Illustrated Teacup

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Saturday, 4 April 2015

TATTOOS: Interview with Beccy from Inkluded

The tattoo community is a close one. We support one another and look out for each other. So I jumped at the chance to work with fellow tattooed lady Beccy, founder and editor of Inkluded, and we have arranged a little interview swap!

You can read my interview with her on her blog here

Inkluded is pretty new, but is growing fast and it speaks for itself. 

Now over to Beccy and her tattoos:

What was your first tattoo, and how old were you? 

I was 20, and I decided I just wanted to do it. It is a small black symbol of an egyptian ankh on my thigh. When I was little my mum gave me an ankh necklace from egypt and told me I had to wear it forever, as the symbol means reincarnation, so as long as I had it on me, I would become something in my next life. Since then the symbol has meant a lot to both me and my mum, and we both wear it with pride every day.

How many do you have now, and what are they? 

Now I have a lot of tattoos, too many to count! Maybe over 20. All my tattoos mean something different. Most of them have a deep meaning to me, or mark a certain part in my life, but a couple are just because I liked the design. I love roses - they symbolise a lot to me, I am a red Lancashire rose for starters and proud of my heritage, but also love roses for their of meaning of beauty, nature and the cycle of life. I'm obsessed with American Beauty too, the film, so I always knew roses would be a big part of my tattoos. I'm fascinated by nature and the seasons, as well as cyclical things (why I have a mandala tattoo)... I suppose they are some of the overriding themes of my tattoos.

Who is your favourite tattooists? 

Nearly all of my tattoos are from Shakespeare Ink in Stratford-upon-Avon. My artist was Adam Frame but is now Alex Rhodes Other artists whose work I love and follow are: Chris Byrne, Antony Flemming, Paula Castle, Beau Redman, Matt Curzon, Amanda Toy, Rob Spider, Fiola Art, Cesar De Cesaro - I love traditional and neo traditional tattoos, as well as pattern-work and symmetry - I love intricate tattoos, and tattoos that use a lot of colour and bold lines.

Do you have any tattoos planned for the future? If so, what? 

I am currently working on my next sleeve, with Alex Rhodes at Shakespeare Ink. It's a pagan themed sleeve for my mum who turns 60 this year and is a pagan witch. It's going to include all the symbology I associate with her - Tarot cards, cloaks, ravens, ankhs, pentacles... as much as we can fit in! I have had two sessions and we're still not even done with the line work because I'm a complete wimp. I book Alex out for the whole day and four hours in I'm done. I need to man up! And all I do is moan about the pain - I'm a great client!

Do you have any 'no-go' zones? 

Not really. I am taking each tattoo and day as it comes. At the moment, I don't want to ever tattoo my face or hands, but that's not to say I wouldn't change my mind in the future. I'm quite open minded but I think about each decision very carefully. Apart from the odd spontaneous tattoo, normally I think a lot about them first! My back was the most painful so even though I think I would like some more work to that, I don't think I could hack it!

What is your favourite  thing about tattoos and tattoo culture? 

I love that we're able to attach meaning to everything in our lives. That is what every person in the world is doing, every second of every day - we collect things, we find a style, we hang pictures on our walls. We are constantly decorating our lives to give them meaning, importance and vibrancy. Why not do the same to your body? 

That being said I don't think every tattoo has to have a deep meaning attached to it - some people just like a certain design and that's great, it's still putting something on their body that's a reflection of who they are, as they have chosen it... and that makes it meaningful. 

Now for some blog talk: 

Why did you start Inkluded? 

I love tattoo culture but I think it can be a really alienating and intimidating thing to approach if you're new to it. I started the blog to create a place online where I could share the tattoo work that I like, and offer people a bit of guidance and inspiration for their next / first tattoo. Everyone should feel like they can be included in the tattoo scene, no matter what their story, style preference or opinions. 

With these missions in mind, I set the blog up in November 2014, so it's been going four months now, and has now grown into a lot more than just that. I've been interviewing new and established artists and allowing the blog to be a place for them to share their work. It's also become a place of contemplation and debate for the tattoo industry. 

The Inkluded Facebook page showcases artists' work, posts interviews and introduces new apprentices, but also offers a place for people to talk about what's going on in the tattoo word at the moment. There's so much to talk about, and it's good to have one place to do it that brings the tattoo community together.

What are your hopes and dreams for your blog? 

As I am only four months in, I am sure the blog will grow even more and might mould into something completely different one day. I've got some short term goals for the blog, things that I want to write about and people I want to chat to, but I would also really like the Inkluded followers to help mould the blog and its content, for them to help create its future. 

That's already happening a bit at the moment - I get emails, questions and requests from people that make me think 'oh, that would be a great thing to explore!' 

I like teaming up with artists, other bloggers (like you!) and tattoo collectors so we can all have a voice on Inkluded together. It's not just about me and my opinion, I'm just one person! That would be totally boring! 

The main thing I have loved about setting this blog up is the amazing people I have been able to collaborate with. In just a few months I have become part of this lovely community of studios, clients, artists and photographers where we can all explore something we're passionate about together. It's awesome. 

It's also opened up a whole new world for me in terms of myself as a writer. I have always loved writing and never quite knew what I was going to do with it. This blog has opened up the gateway to my creative brain that had been closed for so long, and is now hopefully opening up new journalistic opportunities for me too, which is like a dream come true.

Which is your favourite post you've written? 

Good question! I really have loved chatting to some great artists, like Alex Stark, and Rob Spider... but I think the posts I like writing the most are my personal ones, where I am able to reflect on my own relationship to tattoos. I would have to say the piece I was most excited about writing so far was my interview with my own artist, which then allowed my to contemplate the relationship between artist and client. 

And now for some facts about Beccy!

Favourite food?

Chocolate. Crisps. Chips. Avocado. Guacamole. Cheese. Not all together!

Favourite film? 

American Beauty, closely followed by Almost Famous.

Favourite animal? 


Pet hate? 

People that go to concerts (or anywhere really) and film the entire thing on their phone, not enjoying or living in the moment. PUT YOUR SELFIE STICK DOWN FOR JUST A SECOND!

Biggest achievement? 

Running a marathon. Three now! Too hard. No more please.

Dream job? 

Anything related to Foo Fighters. It's sad. I know. I love them more than my right arm. I need to get a life.

Dream holiday destination, money no object?

A road trip round the USA - seeing every state, eating as much food as possible, meeting lots of lovely people!

*photos from Beccy

1 comment

  1. Thank you for sharing this post, I am now headed over to check out her blog!

    I LOVE PENGUINS! Haha. And her tattoos are gorgeous!

    Love, Jenn


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