Holly Astral

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Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

My name's Holly - i'm a tattoo artist and painter.

Where do you live in the UK and have you ever lived anywhere else?

I live in Buckinghamshire. My studio, Gravity, is in Bedfordshire. 

Interests outside of the studio?

I'm really interested in foraging and spend a good chunk of my free time out in the woods with my basket seeing what i can find. It's incredibly rewarding to find ingredients and take them home to make a tasty meal! Myself and my partner have just bought a 400 year old cottage which needs a lot of work so i think that's also going to be keeping me busy for a long while, it's fascinating looking into the old building techniques and working out how to match them.

When did you first decide to get tattooed and what was your first ever tattoo?

I was in my early twenties and at uni. I'd had a dream that i had a heart on each wrist with rainbows coming out of them, so when i woke up i went and got it tattooed - a pink heart on each wrist. 

Main influence behind your work?

I think the subject matter of my work ends up being a mix of all the things I'm interested in. I love incorporating mushrooms into my tattoos and my subject matter and colour palette often ends up inspired by the seasons. As much as the design part of tattooing, I'm always trying new techniques and set up to push the technical side of my work. 

Favourite style to do on clients and why?

Animals and nature with a psychedelic twist. I love vintage fabric patterns and have been incorporating them into my work recently. 

What were you doing before you decided to become a tattoo artist?

I got into tattooing a bit later, i didnt start my apprenticeship until I was in my thirties. Before that i had worked as a model maker for years, starting out as a sculptor making action figures, then moving into sewing soft toys. I would make the initial prototypes of toys that would then get manufactured for the shops. 

What does tattooing mean to you?

I love getting tattooed because with each tattoo i get i feel more like myself, and i love that i get to create that for other people. 

Follow or book Holly here: @Holly_Astral