Tagged: Things and Ink magazine

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.

Surreal tattoos based on stories

Jade Tomlinson and Kev James are the creators of Expanded Eye – an artistic movement that encompasses and explores all aspects of life and the universe, from tattoos to street art. They create unique surreal tattoos inspired by the lives and stories of their clients. They want their clients to focus on what they want the tattoo to represent and leave the visual aesthetics to Jade and Kev.

 Each and every unique tattoo we create is our visual interpretation of concepts and stories provided by the client, which hold significant meaning to the individual. We encompass as much personal detail as possible whileallowing each design to evolve organically into a contemporary piece of art, which we then transfer from paper to skin.

 

The pair are currently tattooing in  Hackney, London and have spaces available, if you want to get tattooed by them email your idea and body placement to info@expandedeye.co.uk

Read more about their story at expanded-eye.

 

Urban Outfitters trashy tattoos

You can buy trashy temporary tattoos from Urban Outfitters, but why are they called Trashy? Is it merely the name of the brand or is the online store passing its judgement on certain tattoo designs?

The designs that are deemed as trashy include tribal, dolphins, anchors and barbed wire. These have all taken part in tattoo trends, each one gaining popular in different time periods and decades gone by.

But is Urban Outfitters simply stating that all tattoos are trashy?

 What do you think?

Tattoo Me: Illma Gore

Illma Gore’s Tattoo Me project invites people to submit words that she will get tattooed onto her body.

 

Artist Illma Gore is raising money to launch her first art exhibition with a crowd-funding page, but this is no ordinary art show.

Illma is the canvas…

You can pay to have your name – or a few words of your choosing – tattooed onto Illma’s body. She will have anything tattooed on her as long as it isn’t hateful or discriminative. Her original goal was to raise 6K, but as it stands she has raised over $11,000 and she estimates that she will have room for 1700 names.

 

On her crowd-funding page she explains the inspiration behind her idea:

I want to be a singular tattoo for my latest art exhibition, and I want it to be your names. This is going to be an art exhibition in LA featuring my body and your names as well as painting and videography – by donating you are helping me pay the costs of putting on an exhibtion not for the tattoos. I think the tattoo on my forehead says it best ‘Life is art’. There is something absurd & beautiful about having an accumulation of absolute strangers names draped over my pale goth skin, even if half of them are ‘Penis Butt’. Why? you might ask, simply because I can, I know what I’m about son, and I am my own ultimate canvas. Like my art exhibitions and murals this is a social and artistic experiment! Each person’s name to me represents YOU the main protagonist in your own story. I will be covered in a hundred tiny stories and an exhibtion will be held featuring you and my body as the canvas.

Giving myself to the whim of the world and for my art.

Photographs: PR, Guardian, GoFundMe

Illma Gore Before

Illma Gore after

Freedom Tattoos: Turning prison tattoos into something beautiful

Freedom Tattoos is a new charity project set up by by Poland’s Pedagogium The College of Social Sciences and ad agency Isobar Poland.

To erase the stigma of prison tattoos.
On Creative Social Rehabilitation.

They want to help ex-cons to return back to society by covering tattoos they got in prison with professionally created ones. The cover-ups tend to be better looking, perhaps more colourful and of a higher quality than their prison ink. The emphasis of the charity is not on the mistakes they have made in their past, but more on their own personal growth and rehabilitation.

The emotional video below follows two women as they get their old prison tattoos covered, so they can move on with their lives:

Quote and video from Freedom Tattoos

Part Three – Mindful Wanderlust Vegan Travel Diary

Our guest blogger is Giselle, creator of Mindful Wanderlust – a travel blog about responsible travel, tattoos, and following a vegan lifestyle. This is the third of many posts to appear on th-ink, telling of her and her husband Cody’s travelling tales. If you have missed their previous travel posts catch up and read Part Two and Part One

 

We made it to Tokyo! Before we even booked our flights to Japan I knew it was a country I really wanted to get tattooed in, so I spent some time back in Canada researching different artists.

After taking a look at their consistently beautiful bold artwork, I decided on American traditional for the design, I chose to go with the guys at Inkrat Tattoo in Tokyo. Rei is the owner of Inkrat Tattoo, and has been tattooing for over 22 years.  His shop is covered in art, new and old, and original flash from the 1950s hangs on the walls.

  I couldn’t stop picking out all of the pieces I wanted.

Prior to arriving at Inkrat I decided on a geisha and left the design up to Rei. I thought, “Other than a Sumo wrestler, what’s more Japanese than a geisha?” It’s the perfect souvenir from Japan.

I learned something very interesting and new about Japanese tattoo etiquette (or at least Rei’s tattoo etiquette) at the shop that day. Before arriving for my tattoo appointment, I was asked where I wanted the tattoo, and I said on the outside bottom of my left leg.

On the day of, Rei walked over to me to fit the design on my leg and it didn’t quite fit properly. I said “it’s ok, we can do it on my other leg” But Rei didn’t really respond, he just told me he would make it a little smaller so it would fit. A regular customer sitting across from me said that where I asked for the tattoo is where I am going to get it. The reason for this, is that the artist doesn’t want to inconvenience me, as I already chose the placement and he wants to respect that.

That came as a little bit of a surprise to me. I would have been perfectly fine with the tattoo on my right leg, but just hearing that he refused to put it on my other leg out of respect made me smile a little.

Respect – and integrity – seems to be an extremely important thing in the tattoo world among tattoo artists. It is something that really resonates with me, as integrity is hard to come by these days. I have a lot of respect for people who have a lot of respect for people. Go figure.

On top of my excitement over visiting and getting tattooed in Japan, arriving in Tokyo was a sensory overload. My senses were pulling me everywhere. The colours, the lights, the droves of people, and the, sometimes, disapproving stares from some of the locals.

Although tattoo shops are legal in Japan, the long history and mentality of tattoos being only for criminals and misfits has not yet dissipated.

The earliest signs of the Japanese getting tattooed date back to 5,000 BC. By the 7th century the Japanese adopted much of the same mentality that the Chinese had for tattoos, seeing them as barbaric and using them as a punishment for crimes committed.

In the middle of the 18th century Japanese tattooing was popularised by a Chinese novel with several of its heroes covered in tattoos. This novel influenced all Japanese culture and arts, but the yakuza also became interested in tattooing, further making it a tasteless form of art and self expression to many. The yakuza felt that because tattooing was painful, it was proof of courage, and because it was illegal, it made them outlaws forever.

Finally, tattooing in Japan was legalised in the 20th century, but to this day it is still taboo. People with tattoos cannot enter into any hot baths, so unfortunately we will not be visiting any onsen (hot springs) in Japan.

Thankfully the mentality of tattoos being only for criminals is dying out with the old generation and new generations are embracing their rich culture of the art of irezumi.

 It is an ancient craft that should be appreciated and respected for what it is, not looked down upon, because it is misunderstood.

As Japan tries to reclaim all of the beauty and positivity of this ancient art of expression; I feel honoured to be able to collect an original piece from a country so steeped in the tradition of tattooing.

Follow Giselle and Cody’s travels on their blog and Instagram

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

 

 

‘Bagel Head’ Body Modification

What’s your party trick? Can you create a doughnut in your head for a night? Well people taking part in the underground modification scene in Japan can! Here’s how…

 

To create a bagel like shape on your forehead up to 400 cc of saline solution is injected under the skin.  The insertion can take up to two hours and the indention is created by the practitioner placing their thumb onto the middle of the saline bubble.

This modification is only temporary and lasts up to 24 hours, as the saline is absorbed into the body and the forehead returns to normal.

This body modification is regularly performed at parties, and it not only limited to the forehead but can be carried out anywhere on the body.

 

Images from National Geographic

Our pick of bird tattoos

We’re desperately hoping that spring is soon on its way and with sunshine comes birds…

Heres our pick of some bird tattoos we’ve seen flying around Instagram, see what we did there? Anyway here they are and don’t forget to share yours with us!

@pacocasero

@pengitattoo

@hannahpixiesnow

@cubatattoo

@criscleen

 

@marcustattoos

@pari_corbitt

@valeriemodernclassic

@kate_selkie

 @nomi_chi

@tattoo_drew