Category: Feature tattoos

Tattooed ASOS Models

On the ASOS clothing website some of the women models have had their tattoos edited out of certain photographs. The male models in contrast are covered in body art!

One of their male models:

One of our readers alerted us on Twitter and ASOS responded to her:

So we’re allowed to be tattooed, as are their models as long as it compliments what we wear. Will our tattoos clash with certain colours, patterns and styles? Do our tattoo choices really limit our fashion choices? Should we change our bodies to match clothes?

ASOS seem to think so!

It also appears that while wearing casual day wear it’s fine to have tattoos but if you are dressed for a night out then it’s a big no-no! The tattoos in question are already discreet and small (if size is an issue) so why the need to remove them?

ASOS have since tweeted this reply:

Images from

Can you be friends with your tattooist?

Can you ever truly be friend with your tattooist?

Sure, you probably would never have met outside of the tattoo studio and the only reason you have is because they can create something you want. But having met them, you may realise you have lots of stuff in common, that you make each other laugh, making the whole tattoo process more enjoyable.

You have singled them out for their drawing style, their colour palette or maybe on a recommendation. The evolving world of social media means that you can often view tattoos without ever seeing the person behind them. In simple terms your relationship with your tattooist is a business transaction, swapping a product or service for money.

But is money the means for a friendship to grow? Or can it be something that is problematic? If you are a loyal and regular customer to one tattooist should you get a discount or mate’s rates? Or like everyone else should you pay a fair price. What if you have something to exchange for a tattoo? Does the number of followers on your Instagram or blog have an affect on the price of your tattoo? Should the fact that you are inadvertently advertising the tattoo artists work when you post it count for something?

With large pieces comes longer time spans, more hours under the needle, more emails, more travel, more expense. You inevitably spend more time with the artist, you chat with them while you are in a vulnerable position, most likely undressed and in pain. What if your personalities clash and you realise that you really dislike the person? Or on the flip side you could become closer, realising that you not only love their work but also enjoy their company.


Tattoos by @jaketattoos & @karigrat


Cakes and Tattoos

Anmar Odendal is a  pastry chef, wedding cake baker and social media addict from Aldeburgh in Suffolk. We chatted to her about her tattoo inspired cakes and cake inspired tattoos as well as her new book venture. 

How old were you when you got your first tattoo? I only got my first tattoo in February 2013! I love the idea of being able to permanently carry with you your experiences and things that you hold special. Getting inked and discovering the world of tattoos has come at the perfect stage of my life, as I am now in a position where my both my style in my career and  personal life have become my trademark. Every tattoo I have tells a story  and means the world to me. It’s my journey, on my skin, that I take with me everywhere. My tattoos make me feel like a million bucks – and if someone doesn’t like it it doesn’t bother me at all. My skin, my way!

Who did it your first tattoo? My first tattoo was only a tiny rainbow infinity sign on my wrist. I know the infinity sign has now become one of those tattoos that every one has – but to me it means “what goes around comes around”. A really horrid relationship just confirmed how much I believed in Karma – and that is what it symbolises to me. I don’t look at it in a negative light at all – I love it and it reminds me I was the stronger one and that I came out better, and stronger on the other side.

My first real tattoo (and I say real as I mean this was designed from my own concept) was done by Dolly at Needles & Nails s in Brighton. She has since moved to Occult in Worthing and has also done my thigh piece for me. I knew she would be the perfect artist for my dream of having a tiered wedding cake tattoo! Her style is bold, mega colourful, girly and super bright. I now have a massive pink wedding cake on my forearm – and I love it. People don’t wonder about my job any more!

How do your friends and family react to your tattoos? I don’t know if anyone really honestly says what they think about tattoos. It’s clear that tattoos are still a big no-no to lots of people and I understand that.  Most reactions have been good as they suit my personality.I am South Africa and grew up on a farm over there. I do sometimes wonder what the reaction will be when I do go home, as tattoos are still very much frowned upon.  People always ask ‘what are you going to look like when you are eighty?’

Why are people so worried about what were going to look like when we are eighty? When I’m eighty my body will tell an amazing story of the live that I have lived!

Do you have any future tattoo plans? Definitely. I had one of my feet done by the amazing Jody Dawber and I still need to have the other one done! The fab Miss Dolly will be doing my other thigh – I’m not so sure what I’ll get, but I look unbalanced with one beautifully tattooed and the other bare.  I also have a space booked with the amazing Hollie West for one of her fab chubby ladies – with a baking theme of course!

When did you start baking and when did you set up your own business? I’m lucky as I come from a family of very talented bakers.  I never specialised as a pastry chef/ baker as I trained as a professional chef, but always found myself in the pastry kitchens. I always loved making cakes,but it was only once I moved to the UK with my then husband that I decided to do it full time and start my own business. I saw a gap in the market in the area for big, bold beautiful cakes and set CRUMB up in 2010.
I am very lucky as Crumb grew really fast and by 2013 I won the regional award for “best wedding cake designer” in the East of England at the National wedding industry awards in London. I am also listed in 2014′s “most incredible wedding cake bakers in the UK”.

What do you usually create? As well as running Crumb I also work as the pastry chef at a local hotel. I create anything and everything really! I always like to say- “If you can dream it, I can bake it!” At the moment my mini meringues and macarons are very popular and I’m doing numerous master classes and workshops teaching eager bakers how to make them. Food demonstrations on stage is another great passion I have – I love theatre cooking – something I never thought I’d get in to!

Do you have any favourite cakes that you have baked? There are many! One of my favourites has to be a massive black, red and white wedding cake that was topped with a life size solid white chocolate skull, red glitter encrusted red roses and black lace for one of my favourite couples ever. I made a very opulent cake for a celebrity couple that also featured in OK! Magazine last year. I love doing big over the top cakes – shows topper cakes – things that Marie Antoinette would have approved of! I also make birthday and other celebration cakes when I have the time – some of my favourites include a Mexican sugar skull cake and some cupcakes topped with designs from the jewellery brand Tatty Devine.

Do you have any future projects?  I am currently working on a new baking recipe book, with a bit of an edge. I’ve rounded up 12 of my favourite female tattoo artists who are all letting their creativity flow and designing their dream wedding/celebration cake in the style and theme of the tattoos that they create. The book will feature all 12 artists, and I will make their artwork into a real cake, with recipes, tutorials and tricks to recreate the cakes, or design your own cake. The book will also contain some amazing other recipes that are my favourites including macarons, meringues, cookies and brownies.

Follow Anmar and her book for exciting news and delicious bakes.

Keep your eyes peeled for a future blog post for Anmar’s recipe on how to make a rainbow unicorn cake…

Amazon: Guardians of Life – stunning photos by Felipe Jacome

Photos by Felipe Jacome

My name is Hasmil Villamil. I am 11 years old. I want to live freely in the jungle and play with all the animals. I want my community to live in peace.


We discovered Felipe Jacome’s set of photos Amazon: Guardians of Life  on The stunning set of images document the struggles of indigenous women defending the Ecuadoran Amazon through portraits and powerful written testimonies.  Read more here, and view more of the powerful images and statements.

The words across each photograph are a reflection of the lives of the women and the reasons for fighting oil drilling on their ancestral lands. The colour designs framing each portrait use the same natural dyes found in the face paint to expand on the symbols and designs that reflect their personalities, courage and struggle.

Want to frame your tattoos after you die? Now you can!

Peter van der Helm, owner of Walls and Skin a tattoo and graffiti studio in Amsterdam, is offering to preserve tattoos after the owner has died.

The Foundation for Art and Science of Tattooing has had over fifty people already signed up for their preservation service, in which they remove the tattooed skin, pack it in formaldehyde and send it to a laboratory where the water and fat will be removed and replaced with silicone. The tattooed skin will belong to the foundation, it can be put on display or loaned to friends and family of the deceased.

Prices start from 300 euros for a tattoo roughly 10cm in size. You can also buy gift vouchers and cards for the service.

The foundation wishes to collect different styles of tattoos from different artists, thus preserving the stories behind the tattoos. The main reasons for tattoo preservation as stated on their website include:

 the emotional values of the tattoos, the interest in contributing to the history of tattooing, the preservation of the art piece or the artist work and to leave behind a piece of yourself to friends and family father death. 

Image from Tattwords



Kawaii Halloween inspired tattoos

Happy Halloween everyone… we’re absolutely loving these super-cute takes on Halloween inspired tattoos by Keely Rutherford.


Look, it’s a batterfly… super cool.

Kawaii creepy little pumpkin

Fly, fly little bat…

Share your creepy and cute tattoos with us at or @thingsandink

Interview with Niki Sparkle, piercer and our online fitness muse

We caught up with Niki Sparkle, from Wrexham North Wales, she is owner/piercer aat Crystal Point Piercing. We chat about piercing, tattoos, health, fitness and her perfect day…

Check out her Instagram account @nikisparkle for daily health inspiration and piercing goodness.

We have been following your Instagram account and you often post fitness / motivational pictures, have you always tried to lead a healthy, active lifestyle? I was an elite basket ball player when I was a teen and very fit. Then life happened! Though I have never been seriously overweight my life style certainly hasn’t been always the healthiest by far. I have been going to the gym for years but doing it all wrong so didn’t see much benefit. I have only recently taken fitness serious over the past year. More intensively over the past six  months. I post on Instagram so that I actually do the workouts…

I post before and after pics regularly to encourage myself. Hearing that others are getting inspiration from my posts is amazing and a mega plus. I have gotten to the point now where I want to push it and I will be working towards my first bikini competition (May 2015), which is super eek and not something I thought I would ever consider even a few months ago.

How do you motivate yourself to exercise? It’s a great mood enhancer and I enjoy the structure the gym gives my morning/start of the day. I go because I feel great when I go and it’s “me -time” although I do work and answer emails on the treadmill. Now with the impending bikini comp I am under the watchful eye of my trainer so I get up and go.


What are your favourites forms of exercise? I love core workouts, HIIT (high-intensity interval training), a good sprint, jump squats… any form of jumping about and really getting a good sweat on, followed by long stretch/yoga/Pilates time

As a tattoo collector, how do you cope with not exercising when you have a healing tattoo? I usually find a way depending on how sore I am. Or I just have a break until I feel the area can handle it. I have started to take time away from the gym when I have extensive work done as my immune system works stronger when I am not asking my body to do too many things at once. Lesson learnt on that one.

Describe your perfect day. Hmm I try to make every day count as quality. A beautiful sunrise, good music to kickstart the day, a HIIT workout and good nutritious food to fuel the day. A busy day making people gorgeously shiny using beautiful high-end jewellery. Meeting up with friends. Unwinding/story sharing/general larking/dancing…

Niki with our modification issue cover star Grace Neutral


How did you get into piercing? Completely by chance. I wore a fake lip ring and this guy (Jack Rubini, Gorlubb Piercing) called me out and offered to pierce it properly in his new studio in Copenhagen. I became his first receptionist (I think it was in the late 90s) while I was at business college and have worked in piercing/tattoo studios ever since. It took me years to get the courage to learn how to pierce. I was a piercing counter person for many many years before finally picking up a needle.

What is your favourite thing about the job? I love it all so much, but mastering techniques is up there. Always learning new things. Of course the best feeling is seeing healed work look divine on someone.

Niki’s head by Deryn Twelve


Any advice for our readers thinking about getting tattooed and pierced? Ask many questions, get to know your piercer and above all be safe in your choices. I’m a big fan of the Association of Professional Piercers approach to piercing. There is great information out there for piercing clients who want to research what to look for in order to get the professional procedure they deserve.



Any advice for those thinking about taking up exercise? It’s one of the best things I have done for myself, and I can only speak from my own experience, but it’s cured so many rough old habits. And the fact my body is in better shape now than it was when I was 20 is mind blowing and really fun. Little is better than nothing and small progress is still progress, so be kind to yourself and one day you will notice the benefits! I highly encourage anyone thinking of it to start. The Internet is full of help and advice and things you can do at home so there is something for everyone.

Don’t know about you, but we feel pretty motivated. See you at the gym?

Tattoo advice for first timers

We’ve put our heads together here at Things&Ink to bring you a post filled with tattoo advice for those who are yet to go under the needle…

Get quality not quantity!


Jen Adamson our Music Writer says: “Get quality not quantity!” Jen has learnt from her own mistakes of being covered with awful tattoos when she was younger! You get what you pay for! (she is also going through a painful removal process, read more here)


Know your body and its limits. Don’t over push them.


Writer Kimberly Baltzer-Jaray has a multitude of great advice to impart, she really knows her stuff: Do your research before getting one. Know everything about the process of getting a tattoo, understand the equipment, have an idea of the health and safety standards, etc. If you walk into a shop and you see anything wrong, leave immediately.
Always look at a portfolio of both fresh and healed work. Wet, fresh, swollen tattoos often look so great, but it’s after the peeling and healing that you see if the lines are straight, or if the colours took, or if the drawing is good.
Be sure you fully hydrate and eat a good meal before sitting down. Bring drinks with you and don’t be afraid to ask for a pause to sip. Also, sometimes if you are getting a back piece done or something on a painful area it helps to bring along a sweatshirt or something from home that you can put your face on or into when it gets a bit tough.
The tattoo shop comfort is as important as the artist. Be sure when you’re looking around that you actually go to these places, don’t just look online. Go in and check the place out, does it feel right for you? (e.g., are there private rooms or are you out in the open, does the artist allow people to hang around him or her while working, are there comfortable chairs or tables). Talk to the artist and the staff and make sure you are comfortable with them. After all the artist is going to be touching you, and you have to be able to tell him/her if you are struggling, or might faint etc., The shop needs to be a place where you aren’t afraid if the worst happens – it needs to be a place that if something happened like fainting or puking you’d feel confident that you’d be taken care of properly and be okay. Know your body and its limits. Don’t over push them.


You don’t need to be able to draw, a good artist will do this for you


Our editorial assistant Rosalie Woodward says: You don’t need to be able to draw, a good artist will do this for you, but it helps to go with an idea of size and what you would like. I always try to give the artist as much free rein as I can, I think you come away with a better tattoo. I have a lot of tattoos that have no meaning, I simply liked the artwork and this is fine! You don’t need a story behind every one! While it heals it will itch! So infuriating but don’t give in and scratch it and don’t pick at your healing tattoo, this will peel off the ink and ruin it!


Keely Reichardt Stick to your guns and be confident in choice of sizing and design!


Make-up artist and homewares writer Keely Reichardt has this pearl of wisdon: If you really are not sure whether you want to go bigger or not, then do not be bullied into getting a tattoo much bigger than you first thought. Stick to your guns and be confident in choice of sizing and design!

Look beyond photographs of other tattoos that belong to other people in your search for inspiration.


Editor Alice Snape has this advice: Look beyond photographs of other tattoos that belong to other people in your search for inspiration. Think about the artists you love – the pictures that hang on your walls – favourite books, characters from films and just look around your home at the things that surround you. Then pick a tattooist whose style you are drawn to – whether its their colour palette, or bold lines. If you go with them with an abstract idea and some references, they will be able to create something just for you a custom, unique piece. Just don’t let them persuade you too go too big, or have it somewhere you are not happy with.


We hope this helps… good luck and remember to share your tattoo journeys with us,, @thingsandink,

Mobile tattoo parlour collects 200 pictures and stories

A mobile tattoo parlour has been touring Bristol, encouraging the public to document their tattoos with photographs and share their stories. The project “I Will Always Have You” will be featured in the city’s art and culture show and started in Knowle West in June 2014.

Arts producer Melissa Mean curated the exhibition in order to gather memories and stories behind tattoos to add to growing digital archives.

By exploring the power of personal narratives and the construction of character through body art, we hope to better understand the growing popularity of tattoos across the UK and the richness of Knowle West’s tattoo culture.

The exhibition will be on show at Knowle West Media Centre until Christmas. People can add their tattoos to the online archive.

Image and Melissa quoted from

Feminist postcards by Carol Rossetti

Carol Rossetti is a Portuguese artist who has created a collection of empowering feminist postcards that have been translated into numerous different languages and shared around the world.  The illustrations highlight the difficulties and judgements that women face in today’s society.

I feel very disturbed by the world’s attempts to control women’s bodies. So I’ve started a series of illustrations in a friendly tone hoping to reach people about how absurd this really is.

Writes Carol on her website.

You can view Carol’s work on her website at, where you can also buy postcards and prints…