After getting tattooed by a woman, I decided that I would never get tattooed by a man again. Partially because I want to support women in the tattoo industry (and any industry) in any way I can — especially women occupying traditionally male spaces — and partially because the experience was so much nicer. I wasn't trying to force conversation with a guy I had only just met (and a guy I couldn't yet trust), but the artistry itself reflected a femininity that I doubt could have been achieved with a male tattoo artist. Of course, no one tattoo artist or experience will be the same as any other! But the work of these talented and badass women simply benefits from a female touch.
As it was my first large piece and my first largely personal piece, I needed my ink to be perfect. I contacted Jody Dawber, who I'd long loved on Instagram, told her I wanted two magpies (I couldn't get one at a time for superstitious reasons), and left her to it.
The designs she showed me on the day were beautiful and intricate; but as well as that, she listened to my own ideas and incorporated them as she worked. Now, I'm left with a beautiful tattoo and a tattoo created by a woman who holds ideals and ideas of beauty similar to my own. Although I don't doubt the talent of men in the tattoo business, it's definitely time that we let all the brilliant women in the field shine.
1. Jody Dawber/jodydawber
This sternum piece exemplifies Dawber's gorgeous designs with her always perfect color palettes.
2. Rachel Baldwin/rachelbaldwintattoo
I love Baldwin's pop culture themed tattoos the most, and the way she manages to make ink look like it's glittery!
3. Lucy O'Connell/lucylucyhorsehead
O'Connell incorporates fun with intricacy in her unique tattoo style to create absolute art.
4. Jemma Jones/wolfspit
Jones' greyscale designs can range from traditional to outlandish but always end up looking gorgeously classy.
5. Amanda Toy/amandatoy
Owner and artist of her own tattoo parlor, it's obvious why Toy has achieved so much when looking at her stunningly original work.
6. Martha Blek/marthablek
Blek's deliciously dark style takes us on a different route from the stereotypical "girly" tattoo.
7. Kelly Smith/kellysmithtattoos
Smith's traditional style makes me sing, "Anything you can do, I can do better!"
8. Hannah Von Farren/hvftattoo
Von Farren works only in black and uses a lot of dot work, but this is in no way limiting to her creativity! Her work is beautiful.
9. Abbie Williams/abbiewilliamstattoo
Williams' unapologetically feminine work makes me drool, literally.
10. Sam Whitehead/samwhiteheadtattoos
Whitehead doesn't shy away from taking girly that one step further, and her almost campy work embodies everything I aspire to in life.
11. Georgina Liliane/georginaliliane
The intricacy that goes into Georgia Liliane's work leaves me speechless every time it comes up on my Instagram feed.
Images: Georgina Jones; jodydawber, rachelbaldwintattoo, lucylucyhorsehead, wolfspit, amandatoy, marthablek, kellysmithtattoos, hvftattoo, abbiewilliamstattoo, samwhiteheadtattoos, georginaliliane/Instagram