Arielle has the Exotic Ink
Twenty-one-year-old Arielle Leacock is passionate about Tattooing. The owner of Exotic Ink 246 recently won Best Greek Themed Tattoo at The Barbados International Tattoo Fest which was held on October 7-8th, 2023.
The former student of Alleyne School who is currently a final year student at the Barbados Community College pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Studio Arts (Fine Art) said she decided to start her business due to her wanting to become an entrepreneur.
“I wanted to challenge myself to break barriers and hopefully inspire others to do the same. Tattooing in Barbados is primarily a male dominated industry so I wanted to showcase what I could do with all of my artistic talents. I started training to be a tattoo artist under the wing of my dad’s close friend Otis, who is a veteran in the Tattoo industry who taught me the ins and outs of tattooing. I was around 14 years-old at the time,” she said.
After training from the tender age of 14-years-old Arielle continued to go after her dreams and in 2021 she launched her business Exotic Ink.
“Three years ago, I was contemplating my future and the types of artistic jobs I could pursue due to my artistic background in Barbados. Normally, the usual options are becoming a graphic designer, nail technician or art teacher. None of these positions appealed to me so I thought why not become a tattoo artist. After some research I realized that there were hardly any female tattoo artists in the country, so I decided to go against the grain,” she said.
Leacock, is still celebrating her achievements in the recently held Tattoo Fest which was held at The Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre on October 7-8th where she won Best Greek Themed Tattoo and placed 2nd in Best Large Colour Tattoo which she revealed was unexpected.
“I had technical issues with one of my printers and got delayed by almost two hours, so it was a little frustrating at first if I am honest. Eventually, the problem was solved, and I kept my composure to get the task done. I was in utter disbelief when the judges called out Exotic Ink which can be found on Instagram (@exoticink 246) not once but two times making me the youngest person to win such prestigious awards,” she said.
Arielle noted that her family thoroughly supports her dream of becoming an international tattoo artist and have all allowed her to practice her art on their bodies. However, she especially is thankful for her father’s support as he is the one who invested in her first set of tattooing equipment which allowed her to start her business. Thus, her advice for young aspiring tattoo artists is to be patient.
“My advice to aspiring artist would be to never doubt your intuition, be patient, optimistic and do not expect to be great overnight because excellence requires time and dedication,” she said. (Write Right PR Services)