rachaelgrainger.blogspot.com (I just recently started using it so my updating is a little sporadic! Feel free to add/follow me so I have some blogs to read also!)
*editor's note- I was Rachael's first follower...come be her second! She's the sweetest.
Occupation: Final year Journalism student at the University of the Arts, London. I write a bit for bits and pieces in my spare time. I work for Topshop which is fun!
Age of first tattoo: I think I was 15. I spent some birthday money on a couple of stars. I got one on each forearm. Oh.
Favorite tattoo: I change my mind pretty often; it's either the lampshade on my leg by Claudia Sabe, or the Lalique swan perfume bottle on the inside of my arm.
Featured tattoo/location: I guess I should feature my leg as it is my newest acquisition! And it's finally stopped being scabby and itchy so I can enjoy it!
Artist/shop/location of feature tattoo: Claudia Sabe, working at Jolie Rouge on Caledonian Road, London.
1) Tell us about your featured tattoo- is there a background story about why you chose it, or maybe a special meaning?
I am mad for antiquing, my flat resembles a boot sale or something; it's filled with ancient typewriters, dressmaking dolls, old ornaments, old books. My tattoos sort of reflect this as while I suppose the style is 'old-school' I love Victorian imagery, and so with this in mind and having seen a different lampshade in Claudia's flash, I had a chat with her and we discussed how I could incorporate some lyrics from a favourite song of mine into it. The song is "You Won't Know" by Brand New, a band I completely grew up listening to (and am seeing next week on a couple of dates as they're over in England!). I suppose they are topical lyrics; "Scared I won't burn that bright", on a lampshade. You know! My tattoos are usually ideas I think would be nice aesthetically so this is the only piece I have that feels a little personal. I am in my final year of university which I have found tough and am perpetually afraid of failure/giving myself a hard time; the lyrics reflect that somewhat. FINALLY (a long answer, well done if you got this far!), my boyfriend bought me it as a Christmas present. Before finally sorting our stuff out and getting together last year we'd been friends for five years, with a lot of feelings for one another. I have no idea why this song has always made me think of him, but it has. I haven't actually told him that. Ha! I doubt he will ever see this but I will feel like a massive dork if he does. Oh.
2) Do you have any other tattoos? If so, what do you have and where?
I have a Victorian lady on each arm; one wearing a bonnet and the other with a fox curled in her hair. These are both by Claudia at Jolie Rouge, London. She has also tattooed a Russian doll on me. I have a Maneki Neko (lucky cat), a sort of oriental fan, a hand holding a love letter, a peacock feather fan and ornate hand mirror and these are all by Sol Milesi, tattooing with her husband at Made With Love in Leeds, UK. Valerie Vargas at Frith Street, London tattooed a beautiful Lalique perfume bottle on my inner arm, and a carousel horse on the other. She also tattooed an ornate horseshoe and flowers on the back of my neck which I wanted as a memento from living in the New Forest for a couple of years. I have the inside of my lip (a couple of hearts), my fingers (hearts, diamonds), and an AWFUL tattoo on my foot that I got when I was 17. Fortunately I feel I have acquired some other lovely tattoos since so it bothers me less. It's sort of a flower and sort of a bird. I can't even tell you!
3) Do you plan on getting more?
Absolutely. I plan to fill my body, money permitting! Over the next year I think I will continue with my legs, and I have been speaking with my artist about filling my back over the next couple of years and looking at Japanese art for inspiration. It's a huge time and money commitment though, something like 25 - 30 hours I believe.
4) How do your family and friends feel about your tattoo(s)? Have you run into any adversity or negativity because of them? Do you have a significant other? Does he/she have tattoos?
My mum bloody hates them! But as the first in my family to go to university, let alone college, she is proud enough of me and we sort of agree to disagree about them/I think she just pretends they aren't there. Generally, people are nice and just curious and inquisitive. I get asked some pretty stupid questions but overall I have not had any nasty responses. I get weird guys trying to use them as some sort of invitation to speak to me sometimes which isn't attention I want, but that's the worst of it really! My boyfriend has some tattoos including a Kelis tribute (why not?) and a body piece which incorporates mountains/a wizard/wolves/I don't even know what else. I've actually never had a tattooed fella before so it's a bit of a novelty...
5) What's the most interesting experience you've ever had in regards to your tattoos?
I don't know about interesting; someone I served while working at an Urban Outfitters in a posh bit of London asked if my tattoos were 'the permanent kind' which was baffling. I also once had a guy offering to tattoo 'morbid Victorian shit' on me when I was in a bar, which I presume was some sort of come-on. People are very strange!
6) Any advice for those interested in getting tattooed but haven't gotten one yet?
I probably don't have any extra advice beyond what others have said before me. From my own experience, I wish I hadn't gotten tattooed at such a young age as I am a completely different person with completely different tastes now, so I suppose consider that.