Tagged: tattoo

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.


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.


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.

Home Rock Bar

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.


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!

Genny Mirtillo

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!


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!


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.


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.


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.


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.


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… 


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.


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.

unnamed-9 (1)

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.


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.


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.


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… 

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.

laura legs

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.


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.


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!


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!


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.

Interview with Yle Vinil

Our Italian contributor Ilaria Pauletti chatted to tattoo artist Yle Vinil who lives in Bergamo but works all around the world… 

Long eyelashes and red cheeks: these are two of the recognisable elements we can find both in her tattoos and in the artist herself! In this interview, Vinil talks about how it all began, revealing a more intimate view of her tattoo world, among Dolomites, childhood memories and bicycle rides!


How did you get into the world of tattooing? Did you immediately know that it would become an integral part of your life or it was just part of a gradual process?
I basically entered on tiptoe. When I was 18 I got my first tattoo, to commemorate a person who was very important to me, and I had lost a few years before.
I actually had never been attracted to tattoos before, and I did not get tattooed to be cool or to look different, but just to have a memory.
From that moment on, I fell completely in love with tattoos and a few years later I joined a tattoo studio as an assistant.


Year after year, your style becomes even more recognisable. Do the emotions you feel when creating a design and then a tattoo, remain the same? Every time I undertake a new adventure, when I guest in a new studio, I always feel emotional. Travelling makes me savour the beauty of my work, separating me from the routines of life. I must admit that sometimes we forget, while creating a tattoo, that we are creating something more or less important to the customer and that will be forever on skin.

Have you always drawn characters, or have these developed over time?  Like all the things, even my characters have their own story, and their birth occurred absolutely randomly. When I started tattooing I tattooed almost every kind of style, it’s a typical thing in the beginning of any tattoo artist’s career (or at least it should be).
One day, a friend who left a few years earlier to London, returned home for a short break, and he asked me to tattoo something on him. I gave him a little strapping man, because of the courage he had shown by moving abroad on his own. The character had a giant head and blue moustache. From that day on, people started asking me to tattoo in that style.

Who and what inspired you during your journey?
When you manage to find your own expressive channel of communication, you realise that in the end it’s like drawing yourself. And what we are is what we see, what we love, what affects us. Certainly, in the early days, my striking inspiration was Amanda Toy.
I have always been attracted by illustrations for children and I think that this is in general what continues to inspire me a lot.

What makes a good tattoo and  what would you like to change?
The fixed point for a good tattoo is definitely the impact: not too many elements or too many details, I love the immediacy of a good tattoo and not too much confusion.
There is not a definite thing I would like to change: I am always looking for an evolution, that extra step.

Following you on Instagram, I can see that you are a huge fan of cycling, mountains and strudel! Are these elements linked to your childhood? How would you define them? I am very passionate about mountains, and then also of strudel and cycling and elements in my life always link to them.
I have been following cycling activities with my father since I was little. While watching the Tour of Italy on the mountain stages, I always looked forward to the Dolomites, the places where I have always spent my holidays since I was born, and with whom I am linked with by a strong bond. There, I always find my peace, and these are places I like to call, quoting Tenco (Luigi Tenco), “my place in the world.”


What aspects of your imagination do you draw upon when you create tattoos? I do not have a definition, I only know what I am not and that many people get confused when they see my work. To many my work is seen as fancy and fantastical. Like I created it with a mind full of unicorns, fairies and candy. Although I think there is a lot of sweetness in my work, I wouldn’t class my style as fairytale-esque.

How do you like to work with your clients? And, most importantly, what is the stage of the process that absorbs you the most?
I always design at the time of the appointment, just before the tattoo session.
I love this approach because it is the most direct: I discuss directly with the client, I can understand what they want. The designing stage definitely absorbs me the most.


I heard you love to call yourself ‘old inside’ and you love the Italian singers of a few decades ago. Do you feel nostalgic toward an era that you could not live fully? Do you think this is reflected in your work?
Old inside is absolutely the perfect definition for me.
I think I have a bit retro/old fashioned taste, and I sometimes have a nostalgic aura about those golden years. The notion that I long for a world that I cannot live in definitely shines through my work.

Who have you been tattooed by over the years? I have had the fortune of getting tattooed by many tattoo artists, some became great friends: Gianni Orlandini, Nik The Rookie, Francesco Garbuggino, Marco Luzz, Pepe and Angelique Houtkamp.


Are you planning any other guest spots?
I have scheduled some guest spots in Paris, Berlin and Moscow! And I hope to return to London with my friends at Cloak and Dagger tattoo shop.

Is there a particular subject you would like to tattoo?
There isn’t a particular one. What I always hope is that in the proposals I receive there could be something I haven’t done yet!

Wonderful Christmas Time

This interview called Wonderful Christmas Time was originally published in issue 5 The Celebration Issue of Things&Ink magazine (December 2013).

Samanatha Sorci, 38, works in social media and lives in Caerphilly with her husband, Brim (of Nu Rose Tattoos), and their little boy Loki. Here she tells us about her festive sleeve…

for Alice 2

‘My Christmas sleeve is a celebration of one of my favourite times of the year. Christmas has always been magical for me. When I was little, I’d go to bed on Christmas Eve after putting out a tray of ginger biscuits and a glass of milk for Santa and our house would look the same as always.

‘Then I’d wake up in the morning and there’d be a stocking at the end of my bed, a little white tree on my chest of drawers and the rest of the house had been decorated. The biscuits and milk would be gone, so the only logical answer is that Santa had brought Christmas with him, and that kinda magic definitely needs celebrating!

xmas arm (3)

‘When I had decided on the theme for my tattoo, I took my time to find the ideal artist and settled on Gary Weidenhof of Inkredible Kreations, Perth, Scotland. We started the sleeve around eight years ago at the Peterlee convention. That was a flippin’ awesome day. It was March 25th (my birthday!) and I turned up to find Gary’s booth all decorated with a Christmas tree, tinsel, and presents, and everyone was wearing Christmas hats. It was the best start to a sleeve ever.

‘Over the following months, I had sessions at other conventions as well as two consecutive days at Gary’s studio. I’m still not quite finished, I need a gingerbread man popped in at some point, but I’ll get there.

xmas arm (5)

‘I still totally love my sleeve and I think that’s because I chose a theme that’s so special to me– as well as an artist who is so good. Now I just need to make sure that all of my future Christmases are magical for my little man, Loki Ramone.’

Transformation tattoo for Transgender son

Steve Peace a Canadian tattooist has updated his wife’s tattoo of their children to reflect the new gender of her eldest son Ace. The original tattoo was done over 10 years ago, and showed a portrait of their children, Elliot, Hamish and Ace- when Ace was living as a girl.

Steve has now changed the tattoo of a young girl wearing a pink dress and pigtails into a boy wearing a blue shirt and shorts to reflect Ace who is a transgender teen. The tattoo transformation was kept as a surprise for Ace and shows how much they support his decision to be who he really is.

In an interview with Global News Steve said:

I think it really reaffirmed, for him, that we believed him […] Parents often sit in the closet themselves. This was putting it out there. Parents need to really support their kids in these situations. I thought he was happy before, but no — he’s happier now. It’s crazy. He smiles all the time.


Tattoo by Steve

Watch the video below to hear Ace’s story:

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… 



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.


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.


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.


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.


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.

Interview with Han Maude

22-year-old Han Maude works out of Jekyll & Hyde Tattoo Company in Rugby Warwickshire and creates all manner of tattoos in solid dot work. We chatted to Han about her love for Disney and what inspired her to become a tattoo artist… 

image1 (1)

How long have you been tattooing? Two years

How did you get into the industry? I became very persistent about getting my foot in the door, took my portfolio around numerous studios, until someone took the chance and saw potential in my work.


When did you get your first tattoo, do you still love it? Unfortunately, I made the same mistake as most young insubordinate 16-year-olds did, and got tattooed at 16. Luckily for me I was realised quickly that it was a silly decision and had it covered up, once I was 18.  It was an upside down ribbon with some stars on my wrist, so no, I really don’t love it.

What drew you to the tattoo world? I always wanted to get into the industry, I remember being about nine and having my own play tattoo studio in my wendy shed, parents of the local area weren’t happy when their children went home covered in permanent marker. I always liked the seemingly male orientated jobs, and its amazing to see the amount of female artists pushing beautiful work out in the industry.


What inspires you? I really fell in love with Studio Ghibli, and Japanese style anime, watching the films or spending an hour here or there with my nose in the animator’s books really inspired me too tattoo pieces like this.
I also spent some time in India last year, and the beautiful artwork was everywhere. While I was there a woman did some henna on my hand and completely freehanded the design, which made this stunning piece of art.
Obviously with sea, sun and sand it didn’t last long, but I couldn’t wait to get back home and start drawing.


You tattoo a lot of cartoons and Disney are these something you love? Disney really was something I always loved, I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone who hasn’t loved Disney, in one way or another. Everyone wants a bit of sparkle in their life. And if I can be the person to do that, on someone’s skin forever, amazing!  I’m a child at heart.
Anime was what really got me into tattooing, I loved it, I wanted to draw like it and produce pieces to the standard these illustrators was creating , it was 70% of my portfolio when I applied for apprenticeships.

Is there anything you wouldn’t tattoo? I remember maybe in my first year of tattooing, we had a guy come in and asked for EDL to be tattooed on the back of his head.  I really couldn’t believe what I was hearing.  I think I’d rather hang up my machines in a career I love than do something that could potentially cause offense or deemed racist.

Do you admire other artists? Definitely, the list goes on and on.
But a few of my favourite artists, would be Flo Nuttall, Amy Savage and Kolahari from the Circle London.


You predominately do dot work how did this come about? When I first started my apprenticeship, I wanted to do traditional and then neo trad, and then black and grey realism. I had a bit of a bad attitude, and wanted to find me niche quickly.
I saw all these amazing artists producing pieces like they had been doing it their entire life, I felt so behind.  Then we had Ema Sweeney and Billy Hay guest spot at the studio, Ema is an amazing dotwork artist and I had maybe done one or two dotwork pieces and she really helped and gave a few pointers.
And everything after that started flowing, like my hand knew what it was doing before I did.