Category: Feature tattoos

Lady Tattooers

With the recent launch of Lady Tattooers, a website dedicated to showcasing some incredible work from female tattooers around the world, we spoke with one of the website’s curators Betty Rose to find out all about the site, how tattooists can get involved and of course her own tattoo career.

My name is Betty Rose and I’m a Brooklyn-based tattoo artist and painter at Eight of Swords Tattoo in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. My career began with an apprenticeship in 2004 and after eight years of working at a studio in Manhattan, I left NYC to travel for a year. Returning in 2013, I took up residency at Eight of Swords Tattoo.

I enjoy travelling for work, but after doing it for a year I decided to take a break from anything too far out of the way.  My next foray will be the Westchester Tattoo Convention in October.


What inspired you to become a tattooist? What draws you to tattoos?

What originally inspired me to create tattoos was my years as a punk rock kid. When I was growing up I bounced around schools and had trouble making friends. The first group that I felt at home with were these punk-rock/skater kids I met in Junior High, who helped me to see how tattoos were both a way of expressing myself and taking the things I cared about with me everywhere I went. A few years later, I got my first sleeve and I started to realize that I wanted to be the girl holding the machine, not just the girl getting tattooed.

What was your first tattoo?

The first tattoo I got was a small fairy on my forearm based off a pair of earrings my mother had from the 60s.
What is the Lady Tattooers website and what does it hope to do?
When did you launch the website and Instagram?

Lady Tattooers is an inspirational art platform focused on promoting the top female tattoo artists. We maintain a list of tattooers curated by myself and a few friends. There are so many talented artists around the world and we plan to make people aware of who they are and how to find them. Our goal is to become the online resource for female tattoo art.

Lady Tattooers IG began in 2012, after my husband (Matty) made clear how little he knew about female tattoo artists. I’d always wanted to help spread the passion that started my career in tattooing, so Matty’s bewilderment opened my eyes to a unique opportunity to both do something I loved and give back to the community of female artists that helped pave the way. The website has been an idea we’ve been working on for a while now, but was only officially launched a few weeks ago.

How can tattooists get their work onto the website/Instagram? Can they contact you for an interview?

Typically, I find them while I’m browsing social media or I’ll get introduced to them through someone I’ve featured. Then I’ll take a look at their work, and if I’m excited by it I’ll make a post about them. As far as being contacted for interviews…I happily accept referrals from artists who are already featured, but I’m not comfortable being solicited. The reason for that is because it’s sort of against the spirit of what Lady Tattooers is about. An example would be that I’m comfortable promoting/selling the art of women I post, but I wouldn’t feel the same way if someone paid me to post their work. At the end of the day this is something I do because I truly believe these women are great artists, and I wouldn’t want to continue if it stopped being about that.

How do you decide which women to showcase? What do you hope the future will hold for Lady Tattooer?

The decision on who to showcase is based on a few different factors like talent, experience, etc. No one factor determines the decision; ultimately the decision comes down to what I think. On rare occasions I’ll put a Lady Tattooer to the front of the line because they inspire me on some level, or because I’ve been a fan of their work for a long time.

The future is such a tricky question…we only launched a few weeks ago and our original plan was going to have slow growth over time, but then we found out that people liked what we made. Since then we’ve re-evaluated our plans because of some amazing offers we’ve been getting. In short we don’t know if we’ll be doing anything different or if we’ll be releasing anything new, what you can count on is that we’ll definitely continue to publish posts on amazing Lady Tattooers every week.

The World on my Shoulders Tattoo

Bill Passman quit his job as a lawyer, sold all his possessions and got his first passport all at the age of 51. Having travelled to over 70 countries and all 7 continents he decided to document his journey with a tattoo.

I realized that if I was going to do that it would have to be a tattoo of the entire World including the specific countries. I also knew that I would like to color in each of the countries that I had travelled to.

Bill Passman


Read about his continuing adventures on his blog

Little Swastika

Tattoo artist Little Swastika who tattoos from a private studio in Germany (you can only contact him via email), created the word ‘Love’ over four people’s backs.

He painted the design by hand onto the four backs before beginning the long process of tattooing. Little Swastika frequently tattoos large back pieces, with designs flowing down both arms and legs, to him the whole body is a canvas.



Somewhere in middle of Italy in a private living room. 4 people and a total of around 32 hours of tattooing over 4 days on two working spaces. This was in a way killing me, but in another way showing me what is possible. When I started a few years ago with my first double piece I was just dreaming of making a tattoo in a size like this. Without many compromises at all.  Many thanks to all you 4 and to all other pieces who made me walk, more than once, over the borders of dreams and reality…..

Little Swastika

He has created tattoos over two people before but the love project is his biggest piece to date.

 Creating art is my key to escape from our life in our reality. Tattooing for me is a piece of freedom.

Little Swastika


Images and quotes from Little Swastika’s Facebook

Skullduggery Tatu

Skullduggery Tatu is a custom tattoo studio based in Belfast. Both artists take inspiration from American Traditional tattoos, folk art and illustration. The results are powerful bold lines with a beautifully balanced colour palette; really strong and traditional.


After extensive travel, Helen McDonnell opened the studio in 2000, with tattoo artist Jenna McAleese joining her in 2011. The shop not only houses two female artists but also lends itself to travelling guest artists. You can also get tattooed by Helen and Jenna at various tattoo conventions.

To see all their recent work follow the artists  and shop on Instagram

@skullduggery_tatu    @helenskullduggery and  @jennamcaleese

The shop acts as a gallery space showcasing the work of not only local artists but international ones too. Previous exhibitions have displayed beautiful embroidery pieces and large-scale wall paintings. Also live performances take place within the intimate tattoo space.


Comedic Tattoos

Would you get a tattoo just for comedy value? Is your desired outcome roaring laughter or do you wish your tattoos to be art.

Colin Bonsall had the slogan tattooed across his stomach with the sole aim of making his granddaughter Bethany giggle.

We watch them together and Bethany thinks they’re hilarious.   

Colin Bonsall, owner of the comparethemeerkat tattoo

Maybe I’m a mug but I find it funny. I’ll see how well this one goes down first though before I get another one.

 Colin Bonsall, tattooed Granddad 

I myself have a few comical tattoos, ones which signify my sense of humour as well as inside jokes but is having a more annoying than funny television advert a step too far?

My boyfriend and I got matching watermelon tattoos as a joke and a way to mark our five year anniversary. The tattoo makes our friends laugh and it also brings a smile to my face when I remember the story behind it.

Do you have the beholders of your tattoos in mind when you get inked or are your motives more selfish? Ultimately the question lies in what motivates you to get tattooed? How do you choose the subject of your tattoo?

Tattoos are another way for people to attempt to read someone’s personality. Should your sense of humour be on display without you opening your mouth and laughing


Images and quotes from
Watermelon tattoo by Sophie Adamson, The Projects, Plymouth.

DIY Tattoo Parlour

No Class in Colorado is a DIY tattoo parlour run by skater Jesse Brocato. That’s right you tattoo yourself, in his living room. Every tattoo is free and its a unwritten rule that you have to be wasted.

The idea behind No Class is, why would you want a fancy tattoo when you could have a shitty ghetto tattoo?

Peter Garritano visited No Class, see his interview with Jesse and photos at

Would you tattoo yourself in some dude’s living room? Are they just a bunch of scratchers or do you like home made tattoos?



Welcome to The Wildness – Incandescent Artistry

Interview with Stefania Crasta, owner of The Wildness Jewellery.

StefaniaHow did you get into jewellery making?
I have been into jewellery all my life, when I was a child I loved to adorn myself and make jewellery out of leaves and flowers. From childhood to teen and adult age, I believe that jewellery has always been present in different forms and shapes – decorating myself and my feelings. Like all the early passions in life, it developed into a way of being, into a research of the different techniques in the making and design process.

What inspires you?
The main inspiration for my designs is nature in its wildest principle.
Only nature contains perfect shapes, shades, scents and colours, emotions and sensations. It’s life and death, it’s unchangeable, but in some ways changing, it’s stable but alterable – an eternal contradiction. My love for poetry, philosophy and art transcends into each pattern of design and it reflects the sinister rebelliousness of my emotions.

Part of The Wildness Collection Part of The Wildness Collection


What draws you to jewellery?
Jewellery has marked a fundamental part in the history of designing in different eras and cultures. I believe that jewellery is an extension of beauty and the expression of its power.

Part of The Wildness Collection Part of The Wildness Collection


What is your favourite piece that you have created?
My favourite piece that I have created is the skull and butterfly ring part of ‘Les Fleurs du Mal’ jewellery collection inspired by Baudelaire’s poetry. It’s a skull ring blinded by a butterfly, it’s love and death… Another of my favourite pieces is also the Dante Alighieri ring – the author/genius behind the journey to hell (Divine Comedy).

Skull and butterfly ring Skull and butterfly ring


Dante Alighieri ring Dante Alighieri ring


Is your work inspired by tattoos?
My work is definitely inspired by art, and different combinations of art such as tattoos. I think that jewellery and tattoos follow a parallel meaning of expression in body adornment. It’s a very similar statement in my opinion. I love ornamental patterns, that are also used on tattoos and sometimes I incorporate them into my designs.

Stefania’s tattoos


Can you tell me about the tattoos on your body?
My back is fully tattooed with paisley, flowers and geometric ornaments. This back piece was done by Matt Black at Divine Canvas. My sides are a work in progress by Silvia Zed from Shall Adore, it’s a beautiful Victorian filigree pattern. I also have two symmetric tribal tattoos done a long time ago by Silvia Zed on my upper arm, old Love and Freedom scripts on my wrists and lines/rings around my ring fingers. My aim is to have most of the back of my body tattooed…

Stefania's back by Matt Black Stefania’s back by Matt Black


Who are your favourite tattoo artists?
I’m totally in love with Victorian filigree, (designs and shades) of ornaments done by Silvia Zed and also her black and grey roses designs, she is definitely one of my favourite tattooists and also a dear friend of mine. I also love the geometric work of Xed LeHead and the amazing fine work of Philip Milic.

By Silvia Zed By Silvia Zed


Part of Stefania's collection Part of Stefania’s collection


Do you think there is a relationship between tattoos and fashion?
Tattoos have became more and more common. I believe that, in our days, tattoos are one of the most popular forms of self expression and definitely related to the fashion world. The aim of fashion, in my opinion, has always been to create a form of statement and that’s exactly what tattoos are about. I think there has always been a strong link between art and fashion that in the modern society has finally extended into the world of tattoos and body modification.

What’s next for The Wildness?
I believe that the steady path between imagination and creation of The Wildness will evolve into many more creations. I’m also working on different collaborations with fashion designers. The ‘Next’ for the Wildness is to keep and progress with the wild pattern of designing and to adorn the best corners of the world with handmade creations…

Check Stefania’s full collection on The Wildness website,


Guinness World Record Tattoo

Lee Weir has forty-one tattoos of Homer Simpson in different positions, ages and expressions. His sleeve has set a new Guinness World Record and the twenty-seven year old from New Zealand has been awarded the record for the most tattoos of the same cartoon character tattooed on a single body.

Which cartoon character would you choose?

Image from Guinness World Records’ Twitter 

Disney Princesses like you’ve never seen them before…

Canadian artist Sakimi Chan has given the classic Disney princesses a gender make-over turning the traditional feminine ladies into new masculine characters. Albeit it very beautiful, chiselled, hairless men.

Our favourite being the complete gender role reversal, with a masculine Belle and feminine Beast.

Images from Sakimi Chan’s Facebook