Tattooed Mama: Hannah Daisy

We chatted to full time mama 22-year-old Hannah Daisy from London about becoming a mum, how she sees her body differently now and her tattoos…


Pregnancy is such an enlightening journey, there’s no way you can come out the other side and look at yourself in the same way. It was so uplifting for me, my body worked HARD, and I’ve come to respect it so much more. I’ve struggled with self esteem, I still do from time to time, but I try not to worry about the small things any more and just appreciate it as a whole. If I wanted to look like I hadn’t had a baby then I wouldn’t have had had one.

Honestly, my tattoos haven’t changed much at all since I was pregnant. I have got a stretch mark that’s gone straight through the bottom of the dagger, but it’s not noticeable, it all comes with the territory and I had anticipated some change, so no biggy!


Every aspect of life has changed. I’m still trying to find that balance between being a mum and being my own person. Having a career and keeping up with hobbies have both been on hold since being pregnant and having Reuben, which has been the most frustrating thing, but I’m finally starting to weave them back into the mum schedule, we’ll get there eventually. The kid makes the rules right now!

Instagram was never meant to be more than a place to share photos for family and friends. My pregnancy started off a bit rocky and I wasn’t really sure how to cope. I’m normally one of those people who bottles everything up, but I started to talk about my experiences and converse with other women and it really helped, it became more of an outlet and played a huge part in me healing.


I started so I didn’t end up bombarding everyone on my main account (@hannah.daisy) with endless bump updates intended for family and friends. I felt this huge urge to capture everything, I’m glad I did because it’s been such a magical journey so far. Finding this little corner of the internet where women really pull together as a community was a huge eye opener and I can only try to add to that.

I don’t think anyone is really qualified to give advise on pregnancy/motherhood, everyone has their own ways and it can get quite patronising, so I’d say have faith in your own instincts and don’t feel bad if you need to politely ask someone to back off. Keep a positive head on your shoulders, make some mama friends and enjoy every second!


I miss being pregnant so much, I loved being pregnant. It’s a such a surreal feeling to be carrying a little human, when you think about it it’s almost alien isn’t it?! I’m really selfish and enjoyed being the closest one to him! I certainly don’t miss waking up every 20 minutes through the night though, that I could have done without.

Tattooing was something I took interest in quite early on in life, a lot of my other interests at that time were easily interwoven with tattooing so it was something I was bound to bump into at some point. My partner George tattoos, we both paint together and get tattooed, so it’s something that would be hard for me to avoid. My tattoos don’t have any great personal meanings or anything fancy like that, they’re just a collection of designs I like by people I’ve wanted to get tattooed by. George and I tend to spend the year saving and then travel to different parts of the world to get tattooed by some awesome artists. It’s allowed me to meet people I otherwise wouldn’t of crossed paths with, and it’s a great reason to travel. We have plans to travel and get tattooed a lot more this year, this time with Reuben in tow, I’m excited to show him the world this time round!


Careers: Tattooed Operations Manager

We chat to Lauren who works as the Operations Manager of Twisted Burger Co in Sheffield about a day in the life managing a developing food franchise and her growing collection of beautiful tattoos… 

How old were you when you got your first tattoo?

I got my first tattoo when I was 18 so it’s not like I’ve got this underage story of a shit tattoo, even though it is a bit. I don’t think I’ll ever get it covered because I like that it’s my first tattoo, I like the back story. It was done in some dodgy tattoo shop in Rotherham and I got it because I wanted to know what a tattoo felt like. It’s just below my ankle and it’s ever so tiny, just a little daisy with some really shitty swirly stuff around it and I think it cost a tenner. I was bit worried that my foot was going to drop off but at the time I thought that it was the shit, like the bees knees, that I was so cool and took loads of pictures to put on the internet like ‘look at my new tattoo’ but I do still love it.

What drew you to tattoos, did anyone influence you?

Richard Lazenby from Crooked Claw Tattoo who is doing my right arm sleeve. His stye is very traditional, thick lines and bright colours that’s the kind of style that I like. There’s also someone I like called Filip Henningsson who works at Red Dragon tattoo in Sweden who I religiously follow – he is incredible. One day I want to go to Sweden just to get tattooed by him, he does really cool flash as well as a lot of necks and hands because obviously he is that good. And then my friend Alexandra Bawn her tattooing is incredible it is so intricate but she’s really versatile and changes. She also just got engaged to Matt Webb who is also a tattooist and I love his style and insanely bright colours. I usually just wear black so I kinda like my bright tattoos.

By Richard Lazenby at Crooked Claw Tattoo

Can you tell us about some your tattoos?

I have these three party dots on my hands, which I have matching with Anthony Allen from Skull & Bones Boys Club. We actually tattooed each other at 3am when we were absolutely hammered in my kitchen. We decided whilst drunk that we were ready for our party dots. So we bleached down the kitchen, got a sewing needle and some biro ink and put these black dots on each others hands. It was very silly but they’ve sort of grown as our friendship group has now got them too.

Then I’ve got ‘CFTHY’ which stands for Cult For The Haggard Youth which is an album by Dead Harts. I think there are now 14 or 15 people with this now in different places which is incredible. Next to that I have my brotat with Dom from Dead Harts as it was Friday the thirteenth and Niall Shannon was doing £13 flash so we got matching ones.

By Niall Shannon at Forgiven Tattoo

My baby is this one on my forearm, which is my late grandad. He passed away in February 2014, and I’ve got his nickname Sonny and my late grandma’s name Joan as well. I gave the task to Richard Lazenby and said here’s a picture of him do it in your traditional style. He did this beautiful traditional portrait of him but it’s not realistic but still a likeness of him in Richard’s style. I was originally going to get him on my leg but I changed my mind once I saw the design and I had him on my forearm, so it is definitely my all time favourite. Then I have a butterfly for one sister, a horse shoe for my other sister and some of my sleeve was paid for by family members. I’m building up bits and bobs like that and I’m getting some for my mum and dad further up my arm.

How did you get into your current role?

I actually started working for The Harley (flagship Twisted Burger Co venue) in October 2013 as the assistant manager of The Harley not Twisted Burger Company and within the space of a couple of months I moved up to being general manager, running the building, the club nights, managing all the staff and everything like that. From that my boss, Dave Healy saw something a little bit more in me, saw my ambition, saw my passion for food and my work ethic. I have always worked really hard all my life and he said right I don’t want you to be general manager anymore I want you to be the operations manager of Twisted Burger Company they need someone and I think you are the right person. I’d never been an operations manager before, I had no clue what I was doing and he said not to worry he’d teach me. So as well as the operations manager my role also entails being the area manager, the brand manager and I do all the marketing.

Did you have to get qualifications or did you work your way up?

I’ve been in the hospitality industry since I was 14, waitressing and working my way up. I also did some other management jobs before I was at The Harley but at the same time I went to university and got a degree in media studies and got a couple of NVQ’s in hospitality and catering so I got my qualifications as well. I originally wanted to go into radio but my career in hospitality just took over and I kept getting promoted. I’ve never had a company that has pushed me to be so creative and it’s definitely brought out the best in me.

Dead Twisted Vegan Sauces

What is a typical day like?

I’ll just describe what has been happening in March and that may just show you how crazy my career actually is! We’d planned to release our sauce range with Drop Dead, a new menu and a unit at the Moor Market in Sheffield City Centre. But originally these were all spaced out in our business plan for the year. Various things happened and it all ended up dropping into March. So in the space of like five weeks we launched the unit at the market, we launched a sauce range and we launched a brand new menu across all our franchises. So it has just been a really crazy past few weeks. But obviously everything that we’ve done with the sauces, from designing the labels with Tom J Newell, to coming up with the right recipes to the names on the new menu has just been mad.

It is just myself and Alex Malins who do all the day to day working for Twisted Burger Company, he is the executive chef but he has a lot more involvement than just the cooking- we do a lot together. It’s a very fun job, hard work but very rewarding.

Sweet Potato Fries from Twisted Burger Co

How do you dress for work? Do you show off your tattoos?

We dress however we want, most offices have a dress down Friday but usually I do dress up Fridays but just on my own because I do like to wear smart clothes and dress up a bit! If I’ve got meetings with future franchieses and I’m doing a sales pitch I will always dress up a little bit.

Do you find in hospitality people react more to your tattoos? 

I actually worked for Wetherspoons before I worked here and as soon as I got my first visible tattoo my boss sort of said  ‘you’re covering that up’ and they wouldn’t let me have my nose ring in either. Here there is a lot more freedom and it took me quite a while to get used to it after having to dress so smart all of the time. So coming to Twisted Burger Co and letting myself go was a bit of a weight off of my shoulders in a strange kind of way. But when I was working behind the bar, customer facing you do get a lot of comments or people touching you are grabbing where your tattoos are. But you just kind of get on with it.

The new Twisted Burger Menu

Do you have any advice to other people considering their careers when getting tattooed?

In the day we are in now I don’t think it matters as much as it used to but obviously with things like face or hand tattoos you’ve got to be quite discreet unless you know for the rest of your working life that you are going to be in a company that doesn’t mind you having those. But even with that sometimes when I have business meetings with future Twisted Burger franchisees I do cover up just to look a bit more professional rather than risk that judgement.

Even as a tattooed person I have that opinion that to look smarter you should cover your tattoos up – it depends entirely on who you are with and what you are doing. I don’t want to risk a bad decision for this business but then sometimes that is the quirk of Twisted Burger Company in that we can dress and look how we want. A few of us are tattooed and Alex Mallins my colleague has his eyebrow pierced so he is a bit of a goth as well. So if we turn up to a business meeting I bet sometimes people think God what have we let ourselves in for and then we sell our product and they think it’s a great product and a great brand. We’re so proud of TBC so its really easy to say great things about it because we love it as well.

We just want to grow in Yorkshire and keep getting bigger. It’s a lot of work to do but I love working here and I love my job!


After we spoke to Lauren we then had the pleasure of checking out Twisted Burger Co’s new menu.  

From the ‘Return of The Mac’ burger with a pesto and mac and cheese combo to the incredible ‘Bury me in Smoked Sausage’ their new menu did not disappoint. If you’re into your chicken burgers but fancy something a bit different it’s well worth it for the creole mayo and smoked sausage topping.

Return of the Mac Burger

Bury me in Smoked Sausage Burger

But it was the ‘Drop Dead Twisted Barbecue Burger’ that really raised the stakes with a double vegan ‘meat’ patty, vegan ‘cheese’ slice and bbq jackfruit in the new Dead Twisted sauce which made this carnivore think twice before she orders another TBC burger.

Drop Dead Twisted Barbecue Burger

But if you aren’t in the mood for burgers Twisted’s ‘Jalapeño Business Fries’ hit the mark along side more amazing new sides to the menu. The incredible ‘Highway to Falaf-hell’ with coconut and coriander drip and ‘Hang up the chick habit’ consisting of a basket of confit chicken wings has an unbelievable blue cheese dip and will fill you up as much as any burger!

Pig Pimpin’ Fries

Crack ‘n’ Cheese

Highway to Falaf-hell

Jalapeño Business Fries

Next time be sure to check Twisted Burger Co at one of their venues across the North.

Rachel Pitman permanent make-up

Our Managing Editor and resident make-up artist, Keely, recently got her eyebrows tattooed by the superbly talented Rachel Pitman. She kept a diary of the overall experience of having what technically is a face tattoo and how they healed over a few weeks.


As a make-up artist I have always been interested in permanent make-up and the attraction it has for many people. My mother got her eyebrows tattooed over 12 years ago when it first gained attention in the UK – I always used to think it was quite badass that my mum had got her face tattooed. But as I got older I became wary about tattooing your face with what will be a permanent feature.  What if one day you didn’t want to have black eyeliner or drawn-on brows? But all of this changed once I saw the subtle and beautiful technique used by Rachel…

Luckily enough I have been gifted quite full brows, but I was always dyeing them and drawing them in when applying my own make-up, so I thought, why not take away all of that hassle and have permanent brows ‘on fleek?’ (God I hate that term…!)  So off I went to meet with Rachel who is based in Soho, London, with slight trepidation and excitement. I had dragged Alice, our Editor, along to kindly take photos and possibly hold my hand… I had also been trying to convince Alice to do it with me but her fear of face tats got the better of her.

Rachel began by drawing on my desired shape and spent a long time perfecting this until I was 100% happy with the shape and thickness. We then discussed how dark I wanted them to be and agreed on a dark brown with a hint of a lighter brown to take away the edge. I was then treated to a nice surprise of an anaesthetic cream which takes approximately 30 minutes to come into effect. I was not expecting this so definitely helped to calm my nerves!  The tattooing then began and I was told by Rachel not to talk due to movements in my face and that the whole procedure would be finished within an hour.

The most uncomfortable part of the whole procedure was the ticklish sensation that Rachel’s gloves made while resting on my nose… the rest was a-ok! There were parts where I could feel the needle so Rachel just added a bit more of the anaesthetic cream and moved onto the other brow but all in all, it was pain-free.  She uses the tiniest of hair strokes so that the overall result is very natural and looks like actual hair, rather than a block of colour.


After Rachel finished tattooing, she then paints the ink over the brows so that some of the ink can sink into the open wounds for about 10 minutes.


Rachel then gives me the lowdown on the healing process and is very strict on what I can and can’t do. She recommends keeping my face as dry as possible for the next 5-7 days, which means not wearing make-up over the brows or soaking them in water.  She also recommends staying away from any exercise for the next 5-7 days as she believes that when you exercise our skin heats up and this could possibly push some of the ink out. The ink can also be pushed out more easily on people with oily skin, which is my skin type sadly, so I agree to do everything in my power to keep my brows dry, sweat and oil free!   Rachel also gives me a balm to apply once a day sparingly with a cotton bud to help with any dryness and flakiness during the healing process.

Unlike traditional tattooing, I booked in to come back in 6 weeks time to have them tattooed again to make sure that the ink holds.  This is complimentary with the overall treatment as the technique used for PMU is slightly different to that of traditional tattooing… you can read more about the difference in techniques in an interview with Rachel that we will be sharing in the next week or so. Watch this space!

IMG_3627Before and after the tattooing

I was worried about leaving the clinic with a very red, swollen looking face and having to wear my largest sunglasses for the next few days but surprisingly there was no redness whatsoever and you would never have known I’d just been under the needle on my face for one hour!  The next few days of healing were stress free and I stayed away from exercise as promised and only cleansed my face with Bioderma micellar water (which is my absolute beauty must-have, btw) and avoided putting any make-up directly on my brows.


IMG_3689Day two after having my brows tattooed

Day 4 and 5 saw a bit of flakiness but nothing in comparison to the healing of a traditional tattoo and after using the balm this quickly got rid of any dryness. My brows were completely healed after about 10 days and this is when I felt that I could put makeup directly over them… which wasn’t at all necessary as they looked totally made up without having to draw them in… I’m just an obsessive when it comes to a strong brow! Even though I work as a make-up artist, I do spend a great amount of time without any makeup on my face so having my brows look perfectly symmetrical and defined is my dream come true.

Six weeks later and I am back in the clinic with Rachel ready to go under the needle again. Rachel is very pleased with how they have healed and how disciplined I had been with not exercising and looking after them properly (I’m not always the most obedient when it comes to being told what to do.)  We discuss whether I want to change anything about them and I decide to go a bit thicker, darker and extend them slightly at the ends.  Rachel says this is quite common when people come back for their second round of tattooing, as the first time most people are a bit nervous and don’t want to go too heavy in case of not liking it.


So after having my brows drawn in and the anaesthetic cream applied we begin.  The second time around hurt sightly more than the first and Rachel said this may be due to the fact that my skin was still healing hence feeling a bit tender, but the pain was nothing in comparison to a traditional tattoo.  After about 40 minutes of tattooing we are finished and I am again over the moon with the result!  I am really happy I decided to go a bit thicker and darker as I felt like I was ready for my brows to be a bolder.

The healing process was very much the same as the first time around and I avoided exercise and washing my face with water for the next 7 days which I do think is a must for successful healing.


 My healed brows after two rounds of tattooing and 10 days of healing

Overall I could not be happier with the results and I love looking as if my face is ‘done’ without having to wear a speck of makeup.  I had a recent spell in hospital which is never an enjoyable experience and I swear my saving grace for not looking like a zombie was the fact that my brows always looked amazing and framed my face.  Rachel does say that I will probably want a top up after about five years due to the fact that the technique is different to traditional tattooing and can fade slightly. But without a shadow of a doubt I will be having them topped up if needs be because I could not imagine my face without my spectacular tattooed brows.

Keep your eyes peeled in the next week or so for an interview we conducted with Rachel who explains a bit more about what permanent make-up actually is and the difference in traditional tattooing compared to PMU.

Rachel can be contacted via her website: or via Facebook and her Instagram @permanent_makeup_london and her tattoo apprentice page is also @p_i_t_m_a_n


Monster Steel – #tiarchive sponsors

For our recent exhibition, #tiarchive, we were kindly sponsored by the tattoo supplies and wholesale company, Monster Steel.  We caught up with company owner Gustavo Mitchell to discuss what it is like to own a tattoo supply company and how he ended up getting in the business when he is yet to go under the needle!

How did you get into the tattoo supply industry?

As much as I would like to sit here and type up an exciting story of how I rose to prominence in the tattoo industry as a supplier, the truth is that I fell into this industry by chance. I’ve always admired tattoos and their symbolic nature but I never imagined myself involved in any facet of the industry. My initial introduction into the business was in 2001 when I started as an e-retailer for body piercing jewellery. Over time, as business grew, I became a wholesaler and started to form business relationships with several tattoo / piercing shops.  It was a conversation with one of these shop owners that led me to the concept that is now Monster Steel.

What I found out was that as a shop owner it was an annoyance to have to purchase from two different sources when purchasing tattoo and piercing supplies.  At the time companies like Monster Steel did not exist and sellers would specialise in either market but never both. Another key element to the company’s growth was the fact that we were an online company. Nervousness and doubt are common when taking any risk but thanks to the support of family, friends and customers I was able to take the leap and form what is now Monster Steel.  I am involved in one of the most exciting industries I could think of and working alongside some of the most creative, dedicated and inspiring people I have ever met.


Do you have any tattoos?

I get this question all the time and people are always surprised when they meet me because I don’t have a single one. As I’ve continued to grow in this industry I have met some incredibly talented and passionate artists. I’ve become so enamoured with tattoo designs and the artistry that social media has allowed me to admire the work of several artists around the world. I enjoy their art so much that I’ve always said that I would get one if I ever found a design that truly inspired me or embodied an important experience in my life. I simply never found that inspiration and envy all of the individuals that have and were able to take that next step.


How do you see the future of the tattoo industry evolving?

We all know that the tattoo industry constantly changes and evolves. The cultural significance and meanings of tattoos have also changed over time.  I remember during my youth that tattoos were taboo but fast forward to today and they have become mainstream. From stay-at-home mums to business professionals, tattoos have become a norm and an experience shared by everyone. In that transition from sub culture to mainstream I have also witnessed changes in designs and techniques, but because this is an art form I know that the tattoo industry will never stop evolving. As a supplier I am happy to see that the industry is being pushed towards stricter health requirements. As a major supplier I am disheartened when I see that over 50% of needles on the market are marketed as sterile but in fact are not sterilised.  These types of poor business practices endanger customers as well as the industry’s reputation.

What advice would you give someone who wanted to launch their own career in the tattoo supply business?

Go for it and don’t hesitate. This is an enormous market and an industry that is not going anywhere. It’s also an exciting market where you’ll have the chance to work alongside creative minds as well as meet with some amazing people. I will add this. You have to be ready to work as hard as possible.  It’s a large market but also a competitive one, so my biggest piece of business advice is to listen to the customer. If you’re loyal to them then they will be loyal to you.  Don’t ever ignore that aspect of the process regardless of how much the business grows.

organicsOrganic wood body jewellery available from Monster Steel.

What future plans do you have for Monster Steel?

Our number one objective as a business is to stay relevant to our customers by rolling out innovative products and ensuring that our supplies are always the safest and most reliable. I am excited about many of the upcoming projects we have planned as well as several new products that we have live on the site. We want to make sure that our customers trust us to provide not only the best supplies, but also the newest technology that allows them to grow as an artist.

Ruthless Insta-2
Do you own any other brands?

I own several other brands that I take a lot of pride in, such as our line of Ruthless needles and grips, our Mag Lock cartridge needles, Ringmaster Irons machines and other brands that our customers enjoy like Gorilla Grips, Black Buddha Ink, Monster Point and our newest creation – Strype Power.  As I mentioned before, customers are always looking for quality products and that their source keep up with trends, so that is what we’re here to do and will continue to do thanks to all of our loyal and supportive customers.

Monster Steel can be found at or their Facebook page: and Instagram:

Alex Garant Art

Alex Garant aka. Queen of Double Eyes is a French Canadian artist known for her double-exposed oil paintings featuring beautifully haunting women. 

On her website Alex Garant paintings are described as:

[…] not far from a perfect optical illusion: her protagonists trying to escape themselves, almost possessed by a distinct version of their own individuality, an exorcism of the soul. The viewers shall try to unearth the main figure by focusing on making those multiples into one.


Way Down


The Longest Winter 


Make Believe 


Fragments of her Mind 

Gig Review: Big Ups

Our writer Harry Casey-Woodward reviews the New York punk band Big Ups, who he saw at the Lexington, London on the 30th March 2016…

1379345_853072794752820_3129778252622419879_n 14/01/15 at Baby’s All Right, Brooklyn. Photo by Adrian Fussell

The Big Ups are a Brooklyn post-hardcore band who have just released their second album this year. Nearly a week after buying said album Before a Million Universes, I discovered that the band were voyaging across the Atlantic to play in our merry little capital on Wednesday 30th March so eagerly I grabbed a ticket.

The Lexington is a small venue on Pentonville Road, with a 200 max gig room above the bar. The bar was cool to sit in, the walls decked with various animal horns and antique rifles. Upstairs there were two support bands besides the Big Ups. The first band was a surprise, since they weren’t even mentioned on the gig poster. I didn’t catch their name but they certainly made an impression. Not only did they sound like some enraged pub rock band, but the raucous singer was channelling the spirit of Jonny Rotten, from glaring moodily at the crowd to chucking beer. The second band Crows made a hellish post-punk din you could dance to, while the bug-eyed singer jerked and writhed across the venue as if possessed by some demon.

11148625_898886620171437_2206268248904352797_n05/04/15 at Ottobar, Baltimore. Photo by Farrah Skeiky

The supports were energetic enough to get the packed room going. When the Big Ups took to the stage, I was surprised. I knew they met at college in New York, so I was expecting some moody art students. They all looked so young and fresh-faced, and their enthusiasm clearly shone. After the two rather assaultive performances from the supports, the Big Ups’ youthful energy was a refreshing blast.

Singer Joe Galarraga certainly knew how to entertain a crowd. Between songs he was a mild-mannered stand-up. When performing he took on a comic intensity, making faces and throwing himself recklessly around the stage. There was one moment when he slithered head first over the edge of the stage and sang to the floor with his skinny legs flailing in the air. I wondered if he was a fan of Jello Biafra, clownish singer from such satirical punk bands as Dead Kennedys.

11536101_933307360062696_1560970914775814508_n 21/05/15 at Palisades in Brooklyn, NYC. Photo by Max Berger.

So the band knew how to get a laugh out of their audience, but the intensity and quality of their performance was all too clear. The singer could certainly scream, and the crowd screamed along with him, a good amount knowing lyrics to nearly all the songs. It was great to see such enthusiasm. The songs that sounded so cool and loud on Before a Million Universes sounded even more exhilarating live. The quiet moments built up tension that was shattered by the explosive stabbing riffs.

The crowd were very energetic and there was some vigorous moshing. But overall the gig felt very good natured. For me, the Big Ups’ performance distilled everything I wanted in a punk show. There was a good balance of rage, energy and humour and they were rather pleasant people. They played an encore, mingled with the crowd afterwards and personally thanked everyone for turning up and supporting their music. I personally thank them for gracing us with their presence and such an awesome show.

Images from facebook.

Toy Tattoo Machines

Emily Rose is a 31-year-old stay at home mom who was a tattooer in Lewisville, North Carolina in the United States who runs an Etsy business from home selling toy tattoo machines that she makes. We chatted to Emily about how she makes the toys and what inspired her to do so… 

il_570xN.808635497_4h7wMy health and lack of child care after having our daughter meant that I was forced to stop tattooing for the time being but I found a way to still contribute to my family and stay somewhat relevant in the tattoo industry when I started my Etsy adventure so I just found another way to work.

I have a solid background in art, I’ve been in art classes my whole life and have my bachelor’s degree in fine arts from a university here in North Carolina. I started my apprenticeship straight out of college and never looked back; I was 21 and now my husband and I run our own shop in our little rural town. He now tattoos there by himself while I’m home with our daughter making toys. It’s tough but I like to think we’re making the best of some difficult situations we’ve been handed.


I created my toy tattoo machines out of necessity really, our daughter just needed one, and there wasn’t one out there for her, so I made one. She stayed at the shop with us for the first year of her life, we opened the shop when she was a month old. I had to take her with me to breastfeed and tattoo, it was a mess really, but the one thing that made it all worth it was seeing how much she really loved to be at the shop as she grew. The bigger she got the easier it was to have her there with us, so she’s just been a little shop girl from day one.

It was too hard for me to say “no you can’t handle that machine, or that ink” because she couldn’t understand why, so I tried to find ways to make her feel like a part of what we were doing at the shop. But it really inspired me to start making her things that she could use to mimic what she saw us doing at work. I thought they make those little doctor kits why not a tattoo kit? And it worked!


She had her own little machine and didn’t need to mess with mine, she had something that made her feel like a part of the work day and I decided to start selling them locally before I eventually opened up an Etsy shop. The first ones I made were just scraps of wood and bits of stuff I had laying around, I was able to make them better! I save enough here and there for a new tool or some fancy new paints and I get the most rewarding feedback from moms out there! I could tell my own little one was dying for a way to connect with us over work, she sees us so dedicated and in love with our work I think it’s only natural for her to want to be a part of that too.
I’m beyond excited to see how many people are ordering for little girls, the toys avaliable for girls are still geared towards shopping and domestic duties so I’m happy to see how often the pinks sell out! People are excited to give their kids something other than what they see at the store, and they’re excited to be getting it from me! It’s amazing!


IMG_5454Emily’s art work 

I grew up around the art world but it wasn’t until I started getting tattooed that I really felt like I’d found where I was meant to be. I just felt an instant sense of belonging in the tattoo industry as soon as I was old enough to start collecting my own. I was drawn to tattooing because for me I can make such an impact on someone’s life just by giving them the fruits of my labor. I can tattoo anyone, normal people, cancer patients or victims with scars and they always feel so much better afterwards. I liked the idea of sitting with someone and helping them make a monument on their bodies to some internal struggle or painful event, I loved the idea of helping people feel more beautiful.
When I get tattooed it’s almost like I’m becoming more of who I was meant to be, like this colored and decorated version is the real me and I’m just revealing it as I get tattooed, I wanted to help people feel that way too. I also really enjoyed being friends with artists, feeling really connected to them as the people I’d chosen to tattoo me. It’s a special bond, I miss it terribly!


My own tattoos are mostly pieces I’ve collected from friends at conventions and shops in my years. I have a full sleeve from an amazing friend in Texas named Mark Vanness and it’s a whole arm of birds, it’s probably my favorite! I have a birds nest on my hand there and even a secret ostrich on my bicep, my other arm is generally American traditional and I have black and gray movie portraits on one leg, and some weird ocean creatures on my other leg. I’ve been saving my back for a really epic pelican I’ve been thinking about for years while waiting for the right artist to cross my path. I have saved all the worst spots for last.

Check out Emily’s Etsy store for tattoo toy machines… 


Taking inspiration from Torture Garden’s 25th anniversary this weekend, Hunger beauty editor-at-large Andrew Gallimore and photographer Louie Banks have teamed up to recreate some of the looks you may encounter tonight at the legendary fetish club.

See full shoot on Hunger website.






creative director Vicky Lawton
photography Louie Banks
make-up Andrew Gallimore at CLM Hair and Make Up for Nars Cosmetics
stylist Keanoush Da Rosa
hair Brady Lea
make-up assistant Ana Fry
nails Lyndsay McIntosh
assistants Stephanie Galea, Rui Jeorge
models Maisie at Profile Models, Alina at First Model Management

Film Review: What We Do in the Shadows

Our resident film reviewer is writer Harry Casey-Woodward who will be sharing his opinions on things he has watched…  

What We Do in the Shadows, 2014, cert 15, dir Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi, 3/5 


There are two things that bug me about the horror genre. One, vampires are sometimes taken too seriously and two, horror parodies are often overly crass. New Zealand horror comedy What We Do in the Shadows solves both issues.

One thing that attracted me to this film is that it was co-directed, co-written and starred New Zealand comic actor Jemaine Clement. You may have seen Jemaine in HBO comedy show Flight of the Conchords, in which he and fellow star Bret McKenzie played two struggling folk musicians trying to hit the big time in New York. I liked the show for its absurd, awkward humour and the hilarious songs which peppered each episode.


In Shadows, Jemaine and some fellow New Zealand actors play some vampire mates who live in a flat in Wellington. There’s Viago (Taika Waititi, who also wrote and directed), an 18th century dandy who is the most civilised and foppish of the group, often holding house meeting to get his flatmates to do the dishes. There’s Deacon (Jonny Brugh), who fancies himself as a stud but just comes across as creepy. Jemaine plays Vladislav, a medieval vampire who is a shadow of his former tyrannical self. There’s also Petyr (Ben Fransham), an ancient Nosferatu-like creature who lives in the basement and hisses rather than speaks.

The film is a mockumentary, as this band of bloodsucking bachelors are being filmed by a documentary crew who wear crucifixes and the vampires have promised not to attack. The vampires are filmed getting into various misadventures. They hit the town and try to get invited into clubs. They order their servants to bring virgins to the flat. They make a decent attempt to include Nick (Cori Gonzalez-Macuer), one of their recently changed victims and his human friend Stu (Stu Rotherford), who they end up liking more than Nick.


I enjoyed watching this film more than I enjoyed Flight of the Conchords. I would even go so far to say as this would make a better TV show. As much I like Conchords, the jokes are mostly about being poor and single. Here, the humour is more creative as the vampire condition is hilariously and cleverly picked apart. The creators have managed to get great jokes from various aspects of vampire mythology. Their vampires are not tortured hunks, but creepy losers who are still painfully human.

While being a hoot from start to finish, the movie is also a good tribute to the horror genre. Not only are the costumes and sets suitably Gothic, but there are moments in the film that are quite horrific and even scary. There are two chase scenes in particular, one in the vampires’ house when they pursue Nick and another where they are chased around a park after antagonizing some werewolves. The use of hand-held camera in these scenes is more effective and unsettling than anything most serious horror mockumentaries have attempted with the technique.