Brightly coloured sleeves, an open attitude and a will to succeed are just some of the reasons Miss Dolce Onyx is Miss Inked 2016!

Photographs by Jason Ierace

My love for tattoos started when I was in high school. I was obsessed with coming home and spending the night looking at tattoo magazines, BMEZine and developing serious girl crushes on various alternative models. I just loved looking at different ways people expressed themselves.

I didn’t actually start my tattoo collection until about three years ago. It was a Good Friday public holiday and the area we lived in didn’t have a lot of [tattoo] options so I ended up getting a piece of script on my foot. I still have it, but won’t be keeping it. I would much rather get a piece that will use the space properly. When people ask me what it means I like to joke and tell them it’s French for “yolo”, but it really means live life. After that I was a lot less impulsive with my tattoos.

I met my current artist about seven or eight years ago through friends when he was working up the coast. I was young and thought I knew the world and Mattoo [Broadway Tattoo, Sydney] couldn’t stand me. Luckily for him, he only met me once or twice during that stage of my life. Five years passed and I took my friend to get a tattoo. I had no idea that’s where he [Mattoo] was working. One week later I got him to do the girl on my right thigh, a couple of weeks later we went on our first date. The lantern on my calf was the first piece of art he gave me as a gift. It is up there with my favourite pieces.

So many people say to me how they would be absolutely covered head to toe by now if they were dating a tattooist, but it’s not like that. Clients are first priority and tattooing me is in our own time. I never expect or demand to be tattooed on a certain day because I respect his down time, but when we do get the chance it’s a lot of fun creating something together.

I love watching him work. I have spent more hours than I can count hanging out at Broadway Tattoo with Matt and the team. I have never been very artistic and I find the process fascinating. It does help that Mattoo knows me so well that all I have to do is make subtle suggestions of what I want and instantly he’s pulling it straight from my head – and that he loves bright colour as much as I do. He asked me to marry him last year, no wedding date set yet but we are very excited.

I set myself the goal when entries for Miss Inked 2015 opened to enter the following year. I was still really new to photo shoots at that time and wasn’t feeling 100 per cent confident in myself. The idea of getting the chance to work alongside the team from a magazine I love and is respected within the community was a huge goal. When I found out I made top 10 for 2016 I squealed. To get picked with such gorgeous ladies, some who are friends of mine, absolutely blew my mind. Thanks to everyone who voted for me.

There are so many things I want to do! One of which is to start my own business and open a shop with my partner. That would be my ultimate goal. Modelling-wise I set myself the goal of doing comps during 2015 and going forward I would like to do a lot more. I would like to travel more and work with some of the amazing photographers and models I admire; that list is huge! Fame and fortune is not the goal for me when it comes to modelling. It would be nice, though, to know I inspired someone to chase their dreams the way the ladies I used to see growing up inspired me. Keep an eye on me. I plan on hitting it even harder during 2016.