From needle to nib: Tattooist turns to new lockdown art career
- Credit: Neil Didsbury
When Norfolk artist Leighanne Devaney now goes to work, there's no one flinching as she creates her art.
Instead, Miss Devaney, 31, from Dereham, happily creates intricate pictures of tigers and flowers - but all with a pen or paintbrush and no needles and ink involved.
She's had to put her love of creating tattoos on hold because of lockdown and to keep busy and generate some income, she's turned her hand at artwork on paper instead.
And the change in career has so far paid off with commissions coming in for artwork depicting pets and loved ones.
Miss Devaney, who went to art college, always wanted to be a tattoo artist and has worked for six years from her own studio Devaney's Tattoos and Removals in Dereham's Aldiss Court, High Street.
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"My mum always said I was going to do something different, I was always putting temporary tattoos on and changing my hair.
"I've got 13 tattoos myself, not that many for a tattoo artist, and my favourite is one on my leg of my cat Cecil.
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"Doing tattoos is quite emotional, it's so powerful and I've cried quite a few times. I was once asked to do a mum's signature and her last heart beat on a daughter and father and I cried afterwards for days. A tattoo is very personal, it means so much to someone. If you are correcting someone else's work because they didn't get it quite right, the pressure is really on."
Miss Devaney said tigers and roses were really popular tattoos and some, if it was a sleeve, could take several six hour sessions to finish.
"I've always been into art but I just lost touch with it because I just didn't have the time when I was doing the tattoos. I'm currently teaching myself how to use water colours but I don't use oils; at home I have two cats and it would just be too messy."
She can't wait to be able to open her tattoo parlour again when lockdown eases. But for now, she's enjoying creating artistry which is ending on people's walls rather than their skin.