Hello I’m Cicely! I’m 31 & live in West Yorkshire with my husband & 2 kids. You’ll most like find me in a charity shop hunting for treasures & posting them on Instagram!
How old were you when you started getting tattooed?
I was 17 or 18 when I got my first tattoos. They are definitely not something I would get now but they have lovely memories from that time & I wouldn’t change them! The first one I got was a questionable bow, which I’ve had covered up about 3 times now, and some random charms on my ankle.
What was it that influenced your decision to start getting tattooed?
I can’t really say exactly what it was, I think I’ve always loved the look of tattoos, and grew up with a mum who really supported me in being whoever I wanted to be. I think once I started following artists who’s work I loved, & saw the photos they posted of people being covered with their style of tattoos, I just loved it & wanted to look like that too!
Now you’re a Mother of two, have you had any difficult or uncomfortable interactions with other mothers or teachers being heavily tattooed or is this a stigma of the past?
When my daughter was born almost 5 years ago, I felt very nervous going to baby groups incase I was judged for my tattoos, and I think sometimes I mistook not getting on with someone because they judged me, for actually we just weren’t each other’s cup of tea. And that’s okay!
I’ve only had 1 occurrence when my daughter was left out of something, on a class run by a very old couple, and I got the sense that if I had worn long sleeves that they might have treated her differently.
I think the great thing about being a tattooed mum is seeing other tattooed mums at these groups, and feeling a sense of relief like “ah, there’s my people”.
The same goes for in the playground, I’ve been able to strike up conversation with parents I’d love to be friends with, by asking about their tattoos.
Here at Stories and Ink, you are the proclaimed queen of crafts, have you always been a creative person or has this come with the mothering territory?
What a title! I love that!! I grew up with very creative parents so it’s always been a part of my life. My mum died when I was a teenager & when I look back on my childhood, the memories that stick out are the ones where we were doing creative things together, & that’s what I want for my children.
How has getting tattooed had an effect on your body confidence?
I am very lucky that I love my body & I feel confident in my own skin, & I do believe that I wouldn’t feel as happy with myself if I wasn’t as tattooed as I am.
I say lucky, but a lot of work has gone into loving myself. My mum filled our house with so many images of lovely big bottomed women, & I feel very privileged to have grown up in a house where all bodies were accepted & celebrated. Like most teens you go through ups & downs & society gets its grip on you, but in my mid 20’s I started giving myself an easier time, & once I started loving myself, I wanted to treat my body to the most beautiful artwork I could find. I feel so confident to show off so many areas of my body, & I really think that getting tattooed has really helped me get to that point.
What would your advice be to be someone concerned with getting tattooed due to body confidence?
That’s a tricky one, I’d say doing your research & getting advice from people as to which studios have been lovely & welcoming with a great atmosphere, as you want to feel as relaxed as possible. I know I have been in some studios that feel a bit intimidating, and also some that you just want to visit time & time again because you feel so welcome.
Also if you feel up to it, discussing with your artist via email or in person about your concerns & what they could do to make you feel more comfortable. They will want you to have the best experience you can too!
Have you got a favourite tattoo and can you tell us why?
I have a couple that I absolutely love. One from Danielle Rose of a crying lady; I got her on my 25th birthday after a year of doing the most crying I’ve ever done, and she was a great way to signal the end of that.
For what would have been our mums 60th birthday, me & my sister got matching tattoos for our mum from Shedwolf.
I also have a big one on my thigh by Richard Lazenby as a tribute to one of my fave bands KISS.
Have you got any exciting pieces booked in soon?
Yes! I’ve just booked in with shedwolf to do my fingers which I’m really excited about! And also a filler on my arm from Lucy Alice Tattoo!!