The tattoo diaries by Lydia Amor: coming clean

Lydia 3

Yo, yo, yo. This week I’m a blabber on about me. Let’s call it a bit of a ‘get to know’, you know?…

Basically, if you’ve read any of my previous blogs you’ll probably have worked out that I’m a hand-poke tattoo artist, working out of Leicester city centre in a beautiful shop called Sakura Tattoo. I’ve been based here for around 6 months now, which has absolutely flown by!

Previous to this, I worked in a studio in Tamworth, solely as a body piercer. At the time, I worked alongside my boyf, Mike Love, who is a hand-poke tattoo artist too (talk about keeping it in the family, eh?).

Mike Love and Lydia Amor. Photo: JustJodie Photography.

Mike Love and Lydia Amor. Photo: JustJodie Photography.

His work is very specialist, bad-ass, and features big, bold lines. I was always asking him to tattoo little dainty mandalas and patterns on me, but he would always be reluctant… after all, his natural style is much the opposite.

At this point in time, I spent all of my spare time (away from piercing) drawing geometric pieces, especially mandalas. I have had a love for body modification for a long time before I even started getting tattooed, so my long-term plan at the time was to eventually learn scarification practices and venture down the body modification road. So I was practising drawing in ways that would work for scarification designs.

Lydia 4

At the same time, I was hearing a lot about the hand-poke tattooing world through Mike, as he was discovering a lot at the same time.

It seems as if one day I woke up and was all-encompassed by the methods and history of hand-poking. It seemed to have taken over my mind and it was a good month or two before I told Mike about it. After all, at that time hand-poking was kind of like his baby and I didn’t want him to think I was trying to ‘intrude’.

Looking back now it was stupid of me to think like that, as I knew Mike is the most understanding, encouraging human ever. But we shared a lot of our life together already and I kind of wanted it to be his own thing. Anyway, I ended up coming clean and telling him how much I wanted to learn.

And the rest is historyyyyy…

Lydia 5

Hand-poking today is mostly self-taught as there aren’t a lot of artists out there, and of the few that are, most don’t have the time or facilities to take apprentices. So, Mike taught me a few basic techniques, I already had the sterile field as I was working as a piercer, and I just practised and practised!

I now have my own techniques that work for me, wonderful clients and a super supportive shop helping to push me further and further.

I’m inspired by a lot of other artists, the majority are actually machine tattoo artists that work in really large scales. I’d love to do more larger geometric pattern pieces so hit me up if you’re down!

Lydia 1

I’m still as much in love today with body modification as I ever have been. I have a lot planned for my own body and my ideas for my own body modification journey is always changing slightly, so I’m trying to hold off on a lot for a while, until I have a clear vision of how I’d like my body to be.

I’m still very much a baby at 20, so I’d like to hope that I’ve got a lot of time left yet to be able to do the things I want to.

Lydia 2

That being said, I’m very much an impulsive and spontaneous person and nothing is really a definite ‘no’ for me. Sometimes I fear I can get a little out of hand.

I find people bringing me back to earth quite a lot, which at the time I absolutely loathe but after a while I end up thanking people for convincing me ‘you really need to think about that‘.

On the other hand, I’m not the type of person to regret a decision I make by myself. I look on everything as a memory of a particular time. Even if that memory is a bit shitty, it’s evidence, for me.

Evidence that I’ve overcome bad times before, and can sure as hell do it again.

Lydia 6

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