I had my first tattoo aged 17 and it was on my hand! It was tiny a little butterfly from Bambi, which has since been covered. I always found them fascinating and knew that I wanted at least one – it has now turned into quite a lot. I can’t say I remember seeing many on other people, and it was a good few years until they became more mainstream. I suppose it was when I started to meet friends who worked in the tattoo industry and who had a lot of tattoos that I started to collect more and more. I think this is due to feeling more comfortable in my own skin and finding good artists that I trusted. I’m pretty lucky that with my job in the hairdressing industry, I’m allowed to have them in visible places, although I think in general employers are becoming slightly more relaxed about tattoos.
My first experience with a really good artist was Wink Evans, in Norwich, who is amazing and responsible for a considerable amount of my tattoos – pretty much all of my right arm and a flamingo piece on my left calf. He works at Factotum.
I guess I prefer being tattooed by people who are local to me, as it is easier to make appointments and get work done. Norwich has some brilliant artists, so I don’t need to go further afield. I do have pieces from other artists – Eric Michalovicand Dawnii Fantana, but this was at Norwich Body Art Festival or guest spots.
I’m currently being tattooed by Brad Ward from Factotum, who did the Russian dolls on my shins and the man and lady with animals on their heads and J’adore on my lower fingers. I really like his style and have been super happy with all my work by him and plan on more.
The fact I had tattoos before I knew much about it has left me with a few that I’m not so keen on… I have had one covered up by Mike Boyd at Indigo in Norwich and it’s amazing and no one ever notices the cherries that were there before! I plan on dealing with the rest at some point in the future.
My style is colour, the brighter the better! I get inspiration from all around me, sometimes it is things I see, tattoos on other people or even things I read! I’m not one of these people who really think about what they want and research it – I just have an idea and then want it done as soon as possible.
I get asked if my tattoos have meanings quite a lot and they don’t really, I like them and that’s why I get them.
I have lots more planned for the future! The main thing being a back piece which will cover up some horrible pink tribal I had when I was 19. I’ve been thinking about it for a long time now, but know it is something I’m going to have to commit to, and before that I have lots of smaller projects I’d like to get finished.
My favourite tattoo is whichever one is my latest one, so right now the man with the fox on his head.