The ink on Jilda Yancey


Jilda Yancey from Surprise, AZ

Where did you grow up?
Well I was raised in the air force, so I kind of grew up in a few states like, New Mexico, Alaska, Florida, Michigan and Arizona. I’ve been in AZ for about 17 years now.

How was it growing up there, would you say that it influenced you? 
Definitely, I would say it influenced me, new schools, new friends, and different atmospheres… the best experience. AZ is awesome and I love it!

When did you start getting tattoos?
I got my first tattoo when I was 16, I was expressing myself through poems and drawing and I drew a picture of the moon and stars that I loved so much I decided to have it tattooed on me. 

How would you describe your style?
I don’t think I have a style exactly… I like different looks and love to change it up every once in a while.

Do you consider tattoos as a serious art form?
Of course! At least for me my tattoos tell a story, It’s a way I found I could express my life’s story. I do a lot of color because well, tattoos are beautiful and the color expresses that beauty.

How do you see the tattoo culture right now?
The tattoo culture is really growing, I see them everywhere I go now and it’s awesome.

What has been your inspiration for getting them?
My life, as young as I am I have experienced the good things in life and the bad. No matter what it was, I learned from it, and it made me who I am today.

What’s your favorite piece?
My favorite piece currently is my chest piece. The two sparrows are sewing up my heart symbolizing that no matter how many times my heart will break, it will always mend because time heals all wounds.

Do you catch people starring at you because of your ink?
All the time… I think the best experience I had was when I walked into a McDonalds for breakfast and while waiting in line an elderly man walked up to me from his table and said, “I just have to tell you, your tattoos are so beautiful and we love them.” I looked at the table where he was pointing and there was a group of elderly couples and they were all smiling at me. Amazing how far it’s come.

In your opinion, do your tattoos change your mood often?
Sure, they remind me of who I am and why I’m here today and that always makes me happy.

What’s your most significant tattoo and why?
I can’t say one is more significant than the other, I draw most of my tattoos and I put a lot of time and thought into them making them all very significant in their own way.

What advice would you give to someone wanting to get their first tattoo? 
Come up with what you want, you don’t have to be an artist but try and put it on paper what your vision is, then wait… Give it a few months and make sure you still feel the same about it if not better. Research your artist, make sure they have a solid portfolio and they will do what YOU want and not what they want. Tattoos are forever.

Will you be getting anymore?
Without a doubt! I have a few drawn up for my back, neck, feet and more! I’m just waiting now to make sure I still love them in a few months.

What’s your biggest inspiration, what keeps you going?
Honestly… my dogs, I have two Pit bulls and I’m 100% for supporting pits and standing against the horrible stereotype they have been given. They have been looked down on for years and yet they will continue to have big and loving hearts. They have given me so much love and been there for me through so much, I would do anything for them.

What is one thing that life has taught you?
We are not meant to be here forever and people will come and go, some sooner than others, but everything happens for a reason.

Do you have a favorite quote?
"Though this be madness, there is method to it." -William Shakespeare

Anything else you would like to add?
Yessssss! Follow me on Facebook.

Phographers Credits:
Mannon Pictures - 1,3,5,6.
West Eal - 2.
Daveed Benito - 4.