A BRITISH tattooist has really been getting under the skin of celebrities. Fine art graduate Cally Jo Pothecary counts stars including Rihanna and Sienna Miller as clients since she swapped paintbrushes for needles. The former Subway sandwich worker developed a celebrity following when she started posting snaps of her designs on social networking sites. They attracted an online fan base of more than 400,000 people. Last year Cally Jo, 24, was stunned to learn Rihanna was among her followers. She said: “One of my friends texted me to say Rihanna was following me. To be honest I thought she had made a mistake but I looked and couldn’t believe it. “I knew she was really into tattoos so I was happy to think she was interested in my work.” Last October, the Winchester School of Art graduate was visiting a tattoo artist pal in New York when Rihanna contacted her and asked her to design her new inking. She said: “That was pretty surreal.” The pop babe asked Cally Jo and another tattoo artist to add to a tribal-style tattoo she already had on her hand. Cally Jo said: “She wanted a henna look, almost like a piece of decorative hand jewellery. “I wanted to create something feminine and sexy that played over the knuckles and wrist.” After agreeing on the design, Rihanna flew Cally Jo out to the Dominican Republic to etch it on her skin. She said: “We were drawing on her for about ten hours but the tattoo itself only took one. “Thankfully she absolutely loved it. Rihanna’s hand is probably one of the most famous in the world so it was nerve-racking to know so many people would see my work around the globe. “But it was very exciting and she was a dream to work with.” The tattoo got worldwide attention when Rihanna, 26, unveiled it on Twitter. “I wanted to highlight the fact I’m British because we have an incredible tattoo scene here in the UK with some of the most talented artists” Cally Jo, from Hampshire, whose signature designs are hearts and skulls, added: “I read lots of news reports about us being flown to the Dominican Republic but all assumed I was American. “I wanted to highlight the fact I’m British because we have an incredible tattoo scene here in the UK with some of the most talented artists.” Now, thanks to her new celebrity clients, Cally Jo is enjoying a taste of the A-list life herself. She said: “I can’t believe I’ve gone from filling rolls in Subway to hanging out with A-list celebrities and being flown around the world to do something I love.” She has tattooed one of her heart designs on Fun Loving Criminals frontman Huey Morgan, 45, and actress Miller, 32, requested an M in honour of her baby. Most recently Cally Jo inked Everton’s US goalkeeper Tim Howard, 35, with a sacred heart on his shoulder. She added: “I grew up in a single-parent family and mum struggled to find the money to put me through art college. “But now she is so proud of the name I am making for myself.” Ends.
*Disclaimer: Results May Vary From Person To Person.