Tagged: tattoos

Sick Girls Official

Our guest blogger is 34-year-old  Southsea creative Alanna Lauren, founder 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.

11851239_10155867225965317_1957160227_n

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.

wahh

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!

sad

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.

sickgirls
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!

Apprentice Love: Roxy Ryder

We spotted the work of apprentice Roxy Ryder, 24 on Instagram and instantly loved her colourful, bright and cartoon-like tattoos. We chatted to Roxy to find out more about her life as an apprentice at Alchemy Tattoo Studio in Wigan, Manchester where she works.

11870915_10152955035861540_1442255758224423592_n
How did you get your apprenticeship? What were you doing before? I asked in the studio I was getting tattooed in at the time around three years ago and started by handing out flyers. I started my apprenticeship at Alchemy Tattoo Studio in Wigan, a friend of mine recommended me and it went from there. I’ve been tattooing as an apprentice for little under a year. The artists have made me feel right at home. Even if it is an all guy studio and I get a little bullied now and then!
Before working in the tattoo industry I worked in retail, I did this whilst building up a portfolio. Spending most nights drawing and painting.

10423666_10152200718076540_5256317008070735268_n
What do you like about it what do you dislike? I love that I get to do something I love everyday and stay creative. The guys I work with are awesome and getting to meet lovely people on a daily basis is great. The only thing I dislike about tattooing is feeling nervous before a tattoo and self doubt.

11027450_10152887745276540_3538655496468531329_n
Do you have a background in art? I have always been into art and crafts from a young age. I spent a lot of my childhood doing different crafts which followed through into school. I then studied a BTEC National Diploma in Art and Design at college as I always had my heart set on doing something with art. I then found my favourite medium to work with. I have been spitshading with watercolour inks for a couple of years now, trying to get better!

littlerobot
How would you describe your style? I’m not too sure how to describe my style but I love to do bright bold designs. The majority of my designs are usually pretty cute and girly. Very colourful for someone who wears all black everyday!

11013289_10152685245646540_2540592674592826984_n
What is a typical day like for you? A typical day for me is coming into work and doing my little jobs around the studio. I usually prepare most of my designs a couple of days before so I have time to study a colour scheme and change any bits. That way I can make sure I am fully prepared and myself and the customer are happy with the design. I spend the rest of the time watching and learning from the other artists I work with and making brews! If it’s a quiet day I will spend my time drawing new designs and painting. I love to do commissioned paintings in my spare time but if I’m not doing those I love to watch a good B-Movie or a Horror!

How did you feel doing your first tattoo? I did my first tattoo on myself, it was a little moth on my lower leg. I was so nervous and it took me ages but because it was on myself it wasn’t too bad.

11013353_10152922166476540_8928136160105994139_n
What inspires you? So many artists and tattoo artists inspire me. Seeing how hard people work and how much talent they have makes me strive to be better and paint and draw more.

What things do you like to tattoo and draw? Everything I draw is always pretty bold and bright. I love drawing and painting cartoons. Most of the time people commission me for cartoon pieces, which is always fun to do! It all depends on the mood I’m in but I have lots of things I love to draw and tattoo! My faves are anything bright, cute and girly! I love doing spacey stuff, aliens, UFOS and rockets are super fun! Robots, little bloody weapons, kewpies, tropical, nautical designs and kawaii pieces. I love horror so I would love to start doing little horror pieces too.

11096461_10152689431161540_2702453537050096594_n
Can you tell us a bit about your own tattoos? I still have so much free space for tattoos. I currently have my lower legs and arms tattooed with a few others dotted about. My most painful tattoo has to be my palm. I decided to have a brain tattooed on it! My first tattoo was a ship on my foot. Most of my tattoos are pretty traditional. I have so many artists I want to get tattooed by so I’m saving my space at the moment!

11694029_10152875319841540_5623867508279769720_n

Flavia Carvalho: Transforming Scars

Brazilian tattooist Flavia Carvalho has been tattooing women who have encountered domestic violence or have had mastectomies. The marks caused by abuse and cancer are there for life, even though the scars will fade, the memories will always be visible.

flavia2

Flavia is transforming these scars into beautiful tattoos, for free, so that women can reclaim their bodies, find closure and love themselves again. Flavia’s project has been running for over two years , and is named “A Pele da Flor” which translates as The Skin of the Flower, taken from the Portuguese expression “A flor da pele” meaning deeper than skin. Flavia explains that “women are like flowers and deserve to have our skin protected and embellished.”

scaer

Speaking to the Huffington Post Flavia explains how the project started:

It all started about two years ago, when I worked with a client who wanted to cover a large scar on her abdomen. She told me that she was at a nightclub, and when she turned down a man who approached her, he stabbed her with an switchblade. When she saw the finished tattoo, she was extremely moved, and that deeply touched me. I was suddenly struck by the idea of providing free tattoos to women who were left with scars following domestic violence or mastectomies. Each tattoo would act as an instrument for empowerment and a self-esteem booster.

scar

 

Images and quotes Huffington Post

House of Butterflies

Justin Taylor and Charlie Lane  are the creators of House of Butterflies, a small online business that sells framed butterflies, moth and beetles. The couple set all of the specimens themselves from their home in Maidstone, Kent. We chatted to Justin and Charlie to find out more about their arty adventures… 

House ofB

How did you start House of Butterflies? What do you create?  The House Of Butterflies started from an idea we had at a craft fair, where Charlie was selling prints and original artwork. We thought it would be fun to do something together, we both share a common interest in taxidermy and art so thought why not combine the two. The framed butterflies idea came from Justin’s grandparents house as they have a small collection of framed butterflies hanging in their hall way. We both thought how great they look and wondered if we could make something along the same lines. We sat and researched the idea for a month or so before finally taking the plunge and having a go.

What inspires you? The inspiration for our boxes comes from the idea of preserving something beautiful. They are inspired a lot by the seasons, nature and by things we really like.  We find when we sit and talk about ideas we tend to inspire each other. We try to choose the butterflies or moths first and then try to match the background to them rather than the other way around. The art in general is inspired by the outdoors; gardens, plants and animals.

IMG_20150824_145353

Do you have a background in art? 
Charlie: Yes, I studied at Maidstone UCA and have a degree in print making. I learnt a lot about etching and I helped with adult courses in a print making studio. I have done a lot of commission work for small businesses, band logos and for special occasions. I spent a couple of years in the tattoo industry working in a couple of small studios.

Where do you source your items from? We source all of our specimens from a entomologist based in the UK. He sources all of his specimens from butterfly farms abroad, people hear “butterfly farm” and usually think how terrible. When actually they are the most ethical way to source specimens, they bring employment to poor areas and stop the practice of wild collecting which has had a devastating affect on some species. Finding an ethical source and supplier was a big thing for us, a lot of time and effort went in to finding the right supplier with the legitimate source.

IMG_20150619_131530

How do you create them? What is the process? The process is a fairly long one and takes time and patience, we had a few disasters at the beginning. We are completely self taught when it comes to the setting of the butterflies and it was a total case of trial and error. Internet videos make it look easier than it actually is.

The process starts by having to relax the butterfly, moth or beetle as they arrived to us in a dry/closed state. The specimens go into a relaxing tub which has a mild chemical solution in it. The chemical solution breaks down the enzymes in the specimens body making it pliable again. The specimens stay in the relaxing box until the reach this state, once there you can remove them and start the setting process. Opening the specimens is always the most fun part as you get see the true glory of what your setting. We pin the specimen to a setting board, which is a board with a small channel down the centre to hold the specimens body in place when you spread the wings. Then we very carefully pull the wings into the position we want using tweezers and then with strips of wax paper pin the wings so they are secure. We then leave them to dry out again for a number of days, depending on size. Then we unpin the specimen and then you have a set specimen, which is always very rewarding.

The vintage frames we stain ourselves to give them that old look, then we add the vintage artwork and add specimens we think work well with the artwork.

IMG_20150823_093322

Where can people buy pieces? Do you do commissions? We have a small Etsy shop where people can buy from us, we update regularly with new items as we like to keep a good variety of pieces on there. We can be found on Instagramwhere with have a direct link to our store.

We take on commission work and our always up for a challenge, whether it be artwork or a specific butterfly or a combination of the two, we will always try our best to accommodate.

IMG_20150717_161255

What are your plans for the future? We are hoping to keep going and maybe expand more, we do a lot of craft stalls, especially in the winter months leading up to Christmas. The big plan is to have a small high street shop where people can come in and browse.

IMG_20150608_161515

How did you meet? How long have you been together? We met through a mutual friend who Charlie was tattooing, she thought we would get on well, turns out she was right. We had a few dates, realised we shared a lot of common interests and thats about it, and people say romance is dead! We have been together now for two years.

Can you tell us about your tattoos?
Charlie:
My tattoos are a mix of things that remind me of all the places I have lived across the world as a kid, and pattern work that I’m really into. I like the geometric and dot work tattoo styles as it is how I myself draw. I like the work of Vana Chanelle, who has tattooed me a few times, along with Dan Frye who done a stunning traditional style Indian bride on my arm. I have tattooed myself a lot.

Justin: I’m a big fan of traditional style tattoos and love fat lined pieces. I have a lot of skateboard related tattoos as it used to be my favourite past time. I have a bit of a mix of black and grey, traditional colour and pattern work. I have my good friend Ben Griffiths to thank for a lot of my work, also Dan Frye and his partner EJ Miles.

IMG_20150830_083620

The Art of Chris Guest

Chris Guest is 36-year-old painter living in London, he creates large-scale oil paintings featuring tattooed people. We chatted to Chris to find out more about his style of work, the people he has painted and the workshops he runs… 

DSC_1860 copy

Do you have a background in art? I studied illustration at Bournemouth University, and at Brunel College in Bristol.

How did you learn to paint? Other than studying illustration at uni, I’m an avid reader of art technique books, plus I do a lot of life drawing (although this isn’t painting, it does help you see things properly). With painting, you just have to practice like mad, that’s the only way to get any good – nobody picks up a paint brush for the first time and paints the Mona Lisa – you have to put the time in to develop your skills. When I first picked up oils, my paintings were awful! I also think it’s very important to constantly learn from your mistakes, I always try to think of ways that I could’ve made my work better.

Ricki Hall Ricki Hall

 

What medium do you use? Mostly oil, although I do draw with pencil and charcoal a lot as well. Oil feels so nice to work with and is so forgiving, once you know how to use it properly. I love the history of oil, and the fact that it hasn’t really changed much in hundreds of years (pigment mixed with safflower oil). Despite all these acrylic paints you can buy, they still can’t make anything better and they’re nowhere near as nice to use. I like the idea of producing some watercolours in the not so distant future too.

Can you tell us about the exhibitions you are involved in? I will be exhibiting some pieces at this year’s London Tattoo Convention, so please check it out if you’re coming! Seeing art framed and well lit in real life is so much better than on a computer screen, as you really get to see all the brush strokes, and the scale of the work, and get an idea of what the artist was trying to convey. As well as originals, I shall also have prints available.

DSC_2018 copy Cervena Fox

 

How would you describe your style? The way I paint is quite classic in style and technique, similar to 18th century painting, but a modern subject matter, painting tattooed people. Obviously my work is quite realist, but you only need to get within a metre of it to see its quite brushy up close!

Who have you painted? Several tattooed models, probably the most well known being Cervena Fox. I’ve worked with Cervena on numerous occasions now, and feel we’ve built up a good working relationship. When we talk about what I’m looking to achieve for my next body of work, I always find Cervena gets my ideas, and really helps them come to life. When you’ve built a good working relationship and your models know you, you’re both a lot more relaxed, and it feels more like friends hanging out, rather than a work thing.

DSC_2022 copy

Do you paint from photographs or real life? Both actually – there’s nothing better than painting from life, and I always find the results are more pleasing, plus its more fun. Although sometimes you don’t have the luxury of having someone sit for a four hour session, or if you’re looking to paint someone outside in a street, for example, you have to work from photos.

How long do the paintings take? Sometimes paintings just seem to work, and they feel finished and complete after a few hours. Other pieces sit in my studio for months and then get revisited, so it’s really hard to put a time scale on it. Also, due to the nature of oil paint, you have to leave a layer to dry for a few weeks before you can paint over it, so if you’re impatient, its probably better to try something else!

Do you do commissions? Of course – best thing to do is drop me an email at mrguest@hotmail.co.uk to discuss your ideas!

DSC_7087 copy

Where can people buy your art? I have prints and art cards available on my website store. If it’s originals you’re after, best thing is to email me for availability, prices etc. I’ll have originals for sale at the London Tattoo Convention. I also put my work in several group shows in galleries every year, a lot of them happen to be in the US though!

Can you tell us about the workshops you do?  I currently teach a ‘painting a head from reference’ workshop, in several tattoo studios, mainly in London, and a few around the UK. It’s a great way to learn some basic techniques, as I go through colour, materials, values, stuff like that, to help you achieve good results with your painting. It doesn’t matter if you’ve never picked up a paint brush in your life, or you’re the next Rembrandt, it’s more about taking part, having fun and producing your own painting. If you’d like to attend or perhaps host your own workshop, best thing to do is drop me an email at mrguest@hotmail.co.uk for more information.

Dina Litovsky: Under the Needle

Brooklyn based photographer Dina Litovsky has created a series called Under the Needle, in which she captures the serene and painful moments of people being tattooed. The photographs were taken earlier this year at both the Empire State Tattoo Expo and the New York City Tattoo Convention.

 

Long Term Illness and Tattoos

Our guest blogger is illustrator and crafter Rachel Rawlings, creator of Rachel Vs Body blog. On her blog Rachel writes  about her various chronic conditions and how they affect her life and have changed how she experiences the world. In this post she talks about her tattoos and how they help her to regain control of her body… 

The human body is an interesting thing. Take mine, for example. In 2012, I was in my final year of studying for my illustration degree, working as a healthcare assistant in my spare time, spending most evenings in the week cooking and hanging out with my friends and coursemates. I was 20 and everything was – for the most part – working fine. But then, I got sick.

It was just a virus to start off with, but over time, I didn’t get better. I was constantly in pain; I felt dizzy at the smallest motion; food became my greatest enemy, triggering nausea and cramps at the most pathetic nibble; my concentration was shot; walking became something akin to climbing mount Everest; and, above all, I was EXHAUSTED. Not tired; not fatigued; not sleepy or dozy; but that all consuming physical exhaustion that you get when you’ve had a particularly bad bout of flu. I was diagnosed with M.E. (Myalgic Encephalopathy) and P.O.T.S (postural tachycardia syndrome) on top of my existing health conditions (chronic migraine, IBS, eczema, eczema herpeticum and asthma), and three and a half years on I’m still undergoing tests to see what’s making me so unwell.

Moth by Paul Davies at Loki Ink, Plymouth

Things got progressively worse, and these days I can’t work or study as I’m mainly confined to my bed (although on good days I make it to my living room); I use a powered wheelchair ( or crutches if I’m feeling particularly perky) to get around because walking is so difficult; I’ve lost a lot of friends who can’t figure out how to cope with me being poorly. Trying to be well is my full time occupation.

With my body failing me in such an extravagant fashion, there is one thing that makes me feel like I have some modicum of control over it; getting tattooed. I got my first one in early 2014 while I was doing my MA and had been sick for a couple of years. It’s a small deathshead moth on my wrist done by Paul at Loki Ink in Plymouth, a subject matter I chose because of its connotations of transformation and freedom.

Connor Tyler at Joker Tattoo, Portsmouth

Getting tattooed is a bit of an ordeal for me. The actual tattooing is fine – I’m very lucky to have a high pain threshold (pain holds very little fear for someone on painkillers as strong as the ones I’m on) so I can sit under the needle for hours without it bothering me. The issue is everything else.

First off, I have to get to the place – which is hard. I usually only leave the house once a week, twice if I’m lucky, and always with someone else (it’s not safe for me to go out alone), so the logistics of organising that can be tough.

Then, getting there, I have to deal with the sensory overload of a place full of people and buzzing machines and music; with M.E., your senses are often in an extremely heightened state and any noise, light, touch can be excruciating. The noise is a particularly tough one for me as I get migraines and tinnitus, so I have to really prepare myself for the aural onslaught of a tattoo shop.

Chrissy Hills at Kingston Ink

Having to sit or lie in one position really still is hard for anyone, but when you get muscle spasms and convulsions on top of chronic pain, it can be … interesting for all involved. P.O.T.S causes tachycardia, dizziness and blackouts if you’re upright for too long, so I have to be in a position which is safe for my particular conditions. I have to bring my medicines, lots of water, layers of clothes, my walking aids, ear plugs, sunglasses, a whole bunch of nonsense just to get through the session. After a tattoo, I’m always in agony – but the tattoo itself isn’t the problem, the joint and muscular pain incurred is.

It took me a while to draw up the courage to get tattooed – not because of the pain (note the aforementioned painkillers), but because I was scared of doing something so permanent to myself. But my body was already permanently altered from the way it should be, so that was no longer an excuse. I was scared that people would judge me on sight – but if you’re a twenty-something having to use a wheelchair or crutches, people give you some odd looks anyway. So, sod it, I thought – let’s give them something to stare at.

Marcelina Urbańska, Rock’n’Ink, Krakow

It seems like a lot to go through just to get an image on my skin, but for me it’s worth it. After feeling like my body had turned traitor, I have taken back the reins and forced it into a form which makes me happy. Sure, I may be covered in scars, a bit chubby from the medication, pale as death and with eyes like pissholes in the snow, but I’m still in control of how my body looks – on a superficial level, at least. Tattoos have helped me accept the changes that have been forced upon me by letting me shape the way I look, even if I’m powerless to control the way my body works. There’s a lot to be said for a needle and ink and the power of positive thought – it might not make the crippled walk, but it can damn well make us feel good sitting down.

Street Spotting: Blackpool Convention

On Sunday 16th August our editorial assistant Rosie was at the second Tatcon in Blackpool, while she was there she did some street spotting, these are the people she met and the tattoos she saw…

Name: Wendy Freestone Age: 48 Lives: Stoke-on-Trent Job: Business owner and Studio mum at The Painted Pin Up Tattoo Parlour 

Tattoos: Chest piece is a rework by Natalie McShee. Business logo on her foot, hands and legs are by both Josie Morris and Natalie McShee.

feet2

feet

Name: Bex Harrison Age: 26 Lives: Manchester Job: Healthcare Assistant

Tattoos: Bows on her calves by Mike at Nostalgia Tattoo in Leeds. Monkey by Kirsty Sanderson

lady

Name: Laura Rafferty Age: 22 Lives: Newcastle Job: Sales advisor

Tattoos: Butterfly lady by Danielle Rose. Shiny shin by Hayley Parkin at Inkslingers tattoo studio in Newcastle.

20150816_153651

dan

Name: Krystian Dranikowski Age: 20 Lives: Leeds Job: Tattoo artist at 1995 tattoo studio opening next month.

Tattoo: His good friend Juan Martinez

dude

Blackpool Tattoo Convention

Our editorial assistant Rosie attended the second ever Blackpool Tatcon  held at Norbreck Castle Hotel in Blackpool last weekend. After entering a competition on tattoo blog Inkluded’s Facebook page, Rosie won free Sunday passes. Here’s what she got up to on the day…

The convention ran for three days beginning on Friday 14th- Sunday 16th August. I travelled to Blackpool, somewhere I have never been before, on Sunday the last day of the convention. The venue was a castle shaped hotel right on the sea front and was home, for the weekend to over 100 tattooists and traders. The convention hall was made into corridors from the tattoo booths and there was a stage at the front to showcase the entertainment.

Rosie getting tattooed by Emily Dawson

I didn’t plan to get tattooed at Blackpool as I was there to blog Things&Ink and see the sea. But at conventions it is so hard to resist with everyone around you getting tattooed! The lovely Emily Dawson, owner of Holy Ghost Tattoo in Rotherham, created a cute cactus for me inspired by the art of Anne Knispel.

11249193_776505979133218_1515606908_n

The convention was packed full of tattoo artists demonstrating a wide variety of styles from traditional hand poked to realism, to watercolour and neo-traditional. There were artists from all over the country and many that I had not seen before. I love going to conventions and discovering new artists, styles and ways of doing things. As I am from the Midlands it was great to see so many artists from the North of England that I admire and follow on Instagram.

bp7

bp2

Similar to many conventions the entertainment focused on burlesque performances, live bands and acts such as sword swallowing. Many tattooists commented that the music was far too loud, I had to agree as I was shouting when introducing myself to artists.

There were also awards at the end of each day for categories such as best apprentice, best small colour and best of day. These are a great way for artists to showcase their creations and be praised for their work.

11375841_561967073941780_1260179304_n

Jakub Hendrix won Best Large Piece on Sunday

asssss

Ashley Luka won second place for Best of Sunday

There was also the Banana Ink stand, who were also at Liverpool convention, where convention goers could have a go at banana skins. The aim being that people will see how hard tattooing really is and the skill needed to do it, but I wonder if it will encourage people to buy a machine and have a go at creating tattoos at home?

bbb

bp1

lucy

20150816_140541

The organisers held a charity auction which not only had items gifted from the traders, including a taxidermy chick on a skateboard but also one of a kind art pieces. The conventions organisers prior to the event had sent artists skulls in the hope that they would decorate them in their own style. The most popular being an bio mechanical skull with a working camera in one of its eyes. All the proceeds went to haematology and Leukaemia charities.

chaThis is only the second year of Blackpool Tatcon, it is a really young and new convention, so I’m really excited to see what the convention has in store for next year… 

Focus Group: Tattoo Spotting

Last night we had a focus group in London to find out what our readers love and don’t love about Things&Ink magazine. We met these three lovely ladies who shared their opinions about our articles, layout and, of course, tattoos! There are lots of exciting changes ahead for Things&Ink

IMG_2690

Above from left: Columnist ReeRee Rockette, editor Alice Snape, editorial assistant Rosalie Woodward and our three panel members… 

We couldn’t resist the opportunity to street spot and chat tattoos to our panel members…

Name: Emma Age: 27 Lives: London  Job: Photograph researcher for Merlin
Tattoo: Skull by Ray Hunt at Diablo Tattoo in Kent

street

 

Name: Laura Age: 40 Lives: Maidstone, Kent  Job: Dinner lady/ toddler rugby coach
Tattoo: Abi Cornell at Inkfish in Maidstone
street2

 

Name: Silvia Age: 24 Lives: London Job: Digital marketing executive
Tattoo: Lady by Angelique Houtkamp at Salon Serpent Tattoo in Amsterdam
street4

If you have any suggestions or comments about the magazine get in touch, email us at hello@thingsandink.com