Tagged: Alice Snape

#100hands NMMC

The 100 Hands Project, curated by our editor Alice Snape, forms the centrepiece of the exhibition Tattoo: British Tattoo Art Revealed at the National Maritime Museum in Cornwall, which runs until January 2018. Here Alice talks about the innovative installation and what it means for contemporary tattoo culture. 

It was the stunning work of tattoo artist Claudia de Sabe that made me fall in love with tattoos. From the moment, I discovered her work, I knew I wanted to be heavily tattooed. I wanted to turn my own body into a work of art, become a collector of delicate, beautiful work by an array of different artists. So, of course, Claudia was the first tattoo artist I put on my list when I was approached by National Maritime Museum Cornwall to curate the 100 Hands Projects.

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Curator Alice Snape standing in front of the 100 Hands at NMMC

For me, there is absolutely no denying that tattoos are art, that’s not a question up for debate. Of course, all tattoos are not created equal, some are “good” and some “bad”. Tattooing is another medium and tattoos can be analysed in a way that any other works of art can – watercolours, sculptures, sketches, oil paintings. This means that some are worthy of being housed in a museum. The problem is, of course, tattoos simply aren’t objects that can be put in a frame or housed in a cabinet. They are on the skin of living, breathing people, which means ordinarily they disappear from existence once the wearer’s life is over.

The 100 Hands Project is a way of representing the three-dimensional, living nature of the tattoo. I have handpicked 100 of the best tattooists all working in the UK right now providing a snapshot of the work tattoo collectors are currently getting inked onto their skin, from black and grey and geometric to neo-traditional and colour realism. My selection includes the most respected, talented and popular artists. And they have each created an original design on a silicone arm.

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“For my submission I simply tattooed something that I would love to tattoo in real life, for a customer,” said Claudia de Sabe, when I asked for her inspiration behind the piece she created – a stunning Japanese peony in purple and red. And the reason she wanted to be part of it? “There’s still a lot of misconceptions on tattooing and every exhibition can perhaps be of help in establishing a secure space for this art/craft within the artistic community. Ten years ago, an exhibition like this would have taken place maybe at a tattoo convention for three days, but not at a museum for this same length of time, which is incredible.”

Tattoos are so much more than just beautiful designs, they’re reminders of the unique stories that can be told on human skin. So, bringing an intimate and personal art form into a museum space gives the practice a new, institutional legitimacy and a special kind of accessibility, dispelling outdated misconceptions and showing just what is possible when artists put ink into skin.

And now the exhibition has finally launched, seeing the arms come back together inside the museum is a spectacle to behold. After hundreds of painstaking hours, 100 blank arms are now works of art that have become part of tattoo history. No matter what the inspiration or motivation behind each piece, each work of art has become one to make an installation that  will have an impact on the future of this thriving, creative and magical industry.

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List of 100 contributing artists:

Louie Rivers, Travelling tattooist,  Exeter

Joe Carpenter, Five Keys Tattoo Studio, Norwich

Ricky Williams / The Family Business / London

Jo Harrison UN1TY / Modern Body Art, Shrewsbury / Birmingham

Caleb Kilby, Old Habits / Two Snakes, London / Hastings

Kate Mackay Gill, Private Studio, West Sussex

Jake Galleon, Studio XIII, Edinburgh

Paula Castle, Broadside, Swansea

Meg Langdale, The Burton Tattoo Collective, Leicester

Joanne Baker, Grizzly Art Collective, Coventry

Han Maude, Infinite Ink, Coventry

Antony Flemming, World of Tattoos, Ruislip Manor

Sophie Gibbons, Tommygun Tattoo, Plymouth

James “Woody” Woodford, 1770, Brighton

Pauly, Second City Tattoo, Birmingham

Dexter Kay, King of Hearts, London

Mike Stockings, Legacy Tattoo, Haverhill

Jondix, Seven Doors, London

Olivia Dawn, The Tattoo Company, Wilmslow

Matt Difa, Jolie Rouge, London

Kathryn Kirk, Addiction Tattoo & Piercing, Bangor, Northern Ireland

Tamara Lee, The Circle / Two Snakes, London / Hastings

Aaron Hewitt, Cult Classic Tattoo, Romford

Louis Molloy, Middleton Tattoo Studio, Manchester

Abbie Williams, Lost Time, Peterborough

Amy Savage, The Warren, Canterbury

Araceli Forever, Death’s Door, Brighton

Anrijs Straume, Bold as Brass Tattoo Company, Liverpool

Allan Graves, Haunted Tattoos, London

Neil Dransfield, Oddfellows Tattoo Collective, Leeds

Dominique Holmes, Black Lotus Studio, London

Chrissy Lee, Colchester Body Arts, Essex

Lucy O’Connell, Red Tattoo and Piercing, Leeds

Delphine Noiztoy, The Lacemakers Sweatshop, London

Gibbo, Oddfellows Tattoo Collective, Leeds

Sway, Sacred Electric Tattoo, Leeds

Harriet Rose Heath, Crooked Claw Tattoo, Sheffield

Little Andy, The Church Tattoo Studio, Birmingham

Lal Hardy, New Wave Tattoo, London

Dane Grannon, Creative Vandals, Hull

Hannah Keuls, Good Times, London

Akuma Shugi, Wolf & Dagger, Hove

Ché Crook, Level Crooks, Bristol

Miss Jo Black, Black Inc, Frome

Philip Yarnell, Skynyard Tattoos, Westcliff-on-Sea

Lucy Blue, Cobra Club, Leeds

Clare “Goldilox” Deen, Incandescence, Birmingham

Alex Candela, Black Market, Leicester

Matthew “Henbo” Henning, Redwood, Manchester

Jack Goks, Cloak and Dagger, London

Jelle Soos, Swansea Tattoo Company, Swansea

Matt Finch, Atelier Four Tattoo Studio, Truro

Dan Hague, La Familia, Newquay

Paul Hill, Vagabond, London

Dawnii Fantana, Painted Lady Tattoo Parlour, Birmingham

Kerry-Anne Richardson, Cock A Snook, Newcastle

Chris Jones, Physical Graffiti, Cardiff

Kat Abdy, Cloak and Dagger, London

Touka Voodoo, Divine Canvas, London

Rosie Evans, MVL Tattoo, Leeds

Joao Bosco, Parliament, London

Claudia de Sabe, Seven Doors, London

Emma Kierzek, Aurora Tattoo, Lancaster

Tacho Franch, Follow Your Dreams, Sheffield

Justin Burnout, Ghost House Collective, Derby

Mitchell Allenden, Dock Street Tattoos, Leeds

Lewis Parkin, Northside Tattooz, Newcastle

Mister Paterson, The Fifth Chamber, London

Charissa Gregson, Bath Street Tattoo Collective, Glasgow

Otto D’ambra, The White Elephant, London

Holly Ashby, House of Thieves Tattoo, Birmingham

Fidjit, Dharma Tattoo, London

Deryn Stephenson, Tenacious Tattoo, Sheffield

David Corden, Semper, Edinburgh

Sarah Whitehouse, Redwood Tattoo, Manchester

Fil, Broad Street Tattoo, Bath

Radu Rusu, Atelier Four Tattoo Studio, Truro

Ella Bell, Dust’n’Bones Tattoo, Plymouth

Ashley Luka, The Square Tattoo Studio, Solihull

Danielle Rose, Sanctuary Tattoo, Dundee

Matt Youl, Painted Lady Tattoo Parlour, Birmingham

Liam Sparkes, Old Habits Tattoo, London

Sadee Glover, Black Chalice Tattoo, Swindon

Jemma Jones, Sacred Electric Tattoo, Leeds

Gemma B, Black Ink Rebellion, Newquay

Kodie Smith, Edshead Tattoo Studio, Chelmsford

Billy Hay, Bath Street Tattoo Collective, Glasgow

Henry Big, Rain City Tattoo Collective, Manchester

Freddie Albrighton, Immortal ink, Chelmsford

Daryl Watson, Painted Lady Tattoo Parlour, Birmingham

John Anderton, Nemesis tattoo, Seaham

Hanumantra, UN1TY, Shrewsbury

Just Jen, Den of Iniquity, Edinburgh

Iain Sellar, The Black Lodge, Bristol

Olly Streeter, La Familia, Newquay

Cally-Jo, New Wave, London

Sophie Adamson, The Projects Tattoo, Plymouth

Loz Thomas, One By One, London

Kayley Henderson, Northside Tattooz, Newcastle

Tasha Pollendine, Physical GraffitiCardiff

 

 

 

A Things&Ink wedding, our editor @morewhitequeen married her prince

Friday 14 October 2016, our editor Alice Snape got married to her love James. It was a day filled with love and fun, from getting ready with the bridesmaids and the beautiful ceremony in the Council Chamber at Islington Town Hall to the party at Wunderlust in Deptford and drunken dancing. Beautiful memories were made and captured in these stunning photos by Eclection Photography and Lisa Jane Photography.

 

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Garter compulsory

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Makeup by Keely Reichardt

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Alice through the looking glass, a present from mother of the bride

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Hair by Lou Culley, slavehair.com

Getting ready photos all by Eclection Photography

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Bridesmaids and bride, by Eclection Photography

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James and Alice, the bride and groom say “I Do” Islington Town Hall

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The perfect confetti moment outside Islington Town Hall

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The bus from Islington Town Hall to Deptford South East London

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Capturing moments on the bus Lisa Jane Photography

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Say something funny bridesmaids! 

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Take a moment with your sister…

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The newlyweds 

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Let the party commence #stittlewedding

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Location: Wunderlust at the Big Red

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Guests!

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aj-eclectionphoto733The bride with tattoo artist Emily Johnston

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The happy ending, the most perfect end to a perfect day. The bride and her groom. Love.

Tattoo Journeys – Portraits from London Tattoo Convention

Portraits from London Tattoo Convention 2015 byHeather Shuker Photography

A snapshot of people who attended the infamous London Tattoo Convention 2016 including artists, the general public, organisers, performers and more. As they posed, they were interviewed by Alice Snape and Keely Reichardt.

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Sonja Punktum, 38, tattoo artist, Hamburg
“I’m not an angry person, but people who aren’t tattooed see rebellion, so are sometimes scared. People often comment on my tattoos, even if I don’t ask for it. Tattoos make people react, but I think that is because they are intense, they are created through pain and last forever, there is nothing else like it.”

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Arrienette Ashman, 26, tattoo artist, Bournemouth
“I was 19 when I got my first tattoo, I went big straight away, as I always knew wanted to be heavily tattooed. My mum picked me up after the appointment and was shocked, but she has learnt to love them over the years. I love the thought of having art on me always. It is not just physical – it is a spiritual process.”

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Ashley Green, 27, sports coach, Harrow
“I was drunk when I got my first tattoo at 16, it was a Chinese symbol. All my other tattoos are now family related, including a portrait of my mum.”

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George Crew, 21, tattoo artist, Leicester
“I was 16 when I got my first tattoos, it was a rose on my stomach. I got it because everyone around me was getting tattooed. If I could go back, I would think about it more and get something of better quality. I am saving my back, though, as a backpiece is the most important tattoo you will ever get, as it is the biggest canvas.”

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Monami Frost, 21, model/blogger/social media, Liverpool
“I cannot imagine my life without tattoos. Getting tattooed, for me, is a never-ending process. They are part of who I am. I think they are beautiful and they make me feel more full.”

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Ermine Hunte, 37, buyer for an airline, Luton
“Tattoos and piercings are so empowering and can change who you are as a person. I have gained more confidence as they have covered scars from a kidney transplant. I am constantly evolving and gaining control over my body.”

WOW! FESTIVAL PHOTO BOOTH

We were part of something magical that took place back on Sunday 13 March 2016… WOW! Women of the World was a festival that transformed the Southbank Centre into a space buzzing with creativity, conversation and female empowerment.

Our editor Alice Snape was there with photographer Eleni, who runs the wonderful Women with Tattoos blog, to chat to women about their tattoos. Here’s a glimpse of some of the inspiring women we chatted to…

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Hazel
“I was just 16 when I got an arrow on my ribs. The more tattoos I get, the more comfortable I feel in my body. It is mine and I have chosen the way it looks.”

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Carey
“I was 59 when I got my first tattoo. My daughter found Grace Neutral and I knew I had to collaborate with her. I see getting tattooed by her as a collaboration. She draws the designs on with a Sharpie and then tattoos over it. I find it a very interesting approach. I feel better about my body now than I ever have before. I love it because it is art.”

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Aisling
“I got my first tattoo at 24. It’s a feminist tattoo as a tribute to the women in my life. I’m very aware of women’s representation in the media, so I would never get traditional pin-up imagery tattooed on me. I wanted to be marked for life with something that has meaning to me.”

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Sian
“I was just 15 when I first got tattooed; it was on my hip. Since then, it’s been reworked by Woody at Into You, so I love it even more now. I find that women with tattoos are often fetishised. I get comments in the street and people ask me questions. I have a whole list of tattoo plans – they make me feel great about my body. I love my body anyway, but they make me feel even better about it.”

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Ella
“I was 17 when I got a lizard tattoo. The first was a big deal for me, it is self marking and controlling the way I look. We are already marked by so many things. Tattoos are a commemoration of something, somewhere, someone…”

You can view the full collection of images and quotes on the Women with Tattoos blog: part 1 and part 2.

 

Art Macabre: Becoming Art for a Night

Our editor Alice Snape was asked to pose for an Art Macabre lifedrawing session at Museum of London, which was part of the Tattoo London exhibition. As a first-time naked model, here’s how she felt about the experience and seeing her body as art…


img_5701.jpg“Me? A model? That I am definitely not. I hate having my photo taken, and I am very critical of my appearance, which probably comes from years of self-conscious anxiety and a childhood spent in a chubby awkward body that I was never quite comfortable in – I think I am yet to grown into my nose! But when I was asked by Nikki, who runs Art Macabre, to be a lifedrawing model for the evening, I had to say yes. It felt like one of those experiences that should be on your bucket list, and as a 32-year-old woman who has worked really hard on overcoming that teenage insecurity and becoming comfortable in her own skin, there didn’t seem like a better time to do it.

“Before the evening, I asked Nikki to give me some advice, as a first-timer. She told me to: Breathe and relax into poses and, on a practical note, bring a dressing gown to wear in-between poses and during the break. All day before the event, I was a bag of nerves, running different scenarios though my mind – a constant reel of what ifs! But, the moment I took step onto that platform and got into the first pose (five minutes to warm up), I felt incredible, empowered, strong and beautiful.

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“I fixed my eyes on the twinkling lights that surrounded the space and they lulled me into a mediative state. I listened to the sound of pencils and quiet concentration, eyes looking up at me and back down to the blank canvas, pictures of my body and tattoos slowly forming on the pages. I thought about how my body might look through the eyes of everyone in front of me, during one pose I focused on a determined looking woman who seemed lost in the movements of her pencil. A few brief moments of self-doubt flitted through my mind – what if I am not interesting enough to draw? – but they soon dissipated when I realised everyone surrounding me was creating their own interpretation of me.


“The evening consisted of a few short standing postures and some longer (25 minutes) seated poses. As the night drew to a close, each of the artists lay their work onto the floor to share it with each other and the models… Looking at each work of art, I realised I have grown very fond of my body as it has become more covered with tattoos. I have taken ownership of my body by choosing where each tattoo goes, and I love my colourful skin. Over the past couple of years, I have also started exercising regularly and even ran a marathon! I love the fact that my body is fit and healthy, and that has boosted my confidence hugely. My thighs, for example, have always been a part of my body I have hated. I always think they are chunky, they have bumps and cellulite that no matter how much I exercise will not disappear. But they are mine, they are strong and that means they are beautiful.

“I saw that each person had drawn my body slightly differently, my curves slightly more or less rounded, in some I looked bigger and in some small. Everyone sees an object through their own eyes, putting on that object their own preferences. It was enlightening and uplifting to see that subjectivity about the form of my own body – no one is ever going to be as critical of it as myself.

“I walked away from the evening with renewed self confidence and a want to relive the experience. It felt like a true celebration of my naked self and at last a goodbye to any anxiety I had!”

Here’s some works of art created on the night:

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Brighton Tattoo Convention Photographic Portraits

Our editor Alice Snape is getting excited about the next Brighton Tattoo Convention, here she takes a glimpse at just some of the faces who attended last year in a stunning portrait series, including some familiar faces from the pages of past issues of Things&Ink

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Portrait of Marisa Kakoulas, editor of needlesandsins.com

We LOVE tattoo conventions, here at Things&Ink, and one of the highlights in the tattoo calendar is always Brighton Tattoo Convention. Not sure if it’s the sea air, but there’s always such a friendly, party vibe! And it’s the perfect convention to meet up with friends, old and new. Nothing brings people together like a passion for tattoos, after all.

At last year’s convention, I had my photograph taken by James Hole for a portrait series capturing convention-goers and artists. The results are absolutely stunning and a real insight into the contemporary tattoo community. I think this is down to the wonderful nature and talent of the photographer James, who made me feel instantly at ease in front of the camera – I normally hate having my photo taken and he even managed to capture a natural smile (see below). The setting for the images was incredible! In a grand room in the Hilton in Brighton, which you can see glimpses of in each image behind the backdrop.

As part of the portrait series, some interviews were also filmed. They will be coming soon, so watch this space.

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Portrait of editor Alice Snape

The next Brighton Tattoo Convention is 30 April – 1 May, which will hopefully mean the sun is shining (the convention is usually in February!) and in a brand-new venue, The Brighton Centre.

And we have TWO weekend tickets to give away, all you have to do is share one of the images in this blog post on Instagram and use the hashtag #BTCTIcomp. We will pick a winner this Sunday 24 April. Good luck and hopefully see you at the convention! We won’t have a stand this year, but we will be taking pics and enjoying the convention, so come say hello!

Some of our favourite BTC portraits are below… all these people have also graced the pages of T&I over the years…

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Wendy Pham, cover star of The Identity Issue

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Cally-Jo, cover star of The Anatomy Issue

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Grace Neutral, cover star of The Modification Issue

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Claudia de Sabe, cover star of The Launch Issue

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Matt Lodder, art historian

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Brian Wilson, cover star of Stripped Back 2/3

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Tiny Miss Becca, cover star of The Celebration Issue

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Rebecca Vincent, interview in The Love Issue

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Andrea Furci, interview in The Art Issue

you can see more portraits on the Brighton Tattoo Convention blog

Let’s Talk About Tattoos: London Pop-Up Photo Booth

WOW! Women of the World Festival

 

This Sunday 13 March, we’ll be teaming up with blog Women with Tattoos to stage a pop-up photo booth at the annual WOW! Women of the World Festival at London’s Southbank Centre.

Come see us and get your tattoos photographed by Eleni (the brains behind Women with Tattoos) and chat to Things&Ink editor Alice Snape about what your tattoos mean to you.

Where: Level 2, Royal Festival Hall, Belvedere Road, London, SE1 8XX
When: Sunday 13 March, 11am – 6pm

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Editor Alice Snape photographed by Eleni for the Women With Tattoos blog, check out her interview at: womenwithtattoos.co.uk

Interview with Myra Brodsky

Editor Alice Snape recently got tattooed by Berlin-based Myra Brodsky, 27, aka spinsterette on Instagram, while she was guesting at Seven Doors in east London. Alice couldn’t resist asking Myra some questions while under the needle… 

Tattoo artist Myra Brodsky and editor Alice Snape at Seven Doors in east London Tattoo artist Myra Brodsky and editor Alice Snape at Seven Doors in east London

 

“Myra’s work is heavily influenced by art nouveau and the Victorian age – the periods of art that I am drawn to… so I couldn’t resist getting a tattoo by her while she was over in London. I picked a moon and hand from her flash, and conducted this interview while I was getting tattooed… just imaging the buzz of the needle as you read.”

Alice: “How long have been a tattoo artist for?”
Myra:
“I started tattooing in late 2008, after studying visual communications at university. My parents were always very anti me going into tattooing, but my father has now passed away and my mother has moved to Spain, so they are not part of my life anymore and are not aware of what I do. My parents were very religious and this is probably where their attitude came from. I was born and raised in a very conservative, jewish family.”

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Alice: “What do you think drew you to tattoos then?”
Myra:
“It was really actually by accident that I came into tattooing. I never planned it, I never had the wish to become a tattoo artist. My best friend started to tattoo, and I thought that seemed kinda fun. So she immersed me into the tattoo world, she had all the gear at home, and I started tattooing too. At first, just for fun – it was never big business or starting something serious. I did shitty little tattoos on my own body, but never thought it was something I could make a living from… I thought my parents would hate me and turn against me.”

“What did you do for a job at this time?”
“I worked for an ad agency. I found it really boring.”

“When did you start tattooing properly, as a job?”
“I actually started tattooing when I was still at university too, I used to have to do 12-hour days. I was still working at that agency and attending university and I was already tattooing. It was a lot to do. I found it easy as I didn’t have the wish to meet up with friends in my spare time. I was dedicated to my work, being productive was great.  Now I need tattooing for my living.”

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“Do you think that is something that is hard being a tattoo artist? Would you want to change it or be something else?”
“Yeah. I mean being self employed is hard in general. I hate that. I hate doing my taxes, I am really bad at counting, I cannot count at all! If I had the choice I would be a magician. My father comes from the casino business and when my sister and I were still young we used to go to Las Vegas pretty often. My sister and I grew up watching shows like David Copperfield. I admire those magic shows, even if it is an illusion, I love it. I wish I could do that.”

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“Do you think that has a big impact on your work?”
“Totally. I love all that imagery surrounding all those magic things. I also believe in magic powers. Whenever I have a problem I call my fortune teller instead of going to the doctor. They tell me different things, I can ask her anything. When I was planning my tour through Europe I asked her which shops would accept me. In London, she said there would be a chance that only one shop would accept me and now I am here at Seven Doors.”

“Do you plan to live in New York?”
“I want to move there and work Red Rocket tattoo in Midtown.”

“Do you think that is part of the beauty of being a tattoo artist being able to travel around?”
“I think it is a good thing. I know a lot of people who aren’t into travelling, but I am because I don’t really feel comfortable in just one place. I get bored so easily. I think it is a fun game  to have to challenge yourself to act like a local in so many cities. I like that kind of game.”

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“What is your favourite city you have been to so far?”
“New York. I like London too. You cannot really describe New York in words. It is just perfect.”

“How would you describe your style as a tattooist?”
“I would say I  don’t really want to put a name on that. I can only say what inspires me and what I use as reference. These are actually images from all of the great eras from the past, in art history. I know a lot about art history. Most of the things I take are from art nouveau and the Victorian age and Edwardian age. Art Deco is also nice but it is too geometric for my kind of thing. I rather like organic decoration elements, because you can always take them and change them for every part of the body.”

“Do  you like doing bigger pieces as well?”
“I prefer doing bigger pieces. But I don’t get to do many of them, I think because I’m not in one place all the time.”

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“What would be your favourite thing to tattoo? If you could do anything on someone’s back what would you do?”
“I think it would be a scene out of a classic novel or play. Maybe a play by Shakespeare or a novel by Kafka. Anything that is already existing, that I could adapt. That is what I like, because I think it is timeless.”

“How would you like your style to progress in the future?”
“I am planning on starting more big pieces with more detail, more history behind them. More details and meaning in general.”

IMG_1800 Myra at Seven Doors

 

To view more of Myra’s work and to see where she will be working next, follow her on Instagram @spinsterette

 

T&I go to Torture Garden

Emily cover featureInspired by our Horror Issue cover, starring the stunning tattoo artist Emily Alice Johnston in a fetish inspired shoot featuring beautiful latex outfits, we thought team T&I should celebrate and maybe try out some latex wearing, too. And what better place to do it than at the World’s largest Fetish / Body Art Club: Torture Garden, and their Christmas Ball at Electrowerkz in north London? Our editor Alice Snape had never been before… here she tells us all about her first time.

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If you’ve never been to Torture Garden before (named after the 1899 novel The Torture Garden (Le Jardin des supplices) by Octave Mirbeau, which was set in a Chinese Garden of Torture.), I highly recommend it. Although I have to admit it, I was a little apprehensive before I attended – not because I am a prude, but because I had never been to a fetish club before and I had absolutely no idea what to expect, or what was expected of me. I also had  no idea what to wear!

A friend recommended Meat Clothing and I spotted a gorgeous pink latex dress on their website and ordered it immediately. And, I have to say, I felt pretty special in it. I had never worn latex before, and a pink babydoll was pretty perfect for my first time.

Editor Alice Snape, horror issue cover star Emily Alice Johnston and managing editor Keely Reichardt pre Torture Garden. Editor Alice Snape, horror issue cover star Emily Alice Johnson and managing editor Keely Reichardt pre Torture Garden.

 

Managing editor Keely and I got ready together on the evening… drank some fizz and perfected our make-up. As Keely has been a couple of times before, she explained a little about her last experiences… and how much fun she had! We also met up with our horror issue cover star Emily for some pre drinks too…

As soon as we arrived at the TG Christmas ball location, Electrowerkz in north London, I felt like I was transported to another world of fetish, fun and fantasy. People were dressed in latex, stunning lingerie, collars and gimp suits… and Electrowerks had been transformed into a magical Christmas fantasy land. Still a little nervous, we did a round of shots and then went off to explore…

Managing editor Keely ready for her night at Torture Garden Managing editor Keely ready for her night at Torture Garden

I ended up spending the entire night roaming around to see what was going on. There were lots of different rooms – one just for couples and a dungeon (for those who want to explore their sexuality, although there are also strict codes of conduct, touching anyone without permission  is strictly forbidden), there’s also shows, performances and dance floors, too. I chatted to interesting people, finding out about their kinks, and of course, it’s ok if you don’t have any, too… TG accepts anyone (as long as you dress up! If your outfit wouldn’t turn heads in the street – don’t bother wearing it to Torture Garden). TG is a space where you can be whoever you want to be. You can escape reality for the evening into a magical world. It is for hedonists, party people and those who just want to let go for one night. TG attracts open-minded individuals, from clubbers to alternative arty weirdos, burlesque cabaret fans to sophisticated BDSM regulars (famous visitors have included Dita Von Teese, Alexander McQueen, Jean Paul Gaultier, Boy George, Katie Price and Courtney Love)…

Editor Alice and a pre TG selfie, of course. Editor Alice and a pre TG selfie, of course

The evening drew to close far too quickly… and I couldn’t believe it was 6am by the time Keely and I left. We literally forgot all of our worries for one evening and danced and chatted and met interesting people. And everyone we met was so respectful. I had worried that I might get hassled (I have a boyfriend and didn’t want to join in), but I didn’t. In fact, I probably got hassled less than a standard night out, where drunken men often grab women without permission. On the way home, Keely and I chatted about how we couldn’t wait to attend the next event… and plan another incredible outfit. There’s no other situation where you can wear whatever you want and be exactly who you want to be, surrounded by people who are just as weird as us. See you at the next one?

Torture Garden NYE is on 30 December at Ministry of Sound in London and Torture Garden Valentines Ball is on 13 February at Coronet in London.

Take a look at some of the other TG party goers in this selection of photos from the evening (photos by MarcusT):

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Marie Claire: Behind the Ink

Created by Marie Claire magazine, this short film ‘Behind The Ink’ features our editor Alice Snape. The film pushes the boundaries of mainstream beauty media and is a huge step forward for how women with tattoos are represented. A really well-made film by Marie Claire magazine. 

Big thanks to Marie Claire‘s Senior Beauty Editor and producer of this film Anita Bhagwandas.

Alice Snape Marie Claire Magazine Our editor Alice Snape talks about women and tattoos to Marie Claire magazine.

 

The short film features five women including:

Things&Ink columnist, salon owner, ReeRee Rockette (@reereerockette), talking about how her tattoos make her feel in terms of body confidence and when she’s online dating by exploring the common perceptions of tattooed women.

Mary Kate Trevaskis (@marycupkate) is the Communications Director at Smashbox Cosmetics and Bumble and Bumble. She talks about her love of ink and how she’s continued to grow her collection of body art, despite working at a senior level in very corporate environment.

Alice Snape (@thingsandink) is the Founding Editor of the Things&Ink magazine. Traditional tattoo magazines tend to use women to ‘sell’ their magazines to a largely male readership, but Things&Ink which is aimed at both men and women, explores tattoo culture with style and intelligence.

Katie Parsons (@katieparsons) is a Kerrang! Radio DJ and Social Media Strategist. When Katie got married last year she chose to embrace her large chest piece rather than cover it up as many brides might. She explores the relationship between her body and her body art.

Tracy D (@tracydtattoos) is an in-demand London-based tattooist (and cover star of the art issue) who talks about her decision to enter into a male dominated profession – and she gets her tattoo needle into Anita Bhagwandas, Senior Beauty Editor.

Charley Bezer (@charleybezer) is Head of PR at Live Nation, and discusses how her tattoos have made her feel in a male-dominated industry.

  

 

What do you think of this film? A positive step forward for mainstream media?