Body Art by Hayley

Hayley Lakemani was born in fort worth, TX but have grown up in charlotte since i
was 5. i have always been artistic. my parents were always
encouraging- i used to enter and win lots of coloring contests as a
child. i remember my dad telling me i could make a cow purple and just cause they arent purple in real life, it looks cool, and that is
art.....my folks took me to my first tattoo convention when i was 14
years old. i knew then, that i wanted one really bad, and could see
myself on this career path.

this was an amazing experience! there were so many interesting people. colorful, different.....only somewhat scary looking but outstandingly friendly. i really got inspired by this crowd. and saw a way to actually have a career in art! ....i never saw myself as a graphic designer, art on computer, sitting at a desk. i needed freedom and more personal interaction.

i started doing henna when i was a senior in high school. i got thrown into this art form pretty quickly. my first gig- forgot all my design books and had to seem professional and design everything freehand. i got random henna jobs at salons, make-up counters, and eventually worked for camel cigarette company decorating people with henna in the camel tent at blockbuster pavilion. this job was energetic, i was very busy and i got to practice on the body and create unique designs.

henna was my foot into the door. after seeing the work of immortal images i knew when i was old enough to get tattooed legally i was going to go there. i had gotten a tattoo on my first trip to england at 17. this was in dire need of a touch-up. when i was 18 i set an appointment at immortal. during the tattoo i spoke with the owner a little about henna. he wanted to add that aspect of body art at his shop- so i got hired.

Hayley Lakemanhenna was slow at the tattoo shop. at that time (1998) people who wanted to get tattooed werent looking for something temporary and many had never even heard of it! so i spent many hours in the studio- drawing and watching the other artists. i was just happy to be there. i saw my dream coming true. i would answer the phone and do whatever they needed......making sure to voice my hope for an apprenticeship......

i hung around at immortal images, the henna picking up a bit and after an artist leaving~ i finally started my apprenticeship in 2001.

after 8 years there i felt it was time to move on. move out and see what else the tattoo world had to offer. branch out- make new relationships and feed off the inspiration of a new niche. I started at Fu's custom tattoo december of 2008. i never expected how much better it would be.....the environment is very different than that of my first 'home'. there are more artists, more freedom for my schedule and now that i work in the historic neighborhood, NODA- with added art gallery- the energy and vibe of my profession life, including my creativity has certainly stepped up a level.

i love tattooing. im so thankful for all the ease coupled with challenges that i have experienced since i was introduced to the tattoo world. eventually, my husband and i hope to open our own unique art venue. however, now that ive settled in after a significant shift~ i am happy to call Fu's home for a good while...

custom tattooing is such a powerful and personal art form. it really is impacting to wear your 'heart on your arm', so to speak. i get to know you through working together on your unique piece. it is important for me to know descriptive words that will convey what you're looking for me to design. adjectives like....bold and strong...or feminine and whimsical...or detailed and super realistic, or abstract and funky...all these feeling words will get me to see your vision and create something that conveys a part of you, and not just a tattoo.

Hayley Lakemanrelation is identity. expression is key to being. we are what we exude. and our relationship, artist to canvas, is unique and impacting. personal expression through a tattoo is transforming. i believe that real change is a gradual process marked by moments of transcendence. my goal as your artist is to create a harmonious blend of our mutual vision in your skin.

art is subjective, and though i have my style, it is ultimately yours for life. i am open to trying new things and tackling complicated pieces that some artists wouldn't touch, however there are certain parameters that we must adhere to because its not on paper, its in your skin. i will happily council you about your ideas and make sure i help you understand how to make it look the best on your body, depending on detail, size and placement. your work is a walking and talking billboard for me. i am looking to set an example for tattoo enthusiasts everywhere and increase the joy you feel through such self expression. these are both of our marks and our moments...so, heres to transcendence!

Check out Hayley on Instagram!