Category: Photo inspiration

The Things&Ink Wedding Competition Finalists – The Engagement Shoot

Are you linked by ink?

Back in December 2013 (issue 5, The Celebration Issue), we launched a competition to win wedding photography for your big day. The best, tattooed love story would win… And the entrants were amazing  – so amazing that we have picked three finalists (they’re so cute).  The engagement shoots in this blog post, by photographer Heather Shuker, of Brighton-Photo, will help us pick the ultimate winner. Who is your favourite couple? Let us know on Instagram @thingsandink.com or facebook.com/thingsandink

The final winner will be announced on Christmas Day! Watch this space…

Vicky Morgan & Lee Withey – 31 and 27 from Nottingham

Where did you meet? Vicky: ‘He bought me a drink to congratulate me on getting a receptionist job at the studio he worked at, that was 10 years ago.’

 

How were tattoos involved? Vicky: ‘We worked together for over 10 years in a tattoo studio, and he also played a big part in helping me learn to tattoo.’

Have you already planned your day?  Vicky: ‘We are getting married in Phuket, Thailand, on the 4th of February 2015.’

How do you see your wedding day? What are you most excited about? Vicky: ‘I want it to be magical. We got engaged in Phuket under a full moon and it will be the same for our wedding, but with our closest friends and family, a baby elephant and fireworks. Every Disney princess needs fireworks!’ 

ROXANNE DONOVAN & GREG FURBER, 28 AND 31, FROM LONDON 

 

Where did you meet? Roxanne: ‘On a film set. My first job was on Fantastic Mr Fox and Greg was one of the assistant directors on the film.’

How were tattoos involved? Roxanne: ‘On my first day, Greg was asking me my interests and at the time I was reading this book about dragons (which I thought was a bit dorky). A bit embarrassed, I told him about the book, to which he replied: “I have two large dragon tattoos on my back.” Call me weird but, SWOON! We also have matching tattoos that we got while in Coney Island, NYC. It was Halloween and we were a bit tipsy (read: drunk as a skunk). We ended up in a bar called Tattoos and Shots, you can see where this story goes… Needless to say the next morning we woke up with two matching skull tattoos on our wrists with no recollection of getting them. The weekend after that Greg proposed!’

 

Have you already planned your day? Roxanne: ‘We are getting married on 28/08/2015 at Trinity Buoy Wharf, London. The wedding has snippets of Romany Gypsy traditions in memory of my granddad. Also Spanish Culture as we are travelling South America for our honeymoon and we love everything Spanish.’

How do you see your wedding day? Roxanne: ‘Our wedding is all about partying and rum. On the morning of our wedding we’ll meet at a tattoo parlour and have our wedding bands tattooed onto us. We wanted to make sure in all of the wedding crazy, we had a moment to be together and really make a mark on our day.’ 

 

TANYA MAYOR & CHRIS BAKER, BOTH 26, FROM STOKE-ON-TRENT AND BARNSLEY

 

Where did you meet? Tanya: ‘We met on Instagram.’

How were tattoos involved?  Tanya: ‘Chris had been asked to draw a pin-up burlesque dancer (he’s a tattooist), so he searched for reference on Instagram and I popped up in the results. He contacted me and asked if he could draw me for a tattoo on a client. Since that moment, barely a day has gone by that we haven’t spoken to each other. Chris even came to live with me while I nursed my sick nan and he worked at a studio in Stoke-on-Trent to support me. After this, we began to look for our own studio, so that we could grow artistically as a couple. It has been the biggest struggle of our lives, but we now run a studio together. Tattoos are what brought us together.’

 

How do you see your wedding day? What are you most excited about?  Tanya: ‘We would love to get married in a low-key ceremony with a few select close friends and family. We want to custom make most things for the wedding, including the outfits and wedding favours, and we want candles and fairy lights. It’ll be romantic and based around a twisted theme, taking influence from Tim Burton and Sailor Jerry. We are most excited about getting married and making the further commitment to each other.’ 

Let us know your favourite couple… and the winner will be announced on Christmas Day.

 

Illustrations by Iain Macarthur

Today on the blog, we’re lusting after the work of Iain Macarthur …

My work can be described as surreal and unique in its own way. Using mostly pencil, watercolours and pigment pens, I create portraits of ordinary people but create them in a unusual way by, embellishing patterns and watercolour effects into the portrait to give a vivid explosion effect — transforming their faces from something plain to something entirely bizarre and wonderful at the same time.

Says Iain about his beautiful work.

exploding-face

All images via iainmacarthur.com

 

 

Issue 9 cover reveal, with tattoo artists “stripped back”

Our favourite time in the Things&Ink calendar… the cover reveal!

And issue 9 is an iconic and very special issue of Things&Ink. We have created three beautiful covers, and you can choose which you’d like to add to your collection. Perhaps, more significantly, and for the first time ever, we have featured both sexes. With our recent change in brand identity (from Embracing Female Tattoo Culture to Independent, Tattoo, Lifestyle), we felt it was important to truly represent this, not just inside the pages of the magazine, but on the most important page, the one that first draws you in – the front cover.

The covers feature four different artists – one woman, one man and one couple – just as they are. Not staged or art directed, all natural – stripped back. Flo Nuttall, Brian Wilson, and Yann Brenyak and Delphine Noiztoy, were all a pleasure to photograph, and each of their personalities shines through in their covers. You can read their personal interviews, view their work and the rest of the photos from the shoots in the issue, which is available to purchase from our website, www.thingsandink.com/buy.

Let us know which is your favourite…

1/3 Flo Nuttall, photographed by Heather Shuker
Make-up Keely Reichardt 
Styling Olivia Snape
Covers designed by James Gilyead 

2/3 Brian Wilson, photographed by Céline Aieta
Beard styled by Ema Findley, using Bear Face Beard Oils

3/3 Yann Brenyak and Delphine Noiztoy, photographed by Mark Leaver.
Make-up Keely Reichardt
Styling Olivia Snape

 

Stripped back cover reveal

Interview with a tattoo artist

Interview with tattooist Marie Cox, age 32, Folklore Tattoo Studio, Tamworth

What first attracted you to the tattoo world? I can’t really remember a specific event, I’ve always been surrounded by tattoos and loved various forms of art, so I guess it was a natural transition, or fate I suppose.

When did you decide you wanted to become a tattoo artist? and how? I’d never really thought about it as a conscious decision, I worked as a workshop tech at a college. I decided to get a machine to tattoo leather as I was formerly a sustainable design graduate, so I loved recycling things and making jewellery and trinkets. I’d been drawing designs and watching tutorials so I could apply the techniques to tattooing leather. It was my partner and dad who encouraged me to pursue tattooing people. Someone I knew mentioned there was a guy opening a studio and I should go meet him with a portfolio. He offered me an apprenticeship on the spot and here I am six years on doing what I love.

 

How would you describe your style as an artist? I’d say my style is neo-traditional mainly, with some realism elements. I’m not sure really I just try to stay true to nature in my work.

 

Tell us a little bit more about your studio… My studio, Folklore, is based just outside the Tamworth town centre, and everything we do here is custom. There’s my illustrative style artist Adam who keeps me sane and my apprentice Tom, they’re awesome and very supportive, I feel blessed to have them. My clients say my studio is kind of nautical and homely, so I’ll go with that.

 

What’s next? For the studio I’d like to take on more artists and expand. We’ve discussed and all agreed that we’d like to hit more conventions, do some guest spots and try working abroad too. I’m excited to see how things unfold. It makes me happy and proud to watch our little tattoo family grow, can’t wait to see what the future holds!

 

Follow Folklore on Instagram @FTS_TATTOO

Sailor Jerry’s tattooed Ambassador EmmaLi

EmmaLi Stenhouse, 29, from Hastings, UK, talks rum, Sailor Jerry and shows us her tattoo collection

What do you do for a living? I am currently the UK Ambassador for Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum.

Fly Lightly My Heart by Ben Davies

 

Fly Lightly My Heart by Ben Davies

 

 

How did you get into being an Ambassador and what exactly does it entail? Are tattoos a part of this? 

I guess it was all down to being at the right place at the time and maybe a little luck. I went from managing bars in Hastings to setting up my own Tiki Bar, Huny Lu Lu’s. One day, completely on the off chance, someone from Sailor Jerry came into the bar and said that they were looking for an Ambassador and thought it would be worth me applying. I thought I’d be brave and give it a go as there was nothing to lose, so sent in my CV, got an interview and to cut a long story short, got the job. They wanted someone who was into rum and tattoos, which sums me up as I’ve always been genuinely passionate about both. My time is split between talking to bartenders, organising events and trying to educate people about Sailor Jerry.

On EmmaLi's legs by  Alexis Camburn-Cox On EmmaLi’s legs by Alexis Camburn-Cox

 

How different was being a bartender that to what you do now? 

I travel a lot more now and am rarely at home – my days are completely varied. One day I could be at a tattoo convention or throwing a party, and the next I’m in the office planning the next event or doing a training session at a bar. The variety means I’ve had the chance to meet some amazing people and travel about a lot. I do love bartending and I still miss it loads, so it is nice to still be involved in the industry without having to be on the front line, which, trust me, can be really hard. I don’t think we really appreciate how hard bartenders work or what we have to put up with – anyone who’s ever worked in a bar will know what I’m talking about. Saying that, I still get the chance to stay pretty close to the bartending side of things, as Sailor Jerry is always keen to find a way to support bartenders. For example, we’re currently running a campaign to get “Bartender Appreciation Day” recognised as a national holiday within the UK. It’s nice to have the opportunity to reward those hardworking guys and gals who make our good nights out possible whilst dealing with all the bad and the ugly!

By Madame Butterfly

 

Can you give us a bit of a rundown of your tattoo collection?

 I was 18 when I got my first tattoo at Madame Butterfly’s in Hastings. I started with my ankles, and then moved onto the “True Love” roses on my feet.  I worked my way up to the backs of my legs and hips, then my ribs and stomach.  I accidentally got most of my painful bits out of the way early, which I’m now pretty glad about. I wanted to save space for the places that would be more on show until I found the right pieces. I’m slowly but surely adding to my collection, and now that I’m 29 I know what I like, and I’m confident my mind won’t change too drastically. I’ve recently started getting serious on my arms and adding to my back.

I’ve always loved traditional tattoos and was probably influenced by Sailor Jerry before I even knew who Norman Collins was. I love the romanticism and hope that his tattoos portray. The messaging behind them evokes a strong sense of telling a story and holding on to a memory which I love. For me, Sailor Jerry tattoos are as timeless and relevant today as they were back in the day.

Love it or leave it by Alexis Camburn-Cox

 

Ladies and lower butterflies by Rebecca Butterfly – Neck by Alexis Camburn-Cox

 

What are your favourite pieces and why?

 My arms are definitely my favourite pieces at the moment because I’m still excited about adding to them. The peacock is one I particularly love and is done by Caleb Kilby at Shangri-La, someone who I have known for a long time and despite it not being my usual style, means a lot to me. I love his style. Some of my other arm was done by Alex Bage, whose style I adore so I was lucky enough to catch him twice. Other pieces I’ll always love are probably my feet and my ribs, which I love as much now as when they were new, in fact I don’t regret any of my tattoos. I’m really lucky to have the opportunity to meet a lot of amazing artists doing what I do, so I’m trying to build up my collection on my travels.  

Peacock by Caleb Kilby

 

Fat Panda by Alex Bage

 

What do you think your tattoos say about you? 

I dread to think! Personally, I think they bring out the hopeless romantic in me. I love tattoos on women, but for me, keeping them classic and feminine softens the edginess of having quite a lot of tattoos.

By Alex Bage

 

What else is in the pipeline for you this year? Work and tattoo wise.

 I will be busy running the campaign for Bartender Appreciation Day, so get voting! We’ve got a few big events coming up which are definitely keeping me busy, and I’ll no doubt be hanging around in bars across the city! With regards to tattoos, I’ll definitely be getting some more work done on my arms and I’m planning on getting to work on my shoulders next.

By Aracelli 4Eva

 

Last but not least, a quick cocktail our readers can make at home? 

Heavy Punch – it’s a great summer cocktail which is refreshingly fruity and easy to mix at home.

HEAVY PUNCH RECIPE

Ingredients:
1 ½ parts Sailor Jerry Spiced
1 part pineapple juice
½ part port
½ part simple syrup
½ part fresh lime juice
4 dashes of bitters

Method: Combine ingredients, shake and strain over crushed ice. Garnish with fresh grated nutmeg.

Respect his legacy, drink responsibly  

 

 

 

Animal Tattoos

Some of our favourite animal tattoos that we’ve seen on Instagram recently

Kelly Smith 

Steve Butcher

Amy Savage

Tom Wagstaff

Ashley Newman 

Hannah Oliver

Max Rathbone

Alessia Pedrosa

Arran Burton

Amber Elliott

Charlotte Ross 

Mike Moses

Charlotte Timmons

 

Have you seen any cool animal tattoos lately? We’d love to know!

Our pick of the best tattoo inspiration accounts to follow on Instagram

The Things&Ink team are pretty addicted to Instagram, here’s the accounts we just can’t get enough of at the moment…

@luckymutttattoo

Lucky Mutt, South Street Tattoo.
Black lines, bold colour, clear designs

@ohnochloe

Olivia-Chlöe Amateur painter Portside tattoo,Liverpool,UK.

 @atramors

Roma Severov, Artists based in Ukraine, pen and ink illustrator.

@abbydrielsmatattoo

Abby Drielsma Tattoo apprentice, Eternal Addiction, Melbourne, Australia.

@sv__a

Andrei Svetov Tattoo artist, Master&Tattoo, Kaliningrad,Russia.

@annitamaslov

Annita Maslov, Illustrations Tattooist and Illustrator, Alchemy Tattoo Studio, Melbourne.

@lucylucyhorsehead

Lucy O’Connell ,Red Tattoo and Piercing, Leeds, UK.

@scragpie

Sam Smith, StevestonTattooCo.

@trailertrashtattoo

Trailer Trash Tattoo, Australia.

@blindvulture

Dan Fletcher, Winnipeg.

@georginatattoo

Georgina Liliane, Southampton,UK.

Who’s your Insta obsession?

Things&Ink The Identity Issue Review

Editorial assistant Rosalie Woodward reviews the Identity Issue out now. Purchase your copy here

 

Peacocks in Afghanistan – Page 18

Photo by Heather Shuker

Tattoo artist Axa Shireen talks to us about  growing up between suburban Manchester and dangerously enchanting Afghanistan and how art has always been a driving force, steering her towards new worlds, whether these be tattooing or love. The sense of her own identity comes from not constraining herself with boundaries, but embracing it all…

Her interview is accompanied with stunning images of ornate sarees, intricate henna and a peacock stealing a sneaky glance at beautiful Axa covered in glittering finery.

 

Laura Jane Grace – Page 57

Photo by Heather Shuker

Our music editor Jen Adamson interviews Laura Jane Grace from Against Me!, formally Tom Gables, about her struggle to show the world who she really is.  Laura explains how her song lyrics allowed her to explore and release her inner self, allowing her to cross the lines of socially defined gender boundaries.  Laura has many crow tattoos, these important birds have perhaps given her the wings she needed in order to be free…

 

Tattooing in Prison – Page 34 and New York Prisoner – Page 38

Ever wondered how inmates tattoo each other when tattooing is prohibited in prisons? What do they use for ink? How do they make a machine? The men behind their crimes are revealed in their honest discussion of prison life. In jail, tattoos become even more important, playing the part of a bargaining tool as well as a seemingly simple way to pass the hours.  This was one aspect of the prisoners’ lives that the officers could not control and they weren’t going to give up.

 

Meet the Customers – Page 26

Photo by Heather Shuker

Meet tattooist Dominique Holmes and her customers, in The Royal Albert pub (where we did the photo shoot), why not follow their lead and crack out the vino! Unique relationships are built when people are regularly tattooed by the same artist, way more so than if they had stepped off the street for a bit of flash.  Dom and her customers alike explore how tattoos add to their sense of identity and how both their friendships and art have evolved.

To read these articles in full purchase your copy of The Identity Issue here


Exclusive new images in Mark Leaver’s facial tattoo project

Facial tattoos are bold and unflinching, they cannot be hidden – perhaps this is why they still sometimes provoke fear and prejudice. Mark Leaver’s photographic project tackles this issue and tries to dispel some of the myths that exist about this niche within a subculture.

These are two brand-new, unseen portraits in Mark Leaver’s beautiful (and much talked about) series of portrait photographs. (previously blogged about here, and also featured in The Identity Issue of Things&Ink). This time Mark photographs a couple of our friends, Duncan X and Blue from Into You, London.

 

Duncan X, 48 years old, Tattoo Artist

Duncan  x Duncan x

 

Duncan was 21 when he got his first tattoo. Duncan was in a band for 7 years until he began working at Into You as a receptionist at 30 years old. He did an apprenticeship in Soho with Dennis Cockell. Duncan’s first facial tattoo was by Curley Moore (when Curly worked at Into You). Duncan doesn’t intend on getting any more facial work.

 

 

Blue, 50 years old, office manager at Into You, London

Blue Blue

 

Blue was 18 when she started getting tattooed and it wasn’t until her mid 30s that she decided to move to her face. For her, the hands and neck were a bigger deal to get tattooed than her face. Blue has been at Into You for 20 years and she wants more facial work, but not for a while – maybe at 70! 

 

A word from the photographer Mark:

It seems oddly timed that the project has had so much publicity and attention right after I’ve graduated from university! To get the series published by the Daily Mail is an amazing (and unexpected) progression of the project. This marks a new audience which is amazing for much a niche subject – before the series was only really viewed by people from the tattoo community, for it to be in a tabloid paper is incredible.

The project is nowhere near over, I’m still shooting. I shot these portraits last week of Duncan and Blue. And I actually shot two more today and will be doing two more tomorrow. There’s still a few big names/characters I’d like to have in the project before I put it to rest.

 

We will continue to keep you updated on Mark Leaver’s progression with this project. His work can be viewed at www.mdleaver.com