Art is one of the greatest interpretations of life–just ask Angela and Vanessa Simmons.
The mogul sisters have digested a myriad of creative expression since before they could talk. “My uncle is an artist, and we’ve been around art of different forms,” Rev Run’s oldest daughter says. “It’s been a heavy influence on my fashion and me as a person in general.”
The Pastry moguls’ knowledge of art’s boundary-less reach resulted in a guest judge spot on Oxygen’s Best Ink, a 10-episode competition reality show where 12 of the best tattoo artists around the country compete for a hefty piece of change ($100,000) and the cover of Tattoo magazine. Ness and her lil’ sis Ang will appear on Wednesday night’s (April 17) episode “Family Affair” to push the remaining 10 artists they stamp their own brand of personal style on a pair of Pastry Shoes.
Vixen caught up with the Simmons siblings to chat about their experience with host Pete Wentz, their favorite personal ink means and the piece of non-skin art they’ve got their eyes on. — Niki McGloster
VIBE Vixen: How’d you guys got involved with Best Ink?
Vanessa: Tattooing and fashion are just different forms of people expressing themselves through art, so we thought it would be cool to kind of sync the two.
How was it working during taping with Pete Wentz?
Angela: We had funny moments for sure!
This particular episode is about originality, so how has art inspired your original style?
V: All forms of art inspire me in different types of ways. It’s all different people expressing themselves, being individuals, being original.
A: Yeah. Art is pretty is much throughout everything that we do, as an artist. You need that for inspiration.
You’re uncle is an artist and art curator. Can you tell me about your first experience with visual art?
V: My Uncle Danny is an incredible artist, so we got to go these art shows and experience that at a young age. We have a really high appreciation for art, and those experiences just kind of opened my eyes to the beauty of art visually.
Dope. Tell me a specific art piece or a tattoo that’s recently stood out to you and describe it as best you can.
V: I’m obsessed with this piece that’s [covered with] crystallized diamond dust over a Marilyn Monroe piece–so incredible. [Every time I see it] I have to stop and look in.
Girls love Marilyn!
V: Yes, ultimate girly girl, man.
A: I’ve been getting really into art lately. There’s an Andy Warhol piece that I really want called “Shoes” and also this Chanel bottle that he did.
V: Ang, remember that Chanel mural we saw? It’s just a canvas of all luxurious pearls. It’s incredible.
Going back to the artists on the show. Which one was your favorite?
Vanessa: All of the artists were pretty incredible and created really cool pieces for the sneakers that we gave them. It was hard to choose one person because we respect artists so much.
I know both of you ladies have tats. Which is your favorite one?
A: I have nine tattoos. My favorite is the one Mr. Cartoon did for me on my side. It’s just something that I like to live by.
V: Well I have just one that Angela pressured me into getting [laughs], ‘Don’t be a punk, just get one!’ It’s just a little pink heart behind my ear.
Angela, you’re the wild child.
A: What?! I’m not the wild one [laughs]. They’re all very hidden and no one can see them.
Is that your advice for other women? For tats to be discreet?
A: No, I think everyone is different. Just make sure you want it because going through the laser treatment to get it off is not cool. Some females have a lot of tattoos and it looks cool on them. I love all my tats so I’m okay–make sure it means something. In another life, I would love to have a sleeve.
Each of you ladies have projects outside of Pastry going on. Any updates?
V: The lingerie line isn’t current with me now. I’m just trying to focus on acting and other future fashion endeavors. Soon enough there’ll be something coming.
A: I have an e-commerce site coming soon on my website, which I launched a few weeks ago, so there’ll be cool fashion pieces and accessories. I’ve been having a lot of fun with that. There’ll be something coming out from my clothing line before this year is up as well.