Category: Features

Judi Dench gets inked, at 81

Once, as a joke, Judi Dench had a fake tattoo of Harvey Weinstein’s name applied to her bum. Dench unveiled the faux ink at the Four Seasons over lunch with Weinstein and Charlie Rose. But now, at the age of 81, Dench has gone ahead and got a tattoo for real.


She got the words “carpe diem” inscribed on her wrist as a gift from her daughter, Finty Williams. In an interview with Surrey Life, Dench explained the ink: “That’s my motto: seize the day. Finty gave it to me for my 81st birthday — she’s wonderful with surprises.”

Dench had previously told Good Housekeeping that she was toying with the idea of getting an actual tattoo, but had one hesitation.


“There’s an Indian symbol that I like which supposedly represents life and love and everything,” Dench said, explaining what she would have inked onto her arm. “One of the cameramen who worked on The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel told me what it meant, but I’m a bit nervous in case I’m being set up. It might be unbelievably rude.”

Dench has been working her way up to the tattoo, between the Weinstein prank and a bejewelled design that she wore to the 2012 premiere of Skyfall. Having played the beloved character “M” since 1995, Dench pledged her allegiance to James Bond by arriving on the red carpet with jewels spelling out “007” on her neck.

_90167894_judidench_pa The tattoo can be seen on Dame Judi’s wrist as she greeted the Earl of Wessex at the Prince’s Trust gala at Stoke House in Buckinghamshire

Interview with Lucrezia

Our Italian contributor Ilaria Pauletti chatted to tattooist Lucrezia about her beautiful tattoos and recognisable style… 

Lucrezia is a Sardinian girl with a colourful heart and sea waves in her hair. Her Sarditional style is getting more and more renowned and here she explains the perfect mix for a tattoo made with love. Among coricheddos (little heart shaped sweets), delicate feminine figures and amulets, she is bewitching the web! You can find her in Milan, at Toy Tattoo Parlour.

You are a complete artist- a graphic designer, illustrator and tattoo artist! Can you tell us a little bit about your artistic career? It was a quite natural process, you know, I grew up with colors in my hands and I used to leave my marks on every surface. My path as an illustrator and tattoo artist were parallel to each other, they reflected a way more rebellious and emotional side of my studies in architecture and graphic design. My degree surely gave me the basics useful to search the composition and balance in each drawing I make.

What is your first memory connected to tattoos? My first memory is a feeling, I see the tattoo as a very important gesture that helps to fix an emotion and one that is on your skin for you to wear forever. As a tattoo artist,I find that the tattoo is a rite, that binds deeply the tattooer and tattooed during the creation of the piece.

The transformation of a story into a picture and the subsequent transposition of the skin, the pain, the amount of tension and excitement, and an indelible bond that is created with all my clients. These are the things I love the most about this work and I’d never imagined they could become so essential and vital for me.


How would you define your Sardinian style? Is it a declaration of love for your homeland and the coricheddos (typical Sardinian sweets mostly made of almond and honey)? The sarditional was originally born as a hashtag game on Instagram. Initially, before I started tattooing, I filled my illustrations with little women tattooed with Sardinian buttons and motifs derived from the Sardinian tradition. Beginning my career as tattoo artist, they became my main subjects, executed using the technique of traditional style. The designs were simplified, with thick lines and black shadows, from there I put that Sar-ditional touch. Now it has become a real characteristic of my style, which is to bring to the world the Sardinian tradition, from ‘pavoncelle’, kokkoi, to buttons and coricheddos. And all those jewels that the Sardinian tradition considers to be protective amulets and charms. That’s how the design of a sarditional becomes a real ritual to put on the skin: for Sardinians and beyond!


What are your daily inspirations, both personally and professionally speaking? Every day, the inspirations are the most varied, most of the time I get influenced by my moods, from the weather and especially by music. This last is crucial because it helps me to channel myself in mental states that may not belong to me and, for example, when I prepare a drawing for a client I can get closer and better identify himself using music.

From Alghero to Milan: how are you living this experience and what are your expectations? Milan is basically adopting and taking very good care of me, I am very good and I also managed to do a lot of experience, getting to know many people and growing especially from the professional point of view. Alghero will forever remain the seat of my roots and going home to do some guest spots is a must for my creativity. Sardinia is a land that offers so much inspiration, and especially its silence and its mystery stimulate creativity in me.


Corals, beads, women faces filled with love. What are the subjects you prefer to tattoo? My favourite subjects are without doubt the little women, I find them super expressive and I am able to communicate anything through their eyes and hands.
I try to draw every little woman to resemble as closely as possible the client who will wear them forever.  In fact, I generally choose the colours together with the client, also to see what kind of colours and feelings that person sends me, and most of the time I guess right!

Who have you been tattooed by and who is on your wishlist? I have two beautiful surreal pieces made by the great Gabri Pais. Others by my boss Amanda Toy, who has spoiled my skin with bright colours. A piece signed with perfect lines by Paul Colli. A wonderful little woman by Viola Ceina. Another woman who remembers the old pieces of George Burchett, masterfully executed by Marco Sergiampietri. And a super old school tattoo by Alessio Errante.
In my wishlist you will find; Chiara Pina, Nicholas Rinaldi, Giampiero Cavaliere, Carlotta Cawa, Luca Font and internationally Bouits, Danielle Rose, Kirk Jones, Emily Rose and many others!

rosette, leccetattofest

Do you have any side projects you would like to tell us about?
I carry on various projects and collaborations, where I leave my mark with my illustrations. I have a newborn project this year, where my illustrations are combined with stories of “Appunti sparsi di una trentenne a Milano”; I often work approaching the magnificent letters of Gabriele Cecere. I always carry forward my graffiti under the name of La*tete, it was all born one evening, many moons ago, out of curiosity and in Milan, thanks to my good friend Nacho. When I have some time left, I also collaborate with the great artist and friend La fille Bertha.

Do you have any future guest spots and conventions planned?
My future guest spot will be in August for Cagliari Tattoo Convention. And then I will be in Rome and Florence within the year. The next dates and locations will be surely posted on my Instagram!

Izabella Dawid Wolf and her creepy etchings

Tattoo artist Izabella Dawid Wolf, who hails from Poland, was over in London recently guesting at the-soon-to-be-closed Into You.  We caught up with her to find out about where she draws inspiration for her creepy yet cute tattoos and her love for sludge metal and all things dark…


How long have you been tattooing and what made you want to become a tattoo artist?
I’ve been tattooing for two years and beforehand I was apprenticing for two years. It’s a funny story that made me want to become an artist… about eight, years ago when I was living in London, a friend of mine, who actually doesn’t have any tattoos, wanted to get a tattoo. I had this design I used to carry round me and I really wanted to get it done by someone and she introduced me to this guy, Liam Sparkes at a party… he probably doesn’t even realise how important he is to me! So we went outside and I was asking stupid questions like, “what do you do?” then I showed him my tarot card etching and I told him I didn’t know who could do it, and he was like, “I will do it!” My mind was blown that this etching could be turned into a tattoo! So then I got my first machine… a shitty Chinese machine and I used to tattoo fruit in my bedroom. My flatmate thought I was constantly masturbating with a vibrator!


Where do you draw your influences from?
Music! Lyrics and the atmosphere of the music. The only word that puts it together is dark. The music I like is anything from sludge metal to weird dark techno, so I think I have an eclectic taste. But sometimes I listen to the lyrics and hear a beautiful sentence which inspires me. I love everything though, especially photographer and film makers like Helmut Newton and Gregg Araki. I have so many mood boards in my house and someone once said to me: “you are the effort of everyone you know”.  I still have my portfolio from university and I was looking through it recently and I still have the same themes in my work that I am interpreting now in tattoos. But its always been the same freaks and some sexy ladies.


If you could tattoo anyone dead or alive who it would be and why?
There would be so many people I would love to tattoo! I think it would have to be John Balance from Coil. I’d love to do something weird because I love the music so much.  It’s so important and inspiring for me. I actually don’t know what I’d like to do on him… maybe something simple and symbolic. I’d probably die from a heart attack from having this opportunity. Maybe something fetish-y… a mask or a gag or something creepy!



If you had to have a different career, what would you do?
I would be a vet… I love animals, anything to do with animals.



What would you love to tattoo that you haven’t done yet?
There are a few designs I would still like to tattoo that I haven’t yet… some more creepy girls and animals, which is something to do with wanting to be a vet maybe! More big pieces and I’m starting to learn more about composition on the body, so maybe a full leg or chest piece. I’m always open to ideas as long as someone gets my style.


Is there anything that you would never tattoo?
More a certain style I wouldn’t tattoo and it’s not about being an arrogant dickhead, it’s just I would rather recommend someone to go to someone who specialises in a certain style. I would never do a realistic portrait of a baby, for example! It’s so scary, and then you grow and the skin changes!


How do you see your style adapting in the future?
Its so hard to call what I draw a style, the only aim is to never stop. I’m still learning every day. Each day is a challenge with a person’s different skin or a different part of the body. I want to get better and more conscious about getting better. I still feel too immature to say what my style is! It’s so hard to say and define. I think the most important thing is to  never to sit down and feel satisfied. You can never say that one artwork is finished.



More of Izabella’s work can be seen via her Instagram and blog













Theatre Review: American Idiot

Check out what happened when we sent our guest music blogger Verity Vincent to watch American Idiot the musical at Northcott Theatre in Exeter…

I took a seat at Exeter’s Northcott Theatre, and the set was truly intriguing consisting of a large fuzzy TV screen hung above the stage. When the lights dimmed, footage of George W Bush and the aftermath of 9-11 looped before launching into the title track American Idiot.

The musical, created by Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong, Michael Mayer and Racky Plews, follows the story of three dead beat friends. Doing nothing with their days but smoking weed, playing video games and cracking jokes about doing each other’s moms and wanking. Central character Johnny, played by Newton Faulkner, wants to embark on a new adventure, leaving the suburbs for a big city lifestyle. As one friend Will (played by Steve Rushton) has a knocked up girlfriend and the other; Tunny (played by Alexis Gerred) answers Uncle Sam’s call and joins the army, with disastrous consequences. Johnny departs alone and falls into a spiral of drink and drugs, creating some dark and convincing scenes.

Another familiar face in the cast is singer Amelia Lily who starred on The X Factor in 2011 and went on to release her debut album in 2013. Taking on the illusive role of Whastername, we see her emerge in the ‘city’ and after catching the eye of Johnny, they embark on a destructive and drug-induced relationship. It’s at this time we also meet St Jimmy, played by Lucas Rush. The Mohican-haired punk is a boulder of energy throughout the show, serving as a bad influence and heroin buddy to Johnny.

The musical talent displayed goes above and beyond your average twee musical. With two guitarists and a drummer positioned at the top of the set, the music you get is raw, real and emotional. Even if you’re not a die-hard Green Day fan, the music is undeniably epic. A real highlight from the first half was acoustic number ‘Boulevard of Broken Dreams’. Lead by Faulkner, you hear every word he sings in his most beautiful tone. The audience is completely drawn in and silent.

Moving into the second half, we get to experience Amelia Lily’s talents more and more. Her focus never falters and that huge voice is finally released when we hear her sing ’21 Guns’ and ‘Letterbomb’.


The storyline you follow is simple enough, but powerful in its messages and as we see the gang of three friends come back together after experiencing lost love, fatherhood and military stints,
the uplifting closing track ‘Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)’ sees the entire cast pick up their guitars for a company rendition. What you witness is a group of musicians, as well as talented actors and performers and it’s not something you often get from musicals.

You couldn’t praise Newton Faulkner enough for his portrayal. As a complex character it’s a tough role to get right and he totally nailed it. Throwing his voice out song after song, he is the perfect embodiment of what a Johnny should be.

The American Idiot tour concludes at Belfast’s Grand Opera House on July 2nd

Book a ticket. You’ll have the time of your life!

Images from:

7 reasons you should date someone with tattoos

Swiping through Tinder gives you a rough breakdown of some of the stereotypical suitors out there looking for love – you’ve got the urban fishing fans, the lads who think they’ll catch the girls of their dreams by having a car as a profile picture, the lover of pictures with sedated tigers in Thailand and then, just when you’re getting RSS from swiping left, you stumble across the lad who’s had quite the love affair with tattoo needles.

People with ink are hot. That’s not up for debate. Here are all the reasons why you should date boys and girls covered in tattoos.

shutterstock_325469498 (1)

1. They look good naked
You may be able to see a glimpse of their tattoos peeking through their shirt but you’ve got to witness them fully naked to truly appreciate the art inked across their body. Most people will agree that tattooed bodies are far more interesting naked than blank canvases and, if you date someone with tatts, you might be lucky enough to see why this is true.

2. They have good stories
“Oh this silly one? My mate was a bit drunk and had his tattoo needles around so we played noughts and crosses on my leg with it!” Yes, not all tattoos are carefully planned and amongst all the artistic creations and colourful sleeves, you’ll stumble across and a comical one and your date will have a hilarious story attached to it for you to enjoy.

3. They’re artistic
Whether they’ve expressed themselves through images, song lyrics or their own designs, having tattoos indicates having a creative and artistic nature which bodes well for potential romantic gestures and birthday gifts. Win!


4. They’re committed
If someone has signed up to having a vintage pin-up girl plastered across their arm for the rest of their life, they’re not exactly riddled with commitment issues and may not go running after one date through to fear of ‘things moving too fast’.

5. They can handle pain
So hopefully you won’t have to hear hours of whining if they ever accidentally stand on a plug.

6. They’re likely to have an interesting job
Even though it’s 2016, many companies have strict rules on tattoos for their employees, so if you’re dating someone who’s inked, it’s quite likely that they will work in a cool industry. Which means your ‘How was your day at work?’ won’t be answered with a painfully boring tale of how Jill in Accounts has ordered the wrong printer paper again or something equally tedious.

7. They’re less judgemental
Having probably spent years of people having preconceived ideas about them purely based on the fact they’re inked, most people with tattoos will be very wary to be judgemental of others based on their appearance.


The girls take a trip to Not Another Salon

Editor-in-chief Alice Snape and Managing Editor Keely Reichardt got treated to a revolution in haircare known as INNOluxe by the fabulously extravagant gang at Not Another Salon in east London.

Based on Brick Lane in London, the aptly named Not Another Salon is owned by Sophia Hilton, whose background is in hair education, teaching in over seven countries and winning prestigious awards such as the L’Oréal Colour Trophy in 2013. (look out for an interview with Sophia on the blog very soon)

The salon is like no other… stepping through the door is like entering into a psychedelic fantasy where people’s hair-colour dreams come true!  The attention to detail is next to none… from the multi-coloured plastic wine glasses and water bottles, to the pick ‘n’ mix sweetie style bowls at the reception desk for you to pick up an assortment of kitsch and kawaii hair accessories.





Alice and Keely were there to experience a new deep-conditioning product, Innoluxe. (You may have heard of Olaplex, which gained vast media attention after Kim Kardashian went from dark to platinum blonde over night.) Innoluxe actually rebonds the hair follicles and saves the structure of our hair when bleaching and colouring by using advanced protein technology. (Read more here)

Keely gives us her experience of using Innoluxe and a little step by step of the treament…
“I have always dyed my hair a very dark brown – almost black – for most of my adult life (my natural hair colour is dark brown) but I always hankered towards being blonde. After a bleaching disaster a few years ago, I have avoided bleach at all costs… until the invention of these re-bonding hair products!

IMG_6185Keely having a head massage with her treatment

“The Innoluxe ‘in salon’ treatment is done in two stages, the first stage is an oil and water combination that is applied all over the hair and then left for about 10 minutes.  The second stage is the actual Innoluxe, which restructures and re-bonds the follicles of the hair and this is then left on for about 20 minutes. For those who have severely damaged hair, the staff at Not Another Salon recommend the ‘in salon’ treatment every two weeks for up to six weeks.

IMG_6189Keely relaxing in the chill out room while the Innoluxe works its magic

“I naturally have very dry hair so having it bleached is probably not the best thing for it, but after my Innouxe treatment my hair feels as if it has never even had a sniff of bleach! The texture and overall appearance is soft, shiny and bouncy (definitely helped by the fabulous blow dry) and it feels as if the Innoluxe has literally brought my hair back to life again.”

IMG_6162Keely’s hair before Innoluxe

IMG_6219Keely’s hair after Innoluxe and a blow dry

Alice enjoyed the treatment too:
“It really is all in the name. Getting a treatment at Not Another Salon is like a girly sleepover on acid (the decor is like Pop Art come to life, a little like the staff too). It felt like Keely and I were in salon owner Sophia’s bedroom, and as we got our treatments, we all chatted away about hair (obvs), relationships and weddings – I recently got engaged so I loved hearing about Sophia’s south London wedding for inspiration!

IMG_6222 The staff at Not Another Salon

“It was stylist Hattie who worked the Innoluxe magic on my recently highlighted hair. I am naturally dark blonde (don’t dare call me mousey brown) and have just come out of a two-year break from the all-over bleach that used to be my go-to look. The bleach break was to allow my hair to grow – I have always dreamed of long, flowing, healthy-looking hair, and bleach never seemed conducive to that. However all that may be about to change…

IMG_6193It’s all in the detail… pink water bottles and wine glasses at Not Another Salon. And editor Alice’s bouncy blow dry

“Innoluxe is a dream invention for those who want colour, particularly bleach, without the damage. My hair felt baby soft after the treatment. So good, in fact, that I may be back to that bleach some day soon. And if I do, I know where I’ll be heading!”


Alice in the colourful waiting room while the Innoluxe treatment takes effect




After, Innoluxe rocks! 

Not Another Salon, 188 Brick Ln, London E1 6SA #antifactory 

Alana Macleod

22-year-old Alana Macleod, who creates beautifully coloured and patterned clothing is currently studying textiles in Bournemouth. We chatted to Alana about the process behind her designs, her tattoos and how, by sharing her own story, she hopes to help others struggling with eating disorders… 

How would you describe your style, both how you dress and what you create? My style is very colour focussed, and is an exploration of variety of textures and shapes. In terms of my dress sense, I like to wear structural, interesting shapes, and with my textiles work I like to create these shapes with a combination of materials and embellishments. I feel as though my work and my style can often be very connected, as for me it is important that both express an element of fun, with the outcome never being too serious. I think fashion should be fun.
What influences your work and who inspires you? It sounds cliché but I really am inspired by things that I see around me, whether that’s an interesting place or a person. I think when you have been around textiles for so long, you automatically take inspiration from things and it’s hard to escape, so my influences can come from anything. I think Instagram is also such an amazing, inspiring platform; we can use it to discover people who interest us and are doing really cool things, and I think it’s so great to have that at our fingertips.


Can you tell us about the process behind your designs? All my outcomes start with mass amounts of drawings and paintings, then there is a lot of cutting, sticking, photocopying, until I start to develop some ideas for prints or surfaces. I use a combination of screen print, digital print, embroidery, and hand embellishment; there isn’t really an order to doing this within my practice, things just kind of develop naturally and I just follow what I feel is working at the time. I always start with a plan when I am designing, but the creative process always changes.

Do you sell any of your designs? I’m currently not selling my work anywhere online, however I’m in the process of starting up an online store! I also take commissions if anybody is interested.


When did you get your first tattoo? What was it and do you still love it? Well technically my first tattoo was a horrific hand poked diamond on my  which I had done at the age of 13! And I absolutely do not love it, neither did my mother at the time, ha. I waited to get my first professional tattoo at the age of 18, which were some bows on the back of my legs. I was going through quite a rockabilly phase at the time; looking back, they are definitely something I would not get now, but they also remind me of a certain time, and that’s why I will always like all of my tattoos regardless of whether my style has changed since.

What inspired you to start getting tattooed? Throughout school I had always experimented with a lot of styles and subcultures, all of which were quite alternative. I always wanted to stand out with my appearance as a teenager, and was always getting in trouble at school for it. I think my love of tattooing definitely developed from my urge to be different. I listened to a lot of punk music from a young age, and I always admired the musicians and the whole aesthetic. I also think that my creativity has had a big part in my interest within tattoos- art class was the only that I engaged in fully within school and college, and when I grew up and realised that I could display this creativity on my own body, it just made sense to me.


Do tattoos influence or alter how you feel about your body? Have they helped you with feelings of self confidence? Yes definitely- when I have experienced difficult times with my body and my confidence, having my tattoos makes me still feel comfortable within my skin regardless. I’m much happier to show my body, or even look at my body, knowing that I have this collection of beautiful art, whereas previously I may have struggled to see any positives about myself.

On Instagram you’re quite open about your struggles with an eating disorder, why do you think it’s important to share your own experience? I think it’s really important because of how alone you can feel when you are caught up in an eating disorder, and I really want to remind people that they’re not alone. I remember when I was at a really awful point in my life, and I felt that nobody would understand and that my behaviour was so alien. I was seeking help from eating disorder ‘help’ forums, as I had nowhere to turn, but these websites are bad news and an awful trap that is even more difficult to get out of. I hope that speaking about my issues openly on Instagram will not only keep people away from these sites to seek reassurance, but will also let them know that the people that they follow and admire also have their own struggles and that it is a lot more common that they may have realised. I think the word bulimia has such a stigma and a misunderstanding around it, and there are a lot of misconceptions. I didn’t actually realise that I was bulimic for quite some time, I’d convinced myself that my over-exercise, restrictive diet and purging ‘bad’ foods was just me being healthy and normal. I’d love to help people realise that obsessive behaviours aren’t actually normal, and to help them become aware before they’re in too deep.


Do you think social media has helped you or hindered you in your progress and self love journey? I have mixed feelings about social media and it’s impact on my eating disorder. In the early days, I think Instagram was definitely a contributor towards my obsession with my weight- I was feeling a lot of pressure to keep up my ‘healthy lifestyle’, which essentially was making me much more ill. However, when I eventually publicly opened up about my disorder, the amount of positive feedback and genuine kindness I received from everybody was so warming and lovely, and I think it’s amazing to have that kind of support network. I’ve been open about my struggles online for just under a year now, and it definitely has helped with my self-love since I started therapy. Some days I will be having a bad day with my body image, but to receive such lovely praise from people who have known my struggles is really special.

Have tattoos played a part in your recovery? I  say they have helped my recovery, but they have definitely made me still feel like ‘me’, when I’ve had low times where I’ve been unsure of who I am. During recovery I have gained some weight again, and my tattoos have helped me with loving myself still too. I can’t imagine to have not had them throughout this journey, they’re the one thing that have always given me another layer of confidence, and I’ve always been able to express myself through my tattoos.

Do you have any future tattoo plans? I’m continuing with working on my legs next, I have some exciting plans to try and make them feel much more completed, ankle cuffs, some blacking out and some ornamental work within the things that I have already!

Sutherland Macdonald and George Burchett added to DNB

The new edition of the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography adds new biographies of 93 men and women active between the fourteenth and twentieth century. The Dictionary of National Biography (DNB) is the national record of men and women who’ve shaped all walks of British life, in the UK and overseas, from the Roman occupation to the 21st century.

lodderThe new edition includes the late-Victorian pioneers of professional tattooing, in an era when tattoos became popular among members of high society and royalty — as symbols of travel to the Far East. Both entries were written by art historian (and Things&Ink favourite) Dr Matt Lodder of the University of Essex (left). Here’s what he had to say: “It was a real honour to be asked to write entries on Burchett and Macdonald for the Oxford National Dictionary of Biography, and to cement their places in the cultural history of this country. As key figures in the early decades of the professional tattoo industry in Britain, and as innovators respected around the world, both men have played a central role in establishing the huge importance of tattooing as part of our shared artistic heritage.”

 Here’s a snippet from the entries:

  • Sutherland Macdonald (1860-1942) began tattooing in the garrison town of Aldershot, Hampshire, as early as 1882. He was established as the first identifiable professional tattooist in England by 1889. In this year he first appeared in the London press as a fully-fledged (albeit part-time) tattooer to the general public, working out of the basement of the ornate Hamam Turkish Baths at 76 Jermyn Street—a street well known for its parade of gentlemen’s clubs and fashionable shops. He was employed as the bath’s superintendent, and undertook his tattooing out of hours.Macdonald claimed to have coined the term ‘tattooist’, a contraction of ‘tattoo artist’, to distinguish his practice from that of a mere ‘tattooer’, which he suggested associated his new profession too closely with the workaday business of a ‘plumber’ or a ‘bricklayer’. In 1894 the Post Office Directory for London created the category of ‘Tattooist’ specifically for him, under which Macdonald was the only entry for four years. Sutherland Macdonald continued working as a tattooist into his 70s. However, his pioneering career was posthumously obscured by his children who (on his death certificate) gave their father’s profession not as ‘tattooist’ but ‘Water Colour Artist’.


An example of Sutherland Macdonald’s work, 1897 (Alamy) 

  • George Burchett (1872–1953), was Macdonald’s ‘rival’ artist and emerged as Britain’s best-known tattooist, having first encountered the art form on a tour of Japan with the Royal Navy. Burchett made a good living producing finely rendered, beautifully detailed work that exceeded all his peers in terms of quality. Between 1914 and 1947 Burchett worked from a studio on Waterloo Road, London.Burchett became the most famous European tattoo artist of the twentieth century, appearing so often in newspapers and magazines that he became recognizable as the archetype of his profession. By the 1930s he had amassed a client list which reputedly included Alfonso XIII, the exiled king of Spain, and Frederik IX, the rough-hewn king of Denmark. His most notorious client was the former army officer Horace Ridler, who in 1927 asked Burchett to tattoo his entire body and face with broad black stripes and swirls. He was still working in 1952 at the age of 80, tattooing ten-bob dragons and indelible make-up in premises at 125 Waterloo Road.



Quick-fire questions with tattoo artist Claudia Ottaviani

Our resident make-up artist and managing editor, Keely, recently got tattooed by tattoo artist Claudia Ottaviani while she was guesting at Sang Bleu in east London… she asked her some quick-fire questions that she doesn’t normally get asked!


IMG_7496Keely’s tattoo by Claudia
 Keely and Claudia

If you could tattoo anyone dead or alive who would it be and why? I’ve never really thought about it, but it’s always an honour when another tattooer asks you to get a tattoo. I’ve never met him in person, but I’ve been in his shop and I think it is one of the most powerful places… So I’d have to pick Freddy Corbin at Tattoo Temple – and I hope he will never read this ha ha!


If you weren’t a tattoo artist, what would you be? Some other creative job for sure: singer, guitarist, wood artisan, writer… I just need to use my hands when I work.


What’s the strangest body part you’ve either tattooed or have been asked to tattoo? I tattooed a girl’s pubis, that was pretty strange, but not so difficult.



Who is your favourite artist of the moment? I follow so many artists who don’t come from the tattoo world, so I can’t choose just one… Here are a few: Robert Ryan, Adde, Jess Swaffer, Matt Chahal, Bailey, Cheyenne Sawyer, Tony Nilsson, Becca Gennè-Bacon, Lina Stigsson and I have no idea how many more…


What is your response to someone saying to you “what will you think of your tattooed body when you are old?” First I laugh… I think I get tattoos to make the body more beautiful. I love to see the story on the skin! The body and the skin will grow old in any case, with or without tattoos, so why wouldn’t I get something that I think makes my body more beautiful now? It will be even more beautiful in 40 years.

Interview with Tan Van Den Broek

27-year-old tattoo artist Tan Van Den Broek works out of Dark Cloud Electric, a private studio in Fitzroy, Melbourne, and creates beautifully colourful neo-traditional tattoos. We chatted to Tan about her love for hard working bees and a dirty olive colour pallet… 

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How long have you been tattooing? It’ll be my sixth year of tattooing this August, I completed an apprenticeship over three years in two separate studios. I’m currently working in a private studio in Fitzroy, Dark Cloud Electric, with Dean Kalcoff.

What did you do before? Before tattooing I was at university completing a Bachelor of Creative Arts in Drama. Performance and art have always been an important part of my life, so it seemed fitting to do a degree in it. While studying I was waitressing (classic part-time actor job) and continued to waitress over the weekends while apprenticing. I would work five days a week at the studio, weekends waiting tables, drawing every other moment.

How did you start? Straight after I graduated uni, I applied for an apprenticeship in a local tattoo studio that was just opening up. He already had an apprentice, who had a fancy tattoo nick-name and lots of Kohl eyeliner, but I dropped by the studio with my folio of work anyway. He set a two year apprenticeship for me, I spent the first six months just observing and cleaning before I was allowed to tattoo.


Do you have a background in art? Yes, I was a really quiet child and so I escaped into drawing imaginary worlds and what was around me; lots of flowers, animals and vegetables! I grew up on a organic vegetable farm, and both my parents are avid gardeners. I took on life drawing classes and later completed my drama degree doing as many visual art subjects as they would allow me to do. I stayed in most nights during my adolescence drawing, I guess nothing much has changed.

What drew you to the tattoo world? Music and my sister. Most of the bands I was listening to when I was younger had tattoos and their cover artwork always made me start brainstorming my first tattoo ideas.

My sister got her first tattoo under age over new years eve. She lied to our parents saying it was semi-permanent and that the pigment would fade away after a year. After a year rolled by and more tattoos were added, my parents clued on. Every tattoo she got, I just kept thinking that I could’ve drawn that better for her and made her happier.


Describe your style, how has it changed? My style is neo-traditional but more on the bold, colourful traditional side. I like bold lines balanced with finer details.

Initially I wanted to be strictly a traditional tattooist, I loved the work produced by Andrew Mcleod and Jaclyn Rehe (still do) and loved the aesthetic. Tattoos that look like tattoos. Bold and badass. Vintage photographs of men and women adorned with ropes, ships, butterflies, women got me going! I quickly discovered I would over complicate my traditional drawings and I could not restrict my colour palette. I liked soft pastels and dirty olives. Neo-traditional was a better fit.


What do you like to tattoo and draw? Easy! Animals, flowers and Birds! Lately I’ve been tattooing lots of Native Australian flora, which can be a challenge but I LOVE the challenge and the colours of our flowers.

What inspires you? Beautiful gardens, climbing roses, old buildings, lakes, lead-light windows, crystals, Scandinavian towns, autumn leaves, caves and good coffee.

What would you love to tattoo? Monkeys, I love their expressions. Big cats, toucans/horn-bills, fishing birds, flowering fruits and more native flowers.


Do you have any guest spots or conventions planned? I’m heading back to Hobart for a week in June, then my next convention will be New Plymouth NZ Tattoo & Art Expo in November. Then Three Eyes Convention in Adelaide in February 2017. I’m currently planning a trip for Aug/Sept, fingers crossed I’ll be heading to United States or back to Europe. I miss Vienna and Göteburg.

Can you tell us about your own tattoos? Sure, my left thigh, left sleeve/hand and left side of my neck was tattooed by my amazing co-worker Dean Kalcoff. My sleeve is inspired by my love of Art Nouveau and 1920s fashion. I’ve got a big orange rose on my neck, my hand has another rose and a Mike Pike Teacup machine. My left thigh has a rabbit being constricted by a snake.

My chest was tattooed by Emily Rose Murray, fuck I was lucky to jump in on a last minute availability! That piece makes me feel really beautiful, big soft peony roses and a little bee. I have three bees tattooed on me (so far), I love their meaning of female strength, hard work, self sacrifice and the importance of teamwork for a greater good.

I have four tattoos from my dear friend Clare (Clarity) Hampshire, one is a vintage nurse with red poppies for my G’ma who served as a head nurse here in Melbourne during the second World War treating the returned soldiers and my G’pa who passed due to WWII PSTD. I have only one matching tattoo with my best friend Jen, it’s a little teapot with the words “Tea For Two” We always catch up over a cuppa, and it’s helped us get through the more difficult times in our lives. Tea just seems to help, you know?