Anne



Anne's chest is home to a colourful family of butterflies that look like they've travelled from a magical kingdom into our ordinary world. A bit like Anne...

How did you get into tattoos?

I get into tattoo in 1986 when I was around 19 years old. At this time in France, not many young women had tattoos and I was very proud to have my first tattoo. I think I wanted to be different and rebel. My friends thought it was really cool, but I grew up in a medium-size town and conservative, like most of French people are. Most of people at the time were connecting tattoos with prisons and for a young woman to have tattoo they thought it was bad taste and rough. Some people close to me were shocked. My mum was saying "what did you do to yourself?"



What do your tattoos say about you as a person? For example, they're very colourful - does that signify something about you?

I love colourful and pretty tattoos. I'm a positive and most of the time happy person and my tattoo is a way to show it. I always love nature and flowers. I think to have tattoos with colour give you a good energy.

Tell me about your experience with tattoo artists.

Most of my tattoos didn't cost me anything. I use to squat and had a friend squatter who was doing tattoos for very cheap. I had a friend who had a tattoo shop and for my birthday she used to offer me tattoos. One of her tattooist used to love my carrot cake and for baking a cake for him he was tattooing me! It was a good time. I would never have so many tattoos if I had pay for them. A crazy experience was when I decided 17 years ago to have two dots of ink on my face instead of makeup. With my crazy idea, I looked in Yellow Pages for a facial tattoo artist. I find one somewhere in east London and went on Saturday when it was a day without appointments. The guy was doing tattoos in his garage. I remember all this people waiting for a tattoo. After a few hours, I had my two dots. It took him 5 minutes. I was so proud!




Has being heavily tattooed had an impact in your life?

It can impact in your life, but it depends on the people around you. For example, when I go to visit my family in Brittany, France I get really bad looks from people. Now, if I need to see my family, I will go during winter when I’m covered. My own mum can't look at my tattoos. Last week, after sending her a picture of me, she says my tattoos look like insects crawling on me! My tattoos is a part of me and to be honest I don't think about it. It's just me.

Has it become easier or more challenging to have tattoos as time passes?

At my age sometimes difficult. At the beginning of summer, when I know I need to wear less clothes, I feel for few days uncomfortable. But after few days am back to myself. I am who I am. I was not like this when I was younger. When I was younger, I didn't care about people looking at me and judging me, but when I get older I don't really want people looking at me as if I’m an alien or judging me. Sometimes you want to be invisible in the society. I met people who wanted to meet me because I looked different, but I don't want that. I just want people to appreciate who am I inside, not outside.





People who don't have tattoos often warn that it will be a source of regret later in life. From your experience is there any truth in that?

It can be a source of regret, but if you choose to have a lot of tattoos you need to think about it. To be honest, I will never advise my children to have tattoos on hand and neck yet because the society can be very judgmental about it.

Did you ever experience negative reactions as a tattooed mother?

I had a lot of bad experience with my tattoos when my kids were young. Going to playground for years and none of mum talk to you because of your look. I took my kids everyday and never met or spoke to anyone. I think I used to scare them. This playground was so cliquey. Am glad my kids are grown up now! At school, doctor, hospital, some people will judge you straight away because of your tattoos, but when they know you they will realise you just a normal person with colour on your skin.

What advice do you give your daughter about feeling beautiful inside and outside?

The best advice I give to my beautiful daughter is to be yourself. Love and respect yourself and don't judge people by the cover.








"When I was being tattooed it was as though the needle was uncovering these images on my arm, rather than adding them."
- Gabriella Apicella



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