mandalay’s first female-run tattoo shop. Kyal Sin Su, the founder of Big Star is a trained pharmacist, but since she was a kid she has been interested in painting and drawing. After getting her first tattoo, she was hooked but never thought she could make a career out of it.

Kyal Sin Su also claimed that she started the studio in April 2016 with the name Big Star Tattoo Studio one month after having a painting class.

Thanks to the Internet, and with the encouragement of her friends, Kyal Sin was able to learn the basics online and invested in her first tattoo gun. Her friends, mostly girls who were too shy to go to male artists, let her practice on them.

She loved it and really proud of the art.

She was creating and she had confidence in herself as a tattoo artist. Still, opening her own shop seemed almost impossible. In a field dominated by men, she was alone.

Thanks to word of mouth, she was able to launch Big Star in April last year and has not looked back. She has done everything from detailed black-and-white portraits to whimsical, colorful cartoons. And thanks to her high quality work, Big Star is starting to attract male customers, although for the time being, the majority of her clients are female. To her, the work is rewarding and she is happy to have satisfied customers. But she does hope that other women in Myanmar will also have the courage to become tattoo artists.

Nowadays customers were mostly foreigners. She said she sees tattoo as an art and now that she could support her family with her income, they eventually accept her career as a tattoo artist.