Tagged: illustration

The Tattoo Flash Colouring Book and Interview with MEGAMUNDEN

The Tattoo Flash Colouring Book created by MEGAMUNDEN, and published by Laurence King, is filled with a vibrant and varied collection of tattoo flash for you to colour in. Inspired by  traditional style flash sheets and tattoo imagery, it’s a celebration of the tattoo world and its history. It’s perfect for tattoo lovers who love to unwind by exploring their creativity. 

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We chat to 35-year-old Brighton-based illustrator and creator of The Tattoo Flash Colouring Book Oliver Munden, AKA MEGAMUNDEN, to find out more about his book and what originally drew him to tattoo art…

Do you have a background in art? I followed the fairly typical route of doing art and design at school, then a foundation course at college, and a graphic design course at university. This gave me a really broad understanding of design and my first job was at a graphic design studio. It was here I realised I wanted to follow a career that focused on illustration. I’d drawn all the time from a very young age, so it made sense that I came back around to focusing on that.

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What kinds of things do you create? As a lead designer at Ilovedust, I create anything from tequila bottle labels to graphics for restaurant interiors, book covers to huge murals and everything in between! As MEGAMUNDEN, I focus generally on tattoo inspired artwork but that changes from project to project. I get bored doing one style all the time, although I do always come back to a tattoo-inspired aesthetic.

I’ve created two colouring books with Laurence King Publishing, both with a tattoo theme. I’m currently working on a deck of Tarot cards with them too, these have a tattoo theme and we have other projects under discussion, so watch this space.

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What inspires you and what inspired the book?  I took a trip to the States before making the second book and I collected tons of photographs and various other trinkets to inspire me.

The first book was a 50/50 split between Japanese and Western inspired tattoo style artwork. I wanted the second book to be more Western focused in its source of inspiration. I wanted it to be decorative yet bold and graphic. I wanted patterns to be woven into the visuals. I’m really into the old sailor style tattoos, and they’re a big trend right now. I looked at many recognisable tattoo icons, including vases, flowers, anchors, gypsy girls, ships, snakes, tigers, and tried to give them all my own spin.

What medium do you prefer to work in? I hand-drew most of my first book but at the moment I tend to work digitally using a Cintiq drawing tablet. It allows me to draw more complex things quickly, although the second book took even longer than the first despite having less pages! It’s just that much more complex in design and I like to think it’s a much more consistent and considered collection of tattoo flash. All there for people to colour if they wish!

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What drew you to the world of tattoos? The way designs impact you when you see them, like when you see a amazing tiger head tattoo and it stays with you. So many fields take influence from the world of tattoos, for example snowboard riders want their design to be easy to see when their board is flipping, so bold tattoo inspired visuals work nicely for that.

Skulls, snakes, spiders and flowers all resonate with me. My father has been keen on keeping reptiles and amphibians all his life, and that definitely rubbed off on me. I think all of that has a lot to do with the icons within tattooing it’s just so inspiring.

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Can you tell us about your tattoos ? I have a full Japanese sleeve on my left arm and my right arm is a collection of more sailor style pieces that I’ve got on my many travels and work trips. I’ve been to the USA a lot and had stuff done there, but I’ve also got a couple of pieces from Lisbon and Barcelona. Dan Frye does a lot of my tattoos when I’m at home in Brighton – he’s ace!

The Tattoo Flash Colouring Book created by MEGAMUNDEN and published by Laurence King is a must for tattoo lovers and available to buy here.

Oh Bones Illustration

25-year-old Brit is an illustrator, writer and musician from London. We chatted to Brit about her dark gothic archaeology inspired drawings and her tattoos…

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Inspired by Things&Ink Brit created this self portrait just for us…

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Do you have a background in art? How and when did you start drawing? I don’t have a background in art at all, I began drawing at university when I was studying archaeology – In the labs we had to draw the artefacts and bones. It was there I noticed that my drawings were good and not going so badly.  I then graduated and moved to Amsterdam to do an MA in archaeology and I started drawing for an hour a day and thought, this is much better than being in a library studying. So I didn’t do the MA and continued drawing instead!

What inspires you? Being an archaeologist inspired me the most because I spent years researching the human psyche and behaviour throughout time. My speciality is death and burial, and I guess that often comes across in my art work. I also love poetry, which inspires my art quite a lot and along with every illustration, I write a poem.

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What medium do you use? How do you create each piece? I use both digital and non-digital. I love using fine line pens and Indian ink to create my work. I like things to be imperfect because that way you seen the human in it.

What kinds of things do you draw? Usually I will draw people, disembodied limbs, plants – anything really. I almost always draw around a poem or song I’ve written, to give some visuals to my other artwork in my music and writing. I like it all to be one big art piece – audio, visual and written.

Describe your style? Tailored, black, kind of like an old fashioned 1920’s boy!

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Do you admire any other artists, do they influence your work? I usually admire artists whose work is nothing like mine! It’s nice to clear my head of anything remotely like my work now and again, so I really like the work of Gordon Armstrong and Robert Saeheng they’re really great. But I also like old school artists like Patti Smith, her word work really inspires me in my own poetry and in-turn in the art I create around the words.

Can you tell us about your tattoos? I don’t have too many tattoos, definitely under 30 but most of them I love, even though some of them are definitely bad prison style ones. I have some plants, pinky promise hands, trouble making pigeons, dead fish, skulls, love letters, words. Everything! My first one was was just a small one on my foot in Hebrew, nothing too interesting!

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How do tattoos make you feel?
My tattoos mean a lot, I’m sure a lot of people say that. Because most of my work is visual, it’s a way that I express myself, so I really do try and add some depth to the things I get tattooed! But sometimes you have so many tattoos there’s only so much meaning behind all of them – some don’t mean a whole lot, but there’s always a good memory behind getting it tattooed.

Do you do commissions? I do commissions, I do ink originals and screen prints for sale on my shop, but I also do a lot of album cover work, tattoo designs and logo designs.

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Where can people buy your art? They can head over to ohbones.com and find my shop that way, I will be stocking up for the summer soon, so there’ll be some new T shirts and badges!

Jessica Gutteridge Illustration

 22-year-old Jessica Gutteridge is a student and illustrator from York, UK. We chatted to Jessica about her dark gothic film inspired drawings and her tattoos…

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Inspired by Things&Ink Jessica created a tattooed Tiger Lily just for us… 

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Do you have a background in art? How and when did you start drawing? I’ve been drawing all of my life, but up until I was seventeen I wasn’t very good at it. I took graphic design, illustration, fine art and photography at college, where I was able to develop my drawings to a stage where I could draw a realistic figure. I applied for a fine art course at university because I knew there would be no boundaries to artwork I made. I’ve found with fine art they really push you to not do illustration, so I keep my university work very separate to the illustrated prints I put out into the world. Weirdly I never though I wanted to be a full time artist even with taking all those creative subjects, only until I created my online store Jgdrawings in 2014.

What inspires you? I absolutely love everything gothic, mythical and mystical, especially in films! I’d say film culture is my biggest inspiration, along with the tattoo world. I’ve always loved films and especially the old ones like Beetle Juice, Lost Boys, monster squad…anything before 1999. When I started illustrating my family and friends always said my designs would make great tattoos, I guess that was what made me realise my style of drawing and where I find inspiration from. I tend to always be attracted to colourful pieces of art and tattoos but always draw black and white pieces and get black and white tattoos!.

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What medium do you use? How do you create each piece?  I always use pen or black ink to draw my illustrations, but as of this year I’ve started to branch out and create art using other mediums I love, such as acrylic paint, watercolour and embroidery. When creating a piece I start making shapes using pencil to get a composition/scale going, then I use pen for all the finer details. A fine marker for lines and then usually a 0.2-0.5 ink pen tip for the detail and dots. I love crossing dotwork with watercolour, you get the fine cluster of detail from the dots with the wash of colour poking out! Everything I do is hand drawn and then I edit it on photoshop. I’ve started also doing needlepoint and sewing little characters, it’s a medium I touched on at university and really enjoyed.

What kinds of things do you draw? I draw whatever I’m inspired by, whether that be a character from a film, to flowers, animals, mandalas, palmistry bits. I follow popular culture and if anything pops up that speaks to me, I go with it. Yesterday I sat on a plane watching Peter Pan and needed to draw a Tiger Lily character, that same day I read through the Love copy of Things & Ink and needled to draw myself some lovey dovey bits! I am always open to anything so custom projects are perfect, I’ve drawn logos, website bits, present prints, cards and family portraits for customers and its great!

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Describe your style, has it changed? In drawing I’ve always used pen. My style is still quite gothic with the characters I draw, the black and white print but just of late I’ve wanted to branch out with new content that I’m getting into. I want to make more pieces with colour, I love the shades of acrylic paint I have so really positive, bright illustrations would definitely be a huge change.

Do you admire any other artists, do they influence your work?  The artists I get inspiration from are feminists such as Louise Bourgeois and Sarah Lucas, but when it comes to me physically drawing I get my inspiration from tattooists. Instagram is a great platform to view art constantly, keep up to date with my biggest inspirations in the tattoo world such as Alex Bage, Cassandra Frances Arianna Fusini, James Armstrong, Thomas Bates, Mister Paterson. Obviously there are so many more, but every time I see a new upload I just want to grab my pens and doodle all day. Definitely yes, I’d say they influence my work in the sense I want to also get to their level of mastering a craft, or more so style.

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Can you tell us about your tattoos? What was your first, do you still love it? How do they make you feel?  I have three in total, a big leg piece right on the shin, a cobweb on my shoulder and a pair of plastic Halloween fangs on my arm! The fangs were my first tattoo and I absolutely love it, it reminds me constantly of my favourite time of the year. I got it when I was 19 and it’s still in great condition, it was the perfect time for me to get a tattoo and I love to show it off. My tattoos make me feel great, like I have a style of art which I am passionate about forever on my skin.

Do you do commissions? Where can people buy your art? I certainly do! My art is all available on my big cartel Jgdrawings, where I sell pre-made art prints, custom one off prints, t-shirts, tote bags, embroidery pieces and stitched dolls. For commissions and any other enquiries I am always reachable at jessicalgutteridge@gmail.

Apprentice Love: Kathryn Kirk

We spotted the work of apprentice Kathryn Kirk, 27 on Instagram and instantly loved her dark art and black tattoos. We chatted to Kathryn to find out more about her life as an apprentice at Addiction Tattoo & Piercing Bangor, Northern Ireland where she works… 

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Inspired by Things&Ink Kathryn created this feathery babe just for us… 

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How long have you been tattooing? I have been tattooing just under a year now.

How did you start? What did you do before? Before tattooing I had just graduated from Queens university Belfast, working for a music venue and in retail part time. I was drawing and painting but it took until I was 25 to work up the courage to put together a portfolio and publicly seek an apprenticeship. I was very lucky to have spent time working reception and apprentice duties in one of Belfast’s most reputable studios. Since then I have been keeping my head down, learning my craft and working very hard.

Do you have a background in art? From a very young age I was always making or painting something. After leaving school I studied performing arts and drama for six years with a focus on design work – costume, sets, installation pieces, film, etc. I enjoy the process of planning, making and completing something with a hands-on approach.

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What drew you to the tattoo world? I grew up listening to punk and metal music with a lot of tattooed musicians so it always felt hand in hand to me. As far as I can remember, Uncle Allan was the first tattooist I paid attention to because he was mentioned in a band interview I read in a magazine. I was such a big Brody Dalle fan so seeing a woman in a punk band being a badass with tattoos was just everything to a 14 year old me! I had older friends that had tattoos and that along with reading music and tattoo magazines and seeing the array of artists and styles made me want to get into the industry. The more I saw and learned about the tattoo world the more I wanted to be a part of it.

Describe your style, how has it changed? I wouldn’t say I have a style, being so early in my career I’m trying my hand at everything. At present I’m flirting with traditional and geometric tattooing, but ask me in a few years!

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What medium do you use for your illustrations? I use fine liner pens and technical pencils for drawing and tattoo ink to shade- mostly black. I like to use my illustrations to create hand printed candles and various homewares, which I think are a nice change to flat tattoo prints.

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What inspires you? Inspiration comes from anything, I to follow so many amazing artists through social media and I’m exposed to so many different styles of work, textiles, old photographs, movies and music, books, the list goes on! My family and my boyfriend are a massive inspiration to me. They give me the motivation, inspiration and confidence to tackle every challenge. My father has owned his business for 26 years and to this day still works on developing his skills and progressing with fresh ideas. He works incredibly hard with little recognition but he always makes sure the standard and quality of his work speaks for itself. That’s something I aspire to and his work ethic inspires me to keep going. Hopefully I haven’t embarrassed him – sorry dad!

What would you love to tattoo? There’s so much I would love to tattoo, and that’s what I work towards everyday. I can’t wait to be creating pieces that make people go ‘wow, how did you do that?’

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What is a typical day like for you? Because I tattoo part time and have a job on the side, every day is different but I guess a typical tattoo day for me is up early, in for cleaning, any drawing and prep for the tattoo, station set up and making sure I have snacks and a good playlist. I spend a lot of time drawing and researching, my main objective at this early stage is putting the best work out there that I can and constantly improving. I have a high expectation of myself and what I want to achieve so that’s what I work towards.

Do you have any guest spots or conventions planned? Not at this point but I definitely want to meet more artists and studios so would love any opportunities as soon as I’d feel confident enough. Through selling my work online I have been very lucky in being able to send my art all over the world, and I hope someday I’ll be in the position to tattoo in these places too, but all in good time.

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Can you tell us about your own tattoos? I like collecting pieces from different artists so I’ve picked up some lovely work from both local and travelling artists, or when I have been away somewhere. My right arm is all traditional but my favourite pieces are a reaper from Joseph Deegan (Shamrock Classic Ink Dublin) and a switch blade my boyfriend and I both got by Tanya De Souza-Meally in AKA Berlin. I have a Tibetan half sleeve on my left leg by Chris Crooks (White Dragon Tattoo) which was done about seven years ago. My most recent is a rose on my right hand by Danielle Rose.
I’ve been mindful of the scale of work I want to get over the next few years so I have left a lot of big areas blank. I’d love work from Laura Yahna, Guy Le Tattooer, Scott Move, Gakkin, Jondix and Rafel Delalande… so lots and lots of black work!

The art of Frances Cannon

Frances Cannon is a 23-year-old artist and student from Melbourne, Australia, we chat to her about her body positive illustrations and what inspires her…

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Do you have a background in art? I have been drawing ever since I was a kid. It was fairly obvious to me from an early age that I wanted to study art and become an artist! I have just finished my Bachelor of Art (Fine Art) and I hope to study more and keep growing and expanding as an artist!

What inspires you pieces? I am inspired by humanity. Whether I draw about the body, emotions, relationships, life/death, dreams – everything revolves about what it is to be human. I am currently involved heavily in the body positive movement as well as empowerment of women and a lot of my art that I post online focusses on that subject.

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What message are you hoping to spread? I want people to see my art and feel connected. To feel warmth and happiness when they see it and to know they are not alone in their experiences.

Do you consider yourself a member of the body positive community? Absolutely! I had a lot of trouble loving my body when I was growing up, but over time I have learnt that hating myself takes way to much energy and that loving myself is so much easier and makes life SO much better! I definitely recommend.

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What medium do you use? What types of things do you draw? What medium I use depends on whether I am working from home or from my studio. My apartment is very cramped and doesn’t really have space for big works of art, so I usually do ink drawings or small watercolour paintings. When I have a studio I expand to doing big drawings in charcoal, or big watercolour or gouache paintings. I draw naked ladies a lot (though I do draw other things as well). The naked form is something I find truly beautiful and I find it empowering to draw bodies similar to my own.

Do you have any tattoos? What do you think of tattoos in general? Yes I have many! My current favourites are a tattoo of the character from The BFG, a book by Roald Dahl (my favourite childhood author). Another favourite is one of my own drawings of a girl hugging herself (a little reminder to love myself and my body). I love tattoos (especially black line-work tattoos) and I plan on getting lots more!

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Mais2 Illustration

Alessandra Criseo, better known as Mais2 on Instagram, is an illustrator and crafter from Italy who has lived in London for the past five years. Inspired by Things&Ink Alessandra created this tattoo inspired girl for us… 

 

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How would you describe your style? Sometimes it’s hard for me to see- I love trying a lot of different things and techniques so sometimes I feel inconsistent, but apparently other people can see my identity better than I can. People that know often talk about my style mentioning the fact that it has humour and makes them laugh, and that it has something creepy about it as well. Both compliments.

What inspires you? From my side I get inspired by things happening to me and sentences that I form in my head in specific situations, things connected to my childhood and people and things I love. Externally I get my inspirations mostly from fashion, food, objects, strange combinations of items together. I realised that I get inspired more by photographic stuff than illustration, I guess because it is a different media.
I do of course follow a lot of amazing artists, but often when I see a drawing I really love and I think that is perfect, I don’t feel like I need to repeat what they already did.

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Do you have a background in art? I do, instead of high school I went to art school in my city, but it was quite crap at the time. It was the only art school in town and It wasn’t very good. In my third year I have chosen to specialise in fashion, where I met two of my favourite teachers though, so no regrets. I also did a two year course in a school of comics that allowed me to meet some of my artist friends and professionals and start my career.

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What medium do you use? I tend to draw and ink traditionally (with any pencil and graphic liners) because it relaxes me much more than digital. I colour digitally in Photoshop, or if I go for a more traditional technique I use markers.

What do you like to draw? I definitely love to draw silly people,oh and food- if together even better. I love spooky and dark subjects too, drawing street fashion and animals.

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Can people buy your illustrations? I have a bigcartel shop where people can buy everything I put on sale. At the moment you can find a few things in there and between those there is my first self published book Memento Bento that is an illustrated diary of my first trip to Japan- I’m very proud of it!

Do you have any tattoos? What do you think about tattoos? I love tattoos, I adored them from far away for ages before getting mine.
It’s always hard for an artist to decide what to get as a first tattoo because we change our mind easily and in my case my only certainty was that I didn’t want to design it myself- but I couldn’t stop picturing the composition in my head!

Tattoos are a big influence on my style, a lot of people get my illustrations as tattoos as well. Becoming a tattoo artist and tattooing my pieces myself is a dream of mine, I seriously have thought about that but I haven’t been brave enough to just do it yet. I wish some of my friends were tattoo artists to teach me and help me get started! Maybe one day, hopefully soon!

I got my first tattoos two years ago, on both of my calves.They are subtle references to two video games that really influenced my taste during my childhood and I’m sure I will love forever: Monkey Island and Prince of Persia. I also have a moon on my right wrist and I love it.

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Are there any artists that you admire? One of my biggest weakness is making lists of things I love or hate, seriously, that’s so hard for me! I don’t even know what my favourite food or song or colour are! Generally speaking I love a lot of Japanese illustrators, ancient and modern. I love their humour, I feel like they get me. I love a lot of graphic illustrations- I enjoy the process of limiting yourself with the amount of colour and detail. It makes the result so elegant and timeless, and I find it calming as well when I do it myself.

As I have already mentioned, tattoo art is a huge inspiration as well. I love symbolism and really appreciate the composition that a good tattoo artist is capable of creating. I love how a well done design can stand alone perfectly without even any need for a context. I also follow a lot of illustrators that don’t fit in any of these categories, especially on Instagram and Tumblr- I kinda like everything.

Sarah Jane Docker: Creepy Kewpies

19-year-old Sarah Jane Docker is an illustration student, blogger and freelance artist from the Lake District. We love Sarah’s dark and gloomy style, inspired by The Horror Issue and our recent Miniature Ink II exhibition, Sarah has created a series of creepy kewpies just for us… 

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Do you have a background in art? I started drawing from a very early age, usually little things like butterflies and rainbows (I’m all about symmetry) which progressed into making little picture books about the adventures of my toys and writing stories to go with them. I didn’t realise there was a name for what I was doing at the time (illustrating) and carried on drawing and practising into my teens. My parents were never the most artistic of people but they always stood by me and my decision to draw and create, even when I chose to ditch the idea of A-Levels for an Art and Design Diploma 40 miles out of town!

How did you get into blogging? A few of my friends ran blogs that I’d been reading for a while. One day I thought ‘hey, I could do this!’ so I did.

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What kinds of things do you blog about? Anything from lifestyle advice and DIYs to make-up and tattoos. My last tattoo orientated post talked about getting your first tattoo and what you should think about before and during. One of my most recent and favourite posts is about dating yourself and why it’s important that you should take time out to be alone, treat and learn about yourself, find out what you’re all about! I’m quite young so don’t expect people to follow my advice but the response to my writing so far has been ace. I love reading all comments and am yet to experience negativity in the blogosphere.

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What kinds of things do you draw? This is a tough question! I draw a wide variety of things. Portraits, creepy little kewpies, mandalas (which I love, love, love to draw. The possibilities are endless and I can really get stuck in!) anything inspired by Eastern culture. I dabble in typography for fun now and again. A major project I just completed with my partner was our first comic book, 3 Parts Mad.

What medium do you use? Mainly pen and ink. It can be really controlled or explosive so it always fits my creative mood!

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How would you describe your style? Another tricky question! Versatile, dark, floral, intricate. I’m still working on it so hopefully I’ll have developed a little by this time next year.

What inspires you? Sounds terribly elitist but feeling free or empowered. Living in the Lake District gives me the ability to hike up a mountain whenever I like, I feel most free there and take inspiration from the nature and people around me, everything in its raw state. Seeing other artists succeed motivates me to carry on creating and seeing younger people follow what they want to do, even if it is a risky career makes me remember why I’m doing this. Eastern and tattoo culture is also a massive inspiration, crazy colours, symbols and beautiful deep rooted tradition! Of course, books and magazines are an endless source of inspiration too. My creepy kewpies were drawn after reading The Horror Issue for the billionth time!

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What was it about The Horror issue that inspired you?  The whole atmosphere of the issue is insane, I love it! Dark yet beautiful photo shoots (yo Hannah and Emily), interviews with inspiring artists and the article on eyeball tattooing. Something I really like but could never go through with, eek! Gore gives me the creeps, but anything twisted I love and I tried to show through my creepy kewpies.

Can you tell us about your tattoos? My biggest piece is three peonies on my upper left arm to symbolise the main women in my life and my appreciation for Japanese tattoo, my other is a heart and dagger under my right boob. No meaning for that one, I picked it off a valentines flash sheet but it looks ace and I like how secret it is. I have another heart on my shin with a drawing that my friend did last year, she sadly passed away so this will always be super precious to me! Most people just ask what it is when they see it. I plan on getting lots and lots more, sorry mum.

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Can people buy your art?
Yes! I have a Facebook page where you can message me about any piece you like and I’ll give you a price! Or you can find me on my Etsy page which is empty at the mo but keep your eyes peeled for creepy Kewpie prints soon.