Apprentice Love: Lucy Alice


Here at Things & Ink we like to share our love for finding new tattooists and support those who are making a name for themselves in the industry. Lucy Alice is a tattoo apprentice and true cat lady, who tattoos out of Cat’s Cradle Tattoo Studio in Rawtenstall, Lancashire UK. 

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How long have you been tattooing and how did you start your apprenticeship This is a super long story, so I’ll just attempt to keep it short and sweet. I’ve been tattooing just over a year now at Cat’s Cradle. I have had a few apprenticeships here and there before this one though. I started an apprenticeship when I was 18 and had another after that, but unfortunately both didn’t work out due to other commitments. I’m 24 now so it’s been a long journey but totally worth it. When you want something this much, you have to work for it and accept that it’ll take some time.

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What inspired you to become a tattoo artist? I’ve always been into art, since I can remember. I’d spend my Saturday job money on paints and sketchbooks every single week without fail. I never knew what career path I wanted to take until I was 17. We have two hair salons in the family so it was almost compulsory to go into the hair business. It was only until a customer asked what I’d like to do eventually, when my colleague said she could see me being a tattoo artist. So here we are!

How does it feel being a woman in the tattoo industry? To be honest, I haven’t had too much experience whilst tattooing. I’ve been extremely lucky with my clients, they’ve all been amazing. So that side has been great so far. Whilst apprenticing at other studios, I do believe woman are treated differently. I get told far too often that I’m too nice and therefore get taken advantage of frequently. I’m really lucky to be in a studio now in which I feel equal and taken care of. And let’s not leave out tattooed women in general! The looks we get, the amount of people that grab your arm to “take a closer look”. Not forgetting the “what about on your wedding day?” speeches from the older generation.

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How would you describe your style? This is always a difficult one for me. I’d say traditional with a little crazy spin. I love drawing faces on anything! Using wacky colours for animals that aren’t technically that colour (*ahem* pink). I draw a lot of cute bits and bobs but still love old school traditional. Muted colours mixed with brights are my favourite colour palettes.

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What inspires your tattoos? Are there any artists that you love? My cats. End of. I say every day that I just flipping love cats! I currently have five so they give me a lil’ inspiration now and again. My all time favourite artist is definitely Jemma Jones from Sacred Electric. I get tattooed by Jemma when I can and have followed her work for years. She inspires me on the daily and she’s just a lovely person in general. Some other artists I absolutely love are Harriet Heath, Gemma Carter and Kelly Smith.

What do you love to tattoo and what would you like to do more of? I absolutely LOVE tattooing cats. Big cats, small cats, they’ll all do. I also love tattooing cherubs, babies, moons, clowns, lady heads, any animals. Basically if it’s cute, I wanna tattoo it!

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How does tattooing make you feel? Including the tattoos you create and the tattoos you have on your own body. It’s a crazy feeling when you really think about it. The fact that people enjoy my work enough to have it on their skin forever. It’s incredible. The pieces that I have on my own body make me feel so much more confident. I’ve collected pieces by all of my favourite artists and couldn’t be happier with the outcome. I love that when I get tattooed, people recognise pieces by different artists. It’s nice to know that they have perfected their own styles enough to distinguish it amongst others. That’s what I’m aiming for.

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