Category: Features

Interview with Georgina Liliane

23-year-old Georgina Liliane is a tattoo artist based at Intense Colours in Southampton, who is now currently working and travelling across Canada. We chatted to Georgina about what inspires her and the guest spots she has planned while travelling… 

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How long have you been tattooing? Including my apprenticeship four years and still constantly learning.

How did you start? What did you do before?  I drew designs for friends and my close friends got tattooed by my mentor and he was about to open a studio and was looking for an apprentice. My friends recommended me to the studio and they had a look at my work and I was offered an apprenticeship. At the time I was just about to finish my foundation in illustration so it was perfect timing as I didn’t want to go to university at all!

Do you have a background in art? I have always been drawing since I can remember, I studied fine art at college and illustration at uni.

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What drew you to the tattoo world? I remember being at school and loved flicking through tattoo magazines and pictures online (instead of doing work I needed to do of course). I loved the bright colours and bold style of traditional tattoos.

How would you describe your style, has it changed? In my very early years of tattooing I drew in more of a traditional style, it wasn’t very distinct at first but through practise and patience I started to draw delicate, illustrative and more feminine designs, mostly animal and nature related.

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What do you like to tattoo and draw? My favourite tattoos to do are cats, any animal, gothic/halloween related and pop culture related designs such as Studio Ghibli, Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, all of which I’m a huge fan of!

What inspires you? Classical art and vintage postcards are something I frequently look at. I went to the Robert Bateman gallery on Vancouver Island and his paintings were beautiful. Although incredibly detailed he focuses mainly on creating a certain mood to be felt when viewing his paintings, and adding other details that wouldn’t necessarily be seen at first glance, which I found interesting and something I could take inspiration from.

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What would you love to tattoo? And what would you refuse to do? I would love to do larger scale pieces in the future, I wouldn’t want to do anything that could be offensive. I often turn away certain cover up tattoos if the old tattoo is difficult or too dark to cover, I always suggest to laser the tattoo to lighten it. This means less limitation on what could be tattooed over it.

Do you have any guest spot or conventions planned? So far I’ve worked on Vancouver Island at Painted Lotus, Vancouver at Gastown Parlour, I’m about to start working at Scythe and Spade in Calgary, followed by the Montreal Convention in September. Then I’ll be working at Deathless tattoo in Montreal, and in Ottawa I’ll be at Ink Spot. That’s all I’ve planned so far! I’m nervous for the convention as it’ll be the first one I’ve done by myself and in another country can be quite daunting. But everyone in Canada has been so friendly and helpful and I’ve settled in quickly.

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Can you tell us about your own tattoos? Both of my sleeves have been done by the very talented Antony Flemming, I love them as everyday there’s a new detail I didn’t see before. I’ve done a couple of tattoo trades with my friends Ashley Luka and Charlotte Timmons both stupidly lovely and talented artists in Birmingham. I still have a lot of space and ideas for future tattoos for myself, I’d love it if I can get a tattoo from Sam Smith who I’ll be working with in Calgary, but if not I’ll be more than happy to sit and watch her work and hopefully learn a thing or two!

Apprentice Love: Jessica Ashby

Meet Jessica Ashby, she is a tattoo apprentice under Mike Stockings at Legacy Ink in Haverhill. This is her story of how she came to be a tattoo apprentice and the hard graft involved…

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How long have you been tattooing? Looking back through my diary, I’ve been tattooing on a regular basis for about 7-8 weeks now. I started my apprenticeship in October of 2015 and my mentor let me tattoo myself after about four months so I could get a glimpse of the world I was stepping into. I tattooed myself again a couple of months later and then a handful of my wonderful friends volunteered to let me tattoo them, and then all of a sudden I’m tattooing every day alongside all the other artists at the shop. This is something I’ve wanted for so long and sometimes I still wake up and think ‘is this really my life now?!’

How did you start? What did you do before? I remember telling my tutor at college that I wanted to be a tattoo artist and she looked at me blankly with no advice to give. I then went to university for a year, worked in bars and restaurants, went travelling for a bit, all the while knowing I still just wanted to tattoo.

It got to the point where I couldn’t stand my job any longer and I plucked up the courage to email Mike Stockings (my mentor) and asked if he would be willing to see me to discuss the possibility of an apprenticeship at his studio. I had been avidly following his work for years and I had my heart set on learning from him. He agreed to see me, went through my work, picked it apart, gave me some advice and then told me to go away and draw some more. I don’t think he expected that I’d ever come back, but I continued to take more work to show him for about six months until he offered me the apprenticeship.

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Do you have a background in art? Drawing was always ‘my thing,’ when I was younger. I remember going round to other kids’ houses to play and being shocked that they didn’t put the lids back on their colouring pens, or that they only had scrap paper to draw on. Looking back, I’m so grateful to my mum for nurturing my interest in art. Even at a young age she would take me to exhibitions and buy me good quality drawing materials.

I studied art at college and even went on to university to start an illustration degree. I probably thought my art classes were boring at the time but I realise now that they really did teach me some valuable things about composition, light and shadow, complementary colours etc.

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What drew you to the tattoo world? I remember seeing some of Guy Aitchison’s luminous bi-mech work when I was about 16 and I was instantly blown away. It was like at that moment, my eyes were opened to a whole world of tattooing beyond the high street flash that I was familiar with. I then went on to discover Emily Rose Murray, Tiny Miss Becca, and (dare I say) Kat Von D who were all women starting to make waves in a male dominated industry at the time. I was so inspired and excited that you could make a living out of drawing wonderful pictures on people. I was desperate to get tattooed when I was a teenager and now I’m starting to build up a nice collection of my own I feel more comfortable in my skin than ever.

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Are there any artist that influence your work? I really like all the bold, bright work that is coming out of Germany at the moment. Lars Uwe Lus lips, is one of my absolute favourites. His use of colours, line weights and style in general is pretty mind-blowing. I love the illustrative quality of Kate Selkie’s work and I am always reminded that good drawing skills are the foundation of a good tattoo. And of course, watching Mike work is probably my biggest influence. His work has so much character and he’s always trying to push boundaries and put out fresh new ideas. It’s impossible not to be inspired.

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Describe your style, has it changed? I’d say my style changes a little bit with every tattoo I do. I think my work is leaning towards neo-traditional, working with bright colours and bold line. The guys where I work taught me early on to follow the fundamentals of traditional tattooing, emphasising the importance of clean lines and getting a good amount of black into any tattoo to create contrast and a tattoo that will age well.

What inspires you? Everything really. I guess that’s a pretty terrible answer but it’s true. I’ll often find myself sneaking into people’s front gardens to take photos of their flowers to use as reference, or stuffing a leaflet in my bag because I like the colour palette that’s been used. I feel like my eyes now scan everything to see if it’s a possible reference or inspiration in some way.

I love Japanese art and culture, art nouveau, pop art, film photography, and really enjoy going to museums and galleries. Even if the work doesn’t influence mine directly, I always feel so creatively energised after seeing another artist’s vision come to life.

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What would you love to tattoo? I consider myself incredibly lucky that Mike gives me the freedom to tattoo what I want already. He has always really emphasised that if you do work you enjoy then that will be evident, and people will come to you.

Eventually I’d like to be tattooing larger scale animal designs and faces (tattoos of faces, not tattooing on faces!) I love the idea of working on a project and can’t wait to be piecing together ideas for a sleeve or back piece. For now though, I am happy doing my little designs, trying to make each one cleaner and better than the last. I think there’s a fine line between continually pushing yourself to improve, and trying to run before you can walk. The guys at work will often tell me that I’m not ready to tattoo a certain part of the body yet, or that a design is too complex and then I just have to take a step back and remember that it’s still really early days for me.

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What is a typical day like for you? I usually get to the studio at around 9 am, mop the floor, clean the grips, set up Mike’s station and try to make sure everything stays tidy during the day. I’m trying to do one tattoo a day at the moment and truthfully I couldn’t tell you anything that happens in the shop during that time!

Megan Massacre Colouring Book

We chat to the infamous Megan Massacre, 30, tattoo artist and co-founder @GritNGlory, about her new colouring book, reality TV and her tattoo style

Megan, we love your work! How would you describe your style?
Thanks! My tattooing style is mostly known for my very bright, colourful palettes and I usually mix a few tattooing styles together such as realism, traditional, neo-traditional and new school.

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Tattoo by MeganWe loved you in America’s Worst Tattoos and NY Ink… Did you enjoy doing reality TV, what were the highlights?
Yes very much! The highlight for me was getting to share my work with such a large audience of people.

If you could tattoo anyone, dead or alive, who would it be?
Probably Gwen Stefani, I’ve loved her since I was a kid listening to No Doubt!

What made you decide to venture into colouring books?
I’ve always wanted to make a book of my tattoo drawings, tattoo flash is what we call it in the industry. When I realised it could double as a colouring book I thought it was such a cool, fun idea that even more people could enjoy.

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What do you hope people will get from it?
I like to think of it as a book for both tattoo artists and fans, as well as colouring fanatics. I hope that tattoo artists and fans find the book useful for tattoo ideas and flash, as well as fun and therapeutic for colouring as well.

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It is aimed at adults and children?
Yes I think it’s great for both!

Do you think colouring books are important for wellbeing?
I think colouring is a great way to relieve stress and relax your mind while also working in a creative outlet and creating something awesome you can feel proud of.

Is it important for you to be involved in lots of different creative projects?
For me personally yes. I always have a few different projects going on, I like to stay overly busy. I also like to be involved in as many different creative industries as possible, it allows me to keep learning through art.

What are your hopes for the future?
I hope to make more colouring and art books for fans to enjoy, and to continually keep breaking into new, creative industries.

When will you next be in the UK?
I don’t have any plans at the moment but I try to go once a year, I’ll definitely be posting on my social media when I’ll be heading there next!

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You can order a copy of Marked in Ink, the colouring book by Megan Massacre from Book Depository

Eight Bands You Don’t Want To Miss At This Year’s Arctangent Festival

Arctangent returns for its fourth year at Fernhill Farm, celebrating the very best that math-rock, post-rock and noise-rock have to offer. With so many diverse bands on the line-up, freelance writer Mat Ombler has gathered a list of eight that you simply cannot afford to miss…

 

Nordic Giants

Nordic Giants live performance is out of this world, and their breath-taking sets have been melting the minds of their audiences since 2010. The duo incorporate visuals into their live set, performing alongside cinematic projections that provide a narrative to their songs.

Alongside these projections, Nordic Giants become a collaboration of true artistry, capable of evoking serious emotion from their audiences. It’s rare that at a festival with a crowd three thousand strong, a band could manage to wow their audience into complete silence – but Nordic Giants manage to do just that, time and time again.

Svalbard

Blackened post-rock music doesn’t get much better than this! Svalbard is a combination of black metal melodies and epic post-rock progressions, perfectly executed with the aggression you would expect from a thrash metal or punk band. Their latest release, ‘One Day All This Will End‘, is one of the finest albums I’ve had the pleasure of listening to in a long time, with not a single weak track on the album.

Three Trapped Tigers

Their combination of mad synth sounds, wacky electronics and wild drum patterns make Three Trapped Tigers a highlight of any line-up. The musical trio is a beautifully choreographed mess of intensely unique sounds, with all the energy from both the band and crowd you would expect from a set at an illegal underground rave.

Three Trapped Tigers raise the roof, basically.

Godspeed You! Black Emperor

Perhaps one of the most influential post-rock bands of all time, Godspeed You! Black Emperor headline the main stage on Friday at this year’s festival. Featuring a large ensemble of various musicians – with various percussionists and even a violin player – Godspeed You! Black Emperor promise to deliver a headline performance unlike any Arctangent Festival has seen before.

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Toe are a Japanese rock band from Tokyo and they’re performing an exclusive UK set at this year’s festival. They’re unlikely to be returning anytime soon, so don’t miss them, yeah?

Toe’s back-catalogue is as diverse as the festival line-up, featuring melodic instrumental sections with some beautiful vocal accompaniments in certain parts.

La Dispute

La Dispute make their debut appearance at this year’s Arctangent Festival. Jordan Dreyer’s vocals are essentially spoken word, sitting atop experimental guitar drones and muddy bass to help draw their audience into the short stories they’re telling. La Dispute’s experimental take on melodic and post-hardcore is unlike any other and it’s not to be missed.

Knifeworld

This psychedelic prog-rock band features a bassoon, alto saxophone and even a baritone saxophone, their songs usually consist of around seven or eight different instruments coming together to craft a sound that’s somewhere in-between contemporary prog bands and alternative mainstream music. There are tracks on their most recent release, ‘Bottled Out Of Eden‘, that are reminiscent of Between The Buried And Me’s ‘Colours’ masterpiece, but with the influence of more popular indie artists. If you’re a fan of progressive rock music, the recreational uses of psychedelic drugs – or perhaps both: don’t miss ‘em.

TTNG

Formerly known as This Town Needs Guns, this math-rock band from Oxford are one of the most well known bands from the math-rock scene. Their technically driven melodic guitar progressions draw influence all the way from Spanish to jazz music, and their deployment of various time signatures is enough to keep any listener on their feet – and for the right reasons.

Arctangent Festival takes place 18th- 20th of August and tickets are still available here.

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Urban Decay Creates Tattoo for National Lipstick Day

GEORGIA FINALIt was National Lipstick Day on 29 July, and to celebrate Urban Decay got tattoo artist Georgia Grey, 26, who works at Bang Bang in NYC, to create an awesome lipstick tattoo design. And if you want to get the lip design (see left) tattooed, just head down to Bang Bang and book in to see Georgia.

National Lipstick Day also coincides with the launch of Urban Decay’s new Vice Lipstick line, which features over 100 awesome shades! We chatted to Georgia about her collaboration with Urban Decay, her love of lippy and her tattoo style… 

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What is your inspiration and how did you become a tattoo artist? The people around me and the places where I go are my inspiration; there is always something new around the corner. The endless possibilities inspire me with art and opportunity alike. Tattooing is something that I have always been curious about. I would draw tattoos on my Barbies — tribal tramp stamps and arm bands — which, I believe, was the real start to my becoming a tattoo artist. In truth, I had a friend of mine offer me a job knowing I had a love for drawing and from that point on, I was hooked.

Urban Decay Vice Lipstick in 714

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What do you love about make-up? What is your can’t-live-without product?What don’t I love about make-up? I don’t wear make-up every day, but when I do, it’s play time. Recently, I’ve come back to my love for glitter, so at this moment I couldn’t live without mascara, a tinted chap stick, and Urban Decay’s glitter eyeliner.

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How did you become involved with Urban Decay? They reached out to me to create a tattoo design that would reflect the amazing new line of Vice lipsticks. In my past, I did a lot of American traditional drawings, and in recent years I’ve been doing more modern watercolor. So I created a piece that combines my love for versatile styles, inspired by Vice’s very diverse palette.

Have you created a lot of make-up inspired tattoos? I like to think that every tattoo I make is applying make-up to the skin. Straight eye liner, smooth blends, and just a touch of magic: creating something that enhances one’s aesthetic while still portraying the client’s vision of a piece. I would definitely like to do more directly makeup-inspired pieces.

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Advice for a first timer? When it comes to being a first time client, always do your research when seeking an artist. There are so many tattooers out there, along with the amount of different styles, so choose wisely for the idea that you’ve decided upon. Also, don’t rage the night before, eat a solid meal beforehand, trust the artist, and ya’know, just be cool.

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Shaded: Rich Wells

‘Shaded’ is an on-going interview series created by 22-year-old Bournemouth-hailing music journalism student, writer and editor James Musker, which focuses on tattooists, the interesting people that wear their work and both the artist and canvas’s relationship to the craft.

Rich Wells is a 29-year-old tattoo artist, clothing designer and co-owner of Dock Street Tattoos, who is currently living and working in Leeds. As part of Things & Ink’s ongoing interview series ‘Shaded’, the documentary enthusiast sheds light on his love of C-list celebrities, his relationship with simplicity and how he sees his Louis Theroux inspired clothing range, Jiggle Apparel, evolving.

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What is Jiggle ApparelJiggle Apparel is a Louis Theroux influenced clothing range that’s mainly centred around his infamous rap episode. I design the t-shirts and my friend John, who runs the operation with me, screen prints them and looks after all the online stuff. It’s a Louis Theroux obsession that’s gone a bit too far.

Can you speak about your relationship with Louis Theroux? I’m an old-school Louis Theroux fan. His ‘Weird Weekends’ series is definitely my favourite thing that he’s done. I’ve watched them hundreds of times and they never get old! It’s the only reason I have Netflix.

What influenced you to design and print the first t-shirt that eventually led Jiggle Jiggle Apparel to come together? The first Jiggle Apparel design was originally drawn up as a tattoo design for a flash sheet. I hadn’t thought about putting it on a t-shirt until I uploaded the design to my Instagram account. It got way more attention than I thought it would, so for a bit if fun I decided to print it. People were really into it and Jiggle Apparel was born!

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What do you do when you’re not thinking about Louis Theroux? A good 80% percent of my day is spent thinking about Louis. You know, working out how I could meet him, or maybe just brush past him at a UFO convention or a swingers party. The other 20% I spend tattooing at Dock Street Tattoos Leeds. I co-own the place.

What inspires you artistically? I’m really into documentaries and I draw a lot of inspiration from the strange side of human nature: cults, conspiracies – all that type of stuff. I also like to design things around words, like, quotes or songs. I find it’s a really good foundation for a solid idea.

What do you admire in other people’s work? Simplicity is one of the things I admire in other people’s work. I can appreciate tattoos with incredible detail, but I personally get more out of simplistic, bold, powerful designs. The ability to create something effective using only simple techniques really appeals to me.

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Can you tell me about your own tattoos? I have a photo-realistic black and grey portrait of Ross Kemp on the back of my calf. I got it done as a bit of a joke really. Rather than getting an A-list celebrity tattooed on body, I thought I’d go a little more C list with Kemp, as I was watching a lot of ‘Ross Kemp on Gangs’ at the time. I ended up going to one of his book signings that he held at ASDA a few months after having it done. I told him I had a little something to show him, pulled down my jeans and presented him with the portrait. He was totally freaked out by it. I think he thought I was going to stick a potato sack over his head and stick him in the boot of my Corsa. I haven’t seen him since.

What attracted you to tattoos in the first place? No one in my family really has any. The influence came from seeing the bands I was into at the time with them. I thought they were really cool! My first tattoo was done in a street shop that was next to my old school. I got the tiny sunflower that’s on that girl’s t-shirt on the cover of Green Day’s album Kerplunk. It’s really small, but I thought it was the best thing ever at the time.

Most tattoo artists have no space left on their body for additional work, but do you have any plans for more tattoos in the future? Yeah, I still have some space to get some more work. I’m not totally covered yet. I’d like to get some more single-hit traditional pieces. I guess a Louis Theroux tattoo is on the cards as well.

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Since you have now found yourself bridging clothing and tattoo art with Jiggle Apparel, can you speak about the relationship between the world of fashion and the world of body modification? I really like the crossover! The high end world of fashion collaborates with tattoo artists all the time. I think company’s like RSI Apparel who commission tattoo artists and illustrators to work on designs for them offer artists a whole new platform for their work to be seen which is really great. However, I could definitely live without Ed Hardy’s diamond studded jeans…

How do you see Jiggle Jiggle Apparel evolving? We’re looking at getting some more merchandise; hats, hoodies, patches. Maybe our own brand of red, red wine would be nice! The ultimate goal though would be for Louis to actually see what we do, stick one of our t-shirts on and possibly take us out to dinner. If he could be there when we open our first store that would also be pretty great.

Interview with Olivia Olivier

24-year-old Olivia Olivier works out of Everlasting Tattoo in San Francisco, California and creates wonderfully traditional tattoos. We chatted to Olivia about her inspirational mother and what drew her to the tattoo world…

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How long have you been tattooing? Four and a half years now.

How did you start? What did you do before? My mom’s boyfriend owns a shop that I started working at doing miscellaneous jobs and counter work at 15, then started full time at 17. And at 18 started my apprenticeship. I haven’t had any other job!

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Do you have a background in art? I have always had drawing going on around me, my mom is a phenomenal artist. She encouraged me to draw ever since I can remember. I have learned a lot from her, especially about figure drawing. She teaches at San Francisco’s City College and I have taken her class along with others multiple times.

What drew you to the tattoo world? Definitely the idea of being able to make art for a living, somewhat on your own terms. I love being able to make people happy by tattooing them. Also the ability to travel, and essentially work anywhere in the world.

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Describe your style, has it changed? I would say I pretty much stick to traditional tattooing, bold lines are very important. Although I do use fine lines as well, and a wider range of colour, it’s too much fun to stay away from. I don’t think I’ve been tattooing long enough to have changed styles, I’m still learning what works for me and developing one.

What do you like to tattoo and draw? I love to tattoo women, whether it be full body pin up or just a bust. Happy, sad, sassy or lusty! Also flowers, plants, animals, insects, creatures in general. Fancy things like jewellery, religious imagery. Anything organic or decorative.

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What inspires you? Like I mentioned before, figure drawing has been a big inspiration. I like going to the library and look at art books, from Greece’s marble sculptures to renaissance paintings, baroque jewellery and decoration, up to modern pop art. I also take a lot of inspiration from my surroundings, growing up in San Francisco being around really creative and unique people.

What would you love to tattoo? And what would you refuse to do? I would love to tattoo lady faces on a larger scale, and more black and grey. Things I usually decline are tattoos with no outline, watercolour style tattoos, and tattoos on the finger because I think they generally age poorly. And definitely no hate symbols.

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Do you have any guest spot or conventions planned? Currently, I only have one guest spot set, at Icon Tattoo in Portland, OR. August 11th-13th. I hope to be travelling more often, and will post dates on Instagram. I have worked the Star of Texas convention in Austin the past three years, and Salt Lake City the past two and will hopefully be back to both this coming year.

Can you tell us about your own tattoos? My legs are where I stared, one shot, just for fun stuff. Arms are a bit more planned, I stick to black and grey and still have real estate open that I am saving for certain things. I also kept the black and grey theme on my chest and stomach.

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Learning to Love my Body and my Stoma Bag

27-year-old Caz Caines, from Newbury, Berkshire is a make-up lover and compliance administrator. We chatted to Caz who is sharing her story about her stoma bag as a way of celebrating her body, spreading self love and helping others… 

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How did you feel when you first had the bag fitted? Can you tell us about why and how you came to have it? I have had my stoma [a pouch placed over the stomach to collect waste products that usually pass through the colon] for six years now. I was really poorly and admitted to hospital with a very swollen stomach, turns out my large intestine was so stretched and my organs were shutting down. When the surgeons opened me up my large intestine split. They had to operate and create a stoma, which I named Krang. I was so scared and upset but relieved. I woke up from surgery with the bag, totally unexpected and a big shock. After I got over the initial shock, I felt relieved because I knew that I’d feel better in myself, this could give me a new lease of life.

IMG_0705Did you always feel so confident? Nope, definitely not! I found that when I had surgery my body changed so much – I lost four stone while in hospital as I wasn’t allowed to eat for 10 days. I really started looking at it differently as I now had this ridiculously big scar with added poo bag on my stomach, not something you see everyday. So I felt a bit self conscious at first, that didn’t last long though. I started blogging soon after, speaking to other young people with stomas and really trying to encourage others to see themselves as the attractive, positive person they are or soon could be.

What advice would you give to others who struggle to feel good about themselves? You just gotta think this is the only life you’re gonna have so appreciate yourself and focus on the things you like. I love make-up and creating different looks with that, it really does make me feel better about myself. Get your nails done, put on your favourite music. Surround yourself with wonderful, hilarious people. My friends helped me out so much when I was poorly, they’re absolutely brilliant people. You always need that friend who will tell you to stop wallowing, I like people who are forward, you need people like that in your life.

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How do you try to celebrate your body? Is Instagram a way for you to do this? I just try and appreciate it the best I can, I’m not one to deny myself a pizza every week. Instagram can be a way, my recent bag picture did get a lot of positive comments and attention which is great, social media is crazy! I have spoken to more people who had bags, there is a big network of Ostomates on Instagram, more people are showing their bags off. I definitely have my down days and hangs up like everyone, I try not to let it get to me, I just need to remind myself that my bag saved my life so I should be bigging it up.

Why do you think sharing your story and spreading body positivity is important? Because there are so many people out there who probably feel a little lost after surgery, you really don’t feel 100% so I just want to show people, it’s cool, you’ll get back to feeling good again! You just gotta embrace what you have, even those without bags! You have one body, don’t listen to the magazines, you don’t have to be a certain way. I don’t want people who have bags to feel like they’re ugly, nor the people who don’t have them to think we are. I get messages from so many young people saying I’ve helped them feel more confident, it’s just so great, it’s nice knowing you’ve helped someone just by saying what you truly feel.

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How have tattoos helped? I had tattoos before surgery, I’ve always loved them. I do have a piece which I got last year by Jody Dawber – it is a lady with two sets of eyes, as if to say ‘don’t see yourself through other people’s eyes’. I wanted to get something that tied in with my message of body confidence and my bag as well as looking fabulous.
When I get a new tattoo it’s exciting, I get such a rush from seeing it go from paper to skin – I can’t stop looking at it once it’s been done and definitely can’t wait to show everyone this fantastic piece of art.

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What tattoo plans do you have? The plan has always been heavy coverage, I love the look. I was a stupid 18 year old and started on a sleeve which I now can’t stand and I’m working on blacking out. I want to get more work by Jody, she is definitely one of my favourite artists as her style is so cute and distinctive, it also helps that she’s so easy to talk to and would put anyone at ease. I would also love another Danielle Rose piece, her work is so stunning, it takes your breath away. I follow a few artists on IG, it is one of the easiest places to find new tattooers, so I have my eye on a few people currently – Craven Tattooer, Max Rathbone and Aimee Lou are a few I’m loving at the moment.

Interview with Katie Shocrylas

31-year-old tattoo artist Katie Shocrylas tattoos out of a private studio in Vancouver, BC, Canada and creates mesmerising and bright tattoos inspired by the beauty of nature. We chatted to Katie to find out more about her distinctive style and what drew her to the tattoo world…

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Photo taken by rolydee.com

How long have you been tattooing? I have been tattooing full-time for about four years.

How did you start? What did you do before? I became fascinated with tattooing about a year after finishing art school, while I was travelling and started getting tattooed myself. After my apprenticeship I ended up going back to school for art therapy; I took a bit of a roundabout route but ultimately found my way back to tattooing and haven’t stopped since. Now, I couldn’t imagine doing anything else.

I did a lot of different things before I got into tattooing: I spent four years completing a Bachelor of Fine Art degree, a year travelling in New Zealand, and in the time between then and the beginning of my tattoo career had a variety of different jobs in the service industry. My apologies to anyone who got me as a server, I was always terrible at waiting tables and serving drinks!

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Do you have a background in art? I have always drawn and painted, and have an undergraduate degree in visual art specialising in mixed media figure drawing and painting. I also danced semi- professionally until I was 18.

What drew you to the tattoo world? I have always loved the fact that tattooing allows you to make one-on-one connections with other people through images. I think it’s a really unique way to make even just a small difference in someone else’s life, and being able to learn a little bit about their experiences by creating a piece of really personal artwork for them. I am drawn to the directness of drawing directly onto someone’s body; tattoos are aesthetic and I love that they’re a way for people to adorn their skin with images they find beautiful and/or significant – I see tattoos as a movement towards self love and often acceptance and healing. Also, it’s really, really fun and super rewarding to be able to make art for people every day!

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How would you describe your style, how has it changed? I always have a hard time describing my style but I suppose I would say I do illustrative, vibrant, somewhat neo-traditional and mostly animal-based tattoos. Over the past few years, I feel my work has become a little freer and more whimsical – my line work has definitely evolved to have a bit more of a sense of naturalism to it. Also, I find myself working with bright colour schemes in a way that combines black and neutral tones to contrast the hyper-vibrant rainbow palettes I love so much. I think my sense of colour is becoming more refined and I’m really enjoying the depth that results from that.

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What do you like to tattoo and draw? Animals! Crystals! Anything that grows in nature. I love doing pet portraits, anything magical or whimsical, food tattoos are really fun (fruits and veggies and anything sweet), patterns, ornamentation, anything that combines the real world with an imagined world.

What inspires you? I am inspired by nature, pop culture (especially anything from the 80s), travel, and lots of other artists (tattoo and otherwise, both past and contemporary).

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What would you love to tattoo? I really want to do more pop culture tattoos – think X Files, drag queens, iconic musicians, 80s inspired imagery. I’d also love to do more insects, snakes, and exotic as well as mythological animals. I really want to tattoo a zebra, if anyone’s keen!

Do you have any guest spot or conventions planned? I’ll be part of Art Basel again this December with my lovely sponsors Hush Anesthetics! Otherwise I am going to be primarily in Vancouver for the remainder of 2016 as I’ve been on the road a lot this past year and am looking forward to a few months at home. However, I am in the beginning stages of planning some North American and UK guest spots for 2017. I am also planning on heading back to Brighton for the convention in 2017, I was part of the convention this year and had a blast.

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Can you tell us about your own tattoos? Half of the tattoos on my arms are cover ups, and my favourite tattoos rarely see the light of day – I’ve got a little collection of animals on my legs (a horse, toucan, squirrel, puppy, kittens – still lots of space on my one leg to fill with more creatures!) Steve Moore is doing a full backpiece for me, we’re two sessions in, I’m pretty excited about that as his work has inspired me since before I even started tattooing.

Tattooist Paul Hill on Sailor Jerry’s Ride

Motorbike collector, tattoo artist and owner of Vagabond Tattoo Studio Paul Hill recently joined the team at iconic American brand, Sailor Jerry for The Ride 2016, which pulled together the UK’s most legendary motorcyclists into three  motorcycling teams –Kingdom of Kicks, The Originals and FTH – for an epic ride around the UK. We wanted to find out more about Paul’s love for motorbikes and tattoos…

Watch The Ride videos on Sailor Jerry’s YouTube channel

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Do you think motorbikes and tattoos go hand in hand?
Historically certain aspects of bike culture and tattooing have been intertwined. As cliche as it sounds I think that still exists. The kind of person that is into customising bikes is likely to be into customising other things, including their body. Bike styles of the 60s and 70s bring with them an interest in the aesthetics of that era and those bold traditional tattoos are a big part of that.

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What made you first fall in love with motorbikes? And also with tattoos?
I’ve always been into customising and putting my own stamp on things, bikes are a good way to channel that energy and tattooing is the ultimate expression of that.

What was your involvement in The Ride? What was it like?
I’ve met a lot of new people and created friendships through tattooing and even more through motorcycling, often both. The community surrounding motorcycles is constantly growing, a lot of the friends I’ve met are in a similar position to me. Young(ish) person usually within the creative industry all supporting each other. For me it has a community feel that allows us all to work and creatively do exactly what we want. My friend James (team Kingdom of Kicks) is one of these people. We met through the bike scene and I tattoo a mutual friend. He got in touch saying Sailor Jerry were planning a ride this year and offered me spot – a bunch of us riding around the UK camping and partying courtesy of Sailor Jerry, hard to turn down!

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What was your favourite moment from The Ride?
SCphoto_KoK_riding_shots_final_edit-20The ride itself was awesome, there are so many beautiful roads right on our doorstep bikes being the best way to take advantage of them. Riding through North Wales and the Brecon Beacons is hard to beat. My favourite moment by far was making a BBQ using a piece of slate over a bonfire. We had just finished a great day’s riding through some of the best roads we’d ever ridden and all sat around the fire until the early hours eating and drinking. Moshing in a hay bale bunker to Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes was up there too!

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What do you like to mix your Sailor Jerry with?
I mix my Sailor Jerry with Ginger beer.

We asked Sailor Jerry to sum up The Ride in a sentence: This summer Sailor Jerry hit the road once again for round two of The Ride, this year three bad-ass, bike building teams from across the UK were tasked with a series of epic challenges and compete against each other on a hell raising journey of balls-to-wall riding.

Paul was in team Kingdom of Kicks, but unfortunately it was The Originals who took the crown. Better luck next year, Paul. Sounds like he had a great time anyway. Check out Sailor Jerry’s Ride competition on their website.