Victoria, how did you come to find your elegant style of tattooing?
When I first started out I wanted to be a photo realism artist but I quickly became obsessed with line work designs the more I progressed in my apprenticeship. I mastered skinny needles and I've never really changed my style since then. I've always been fascinated by nature; I grew up in the countryside in a small rural town so my tattooing subjects are strongly derived from my roots and I like to commemorate that with my work today.
How long have you been tattooing and how has your journey been so far?
I started my professional tattoo journey back in early 2017. I won't lie, the start was rocky. I had approached several studios in Newcastle and had a bad experience with three of them. There are a lot of big egos and negative environments that I'd been exposed to in my early career. I like to think I'm a tolerant and patient person but there is still a strong sense of misplaced male misogyny in the business and it's something that became apparent to me from day one. I worked three jobs along side my apprenticeship and thus worked seven days a week for the first year and half of my tattoo career to be able to support myself and my dreams. It was absolutely worth it, but being a tattooist and taking it seriously definitely isn't something you can go into thinking it will be easy.
Changing studios to Blind Tiger has been the best career move I have made so far and I've made some life long friends in my colleagues, and clients, so I'd say it's going great now I have become more established.
Best tattooing experience?
Moving studios to a female-owned studio surrounded by amazing people has been the best thing to happen in my career so far. I am booked up six months in advance, so knowing exactly where I will be to the hour that far into the future is daunting, but incredible. My clients are so supportive and really do mean the world to me. Being able to network with such an amazing bunch of people has been an absolute dream come true.
Tell me what the importance of having a vegan lifestyle is to you?
Being vegan is incredibly important to me. I follow a vegan diet and try to source all of my food locally where I can; I feel a great sense of pride knowing I am helping local small businesses by buying from markets and family run vegan companies. I only purchase vegan skin care and makeup products and I recycle as much as I can. The products I use are all vegan friendly and I'm always looking to improve on my practices to try and be more environmentally conscious. If people are curious or interested in veganism, I always encourage them to educate themselves and I will provide the resources to do so. However, I don't really like to give my opinions on it as I think self research is an important part of making the positive change and people don't like to be preached to — I don't want anyone to feel judged or hold themselves to my standards. It's something people need to decide for themselves. At the end of the day we have to hold ourselves accountable for the products we consume and everyone should know about where it comes from, and how it's made.
What are your views on skin care and tattoo aftercare?
Skin care is so important — we only get one body and we should be looking after it and treating ourselves well. All skin is beautiful and to make the most of our canvases we should be keeping it moisturised and hydrated. If you are investing a lot of money in a beautiful tattoo you should always be following strict aftercare to keep it in perfect condition. It shouldn't stop after just the first few days, it should continue on well beyond its initial healing. To keep your tattoos looking fresh, it's good to use a high quality daily moisturiser. Ideally something natural and with SPF to protect from sun damage. Ideally, it would come from a vegan-friendly company because there's no sense in hurting animals when there are fantastic cruelty-free products on the market.
How are you feeling about being back in the studio after another national lockdown?
I am so excited! But a little nervous too, I suppose. I've rescheduled all of my clients who were affected and I've already drawn up a few weeks of designs in advance so my clients have something to look forward to. I'm looking forward to seeing the team as I've barely seen anyone in the last few months and I miss everyone so much. I'm also excited to hear what my clients have been up to with all of their free time if they've been off work. I'm really gunning off their excitement to get tattooed and it's motivating me to stay productive!
Do you feel there is a strong community of female tattoo artists in the UK?
Absolutely! I haven't taken my tattoo career outside of Newcastle yet so I can't speak for the rest of the country, but up here there isn't a single female artist I wouldn't feel comfortable approaching; I can only hope it's the same story elsewhere in England.
What do you love most about being a tattoo artist?
That's a hard one — I love my clients. I have an immense level of local support for my art and I am so grateful for every single person that recommends me and comes to get tattooed. Networking is so important to me and I have met some brilliant characters since I started this career.
What product(s) are you particularly loving from the Stories and Ink range?
I love everything! The Vibrancy Serum is an absolute godsend — it smells amazing! I use it every day before I go out because it makes my colour tattoos look brand new. But honestly everything is fantastic! It's natural, vegan and cruelty free. What's not to love!