Disney Princesses like you’ve never seen them before…

Canadian artist Sakimi Chan has given the classic Disney princesses a gender make-over turning the traditional feminine ladies into new masculine characters. Albeit it very beautiful, chiselled, hairless men.

Our favourite being the complete gender role reversal, with a masculine Belle and feminine Beast.

Images from Sakimi Chan’s Facebook


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:



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.

The UK’s 4th Annual Female Tattoo Artist Show

The Female Tattoo Artist Show is a small and intimate convention packed with an array of different female artists and performers from across the UK. The event will be filled with live music, burlesque acts, fire shows and, of course, tattoos! This is the 4th year that the show has been held at The Assembly and we can’t wait!

We’re most looking forward to seeing Grace Neutral, cover star of Issue 6 The Modification Issue, Anna Garvey and Keely Rutherford. There are many more amazing artists who can add to your tattoo collection: see the full artist list here.

Come and visit us at the Things&Ink stand! See you all there!

Extreme Tattoos

Photograph by Mark Leaver as part of his Facial Tattoo Project

Fifty-eight-year-old Keith Gordon claims that it is his OCD that has pushed him into tattoo addiction. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder has ruled him all his life and it is this condition that has driven him to have his whole head tattooed.

At seventeen he had his shoulders and arms tattooed but changed his mind, he chose to have  painful skin grafts to remove his teenage ink.

In the last five years Keith has spent almost £15k not only having his tattoos redone but adding more to his body and face.

Watch the short video to hear his story.

More details at news.uk.msn.com

My Removal Diary. Part one.

Things and Ink music writer, Jen Adamson (@knifeintheheart), shares her tattoo removal experience. Part one…

Writer Jen with Wayne the Tat Zapper


Most of us have embarrassing tattoos. Maybe it’s those neo-traditional, early 2000 pin-ups, that piece of tribal or the name of an ex that seemed like a great idea at the time. For whatever reason, we got it wrong. I started getting tattooed far too young, trying to make some kind of statement that, even to this day, I can’t figure out. All I knew was that I loved tattoos, but the only access I had to them was through tattoo magazines and flash on the walls of the few shops I could get tattooed in. Safe to say those shops were not the best.

The tattoos I want removed, I’ve kept covered up for eight years now. As you can see from the photos, the area of the tattoo is large and, after talking to various tattooists, removal seemed the only route. So 2014 is the year for me, ten years after having started my tattoo journey. After researching a few methods, Wayne, who works at The Circle in Soho, London, and his Picosure machine appeared to be the best option. This January, we started the first removal. I wasn’t nervous at all as I’m heavily tattooed and have had some painful places tattooed already, like my tummy. After filling out the health and safety forms, Wayne explained the process in detail.




Then we prepared ourselves. I began to feel a bit nervous and a little jumpy at this point. You hear so many different versions of how the pain is going to feel – some say it’s like hot oil being splashed on you, some say it’s like elastic bands being flicked. And I guess I was expecting it to feel like getting tattooed, but it doesn’t. The first zap made me jump, then while Wayne moved the laser round, it felt like a plaster being slowly pulled off. The laser makes your skin feel very hot, so a cold air blast is used in-between the laser’s progress, which helped. After being lasered for about three minutes, we had a little break. It feels like a slow process, but in fact it’s lightning fast. A large area of skin is lasered in seconds. The whole of the top of my arm was done in 15 minutes, excluding breaks. The skin itself goes white for about an hour after, which fools you into thinking it has vanished like magic, so don’t be disappointed when it returns to colour. The worse thing for me was the smell. My skin and the little singed hairs smelt like burnt plastic.


Once the session was complete, Wayne carefully wrapped my arm up with gauze and a padded plaster and explained the aftercare process, which meant keeping my arm dry and covered for 24 hours. On the way back to our lovely Editor’s house (who agreed to look after my sorry ass) it suddenly hit me. First, the extreme tiredness and then the strong urge to eat. I tried to keep my arm elevated for the next few days. My shoulder felt sore but didn’t hurt. After two days tiny blisters came up on half the tattoo, which I was told to leave well alone and covered up.

It’s been a week and some of the black shading that I thought was gone has crept back, but it’s noticeably faded. Already, the darkest area of black on the tribal has gone and I’m happy with the results. We also filmed the process, so watch out for posts on our blog, th-ink.co.uk, and I’ll be posting about the next treatment. Wish me luck!

Jen is having her tattoo removed by Wayne at The Circle, in London.

Watch this space for more diary entries, plus we are filming the entire process! Look out for updates.

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.


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

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

Get the tattooed look – fake it

Want to get the tattooed look without going under the needle?
Now you can with a wide range of fake tattoo options…

Want sleeves but don’t want the hours of pain? Easy, just wear fake tattoo sleeves, made from skin-coloured light sheer material covered in stereoypical tattoo designs. These are a cheap alternative too, selling at practically the price of five minutes of tattooing. Highstreet store River Island stocks them for ‘the man about town’.


Transfer Tattoos are no longer a confined to the bottom of sweet boxes and freebies you found in cereal but are a fashion trend. American website Tattly sells designs ranging from pretty flowers to inspirational quotes.


For ladies who don’t want to commit to leg tattoos there are a wide range of tattoo tights to be found. Perfect for those too indecisive to get tattoos, when you are bored with your look you can simply peel off your tights and be bared legged once again.

Tights pictured from Asos


Henna is for those looking for a more long lasting tattoo design but without the permenance of real ink. Henna is a natural dye prepared from a plant, the longer you leave it on, the darker the stain. Allowing the user to decide how noticeable they want the tattoo to be.

Image from @Anoushka_irukandji

You can even accessorize your cuts and grazes with tattoo inspired plasters.

Image from Culture-Vulture

For those with more serious injuries you can even purchase fake tattoos for your cast. Website Casttoo offers a wide range of designs for all the family!





Chapman Brothers’ Tattoo Parlour

“There will be pain. Pain and blood.”

Jake and Dinos Chapman hope to raise £25,000 through Art Fund and their crowd-funding website Art Happens to open a tattoo art project at the Jerwood Gallery.

Those who donate can help bring the brothers back to their home town of Hastings, where their new art exhibition will be on display. Not only will the brother’s be painting over old junk shop finds, but they are encouraging the public to bring in art from their homes for the brothers to update with paint.

Jake and Dinos are also opening a pop-up tattoo parlour in the gallery, in which they will reward those who donated with specially-designed tattoos turning them into walking one-off pieces of art.

The original idea was to have Dinos tattooing in a wooden box, the victim – or lucky customer – would stick their arm through a hole in the box where it would be strapped down, totally hidden from site. Dinos would tattoo a design of his choosing onto their arm and on removal from the hole the recipient would see their new tattoo. Fortunately this idea was dismissed on health and safety grounds by Frieze Art Fair.

Chapman brothers tattoo design


Neither one of the brothers has any formal training and Jake’s forearm is covered with blue scribbles done by Dinos.

He isn’t very good, and he really dug in with the needle – it was very painful.

Will you be donating? Would you let someone tattoo a mystery design on your skin?




Chapman Brothers quoted from The Guardian
Images from The Guardian and www.blouinartinfo.com