When Jodie Dunlop lost her beloved dad, Graham, 55, to a heart attack in December 2015, she had Jungle Book tattoo on her right arm to honour the happy times they spent watching it together.
And the 32-year-old was so impressed by the design of Baloo the bear from the animated film of the Rudyard Kipling novel that she booked another appointment the same day.
It was to be the start of a journey that has seen the cake designer spend between 50 to 60 hours having a Disney gallery inked on to her arms, hands and legs.
Jodie, who lives in Manchester with her joiner husband Jonny, 34 – a fellow fan of inkings – and their daughter, Caitlin, 11, said: “I had a few tattoos before I got my Jungle Book one, but they were all very small and subtle.
“I’d always wanted lots more tattoos, but worried that people would judge me a certain way, or that it’d harm my job prospects. Most people are positive, but some people do still stereotype you if you have visible tattoos.
“Losing my dad made me realise that life is short, so I just went for it.”
She added: “I’ve loved Disney all my life. It never fails to make me smile and the films show that there’s always something to look forward to. Despite all the obstacles, there will always be a happy ending of some sort.”
From an early age, Jodie was especially captivated by the Jungle Book, which follows the story of Mowgli, a young boy who has been raised by wolves, as he befriends a panther, Bagheera, and bear, Baloo.
Some of her favourite childhood memories are of watching the 1967 movie with her dad Graham.
And when she went through his things after his passing, she realised the film had meant a lot to him, too.
She said: “I was going through his Sky Plus and found that he had recorded The Jungle Book, ready to watch with the family at Christmas, which was just after he passed.
“The film had meant so much to me. I’d watch it on repeat with him as a kid. I even had one of the songs – Bare Necessities – played at his funeral.”
In May 2016, five months after losing her father, Jodie decided to immortalise her love for him with a tattoo – fittingly, a Jungle Book themed design.
Given the huge sentimental value of the inking, she took care in finding an artist, eventually settling on Beau, of Blue Cardinal Tattoo in Rochdale, Greater Manchester.
“Her work is just incredible. The colours are so vivid and vibrant. She’d done some other Disney designs, too, so she was perfect,” said Jodie.
Over the course of five hours, Jodie had Baloo, Mowgli and King Louie, another Jungle Book character, inked onto her right arm – booking a second appointment straight after to add Bagheera to her existing design.
Next, she added more characters until she had a Jungle Book sleeve covering her entire right arm.
“Beau is very talented and so very in demand. This means that sometimes there can be a bit of a wait for an appointment, but I wouldn’t go to anyone else,” she said.
A self-confessed Disney obsessive, Jodie has now steadily added to her themed tattoo collection.
Her left forearm is covered by a huge picture of Bambi and his love interest Faline, and every inch of skin on her lower right leg is coated in a Little Mermaid design, depicting Ariel, King Trident and Flounder.
She also has Belle, the Beast, Mrs Pots and Chips from Beauty and the Beast on her left thigh, posed in front of a fairytale castle, as well as Bambi and Thumper on her hands and Marie from the Aristocats on her lower left leg.
“I have a second Thumper tattoo there too,” she said. “I’ve tried to group them all together by story, so I’ve got my Jungle Book arm, my Little Mermaid leg and my Beauty and the Beast thigh.
“I’m going to fill the lower part of my left leg with any other Disney characters I’ve missed out.
“There’s already no skin left between my knee and ankle on my right leg, but I’m hoping to have all four limbs completely covered in Disney designs. I think it’ll take about two or three more years of tattooing to get there. I also love Harry Potter, so I’m planning to dedicate my back to Hogwarts-themed tattoos.”
And it is not just the memory of her dad that make Jodie’s Disney tattoos so special.
In 2014 – two years before she had any of her fairytale designs – she enjoyed an unforgettable holiday to Disneyland Paris, France, with Jonny and Caitlin.
“The magic of it all was amazing. I loved every second. We must’ve watched every parade, firework display and show going,” she said.
“Some of the best memories of my life were made on that trip, so the tattoos remind me of that too,” she continued.
“Obviously, at Disneyland there’s lots of merchandise for sale. I bought a little bit – some Christmas decorations and t-shirts – but to be honest, I’d rather put my money towards more Disney tattoos.”
With such eye-catching designs covering her limbs, it is little surprise that Jodie is often stopped by strangers when she is out and about.
Thankfully, most of the attention she gets is positive.
“Sometimes people ask me if I’m worried about what they’ll look like when I’m old, but that really doesn’t worry me,” she said.
“I also get asked a lot if they hurt – the answer is yes, definitely!”
Jodie continued: “It’s funny, because Jonny’s covered in tattoos too, but he gets very different reaction. I think because he’s a big burly man with a beard, some people almost see it as intimidating.
“There’s a stereotype and misconception that people with tattoos are thugs who would snatch your purse, but Jonny is the sweetest man going and would be the one running after it to get it back.
“Because my tattoos are bright and colourful, people are mostly kind about them. I get asked for photos a lot.”
A Disney fan herself, little Caitlin is delighted that her mum’s skin is virtually a living storybook of all her favourite fairytales.
Jodie added: “Caitlin loves my tattoos, although sometimes she gets sick of me getting stopped.
“If we do something like go swimming, where they’re more on display, she’ll roll her eyes and march ahead while everyone stares at me open-mouthed.”
By speaking out, Jodie hopes to encourage people to be less judgemental about tattoos and wants to thank Beau for her artistry.
She concluded: “It’s difficult to add it all up as I have done everything in instalments, but I must’ve spent 50 to 60 hours and thousands of pounds on my tattoos.
“I’d spend double that in a heartbeat, though. They’re worth every penny. I am so used to them now that it feels strange to see pictures of myself without them. They’ve become a part of me.”