Hula Boy Sketch 2

A Hula Boy Tattoo, At Last!

In the very first issue of Things & Ink, I wrote an article called “Old School for Girls”. In it, I posed the question – Is it time to recreate the traditional pin-up tattoo for a female audience? – and I expressed my interest in getting a hula boy tattoo. After the article came out, I became rather determined to find an artist willing to tattoo a hula boy on me. He had to be handsome, sweet, fun, and with the right level of kitsch. He had to fit my style, complement the colourful tattoos already on my right arm which represent my love of all things ‘Hawaii kitsch’ – pink flamingos, palm trees, hula girls, tiki huts, etc., you get the idea. He had to be perfectly me.

I am extremely happy to report that in October I found the perfect tattoo artist for the job (Thanks, Reka & Maya for your help!), and in November when I was visiting London she gave me what my heart desired most … and then a whole lot more! Her name is Eszter David, she’s an incredibly talented artist from Hungary, and she works at one of my favourite tattoo shops in the whole wide world, Hell To Pay. She took on the challenge with excitement and enthusiasm. I told her he needed to have a traditional feel in the way he was drawn, but I wanted some non-traditional features – some tattoos and a moustache, were a couple of ideas I mentioned. I left the rest up to her, and she exceeded all my expectations. She did a ton of homework in order to draw the right hula boy attire. She put a ton of thought into every little intricate tattoo she put on his body. She gave him lovely, stylized short and shiny hair, and a sweet flirty smile. Needless to say, she completely got my personality and taste, including the level of kitsch I wanted and my arm artwork demanded. He was absolutely PERFECT!!

Check out Eszter on Instagram, FB, and of course at the Hell To Pay shop and FB page. She’s a super talented female tattoo artist who is the master of many styles. Really I cannot say enough wonderful things about her as a person and as a tattooist. I look forward to seeing her again in 2015, for more ink, good music, and some beers.

And, as Ester said, “Hula boys & pink flamingos forever!” She’s a girl after my own heart!

The Things&Ink Wedding Competition Finalists – The Engagement Shoot

Are you linked by ink?

Back in December 2013 (issue 5, The Celebration Issue), we launched a competition to win wedding photography for your big day. The best, tattooed love story would win… And the entrants were amazing  – so amazing that we have picked three finalists (they’re so cute).  The engagement shoots in this blog post, by photographer Heather Shuker, of Brighton-Photo, will help us pick the ultimate winner. Who is your favourite couple? Let us know on Instagram or

The final winner will be announced on Christmas Day! Watch this space…

Vicky Morgan & Lee Withey – 31 and 27 from Nottingham

Where did you meet? Vicky: ‘He bought me a drink to congratulate me on getting a receptionist job at the studio he worked at, that was 10 years ago.’


How were tattoos involved? Vicky: ‘We worked together for over 10 years in a tattoo studio, and he also played a big part in helping me learn to tattoo.’

Have you already planned your day?  Vicky: ‘We are getting married in Phuket, Thailand, on the 4th of February 2015.’

How do you see your wedding day? What are you most excited about? Vicky: ‘I want it to be magical. We got engaged in Phuket under a full moon and it will be the same for our wedding, but with our closest friends and family, a baby elephant and fireworks. Every Disney princess needs fireworks!’ 



Where did you meet? Roxanne: ‘On a film set. My first job was on Fantastic Mr Fox and Greg was one of the assistant directors on the film.’

How were tattoos involved? Roxanne: ‘On my first day, Greg was asking me my interests and at the time I was reading this book about dragons (which I thought was a bit dorky). A bit embarrassed, I told him about the book, to which he replied: “I have two large dragon tattoos on my back.” Call me weird but, SWOON! We also have matching tattoos that we got while in Coney Island, NYC. It was Halloween and we were a bit tipsy (read: drunk as a skunk). We ended up in a bar called Tattoos and Shots, you can see where this story goes… Needless to say the next morning we woke up with two matching skull tattoos on our wrists with no recollection of getting them. The weekend after that Greg proposed!’


Have you already planned your day? Roxanne: ‘We are getting married on 28/08/2015 at Trinity Buoy Wharf, London. The wedding has snippets of Romany Gypsy traditions in memory of my granddad. Also Spanish Culture as we are travelling South America for our honeymoon and we love everything Spanish.’

How do you see your wedding day? Roxanne: ‘Our wedding is all about partying and rum. On the morning of our wedding we’ll meet at a tattoo parlour and have our wedding bands tattooed onto us. We wanted to make sure in all of the wedding crazy, we had a moment to be together and really make a mark on our day.’ 




Where did you meet? Tanya: ‘We met on Instagram.’

How were tattoos involved?  Tanya: ‘Chris had been asked to draw a pin-up burlesque dancer (he’s a tattooist), so he searched for reference on Instagram and I popped up in the results. He contacted me and asked if he could draw me for a tattoo on a client. Since that moment, barely a day has gone by that we haven’t spoken to each other. Chris even came to live with me while I nursed my sick nan and he worked at a studio in Stoke-on-Trent to support me. After this, we began to look for our own studio, so that we could grow artistically as a couple. It has been the biggest struggle of our lives, but we now run a studio together. Tattoos are what brought us together.’


How do you see your wedding day? What are you most excited about?  Tanya: ‘We would love to get married in a low-key ceremony with a few select close friends and family. We want to custom make most things for the wedding, including the outfits and wedding favours, and we want candles and fairy lights. It’ll be romantic and based around a twisted theme, taking influence from Tim Burton and Sailor Jerry. We are most excited about getting married and making the further commitment to each other.’ 

Let us know your favourite couple… and the winner will be announced on Christmas Day.


Tattooed Christmas Gift Guide

Here’s our gift guide for the loved-ones in your life who are as obsessed with tattoos as we are!

The perfect tee for everyone, show your love for Things&Ink wherever you go!
Mister Paterson Unisex T shirt £15

What more could you want than pugs? Tattooed pugs, doh!
Pug Love Cushion Cover £14

Pug Love Cushion Cover

The new ‘it’ bag!
Mister Paterson Canvas Tote Bag £10

For the bearded men in your life, this luxurious oil will tame any unruly mane. Use discount code: THINGS&INK to get the Ultimate Gift Set (rrp £60) for £56.50 
Bear Face Beard Oil 


Channel your inner rock god with this stunning statement ring!
Freedom Ring Set with Onyx by The Wildness Jewellery

We couldn’t pick just one piece of art from Atomica Gallery, get yourself to their gallery in London to view even more beautiful art…
Exclusive to Atomica Gallery “The Chair 2″ £130

Image of "The Chair 2" FRAMED

Looking for a bit of inspiration, then this is the book for you, get your pencils at the ready!
The Tattoo Colouring Book $15

The perfect gift, need we say more?
Bundle of all 3 Covers, Issue 9, Stripped Back, Things&Ink magazine £16


Accessorise everything with tattoo inspired things, including this handmade cosy.
Tattoo Style Knitted Tea Cosy £55

Swallow Tea Cosy


What’s on your Christmas list?

Tattooing Under Martial Law

Our Australian contributing editor, Fareed Kaviani, is currently in Bangkok getting a back piece from Guy Le Tatooer. While over there he caught up with Six Fathoms Deep owner Nicholas Mudskipper to find out what it’s like tattooing under military rule.

On 22 May 2014, the military announced that it had taken control of the country in a coup implemented ostensibly to restore order and enact ‘necessary’ political reforms. Martial law continues to be imposed nationwide. Although the political arena is a complex entanglement of loyalties, royalties, and corruption, the situation can be simplified by reducing it to a civic battle between different coloured garments.

The yellow shirts wanted to suspend the constitution and depose the democratically elected government on the charge of corruption. Their desire was to appoint an interim administration to oversee political reform.

The red shirts were loyal to the ousted government.

Due to the civil unrest, most foreign governments have been advising their citizens to exercise a high degree of caution when travelling to Thailand.

I arrived on the 9th to get tattooed by Guy Le Tatooer while he’s guesting at Bangkok’s Six Fathoms Deep. Although Bangkok appeared to be business as usual, news reports of police harassment suggested otherwise.

Tourists and foreign nationals have become targets of what many claim to be systematic ‘racial profiling’. Accosted by police, people have been asked to present identification papers and visas, with some even forced to provide on the spot urine samples designed to detect hard drugs. As one report cautioned, an empty bladder is no excuse: ‘when he couldn’t produce, he says they forced him to drink four liters [sic] of water and pressed forcefully on his bladder to make him urinate and touched his penis.’

Using the threat of immediate arrest, they have been aggressively cajoling unsuspecting tourists into coughing up ad hoc ‘fines’ for failing to provide substantial documentation. Although Martial Law applies exclusively to the army and its soldiers, and Section 93 of the criminal code clearly states that searches conducted in public are prohibited without probable cause, it is believed that the police have had to improvise due to the Army obstructing their usual swindles.

Six Fathoms Deep’s Nicholas Mudskipper has experienced their intimidation first hand.

‘Yeah man, vultures on the streets shaking down people for payouts. I was headed back from a ju-jitsu session and I was told I’m a Russian selling coke around the red-light areas, [the officer] greedily stuck his hands into my gym bag to find a sweaty ju-jitsu gi! These guys’ other rackets are being squeezed by the military so they need to find other ways to buy Christmas goodies this time of year.’

‘So, are you red or yellow shirted?’ I asked in jest.

‘I make my own shirts bra! Black white and grey for days!’

Originally from Cape Town, South Africa, Nick came to Bangkok several years ago to set up shop with his business partner, Dillon Pienaar.

‘Bangkok is a beast that can swallow you up fast, a city full of interesting things, a sunny place for shady people!’

I asked Nick what it was like to run a tattoo studio, while under Martial law, inside the belly of that beast.

‘Bro, Six Fathoms Deep is like a bubble, once you’re inside, doesn’t feel like I’m in Bangkok anymore: no dramas, no politics, just tattooing and Masters of the Universe figures surrounding me. If all else fails I’m sure Skeletor will get my back. Our Tattoo shop is a friendly creative family for good-hearted tattooers far from home. We are all about doing good clean tattoos, good vibes, toy collecting and of course big BBQs!’

Speaking of toys, the interior of Six Fathoms Deep was peppered with an array of figurines.

‘I’m crazy about Masters of the universe and other 80s toys, Matt Adams is into Ninja turtles, Miss Ink is super into Russian and Kewpie dolls, David Chaston is into other strange stuff too, so yeah it’s just our man cave full of items that influence us and that we’re nostalgic about.’

And why Six Fathoms Deep?

‘I originally wanted to call the shop Six Feet Deep, but that was kind of taken, ha-ha. I grew up around the Atlantic Ocean and have always been curious of the mysterious depths and legends of giant creatures fathoms deep under the ocean, so I blended those together! Boom!’

Six Fathoms Deep’s resident artists are Nicholas Mudskipper, David Chaston, Miss Ink and Big Matt Adams.

Current guest artists are Guy Le Tatooer and Etienne Memon.

Illustrations by Iain Macarthur

Today on the blog, we’re lusting after the work of Iain Macarthur …

My work can be described as surreal and unique in its own way. Using mostly pencil, watercolours and pigment pens, I create portraits of ordinary people but create them in a unusual way by, embellishing patterns and watercolour effects into the portrait to give a vivid explosion effect — transforming their faces from something plain to something entirely bizarre and wonderful at the same time.

Says Iain about his beautiful work.


All images via



The One Love Project


The One Love Project aims to provide a safe and creatively stimulating learning environment for the children of a traditional Rajasthani gypsy community located on the perimeter wastelands of Pushkar, India.

The One Love project was born when five friends journeyed through India and experienced firsthand the desperate need of the children there.

Background to the project: It was while volunteering at Pushkar’s Joshua Play Project, that they discovered there were more children in gypsy encampments in the area. These children were sent by their parents onto the streets, to support not just themselves, but their families by begging from the numerous tourists. The One Love Project hopes that instead of a career of begging on the streets of Pushkar, the children will be both educated and stimulated in a creative way. Music, dancing, happiness and laughter are right at the heart of One Love.

The name of the project has been taken from the famous Bob Marley song, as he is revered with guru status by the locals,  and the project aim is to keep sharing his message of love, peace and equality. The aim is to bring hope and a brighter future to these children, create a safe space full of fun, music and laughter. Secure with love and support the children will rise above their social circumstances and look forward to making a great contribution to Pushkar’s future.

The Project Now: The One Love Project has been running for one year and currently has 18 children, funded by sponsorship, to attend the town’s local private Parasha School, where they receive a rich curriculum and support in all core areas of learning. The children are accompanied, after their formal morning lessons at the school, to the One Love Project, where they are provided with a healthy midday meal and a teacher gives them further assistance with their homework. There are plenty of opportunities for children to play and explore their own culture in visual and expressive arts.

The cost of running the project: Charitable donations by the founding friends and supporters have provided the project with a building and monsoon proof covering, gas and a fresh water tank for cooking wholesome meals and providing clean drinking water for the children. A local teacher has been employed for homework help and further educational support. Art and music supplies, blackboard and learning apparatus have also been purchased with donations.

It currently costs £50 a year to keep each child enrolled in Parasha School and an extra £220 a month is needed for the running costs of the project – this is to cover food, water, power and payments to the project manager, teacher and cook.

Current funding status: One girl who helped with the build contributed to the start up costs by donating all her money she had earned from teaching Yoga in the town. Members of the One Love team run a jewellery company called Gypsy East and during the build they designed a One Love pendant. All of the profit from the £10 necklace went directly to fund the project. The project also receives donations, money from sponsored runs and they are also looking to hook up with The Pipe Dream Experience to raise some money from a one-off event in London.

The One Love Pendant


Future plans for the project: The primary plan is to move The Project’s site, currently at the base of the gypsy camp, to an official location where the children can play, learn and develop with greater protection. The aim is to establish a recognised charity that will provide the children with the basic rights of every child: education, play and staying healthy. The entire team are heading back to India over the next few months to work on relocating the project. 

Follow the One Love project’s progress on Facebook and Instagram or email the team at

Issue 9 stripped back – what’s inside?

Our editorial assistant Rosalie Woodward reviews issue 9 of Things&Ink magazine #strippedback – out now, with a choice of three different covers. Pick your favourite cover and buy your copy here!

Miniature Ink – Page 10
Meet the buyers of ‘Miniature Ink’, an exhibition of artwork donated by over 100 tattoo artists from around the world to raise awareness for cancer charity Sarcoma UK. Editor Alice Snape met the lucky art owners when they collected their original framed pieces from Atomica Gallery. If you were wondering who nabbed your favourite and where they ended up then look no further than the latest issue of Things&Ink.


The New Normal – Page 29
Things&Ink presents an array of colourful characters, a spectacle of human oddities, here to shatter social norms and break the rules of attraction. We bring to you tattoo artist Freddie Albrighton caught in a gender divide, one which reflects his tattooing and fashion style. The beautiful two-headed Sophia Bickerton, who openly shares her life on social media and is an avid believer in self acceptance. The stunning acrobat Ermine Hunte with a moving tale of transplant surgery. The smouldering one-legged pirate Taylor Crisp, daring to explode social ideals of beauty…


Phantasy Homes – Page 46
We step inside the home of tattoo artist Lianne Moule, which she shares with her tattooist husband Jason Butcher, who both work at Immortal Ink, Chelmsford. The pair have collected quite an array of curiosities and interesting items that reflect their creative tattooing styles and colour palettes.

To read these features in full order your copy here


Which cover will you choose?

Things&Ink presents: The New Normal – promo video

 Things&Ink Presents: The New Normal – promo video

Feast your eyes on our collection of human curiosities here to challenge what society deems as acceptable, to shatter the boundaries of attraction and redefine what we see as beautiful. We proudly present the changing faces of beauty and the natural fluidity surrounding gender, sexuality and the human body in all its radiant glory…

This is an exclusive  video preview of ‘The New Normal’ photo shoot featured in Things&Ink Stripped Back Issue 9, out now and available to order from The feature stars Ermine Hunte, 35,  Freddie Albrighton, 23, Sophia Bickerton, 20, and Taylor Crisp, 19, transformed into human curiosities in the circus, alongside their frank and honest interviews that tell their individual stories and how they feel about beauty.

Editorial by Josh Brandao and video by Josh Brandao & Nicolai Kornum 

Photography and Art Direction by Josh Brandão
Bespoke Costumes by Bridgette Cocchiola
Styling by BlitzHaus / Shot at BlitzWerk Studio, London
Hair and Makeup by Bella Noell, using Urban Decay and Bumble and Bumble,
and Anna Wild, using Nuxe skincare and Yves Saint Laurent
Words by Rosalie Woodward / thanks to Anita Bhagwandas

Ermine Ermine


Freddie Freddie


Taylor Taylor


Sophia Sophia

Temporary tattoos for Suzie

Every Friday Suzie Barrie goes to her local tattoo studio, Muscle and Ink in New Zealand for a new temporary tattoo.

For the past few months Suzie, who has Down’s Syndrome, has been taking a pack of temporary tattoo designs and tattooist Jason Ward applies them for her, like he would a regular tattoo – he even wears gloves.

At first Jason thought it was a one time thing, but Suzie hasn’t missed a week since she first went in and when she has time she gets more than one design.

Tattoo artist, Jason Ward of Muscle and Ink Tattoo gives Suzie a stick-on tattoo each week.

Talking to the New Zealand Herald Jason said:

The first time she came in, she just walked in, slapped a couple of stick-on tattoo packets on the desk and asked me to put them on her arm. I said, ‘what?’ And she said it again so I sat her down and put them on… But if she was a member of my family and she had have walked into another tattoo shop and they had told her to bugger off, I’d be angry. Why would you say no? You should treat everybody the same.

Image from

Here’s to Life outside the Lines

Sailor Jerry has launched a new short film, ‘Here’s to Life outside the Lines’ – celebrating the spirit of rebellion through an unofficial lineage of road trips, choppers and wild times.


The film brings to life the philosophy of those who stand up for what they believe in and boldly live life on their own terms. It features a montage of new and archival footage of skaters, bikers, musicians and classic car enthusiasts, as well as original footage of the inspiration behind the brand, Norman ‘Sailor Jerry’ Collins himself – the personification of an independent spirit who lived life his own way.