Introducing a woman who has used tattoo art as a sort of self help to cope with difficult moments in her life. An interview which is nothing short of illuminating.
Hi Lucrezia, on your Instagram account you define yourself as a “tattooed sensation” and “fashion diva”. But can you explain your role as a “Mental Health Advocate”?
Personally, I don’t see “Mental Health Advocate” as work and as far as I’m concerned neither is Instagram.
I am someone who, unfortunately, since 2019 has had some mental health issues and the message I really want to get across, what lies behind that “Mental Health Advocate”, is that it is absolutely normal not to always feel 100%. And there is nothing wrong with expressing your feelings. Quite the opposite.
It’s always better to talk about it than to hide it, don’t you think?
Yes. For a few years now I’ve started to talk openly about my “problems” on Instagram and what I’d like to do – and what I’m trying to do at the moment – is to create a safe space for all those people who feel “different”. A situation I found myself in for years and something I still feel at times.
When exactly did you get into tattoos?
My relationship with tattoos is more to do with overcoming my insecurities than just “love of ink”. Obviously I have a great love of tattoo art, it’s goes without saying, but for me tattoo was (and still is, at times) a kind of self help to cope with difficult moments in my life. Most of my tattoos I’ve got over the past three years since I began to suffer from depression and the “pain” of tattoo has been a way to distract my mind from the pain I was feeling inside.
Since I tend to be a very shy person, I decided to put myself and my story on my skin.
You are 99% covered in Black ‘n’ Grey, then there’s that 1% of red sublimated on the right hand side of your back. Do you want to tell me about it?
The red tattoo on my back is a Hah Taew (or Sak Yant 5 lines), a spiritual protection in Thai culture. Same thing for the Gao Yord I’ve got in the centre of my back.
It’s pointless looking for a sort of common language among your tattoos, but if we pause for a moment over the different lettering you have got (“Sexy”, “Vixen”, “Hell Bent”, “Night Diva”) there is a sort of female empowerment vibe. Would I be right?
Well, many of the words I have tattooed – for example, “Vixen”, “Fearless”, “Sexy” or “Hell Bent” – were done to remind myself of the value of my own beauty which I am sometimes unable to see. As I already mentioned, for me tattoo is a way of getting over my insecurities. I have always believed that our first supporters have to be ourselves, so those words (and others) are a way of reminding myself of how much I’m worth.
In the centre of your chest you have three letterings which need a proper explanation: “Good Girl”, “Naive” and “Bad Seed”…
“Good Girl” and “”Bad Seed” are correlated since I think that all of us have a good and “bad” side. The third one, “Naive”, is just a word I liked. Meaning I think we need a bit of “ingenuity” at times, but the idea for that lettering came to me before the other two.
Do you feel like a bit of an “icon” as you have tattooed in the middle of your chest?
No, the “Icon” tattoo is only connected with a song which at the time of the tattoo I was listening to a lot. As far as I’m concerned, my tattoos represent my personality – they probably say “a total mess” and you’d better believe it! (laughs) – and obviously we all make choices for fun, impulsive choices, carefully pondered choices, painful choices, and so on. “Icon” was simply a choice I felt like making at that particular moment, but without any particular meaning.
And without in any way feeling like an “icon” myself because that is one thing I know I’m not.
Would I be right in thinking there is an Egyptian component behind the choice of some of your tattoos?
My tattoos are my story, the good and the bad, the painful and happy moments in my life. As regards the choice of the subjects, it always depends on what I find aesthetically pleasing, the meaning and what I think will look good on my body. There are two Egyptian pieces on my skin, but I also have subjects from Japanese art, floral compositions, ornamental motifs, a few Old School pieces and a couple of Traditional ones.
Personally I have never felt like I belonged to any specific category and I’ve transferred the same thing to the ink on my body.
You’re really starting to run out of space on your skin. Have you got any big projects in the pipeline or will the next tattoos be ones chosen at random?
The only big project I have planned is to finish my back. That I will be able to say I’ve got to the end of my tattoo journey since I have no plans to tattoo my legs, apart from the pieces I’ve already got.
Who is your tattooist or tattooists of choice?
I have pieces by many tattooists on my body, all Italian. Some are friends, others people I’ve had the pleasure to work with and others artists whose work I really like.
Have you got any favourite soundtrack for a particular moment during your day?
Music always keeps me company throughout the day. One of the artists I like the most is Mac Miller, but I don’t have a favourite genre. Same thing for films and TV series.
Have you read the books of Valentina Dallari including her latest ‘Uroboro’ which came out last January? Do you know one another?
I’ve read Valentina’s first book ‘Non Mi Sono Mai Piaciuta’ (‘I’ve Never Liked Myself’), and to a certain way I see myself in her, but unfortunately I only know her through Instagram.
And your famous last words to wind up this interview are…
Never be afraid to be yourself.