Emma Kierzek, owner of Aurora tattoo studio, is just one of 21 artists to be featured in Lal Hardy’s book Tattoo Masters.
Emma, who has been in the industry for nearly 20 years, was over the moon when the famous London tattooist approached her.
Hardy’s book gives a taste of the artists who are creating some of the most imaginative and exciting tattoo art to date.
The 35-year-old features alongside well-known names such as Bob Tyrrell, Joe Capobianco and Louis Molloy.
After setting up Aurora a few years ago Emma’s work has gone from strength to strength.
Her studio, on Brock Street, has become a tattoo hub for premiership footballers including Everton goalkeeper Tim Howard.
Emma, who specialises in portrait and realism designs, feels Hardy’s book is the icing on the cake.
She said: “Lal Hardy, one of the pioneers of the portrait tattoo world, he picked people from all over the world, fantastic artists, it was incredible to be involved.
“I have started off in a small town I have looked up to these people, ended up travelling with them, meeting them.
“Many of the people in this book are my absolute heroes.
“I feel lucky to be alive at the same time as these people, to be their friends, I am really in awe of them.”
Travelling to America opened Emma’s eyes to how demanding and exciting the tattoo world can be.
It is an art form which is becoming mainstream yet Emma admits herself staff can turn people away.
She said: “You are creating art on people that will last for the rest of their lives, it is very personal.
“But we do turn down requests if it is going to affect their job, or if they are young, or if something just won’t look good on them.
“If you think they are making a mistake sit down and talk to them.”
Emma was 18-years-old when she got her first tattoo and is in the process of getting one removed with laser treatment.
Although she has travelled the world Emma said Lancaster will always be her home.
“To travel, to be a part of such an amazing industry is great but now I have brought it home.
“I couldn’t have got where I am without my mum, Catherine Darby and my fiancé Sam, and of course the guys at the studio who work so hard.”