The story behind my latest tattoos

Hidden in the depths of my SD card lurch these photos snapped by the ever amazing Natasha I don’t often walk around with cling film masking tapped to my arms but I’d waited a while to get another tribute tattoo for my late mum, I now have two dedicated around the time she passed away but six in total for her but these piece meant a hell of a lot more to me then the others. I asked the amazing Dirt Nap who is a long time friend of Lyzi from being little and came high recommend I just always knew it was him who I wanted to create this piece for Mum. 

I am a bit of a veteran when it comes to tattoos and I’ve got about 24 dotted on various parts of my body some done by ex’s some done by me, and the majority done by my favourite artist but these two piece came with the most significance I’m not really one together sentimental tattoos but I wanted something that would be on me forever as a reminded of my Mum’s battle those last few days to try and stay alive. I’ve spoken pretty candidly about my mothers death. You can read a little more here about my loss  and still at times now I feel that I never really had a mother at all as it’s still pretty hard for me to comprehend that she wont be coming home. 

The idea behind the tattoo is really pretty simple, when my mum’s life machine was switched off and she was pretty much expected to die there and then her heart kept beating for far longer then expected she had some strength left in her as we stood for three hours around her hospital bed waiting for her heart to stop beating, I got the words by Ben Howard an amazing musician that I went to Falmouth Uni with “keep your head up, keep your heart strong” which actually had a weird link to Oli the tattooist who went to college with the singer so I took that as an amazing sign. Now we had planned to have it together on one arm but at the last minute we decided to turn it into two tattoos. 

I was so over the moon and overwhelmed by the work Oli did, on the day of getting it I had it done at Parliament tattoo I just felt this lack of stress and anyone who knows me knows my anxiety levels outside of my comfort zone are just crazy but the day of the tattoo wasn’t filled with any stress or dread which made for an really nice experience if you can call getting a tattoo a nice experience. 

I know tattoos aren’t for everyone and my dad hates mine, its just an extension of me, sometimes I wish they weren’t there so people don’t look at me weirdly or question my choices but it’s part and parcel I guess of being creative with your skin and barely regret them . I love the meaning and even though these photos don’t show how simple and lovely they are I have them on me forever, I know my mum would tut at me and say “Ella you’re sucha tit” but that brings the biggest smile to my face and at the end of the day isn’t that what life is about, isn’t that just the best way to remember someone with a smile and a less heavier heart then yesterday? difference is now I can wear mine on my sleeve to tell the world its ok to miss someone special. 



  1. November 7, 2017 / 4:04 pm

    Thank you for sharing your story and journey Ella! I don't think you'll ever know how much you being so open and honest about your experience and feelings from your mum passing, has impacted and helped others. I love your two new tattoos especially the heart, they're fab! x

  2. November 9, 2017 / 6:42 pm

    Just from what you've written here, your Mum sounds like an incredibly strong woman – and what a beautiful sentiment behind the tattoos. That's so rad that you and the tattooist had a link through Howard's lyrics! That's one of my all time favourite songs, and helped me through a rough time early last year. Whenever I listen to it, it lifts me back up, and so I hope the lyrics and tattoo does the same for you 🙂

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