Category: Photo inspiration

Street Spotting in London

While interning at Things&Ink I spied some cool tattoos and stopped the owners for a brief chat.With everyone rushing to wherever they were going, it was difficult to ask everyone lots of questions about their tattoos!

Things&Ink reader  Mia MaCauley, 20, art student in London on a college trip.
She often gets tattooed at conventions, her chest piece is by Billie at Afflecks  in Manchester.


Her favourite tattoo is this little creep by Jemma Jones at Raincity, Manchester


Louise Fury, 36, body piercer at Original Skin, London. Originally from America but she lives in London.

She had just had a six hour sitting on her back tattoo and I didn’t want to bother her too much, we all know how tiring getting tattooed can be!


Daniel Herridge, 34, Birmingham. In London with his girlfriend.

Jen, 30 and Bruno 35 Owners of Gypsy Stables Tattoo Emporium, London.


Have you spotted anyone out and about with tattoos?




Tattooed on the Job – the Perks of being a Things&Ink Intern

I took the train to visit Lucy O’Connell and Ruth Rollin, both from Red Tattoo and Piercing in Leeds who were doing a guest spot at Painted Lady Tattoo Parlour in Northfield, Birmingham.

The studio is absolutely beautiful, like no other I have ever been in. Forget sterile white and tiled floors Painted Lady is like stepping into your much loved eccentric Auntie’s house. Instead imagine ornate frames, muted green walls and bare wooden floor in what was once a living room. The collection of art and taxidermy is incredible and the homey feel is so relaxing, this is how I want my house to be like! There was so much to look at while Lucy tattooed my forearm for three hours with her practically silent tattoo machine.

Owner of the Painted Lady, Dawnii Fantana, one of Lucy’s inspirations, was so welcoming with cups of peach tea and cake! What more could you want? Other inspirations of Lucy’s include; Xam (who she’s planning to get tattooed by when he guests in Leeds), Emily Rose Murray, Valerie Vargas, Jason Minauro and Claudia de Sabe (who is tattooing Lucy’s hands very soon) – Lucky thing!

Lucy had drawn the Chinese lantern design with a cute bird a while ago and I had to snap it up for the start of my sleeve, I love everything she does! I’m a real Instagram stalker, even recognising the fruit fillers that Amy Savage had tattooed as belonging to Lucy. We chatted and laughed the whole way through the tattoo swapping stories about not crying at films, university courses, her love for Robert Downey Jr, (we were watching the new Sherlock Holmes) and other nonsensical things!

Lucy has been tattooing for only two years, yet her style is so distinctive; with women and flowers featuring heavily, as she could tattoo these all day. ‘I do try to turn everything into a woman! I try to get away with as much as I can!’ Fine by me, I especially love her flowers with women faces, perfect.

At first when she started out in the industry Lucy thought she’d specialise in realism but her imagination ran away with her, although ‘it is nice to be given some direction’, creating your own art is more enjoyable.

I can’t wait to get stuck into my sleeve, having already spied on Lucy’s Instagram a gorgeous Indian inspired lady face, which I hope she can recreate for my own collection. My arm will be filled with Indian goddesses, tigers and fans at The Femaletattoo Show, in Leamington Spa where Lucy is working at on 14th September.

Lucy also has numerous guest spots planned:
One Day Gallery, Manchester 28th-29th May
Loaded Forty Four, Manchester 10th-12th July
As well as exhibiting originals of her work at The Old Bones Emporium in Edinburgh 6th-12th  June

I also got my first ever hand-poked tattoo by Ruth Rollins. I picked a little wishbone from her sheet of cute small dot work flash, to bring me luck. I found being tattooed in this way so relaxing and part from a few points it was pretty painless. I could have lain on the table for hours… I asked Ruth which method of tattooing she preferred: ‘it’s too hard to say which I prefer, they are too different and you’re not comparing like for like’. While tattooing with a machine allows Ruth to create larger tattoos, she, like the person being tattooed, finds hand-poking therapeutic. Ruth is also working at the Femaletattoo Show in September and I’ll be popping down to have another little relaxing hand-poked piece of art!

Having these lovely northern lasses tattoo me yesterday was only made possible by Dawnii Fantana (have a look at her beautiful gypsies), Ruth explains that ‘as relative newbies to the tattooing industry it is brilliant having people like Dawnii who help and encourage you’, Hurrah! To Dawnii, her gorgeous shop and supportive nature! Definitely on my growing to-be-tattooed-by list! I hope I don’t run out of space first!



Mark Leaver’s facial tattoo photography project

Mark Leaver is a third year student studying commercial photography at the Arts University Bournemouth. Portraits are his thing. And his photography project has been created to show the beauty of facial tattoos and dispel some of the myths surrounding them.

Jack Denny Jack Denny


“Facial tattoos have a lot of taboos around them, due to their confrontational nature,” says Mark Leaver on why he started this project. “Unfortunately none of these views are positive, facial tattoos are associated with suicide rates, unemployment, depression and anti-social behaviour. And I can happily report that’s all dated buillshit”.

Jay Read Jay Read


“Tattoos have recently become incredibly popular and are more accepted by society than ever before. There are many reasons for this, one being their endorsement through celebrity culture. There are countless people with tattooed sleeves and other bits and pieces but that was too broad and mainstream to base a project around. What makes facial tattoos so distinctive is that they are still confrontational, there’s no hiding them. There are only a select few people who make that kind of commitment and it was those people that I wanted to meet and photograph,” says Mark Leaver, about his project.



Mark interviewed each of the subjects of this portrait photographs, to find out a little more about them. These interviews have not yet been published.

“I feel that with documentary work it’s an oversight not to talk to the people being photographed, especially if they are posed portraits,” says Mark. “Candid work isn’t my thing. I try to meet people and set up a portrait in a way that naturally and authentically reveals the person’s character. I prefer the shoots where I get to know the subject a bit better because everyone has interesting stories and backgrounds. Obviously, there are some things that are impossible to communicate with an image, so the text adds to the portrait without changing it. During Touka Voodoo’s interview he told me he had a sex change operation to become a man and that the tattooing on his face, which he did in the mirror himself, represented both his masculinity and femininity.”

Touka Voodoo Touka Voodoo


A full interview with Mark, can be viewed at Huck magazine. And his work can viewed on his website,

Also look out for issue #7 of Things&Ink, which will feature brand new portraits and accompanying interviews from this project.


All photographs by Mark Leaver,

Modern Woman, Indigenous Spirit

Read the story behind therapist and model Laurence Moniasse Sessou’s tattoos and scarification in ‘The Modification Issue’ #6, The feature includes Laurence’s story in her own words, a stunning eight-page emotionally-charged photo shoot and also comments from her body modification artist Iestyn Flye and her tattoo artist Touka Voodoo, both work at Divine Canvas.

Here’s some unpublished images from the shoot, and the illustrations by Katerina Samoilis that were based around Laurence’s story and used as projections in the background of the photo shoot.

Moniasse scarification The beautiful Laurence Moniasse



Illustrations based around the story of Laurence’s scarification and tattoos



Photography and Art Direction – Josh Brandao
Model – Laurence Moniasse Sessou
Words/Story – Laurence Moniasse Sessou and Alice Snape. Thanks to India Ame ‘Ye’ for the title
Illustrations and Set Dressing – Katerina Samoilis
Styling – Olivia Snape
Make-up and Hair – Anna Wild using Nars
Septum Ring – Studio Lil Art and Design
Earrings – Manaka Handmade

More information at

Food for thought: Still-Life images

Food is essential fuel, enabling us to move, function – think.

“The idea behind ‘Food for Thought’ was to shoot a series of images, which explore the desk as environment.  Mixing real stationery items with stationery made from food, specifically from icing and cheese, we created a deceptive image, requiring closer inspection and greater thought in order to identify which items are real and which have been crafted from food.” Kristy Noble

Stylist: Yvonne Achato

Photographer: Kristy Noble
Check out the latest issue of Things&Ink to see more work from Kristy and Yvonne, Form And Function – a still life with piercing equipment in The Modification Issue, buy from our website,

Issue #6 The Modification Issue starring Grace Neutral

The modification Issue front and back cover


COVER REVEAL: The Modification Issue (#6) starring Kawaii Space Elf Princess, Grace Neutral, who works at Good Times, London

Photographer: Lydia Rayner
Assisted by Chris Morgan and Rebecca Hall
Hair and make-up: Keely Reichardt
Styling: Olivia Snape
Cape by Holly Lloyd
Headdress by Gypsy East
Front cover design: Hustler Squad

The official launch of ‘The Modification Issue’ will be at Brighton Tattoo Convention, this weekend – Valentine’s Weekend. Make sure you come see us, or order your copy from our website,, or Newsstand.

The Front... The Front…


The Back... The Back…

Saturnalia – beauty shoot from The Celebration Issue

Saturnalia – celebrating beauty with colour

Unpublished images from beauty photo shoot for Things&Ink magazine. Full shoot can can be viewed in the celebration issue, which can be purchased from

Saturnalia beauty shoot issue 5 Celebrating beauty with colour


Photography by Josh Brandao
Make-up by Ellie Yermakova
Hair and Styling by Katerina Samoilis
Modelled by Beatrix Carlotta, Marina De Salis and Ellie Yermakova
Special thanks to Nicolai Kornum and Rory Skrebowski

Marina beauty writer MARINA DE SALIS | Beauty Writer


BEATRIX CARLOTTA | Performer/Designer BEATRIX CARLOTTA | Performer/Designer


ELLIE YERMAKOVA | Make-up Artist ELLIE YERMAKOVA | Make-up Artist

East meets West: A Behind the scenes film starring tattoo Artist El Bernardes for the celebration issue

Behind the scenes film from a shoot created by Gypsy East for the celebration issue, buy your copy from

East Meets West | Behind the Scenes from Gypsy East on Vimeo.

East meets West: A Behind the scenes film starring Brazilian Tattoo Artist El Bernardes for Things&Ink magazine. ✞

Film: River Hately-Richards
Editing: Julian Michael Cooper
Photography: Ryan Warner
Art Direction: Olivia Snape | Emily-Louise McGuinness | Sylvie Gianella
Hair: Nuriye ‘Naz’ Sonmez
Makeup: Anna Wild
Clothing: Embellished Crop by Gypsy East | Trousers & Cape by BLITZ | Jewellery by Gypsy East | Body by AQ/AQ


El Bernardes El Bernardes takes a break on shoot <3

Black Tattoo Art

Black Tattoo Art II 
Modern Expressions of the Tribal

As a lover of traditional and colourful tattoos, I approached Marisa Kakoulas’ (editor of hefty coffee table book Black Tattoo Art, feeling like I was about to step onto unknown soil. My sense of unease was unwarranted, though, and as I delved into the pages of the book, I was transported into a monotone world of pure beauty. I was introduced to the work of masters – Roxx, Delphine Noiztoy, Loic aka Xoil and Simone Pfaff – each artist converting me to the dark side, my colourful collection of tattoos may have some black additions soon.

Tattoo by Loic aka Xoil Tattoo by Loic aka Xoil

I wanted to get a sense of the history of this unique and iconic book, so I got in touch with author Marisa, who also edits tattoo blog, this is what she had to say:

When Edition Reuss Publishing approached me back in 2008, I told them I wanted to create a book on blackwork tattooing – work just in black ink – because it had not been done before. I believe that it’s tattooing in its purest form, continuing the traditions of indigenous tattoo cultures, even if the patterns and compositions are contemporary. So, the first Black Tattoo Art book came out in 2009, and continues to be popular because there still isn’t anything on the market that specifically pays tribute to this tattoo genre. Since the first edition’s release, the number of artists and the outcropping of different styles has grown exponentially, and so it was time to do a second volume. 

Tattoo by Simone Pfaff Tattoo by Simone Pfaff


‘There are many more artists in edition two, 75 of the best in black from around the world. There is also a new chapter on Celtic and Nordic inspired tattooing, curated by renowned tattooer Colin Dale. This chapter features stunning ancient designs, and in his introduction to the chapter, Colin offers some of the myths and lore behind the art. We also expanded the Art Brut/Abstract chapter, which gets the strongest reaction. I think that the work in this chapter is wild and fearless, and redefines what a tattoo can be. 

‘But really, I love every work in this book, as if they were my own children. I believe blackwork is timeless – it doesn’t follow any trends, its ornamentation follows the lines of the body and enhances, rather than overwhelms, it. Personally, I’ve been getting tattooed primarily in blackwork for almost 20 years, and it has aged beautifully. I love my tattoos!’

Marisa also states that her ultimate goal, in all of the books that she has authored, is to present tattooing as a fine art form, to show the endless possibilities of body adornment, and inspire other amazing tattoos. Marisa, mission accomplished. This compendium of tattoos is stunning and truly the perfect addition to any art lover’s coffee table – whether a tattoo collector or not.

By Delphine Noiztoy Tattoo by Delphine Noiztoy


BLACK TATTOO ART 2, by Marisa Kakoulas is published by Edition Reuss, and costs $199/£103.50. Purchase from

This review was first published in The Celebration Issue of Things&Ink magazine. Purchase from our website