Written on the skin: Askeaton’s Lucy Fitz on tattoos and self-expression

Limerick artist and influencer Lucy Fitzgibbon with her daschund Bruno.

ASKEATON native Lucy Fitzgibbon uses art and tattoos to tell her own story. The 22-year-old tattoo artist pours her creative energy into expressing herself and managing grief through art, finding herself in slow fashion and an alternative lifestyle. From her home away from home in Barcelona, she talks about how the move abroad has changed her creative process and fashion sense.

Across her social media accounts (@luccyfitz on Instagram and TikTok), Lucy regularly shares her sketching skills, skin-care tips, and ink creations (@youaresodamnpked), making a name for herself as one of Ireland’s most relatable online content creators for her raw and emotional open letters about her personal life.

When Lucy’s followers see her content, they’re confronted with a woman who wears her tattoos unapologetically, showcasing her skills and her history on her skin for all to see.

Lucy says her tattoos tell a story, quite literally wearing her past on her sleeve. She describes her body as a scrapbook, with snippets of her past etched into her skin.

“I would feel naked without my tattoos,” Lucy laughs. “I love how they make me feel. For me, I will never get sick of them because it’s like having art on my body. Art never goes out of trend. Art is always appreciated.”

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“Your body is like a scrapbook. Tattoos are like different pieces from a time in your life. Your body can tell a story without you even saying a word with the tattoo that you have.

The Askeaton woman has been very open online with how her artform has helped her cope with her tragic miscarriage late last year. In memory of her daughter – who she had named Lola – she had small hand and footprints tattooed on her stomach, bearing her loss on her skin every day.

Having been through the terrible experience, Lucy says she wants to share her own personal coping methods with others.

“The end goal is to really use my art to help other parents who have gone through baby loss, and to use my creativity to help people who experienced something similar to me and my partner.

“Art has certainly gotten me through these three months, and I would really like to promote that to other people who are struggling, whether it’s a baby loss or a mental health issue.”

Lucy entered the digital world at breakneck speed aged just 15, garnering upwards of 80,000 followers (not far off the entire population of Limerick) over the last six years. With that came nationwide recognition and a bounty of opportunities for a young artist trying to make her mark.

Last year she lost access to her Instagram account, leaving her to build her hard-earned followership from scratch. In no time at all, she’s regained over 30,000 followers, who all get a front row seat to her artwork and her personal life.

Not put off by the setback, the Limerick influencer says it allowed her to rebuild and re-evaluate her relationship with her audience.

“When my Instagram got deleted, I was devastated in that I lost a lot of memories. My Instagram account, for me, was like a storybook where I could travel back to any time in my life. But it was a blessing in disguise.

“My followers now are more aligned with me. I don’t feel as anxious. It’s really nice to have a fresh start. What you see on my page is me now.”

In 2019, Lucy became the face of her own eyeshadow palette with Inglot, though she confesses that in recent times she has stepped somewhat away from the brush in favour of a more natural look.

“I like the idea of people taking a step back and realising that a subtle look is really nice as well. I think it’s an avenue that I will explore this year, but it will be a lot different from my old content,” she teases.

Sticking in the one mode was never something the creative polyglot had in mind. She explains that clothing was another avenue that helped boost her brand around Ireland. Though in recent times, she says, her style has changed.

These days Lucy says she only shops at thrift and second-hand shops, taking a firm stand against fast fashion.

“When I was living in Ireland, I was really into fast fashion, the trending clothes that were in style. When I moved to Barcelona, my perspective and mindset were opened. I became much more aware of the impact that fast fashion has on the environment.

“I’m very much into slow fashion, sustainable fashion, and second-hand now. I buy all my clothes from second-hand shops, flea markets, or Depop.”

Despite having collaborations in the makeup and clothing industries on her resume, the crafty Lucy says wants to go back to basics and focus on her own brand, whatever direction that might take her in.

“I’m in the middle of building a website now. I’m going to launch a 20-piece collection ranging from paintings, drawings, pottery, and prints. Clothes with my art on them are also something I would love to do. Maybe that’s something that will be coming in the later end of the year.”

She may be based in Barcelona, but Limerick hasn’t heard the last of Lucy Fitz yet. She is just getting started.