Category: Feature tattoos

Pet Tattoos

Our guest blogger is 25-year-old London-based Amber Bryce, who not only writes her own blog but also the social media copy for Tesco. In this post she talks about her own pet tattoo and talks to other pet owners to find out why they decided to immortalise their pets in ink… 

Getting a tattoo of your pet can be as simple as a paw print, as intricate as a portrait, or as fun as a moggy cat dressed in scuba gear. Although the stories behind them may sometimes be sad, there’s always something so heartwarming about hearing the impact a pet has had on someone’s life. 

Here’s my own story about why I chose to get a tattoo of my pet, followed by some more pet lovers… 

“My dog’s name is Punky. He’s a puggle (beagle crossed with a pug) and looks like he’s either constantly philosophising or in a really bad mood. I got Punky when I was 15 and from the very start he was a nightmare. My sister and I would get home from school to find he’d got into our bedrooms and eaten through half our wardrobe (RIP leggings) or escaped to the local curry house (seriously).


“As naughty as he was, I find it hard to remember my life without him. Since moving out of my dad’s house I miss him so much; the jingle of his collar, the deep sighs he does before getting settled at the end of my bed, or the way he rolls over for belly rubs like a big, blubbery seal. I decided I wanted to get a tattoo of him, to keep a little bit of him and his comforting presence with me wherever I go.

Rebecca Vincent created my beautiful and personal portrait of Punky in her poetic, naturalistic style. The subtle nature of the sketchy tones makes him look as though he’s left an imprint of his soul in dot work.”



The thing I love most about seeing other people’s pet tattoos is the variety of ways in which people choose to symbolise their pets, whether through their strange little quirks and eccentricities or the emotional narrative they left behind. I decided to explore other pet tattoos and the stories behind them… 

Name: Natasha Westlake Age: 26 Lives: St Albans 

“The first pet I had as a child was a moggie called Harmony. He loved swimming and would frequently come into the house covered in moss, soaking wet after chasing ducks in the nearby pond. He also had half a moustache! Sadly he passed away a few years ago, so I wanted to get my first tattoo as a dedication to his memory.


“My second pet is my Shih-Tzu dog, Lilly. She is a stubborn little princess and loves a lot of attention, she isn’t a fan of wearing any kind of doggy clothes (so I took a really adorable photograph of her wearing a feather boa — needless to say she wasn’t a fan) and she has very crooked teeth and an under-bite, which always shows. She had a really funny and lovable relationship with Harmony, and I love her very much so I wanted to get her tattooed on my other thigh.


“I have always had an obsession with Asian culture, cartoons, and cutesy things, so I knew I wanted the style of my tattoo to be cartoon-y and cute, but to keep the characteristics and personality of my pets. I found my artist through Instagram, which I would say is definitely the place to find tattoo artists. I hash-tagged pet tattoos and came across Keely Rutherford from Jolie Rouge, whose main style is a cutesy kawaii animated style.

“I love the very personal details in my tattoos that make them my own, I gave Keely a bunch of ideas and she was able to translate them. The scuba diving gear and the bandage on Harmony represents his  love of swimming and fighting, and the tiara and feathers on Lilly represents her princess-like personality. I also love how vivid the colours are.”

Name: Amber Schwartz Age:24 Lives: LA

“Charlie was five years old. I got him when I lived in Chicago and he went everywhere with me. We flew together countless times and he moved to NJ and California with me. He was my son. He was a Malshi and his birthday was a week difference from mine. A few months ago I moved to Hollywood and my roommate lied to an organisation and neglected to tell them that Charlie and I lived there. They gave her a 70 lb pitt bull who attacked and killed Charlie. I was not home during the incident and I left Charlie locked in my room. My roommate took Charlie out of my room and Jameson attacked him. He passed away about 2 months ago at this point, and not a day goes by that I don’t think about him or miss him.

Charlie“Before Charlie passed; about a year ago I got a paw print tattoo for him witha “C” in it. After his passing it was a no brainer that I needed to honor him. I got his actual paw print tattooed on my elbow, and “Good Morning Char”. That did not feel like enough; hence I got my best friend’s portrait.

I went to Victor Hugo at Norwalk Tattoo studio in Norwalk California. He is a dog lover; and honestly I could not have asked for this piece to come out any better. His work is amazing; his detail and care is obvious in all tattoos he does. I am so so, so grateful for Victor!”

Name: Jennifer Byrne Age: 23 Lives: Liverpool 

“Bubbles is my 12 year old tabby cat, the smallest and cutest of our three cat family. I got her as a kitten when I was 10 years old and I’ve been smitten ever since!

Amy Savage does the most amazing stippled tattoos of cats and other animals. I knew I wanted to get a cattoo by her and thought that it was only right I got my favourite cat tattooed – Bubbles. I love the fact that I will have her on me forever, I can’t believe such a little animal has made such an impression on me.


“Her work is incredibly detailed and I sat for my longest sitting yet with her when getting Bubbles tattooed. She was so friendly and I felt really comfortable, especially considering I’m a huge wimp! I may ask her sometime in the future to tattoo Bubbles’ brother on my other leg… I’ll probably end up with all my pets on me!”

Five Best Tattooed Film Characters

Our guest blogger is hobbyist film and TV series reviewer and writer Harry Casey-Woodward

5 best film characters with tattoos

5) Name: Jack Sparrow (sorry, Captain Jack Sparrow)
Played by: Johnny Depp
In: Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, 2003
Tattoo: A sparrow on his wrist

If you’re on the run (or sail rather) from the Royal Navy or the terrible clutches of the East India trading company, surely you wouldn’t get a certain avian tattoo on your forearm that would give a clue to your name?

4) Name: Leonard
Played by: Guy Pearce
In: Memento, 2000
Tattoo: Daily reminders all over his body

Here’s proof to your disapproving elders that tattoos can be useful. In a more interesting movie by Christopher Nolan than his Dark Knight films, Guy Pearce plays a chap searching for his wife’s murderer while suffering from short term memory loss. To combat this, he  tattoos of all the things he needs to remember like clues, who he can trust and I guess daily reminders onto his body. However useful and painful the process, it’s best to keep those shopping lists short. I guess it’s quite impractical stripping off in a supermarket just to check you’ve got everything.

3) Name: Lisbeth Salander
Played by: Noomi Rapace
In: Män som hatar kvinnor or The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, 2009
Tattoo: A dragon on her back, in case you were wondering.

Lisbeth’s huge tattoo on her delicate frame is a sign of the power and strength she felt she lacked as grew up watching her father beat her mother. She is a world class hacker and all round computer goddess, but she is a troubled heroine. She is ruled legally incompetent as a child and lives under the care of a legal guardian, initially the kind hearted Holger Palmgren. When Holger suffers a stroke, he is replaced by Nils Bjurman (Peter Andersson). Nils is a heinous man to say the least. He abuses his position to extort sexual favours from Lisbeth and eventually rapes her. She catches the entire incident on film and threatens to ruin him unless he gives her full control of her life – and uses a tattoo gun to write across his belly “Jag är ett sadistiskt svin och en våldtäktsman” – I am a sadistic pig and a rapist. Lisbeth has everything her tattoo embodies – triumph over adversity and strength from pain.

2) Name: Francis Dolarhyde aka the Tooth Fairy
Played by: Ralph Fiennes
In: Red Dragon, 2002
Tattoo: Also a dragon on his back.

Red Dragon
Probably one of the greatest tattoo identity crises. In this prequel to Silence of the Lambs, Ralph Fiennes (who has an arsenal of terrifying performances including a Nazi, a gangster and a psychotic megalomaniac wizard) portrays a serial killer who has a William Blake  Biblical dragon painting tattooed all over his back. This is not just because he likes it but because he wants to become it. In his most deluded scene, he displays his mighty sexy dragon body before a captured Philip Seymour Hoffman, who is clearly terrified at the amount of days, agony and expenditure that went into that ink.

1) Name: Harry Powell
Played by: Robert Mitchum
In: The Night of the Hunter, 1955
Tattoo: The words ‘love’ and ‘hate’ tattooed on his knuckles.

For marrying a widow to get her ex-husband’s money, killing her then stalking her runaway children across the country, this devilish preacher surely wins for being the creepiest inked character in this classic film noir. His most sinister feature besides his eerie singing are the striking tattoos on his hands. One hand bears the word ‘love’, the other ‘hate’. He uses these to physically represent the struggle between the two emotions in a one-man arm wrestle. What they may actually signify is the duality of his personality, a criminal masquerading as a Christian, and perhaps in conservative 1950s America a man with tattoos was surely disreputable? Whatever the meaning behind the tattoos (if there is any, for they might be his tenth and meaning stopped mattering a while ago) and even though they are basic compared to the other tattoos in this list, they are instantly iconic and a bizarre and original character trait for 1950s cinema.

All images from IMDB

Pastel Paradise: Lemon Freckles

Toni or Lemon Freckles is a 30-year-old illustrator and blogger from Sheffield who lives in a pastel paradise of pink hair, her pugs and girl gang inspired drawings. We chatted to Toni to find out more about her fashion and artistic style, how she became a blogger and her tattoo collection… 

Processed with Rookie Cam

When did you start blogging? How did you get into it? I originally started blogging around 10 years ago under a different name but Lemon Freckles is around five years old I think. At the time I was working full-time in mental health and in need of a creative outlet, blogging seemed like something I was able to do while working full-time, I didn’t really think anyone would ever read it.

What things can people expect to see on your blogA mixture of things, I like being able to share what is happening in my world; from my latest cute find to things that inspire me. I want Lemon Freckles to be a positive place, full of colour and silliness.

Processed with Rookie Cam
Do you have a background in art? No, my degree is in mental health but I have always been a doodler. After 10 years of working in the mental health industry, I decided to take a step back and reflect on what I enjoy doing and last year I enrolled in a year long course in design. A few months ago I went self-employed full-time and it has been one of the best decisions I have made.

What inspires you? Colour and my ever so slight obsessive collecting of cute toys from my childhood. I want to bring back a little bit of that magic I left at the school gates sometime between the late 80s and early 90s. I am a firm believer that just because you’re an adult, it doesn’t mean you have to act like a grown up.

What things to do you like to draw? The more colour the better in my eyes. I love doodling toys and making characters out of everyday objects.

Processed with Rookie Cam

What medium do you use? Pen and paper, Illustrator, whatever is to hand.

How would you describe your style, both in art and fashion? I think they are both the same, eclectic. It’s all in the detail, from the Polly Pocket earrings to the denim jacket covered in patches, the more cute the better!


Can you tell us a little bit about your tattoos? Of course! I actually only got my first tattoo last year, which was a pug (a forever reminder of my two furry pug babies, Doug and Lola) and since then I have got three more; a My Little Pony, a Lefton, Miss Priss Kitty tea pot and a sewing related one. Sam Whitehead of Blind Eye Tattoo Company in Leeds has done all of mine and also has the same love of cuteness that I do, which makes her wonderful to work with.

Processed with Rookie Cam

Do you think they have to have meanings? Nothing deep and meaningful I’m afraid. I get tattoos of things I love, things that make me happy and of course, the more colour the better.

Do you have any future tattoo plans? I’ve got one later this month actually, a Roly-Poly doll, which will be going on my arm. I’m wanting to get my full arm covered in cuteness over the next year, much like my style, eclectic and cute.

The Art of Kaethe Butcher

Kaethe Butcher is 25-year-old illustrator based in Berlin, she creates beautifully simple line drawings that explore themes of sexuality, relationships and the body. Kaethe has created an illustration titled ‘Washing out the Realisation’, especially for Things&Ink inspired  by the newly released Horror IssueWe chatted to Kaethe to find out more about her style and what inspires her… 

washing out the realisation - Kopie

Do you have a background in art?
If you ask whether anyone in my family is an artist then no. Once my mother told me that when she was young, she wanted to do an apprenticeship as a porcelain painter and I guess she was talented, although she wanted more practise. But in the DDR (German Democratic Republic, a former state) it was difficult for her and she gave up painting. I studied. I studied fashion design at university but we didn’t draw much on the course, in the first term we had a nude class. I guess that it trained my eyes to see more aesthetic things.



Photograph of Kaethe by Robin Kater

How would you describe your style?
Erotic artwork that is melancholic and mournful.


What inspires you?
Mostly through my own heavy heart and mournful thoughts. Melodies and song lyrics inspire me. I also pick out quotes from books when I am reading, or perhaps a movie scene or little details will inspire me. Like Moonrise Kingdom or Tomm Moore’s superb and lovely animation movies – just the colours or scene compositions. Also thoughts from people around me are very important!

What medium do you use?
Pencils from 2H to 8B, fineliners and eddings and copic markers, I want to use crayons again soon.


Which has been your favourite piece that you have created?
AURYN is my favourite piece currently. And ‘We Don’t Talk About That’ is my most important one for myself.


We Don’t Talk About That

Are there any artists you admire? Do they influence your art?
Yes! Takato Yamamoto, Vania Zouravliov, I  enjoyed the Vania artbook that I got from a friend so so much!. I also love Egon Schiele.


Where can people buy your art?
Original artwork can be found on my Bigcartel shop. Prints and other stuff like mobile phone cases, t-shirts or totes you’ll find on Society6 and on Juniqe.

Can you tell us about your tattoos? 
I have two! On my left shoulder I have the white rabbit illustration by John Tenniel from Alice in Wonderland, and on my right thigh I have one of my own sketches. It is of a girl and a little rabbit from behind . All of them are just black line work.  I have wanted a third tattoo so bad for a really long time – a sleeping lion illustration from a Grimm fable book.
I mostly like tattoos which emphasize the character of a person or have a little story or thought behind – nothing spectacular but something. I don’t like those old-fashioned, pin-up, rockabilly style tattoos very much or those IT tattoos – even if they’re looking super good. They just bored me.




Innocent Bones Stitch

Gone are the days where anyone under the age of 80 would roll their eyes at the very thought of cross stitching.  Cross stitch has become so popular that many crafters are beginning to think outside of the once constricted realms of what was deemed appropriate to cross stitch. Innocent Bones are redefining an era by providing kits that come with everything you need to create your very own fabulously rude cross stitch work of art.




Not for the easily offended with kits that include ‘fuck,’ ‘bitch’ and ‘shit’…they are sure to bring many a laughter to any household and even Buzzfeed have jumped on the bandwagon and featured Innocent Bones in an article entitled “Accessories every sweary girl really fucking needs!”





The kits are available to buy via the Innocent Bones Etsy page here and you can also find more information on their Facebook page and Instagram as @_graceisobel

Come and take a seat…

Come and take a seat… in the Things&Ink pop-up photo studio, exclusively at London Tattoo Convention 2015.


Become part of London Tattoo Convention history in a very special portrait project by Things&Ink magazine. The pop-up photo studio will be located on the upper floor in Tobacco Dock and will be set up for the duration of the convention from Friday 25 September – Sunday 27 September.

Floor plan convention

London Tattoo Convention Floor Plan

Come and see us at the Things&Ink stand to grab a copy of The Horror Issue, as well as back issues of the magazine.

A selection of kewpies from Miniature Ink II, a collaborative exhibition with Atomica Gallery, will available to buy at the convention in the Sailor Jerry room down in the basement, with proceeds going to Battersea Dogs and Cats Home.

The convention address is Tobacco Docks, 50 Porters Walk, London, E1W 2SF and the closet tube station is Shadwell.  This year the convention are providing free travel on classic London Routemaster buses, taking you from Tower Hill to Porters Walk everyday of the show from 10am- 2.30pm.

Advance tickets are available online until 12pm tonight, get yours here. You can also buy tickets on the door.

Adopted doggies from Battersea

Our Miniature Ink II exhibition (which opens today, Wednesday 23 September) is being held in collaboration with Atomica Gallery to raise funds for Battersea Dogs & Cats Home. So we thought we’d chat to Sailor Jerry Ambassador UK, EmmaLi Stenhouse about her adopted pooch…

Can you tell us a bit about what  you do for Sailor Jerry?
I am the UK ambassador for Sailor Jerry, which basically means I get to do all the good stuff like sorting all their events and sponsorships, educating bartenders and customers all around the country, and getting people to hear about us by trying our rum. I get to travel a lot and meet good people! I’ve been doing this for six years now and I’ve made a lot of great friends. Because Sailor Jerry (Normal Collins) was a tattoo artist, we have a lot of history within that culture, so I’m lucky enough to be involved in things like the London Tattoo Convention, and we do a lot of in-store tattoo shop events and sponsorships. I guess I consider my role to be about telling Norman Collins’ story, doing my best to support the industry that he loved and inspired, celebrating great art, artists and tattoos, and bringing in all the rum!

Did you enjoy last year’s Miniature Ink?
Last year’s Miniature Ink was great! I worked on the bar all night and don’t think I’ve ever worked so hard! It was great that it was so busy! The best part about getting there early to set up was having the opportunity to go round and see all the artwork whilte it was still quiet! I fell in love with about 10 different pieces, although stupidly didn’t act quick enough to buy any! I loved the fact that everyone had the same size canvas, and the same brief set out, and yet they were all so unique and interesting. I knew a few of the artists featured, and it was nice seeing their style and personalities condensed onto a postcard, and I also discovered new artists and went home with a list of names I wanted to look up!


EmmaLi with Lola

What is your connection to Battersea Dogs & Cats Home?
My sister has worked at Battersea Dogs & Cats home for the past eight years.  She’s fostered a few dogs over the years, the ones who are a little too sensitive or unwell for the kennels.  After meeting some of the dogs and hearing a few of their stories – both the horror stories and happy endings – it has made me a huge advocate for rescuing dogs and can’t imagine going anywhere else now.

Are you pleased we’re fundraising for them for Miniature Ink II?
I was so happy when I found out your chosen charity this year was Battersea Dogs & Cats Home! There are so many charities to choose from, it’s always such a tough call, but after seeing first hand all the great work they do and the many happy endings and wagging tails there, it’s totally worth it!

Can you tell us a little bit about your own adopted dog?
My boyfriend and I bought a house last year, and we always said as soon as we were settled in, we’d get a second dog. We are both massive dog lovers, and he already had a male rottweiler called Syrus when we got together seven years ago, which I was more than happy to adopt and I consider him my own! He’s nearly 10 years old, and although seems happy and healthy still, we always knew we wanted to get another before the time came that it would feel like a replacement! It was still a tough decision as he is absolutely perfect and we couldn’t have asked for a better dog – we didn’t want to disrupt him or make him feel left out so our priority was finding him a mate that he was happy with.


EmmaLi with Lola

I stumbled upon this picture of the sweetest looking rottie Misty (who we have since renamed Lola) , and I sent the link to my boyfriend, saying “can we?”, only half joking… he called me back a few minutes later.  It was more about finding the right dog, not necessarily a specific breed, but as soon as we both saw her picture we kinda knew she was special. I called my sister and we arranged an appointment to go visit the next day. We arrived and went straight into the interview process. They ask you about your home, your experience with dogs and what kind of breeds you’re considering, and then tell you if they have anything they think might be suitable. It’s important to remember that most of the dogs they see in rescue centres have already had a bit of a past, and maybe a bit of emotional baggage, so it’s extra important to make sure they match the right dogs to the right people who can give them the care and love they need! We told them we’d spotted a lovely rottweiler, and they said she could be a good match for us, but she currently had kennel cough, which is like flu to dogs. She was on treatment and would be fine soon, but it meant she might be contagious still and meeting her could put our boy Syrus at risk of catching it from our clothes.


Syrus and Lola bonding

She arrived and was pretty timid, but excited to meet people and be out of her kennel. We stayed seated and gave her a chance to pluck up the courage to come over to say hi to us first. She was just lovely! They explained that she was a nervous dog, and probably always would be, but she had a heart of gold and with the right family who could give her the attention and love she needed she would be a lovely pet.

We went back up to Battersea the following day, but we still hadn’t introduced her to Syrus yet, which was going to be a deal breaker. It was a risk exposing him to the kennel cough but we knew what signs to look out for and to take him straight to the vets if he showed any symptoms, so we had to bite the bullet and let them meet. We went to a big room and Misty (now Lola) was brought in, she ran over excitedly and gave him a good sniff. The rest was history! We did all the paperwork, bought her a new bed, and she came home with us that night!


Lola on her first day at her new home

Why is it important to take in dogs from homes? 
There are so many dogs that, for various reasons, don’t get the lives they deserve. All dogs have the potential to be loveable family pets, but sadly some idiots don’t treat them right, raise them to be aggressive, neglect them and sometimes worse. Dogs are loyal and love even the worst owners, and they live to please you. If you treat them right they will be the best asset to your family you can imagine. Just walking around the kennels or cattery is enough to make you see the difference you can make to one of these animals lives, and how rewarding it can be. Without people re-homing them they have no future – and it’s heartbreaking. The amount of joy I get from knowing we gave Lola a chance she wouldn’t have had otherwise, makes it all worth while and I wouldn’t change her for the world.


Lola hiding in the bushes during her first week in her new home

How long have you had her and how you getting on with her?
We changed her name to Lola when we first got her, Misty didn’t suit her and we wanted to give her the fresh start she deserved. She settled in pretty quick, but I’d be lying if i said there weren’t teething problems! Firstly she acquired a taste for shoes… no shoe was safe. She also had no bladder control and completely ruined the wooden floor in our hallway. Most mornings I’d come down to a few surprises! We persevered though and with lots of positive reinforcement, consistent training and rules, and just accepting that she was still coming to terms with life indoors we eventually saw improvements! Lots of long walks and play time kept her worn out and she stopped the chewing when she finally settled in, lost some of that anxiety and realised she was home now. She has been with us a year now and is just the sweetest, kindest most loving dog you’ve ever met. She is so much more than we ever dreamed of, and a million miles away from that nervous skittish little thing we first met. She’s blossomed with our help and I’m so proud of her and of us to have made such a positive change in her life. I’d recommend it to anyone!


Head over to Atomica Gallery tonight from 6pm to see Miniature Ink II, all profits from sales will be donated to Battersea Dogs & Cats Home. Join the Facebook event.

Celebrating five years of Hell To Pay

Looking for something to do after London Tattoo Convention? Join us at The Black Heart pub in Camden on Saturday 26th September to celebrate five years of Hell To Pay tattoo studio.

static1.squarespace.comAll information on the above flyer with bands playing on the night: The Filaments, Ligaments and Dewardians…hope to see you all there to celebrate with a cocktail or two!
More info on the Black Heart website.

The Horror Issue starring Emily Alice Johnston

She’s recently moved to London to work at Into You, and now tattoo artist Emily Alice Johnston, 26, is star of The Horror Issue in a photoshoot that emulates the essence of one of her bad-ass babe drawings come to life… 

The Horror Issue Cover Emily Alice Johnston

Issue 12 of Things&Ink magazine features the full set of ‘Femme Fatale’ images and an interview with Emily about how she got into the tattoo world, her favourite horror films and how she felt about the photoshoot we created for her… order your copy now from our website:

PHOTOGRAPHY » PROKOPIOUSET AND PROP DESIGN » PANAGIOTIS POIMENIDIS | MAKE-UP » KEELY REICHARDT using Nars cosmetics | STYLING » LUKE ANDERSON  | HAIR AND WIG DESIGN » DORIS DESIGNS | CLOTHING » supplied by FLORENCE DRUART |  Swarovski X McQueen ‘Savage Beauty’ claw by Dennis Song | Shoes by Natacha Marro | JOROGUMO corset, Torture Garden Clothing

Front and back horror issue

Interview with Tattoo Artist: Charlotte Ross

Tattoo artist Charlotte Ross is currently travelling around the UK guesting at different studios. We chatted to her about her tattoos that resemble paintings, her love for birds and her own tattoo collection…  


How did you first start tattooing? When I was studying at university we had to do a work placement course. Having the opportunity to create our own placements, I managed to organise mine in a tattoo studio. I would help out, clean, ask questions, watch the tattooists work. By the end of it I didn’t want to leave! The owner of the studio asked to see my portfolio and then offered me an apprenticeship. I then began my apprenticeship in my final year of uni.

Do you have a background in art? What did you do before? I have six years studying art after leaving high school. Two years at college and then four years doing my BA Honours Degree in Fine art at university all before starting tattooing. I have now been tattooing over seven years.


How would you describe your style? I find it hard to describe my own work. I get put in the ‘watercolour tattoo’ bracket, but my work isn’t quite as soft as most watercolour tattoos are. When painting I don’t just use paint. All my art is done with layers of watercolour paints and pencil. So I can build strength where it is needed which gives a nice contrast between strong and soft areas. I tend to just say I do ‘painterly’ tattoos.


Have you always worked in a watercolour style? How did this develop?  I feel like I’m just at the beginning of it developing. I’m at the point where I love the subjects I am getting and I’m confident in my tattooing ability, but I can see my work evolving and I’m excited to see how it grows.
Even though my work isn’t traditional there are still fundamental rules in tattooing that I still apply, so that my customers get a nicely healed tattoo. I have spent a lot of years doing a bit of everything in tattooing, which I believe every tattooist should do. And this has taught me the importance of lines, using the skin tone and contrast between light and dark. It’s that understanding that has helped to translate my paintings into tattoos.

What inspires you? Nature inspires me. I grew up in the country with a gardening family. So I’ve always been surrounded by nice gardens filled with lovely flowers, fields and animals.


You draw and tattoo a lot of animals, are these your main inspirations? Birds are my main love/inspiration. I love everything about them and have since I was young. If there is ever a moment where I don’t have something to draw up for a tattoo and I’m feeling uninspired, I’ll turn to researching birds to paint. I look at anything from  bird books, to watching bird documentaries, or I turn to my own birds! Having domestic birds that I can closely watch and photograph is the greatest thing to keep me productively painting. My two birds are the best!

Is there anything you would love to tattoo? More birds! I would love to have some budgie tattoos to do! But birds and flower tattoos and I’m happy!

Can you tell us about the tattoos on your own body? I have quite a few pieces that I love and quite a few I’m not so bothered by! I wish I was a little more patient when I was younger, so I have a couple laser projects! Some of the ones I absolutely love are, my portrait of my dog Max, done by Marcus Maguire. My countryside rib piece including birds, rabbit and a wee mouse was done by Sarah Carter. I have a portrait of Marc Bolan on my thigh by Emma Kierzek and I love the side of my neck which is a rose with a locket in it by Steve Vinall.