Category: Photo inspiration

Art Macabre: Becoming Art for a Night

Our editor Alice Snape was asked to pose for an Art Macabre lifedrawing session at Museum of London, which was part of the Tattoo London exhibition. As a first-time naked model, here’s how she felt about the experience and seeing her body as art…


img_5701.jpg“Me? A model? That I am definitely not. I hate having my photo taken, and I am very critical of my appearance, which probably comes from years of self-conscious anxiety and a childhood spent in a chubby awkward body that I was never quite comfortable in – I think I am yet to grown into my nose! But when I was asked by Nikki, who runs Art Macabre, to be a lifedrawing model for the evening, I had to say yes. It felt like one of those experiences that should be on your bucket list, and as a 32-year-old woman who has worked really hard on overcoming that teenage insecurity and becoming comfortable in her own skin, there didn’t seem like a better time to do it.

“Before the evening, I asked Nikki to give me some advice, as a first-timer. She told me to: Breathe and relax into poses and, on a practical note, bring a dressing gown to wear in-between poses and during the break. All day before the event, I was a bag of nerves, running different scenarios though my mind – a constant reel of what ifs! But, the moment I took step onto that platform and got into the first pose (five minutes to warm up), I felt incredible, empowered, strong and beautiful.

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“I fixed my eyes on the twinkling lights that surrounded the space and they lulled me into a mediative state. I listened to the sound of pencils and quiet concentration, eyes looking up at me and back down to the blank canvas, pictures of my body and tattoos slowly forming on the pages. I thought about how my body might look through the eyes of everyone in front of me, during one pose I focused on a determined looking woman who seemed lost in the movements of her pencil. A few brief moments of self-doubt flitted through my mind – what if I am not interesting enough to draw? – but they soon dissipated when I realised everyone surrounding me was creating their own interpretation of me.


“The evening consisted of a few short standing postures and some longer (25 minutes) seated poses. As the night drew to a close, each of the artists lay their work onto the floor to share it with each other and the models… Looking at each work of art, I realised I have grown very fond of my body as it has become more covered with tattoos. I have taken ownership of my body by choosing where each tattoo goes, and I love my colourful skin. Over the past couple of years, I have also started exercising regularly and even ran a marathon! I love the fact that my body is fit and healthy, and that has boosted my confidence hugely. My thighs, for example, have always been a part of my body I have hated. I always think they are chunky, they have bumps and cellulite that no matter how much I exercise will not disappear. But they are mine, they are strong and that means they are beautiful.

“I saw that each person had drawn my body slightly differently, my curves slightly more or less rounded, in some I looked bigger and in some small. Everyone sees an object through their own eyes, putting on that object their own preferences. It was enlightening and uplifting to see that subjectivity about the form of my own body – no one is ever going to be as critical of it as myself.

“I walked away from the evening with renewed self confidence and a want to relive the experience. It felt like a true celebration of my naked self and at last a goodbye to any anxiety I had!”

Here’s some works of art created on the night:

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Brighton Tattoo Convention Street Spotter

Last bank holiday weekend, we had an absolutely blast at the 9th annual Brighton Tattoo Convention. The sun was shining and everyone was looking amazing, we couldn’t resist snapping a few of our favourite outfit/tattoo combos while we were there…

Amanda / Honey Pop
29, Blogger, Glasgow

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Amanda’s bee by Rebecca Vincent

Tessa Metcalfe
27, jeweller, London

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Tessa’s swan by Brian Wilson, jewels by David Corden

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Tessa’s rose tattoo by Clare Frances

Sophie
21, hairdresser, Brighton

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Sophie’s back by Dotwork Damian

Lucy, 27, marketing, London (left)
Lauren, 30, trainee tattooist, Eastbourne

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Lucy’s tattoo by Jaid Roberts

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Lauren’s tattoo by Kiley

Tiggen / thetigerstyle
19, blogger/works in coffee shop, Herts

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Tiggen’s tattoo by  Ricky Williams

Did you attend Brighton Tattoo Convention? Are you planning on going to any more tattoo conventions this year? Keep us posted @thingsandink 

Photos by James Gilyead 

Nicole Leth: Sex and Ice Cream

23-year-old Nicole Leth is an artist and designer based in Kansas City, Missouri. We chatted to Nicole about her self love journey and her new store which will celebrate the work of hard-working female creatives… 

How would you describe your style? My style is Katy Perry meets Marilyn Monroe meets Jeremy Scott meets Yayoi Kusama meets tween girl in America all wrapped up in a Miami in the 1970’s colour palate.

What inspires you? I am inspired by day to day life and everything that goes along with it. When I first started designing I pulled a lot of inspiration from past relationships and break ups and now I like to view my work as an autobiography or visual diary where I can talk about things I’m experiencing and going through as a 23 year old woman in the world today. I like to translate these ideas and emotions through traditional textile processes, imagery from my diaries, and colour play. I guess to sum it all up: I’m inspired by the notion that everyone has a valid and important story to tell regardless of their age or gender.

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When will your new shop open? How have you made this happen? Do you have a background in retail?  Ah! My shop is opening on May 6th! ( Eeeee! I’M SO EXCITED!) I’ve been working my way up in retail jobs for the past four years and just recently quit all my other jobs to do Sex + Ice Cream full time. How did I make this happen? Hard work. No bull shitting. I don’t take days off — when I was working my other jobs I would work there for eight hours and then come home at night and work on my own stuff for eight more hours, fall sleep on a pile of sewing supplies, wake up and do it all over again.  I think that sometimes people underestimate what it means to be an artist, let alone have your own business, and make it work. I think its super important to set goals for yourself and be your own support system.

What can people expect to see in it? I’ll be selling my pieces that I’ve designed over the years. Everything that is for sale on my online store you’ll also be able to buy in my shop! I’ll also be selling one of a kind items that I’ve hand sewn and hand painted the fabric of. Also, I’ve brought in a lot of work from some of my favourite brands and artists from around the world! Lots of ceramic pieces, zines, handmade panties, patches, pins, and all that jazz. I like to think of it as a badass collective of work made and designed by extremely talented female makers.

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Are there any artists that you’ll be collaborating with? I think collaborating is one of the most important and stimulating parts about being a practising artist. I’m working on a million different projects: doing surface design on clay pieces from ceramic artists, creating handmade candles in candle holders with a candle girl, working with photographers and video graphers to produce digital work, and with writers on zines!

On your website you say that your garments are your personal diary, what do you mean by this? I mean it in both a very literal and theoretical way. A lot of my pieces have imagery or doodles that have been scanned directly from my diary pages and printed on the fabric. Other pieces I literally treat as my diary and hand draw, write, or paint on the fabric to record what’s going on in my life, what is exciting me or making me sad. Designing garments is a way for me to express my words in a visual way.

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Do you see yourself as a feminist? Yes.

How do you hope to empower and inspire other women? I chose to start designing and creating clothing because I had gone through a bad break up and wanted to do something to empower myself and reclaim the person I knew I was. That was a pivotal, breakthrough moment for me and led me to discover something I was truly passionate about and a future that I wanted for myself. Most importantly, it made me realise how I strong I could be on my own, for myself. I think every women should feel that way — like they are capable of attaining anything in the whole goddamn world. I think the thing that a lot of women connect to in my work is the way I tell stories openly, without shame.
Recently, I’ve also been doing a lot of community work with young women’s organisations. I’ve done a few empowerment workshops where I tell my story, talk about relationships and ambitions, and create shirts with the girls.

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Is self love and body positivity important to you? Is it something you want to share? Yes. Its one of the driving forces behind my work and the stories I tell.

Can you tell us about your own self love journey? My self love journey has been a long one with lots of ups and downs. My childhood was filled with endless crash diets and gym memberships. At my thinnest I’ve weighed 120 pounds and at my heaviest I was over 200. I’ve been in relationships that were so tormenting I lost 50 pounds and I’ve been put on medicines that made me gain it all back. It was hard to have a healthy and accurate relationship with my body because it felt like something that was always changing and that I had no control over.

It took years and years and years but over the past two years especially I have developed an intense love and acceptance for my body. It feels really good to finally be content. I think its important to realize and understand that your body is something that cannot be labelled. That your health and self love is not something that can be determined by someone else. That your body is the one thing that has been with you since the beginning and helped you get through every hardship you’ve endured. That your body is beautiful and perfect as it is at this very moment in time.

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Can you tell us about your tattoos? Which was your first, do you still love it? My first tattoo is a big feather that turns into birds on my lower back. My father passed away when I was 17 so it was something I got for him. Since then, I’ve gotten a lot of tattoos — all of which have personal meaning to me. My tattoos act a lot like a diary as well — I get them to record exact moments in time, experiences, feelings that I never want to forget. I have a portrait of my cat Sprinkle on my forearm (she was the first pet I ever adopted on my own, she’s handicapped and the most loving cat I’ve ever had). I have a few matching tattoos with people who I love. I have a diamond tattooed on my ring finger (my love for myself will always be the most important, I will always belong to myself). I have tally marks on my hand counting how many people I’ve truly been in love with in my life (right now there are two, I hope to add more to it someday).

LUST, CAUTION: A NIGHT IN THE TORTURE GARDEN

Taking inspiration from Torture Garden’s 25th anniversary this weekend, Hunger beauty editor-at-large Andrew Gallimore and photographer Louie Banks have teamed up to recreate some of the looks you may encounter tonight at the legendary fetish club.

See full shoot on Hunger website.

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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

Brighton Tattoo Convention Photographic Portraits

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

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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.

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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…

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Wendy Pham, cover star of The Identity Issue

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Cally-Jo, cover star of The Anatomy Issue

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Grace Neutral, cover star of The Modification Issue

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Claudia de Sabe, cover star of The Launch Issue

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Matt Lodder, art historian

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Brian Wilson, cover star of Stripped Back 2/3

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Tiny Miss Becca, cover star of The Celebration Issue

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Rebecca Vincent, interview in The Love Issue

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Andrea Furci, interview in The Art Issue

you can see more portraits on the Brighton Tattoo Convention blog

Inkluded Launch New Online Store

Here at Things&Ink we are big fans of the Inkluded blog founded by freelance journalist Beccy Rimmer. So when we heard Inkluded launched a brand-new online store, we had to share it!

We’ve teamed up with Inkluded to give you the chance to win a T-shirt! Check out our Instagram for more details.

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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.”

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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.

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A selection of limited edition T-shirts and vests (prices from £15) are available from www.inkluded.co.uk/store.

Photographs by JustJodie Photography

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

Let’s Talk About Tattoos: London Pop-Up Photo Booth

WOW! Women of the World Festival

 

This Sunday 13 March, we’ll be teaming up with blog Women with Tattoos to stage a pop-up photo booth at the annual WOW! Women of the World Festival at London’s Southbank Centre.

Come see us and get your tattoos photographed by Eleni (the brains behind Women with Tattoos) and chat to Things&Ink editor Alice Snape about what your tattoos mean to you.

Where: Level 2, Royal Festival Hall, Belvedere Road, London, SE1 8XX
When: Sunday 13 March, 11am – 6pm

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Editor Alice Snape photographed by Eleni for the Women With Tattoos blog, check out her interview at: womenwithtattoos.co.uk

Samantha Fielding: Performer

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Watch Samantha’s video below to find out more about the performer project: 

The Art of Jana Brike

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.

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Sailor’s Wives

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Aphrodite with Kitten

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The End of the Last Unicorn

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Paradise of Shared Solitude

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Gardener and the Centre of the Universe