Tagged: tattoos

Tattooing Under Martial Law

Our Australian contributing editor, Fareed Kaviani, is currently in Bangkok getting a back piece from Guy Le Tatooer. While over there he caught up with Six Fathoms Deep owner Nicholas Mudskipper to find out what it’s like tattooing under military rule.

On 22 May 2014, the military announced that it had taken control of the country in a coup implemented ostensibly to restore order and enact ‘necessary’ political reforms. Martial law continues to be imposed nationwide. Although the political arena is a complex entanglement of loyalties, royalties, and corruption, the situation can be simplified by reducing it to a civic battle between different coloured garments.

The yellow shirts wanted to suspend the constitution and depose the democratically elected government on the charge of corruption. Their desire was to appoint an interim administration to oversee political reform.

The red shirts were loyal to the ousted government.

Due to the civil unrest, most foreign governments have been advising their citizens to exercise a high degree of caution when travelling to Thailand.

I arrived on the 9th to get tattooed by Guy Le Tatooer while he’s guesting at Bangkok’s Six Fathoms Deep. Although Bangkok appeared to be business as usual, news reports of police harassment suggested otherwise.

Tourists and foreign nationals have become targets of what many claim to be systematic ‘racial profiling’. Accosted by police, people have been asked to present identification papers and visas, with some even forced to provide on the spot urine samples designed to detect hard drugs. As one report cautioned, an empty bladder is no excuse: ‘when he couldn’t produce, he says they forced him to drink four liters [sic] of water and pressed forcefully on his bladder to make him urinate and touched his penis.’

Using the threat of immediate arrest, they have been aggressively cajoling unsuspecting tourists into coughing up ad hoc ‘fines’ for failing to provide substantial documentation. Although Martial Law applies exclusively to the army and its soldiers, and Section 93 of the criminal code clearly states that searches conducted in public are prohibited without probable cause, it is believed that the police have had to improvise due to the Army obstructing their usual swindles.

Six Fathoms Deep’s Nicholas Mudskipper has experienced their intimidation first hand.

‘Yeah man, vultures on the streets shaking down people for payouts. I was headed back from a ju-jitsu session and I was told I’m a Russian selling coke around the red-light areas, [the officer] greedily stuck his hands into my gym bag to find a sweaty ju-jitsu gi! These guys’ other rackets are being squeezed by the military so they need to find other ways to buy Christmas goodies this time of year.’

‘So, are you red or yellow shirted?’ I asked in jest.

‘I make my own shirts bra! Black white and grey for days!’

Originally from Cape Town, South Africa, Nick came to Bangkok several years ago to set up shop with his business partner, Dillon Pienaar.

‘Bangkok is a beast that can swallow you up fast, a city full of interesting things, a sunny place for shady people!’

I asked Nick what it was like to run a tattoo studio, while under Martial law, inside the belly of that beast.

‘Bro, Six Fathoms Deep is like a bubble, once you’re inside, doesn’t feel like I’m in Bangkok anymore: no dramas, no politics, just tattooing and Masters of the Universe figures surrounding me. If all else fails I’m sure Skeletor will get my back. Our Tattoo shop is a friendly creative family for good-hearted tattooers far from home. We are all about doing good clean tattoos, good vibes, toy collecting and of course big BBQs!’

Speaking of toys, the interior of Six Fathoms Deep was peppered with an array of figurines.

‘I’m crazy about Masters of the universe and other 80s toys, Matt Adams is into Ninja turtles, Miss Ink is super into Russian and Kewpie dolls, David Chaston is into other strange stuff too, so yeah it’s just our man cave full of items that influence us and that we’re nostalgic about.’

And why Six Fathoms Deep?

‘I originally wanted to call the shop Six Feet Deep, but that was kind of taken, ha-ha. I grew up around the Atlantic Ocean and have always been curious of the mysterious depths and legends of giant creatures fathoms deep under the ocean, so I blended those together! Boom!’

Six Fathoms Deep’s resident artists are Nicholas Mudskipper, David Chaston, Miss Ink and Big Matt Adams.

Current guest artists are Guy Le Tatooer and Etienne Memon.

Cakes and Tattoos

Anmar Odendal is a  pastry chef, wedding cake baker and social media addict from Aldeburgh in Suffolk. We chatted to her about her tattoo inspired cakes and cake inspired tattoos as well as her new book venture. 

How old were you when you got your first tattoo? I only got my first tattoo in February 2013! I love the idea of being able to permanently carry with you your experiences and things that you hold special. Getting inked and discovering the world of tattoos has come at the perfect stage of my life, as I am now in a position where my both my style in my career and  personal life have become my trademark. Every tattoo I have tells a story  and means the world to me. It’s my journey, on my skin, that I take with me everywhere. My tattoos make me feel like a million bucks – and if someone doesn’t like it it doesn’t bother me at all. My skin, my way!

Who did it your first tattoo? My first tattoo was only a tiny rainbow infinity sign on my wrist. I know the infinity sign has now become one of those tattoos that every one has – but to me it means “what goes around comes around”. A really horrid relationship just confirmed how much I believed in Karma – and that is what it symbolises to me. I don’t look at it in a negative light at all – I love it and it reminds me I was the stronger one and that I came out better, and stronger on the other side.


My first real tattoo (and I say real as I mean this was designed from my own concept) was done by Dolly at Needles & Nails s in Brighton. She has since moved to Occult in Worthing and has also done my thigh piece for me. I knew she would be the perfect artist for my dream of having a tiered wedding cake tattoo! Her style is bold, mega colourful, girly and super bright. I now have a massive pink wedding cake on my forearm – and I love it. People don’t wonder about my job any more!

How do your friends and family react to your tattoos? I don’t know if anyone really honestly says what they think about tattoos. It’s clear that tattoos are still a big no-no to lots of people and I understand that.  Most reactions have been good as they suit my personality.I am South Africa and grew up on a farm over there. I do sometimes wonder what the reaction will be when I do go home, as tattoos are still very much frowned upon.  People always ask ‘what are you going to look like when you are eighty?’

Why are people so worried about what were going to look like when we are eighty? When I’m eighty my body will tell an amazing story of the live that I have lived!

Do you have any future tattoo plans? Definitely. I had one of my feet done by the amazing Jody Dawber and I still need to have the other one done! The fab Miss Dolly will be doing my other thigh – I’m not so sure what I’ll get, but I look unbalanced with one beautifully tattooed and the other bare.  I also have a space booked with the amazing Hollie West for one of her fab chubby ladies – with a baking theme of course!

When did you start baking and when did you set up your own business? I’m lucky as I come from a family of very talented bakers.  I never specialised as a pastry chef/ baker as I trained as a professional chef, but always found myself in the pastry kitchens. I always loved making cakes,but it was only once I moved to the UK with my then husband that I decided to do it full time and start my own business. I saw a gap in the market in the area for big, bold beautiful cakes and set CRUMB up in 2010.
I am very lucky as Crumb grew really fast and by 2013 I won the regional award for “best wedding cake designer” in the East of England at the National wedding industry awards in London. I am also listed in 2014′s “most incredible wedding cake bakers in the UK”.

What do you usually create? As well as running Crumb I also work as the pastry chef at a local hotel. I create anything and everything really! I always like to say- “If you can dream it, I can bake it!” At the moment my mini meringues and macarons are very popular and I’m doing numerous master classes and workshops teaching eager bakers how to make them. Food demonstrations on stage is another great passion I have – I love theatre cooking – something I never thought I’d get in to!

Do you have any favourite cakes that you have baked? There are many! One of my favourites has to be a massive black, red and white wedding cake that was topped with a life size solid white chocolate skull, red glitter encrusted red roses and black lace for one of my favourite couples ever. I made a very opulent cake for a celebrity couple that also featured in OK! Magazine last year. I love doing big over the top cakes – shows topper cakes – things that Marie Antoinette would have approved of! I also make birthday and other celebration cakes when I have the time – some of my favourites include a Mexican sugar skull cake and some cupcakes topped with designs from the jewellery brand Tatty Devine.

Do you have any future projects?  I am currently working on a new baking recipe book, with a bit of an edge. I’ve rounded up 12 of my favourite female tattoo artists who are all letting their creativity flow and designing their dream wedding/celebration cake in the style and theme of the tattoos that they create. The book will feature all 12 artists, and I will make their artwork into a real cake, with recipes, tutorials and tricks to recreate the cakes, or design your own cake. The book will also contain some amazing other recipes that are my favourites including macarons, meringues, cookies and brownies.

Follow Anmar and her book for exciting news and delicious bakes.

Keep your eyes peeled for a future blog post for Anmar’s recipe on how to make a rainbow unicorn cake…

Comedic Tattoos

Would you get a tattoo just for comedy value? Is your desired outcome roaring laughter or do you wish your tattoos to be art.

Colin Bonsall had the slogan comparethemeerkat.com tattooed across his stomach with the sole aim of making his granddaughter Bethany giggle.

We watch them together and Bethany thinks they’re hilarious.   

Colin Bonsall, owner of the comparethemeerkat tattoo

Maybe I’m a mug but I find it funny. I’ll see how well this one goes down first though before I get another one.

 Colin Bonsall, tattooed Granddad 

I myself have a few comical tattoos, ones which signify my sense of humour as well as inside jokes but is having a more annoying than funny television advert a step too far?

My boyfriend and I got matching watermelon tattoos as a joke and a way to mark our five year anniversary. The tattoo makes our friends laugh and it also brings a smile to my face when I remember the story behind it.

Do you have the beholders of your tattoos in mind when you get inked or are your motives more selfish? Ultimately the question lies in what motivates you to get tattooed? How do you choose the subject of your tattoo?

Tattoos are another way for people to attempt to read someone’s personality. Should your sense of humour be on display without you opening your mouth and laughing

 

Images and quotes from www.mirror.co.uk
Watermelon tattoo by Sophie Adamson, The Projects, Plymouth.

Guinness World Record Tattoo

Lee Weir has forty-one tattoos of Homer Simpson in different positions, ages and expressions. His sleeve has set a new Guinness World Record and the twenty-seven year old from New Zealand has been awarded the record for the most tattoos of the same cartoon character tattooed on a single body.

Which cartoon character would you choose?

Image from Guinness World Records’ Twitter 

Extreme Tattoos

Photograph by Mark Leaver as part of his Facial Tattoo Project

Fifty-eight-year-old Keith Gordon claims that it is his OCD that has pushed him into tattoo addiction. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder has ruled him all his life and it is this condition that has driven him to have his whole head tattooed.

At seventeen he had his shoulders and arms tattooed but changed his mind, he chose to have  painful skin grafts to remove his teenage ink.

In the last five years Keith has spent almost £15k not only having his tattoos redone but adding more to his body and face.

Watch the short video to hear his story.

More details at news.uk.msn.com

Interview with Céline, who runs Inspired Tattoo Portraits

Céline, 26, Paris.

What first drew you to the tattoo world? When did you decide you wanted to become a tattooed person? This is such a difficult question. I couldn’t really explain what really drew me to the tattoo world. In 2009, while I was in Albuquerque New Mexico to study, I met Steve Truitt a renowned body modification artist. I quickly became friends with him and the guys at his shop and I started to spend a lot of time there. So I would say that I was firstly introduced to the world of body modifications. At the time, seeing Steve’s tattoos was quite a visual shock. That was the first time I saw blacked-out arms, face tattoos and almost a complete tattooed body. I slowly started getting small tattoos until I eventually considered getting a full body suit.

What is your job? I have never been able to do one thing at the time, so I’m currently working several jobs. I’m in charge of the advertising for a magazine, I’m also managing a tattoo artist working at Sang Bleu London and, last but not least, I’m part of the Paris Tattoo Convention staff, Le Mondial du Tatouage organized by Tin-Tin, where I’m in charge of the sponsoring.

Tell us a little more about your project Inspired Tattoo Portraits? When did you start it? Inspired Tattoo Portraits is an artistic and journalistic project that I started in April 2013, which focuses on heavily tattooed people wearing quality art. I aim to create beautiful images and provide content that opens the door to new ideas. Each portrait is made of an interview, a set of analog pictures and a video. I never read tattoo magazines, so it came from a personal need to see something different. For each portrait, I try to find interesting and strong personalities and to shoot them in visually rich environments in order to create unique atmospheres. On one hand, it’s a way for me to broadcast an aspect of the tattoo culture I love and on the other hand to understand myself better thanks to the people involved in the portraits.

Do you find that you often get comments about your tattoos from the public when you’re out? Do you mind this? People are generally surprised, but not in a bad way and I actually get pretty good comments. I guess they can appreciate the artistic value of my tattoos. But having people staring at me in the street and on the subway is not something I always felt comfortable with. When I first started getting tattooed my tattoos were not visible, so as they began becoming more visible I had to adapt to the way people were looking at me. Now I try not to care anymore.

Tell me a little about the work on your body. Who did it? How does it make you feel as a person? The list would be too long to name everyone, I’m a collector. I get work by very different artists: black & grey portraits, neo-traditional, ornamental… So far I have been tattooed by Cokney, Mikael de Poissy, Jean-Philippe Burton, Matthew Gordon, Antony Flemming, etc. I just enjoy being surrounded by art on a daily basis. My tattoos don’t change me as a person. Also it is a big commitment and it’s definitely not a neutral choice…

Thigh tattoos by Mikael de Poissy

 

We have been watching the progress of your stomach piece on Instagram. Where did the inspiration for this come from?  Many women are nervous about using their entire front as a canvas, did you have any apprehensions? I have been looking at Matthew Gordon’s work and I noticed he was super-good at large-scale tattoos and I wanted a big piece for my torso. As I’m working on a body suit project it made sense to go big. I just gave him a few ideas and he nailed it. The placement and size were pretty audacious but I guess I was crazy enough to do it. Of course I had apprehensions. It’s a pretty big commitment. I was scared it would affect my femininity, but it didn’t. In fact feminity really depends on who you are as a person. So I feel pretty good about it.

You recently added a flower below the piece by Matthew, what inspired this? Honestly, it wasn’t really part of my plan but after finishing my torso this little area was left untattooed and blank spots just annoy me. That’s the problem when you’re getting a lot of work done, you tend to only notice the non tattooed areas! Also I wanted someone special for this piece and therefore I asked Japanese artist Gotch to do it.

Do you enjoy working on big tattoo projects? What are you planning next? I think bigger is better, but it’s also pretty hard to work on big projects. It takes a lot of time and commitment, plus it’s usually really painful. Working on my torso piece was challenging and I sometimes felt discouraged. Going through long sessions and having to catch a flight back home to Pares the day after to go back to work is something difficult. But I experienced amazing things as well. It made me realise how strong I am. My next big project is my back piece with Guy le Tatooer, which I’m pretty excited about…

Who else would you like to get tattooed by? Too many! Haha. But to name a few: Claudia de Sabe, Valerie Vargas and the guys at Sacred Electric.

Where do you seek tattoo inspiration? My inspiration mainly comes from artists’ work. I like to pick artists with a strong artistic personality and I only give them a few ideas. I just want them to enjoy the piece and do what they think is good.

Any advice for first timers thinking about getting tattooed? Have a look at artists’ portfolios and choose them regarding their style and most importantly trust them!

 

Below are some of the portraits from the Inspired Tattoo Portraits series, check out the project in its entirety at www.inspiredtattooportraits.com

Great pair of tattooed tits

For Catherine Hadden breast reconstruction surgery after winning her fight with breast cancer was not an option she would consider, instead she chose to have a tongue in cheek tattoo of two Great Tits right where her own breasts used to be.

For me it was something beautiful coming from something so ugly

Rather than being reminded of her cancer and of feeling horribly ill Catherine chose to see something positive and decided to celebrate her cancer free body.  She made the decision to have a double mastectomy in order to save her life. At first she wanted a very small bird tattooed onto her body, but when her tattooist presented her with the idea of having two Great Tits on a branch she changed her mind.

When I get out of the shower each morning and go to the bathroom mirror I think, ‘What a pair of great tits’.

Her daughter posted Catherine’s photo on Facebook and from then on there was no hiding Catherine’s new tits, so to speak. Even though Catherine describes herself as a bashful person she had no qualms showing her new tattoo to people and in turn raising awareness of breast cancer.

 

Image and quotes from www.newsandstar.co.uk

Animal Tattoos

Some of our favourite animal tattoos that we’ve seen on Instagram recently

Kelly Smith 

Steve Butcher

Amy Savage

Tom Wagstaff

Ashley Newman 

Hannah Oliver

Max Rathbone

Alessia Pedrosa

Arran Burton

Amber Elliott

Charlotte Ross 

Mike Moses

Charlotte Timmons

 

Have you seen any cool animal tattoos lately? We’d love to know!