SHE has literally got under the skin of some of the world’s biggest celebrities.
Southampton tattoo artist Cally Jo Pothecary has etched her designs on superstars including Rihanna and Justin Bieber.
The 25-year-old has come a long way since working in Subway, Greggs and Shakeaway in Southampton, and got her start in the art aged 18 when she tattooed her brother.
She said: “I tattooed his nickname, Gonzo, on his leg.
“Then I went on to work in a small shop in Southampton before I was approached by a shop called Love Hate in London.
“It’s been a whirlwind since then – it all blew up, and as Love Hate is in Notting Hill it gets lots of celebrities coming in.
“I have tattooed Huey Morgan of the Fun Lovin’ Criminals and a bunch of celebrities including Elijah Wood and members of The Prodigy.”
But it was when she noticed Rihanna was following her on Twitter that her career took another upturn and she was flown out to the Dominican Republic to tattoo a jewellery-like design on her hand.
She said: “On Facebook someone sent me a message saying ‘Have you seen Rihanna is following you on Twitter?’ and then I ended up meeting her at a friend’s tattoo shop opening. Then last October I went out to the Dominican Republic.
“She was so good to work with – she was really open to ideas and fun to be around, because she was so laid back.”
More recently she was whisked into a hotel to tattoo Justin Bieber and has also drawn a heart on Everton goalkeeper Tim Howard.
She went on to study fine art painting at Winchester School of Art, graduating in 2011.
The in-demand artist is now preparing to go to New York in two months' time and work in a major tattoo parlour, while also appearing on television.
She thinks the move will be a permanent one and is hoping to take her family out to join her in the future.
She added: “I never thought I would be meeting these people – I would have been happy just working in Southampton.
“But I think the tattoo scene is really getting big now and it is very popular with celebrities.
“You only have to look at London, where there used to be about five tattoo parlours, and there are now more than 200.
“I had so many part-time jobs and it feels like a lifetime ago I was making sandwiches at Subway in East Street.
“I’m just so happy to be here now, as not everybody gets to do what they want in life.”
Cally Jo’s tattoos start at about £100, but prices vary according to the size of the design and the time it takes to complete.
Her signature designs are hearts and skulls.
She also paints and sells fine art pieces.