CHRISTMAS OFFER Subscribe to Cotswold Life today CLICK HERE

Cotswold tattoos: The boom in body art

PUBLISHED: 12:07 07 August 2018

Tattoo artist Amanda West

Tattoo artist Amanda West

© Thousand Word Media

The Cotswold lady behind you in the queue at Waitrose or the gentlemen in tweed and red trousers might be hiding a secret. As body art becomes ever more popular we take a look at what lies beneath

Amanda West – tattoo artist

“Some people have tattoos which represent a time, or personal story, that is relevant to their life. Some people get tattoos that represent their interests. I have chosen the tattoos I have for all these reasons, over the years. Music influenced me a lot originally; pictures that remind me of unusual times in my life and also, simply, for the images themselves. Lots of my tattoos are there simply because I find those particular colours and shapes pleasing to look at. For example, I love pheasants; they’re beautiful, so a couple of pieces I have are pheasant related.

Tattoo artist Amanda West working on client Charlotte BallTattoo artist Amanda West working on client Charlotte Ball

I really enjoy tattooing. My clients mean a lot to me and are brilliant people. I give them as much of my time as I can. It’s important to me to care about the pieces I design and tattoo on people. Firstly because I want happy clients, and secondly because I want to enjoy every single tattoo, to make sure that I put all my efforts into making it as good as I can. This way, I feel like I am fully investing in my reputation as well as the client. Meeting all these different people and exchanging stories, while tattooing, is such a fun and enriching thing to do each day. I feel very lucky in my career. It is hard work and sometimes it beats the hell out of me, because of how much of my personal time this job consumes, but I love it too much to let that stop me. For me, the rewards outweigh everything else.”

Charlotte Ball, a civil servant, with her back tattoo that took 26 hours to complete. Charlotte Ball, a civil servant, with her back tattoo that took 26 hours to complete.

Property contractor husband Liam Kay and Cheltenham entrepreneur and Beau Amis Hair & Beauty owner Gemma KayProperty contractor husband Liam Kay and Cheltenham entrepreneur and Beau Amis Hair & Beauty owner Gemma Kay

Gemma Kay – owns and runs Beau Amis Hairdressing in Montpellier

“I’ve always gone against the grain, ever since I was at school, and have always liked to be a bit different. I have a couple of quotes which mean something to me – they’re things that have been told to me over the years – but most of my tattoos are vintage designs...pearls, flowers and even a vintage hand mirror. I’ve always thought I was born in the wrong era! I had always wanted tattoos, but people said that they can make you look quite ‘butch’, so I wanted to make sure they were feminine. Luckily for me, I can get away with it in my job as it’s very much about accessorising yourself, and I feel now I can be a bit braver about showing who I really am.”

Gemma Kay's first tattoo on her neckGemma Kay's first tattoo on her neck

Liam Kay – property contractor

“My tattoo is evolution-based; it’s something that interests me, with my love of science. Many people have tribal or biblical quotes when they’re not particularly religious, so I thought something portraying Darwin and the origin of the species would be a bit different. I think it’s unique.”

Liam Kay's ongoing origin of the species tattoo featuring DarwinLiam Kay's ongoing origin of the species tattoo featuring Darwin

Nigel – ex-army/police force/Royal protection officer

Former soldier, retired Police Royal bodyguard now personal security consultant Nigel's tattoo collection, which he has had to hide during the latter period of his careerFormer soldier, retired Police Royal bodyguard now personal security consultant Nigel's tattoo collection, which he has had to hide during the latter period of his career

“Pretty much the whole top half of my body is inked, but all of them can be covered with a short-sleeved shirt. I was a Royal bodyguard and protected most of the Royal family as an armed protection officer. People still frown a little on tattoos, but it’s almost become the norm now; there are very few people who don’t have them. I’ve carried a firearm for Queen and country for the last 35 years; I joined the army at a very young age and did 30 years in the police, too. I have a quote that Winston Churchill adopted: “People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.” It suited me perfectly, having been a protection officer for the last 15 years of my police career, and an armed counter-terrorism officer for the whole of my career with the police.

Many of my tattoos are cover-ups of very old ones; as trends have changed over the last 30 years – going from full colour to black and greys. Photo-realism is a popular trend now, and they can even make tattoos look three-dimensional. A Polish lady called Daria, based at Kinky Angels in Tewkesbury, does my tattoos – she’s got a masters degree in art and is absolutely fantastic. Tattoos are a very addictive thing, so I probably will continue; it’s just a matter of where now!”

Former soldier, retired Police Royal bodyguard now personal security consultant Nigel's tattoo collection, which he has had to hide during the latter period of his careerFormer soldier, retired Police Royal bodyguard now personal security consultant Nigel's tattoo collection, which he has had to hide during the latter period of his career

Ben Thompson – student mechanical engineer

Student mechanical engineer Ben Thompson with his retro traditional blade through rose tattooStudent mechanical engineer Ben Thompson with his retro traditional blade through rose tattoo

“A tattoo is something I’ve always wanted. I did this design myself – first I found inspiration on the web and then did the finer detailing. I went for a traditional design as it’s my preference; I like the colour and style. I am planning to have other tattoos, but don’t have the money for it right now – that’s the only problem, they are quite expensive! The pain isn’t too bad at all; it’s only when it’s been going on for a few hours that it can become a bit draining. I use Dean Eberhardt at Black Letter Tattoo in Gloucester – he’s very good.”

Student mechanical engineer Ben Thompson with his retro traditional blade through rose tattooStudent mechanical engineer Ben Thompson with his retro traditional blade through rose tattoo

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Cotswold Life visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Cotswold Life staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Cotswold Life account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

More from People

Yesterday, 13:53

Alex Caccia was in two minds about setting up Animal Dynamics as a limited company, but a shark attack warning changed all of that. Tanya Gledhill meets a man on a mission to change propulsion, one animal at a time

Read more
Yesterday, 13:44

When landowners are looking to sell to housing developers, there’s only one firm they trust to do the deal: Rosconn. Tanya Gledhill meets Founder Daniel O’Donnell, the man who puts the plan into planning

Read more

Thanks to the impact of ground-breaking comedy This Country, the quiet market town of Northleach has become one of the Cotswolds’ hottest film locations. Katie Jarvis is sent to investigate

Read more
Wednesday, October 17, 2018

He quit his job with a few thousand pounds in savings and an empty garage. In less than a year, Nick Grey’s technology company Gtech was flying. Tanya Gledhill meets him

Read more
Friday, October 5, 2018

How does it feel to interview Sir Michael Parkinson, the nation’s best-ever interviewer? Katie Jarvis takes a very deep breath – and finds out

Read more
Wednesday, September 19, 2018

When Charles Martell became the latest High Sheriff of Gloucestershire, he started discovering things about the county he never knew – not to mention things about himself, too. Katie Jarvis spoke to him about saw pits, walnuts, peaceable towns and pink-headed ducks

Read more
Tuesday, September 11, 2018

A cast-iron work ethic drove Marcus Gomery from a car wash kid to Managing Director of one of Gloucestershire’s leading financial planning companies. Tanya Gledhill meets him

Read more
Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Katie Jarvis talks Marmite sandwiches and poison dart frogs - but definitely no cider - with Reggie Heyworth, who runs the Cotswold Wildlife Park

Read more
Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Exceptional design and incredible vision are the hallmarks of coombes:everitt architects. John Everitt tells Tanya Gledhill how the practice is building on its success

Read more
Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Tinnitus sufferers are being invited to use a new online, sound matching tool to help better understand their type of tinnitus and the potential treatments available to them.

Read more
Friday, August 31, 2018

You’re very welcome to leave your hat on when you go to see The Everyman’s production of The Full Monty this month, but expect Gary Lucy et al to bare all

Read more
Tuesday, August 28, 2018

From Dragons’ Den to a £20m business... Frank Tennyson meets a young inventor and businessman giving hope to aspiring creatives

Read more
Tuesday, August 28, 2018

A querulous head is dog chat for “You’re bonkers if you think I’m going to jump over that dry stone wall”

Read more
Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Jade Holland Cooper threw away her textbooks, in the middle of a Royal Ag College course, to sell 30 home-designed tweed miniskirts at Badminton Horse Trials. Her friends said she was mad. A decade later, she heads up Holland Cooper, a multi-million-pound fashion brand

Read more

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy


Latest Competitions & Offers

Topics of Interest

Food and Drink Directory A+ Education

Subscribe or buy a mag today

subscription ad

Local Business Directory

Property Search