Category: Th’ink art

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 or email

Modern Woman, Indigenous Spirit

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

Here’s some unpublished images from the shoot, and the illustrations by Katerina Samoilis that were based around Laurence’s story and used as projections in the background of the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

Moniasse scarification The beautiful Laurence Moniasse



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



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

More information at

Atomica Gallery and The Circle present: Everyone’s Got One: A Skull Showcase

Atomica Gallery and The Circle present:
Everyone’s Got One: A Skull Showcase

27th February – 29st March 2014
Opening night: Thursday 27th February
The Circle, 21 Noel Street, W1F 8GP


Loaded with a myriad of connotations, the skull has always been a source of inspiration for artists. From Vincent Van Gogh’s ‘Skull With A Burning Cigarette’ to Damien Hirst’s notorious platinum and diamond-encrusted creation, they can be found in countless masterpieces. For Everyone’s Got One Atomica has curated work by a variety of artists who have also used the timeless icon as their subject…

Artwork from:
Castro Smith / Charlie Immer / Cil Laurens / Dan Holliday / Luke Thomas
Nick Sheehy / Ramon Maiden / Tom Bagshaw
Plus: ceramics and glass skulls from Bespoke Barware

The opening night party for this exhibition also coincides with The Circle’s two year anniversary – so it’s gonna be a big one!

To celebrate the occasion a selection of artists, including  Ricardo Cavolo, Jack Pearce and Mister Paterson, have created exclusive skull tattoo flash designs. Available as tattoos at The Circle for the duration of the showcase, the flash sheet artwork will also be up for grabs as a special limited-edition print.

Tattoo flash designs from:
Cil Laurens / Jack Pearce / Mister Paterson
Nick Sheehy / Rebecca Vincent / Ricardo Cavolo 

Tattooers on the night:
Aaron Goswell / Jethro Wood / Rebecca Vincent
and a guest spot by Mister Paterson

For tattoo enquiries, please contact

For more information see Atomica’s Facebook event, Or email Orla,

Behind the scenes film from cover shoot with Grace Neutral

Things and Ink Cover Shoot (Issue Six) from Papercut Pictures on Vimeo.

Behind the scenes video for Things & Ink cover shoot featuring the tattoo artist Grace Neutral. Music by A.Dd+ – “Suitcases”.

See full photo shoot in The Modification Issue, which can be purchased from

Film by Papercut Pictures

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

Black Tattoo Art

Black Tattoo Art II 
Modern Expressions of the Tribal

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

Tattoo by Loic aka Xoil Tattoo by Loic aka Xoil

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

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

Tattoo by Simone Pfaff Tattoo by Simone Pfaff


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

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

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

By Delphine Noiztoy Tattoo by Delphine Noiztoy


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

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

The Face of Bloody Mary Metal

Things&Ink chatted to Lucy “Tomatoes” Wilson who created jewellery brand Bloody Mary Metal.

Bloody Mary Metal

This is an edited version of an interview first featured in The Launch Issue of Things&Ink magazine published in November 2012.

If you like what you see, Lucy has offered T&I readers a 10% discount code, simply enter BMMLOVESTHINGS&INK at the check out… we know what we’ve got our eyes on (Bone Wrap and Defend Blaze rings, oh yeah)

PHOTOS: Grace Isobel

How did you become a jeweller? I started an apprenticeship with Phil Orton, with a view to creating my own company, eventually. I seemed to pick things up fast and loved being creative. I was soon taking wax blocks home with me at night to carve my own designs. I kept at it, until I had my own mini-range and then Phil allowed me to cast them into silver. The reaction to my designs was pretty awesome, and a girl in New York bought two of my first designs straight away. I continued designing and creating, and over the last few months things have really taken off. I can already see the growth in Bloody Mary Metal (BMM), from the start back in March (2012) up to now. I’ve got so much to learn, I don’t think the learning curve will ever stop, but I’m loving working with my hands, and I’m proud of what I’ve achieved with the brand so far. 

1oz bone 1oz Bone


What inspires you? I’m lucky that I love my work, and I’m in control of it. So the things that inspire me in day-to-day life are often the things that inspire my designs. My love of heavy metal is a massive influence in my work, and I’d say that in general, “the darker, macabre side of life” is fascinating. Our history, bones, weapons, religion are all really interesting to me. I’m Cornish, so the sea is a massive love in my life – there’s lots of nautical- and pirate-themed pieces in my collections. 

What draws you to jewellery? I’ve always loved jewels, I’m a bit of magpie. I love statement pieces, but I also love layering up lots of smaller pieces. I’m really into mixing metals – silver and gold, high shine and matt. Combining colour and texture can look decadent and interesting.

Antler Antler



Is your work inspired by tattoos? To an extent. I spent a long time working with some amazing tattoo artists before BMM, so their artistic approaches are bound to be rattling around in my brain when I’m designing. A lot of my designs are, as I mentioned, nautically-themed, which is obviously a hugely popular theme in tattooing too. Anchors from Sailor Jerry through to new-school designs are popular. So there are definitely likenesses to my collections.

BMM hope and anchor Hope and Anchor


What is your favourite piece you have created? I love the Hope
& Anchor pendant. I designed it as a tribute to my dad, who I lost to Pancreatic Cancer. I donate all of the profit from the Hope & Anchor to Macmillan Cancer Support, so every time I sell one, we’re helping another family. It’s amazing the stories people send me when they buy it, their own personal battles. I feel honoured that people are so touched by my design. I also love the 1oz bone – it was my first design and I am so proud of it. The thing about BMM is that it’s basically the jewellery I want, but can’t ever find in stores, so I wear most of it.

What did you do before BMM? I guess selling tomatoes on the London farmers markets was a pretty big part of my life. I did a degree at drama college too, and slaved for a few fashion brands. Right before BMM, I worked at Jolie Rouge Tattoo in London. It was the best thing I did. I met some of my best friends and it inspired me to get creative, to do my own thing, and make things happen. All of the artists who work there are amazing. They all have such a distinctive personal style, and they all work so hard. They took me under their wings and encouraged and supported me.

Can you tell me a bit about your tattoos? Well, apart from the usual tiny “didn’t really think that through” stars, my first big piece was down my back, by Dave Bryant. It’s a feather and birds, and I had it done when I lost my dad. A lot of my tattoos are tributes to my family, and most of them signify big steps in my life. I have a full sleeve by Charissa at the Jolie Rouge, which is all linked to my home in Cornwall. My tattoos are fun and bright and will always remind me of people and places I love.

BMM back tattoo Lucy’s back by Dave Bryant


Do you think there is a relationship between fashion and tattoos? Unfortunately, yes. Working in a studio opened my eyes to the whole “scene” and how predictable it is. I think you should have tattoos of what you love, by artists you love, and have them done for you – not because some pop star has “a owl” tattoo, or whatever. It’s also really obvious when people have just Googled “tattoo design”. The amount of times I saw the same rose vine reference in a year was unbelievable.  ❦





Girly, pink and colourful – Keely Rutherford

Things&Ink chatted to Keely Rutherford, 29, of East Side Tattoo in london, about her tattoo world…

Keely Rutherford tattoo

Interview by Kelli Savill

How long ago did you start tattooing, and why? I started my apprenticeship in Essex in early 2010. I was lucky enough to be taken on in a studio where I met a lovely hunk of man who taught me all he knew – Jethro Wood (love of my life). He let me do a couple of wobbly tattoos on him, and his lovely punk friends didn’t mind a shaky line or two either! I moved studios in early 2011 to work with Giselle Stock who gave me my wings. Drawing has always been a passion from an early age. My Dad and I used to sit and draw together, he is an amazing artist and inspiration. Dad and Mum always tried to encourage me to do something with Art. But after Art College, I had a party girl inside me begging to get out. It wasn’t until I started to waitress, that I had more time to draw and spend my tips on hair dye and tattoos. It was then that I built up a portfolio and was given the opportunity to learn this amazing trade.

Cat Hand

What influenced this career-turn? Starting to get tattooed and hanging around studios like a green-eyed monster, wishing I could be in such an awesome creative environment, with such talented people. I was 26 when I started my apprenticeship, so I really wanted to make something of myself, as I had pretty much hated all the other jobs I had done. I knew when I was given that golden ticket that I had to grab it with both hands and work my bloody arse off.


How would you describe your style? I hate this question, I get asked it quite a lot and I have no idea what to answer. Its either girly/pink/colourful or if it’s on a boy I get the black out. I’ve yet to discover a hashtag on Instagram that defines it. So until then, who knows!

What kind of customers do you attract? Mainly girls between 18 and 30ish, but saying that people from all ages and genders. I do tend to tattoo more women than men, I think because I find working in a feminine style a lot more natural.

What is your favourite part of the body to tattoo, and why? Legs, legs, legs! This skin is generally tight and I do a lot of symmetrical tattoos, so the placement normally works well.

Have you created a favourite tattoo? What is it? In every tattoo I complete, I can pick faults – we are all only as good as our last tattoo. I think it is important to criticise my work, as I would never want to become complacent. I am so lucky to be in a place in my career where I can create and push the boundaries in my own style. I’m very grateful everyday that people like my work and want to wear in on their skin.

Hat Face

If you could tattoo anyone, dead or alive, who would it be? Brian Cox. I find him fascinating and he could definitely teach me loads about our universe. I think a nice cosmic kitty would suit him.

If you weren’t a tattoo artist what would you be? Well. There used to be a programme called McCallum with John Hannah as a Forensic Pathologist back in the late 90s. At the time I thought, “Yeh I’d be up for doing a bit of that”. But at the end of school, when the results were given out and I got a double E in Science, all my dreams where shattered.


Do the tattoos on your body take on any kind of theme? My tattoos tell my story, they start a bit shit and get better as the time has gone on…

What do you look for in a tattoo artist for your personal collection? People who inspire me. I choose an artist who I like and give them a vague idea of what I’m after, the space I have and let them have full artistic licence on the design. To me, that is my favourite part of tattooing. It’s their work I am choosing for many different reasons, so I put my trust in what they will create for me. I recently got tattooed by the amazingly talented Davee Blows, I told him I like cats and fruit. I ended up with a Saber-tooth tiger and a pineapple. I love it.


Do you have a favourite tattoo on your body? Going to sound a bit soppy, but my knuckles say Amor Loco – Crazy Love in Spanish. It sums up my relationship with Jethro, he’s a bit special.




This week I was lucky enough to attend the first screening of Duncan X documentary short at Into You, London. Duncan X is an iconic figure in the tattoo world, and his strong black tattoos – both on his body and in his portfolio – are unique and synonymous with him.

Duncan X

The film is beautifully made by director (and customer of Duncan’s) Alex Nicholson. Duncan speaks openly and honestly about his past, drug taking, tattoos and his son – by the end of the film, I was so moved I had tears streaming down my face. Duncan’s words would be moving if it was just him talking, but the film is made more powerful by Nicholson’s collaboration with MPC’s Motion Design Studio, and Duncan’s own tattoos come to life on his body as he tells his stories.



After the seven-minute film was over, I approached Duncan to congratulate him, and got to have a wonderful half an hour chat with him. I have always seen Duncan as a private man within a public sphere, and he agreed that was the case liking to keep away from social media – he doesn’t want customers to see a constant stream of his work. He doesn’t like to follow “tattoo trends”, either, or read tattoo magazines, as there is too much temptation to copy and imitate, and he never wants to do that.

Duncan also told me that when he first started getting tattooed, he did it to scare and repel people, however he is glad that his tattoos don’t really have that effect nowadays. He also said that he has become “cool”, but it wasn’t his intention. Duncan has a very powerful style of tattooing, so I asked him how he liked to work with his customers and create pieces for them. He said that he often sits down with his sketch book, to get a a feel for the drawings that people are drawn to – and equally what they do not like. I also asked Duncan about his son, who he talks about in the film. Duncan would like to be the first person to tattoo him, however as he wants a Japanese sleeve, he may not be the best person for the job.

Duncan chatted to me in a very open and honest way, and that also very much comes across in the film, which you can watch here.

MR X by Alex Nicholson from Sang Bleu on Vimeo.

Spot the difference – Edward Hopper Nighthawks, the tattooed version

In issue 4 of Things&InkThe Art Issue – we recreated four iconic works of art with our very own tattoo twist. One of the paintings featured was Edward Hopper’s Nighthawks.

And here’s our original recreation, as featured in the magazine, but can you spot the differences between our original version and the photo underneath?

Comment below, good luck.

Things and Ink original recreation

Nighthawks, Things&Ink tattooed version starring:  photographer Al Overdrive, art historian Doctor Matt Lodder, vintage hairdresser Lucie Luella and apprentice barber Ryan Costello. Photography by Heather Shuker, assisted by James Sheen-Stevens, styling by Olivia Snape.

Can you spot the differences?

Nighthawks spot the difference


Extract from interview with Tracy D #theartissue

Tattoo artist Tracy D works at King’s Cross Tattoo in London, UK. Here’s an extract from her interview in The Art Issue of Things&Ink magazine. To buy a copy and see the full interview, go to

Photographer: Heather Shuker, assisted by James Sheen-Stevens
Make-up: Keely Reichardt
Styling: Olivia Snape
Headress: Gypsy East
Hair: Eleanor Robyn

Tracy D as Ophelia


How would you describe your style?

I do a lot of, what I guess would be described as, traditional and neo-traditional work. But I am eager to expand and learn as much as I can about different ways and styles of tattooing. I am just really enjoying what I am getting asked to tattoo at the moment – art nouveau-style tattoos and beautiful feminine pieces. That could always change though, you just never know what the future holds.

Tracy D tattoo

What is your favourite tattoo you’ve worked on?

When Things&Ink editor, Alice, asked me to create her a tattoo to mark a celebration of this issue and also the first year of the magazine, I was thrilled. She gave me the freedom to create a piece just for her and it was a dream come true. She didn’t limit me with space or colour, or anything at all, so I was excited to take parts of three of my favourite Rossetti paintings, ‘A Sea Spell’ (1875-7), ‘A Roman Widow’ (1874) and ‘Sibylla Palmifera’ (1865 70). My main influences were the use of colour, the extravagance of flowers, poppies denoting sleep, butterflies referring to the soul, the use of musical instruments, as well as the strength and beauty of the women depicted in each painting – just heavenly. Each piece is just divinely perfect, in my opinion. I don’t think I have ever been more in my element when working on a piece, and I hope that I will have the opportunity to do more designs influenced by my favourite movement.