Twins occur in every 1 in 250 births and happen when one zygote splits into two embryos. Whether it's nature or nurture, many twins have similar interests as children and later on in life—such as Mark and Scott Kelly who were NASA astronauts, Brie and Nikki Bella who are professional wrestlers and the Winklevoss twins, who are ex Olympic rowers turned mega wealthy venture capitalists. But what about an interest in tattoo collecting?
As it would appear, twins Hope and Grace Fly not only share an interest in modeling, having appeared in Vogue Portugal and walked the runway for Moschino, but tattoo collecting. The Fly twins both took to tattoo collecting as teens and gravitated toward blackwork American traditional. We caught up with the tattooed pair to learn more about their stories as collectors and to see where they have similarities and differences in their experiences.
What was your first memory seeing a tattoo and did you envision yourself becoming heavily tattooed?
H- My first memory of seeing a tattoo was noticing my mom’s small ankle tattoo of a heart when I was very young. Since she told me it hurt very badly and she would never do it again, I didn’t think I would ever get tattooed.
G-My first memory of seeing a tattoo was also of my mom’s ankle tattoo. We grew up knowing very few people with tattoos. I started envisioning myself wanting to be heavily tattooed when I was 14, because I started listening to post-hardcore music and going to Warped Tour.
What was your first tattoo and what’s the story behind it?
H- My first tattoo is a peony, I actually got it the same day Grace was getting tattooed again, because she told me I should get one.
G- I was 18 when I first got tattooed. It is of a peony on my forearm. It looks completely different than Hope’s peony tattoo. I got this tattoo to cover up some scars that I have.
Prior to getting tattooed, did people have a hard time telling you apart? Which of you has more tattoos?
H- Yes, the general public has always had a hard time telling us apart but not our close friends. Grace has nine more tattoos than I do.
G- As children, we were hard to tell apart. I sometimes can’t tell the difference in photos of us at a really young age. In our high school years, I cut and dyed my hair different colors to have a sense of individuality so people could tell us apart. Now, I don’t mind that we look so similar. I also have more tattoos and started getting tattooed about a year before Hope.
What tattoo on your body gets the most attention and why do you think this is?
H- The butterfly and chain on my stomach gets the most attention. I’d say because it's well done and an attractive piece.
G- I think the grim reaper on my stomach gets the most attention. It’s very bold, dark, pretty big and a beautiful piece.
How would you describe the style of tattoos you collect? What appeals to you about this style?
H- American traditional, the history behind this style is really cool and I like the aesthetic.
G- Mostly American traditional. I like that it’s really bold and clean. I chose not to get color tattoos so they don't clash with my clothes. Although, I would like to explore other styles for future tattoos.
What’s your favorite tattoo on your sister and why?
H- My favorite tattoo on Grace is the reaper on her stomach.
G- I really like Hope’s skull spider on her arm. Super sick.
Do you have any matching tattoos?
H- We don’t have any matching tattoos.
G- No, we don’t have any matching tattoos, but we do both have a peony tattoo but they look very different.
Who are the artists you’ve been tattooed by and what drew you to them?
H- Hannah Bostick, @hannah.tattoo has done most of my tattoos, as well as Bob Presson @bobbyp_ir , Gabriella Ramos @gabriellarouges.art , and Justin @xstillillx. All of the artists I’ve been tattooed by are from my hometown but all have an amazing body of work and are amazing artists
G- Hannah Bostick, @hannah.tattoo has also done quite a few pieces of mine, Josh Tremble @josh.idlehands, Gabriella Ramos @gabriellarouges.art, Justin @xstillillx, and a couple other artists who I have forgotten the names of. I was drawn to these artists because they’re good at what they do.
Who are some of your favorite artists that you hope to get work from in the future?
What was your most painful tattoo? What about your least painful?
H- My most painful were my stomach tattoos and least painful is anything on my forearm.
G- My most painful tattoo was the tiger on my ribcage. It felt like my bones were being chiseled away. My least painful tattoo was the word “anguish” on the back of my neck. I literally didn’t feel it.
Do you have any tattoo regrets? Would you consider removing or covering a tattoo?
H- I don’t have any tattoos I regret. I may consider removing a tattoo if the end product looked really bad, but definitely not removing any work I have now
G- I would say I half regret my “xxx” tattoo. I am no longer straight edge so the tattoo doesn’t apply to my current lifestyle. However, I like the tattoo because I got this as a matching tattoo with my friend during FYA music fest in Tampa, Florida. So it holds a good memory.
What tattoos do you hope to get in the future?
H- I want start and finish my left arm and maybe my legs, so I have a long way to go
G- I would like to start a back piece and just collect more tattoos in general.
Do you think tattoos need to have meanings, yes or no?
H- No, the majority of my tattoos don’t have meaning, I just thought the artwork was cool.
G- No, I don’t think they need to have a meaning. Some of mine do and some don’t. I think it’s just a personal preference.
If you woke up with only one tattoo on your body, what would you like it to be?
H- Could I pick a whole new tattoo to wake up to? If so, does a back piece count as one tattoo?
G- I’m thinking the same way. It would be pretty sick to have one large back piece as my only tattoo
What else should our readers know about you as a tattoo collector?
H- I really enjoyed the experience and end results of getting artists' work on my body, I think each piece makes me more unique.
G- Tattoos are really cool. It’s freeing in a way I think. If any of my friends want to get tattooed together, let me know.