TATTS the way to do it – a Sunderland glamour model is making waves in the magazine industry thanks to her unique body art.
Tattooed beauty Ellis Cooper, 21, from Ashbrooke, has become a regular feature in national magazines including Nuts, Zoo and Loaded and has been signed by Samantha Bond Management, which discovered Katie Price.
The former Sunderland High School pupil has accrued such a loyal following she’s released a 2013 calendar and has moved to London to further her career.
Ellis fans have also been snapping up T-shirts which feature her distinctive tattoos – inked at Power Custom Tattoos in Houghton during her trips home – and have even had images of Ellis tattooed on themselves.
“Honestly, I’m not sure I’d be in this industry if I didn’t have my tattoos,” she said.
“Despite tattoos being very fashionable at the minute it’s hard to gain the fan base because they’re not necessarily to everyone’s taste but I have only ever had very positive and lovely feedback from people, especially from women, funnily enough.”
Speaking about her first tattoo, she said: “I have ‘Love Hate’ on my wrist. I think I was 14, maybe 15 and because it was such awful needle work, six years down the line it now looks like ‘Love Ham’.
“Anyone thinking about getting a tattoo I urge you to go to a good artist.”
Despite her burgeoning fame Ellis, whose real surname is Thoburn, still makes regular trips back to Wearside to see her family, including dad Matty, a city greengrocer with the famous Thoburn chain.
She said: “I was pretty sceptical at first about moving to London as it was such a big commitment to make for my career but it’s probably been one of the best decisions I ever made.
“London is definitely where I need to be right now but I try to come back to Sunderland as often as I can. It’s in my blood and I’m very proud of that.”
Ellis’ seven tattoos have also graced magazines internationally, including Zoo Australia, INKED Girls Australia and INKED Girls US.
The model added: “It’s crazy having a calendar out and it’s even more crazy that people are buying it.
“It’s so flattering and rewarding knowing people are willing to spend their money on something like that.
“I have so much time for my fans. I think they’re brilliant and surprisingly extremely protective, which is comforting. I do find it all a bit strange that people are buying my posters and calendars, especially when I get shown a tattoo of me – I will never ever get used to that – but I will forever let them know how grateful I am.”