Cosmic Cuties: Body Confident Cartoons

Sixteen-year-old Mikhaila Nokel from Brooklyn, is the creator of Cosmic Cuties, a series of cartoon style illustrations that spread self love and body confidence. Mikhaila is a body image activist who uses her drawings to help other girls who may be struggling with self esteem issues.

The Cosmic Cuties website describes the illustrated girl gang as:

Kickass space girls who fight sexism throughout the universe. They stand for feminism, body acceptance, and self love!


Follow @cosmic_cuties for more awesome babes.

16th International Tattoo Expo Roma

Our Italian Contributor Ilaria went to Rome Tattoo Convention, this is the diary of her visit, including the incredible artists she met along the way…


“The International Tattoo Expo Rome was held from 8th to 10th May 2015. I could not resist, so I went there on Sunday, the last day…

“It is one of the biggest tattoo conventions in the world, where you can meet 300 international tattoo artists, from St. Petersburg, Beijing and Austin to Las Vegas, Montreal and London. The artists are very prestigious, and the convention allows the curious to get tattooed by their idols: for example, Sarah Miller, star of the US television show Ink Master, the phenomenon of Los Angeles Matt Arriola or the artists coming from the famous Lowrider Tattoo Studios.

“During last year’s convention, actress Asia Argento had marched on stage showing off her brand new tattoo done by Marco Manzo, as a competitor in the 2014 Tattoo Contest. This year Marco Manzo is still bringing his Haute Couture tattoos to the tattoo scene – feminine black lace inked onto skin. Last February, he also presented his tattooed clients at Maxxi Museum, the National Museum of XXI Century Arts in Rome. It was a success and a great step towards the acknowledgement of tattoo as an art form.

“Next I met Miss Juliet and Fabio Gargiulo, who created two limited editions prints to help Nepal earthquake victims. The proceeds will be donated to the appeal, and they will go on selling these artworks at other tattoo conventions: Naples, Athens, Milan and Cagliari. I think this is a strong and wise action, and the tattoo community has once again demonstrated sensitivity to world emergencies.

Miss Juliet and Fabio Gargiulo


“Walking around, I spotted so many new artists and I had the opportunity to meet some amazing people. Here are four people I was super happy to see:

David Côté. He is a young graphic designer and tattoo artist from Montreal, Canada. His psychedelic tattoos are stunning, and he is really a kind guy. Here is what he created during the convention.


Denis Elice. He is from Turin, Italy. I think you should keep an eye on him. He has clear ideas and his tattoos evidence this. Whales, sailors, roses, these are only some of his subjects. His style is black traditional, but with a very personal touch.


Chad Koeplinger. Well, he is one of the greats. Here are some of his tattoos from the convention.


Nicoz Balboa: (yep, after three men, we have a powerful woman!) She is an illustrator and her works on skin are simply beautiful, I think she has the right sense of balance between colour and subject, and she is great in freehand tattoo.


“Tattoo conventions always make me feel at home, and I think this is the best feeling ever. No judgments but only love and admiration for tattoos and art (that, to me, are just the same thing).”

Street spotting at Liverpool Tattoo Convention 2015

Style and tattoo spotting at Liverpool Tattoo Convention, 16-17 May 2015 at The Adelphi Hotel. Here are a few of our favourite people at the convention and a selection of their tattoos…

Name: Sophie Brown / Age: 21 / Job: Tattooist at Forever Ink Warrington 

Tattoos: Dagger and lady on left back calf by Chris HayesPerfume bottle and lady on arm by Danny Edwards at Forever Ink, Lady on right calf by Chris Martini 



Name: Natalie @superelevated / Age: 33 / Lives: Sheffield / Job: Lecturer in fashion industry 

Tattoos: Back piece by Tacho Franch,  thigh by Paul Goss, Wolf by Kelly Smith 



NameLauren Williamson / Age: 24 / Lives: Wirral / Job: works in an office 

Tattoos: Skull by Rob Nolan 13 Ink, Liverpool,
Skinhead by Dan SmithPortrait by Kyle Williams from Raw Ink in Wrexham 



Charlotte Tilburys makeup collection with Norman Parkinson

The world renowned makeup artist Charlotte Tilbury is launching her first ever collaboration with Vogue fashion photographer, Norman Parkinson. “I have always been fascinated and inspired by the incredible work of Norman Parkinson. He is a legendary photographer that, in the fashion world, we turn to again and again as a reference and an inspiration – his work is on every moodboard,” Tilbury said.

The line will include a compact bronzer, a dazzling powder highlighter, two matte lipsticks, makeup bag and large washbag.

Adorning the packaging are some of the beautiful photographs that Parkinson took for Vogues front covers over the years…the most prominent being the May 1975 issue which features a very young and beautiful Jerry Hall.
Lets hope our resident makeup artist, Keely can one day create hew own makeup line using the covers of Things & Ink!

The range will be available to buy from July 2015 from the Charlotte Tilbury website and Selfridges.

Tattooed lady, Isobel Varley 1937-2015

Isobel Varley 1937-2015

We’re so very sad to announce the news that Isobel Varley the world’s most tattooed senior woman – has passed away. RIP Isobel, such an inspirational woman breaking boundaries, we salute you Isobel.

The following was taken from her official Facebook page:

It is with deep sorrow that we must announce the passing of Isobel.

Shortly before 7 this morning Isobel passed peacefully onto her next adventure.

The Varley family would like to express their thanks to everyone for their support, their friendship and kind words expressed to, and about, Isobel and her numerous achievements during her time.

We would like to invite everyone to share their experiences and photographs with her on here as a tribute.

Heaven has a gained a new Angel.

Shrewsbury tattoo studio fundraising for Nepal earthquake appeal

Adorn tattoo studio, in Shrewsbury, are no strangers to fundraising, having only recently raised funds for two African medical centres. Now the team of professional artists are appealing for funds to aid the people of Nepal.

The Adorn team decided to launch their latest fundraising appeal on 30th April and the special charity initiative will be running up until 17th May.

People can have a small tattoo, selected from an array of special designs, with all the funds donated towards the Nepal Earthquake Appeal.

The event has already been a roaring success with many people choosing to get adorned in the name of charity. Resident tattoo artists Jay and Rach have been keeping themselves incredibly busy, raising over £210 on the first day alone!

Aiden Johnson of Adorn said “We always like to ensure that we are doing our bit for people experiencing great challenges across the globe. The tragic events in Nepal inspired us to raise more money and we are confident that we can raise funds which will be of real benefit to those in need right now.”

People can call Adorn on 01743 343330 to arrange for one of the special tattoos. There is also a facility for people to donate online via Adorn’s website.

Globe tattoos

Who doesn’t love staring gleefully into a globe whilst it spins on its axis and contemplate where your next trip may be…maybe just us then! Below are a whole host of globe tattoos we have spotted recently…which country would be your globe tattoos focus?

  Kerry Gentle, Old Town Tattoo, Edinburgh 

 Avalon from The Grand Illusion  

  Matt Adamson from Jayne Doe

 Amy Savage  

 Tilly Dee from Trailer Trash Tattoo  
 Adam Miller, also from Trailer Trash Tattoo 
 Toby Gawler from Salon Serpent  


Eva Laflamme, editor of The Tattoo Tourist, invites you to take our tattoo collector quiz.

tattoo by Jeff Gogue


“Tattoos can say a lot about a person. Having a tattoo or tattoos, subject matter and placement all form an impression of an individual whether it is accurate or not. If you are reading this you probably have a tattoo or are thinking of getting one. What will your tattoo say about you? What do you want it to say? Ask yourself, “How will my tattoo/s represent me? ”

“Or don’t. Seriously – Do. Not. Get tattoos because they are cool as shit and you like them and you had some time and a hundred bucks to kill while you were getting your tires rotated and that is how you got your latest ink. I’m not making fun here – that is a completely legitimate way to ink up and the chosen method for a majority of tattoo enthusiasts. The sheer number of tattoo shops in the USA and abroad allows for a free-wheeling approach to acquiring ink that is unprecedented,

Twenty plus years ago when I got my first tattoo I was living in Utah. (Don’t judge. It could happen to anyone.) I decided to get my first tattoo and choosing a shop was very easy. There was only one in a hundred mile radius. My choice of artist? Limited to the sketchy metal head with the tattoo machine and a terrifying case of the shakes. Now you can find shops in the most unlikely of places including some very tiny locations and upscale towns. Where you used to have to go to the sketchier areas to find a shop you can now go to a fancy mall and get tattooed right in the display window. Times have changed but what about the way people get tattooed?

“Back in the early 70s when tattooing started to emerge from the docks and honky tonks and into “polite society” the first tattoo conventions were held. These were serious-minded collectives of tattoo artists looking to share information, check out each others equipment (basically all hand crafted) and compare work. The non-artists in attendance were mostly wives and girlfriends of the artists (precious few women tattooing at this time) and a sprinkling of die-hard fans. Now  many tattoo conventions are  full-scale lifestyle events with bands, car shows, beauty pagents, acres of branding and merchandise, celebrity artists, fans and collectors. So what is a tattoo collector exactly and what is the difference between a person who loves tattoos and has a bunch and a tattoo collector who also loves tattoos and has a bunch. Welllll – it’s subtle.

“A tattoo fan will get a tattoo as the mood strikes based on proximity to a tattoo artist, cash in pocket and whatever looks good on the flash wall or idea they have swimming around in their head. A tattoo collector will get a tattoo based on extensive research of favourite artists, email stalking of said artists, long waiting periods of anywhere from six months to two years and an investment in their ink that would shock a lot of people who have tattoos.”

tattoo by Teresa Sharpe


Here is a check list to see if you are a Tattoo Collector

(If you answer “yes” to more than two you have got the bug)

1. You have a list of artists you would like to work with

2. Those artists have waiting lists or their “books are closed”

3. This fact causes you angst to varying degrees.

4. You are willing to let an artist dictate partially or completely what they will tattoo on you and where and how big

5. This causes you no angst – you are totally game

6. You are willing to travel more than a couple of hours from your home – even fly and even go out of country for a tattoo (If you answered yes to this one you have the bug – period. – no cure in sight!)

7. You don’t have as many tattoos as you want because you are waiting for that particular artist to agree to work with you

8. You can identify more than five tattoos artists’ work at a glance

9. Your friends and family think you are a little nuts about the whole tattoo thing. You sort of agree with them

10. You know most people “don’t get it” but that is fine. Some people collect Beanie Babies or schnauzers and you don’t get that but it’s their thing and that is cool with you. Serious tattoo collecting is YOUR thing. You are approaching your body like a curated tattoo exhibit and it is a fascinating, exasperating, thrilling and expensive ride. Buckle Up!

tattoo by Erin Chance


“How did you do? I said “yes” to all ten so I am definitely up to my neck in it. And does it matter if you said no to all of them? Does that make your tattoos “less than”? Oh hell no. Part of me wishes I could tap the brakes on my tattoo mania and just get some ink without having to move heaven and earth first. I chatted about Rock and Roller Andy Biersack’s “random” ink collection last week and I wasn’t kidding when I said I thought it was cool as hell.

“That is one of the many things I love about tattoos and tattoo culture – it truly does embrace all types. From the middle age housewife with a serious tattoo collection to the young 20 somethings inking up on the fly with no plan and no worries.  At the end of the day it all looks pretty damn cool. Unless you get a crap tattoo. That is not cool.

“So maybe you are not a “collector” but at the very least be a good tattoo consumer. Go to a professional tattoo artist who employs proper safety standards and knows how to handle a tattoo machine. Scratchers are called that largely because their line work is shaky as shit due to their lack of know-how. Tattooing well takes serious practice and skill to do it right. Don’t offer up your skin to a half-assed amateur. Make sure you are getting inked by a professional who takes pride in their craft – whether it is an elaborate full back piece or a simple word tattoo – then your ink will always be cool to the only person whose opinion on it truly matters – Your Own.

tattoo by Kelly Doty


all tattoos in this post are done by my short list of “dream” artists. If you help me get an appointment with one of them I will bake you your favorite cookies and Fed Ex them to you – I promise!

Things&Ink and The Feminist Library present: Feminist Flash Day


Things & Ink and the Feminist Library have joined forces to create an event that celebrates tattoos, female liberation and feminism in all their glory… Feminist Flash Day #feministflash will take place on Sunday 31 May at the King of Hearts tattoo studio in New Cross, London.

The day will include feminist tattoo flash available on a first come, first served basis and a panel discussion on tattoos and the body in the feminist movement. We already have the awesome Dexter Kay, Julia Seizure and Lou Hopper confirmed for the tattooing on the day.

The Feminist Library will be running a book shop all day at the event and will be displaying historical artwork from the feminist movement.

All proceeds will be going to the Feminist Library who are desperately raising funds to find a new home and carry on their work cataloging the continuing feminist movement, as well as creating a community space for all feminists.

Please share this event, visit and celebrate with us!

The tattooing will run from 11am to 3pm and will be on a strict first come first served basis. The panel discussion will run from 4:30pm and will be free, although we will be collecting donations on the door.

Poster artwork by the awesome Dexter Kay who will be tattooing at the event. If you have any questions, please email

More info coming soon…