The ink on Alloy Ash

Alloy Ash from Detroit, MI

Where did you grow up?
Metro Detroit area.

How was it growing up there, would you say that it influenced you?
The Detroit architecture definitely, we have the most beautiful buildings around, which still inspire me today.  I love going to the city to wonder and explore.

When did you start getting tattoos?
I got my first tattoo after my mom’s passing, a woman and a butterfly, since we talked about getting matching butterfly tattoos. My friend was apprenticing through New Skool Tattoos in Detroit and that's how I met my boyfriend, who has done the majority of my tattoos.

How would you describe your style?
I'm candy coated violence, Victorian chaos. I can go one day wearing a Inkaddict basketball jersey and thigh high tube socks, to high heels and dress, to an Alice in wonderland costume. I really don't have a style, I just dress how I feel like every day.

Do you consider tattoos as a serious art form?
Absolutely, it's no less an art form as a painter, sculptor etc. Tattoo artists put their heart and souls into tattoos.

How do you see the tattoo culture right now?
It’s getting ruined. “How to” TV shows, tattoo supply shops selling to the public, home tattooers, tattoo shops on every street corner, it's sad.

What has been your inspiration for getting them?
Most of my tattoos are inspired by artists or music that inspires me, Emilie Autumn, Mizuno Junko, Lost Fish etc. I have so many more planned out, including one in memory of my grandfather, which will be the crypt keeper and iced animal crackers.

What’s your favorite piece?
That's hard to narrow down, I have a lot of great tattoos. My thigh tattoos probably get the most attention, they are elaborate script in red/pink that says, "Beautiful Suffering", and I put a lot of thought into it. It's a big bummer that being one of my favorite tattoos, it was recently copied exactly by some random girl.

Do you catch people starring at you because of your ink?
My tattoos, my boobs, my ass hanging out of my pants, because they saw me in a magazine cover. My absurd sense of fashion, I get looked at weird all the time, I don't mind. People do stop me and ask if my throat tattoo hurt or what my thigh tattoos say, etc.

In your opinion, do your tattoos change your mood often?
I wouldn't say in general, but I'm a fan of pain and physical pain is a great release. So if I'm in a slump or things are really bad, a tattoo is definitely a good temporary fix, it's relaxing no matter how bad the spot.

What’s your most significant tattoo and why?
Oh boy, I have a lot. My butterfly and lady is for my mom, I'll be adding the crypt keeper and iced animal crackers for my grandpa. I have a teacup on my foot, because I collect 1800's teacups. And a lot of my tattoos are based off of artists who I like and inspire me in painting, music, etc. like Emilie Autumn, Lost Fish and Mizuno Junko.

What advice would you give to someone wanting to get their first tattoo?
For the love of teacups and naked ladies, don't get tattooed by a hack or out of a house! I hate seeing beautiful girls with awful tattoos. Go see a professional and look at portfolios.

Will you be getting anymore?
Tons! I think I have my next 7-8 planned out,..and they aren't small! Thighs, calf, sternum, another sleeve & collar. A bunch! Always excited, my artist is always busy so we usually do a big chunk of tattooing right before a convention or something.

What’s your biggest inspiration, what keeps you going?
Art, music, architecture, etc. I can see a piece of art, a building, or hear a song that inspires me to instantly sit and create for a month. Or just to start doing research on it, it's origins. I'm a big nerd like that.

What is one thing that life has taught you?
Recently, it's to stop putting in so much effort in friendships when you aren't getting anything in return, I hate to always be the one begging friends to hang out or always initiating calls. Call me and tell me you want to go shopping, hang out and have tea, go to a show.

Do you have a favorite quote?
“That's the problem with heroes, really. Their only purpose is to thwart others. They make no plans, develop no strategies. They react instead of act. Without villains, heroes would stagnate. Without heroes, villains would be running the world. Heroes have morals. Villains have work ethic.” -Narration from the last Avengers story comic book.

Anything else you would like to add?
I'll be on the cover of Tattoo Life soon, so be sure to grab a copy!