It was my birthday this month and seeing as it was the big 3-0, I thought it would be fun to compile a list of things I’ve learned over the years. Who knows, it may help someone out there. 🙂 Some are silly, some profound, many are obvious but good to be reminded of.
Warning: As this is a casual post, there’s the odd swear word in here. 😛
1.) I’ve finally accepted my height. Screw heels – imma embrace my travel-sized self. 😆 (5ft2″)
2.) Treat yourself as kindly as you do others. I’m very harsh on myself and often don’t acknowledge or reward accomplishments – it’s something I’m trying to work on…
3.) Spend your energy on people who appreciate it and limit or cut off anyone who doesn’t. Your resources are finite and better spent on those who will keep it topped up, not drained.
4.) It’s totally okay to not wear makeup. Nobody gives a fuck, and if they do, it says more about them than you. I admit I still wear it to work or when filming, but maybe one day I’ll get over that too. Also, you save SO MUCH TIME when you don’t use it.
5.) Speaking of, this one made me feel like a knob: Regular soap and water works just as well as using makeup wipes, if not better, as you don’t get that weird residue at the end. I kicked myself so much for being conned by the cosmetic industry for all these years.
6.) Having short nails is so. much. better. than long ones. I originally kept them short because I wanted to take piano more seriously, and ’cause I was concerned with longer ones poking through my gloves when tattooing. Turns out, they’re just way more useful overall, and I can do other activities like climbing.
7.) Consciously downsizing my things in my journey to minimalism and producing less waste (particularly plastic) made me realise how much unnecessary crap we go through. A good chunk of it isn’t needed, guys. Ditch it (responsibly).
8.) Embrace the unexpected. Switching from liquid to bar soap in attempt to reduce plastic, then seeing how much plastic used on those still, then wincing at the price tags of unpackaged, handmade soap, has lead me to making my own. Omg guys, it’s so much fun and I geeked out HARD. Zan (engineer) and Clarissa (Physicist) seemed happy I was accidentally delving into the world of Chemistry, haha. I recently made a batch for a friend’s wedding. 🙂
9.) Sometimes, the kindest thing you can do is to let go. Regardless of time spent together or effort put in, if things aren’t working out and you can’t see a happy future ahead, let go. This goes for all types of relationships – not just romantic ones.
10.) Just because you forgive someone, it doesn’t mean you’re obliged to remain friends, or even acquaintances. You’ve given your forgiveness and owe nothing more. Don’t go back if it’ll make you upset again.
11.) Fast Fashion is dumb. Buy only what you love wearing and look after them so they’ll last years. Invest in better-quality items when you can afford to. Nurture your own style and you’ll never be a slave to the industry.
12.) Presenting food nicely boosts morale. Most of my bentos are leftovers, but having them arranged in a cute lil’ box makes it seem like more of a treat than shoving them in a takeaway container, and saves money from eating out.
13.) Folding is therapeutic. Okay, this may not apply to everyone, but I love folding laundry. 😂 Like origami, I find it calming to fold and organise everything so it’s all neat and tidy. It saves space and makes it easier to find things when you’re getting changed.
14.) Value time off and social appointments as much as work. Literally block it in your calendar if you need to. Life is far easier and more enjoyable when you have inner strength and a support network, so nurture it as you would your career.
15.) Look after your body. Find an activity you enjoy and make it your jam – at least once a week. If you can’t afford classes yet, seek free lessons on YouTube. I’m currently going through physio and practising yoga.
16.) Make the most of your community. I’m appreciating my Asian roots more as I grow older and admire how communities hold each other up for life. We need that more in the West, imo.
17.) When I’m really tired at work and all I want to do is to go home and sleep, I chant the following words, lifted from a Buddhist story: “The most important time is now; the most important person is the one in front of me [i.e. client]; and the most important task is to care.” This has helped me shift my focus to the other person over my perceived suffering and the time goes by more smoothly.
18.) Do things that scare you. More often than not, it’ll pay off and you’ll grow more and faster than staying in your comfort zone. For me, public speaking and being at events like Comic Con have been my challenges and I’m glad I rose to them.
19.) Walk to the beat of your own drum. What works for you may not suit others and vice versa, and that’s okay. Be respectful to others and keep walking your own path.
20.) Being kind, compassionate and respectful costs you nothing but earns you everything.
21.) To avoid overthinking whilst trying to sleep, I recall a simple saying from a Buddhist talk, that essentially boils down to, “Whatever you’re doing; give it all you’ve got”. When working, do your best. When you’re with people, be present with them. When resting, give it your all, instead of muddling it with other tasks. I normally end up with a clear mind after that and sleep easily.
22.) Keep learning. Be open to learning new skills or hone existing ones at all times, even if you don’t see it being immediately useful. For me, this mostly applies to business. It’s better to be prepared and know what to look out for in advance so you can mould your plans accordingly, than wait ‘til you’re at a key stage before seeking help.
23.) Captain Obvious statement: alcohol dulls the senses. I’ve always had a rule to myself not to drink the day before tattooing, and as business got busier I rarely had a glass of wine or a cocktail with dinner as I used to. I now value having a sharper mind in the morning more than a slight buzz the night before. That’s not to say I’m completely dry now, I just don’t value it much anymore.
24.) There’s no shame in seeking help if you need it. Emerging stronger on the other side is far more rewarding than coping. “Good enough” is just that. Aim for “great”.
25.) You get what you put in. Sure, sometimes luck plays a hand, but on the whole, the more effort you put into something the more you’ll get out of it. Don’t be lazy – if you really want something, be prepared to work for it. Nobody will or can do these things for you.
26.) If you’re unsure about something, ask. It’ll help give you different perspectives to your own.
27.) Ask yourself whether your fear is valid before succumbing to it. Challenge it. Writing a column for why you can and another for why you can’t will make it clear whether avoidance is stemming from real reasons or negative self-talk.
28.) One step at a time. This is something I need to work on – building consistency so that tasks get completed and skills are honed in good time, rather than neglecting them because I’m putting out fires.
29.) It’s okay to slow down. I was such a go-getting, overachieving, uptight perfectionist before. After a few major life events, I’ve learned to step back and approach things in a more calm, kind manner that isn’t fuelled by fear. Sure, progress is slower, but I’m healthier and less of an arse to be around now, hah!
30.) Just get started and do the thing. Whatever it is. What’s stopping you? Are they legit reasons or excuses? Catch yourself out when they’re the latter.
…..and that makes 30! Did any of these resonate with you? What would you add? I’d love to hear your feedback. 🙂
P.S.: If you’re wondering what I got up to, I had my first go at archery, stuffed my face with sushi and ramen, then saw the Kuzuna exhibition at Cardiff Museum. ☺
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Today I had a fab birthday that consisted of archery at the #CardiffBayWaterActivityCentre (something neither of us had tried before), sushi/ramen at @sushilifecardiff and culture: We rounded up the day with a visit to the @cardiffnationalmuseum to see the #Kizuna exhibition, which will be around 'til 9th Sep'18…so get there soon! It's completely free too, which o find baffling and am grateful for. Chucked a fiver in one of the donation box as a thank you. . . So long, 20's! You were turbulent as hell but I learned a lot from it all. I don't think I'll miss you much….except for the whole, not getting hangovers and being able to stay slim with zero effort. I'll defo miss those. 😐 . . The Water Activity Centre we attended for archery is one of three community centres in Cardiff that are still council-run – the rest have been sold to private companies due to financial struggles. If you need to host an event or would like to take up a new sport, please consider your local community centre….because if we don't make more use of them, they'll be gone forever. 😢 . . #birthdaygirl #turning30 #goodbye20s #archery #sushi #ramen #japanese #culture #museum #cardiff #wales
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Pretty much the same deal as last time, where I’ll be around all day to chat to you in person, so feel free to swing by and say hey~ 😀 I’m conscious that there were big queues last time with many of you waiting very patiently, so I think for this one, I’ll suggest booking an appointment with me at the studio for a longer chat (or video call, if you’ll be travelling from afar), to save people waiting for too long. Sound fair?
Unfortunately, I won’t be selling customised portraits this time round, but signed art prints will still be available, and it’ll be the only place where you can buy 2 for £20 (saving £5).
Will I finish the Ghibli Tribute in time? 😱 With running the business and being in the intense NatWest Accelerator course, I’ll admit, I’m finding it hard to keep everything in check, but I’ll try my best to get the print ready to sell on the day, as many of you were interested last time. If you’d like to follow its progress, Instagram is the best place to find me, as I often share Live Stories of what I’m up to (they’re quicker and easier than arranging posts).
Thanks for reading and I look forward to meeting you soon!
Have you always wanted a tattoo but haven’t a clue how to go about it? Or maybe you’ve been there, done that, but want to know faster ways to get your idea across. Here are some simple tips to prepare for your future ink, along with info on how things work here at NAOHOA.
Not just what you want, but WHO you want to do it (…hopefully me 😁). Many artists specialise into certain art styles, so after you’ve figured out what you want, look at their portfolios to see who would be the best match for that style. If you feel the artist is versatile enough to ink a design you’re after, despite not having much evidence on their website of social profiles, ask anyway to see what they think. Personally, I’m game when it comes to switching genres, as I enjoy the challenge. Sure, there are things that aren’t to my taste (such as overtly morbid or sexual images), but you should get a feel for what the artist will and won’t do based on their work.
It’s the quickest, easiest way for me to understand what look and feel you’re after – especially if you’re unsure on art terms (realistic/stylised/geometric/abstract etc.). It doesn’t have to be a full-blown board – sometimes one or two images suffice – but please send me something so I have a better idea of what’s in your head.
Subject(s) you’d like included and art style, simplez. They don’t have to be restricted to tattoos either – if you like the shape of a sculpture but colours of a graffiti piece, add those to your board and explain it to me. If you want something truly original, looking at other people’s tattoos will only get you so far. At NAOHOA, I design everything for you from scratch – make the most of it.
Where do you want this tattoo? This doesn’t really need to be in the moodboard, but it’s something I have to know in order to advise and design accordingly. If you have slim arms but you want something similar to what another person got on their back or thigh…chances are it’ll need some adjusting. 😉
One word: Pinterest. It’s fast, easy and eco-friendly (as it saves printing/recycling…and me having to carry it all!). Make a board and start pinning away, then send me a link or add me as a collaborator to the Board. You can add comments to each image to explain what aspect you like and why, so I can get a deeper understanding of what you’re after. Even better, it’s completely free and stays in sync, so if you add to it after sending me a link, I’ll be able to see the new stuff too. 👍
Besides not having to carry print-outs, it also saves me digging through emails or maxing out my inbox. I save all your notes on Trello, so a simple link really is the best for workflow. Of course, I don’t mind if more traditional options are easier for you – I’ll work around them – I’m simply raising awareness here to make my life easier. 😜
You can book an appointment for your Consultation via this online form:
Various studios work differently, but at NAOHOA, face-to-face Consultations are required, as I don’t accept walk-ins. During this sesh, we’ll have a casual chat about your tattoo idea until we’re on the same page. You’ll need to fill in a Medical Form and I’ll provide you with a Saniderm Patch Test to check for allergies. This is a chance for me to get to know you and you can ask me any questions that are bubbling to mind.
If you’d like to have your journey documented into a #NAOHOAstory, I’ll take a photo there and then. They’re all anonymous and completely optional.
After a deposit has been paid, I add you to my Trello Board and will design your tattoo when it’s your turn! Currently, I design tattoos in chronological order people see me and pay their deposits, rather than by ease or size, as this is the fairest system I can think of.
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Thanks so much for reading and I’ll see you next time!
At last, the time has come! Whether you’re in for your first taste of ink, or a seasoned pro, here are some tips to make your session more enjoyable:
Your sugar level will drop whilst being inked, so be sure to eat some food beforehand to maintain some energy. Eating also helps line the stomach if you decide to take painkillers (paracetamol for pain / ibuprofen for swelling).
I don’t mind you bringing snacks for when we’re on breaks – just try to avoid smelly things, please. 🙂
It’ll stop you from getting woozy!
Shock, horror, drugs and alcohol are off the menu. I flat-out won’t tattoo you if you admit to, or I have reason to believe you’re under the influence, and you’ll lose your £20 Booking Fee.
A lesser-known tip: Please avoid drinking coffee, as it makes you bleed more. Like, comically more. It’s a mess. Please lay off the coffee and I’ll forever appreciate it. 😁
I heard somewhere that pain is 80% mental…”Mind over matter” is a saying for a reason! Take control of the situation by letting the calm, relaxing environment soothe you. For specific tips, read my “Keeping Calm” blog post. 😌
If you haven’t already figured out, things are super chill at NAOHOA. If it’s all getting a bit much and you need a break, you need only ask. Remember, bevvies are on the house! Get your fill of tasty loose-leaf teas from award-winning Welsh brand Waterloo Tea and the snacks I leave out for you (please advise me in advance if you’re gluten-intolerant).
More often than not, I’m happy to chat away during tattoo sessions. It makes the experience more enjoyable and meaningful. If you’d rather be in your own little bubble, that’s totally cool too. My only exception is when doing intricate line work, as it demands a level of concentration I can’t divide effectively, so do excuse me if I’m silent during those moments. 🙇
If you’re a first-time customer, you’ll receive an Aftercare Leaflet in your Gift Bag. Otherwise, please visit the Aftercare Advice section, learn about Saniderm, After Inked or catch up on Frequently Asked Questions.
Let’s chat~ 😃 You’ll be sent a secret link to book your tattoo appointment online.
Tel / WhatsApp: 07935747219
Opening Hours: 11am-6pm, Mon-Sat. Please give 5 working for a response.
**Consultations are compulsory before getting a tattoo at NAOHOA**
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(2/3) Design iterations, based on the brief (three stars with swirly stuff around it). You can see it took quite a change towards the end – after trying to link all the stars with a single line, my partner thought it complicated and doodled a version with an infinity loop. Despite not knowing anything about the client or the brief, it actually epitomises her life really well! What are the odds? 😜 #TeamOzomi #NAOHOAstory . . . #tattoo #tattoodesign #designprocess #creative #teamwork #stars #faith #christianity #children #family #husband #wife #thoughtprocess #cardiff #cardifftattoo #tattoocardiff #newport #wales #bristol #bath #femaletattooist #femaletattooartist #ladytattooer
Over a year ago, I stumbled across a lovely-looking planner on Kickstarter called Minerva. After buying one for myself to support the cause (and attempt to get my shizz together), I was invited to join their Facebook group. Over time, I got to know the larger-than-life owner, Sophie Jewry. I love her honesty around being an entrepreneur, along with positive encouragement and helpful tips on how to plan for our goals. I really have no idea how she juggles her time in running her own businesses and supporting us lot in her online community!
We planned her tattoo a few months ago and finally got round to inking it. It’ll be part of a larger back piece to join onto some existing work. Here’s the first part of the puzzle:
….did I mention she drove all the way from Norfolk to be inked here?! :O Honestly can’t thank you enough for your commitment, Sophie – I had a blast and it was fab to finally meet you in person~ 💕
“Day 2 of the saniderm over the tattoo and I’m loving it!
No cream everywhere, no sticking to my clothes, no peeling gooey skin… all that lovely stuff no one talks about when they talk about tattoos and you forget until you get another one how inconvenient it is LOL
Not anymore! Bloody brilliant stuff. Thank you Naomi – it’s a revelation!
Click here for tips on what to do and what to expect when you visit NAOHOA after a long journey.
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(2/3) "small, pretty and delicate." What do you think? 😊 #NAOHOAstory . The two options that weren't chosen are available! Email me if interested: firstname.lastname@example.org . . #tattoo #firsttattoo #flowers #tattoodesign #delicatetattoo #femininetattoo #pretty #smalltattoodesigns #sweetpea #cherryblossom #sakura #daisies #flowertattoodesigns #cardiff #cardifftattoo #tattoocardiff #newport #wales #bristol #bath #tattoogirl #tattoogirlz #femaletattooist #femaletattooartist #ladytattooer
Do you like the daisy or cherry blossom versions? Contact me to book yours now!
Once taken, they will no longer be available, so be quick!
Want to hear what clients have to say about their first tattoo experience at NAOHOA?
If this has inspired you to start your tattoo journey, please get in touch to
….How has it been a week since Comic Con already?! 😱
Thanks so much to those of you who supported me during my first big event – I had a blast~ 😄 If you wanted to have a chat but I was on a break or talking to someone else for a while, please get in touch: email@example.com. I’d love to hear from you!
Going by Zan’s notes from when I was away, here’s a call-out to some peeps:
I appreciate that conversations lasted 5-20mins per person at times and you wanted to experience the event more, so if you were patiently waiting (or too shy to approach me on the day), please do get in touch – I don’t bite. 🙂
PM/email is best as they’re easier for me to catch up with and I don’t answer calls when I’m with clients or outside of Opening Hours (11am-6pm, Mon-Sat). We can always arrange a timeslot over the phone if you prefer to chat before booking a consultation.
I send a brief update at the end of each month (I very rarely do more than that). Please add me to your address book so it doesn’t go to your Spam or Promotions Folder! I won’t share your details or use them for anything other than sending Newsletters.
I update this account pretty much every day, unless things are crazy busy and I forget to. 😛 It’s currently the only place I’ll show what I’m up to live, via Stories.
Currently, posts from Instagram are forwarded to these accounts. Besides email, PM’ing me via the FB Page is the second-best way to reach me.
Besides chatting to people about what I do here at NAOHOA, I was also selling and signing art
Overall, it was a fab weekend. I was pretty anxious leading up to it, but people were super lovely and it was completely worth doing. Now to sign up for more~ 😘
Thanks for reading!