Ancient Egypt It Was Probably Cleopatra

pattern work but it's done in a totally different way, and 1 love it. It's his, you can see his stuff from a mile. Absolutely love it. Erm...other people..,! mean obviously Bob Tyrrell, you've gotta love his stuff as it's just brilliantly done. Joshua Carlton, really unusual approach to things. Almost kind of like watercolour? But with a real depth in there, really nice. Who else? There's so many coming out aren't there.

I HAD A PHONE (AIL YESIIBOAY FROM SOMEONE ASKING TO SEND PHOTOGRAPHS INTO SKIN DEEP, WHICH OF COURSE WE GET A LOT. AND I LOOKED ON THE WEBSITE ANO HER STUFF WAS INCREDIBLE. AND I'D NEVER HEARD OF HER BEFORE. Yeah, it is scary how many good artists are coming out now. I think it's good because it makes you ,as an artist, go, "Right, I've just gotta get better, better, better." My style that I'm trying develop, that you can probably see, is this combination of pattern work and realism, which isn't done very much.

YOU'LL PROBABLY FINS IK THE NEXT YEAR OR SO PEOPLE TRYING THE SAME THIHG.

Yeah, exactly, I can see it coming. As long as I initiated it! (laughs) As long as people know that! I'm persuading people into it It's one of those tilings where people come in with definite ideas and you say, "Well how about.,." and more often that not they will go with it.

HAVING LOOKED AT YOUR PORTFOLIO AND YOUR ARTWORK YOU CAN SEE IT'S SOMETHING DIFFERENT AND SOMETHING NEW, AND IT REALLY IS SPECIAL.

Well I hope so. That is my thing and I just want to get better and better, and I don't want to get bored of my own style. Just got to keep developing it and do your own thing.

FROM AN ART BACKGROUND, ARE THERE ANY PAINTERS OR SCULPTORS THAT HAVE INFLUENCED YOU?

It's funny as I was thinking about that. My fascination from an early age has been ancient Egypt. It was probably Cleopatra and Elizabeth Taylor that did it! (laughs) But yeah, loved the Egyptians, been to Egypt twice. The paintings in particular in the tombs, you know you can tell.. .you've got good artists and bad artists. But the good ones are absolutely incredible. So that's something that's always fascinated me. Then the other two are Leonardo and Michelangelo, which again, I can remember as a kid just trawling through my dad's books. Just the sculptures and tilings of Michelangelo were incredible. And Leonardo with his sketches and his whole ideas. I know they're not modern day artists but I suppose they've always inspired me, well, I wouldn't even say inspired me but 1 suppose I've always had a fascination for the human figure really. Eyes in particular, don't know why, I just love eyes!

WE MIT AT THE HALLOWEEN BASH LAST YEAR, WAS THAT YOUR FIRST CONVINTION AND YOU'VE DONE A FEW MORE SHOWS SINCE THEN. HOW ARE YOU FINDING THOSE?

Loving it, but I've only done Newport since then. I absolutely loved it. And I think in some ways doing it on my own was definitely a better bet because I felt a lot more in control. Obviously it's nice to have someone with you, like I had Sam with me, she's not a tattooist. But she was there, she works in the shop and so she was dealing with customers for me and coming to me while I was tattooing. And it just worked out really, really well.

YEAH IF YOU'RE GOING TO TATTOO IN A DIFFERENT AREA YOU SHOUID BE OFFERING YOUR SERVICES TO A NEW CLIENTELE.

Exactly. And they will be there, if they like your work they will be there. At Newport I did Sam just to start, so that I was doing something when people first started coming in. But from that moment on I was just inundated with people wanting work done.S

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Cleopatra Tattoo

PEOPLE WILL ALWAYS COME TO YOU, OF COURSE THEY WILL IF THEY LIKE YOUR WORK ENOUGH.

And to me, that's what it's about. And then, of course, they're emailing me saying, "when are you gonna be here, where are you gonna be?",..

I'VE ALWAYS SAID TATTOOING IS SUCH A MOVIABIE TRADE REALLY. IE YOU'VE GOT THE SKI IIS/ YOU NIED MINIMUM AMOUNT OE TOOLS SEAIIY; THE MAIN THING IS YOURSEIE. IT'S THE TALENT THAT YOU CARRY WITH YOV. People will always come to you, of course they will if they like your work enough. It's interesting. The thing with conventions in particular is that it puts you under pressure. It is a good thing to be put under pressure, that's the game. And I don't think you should be taking customers with you all the time because there is no pressure then. I did a three hour piece on this poor woman's back and she was the first person in the queue waiting outside the door because she'd seen my portfolio the previous day and she was desperate to get straight in there! "Please can you do this for me!"

00 YOU FIND AT CONVENTIONS AND SO OK, AND MEETING PEOPIf OUT AND ABOUT IF YOU'RE NOT WORKING, PEOPLE ARE QUITE ACCEPTING OE YOU BEING A EI MAI E TATTOOIST IN WHAT'S QUITE A MALE DOMINATED WORLD? It's funny because Rob was kind of saying that to me once and I said, "I don't know what it would be like to be a male would I?" I'm not having a problem with it; it's not actually a problem for me. I'm just forging a path for myself and luckily it's working out for me. And I haven't had any negative issues with it at all.

AND THE FACT PEOPLE CAN CLEARLY Sll THAT YOU'RE TAUNTED!

(laughs) Hopefully! I don't have this thing of, "Oh she's a woman she's gonna do girly stuff" and that's a bonus as I don't actually like doing flowers and butterflies and Matt's probably more inclined to do all that than me. If someone said, "Can you do a pattern work butterfly?" then that would be lovely.

HOBBIES? INTERESTS?

You know, not really. I know it sounds pathetic in some ways but it does take your life over and where other people freehand and do their thing, come in and basically just wing it on the day, I do spend hours and hours at home. And I love it. I find it relaxing, it's not like a big deal to me.

Where do you see yourself in the next couple of years? Or are you not thinking that far ahead?

I'm just going with the flow, if you know what I mean? Obviously I am actively promoting myself because there's only one person who can do that and that is you. And I think my thing would be to be well respected within the industry; that is what 1 would like best. To me that's important.

Who do you want to thank for helping you out?

Well it's gotta be Rob hasn't it. It's got to be Rob because if it wasn't for him 1 wouldn't... you know be here now. He saw something in me and let me go with it. So he's definitely the man. My boyfriend too; to be honest he hasn't ever complained about me. You get this tattooist widow thing don't you, but he has been just sort of like, "Yeah alright if you need to work late you need to work late. If you need to do conventions that's fine."

What do your folks think about your tattoos?

Well, my mum thinks...they're both very open-minded. Dad would rather I didn't have them on display when I'm out and about. He doesn't mind, but out respect for him I tend to

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cover up. My mum.. .because they're in South Africa and they are quite behind, but with her she takes pictures of me and emails them to her friends and goes "Look, look at this! Tliis is my daughter!" Almost like a freak show. The only thing she says is "Please don't tattoo your face" and to be honest at this stage of my life I wouldn't go there anyway. Maybe when I'm 70 I might well tattoo my face and do the convention rounds, you know! I don't particularly want my face tattooed, I wear enough make up as it is!"^"

irLrwwi.iikiiideep.co.uk I^elia lflfi

Ancient Egyptian TattoosCleopatra Tattoo

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