Tagged: tattoos

The art and tattoos of Sasha Unisex

Our Italian contributor Ilaria chatted to infamous Russian tattoo artist Sasha Unisex about her beginnings in the art world, her tattoo style and collaborations with big bands such as BMW


The art of Sasha Unisex does not go unnoticed, that’s for sure. You just have to take a look at her work to understand that her style differs from others. Chatting to Sasha, I wanted to better understand the artist who resides inside her. Here’s what she told me about her beginning with tattoos… “I graduated from Lviv Academy of Art, in 2010. From that period onwards, I just observed other artists tattooing. I visited many exhibitions as I was very curious and keen to learn this amazing job. 2010 was also the year in which I got tattooed for the first time. Then, I started to do it myself, tattooing little black subjects or words. I have to say my degree in graphic design really helped with my signature style. Yes, it is similar to watercolor as you can see, but with a graphic touch.”


In fact, the lack of black outlines, together with amazing shading effects, gives shape and softness to the final tattoo. Sasha’s works are stunning and are appreciated all over the world. Sweet and original characters are created from Sasha’s mind and are appreciated even from those who don’t usually like tattoos. “I am truly inspired by animals and nature, that’s the reason why most of my tattoos have them as subjects. They are all mostly of the same size… I love the idea that a tattoo can be like an accessory: once you get it, you can never lose it!”


And what about tattoo culture in Russia? “Well, the situation in Russia is still a bit different, compared to Europe or to the USA. Tattooing is not very developed in society, but people of different ages get tattooed. They come to my private studio, they follow me on social networks and I appreciate it a lot. It’s always good and satisfying to remember you are doing what you love and you are doing it in the right way, too.”

Sasha also loves to travel and meet different people and artists, as she compares her background to other realities. She also attended the 20th Milan Tattoo Convention last year, her fist convention out of Russian borders, where she met some of her favourite artists and hundreds of fans! She is now moving to Europe, and we can’t wait to visit her new studio. Talking about travels and love for tattoos, I also wanted to bring the testimony of Valeria, a girl who did not hesitate to fly from Rome in Italy to Russia to meet Sasha.

Valeria's tattoo by Sasha Unisex Valeria’s tattoo by Sasha Unisex


 Valeria: “I think her tattoos are small works of art, that’s why I decided to go all the way to Russia. To me, she is the best tattoo artist in the world, so I decided to fly to Saint Petersburg to get a piece from her!”

How was the whole experience, once you arrived in her studio? Valeria: “It was simply unique! The atmosphere is far from what I am used to and not at all like the snooty tattoo studios you find in Italy/Europe. There, I was greeted by her curious and funny staff, these girls offered me tea and chocolates during the tattoo session. Sasha also offered to lend me her computer so I wouldn’t get bored! In a few words, Sasha is a lovely human being with her feet on the ground, and above all she is very sweet.”


All in all, Sasha is a reserved person who is aware of the substance and value of the art of tattooing. Clients explain their deepest emotions, sometimes connected to a memory, sometimes connected to an emotion. She is a young pioneer in the tattoo world, and I am sure that this kind of innovation can only be positive!


Sasha has also revealed to us that she wants to develop ‘Sasha Unisex brand’, creating clothes, stickers, phone cases and many other products with her printed creatures as protagonists. All of these products will be available on her new website soon.

She also recently connected to BMW, creating a unique design based on one of her favourite animals, the fox. She chose to tattoo a fox on the motorcycle leather seat because of the connection between the BMW S 1000 XR and the animal’s characteristics. Once again, she has been able to push the boundaries of tattoo art and surely this is just the beginning of a long series of great collaborations with worldwide brands.


Sasha for BMW Fox BMW


Fashion Pearls of Wisdom: In the Buff

Our guest blogger is Natalie McCreesh aka Pearl, a fashion lecturer,  freelance writer and creator of Fashion Pearls of Wisdom. In this post she talks about getting her bum tattooed… 

Let’s face it getting tattooed is fairly intimate. It involves someone, that can be a total stranger, touching your naked skin. Arms and legs are easily exposed but what about those areas we usually have covered with clothes? What about those tattoos that cover large areas? I’ve been asked a few times about getting my butt tattooed. What did I wear, was it embarrassing, could everyone in the shop see, what if you needed to fart!

I guess embarrassment depends on the individual. I get absolutely mortified when I’ve got to go see a doctor, professional bikini wax – forget it I’ll do it myself, but that’s just me. So how did I find myself sitting comfortably sans clothes in a tattoo studio with three guys? The answer to that is simple, respect. My artist and the others in the studio are some of the nicest people I ever met. I’ve been getting tattooed there for over a year now and in getting to know the guys I am totally relaxed with them. From my first visit I felt at ease, we discussed the design and had a chat before that oh so awkward moment when I had to get undressed. I’d asked around before hand and the general consensus was to wear a bikini which had tie sides so you could undo and adjust as needed. This turned out to be excellent advise. I was handed a roll of tape and left to prepare behind screens in the studio, grateful for the privacy and a mirror I taped the sides of my bikini to me so that the strings could be undone exposing my back whilst preserving my modesty at the front et viola.



Tip, the bikini is also ideal for after you’ve been tattooed- nobody wants a tight bra over a fresh tattoo. Turns out that you’re not the only person getting embarrassed, a naked lady is also a problem for other people not knowing where to look. So if you find an artist you’re comfortable with you’ll be fine. Yes we’ve had the odd nip-slip but what do you expect? Just have a good laugh about it. As for farting, just don’t, please!

Pet Tattoos

Our guest blogger is 25-year-old London-based Amber Bryce, who not only writes her own blog but also the social media copy for Tesco. In this post she talks about her own pet tattoo and talks to other pet owners to find out why they decided to immortalise their pets in ink… 

Getting a tattoo of your pet can be as simple as a paw print, as intricate as a portrait, or as fun as a moggy cat dressed in scuba gear. Although the stories behind them may sometimes be sad, there’s always something so heartwarming about hearing the impact a pet has had on someone’s life. 

Here’s my own story about why I chose to get a tattoo of my pet, followed by some more pet lovers… 

“My dog’s name is Punky. He’s a puggle (beagle crossed with a pug) and looks like he’s either constantly philosophising or in a really bad mood. I got Punky when I was 15 and from the very start he was a nightmare. My sister and I would get home from school to find he’d got into our bedrooms and eaten through half our wardrobe (RIP leggings) or escaped to the local curry house (seriously).


“As naughty as he was, I find it hard to remember my life without him. Since moving out of my dad’s house I miss him so much; the jingle of his collar, the deep sighs he does before getting settled at the end of my bed, or the way he rolls over for belly rubs like a big, blubbery seal. I decided I wanted to get a tattoo of him, to keep a little bit of him and his comforting presence with me wherever I go.

Rebecca Vincent created my beautiful and personal portrait of Punky in her poetic, naturalistic style. The subtle nature of the sketchy tones makes him look as though he’s left an imprint of his soul in dot work.”



The thing I love most about seeing other people’s pet tattoos is the variety of ways in which people choose to symbolise their pets, whether through their strange little quirks and eccentricities or the emotional narrative they left behind. I decided to explore other pet tattoos and the stories behind them… 

Name: Natasha Westlake Age: 26 Lives: St Albans 

“The first pet I had as a child was a moggie called Harmony. He loved swimming and would frequently come into the house covered in moss, soaking wet after chasing ducks in the nearby pond. He also had half a moustache! Sadly he passed away a few years ago, so I wanted to get my first tattoo as a dedication to his memory.


“My second pet is my Shih-Tzu dog, Lilly. She is a stubborn little princess and loves a lot of attention, she isn’t a fan of wearing any kind of doggy clothes (so I took a really adorable photograph of her wearing a feather boa — needless to say she wasn’t a fan) and she has very crooked teeth and an under-bite, which always shows. She had a really funny and lovable relationship with Harmony, and I love her very much so I wanted to get her tattooed on my other thigh.


“I have always had an obsession with Asian culture, cartoons, and cutesy things, so I knew I wanted the style of my tattoo to be cartoon-y and cute, but to keep the characteristics and personality of my pets. I found my artist through Instagram, which I would say is definitely the place to find tattoo artists. I hash-tagged pet tattoos and came across Keely Rutherford from Jolie Rouge, whose main style is a cutesy kawaii animated style.

“I love the very personal details in my tattoos that make them my own, I gave Keely a bunch of ideas and she was able to translate them. The scuba diving gear and the bandage on Harmony represents his  love of swimming and fighting, and the tiara and feathers on Lilly represents her princess-like personality. I also love how vivid the colours are.”

Name: Amber Schwartz Age:24 Lives: LA

“Charlie was five years old. I got him when I lived in Chicago and he went everywhere with me. We flew together countless times and he moved to NJ and California with me. He was my son. He was a Malshi and his birthday was a week difference from mine. A few months ago I moved to Hollywood and my roommate lied to an organisation and neglected to tell them that Charlie and I lived there. They gave her a 70 lb pitt bull who attacked and killed Charlie. I was not home during the incident and I left Charlie locked in my room. My roommate took Charlie out of my room and Jameson attacked him. He passed away about 2 months ago at this point, and not a day goes by that I don’t think about him or miss him.

Charlie“Before Charlie passed; about a year ago I got a paw print tattoo for him witha “C” in it. After his passing it was a no brainer that I needed to honor him. I got his actual paw print tattooed on my elbow, and “Good Morning Char”. That did not feel like enough; hence I got my best friend’s portrait.

I went to Victor Hugo at Norwalk Tattoo studio in Norwalk California. He is a dog lover; and honestly I could not have asked for this piece to come out any better. His work is amazing; his detail and care is obvious in all tattoos he does. I am so so, so grateful for Victor!”

Name: Jennifer Byrne Age: 23 Lives: Liverpool 

“Bubbles is my 12 year old tabby cat, the smallest and cutest of our three cat family. I got her as a kitten when I was 10 years old and I’ve been smitten ever since!

Amy Savage does the most amazing stippled tattoos of cats and other animals. I knew I wanted to get a cattoo by her and thought that it was only right I got my favourite cat tattooed – Bubbles. I love the fact that I will have her on me forever, I can’t believe such a little animal has made such an impression on me.


“Her work is incredibly detailed and I sat for my longest sitting yet with her when getting Bubbles tattooed. She was so friendly and I felt really comfortable, especially considering I’m a huge wimp! I may ask her sometime in the future to tattoo Bubbles’ brother on my other leg… I’ll probably end up with all my pets on me!”

Five Best Tattooed Film Characters

Our guest blogger is hobbyist film and TV series reviewer and writer Harry Casey-Woodward

5 best film characters with tattoos

5) Name: Jack Sparrow (sorry, Captain Jack Sparrow)
Played by: Johnny Depp
In: Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, 2003
Tattoo: A sparrow on his wrist

If you’re on the run (or sail rather) from the Royal Navy or the terrible clutches of the East India trading company, surely you wouldn’t get a certain avian tattoo on your forearm that would give a clue to your name?

4) Name: Leonard
Played by: Guy Pearce
In: Memento, 2000
Tattoo: Daily reminders all over his body

Here’s proof to your disapproving elders that tattoos can be useful. In a more interesting movie by Christopher Nolan than his Dark Knight films, Guy Pearce plays a chap searching for his wife’s murderer while suffering from short term memory loss. To combat this, he  tattoos of all the things he needs to remember like clues, who he can trust and I guess daily reminders onto his body. However useful and painful the process, it’s best to keep those shopping lists short. I guess it’s quite impractical stripping off in a supermarket just to check you’ve got everything.

3) Name: Lisbeth Salander
Played by: Noomi Rapace
In: Män som hatar kvinnor or The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, 2009
Tattoo: A dragon on her back, in case you were wondering.

Lisbeth’s huge tattoo on her delicate frame is a sign of the power and strength she felt she lacked as grew up watching her father beat her mother. She is a world class hacker and all round computer goddess, but she is a troubled heroine. She is ruled legally incompetent as a child and lives under the care of a legal guardian, initially the kind hearted Holger Palmgren. When Holger suffers a stroke, he is replaced by Nils Bjurman (Peter Andersson). Nils is a heinous man to say the least. He abuses his position to extort sexual favours from Lisbeth and eventually rapes her. She catches the entire incident on film and threatens to ruin him unless he gives her full control of her life – and uses a tattoo gun to write across his belly “Jag är ett sadistiskt svin och en våldtäktsman” – I am a sadistic pig and a rapist. Lisbeth has everything her tattoo embodies – triumph over adversity and strength from pain.

2) Name: Francis Dolarhyde aka the Tooth Fairy
Played by: Ralph Fiennes
In: Red Dragon, 2002
Tattoo: Also a dragon on his back.

Red Dragon
Probably one of the greatest tattoo identity crises. In this prequel to Silence of the Lambs, Ralph Fiennes (who has an arsenal of terrifying performances including a Nazi, a gangster and a psychotic megalomaniac wizard) portrays a serial killer who has a William Blake  Biblical dragon painting tattooed all over his back. This is not just because he likes it but because he wants to become it. In his most deluded scene, he displays his mighty sexy dragon body before a captured Philip Seymour Hoffman, who is clearly terrified at the amount of days, agony and expenditure that went into that ink.

1) Name: Harry Powell
Played by: Robert Mitchum
In: The Night of the Hunter, 1955
Tattoo: The words ‘love’ and ‘hate’ tattooed on his knuckles.

For marrying a widow to get her ex-husband’s money, killing her then stalking her runaway children across the country, this devilish preacher surely wins for being the creepiest inked character in this classic film noir. His most sinister feature besides his eerie singing are the striking tattoos on his hands. One hand bears the word ‘love’, the other ‘hate’. He uses these to physically represent the struggle between the two emotions in a one-man arm wrestle. What they may actually signify is the duality of his personality, a criminal masquerading as a Christian, and perhaps in conservative 1950s America a man with tattoos was surely disreputable? Whatever the meaning behind the tattoos (if there is any, for they might be his tenth and meaning stopped mattering a while ago) and even though they are basic compared to the other tattoos in this list, they are instantly iconic and a bizarre and original character trait for 1950s cinema.

All images from IMDB

Pastel Paradise: Lemon Freckles

Toni or Lemon Freckles is a 30-year-old illustrator and blogger from Sheffield who lives in a pastel paradise of pink hair, her pugs and girl gang inspired drawings. We chatted to Toni to find out more about her fashion and artistic style, how she became a blogger and her tattoo collection… 

Processed with Rookie Cam

When did you start blogging? How did you get into it? I originally started blogging around 10 years ago under a different name but Lemon Freckles is around five years old I think. At the time I was working full-time in mental health and in need of a creative outlet, blogging seemed like something I was able to do while working full-time, I didn’t really think anyone would ever read it.

What things can people expect to see on your blogA mixture of things, I like being able to share what is happening in my world; from my latest cute find to things that inspire me. I want Lemon Freckles to be a positive place, full of colour and silliness.

Processed with Rookie Cam
Do you have a background in art? No, my degree is in mental health but I have always been a doodler. After 10 years of working in the mental health industry, I decided to take a step back and reflect on what I enjoy doing and last year I enrolled in a year long course in design. A few months ago I went self-employed full-time and it has been one of the best decisions I have made.

What inspires you? Colour and my ever so slight obsessive collecting of cute toys from my childhood. I want to bring back a little bit of that magic I left at the school gates sometime between the late 80s and early 90s. I am a firm believer that just because you’re an adult, it doesn’t mean you have to act like a grown up.

What things to do you like to draw? The more colour the better in my eyes. I love doodling toys and making characters out of everyday objects.

Processed with Rookie Cam

What medium do you use? Pen and paper, Illustrator, whatever is to hand.

How would you describe your style, both in art and fashion? I think they are both the same, eclectic. It’s all in the detail, from the Polly Pocket earrings to the denim jacket covered in patches, the more cute the better!


Can you tell us a little bit about your tattoos? Of course! I actually only got my first tattoo last year, which was a pug (a forever reminder of my two furry pug babies, Doug and Lola) and since then I have got three more; a My Little Pony, a Lefton, Miss Priss Kitty tea pot and a sewing related one. Sam Whitehead of Blind Eye Tattoo Company in Leeds has done all of mine and also has the same love of cuteness that I do, which makes her wonderful to work with.

Processed with Rookie Cam

Do you think they have to have meanings? Nothing deep and meaningful I’m afraid. I get tattoos of things I love, things that make me happy and of course, the more colour the better.

Do you have any future tattoo plans? I’ve got one later this month actually, a Roly-Poly doll, which will be going on my arm. I’m wanting to get my full arm covered in cuteness over the next year, much like my style, eclectic and cute.

The Art of Kaethe Butcher

Kaethe Butcher is 25-year-old illustrator based in Berlin, she creates beautifully simple line drawings that explore themes of sexuality, relationships and the body. Kaethe has created an illustration titled ‘Washing out the Realisation’, especially for Things&Ink inspired  by the newly released Horror IssueWe chatted to Kaethe to find out more about her style and what inspires her… 

washing out the realisation - Kopie

Do you have a background in art?
If you ask whether anyone in my family is an artist then no. Once my mother told me that when she was young, she wanted to do an apprenticeship as a porcelain painter and I guess she was talented, although she wanted more practise. But in the DDR (German Democratic Republic, a former state) it was difficult for her and she gave up painting. I studied. I studied fashion design at university but we didn’t draw much on the course, in the first term we had a nude class. I guess that it trained my eyes to see more aesthetic things.



Photograph of Kaethe by Robin Kater

How would you describe your style?
Erotic artwork that is melancholic and mournful.


What inspires you?
Mostly through my own heavy heart and mournful thoughts. Melodies and song lyrics inspire me. I also pick out quotes from books when I am reading, or perhaps a movie scene or little details will inspire me. Like Moonrise Kingdom or Tomm Moore’s superb and lovely animation movies – just the colours or scene compositions. Also thoughts from people around me are very important!

What medium do you use?
Pencils from 2H to 8B, fineliners and eddings and copic markers, I want to use crayons again soon.


Which has been your favourite piece that you have created?
AURYN is my favourite piece currently. And ‘We Don’t Talk About That’ is my most important one for myself.


We Don’t Talk About That

Are there any artists you admire? Do they influence your art?
Yes! Takato Yamamoto, Vania Zouravliov, I  enjoyed the Vania artbook that I got from a friend so so much!. I also love Egon Schiele.


Where can people buy your art?
Original artwork can be found on my Bigcartel shop. Prints and other stuff like mobile phone cases, t-shirts or totes you’ll find on Society6 and on Juniqe.

Can you tell us about your tattoos? 
I have two! On my left shoulder I have the white rabbit illustration by John Tenniel from Alice in Wonderland, and on my right thigh I have one of my own sketches. It is of a girl and a little rabbit from behind . All of them are just black line work.  I have wanted a third tattoo so bad for a really long time – a sleeping lion illustration from a Grimm fable book.
I mostly like tattoos which emphasize the character of a person or have a little story or thought behind – nothing spectacular but something. I don’t like those old-fashioned, pin-up, rockabilly style tattoos very much or those IT tattoos – even if they’re looking super good. They just bored me.




Interview with Tattoo Artist: Charlotte Ross

Tattoo artist Charlotte Ross is currently travelling around the UK guesting at different studios. We chatted to her about her tattoos that resemble paintings, her love for birds and her own tattoo collection…  


How did you first start tattooing? When I was studying at university we had to do a work placement course. Having the opportunity to create our own placements, I managed to organise mine in a tattoo studio. I would help out, clean, ask questions, watch the tattooists work. By the end of it I didn’t want to leave! The owner of the studio asked to see my portfolio and then offered me an apprenticeship. I then began my apprenticeship in my final year of uni.

Do you have a background in art? What did you do before? I have six years studying art after leaving high school. Two years at college and then four years doing my BA Honours Degree in Fine art at university all before starting tattooing. I have now been tattooing over seven years.


How would you describe your style? I find it hard to describe my own work. I get put in the ‘watercolour tattoo’ bracket, but my work isn’t quite as soft as most watercolour tattoos are. When painting I don’t just use paint. All my art is done with layers of watercolour paints and pencil. So I can build strength where it is needed which gives a nice contrast between strong and soft areas. I tend to just say I do ‘painterly’ tattoos.


Have you always worked in a watercolour style? How did this develop?  I feel like I’m just at the beginning of it developing. I’m at the point where I love the subjects I am getting and I’m confident in my tattooing ability, but I can see my work evolving and I’m excited to see how it grows.
Even though my work isn’t traditional there are still fundamental rules in tattooing that I still apply, so that my customers get a nicely healed tattoo. I have spent a lot of years doing a bit of everything in tattooing, which I believe every tattooist should do. And this has taught me the importance of lines, using the skin tone and contrast between light and dark. It’s that understanding that has helped to translate my paintings into tattoos.

What inspires you? Nature inspires me. I grew up in the country with a gardening family. So I’ve always been surrounded by nice gardens filled with lovely flowers, fields and animals.


You draw and tattoo a lot of animals, are these your main inspirations? Birds are my main love/inspiration. I love everything about them and have since I was young. If there is ever a moment where I don’t have something to draw up for a tattoo and I’m feeling uninspired, I’ll turn to researching birds to paint. I look at anything from  bird books, to watching bird documentaries, or I turn to my own birds! Having domestic birds that I can closely watch and photograph is the greatest thing to keep me productively painting. My two birds are the best!

Is there anything you would love to tattoo? More birds! I would love to have some budgie tattoos to do! But birds and flower tattoos and I’m happy!

Can you tell us about the tattoos on your own body? I have quite a few pieces that I love and quite a few I’m not so bothered by! I wish I was a little more patient when I was younger, so I have a couple laser projects! Some of the ones I absolutely love are, my portrait of my dog Max, done by Marcus Maguire. My countryside rib piece including birds, rabbit and a wee mouse was done by Sarah Carter. I have a portrait of Marc Bolan on my thigh by Emma Kierzek and I love the side of my neck which is a rose with a locket in it by Steve Vinall.

The Female Tattoo Show: Street Spotting

Last Sunday, team Things&Ink headed to the 5th annual Female Tattoo Show in Leamington Spa. We love a good convention and can never resist doing some tattoo and style spotting while we are there…

Name: Ellis Arch
Age: 24
Lives: Tamworth
Job: Tattooist


Girl by Jemma Jones


Indian head by Bailey


Fruity head by Kim-Anh Nguyen and shell by Cassandra Frances


Japanese head by Nick Baldwin


Sleeve by John Anderton


Foot by Ethan Jones

Name: Sally Hume
Age: 22
Lives: Rugby
Job: Administrator


All of her tattoos are done by her good friend Han Maude, who was tattooing at the convention.





Name: Josie Davis
Age: 20
Lives: North Devon
Job: Body piercer


Chest by Lucy Roadhouse

Arm by Lucy Roadhouse and Hannah Williamson


Heart by Lucy Roadhouse


Alzheimer’s: A tattoo to remember


58-year-old Rita Stonecipher has been diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s, a disease which damages the brain leading to memory loss, difficulties with thinking, language and problem-solving. As Rita experienced gaps in her memories and trouble completing sentences she decided that it was time to immortalise her son, Tanner, with a portrait tattoo.

Tanner fought in Iraq and on returning home suffered post traumatic stress, he later committed suicide after running into trouble with the law and turning to alcohol for comfort. Rita hopes that the tattoo will keep the memory of her son alive long after she forgets his name

Watch the video below to hear Rita’s story:

Image from Times Free Press

Sick Girls Official

Our guest blogger is 34-year-old administrator Alanna Lauren, creator of RubyxRedxHeart. She chatted to Natalie Watts and Fox Xoft founders of Sick Girls an online store which sells creepily cool  prints and accessories, about how they met, what inspires them and their tattoos… 

Tell me a bit about yourselves! How long have you gals known each other and what was the inspiration behind sickgirlsofficial.com?

Fox: We’re both freelance illustrators from Toronto, Canada who graduated from OCAD University in 2012. We weren’t friends right away though. Eventually we bonded over Keyboard Cat, because remember that used to be a thing?

Natalie: We met in second year, some bogus computer class, it was supposed to teach us how to make a website, but clearly I learned nothing.


Fox: SadGirls started off because I used to be really into making zines at the time and Nat and I had a graphic novel class together and liked each other’s work. We decided to do a zine based on bad ass babes.  I think we were vicariously living through our work and creating the world we actually wanted to inhabit, because in reality we were VERY poor, eating A LOT of ramen, while our tears bled the ink on our mountains of school assignments. Fast forward to three years later and basically we just got our shit together and shifted our medium from viewable art to a wearable product with a similar intent.

Can you tell us about your tattoos? 

Fox: I’m in love with Alex Snelgrove’s work. She did the black woodcut flowers on both of my arms. Last month she did a woodcut Pegasus on my hip because I’ve been obsessed with Greek mythology for as long as I can remember. Those ones are amazing, but I’ll always have a soft spot for the stick-n-poke on my ankle done by the talented Open Entity, which is a drawing of the welcome mat on the door to Hell that Natalie drew as flash art. Because Nat is MLC (Major League Complainer) and has that WAH tattoo, I started calling her “Wahwah” or “Wahtalie” a while ago and it stuck.


Natalie: I have one tattoo I had done when I was 18 somewhere in Oshawa that is of a Welsh Dragon and then two that are stick-n-pokes. One of them was done by Open Entityand of just ‘zzz’ on the back of my arm, and the other on my ankle by a guy I was seeing – which is probably my favourite one – of the letters ‘WAH’… because I like sleeping and complaining.

What’s in a name? Who came up with sickgirlsofficial.com and what does it mean to you?

Natalie: I came up with the name Sick Girls one night while we were drawing, the name describes our style of art and ultimately it’s just who we are… I like the idea of being an outsider, and I like illustrating really gross shit. I am very shy, and have a hard time expressing my thoughts; I’m also a huge mumbler. I like the idea of being able to express myself through my illustrations. Sick Girls is a unisex brand, but definitely caters towards more females who want it to be known that they aren’t just your average girl. Pretty flowers and kitties? BORING! Slime and barf coming out of your eye sockets? Now that’s more like it!


What took you down the patches and pins route to showcase your designs?

Natalie: At first we didn’t have any patches or enamel lapel pins, for our first pop-up shop we began making Sculpey candy pins and necklaces, which were entirely handmade. I was also producing ShrinkyDink pins, which I still make today, but is time consuming and labour intensive. Once we started getting noticed on Instagram and making more sales, it was hard to keep up with producing all handmade items, so we started designing lapel pins and patches that we can get mass produced.

Fox: Patches and pins are great because they can add personality to a plain old bag or denim jacket. You can customize or make a statement on articles of clothing you already have. It’s great because everyone has their own collection that tells a story or says something about their personal aesthetic. I have my own pin collection on my bag, and I’m stoked every time I add a new pin because it’s another brand/artist I admire.

IMG_4303 (1)

sickgirlsofficial.com has a strong message for women. What does it mean to be part of the ‘sick girls club’?

Natalie: For me, it’s just not really giving a fuck, like what you want, even if it’s not the norm. I mean I like drawing stuff that gets me excited, and I get excited by drawing gross shit. I’m happy that other people enjoy it too.

Fox: We’re all about being tough, never giving up and in general not giving a fuck if other people tell you you’re not good enough. We’re “sick girls” because we don’t have a “typical girl” image to promote. Being ‘girly’ or ‘feminine’ isn’t a fault by any means, but we’ve always balanced the feminine imagery with things that were gross, disgusting, and visceral. Even though “girls” is in the name, the brand is unisex though obviously some products cater more to the ladies.

What does the future hold for sickgirlsofficial.com?

Fox: We’re working on the wholesale game right now. We’re still selling products individually from our online store, but we’re starting to sell wholesale to shops worldwide. So far our merch is available in stores in Toronto and Ottawa and few cities in the USA. Next THE WORLD.

Natalie: I’d really like for Sick Girls to take off, I think in order for that to happen we just need to keep creating as much as possible. We’ve been discussing some collaborations with other companies, as well as working with a large design label, which will be using one of our products on their next spring/summer line. We seem to be getting more and more interest from stores to stock our products each month. It’s crazy to see how far we’ve come in less than a year, I think things just seem to be getting better with each passing month and can’t wait to see what happens!