We chatted to 28-year-old Lucy Keegan aka Stylicorn about exploring her creativity with a new career venture as a hair stylist and her pastel cute tattoo collection…
Lucy styling at a BMW event
I was 18 when I got my first tattoo. It was a koi carp on my lower back. I’d just rocked up to a local studio with a picture off the internet, it was on a whim and it took me around seven years to get anymore. Although I loved the tattoo at the time, it didn’t age well. I’ve since had it covered with a gorgeous piece by Lucy O’Connell. Using Instagram opened me up to a world of amazing tattoo artists, and I just fell in love. It feels really important to me to have these lasting pieces of artwork, and they have helped me to make my body beautiful. I’ve had a tough few years with the loss of my mum in 2013 and lots of health issues, and I’ve found tattoos give me back a control over my body and my life.
Most of my tattoos are very ‘me’ –girly, colourful and cute. Some have personal meanings, my anchor is linked to a quote ‘hope is the anchor for my soul’ , which Harriet Heath created from a picture I painted for my mum while she was ill, and my match was inspired the by the Paramore song ‘Last Hope’. Others, such as my fan and my jackalope, were designs artists posted on Instagram and I fell in love with. Most are purely for the fun of it, such as my piece of cake and my happy doughnut! I always enjoy the collaboration process between the artist and myself, and knowing that I can email them and ask for ‘a girly, feminist, amazing, sparkly sailor moon tattoo’ and get just that!
I really admire all the amazing female artists out there, and it’s great to see them grow in popularity. Two ladies who are very special to me are Lucy O’Connell and Abbie Williams, because I know they will always create beautiful pieces for me, and they have both tattooed me numerous times. They are also both super lovely ladies! I met Sarah Terry at the Brighton Tattoo Convention in 2013, and have followed her progress as an apprentice since then. Her dedication to the craft is amazing and I was so happy to finally get tattooed by her in January this year.
I am booked in for another tattoo with Lucy in April, and I’m hoping to grab something at Brighton this year too. I’ve got lots of artists on my list for future work, such as Katie Shocrylas, Onnie O’Leary and Shannan Meow.
@lucylucyhorsehead & @charlotte_eleanor88
I was originally a Primary school teacher, but after five years I wanted a new direction. I’m a very creative person, and I felt like teaching was trying to squish me into a tiny box. Plus tattoos are still frowned upon as ‘unprofessional’ in teaching, so I was getting mine in places that couldn’t be seen. I’d always wanted to get into hairdressing, so last year I was brave enough to leave teaching and retrain at the London Hair Academy in Shoreditch. It was an amazing experience and I’ve been taught by such great tutors who are still in the business. My dream is to become a session stylist, and to work on magazine shoots, music videos, film and TV. So although my day job is as an assistant in a salon (Matthew Cross Hairdressing) while I complete my training, I take on freelance styling work, such as a recent event for BMW. Hairdressing is not 9-5, I spend evenings and my days off doing hair for friends and family, but I love every second of it. Countless people have told me how happy I look, and although its hard work starting from the bottom, I’m excited about the journey ahead.
Red carpet hair- I won 1st place in my college competition and have now been nominated for Level 2 British Hairdressing Student of the Year
There is no dress code at my salon, and lots of stylists have tattoos so I don’t worry about them being on show. Most of mine you will only see if I’m wearing a dress or a skirt, so it’s funny when people notice them for the first time. To be honest I get more comments about my hair, which is my little pony colours!
ninety nine percent of the reactions I’ve got have been positive. People always comment on how girly and colourful they are, and like to ask about what they mean. I like how engaging having tattoos can be, and it always creates a conversation. The only real negative I feel is when people don’t respect your boundaries if you are tattooed. I’ve had a couple of men pull at the back of my dress and stare at my back tattoo while in bars or at work, which makes me really angry. I don’t mind showing my tattoos if I’m asked, but nobody has the right to touch you without your permission.
I think it’s really important to consider your career when you get a tattoo, and also think about the fact that you might change your career in the future. As a teacher, it was not acceptable for me to have tattoos on show, so I always had mine covered up. Now my job is accepting of tattoos, but I have yet to take the plunge and have any really visible ones. You don’t have to have tattoos on show to enjoy them, as for me that’s not what they are about. Although tattoos are much more common, especially on girls, they are still seen negatively by society in a lot of ways. I always advise people to think carefully about any tattoo before they get it, because it’s a lifetime commitment.