Book tells tales from tattoos

TATTOO BUMP: Alisha Dawson, of Toronto, proudly shows off her tattoo and baby bump. Picture: supplied

TATTOO BUMP: Alisha Dawson, of Toronto, proudly shows off her tattoo and baby bump. Picture: supplied

EVERY tattoo tells a story, according to Newcastle psychologist Martine Paterson​. 

Next month, Ms Paterson will launch the book The Body Created: A Woman's Narrative. 

It contains the stories and images of more than 100 tattooed women, many of them are from Newcastle and Lake Macquarie. 

Ms Paterson often uses discussion about tattoos as a way to "break the ice" with her clients. 

"You can learn a lot about a person from their tattoos," Ms Paterson said. "It's another way to do an assessment."

Ms Paterson will ask her clients with tattoos questions about why they got inked and this often leads to revealing and important facts about the client. 

"It reflects a lot about a person," Ms Paterson said. "There is often a story behind every tattoo.

"Who wanted them to get it, who didn't and and if they got it off the cuff, they might be impulsive."

Ms Paterson said tattoos were increasingly prevalent. 

"It's not just drunken sailors anymore," she said.

"Australians are often very open about their tattoos."

Ms Paterson put out the call for women to submit pictures of their tattoos and to fill out a questionnaire about them.

The images and words she collected will form the basis of the book. 

The women speak about why they got their tattoo and even offer advice to anyone thinking about taking the plunge.  

Ms Paterson also has a tattoo, of Celtic design wings, but said hers belonged in the "book of regret."

"Mine was a milestone tattoo," she said. "I'd left a relationship and felt free. It was about freedom and flight." 

The Body Created: A Woman's Narrative has teamed up with Friends With Dignity, which was named the Australian Charity of the Year in 2018.

Friends with Dignity is a national movement that assists those affected by domestic violence. It will receive 30 per cent of the profits from the sale of the book.

The book will be launched at Belmont Library Gallery on April 1, at 6pm.