Category: Feature tattoos

Urban Outfitters trashy tattoos

You can buy trashy temporary tattoos from Urban Outfitters, but why are they called Trashy? Is it merely the name of the brand or is the online store passing its judgement on certain tattoo designs?

The designs that are deemed as trashy include tribal, dolphins, anchors and barbed wire. These have all taken part in tattoo trends, each one gaining popular in different time periods and decades gone by.

But is Urban Outfitters simply stating that all tattoos are trashy?

 What do you think?

Tattoo Me: Illma Gore

Illma Gore’s Tattoo Me project invites people to submit words that she will get tattooed onto her body.

 

Artist Illma Gore is raising money to launch her first art exhibition with a crowd-funding page, but this is no ordinary art show.

Illma is the canvas…

You can pay to have your name – or a few words of your choosing – tattooed onto Illma’s body. She will have anything tattooed on her as long as it isn’t hateful or discriminative. Her original goal was to raise 6K, but as it stands she has raised over $11,000 and she estimates that she will have room for 1700 names.

 

On her crowd-funding page she explains the inspiration behind her idea:

I want to be a singular tattoo for my latest art exhibition, and I want it to be your names. This is going to be an art exhibition in LA featuring my body and your names as well as painting and videography – by donating you are helping me pay the costs of putting on an exhibtion not for the tattoos. I think the tattoo on my forehead says it best ‘Life is art’. There is something absurd & beautiful about having an accumulation of absolute strangers names draped over my pale goth skin, even if half of them are ‘Penis Butt’. Why? you might ask, simply because I can, I know what I’m about son, and I am my own ultimate canvas. Like my art exhibitions and murals this is a social and artistic experiment! Each person’s name to me represents YOU the main protagonist in your own story. I will be covered in a hundred tiny stories and an exhibtion will be held featuring you and my body as the canvas.

Giving myself to the whim of the world and for my art.

Photographs: PR, Guardian, GoFundMe

Illma Gore Before

Illma Gore after

Freedom Tattoos: Turning prison tattoos into something beautiful

Freedom Tattoos is a new charity project set up by by Poland’s Pedagogium The College of Social Sciences and ad agency Isobar Poland.

To erase the stigma of prison tattoos.
On Creative Social Rehabilitation.

They want to help ex-cons to return back to society by covering tattoos they got in prison with professionally created ones. The cover-ups tend to be better looking, perhaps more colourful and of a higher quality than their prison ink. The emphasis of the charity is not on the mistakes they have made in their past, but more on their own personal growth and rehabilitation.

The emotional video below follows two women as they get their old prison tattoos covered, so they can move on with their lives:

Quote and video from Freedom Tattoos

LondonEdge: The New Alternative

Lifestyle trade show for fashion with an edge!
1st-3rd February
The West Hall, Olympia, London W14

Underground lifetsyle and fashion take centre stage at this exciting trade show. Don’t miss out on exclusive new season fashion and accessories from some awesome brands, including: IronFist, Collectif, Manic Panic, Killstar Clothing and many many more! Discover new designers and the latest trends while watching the faashion show or having your hair styled.

LondonEdge is known for its jam packed after parties and this year is no exception!

The night is full of an explosive array of live acts including Lounge Kittens, a trio of soulful ladies reinventing rock anthems into harmonies full of humour and sass. Dee Christopher will astound you with his mind bending magic and Burlesque performer Miss Betsy Rose will tantalise you with her sultry moves. The Sinisters will mesmorise you with their dark perfomances and East London’s finest club DJs SHOREBITCH will have dancing til the sun comes up. All of this is hosted by none other than Meth, a true star of drag with her sky high heels and cutting wit you won’t want to miss the party of the season!

If you would like to attend the LondonEdge SS15 party, please RSVP with your contact details to nicola@londonedge.com. You can also use your LondonEdge show badge to gain entry.

 

Part Three – Mindful Wanderlust Vegan Travel Diary

Our guest blogger is Giselle, creator of Mindful Wanderlust – a travel blog about responsible travel, tattoos, and following a vegan lifestyle. This is the third of many posts to appear on th-ink, telling of her and her husband Cody’s travelling tales. If you have missed their previous travel posts catch up and read Part Two and Part One

 

We made it to Tokyo! Before we even booked our flights to Japan I knew it was a country I really wanted to get tattooed in, so I spent some time back in Canada researching different artists.

After taking a look at their consistently beautiful bold artwork, I decided on American traditional for the design, I chose to go with the guys at Inkrat Tattoo in Tokyo. Rei is the owner of Inkrat Tattoo, and has been tattooing for over 22 years.  His shop is covered in art, new and old, and original flash from the 1950s hangs on the walls.

  I couldn’t stop picking out all of the pieces I wanted.

Prior to arriving at Inkrat I decided on a geisha and left the design up to Rei. I thought, “Other than a Sumo wrestler, what’s more Japanese than a geisha?” It’s the perfect souvenir from Japan.

I learned something very interesting and new about Japanese tattoo etiquette (or at least Rei’s tattoo etiquette) at the shop that day. Before arriving for my tattoo appointment, I was asked where I wanted the tattoo, and I said on the outside bottom of my left leg.

On the day of, Rei walked over to me to fit the design on my leg and it didn’t quite fit properly. I said “it’s ok, we can do it on my other leg” But Rei didn’t really respond, he just told me he would make it a little smaller so it would fit. A regular customer sitting across from me said that where I asked for the tattoo is where I am going to get it. The reason for this, is that the artist doesn’t want to inconvenience me, as I already chose the placement and he wants to respect that.

That came as a little bit of a surprise to me. I would have been perfectly fine with the tattoo on my right leg, but just hearing that he refused to put it on my other leg out of respect made me smile a little.

Respect – and integrity – seems to be an extremely important thing in the tattoo world among tattoo artists. It is something that really resonates with me, as integrity is hard to come by these days. I have a lot of respect for people who have a lot of respect for people. Go figure.

On top of my excitement over visiting and getting tattooed in Japan, arriving in Tokyo was a sensory overload. My senses were pulling me everywhere. The colours, the lights, the droves of people, and the, sometimes, disapproving stares from some of the locals.

Although tattoo shops are legal in Japan, the long history and mentality of tattoos being only for criminals and misfits has not yet dissipated.

The earliest signs of the Japanese getting tattooed date back to 5,000 BC. By the 7th century the Japanese adopted much of the same mentality that the Chinese had for tattoos, seeing them as barbaric and using them as a punishment for crimes committed.

In the middle of the 18th century Japanese tattooing was popularised by a Chinese novel with several of its heroes covered in tattoos. This novel influenced all Japanese culture and arts, but the yakuza also became interested in tattooing, further making it a tasteless form of art and self expression to many. The yakuza felt that because tattooing was painful, it was proof of courage, and because it was illegal, it made them outlaws forever.

Finally, tattooing in Japan was legalised in the 20th century, but to this day it is still taboo. People with tattoos cannot enter into any hot baths, so unfortunately we will not be visiting any onsen (hot springs) in Japan.

Thankfully the mentality of tattoos being only for criminals is dying out with the old generation and new generations are embracing their rich culture of the art of irezumi.

 It is an ancient craft that should be appreciated and respected for what it is, not looked down upon, because it is misunderstood.

As Japan tries to reclaim all of the beauty and positivity of this ancient art of expression; I feel honoured to be able to collect an original piece from a country so steeped in the tradition of tattooing.

Follow Giselle and Cody’s travels on their blog and Instagram

My tattooed body

In issue 9, stripped back, we asked the Things&Ink team how they feel about their naked bodies, now that they’re tattooed…

We got in touch with blogger Rachel Bradford, creator of Illustrated Teacup, to discuss how she feels about her body now that it is beginning to be covered by tattoos…

“You don’t have to go far on the internet or on social media to find a debate of body positivity or body confidence. A particular area of contention is tattooed people, especially women, and even more so, anyone who has an extensive collection of tattoos.”

“Apparently it isn’t attractive to have lots of beautiful images on your body. It takes away from your ‘natural beauty’. It isn’t ‘ladylike’. It’s not ‘pretty’.”

Green lady  by Dani Green at Dragstrip Tattoo, Southampton

“Obviously this isn’t everyone’s feelings, or no one would have tattoos, but I’m here to explain why I think tattoos are a good thing for body positivity.”

 

“Take a look at Things&Ink Issue 9 for some examples:”

 ”I see my colourful tattoos before I see the shape of my body, and then I notice the gaps. I get lost in the ideas of what would fit where and the work I could collect from other tattooists. With tattoos you are never truly naked, they are one thing you can never take off, and I love that!”

Editorial Assistant Rosalie Woodward (Page 5)

“I like to think of my tattoos as ‘permanent accessories’ and they make me feel very glamorous when I’m in the nude”

Beauty Editor Marina De Salis (Page 5)

“I feel like I’ve created my own body, rather than just being stuck with the one I was given”

Columnist Reeree Rockette (Page 5)

 

“Three talented, smart ladies, with tattoos, who feel better about themselves and their naked bodies because of their tattoos. And quite frankly, what is wrong with modifying your body if it makes you happier? That is what we all want isn’t it? To be happy with our bodies?”

Cat and compass by Saranna Blair at Urban Image Tattoo, Bournemouth

“Personally, my tattoos have boosted my confidence no end. My confidence and happiness with my own body, comfort on my own body, grows with every tattoo. It’s an experience in itself. My tattoos distract from the things I dislike about my body. And fill me with happiness every time I see them. They catalogue my life so far, and remind me of my journey. I feel like I wear my life on my body, miniature pieces of artwork carried around with me all the time.”

“To me, I am enhancing what I was given, and making my body my own, rather than it just being borrowed for a little while.  I think that is the most important part of body confidence. Being comfortable in your body, making it your own.”

 Belle by Dani Green at Dragstrip Tattoo, Southampton

 

 

‘Bagel Head’ Body Modification

What’s your party trick? Can you create a doughnut in your head for a night? Well people taking part in the underground modification scene in Japan can! Here’s how…

 

To create a bagel like shape on your forehead up to 400 cc of saline solution is injected under the skin.  The insertion can take up to two hours and the indention is created by the practitioner placing their thumb onto the middle of the saline bubble.

This modification is only temporary and lasts up to 24 hours, as the saline is absorbed into the body and the forehead returns to normal.

This body modification is regularly performed at parties, and it not only limited to the forehead but can be carried out anywhere on the body.

 

Images from National Geographic

Our pick of bird tattoos

We’re desperately hoping that spring is soon on its way and with sunshine comes birds…

Heres our pick of some bird tattoos we’ve seen flying around Instagram, see what we did there? Anyway here they are and don’t forget to share yours with us!

@pacocasero

@pengitattoo

@hannahpixiesnow

@cubatattoo

@criscleen

 

@marcustattoos

@pari_corbitt

@valeriemodernclassic

@kate_selkie

 @nomi_chi

@tattoo_drew

Tattoo Inspired Furniture Upcycling

Here at Things&Ink we love all things tattoos! On discovering Taylor Made, a small business located in Fife, Scotland, which specialise in upcycled furniture inspired by all things tattoo, we had to talk to owner and creator Grace Taylor. 

How did you first start upcycling furniture? When my partner and I moved into our first proper home together we had to start from scratch. A lot of our second-hand furniture wasn’t completely to our taste, or was looking a bit sad and unloved, so I decided to try and transform it and give it a bit more life to suit our new living space. I started doing more pieces when I had to take some time off work for health reasons, and found that it was a great way to pass the time!


Have you got your own business? I never intended on this being a business and so far it has just been a hobby. However, I have had such a wonderful response from my facebook page that I am now currently in the process of turning this hobby that I love into something more. I have had lots of exciting opportunities arise from this so far and one day I hope to have my own quirky wee shop.

How did you learn how to do it? I am completely self taught, I started from scratch and hadn’t a clue about paints, techniques, decoupage, or different products you can use. I have spent countless hours and a small fortune trying to discover what is out there and what I like to use best. It’s been a fantastic learning experience, but also rather frustrating at times. I guess you have to start somewhere, so I started from the bottom. I am still learning – with every new piece I learn something more so it never gets boring.

Where do you find the materials? All over the place! I get my furniture from a range of different places. It doesn’t matter to me if it’s vintage or a modern reproduction. If I like it, I take it. I buy all my materials from all over the place, I pick up things on eBay, online shops, high street shops, charity shops and car boots.

What inspires you? I like quirky things and I have a passion for tattoos, so a lot of my pieces are inspired by old school tattoo flash, in particular Sailor Jerry. I use a lot of fabrics with skulls and I like to try and do something a bit different as opposed to the ‘shabby chic’ style of upcycling. I also love stags, so I uses a lot of stag designs such as fabrics, paper and stencils. I can’t stand boring, straight out of the catalogue home decor, so I strive to make things unique.


Do you have any tattoos? I have quite a collection! Though not nearly enough.
I have a half sleeve on my right arm, which is a beautiful portrait of my mum surrounded with flowers, in the style of our favourite artist, Alphonse Mucha. This was done by the awesome Marcus Maguire of Custom Inc/BathStreetCollective, who has also done a large, beautifully coloured peacock stretching from my hip to my knee. This is a tribute to my Dad, along with my of my other tattoos. I have a portrait of him on my other arm, my feet are covered in script with an old saying of his, ‘Far Out!’ done by Stephanie Scott of Old Town Tattoo, and I have two wee chicks on my ankle as he called my sister and I his chickens, by Jamie Adair of Crossroads Tattoo.

I have an awesome large mandala and stags head on my thigh by Ema Sweeney of Custom Inc/BathStreetCollective, and a cute wee bird with hydrangeas on my calves by the wonderful Amanda Grace Leadman, amongst others. I may also have an L and R on my thumbs, as I’m not the quickest with direction…

Do you have any tips for people who want to upcycle? Just go for it and have fun! Make sure you are prepared with everything you need before you start, and don’t wear your best clothes like I always do, or you won’t have anything decent left by the end of it. Painting a piece of furniture and transforming it can be such a therapeutic and rewarding thing to achieve, so don’t let yourself get stressed out. Sometimes if you make a mistake, it just adds to the overall character of the piece you are working on. Enjoy every moment of it!

Follow Grace on Instagram to see more of her tattoo inspired creations!

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Freelance illustrator and project manager Ruth Bridges, 30 from West Yorkshire is the creator of fashion illustration blog x+y=. She has exclusively drawn three unique illustrations for Things&Ink influenced by tattoos and fashion. 

Ruth was an artistic child!

 

What inspires your illustrations? I love slightly off-beat street fashion. Style has always been much more influential to me than trend. I find drawing people with striking faces really satisfying, especially edgy women. I’m not into overtly pretty things, much preferring a grungy feel – minimalism with a twist.  I do also have a soft-spot for slightly bonkers high end fashion – I’m a fan of Pam Hogg, Louise Gray and KTZ.

What medium do you use? Nearly always pencil, with paint, colour and photography occasionally collaged in digitally.

Do you have a background in art? Yes – I studied Fashion at BTEC level, then went on to complete an Art Foundation and, after taking a gap year to travel, a Degree in Fine Art for Design. I’ve always known I wanted to work in the visual arts but until now the time hasn’t been right. I’ve been freelance for about 3 months now, and so far it’s going well.

Where can people see and buy your work? I have a website - www.xplusyequals.co.uk and I also occasionally contribute to Amelia’s Magazine and Guys and Girls Directory. Since going freelance, I’ve mainly been working on commissions so I don’t have prints on sale at the minute but I’m looking for opportunities to exhibit. I’m currently working on a collection of drawings that complement each other that I can sell as limited edition prints.

Have you been published? I’ve been featured in digital magazines for a while now but have just been included in a published collection of illustrations and articles, published by Amelia’s Magazine called ‘That Which We Do Not Understand’ – it’s out any day now.