Category: Th’ink art

Welcome to The Wildness – Incandescent Artistry

Interview with Stefania Crasta, owner of The Wildness Jewellery.

StefaniaHow did you get into jewellery making?
I have been into jewellery all my life, when I was a child I loved to adorn myself and make jewellery out of leaves and flowers. From childhood to teen and adult age, I believe that jewellery has always been present in different forms and shapes – decorating myself and my feelings. Like all the early passions in life, it developed into a way of being, into a research of the different techniques in the making and design process.

What inspires you?
The main inspiration for my designs is nature in its wildest principle.
Only nature contains perfect shapes, shades, scents and colours, emotions and sensations. It’s life and death, it’s unchangeable, but in some ways changing, it’s stable but alterable – an eternal contradiction. My love for poetry, philosophy and art transcends into each pattern of design and it reflects the sinister rebelliousness of my emotions.

Part of The Wildness Collection Part of The Wildness Collection

 

What draws you to jewellery?
Jewellery has marked a fundamental part in the history of designing in different eras and cultures. I believe that jewellery is an extension of beauty and the expression of its power.

Part of The Wildness Collection Part of The Wildness Collection

 

What is your favourite piece that you have created?
My favourite piece that I have created is the skull and butterfly ring part of ‘Les Fleurs du Mal’ jewellery collection inspired by Baudelaire’s poetry. It’s a skull ring blinded by a butterfly, it’s love and death… Another of my favourite pieces is also the Dante Alighieri ring – the author/genius behind the journey to hell (Divine Comedy).

Skull and butterfly ring Skull and butterfly ring

 

Dante Alighieri ring Dante Alighieri ring

 

Is your work inspired by tattoos?
My work is definitely inspired by art, and different combinations of art such as tattoos. I think that jewellery and tattoos follow a parallel meaning of expression in body adornment. It’s a very similar statement in my opinion. I love ornamental patterns, that are also used on tattoos and sometimes I incorporate them into my designs.

Stefania’s tattoos

 

Can you tell me about the tattoos on your body?
My back is fully tattooed with paisley, flowers and geometric ornaments. This back piece was done by Matt Black at Divine Canvas. My sides are a work in progress by Silvia Zed from Shall Adore, it’s a beautiful Victorian filigree pattern. I also have two symmetric tribal tattoos done a long time ago by Silvia Zed on my upper arm, old Love and Freedom scripts on my wrists and lines/rings around my ring fingers. My aim is to have most of the back of my body tattooed…

Stefania's back by Matt Black Stefania’s back by Matt Black

 

Who are your favourite tattoo artists?
I’m totally in love with Victorian filigree, (designs and shades) of ornaments done by Silvia Zed and also her black and grey roses designs, she is definitely one of my favourite tattooists and also a dear friend of mine. I also love the geometric work of Xed LeHead and the amazing fine work of Philip Milic.

By Silvia Zed By Silvia Zed

 

Part of Stefania's collection Part of Stefania’s collection

 

Do you think there is a relationship between tattoos and fashion?
Tattoos have became more and more common. I believe that, in our days, tattoos are one of the most popular forms of self expression and definitely related to the fashion world. The aim of fashion, in my opinion, has always been to create a form of statement and that’s exactly what tattoos are about. I think there has always been a strong link between art and fashion that in the modern society has finally extended into the world of tattoos and body modification.

What’s next for The Wildness?
I believe that the steady path between imagination and creation of The Wildness will evolve into many more creations. I’m also working on different collaborations with fashion designers. The ‘Next’ for the Wildness is to keep and progress with the wild pattern of designing and to adorn the best corners of the world with handmade creations…

Check Stefania’s full collection on The Wildness website, www.thewildnessjewellery.com

 

Artistic Disney Princesses

Artist jirka väätäinen has created images of how Disney Princesses would look in real life. Of course they are a beautiful reflection of patriarchal ideals.

Innocent and curious Alice

Whimsical and delicate Snow White

Jasmine has a Kim Kardashian look about her

Youthful and alluring siren of the sea Ariel

Fiercely sexual Pochantantis

And then there’s Ursula in all her villainous glory

 

The Tattoo Project, a Book Review

I’m a person who loves supporting worthy causes and projects, tattoo related or not. So, when a friend sent me a link to The Tattoo Project, I fell in love instantly and wanted to help. After speaking with the creative genius behind the project, Vince Hemingson, I decided I would talk about the project in the next issue of Things & Ink, and try to spread the word about it, help bring attention to the Kickstarter fundraising campaign, and just increase awareness about the project and how worthy it is. To help accomplish this and to give me a more concrete idea of what the project was about, Vince sent me a copy of the book. My first reaction after opening the box was how heavy it was (it’s 240 pages of thick, glossy, high-quality paper, and a lovely hard cover), the superior construction of the book itself (it’s very well-made and will hold up to lots and lots of perusing), and the images are absolutely, incredibly, gobsmackingly stunning. I was in bliss, and it has been a long time since I felt that with a contemporary book featuring photographs of tattooed people. My Things & Ink article will speak more to this.

I spent just over 2 hours just turning pages, taking everything in the book had to offer visually. The book consists of images shot by 11 fine arts photographers (both men & women), of several tattooed subjects of both sexes, and the photographs were shot over a 3 day period in Vancouver, B.C.. There are over 200 full-page images in the book, plus the forward by P. J. Reece, documentary director’s notes by Jack Silberman, a description of the 3 days of shooting the project by Bob Baxter, details about Pennylane Shen who curated the exhibition for The Tattoo Project, and then photos of the exhibition event, and then the acknowledgments (you can see all of this in the shot of the table of contents in the gallery below). Also, each photographer has a small write-up on their introduction page that includes details about them and sometimes their thoughts and/or approach to the project shoots or what they hope to demonstrate through their images. A very lovely personal touch that gives you some insight into the photos that follow and the personal style of that photographer. The way the book is assembled, the contrasts in style between all the photographers is highlighted and their uniqueness is celebrated. There is a wonderful flow from one photographer to the next, and the effect is just immensely aesthetically pleasing. I enjoyed and really liked the works of each photographer for, and for different reasons. I loved the subjects too, their tattoo styles and bodies so unique and all so lovely for their own natural reasons. There’s a lot of diversity in age, body size, and tattoo style. The tattoos in this book are also very lovely in and of themselves, apart from the skin they are on.

Every image is overflowing with artistic expression and passion; whether the subjects are male or female, naked or clothed, each is photographed in a way that communicates an intention for beauty, respect, celebration and adoration of the tattooed subject. There’s no smut in here; there’s no extreme sexualization; there’s nothing derogatory or demeaning or sexist. One photographer has a retro pin-up style, but it’s rather lovely, cheeky and sweet, not pornish at all. Vince told me in a conversation that the pursuit of beauty is its own reward, and that is very evidently on the minds of the photographers for this volume. He also said that he feels it’s important for everyone to be a feminist, and that sentiment is also very present and loud here too. The photographs of these tattooed folks are at times reminiscent of paintings I’ve seen in galleries or books, that classical celebration of beauty and the human form you see in pieces by artists like Botticelli, Delecroix, and David. Some of the men’s shots, the body poses, remind me of classic ancient Greek sculptures. It’s so wonderful to see modern photography, tattooing, and a classic sense of artistic beauty brought together in a project.

Honestly, this book is a must-have for anyone who adores, celebrates, and seeks to be part of the positive elements and energies of the tattoo culture. It’s tasteful, it’s very artsy (and classy) and it’s just so damn beautiful to look at. It’s tattooed people photographed in a way that anyone can look at and enjoy: adults and kids alike. I will proudly put this on my coffee table, maybe with a chain on it as someone might take it. It’s tattoo culture at its highest form.

Be sure and visit the Kickstarter page for the Tattoo Project, check out the video and all the wonderful things you can get for donating. Please share this post or the links below with friends, family or those you know who are in or who adore tattoo culture. This project is so amazing, this documentary MUST be made.

Here’s everything important you need to knowing about The Tattoo Project:

The Tattoo Project takes a journey to the heart of “who we are.”
“Beauty is skin deep, but a tattoo goes all the way to the bone.” 
~ Vince Hemingson

The Tattoo Project is Hemingson’s attempt to prove that his apocryphal quote is true. Experimental photo shoot, gallery exhibition, and coffee table book—so far The Tattoo Project has made waves in the photo and tattoo worlds. But where’s the documentary film? – It’s one Kickstarter campaign away.

The Tattoo Project documentary team is turning to the tattoo and photography and art communities to help them over the final financial hurdle of editing the over 24 hours of amazing footage captured from the original three-day Tattoo Project Photo Shoot and the opening night of their one-of-a-kind Gallery Exhibition. If successful, the crowdfunding campaign will result in a one-hour broadcast quality documentary, and for the Special Edition version, another hour of behind the scenes footage and interviews with the creative team.

The film is the chance to tell the stories revealed by The Tattoo Project. To go beneath the skin and behind the eye to explore the zone where tattoo art meets portrait art. It’s a journey to the heart of “who we are.”

In this short video, Director Jack Silberman explains the vision for the film and gives a sneak preview at some of the amazing footage that will be used.

Says Hemingson: “I have always been struck by the extraordinary power that tattoos have to reveal a person’s inner self. What we wear on our skin is an outward reflection of who we are on the inside. So the symbols people choose to decorate their bodies with, they’re proclaiming to the rest of the world, “This is who I am.”

Can photography capture both the external self and the inner self? That’s the big question, and the heart and the soul of The Tattoo Project. As Hemingson says, “If the body is a temple, then our tattoos are its stained-glass windows.” Tattoos tell stories. Our film reveals those stories to you.

Useful Links:

www.thetattooproject.com

www.facebook.com/TheTattooProject

Kick Starter Project: http://kck.st/1mXYFTY

The Tattoo Project Promotional video: http://youtu.be/gBLBmFnrJaU

Media images from The Tattoo project for download: http://bit.ly/1u41WDN

The Vanishing Tattoo Documentary: http://youtu.be/ql7xxYxSag8

Media coverage of the Tattoo Project

Marisa Kakoulas, Needles & Sins, Review of The Tattoo Project: http://ow.ly/x7Vbu

Bob Baxter, Review of The Tattoo Project Weekend: http://ow.ly/x7V2X

Bob Baxter, Review of The Tattoo Project Gallery Exhibition: http://ow.ly/x7V5n

For more information please contact: Vincent Errol Hemingson
Email: vince@thetattooproject.com

Vince Hemingson is an award-winning photographer, screenwriter, best-selling author, filmmaker and the creator of www.vanishingtattoo.com, one of the internet’s largest, most popular and critically acclaimed websites related to tattoos and body art, which is visited by some ten million visitors every year. He co-produced, co-wrote and co-hosted The Vanishing Tattoo documentary film, which was broadcast on National Geographic International and was seen by tens of millions of people in over one hundred countries around the world. Hemingson is regarded as one of the world’s leading researchers into tattoos and their place within popular culture and he is often called upon to comment about tattoos and body art to the mainstream media.

Interview with Céline Aieta, who runs Inspired Tattoo Portraits

Céline Aieta, 26, Paris.

Celine photo

What first drew you to the tattoo world? When did you decide you wanted to become a tattooed person? This is such a difficult question. I couldn’t really explain what really drew me to the tattoo world. In 2009, while I was in Albuquerque New Mexico to study, I met Steve Truitt a renowned body modification artist. I quickly became friends with him and the guys at his shop and I started to spend a lot of time there. So I would say that I was firstly introduced to the world of body modifications. At the time, seeing Steve’s tattoos was quite a visual shock. That was the first time I saw blacked-out arms, face tattoos and almost a complete tattooed body. I slowly started getting small tattoos until I eventually considered getting a full body suit.

Celine

What is your job? I have never been able to do one thing at the time, so I’m currently working several jobs. I’m in charge of the advertising for a magazine, I’m also managing a tattoo artist working at Sang Bleu London and, last but not least, I’m part of the Paris Tattoo Convention staff, Le Mondial du Tatouage organized by Tin-Tin, where I’m in charge of the sponsoring.

Tell us a little more about your project Inspired Tattoo Portraits? When did you start it? Inspired Tattoo Portraits is an artistic and journalistic project that I started in April 2013, which focuses on heavily tattooed people wearing quality art. I aim to create beautiful images and provide content that opens the door to new ideas. Each portrait is made of an interview, a set of analog pictures and a video. I never read tattoo magazines, so it came from a personal need to see something different. For each portrait, I try to find interesting and strong personalities and to shoot them in visually rich environments in order to create unique atmospheres. On one hand, it’s a way for me to broadcast an aspect of the tattoo culture I love and on the other hand to understand myself better thanks to the people involved in the portraits.

Celine’s tattoos

 

Do you find that you often get comments about your tattoos from the public when you’re out? Do you mind this? People are generally surprised, but not in a bad way and I actually get pretty good comments. I guess they can appreciate the artistic value of my tattoos. But having people staring at me in the street and on the subway is not something I always felt comfortable with. When I first started getting tattooed my tattoos were not visible, so as they began becoming more visible I had to adapt to the way people were looking at me. Now I try not to care anymore.

Tell me a little about the work on your body. Who did it? How does it make you feel as a person? The list would be too long to name everyone, I’m a collector. I get work by very different artists: black & grey portraits, neo-traditional, ornamental… So far I have been tattooed by Cokney, Mikael de Poissy, Jean-Philippe Burton, Matthew Gordon, Antony Flemming, etc. I just enjoy being surrounded by art on a daily basis. My tattoos don’t change me as a person. Also it is a big commitment and it’s definitely not a neutral choice…

Thigh tattoos by Mikael de Poissy

 

We have been watching the progress of your stomach piece on Instagram. Where did the inspiration for this come from?  Many women are nervous about using their entire front as a canvas, did you have any apprehensions? I have been looking at Matthew Gordon’s work and I noticed he was super-good at large-scale tattoos and I wanted a big piece for my torso. As I’m working on a body suit project it made sense to go big. I just gave him a few ideas and he nailed it. The placement and size were pretty audacious but I guess I was crazy enough to do it. Of course I had apprehensions. It’s a pretty big commitment. I was scared it would affect my femininity, but it didn’t. In fact feminity really depends on who you are as a person. So I feel pretty good about it.

Celine’s front piece by Matthew Gordon

 

You recently added a flower below the piece by Matthew, what inspired this? Honestly, it wasn’t really part of my plan but after finishing my torso this little area was left untattooed and blank spots just annoy me. That’s the problem when you’re getting a lot of work done, you tend to only notice the non tattooed areas! Also I wanted someone special for this piece and therefore I asked Japanese artist Gotch to do it.

Do you enjoy working on big tattoo projects? What are you planning next? I think bigger is better, but it’s also pretty hard to work on big projects. It takes a lot of time and commitment, plus it’s usually really painful. Working on my torso piece was challenging and I sometimes felt discouraged. Going through long sessions and having to catch a flight back home to Pares the day after to go back to work is something difficult. But I experienced amazing things as well. It made me realise how strong I am. My next big project is my back piece with Guy le Tatooer, which I’m pretty excited about…

Who else would you like to get tattooed by? Too many! Haha. But to name a few: Claudia de Sabe, Valerie Vargas and the guys at Sacred Electric.

Where do you seek tattoo inspiration? My inspiration mainly comes from artists’ work. I like to pick artists with a strong artistic personality and I only give them a few ideas. I just want them to enjoy the piece and do what they think is good.

Any advice for first timers thinking about getting tattooed? Have a look at artists’ portfolios and choose them regarding their style and most importantly trust them!

 

Celine’s IG @inspiredtattooportraits
facebook.com/inspiredtattooportraits

Below are some of the portraits from the Inspired Tattoo Portraits series, check out the project in its entirety at www.inspiredtattooportraits.com

Noodles Galore

Kingdom of Wenramen

By Wendy Pham Australian tattoo artist and cover star of The Identity Issue

Wendy Pham’s book debut, published by Clandestine Republic, holds an impressive collection of never before seen illustrations. The assortment of mini prints take you on a Ramen-fuelled journey, elevating the everyday noodle to new mystical and mythical heights. Animals, people and creatures come together to take delight in the simplistic sustenance of Ramen. It will come as no surprise to you that this is Wendy’s favourite food, a subject that not only influences her artwork but the tattoos she creates too. The humble noodle is made sexy with half-dressed, lavishly-displayed Geishas, and none of the other characters within the book are able to resist this glorious feast. I found myself hankering for a steaming bowl of noodle broth as I turn the pages and discover more intriguing illustrations.

If you’re a fan of her vibrant Japanese-inspired tattoos you will adore her book filled with hamster explorers and sneaky noodle stealing foxes. The vibrancy of the illustrations, printed on high quality round edged paper, will leave you in two minds as to whether to frame each piece or leave the integrity of the book intact.


Both Illustrations from Kingdom of Wenramen

Exclusive new images in Mark Leaver’s facial tattoo project

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

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

 

Duncan X, 48 years old, Tattoo Artist

Duncan  x Duncan x

 

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

 

 

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

Blue Blue

 

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

 

A word from the photographer Mark:

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

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

 

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

Behind the scenes video for issue 7 – The Identity Issue starring tattoo artist Wendy Pham

Things & Ink cover shoot for issue 7, starring Wendy Pham from Conspiracy Inc. Berlin.

Film by Papercut Pictures.

Order the issue from our website, thingsandink.com.

Things and Ink identity Wendy Pham

Photographer: Haris Nukem
Stylist: Olivia Snape
Clothes and jewellery: Ksuko
Makeup and hair: Keely Reichardt using MAC Cosmetics
Assisted by: Rosalie Woodward and Liz Cummings
Thanks to The LP Café, Watford
Front cover design: Hustler Squad

The Identity Issue cover

Issue #7 The Identity Issue with cover star wenramen, Wendy Pham

Things and Ink identity Wendy Pham

Issue #7 The Identity Issue cover star revealed. Tattoo artist Wendy Pham, Conspiracy Inc. Berlin, Germany.

Photographer: Haris Nukem
Stylist: Olivia Snape
Clothes and jewellery: Ksuko
Makeup and hair: Keely Reichardt using MAC Cosmetics
Assisted by: Rosalie Woodward and Liz Cummings
Thanks to The LP Café, Watford
Front cover design: Hustler Squad 

Tattoo artist Wendy Pham is the face of  The Identity Issue of Things&Ink. When Wendy first joined Twitter, she wanted to remain genderless in her online presence – she didn’t want to be recognised as an artist, just because she has ‘a vagina and boobs.’ (she tells us more about this in her open and honest interview in issue #7). So we created an androgynous cover shoot around this concept – strong, striking and unsexualised.

The Identity Issue cover

The issue is available to order from our website, thingsandink.com. And will also be available to purchase from our stand at Liverpool Tattoo Convention. And at the launch party of our exhibition on Thurs 22 May, join us on Facebook.

Identity – Portraits | Modification | Adornment. An exhibition

Artwork by Susanna Widmann

 

We are very pleased to announce our upcoming exhibition ‘Identity – Portraits | Modification | Adornment’ at Into You, London, in May 2014.

Launch party: Thursday 22 May from 7pm
Location: Into You, 144 St John St, London EC1V 4UA
Join the Facebook event, here.

 

Glimpse of a piece by Matt (Oddboy) Barratt-Jones 

 

The exhibition coincides with the launch of The Identity Issue – issue 7 of Things & Ink magazine and celebrates the work of tattooists, photographers and artists. Each piece is the artist’s interpretation of the theme – no restrictions or limitations. This collection, curated by the team at Things&Ink, is varied, exciting and thought-provoking.

Identity means something different to us all, and this collection of original artwork and photography – and The Identity Issue of Things&Ink magazine  – explores the way our identities can be informed by the world around us and what we choose to do with our bodies.

There will be work from:
Alex Binnie 
Araceli 4ever
Andrea Furci 
Axa Shireen
Aimee Cornwell 
Antony Flemming
Clare Goldilox
Delphine Noiztoy
Duncan X 
Joao Bosco 
Matt (Oddboy) Barratt-Jones 
Susanna Widmann
Wendy Pham
Ramon Maiden
Luke Garwood
Heather Shuker
And a selection of artists from Into You Brighton and London. 

The Chin Women of Myanmar, by photographer Luke Garwood
Ma Apoi aged 66

 

Come and join us to celebrate the launch and view the entire exhibition on Thursday 22 May from 7pm, Into You, 144 St John St, London EC1V 4UA. The exhibition will run for three months from that date.

The exhibition has been curated by the team at Things&Ink magazine

Are you a collector of ink and things?

Are you a collector of things as well as ink?

Things & Ink photographer Heather Shuker is looking for people with tattoos and collections to photograph for a personal portrait series. Heather would like to hear from any tattooed individuals who have interesting, obscure or even just a large collection of everyday items that they can be photographed with.

 

Cat lady collector Photograph of Lou LaLa collector of tattoos and cats, by Heather Shuker

 

Contact Heather via www.facebook.com/heathershukerphotography or email heather@thingsandink.com.