creative director Vicky Lawton
photography Louie Banks
make-up Andrew Gallimore at CLM Hair and Make Up for Nars Cosmetics
stylist Keanoush Da Rosa
hair Brady Lea
make-up assistant Ana Fry
nails Lyndsay McIntosh
assistants Stephanie Galea, Rui Jeorge
models Maisie at Profile Models, Alina at First Model Management
creative director Vicky Lawton
Our editor Alice Snape is getting excited about the next Brighton Tattoo Convention, here she takes a glimpse at just some of the faces who attended last year in a stunning portrait series, including some familiar faces from the pages of past issues of Things&Ink…
Portrait of Marisa Kakoulas, editor of needlesandsins.com
We LOVE tattoo conventions, here at Things&Ink, and one of the highlights in the tattoo calendar is always Brighton Tattoo Convention. Not sure if it’s the sea air, but there’s always such a friendly, party vibe! And it’s the perfect convention to meet up with friends, old and new. Nothing brings people together like a passion for tattoos, after all.
At last year’s convention, I had my photograph taken by James Hole for a portrait series capturing convention-goers and artists. The results are absolutely stunning and a real insight into the contemporary tattoo community. I think this is down to the wonderful nature and talent of the photographer James, who made me feel instantly at ease in front of the camera – I normally hate having my photo taken and he even managed to capture a natural smile (see below). The setting for the images was incredible! In a grand room in the Hilton in Brighton, which you can see glimpses of in each image behind the backdrop.
As part of the portrait series, some interviews were also filmed. They will be coming soon, so watch this space.
Portrait of editor Alice Snape
The next Brighton Tattoo Convention is 30 April – 1 May, which will hopefully mean the sun is shining (the convention is usually in February!) and in a brand-new venue, The Brighton Centre.
And we have TWO weekend tickets to give away, all you have to do is share one of the images in this blog post on Instagram and use the hashtag #BTCTIcomp. We will pick a winner this Sunday 24 April. Good luck and hopefully see you at the convention! We won’t have a stand this year, but we will be taking pics and enjoying the convention, so come say hello!
Some of our favourite BTC portraits are below… all these people have also graced the pages of T&I over the years…
Wendy Pham, cover star of The Identity Issue
Cally-Jo, cover star of The Anatomy Issue
Grace Neutral, cover star of The Modification Issue
Claudia de Sabe, cover star of The Launch Issue
Matt Lodder, art historian
Brian Wilson, cover star of Stripped Back 2/3
Tiny Miss Becca, cover star of The Celebration Issue
Rebecca Vincent, interview in The Love Issue
Andrea Furci, interview in The Art Issue
you can see more portraits on the Brighton Tattoo Convention blog
We’ve teamed up with Inkluded to give you the chance to win a T-shirt! Check out our Instagram for more details.
Inkluded have created a clothing range in which every design has been drawn by tattoo artists. Inkluded has worked with five UK tattoo artists, Hannya Jayne, Dan Metcalfe, Mike Love, Clare Lambert and Kat Winifred, who have all designed something from scratch for the launch range.
Founder of Inkluded, Beccy Rimmer, said: “At Inkluded, we’re passionate about showcasing and sharing amazing tattoo art. This country’s creative tattoo scene is fast-growing and flourishing with talented artists, remarkable artwork and innovative styles – we thought it was time tattoo enthusiasts had one online place from which they could buy tattoo products and fashion.”
Inkluded was set up with a strong mission, to raise awareness of exceptional tattoo art through blog posts, art exhibitions and by creating an artistic community that people can feel included in. As well as browsing the new products, readers can meet the artists through a series of interviews published on the blog.
A selection of limited edition T-shirts and vests (prices from £15) are available from www.inkluded.co.uk/store.
Photographs by JustJodie Photography
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…
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
Where: Level 2, Royal Festival Hall, Belvedere Road, London, SE1 8XX
When: Sunday 13 March, 11am – 6pm
Editor Alice Snape photographed by Eleni for the Women With Tattoos blog, check out her interview at: womenwithtattoos.co.uk
Samantha Fielding is a 42-year-old photographer and creator of the Performer portrait project, a book celebrating the creative minds and secret worlds of night performers. We chat to Samantha about her upcoming book…
Performer is a homage to the night performer the strong and creative minds that make you forget about the everyday world we wonder in. Night is a time for reinvention. No one understands this better than the underground performer. Bursting free from the limitations of routine and shedding the skin of an every day identity, they become someone else. Someone braver. Someone wilder. Someone truer.For the night time performer especially, there is a certain isolation that comes with putting their vision and endeavour out there. The irony is that they find exhilaration and purpose in their respective acts or identities, and yet they are often judged and mocked as oddballs, outcasts, or freaks.
As both a photographer and interviewer, I shone my light back stage and focussed on the characters behind the parade of masks, eager to capture both the practised pose and the unguarded moments. The result is a series of portraits that capture the beating hearts of a world I feel fortunate to have been able to document. I will say that not only is this book an homage to the featured artists, it also challenges the judgements and preconceptions that we make of others. Either way, I hope my lens conveys a sharper understanding of this misunderstood world. And I hope this work fosters a new communion between the audience and the performer.
I grew up in the south of Spain where my mother owned night clubs. From a young age I was curious of the glitz and glam of the drag queens that had a night club next door. Stunning and tall they always let me sit and watch them put their make up on. I feel at home in this world. I am not a performer but maybe a closet performer. I go to Burningman every year. I actually met my husband there 10 years ago. I have always loved dressing up and have a garage filled with feather head dresses and costumes for all styles and occasions.
I want this book to cover all walks of performance artist’s from burlesque to drag, fire eaters to contortionists. I have given myself three years to travels to London, Berlin, Paris, New York, Las Vegas, Los Angeles and San Francisco. I hope this book brings an understanding to the every day person that you should never judge a book by it’s cover. Through my journey I have met some of the smartest, happiest, well travelled and well versed artists. These performers choose life.
Watch Samantha’s video below to find out more about the performer project:
Latvian artist Jana Brike creates oil paintings that explore notions of innocence and coming-of-age narratives.
Her inspirations for work has been as diverse as: folklore fairytales, children book illustrations, imaginative soviet animation films and supernaturally realistic classical painting; the colorful forbidden rare secret imagery of the western pop culture surrounded by mystical, almost religious tone for the soviet children; the terrifying war and deportation stories that her grandparents, and their little brothers and sister witnessed as small children; pompous alienated eerie atmosphere of the catholic church ceremonies in the Latvian countryside, and the breathtakingly beautiful ballet performances in the opera house, where she was taken since the age of two, as well as others. – all the bitter-sweetness and irreality of the every day.
The main focus of Jana Brike’s art is the internal space and state of a human soul – dreams, longing, love, pain, growing up and self-discovery.
Aphrodite with Kitten
The End of the Last Unicorn
Paradise of Shared Solitude
Gardener and the Centre of the Universe
Meet 21-year-old Sophia Bickerton, an aspiring tattoo artist who we featured in our Stripped Back issue in The New Normal, a circus-themed shoot showcasing four inspirational people. Here tells us about getting her tongue split…
I can’t say that I had a real reason for getting my tongue split, apart from the fact that I think it looks amazing! I love that you are able to do that to your body. I had wanted to get it done for the past eight years and only recently I plucked up the courage to actually go through with it! For two months before I got it done, I couldn’t get the idea out of my mind. I was dreaming about it almost every night. And I’m a big believer that what is stuck on your mind needs to happen. So it happened!
After a lot of research, I ended up travelling to London to have it split by Veronica Blades. When I woke up on the day, I was so excited – I just couldn’t wait. While I was travelling I started to feel nervous, so nervous that I felt like I was going to be sick and in the end I had a panic attack because I was so excited and scared at the same time, I just couldn’t process it!
The actual tongue split was magical. I had forceps on either side of my tongue so when it had been cut, Veronica held them a part and I just couldn’t believe it. The thing I had wanted for so long had finally been done. I couldn’t stop smiling and giggling, I was over the moon! My tongue was finally in half! So after that I was on a natural high, I couldn’t feel a thing, only happiness.
After everything was over and I had been sutured up, I sat down and talked to Veronica for a little while about aftercare and what my dos and don’ts were. After that, it was back to the underground to catch the tube and that’s when it hit me. I was in so much pain and, to make it worse, I ended up having a random coughing fit, which as you can imagine wasn’t very pleasant. It ended up making my tongue bleed a lot as it was putting pressure on my sutures. And that’s when I started to realise what I had done, I’ve just had my tongue split in half, and I must admit for the three or more hour journey home I started to regret my decision because it just hurt so much, it was throbbing and it was starting to swell.
Day two and three were the most uncomfortable, the swelling had taken over and my tongue had ballooned that much that I had to sit with my mouth open, my tongue just wouldn’t fit in my mouth – I couldn’t even push my tongue in to close my teeth. But pain wise, it didn’t hurt during the day but strangely would hurt at night.
And sleeping, oh damn, that wasn’t fun. I went through so many tissues! The drooling was unbelievable and just when the pain would subside and I was drifting off to sleep I would wake myself up by drooling everywhere. In the end I had to sleep with tissues pressed up against my mouth so it didn’t go everywhere.
Day five was the best day, the swelling was minimal and there was hardly any pain. The only down side was the fact my tongue looked so disgusting due to the white scabs. After a week, I ended up taking the stitches out, they were so uncomfortable and hurt so much. But without them, my tongue felt amazing, I felt free, it felt just like my normal tongue again. The best part was that I could eat properly again.
People have had mixed reactions, my nanna doesn’t like it at all and doesn’t understand why I would do that to my body, where as my grandad was happy for me, as he knew it made me happy. My niece and nephew love it, they are always asking if they can see it, but for them, it’s normal. They have grown up around me and know that I’m a little different to the rest of the family.
When I’m talking you can’t really tell what has happened, my tongue looks different but for someone who hasn’t seen it before they don’t know. I’ve had people ask me what is wrong with my tongue and they seem shocked when I tell them that I chose to do it.
But for the most part, people don’t care, they find it odd but they know it makes me happy and that’s all that matters.
I plan on having my tongue split further back in a few months, which I am really excited about! It healed up just a tiny bit and I’d like to have my split as big as it will allow me without having to have my frenulum cut. I’d also love to get my ears pointed in the future, but I cant see myself going through the healing process, as it will take months to fully heal and be very painful. For me, having my tongue split is the best thing I have ever done and it is now my favourite part of my body.
In the depths of the Rajasthani desert, the Gypsies created magic…
Check out the Gypsy East ASOS for your own magical treasure that the gypsies discovered on their travels
Art direction & styling – The Gypsy East Collective
Model – Emily-Louise McGuinness
Photographer – Alexandre Fantie-James
Shoot assistant – Harry Newbould
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
“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.”
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.”
“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.”
“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.”
“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.”
“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.”
To view more of Myra’s work and to see where she will be working next, follow her on Instagram @spinsterette