Tagged: Things and Ink

Wim Delvoye: Tattooed Pigs

Wim Delvoye is a Flemish contemporary artist, whose work breaks boundaries and challenges notions of ethics. His art aims to be provocative and that is certainly what Tattooed Pigs and Art Farm does.

He started tattooing pig skin in the early 1990s and wrapped his art work around polyester moulds. It wasn’t until 1997 that Wim started to use live pigs as his canvas and in 2004 he bought a farm near Beijing, where animal welfare laws are not as strict as other places.

Art Farm sees the piglets cared for by specialists who clean the pig’s wounds and moisturise the pig’s newly tattooed skin regularly. The animals are anaesthised and tattooed by up to three people at a time, with images including Disney Princesses and fashion brand logos.

Buyers can choose whether to buy the tattooed pigs alive or as taxidermy specimens when they die of natural causes. The pigs are not killed for their skin but they live and grow to be older pigs, in order to produce the live canvas that is their skin. The tattoos grow as the pigs do, images stretch and get bigger as does their value and desirability.

The animals skin is has been known to sell for more than £55,000, skin was sold to Chanel to be made into two exclusive handbags. Animal rights campaigners have complained that the pigs are put under unneccassary trauma and being abused for commercial profit.

Wim has also tattooed a man’s back in 2006 with a mixture of Japanese koi fish and Christian iconography. The piece was sold and the buyer will collect the piece when the wearer has died.

What do you think about Tattooed Pigs, is it art or animal cruelty?


Tattoo Inspired Leg Braces

Hope Laliberte is an eight-year-old Disney lover who has cerebral palsy, a condition she has lived with since birth.

She has to wear leg braces and has always had them decorated with skulls or superheroes.

When it came to getting her leg braces redecorated she dismissed the pre-made designs offered to her by the hospital, instead she wanted Disney Villains.

Her mum decided to contact family friend – tattoo artist and owner of Up in Flames Tattoo, in Massachusetts – Aaron Guillemette, who faced the challenge of customising Hope’s leg braces.

The braces are made from resin and acrylic plastic so instead of painting them Aaron decided to create huge stickers with Ursual and Cruela de Ville on them. The polyurethane surface will protect the designs aiding their durability.

Images from Herald News

Music Review: Brand New

Our guest blogger is inventory buyer, freelance writer and creator of Typewriter Teeth blog,  Amber Carnegie. This is the first in a series of music review posts in which Amber will be documenting her experiences at various music shows. First up is her review of the band Brand New who played at The Glee Club, Birmingham earlier this month… 

Earlier this year Brand New announced a small amount of intimate dates across the UK, in the minutes that they sold out, we were held in a sort of  limbo. Were we about to experience something that you can never find in an arena or witness knee deep in mud at a festival?

Mic-stands wrapped in flowers stood patiently waiting on the stage in a nod to The Smiths, before the band shook them as they opened with ‘Mene’, Brand New’s first recording in five years. Taking the lyrics ‘we don’t feel anything’ as our own before progressing into ‘Sink’ as if working back through their discography. In a raw instant the crowd was exposed and swept together into a close moment that could only be embraced in a venue like this. ‘Gasoline’ then followed the same fervent route, the distorted end constructed the quieter moments into ‘Millstone’.

For everyone in the room there is a track or an album that has pulled them through something or become a soundtrack to a period in their life. ‘The Devil And God Are Raging Inside Me’ illustrates something to me and that is what is so perfect about this set, to everyone in the crowd there was a meaning. But the moment that Brand New continued with ‘You Won’t Know’ is one that as fans we could share.

‘Sic Transit Gloria… Gloria Fades’ erupted into ‘Deja Entendu’, these favourite songs that still generate the same responsive passion that we all felt the first time we heard them more than a decade ago. Tracks that now stir emotional drunk sing-alongs at club nights and never fail to draw a crowd. ‘I Will Play My Game Beneath The Spin Light’ and ‘Okay I Believe You, But My Tommy Gun Don’t’ fittingly continued the teenage angst choir that had taken over the crowd with:

The kind of song that makes people glad to be where they are, with whomever they’re there with.’

Brand New persistently deliver incomparable shows, no matter where they play. With such a tight discography it is impossible to find a set list that doesn’t ensue an ardent atmosphere between the band and crowd. We were treated to an incredible full band version of ‘Brothers’ or ‘Untitled 03’ which is something I had never witnessed live before. Hearing a tracks like live for the first time really enhanced the night, making it stand out against all the other live shows I have been to.

‘Jesus Christ’ marks the final track to be performed by the entire band, winding down from an impassioned and perfect set, filled with everything that gets missed in a recording studio. Stirring every sentiment of nostalgia and of being in the moment.

Closing the show saw Jesse Lacey take the stage and lay every emotion out there for ‘Soco Amaretto Lime’. Usually at this moment the audience take the track for themselves,but in this close-knit venue Lacey clutched onto his words in an emotive and pained repetition with altered lyrics and a room silent in awe.

‘I’m just jealous cause you’re young and in love.’

Donut Tattoos

Donuts are everywhere at the minute, sprinkles galore! We are bombarded with sugary pastel coloured fashion and homewares covered in these sticky fairground treats. We have picked a box of a dozen of our favourite donut tattoos designs to share with you…













Do you have a donut tattoo?

You Won’t Regret That Tattoo

Australian director Angie Bird has created a short yet heart-warming documentary, ‘You Won’t Regret That Tattoo’, that shows the stories and memories connected to the tattoos of an older generation. The film seeks to challenge the idea that ink is something that people will come to regret. The tattoos are there to commemorate occasions, whether good or bad, show love for those in their lives both past and present, and some of the tattoos are simply for fun, to make people laugh.

To hear more tattoo stories watch the documentary below:

If you’re anything like this group of interesting people you certainly won’t regret your tattoos later on in life…

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.


Rihanna and Jacquie Aiche Temporary Tattoos

Singer Rihanna and LA based jewellery designer Jacquie Aiche have collaborated to create a line of temporary tattoos.

The seven sheet set includes knuckle wraps, name plates, arm bands and chains. The duo have included the alphabet in Gothic lettering, so that fans can spell out Rihanna’s lyrics on their bodies. These bold letters are a contrast to softer delicate designs that mimic Jacquie’s dainty jewellery designs.

In a release Jacquie explained:

‘Creating the tattoos was a really collaborative process between Rihanna and myself, which we feel is so evident in the final designs’

Keep an eye out for further tattoo inspired collaborations between Rihanna and Jacquie Aiche in the future.

The printer replaces the tattooist

Would you get a tattoo from a 3D printer?

The printer has been combined with a tattoo needle to create any design onto skin. The needle punctures the skin at up to 150 times per second.

Perhaps it would be more accurate than a tattoo artist, but would it be able to cope with twitching skin or wriggly customers? It would also feel like much more of a mechanical and sterile process, losing part of the heart that goes into every tattoo. You couldn’t have a chat with the printer, it wouldn’t make you a nice cup of tea or put you at ease.

The machine could possibly work for logos and graphic designs that are not hand drawn by tattooists. Or for designs that customers have drawn themselves.

The short video below shows a printer tattooing fake limbs.


What do you think? Would you get a tattoo from a 3D printer?

Artifical Skin Book

Tattoo Artist Magazine has created a book of artificial skin for budding tattoo artists to practice on. Many apprentices use fruit, pig skin and their friends to hone their craft before moving onto paying customers.

The book aims to closely mimic real skin, giving artists a diary to document their progression. Although the artificial skin is not a perfect replica for real skin, it still allows artists a vital place to improve.

The Skin Book Project is not available for sale and it is uncertain whether it will be released to the public in the future.

Watch the short video below to see the book and tattooists in action:

Are you a tattoo apprentice or tattooist and would you  consider using the book to practice on?

White Ink Tattoos

Our guest blogger is psychologist, freelance writer and creator of the blog Dream Electric, Ally Richards. In this post she is asking the question are white ink tattoos beautifully “barely there” or barely worth it? 

Tattoos entirely in white ink have become particularly popular. Part of the appeal may be their subtly for those unwilling to commit to a very visible piece. They’re discreet and often easily hidden. Celebrities such as Cara Delevigne and Rihanna now have them. 

An oft quoted criticism is the perceived pointlessness of getting a tattoo that isn’t especially visible or durable. My own interest developed after discovering images online of delicate, filigree-style designs that had an almost “secret” quality to them. I have other tattoos so I don’t personally see white as a “soft” option and like the scar-like quality of the ink, so I made plans to get my own.

Trying to find reliable information on white ink proved both challenging and discouraging. I was unable to find artists who advertised as being experienced in white ink. Artists told me it was a difficult job that they were reluctant to take on, that the design would fade and wasn’t worth the effort. I saw images of designs that barely showed up or had blurred into an off-colour smudge. Many articles on white ink frequently confuse it with images of UV tattoos and even scarification and warn customers off.

Eventually I took a studio recommendation and the artist assured me they had experience, although they weren’t able to show me any of their white work. The design was a lace heart, inspired by mandalas and also the doilies of a traditional cream tea. 

 I had read that the stencil ink can bleed in and discolouring the tattoo and was particularly concerned about this. A blood-line technique is often recommended. The artist was confident that their stencil was suitable.

As soon as the tattoo was finished a lilac colour was very evident, which I was assured would go away during healing. The colour did fade but a blueish tinge stuck to parts, giving a bruised colouring. The artist did a free touch-up on the bluest parts. This did decrease the blue, but it was not entirely removed.

Over a year has passed since and my tattoo still has several blueish patches. Positively, the white does show up on my very pale skin. It’s slightly raised in an appealing way. I apply sun cream to prevent it yellowing. One edge is becoming fainter and I have accepted that it will require future touching up to maintain its visibility. Though others usually only notice it when very close, my tattoo regularly receives very positive responses. People frequently tell me they love it and they’ve never seen one like it. Other artists have told me it is actually a particularly good example of white ink, which is some comfort.

I do however feel disappointed with the outcome. At this point I plan on letting the entire tattoo fade then getting it all retouched. Another possible option is going over in light blue for consistency. I still love the look of white ink but I would probably think twice about getting another, due to the unpredictability of the outcome.

Do you have a white ink tattoo of your own? Have you encountered the same problems as Ally? Comment below and let us know your experiences…