10/09/2009

Beautiful, successful and TATTED!

DOT BURNS 
Who/what is your beauty inspiration? 
Ive never really thought about it.  I met Hanna Gaby Odiele last season and she was beautiful.  I envy people who are completely comfortable in their own skin, but thats something I think few people are blessed with.  Beauty is hard to define, you can find it in the most unlikely places. 
How did you decide what to have and why?
When I was 15 i made a bet with a friend that i would get a tattoo if my sister got above a C in her socilolgy A-level.  She had started the course in January and took the exam in June.  She got an A and my fate was sealed.  In fairness it was only a matter of time.  I was a little brat who was always looking for new ways to rebel. It was tattooing for tattooings sake but its got me started.  I went to Gypsy Nirvana in Surbiton and got a tribal sun tattooed on my stomach.  After that came 3 more tribal scribbles, all chosen off the wall of ropey studio's in Plymouth.  Then when i got to London I realised that tattooing could be a type of art work too.  I discovered Into You in Clerkenwell and a girl called Lucy designed a Williams Morris inspired floral band for my arm.  When I went to get it done she showed me a picture of a religious piece that she had done recently.  I loved it but couldnt think where it would fit with my  "tribal" theme.  A year or so later I had a row with my mum about a new piercing and she shouted at me (among other things) that I could do what ever I wanted to my body so long as I didnt do anything to my face.  In that moment I decided to get another tattoo - but what to get....  A few days later I was on the 168 from Waterloo and just as I got to Elephant and Castle I thought it would be a really good idea to get a stained glass window tattooed on my back.  And that was that.
 
How have your tattoo's changed your body?
I think if anything they make me like it more. 
 
Do you have any regrets?
Not regrets, definitely not - I love tattoos.  The picture on my back does cover up a slightly ungainly piece that I chose in the aftermath of a very heavy weekend when I was 18 but my theory is that if its that bad or unsightly you can do just that - cover it up with something better.  I think eventually the Sun on my stomach will get incorporated into something else.  Only time I've ever felt any sense of regret was when my sister sent me a picture her boyfriend took of her pale bare back when they were on holiday last year.  I had just sent her a picture updating her on the progress of my back piece.  She sent me that and I thought to myself "oh, must be nice to have a back with nothing on it".  But then I looked in the mirror and decided that its probably nicer to have an angel with you everywhere you go.
When will it stop for you? 
 When I  get to my face...
How do your tattoos affect your everyday life?? 
 Well, my mum doesn't know about the one on my back a the moment and whilst its beautiful I'm not sure she'd really appreciate it so I keep that under wraps when I go home.  Otherwise I don't really think about them, but I am aware that people don't always expect me to have them so I quite like the shock factor when I turn around in a backless dress.  I am aware that once i get to a certain point (ie: full sleeves on both arms and a chest piece, writing on my neck) that i will have officially ruled out a conventional existence, in the sense of what jobs I can realistically work in.  I find that quite enticing.
ELLIE MAY
Who/what is your beauty inspiration? 
It's changed a lot recently, and I can't say just one person. I like to look like a cross between Courtney Love on a bad day and Cheryl Cole. I've never really had a heavily tattooed beauty inspiration apart from Brody Dalle, who is still fucking hot but not so much of a beauty inspiration to me any more. Tattooed girls in the public eye usually come across as crass and a bit slutty. I don't think that helps with stereotypes.

How did you decide what to have and why?
I've never actually known what I wanted to have tattooed until about ten minutes before the artist is about to stick the needle in. It was always more about the artist themselves and having a piece of their work on my skin. With my Roses, I was in love with an artist called Amanda Toy for about two years, and I finally managed to get a spot with her whilst she was doing a working in London. She came up with the idea, drew it, and it just fit perfectly.

How have your tattoo's changed your body?
I'm so used to them I don't really see them any more. For months after I first got them done I was really aware of them, but now they've just become a part of me. It's only when people point them out I remember I have them.

Do you have any regrets?
The first tattoo I got was stupid and not for the right reasons. I went and got it up the inside of my forearm too which was fucking retarded! Now I have three shooting stars going up the inside of my arm. Completely regret that. But I think regret is a good thing, you learn from your mistakes blah blah blah and I can always get it covered up. Thats what I'm working on next. I also regret not spending more money on tattoos. I haven't actually had anything done for about four years. I've been too poor and had more expensive clothes to buy.

When will it stop for you?

I don't think it will ever stop. Apart from my first, I've only ever gotten tattoos for myself and as long as I have an interest in the art behind it, I'll keep on getting tattooed.

How do your tattoos affect your everyday life??
They haven't ever really affected me. I've never been asked to cover them up for a job, and when I first got into tattoos I decided i'd never want to work for anyone who would think ink on my skin would affect my work. Tattoo's still have stigma with the older generation, and people think it's ok to blatantly voice their disgust out loud. I always find the best way to deal with this is to make it clear you would never be so openly rude about something they were wearing or the way they've done their hair. The best way to change peoples minds is not to conform to stereotypes.

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