We spent some words with this delicious Canadian girl, Tank Girl diehard fan, devoted daughter of a sailing family, big tattoo lover and race speed enthusiast
Valerie, how you became queen of May on 2020 Tattoo Life Official Calendar?
I follow the amazing Christian Saint on Instagram and have always loved his work. He had a contest last year: 1 of 10 spots to shoot with him in NYC… and I entered of course! I was chosen and flew to NYC last July for this once in a lifetime opportunity. We shot for something like 8 hours and so many different looks.
With the hopes something may be included in the magazine or calendar. So it’s a dream come true for me.
Are you a professional model or do you have another day-job?
I’m by no means a professional model. I think I’m too silly for it! But I’m lucky to have been shot by some incredible people and I enjoy it very much. I have 2 jobs, really. I work for the city, driving big things & I am a hair stylist.
You are very comunicative: tell me something more about you.
Something about me… that’s a tough one! (laughs) I’m pretty obsessed with military things. I have all my Grandfathers keepsakes from World War II: his coat, metals, letters etc. I love all the vehicles too. And about my tattoos, I have 27 ones: I had to count them! (giggles) The sleeve is by far the largest, however.
I see a threatening octopus attacking a sailing ship on your left sleeve. Why?
My nautical sleeve is a tribute to my father & Grandfather. (it says “Dadee & G-pa” in a banner on my forearm) because I come from a real sailing family. I love all things nautical and the ship on my shoulder is the famous tall ship “Pathfinder” from Toronto.cMy father was a member of what is now called “Toronto Brigantine” when he was 14. It’s a sailing school where you learn to work that ship. It made him who he is today.
Why those brushed stars on your left breast?
I haven’t always liked my body, honestly. And I thought a decoration would help that, and it certainly has… The artist- Cory Ferguson, was just venturing into hand poked tattoos at the time and I loved the look (I have another on my thigh).
So we designed something and the rest is history. I had planned to get a very large handpoked piece on my side and leg but that dream never came to fruition.
May you tell the names of your favourite tattoo artists?
I’ve met (and can proudly say I’m friends with) some incredible artists. I’m thankful for their time and the gifts they’ve given me. Although there are many more I’d love to have tattoo me. Here’s a short list: Cory Ferguson (@coryferguson) working at “Good Point Tattoos” in Oakville/Ontario: he’s responsible for quite a few of my first tattoos, including my portraits. Aaron Hill (@aaron_hill) working at “Under my Thumb Tattoo” in Toronto: he did my sleeve. Timothy Strange (@timothystrange) & Shantelle Macdonald (@shantelletattoos) working at “Bold Statement” in Georgetown/Ontario. Travis Cadeau (@traviscadeau). Lila Way (@lila_way_tattooer). Kirsty Mckenna (@tattoomiss) working at “True Grit” in Burlington/Ontario. Stan Lee, Bert Jackson (@bertjacksonartist), Monster Black & Rob Touten (@rot10) working at “Waycool Tattoos” in Oakville/Ontario. I bet I’m forgetting someone!
Favourite music to begin the day? And favourite TV series to binge-watch before going to sleep?
I usually listen to Motown records in the morning. It always gets me dancing (smiles): that or 70s rock. I don’t binge a ton and I watch a lot of political satire before bed. I’m a sucker for the original “Top Gear” & Gran Turismo TV and a lot of british comedy like “The It Crowd” o “Little Britain”.
Just in case… are you a fan of ‘Tank Girl’ comics? Is there a bit of Rebecca Buck inside you?
Fonzie! (laughs) I’m known to a lot of people as just “Tank Girl” and I’ve been a diehard fan since the 90s. My Jeep said Tank Girl on it, my Instagram is @tttankgirl. The fact that I don’t have a full back piece dedicated to her is a disgrace!
Will it happen someday? I mean – that back piece…
Yeah, someday! (laughs) Tank Girl/Rebecca Buck is a lot of who I am and wish I was. I love badass female characters and gravitate toward them, often. She’s been my #1 for ages though. I’ve even cosplayed her! Lori Petty was incredible in that role, I wish more people knew of the comics/movie. Such a cult classic!