Category: Art

Interview with Lucrezia

Our Italian contributor Ilaria Pauletti chatted to tattooist Lucrezia about her beautiful tattoos and recognisable style… 

Lucrezia is a Sardinian girl with a colourful heart and sea waves in her hair. Her Sarditional style is getting more and more renowned and here she explains the perfect mix for a tattoo made with love. Among coricheddos (little heart shaped sweets), delicate feminine figures and amulets, she is bewitching the web! You can find her in Milan, at Toy Tattoo Parlour.

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You are a complete artist- a graphic designer, illustrator and tattoo artist! Can you tell us a little bit about your artistic career? It was a quite natural process, you know, I grew up with colors in my hands and I used to leave my marks on every surface. My path as an illustrator and tattoo artist were parallel to each other, they reflected a way more rebellious and emotional side of my studies in architecture and graphic design. My degree surely gave me the basics useful to search the composition and balance in each drawing I make.

What is your first memory connected to tattoos? My first memory is a feeling, I see the tattoo as a very important gesture that helps to fix an emotion and one that is on your skin for you to wear forever. As a tattoo artist,I find that the tattoo is a rite, that binds deeply the tattooer and tattooed during the creation of the piece.

The transformation of a story into a picture and the subsequent transposition of the skin, the pain, the amount of tension and excitement, and an indelible bond that is created with all my clients. These are the things I love the most about this work and I’d never imagined they could become so essential and vital for me.

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How would you define your Sardinian style? Is it a declaration of love for your homeland and the coricheddos (typical Sardinian sweets mostly made of almond and honey)? The sarditional was originally born as a hashtag game on Instagram. Initially, before I started tattooing, I filled my illustrations with little women tattooed with Sardinian buttons and motifs derived from the Sardinian tradition. Beginning my career as tattoo artist, they became my main subjects, executed using the technique of traditional style. The designs were simplified, with thick lines and black shadows, from there I put that Sar-ditional touch. Now it has become a real characteristic of my style, which is to bring to the world the Sardinian tradition, from ‘pavoncelle’, kokkoi, to buttons and coricheddos. And all those jewels that the Sardinian tradition considers to be protective amulets and charms. That’s how the design of a sarditional becomes a real ritual to put on the skin: for Sardinians and beyond!

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What are your daily inspirations, both personally and professionally speaking? Every day, the inspirations are the most varied, most of the time I get influenced by my moods, from the weather and especially by music. This last is crucial because it helps me to channel myself in mental states that may not belong to me and, for example, when I prepare a drawing for a client I can get closer and better identify himself using music.

From Alghero to Milan: how are you living this experience and what are your expectations? Milan is basically adopting and taking very good care of me, I am very good and I also managed to do a lot of experience, getting to know many people and growing especially from the professional point of view. Alghero will forever remain the seat of my roots and going home to do some guest spots is a must for my creativity. Sardinia is a land that offers so much inspiration, and especially its silence and its mystery stimulate creativity in me.

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Corals, beads, women faces filled with love. What are the subjects you prefer to tattoo? My favourite subjects are without doubt the little women, I find them super expressive and I am able to communicate anything through their eyes and hands.
I try to draw every little woman to resemble as closely as possible the client who will wear them forever.  In fact, I generally choose the colours together with the client, also to see what kind of colours and feelings that person sends me, and most of the time I guess right!

Who have you been tattooed by and who is on your wishlist? I have two beautiful surreal pieces made by the great Gabri Pais. Others by my boss Amanda Toy, who has spoiled my skin with bright colours. A piece signed with perfect lines by Paul Colli. A wonderful little woman by Viola Ceina. Another woman who remembers the old pieces of George Burchett, masterfully executed by Marco Sergiampietri. And a super old school tattoo by Alessio Errante.
In my wishlist you will find; Chiara Pina, Nicholas Rinaldi, Giampiero Cavaliere, Carlotta Cawa, Luca Font and internationally Bouits, Danielle Rose, Kirk Jones, Emily Rose and many others!

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Do you have any side projects you would like to tell us about?
I carry on various projects and collaborations, where I leave my mark with my illustrations. I have a newborn project this year, where my illustrations are combined with stories of “Appunti sparsi di una trentenne a Milano”; I often work approaching the magnificent letters of Gabriele Cecere. I always carry forward my graffiti under the name of La*tete, it was all born one evening, many moons ago, out of curiosity and in Milan, thanks to my good friend Nacho. When I have some time left, I also collaborate with the great artist and friend La fille Bertha.

Do you have any future guest spots and conventions planned?
My future guest spot will be in August for Cagliari Tattoo Convention. And then I will be in Rome and Florence within the year. The next dates and locations will be surely posted on my Instagram!

Oh Bones Illustration

25-year-old Brit is an illustrator, writer and musician from London. We chatted to Brit about her dark gothic archaeology inspired drawings and her tattoos…

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Inspired by Things&Ink Brit created this self portrait just for us…

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Do you have a background in art? How and when did you start drawing? I don’t have a background in art at all, I began drawing at university when I was studying archaeology – In the labs we had to draw the artefacts and bones. It was there I noticed that my drawings were good and not going so badly.  I then graduated and moved to Amsterdam to do an MA in archaeology and I started drawing for an hour a day and thought, this is much better than being in a library studying. So I didn’t do the MA and continued drawing instead!

What inspires you? Being an archaeologist inspired me the most because I spent years researching the human psyche and behaviour throughout time. My speciality is death and burial, and I guess that often comes across in my art work. I also love poetry, which inspires my art quite a lot and along with every illustration, I write a poem.

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What medium do you use? How do you create each piece? I use both digital and non-digital. I love using fine line pens and Indian ink to create my work. I like things to be imperfect because that way you seen the human in it.

What kinds of things do you draw? Usually I will draw people, disembodied limbs, plants – anything really. I almost always draw around a poem or song I’ve written, to give some visuals to my other artwork in my music and writing. I like it all to be one big art piece – audio, visual and written.

Describe your style? Tailored, black, kind of like an old fashioned 1920’s boy!

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Do you admire any other artists, do they influence your work? I usually admire artists whose work is nothing like mine! It’s nice to clear my head of anything remotely like my work now and again, so I really like the work of Gordon Armstrong and Robert Saeheng they’re really great. But I also like old school artists like Patti Smith, her word work really inspires me in my own poetry and in-turn in the art I create around the words.

Can you tell us about your tattoos? I don’t have too many tattoos, definitely under 30 but most of them I love, even though some of them are definitely bad prison style ones. I have some plants, pinky promise hands, trouble making pigeons, dead fish, skulls, love letters, words. Everything! My first one was was just a small one on my foot in Hebrew, nothing too interesting!

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How do tattoos make you feel?
My tattoos mean a lot, I’m sure a lot of people say that. Because most of my work is visual, it’s a way that I express myself, so I really do try and add some depth to the things I get tattooed! But sometimes you have so many tattoos there’s only so much meaning behind all of them – some don’t mean a whole lot, but there’s always a good memory behind getting it tattooed.

Do you do commissions? I do commissions, I do ink originals and screen prints for sale on my shop, but I also do a lot of album cover work, tattoo designs and logo designs.

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Where can people buy your art? They can head over to ohbones.com and find my shop that way, I will be stocking up for the summer soon, so there’ll be some new T shirts and badges!

Apprentice Love: Ella Bell

We spotted the work of 25-year-old apprentice Ella Bell on Instagram and instantly loved her dark art and floral tattoos. We chatted to Ella to find out more about her life as an apprentice at Attica Tattoo Studio in Plymouth where she works… 

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How long have you been tattooing? I did my first tattoo 14 months ago.

How did you start? What did you do before?  I knew tattooing was what I wanted to do but I was never convinced it would actually happen. It took me a few years to build up the courage to take my portfolio anywhere; during those years I tried a lot of things that didn’t work out – menial jobs, I started an MA in art history but dropped out, more menial jobs – and throughout this time art was a constant thing that gave me a lot of joy, so I just focussed on that and it got me through each day. Once I’d decided to find a tattoo apprenticeship, that goal gave me a lot of motivation to really put the hours in and for about six months I spent most mornings drawing and painting, working on my portfolio. I booked in for a tattoo with my now tattoo mentor Steven McKenzie, and felt at ease enough to bring up the subject of an apprenticeship, and luckily he liked my work, and that’s where it all began!

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Do you have a background in art? Kind of. My family is very creative and I was lucky to grow up in an environment where making art was always encouraged and celebrated. Art was my favourite thing at school and college, but I chose to study English literature at university and never really pursued art at that level. Sometimes I wish I had, as having access to those kinds of art facilities and teachers is an amazing opportunity, but then again you are subject to exam criteria and all that stuff, and I could never get myself in that frame of mind. How can you mark a piece of art and say it’s right or wrong? It’s really weird.

What drew you to the tattoo world? Getting tattooed! For me, getting tattoos is just really exciting from start to finish, travelling to different studios and being in these different, liberating environments, meeting the artists, and then coming out of the experience with this new piece of art. The tattoo world allows you to be yourself and I just felt a bit like a kindred spirit as soon as I arrived. It’s hard not to be compelled by that. There’s a raw, rebellious, head strong nature about it too, which I love. I love that they are permanent and real, that you can’t buy and discard them like t-shirts. And tattoos are also so beautiful. It’s a celebration of the body and the mind and the spirit. Tattoos definitely offered me the possibility of truly loving and celebrating myself. 

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Describe your style, how has it changed? I think I have quite an illustrative style which is hopefully refining with practice. In terms of the tattoos I make, I mainly do blackwork but I have started to use a bit more colour as well, but my colour palette is still quite muted. Sometimes I want to do heavy blackwork, solid lines and dark shading, other times I want to do very fine linework, dotwork and greywash. I’m still finding my style really! Natural and botanical imagery is what I love to tattoo the most at the moment though, I could draw flowers forever. It’s so easy to stress about your ‘personal style’, about having something unique that will make you stand out, but I try not to worry because it usually makes me feel shit about everything. People say they can see my style, even if I struggle to, so you just have to trust that the work you do with your own hand will be in some way yours. It’s evolving, and hopefully it always will.

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What inspires you? Seeing other people’s creative output and success is very inspiring and it motivates me in my own work. There are countless tattooists who inspire me in terms of the practice of tattooing and where you can go with it. Maxime Buchi, Fidjit and Damien J Thorn are the first three that come to mind. They all have such distinct styles and their work is so strong. I love it and they definitely inspire me to work hard; I’ve had a few tattoos from all three of them and every time, the experience was incredibly inspiring too. I have a deep interest in art history which influences my work as well, particularly Europe’s Medieval, Gothic and Renaissance periods. And I love early Japanese ink painting – their depiction of flowers is just breathtaking. Nature inspires me every day, and so do my mum and dad.

What would you love to tattoo? I would love to do more large scale work. I don’t know if I’m ready for anything like a back piece yet, but I’d love to start creating bigger compositions that flow with the body. It would be amazing to challenge myself with that.

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What is a typical day like for you? Having woken up I usually check Instagram with a coffee, as predictable as that sounds, and then I’ll do some emails and drawing. In my dreams I do yoga and meditation in the mornings and eat organic flaxseeds and stuff. If it’s a work day, I’ll get to the studio at about 11am, clean, set up, hang out, ready to start tattooing at 12pm. I usually do about three tattoos a day. I like to chill in the evenings, it took me a while to realise you can’t work all hours of every day, and it’s really important to rest and recoup. Your work is better for it.

Do you have any guest spots or conventions planned?  I’m working at The Burton Tattoo Collective in Leicester in a few weeks (20th-22nd June), it’ll be my second guest spot there and I’m really excited. Apart from that I don’t have anything planned but I would really love to do some more travelling soon, around the UK and beyond.

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Can you tell us about your own tattoos? It’s a growing tapestry! I love blackwork, all of my tattoos (bar one) are just in black. I seem to be covered in flowers and birds. I’m quite a collector; there are so many incredible tattooists out there and I’m really greedy and I just want work from them all. That said, there is beauty in finding ‘your tattooist’ and creating ongoing pieces with them. So yeah I’m trying to slow down a bit; my arms are steadily filling up, and I’ve got some questionable pieces on my thighs that I’m in the process of covering, so now I’m just saving myself until I know which direction I want to go in. I’d like to focus on bigger pieces though, and the overall effect they have and the relationship each tattoo has with its neighbour. It’s exciting.

Alana Macleod

22-year-old Alana Macleod, who creates beautifully coloured and patterned clothing is currently studying textiles in Bournemouth. We chatted to Alana about the process behind her designs, her tattoos and how, by sharing her own story, she hopes to help others struggling with eating disorders… 

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How would you describe your style, both how you dress and what you create? My style is very colour focussed, and is an exploration of variety of textures and shapes. In terms of my dress sense, I like to wear structural, interesting shapes, and with my textiles work I like to create these shapes with a combination of materials and embellishments. I feel as though my work and my style can often be very connected, as for me it is important that both express an element of fun, with the outcome never being too serious. I think fashion should be fun.
What influences your work and who inspires you? It sounds cliché but I really am inspired by things that I see around me, whether that’s an interesting place or a person. I think when you have been around textiles for so long, you automatically take inspiration from things and it’s hard to escape, so my influences can come from anything. I think Instagram is also such an amazing, inspiring platform; we can use it to discover people who interest us and are doing really cool things, and I think it’s so great to have that at our fingertips.

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Can you tell us about the process behind your designs? All my outcomes start with mass amounts of drawings and paintings, then there is a lot of cutting, sticking, photocopying, until I start to develop some ideas for prints or surfaces. I use a combination of screen print, digital print, embroidery, and hand embellishment; there isn’t really an order to doing this within my practice, things just kind of develop naturally and I just follow what I feel is working at the time. I always start with a plan when I am designing, but the creative process always changes.

Do you sell any of your designs? I’m currently not selling my work anywhere online, however I’m in the process of starting up an online store! I also take commissions if anybody is interested.

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When did you get your first tattoo? What was it and do you still love it? Well technically my first tattoo was a horrific hand poked diamond on my  which I had done at the age of 13! And I absolutely do not love it, neither did my mother at the time, ha. I waited to get my first professional tattoo at the age of 18, which were some bows on the back of my legs. I was going through quite a rockabilly phase at the time; looking back, they are definitely something I would not get now, but they also remind me of a certain time, and that’s why I will always like all of my tattoos regardless of whether my style has changed since.

What inspired you to start getting tattooed? Throughout school I had always experimented with a lot of styles and subcultures, all of which were quite alternative. I always wanted to stand out with my appearance as a teenager, and was always getting in trouble at school for it. I think my love of tattooing definitely developed from my urge to be different. I listened to a lot of punk music from a young age, and I always admired the musicians and the whole aesthetic. I also think that my creativity has had a big part in my interest within tattoos- art class was the only that I engaged in fully within school and college, and when I grew up and realised that I could display this creativity on my own body, it just made sense to me.

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Do tattoos influence or alter how you feel about your body? Have they helped you with feelings of self confidence? Yes definitely- when I have experienced difficult times with my body and my confidence, having my tattoos makes me still feel comfortable within my skin regardless. I’m much happier to show my body, or even look at my body, knowing that I have this collection of beautiful art, whereas previously I may have struggled to see any positives about myself.

On Instagram you’re quite open about your struggles with an eating disorder, why do you think it’s important to share your own experience? I think it’s really important because of how alone you can feel when you are caught up in an eating disorder, and I really want to remind people that they’re not alone. I remember when I was at a really awful point in my life, and I felt that nobody would understand and that my behaviour was so alien. I was seeking help from eating disorder ‘help’ forums, as I had nowhere to turn, but these websites are bad news and an awful trap that is even more difficult to get out of. I hope that speaking about my issues openly on Instagram will not only keep people away from these sites to seek reassurance, but will also let them know that the people that they follow and admire also have their own struggles and that it is a lot more common that they may have realised. I think the word bulimia has such a stigma and a misunderstanding around it, and there are a lot of misconceptions. I didn’t actually realise that I was bulimic for quite some time, I’d convinced myself that my over-exercise, restrictive diet and purging ‘bad’ foods was just me being healthy and normal. I’d love to help people realise that obsessive behaviours aren’t actually normal, and to help them become aware before they’re in too deep.

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Do you think social media has helped you or hindered you in your progress and self love journey? I have mixed feelings about social media and it’s impact on my eating disorder. In the early days, I think Instagram was definitely a contributor towards my obsession with my weight- I was feeling a lot of pressure to keep up my ‘healthy lifestyle’, which essentially was making me much more ill. However, when I eventually publicly opened up about my disorder, the amount of positive feedback and genuine kindness I received from everybody was so warming and lovely, and I think it’s amazing to have that kind of support network. I’ve been open about my struggles online for just under a year now, and it definitely has helped with my self-love since I started therapy. Some days I will be having a bad day with my body image, but to receive such lovely praise from people who have known my struggles is really special.

Have tattoos played a part in your recovery? I  say they have helped my recovery, but they have definitely made me still feel like ‘me’, when I’ve had low times where I’ve been unsure of who I am. During recovery I have gained some weight again, and my tattoos have helped me with loving myself still too. I can’t imagine to have not had them throughout this journey, they’re the one thing that have always given me another layer of confidence, and I’ve always been able to express myself through my tattoos.

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Do you have any future tattoo plans? I’m continuing with working on my legs next, I have some exciting plans to try and make them feel much more completed, ankle cuffs, some blacking out and some ornamental work within the things that I have already!

Interview with Rachie Rhatklor

27-year-old tattooist Rachie Rhatklor works out of Blue Lady Tattoo in Melbourne Australia and creates beautifully fierce tattoos. We chatted to Rachie about the strong women who inspire her and her own sassy women tattoos… 

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How long have you been tattooing? I’ve been tattooing for eight years now.

How did you start? What did you do before? I was living in Auckland, New Zealand at the time. I took a gap year after high school working at a cafe. I really wanted to start tattooing, so I quit and focused on drawing and painting flash for months and months. When I felt like I had some what of a portfolio to show (looking back now it was so bad), I approached as many tattoo shops as I could find. I was shit scared and the tattooists I spoke to were definitely intimidating.

Eventually one guy, Clint Jones at Blue Lotus Tattoo, told me that he couldn’t pay me and he already had an apprentice, but that I could hang out a couple of days a week. I showed up everyday and worked my ass off and eventually the other apprentice was let go. It was a fairly old school apprenticeship. We didn’t use pre-made needles, Clint made them every morning and taught me how to. I would do all the cleaning, emails, scrubbing tubes, setting up and breaking down, draw all his tattoos and stencil them by hand and more, plus trying to squeeze in learning what I could. That apprenticeship was tough as hell but I really appreciate it all now. That’s how it should be.

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Do you have a background in art? Art was my strongest subject in school for sure. I didn’t really care about anything else at the time.

What drew you to the tattoo world? Drawing came naturally to me and I had some outside influences like some family members and friends who were getting tattooed. It always fascinated me, it’s one of the oldest cultural traditions around. I also wanted to be able to make a living off of what I loved to do, and I was really drawn to tattooing because of every other challenge it involves. There’s a lot to learn, it never stops either.

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Describe your style, how has it changed? I would say it borders on traditional because of the way it’s put down – bold lines and simple shading and colour. But I’m trying to push different images, using references from sources other than traditional flash and where I can, from my own head.

What do you like to tattoo and draw? I think my absolute favourite subject to draw is women. Every aspect is always different, the hair, the face, I never get bored with them, they’re always fun to tattoo. I like to draw tough, sassy ladies and anything that ties into that theme.

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What inspires you? Strong women, I am lucky to know so many of them! Especially my mum who had the hardest childhood and still managed to raise three kids, work full time and now rides a Harley! She’s a big inspiration, which is why I think I like to portray strong women in my artwork. Also, vintage playboy, cars, movies and beauty advertisements, old tattoos, nature, classic hip hop & soul, 90’s girl grunge bands and my boy Jordi who is the hardest working person I know and influences me everyday.

What would you love to tattoo? I love tattooing from my flash of course, ladies, man’s ruin themes etc. I still enjoy traditional flash too. I think as long as there’s people wanting to get tattooed I’m happy to do anything.

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Do you have any guest spot or conventions planned?  I’ve just come back from a guest spot in New Zealand at Two Hands Tattoo. No other plans set at this stage, but I would love to get over to the States, Asia and back to Europe in the next couple of years!

Can you tell us about your own tattoos? Most of them are from trades with good friends I’ve been lucky to have worked with over the years. You guys rule!

Exhibition: Nero – the flexibility of black

Our Italian contributor Ilaria Pauletti chatted to tattooist Viola Von Hell about her collective exhibition Nero – the flexibility of black…

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Viola Von Hell, also known as Violeta Pilar Bea, is a tattoo artist based at The Ten Bells Tattoo, in Rome. She has travelled around the world and, through her art, has met many other talented artists. Her collective exhibition, which opened at Parione9 in Rome at the beginning of May 2016, is the result of her ideas connected to other minds.

Nero is the Italian word for black, and it’s the main protagonist of this art show (on until the 29th May). Black tattoos, black skin, black thoughts… Black is more and more present in modern tattooing, and that’s why I chatted with her about this project.

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By Brian Thomas Wilson

How and when was the idea of ​​this exhibition: ‘Nero – the flexibility of black’ born? I thought about the idea almost one year ago, while I was thinking about the tattoo world changes in a stylistic context. I realised the use of heavy black was starting to become more of a thing, and I saw artists with different skills experimenting more and more. And then I said to myself, why not document this new moment of the tattoo world? Besides the fact that I love to organise exhibitions.

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What is the subjective intention at the centre of this collection of artworks? The intent is to let different ideas circulate and give people the chance to gather information about them. And also to build cohesion among the artists of the collective, to create creative groups in our world, a place that is already too full of ego and individualism.

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Did you know the artists personally, or you were guided by your own instinct? They are all friends of mine, people I’ve known personally for years and I respect a lot. With Stefy, besides being great friends, we had already collaborated on another exhibition called ‘Sante Peccatrici’ (Holy Sinners).

Do you think it’s right to set limits on art (perhaps to guide the observer) or is it better to give free interpretation? I think the limits always need to be crossed. I usually like to leave complete freedom to the artists so that I an be surprised by their skills.

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By Pietro Sedda

What are your thoughts about modern-day tattoo art? My thought on this issue is actually very sad, I was very disappointed by the attitude of some colleagues over the years… Fortunately there are also many very valid people, and I am also referring to the younger generations. I hope that the ego can be swept away, and that human relations that govern this world can win, and create better things.

Artists involved in Nero – the flexibility of black:
Kike Bugni, Cionka, Crez, Dane, Rafel Delalande, Aron Dubois, Alessandro Florio, Manee Friday, Massimo Gurnari, Horiyen, Kelu, Diego Knore, Michele L’Abbate, Manekistefy, Rio, Pietro Sedda, Viola Von Hell, Brian Thomas Wilson, John Wilson.

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Photos by Diana Bandini

Interview with Tan Van Den Broek

27-year-old tattoo artist Tan Van Den Broek works out of Dark Cloud Electric, a private studio in Fitzroy, Melbourne, and creates beautifully colourful neo-traditional tattoos. We chatted to Tan about her love for hard working bees and a dirty olive colour pallet… 

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How long have you been tattooing? It’ll be my sixth year of tattooing this August, I completed an apprenticeship over three years in two separate studios. I’m currently working in a private studio in Fitzroy, Dark Cloud Electric, with Dean Kalcoff.

What did you do before? Before tattooing I was at university completing a Bachelor of Creative Arts in Drama. Performance and art have always been an important part of my life, so it seemed fitting to do a degree in it. While studying I was waitressing (classic part-time actor job) and continued to waitress over the weekends while apprenticing. I would work five days a week at the studio, weekends waiting tables, drawing every other moment.

How did you start? Straight after I graduated uni, I applied for an apprenticeship in a local tattoo studio that was just opening up. He already had an apprentice, who had a fancy tattoo nick-name and lots of Kohl eyeliner, but I dropped by the studio with my folio of work anyway. He set a two year apprenticeship for me, I spent the first six months just observing and cleaning before I was allowed to tattoo.

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Do you have a background in art? Yes, I was a really quiet child and so I escaped into drawing imaginary worlds and what was around me; lots of flowers, animals and vegetables! I grew up on a organic vegetable farm, and both my parents are avid gardeners. I took on life drawing classes and later completed my drama degree doing as many visual art subjects as they would allow me to do. I stayed in most nights during my adolescence drawing, I guess nothing much has changed.

What drew you to the tattoo world? Music and my sister. Most of the bands I was listening to when I was younger had tattoos and their cover artwork always made me start brainstorming my first tattoo ideas.

My sister got her first tattoo under age over new years eve. She lied to our parents saying it was semi-permanent and that the pigment would fade away after a year. After a year rolled by and more tattoos were added, my parents clued on. Every tattoo she got, I just kept thinking that I could’ve drawn that better for her and made her happier.

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Describe your style, how has it changed? My style is neo-traditional but more on the bold, colourful traditional side. I like bold lines balanced with finer details.

Initially I wanted to be strictly a traditional tattooist, I loved the work produced by Andrew Mcleod and Jaclyn Rehe (still do) and loved the aesthetic. Tattoos that look like tattoos. Bold and badass. Vintage photographs of men and women adorned with ropes, ships, butterflies, women got me going! I quickly discovered I would over complicate my traditional drawings and I could not restrict my colour palette. I liked soft pastels and dirty olives. Neo-traditional was a better fit.

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What do you like to tattoo and draw? Easy! Animals, flowers and Birds! Lately I’ve been tattooing lots of Native Australian flora, which can be a challenge but I LOVE the challenge and the colours of our flowers.

What inspires you? Beautiful gardens, climbing roses, old buildings, lakes, lead-light windows, crystals, Scandinavian towns, autumn leaves, caves and good coffee.

What would you love to tattoo? Monkeys, I love their expressions. Big cats, toucans/horn-bills, fishing birds, flowering fruits and more native flowers.

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Do you have any guest spots or conventions planned? I’m heading back to Hobart for a week in June, then my next convention will be New Plymouth NZ Tattoo & Art Expo in November. Then Three Eyes Convention in Adelaide in February 2017. I’m currently planning a trip for Aug/Sept, fingers crossed I’ll be heading to United States or back to Europe. I miss Vienna and Göteburg.

Can you tell us about your own tattoos? Sure, my left thigh, left sleeve/hand and left side of my neck was tattooed by my amazing co-worker Dean Kalcoff. My sleeve is inspired by my love of Art Nouveau and 1920s fashion. I’ve got a big orange rose on my neck, my hand has another rose and a Mike Pike Teacup machine. My left thigh has a rabbit being constricted by a snake.

My chest was tattooed by Emily Rose Murray, fuck I was lucky to jump in on a last minute availability! That piece makes me feel really beautiful, big soft peony roses and a little bee. I have three bees tattooed on me (so far), I love their meaning of female strength, hard work, self sacrifice and the importance of teamwork for a greater good.

I have four tattoos from my dear friend Clare (Clarity) Hampshire, one is a vintage nurse with red poppies for my G’ma who served as a head nurse here in Melbourne during the second World War treating the returned soldiers and my G’pa who passed due to WWII PSTD. I have only one matching tattoo with my best friend Jen, it’s a little teapot with the words “Tea For Two” We always catch up over a cuppa, and it’s helped us get through the more difficult times in our lives. Tea just seems to help, you know?

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Art Love: Douglas Hale

We’re obsessed with artist Douglas Hale after discovering him on Instagram. He creates clever collages that play with imagery he has found, colour and symbolism. Hale uses contemporary graphic styles to produce fantasy landscapes and unusual profiles. His artwork creates beautifully strange scenarios and often features well-known faces…

FKA Twigs

FKA Twigs

Harem Aria

Harem Aria

Secrets

Secrets

Diana Ross

Diana Ross

Dawn Richard Album Art

Dawn Richard album art

Head to douglashale.net to view more