Tagged: Things and Ink

Tattoo Journeys – Portraits from London Tattoo Convention

Portraits from London Tattoo Convention 2015 byHeather Shuker Photography

A snapshot of people who attended the infamous London Tattoo Convention 2016 including artists, the general public, organisers, performers and more. As they posed, they were interviewed by Alice Snape and Keely Reichardt.


Sonja Punktum, 38, tattoo artist, Hamburg
“I’m not an angry person, but people who aren’t tattooed see rebellion, so are sometimes scared. People often comment on my tattoos, even if I don’t ask for it. Tattoos make people react, but I think that is because they are intense, they are created through pain and last forever, there is nothing else like it.”


Arrienette Ashman, 26, tattoo artist, Bournemouth
“I was 19 when I got my first tattoo, I went big straight away, as I always knew wanted to be heavily tattooed. My mum picked me up after the appointment and was shocked, but she has learnt to love them over the years. I love the thought of having art on me always. It is not just physical – it is a spiritual process.”


Ashley Green, 27, sports coach, Harrow
“I was drunk when I got my first tattoo at 16, it was a Chinese symbol. All my other tattoos are now family related, including a portrait of my mum.”


George Crew, 21, tattoo artist, Leicester
“I was 16 when I got my first tattoos, it was a rose on my stomach. I got it because everyone around me was getting tattooed. If I could go back, I would think about it more and get something of better quality. I am saving my back, though, as a backpiece is the most important tattoo you will ever get, as it is the biggest canvas.”


Monami Frost, 21, model/blogger/social media, Liverpool
“I cannot imagine my life without tattoos. Getting tattooed, for me, is a never-ending process. They are part of who I am. I think they are beautiful and they make me feel more full.”


Ermine Hunte, 37, buyer for an airline, Luton
“Tattoos and piercings are so empowering and can change who you are as a person. I have gained more confidence as they have covered scars from a kidney transplant. I am constantly evolving and gaining control over my body.”

Shaded: Dean Robinson

‘Shaded’ is an on-going interview series created by 22-year-old Bournemouth-hailing music journalism student, writer and editor James Musker, which focuses on tattooists, the interesting people that wear their work and both the artist and canvas’s relationship to the craft.

Dean Robinson is a 25 year-old Brighton-based musician and visual artist who creates violent and visceral sonic landscapes under the pseudonym Knifedoutofexistence, as well as contributing fuzzed clouds of texture and depth when it comes to his collective noise project Swallowing. In conversation with ‘Shaded’, the purveyor of seaside distortion demystifies the influences behind his work, the story behind his Bonnie Tyler tattoo and speaks about the relationship between the worlds of extreme music and body modification.


Can you talk about what it is you do as a musician? Firstly, I would say that calling myself a musician is a stretch, and probably does real musicians and myself a disservice. I currently work with two main projects: Knifedoutofexistence, which is a solo project in which I make noise and sounds with a range of objects, gear and vocals. I am also a member of the band Swallowing, where I add noise in the form of guitar feedback to the grinding dirge created by my band mates.

When did you start exploring musical performance? I have been playing in bands since I was roughly 16 years old, but I performed as Knifedoutofexistence for the first time in February 2013.


Skulls by Slim at Bournemouth’s Electric Skull

What initially influenced you musically? Knifedoutofexistence was inspired by a range of conspiring factors. I wanted to take the challenging and questioning ideals of punk and apply that to the actual sound itself. Why should it be that the only structure that punk doesn’t challenge is musical rules themselves? The band Column Of Heaven were a massive influence on both the sonic element of the project and the gravity I gave to the subject matter I work with.

Knifedoutofexistence is actually a reference to a sample at the end of the first Column Of Heaven release, ‘Ecstatically Embracing All That We Habitually Suppress’. Swans also opened my mind to the power of loops and repetitiveness – to the ability to create the same kind of aggression that’s stereotypical of extreme genres of music as Hardcore Punk, but in this polar opposite way. Instead of a quick blast of emotion, Swans create something that slowly drags you into it. ‘Filth’ taught me how to be covert with aggression.

Can you speak to what is currently inspiring you as a musician? The desire to make something constructive and creative out of the negative aspects of my personality and life is a constant inspiration. My motive for making noise has always been catharsis.


Boar by Scott Move

Can you tell me about your tattoos? I think, like most people who’ve been tattooed a decent amount, I’ve stopped counting them. Most of my tattoos are music related, as that’s always been the biggest part of my life. I have tattoos in tribute to a long list of bands and artists: Man Is The Bastard, The Doors, Iron Monkey, Black Flag, Minor Threat, Closure, Black Sabbath, Carrion Sunflower, Dystopia. I suppose Bonnie Tyler can be added to that list as well!

When I was out in Canada playing a few shows recently, I was in this bar that had a juke box. There was a group of us who thought we’d annoy everyone in the place by pouring all of our money into this machine and repeatedly requesting ‘Total Eclipse of the Heart’. It kind of backfired though, as the more we listened to it, the more we started to dig into the song and the lyrics and it ended up hitting us hard. We all got ‘love in the dark’ tattooed on us in honour of the experience. All of my tattoos have been done by a range of talented tattoo artists. My friends Sam Layzell and Rosie Evans who work out of their own private studio MVL in Leeds have done a decent amount of my work between them. Slim at Bournemouth’s Electric Skull did my knees. Scott Move, who is one of my favourite artists, produced this rad boar on my arm.

What attracted you to tattoos in the first place? They’re just something I’ve always been drawn to. I guess they go hand in hand with the subcultures and aesthetics I’ve always found appealing. The permanency of them is definitely a massive attraction for me. It’s something that, once finished, is forever a part of your person. My first tattoo was the logo of this band Reuben. I waited outside of the tattoo shop on my 18th birthday and got it done at 9 in the morning!


Do you have any plans for future work? There’s a lot of work I’ve got planned. I’d like to get “No Doves Fly Here” across my chest in reference to The Mob’s Post-Punk classic, as well as a portrait of the legendary futurist painter, composer and writer Lugi Russolo on my ribs. There’s a lot of incredible artists I’d like to get tattooed by.

Do you find that there’s a relationship between tattoo culture and the world that you gravitate towards creatively? Absolutely! Both tattoo culture and the world of extreme music have an outsider mentality to them and are not often given credit as “valid” or “real” art forms, although an approval that many involved do not seek to gain or actively work against. Noise is for the punks. Tattoos are for the punks.

Megan Massacre Colouring Book

We chat to the infamous Megan Massacre, 30, tattoo artist and co-founder @GritNGlory, about her new colouring book, reality TV and her tattoo style

Megan, we love your work! How would you describe your style?
Thanks! My tattooing style is mostly known for my very bright, colourful palettes and I usually mix a few tattooing styles together such as realism, traditional, neo-traditional and new school.

Screen Shot 2016-08-21 at 16.28.19

Tattoo by MeganWe loved you in America’s Worst Tattoos and NY Ink… Did you enjoy doing reality TV, what were the highlights?
Yes very much! The highlight for me was getting to share my work with such a large audience of people.

If you could tattoo anyone, dead or alive, who would it be?
Probably Gwen Stefani, I’ve loved her since I was a kid listening to No Doubt!

What made you decide to venture into colouring books?
I’ve always wanted to make a book of my tattoo drawings, tattoo flash is what we call it in the industry. When I realised it could double as a colouring book I thought it was such a cool, fun idea that even more people could enjoy.

Book Cover_Marked in Ink

What do you hope people will get from it?
I like to think of it as a book for both tattoo artists and fans, as well as colouring fanatics. I hope that tattoo artists and fans find the book useful for tattoo ideas and flash, as well as fun and therapeutic for colouring as well.

Cat portrait

It is aimed at adults and children?
Yes I think it’s great for both!

Do you think colouring books are important for wellbeing?
I think colouring is a great way to relieve stress and relax your mind while also working in a creative outlet and creating something awesome you can feel proud of.

Is it important for you to be involved in lots of different creative projects?
For me personally yes. I always have a few different projects going on, I like to stay overly busy. I also like to be involved in as many different creative industries as possible, it allows me to keep learning through art.

What are your hopes for the future?
I hope to make more colouring and art books for fans to enjoy, and to continually keep breaking into new, creative industries.

When will you next be in the UK?
I don’t have any plans at the moment but I try to go once a year, I’ll definitely be posting on my social media when I’ll be heading there next!

Flaming heart

You can order a copy of Marked in Ink, the colouring book by Megan Massacre from Book Depository


Things&Ink was launched over three years ago, it has become a community, not just for tattoo lovers, but creatives of all kind. This photoshoot was created by our stylist Olivia Snape, who has brought together creative minds, models, make-up artists in this stunning series of images titled: Journey.


“After an amazing three years being a part of Things&Ink, I reflected on how inspired I was by all the incredible people I had met along the way… this lead me to piece together this photoshoot, which illustrates a journey to whatever and wherever that may be,” says Things&Ink stylist, Olivia Snape


When the mind allows you to flow into realms unknown
Floating on a moment
Do not allow the eye to trick the mind
Explore all beings of light
Express, be,









Art Director & Stylist – Olivia Snape
Models – Monaisse & Maxi More
Jewellery – Tessa Metcalfe  & Jayne Fowler
Clothing – Prangsta with special thanks to Amaya Dent

Interview with Arianna Settembrino

Our Italian contributor Ilaria Pauletti chatted to Arianna Settembrino, who works out of her personal studio Skinwear Tattoo in Rimini about what inspires her and how she sees today’s tattoo culture…


You were one of the first women to stand out in the tattoo world, not just here in Italy but in the world. How did you get to where you are now? I’m very proud of what I have become. My path, somehow, has always been characterized by great commitment and great sacrifice.
I am very self-critical, but very determined. When I was young, I can remember, being given the chance to work in a studio as an assistant/apprentice, and how I devoted all of myself to this job, making the most of everything I was required to do by my mentor.

If you weren’t a tattoo artist, what would you be doing now? Another great passion of mine is education. I would definitely like to work in the school environment, with particular attention to adolescents. I strongly believe in the value of rehabilitation and recovery- I would have probably worked on a project of rehabilitation and reintegration of young people when they leave juvenile detention centres.


Do you believe that every tattoo artists chooses their tattooing style based on the characteristics of their own personality? It is absolutely true! The style of a tattoo artist and the characteristics of their work are an external representation of their character and of their essence. I would say that on one side we choose the style, and on the other one, the style chooses you.

Who and what inspires you? Is there any recurring themes in your art?
My sources of inspiration have always been tied to classical iconography of traditional tattoos, with bits of Victorian style and religion thrown in. I’ve definitely found my identity and style, and my own self-discipline and awareness have helped me to do this. I love anything form of art that is very graphic, futurist and Gothic or the brilliant works by Bosch- these intrigue and enchant me, even the music.


What has changed since you started tattooing? What would you like to change and what would you never want to change? It has changed a lot. The tattoo world reflects significantly the society in which we live in and nothing is as it was then.

Tattooing has evolved so much, especially where technology and equipment are concerned. Social media has elevated tattoos to new heights, and more and more people are getting tattooed because of it. But on the other hand tattoos being so available has generated the false belief that a tattoo is easy- people think they’re cool and simple to create. It takes respect and awareness to be a good tattooer, nowadays no one respects the art or their customers. There are so many ‘famous’ tattooers that do not always know the meaning of ethics and professional conduct, and tattoo their face and hands with a carelessness that leaves me astounded. It is an already saturated environment, and in a way it is so widespread that it has lost value. This job is not for everyone, you have to earn it!


Do you have a personal mantra that you live by?
My personal mantra is “I am present”. I use it every day, not just at work as I need to keep in touch with myself and stay centred.

What do you think of people who call themselves tattoo collectors? What I think of today’s tattoo collectors is that many of them are hurrying to fill up every little blank space, getting tattooed only by those branded and trendy tattooists. Their collection is not a true representation of a story, it hasn’t grown over time, with no life experiences instead it is a mere status symbol- a pre-packaged design. A visual impact that really makes me sick.


 If we think of the first tattooed people, years and years ago, we understand that tattoo was seen as something wild, forbidden but fascinating. Considering this, how do you see the future of tattoo culture? If once tattooed people were seen as freaks and people paid a ticket to the circus to see them up close, well, today I would say that we have gone the other way. Today is just the non tattooed person to be something exceptional. It is both good and bad, nowadays many people are getting tattooed because everyone else has one! I hope the future of tattoo art will be positive and that it will flourish, I hope that quality will win against quantity.

Brighton Tattoo Convention Street Spotter

Last bank holiday weekend, we had an absolutely blast at the 9th annual Brighton Tattoo Convention. The sun was shining and everyone was looking amazing, we couldn’t resist snapping a few of our favourite outfit/tattoo combos while we were there…

Amanda / Honey Pop
29, Blogger, Glasgow



Amanda’s bee by Rebecca Vincent

Tessa Metcalfe
27, jeweller, London



Tessa’s swan by Brian Wilson, jewels by David Corden


Tessa’s rose tattoo by Clare Frances

21, hairdresser, Brighton



Sophie’s back by Dotwork Damian

Lucy, 27, marketing, London (left)
Lauren, 30, trainee tattooist, Eastbourne



Lucy’s tattoo by Jaid Roberts


Lauren’s tattoo by Kiley

Tiggen / thetigerstyle
19, blogger/works in coffee shop, Herts



Tiggen’s tattoo by  Ricky Williams

Did you attend Brighton Tattoo Convention? Are you planning on going to any more tattoo conventions this year? Keep us posted @thingsandink 

Photos by James Gilyead 

Is it time to say goodbye? The Final Editor’s Letter


Wandering around the Vogue exhibition at The National Portrait Gallery, I think of the magazines that have inspired me over the years – and still continue to do so. I have always collected magazines, devoured every page, every inspirational photo shoot and article. From More and Sugar magazine when I was a teenager, to Dazed and Frankie when I was at university, I loved them all! I never dreamt that one day I would launch my own magazine… But I did.

I launched Things&Ink more than three years ago to become a part of that inspirational world that had spoken to me so much while I was growing up. I wanted to provide a source of tattoo inspiration for women and men just like me – who adore tattoos and wanted to see them presented to them in an arts and lifestyle publication.

From the first ever cover with the tattoo artist who inspired me to want to become heavily tattooed to our latest cover for The Horror Issue, the magazine has progressed and grown immensely over the years… and I really hope we have inspired readers, young and old.

Working on the first ever cover Working on the first ever cover

Alice Snape with Claudia de Sabe

As we prepare for our latest exhibition called The Archive, which sees artists who have featured on our pages over the years turn our back catalogue into works of art in their own right, I realise that it’s time to say goodbye to Things&Ink as a print magazine. Our latest exhibition was created to celebrate everything we have achieved over the years since we have been in publication. And I truly believe that we have made an impact on the tattoo world and beyond by representing tattoos in a interesting and thought-provoking way.

Editor Alice Snape with the now sold-out Horror Issue Editor Alice Snape with the now sold-out Horror Issue

However, as much as it pains me to say it, print is dying. Which is heartbreaking for me, I always loved the feel of a new book or magazine! Even the smell, opening the cover and wondering what you will discover… But the magazine world is changing, and without financial support, independently run magazines just cannot survive. As much as I have loved creating every single issue of Things&Ink, I just cannot take the financial burden anymore. Although the magazine looks like it is thriving, it is actually really struggling. I work as a freelance magazine editor and writer, and almost every penny I have earned over the years has been ploughed back into the magazine.

Is it time to say goodbye?

But not to dwell… Things change, evolve, and move into something unexpected. Things&Ink has become a very recognised brand, and although we will no longer exist in print, we will exist online in the form of this blog, and our social media accounts. We will also still organise events and exhibitions and be a hub for people who are passionate about art and tattoos.

I would also like to take this time to thank everyone who has contributed to the magazine over the three years that it has been running. Especially my right-hand women Rosie and Keely, without them I would have probably had a nervous breakdown a long time ago. And also my sister/stylist Olivia and my digital genius friend Pares, who helped me right back when the magazine was purely a figment of my imagination. They have put up with my tears and dramas, and dedicated hours, days, weeks to Things&Ink. All unpaid, all voluntary, just for the love of it. And that goes for every single person who has done something, no matter how big or small, for the magazine. That includes photographers, stylists, designers, writers… So many people.

"I loved watching the magazine come off the presses... such a magical moment every time" “I loved watching the magazine come off the presses… such a magical moment every time”


Running a tattoo magazine means that we have had a rare glimpse into the tattoo world, tattoo artists have opened up to us and given us a unique take on what could have been a very closed world. We have met some of the most incredible artists along the way, and hope we continue to do so… I also hope that as many of our readers, contributors, artists, friends and supporters will join us at our exhibition The Archive, opening on Thursday 31 March at the Circle in London… and don’t be sad, come celebrate!

Team T&I at London Tattoo Convention over two years ago... Team T&I at London Tattoo Convention over two years ago…


Thanks so much for reading this, what is my final – and most difficult to write – editor’s letter… it has been a pleasure compiling every issue for you, and I hope I can continue to inspire by curating content for this blog and also artwork for future exhibitions… there’s lots of cool projects brewing.

Much love, your editor,


PS you can grab a back issue and a little piece of tattoo history for £1 from Newsstand

Let’s Talk About Tattoos: London Pop-Up Photo Booth

WOW! Women of the World Festival


This Sunday 13 March, we’ll be teaming up with blog Women with Tattoos to stage a pop-up photo booth at the annual WOW! Women of the World Festival at London’s Southbank Centre.

Come see us and get your tattoos photographed by Eleni (the brains behind Women with Tattoos) and chat to Things&Ink editor Alice Snape about what your tattoos mean to you.

Where: Level 2, Royal Festival Hall, Belvedere Road, London, SE1 8XX
When: Sunday 13 March, 11am – 6pm

Alice Snape Women with Tattoos

Editor Alice Snape photographed by Eleni for the Women With Tattoos blog, check out her interview at: womenwithtattoos.co.uk

Things&Ink present: THE ARCHIVE

Things&Ink present:
THURSDAY 31 MARCH 2016 6pm-late

 An exhibition of Things&Ink covers turned into original works of art by people who have graced the pages of the magazine over the years…

Things&Ink is delighted to announce The Archive, a group exhibition celebrating more than three years, and 12 issues, of Things&Ink by inviting artists who have contributed to the magazine to turn back issues into original works of art. Opening on Thursday 31 March, and running for two weeks, at The Circle, in London’s Soho, to raise awareness for The One Love Project, with profits from sales being donated to the project that helps under-privileged children in Pushkar India.

The original face issue cover The original face issue cover, published in February 2013 The Face Issue decorated by Abbie Williams The Face Issue decorated by Abbie Williams


The Archive will showcase the breadth and variety of artistic talent within the  tattoo community. With more than 120 contributing artists from across the globe, each of the covers will be auctioned off in a silent auction that will run across the course of the exhibition, with bids starting at just £6.95 – the retail price of the magazine.

Never afraid to approach taboo subjects such as DIY and facial tattoos, Things&Ink have published 12 issues to date and each has had a specific theme, covering art, love, history and even fruit. Turning tattoo media on its head and moving away from a more sexist model, Things&Ink promotes body confidence and self acceptance by featuring inspirational people such as tattooed bearded lady Harnaam Kaur. Its aim has been to celebrate tattoo history, give inspiration through high-end photo shoots and provide commentary on current tattoo culture, The Archive will celebrate this by bringing together everyone who has featured on its pages.

The Modification Issue, decorated by its cover star Grace Neutral The Modification Issue, decorated by its cover star Grace Neutral


Each contributing artist has been sent a back issue at random, and there is no brief. They simply have to turn the cover of the magazine into an original work of art by using a medium of their choice.

The exhibition will run from Thursday 31 March until Sunday 17 April, and the artwork will be on display at The Circle for the course if it. There will also be a flash day on a date to be confirmed, with tattoos by two of Things&Ink’s favourite cover stars Grace Neutral (The Modification Issue) and Emily Johnston (The Horror Issue).

The Launch Issue, decorated by Nina Waldron The Launch Issue, decorated by Nina Waldron


The archive event is going to be the first time that all of our favourite artists we have ever featured have participated in an exhibition together and I cannot wait to see what our front covers become after they have been transformed into original pieces of art.  The Things & Ink journey wouldn’t have been anything without the help and support of all the amazing contributors and we are eternally grateful.” Keely Reichardt, Project Manager of The Archive

LIST OF EXHIBITING ARTISTS: Cally Jo, Grace Neutral, Jondix, Bob Done, Rik Lee, Ashley Love, Shane Ivezic, Susanne Konig, Frederico Rabelo, Lianne Moule, Guy Le Tatooer, Mike Tea, James Hate, Robert A Borbas, Saschi McCormack, Antoine Larrey, Tina Lugo, Deno, Flo Nuttall, Rachel Baldwin, Brian Wilson, Emily Johnston, Claudia de Sabe, Drew Linden

PLUS many more artists to be announced…

The Love Issue, decorated by its cover star Rachel Baldwin The Love Issue, decorated by its cover star Rachel Baldwin

Corazón Loco

Asenet Ramirez founder of Corazón Loco, creates sugar skull figurines in Barcelona, she paints each unique pieced by hand. We chatted to her to find out where she gets her inspiration from as well as her love of tattoos…

3 web

When did you first start making the skulls?  I started to make skulls after my first trip to Mexico. A year after my holiday I moved to Oaxaca in Mexico.

What inspires you? I love the people of Mexico, the colours, and the culture. This environment is the source of my inspiration. I’d say I’m an artisan, all of my work is related to Mexican folk culture. I’m naturally curious about different ways of life and I love tattoos. I’m also inspired by the work of people I admire. While I’m working on a skull I’m think about the next one,no two are alike!


Where can we buy them?  People can purchase a skull by contacting me on Instagram, Facebook, or by email (corazon.loco.la@gmail.com). I also have stands at tattoo conventions or come and find me at  LTW Tattoo Studio in Barcelona. I make different size skulls, headbands, dolls, altars, tote bags and t-shirts .


When did you get your first tattoo and what was it? I get my first tattoo in Bugs Tattoo London 26 years ago, It was and ace of spades with two skulls. I look at my tattoo and remember being in the moment and the joy I felt.  I love everyone of my tattoos, and the memory of all of them.

Do you have any future plans to get tattooed? There’s always a tattoo in progress…


Pictures were taken by Pol Vila and make up by Andrea Alvarez