Denyse Labarca is covered in tattoos after spending the last 15 years getting extensively inked, and now she’s shared the most painful place to get work done – and it’s not where you’d think
A woman who is covered head to toe in tattoos has shared the most painful place to get inked – and it’s not where you might think.
Denyse Labarca, 31, works as a tattoo artist and most of her body is a showcase of elaborate designs and delicate inkings, and she shows off her tatts on Instagram.
She’s lost count of the amount of money she’s spent or how many tattoos she has, but they cover her legs, arms, and torso – and have started to creep onto her face.
Denyse, from Vancouver, Canada, said the most painful place to get tattooed was behind her knees – as not only was the work painful, but the recovery was a nightmare.
Denyse, who shares pictures of her artwork on Instagram as @xdenyse, said: “Many of my pieces are one big piece. I have almost my entire body tattooed except parts of my back and bottom that are currently in process
“My favourite tattoo changes from time to time but right now it’s probably my torso piece that goes chest to my lower stomach in colour! It’s a ‘mother nature’ theme, it’s still in process but I love it.
“My most painful tattoo so far has been the backs of my knees – the tattoo itself is painful but I find the healing is not fun because it dries stiff and it’s uncomfortable to bend your legs for a few days after.”
At 16, Denyse got her first tattoo when she borrowed her uncle’s equipment and drew a smiley face on herself.
She continued: “I thought to myself, this is it.
“When I was young I used to watch LA ink and Miami Ink with my parents and I was so fascinated, I remember looking at the tv and telling my mom, ‘I want to look like them and tattoo when I’m older’.
“I remember my dad coming home a few times with plastic wrap on his arm after getting a new tattoo and I was so fascinated and would ask him so many questions.”
Denyse said that her devotion to tattoos also represents her outlook on life, as before she got inked she tried to fit in – but now she wears her heart on her sleeve.
She said: “For years I was always trying to fit in. The old ways I styled myself and dressed was mostly to please others as I was always afraid to take a leap, get tattooed, colour my hair, cut my hair off.
“As time has gone by I have become more comfortable in my own skin and getting tattoos to me is like a public scrapbook, people can see what I like and see about me without having to say a word.
“My friends are all tattoo fans, almost all are in the tattoo industry as well so we are on the same page!
“They’re honestly very open, I grew up in a very tattooed family – my uncles, dad, mom, cousins and sister all have tattoos, but when I started adding them onto my face my dad was a bit shocked at first he asked if I had planned to get anymore, I don’t know if I would at the moment.
“My grandmother has always been the sceptical one in the family, she’s very religious she’s always asked, ‘that’s it for tattoos right?'”
Although her family and friends have been supportive, Denyse said that she gets funny looks from strangers but she’s learned not to let it bother her.
She said: “If you want to be fully covered in tattoos you really have to love yourself at 100 per cent.
“If I wear shorts and a small shirt in public I get gawked at every step I take. At first, it really used to bother me, when I go to the mall for example everyone stops and watches me, whispering to people they’re with.
“On some occasions, people at stores just discriminate against me because of my tattoos and I’ve had security follow me for my tattoos being visible, I find if I go to the store in a long sleeve and jeans I never have an issue.
“It doesn’t bother me anymore because I find when people looking at me approach me are just curious, they’re usually just excited and ask me about my tattoos and my experiences with getting them and tell me they’re afraid to get one from which there I try to give them advice on getting their first piece.
“I find being fully tattooed really helps in my career of being a tattoo artist because I can relate to the feelings of having certain spots tattooed so it puts my clients at ease and I’m able to give good advice.
“Also being covered in tattoos is nice because I’m recognisable! I often travel around to tattoo and go to many tattoo shows so it’s a pretty warm and fuzzy feeling to be recognized and awesome to share my tattoo story with folks at the shows.
Denyse, who is married to her tattoo artist husband Fito, runs her own parlour in Canada called the New Edge Ink Collective.