Alis Vilat Propriis


The Latin translated is “She Flies with her Own Wings”. This is where we begin today. It conjures somewhat wistful imagery. But no, this is not a story of sadness or defeat. On the contrary,

This story is told in conjunction with images by Kirsten Hughes Photography and by my friend Kirsten Rae Hughes who was brave enough to volunteer for the first interview.

Meanderings : Kirsten Hughes Photography


So let’s see how the tale unfolds….



What was your first Tattoo?

  • Symbols for strength and courage. I loved that.

Your favourite? Colour or Black?

  • Black.

Words or Pictures?

  • I have a combination of them, but almost always words. I like the power of words.

What was your first exposure to tattoos?

  • My first tattoo was at 20. A case of trend, adventure and the unknown. I enjoyed illustrating to myself my adventures.  I enjoy being creative; writing, photography and it just felt right to illustrate.  It was never for anyone else, but for myself.

How do you decide on placement, because this is integral to the story?

  • I feel where it needs to go.  Movement and rythmn is important in my life.  It is never just put somewhere. I feel where it needs to be.

Who was the artist?

  • The piece was a collaboration.  Big Mike from Artura Tattoos completed it for me.  I took a rough draught and he conceptualised it into what it is now.


Meanderings : Kirsten Hughes Photography


What is the story behind this tattoo?


It’s always love isn’t it?


I had been in a relationship where the sole purpose of the other person was paramount to me. My world revolved around his needs and my focus was fully on another person.  I didn’t think about what would happen when or if he left.  When that happened I was absolutely lost.  It felt like someone had died. You see, his dream wasn’t me.  I wasn’t included in that. I realised for my self healing I needed to be free of him.

This tattoo is representative of a strong woman. The realisation that you are your own person. Her hand reaches out releasing her worries and proving she can fly with her own wings.  Her hair flows freely like her feelings.

I took a rough draft to Mike but didn’t anticipate the size.  When it was stenciled on me it was like I had wings.  She makes me feel stronger.

If people have questions about your tattoos, do you mind if they ask?

  • No I don’t mind at all 🙂


Meanderings : Kirsten Hughes Photography


Thanks Kirsten 🙂

So I don’t know about you, but that inspires me. It inspires me to get up and go be the best I can be.  You only get one life, go out and live it to the fullest.  Why would you want to be anyone other than you were designed to be?

To close off…. a quote…


There is nothing more rare, nor more beautiful, than a woman being unapologetically herself; comfortable in her perfect imperfection. To me, that is the true essence of beauty.  ~ Steve Maraboli



3 thoughts on “She Flies with Her Own Wings – Ink Life”

  1. Carmen – loved this, and understanding Kirst’s illustrations and the meanings behind them. My daughter Lara, who is a graphic designer, has many tattoos on her body which mean something to her. Big Mike has spent hours on her. You may wish to contact her – she wont answer her phone in the day because she is hectic at work but mail her on and let her know I gave you her email addy and ask her if she would be prepared to have some photies done and let you ask her some questions too. I can always do the photies. Will try and get to MiTH soon. x

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