Getting my 17th tattoo was a big deal for me.
Not only was it my first large tattoo visible on my upper body (I don’t really count my key as I can’t see it), it is also my first family tattoo, and since 3 of the four people I wanted to have immortalised on my skin have passed it was pretty emotional.
With something so personal I knew I had to find the perfect artist, every tattooist has their own distinct style so it’s important to do you’re homework on your chosen artist. There is no point in asking a traditional style tattooist to do a realistic tattoo!
Parliament Tattoo London is located off a sunny street in Finsbury Park, a white washed haven in suburban London. It’s not often I go into a studio and think that it’s bright and airy, and actually take decorating tips home! But the reason I picked Parliament for this tattoo isn’t the decor, it’s the amount of female artists they have. In a mostly male industry they are a breath of fresh air, now don’t get me wrong they feature some amazing male tattooists, and whilst I was there plenty of boys were getting tattooed but for me being surrounded by women doing what they love is totally empowering. The studio boasts Rebecca Vincent & Kelly Violet as their tattooists but has regular guest spots from Flo Nuttall, Hannah Sykes & Susanne König to name a few.
I’ve been in love with Flo’s work since she was an apprentice, overly ornate and completely beautiful. She tattooed my victorian style key around 4 years ago (just before moving to Rome) and I’ve wanted tattooed from her again ever since. When she started doing more floral work I knew she was perfect for what I wanted. I found our she was guesting at Parliament around 6 months ago and emailed her to talk through what I wanted. My brief was pretty simple, illustrated botanical flowers in a bouquet, the difficult part was that the flowers I wanted were all quite different! A chrysanthemum for my Papa, Roses for my Nana, Violet for my Mum & Lilly of the Valley for my Dad, all of my families birth flowers. I sent her a photo of my arm and a rough guide of what size I wanted. When I turned up on the day I saw the sketch for the first time and it was completely perfect. She’d drawn up two sizes and we picked the one that best fit my arm, played around with placement and got started! Safe to say I couldn’t be happier with the result, no matter how much it hurt.
It fucking hurt a lot.
My Top tips for getting tattooed;
Eat something before – No one likes a fainter
Wear something you don’t mind getting ink on – Splashes happen so don’t wear your fav dress
Take snacks – Sugar always helps
Distract yourself – Take a book, listen to music, play a game on your phone
Prepare to be hurt – Certain places hurt worse than others
Take painkillers for after – I swell really badly but ibuprofen helps
Follow your artists instructions – If they tell you to shut up & keep still do it!