Ladies Art Show 2014 – Brooklyn NYC

Ladies, Ladies! Art Show.

Opening  reception 15 May 2014

7-11 pm at  Eight of Swords Tattoo and Gallery,
115 Grand Street, 11249 Brooklyn, New York

Ladies postcardoklow

View the website at

The Ladies Art Show is an exclusive all ladies group show featuring the work of female tattooers. The work in the exhibition displays different styles and techniques, but  is united by one love: tattooing.

The show was created to pay respect  to the ladies who started tattooing first and paved the way for all others to follow, in a tough, historically male-dominated, industry.

The show is curated  by Elvia Iannaccone Gezlev and Magie Serpica, and this is its 3rd edition.

Some of the artists of 2014 – with more to be announced soon:



The world is sizest and other women are so critical of each other

New blog post from our intern Rosalie Woodward:

Why is that when women have certain body parts tattooed it unfolds all sorts of negative and stigmatised reactions? But when men get these places tattooed it’s acceptable – even admirable.

“I recently  told a friend that I am booked in to get a tattoo on my arm, this will be my first in such a visible spot! The rest are on my legs, foot and shoulder – all hidden away in the wintery months. She hastily asked where I was getting said tattoo, responding that my inner forearm will be decorated and covered with a Chinese lantern design she physically sighed with relief. ‘Oh Good’ she exclaimed, ‘You’d look really butch if it was on your upper arm, women with tattoos there look awful!’ Meaning that I would look less feminine and my body would no longer be seen as socially acceptable. Many women including my friend hold the view that women who decide to be tattooed should choose designs that are small, discreet and pretty- everything that society deems a woman to be!

“My friend, although rude, was merely representing the common thoughts of society in which women and men are expected to act and look in certain ways. She, like many, sees a distinct difference between the limbs of men and women and how these should be adorned.

“I personally also believe that her opinions are based on the body type and size of the woman bearing the tattoos; I am not the owner of svelte, toned arms and possibly if I was a smaller woman a tattoo on my arm would not be an issue. Alternative models and popular Suicide Girls, with their toned, lean bodies and large spattering of tattoos could never possibly be called butch because of their body art. It is their conformity with the prescribed womanly body shape which saves them from being labelled as masculine.

“The world is sizest and other women are so critical of each other, that it is easy to see where my friend’s opinions have come from. Indeed I am sure that we are all guilty at some point or another of looking down on other tattooed women, maybe you disliked the subject they chose, the artistic measure of their tattoos or indeed the limb on which it has been inked.

“Although I tend to disagree with my friend, she is not alone in her thoughts. All tattooed women, simply by bearing ink are constantly fighting to overturn the media and socially created view of tattooed women and the negative traits that they are constantly branded with. Have you been faced with negative reactions from other women? Or have men been the ones to cast a judging eye?

“But the new found love for my colourful body as it becomes more and more covered in wonderful imagery will prevail. Ultimately if you are happy in your inked skin then that is all that matters.”


Rosie’s tattoo by Sophie Adamson


Happy International Women’s Day

Happy International Women’s Day.

As a celebration, we’re sharing our recreation from the first ever issue of Things&Ink magazine. Two strong women from the past and the present.

Tattoo artist Claudia de Sabe as circus attraction Artoria Gibbons – The Tattooed Girl…


Claudia-Artoria Claudia-Artoria

A dark twist – DINA GOLDSTEIN

Photographer and pop surrealist Dina Goldstein aims to evoke feelings of shame, anger, shock and empathy from her work.

Her Fallen Princesses series is a rage against the “happily ever after” motif… It is an ironic look at children’s parables, from Grimm fairytales to Walt Disney. By placing iconic characters such as Little Red Riding Hood in modern situations, the series became a commentary on such everyday scourges as poverty, obesity, cancer and pollution.

I don’t want to send out a negative message just a realistic one. My main message is that this world is so complex and everyone has their own challenges to deal with. What might seem ‘perfect’ on the outside is most likely not, says Dina.

Snow White becomes an unhappy mother


Cinders is an alcoholic

Rapunzel has leukaemia  

In The Doll House is a series that plays out as a narrative, peeking into the home and marriage of the world’s most iconic dolls, Barbie, and her partner Ken. It offers a profound commentary on the transient nature of beauty, the difficulty of marriage and the importance of authenticity.

Good art creates conversation and discussion so I’m really pleased that my work has sparked some controversy, says Dina.

Behind the scenes photos – The Art Issue cover shoot – Tracy D as Ophelia

Things&Ink magazine Tracy D Ophelia

Turning tattoo artist Tracy D into Millais’ Ophelia for the art issue cover – issue 4 of Things&Ink magazine.

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

Panel Discussion: Women’s Ink

womens ink

Margot Mifflin, author of powerHouse BooksBodies of Subversion, and needlesandsins editor Marisa Kakoulas will host a panel discussion with some of the top women in the tattoo industry including Roxx, Virginia Elwood, Stephanie Tamez, and Amanda Wachob. The event is in New York tonight, and we wish we could be there.

Read Marisa’s blog post about why she was spurred on to put on an event like this here. There will be discussions about our bodies as a public space, as well as other issues being a tattooed woman – or man – raises.

See facebook event for more info.


Wedding competition announcement

Our competition to win photography for your big day from Heather Shuker at is now closed. We have had soooo many amazing entries. See original blog post with competition info here.

Here’s a selection of entries, we’re looking for the ultimate tattooed love story – it’s going to be hard to pick…


So we have decided to recruit the help of some extra judges, in addition to Rock N Roll Bride and Alex and Zoe Binnie –  we introduce Things&Ink Beauty Editor, Marina, and blogger Marry me Ink. Information below. Good luck everyone.


Marina De Salis Beauty Editor aka Magic Carpet Bride
Magic Carpet Bride is a brand new wedding blog featuring imaginative ideas, detailed tutorials and practical advice for couples.

“I don’t follow trends or read wedding magazines, and I’m not particularly interested in making things look ‘pretty’. I’m throwing away all the rulebooks and inventing affordable projects that anyone can do or adapt to suit them. Basically, I’m obsessed with weddings. Traditional, non-traditional, straight, gay, underwater, under the stars, covered in glitter or covered in mud…I love celebrations that express individuality!”


marry me ink

Rachael Urquhart aka blogger at Marry Me Ink

Marry Me Ink is dedicated to one simple premise… that you can actually be YOU on your wedding day. For anyone who’s ever been asked “What will you look like in a wedding dress with all of those tattoos?!” I am here to provide you with the answer: utterly fabulous!

From real-life brides, to inspirational shoots from photographers and of the suppliers of the wedding trade, Marry Me Ink is here to help you show off your tattooed self, especially on your big day! From rockabilly receptions and steampunk ceremonies to indie celebrations and festival weekenders, Marry Me Ink is the ideal place to find inspiration for your alternative wedding.

Mark Leaver’s facial tattoo photography project

Mark Leaver is a third year student studying commercial photography at the Arts University Bournemouth. Portraits are his thing. And his photography project has been created to show the beauty of facial tattoos and dispel some of the myths surrounding them.

Jack Denny Jack Denny


“Facial tattoos have a lot of taboos around them, due to their confrontational nature,” says Mark Leaver on why he started this project. “Unfortunately none of these views are positive, facial tattoos are associated with suicide rates, unemployment, depression and anti-social behaviour. And I can happily report that’s all dated buillshit”.

Jay Read Jay Read


“Tattoos have recently become incredibly popular and are more accepted by society than ever before. There are many reasons for this, one being their endorsement through celebrity culture. There are countless people with tattooed sleeves and other bits and pieces but that was too broad and mainstream to base a project around. What makes facial tattoos so distinctive is that they are still confrontational, there’s no hiding them. There are only a select few people who make that kind of commitment and it was those people that I wanted to meet and photograph,” says Mark Leaver, about his project.



Mark interviewed each of the subjects of this portrait photographs, to find out a little more about them. These interviews have not yet been published.

“I feel that with documentary work it’s an oversight not to talk to the people being photographed, especially if they are posed portraits,” says Mark. “Candid work isn’t my thing. I try to meet people and set up a portrait in a way that naturally and authentically reveals the person’s character. I prefer the shoots where I get to know the subject a bit better because everyone has interesting stories and backgrounds. Obviously, there are some things that are impossible to communicate with an image, so the text adds to the portrait without changing it. During Touka Voodoo’s interview he told me he had a sex change operation to become a man and that the tattooing on his face, which he did in the mirror himself, represented both his masculinity and femininity.”

Touka Voodoo Touka Voodoo


A full interview with Mark, can be viewed at Huck magazine. And his work can viewed on his website,

Also look out for issue #7 of Things&Ink, which will feature brand new portraits and accompanying interviews from this project.


All photographs by Mark Leaver,