I’ve always been attracted to tattoos, i’m interested in how they look, all the different styles etc and by how they work. Even when i see really shit ones i love to know the story behind them. From turning 15 or 16 i was itching to get a tattoo and i’m so glad i waited till i was old enough. When i turned 18 i started looking in to designs, ideas and artists.
I was messaging different studios and artists with my ideas looking for prices and dates, then one day i was in Newcastle town centre and popped into Tribal Images and found Callan, i told him what i wanted and straight away he had an idea for it that i loved i give him a good stalking on social media and i was sold.
In October 2015 i got my first tattoo on my forearm. No particular reason why i chose my arm to be honest it’s just where i imagined it. I went into the shop knowing i wanted a butterfly with the body the shape of a semicolon, i told Callan this and he said he thought it would look good to have the body coloured in and the shape of the semicolon left my skin colour and i loved the idea so i told him i wanted ‘swirly’ patterns, showed him the shape i wanted the butterfly and then he did the rest. The reason for the tattoo is to symbolise mental health and how important it is to me. The Semicolon Movement is “a movement dedicated to presenting hope and love to those who are struggling with depression, suicide, addiction and self-injury.”
“A semicolon is used when an author could’ve chosen to end their sentence, but chose not to. The author is you and the sentence is your life.”
By time i saved up the money for this next one Callan had left Tribal Images and opened his own studio called Great Bear Tattoo, so i went there to him. I got this purely because i had my eye on it and it’s beautiful. This was one of the most painful experiences of my life and i would rather break my arm again, twice… but oh my god so worth it. Callan made it as comfortable and enjoyable as he could, even give me a couple of lemon flavoured lollies to chew on.
If you’re thinking of getting a tattoo it’s so important to get it just where you want it and not to think about the pain. Research the artist you’re thinking of going with, even if you have to travel 40 miles, it’ll be worth it when you have the best tattoo you could ask for. Chances are the better the artist the higher the price so just pay it, don’t let steep prices put you off your dream tattoo, after all it’s literally there for the rest of your life.
After care – I hate Bepanthen, it’s so sticky and hard to spread across the already sensitive skin but i suck it up and use it for the first week or so. After moaning to Callan about how much i hate it he suggested to just use it till it stopped burning then go on to using Cocoa Butter, so i did and it’s a dream when it’s scabbing and chunks of your skin are falling off all over everything you own, this kept them as soft as scabs can be easier to manage.
Go check out Callan’s work, he also draws and sells prints of his drawings and he’s crazy talented!
Facebook – Callan Leavesley
Instagram – @callanleavesleyart
Also my friend Amber helped me take these very awkward photo’s go look at her photography page: