Since entering the tattoo scene six months ago, 23 year old singer and South London local girl Gabby Colledge has developed a unique and fresh tattoo style, gaining her recognition in the tattoo world, fashion world (Refinery 29, Elle Australia, The Debrief UK) and a huge social media following. Specialising in delicate designs and pointillism style dot work, Gabby's work is at the forefront of the modern tattoo movement. We kicked off our celebration of young, up-and-coming creative talents by having a chat with this mega-babe.
How / why did you get into tattooing?
I'd studied Fine Art at Chelsea College of Art for four years, mostly doing colourful abstract painting and video work, and wasn’t really sure how to translate my art into a career. I’ve always had a passion for tattoos, so I risked quitting my hospitality job of seven years for an apprenticeship at Demzines in Streatham. Luckily the work flowed instantly and it took off at a speed that I couldn’t have imagined!
You've got a huge (and growing!) following. Being so busy with tattooing, how do you make time for song-writing and performing?
Although tattooing is admittedly fairly all consuming and takes up most of my time, I allow a couple days a week to write songs and re-gather! While I’m busy and active I generally feel more motivated musically anyway, and it’s a lovely release to pick up the guitar and go into my own little world of writing!
Where do you find inspiration for your designs?
Many of my designs are ideas that the client has requested, which definitely keeps me on my toes and can be fairly adventurous! It’s really sweet to hear the back-stories of their ideas, which are more often than not family based or relatable to a certain feeling or time in their lives. Most of my personal designs are inspired by nature, and by things I’ve randomly seen while walking around.
You're well known for you beautiful botanical designs. Are they your favourite to tattoo, or have you got another style you love to do?
Six months ago I dreaded attempting to draw a flower! The high demand for these pieces has given me so much practice, and in a very hippy way I’m becoming so much closer to nature because of it. They are currently my favourite pieces to tattoo yes; they’re a lot more fluid and free in their nature, so I get to do a lot of freehand line and dotwork within them which is always fun.
What's your perfect outfit to tattoo in?
My khaki dungarees and some Nike trainers – it has to be something comfy that I don’t mind covering in ink.
Have you ever tattooed yourself?
I’ve done a few little ones around my ankles, and gradually built up the courage to do a larger leafy peony piece on my leg. Surprisingly the pain isn’t too bad as the concentration is so high!
Where do you see your career taking you in 5 years time?
It’s hard to say, as a career in music is so unpredictable, however I’d ideally like to find a balance between singing and tattooing, doing them both professionally. I’d also like to travel with the tattooing, and do some guest spots in other countries! Things have unfolded so quickly within these first six months that it really excites me to see what the future holds.
Follow Gabby Colledge on Instagram: @gabbycolledge
Sound Cloud: https://soundcloud.com/gabby-colledge