Category: Art

Interview with Tattoo Artist Hanah Moore

23-year-old Hanah Moore works out of Queen Square Tattoo Club in Wolverhampton and creates beautifully neo-traditional tattoos. We chat to Hanah about her developing style, what inspires her and how she started in the industry…

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How long have you been tattooing? I started my apprenticeship just under two years ago, and I’ve tattooed every piece of fruit and all the friends you can imagine. But I officially did my first paid tattoo in January 2016, so just over a year.

How did you start? How did you get your apprenticeship? What did you do before?  I was extremely lucky with the whole “it’s who you know” business, my partner Josh Jeffery has been tattooing for just over four years and is insanely talented. So, when I met him I was plunged into the world of tattooing, I was studying at university when he arranged an apprenticeship interview for me. I was extremely lucky to get the job and I quit university the following week.

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Do you have a background in art? I did A-level art but we weren’t given much freedom with what we could create. I never really enjoyed that so I used to doodle tattoo ideas in all my books.

What drew you to the tattoo world? I got my first tattoo in Ibiza in the back of a seaside shop, and my first tattoo experience had no impact on where I am now. I was intrigued about the potential of what can be created on the body. So, I started my research and began collecting work from amazing artists who inspired me.

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Describe your style, has it changed? 
I’ve always loved anything floral, whether it be tattoos or not, I’ve always found the flow of nature to be beautiful. So recently I’ve tried to channel that and incorporate it into to my work, and make that my style. What I’ve wanted to create has never changed but my ability to do it has. I’m still learning and growing as an artist that will never stop, but I’m slowly getting closer to what I’d like to one day to be my style.

What do you like to tattoo and draw? I love drawing and tattooing flowers, there are endless possibilities when you bring them to life on the skin. I’m also all for the pop culture tattoos, as cheesy and overdone as they are I’m a sucker for them. Harry Potter is my main obsession and I keep trying to create pieces that no one else has done, which is very tricky, everyone loves a good Harry Potter tattoo!

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What inspires you? Do you admire any other artists? I’m extremely lucky to be surrounded by some insanely talented artists, I live and work with my partner Josh and he’s my biggest supporter and inspiration. I’ve learnt everything I know from him. I admire way too many artists to list, but it has to be said female tattooists are killing it right now and I look up to them!

What would you love to tattoo? I’m dying to tattoo more animals and bigger pieces in general. I have a habit of drawing small so I’d love to break out of that and start some project work and bigger pieces.

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What’s a typical day like for you? I’d love to say I lead an exciting life but I’m afraid I don’t. We drive to work with the loudest music on you can imagine to get pumped for the day. I’m always super prepared so I know when I get to the studio my design was already drawn a week in advance. I’m the only woman in our studio and due to the style of my work I tattoo mainly women, so my days consist of gossiping and laughing really loud with all my customers. I’m extremely grateful of how amazing every one of my customers has been since I started, genuinely I feel like with every customer I tattoo I make a new friend and I love that.

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Can you tell us about your own tattoos? 
I don’t have that many tattoos to talk about but the ones I do have I adore. I have one nearly completed sleeve which consists of a hand holding a Harry Potter letter, a free hand cover up of a compass, and a mystic fortune teller with cat’s ears and crystals all done by the talented Lewis Weatherley. I had a spontaneous tattoo to the side of my face of a little flower by Paul Terry last year at tattoo freeze that I absolutely love. I wouldn’t say they all have any particular meaning most of them are more memories from a fun day or just pure appreciation of an artist and I am honoured to where their work on me.

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Short documentary, Johny Midnight

Beautiful short documentary following Johny Midnight, a south London based artist, as he completes a painting, from start to finish, of Battersea Power Station.

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Johny’s gallery/studio is in Balham, south west London, gallerymidnight.com

Midnight from James Stittle on Vimeo.

Director: Andrew Grayshon
Cinematography: James Stittle, shot on Sony FS7 using Canon Lenses
Editor: Olli Abbott

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The Tattoo Flash Colouring Book and Interview with MEGAMUNDEN

The Tattoo Flash Colouring Book created by MEGAMUNDEN, and published by Laurence King, is filled with a vibrant and varied collection of tattoo flash for you to colour in. Inspired by  traditional style flash sheets and tattoo imagery, it’s a celebration of the tattoo world and its history. It’s perfect for tattoo lovers who love to unwind by exploring their creativity. 

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We chat to 35-year-old Brighton-based illustrator and creator of The Tattoo Flash Colouring Book Oliver Munden, AKA MEGAMUNDEN, to find out more about his book and what originally drew him to tattoo art…

Do you have a background in art? I followed the fairly typical route of doing art and design at school, then a foundation course at college, and a graphic design course at university. This gave me a really broad understanding of design and my first job was at a graphic design studio. It was here I realised I wanted to follow a career that focused on illustration. I’d drawn all the time from a very young age, so it made sense that I came back around to focusing on that.

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What kinds of things do you create? As a lead designer at Ilovedust, I create anything from tequila bottle labels to graphics for restaurant interiors, book covers to huge murals and everything in between! As MEGAMUNDEN, I focus generally on tattoo inspired artwork but that changes from project to project. I get bored doing one style all the time, although I do always come back to a tattoo-inspired aesthetic.

I’ve created two colouring books with Laurence King Publishing, both with a tattoo theme. I’m currently working on a deck of Tarot cards with them too, these have a tattoo theme and we have other projects under discussion, so watch this space.

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What inspires you and what inspired the book?  I took a trip to the States before making the second book and I collected tons of photographs and various other trinkets to inspire me.

The first book was a 50/50 split between Japanese and Western inspired tattoo style artwork. I wanted the second book to be more Western focused in its source of inspiration. I wanted it to be decorative yet bold and graphic. I wanted patterns to be woven into the visuals. I’m really into the old sailor style tattoos, and they’re a big trend right now. I looked at many recognisable tattoo icons, including vases, flowers, anchors, gypsy girls, ships, snakes, tigers, and tried to give them all my own spin.

What medium do you prefer to work in? I hand-drew most of my first book but at the moment I tend to work digitally using a Cintiq drawing tablet. It allows me to draw more complex things quickly, although the second book took even longer than the first despite having less pages! It’s just that much more complex in design and I like to think it’s a much more consistent and considered collection of tattoo flash. All there for people to colour if they wish!

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What drew you to the world of tattoos? The way designs impact you when you see them, like when you see a amazing tiger head tattoo and it stays with you. So many fields take influence from the world of tattoos, for example snowboard riders want their design to be easy to see when their board is flipping, so bold tattoo inspired visuals work nicely for that.

Skulls, snakes, spiders and flowers all resonate with me. My father has been keen on keeping reptiles and amphibians all his life, and that definitely rubbed off on me. I think all of that has a lot to do with the icons within tattooing it’s just so inspiring.

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Can you tell us about your tattoos ? I have a full Japanese sleeve on my left arm and my right arm is a collection of more sailor style pieces that I’ve got on my many travels and work trips. I’ve been to the USA a lot and had stuff done there, but I’ve also got a couple of pieces from Lisbon and Barcelona. Dan Frye does a lot of my tattoos when I’m at home in Brighton – he’s ace!

The Tattoo Flash Colouring Book created by MEGAMUNDEN and published by Laurence King is a must for tattoo lovers and available to buy here.

#100hands NMMC

The 100 Hands Project, curated by our editor Alice Snape, forms the centrepiece of the exhibition Tattoo: British Tattoo Art Revealed at the National Maritime Museum in Cornwall, which runs until January 2018. Here Alice talks about the innovative installation and what it means for contemporary tattoo culture. 

It was the stunning work of tattoo artist Claudia de Sabe that made me fall in love with tattoos. From the moment, I discovered her work, I knew I wanted to be heavily tattooed. I wanted to turn my own body into a work of art, become a collector of delicate, beautiful work by an array of different artists. So, of course, Claudia was the first tattoo artist I put on my list when I was approached by National Maritime Museum Cornwall to curate the 100 Hands Projects.

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Curator Alice Snape standing in front of the 100 Hands at NMMC

For me, there is absolutely no denying that tattoos are art, that’s not a question up for debate. Of course, all tattoos are not created equal, some are “good” and some “bad”. Tattooing is another medium and tattoos can be analysed in a way that any other works of art can – watercolours, sculptures, sketches, oil paintings. This means that some are worthy of being housed in a museum. The problem is, of course, tattoos simply aren’t objects that can be put in a frame or housed in a cabinet. They are on the skin of living, breathing people, which means ordinarily they disappear from existence once the wearer’s life is over.

The 100 Hands Project is a way of representing the three-dimensional, living nature of the tattoo. I have handpicked 100 of the best tattooists all working in the UK right now providing a snapshot of the work tattoo collectors are currently getting inked onto their skin, from black and grey and geometric to neo-traditional and colour realism. My selection includes the most respected, talented and popular artists. And they have each created an original design on a silicone arm.

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“For my submission I simply tattooed something that I would love to tattoo in real life, for a customer,” said Claudia de Sabe, when I asked for her inspiration behind the piece she created – a stunning Japanese peony in purple and red. And the reason she wanted to be part of it? “There’s still a lot of misconceptions on tattooing and every exhibition can perhaps be of help in establishing a secure space for this art/craft within the artistic community. Ten years ago, an exhibition like this would have taken place maybe at a tattoo convention for three days, but not at a museum for this same length of time, which is incredible.”

Tattoos are so much more than just beautiful designs, they’re reminders of the unique stories that can be told on human skin. So, bringing an intimate and personal art form into a museum space gives the practice a new, institutional legitimacy and a special kind of accessibility, dispelling outdated misconceptions and showing just what is possible when artists put ink into skin.

And now the exhibition has finally launched, seeing the arms come back together inside the museum is a spectacle to behold. After hundreds of painstaking hours, 100 blank arms are now works of art that have become part of tattoo history. No matter what the inspiration or motivation behind each piece, each work of art has become one to make an installation that  will have an impact on the future of this thriving, creative and magical industry.

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List of 100 contributing artists:

Louie Rivers, Travelling tattooist,  Exeter

Joe Carpenter, Five Keys Tattoo Studio, Norwich

Ricky Williams / The Family Business / London

Jo Harrison UN1TY / Modern Body Art, Shrewsbury / Birmingham

Caleb Kilby, Old Habits / Two Snakes, London / Hastings

Kate Mackay Gill, Private Studio, West Sussex

Jake Galleon, Studio XIII, Edinburgh

Paula Castle, Broadside, Swansea

Meg Langdale, The Burton Tattoo Collective, Leicester

Joanne Baker, Grizzly Art Collective, Coventry

Han Maude, Infinite Ink, Coventry

Antony Flemming, World of Tattoos, Ruislip Manor

Sophie Gibbons, Tommygun Tattoo, Plymouth

James “Woody” Woodford, 1770, Brighton

Pauly, Second City Tattoo, Birmingham

Dexter Kay, King of Hearts, London

Mike Stockings, Legacy Tattoo, Haverhill

Jondix, Seven Doors, London

Olivia Dawn, The Tattoo Company, Wilmslow

Matt Difa, Jolie Rouge, London

Kathryn Kirk, Addiction Tattoo & Piercing, Bangor, Northern Ireland

Tamara Lee, The Circle / Two Snakes, London / Hastings

Aaron Hewitt, Cult Classic Tattoo, Romford

Louis Molloy, Middleton Tattoo Studio, Manchester

Abbie Williams, Lost Time, Peterborough

Amy Savage, The Warren, Canterbury

Araceli Forever, Death’s Door, Brighton

Anrijs Straume, Bold as Brass Tattoo Company, Liverpool

Allan Graves, Haunted Tattoos, London

Neil Dransfield, Oddfellows Tattoo Collective, Leeds

Dominique Holmes, Black Lotus Studio, London

Chrissy Lee, Colchester Body Arts, Essex

Lucy O’Connell, Red Tattoo and Piercing, Leeds

Delphine Noiztoy, The Lacemakers Sweatshop, London

Gibbo, Oddfellows Tattoo Collective, Leeds

Sway, Sacred Electric Tattoo, Leeds

Harriet Rose Heath, Crooked Claw Tattoo, Sheffield

Little Andy, The Church Tattoo Studio, Birmingham

Lal Hardy, New Wave Tattoo, London

Dane Grannon, Creative Vandals, Hull

Hannah Keuls, Good Times, London

Akuma Shugi, Wolf & Dagger, Hove

Ché Crook, Level Crooks, Bristol

Miss Jo Black, Black Inc, Frome

Philip Yarnell, Skynyard Tattoos, Westcliff-on-Sea

Lucy Blue, Cobra Club, Leeds

Clare “Goldilox” Deen, Incandescence, Birmingham

Alex Candela, Black Market, Leicester

Matthew “Henbo” Henning, Redwood, Manchester

Jack Goks, Cloak and Dagger, London

Jelle Soos, Swansea Tattoo Company, Swansea

Matt Finch, Atelier Four Tattoo Studio, Truro

Dan Hague, La Familia, Newquay

Paul Hill, Vagabond, London

Dawnii Fantana, Painted Lady Tattoo Parlour, Birmingham

Kerry-Anne Richardson, Cock A Snook, Newcastle

Chris Jones, Physical Graffiti, Cardiff

Kat Abdy, Cloak and Dagger, London

Touka Voodoo, Divine Canvas, London

Rosie Evans, MVL Tattoo, Leeds

Joao Bosco, Parliament, London

Claudia de Sabe, Seven Doors, London

Emma Kierzek, Aurora Tattoo, Lancaster

Tacho Franch, Follow Your Dreams, Sheffield

Justin Burnout, Ghost House Collective, Derby

Mitchell Allenden, Dock Street Tattoos, Leeds

Lewis Parkin, Northside Tattooz, Newcastle

Mister Paterson, The Fifth Chamber, London

Charissa Gregson, Bath Street Tattoo Collective, Glasgow

Otto D’ambra, The White Elephant, London

Holly Ashby, House of Thieves Tattoo, Birmingham

Fidjit, Dharma Tattoo, London

Deryn Stephenson, Tenacious Tattoo, Sheffield

David Corden, Semper, Edinburgh

Sarah Whitehouse, Redwood Tattoo, Manchester

Fil, Broad Street Tattoo, Bath

Radu Rusu, Atelier Four Tattoo Studio, Truro

Ella Bell, Dust’n’Bones Tattoo, Plymouth

Ashley Luka, The Square Tattoo Studio, Solihull

Danielle Rose, Sanctuary Tattoo, Dundee

Matt Youl, Painted Lady Tattoo Parlour, Birmingham

Liam Sparkes, Old Habits Tattoo, London

Sadee Glover, Black Chalice Tattoo, Swindon

Jemma Jones, Sacred Electric Tattoo, Leeds

Gemma B, Black Ink Rebellion, Newquay

Kodie Smith, Edshead Tattoo Studio, Chelmsford

Billy Hay, Bath Street Tattoo Collective, Glasgow

Henry Big, Rain City Tattoo Collective, Manchester

Freddie Albrighton, Immortal ink, Chelmsford

Daryl Watson, Painted Lady Tattoo Parlour, Birmingham

John Anderton, Nemesis tattoo, Seaham

Hanumantra, UN1TY, Shrewsbury

Just Jen, Den of Iniquity, Edinburgh

Iain Sellar, The Black Lodge, Bristol

Olly Streeter, La Familia, Newquay

Cally-Jo, New Wave, London

Sophie Adamson, The Projects Tattoo, Plymouth

Loz Thomas, One By One, London

Kayley Henderson, Northside Tattooz, Newcastle

Tasha Pollendine, Physical GraffitiCardiff

 

 

 

Briar Rose Tattoo, south London

We couldn’t resist a trip to south London’s Hither Green, when tattoo artist Tiggy Tuppence invited us down to her brand new (and Disney inspired) tattoo studio Briar Rose. It’s the most perfect place to get tattooed and she’s thought of every last detail, including an antler chandelier that reminded of her Beauty and the Beast‘s Gaston… 

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What inspired you to become a tattoo artist? I worked in the games industry, but I hated being in an office environment, it felt static and uncreative. I’d been thinking about tattooing as a career as I felt that it would give me the creative freedom I needed, and the opportunity to be around people I might fit in with more. I had a tattoo artist friend, who told me that it would be too hard, that I’d have to quit my job and work for nothing for years, which was a bit disheartening, so I never felt like I would be good enough  to become a tattoo artist. However, I was offered an apprenticeship by Kamil in north London because he had seen my work and  liked it! That was a huge confidence boost! I quit my main job to pursue tattooing, and  took on a part-time job in GAME to support me. It was the best thing I ever did, and I’m so glad I didn’t give up. 


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Where does your inspiration come from? I’ve had many different creative backgrounds, I grew up sewing with my mother, watching Disney as well as every other cartoon going, and drawing every day for fun. I left school at 16 to do a National Diploma in Fashion Design,  then I went to university to do a degree in computer games design. I’d always wanted to go into concept art for films and games, as this was the sort of art I loved. My drawing style reflects that, my work isn’t typically ‘tattoo-ish’. I’ve always worked digitally, working with a Wacom tablet and Photoshop for the last 14 years, and I love to incorporate all different colours into my work – I love colour! My inspiration comes from this rich background, and my love of cartoons, games, films, digital artists, and traditional artists. 

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What are your favourite subjects to tattoo? I love tattooing cats, animals, nature, flowers, birds, wildlife. Yeah, I really love tattooing cute animals. I grew up in rural west-country so I’ve always been into nature and local wildlife, living in London I miss this aspect of my home so tattooing animals is my happy place. I also love tattooing any sort of pop-culture stuff – Pokemon, Disney, Studio Ghibli, stuff from games like Okami, Portal, and Final Fantasy, and many others too.

Your new studio is “unapologetically Disney inspired”, why did you decide to do this?  I didn’t decide to make my studio Disney inspired, it just happened.  After I came up with the name Briar Rose it just all fell into place. I loved that I was able to come up with an original shop name, and I figured there probably aren’t too many tattoo shops like this. I just buy things as and when I see them, and before you know it I have an entire shop (and home) full of Disney!

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Even down to the antler chandelier, that reminded me of Gaston, the rug in the hallway was inspired by the magic carpet from Aladdin, and the wallpaper in the main studio area made me think of The Jungle Book. It’s not officially Disney but each little element has been inspired by it as that’s just how I am! I really did put my heart and soul into making this place. I’ve got a lot of compliments on it, many of my customers have said they’ve never been in a tattoo shop like it before. I like to think I have something magical here.

Favourite Disney film? Man that is the hardest question and it comes up all the time. I ask most people what theirs is (apparently I attract other Disnerds here too) and then of course I am always asked this question back. Can I give a top 5 in no particular order? Aristocats, Robin Hood, Moana, Sleeping Beauty, and Tarzan! It feels horrible having to choose. I love them all.

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Describe your studio in just three words… Whimsical, Warm, Welcoming

How did you pick the location? What kind of clients do you hope to attract? And what can they expect from their experience? I wanted a shop that was in a safe, friendly area, as I know that many of my customers who are female would have to carry cash with them. I don’t want people to feel like they have to look over their shoulder when finding my shop. I’m in the process of getting a card machine as well, which I hope will help that. Also for first-time customers, who are already feeling nervous, I think it’s just nicer to show up to a place that’s easy to find, and where you feel comfortable. This was really important to me, I want people to have a lovely experience, and then go home and feel like they’re always welcome back, even if it’s just for a chat or a coffee.

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In the studio, I’ve tried to provide all sorts of things to help people feel welcome and looked after, I like to take care of people. I’ve bought all different coffees and teas for my fancy coffee machine, I’ve got phone charging ports in the waiting area, complete with Android/iPhone and USBC cables, there is wifi, customers can choose their own music if they like by playing it through our fancy Sonos speaker. Whatever makes their experience comfortable, as they’re often sitting with me for many hours at a time.

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What has been your most favourite tattoo you have ever created, why? I think the one that takes the top spot will have to be a cat portrait I did. Her cat was called Diamond who had the most impressive resting bitch face, which we managed to capture in the tattoo. As an extra bonus, this girl emailed me after her appointment asking if I’d like to meet up some time, it was the most awesome thing ever and she is now one of my best friends, we talk literally every day. Love you Kerri! 

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I’ll always draw up my client’s designs before they come in so they can see and make changes, I feel like the work is a collaboration where I’m the art director! But it’s important for people to be able to have some amount of say on what lives on them permanently. I’ve also become friends with quite a large handful of my past clients as well, which is wonderful. This is the best job!

Visit www.briarrosetattoo.com, or follow Tiggy’s studio on Instagram @briarrosetattoo

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Five Favourite Stick and Poke Artists

Our guest blogger Katie Houghton  shares her five favourite stick and poke artists of the moment…

While once considered unregulated, raw and reserved, ‘stick and poke’ is still here, and it’s bigger than ever. Most of the people I know that have tattoos, now have a stick and poke piece to go along with them, and more artists than ever are replacing motor-led machines with the simple needle and ink combo instead. Having recently acquired a couple of my own after lashings of Mexican food and a harrowing hour in front of American Pie, I wanted to see what artists were bringing this out the bedroom and into the mainstream.

Grace Neutral

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Whether you’ve gone gooey eyed over her latest tattoo series on VICELAND or not, Grace Neutral is undoubtedly one of London’s biggest hand-poked names. Don’t let her slight of voice fool you, there’s a brassy, boldness to her lines that are unmissable. While stick and poke is an artwork often reserved for petite and simple pieces, Grace is dominating sleeves and covering skin with some of the most intricate and hardy work in the business.

Lotte Vanns

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Lotte, a plant enthusiast and illustration student, calls herself a ‘confused human bean’ on her Instagram account, but nothing about her work confuses me. A perfect example of the divine line work coming out of hand-poked tattoos, Lotte Vanns not only showcases the female form in all its honest, and often delicate glory, her range of flora, nods to fauna and wispy lines summarise everything I like about the art of stick and poke.

Zzizzi

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From Taiwan to Sydney, this is a stick and poke artist that likes to get around, but that’s not just what I like about him. I’ve always been the person that thought hand poked tattoos were reserved to one colour palette and one colour palette only, and that’s black. Not only proving that I am very often wrong, Zzizzi rejects modest and cutesy lines for thick, chunky ‘ignorant’ themed line work that screams of the fun of the 80s with a little rock ‘n’ roll thrown in for good measure.

Kelli Kikcio

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Born in Canada but currently staking her tattoo claim at a studio in Brooklyn, New York, Kelli is something of a creative butterfly, dipping her toes in production, art and design combined. Yet another example of the simple satisfaction that comes from stick and poke, Kelli defines the art with direct and natural lines that play with female figures, flowers and crisp imagery to generate a flash collection that keeps me coming back for more.

Ngh Mgco

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If I had my way, this entire piece would be dedicated to hand poked botany, but it’s the likes of Ngh Mgco from Russia that add a firm edge to femme-esque pieces. More old school than most that stay devoid of a machine, the bold pieces, dark colours and noir feel to Ngh makes his work enticing and rich in a scene of simple, light stick and poke. I like his edge and the bravery of anyone sticking it out under those thick lines.

Interview with Tattoo Artist Paul Colli

Clean lines, not too many details. Paul Colli, resident at Satatttvision in Milan, likes to call his tattoos “ugly and ignorant”. In this interview, our Italian contributor Ilaria Pauletti explains why and discusses his humble view on current tattoo society, more about Horitomo references and his Monmon cats…

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What brought you into tattoo culture? How did you start tattooing? I walked into the tattoo world when I was 16, with total ignorance. I got the initials of my mum and my sister tattooed, I thought it was cool as I was the only guy to have one in my class. A few months later, I went for the second and then goodbye, I was overwhelmed by the enthusiasm and I started getting tattooed all the time!

At 18, I bought my first “machine” and the first power supply at the Milan Tattoo Convention and I began to work on pork rind. Unfortunately some friends came in to get scribbled, but after a few months I stopped. I didn’t get tattooed for a couple of years until I met Max and Marta the owners of studio Vigevano. I spent everyday there, I had become a cumbersome presence and when I was asked if I was interested in learning how to clean, sterilise and live the apprentice life, I accepted. I began to draw more frequently, tracing Hoffmann, Sailor Jerry, Dietzel, tons of flash badly implemented on paper.

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You often say your tattoos are “ugly and ignorant” tattoos, how would you define this style? I’ve always loved simple tattoo designs. The less details there are the better.  “Ugly and Ignorant” is a deliberately extreme definition of  my work, linked to the clarity of a subject realised in an elementary way – a few lines that are immediately readable. Lately I’ve been putting a little more detail in my tattoos, but I prefer to use thicker lines that keep the process of simplifying the original flash, leaving many empty spaces where I can “scratch”.

Your cats are a traditional version of those recreated by Horitomo? Who/what inspires you? Yes, without a doubt! The first cat I made was at “Sailor Whisper” in Ravenna, the girl wanted the classic curled Monmon Cat. I remember having developed it until it became a skull! Since then I have studied and played with the cats of Horitomo, but also with various photographic references, changing the thickness of the lines and inserting traditional subjects pattern.

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What subjects do you prefer? Are there any projects you would like to start? In the past year I have concentrated on Eastern tattoo art, with the use of geishas, samurai and masks. I like to keep the classic traits of Japanese art but simplify it. The results look good, but I think I still have a lot to study and improve.

What are your points of reference in the world of tattooing? I have always studied traditional tattoos, and been inspired by the flash of tattoo artists who have shaped the history of this craft. Every artist I know is helping me to grow and to understand something different. Everything can be considered a good reference point when the exchange takes place in a constructive way.

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How do you think the future of this art will develop? On one side there are castes in the Italian tattoo scene that in my opinion should have never been created, and these contributed to make it definitely a worse world – success is not necessarily synonymous with talent. On the opposite side, however, exist and continue to come to light great artists who contribute every day to make the tattoo world a crazy and magnetic place. So really, I have not the faintest idea what will happen in the future!

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Some say that the tattoos are ‘not for everyone’, what do you think? Tattoos are for everyone. Now the market supply has exploded and this allows everyone to have the means to start tattooing, not necessarily having the qualities suited to undertake this type of work. Who now begins considering himself as an artist, often ignores history and is not interested in traditional iconography and has a very low personal culture. I think it’s fair to adapt to developments in a constructive way, to experiment, evolve, but always maintaining respect for the tradition. And above all, stay humble. If you think you made it, you will not be able to go on. There is always more to achieve.

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The role of the tattooist in current society, is it artist or craftsman? The question is all the rage in recent years! As I mentioned before, I think it’s a balance between craft and art. As I do not believe that a tattoo artist sees the tattoo only as an art work. Basically I think that technological developments have influenced the way tattoo artists act, work and so they’re a mix between a craftsman and an artist. Certainly it is always satisfying when a customer chooses you among a thousand others because of your personal style.

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Do you have any upcoming guest spots and projects in the works? I am now a resident artist at Satatttvision Collective in Milan. I will be working at Sang Bleu in Zurich at the end of February, April I’ll be at Area Industriale in Rome, Sailor Whisper in Ravenna and Maux Les Bleus in Paris. June I’ll be working at Modificazioni Corporee in Chiavari, and finally in November I will be at the Brussels Tattoo Convention.