Whether it’s movies or the tattoos on her arms, Kat McGrath, head nurse at High Wycombe and Forrestfield Vet Hospitals in WA, is attracted to the dark side.
“The movie, Gremlins, was my introduction to horror films. I saw it when I was about five years old and it gave me nightmares. Despite that, I kept going back to watch it again and again. My mother tells the story of when she told me to choose a movie at the video store and I came back with three copies of Gremlins. I guess I was a glutton for punishment. Ever since then, I’ve enjoyed anything that was scary, gory or just plain wrong. Rom-coms aren’t my thing.
“My all-time favourite horror film is the original adaptation of Stephen King’s It, with Tim Curry playing Pennywise the clown. I also enjoyed the new version with Bill Skarsgard as Pennywise. I like them so much, I have tattoos of both versions of the clown.
“My first tattoo was a redback spider just because all my friends were getting butterflies. I’ve got roses for my dad who passed away many years ago and a few family tattoos. Pretty much everything else is horror-themed, including a great Freddy Krueger.
“I’ve also got my cat and my dog on my right arm, and Angus Young as a tribute to my AC/DC-loving husband. My son has ADHD so I have Tim Burton’s version of the Mad Hatter tattoo for him. Both of my arms are covered except for a few small gaps I want to fill in. My left arm is all black-toned work while my right arm is mostly colour.
“When I was getting my sleeves done, I asked the bosses at work whether they wanted me to cover up. I understand it can be confronting but they were fine with it. I’ve had many clients comment in a positive way and one bloke even lifted his shirt to show me his tattoo. I usually end up comparing tattoos with clients and recommending my artist to them.
“I think my attraction to the dark side of things stems from my morbid sense of humour. It started with horror movies and then moved across to tattoos. I’m actually really grateful my employers aren’t against me showing who I am. We should all be so lucky to work in a place where you can actually be yourself.
“I’ve done a lot to myself externally—tattoos, stretched earlobes, shaved head, piercings—but at the end of the day I love my job and I do it well. I don’t receive negative feedback from clients or co-workers about how I look. It’s who I am on the inside that counts.”