Melissa Hayward from Dublin, Ireland
Where did you grow up?
I grew up in Ireland, lots of different places around the country.
How was it growing up there, would you say that it influenced you?
Ireland's cool, it’s so small that everyone knows people you know! We moved a lot when I was younger; I think I went to a total of 11 different schools so I was always the "new" girl.
When did you start getting tattoos?
I waited until I turned 18 even though I wanted them way before then. I'm glad I did though because god only knows what I'd have tattooed now! As it is I ended up getting a fairy on my back that I'm in the process of covering with a big rat.
How would you describe your style?
My style changes day to day, I love playing dress up. I go from super glam to jeans and trainers depending on my mood. I do have a bit of a thing for cardigans though.
Do you consider tattoos as a serious art form?
Of course! Some of the work I've seen in the last few years is mind blowing; it almost makes me want to start lasering off bits of my tattoos so I can get tattooed all over again. Most of the visible bits of me, like my arms are already done; but in another 10 years tattoos will be even better..... and there will probably be changeable and feature fiber optics!
How do you see the tattoo culture right now?
I think it’s in fashion and at its height. It’s insane the amount of people who have full sleeves and more, I think shows like Miami Ink has a lot to do with it. I'm not sure how I feel about it, in a way its good because tattoos are becoming far more accepted but now everyone has them, it’s almost more unique not to have any as everyone has at least one tattoo.
What has been your inspiration for getting them?
I’m inspired by lots of things: art, photographs, things that I want to remember. Sometimes it’s just a stupid idea that I get tattooed at the spur of the moment because it makes me laugh; these are usually my favorite. I love old school and Japanese tattoos; they age so well and just look badass.
What’s your favorite piece?
Probably the Kitsune on my leg by Jack Mosher, it’s awesome! Or, the portrait of my dog on my leg by Remis Cizauskas. I love all my tattoos though, even the crap ones.
Do you catch people starring at you because of your ink?
Yeah, all the time. It always makes me laugh when people cover themselves from head to toe in tattoos, dye their hair funny colors and stuff then complain about people stared at- what do you expect!! I stare too. Sometimes people just aren't very discreet about it and some people think it’s ok to come and touch you, like pull up a sleeve or something to look at, that’s just rude.
What’s your most significant tattoo and why?
Probably my neck and fingers since I can't hide them. When I'm not modeling I work for myself. I made sure my business was strong enough that I wasn't going to have to go back to being employed by someone else before I got them.
What advice would you give to someone wanting to get their first tattoo?
You get what you pay for. Do your research and ask around for the best artists that specialize in the style you want, forums like www.tattoo.tv are great for this; people are always friendly and helpful. Saying that though, your first tattoo is supposed to be a bit dodgy, it’s the rules.
Will you be getting anymore?
Fo'sho, I’m getting my back done at the moment, hopefully getting my bum done soon and have plans for the rest of my left leg. My right sleeve is about 2 years overdue to be finished and I'm obsessed with getting my hands done lately.
What’s your biggest inspiration, what keeps you going?
Money, greed, and sex.
What is one thing that life has taught you?
That people = shit. I am a bit of a misanthropist though. The world is scary and people can be idiots.
Do you have a favorite quote?
Anything that Charlie Brooker writes/says. The man is my hero; it’s almost like he gets into my head and explains everything I'm thinking in a far more intelligent and funny way than I could ever put it.
Pour L' Example.....
"I'm somewhat socially inept. Slide me between two strangers at any light-hearted jamboree and I'll either rock awkwardly and silently on my heels, or come out with a stone-cold conversation-killer like, "This room's quite rectangular, isn't it?" I glide through the social whirl with all the elegance of a dog in high heels."
Anything else you would like to add?Yup, if you link to my FB Page and my Website I'll give you cake.