You can buy trashy temporary tattoos from Urban Outfitters, but why are they called Trashy? Is it merely the name of the brand or is the online store passing its judgement on certain tattoo designs?
The designs that are deemed as trashy include tribal, dolphins, anchors and barbed wire. These have all taken part in tattoo trends, each one gaining popular in different time periods and decades gone by.
But is Urban Outfitters simply stating that all tattoos are trashy?
What do you think?
Illma is the canvas…
You can pay to have your name – or a few words of your choosing – tattooed onto Illma’s body. She will have anything tattooed on her as long as it isn’t hateful or discriminative. Her original goal was to raise 6K, but as it stands she has raised over $11,000 and she estimates that she will have room for 1700 names.
On her crowd-funding page she explains the inspiration behind her idea:
I want to be a singular tattoo for my latest art exhibition, and I want it to be your names. This is going to be an art exhibition in LA featuring my body and your names as well as painting and videography – by donating you are helping me pay the costs of putting on an exhibtion not for the tattoos. I think the tattoo on my forehead says it best ‘Life is art’. There is something absurd & beautiful about having an accumulation of absolute strangers names draped over my pale goth skin, even if half of them are ‘Penis Butt’. Why? you might ask, simply because I can, I know what I’m about son, and I am my own ultimate canvas. Like my art exhibitions and murals this is a social and artistic experiment! Each person’s name to me represents YOU the main protagonist in your own story. I will be covered in a hundred tiny stories and an exhibtion will be held featuring you and my body as the canvas.
Giving myself to the whim of the world and for my art.
Freedom Tattoos is a new charity project set up by by Poland’s Pedagogium The College of Social Sciences and ad agency Isobar Poland.
To erase the stigma of prison tattoos.
On Creative Social Rehabilitation.
They want to help ex-cons to return back to society by covering tattoos they got in prison with professionally created ones. The cover-ups tend to be better looking, perhaps more colourful and of a higher quality than their prison ink. The emphasis of the charity is not on the mistakes they have made in their past, but more on their own personal growth and rehabilitation.
The emotional video below follows two women as they get their old prison tattoos covered, so they can move on with their lives:
Quote and video from Freedom Tattoos
Lifestyle trade show for fashion with an edge!
The West Hall, Olympia, London W14
Underground lifetsyle and fashion take centre stage at this exciting trade show. Don’t miss out on exclusive new season fashion and accessories from some awesome brands, including: IronFist, Collectif, Manic Panic, Killstar Clothing and many many more! Discover new designers and the latest trends while watching the faashion show or having your hair styled.
LondonEdge is known for its jam packed after parties and this year is no exception!
The night is full of an explosive array of live acts including Lounge Kittens, a trio of soulful ladies reinventing rock anthems into harmonies full of humour and sass. Dee Christopher will astound you with his mind bending magic and Burlesque performer Miss Betsy Rose will tantalise you with her sultry moves. The Sinisters will mesmorise you with their dark perfomances and East London’s finest club DJs SHOREBITCH will have dancing til the sun comes up. All of this is hosted by none other than Meth, a true star of drag with her sky high heels and cutting wit you won’t want to miss the party of the season!
If you would like to attend the LondonEdge SS15 party, please RSVP with your contact details to email@example.com. You can also use your LondonEdge show badge to gain entry.
Our guest blogger is Giselle, creator of Mindful Wanderlust – a travel blog about responsible travel, tattoos, and following a vegan lifestyle. This is the third of many posts to appear on th-ink, telling of her and her husband Cody’s travelling tales. If you have missed their previous travel posts catch up and read Part Two and Part One…
We made it to Tokyo! Before we even booked our flights to Japan I knew it was a country I really wanted to get tattooed in, so I spent some time back in Canada researching different artists.
After taking a look at their consistently beautiful bold artwork, I decided on American traditional for the design, I chose to go with the guys at Inkrat Tattoo in Tokyo. Rei is the owner of Inkrat Tattoo, and has been tattooing for over 22 years. His shop is covered in art, new and old, and original flash from the 1950s hangs on the walls.
I couldn’t stop picking out all of the pieces I wanted.
Prior to arriving at Inkrat I decided on a geisha and left the design up to Rei. I thought, “Other than a Sumo wrestler, what’s more Japanese than a geisha?” It’s the perfect souvenir from Japan.
I learned something very interesting and new about Japanese tattoo etiquette (or at least Rei’s tattoo etiquette) at the shop that day. Before arriving for my tattoo appointment, I was asked where I wanted the tattoo, and I said on the outside bottom of my left leg.
On the day of, Rei walked over to me to fit the design on my leg and it didn’t quite fit properly. I said “it’s ok, we can do it on my other leg” But Rei didn’t really respond, he just told me he would make it a little smaller so it would fit. A regular customer sitting across from me said that where I asked for the tattoo is where I am going to get it. The reason for this, is that the artist doesn’t want to inconvenience me, as I already chose the placement and he wants to respect that.
That came as a little bit of a surprise to me. I would have been perfectly fine with the tattoo on my right leg, but just hearing that he refused to put it on my other leg out of respect made me smile a little.
Respect – and integrity – seems to be an extremely important thing in the tattoo world among tattoo artists. It is something that really resonates with me, as integrity is hard to come by these days. I have a lot of respect for people who have a lot of respect for people. Go figure.
On top of my excitement over visiting and getting tattooed in Japan, arriving in Tokyo was a sensory overload. My senses were pulling me everywhere. The colours, the lights, the droves of people, and the, sometimes, disapproving stares from some of the locals.
Although tattoo shops are legal in Japan, the long history and mentality of tattoos being only for criminals and misfits has not yet dissipated.
The earliest signs of the Japanese getting tattooed date back to 5,000 BC. By the 7th century the Japanese adopted much of the same mentality that the Chinese had for tattoos, seeing them as barbaric and using them as a punishment for crimes committed.
In the middle of the 18th century Japanese tattooing was popularised by a Chinese novel with several of its heroes covered in tattoos. This novel influenced all Japanese culture and arts, but the yakuza also became interested in tattooing, further making it a tasteless form of art and self expression to many. The yakuza felt that because tattooing was painful, it was proof of courage, and because it was illegal, it made them outlaws forever.
Finally, tattooing in Japan was legalised in the 20th century, but to this day it is still taboo. People with tattoos cannot enter into any hot baths, so unfortunately we will not be visiting any onsen (hot springs) in Japan.
Thankfully the mentality of tattoos being only for criminals is dying out with the old generation and new generations are embracing their rich culture of the art of irezumi.
It is an ancient craft that should be appreciated and respected for what it is, not looked down upon, because it is misunderstood.
As Japan tries to reclaim all of the beauty and positivity of this ancient art of expression; I feel honoured to be able to collect an original piece from a country so steeped in the tradition of tattooing.
Part two of my marathon diary – and it’s just a short entry documenting an early morning run… I am currently in training for the London Marathon 2015, I am running for Sarcoma UK. Read more in my first Marathon diary entry.
Monday morning, 19 January 2015: It’s 7am, and I am forcing myself to go for a run before a freelance shift at Hello! magazine.
I am already awake as my alarm sounds at 6.15am. I lay in bed for 10 minutes visualising myself running outside in the cold. I try to figure out if I have the energy to run, can I be bothered? It’s so early. I try to remember how much I love running, and the after buzz that sets me up for the rest of the day ahead. It’s this that makes me get out of bed (even though I would definitely rather stay under the duvet with my hot water bottle).
I go to the kitchen – it’s still dark outside… I have a pre-run banana, spoonful of peanut butter and a cup of earl grey tea… As I watch BBC breakfast and and do my warm-up stretches, I hope it might get light before I leave the house – it doesn’t. I dress in my running thermals and manage to set off at 7am… I always have a few pre-run butterflies in my stomach, even if I know I won’t be out for long.
I only want to do a short run, but I manage to set off at a good pace – for me a really good pace is a 9-minute mile – and I really feel like my lungs are working hard. I struggle for the first ten minutes as I get into stride. As I run into mile 2, I try and assess my body, how each part feels, which muscles are straining and how my feet feel. I decide I feel strong and keep up the pace. My body feels warm, even though the air is freezing cold.
I run through the streets of Brixton, although I decide not to run my usual round of Brockwell Park – it looked too dark and scary. So I wind round a few different streets and end with a lap of Ruskin Park – which is just round the corner from my house. The sun is finally coming up by this point and it is starting to get light.
I complete five miles, and by the end I am happy – I run the last ten minutes at a slightly slower pace. My cheeks are red, I am sweating and I know I will feel an after-run glow for the rest of the day. I do a cool-down walk to my house, and complete some stretches before I get showered and ready for the day ahead.
Read part one of My Marathon Diary to find out why I am running for the cancer charity Sarcoma UK. And please sponsor me on my justgiving page. More updates coming soon, as I build up my longer runs. Wish me luck.
In issue 9, stripped back, we asked the Things&Ink team how they feel about their naked bodies, now that they’re tattooed…
“You don’t have to go far on the internet or on social media to find a debate of body positivity or body confidence. A particular area of contention is tattooed people, especially women, and even more so, anyone who has an extensive collection of tattoos.”
“Apparently it isn’t attractive to have lots of beautiful images on your body. It takes away from your ‘natural beauty’. It isn’t ‘ladylike’. It’s not ‘pretty’.”
Green lady by Dani Green at Dragstrip Tattoo, Southampton
“Obviously this isn’t everyone’s feelings, or no one would have tattoos, but I’m here to explain why I think tattoos are a good thing for body positivity.”
“Take a look at Things&Ink Issue 9 for some examples:”
”I see my colourful tattoos before I see the shape of my body, and then I notice the gaps. I get lost in the ideas of what would fit where and the work I could collect from other tattooists. With tattoos you are never truly naked, they are one thing you can never take off, and I love that!”
Editorial Assistant Rosalie Woodward (Page 5)
“I like to think of my tattoos as ‘permanent accessories’ and they make me feel very glamorous when I’m in the nude”
Beauty Editor Marina De Salis (Page 5)
“I feel like I’ve created my own body, rather than just being stuck with the one I was given”
Columnist Reeree Rockette (Page 5)
“Three talented, smart ladies, with tattoos, who feel better about themselves and their naked bodies because of their tattoos. And quite frankly, what is wrong with modifying your body if it makes you happier? That is what we all want isn’t it? To be happy with our bodies?”
Cat and compass by Saranna Blair at Urban Image Tattoo, Bournemouth
“Personally, my tattoos have boosted my confidence no end. My confidence and happiness with my own body, comfort on my own body, grows with every tattoo. It’s an experience in itself. My tattoos distract from the things I dislike about my body. And fill me with happiness every time I see them. They catalogue my life so far, and remind me of my journey. I feel like I wear my life on my body, miniature pieces of artwork carried around with me all the time.”
“To me, I am enhancing what I was given, and making my body my own, rather than it just being borrowed for a little while. I think that is the most important part of body confidence. Being comfortable in your body, making it your own.”
Belle by Dani Green at Dragstrip Tattoo, Southampton
What’s your party trick? Can you create a doughnut in your head for a night? Well people taking part in the underground modification scene in Japan can! Here’s how…
To create a bagel like shape on your forehead up to 400 cc of saline solution is injected under the skin. The insertion can take up to two hours and the indention is created by the practitioner placing their thumb onto the middle of the saline bubble.
This modification is only temporary and lasts up to 24 hours, as the saline is absorbed into the body and the forehead returns to normal.
This body modification is regularly performed at parties, and it not only limited to the forehead but can be carried out anywhere on the body.
Images from National Geographic
When we asked the question, Can You Be Friends With Your Tattooist?, reader Sarah K got in touch to say, yes you can. Sarah is 31, a heavily tattooed human rights lawyer and law professor, living between Brussels and Brooklyn…
“This tattoo is the first one on my right leg, the only limb left to be inked. I got it done this June by Drew Linden who had started at East Side Ink in NYC. Initially, it was supposed to be much smaller and a filler on my left leg. Leave it to Drew to expand and make it more amazing.
“It is now the fourth tattoo I’ve gotten from her, it started from a wonderful lady gypsy / sugar skull combo in 2011. We hit it off right away, we’re about the same age, she’s stunning, a life force, yet so sweet and kind. She has a strong identity, a refined and unique personality, traits I look for in a person. We had friends in common and we spent the duration of the tattoo talking about them. I knew I’d come see her again.Photo from June 2012, when Drew first tattooed Sarah.
“The friendship developed quickly, we kept in touch via text and social media. She was always extremely supportive of me – 2011 / 2012 were years during which I got a lot of work done while processing a lot of personal stuff. My work had been put on hold after an accident, and I was struggling to gain control of my body as well as of my life. The tattoo process, led by two key artists, helped immensely – and Drew was the second female artist that redefined how I saw my own body.Gypsy by Drew Linden
“In 2012, I wanted to get my chest tattooed. On the day of the appointment, Drew had actually redesigned it entirely so it would not be vertical and along my sternum, but across my chest. She added flowers and dot work, to make it “less aggressive.”
“But Drew, I *am* aggressive.”
“Sarah, you’re a woman, too. And you can be lovely. And this is a very feminine part of your body. And it’s a huge deal, working from limbs to chest. You’ll be *heavily* tattooed, all in black and grey. I know you’re not girly. But you deserve something that shows you can be a lady, and there are parts of you that are not lawyer-soldier.”Sarah’s chest piece
“Five and a half hours later, and a bonus cup on my bra due to the swelling, my chest piece was done. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.
“My globe tattoo signals the fact that as of May 2014, I will have been a lawyer for 10 years. In June 2014, I told Drew I wanted a globe, with the phrase “jus cogens” – a Latin phrasing that refers to the peremptory norm, which is to say, the most fundamental, unalienable of human rights. As a human rights lawyer, working internationally and in war zones, this sounded perfect. She started on my right leg, the way she started my left one three years before. Her best friend sat next to me and held my hand during the session – that she belted in under an hour. The hands and flower are of her own making.
“I thought we’d have the hands over the globe, you know, protecting it.”
“Ah, but design wise it doesn’t work, and this is the old school symbol of friendship, love and fraternity. With the globe, it’s the fraternity of all peoples.”
“Equality and protection.”
“Yes. That. Like you.”
“The arrow is pointing straight forward on my leg that was once injured.
“Drew is not just my friend and my tattoo artist. In many ways, she is also a therapist, a healer, a psychic, a drinking enabler, someone I once flew all the way to San Diego to see, literally on the other side of the globe. She made my world manageable again.
“She and Jessica Mascitti, one of the first artists to work on me, made me a woman. I transitioned from prodigal lawyer girl to full fledged woman of the law because of them; they inspired me and blew confidence beneath my skin. I became stronger, and more focused as a result. And I stand proud.”