Pet Parents | Meet Gabby Colledge aka. Zaya
We recently met the incredibly talented Gabby Colledge, or Zaya as she is known to her 145k Instagram followers! An accomplished tattoo artist, musician, artist, dog-owner and mum-to-be. We sat down with her (digitally) to chat all things puppy, baby and creativity...
Thank you for taking the time to chat with us. Firstly, we have to say your tattoo work is absolutely beautiful. How have you been finding running a business during the current climate? Has much changed for you at work?
Thanks so much! Lovely words. Yes it's been a crazy year work wise, I've had such a change of pace. In all honesty, the slow down was quite well needed for me as I'd been working myself into the ground the last few years, doing up to eight clients a day sometimes! Once I began to be busy with tattooing, I found it hard to say no to people and ended up not giving myself enough time to relax. I'm also currently seven months pregnant, so the more chilled out work schedule has been fab for adjusting to those changes!
Lockdown gave me the rare time to create and launch my prints, so luckily that kept me afloat while I couldn't see clients!
You also make music, who would you say is your biggest inspiration musically?
I'd say my main musical inspiration is from soul classics like Etta James, and people who are inspired by that music, like Amy Winehouse. Some of my current favourites are Lianne La Havas, Jade Bird, Pip Millet, Mahalia, Jordan McKampa and Leon Bridges. I love a mixture of Rnb and more acoustic folk and soul.
Gabby's 'Give Love' A4 Print & 'Self Love' A3 Print
What one piece of advice would you offer to anyone looking to get into a creative industry?
Be persistent, and enthusiastic! Because there's so many people hoping to become successful in the creative sector, it really helps to have a positive attitude, belief in your self and your product, and persistence with the people who can help you! I had to be mega enthusiastic when applying for tattoo apprenticeships, as they're so hard to come by, and you really need employers to know that you're serious and dedicated.
Also, build up a good social media platform by focusing hard on the aesthetic theme and consistency of your page, and using relevant and popular hashtags that you actually think people might search.
You recently found out you're having a baby girl! Congratulations! What is it like juggling working in a creative industry with pregnancy? Do you have any tips for other expectant mothers who also run their own business?
Yes! So unbelievably excited. To be honest, I've been super creatively inspired while pregnant, doing anything from painting, crocheting, DIY to wreath-making, piano and cooking! I think there's something about birthing new life that inspires you to birth artistic creations also!
In terms of work, I've had to limit tattoos to arms and legs only, rather than trickier places like ribs, because I'm a lot less agile with the growing belly! I've also taken my clients down to maximum two a day, as I can't rush around anymore and need to take my time.
Honestly, it varies so much with different expectant mothers how they'll feel about working - I know some are very active and others like to hibernate! It's a time to rest and let your body do it's thing, so I think release high expectations about working or achieving things while pregnant. I've had to force myself to slow down and fully surrender to the process.
Sonny wears our Dakar Dog Collar
We know you have your lovely pup Sonny, please tell us a little more about him!
He's such a little joy and ball of energy! Sonny's a Collie x Lab who we got from a little family in Cornwall, he's just over 1 year old now. It's such a lovely mix of breeds, he has the intelligence and loyalty of a Collie, and the goofy soft nature of a Labrador too! We knew we'd be having kids soon enough, and wanted to have a puppy that had grown up a bit before baby came. It's our dream to have them as best friends growing up together, and make sure our children are comfortable with pets! Sonny absolutely loves babies, and likes to lick their faces and ears!
Having a puppy was tough for a few months, with the toilet training and puppy biting, however it's well worth it now that he's trained and settled down. I've let go of trying to keep my white furniture clean now haha, he's a muddy boy.
You're based in beautiful Brighton, what are your top 3 must-see spots there?
My favourite spot is the North Laines, starting from Sydney street and onwards, with vintage shops, hippy shops, cafes and independent interior shops.
I also love the Sea Lanes, with the outside bar & Lunar Wave dome (where my partner @qitribe_ teaches meditation and there's amazing yoga classes too). Wonderful to practice right on the sea front!
My other favourite place to be is walking in the downs, either at the Brighton Race Course, Ditching Beacon or Devil's Dyke. There's unbelievably dreaming scenery, rolling hills looking out over the sea. Sonny loves it up there too!
Jamie and Sonny wear our Dakar Hands Free Dog Lead
What is your favourite Hiro + Wolf product and what do you love about it?
We love the Hands-free lead & collar set - the patterns are to die for and make Sonny look like the funky little guy he is! The leads amazing for multi-tasking, you can carry your shopping or use your phone while walking him rather than juggling the lead in your hand! I saw this brand on two or three dogs around the country, and each time asked where it was from. Finally thought I had to get myself one as they're so unique and special!