Tagged: tattoo

Quick-fire questions with tattoo artist Claudia Ottaviani

Our resident make-up artist and managing editor, Keely, recently got tattooed by tattoo artist Claudia Ottaviani and asked her some quick-fire questions that she doesn’t normally get asked!

 

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 Keely and Claudia

If you could tattoo anyone dead or alive who would it be and why? I’ve never really thought about it, but it’s always an honour when another tattooer asks you to get a tattoo. I’ve never met him in person, but I’ve been in his shop and I think it is one of the most powerful places… So I’d have to pick Freddy Corbin at Tattoo Temple – and I hope he will never read this ha ha!

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If you weren’t a tattoo artist, what would you be? Some other creative job for sure: singer, guitarist, wood artisan, writer… I just need to use my hands when I work.

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What’s the strangest body part you’ve either tattooed or have been asked to tattoo? I tattooed a girl’s pubis, that was pretty strange, but not so difficult.

 

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Who is your favourite artist of the moment? I follow so many artists who don’t come from the tattoo world, so I can’t choose just one… Here are a few: Robert Ryan, Adde, Jess Swaffer, Matt Chahal, Bailey, Cheyenne Sawyer, Tony Nilsson, Becca Gennè-Bacon, Lina Stigsson and I have no idea how many more…

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What is your response to someone saying to you “what will you think of your tattooed body when you are old?” First I laugh… I think I get tattoos to make the body more beautiful. I love to see the story on the skin! The body and the skin will grow old in any case, with or without tattoos, so why wouldn’t I get something that I think makes my body more beautiful now? It will be even more beautiful in 40 years.

Tattooed Mama: Hannah Daisy

We chatted to full time mama 22-year-old Hannah Daisy from London about becoming a mum, how she sees her body differently now and her tattoos…

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Pregnancy is such an enlightening journey, there’s no way you can come out the other side and look at yourself in the same way. It was so uplifting for me, my body worked HARD, and I’ve come to respect it so much more. I’ve struggled with self esteem, I still do from time to time, but I try not to worry about the small things any more and just appreciate it as a whole. If I wanted to look like I hadn’t had a baby then I wouldn’t have had had one.

Honestly, my tattoos haven’t changed much at all since I was pregnant. I have got a stretch mark that’s gone straight through the bottom of the dagger, but it’s not noticeable, it all comes with the territory and I had anticipated some change, so no biggy!

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Every aspect of life has changed. I’m still trying to find that balance between being a mum and being my own person. Having a career and keeping up with hobbies have both been on hold since being pregnant and having Reuben, which has been the most frustrating thing, but I’m finally starting to weave them back into the mum schedule, we’ll get there eventually. The kid makes the rules right now!

Instagram was never meant to be more than a place to share photos for family and friends. My pregnancy started off a bit rocky and I wasn’t really sure how to cope. I’m normally one of those people who bottles everything up, but I started to talk about my experiences and converse with other women and it really helped, it became more of an outlet and played a huge part in me healing.

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I started @two.plus.roo so I didn’t end up bombarding everyone on my main account (@hannah.daisy) with endless bump updates intended for family and friends. I felt this huge urge to capture everything, I’m glad I did because it’s been such a magical journey so far. Finding this little corner of the internet where women really pull together as a community was a huge eye opener and I can only try to add to that.

I don’t think anyone is really qualified to give advise on pregnancy/motherhood, everyone has their own ways and it can get quite patronising, so I’d say have faith in your own instincts and don’t feel bad if you need to politely ask someone to back off. Keep a positive head on your shoulders, make some mama friends and enjoy every second!

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I miss being pregnant so much, I loved being pregnant. It’s a such a surreal feeling to be carrying a little human, when you think about it it’s almost alien isn’t it?! I’m really selfish and enjoyed being the closest one to him! I certainly don’t miss waking up every 20 minutes through the night though, that I could have done without.

Tattooing was something I took interest in quite early on in life, a lot of my other interests at that time were easily interwoven with tattooing so it was something I was bound to bump into at some point. My partner George tattoos, we both paint together and get tattooed, so it’s something that would be hard for me to avoid. My tattoos don’t have any great personal meanings or anything fancy like that, they’re just a collection of designs I like by people I’ve wanted to get tattooed by. George and I tend to spend the year saving and then travel to different parts of the world to get tattooed by some awesome artists. It’s allowed me to meet people I otherwise wouldn’t of crossed paths with, and it’s a great reason to travel. We have plans to travel and get tattooed a lot more this year, this time with Reuben in tow, I’m excited to show him the world this time round!

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Toy Tattoo Machines

Emily Rose is a 31-year-old stay at home mom who was a tattooer in Lewisville, North Carolina in the United States who runs an Etsy business from home selling toy tattoo machines that she makes. We chatted to Emily about how she makes the toys and what inspired her to do so… 

il_570xN.808635497_4h7wMy health and lack of child care after having our daughter meant that I was forced to stop tattooing for the time being but I found a way to still contribute to my family and stay somewhat relevant in the tattoo industry when I started my Etsy adventure so I just found another way to work.

I have a solid background in art, I’ve been in art classes my whole life and have my bachelor’s degree in fine arts from a university here in North Carolina. I started my apprenticeship straight out of college and never looked back; I was 21 and now my husband and I run our own shop in our little rural town. He now tattoos there by himself while I’m home with our daughter making toys. It’s tough but I like to think we’re making the best of some difficult situations we’ve been handed.

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I created my toy tattoo machines out of necessity really, our daughter just needed one, and there wasn’t one out there for her, so I made one. She stayed at the shop with us for the first year of her life, we opened the shop when she was a month old. I had to take her with me to breastfeed and tattoo, it was a mess really, but the one thing that made it all worth it was seeing how much she really loved to be at the shop as she grew. The bigger she got the easier it was to have her there with us, so she’s just been a little shop girl from day one.

It was too hard for me to say “no you can’t handle that machine, or that ink” because she couldn’t understand why, so I tried to find ways to make her feel like a part of what we were doing at the shop. But it really inspired me to start making her things that she could use to mimic what she saw us doing at work. I thought they make those little doctor kits why not a tattoo kit? And it worked!

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She had her own little machine and didn’t need to mess with mine, she had something that made her feel like a part of the work day and I decided to start selling them locally before I eventually opened up an Etsy shop. The first ones I made were just scraps of wood and bits of stuff I had laying around, I was able to make them better! I save enough here and there for a new tool or some fancy new paints and I get the most rewarding feedback from moms out there! I could tell my own little one was dying for a way to connect with us over work, she sees us so dedicated and in love with our work I think it’s only natural for her to want to be a part of that too.
I’m beyond excited to see how many people are ordering for little girls, the toys avaliable for girls are still geared towards shopping and domestic duties so I’m happy to see how often the pinks sell out! People are excited to give their kids something other than what they see at the store, and they’re excited to be getting it from me! It’s amazing!

 

IMG_5454Emily’s art work 

I grew up around the art world but it wasn’t until I started getting tattooed that I really felt like I’d found where I was meant to be. I just felt an instant sense of belonging in the tattoo industry as soon as I was old enough to start collecting my own. I was drawn to tattooing because for me I can make such an impact on someone’s life just by giving them the fruits of my labor. I can tattoo anyone, normal people, cancer patients or victims with scars and they always feel so much better afterwards. I liked the idea of sitting with someone and helping them make a monument on their bodies to some internal struggle or painful event, I loved the idea of helping people feel more beautiful.
When I get tattooed it’s almost like I’m becoming more of who I was meant to be, like this colored and decorated version is the real me and I’m just revealing it as I get tattooed, I wanted to help people feel that way too. I also really enjoyed being friends with artists, feeling really connected to them as the people I’d chosen to tattoo me. It’s a special bond, I miss it terribly!

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My own tattoos are mostly pieces I’ve collected from friends at conventions and shops in my years. I have a full sleeve from an amazing friend in Texas named Mark Vanness and it’s a whole arm of birds, it’s probably my favorite! I have a birds nest on my hand there and even a secret ostrich on my bicep, my other arm is generally American traditional and I have black and gray movie portraits on one leg, and some weird ocean creatures on my other leg. I’ve been saving my back for a really epic pelican I’ve been thinking about for years while waiting for the right artist to cross my path. I have saved all the worst spots for last.

Check out Emily’s Etsy store for tattoo toy machines… 

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!

Interview with Holly Marie

Holly Marie is a 20-year-old Disney fanatic tea sipping tattooist who works out of Creative Body Art in Coventry, and creates kawaii bright cute tattoos. We chatted to Holly about her love for Disney, video games and  her tattoo collection… 

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How long have you been tattooing?  I have been tattooing professionally from Creative Body Art Tattoo Studio for a year this coming April! I am so pleased with my progress over the past year, but it is still just the beginning for where my work will go.

What drew you to the tattoo world?  My first interest in tattoos was way before I can remember, I have always been very into art and appreciated body modification from a young age. I used to watch the beautiful Kat Von D, when I was 13, and tattooing and collecting a large amount of tattoos became my ultimate dream; not one that I ever thought I would get the chance to fulfil though!

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What did you do before? 
Before I was a tattoo artist I had a couple of retail jobs whilst studying art at college and even considered training to be a dental assistant after receiving my art qualifications but I learnt quickly that I did not suit that career. Luckily I was in the right place at the right time and slowly made my way into the industry in 2013 through a two year apprenticeship which consisted of daily tasks, such as making coffee and sterilizing equipment for artists that I was learning from.

What do you like to draw and tattoo? My most preferred style to tattoo/design is bright and beautiful coloured pieces with bold lines! It still blows me away when people see my designs on social media and ask to have them transformed into tattoos but in general I just adore tattooing all of the fabulous quirky bright ideas that people trust in me to put on their skin. I genuinely find it hard to sleep from excitement if I know I am making (for example, some of my biggest passions) a Disney, Harry Potter or Pokémon tattoo the next day! But following that, I put heart into every tattoo that I do; no matter the size or design. From the smallest dainty infinity symbol to a half sleeve of tribal if it means something to the customer then creating it personally for them means everything to me.

Not just the artistic side of the job makes it the best job in the world though; talking and laughing with my clients is wonderful, I adore hearing the stories from every walk of life and I live to see the smile when they get that first look at their finished piece!

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What inspires you? I am inspired to work hard and put everything into what I do by my tattoo family at Creative Body Art, Joanne Leslie, Mia Joyce, Dave Boyle and our talented piercer/receptionist Jessica McGuinness. We are all so different style wise but we bounce off each other and encourage each other daily. When I am trying to inspire myself to create new designs my usual set up is a cup of tea, snuggled in pyjamas with a Disney film running in the background, pens and pencils at the ready with my noble steeds (Chihuahuas) by my side!

Are there any artists you admire, do they influence your work? I admire, respect and follow as many tattoo artists from around the globe as I can but would have to say our lovely local artists at Grizzly’s and Hales St are definitely ones that I will have to mention. They warmly welcomed me into this industry and I hope to see them for more tattoos/conventions with our team at Creative Body Art in the future!

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Can you tell us about your own tattoos? I collect a lot of bright and wonderful tattoos that I adore spread across my back, legs and arms! Mostly Disney, Alice in Wonderland and nature themed in a variety of styles and colours, although one exception is a black and grey portrait of my late grandad that I cherish dearly on my arm. I plan on growing my own tattoo collection as I develop more as a tattooist.

Vitiligo Tattoo

Tiffany Posteraro has vitiligo a long term skin condition that causes white pale patches of skin to form on her body. Her whole life Tiffany has been stared at and commented on, as a child she was bullied. To fight against those that tried to knock her confidence and shatter her self worth Tiffany got a tattoo.

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The tattoo on her arm clearly states her condition to those staring at her- ‘it’s called vitiligo’, and answers people’s question as to what is going on with her skin before they have even asked it.

Tiffany’s tattoo reflects how she has accepted herself and that she is proud to embrace her Vitiligo instead of hiding it. She has chosen to become an advocate for the condition and spread body positivity and self love to others.

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Home Ink

Our Italian contributor Ilaria Pauletti tells us about the Home Ink tattoo party held at Home rock bar a night full of tattoos, burlesque and prizes… 

In December after I long day at work I found myself browsing Instagram and I came across a tattoo competition connected to Home Ink 2015, an event I really wanted to go to. It was being promoted by Home Festival, a music festival that I  love a lot and that is always held in my home town.
So I said to myself, why not? Let’s do it!

To enter the competition all you had to do was share one of your favourite tattoos on Instagram, tagging the organiser in the picture and then getting as many likes as you could. It was very simple, so I decided to share my bunny tattoo (by Amy Savage) and a few days later, they told me  that I won the Instagram contest!

My Rabbit by Amy Savage

The tattoo party was located at Home Rock Bar (Treviso), a great bar with good music and a fresh atmosphere.
The main theme was tattoo and their motto ‘Stay Inked, Stay Home!’ was plastered around the place, I loved the decor.

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The judges were Tizio from Klinik Studio, Amedeo Lombardi who organises the Home Festival events, a member of Tattoo Defender team, a tattoo artist and a tattoo lover chosen from the crowd.

Each participant (from the public) was given an identification number and allocated a category based on the size of your tattoo. During the evening you were called by the presenters to parade and show off your ink. As you were showing the judges your tattoo you weren’t allowed to mention who it was done by, as this may have influenced their decision.

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While the judges voted in secret the crowd was entertained by a burlesque show by Genny Mirtillo, she is such a lovely girl and I loved her fire eating abilities!
The show ended and the judges announced the winners. Once you were entered into the winners rank, you were called to appear again on stage, and collect the prize won. When it came my turn, I was a bit nervous. But it was also pretty exciting!

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I won a special limited edition pack where I got free entrance to the four day Home Festival events, some cute Sun68 gadgets I will receive this September, a personalised plate with the date and logo of the event and a little bag containing fir seeds to make the world a more sustainable place! Such a cute pack of goodies, right?

Home Festival is without any doubt the best music festival in Italy, you just need to take a look at last year’s line up. So I’m very happy to have joined this Instagram competition, and I can’t wait to find out who is going to play this September!

Collection Tattoos

Just like tattoos, the things people collect are personal and unique. Guest blogger Amber Bryce decided to explore the ties between the two by speaking with three toy collectors, to see what inspired their collections and how these in turn have inspired their tattoo choices…

“When I was a kid, I would daydream through every Saturday morning ballet class about finding the next thing to add to my collections. These ranged from Spice Girls photos for my fluorescent pink album, to sparkly Pokemon cards and miniature car models. Collecting has always helped my mind to focus in on something and block out the chaos of the world, creating soothing rhythms out of mundane objects.

Still to this day I can’t let go of my collection of Pokemon cards or Spice Girls photos. There’s just something about childhood nostalgias that’s so comforting and aesthetically inspiring. Perhaps this is why toy collecting in particular is so popular, as it allows people to hold onto the fleeting moments of growing up, and the joy such things brought us.

There’s also a very close connection between toy collecting and tattoos. Candy-coloured My Little Ponies, perfectly accessorized Barbies and the tall, bright hair of trolls all prove how the charismatic designs of our childhood toys make the perfect kitsch tattoos.

I spoke to three lovely Instagram ladies about their toy collections and which tattoo or tattoos these have inspired”:

Name: Jenna Greenwood Location: Bradford

I have always been a hoarder and collector ever since I was a child. A lot of the things I have from the 80s and 90s are my original toys that I could never seem to part with. When I was little my mum and dad would recall with joy a toy from their childhoods, and when questioned as to where it was or if they still had it, I would always get the same reply, they’d gotten ‘too old for it’. My brother and I used to be horrified at the thought of getting rid of our toys! I never wanted that to happen, so I stockpiled all my favourites. Now it’s a case of reclaiming my childhood and the simple things that used to bring me lots of happiness. The nostalgia now is lovely!

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I only get tattoos of the things that have or do give me great pleasure, I think if it’s a captured happy memory I can never go off it or change my taste. With that in mind, my right thigh is dedicated to my childhood and the things I used to love, so as well as my troll tattoo, there is an emerald for one of my favourite films Return to Oz, a mood ring, a dodo (a childhood obsession) and seaside paraphernalia. It’s not finished yet, but I’m hoping to add a tamagotchi and an ever-lasting gobstopper soon to complete it!

Jody Dawber has done all the pieces on my childhood tattoo. I found her work through Instagram and knew as soon as I saw it she was the one for this piece. Her style is fun and colourful with a grown up twist and I just fell in love with her work as soon as I saw it!

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In the future, I’d like to factor in something Sindy and Sylvanian Family related too, but I’m not sure where they’re going to go yet. I might have to start on the other thigh if I keep finding stuff in my parents loft!

Name: Andrea Taylor Location: Adelaide South Australia

I collect lots and lots of dolls! My main collection is of Barbie, though. I always loved Barbie as a little girl, and had so many of them, but when I was in my late teens I got rid of a bunch. About 4 years ago I realised this was a huge mistake and spent a lot of time making a list of which dolls I had had and tracking them down again. It sort of snowballed from there and I’ve ended up with a lot more than just recollecting my childhood dolls.

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This has inspired my one and only tattoo, which is of an illustration of Crystal Barbie. It was done by Sarah K at Pink Flamingo Parlour. She already had it drawn up with some other 80s/90s nostalgia and I saw it on her feed so I got in touch after some prompting from friends. It was exactly what I had been envisioning when I thought of my perfect Barbie tattoo.

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In the future I’d love to get a 60s Barbie heart on my other thigh as the 60s and 80s are my two favourite decades for Barbie, so I’d like to pay tribute to both of them.

Name: Jessica Reeves Location: London

I collect so many things! Right now I am actively collecting Nevalyashka dolls (Russian roly poly dolls), Sonny Angels, kewpie dolls, Blythe dolls and any vintage toy that catches my eye (usually something that squeaks or moves or plays music in some way). But I also have a pretty large collection of kitsch vintage ceramics – mainly cats and deer – that I have been collecting for about four years now. I haven’t added anything new to this collection for a while but the objects I already own bring me a lot of happiness! I am drawn to many of these objects for their nostalgic value but also their aesthetic just really appeals to me and I love to surround myself with things that make my environment an inspiring, relaxing and beautiful (to me) place to be.

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I actually have a few tattoos inspired by my collections! On my left leg I have two fairly large homages to my collection of vintage ceramics. Both of these tattoos contain so many elements that I just adore – cats, deer, sweets and Pearl Jam lyrics! They are so personal to me and I adore them both. On my right leg I have a super-cute tattoo of a Nevalyashka doll, inspired by my ever growing collection of these vintage roly poly dolls and a tattoo of a kewpie doll covered in tattoos. My boyfriend has a matching kewpie, which also makes this tattoo extra-special.

Both the tattoos on my left leg are done by Amy Savage and I chose her for her beautiful use of colours and personality that she brings to the animal portraits she has done a lot of in the past. The roly poly doll is by Rachel Baldwin and I chose her for her awesome cartoon-like style. I love that my nevalyashka tattoo kind of looks like a sticker, it’s just so bold and perfect! The kewpie was done by Luke Kempton and I picked him because he can turn his hand to any idea and style, and he has made some rad tattoos on my boyfriend in the past.

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I love how personal my tattoos inspired by my collections are and I don’t see that connection becoming any less powerful in the future. And as my collections evolve over time there always seems to be some new object to commemorate on my skin forever!

Interview with Ali Samantha

31-year-old Ali Samantha works out of  Mom’s Tattoo in San Francisco and creates dark traditional style tattoos. We chatted to Ali about how she got started in the industry, the artists that influence her work and her dark sad girls… 

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How did you start tattooing? How long have you been tattooing? I started tattooing almost ten years ago under a bizarre set of circumstances. I have to give a lot of credit to my Schwinn bicycle because if I hadn’t been riding by a particular tattoo shop at a particular time on it I might never have become a tattooer. I started out with a lot of help and guidance from Devon Blood of Oakland California and put in a few years working the counter and watching other people tattoo at Sacred Tattoo which is also in Oakland. Devon taught me about passion and dedicating one’s life and body to tattooing.  I learned a lot of things through trial and error honestly. I had a lot of people come into my life at really important times.

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What did you do before, do you have a background in art? So I’ve been tattooing for almost ten years, professionally for about 7 or 8 years. I’ve been in a few different art schools but was not what I would consider a visual artist. I really didn’t start drawing all the time until I started tattooing. When I was in school my focus was on writing but I took drawing classes as well, I just wasn’t very good at it.

Prior to tattooing I worked in a lot of restaurants and a couple retail stores. I had a short and unsuccessful stint where I tried to sell handmade shirts with a corresponding mixtape. That would have been cooler if it had worked out. I have realized over the years that I need to do things that keep me completely preoccupied and busy, things that are all consuming. And if there could also be a constant presence of mild to severe anxiety involved that’s even better. So tattooing is perfect for me.

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What inspires you? I get inspired by all sorts of things. Women, other tattooers, architecture, smut, art, movies, music, comics, books. I love that over the years this thing has developed where I’ll look at a person or a piece of art or something and go “that’d make a cool tattoo.” Being a bit of a creep really helps with that.

How would you describe your style? I would say the style I most admire and enjoy doing is traditional tattooing. I think that with the exception of a few stand by rules traditional has come to mean something more than I ever thought it could. Which is amazing. I love that something formulaic can be manipulated, played with and even distorted. People out there are doing some crazy shit.

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What kinds of things do you like to draw and tattoo? The things I most enjoy drawing are women, hands, reapers, hearts, eyeballs, flowers. I’ve always been drawn to images of women. Bodies can mimic architecture can mimic the human form. Which I find very interesting. I’m also really drawn to vintage flash. The tattooers before me knew what was up. Of course I enjoy tattooing things I draw but I’m also always down for walk in tattoos. When I was younger I had a lot of problems with depression and I noticed that every time I got tattooed I felt better. Adrenaline is super cool. Anyhow, I felt like that was a gift and I wanted to be able to offer that to other people too. So if someone needs a memorial tattoo or just something to make them feel better I have an equal appreciation for that as well.

Do you admire other tattoo artists? Do they influence your work? I am ABSOLUTELY influenced by other tattooers. I’ve had the privilege of working with some amazing people that I still keep in close contact with. Olivia Olivier is my number one crush in tattooing. She got me into this amazing life drawing class her mother teaches that has absolutely changed how I draw. She has shared references, tricks and tips with me and I am so glad that I know her. And she CRUSHES daily.

There are just too many good tattooers out there to list them all!  I also work with a really solid crew of guys who push me to be more productive, to paint, to draw, to not hate myself or what I draw so much. I think (like most people) I am my own worst critic so it has been really helpful to have worked with so many supportive people who are just like “shut the fuck up, that drawing is sick just do it”. My little sister just started tattooing too and she has been an integral part of my support system for years.

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We love your moody dark girls are these inspired by anyone in particular? I was asked where my moody dark girls come from and I honestly don’t know. They just showed up one day. I can say that my favorite depictions of women are the ones that are dark, dramatic and emotional. Powerful. Growing up I was often referred to as too sensitive, shy or emotional, so I think I relate more to people who seem to have a lot on their minds or carry a certain sadness with them. Happy people generally make me at the least suspicious, at the most uncomfortable. Which isn’t to say that I am never happy. I have my moments. I think it’s just that if I had to pick between a smiling girl and one on the verge of tears, I’d probably choose the crying girl.

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Can you tell us about your own tattoos? A lot of my personal tattoos happened on slow days in tattoo shops. I collect mostly traditional tattoos, and I have gotten tattooed by close friends as much as strangers. My back piece was done by Jason Phillips at FTW tattoo and it was the coolest most fucked up experience ever. Jason walked me through it with kindness and humor which was greatly appreciated. My first tattoos were little memorial pieces for my dad and grandpa.

Careers: Tattooed Model Booker

We chatted to 22-year-old Laura who works as a model booker in London, about her beautiful tattoo collection and people telling her she doesn’t look like the tattooed type… 

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My first tattoo was (I’m embarrassed to say) those feathers with little birds coming out of them with the quote “Not all those who wonder are lost” I cringe so much looking at it but despite what it is it’s not actually a bad tattoo but just poor decision making on my part. I was 18 when I got my first tattoo and have learnt a lot about tattoos over the past four years so I try not to feel too bad about my first couple of tattoos!  At the time I loved it so I’ll never regret it but at the same time feathers and birds are so cliché;  I didn’t even realise the quote was from The Lord of The Rings (sorry!) so that makes me feel bad!

There are two people in my life that influenced me. My older cousins had tattoos and I used to think they were so cool. I’m like 12 years younger then them so they were my idols. When I was older (like 16/17) I worked with an Aussie girl at Dr Martens and she had beautiful tattoos, I can’t remember the name of the tattooist she went to but from then on I was set on getting at least one tattoo. I lost touch with her after leaving Dr Martens but I always think about her and her tattoos.

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I guess one of the first thing people notice is that the majority of my tattoos are ladies and animals, animals on my legs (there’s a couple of exceptions to that though) and ladies on my arms/chest. I have a tattoo by Daniel Gensch based on Rebecca from a novel by Daphne Du Maurier that’s on my arm, Sam Smith also tattooed a portrait of that author on the same arm. I love my Eckel tattoo, it took years to finally get a reply from him and I still can’t get over that I managed to get booked in with him!

My tattoos are quite girly apart from my chest piece that is a lady with daggers going through her head. Sam Smith tattooed that one as well, she finished it all  in five and a half hours, it’s one of my favourite tattoos but hands down the most painful. I’ve been really lucky with who I’ve been tattooed by;  Sadee Glover, Drew Romero, Kodie Smith, Magda Son, Georgina Jurd.. My most recent tattoo is a portrait of the actress Felicity Jones by Rose Hardy.

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There are so many artists that I admire and still want to get tattooed by, including Emily Rose Murray, Jacob Gardner and Sam Clarke, to name just a few! There are so many more though! I can’t wait to get my back started by Aimee Cornwall, I’m really excited but nervous because I hate not being able to watch myself being tattooed.

I saw my current job on Fashion Monitor whilst at my previous internship. I applied, got an email back 10 minutes later, had my interview the next day and got offered the job a couple of hours later! I started working at Scallywags which is a child’s modelling/acting agency and I’m starting up a little model division with Simon & How which is Scallywags big sister company. I look after Scallywags social media, answer the phone to parents but mainly look after new briefs that come in from clients I submit the children that match the briefs to the client, book in children for auditions, shoots. I do a lot of scouting as in town and have meetings with photographers and potential new clients.

Before that I was interning at the Anti Agency which was really fun, I learnt a lot and really enjoyed working there! Aside from that I’ve worked at Dr Martens, Fenwick’s, Whistles, Fred Perry, Office and Waterstones so yeah I’ve had quite a few jobs. I attempted university twice and changed my course three times. My courses were fashion based so I guess I tried to to study for my current job.

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Another thing I’ve been really lucky with  is doing lots of work experience. I started doing work experience at Vogue in the classified department when I was 14, I worked hard and eventually was allowed to work at GQ and Russian Tatler, I had done a lot of the packaging of clothing and accessories that had been on set for shoot. I assisted different stylists for a couple of years as well, interned at Tank, worked at Fashion week doing photography.

I tend to dress pretty casual for work as the office is super chilled. When I came for my interview I covered up all my tattoos and when I got my job I came into the office with most of my arms and legs on show. I’m lucky that my bosses actually don’t mind at all about tattoos. In general I usually wear a lot of dresses and skirts, little tops. I think I live in a constant mental state of summer, I hate winters clothing!

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I think my family have just accepted all of my tattoos now, they were never angrily against me getting tattoos but my parents were more worried about the financial side of things. I’ve got a twin brother who doesn’t have any tattoos and I just think that my family were more surprised that out of the two of us I started to get all the tattoos that I now have because I’ve always been the slightly awkward, quiet one. I think my work colleagues were surprised that I have tattoos just because they said I didn’t look like someone to have any interest in tattoos. That’s the most common thing I’ve heard people say about my tattoos that they were surprised I had any because I didn’t look the type, I don’t know like to me it feels normal and natural to have my tattoos but maybe to others it might not make sense.

I get a bit of a mixed reaction from strangers in the street, I get stared at A LOT and most the time I just ignore it but if I’m having a bad day and I’ve got someone glaring at me and shaking their heads it just makes me really anxious. People come up to me and start talking to me about my tattoos and that’s really nice when people have a genuine interest in the art that I have. I’ve had some mean comments as well from complete strangers like I was going to order a coffee from Costa and the guy serving we was like ‘oh you look really scary’ I only wanted my coffee not your opinion on me but yeah thanks! Recently I got told I looked like a public toilet which was very nice- people have such a lovely way with words!

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I would say to people thinking about their career when getting tattooed to think carefully about getting a obvious tattoo like on your hands, knuckles, face etc. just anywhere that can’t be covered just purely because some companies still judge someone on appearances as opposed to their skills and what they’re capable of. I think it’s a rubbish way of judging someone but at the end of the day that’s what people are like so before making a rushed decision and then being angry about not getting a job maybe just try sit down and have a careful think. As for getting tattoos on any other part of the body that can be covered then go crazy!

In the kind of job I have it doesn’t really matter about whether you have tattoos so I’m really happy about that, to be honest I’ve never really had a job (whilst having tattoos) that have a no tattoo policy, even when working at Waterstones I got my job because the manager liked my tattoos.