QUEANBEYAN'S Sarah Fryer knows looks can be deceiving. Dressed in a conservative suit and sensible shoes to match, the 22-year-old appears like every other public servant.
But once she takes off her blazer, she reveals a fascinating array of tattoos that crawl up her arm.
The most visible image, a native American girl on the left arm, is just one of several tattoos she has had etched onto her body.
On Saturday, May 3 she will display her array of tattoos as part of the local round of the 2014 Miss Ink Competition.
"My friends encouraged me to enter, I was always too shy but now I'm going to go for it," Miss Fryer said.
The contest includes a casualwear, evening wear and swimwear section with contestants judged on their personality and crowd interaction.
Miss Fryer describes it as a "beauty pageant for alternative girls".
"I feel like it's more socially acceptable for males to have tattoos than a dainty, little, red head like me. This contest increases the awareness that there are chicks out there and we're tattooed as!" she said.
"I used to get really self-conscious walking down the street because I used to get so many stares especially when I got my arm done.
"That's when I realised how much people get judged [for having tattoos] but there are some people that are quite fascinated.
"I get a lot of questions; it's good to see the curious side of people rather than the judgemental side."
Miss Fryer's collection includes a dream catcher on left shoulder, owl across her stomach, roses on both sides of her torso, her star sign surrounded by cherry blossoms on her back and a day of the dead girl on her thigh.
"All my tattoos mean something; I've never gotten a tattoo 'just because'. Most of them are quite personal...they've marked milestones in my life when I've achieved something," she said.
"My friends call my tattoos my 'tough stickers'. They can make you feel sexy too. I have some on my sides and I think they're quite sexy. You have fun with it."
Miss Fryer never imagined she would cover her body with tattoos when she got her first one - a blue butterfly between her shoulder blades - when she was 16-years-old.
"I got one and then I got another…it is what they say, they're addictive," she said.
"It's a good feeling knowing you've sat there for four hours in complete pain and now you have this beautiful piece of art."
Miss Fryer has only ever worked with local tattoo artist Matt Rickard who is based at Tattoo Xtreme and Body Piercing on Monaro Street.
"The permanency of it doesn't really bother me because I love all my tattoos. I think about them for a long time before I get them. I come up with the design and wait for a year before I get them because I don't want to regret it," she said.
"I don't think about [having tattoos] when I'm old so much. I think about when I'm middle-aged and have kids. When I'm 70, I won't care."
Miss Fryer already has plans for her next tattoo and her advice to others is to go to a professional tattoo artist and to pick something meaningful.
"It is a bit scary at first [when you walk into the tattoo shop]. You can hear the buzzing [of the tattoo gun] and there's a specific smell, almost like a hospital smell because it's so clean…when that hits me, the adrenalin kicks in," she said.
"I don't see the end point for me any time soon. I get a new tattoo whenever I hit a new milestone or get over a milestone. So as long as they keep happening, I guess I'll keep getting tattoos."
The 2014 Miss Ink Competition will be held at The Basement, Belconnen on Saturday, May 3 from 8pm.