Miniature Ink II

Miniature Ink II kewpie by Jondix sneak peek

ATOMICA GALLERY AND THINGS&INK MAGAZINE PRESENT:
‘MINIATURE INK II’
OPENING NIGHT: WEDNESDAY 23rd SEPTEMBER 2015

Atomica Gallery and Things&Ink magazine are delighted to announce Miniature Ink II, the second exhibition featuring miniature original artworks from over 100 of the world’s leading tattoo artists.

Join us for the opening reception on Wednesday 23rd September (exact location to be revealed soon) with complimentary drinks kindly provided by Sailor Jerry.

Rsvp@atomicagallery.com, or attend our Facebook event.

There will be no preview list of artworks, first come first served!

MORE INFORMATION AND ARTISTS TO BE ANNOUNCED SOON…

Have a look at last year’s celebrity and cocktail filled Miniature Ink opening night.

Keep an eye on the #MinitaureInk and #MiniatureInkII hashtags for more kewpie capers.

Check out what some of the artists have been up to on Instagram…

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 Top image by James Stittle

Blackpool Tattoo Convention

Our editorial assistant Rosie attended the second ever Blackpool Tatcon  held at Norbreck Castle Hotel in Blackpool last weekend. After entering a competition on tattoo blog Inkluded’s Facebook page, Rosie won free Sunday passes. Here’s what she got up to on the day…

The convention ran for three days beginning on Friday 14th- Sunday 16th August. I travelled to Blackpool, somewhere I have never been before, on Sunday the last day of the convention. The venue was a castle shaped hotel right on the sea front and was home, for the weekend to over 100 tattooists and traders. The convention hall was made into corridors from the tattoo booths and there was a stage at the front to showcase the entertainment.

Rosie getting tattooed by Emily Dawson

I didn’t plan to get tattooed at Blackpool as I was there to blog Things&Ink and see the sea. But at conventions it is so hard to resist with everyone around you getting tattooed! The lovely Emily Dawson, owner of Holy Ghost Tattoo in Rotherham, created a cute cactus for me inspired by the art of Anne Knispel.

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The convention was packed full of tattoo artists demonstrating a wide variety of styles from traditional hand poked to realism, to watercolour and neo-traditional. There were artists from all over the country and many that I had not seen before. I love going to conventions and discovering new artists, styles and ways of doing things. As I am from the Midlands it was great to see so many artists from the North of England that I admire and follow on Instagram.

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Similar to many conventions the entertainment focused on burlesque performances, live bands and acts such as sword swallowing. Many tattooists commented that the music was far too loud, I had to agree as I was shouting when introducing myself to artists.

There were also awards at the end of each day for categories such as best apprentice, best small colour and best of day. These are a great way for artists to showcase their creations and be praised for their work.

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Jakub Hendrix won Best Large Piece on Sunday

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Ashley Luka won second place for Best of Sunday

There was also the Banana Ink stand, who were also at Liverpool convention, where convention goers could have a go at banana skins. The aim being that people will see how hard tattooing really is and the skill needed to do it, but I wonder if it will encourage people to buy a machine and have a go at creating tattoos at home?

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The organisers held a charity auction which not only had items gifted from the traders, including a taxidermy chick on a skateboard but also one of a kind art pieces. The conventions organisers prior to the event had sent artists skulls in the hope that they would decorate them in their own style. The most popular being an bio mechanical skull with a working camera in one of its eyes. All the proceeds went to haematology and Leukaemia charities.

chaThis is only the second year of Blackpool Tatcon, it is a really young and new convention, so I’m really excited to see what the convention has in store for next year… 

Film Review: Kingsman

Our guest blogger is hobbyist film and TV series reviewer and writer Harry Casey-Woodward. On th-ink.co.uk Harry will be writing a series of posts in which he will be sharing  his opinions on things he has watched. In this post Harry will be reviewing Kingsman… 

Kingsman: the Secret Service, 2015, cert 15, dir Matthew Vaughn, 2/5

I am not a fan of spy films. I feel the genre has been over done a tad. As fun as they can be, there’s only so much I can take of gadgets, cars and smug, woman-exploiting heroes armed with cheesy one-liners. If there’s a brand of action thrillers I fall for, it’s westerns and yes they can be horribly clichéd too. But the genre has produced a handful of genuinely good films, about human drama and conflict playing on the vast stage of the American historical landscape. Whereas most spy films, with the exception of those based on Le Carre, don’t have much going on under the shiny cars, pretty actors and explosions.

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I enjoy the silliness of James Bond and I like the grittiness of the new ones. I’d just rather watch a more human, even grittier hero than someone who always looks good, always gets the girl and always wins.

Kingsman does indulge in spy movie clichés, but somehow it didn’t annoy me. Now on DVD and blu-ray, the plot follows a young man named Gary or ‘Eggsy’ (played by Taron Egerton), who is offered an escape from his inner-city life and his violent stepdad by an old friend of his deceased father’s: Harry Hart (probably Colin Firth’s best role) a gentleman tailor who actually works for a private spy agency called the Kingsmen, run by Michael Caine. Under the guidance of Harry and another agent Merlin (Mark Strong), Eggsy is indoctrinated into the intense training programme to become a Kingsman agent. Meanwhile, a wealthy techno-wizard named Valentine (played by Samuel L. Jackson with a lisp) has a scary plan to solve mankind’s damage of the environment with SIM cards.

You can tell this film was directed by Matthew Vaughn. I didn’t like Layer Cake (mainly because it had Daniel Craig trying to swear) but I liked the Kickass films because they were… kickass. In fact the Kingsman film has a lot in common with Kickass. Both are about teenagers finding their heroism through excessive violence. Kingsman does it better than Kickass, as in Eggsy is a more likeable underdog character than the nerdy Kickass hero. The plot is also more interesting if farfetched, a tribute to the old Bond movies. There’s even a scene where Colin Firth and Samuel L. Jackson are reminiscing about them.

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The best thing about this film, however, is that it maintains a hard, violent edge as well as being a humorous farce, with dramatic stunts and intense, stylized action. Actually maybe the action is too intense and stylized. I do enjoy stylized violence but Kingsman does it to the point where it’s no longer realistic, which I feel is more important. There’s also a scene which is basically a massacre shot like an action scene and set to the guitar solo from ‘Free Bird’. I felt a bit uncomfortable that such gratuitous slaughter was set up like we were supposed to enjoy it.

The other problem I have with the film is that while it strives to be a decent spy flick rather than just a goofy spoof of Bond like Jonny English, it still indulges in some of the worst aspects of the genre. For example, a Swedish princess crudely propositions amoral relations with Eggsy and of course he accepts with suave confidence. I heaved a frustrated sigh when the same ‘hero-has-spontaneous-sex-with-random-floozy’ ending was used just to needlessly big up the hero and we’re expected to cheer him on for being such a cad.

To be fair, the film doesn’t deal with subtlety. While the recent Bond films are trying to appeal to an older, serious audience Kingsman is definitely a spy movie for teens of today, with lashings of excessive violence, language and chavs turned spies. But there is still something for the Bond lovers, with sharp-dressed gentleman spies wreaking havoc with pens, umbrellas and a dash of patriotism. The whole thing is a rollercoaster of guilty fun, paying tribute to the classic spy formulas while delivering a harder, darker and funnier breed of action thriller. Plus the hero has a pug.

Do you agree with Harry? What did you think of Kingsman?

Images from IMDB

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The Brute Style of Sebastian Klimek

In Issue 11 (The Fruity Issue), writer and philosopher Kimberly Baltzer-Jaray wrote a piece titled Stay Real. Keep Simple. Live in the now. Ignorant Style where she discussed the importance of the “shits and giggles” tattoo and interviewed French graffiti artist turned tattooist, FUZI. Along with that article we included some beautiful photographs, some of these were taken by FUZI and some were created by a talented friend of Kimberly’s, Sebastian Klimek, on the day FUZI tattooed JOnas in NYC… Kimberly explores more below…

Sebastian and FUZI share some similarities in that both are self-taught artists; both find inspiration in the streets and with the everyday people walking them; both like to break rules and do not identify with any set style, but rather create their own. In this way, they are more avant-garde or ‘anti-art’ like the 20th century Dadaists were. Sebastian’s photographs are rather eclectic and even at times a bit chaotic in subject matter, technique or distortion, and thus he describes them as ‘Brute style’. In fact, he doesn’t think of himself as an artist at all: “I don’t consider myself an artist. I don’t want to take nice photographs, but rather I want to capture interesting content. I dislike mainstream or commercial photography. You could say photography itself guides and rules my ass. I experiment a lot with different mediums, digital tools. I draw with my camera; I prefer to say that I created the images or made the photograph rather than shot or took.” As to influences on his photography, he only mentions loving the work of Daido Moriyama and Japanese aesthetics in general.

As a photographer Sebastian is very spontaneous, he tries not to think too much when he shoots since “thinking too much causes conflicts.” He’s also quite ethical in that he refuses to photograph homeless people or beggars because “it’s being a vulture for a cheap shot.”

For Sebastian, photography and creating images is a self-therapy for pain, specifically social anxiety disorder (SAD). Photography is a form of interacting with people that is without verbal content, it is a way to be part of the social situation without the pressures of conversation and proximity, and thus it his a way to cope with and overcome SAD. Capturing people on the street through his lens and images is a way of communicating at a comfortable distance, silently, and in many ways without judgment. Sebastian says, “Basically, I’m waging a war against social anxiety disorder, which has been torturing me since my teenage years. People think I’m quiet or even shy, but that’s not true. I’m pretty fuck’n loud, but I get choked when I need my communication and photography skills the most. I fear embarrassing myself, which is the biggest issue with SAD. But if you keep yourself in the shadow of a disorder, it’ll eat you and ruin your life, and you’ll end up institutionalized. Capturing people on the streets is a way for me to overcome and heal. So, there is a very deeply personal and meaningful subject for my photographs.”

It is here we see that his photography very much fits with his life philosophy when he adds, “They [his photographs] are the beginning of something greater.” For Sebastian, any misfortune in life leads to something greater and positive. In other words, setbacks and difficulties are opportunities for bigger, better and greater things.

Sebastian was born in Poland and moved to New Jersey when he was 17. With no formal education, he worked as a construction worker until a serious injury forced him to stop. He currently volunteers at a wonderful art organization known as the Franklin Furnace Archive Inc. in Brooklyn, NY, a place that encourages the creation and preservation of avant-garde art of all forms and is committed to promoting that which is under-represented by mainstream arts institutions due to things like ephemeral nature or politically unpopular content. His volunteer work at the Franklin Furnace is a source of pride, meaningful purpose and joy.

All images © 2015 Sebastian Klimek

Focus Group: Tattoo Spotting

Last night we had a focus group in London to find out what our readers love and don’t love about Things&Ink magazine. We met these three lovely ladies who shared their opinions about our articles, layout and, of course, tattoos! There are lots of exciting changes ahead for Things&Ink

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Above from left: Columnist ReeRee Rockette, editor Alice Snape, editorial assistant Rosalie Woodward and our three panel members… 

We couldn’t resist the opportunity to street spot and chat tattoos to our panel members…

Name: Emma Age: 27 Lives: London  Job: Photograph researcher for Merlin
Tattoo: Skull by Ray Hunt at Diablo Tattoo in Kent

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Name: Laura Age: 40 Lives: Maidstone, Kent  Job: Dinner lady/ toddler rugby coach
Tattoo: Abi Cornell at Inkfish in Maidstone
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Name: Silvia Age: 24 Lives: London Job: Digital marketing executive
Tattoo: Lady by Angelique Houtkamp at Salon Serpent Tattoo in Amsterdam
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If you have any suggestions or comments about the magazine get in touch, email us at hello@thingsandink.com

The Ride: Simon Erl

Kicking off in London on Saturday 22nd August, Sailor Jerry will be hitting the road for two weeks of bad-ass bikes, smokin’ wood-fired bbqs, live music and tattoos. They’ll be setting off on a journey of balls-to-the-wall riding on their very own custom built Harley Davidson, scenic pit stops and the odd Sailor Jerry throw down on the way… finishing up at Grillstock Festival on 6th September 2015.

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Joining them on this epic road trip is tattooist and motorcycle enthusiast, Simon Erl. German-born 32-year-old Simon was raised in Auckland, New Zealand and apprenticed under Ta Moko specialist Brent McCown, before relocating to London in 2003 and eventually opening his own studio: The Dungeon. Over the past decade Simon has tattooed throughout Asia and Europe and become a regular guest at conventions across the globe. Now tattooing from Hackney’s Dharma Tattoo, Simon has partnered up with Sailor Jerry to join The Ride, inking amazing pieces from Norman Collins renowned flash collection along the way.

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What first attracted you to the tattoo world? I always thought tattoos were rebellious and looked cool. Eventually I knew I wanted to be the person drawing them.

How would you describe your style? My tattoos have a traditional approach to them but subject wise coming from old European folklore and mythology I suppose.

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What do you love about motorbikes? And why do you think there is such a crossover in the motor bike and tattoo worlds? What do they both share? I suppose I like motorbikes for the same reason I like tattoos.  I’m into the aesthetic of groups of people wanting to mark themselves out of normal society and live as outsiders.

What is your involvement with Sailor Jerry and can you tell us a little more about The Ride and what it is? We’re heading on a two week ride for Sailor Jerry with some friends in hope to find some adventure, meet some interesting people and see some nice places along the way. Should be a trip.

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Inked Palette

UK tattoo blog Inkluded, is collaborating with Deasil art gallery to present an exhibition featuring work by a selection of UK tattoo artists.

Inked Palette will run from 3 – 20 October 2015 at Deasil Art Gallery, 44 Oxford Street, Leamington Spa. Admission is free. 

The multimedia exhibition will showcase the work of 15 tattoo artists through different mediums. As well as artworks on traditional materials such as canvas and paper, Inked Palette will see artists utilise customary materials and share their sketches and drawings to offer an insight into their creative process. Tattoo photography will form part of the exhibition, and there will also be exciting installations for members of the public to interact with and explore.

Charlotte Timmons, Modern Body Art

Founder of Inkluded, Beccy Rimmer, is interested in showcasing the mastery behind tattoo art:

At Inkluded, we’re passionate about showcasing and sharing the craft of tattoo art and making information about this thriving industry available to those who may be new to it. This country’s creative tattoo scene is fast-growing and flourishing with talented artists, remarkable artwork and innovative styles – we thought it was time we unveiled the creativity and originality of the UK’s tattoo mastery through this exciting exhibition.

 Shaun Williams, Nebula Tattoo

Deasil Art is a new gallery situated in the heart of England, in Leamington Spa, with direct trains to a whole host of major UK cities including Birmingham, Oxford, Manchester, York, London and Reading.

Joanne Baker, Grizzlys Art Tattoo

TATTOO ARTISTS ANNOUNCED SO FAR:

Joanne Baker, Grizzlys Art Tattoo, Coventry
Nicola Cry, Sutton Ink, Birmingham
William Jones, Nebula Tattoo, Burry Port, South Wales
Adam Thomas, Cannock Ink, Cannock
Charlotte Timmons, Modern Body Art, Birmingham
Shaun Von Sleaze, Keep The Faith Social Club, Cardiff
Shaun Williams, Nebula Tattoo, Burry Port, South Wales
Niall Patterson (tattoo photographer), Birmingham

Burning Desire: Body Branding

Burning Desires is a short film created by Channel 4 that follows tattoo enthusiast Kerri as she has traditional Viking runes (letters) burned/branded onto her skin. ‘Burning Desires’ sits within a Body Mods C4 shorts series, which also features other forms of body modification including ear pointing and corset piercings.

Kerri chose the designs based on her fascination with Viking travellers and the way that they marked their skin. The runes, representing love and victory, are burned onto her skin with 500C-700C heat.

Watch the video below to see Kerri’s whole scarification experience:

Interview with Tattoo Artist: Caroline Vitelli

Tattoo artist Caroline Vitelli works out of Brut, a private studio in Geneva and creates beautifully dark and illustrative tattoos. We chatted to her about the ancient art of skin sewing and what inspires her…

How long have you been tattooing? I don’t really know, maybe two years, maybe longer. Years ago, I was introduced, by an Inuit, to a ancestral technique of sewing tattoos or skin-stitched tattooing (Watch Colin Dale on Needles and Sins). Skin-sewing tattoos are a type of ‘healing tattoo’ – the tattooer introduces into the skin, by means of a needle, with a thread, which has been greased beforehand and soaked with soot. The thread, pulled by the needle according to the outlines of the drawing, abandons the colouring agent between the flesh and the skin.

After this I began to stitch my own drawings onto skin. I did my left hand this way. But it took a long time of reflection and self questioning. After a few years I started doing tattoos with a machine.

What attracted you to the world of tattoos? The thing is that I am a non-stop doodler, I needed to find a way to use all those drawings.

What inspires you? I am inspired by feral nature, literature, poetry, animals, poisonous plants, people, the light that we can find in the dark. My imagination – like my head – is filled with a thousand little tiny creatures working, running, screaming, all the time, it’s exhausting. But I think that everything that has been done, and my head is full of images or quotes or reference,  of course sometimes one can be deeply influenced and doesn’t realise it.

Do you admire any artists, do they influence your work? I admire some creative creatures such as my friend Old Hag (Darby Lagher),  her photography is so mesmerising and heartening for me, she captures auras of dreamlike occult and naturalistic worlds. Also, I am always speechless when I listen to Chelsea Wolfe, I’ve been listening to her new album Abyss non stop since last week, and it gives me shivers, every time. Like Rowland S. Howard, SHIVERS.

And, of course, they may influence me, like everything, I am a super sensitive, but I already have a lot to deal with in my head, things that I have to put together on the paper.

Can you tell us about the tattoos on your own body? My first tattoo was an Icelandic magical stave on my right arm, I got it when I was a young teenager. And I still love it.

I have my shoulders and neck done by Happypets in Lausanne, it’s two black swans and an ornamental thistle. I have a drawing by Max Ernst on my back, if you look closely you can see that the skirt of the woman is hiding an older tattoo, I got it done when I was 16.

My hands are constructed like an altar. Both with sewing-technique and machines.
I also adore my big black rose from Alexander Grim, he and his wife Lamia Vox are so interesting and talented. I have a piece on my stomach drawn by Tracey Emin, a snake in my hand tattooed by Paolo Bosson, cats on my legs by Gem Love, trash poked tattoos done by Ingimar. And my latest one is a piece done by  Johnny Gloom, I truly adore it.

I have lots more, and I can’t possibly name them all.

What kinds of things do you like to tattoo? I like to tattoo dark things, black stuff, thorns and rusty nails, monsters, animals, flowers, amulets, medieval faces, plants. I like to tattoo my universe. The things that I collect around me.

 

Black Market Tattoos: Charity Day

On Saturday 8th August 2015, Nush Turner and Fiona Lewitt tattoo artists at Black Market Tattoos in Leicester organised a charity tattoo flash day to raise money for LOROS Hospice, a charity local to Leicester who provide free care for terminally ill patients.

Nush explained to Things&Ink the reason behind the flash day:

I set it up because its been one year since we did our last charity event and we’ve been wanting to do one for ages. The reason I chose LOROS was because of my granddad. He’s currently battling prostate cancer. He decided a few months ago to shave his head in aid of LOROS when he started his chemo. Since then everyone has rallied up and he’s raised just over £1000 on his justgiving page. I wanted to show my support by hopefully doubling that figure! He’s quite into tattoos himself having loads of old school military ones, and I tattooed him on the charity day last year, too.

The studio opened from 10am until late and hosted an array of fundraising events with a selection of flash tattoos, a raffle with prizes including tattooing time, tons of art work for sale, jewellery and, of course, some tasty cakes.

The flash on sale was available for walk-ins but many designs had been booked by email prior to the day to avoid disappoint. Many designs still remain available, both Nush and Fiona are still tattooing the flash, as one-off pieces, to continue to raise money, and raffle tickets are still for sale.

In the end Nush did 11 tattoos on Saturday and Fi did nine. The overall total is still being calculated but so far they have reached £1555.

Photos taken by Ellie Mackness