Reader Profile: Naomi Wood

Published: 23 June, 2011 - Featured in Skin Deep 200, June, 2011

Fire Breathing? Powerboat racing? Muay Thai Boxing? Modelling? Performing? If you know one person who ticks all the above boxes you probably already know our featured tattoo collector. For the rest of you: say hello to the multi-talented Naomi Wood.<--break->; background-color: transparent; background-position: 50% 0%;">

You are quite an active person, how do you find the time to get tattooed?

"Well, I started getting tattooed at a very young age and each of my tattoos represents who I was and my personality at that point in time. There have been a few incarnations of me and my tattoos represent this, although I secretly think I was born Fuel Girl and crashed into the world on a Moto-X bike.

I started out when I was 16 having two small pieces on each shoulder by my mum’s friend who was a local artist in Lincolnshire. I remember my mum taking me and telling me to start small in case I couldn’t handle it. Then over the years I had more small tattoos as I was finding my personality.

This then grew into my back piece which is the Hindu god Ganesh, sat on a lotus flower and over his head sits an Om symbol. This was done by Heath at Something Wicked in Lincoln. He doesn’t go to conventions but I’ve seen some amazing work come out of his shop and everyone always comments on my back. He’s like a hidden gem.

My most recent addition is my right sleeve, which was done by Inma at The Family Business. It’s a geisha face surrounded by cherry blossoms, peonys and humming birds. I love her work, she’s amazing!

Those are my two main pieces but I also have a few smaller pieces that I’ve collected along the way. The tops of both feet – the left tribal, the right a tribute to a friend with ‘friends two hearts one soul’ done at the Black Pearl Tattoo Studio in Sheerness. On my ankle is a Celtic knot, which to me symbolizes an eternal (to endless) life and I have stars behind my right ear with initials on the left side of my neck in Enochian. This was also inked at the Black Pearl Tattoo Studio in Sheerness. I have the Wiccan Rede from hip to hip ‘If harm non do what thou wilt’ and a verse from the bible on my wrist ‘let he without sin cast the first stone’.

Most of my tattoos are religion or faith related, I’m quite a spiritual person, rather than a religious person, so they are expressions of things I believe or like from different religions.

On the other side of the tattoo coin I have some ‘Fuel Girls tattoos’. At events, we all tend to get group tattooed when we can and this is the story behind me getting ‘Lolita’ on my hip by Jose Lopez and cherry blossoms along my bikini line by Jesse Smith at Heart & Huntington in Las Vegas.

I’ve been with the Fuel Girls for six years now and it’s been an amazing rollercoaster. Lots of European tours, gigs in LA and Vegas, all with a master plan of generally causing as much mayhem as possible!"

You’ve been racing for the Blue Sheets team for over a year now, what’s that all about?

"I was introduced to zapcats in 2009, when the Fuel Girls took part in the Blade Run. Basically we blagged our way onto a Sunseeker vessel and took part in a four day powerboat race which ran across the channel, down the coast of France and back.

I’m not one for sitting back and relaxing on a luxury boat, especially not when there are other toys to play with! So over the four days I jumped from boat to boat to jet-ski then finally on to a zapcat all in very sensible clothing of course; jeans and t-shirt! It was amazing and from that point on, I decided I wanted to race.

So last year I finally got my chance. The guys at Vortex Events introduced me to my [zapcat] pilot Dan Smith, who was racing for Blue Sheets and for some crazy reason he let me in the boat. Team Blue Sheets 2 was born along with a bright pink boat, much to my amusement and Dan’s dismay!

Without getting technical about the racing, it’s like Moto-X on water. Think big waves, little boats, lots of air time with the occasional flip if you get it wrong and a whole load of crashing and bashing although it’s not strictly race legal! Most of the guys who race are six-foot-tall marine types or are generally quite well built; and then there’s me who is so small you can hardly see me in the boat. However I’m a little bit competitive so size didn’t stop me. We got some great results last season, got on the podium and even a couple of first’s in the Belfast rounds. It’s amazing fun I would recommend anyone to try it at least once!

It takes a certain degree of fitness, so it has been good luck that for the last two years I’ve been training at the Crawley Lumpini Martial Arts Academy. I have amazing trainers – it’s like my second family there. Muay Thai is great for fitness and discipline. I’m not really an exercise fan, but it’s addictive! Lots of people ask me if I’m going to fight – I believe the word ‘no’ is not in my vocabulary when it come to extreme sports or dangerous activities but I do think I have a long way to go yet before I get in the ring. Have you seen a Muay Thai fight? Ouch!"

Do you find that living this 'double life', helps keep you grounded and keep things in perspective?

"Yes definitely, I’m a very grounded person, I appreciate the time I have at home and routine more. In fact, day to day I just love chilling at home glass of wine and some terrible TV or going out for a quite dinner with friends.  

Being a Fuel Girl has been a big part of my life for so long and it’s amazing, all the girls rock, but you have to be able to switch the Fuel Girl on and off.  For me it’s good release. I know that each show that I go to I can be wild and crazy – throw the rule book out the window and generally cause some trouble – but glamour and fun aside it’s long hours, hard work and dangerous at times. I don’t usually feel it 'til I get home broken, but it’s then you really appreciate your friends, family and quiet time. Give it a week or so and I’m ready to go again. Basically I can be a little bit random, a little bit crazy but it’s a whole loada fun!"

Do you feel there is pressure in alt-modeling/performing to be heavily tattooed or modified now? Do you feel people accept you as you are or expect you to be more heavily inked or have crazy dyed hair?

"It’s strange I don’t feel really tattooed or alternative, so I guess I don’t feel any pressure. I’m just me and they are extensions of me. I actually forget I have them. I don’t think there is a pressure on alternative models – there are just more models who are expressing their individuality.

I don’t look really alternative, so when I’m all coved up and the sly tattoo comments come out from a random person, I love showing them off and changing people’s opinion on tattoos. For some crazy reason people don’t imagine me with them until they see them, then say they love them and can’t imagine me without them. Their opinion is changed – tattoos lovers: one – tattoo haters: nil. Happy days.

I think it’s becoming more acceptable now to have tattoos, in fact it’s very fashionable in some ways. However there is a down side to the fashion and I think the acceptance still has some way to go. It can still be hard to get into places with tattoos and hard to get jobs. I think young people getting tattooed need to be think more about where they are getting tattooed. When you’re 18, you don’t know what you’re going to be doing in five to ten years and you are still finding who you are as a person. I’m not saying let things get in the way of what you want but just make an educated decision, go to a good artist, pay good money and you will always get good results."

Angelic Keys

Enochian is the language of the angels. It was recorded by John Dee and his apprentice Edward Kelley in the late 16th century claiming it was revealed to them by angels themselves. The term Enochian actually comes from Dee's assertion that the Biblical character Enoch was the last human (before themselves) to know the language. Those of us living in this century will be more familiar with it as the angel Castiel uses it quite liberally in the TV show, Supernatural. Sadly, Skin Deep is not available in an Enochian translation, however many fine examples of Enochian language tattoos have been found in its pages over the years.

Muay Thai

Muay Thai is a combat sport that originates from Thailand that stands out amongst other arts as it uses stand-up striking. Roughly translated, this translates to the "art of eight limbs" as it makes use of punches, kicks, elbow and knee strikes, giving us the eight points of contact.

Just another martial art? Hardly. All martial arts have their little differences, but until you've been smacked in the head by an opponents elbow or knee, you'll never know the true meaning of pain! Good ways to witness from the safety of your own home is by watching the movie Ong Bak which features rising star Tony Jaa.


Text & Photography: Al Overdrive