Tagged: tattoos

Tattooed and pale in Vietnam…

I’m Rosie and I’m editorial assistant here at Things & Ink magazine and this year I was  lucky enough to travel to Vietnam. This post details how people reacted to my tattoos – and it wasn’t in the way that I though it would be…

In April 2015 I travelled to Vietnam to visit my friend, Sarah, who’s living in Saigon teaching English. Two more of my friends, Cath and Ben, joined me a few days later, we all lived together at university, so our holiday was a family reunion.

Compared to my friends, I am heavily tattooed, although a couple of my friends have small matching tattoos. I didn’t really know what kind of reaction I would receive towards my tattoos from people in Vietnam, but I based my expectations on what people have said here in the UK. Comments have not always been positive, with lots of dismissive stares.

Having lived in the city of Saigon for a year, Sarah had learned a little about the Vietnamese people and their culture. Many of them bleach their skin to lighten it and cover up as much as possible, we went to the beach and people were in the sea in jeans and hoodies. People driving mopeds would stop further back at traffic lights so that they were in the shade.

People mainly stared at us for our pale skin, I had people touching my white arms, and Cath would get kisses blown to her by women. In their culture, staring isn’t rude, but it was hard to shake off the notion that it is. I’m not sure whether I was stared at more for being tattooed or for being pale.

While at a pool, a group of children walked past staring at my tattoos and shouting nice tattoos. Most of the responses were positive and people who also had tattoos were eager to talk about them. Plus, my friends – who I hadn’t seen for AGES – were eager to see my tattoos, as my collection has grown a lot since I last saw them.

Ladies in the Bến Thành Market, would compliment and comment on my tattoos so that we would stop and buy something from their stall. I talked to a couple of stall owners who were interested in how much my tattoos cost. I estimated how much they cost in US dollars for them. And the women were shocked, each tattoo on my arms cost a lot more than they would make in a month, perhaps a year. Which made me think about the different ways we live our lives and spend our money. I felt pretty guilty, and it made me see my tattoos as obscene… but that hasn’t stop me getting more since I’ve been home.

 

Amy – official trailer and your Amy Winehouse tattoos

 Amy reveals an intimate glimpse in to the life and death of Amy Winehouse, who tragically passed away in 2011 from alcohol poisoning after a long battle with alcohol and drug addiction. Her music, look and persona has lived on and the BAFTA award winning film maker, Asif Kapadia has captured the true essence of her tempestuous life in a film that is sure to prove why she was and still is adored by so many.

Check out the trailer on YouTube.

Amy Winehouse has become such a cult figure that many of us are adorning ourselves in memory to her with portrait tattoos, replicas of her own tattoos and personal designs that keep her memory alive on our skin.

Gray Silva from Rampant Ink in Nottingham

Lauren Winzer from Hunter & Fox in Sydney

Unfinished by Aaron Wickham from Horsham

Jocke JP Petersson from Pistolero tattoo in Sweden

 Roberto Euan

 Nico Lavoratori

Matching tattoos

The latest celebrity couple to get matching tattoos in honour of their love for one another is Ellie Goulding and Dougie Poynter. ‘Skullin ell’ was the phrase Poynter used on his Instagram account to show the world his new ink.

Here are some of our readers matching tattoos with their loved ones.

  Matching flamingos by Bob Done from The Lookout, Worthing 

   

 

By Vicky Kostick from Baby Boy Tattoo, Bishop’s Stortford 

  

By Erik Dyum 

  Matching tattoos drawn be their son 

Wedding cake with a slice of tattoo

A couple from Brisbane, Australia decided to commemorate their big day by having a mobile tattoo van at the wedding, tattooing themselves alongside their friends and family. Many couples get tattooed before their wedding to symbolise their love for one another but this is the first time we have seen friends and family joining in. They enlisted the tattooed wedding celebrant, Paul Voge to help organise the event who obviously seemed like a good match due to his obvious love for tattoos!

Marlee and Jordan Follman both had tattoos already and decided to commission a set of designs for people to choose from on the day, with even the bride’s mother getting tattooed! They decided to enlist one of their good friends, Luke Bishop who owns Bishop’s Mobile Tattoo Parlour with 15 of the wedding party getting a tattoo.

        

All photos by Jess Jackson

Tattoos: 150 years of body art

Susanna Kumschick, a Swiss anthropologist, has curated an exhibition in Hamburg charting 150 years of body art. “I started with skin, because I really think if you are studying tattooing, you need to look at human skin closely too,” Susanna explains. She believes that the tattoo industry has not been represented enough when discussing anthropology in relation to art and design and after much research she “was surprised that it wasn’t actually a subject in art and design museums until recently.”

Thea Duskin, Untitled 2011

Kumschick discusses how tattoos have been represented throughout history in artists’ work, “They were always inspired by the aesthetics, from early on – the human body has been a subject in art for a long time, and so is painting on the body.”

The artist Fumie Sasabuchi adds tattoos to photographs taken from fashion magazines using traditional motifs taken from the Japanese Yakuza mafia. “Tattooing is more fashionable because we show our skin much more than in the past, so it’s more of a communication medium. We should look at them closely, because it depends where you have them on your body – you’re saying different things by the location you choose. It’s normal to have one today but it’s still a statement if you put one on your face, unlike one on your chest or ankle.” The image below was created from a photograph taken from children’s magazine Vogue Angels.

She also looks at how tattoos can stigmatise certain people.  The photographer and filmmaker Christian Poveda spent a year with members of the Mara 18 gang in El Salvador, who cover themselves in tattoos marking the numbers of people they’ve killed or commemorating the death of a fellow gang member.

The exhibition is at MK&G in Hamburg until 6 September 2015.

Tattoo the Taboo

 

Meet Kerry-Anne, tattooer and owner of Cock A Snook tattoo parlour in Newcastle… for years she suffered with mental health problems, but she suffered in silence, she felt unable to tell anyone due to the stigma… read her story and find out how you can help below. She has now organised a charity tattoo day to raise awareness of mental health issues and also has a support group called Tattoo The Taboo on Facebook.

“Even though I have suffered with long-term mental health issues, I didn’t ask for help until I was 31. Because of this I lost friends, let customers, colleagues and peers down, which over time made my illness worse. This also greatly impacted my ability to make tattoos. When I decided to ask for support and treatment, I wondered what I had been so afraid of? Why didn’t I seek help before?

“I was terrified of other people finding out, I felt like it was showing weakness. I had subjected myself to a self-inflicted stigma that had festered to the point that I had no idea how poorly I was. I thought it was completely normal to hate myself, be riddled with doubt and see the world through negative eyes. I believed that I would never be happy and that I was just really shit at life. In hindsight, and after starting treatment, I can look at things more objectively. I’m not worthless, I’m kind, caring and compassionate and I have just as much right as anybody, to live a happy and normal life. I wasn’t shit at life, I was just struggling with a crippling illness.

I decided I couldn’t bare the weight of keeping secrets and lying about my illness, so I took the step to gradually let people know. Even though I was scared, I was surprised at how supportive everybody was. This encouraged me to tell everybody else without being apologetic, as I realised the stigma surrounding mental health was the biggest factor as to why so many people go untreated and unsupported through their illness.

“I also wanted to do something about tackling the stigma, as the more people I told, the more I realised that it was so much more common than I had expected. Some of my favourite people, who I knew inside and out (or so I thought) then shared their own struggles with me. I decided to share my story and made a support group on Facebook called “TATTOO THE TABOO” to  raise awareness of mental health issues and also to do some fundraising to boot. This group is inclusive and for anybody who has, or is suffering with any mental health problems and also for people who have been affected in some way, whether it be caring for somebody who is suffering, or if these issues have impacted on you in some way.

“The group is a platform for people to share their stories and to do some fundraising. The the stigma needs to stop and understanding needs to start. I already have  over 100 artists keen to take part in some “TATTOO THE TABOO” events. The first being on 4 July 2015. Tattooers will be making flash, etc to tattoo on customers who support the cause, the money raised will go to a mental health charity. Lots of the artists are donating paintings, prints, and merch, or whatever they can, to be exhibited, photographed for a book and then auctioned, with all the proceeds donated to the same charity.”

Kerry-Anne is still looking for other tattooers who wish to participate or donate to the event. For more info email cockasnook@hotmail.com. Hopefully as a tattoo community we can all pull together and make this worthwhile.

Check out the following links for more info: Facebook event, Cock a Snook, and the Instagram accounts: @cockasnook @littlekezz

 

 

 

Songbird Tattoo Studio

Songbird Tattoo Studio has recently moved to Exeter’s High Street, becoming the most central shop in the Southern City.

This beautiful emporium is a custom shop, which is open to the public but maintains the ambiance of a private studio. A highly unique space with much to spark the imagination, the studio has an air of relaxation and friendliness about it.

Studio owner and tattooist Nic Smith works mainly in Mehndi, geometric pattern decorative styles, and also enjoys colour work. She’s inspired by patterns, fabrics and varied religious iconography. All of these things not only inform her work but have impacted on the shop’s interior.

Syluss focuses his attention on custom illustrative work and also excels at portraits and black & grey.

Ryan Ousley works primarily in a bold new school style, favouring bright colours.

Email songbirdtatoo@live.co.uk for booking and enquiries and follow Songbird Tattoo on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for studio updates and more tattoos.

 

 

 

Beauty is not only ink deep – a tattooed photographic portrait series

Have you seen the latest project focusing on tattoos? Photographer Niall Patterson has created a personal project to show the beauty in tattoos and those who wear them. He wants to move away from the stereotypes and negative social prejudices attached to tattoos and instead show the world how truly beautiful they can be. The project is called Beauty Is Not Only Ink Deep.

Each photograph in the collection displays a quote from the person in the picture, describing how they feel about their tattoos and what they mean to them.

Images from Beauty is not only ink deep.

My tattooed body

In issue 9, stripped back, we asked the Things&Ink team how they feel about their naked bodies, now that they’re tattooed…

We got in touch with blogger Rachel Bradford, creator of Illustrated Teacup, to discuss how she feels about her body now that it is beginning to be covered by tattoos…

“You don’t have to go far on the internet or on social media to find a debate of body positivity or body confidence. A particular area of contention is tattooed people, especially women, and even more so, anyone who has an extensive collection of tattoos.”

“Apparently it isn’t attractive to have lots of beautiful images on your body. It takes away from your ‘natural beauty’. It isn’t ‘ladylike’. It’s not ‘pretty’.”

Green lady  by Dani Green at Dragstrip Tattoo, Southampton

“Obviously this isn’t everyone’s feelings, or no one would have tattoos, but I’m here to explain why I think tattoos are a good thing for body positivity.”

 

“Take a look at Things&Ink Issue 9 for some examples:”

 ”I see my colourful tattoos before I see the shape of my body, and then I notice the gaps. I get lost in the ideas of what would fit where and the work I could collect from other tattooists. With tattoos you are never truly naked, they are one thing you can never take off, and I love that!”

Editorial Assistant Rosalie Woodward (Page 5)

“I like to think of my tattoos as ‘permanent accessories’ and they make me feel very glamorous when I’m in the nude”

Beauty Editor Marina De Salis (Page 5)

“I feel like I’ve created my own body, rather than just being stuck with the one I was given”

Columnist Reeree Rockette (Page 5)

 

“Three talented, smart ladies, with tattoos, who feel better about themselves and their naked bodies because of their tattoos. And quite frankly, what is wrong with modifying your body if it makes you happier? That is what we all want isn’t it? To be happy with our bodies?”

Cat and compass by Saranna Blair at Urban Image Tattoo, Bournemouth

“Personally, my tattoos have boosted my confidence no end. My confidence and happiness with my own body, comfort on my own body, grows with every tattoo. It’s an experience in itself. My tattoos distract from the things I dislike about my body. And fill me with happiness every time I see them. They catalogue my life so far, and remind me of my journey. I feel like I wear my life on my body, miniature pieces of artwork carried around with me all the time.”

“To me, I am enhancing what I was given, and making my body my own, rather than it just being borrowed for a little while.  I think that is the most important part of body confidence. Being comfortable in your body, making it your own.”

 Belle by Dani Green at Dragstrip Tattoo, Southampton