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Every little thing you do is magic, Callie Little

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Callie Little — Photo by Alana Morgan
Callie Little — Photo by Alana Morgan

Multidisciplinary artist and writer Callie Little is publishing a book and tarot deck titled Every Little Thing You Do Is Magic alongside their friend and author Moorea Seal. The tarot deck, illustrated by Little, which is focused around personal growth and mental health, is set to release on Aug. 6.

That's the least interesting thing about Little, though. They work a day job as a tattoo artist; host a podcast on the intersection between mental health and spirituality; have done freelance work for a plethora of news sites, including NPR; and have background as a sex educator.

"Sometimes when people ask me what I do, I say, 'I know it's going to sound like I'm lying at some point,'" Little said.

Photo by Isabella Sofia Photography  

In 2020, Little drew a self-portrait and asked their followers on Instagram if anyone would commission a portrait. The offer was well received. Then, while getting a tattoo from a close friend at Good Habits, the latter said it would be fun if Little tattooed them. The friend did all the sanitation and setup, and told Little how to tattoo.

"I said, 'I feel like I'm really good at this,' and I went home and I ordered sanitation supplies and got my bloodborne pathogen certificate that same night," Little said.

They work at that same tattoo shop now, where they emphasize a culture of safety. For people who have never gotten a tattoo before especially, Little walks them through the process and tells them what's happening and why. That culture of safety, they say, is very Queer.

"The tattoo landscape is so varied. I think for so many of us who have a lot of tattoos, we've had the experience of going into a walk-in shop and having some guy unexcitedly accept our idea and then tattoo us like we're a piece of meat and not treat us very kindly. Then we're done, and we give them our money," Little said. "When we're offering our bodies and our pain and our money, that's so many things to give someone."

The clientele Little attracts seems to be looking for that type of community, too.

Creativity, spirituality, and Queer identity
Once someone has been comfortable with their identity for an extended period of time, it's impossible not to see things through that lens, Little says. They personally view everything through a Queer lens.

"I think creativity and spirituality are the exact same thing," Little said. "The spirit of creation is just inherent to being alive and to express oneself. That's Queer as hell."

They've noticed a resurgence of tarot and astrology, which a lot of people are starting to practice or have been practicing.

"I think the world of spirituality offers a lot of freedom of exploration and acceptance that so many folks who are Queer ... struggle with," Little said. "I always say you can't be Queer in Seattle without knowing your full birth chart. You will get your Queer card revoked."

A storytelling future
Little is working on different forms of storytelling. They're already writing their second book, which they say is likely to be a memoir and graphic novel covering the topics of travel, sexual assault, and healing.

"I've been really slowly working on that concept, because that is an incredible art form that I've loved for so long but I haven't studied. I'm really working on those concepts as a storyteller," Little said.

For now, they hope people get joy out of the tarot deck and book in August.

"I'm hoping that they love the wildly textural vibe that we're bringing. There's so much art," Little said.

Their advice to those trying to start a creative endeavor is to just give it a whirl.

"Being open to learning and trying something and letting it change you is what I think makes my life and career fun. Whenever people ask me, 'How are you doing all these things?' I [say I] can't help but play around with stuff," they said.