Tagged: female tattoo culture

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.

Under Her Skin – a group exhibition celebrating one year of Things&Ink, in association with Atomica Gallery

Things&Ink and Atomica Gallery present:


Celebrating one year of Things&Ink and launch of The Art Issue

Thursday 12th September – Monday 30th September 2013
Opening Party: Thursday 12th September
Atomica Gallery, Hackney Downs Studios, London

Under her skin exhibition

We’re super-excited to announce an exclusive exhibition, in association with our friends Atomica Gallery, in Hackney.

Under Her Skin marks one year of Things&Ink by bringing together a selection of today’s most talented artists for an exhibition celebrating modern female tattoo culture:

Amy Victoria Savage (Jayne Doe, Hornchurch UK)
Angelique Houtkamp (Salon Serpent, Amsterdam NL)
Charissa Gregson (Jolie Rouge, London UK)
Dominique Holmes (The Family Business, London UK)
Grace Neutral (Good Times, London UK)
Guen Douglas (Salon Serpent, Amsterdam NL)
Iris Lys (London UK & Paris FR)
Lucy Pryor (Into You, London UK)
Rachel Baldwin (Bold As Brass, Liverpool UK)
Rebecca Vincent (Nostalgia Traditional Tattooing, Leeds & The Circle, London UK)
Tracy D (King’s Cross Tattoo Parlour, London UK)
Vicky Morgan (Ghost House, Derby UK)

Under Her Skin will be exhibited during the London International Tattoo Convention 2013, which is being held at the Tobacco Dock in east London 27-29th September.


Under Her Skin opening event, sponsored by The Kraken Rum
Thursday 12th September, 6-9pm at Atomica Gallery
Complimentary drinks provided by The Kraken Rum
Please RSVP with names to rsvp@atomicagallery.com

Join the Facebook event: Under Her Skin

Behind the scenes at Things&Ink magazine

Things and Ink logo

Embracing female tattoo culture

Here is some behind-the-scenes footage from the launch issue Cover Shoot, with the Things&Ink team and cover star Claudia De Sabe – from Papercut Pictures on Vimeo.

I unveiled the first ever Things&Ink cover on my blog back in September. And wow, what a journey it has been since then. With the help of some very talented people, Things&Ink has turned into a proper, glossy magazine – a very beautiful one at that – and is now available to order.

Things&Ink is 92 pages of all the things I love about the tattoo world. Beautiful images, real-life stories, girly tattoos, opinions, jewellery, inspiration, art, artists, history and more…

Thanks so much to everyone who has supported me and to all those who have ordered the launch issue. I can’t wait for you all to see it and I promise I will keep you updated on its journey to you…

thanks from Things and Ink


To order the launch issue, visit thingsandink.com/buy



Things and Ink – a new style of tattoo magazine

Things and Ink – A compendium of thoughts in ink, launching 1 November

So, it’s time to tell you all about what I’ve been up to for the past months. I’ve been busy planning photo shoots, fashion and lifestyle features, homewares sections and columns, looking at pretty pictures of tattooed ladies and chatting about tattoo history and magazine design. All for a brand new tattoo magazine called Things and Ink.

Things and Ink is about tattoos, art, culture, stories, diversity and emotion.

Things and Ink is a new style of tattoo magazine that embraces female tattoo culture. The aim of the magazine is to give tattoos more context, to give the point of view of not only the tattoo artist, but the wearer, too. Tattoos should be viewed where they sit on the body and the story behind them should be told. Things and Ink will satisfy the reader’s curiosity and tell the intimate stories. Things and Ink will be pretty and arty and shatter tattoo myths. It will welcome collectors and tattoo virgins alike.

And here is a sneak peak of a photo shoot with Laura of Babb Photo and Rachael of Marry Me Ink…but you’ll have to wait until 1 November to see what it’s all about…


Location: Into You, London Makeup: Hayley Fell