Ms. Angi began modeling almost 2 years ago, while starting to feel the need for a new creative outlet after becoming a stay-at-home mom. “I love my family to death, but I have been an artist my entire life and really needed something to do where I could be creative again.”
“I wanted to be tattooed since my early teenage years. It started with a few body piercings and crazy clothes.” In high school she took an interest in alternative punk and gothic fashion, and since she had been extremely shy as a child, this became her form of self-expression. Once she was old enough, tattooing became an extension of this self-expression and allowed her to gain more confidence.
Her first tattoo was on her 18th birthday, and was the piece she has on her back. A lot of people had advised her to start with something small, but that wasn’t the case as she proceeded with the 3-hour piece. Next she started her right sleeve…”I don’t really see the point in getting a small tattoo, if you are going to get tattooed, just do it to the fullest!” Once this tattoo was finished, she began her apprenticeship as a tattoo artist. “Once I had my first tattoo experience, I realized that I could make art and express myself creatively, but still have a practical money-making job as a tattoo artist.”
Once her apprenticeship was complete, Angi took over a tattoo studio in a small Northern California community. She ran it quite successfully for a number of years and learned a lot about tattooing and art in general. After the birth of her second child though, she felt like she really should stay home to raise her family, and sold the tattoo studio. “Staying home all of the time was a quite an adjustment for me, I have always kept myself busy with either art or running a business. But it has been the best decision I ever made, and my kids certainly deserve it.”
Angi still tattoos on occasion, mostly on family and friends or by special request. “I honestly enjoy tattooing a lot more now that I don’t have to do it for a living. I can take more time on the design and creativity, I never feel rushed or stressed, and I don’t have to feel the pressure of running a business. Plus, I can be more selective on the people and designs that I want to tattoo.”
Recently she has decided to pursue alternative modeling. She realized that she would never make it in the fashion industry being petite and tattooed, but has had a good amount of success as a tattoo model. “I love being able to transform into different looks, and wear crazy fashions that I can’t get exactly wear while taking my son to school. Plus, being a “tattoo model” I am able to rationalize having to get more tattoos…right? Although, I had never planned to stop in the first place.”
Most of her tattoos were done by various artists who worked in her shop. She is currently getting work done by two artists at The Black Lotus Tattoo in Modesto, CA. She is now getting some cover-up sleeve work by Phillip Bertram and had previously gotten some black and gray work done on the top of her back and neck by James Hanna. She has plans to get a lot more work done, including finishing the rest of her back and adding on to the fairy on her left thigh. “I don’t think I will ever really be done getting tattoos, it has been such a big and important part of my life that I can’t imagine the journey ever ending.”
Instagram: @ms.angi – Photography by: Katie Bee’s Photography