The ink on Ali Darling

Ali Darling from Brisbane & Northern NSW Australia

Where did you grow up?
I grew up in a military family so we moved a lot, new town and state every two years. So I guess most memorable childhood years were in different parts of Sydney.

How was it growing up there, would you say that it influenced you?
The fact that we never really settled anywhere heavily influenced my still nomadic lifestyle. I consider myself a modern gypsy, very independent and somewhat introverted. I love travelling and never really stay in one place too long and learning from all my experiences, relationships and discoveries along the way.

When did you start getting tattoos?
On my 19th birthday I got my first tattoo, It’s a pair of childlike heart shaped kites on my shoulder blades.

How would you describe your style?
I have an eclectic style. My right sleeve is a modern, feminine take on traditional style sailor tattoos. I also love realistic grey wash portraits and beautiful flowing French script. I guess my style is modern with hint of modern French boudoir.

Do you consider tattoos as a serious art form?
They can be, especially if the meaning behind them is incredibly personal. Which makes it sad when people go and copy an original idea and get it in the same place, by the same artist, it takes away from the meaning. Which is sad and makes it more of a joke.

How do you see the tattoo culture right now?
Tattoos are popular. It’s a normal thing to go and get a chest piece or sleeve outlined as soon as you turn 18 now. It does concern me a little as it does seem to be a phase for a lot of people, but then again with technology and the effectiveness of removal, tattoos aren’t exactly as ‘permanent’ as they once were. I think that plays a big part in it, especially the youth and their decisions regarding getting tattoos.

What has been your inspiration for getting them?
My overactive imagination and childhood memories.

What’s your favorite piece?
I love my mermaid thigh piece by Marija Ripley. I have an obsession for Sirens, mythological creatures and classic beauty.

Do you catch people starring at you because of your ink?
Yes, and more often than not yelled at, grabbed or touched as well. It does get annoying, just because I have pictures on my skin doesn’t give a stranger the right to interrupt my coffee by grabbing my arm and start talking to me about how we’re mates because we both have work. The stigma that surrounds young tattooed females is ridiculous, unfortunately our government is full of pretentious closed minded idiots and it’s not likely to change anytime soon.

In your opinion, do your tattoos change your mood often?
I look forward to my appointments; it makes me happy when I get something finished.

What’s your most significant tattoo and why?
Probably my little upside down umbrella on my ankle. The day I got it, Brisbane was severely flooded and people’s lives were being turned upside down. I also had an appointment to get some tumors biopsied that day, so I was really emotional.

What advice would you give to someone wanting to get their first tattoo?
Think about it. What, where, when, how and why. Research professional artists in the style you want, and don’t go to a mate’s house, SAY NO TO BACKYARDERS!

Will you be getting anymore?
Of course!

What’s your biggest inspiration, what keeps you going?
Every day I am surrounded by inspiration. My family, memories, learning, imagination, history and beauty.

What is one thing that life has taught you?
No matter how bad you think something is, there is always someone worse off than you. Never complain. Learn to love and appreciate the little things in life.

Do you have a favorite quote?
“We are the music makers, and we are the dreamers of dreams.” Willy Wonka.

Anything else you would like to add?
I’m a 23 year old young Model, Burlesque and performance artist based in Northern NSW Australia. I am travelling to the USA in February and looking forward to seeing a new part of the world. When I’m not shooting I enjoy writing, I am currently working on my memoir/novel “Cheri Monstre”. I also love to drive giant haul trucks!