Oh babes, how I’ve missed you! I’ve been without my laptop for a week after leaving my charger in Canada so I’ve had no access to my post drafts or photos. It’s felt a bit like torture not being able to properly write to you! But my charger arrived in the post yesterday, so I’ll be back to typing you love letters and sharing my adventures across the interweb. But for now, I’m excited to share the latest Tattoo Talk interview.
I discovered Charlotte’s work on Instagram and have been dreaming about having her hot air balloon painting tattooed on my leg. But until I can save up my pennies, let’s hear a bit about how she became a tattooist in the first place.
How long have you been tattooing? Since 2009
How old were you when got your first tattoo & what was it?
I was 19 and it was a rose that I had drawn myself . I have since had it removed! I know how bad that sounds!
Do you have a favourite tattoo in your own collection?
I have too many favourites. I am lucky enough to have had some amazing artists work on me. I am totally in love with the one on my right hand, done by Andy Crystalz, maybe because its recent and I see it more than any other tattoos that I currently have!
How did you get started in tattooing?
After abandoning hope of an artistic career after not getting the grades that I wanted I was at college studying totally unrelated subjects. I went to a small tattoo convention in my town and it bought all my inspiration back and I quickly realised it was my calling!
What was the journey that brought you from there to here?
I tried for a few months handing out copies of my sketches, etc. and eventually I got an apprenticeship in a small street shop. I mostly made tea, set up the machines for the tattooists, hand stenciled designs/flash and dealt with walk-in custom. I was offered to finish my apprenticeship at a bigger shop so I moved on until I was offered a job at a shop in a better location. By that time I was a fully fledged tattooer. I spent 4 years at that shop building up my reputation before being offered a place at Modern Body Art.
Did you have an artistic background before you started tattooing?
I have been interested in art since I was able to hold a pencil. My mother was always creative although in more textiles based media. Painting and drawing have always been a part of my life, and they’re a bigger part of it now than ever before!
How have your thoughts about tattoos and being tattooed changed over time (if at all)?
My attitudes to tattoos have totally flipped over time. I was pretty much never exposed to them until I saw people who had them at college and I went out with a guy who had some! I always found them fascinating but I remember once thinking that women could have too many.
I definitely don’t think that anymore. Maybe it’s the artist speaking but every time someone says to me ‘I don’t think being covered would suit me’ I imagine what kind of tattoo style they could get covered in that would suit them. I’ve had more body issues than a lot of girls due to health conditions and at risk of sounding like a total cliche, my tattoos have radically improved my body image.
There are obvious neo traditional leanings in a lot of my work and I get a lot of customers that specify that they want their tattoo to look that way. But there is another direction that I am more frequently being asked to go in which is far more abstract and watercolour based, which comes more from my painting style.
Who or what influences your work?
I think my influences are as diverse as my painting/tattooing style! And a lot of what I am inspired by can’t be seen at all in my work as a finished product. There are so so many great tattooers around that have inspired me and continue to do so that it would be impossible to list them all without feeling like I had left someone really important out. From colour realists to neo traditional artists to abstract artists; it would be easier to list if I was just into one style! Art nouveau, animals, and nature are things that have always influenced my artwork since I was a child and to be honest those are the most prominent influences even now.
Charlotte currently has lots of guest spots across the UK, including 22nd-25th September at Cherubs Tattoo Parlour in Devizes, Wiltshire and 28th-29th of November at Bold as Brass Tattoo Co in Liverpool. Keep an eye on her Instagram to see her latest work and for information about bookings. Thanks, Charlotte!