Hannah is an illustrator from Brighton who is currently based in New York. All her tattoos are cat-themed, which makes her instantly amazing.
As an illustrator, you've naturally designed some of your tattoos. What was it like to hand this over to another artist for the 'cat skull' on your left leg? Was the experience different?
Definitely! With all my other tattoos I felt pretty in control, as I had either designed them or chosen a piece of artwork to use, but for this one I had to put my trust in someone else to design something I'd love. It actually ended up being a lot of fun, as John O'Hara seemed excited to design and ink it. I'd been a big fan of his work for a while, so I'm excited that I now 'own' a piece of it.
All your tattoos are cat-themed. Do you think you'll continue with this theme?
Yes, I don't see myself getting anything but cats. I like the idea of having thematically linked tattoos, but in a mixture of styles. Also, I just really like cats.
What is it you love so much about cats?
I guess I just admire them; they don't do much except eat and sleep, yet people (myself included) will do pretty much anything to get their attention/affection. They've got it down.
|Left: Nebamun fowling in the marshes, c. 1350, a painting Hannah came across at the British Museum Right: Hannah's drawing, which was later adapted into the tattoo below|
What style of tattooing attracts you the most? Are there qualities you look for in a tattoo artist?
I'm mostly attracted to black line work with either no shading or stippling. At the moment I'm a bit obsessed with hand-poked designs by artists like Slowerblack and Daisy Does Tattoos - I really like the simplicity of their work. I also love the watercolour style of Sashaunisex - it would be a dream to get tattooed by her one day.
Have you ever entertained the idea of becoming a tattoo artist?
I've definitely thought about it! I don't have any plans to try it anytime soon, but maybe one day. I've designed a couple of tattoos for friends now, and it would be super cool to actually be able to tattoo them too.
Did you always love tattoos or was it something that gradually happened?
Not really. I think for a long time I had a very narrow view of what tattoo art was. It was only about 4 or 5 years ago, when I started following some tattoo artists on Instagram, that I really became interested and aware of the huge variety of styles and techniques people used.
What would you say to someone who thought that a body with tattoos is tainted or is no longer 'pure'? We hear this language often used about women...
Personally I don't see any body as 'pure'; everyone's body ages, changes and breaks in different ways. Why not have fun with it while you have it?
Featured tattoo artists: Johno (cat skull on leg)