Tuesday, 19 January 2016


 What does that tattoo mean? Where did you get it? Did it hurt? etc etc etc.

 Anyone with tattoos will know these are common questions to receive.

 First things first I am the realest as I havn't touched up any of these images, we all have rank knees we hate and we all get brusies and shaving cuts so I have left it un touched as this is what my legs look like.

When you have visible tattoos you are inevitably going to get questioned on them, sometimes unwanted attention comes too - but that's just the way it is. By no means am I heavily tattooed but I do have a small collection on my legs; 8 pieces I have collected over the years by different artists in different cities. In my opinion a tattoo doesn't have to mean anything - if you love a design or an image then why not have it with your forever this is the response that can surprise some people that believe a tattoo should always have a meaning; we will agree to disagree on that one.

I thought I'd share mine with you, who did them, pain and meaning if any. All my tattoos are black I personally don't want any colour pieces it's not that I don't like them they just aren't for me. It is such a personal process even down to after care - someone may totally agree or disagree with how I care for mine. My partner looks after his different to how I look after mine, it's just what works for you. It is also extremely important to choose the right artist. I have been tattooed by 6 different artists who I picked because of their personal style.I have travelled just to get tattooed - never just go local just because it's there - shop around.

My first tattoo is my nan's name on my ankle ( not photogrpahed) it is very small. I wanted to commemorate her forever which I later went on to do with a larger piece.

 My Mermaid (top right)

This piece was done by Vicky Morgan at the Ghost House Collective in Derby. It took around 4 hours over two sessions. It was my first 'large' tattoo. I chose Vicky as her style is very feminine and detailed. Most of her work is colour but as I mentioned I prefer black work. There is some white highlight but this fades and dulls naturally. I emailed her and said the kind of idea I wanted, a mermaid sat in a shell and she did the rest. I saw my design on the day of the tattoo and it was love at first sight. This is around 3 years old now - from memory I'd say this was around a 6/10 pain wise. No meaning I just like mermaids.

My Wednesday Addams (top left)

This piece was done by Oliver White in London - he now tattoos at the Crooked Claw Sheffield. I saw this design on Oliver's instagram it was a painting (or maybe a drawing) he had done. I instantly commented asking him to save it for me - it was love at first sight. This tattoo has some meaning; I have always loved the Addams family, I remember when I was a child renting it over and over again with my Dad and I have memories of him whenever I watch The Addams Family so it does in some way represent my Dad. This tattoo took around 4 hours and hurt. There was a lot of whip shading (looks amazing but hurts like a bitch) which is where the needle is almost dug in and flicked out I'd say a solid 8/10.

My Deer (centre right shin)
@ emilyalicejohnston

This was done by my friend Emily Johnston when she tattooed in Nottingham she now works at Into You in London. This was done whilst Emily was an apprentice, I was confident in her work and wanted my friend to tattoo me. This again was a drawing I saw on Emily's Instagram. It took around 2 hours - I love the dot work. No meaning just cute. 4/10 pain wise overall.

My Daisy (left of deer)

This was also done by Emily. This was an idea I took to Emily which she drew for me. I wanted a 'proper' piece to commemorate my Nan. She always used to sing the song 'Daisy, daisy give me your answer do' to me. This tattoo means a lot and I love the design, unfortunately the lettering has 'blown out' slightly but it doesn't bother me and can happen. 5/10 for pain.

My Flowers (set on both leg centre)

These were done by Ashley Draycott at Bodycraft Nottingham. I wanted some cuff style tattoos for a while, Ash is great with the trad style flowers I wanted so took the idea to him and he drew them up for me. These are some of my favourites! Only a 4/10 pain wise I found it very easy to sit and chat whilst being tattooed for these.

My Mountain Scene (left side calf)

This is my most recent piece and it was by Lukasz Christopher at Oddfellows Leeds. I love this piece, the mountains, trees and wreath is just my cup of tea. This is also the only tattoo with 'colour' the centre of the rose is done with grey ink which I actually really like. Again I had followed Lukasz on Instagram for quite awhile and seen this style done by him multiple times. He drew this one up for me and chose the placement, I knew I wanted in on my lower left leg but trusted his opinion for where is would sit best. 4/10 for pain and no meaning.

Aftercare - As I mentioned this is just what I do. I leave the studio with my tattoo wrapped in clingfilm, I leave this on until the following morning. I then remove the clingfilm, wash the tattoo and re wrap. I do this for around 3 days. I then stop with the wrap and let it dry out, as soon as it starts to look dry I use Bepanthan for the first 2 days then move on to cocoa butter.
The only tattoo I didn't do this with and let it dry out and scab was my mermaid and it isn't as black as the rest.

So your taking the plunge - DO YOUR RESEARCH. Find an artist, make sure you have references for them to look at - they are not in your head and their idea of something could be very different from yours.

Be prepared to spend money and expect to pay a deposit, my tattoo spend is ££££ don't expect a sleeve for £100. Don't over think. although you want to be sure if your gut is saying yes just do it. However if you are having doubts - don't. Think about placement you don't want to limit your career - mine have never been a problem and I often wear skirts in a corporate environment.

So that's your lot. I have left the artists Instagram page name after each title so you can check out their work for yourself.



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