Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Tattoo Talk with Cassy Fry

Name- Cassy Fry

Website- Tell us a bit about your blog if you want.
I write a creative lifestyle blog at cassyfry.com, I write about my cultural adventures, review music, books and theater, share stylish stuff, cool art, my own writing and thoughts about living creatively.

So what was your first tattoo and how old where you?
It was a small rose through a heart with stars around it. I was 18, had just left home and went for a walk in with two friends. It was an important coming-of-age experience for me.

Why did you choose that specific design?
I knew I wanted a rose on my arm. I was a huge Manic Street Preachers fan as a teenager, I loved the Generation Terrorists aesthetic, and wanted something traditional and in colour, but not too big. I hadn't researched the artist or the studio and it was the 90s, most of the designs were black tribal symbols, but I found something small and sweet from the existing designs. It was a surprisingly good choice and one I was happy with for 15 years, but as designs and techniques have advanced so much, I decided to it needed a revamp and have just had it covered up, with a bigger and better rose and heart design!

How many tattoos do you have currently? What are they?
I have four tattoos. My most recent is the cover up of my first and was a major upgrade, it is an emerald gem heart with a gold border between two roses, by Paula Castle, who is my favourite tattoo artist. I have another of her gems on the right arm. The other two are inspired by music, but their meaning for me is quite personal and linked to my health, which is why I had them at the top of my thighs, which is as close to the sites of my chronic pain as I wanted to get! I also got them during difficult times in my life and they comfort me. One is a swallow with a banner reading 'Stay Beautiful' which is the title of one of my favourite Manic Street Preachers songs. The other is a cosmic, galaxy-filled Ziggy Stardust with a lyric from Rock n Roll Suicide "Gimme your hands, 'cause you're wonderful". My eyebrows are also semi-permanent cosmetic tattoos - not sure if that counts, but I went to a tattoo studio to get them done, so maybe I should include them!

Do you have a favorite piece? if so what one and why?
I love them all, and they take turns being my favourite, but as I have to pick one now, I think it is the ruby gem on the inside of my right forearm. I was obsessed by Paula's gems and had to have one, and the quality of the design and tattoo work is superb. As it is visible a lot of the time, I marvel at it daily. I had it done at the end of a difficult year, but one I was proud of surviving and it was like a reward. I love having something I find so beautiful on my skin, it makes me feel precious!

Did you do a lot of research in to your chosen artist/artists?
My first was a walk-in, which I wouldn't do now, even though it turned out ok. I get tattoos like I buy art, with a mixture of careful consideration and knowledge, then with a rush of impulsive excitement. My second tattoo was 15 years after my first and I was recommended a tattoo artist - John Slack at Classic Ink in Herne Bay. I knew I wanted a traditional style swallow and the words 'stay beautiful' and I had seen his healed work on someone else, so I briefed him and trusted him and he did an excellent job. I think because I am used to commissioning artists in my career, it has changed the way I approach getting tattoos. For my next one, I spent hours of "research time" stalking Paula Castle on Instagram - then got my ruby gem. My next one was impulsive, because the artist's work was perfect and it just clicked. I saw a Joy Division design by Karl Eginton just ahead of his guest spot at Nevermore Tattoo Studio, we swapped emails, I loved the design and really wanted it, but something didn't feel right and it held me back. I had been daydreaming of a Rock n Roll Suicide inspired tattoo for ages, but didn't know what it would be, then it just clicked that Karl was the artist for the job and my Bowie tattoo was born. My last one was a cover up, so I went back to Paula, because I knew she'd do a brilliant job, and I just love Nevermore Tattoo Studio and want to hang out there all the time.

Are you planning on anymore?
I am done for the moment, but I do want more! I'd like something moon/lunar related and a text based or literary piece.

A silly question as pain is relative but Most painful tattoo?
My most painful was the one on my left thigh. My pain levels vary day to day, sometimes I am more sensitive to pain. It was a sensitive day, and I'd recently come off prescription painkillers, so I was feeling everything!

General reaction from friends and family about your tattoos/body mods? Are they happy about you having them?
Most aren't that interested or bothered. Some have expressed concern about me getting "too many" but I find even those that don't like tattoos quite like the designs I have. I think when people see how much they mean to me, that they are reflection of me and the things I love and that they make me happy, then they are fine with it.

Reactions from members of the public about your tattoos/body mods, Good or Bad?
I don't really get much attention other than when I go swimming and they are all visible, and then I get looks, but not many comments. I've never had anyone say anything negative about any of my ink. Once an older lady in the changing room came over to get a look at my swallow tattoo and asked what it said. When I told her "stay beautiful", she nodded her approval and said "good for you!". I loved that.

Have you tattoos ever hindered anything you wanted to do, interviews, work, etc?
I've been really aware that it could and some of the placements I chose because they would be easily covered for work. I work in the arts, so I can be creative with my style, but in a management context you don't see many tattoos and I tend to pick up on those cues. I have recently gone freelance and I am working as a writer, plus you can get away with quite a lot when people see you as a quirky creative type, so it doesn't matter to me at the moment.

Do you get asked did it hurt a lot? What do you tell people?
People without tattoos ask if they hurt. I say yes, but it is tolerable and depends where you have it and your pain levels. I find it is fine for the first 45 minutes and then starts to get sore. It is also better if you talk, breathe or distract yourself through it.

Do you find people will touch your tattoo (body mods) without asking? If so how do you deal with it?
No one has ever touched them without asking first. Lots of people have asked to touch my ruby gem, because it has a three dimensional quality, and they are often surprised it feels like normal skin!

Shout out to the artist/artists if you want :)
On instagram, @paulacastletattoos @nevermoretattoo @eginton_tattoo @john_slack_tattooer

Any parting words?

Tattoos are definitely works of art.

Many thanks to Cassy for taking part, be sure to keep up with her blog here
If you would like to take part please shoot me an email or contact me on twitter. 

Cheers for reading...

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