Cervena Fox – International Model, Tattoo Apprentice & Performer
Cervena Fox is a woman of many talents. She’s a tattoo apprentice, international model, stage performer – the list goes on! While she’s clearly had a ton of success in all of her chosen fields, she almost gave up on her dream of tattooing at a young age. Starting at just 16, Cervena began her apprenticeship in an all male tattoo parlour in the UK. The environment was far from welcoming to a young woman trying to learn, so she left. Thankfully, she couldn’t stay away from tattooing for long, and she’s been apprenticing ever since.
Cervena is the top tattoo model out there; she was recently featured on the cover Inked Mag, where she showed off her extensive collection of incredible body art. She’s a fierce badass who literally plays with fire.
Having just returned to the UK from a slew of appearances in the United States, and gearing up for the next leg of her tour in Europe, she took some time out of her incredibly busy schedule to fill us in on her journey to success in the tattoo industry.
Q: As a woman with tattoos or a woman in the tattoo industry, have you found that you (or any of your female clients) have been ‘slut-shamed’ or received negatively because of the fact that they are a woman with a tattoo?
I’ve had it for a very long time, where I have even sat on a bus and people have stood up and sat somewhere else. I also have had a lot of people saying what would I do on my wedding day, and that day is coming up this October, and I cannot wait to have my dress accentuate my tattoos, as my tattoos are me, but some people don’t see that!
I also can’t – we get asked ‘what am I going to do when I’m older?’, which is funny, because I’m going to love [my tattoos] regardless, and I don’t see any grandmas wearing what I wear now out and about! So it doesn’t matter really!
Q: Do you think that there is a general stigma around women having tattoos in the modern day world?
Tattoos have become very, very popular now for both men and women! The one thing that I have noticed is that in the fashion world, a man can have loads of tattoos, but the women who want to walk catwalks in all of those designer clothes are not allowed as many tattoos. So it really does kind of suck that it’s like that. I can’t wait for the day that girls like me can walk down those catwalks, but I don’t believe that will be any time soon. My dream was always to be a Victoria’s Secret model, but I killed that by having tattoos. But realised [that] having tattoos was me, and if I didn’t get a tattoo I wouldn’t be myself!
Q: What has your experience been in becoming successful in a what has traditionally been a male-dominated field?
It was very difficult at the start, as I was 16 years old when I started my tattoo apprenticeship, and was constantly told that I had to say how lucky I was to all the men in the shop to be there. They screwed around with my feelings and made me feel like shit 24/7. I was discriminated [against] every day for trying to be a tattoo artist, and it did affect me in the end and I gave up….but in the last few years I have picked [it] up again, as I have been around really strong women, and they have been able to help pick me up and continue this dream of mine!
I realised I should never have given up, but being 16 years old, it was really hard back then as there was not many girl tattoo artists around, so I didn’t think I could be successful in it and doubted myself. I’ve learnt a lot from that experience and grown as a person, and will continue to not let anyone tell me any different because of my gender!
Cervena has worked hard to get to where she is today, both in fashion and tattooing, and she’s not going anywhere any time soon. Check out Cervena’s tattoos, tattoo work, and many other amazing talents on her Instagram, @cervenafox.