Category: News

Is it time to say goodbye? The Final Editor’s Letter

 

Wandering around the Vogue exhibition at The National Portrait Gallery, I think of the magazines that have inspired me over the years – and still continue to do so. I have always collected magazines, devoured every page, every inspirational photo shoot and article. From More and Sugar magazine when I was a teenager, to Dazed and Frankie when I was at university, I loved them all! I never dreamt that one day I would launch my own magazine… But I did.

I launched Things&Ink more than three years ago to become a part of that inspirational world that had spoken to me so much while I was growing up. I wanted to provide a source of tattoo inspiration for women and men just like me – who adore tattoos and wanted to see them presented to them in an arts and lifestyle publication.

From the first ever cover with the tattoo artist who inspired me to want to become heavily tattooed to our latest cover for The Horror Issue, the magazine has progressed and grown immensely over the years… and I really hope we have inspired readers, young and old.

Working on the first ever cover Working on the first ever cover

Alice Snape with Claudia de Sabe

As we prepare for our latest exhibition called The Archive, which sees artists who have featured on our pages over the years turn our back catalogue into works of art in their own right, I realise that it’s time to say goodbye to Things&Ink as a print magazine. Our latest exhibition was created to celebrate everything we have achieved over the years since we have been in publication. And I truly believe that we have made an impact on the tattoo world and beyond by representing tattoos in a interesting and thought-provoking way.

Editor Alice Snape with the now sold-out Horror Issue Editor Alice Snape with the now sold-out Horror Issue

However, as much as it pains me to say it, print is dying. Which is heartbreaking for me, I always loved the feel of a new book or magazine! Even the smell, opening the cover and wondering what you will discover… But the magazine world is changing, and without financial support, independently run magazines just cannot survive. As much as I have loved creating every single issue of Things&Ink, I just cannot take the financial burden anymore. Although the magazine looks like it is thriving, it is actually really struggling. I work as a freelance magazine editor and writer, and almost every penny I have earned over the years has been ploughed back into the magazine.

Is it time to say goodbye?

But not to dwell… Things change, evolve, and move into something unexpected. Things&Ink has become a very recognised brand, and although we will no longer exist in print, we will exist online in the form of this blog, and our social media accounts. We will also still organise events and exhibitions and be a hub for people who are passionate about art and tattoos.

I would also like to take this time to thank everyone who has contributed to the magazine over the three years that it has been running. Especially my right-hand women Rosie and Keely, without them I would have probably had a nervous breakdown a long time ago. And also my sister/stylist Olivia and my digital genius friend Pares, who helped me right back when the magazine was purely a figment of my imagination. They have put up with my tears and dramas, and dedicated hours, days, weeks to Things&Ink. All unpaid, all voluntary, just for the love of it. And that goes for every single person who has done something, no matter how big or small, for the magazine. That includes photographers, stylists, designers, writers… So many people.

"I loved watching the magazine come off the presses... such a magical moment every time" “I loved watching the magazine come off the presses… such a magical moment every time”

 

Running a tattoo magazine means that we have had a rare glimpse into the tattoo world, tattoo artists have opened up to us and given us a unique take on what could have been a very closed world. We have met some of the most incredible artists along the way, and hope we continue to do so… I also hope that as many of our readers, contributors, artists, friends and supporters will join us at our exhibition The Archive, opening on Thursday 31 March at the Circle in London… and don’t be sad, come celebrate!

Team T&I at London Tattoo Convention over two years ago... Team T&I at London Tattoo Convention over two years ago…

 

Thanks so much for reading this, what is my final – and most difficult to write – editor’s letter… it has been a pleasure compiling every issue for you, and I hope I can continue to inspire by curating content for this blog and also artwork for future exhibitions… there’s lots of cool projects brewing.

Much love, your editor,

Alice 

PS you can grab a back issue and a little piece of tattoo history for £1 from Newsstand

A tattoo artist’s response to the Tattoo Fixers debate…

Everyone has been talking about it… you know, those designs that “tattoo fixer” Sketch has traced and passed off as his own on the Channel 4 programme Tattoo Fixers… so we got tattoo artist Antony Flemming to give his opinion on Sketch and the Tattoo Fixers… #fucktattoofixers

Print for sale for £10

Print by Antony Flemming, for sale for £10, check Instagram for info.

 

“Now, I have to be extremely careful writing this, as Channel 4’s legal team are a tad better than mine, or anyone else in this industry for that matter. So what I am about to say is factual and backed up with evidence. I will not speculate or stray from the truth.

“Firstly I want to talk about tattoo shows in general. Normally, tattoo shows in the UK come and go – and whether we like them or not, they don’t really affect the industry. The artists on the shows are normally at an OK to good standard and the tattoos shown are of a passable quality and generally up to an average standard. With the exception of a few, who are talented, such as the guys on London Ink.

“But… Tattoo Fixers is an absolute abysmal representation of the UK t7attoo scene and I shudder to think that the public thinks these guys (as stated on the show) are “three of the best artists in the UK”. Quite simply, in my opinion they are not. Now of course, art is subjective and there will always be people who think they are, but I honestly think if you asked the guys on the show, they would agree they are not the three best artists in the UK. And if they actually believe their own hype, then really that says it all.

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“The reason I am so concerned about this show is because they are deceiving the public, innocent people that actually don’t know any better. A TV company comes to them and says: ‘Hey, do you want a free tattoo by one of the best artists in the country.’ I mean damn! Of course they are going to say yes – if they are uneducated about the tattoo industry. But as  I’m sure you’ve seen from the customers that have been publicly upset about their experience and finished tattoo, this has not been the case.

“I have been upset with certain elements in the tattoo industry before, but I have never spoken out about anything, because to be honest, who cares what I think? But Tattoo Fixers is something different, it’s exploiting people. And it’s damaging our industry to a point where people assume that the guys on that show are at the very top of UK tattooing, and it’s simply not the truth.

“I think for me, as an artist, the main thing that I have an issue with is ‘Sketch.’
Again, as I’m sure you have all seen, he has been stealing artists’ designs. Line for line tracing. I don’t mean just stealing ideas, because of course, every idea has been done and not many ideas are truly original. I’m talking about tracing a one-off custom tattoo drawn  for a customer.

“I get it, when you are just starting out, everyone copies their favourite artist to an extent. I mean we are all still inspired by people, whether it be in the tattoo industry or not.  But you very quickly learn to find your own path and everyone cringes when you think of a few tattoos or drawings you did that was a little too close to the guy or girl you wanted to be.

“But Sketch… He doesn’t cringe, he doesn’t seem fazed by the fact he is ripping off people’s original designs. He just shrugs his shoulders and seems to think its ok. After posting the comparison between my tattoo and his rip off, he messaged me.

Tattoo on right by Antony Flemming and left copied by Sketch Tattoo on right by Antony Flemming and left copied by Sketch

 

“At first it seemed like a genuine apology, and I was taken by surprise, as all I’ve seen online is him saying things along the lines of: ‘I don’t have time to draw my own designs’ and ‘I have a family to feed and a life to lead.’ But after the initial apology, he went on to justify why he had stolen my design. He said that the customer had come in with the design and he couldn’t just turn him down, and send the guy to World of Tattoos where I work, because he has a family to feed.

[12874079_1169929703064435_1641715177_oedit: since this article was first published, it has come to light that this neck tattoo is on Sketch’s old apprenctice, making his reason a lie]

“No fair enough, you don’t have to send the guy to another shop. But you can, however, redraw the design so it is an original. I think Sketch seems to think I work in a private studio and I don’t understand the average walk-in customer. What he doesn’t realise is World of Tattoos is essentially a highstreet walk-in shop, as many of my customers will vouch for.  Our team and I deal with these customers everyday. Someone will walk in with a print out of a tattoo they want, and generally this is how the conversation goes: ‘Ok cool! That’s a great idea. We will redraw that for you, so you have an original design and book you in.’ Now I know for a fact that 99 out of a 100 people won’t even bat an eyelid, and that one other person isn’t worth jeopardising your career over. It certainly isn’t worth the backlash this has caused. So to be honest, that excuse does not wash with me.

“But if that was his excuse, then surely posting tattoos with the caption: ‘custom design’ attached would suggest the customer didn’t bring in that design at all and he is actually deceiving his customer. An Emily Rose Murray piece, which has been copied by Sketch, even won an award at a convention! Sketch went on to say that he credited Emily, but when called out on it, he lied about not having a Facebook page and the post being a fake, well actually until the post got deleted, it came from his shop’s business page on Facebook…
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“After Sketch’s ‘apology’, I gave him some advice… I told him the best thing to do, is concentrate on his tattooing rather than being a ‘celebrity’, stop going to clubs and making ‘special guest appearances’. Sit down and draw, better yourself. Come out of this with a bit of respect. If people see you are actually trying, you may rid this stigma. I also told him to publicly apologise to all the people he has stolen from. If he did that, what can we say? Other than, fair play. Well done, you’ve openly admitted you messed up and you want to do better. He can only gain some respect from the tattoo industry.

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“But guess what…? He asked me to keep the apology between us and didn’t say a thing about it publicly, then made his account private. If he had done these things, I would have left the issue and deleted my post. Alas all I saw publicly about it was Sketch almost laughing in my face, telling people on Twitter, he doesn’t know why he is getting hate about it as 90% of artists do it. And he said it was two years ago? That’s a lie. Remember Instagram lets you know when you’ve posted something, and it was less than a year ago, as were all those other rip-offs…”

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“And I think that’s it. I think that’s why people are so annoyed and disgruntled. Everyone has had their designs stolen by different people, everyone knows it, but for the most part when people are called out on it, they know they are in the wrong and admit it. But Sketch hasn’t done that, he just comes up with excuse after excuse and isn’t doing a damn thing about it. It is also infuriating to see Channel 4’s legal team and spokespeople silencing any whistle blowers (I expect a cease and desist order in my emails any moment now). Instead of confronting the real issue, I also saw a spokesperson from Channel 4 saying they had licensed the designs from artists to be used. Perhaps they did for some, but I know for a fact they didn’t ask Brian Thomas Wilson (@the_noble_mountain) or Mitch Allenden (@sneakymitch) I also found a rip off of a Crispy lennox piece this morning that won another award…

“I also wanted to briefly mention the fact Sketch is so open about buying his first machines on eBay and starting to tattoo from home. I think it sets a dangerous precedent when it comes to impressionable youngsters that perhaps want to become tattooists.  I feel that kids who don’t know any better will pick up a cheap machine and think it’s OK to tattoo from home, risking the possible spread of infections such as Hepatitis. Not to mention scarring people for life.

“It’s simply becoming a joke. I’m not sure what the answer is. Writing this is a good way to vent but realistically unless it goes viral to the masses, I’m simply preaching to the choir. I feel that the industry needs a voice in the public, something people can actually see, and something that can show the average Joe that actually tattooing can be incredible. Something that shows the real side of tattooing, the working 12 hours a day to come home and draw until 2am in the morning, the not going out with your friends for most of the year because, ‘ah sorry mate, I’ve got to do a drawing,’ the relationships we’ve lost because we have locked ourselves away in our drawing rooms. Don’t get me wrong this isn’t a woe is me sort of thing, I know we have the best job in the world, but when a TV show portrays it in a way where it looks like we are rock ‘n’ roll stars not having to do any work, it bugs me, and especially when the little work they do, is actually a rip off of all the hard work real artist do, then that is a line well and truly crossed.

“I could go into many other things about the show and my opinion regarding health and safety and other issues that are cropping up every day but (editor) Alice has told me to keep this at around 700 words and I’m pretty sure I’m already well over that!”

What do you think? Have you been watching the show?

Eric Ceballos: The Rebel With A Cause

23-year-old Eric Ceballos is an actor, print model, TV personality, activist and tattoo enthusiast from Fresno California, who currently works at Hot Topic. We chatted to Eric about what drives him and what he fights for… 

 

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I’ve been acting for about 10 years now. But despite what a lot of people think, I can be quite shy. I have my moments. I have acted in everything from movies, major music videos to independent films and everything in between. The first major role I ever auditioned for was Freddie Benson on Nickelodeon’s Icarly. I’ve done a movie called Family Of a Four which is a film that appears on Lifetime here in the U.S as well as films titled Jimmy Hansens Heaven and I recently wrapped production of a sci-fi horror film called Life Of The Flesh.

As for music videos I’ve done a handful of high profile music videos including the band Yellowcard, Artist Jeffree Star, and most recently Disney Channel star Sofia Carson’s music video for her song “Goosebumps”. I haven’t done a ton of modeling compared to my acting career but I love it. Growing up I was really heavy and a little awkward at times so becoming a model of any sort had never once crossed my mind. But I have modeled for Hot Topic, Craze Watches which is an organization who’s funds support cancer foundations and research. It’s founded by my friend Jay G from MTV’s “The Real World”.
It is very hard to pick which one I like the most.  But I’d probably say acting because it was my first love and I find it to be very therapeutic. I fun to leave your world and your worries behind and step into another persons shoes for awhile.

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There are so many people I look up to in this industry, but currently, I’d love to work with actor and musician Jared Leto. I’ve had that pleasure of seeing him in person and his energy is contagious. I’d loved to have worked with Heath Ledger, James Dean, River Phoenix. The talent they had was immeasurable. I have a fascination with old Hollywood. I’m a very old soul and feel that’s where I would’ve fit in most.

The wheels in my head are always turning and I always have something going for me. I’ve done some reality TV as well. I have friends on MTV’s “The Real World” and keep in contact with them, attend all the after shows and reunions. Friends from “Bad Girls Club” on Oxygen and last year I had a cameo in the farewell special of professional skateboarder Rob Dyrdek’s show “Fantasy Factory” on MTV. I also have a couple of personal appearances coming up. I have the annual NEDA walk in April in L.A! That’s a part of my activist work and I’m really excited to go out and support and meet people.

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In terms of activism, I speak and I write, make public appearances. I’m extremely passionate about it. I support organizations such as The Jed Foundation, NEDA, Love is Louder, My Life My Power, NAMED, Proud2BMe.
I’d like to think I stand for young men and men’s empowerment. I don’t believe we have enough of that in today’s society. Everyone has this illusion that men have to be macho, a alpha male who has to seem strong and bullet proof. I personally have struggled with an eating disorder, body image issues and self harm. A lot of these things are looked at as “girl issues” or “female problems” but men feel the same amount of pressure as everyone else. We aren’t exempt to pressure or negativity.

Growing up, I had no one to look up to when I was battling all of this which contributed to my self harm. I felt like I was the only boy dealing with these issues. I try to be a voice for the voiceless, raise awareness, break these stereotypes and stigmas. It hasn’t been easy but I believe society is starting to realize what I’m talking about. I like living life on the edge and I kinda play by my own rules. I’ve always been looked at as the rebel with a cause. I believe everyone has a voice, use it. Speak up even if your voice shakes. You never know who’s listening or who needed to hear exactly what your preaching.

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I love getting tattooed.  My skin is like my journal. Every piece on my body represents something personal whether it’s a person, a phase I went through, a trial I overcame, an idol of mine, mantras and mottos I live by, lyrics from my favorite songs and quotes from my favorite authors. I’m lucky to have worked with good artists in the past and my current one, Christian, is one of the best young artists in Fresno. As an artist I like to surround myself with people who are equally creative and there are no artists like tattoo artists, I mean they literally bring pictures, people’s idea’s and visions to life.

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My Family, faith and my supporters all equally done so much for me and been so supportive that I feel like I owe them. I have so much I want to do in my life, so many dreams and ambitions and I have no intention of stopping until I get there. My parents are amazing, they’ve believed in me from the beginning. I grew up the black sheep, I wasn’t the best looking kid and I grew up being extremely hard on myself. Letting go of all of that, being confident in my skin and liking who I am today has gotten me here.

Also, I owe a lot to my brother Adrian. He passed away three years ago. In addition to being my older brother, he was one of my best friends. Every time I’d go out of town for a gig, he’d be the first to call to see how everything went. He cared. He was very supportive of my work and he made me feel like the dream I was chasing mattered. We always looked at tattoo magazines as kids and always said “look how cool these tattoos are! One day we’ll be in a tattoo magazine to show off all the cool work we’re going to get done when we’re older”. My motivation is him. I love you brother.

I like to say that I’m not here for a long time, I’m here for a good time. Life is short and the goal isn’t to live forever, the goal is to create something that will!

Eric would like to dedicate this post to his brother who passed away Adrian “Boy” Ceballos

Tattoo Artist Credit: Christian De Anda from Black Inc in Fresno, Ca

Photographer Credit: Virginia Maciel

A Chocwork Orange Beer Launch

Last weekend our music writer Amber Carnegie had the pleasure of heading to BrewDog Sheffield to try their latest beer collaboration. Here’s what she got up to… 

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‘A Chocwork Orange’ has been created by BrewDog in Sheffield, and independents Abbeydale Brewery and Skull And Bones Boys Club. A chocolatey pale malt brewed with a focus on citrus fruits and orange peel. The result-  a rich beer with a lasting flavour that left you wanting another pint.


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‘A Chocwork Orange’ have nailed it with a chocolate focused beer with none of the artifical taste that you sometimes associate with chocolatey beers. The chocolate notes coming from real cacao nibs and chocolate malts for a moreish flavour that certainly paid off with the first cask selling out in under two hours.

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The launch also gave us a taste of the latest Skull And Bones Boys Club collection with baby pinks, pastel blues and intriguing washes framing the bar. As their brand evolves so do their pioneering collections, with already iconic products such as chopping boards and straight razors who knows what SABBC will be adding to their portfolio next.

Find out where you can try ‘A Chocwork Orange’ here.

Tattoo London at Museum of London

Tattoo London – 29 January – 8 May 2016

Find out how professional skin art made its way to the capital and get a look behind the scenes at four contemporary London tattoo studios. Tattooing in London has a long and rich history, dating back to a time before Captain Cook made his adventures to the Pacific. The exhibition Tattoo London, at the Museum of London, will offer insight into the history of professional tattooing in London as well as revealing life inside four contemporary tattoo studios in the capital.

Lal Hardy Tattoo London

Also on display will be newly commissioned artworks by tattooists from the featured studios: Lal Hardy at New Wave, Alex Binnie at Into You, Claudia de Sabe at Seven Doors and Mo Coppoletta at The Family Business.

Self Portrait as Jigoku Dayu by Claudia de Sabe, 2015 Self Portrait as Jigoku Dayu by Claudia de Sabe, 2015

 

The museum will stay open late for a special event, ‘Tattoo London: Under the Skin‘, on 22 February 2016.

Claudia de Sabe Tattoo London

For more information, go to museumoflondon.org.uk

Documentaries: Making a Murderer

Alexandra Langston is a creative copywriter, editor, and part-time blogger, living and working in Qatar. In this post Alex talks about the Making a Murderer series… 

Over Christmas, like a lot of people, I plummeted into the Netflix Making a Murderer vortex with wilful abandon. Living in the Middle East, I had heard a few grumbles about the series on the internet, but was otherwise unaware of details; in retrospect, blissfully unaware.
About a year ago, I delved similarly head-long into a series of documentaries about the West Memphis Three – three Arkansas teenage boys who in 1994 were found guilty of the murders of three younger boys. Two were sentenced to life in prison, whilst the perceived ringleader was sentenced to death.

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The murder, trial, and media coverage were all clouded by the so-called ‘Satanic Panic’ that pervaded the US for much of the early 90s. Wearing black, listening to heavy metal, and being interested in belief systems beyond the typical Christianity of the Deep South, meant a guilty verdict was more or less guaranteed. If it wasn’t for film makers Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky capturing proceedings, that would have been that for the boys.

Fortunately, after the first film aired in 1996 interest in the case built, and over the next fifteen years the tireless support of the public (and some celebrities) led to new DNA evidence. In 2011 the possibility of a re-trial that would potentially embarrass the state led to an unusual plea deal; all three men were freed, but the state maintained their guilt.
I watched in absolute horror and astonishment, feeling elated at their release and total disgust at the injustice of the state’s lack of culpability. Overall though, I felt that this scenario had to be an anomaly, a one off. I was very wrong.

Enter Making a Murderer. In 1985, Steven Avery was wrongfully convicted of sexual assault in Manitowoc County, Wisconsin, and spent eighteen years in prison before being fully exonerated by new DNA evidence. Two years after his release, and on the eve of a multi-million dollar settlement from Manitowoc County, Avery was arrested and then tried and convicted of the murder of a young woman. His nephew, Brendan Dassey, was also sentenced to life in prison for his part in the killing.

The confluence of a looming settlement that would have financially crippled the county, and the investigation by officers and prosecutors that had also played a part of the original wrongful conviction, is at the centre of the ten hour series. The documentary raises questions about the trustworthiness of the investigation and its key players, but it has also seen a heavy backlash that claims a lack of impartiality from documentarians Laura Ricciardi and Moira Demos. The two women are also accused of leaving out important trial evidence in order to more convincingly paint the defendants as innocent.

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What is clear is that for both men the investigations and trial were not entirely unbiased, and whichever side of the fence you come down on, the takeaway should be that we take a long hard look at our justice systems. In the twenty years since the West Memphis Three case came to prominence, how many more people have not received adequate defences due to a lack of money and resources?
Questionable journalism aside, it is important that these kinds of documentaries continue to be made – that we keep asking questions – because it is not just in the US that you can find yourself in an unwinnable situation.

Interview with Myra Brodsky

Editor Alice Snape recently got tattooed by Berlin-based Myra Brodsky, 27, aka spinsterette on Instagram, while she was guesting at Seven Doors in east London. Alice couldn’t resist asking Myra some questions while under the needle… 

Tattoo artist Myra Brodsky and editor Alice Snape at Seven Doors in east London Tattoo artist Myra Brodsky and editor Alice Snape at Seven Doors in east London

 

“Myra’s work is heavily influenced by art nouveau and the Victorian age – the periods of art that I am drawn to… so I couldn’t resist getting a tattoo by her while she was over in London. I picked a moon and hand from her flash, and conducted this interview while I was getting tattooed… just imaging the buzz of the needle as you read.”

Alice: “How long have been a tattoo artist for?”
Myra:
“I started tattooing in late 2008, after studying visual communications at university. My parents were always very anti me going into tattooing, but my father has now passed away and my mother has moved to Spain, so they are not part of my life anymore and are not aware of what I do. My parents were very religious and this is probably where their attitude came from. I was born and raised in a very conservative, jewish family.”

Design tattooed on Alice from Myra's flash Design tattooed on Alice from Myra’s flash

 

Alice: “What do you think drew you to tattoos then?”
Myra:
“It was really actually by accident that I came into tattooing. I never planned it, I never had the wish to become a tattoo artist. My best friend started to tattoo, and I thought that seemed kinda fun. So she immersed me into the tattoo world, she had all the gear at home, and I started tattooing too. At first, just for fun – it was never big business or starting something serious. I did shitty little tattoos on my own body, but never thought it was something I could make a living from… I thought my parents would hate me and turn against me.”

“What did you do for a job at this time?”
“I worked for an ad agency. I found it really boring.”

“When did you start tattooing properly, as a job?”
“I actually started tattooing when I was still at university too, I used to have to do 12-hour days. I was still working at that agency and attending university and I was already tattooing. It was a lot to do. I found it easy as I didn’t have the wish to meet up with friends in my spare time. I was dedicated to my work, being productive was great.  Now I need tattooing for my living.”

MyraBrodsky-handtattoo

 

“Do you think that is something that is hard being a tattoo artist? Would you want to change it or be something else?”
“Yeah. I mean being self employed is hard in general. I hate that. I hate doing my taxes, I am really bad at counting, I cannot count at all! If I had the choice I would be a magician. My father comes from the casino business and when my sister and I were still young we used to go to Las Vegas pretty often. My sister and I grew up watching shows like David Copperfield. I admire those magic shows, even if it is an illusion, I love it. I wish I could do that.”

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“Do you think that has a big impact on your work?”
“Totally. I love all that imagery surrounding all those magic things. I also believe in magic powers. Whenever I have a problem I call my fortune teller instead of going to the doctor. They tell me different things, I can ask her anything. When I was planning my tour through Europe I asked her which shops would accept me. In London, she said there would be a chance that only one shop would accept me and now I am here at Seven Doors.”

“Do you plan to live in New York?”
“I want to move there and work Red Rocket tattoo in Midtown.”

“Do you think that is part of the beauty of being a tattoo artist being able to travel around?”
“I think it is a good thing. I know a lot of people who aren’t into travelling, but I am because I don’t really feel comfortable in just one place. I get bored so easily. I think it is a fun game  to have to challenge yourself to act like a local in so many cities. I like that kind of game.”

MyraBrodsky-butterfly

 

“What is your favourite city you have been to so far?”
“New York. I like London too. You cannot really describe New York in words. It is just perfect.”

“How would you describe your style as a tattooist?”
“I would say I  don’t really want to put a name on that. I can only say what inspires me and what I use as reference. These are actually images from all of the great eras from the past, in art history. I know a lot about art history. Most of the things I take are from art nouveau and the Victorian age and Edwardian age. Art Deco is also nice but it is too geometric for my kind of thing. I rather like organic decoration elements, because you can always take them and change them for every part of the body.”

“Do  you like doing bigger pieces as well?”
“I prefer doing bigger pieces. But I don’t get to do many of them, I think because I’m not in one place all the time.”

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“What would be your favourite thing to tattoo? If you could do anything on someone’s back what would you do?”
“I think it would be a scene out of a classic novel or play. Maybe a play by Shakespeare or a novel by Kafka. Anything that is already existing, that I could adapt. That is what I like, because I think it is timeless.”

“How would you like your style to progress in the future?”
“I am planning on starting more big pieces with more detail, more history behind them. More details and meaning in general.”

IMG_1800 Myra at Seven Doors

 

To view more of Myra’s work and to see where she will be working next, follow her on Instagram @spinsterette

 

Transformation tattoo for Transgender son

Steve Peace a Canadian tattooist has updated his wife’s tattoo of their children to reflect the new gender of her eldest son Ace. The original tattoo was done over 10 years ago, and showed a portrait of their children, Elliot, Hamish and Ace- when Ace was living as a girl.

Steve has now changed the tattoo of a young girl wearing a pink dress and pigtails into a boy wearing a blue shirt and shorts to reflect Ace who is a transgender teen. The tattoo transformation was kept as a surprise for Ace and shows how much they support his decision to be who he really is.

In an interview with Global News Steve said:

I think it really reaffirmed, for him, that we believed him […] Parents often sit in the closet themselves. This was putting it out there. Parents need to really support their kids in these situations. I thought he was happy before, but no — he’s happier now. It’s crazy. He smiles all the time.

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Tattoo by Steve

Watch the video below to hear Ace’s story:

Skin Deep – an exhibition featuring photographic portraits of male models

Cheshire born and now London based, photographer Danny Baldwin explored a range of art forms, from drawing and drama to music and modelling, before finding his niche as a photographer. It was actually while modelling that Danny discovered a world where his creative vision could be channelled by flipping sides from in front to behind the lens. Influenced by fashion and counter-culture, Danny’s style mixes colours, tones and textures, and emphasises the power of beauty and shapes.
In his new exhibition, Skin Deep, Danny  documents a seismic mood change within the fashion industry that has seen agencies shift from representing only models with no tattoos, or those that are easily hidden, to building entire campaigns around elaborately inked individuals. Encouraging acceptance and celebrating individuality, freedom of expression and creativity, Skin Deep features 100 black and white nude images of professional tattooed male models shot against a stark black, signature background.
We found out more in this interview with Danny…



PRESSPACKPAGE1

> What attracted you to photographing tattooed models? Why?

The underlying message is to encourage acceptance and freedom of expression, Skin Deep has been created over the course of a year to show the versatility of beauty and ink, and is something I could relate to myself. I needed it to be something that I understood, had knowledge about and was part of my life – and I wanted to represent and celebrate the rise of the tattooed model and its acceptance, slowly, into the fashion industry.

RICKIHALL@NEVS RICKIHALL@NEVS

 

> What is your background? Have you always photographed people?

Yes I did a general photography course at college in Cheshire when I first started as a photographer and this covered all types of photography, when I was doing landscapes etc i used to have imagine people there to be able to create the image. I decided very quickly one of the main reasons I am a photographer is because of the people, so I continued my studies at London College of Fashion studying fashion photography

> Why only men in the project?

I decided when I started this as a personal project that It had to be relatable to myself, it had to say something from me and be pure to my vision and I felt – as a tattooed male myself – I would be able to better understand the body of the male and their process of thought. I want to represent the male models in a way I haven’t always been able to represent them due to client limitations.

MATTHEWMORRIS@BMA MATTHEWMORRIS@BMA

 

> The portraits are in black and white… is there a particular reason for this?

Due to the scale of the project and the timeframe of over a year of shooting, I wanted to create something distinctive that showcased the models and their tattoos in a consistent way and I felt this was the best way to do it. I shoot a lot in black and white as I love shape, line, texture and movement and really feel this can be explored a lot deeper with a black and white image.

BUD&AIDEN@BODYLONDON BUD&AIDEN@BODYLONDON

 

Are you tattooed yourself?

I do have a collection of tattoos and plan to have more done in the future months and years. I have my left top arm , finger, both feet, all my toes and most recently I have had the title of this project “skin deep” on my inner lip which was done at One By One tattoo studio in soho, London. All my tattoos have a deep rooted and significant meaning to me and are connected to parts of my job as a photographer, people who have impacted my life and the evolution of myself. They look quite macabre but they are more my own personal affirmations.


What are your hopes for this exhibition? How many portraits does it include?

The exhibition will feature over 100 portraits of the selected agency signed male models, which I hope will showcase their diversity. I want to show a wider audience something that is visually stimulating and celebrates how these people are breaking the mould. They are being true to themselves in an elite industry and expressing who they are through the medium of tattooing, which I think is an incredible art form and I don’t know why it has taken so long for the two worlds of tattooing and fashion to collide and be more accepted in the mainstream. I think the bigger picture is about encouraging acceptance and celebrating individuality, freedom of expression and creativity.

Danny has just reached his fundraising target on Kickstarter, so it looks like there will be a physical exhibition of Skin Deep in London next year. Look out for updates from @thingsandink and @skindeeplondon.

Covered: a photo project where tattooed people bare all

Covered: a portrait project of tattooed people. This beautiful photographic project illustrates the variety of people who get tattooed and the vastly different reasons why…

Photographs by Alan Powdrill | Interviews by  | Feature from theguardian.com

Woman tattoos underneath

Victoria Clarke, 37, Coventry
My tattoos are part of who I am, and I’ll always love my bodysuit, now and when I’m 80. The respect and love I get for what I look like is what it’s all about.

Woman tattoos underneath 2

Man tattoo underneath

Graham Platts, 58, Cleethorpes
I was 51 when I started getting tattoos. I wanted one in my teens but my parents wouldn’t have agreed. About 10 years ago, I stopped smoking and thought, “I ought to do something with the money, to have something to show for it”; I decided to get a tattoo. I got one on my right arm. Then I got one on my left arm. Then on my right leg, then my left leg – it just escalated. I’ve replaced one addiction with another, but a healthier one. When I see a gap, I want it filled. Once I’m covered, I think I’ll start saving for a nice holiday.

Man tattoo underneath 2

Tattoo underneath

Izzy Nash, 48, Maidstone
I was 16 when I got my first tattoo, a tiny rose on my thigh. For me, it’s about being different. You’re never naked, because you’re covered in artwork. My bottom is always the talking point: I’m forever showing people.
I’m talking with my tattooist in Brighton about doing my neck and my legs – then there’s only my stomach left. My kids love it. I’ve told them, “When I die, you need to skin me, dry me out and put me on the wall.”

Tattoos underneath 2

Tattoos underneath photo

Alex Coates, 49, Whitby
When I started getting tattooed, over 30 years ago, it was frowned upon. It was the skinhead era, and I saw a guy with two swallows on his hands. That was it: I wanted them, too. My mum wasn’t happy. Now I’m completely covered. Recently, I asked my mother if she’d mind if I got some little tattoos on my face: a cross and a few dots. She said, “As long as they’re not too big.” I had it done that day. I woke up the next day, and thought, “What have I done?” But everyone said they looked cool and now I love them.

Tattoos underneath photo 2

Drew tattoos

Drew Beckett, 32, London
When I was 27, my hair fell out. I have total alopecia. I decided to reinvent myself so that the first thing people see is my tattoos, rather than the fact I have no eyebrows. I thought, “I’m a blank slate.” I started, embarrassingly, with a 90s tribal dragon on my stomach. I was 18, and thought it was the coolest thing ever. The artist was a Goldsmiths graduate called Thomas Hooper, who is now an internationally famous tattooist. I’m a civil servant; I check with my boss before I get a tattoo. If I was told no, that would be OK. It’s good manners to ask.

Drew tattoos 2

You can view more portraits on photographer Alan’s website, the Covered portrait exhibition of tattooed people will open on 11 November 2015 at Mother, in east London, RSVP alan@alanpowdrill.com.