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An Island woman is looking to become the next Inked Magazine cover girl.
Erica Jeffery, a 36-year-old Albany resident with roots in Tignish, is currently ranked fifth in the quarter-finals of the 2020 Inked Cover Model Search.
"I was top in the first round, and if I'm not back in first tomorrow night, I won't make it."
Inked Magazine is an American publication that features the culture, style and art of tattoos.
"I've always been passionate about tattoos but when I saw the contest on social media, I wasn't sure about it."
Jeffery is a resident care worker at a seniors' home in Summerside. She said many people wouldn't know she has as many tattoos as she does, but she is glad she decided to join the contest.
The winner will receive $25,000 and be featured on the cover of the magazine."My friend Anne (MacFadyen) and I were able to get together for a quick photoshoot and I just went with it," said Jeffery.
Jeffery said throughout the competition, participants have been supportive of one another.
"There was another Island girl in it and when she didn't get in this round she supported me.
"It's been great to share my passion for tattoos with someone else who understands it."
Most of the tattoo work on Jeffery's body has been completed by Griffen Dunsmore of Ink City Tattoo in Summerside.
All of Jeffery's tattoos mean something to her.
"On my leg, I have a tattoo of my dog, Vada. Now she's with me forever. Having the tattoo to look at and carry with me is special. I'll always have the memories of her, but it's like she's a part of me."
She said she recalls getting her first tattoo before she was "probably allowed" and that life kept drawing her back for more.
"I love art in all forms and I love to be able to carry things with me where I go. The tattoos are for me, but I can also share them with others."
Jeffery has a piece on her back inspired by nature, Mother Earth and her mother and sister, who she lost at a young age. She also has pieces to honour her son, including a teddy bear and a clock with the time he was born on it.
"My son thinks they're great. He's always excited about a new one — but he doesn't want any because he knows they hurt," she said with a chuckle.
She said she's always wanted for it to appear like she was walking in a field of wildflowers on her lower legs.
"I feel like it's where I'm meant to be. Everything I've had tattooed, is things I love in my life."
She cherishes them, she said.
"I've made my mistakes but, my tattoos aren't it. Often it's what other people will think of your tattoos that hold you back but if you feel they are a part of you - go for it."
To vote for Jeffery in this round of voting go to cover.inkedmag.com/2020/erica-jeffery.