Woman Leaves Corporate Job To Transform Herself Into ‘Living Piece Of Art’

by : Cameron Frew on : 24 Feb 2020 09:41
Woman Leaves Corporate Job To Become 'Living Piece Of Art'KXPissue/Jam Press

A woman ditched her white collar corporate job in Germany to pursue her dream of becoming ‘a living piece of art’ in California. 

Lina L (who goes by the name Cigno) began her body art journey in 2010 – now, a decade later, she’s covered head to toe in tattoos, ‘working against those prevailing stigmas held against the body modification and body art scene’.


At her old job in Deutschland, visible tattoos were generally frowned upon. So, she left her career behind and moved to Los Angeles, with no plans of going home.

Woman Leaves Corporate Job To Become 'Living Piece Of Art'KXPissue/Jam Press

Cigno has since moved to the Bay Area of San Francisco, working part-time in corporate tech where she can be more herself – however, she still faces some surprise ‘by my career and level of education’.

She said: 


I chose a career which allows me to be myself after leaving a career I wasn’t happy with. People take on roles in their everyday life to fit into the unspoken expectation of others. In tech, especially in the Bay Area, I can’t say that I have felt much discrimination. Nevertheless, people do seem to act surprised by my career and my level of education.

It feels like I have to prove myself harder. Even in 2020, people with body art are stigmatised. Despite the fact that tattoos are becoming more common, some people still hold negative views towards people with tattoos. When a person is perceived as deviating from the mainstream they either get criticised for it or get glorified for being different.

Cigno sees herself ‘as a person who can prove them wrong and who has proven them wrong’. In order to create her fierce look, she’s spent over $50,000 on tattoos, piercings, breast implants and even ear surgery – showcased on her Instagram account @cigno.sg. Soon, she hopes to get a full-body suit and split-tongue.

Woman Leaves Corporate Job To Become 'Living Piece Of Art'KXPissue/Jam Press

Cigno had a love for tattoos since she was a teenager, and was always fascinated at how skin could be transformed and wanted to become a ‘living piece of art’ herself. One day, a switch ‘flipped’ in her mind, spurring a radical transformation.


She explained: 

It’s like a switch that flipped in my head. I understood that the only way to truly become whoever you want to be if you work towards it – every single day. This ambition has made it possible that I was able to live and work all over the world. Every day is a new chance to become the best version of myself.

Setbacks couldn’t and can’t stop me. My body modifications as well as my plastic surgeries happened after I had already completely transformed my body and mind through fitness and determination. It was my cherry on the cake. A healthy mindset is just as important as looking the way that is the most appealing to yourself.

She also ‘travelled, picked up several languages, faced difficulties living abroad, and had to make big and bold decisions’. ‘Truly becoming one with myself and seeing my body as a temple is what really changed my life. Self-love leads to loving others,’ Cigno added.

Woman Leaves Corporate Job To Become 'Living Piece Of Art'KXPissue/Jam Press

Through her body modifications, Cigno felt she was able express herself freely and confidently without fear of judgment, and said she now feels more herself than ever. ‘Self-expression means something different for any individual – the closer one comes with being who they truly want to be – the happier they are with themselves and the more accepting they will be of others,’ she explained.

Soon after starting her Instagram account, Cigno was recruited by SuicideGirls, a thriving modelling website – she’s also set to be in a photoshoot with Inked Magazine.

Woman Leaves Corporate Job To Become 'Living Piece Of Art'KXPissue/Jam Press

While Cigno’s family and friends were initially apprehensive of her tattoos, they have since come to accept her body art. ‘Parents want to see you as their perfect little girl they have brought into this life and want you to stay the same… now they have fully accepted my path and are incredibly supportive,’ she said.


Offering up some valuable advice to those concerned with what others think, Cigno said: ‘If you undergo such a transformation you have to live and embrace it rather than walking around worrying about what people may say.’

If you have a story you want to tell, send it to UNILAD via [email protected]

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Cameron Frew

After graduating from Glasgow Caledonian University with an NCTJ and BJTC-accredited Multimedia Journalism degree, Cameron ventured into the world of print journalism at The National, while also working as a freelance film journalist on the side, becoming an accredited Rotten Tomatoes critic in the process. He's now left his Scottish homelands and taken up residence at UNILAD as a journalist.

Topics: Life, California, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Tattoos