A woman branded her face with the word ‘cursed’ to chase her dream of becoming a tattoo artist – after vowing never to have a normal job again.
Kayleigh Peach, 26, spent four years working as a barista for Starbucks before ditching her coffee-serving career to do something more artistic.
To mark the point of no return, Kayleigh, who is also a former lingerie model, had the word tattooed over her right eyebrow on the first day of her apprenticeship as a tattooist, three years ago.
For the past year she has worked at the Tattooed Gent parlour, on Erdington High Street, Birmingham, as a junior and one day hopes to achieve the top in her profession.
Kayleigh, who has 60 per cent of her body covered in tattoos, said: “I got the word ‘Cursed’ tattooed on my face the first day I was apprenticed as a tattoo artist so I would persevere in the industry.
“Previously I had worked in the hospitality industry and swore that I would never go back and I suppose with the tattoos I won’t be able to.
“I thought the word cursed was appropriate because when I was younger I thought I literally was cursed.
“When I was little my nickname was ‘Mouse’ because I was so quiet and barely ever spoke.
“Growing up I was quite fuggled [sic], at 18 I was so shy and timid, thinking I was cursed.
“Having tattoos completely changed my whole perspective on life and they give me confidence.
“It wasn’t my first tattoo but it definitely made a statement.
“I think a lot of the attraction for people is to have meaningful things, it makes you feel good about yourself.
“It’s a form of self expression.
“They can help people who, for example, have scars, to cover them up.
“I’ve always had an interest in art ever since I was little, I used to sit at the dinner table drawing with mum, that’s where I think I got my interest from.
“I always had that creative spirit, all the way through school.
“Sometimes when you go out, it’s not so much what people say, it’s just that they look at you, they give you weird stares.
“When my dad and step-mum got married they didn’t allow me to become a bridesmaid, because of the tattoo on my chest, they are very accepting of it now though.
“I’ve tattooed my dad since, he’s even tattooed ‘Dad’ on me.
“Tattoos do seem to be popular nowadays with many people, I don’t just think it’s celebrities like David Beckham I think it’s a great form of self expression.
“It means they can express who they are as a person, each tattoo has memories attached.
“I’ve also had a rose tattooed on my left check [face], it symbolises things like romance and beauty.
“So far it’s been a really enjoyable experience. I just want to progress.
“Everyday you are always learning new things, even years down the line. That is what I love about it, the challenge.
“I done a bit of modelling before, I started when I was 19, including some boudoir stuff, lingerie.
“I’ve appeared in magazines like Skin Deep and a few other online publications but I though I’d make a clean brake when I started tattooing.
“I’d like to do a few more photo-shoots though, more creative stuff.
“I’ve even given my partner, Jack Roberts, [day job logistics HS2] some tattoos, a couple of little ones, he does boxing and MMA [cage] fighting so I did a little pair of boxing gloves on his leg.”
Carl Coyne, 32, owner of the shop, said: “Kayleigh’s really coming on now. She is eager to learn and really receptive to doing things better.”