Claire and her vintage-inspired ink

Get your tat outFeature girl: Claire Cocks
Location: London
Occupation: Cataloguer at an autograph auction house and retailer

Claire Cocks
Claire Cocks
Victorian Silhouette Tattoo
Victorian Silhouette Tattoo

What got you into tattoos and what was your first tattoo?
I’ve always loved tattoos, but I was a bit dubious about whether I’d want something so permanent, until last year! I mentioned to a friend what I had in mind and he gave me a list of artists to check out and away I went. At first I wanted a simple cameo within an ornate frame, but the design evolved until I decided on a solid black silhouette portrait of my mum.

Where did you get your tattoos done?
I got my silhouette by Lucy at Into You and my Victorian lady “Gwendolen” by Miles at Frith Street.

Are you planning any more tattoos?
Yes definitely – although it took a few months after Gwendolen to think about having another one. I’d love to get a skull and crossbones that I saw on the floor of the Campo Santo in Pisa. The crossbones have a ribbon tying them together and I love the juxtaposition of the two. I’m also looking into getting a Victorian animal engraving, so I’m hunting around second-hand bookshops for an original drawing to work from at the moment.

Where did your inspiration come from?
Victorian engravings and adverts, woodcuts, history of photography.

How would you describe your style?
Vintage inspired, but without sticking to any particular period or style, although I’m always keen on Victoriana, 1920s cross-dressing (Louise Brooks in ‘Beggars of Life’) and the 80s 1940s revival.

Victorian Corset Tattoo
Victorian Corset Tattoo - Gwendolen

Is there anyone you would like to get tattooed by?
I’d love to get tattooed by either Volko Merschky or Simone Pfaff from Buena Vista Tattoo Club – their designs are amazing. I saw them at work at the London Tattoo Convention and it has definitely spurred me on to do some saving!

Do you have a favourite tattoo?
As I only have two I think it would be unfair to have favourites!

Do your tattoos have meanings?
The portrait of my mum is commemorative – I wanted something really simple in a place that I could always see. Luckily she liked it. Gwendolen on the other hand is just pure aesthetic joy – a corset advertisement I found one day and fell in love with!

2 thoughts on “Claire and her vintage-inspired ink

  1. I think your next tattoo, Claire, should be of a Victorian dog dressed as a person. I’ve seen the perfect picture in a pub in St Albans. I’ll send you it…
    Your tats are beautiful BTW. xxx

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