Tagged: thingsandink

In Colourful Company Street Spotter

If you haven’t heard of In Colourful Company yet you may have spotted their colourful community walking around a city near you. The group is ‘an all inclusive community of kindness, encouragement and adventure’ that started out in Sheffield just over a year ago.

Their goal is to bring people together in fun and creative ways, and to encourage each other to take chances and make changes, all whilst grabbing their cameras and searching the streets of their favourite cities in search of colour.

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Our music writer Amber caught up with a few from this colourful lot during their Leeds walk to find out more about their creative careers, tattoos and their experience of In Colourful Company…

Name: Kayley Mills
Instagram: @Kayleymills
Job: Illustrator and etsy shop owner
Tattoos: Sleeve and forearm by Raychel Maughan at Northern Glory in Newcastle.

“In Colourful Company has brought me right out of my shell and has helped me meet so many awesome like-minded people.”

Name: Lisa Barlow
Instagram: @lisa__barlow @magicalthunderpress
Job: Illustrator and freelance designer
Tattoos: Sewing sleeve by Sway at Northside Tattoos now at Sacred Electric
Cactus, gypsy lady, castle and snow globe all by Bailey at Sacred Electric

“This is my first experience of In Colourful Company for the Leeds colour walk and it has been loads of fun meeting new people”

Name: Sarah Jane Smith
Instagram: @sj.sdsphotography
Job: Photographer
Tattoo: Rose by Polly at Cry Baby Tattoo

“It’s been a bunch of warm, welcoming, like-minded people who have been great fun to hang out with.”

Name: Alice Christina
Instagram: @awonderemporium
Job: Blogger & Photographer
Tattoo: Wildflower bouquet, by Lea Snoeflinga at Northside Tattoos

“This is my first walk and everyone is so friendly and colourful. It’s inspiring to see so many incredible women bossing it!”

Name: Katie Abey
Instagram: @katieabey
Job: Illustrator and company director
Tattoos: Hogwarts by Vicky Morgan, cat by Jody Dawber, WIP back piece by Ashley Luka, lemon grab by Paul Tipping.

“In Colourful Company has brought me so many new friends. It’s inspiring to go on adventures with amazing girl bosses!”

Name: Nicola Fernandes
Instagram: @fernandesmakes
Job: Illustrator
Tattoos: Lady by Adam Steel, Squirrel by Adam Cornish, Wasted Rita quote by Mike Boyd, Cat and Scribble by Rainey Harley.

“It’s like I’ve stepped inside of Instagram. It’s great to meet people in real life and make connections and hopefully BFF’s”


To find out more about In Colourful Company and how you can get involved head to their website.

Interview with Cattle

Our writer Harry Casey-Woodward interviews lead vocalist Chris from Leeds punk band Cattle, whose music is the stuff of nightmares…

I’ve heard of some unusual line-ups for a post-punk band, but Cattle from Leeds take the cookie. They have two drummers and no guitarist for one. Well we’ve seen how extra drummers have worked well for bands like Slipknot at creating extra intensity. Cattle have also made up for a lack of guitar by fully utilising the skills of their bassist, in the style of the original post-punk outfit from Leeds, Gang of Four.

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Why are you called Cattle? Is it a comment on the state of humanity? I’d like to say it was a really deep and drawn out process that resulted in the selection of a highly symbolic name, but I can’t quite remember what led to it! Have you seen that advert for Cravendale milk, where some cows follow a man home to steal back their milk? (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MF4eTlCl660), maybe I was watching that advert?

What drives you to make such scary music? What are the themes of your songs? We didn’t realise it was so scary! A lot of the songs are about things like nature, minimalism and bad decisions in life. I think everyone has elements to their personality which other people might deem scary – anger, a bleak outlook, and music is a way of processing those aspects and feelings.

Are there any particular post-punk/noise rock bands who have especially influenced you? Big Business and the Melvins are a huge influence, as well as bands lines like Ghold, Godheadsilo, Harvey Milk and 400 Blows. Post punk isn’t such an influence, but there’s a ton of good stuff out there – Preoccupations and Protomartyr are two of my favourites at the moment.

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What current bands do you like, or you think are noisy enough? There’s loads of good stuff at the moment. In the UK we like Ghold, Bearfoot Beware, Irk, Unwave, Famine, Casual Nun, Gumtakestooth and in other parts of the world, The Body, Big Business, Big Ups, Meatwave and Pile are well worth checking out.

Your music sounds so raw but you still find time for catchy riffs. Do you think there should be a balance between distortion and melody in punk music? Yes definitely, I think music stands or falls on the strength of a hook, even when people are making punk rock, noise, mood pieces. A lot of my favourite music (Neil Young, Warren Zevon, Ween, Creedence Clearwater Revival, AC/DC) is hook based and hopefully this shows.

How important is it to create atmosphere in your music? It’s quite important, I think the hook should be first but obviously setting the right tone for a story or feeling you’re trying to convey is a good idea.

Are your live shows as intense as the music? We definitely like to go for it live. The first few shows were absolutely exhausting and I had to sit down in a chair after them like an old man! It’s getting better now though – there’s nothing like losing your shit for 30 minutes.

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I loved your cover of ‘anthrax’ by Gang of Four. It’s my favourite song off the ‘Entertainment’ album. What do you like about the song? The noisy build up is fantastic, and then when that absolutely sublime beat kicks in its total magic. It’s the complete package – amazing riff, great vocals and totally weird.

What are your views on synths? Do you think punk and electronic music have mixed well? There’s so many bands who’ve done ace stuff with synths, so yeah I think so. The locust for example used synths in a such an amazing way, and I saw that band crystal castles play ages ago at Leeds festival and it was super intense – thought it worked really well.

It’s funny you should mention it actually because the next step for Cattle is to buy silver suits and we’re all going to play synths. Like kraftwerk, but with one added synth (so 20% better than kraftwerk).

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It says on your bandcamp that your self-titled EP was released in 1970. Just how long have you guys been around? That was just a joke – I used the release date for the first Black Sabbath album. Think we’ve being going around five years now.

As the vocalist, how do you belt out that much fury in your voice? Because I am FURIOUS MAN. Just kidding, I love that singer John Brannon (Negative Approach, Laughing Hyenas) and thought he had the greatest voice ever so was trying to emulate him. Essentially it’s really cathartic and shouting about stuff that bothers me makes me helps me deal with those feelings and feel good about myself.

Are there any other art forms besides music that influence you? All the big ones basically – books, film, artwork. Especially things that take a more minimal approach (authors like Cormac McCarthy, Hubert Selby Jr, or art by Robert Ryman) have definitely influenced my approach to the band in terms of trying to take a direct route in making music, not overcomplicate things and not get bogged down in the bullshit everyone else tries to get you involved in.

Check out their debut album Nature’s Champion here, which consists of seven songs of booming, sludgy hell, or paradise depending on your tastes. Even without a guitarist, the band somehow create an incredible wall of distortion that’s sure to prick up your ears, underneath which weave some hooky bass lines that are the real powerful aspect of the band.

All photos taken by Howie Hill Photography

Interview with Mermaid Moon Child

19-year-old Hayley Sunter is a business student and blogger from Bradford. We chatted to Hayley about how she started her blog www.mermaidmoonchild.wordpress.com and her tattoo collection… 

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When did you start blogging, how did you get into it? I started blogging September of this year, what got me into blogging was just a passion for writing, I also wanted to share and talk about things I love.

What kind of things do you blog about? I don’t like to see myself as a typical beauty blogger not that there is anything wrong with that, I just wanted my blog to be more. I blog about things such as mental health, my tattoos, life updates and if I do talk about beauty products I am always promoting cruelty free ones. I like to see my blog as a somewhat visual and online diary,  I am a very open about my life online as I hope some of my life struggles and achievements will either help or inspire people who come across my blog.

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How would you describe your style? Honestly I have people try to label my style as many things but for me personally I get fashion inspiration from alternative women, typically on Instagram so I would label myself as alternative.

What inspires you? I get inspiration from a lot of different things from compassion and kindness I see online, to people loving themselves and being truly happy the way they are in their body. I feel like the world wants us to dislike at least one thing about ourselves and seeing people overcome that inspires me to love myself and others.

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Do you have a favourite artist, designer or musician? Or someone you admire? The person I admire the most is a tattoo artist called Hannah Pixie Snowdon, I first came across her on Instagram when I saw some of her tattoos and that is one of the first times I fell in love with heavily tattooed women. I then went on to get more inspired by her outlook on life, she has so much compassion, she is so mindful and she has overcome some dark demons in her life. I plan on getting her portrait tattooed one day, because she has inspired me so much and pretty much changed how I see life.

When did you get your first tattoo? Do you still love it? I got my first tattoo August 2015 just after my 18th birthday, its a little traditional style black cat sat on a moon on my ankle and honestly it was a painful little thing. I do still love it but where it is in terms of placement, it didn’t heal the best and the lines blew out a bit.

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Tell us about your tattoos? Do they help you to see your body differently, do they inspire confidence? I am not the most heavily tattooed person but I plan on being, I currently have four tattoos including my second tattoo – my thigh piece done by Lucy O’Connell at Red Tattoo Leeds. It’s a portrait of my beloved pet ferret Ed who sadly passed last year, he was literally like my fur child so I booked in with Lucy the month he died. My third tattoo is done by Danny at Cobra Club Leeds, it’s of Gizmo from the film Gremlins I just love everything about it!

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My last but not least was done by Tom Flanagan at Odd Fellows in Leeds. This tattoo has a lot of meaning behind it, as it features a love heart with a hand holding a panther paw its a little twist on the traditional style two people holding hands tattoos. I wanted it to represent that animals are here with us not for us. I recently turned vegetarian when I got this tattoo and never looked back.

In terms of do my tattoos make me see myself differently? Absolutely they do, about three years ago I never got my legs out without some fake tan, as I didn’t really like my legs. Now with my legs featuring some beautiful art I love it, I can’t wait for summer so I can get them out again! Each time I get a tattoo I feel more and more like myself.

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Do you have any future tattoo plans? I actually have a tattoo booked just after Christmas which I am looking forward to. As for future plans I plan on adding more and more to my legs first then I will work my way up my body. For years I have wanted my stomach tattooed so I might make plans for that sometime next year.

Do you consider yourself as a tattoo collector? I do, I plan on travelling around the country to different tattoo artists I have admired on Instagram. Luckily some really talented people are based right on my door step in Leeds. I’ll only really stick to one artist if we are working on a stomach or back piece, other than that I want to collect as many different tattoos from different artists that I really admire.

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What kinds of reactions do your tattoos get? Honestly I think I have only had one bad reaction to my tattoos and that has been online, where they were a bit old fashioned and thought that females don’t suit tattoos. Other than that I have had some lovely reactions in person and online. I remember in the Summer I was shopping and the shop assistant asked to look at my legs I was so confused for a second until she commented on how beautiful my tattoos are. Sometimes I forgot they are there I am so used to them now.

Sonia Kolner Illustration

24-year-old Sonia Kolner is an illustrator and retail worker based in Oakland California. We chatted to Sonia about her dark illustrations, what inspires her and her tattoo collection… 

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Inspired by Things&Ink  Sonia created this illustration just for us…

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What medium do you use? How do you create each piece? I use mainly crowquill for my pen and ink work. I also work on printmaking from time to time, mostly consisting of lithography. I create each piece digitally and traditionally. The end result is always fully traditional, however I like to collage digitally beforehand. It makes planning a lot quicker and I can scan/scale elements easily. I am committed to the idea of being a pro at Photoshop slowly but surely.

What do you like to draw? I love drawing anything anatomy related, eyes, patterns, distorted or conjoined things. I also find comfort in drawing nature such as flowers, and of course snakes and bats.

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What inspires you? Really, really good music. I would say a lot of creative people whether it’s other artists, musicians, skaters, writers, etc. Also, any other unique beings who have their own style, tastes and opinions that I find to be inspiring and good to converse with. A few of my close friendships inspire me, as I find myself getting into unexpected deep conversations with them about life, death, trust, and everything in between. Often what inspires me as well is other people’s stories. I always treasure when someone trusts me enough to open up about their suffering and or other personal things. Because it’s an extreme challenge, those small moments inspire me and I hold them dearly. Other than that I would say last but not least, nature, animals, and old school Japanese art. The list could go on!

How would you describe your style? Organized chaos. Visually and emotionally.

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Are there any other artists that you admire, do they influence your work? Of course. My current favorites are Suehiro Maruo and Junji Ito. I love both artists work because of not only their talent, but also the psychological twists to their pieces and stories. I enjoy art that’s intriguing and leaves me wondering. I never liked comics, but Junji Ito’s Uzumaki series is gory, emotionally haunting and nothing short of brilliant. Besides them, about two years ago I used to have a long list of artists, but now I find I get most of my inspiration from old books, music, and certain conversations.

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Can you tell us about your own tattoos? I have quite a few so I’ll just talk about my two most recent ones that I drew and designed that mean the most to me. I got conjoined Japanese Noh Masks in June, done by Arielle Coupe. In September I got a chrysanthemum done by Michael Deschenes. The tattoos are on the same forearm, one in the front and the other in the back, close to the elbow. Both of them are super talented and translated my drawings onto skin seamlessly. I’m planning to get a snake that sort of intertwines itself among these two current tattoos.

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What drives you to create work that draws upon the motifs and the style of tattooing? Pen and ink stippling/hatching style is my driving force. I like how much dedication and patience it takes.  I never used to think that my work drew upon tattoo motifs, until anyone who saw my work would asked me if I either a) Would design them a tattoo, or b) If I would consider being a tattoo artist. That’s when I started to notice a pattern and blackwork translates quite easily into a tattoo these days.

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Do you do commissions? Where can people buy your work? Absolutely. You can contact me through my website and we can chat. www.soniakolnerillustration.co. You can purchase my work on Society6 https://society6.com/soniakolnerillustration

Interview with artist Anna Volpi

Our Italian contributor Ilaria Pauletti chatted to Italian-American artist Anna Volpi about her photographic series Skin… 

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When did the Skin project come about and what is the idea behind these shots? Skin was created for a competition that I didn’t win, but that doesn’t matter now. I met so many wonderful people through the project which is more important that any prize.  The title of the competition was simply ‘Skin’. I began to think of the various interpretations of skin, what you can do with it, the way we can see and feel it. The skin is the largest organ of our body and we can not live without it. One thing all human beings have in common is their skin and how it can cause a variety of relationships and reactions among people. Love, hate, contempt, worship and much more. ‘Skin’ is more than just aesthetics it explores how we live in it and how people really are inside their own body.

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How did you select the personal stories of each one of the subjects? To select the people I searched the internet and I spread the word among my acquaintances. I only chose people who had interesting experiences or felt connected to their skin in some way.  I listened to the story of each of them and the ones I chose were those that struck me the most. In each photo there is a summarising sentence, that encapsulates them as a person.

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What did you like the most about this experience, both personally and professionally? What I liked the most was meeting extraordinary people that I would like to keep in my life. From a more professional side, this is the most methodical project I’ve done so far. From the start I already had an idea of how the aesthetics would be. However when photographing people I didn’t ask for them to pose, I took every picture naturally during our long talks. But I knew that I wanted clean, balanced and strong images. I usually get dragged a little more by improvisation and variety, but here I had to work within certain limits, and it was a great experience.

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What are your thoughts about tattoo art?  I have two tattoos, but I’ve never studied the history of tattooing. I don’t like how stereotyped people with tattoo are, and I don’t like them as a fashion trend. Saying that, not every tattoo should have a deep moral significance. My tattoos act as reminders for me. The words ‘here now’ remind me not to be anxious about the future, or decay in the past. ‘Write’, instead, reminds me to finish my novel. I chose Evelyn Hays, the tattooed girl in the Skin project, because she totally believes in this form of artistic expression. And I would have chosen her even if she hadn’t had tattoos, because she believes deeply in this art form.

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Can you see a relationship between tattoos and photography? In a photographic portrait a tattoo can be a point of interest or it can be seen as a disturbance. I really like to photograph the naked body, and for some shots I look for women without tattoos, because the tattoo is somehow distracting. Tattoos attract the eye, and can disturb the lines of the body that I want to create. Other times, they accentuate the body.

Apprentice Love: Rachel Welsby

We spotted the work of 29-year-old apprentice Rachel Welsby on Instagram and instantly loved her dark traditional style tattoos. We chatted to Rachel to find out more about her life as an apprentice at Golden Daggers in Los Angeles where she works… 

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How long have you been tattooing? Since January 2016

How did you start? I spent almost a year putting together a portfolio of my tattoo flash and when I felt I had enough work, I started researching shops in LA and began approaching the ones I liked the look of for an apprenticeship. I’d just moved to Los Angeles and knew hardly anything about the tattoo scene here – I’m glad I spent so much time researching shops because I was lucky enough to find Golden Daggers and my mentor Rocky. I’m currently 14 months into my apprenticeship.

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What did you do before? After I graduated in 2009, I worked in retail when I lived in Brighton and then buying when I lived in London. I had a lucky escape from all of that when I had the opportunity to move to San Francisco in November 2013. I didn’t realise how soul destroying those environments were until I left. I’m glad I did do that kind of work though because it’s made my so grateful for the work I do now and the lifestyle I have here in California.

Do you have a background in art? Yes, drawing and making things was all I did when I was a kid. I took art, textile and graphic design classes in school. I went to art college, and then onto university in Bristol, England where I studied Fashion Illustration. Alongside working full time, I worked as a freelance illustrator doing editorial and commercial illustration work, as well as my own personal projects.

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What drew you to the world of tattooing? It was through music. I remember seeing bands like Rancid, AFI and The Distillers on MTV2 when I was a teenager and thinking how cool they were. I grew up in a small town in Wales and never ever saw people who looked like them. I fell in love with the music and the aesthetic and haven’t ever looked back.

It was on a long drive from San Francisco to Portland one day that the decision was made that I should pour all my energy into becoming a tattooer. By the time I’d come to this conclusion, I had already been getting tattooed for 10 years and was already quite heavily covered. I felt I had a good understanding of the industry and the hard work that I’d need to constantly put in to make it work. I’m very fortunate to have such incredible friends and family around me who encourage and support me through all of this.

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How would you describe your style, has it changed at all? I’d describe my work as black traditional with a dark feel. I’d say my subject matter and imagery has remained consistent, but the technicality of my designs has changed. Before I started tattooing, I was drawing flash that was WAY to complex for me to attempt to tattoo. As a result I have totally simplified my designs to match my ability as a tattooer. I’m only working in black too – I think that’s more to do with the aesthetic I like, but in time I would like to be able to tattoo confidently with colour too. It’s a progression that will continue to evolve as I grow and I improve technically.

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What inspires you? Becca was one of my very first inspirations. She’s an amazing tattooer and became a dear friend after the amount of hours we spent together whilst she tattooed me. She’s very humble, dedicated and a true artist. I think incredibly highly of all she’s achieved. Another one of my biggest early inspirations is Simon Erl. He used to work at Jayne Doe so I met him through getting tattooed with Becca. He was the first tattooer I was aware of who worked so heavily with black. I loved his really thick lines and whip-shading. His dark imagery was also something that captivated me. His work is so well designed and considered. He uses so much black, but it’s always balanced and works.

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What would you like to tattoo? I would love to do a back piece one day!

What is a typical day like for you? I get up kinda early and have a coffee, do yoga, walk my dog and work on my embroidery projects. Then I get to the shop at 1pm and take care of all of my apprentice duties before I do my own drawings or begin appointments. This involves things like cleaning the shop, scrubbing tubes, buying supplies, making sure bills get paid and handing the shop money. I then spend the rest of the day drawing or tattooing.

Can you tell us about your own tattoos? The majority of my tattoos are from Becca and I also have a couple of pieces from Simon Erl, Bastien Jean and Ed Mosley.

Apprentice Love: Jay Rose

We spotted the work of 21-year-old apprentice Jay Rose on Instagram and instantly loved her dark dotwork and floral tattoos. We chatted to Little Jay to find out more about her life as an apprentice at Black Dot Tattoo Studio in Glasgow where she works… 

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Photo by Nik Antonio

How long have you been tattooing? I’ve been an apprentice for just over a year, I did my first tattoo on May 18th 2015.

How did you start? What did you do before?  I’ve always had an interest in tattooing, I was exposed to tattoos my entire childhood. My granddad has some really old traditional style tattoos, I grew up looking at pop eye tattooed across his hand, with old school lettering in a heart for his mum and dad. I think being exposed to tattoos so frequently they drew my attention more towards them. I knew I was going to be heavily tattooed; I just didn’t think I’d be the one doing it!

When I started to properly get tattooed one of the people who tattooed me was Raph Cemo, when I went to get tattooed by him I was a little lost, things weren’t going to plan and I’d lost my vision of what I wanted to be doing. I came out of that tattoo session so empowered (and a little physically drained), knowing what I wanted to do and feeling silly for not realising how obvious it was that I should start tattooing. It wasn’t until a year later, when I had set up a clear path and done a lot of self-development that I met Tom and somehow convinced him to let me be his apprentice.

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Do you have a background in art? My parents brought me up drawing and letting me make creative messes in the house, my mum’s a wonderful artist but she’ll never admit that to anyone. My nan used to paint water colours and I’d draw the flowers in her garden when I was a little girl, I guess that’s where my love for flowers comes from as well. I’ve always been artistic due to the way I was brought up, I studied fine art and photography before starting my degree in painting and printmaking at Glasgow School of Art.

What drew you to the tattoo world? I get tattooed for lots of different reasons, but long story short tattooing is allowing me to create a vessel I feel comfortable in and am proud of. My journey with my body is a continuous one that I work on loving everyday but tattooing has allowed me to externalise the vision I hold for my body, watching that come to life and loving myself a little bit more each time is an emotional path. I have never been more myself than I am now due to tattooing, and that’s a really comforting feeling. This vessel is the only thing I will ever truly own, the only thing that will ever truly be mine and I am working on improving it and worshipping it every day.

I am so thankful for all of the artists that have allowed me to sit in their chair and help me with my journey, if I can even help someone half as much as these incredible beings have helped me I’d be overjoyed. Seeing how much of an impact you have had in someone’s life, be that from helping with self-improvement or to be a part of a creation of a memory is magical to see, that’s why I love tattooing.

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Describe your style, how has it changed? I guess the style I tattoo in would technically fall under dot work, my style itself however is constantly changing and developing as I meet new people and discover new things. Tibetan art has been a major influence throughout my life and was a really heavy part of my style and what I was tattooing at the beginning. The impact it has on me hasn’t changed however I’ve naturally moved towards more botanical tattoos as of late. I wish to never become ignorant of the origins and meanings of what I tattoo on others as well as what I put onto myself.

What inspires you? It sounds cliché but for me I gain inspiration from the little things, a lot of my inspiration comes from flowers, I find myself happiest when sitting in botanical gardens surrounded by life continuously blossoming around me.

I didn’t have the most stereotypical upbringing, my mum taught me about Buddhism and took me to galleries so that I was exposed to different cultures and their art. I take a lot from Tibetan Buddhist art and symbolism, their art is not only aesthetically beautiful but the meanings behind everything comes from love and understanding.

People and places are the most vital inspirations you can get as that’s what is continuously surrounding you, if you make a point of living a positive life, surrounded by the most inspiring people, in the most beautiful places you’re going to have such a love filled creative outlet and there’s something really blissful about that.

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What would you love to tattoo? At the moment I’m really enjoying more botanical pieces, I’ve recently grown a love for drawing plants with the bulbs attached. I’ve started to get really into anatomical drawings as well, so I’d really like to do a large botanical/anatomical thigh piece, I think that would be really stunning.

What is a typical day like for you? It normally involves a lot of reading, I get a lot of inspiration from books so am often reading a few things at once and often drawing from them as well. My work outside of tattooing is text based so a lot of that involves writing pieces and hammering them into large metal plates for hours on end. That’s also where I end up drawing up a lot of my tattoo designs, as it’s my creative space and outlet.

I work in a private studio, so it’s by appointment only which means I get to control the amount of tattoos I’m doing a day and I don’t have set hours. Tattooing is where I find my mind the most clear, when I’m tattooing, drawing or reading my mind is simply taking in what is in front of me. When I’m tattooing I am so engrossed in the experience, in what I’m tattooing, in why the person is getting it and who they are, that I often forget this is a job.

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Can you tell us about your own tattoos? A lot of the work I hold upon my own body is that of Tibetan and Buddhist symbolism along with some personal links with friends and family. Everything I hold on my person means something, which can be taken in the form of Buddhist myths to my own personal connections to the objects or imagery my vessel now features.
One of my favourite tattoos is an outlined heart with ‘JuSt’ written inside; ‘JuSt’ stands for Julie and Stephen which are both of my parents names, the font is from my typewriter and the non symmetrical heart is hand drawn by me and was kept imperfect to represent me along side them as a continuous link to one another when I’m far from home.

I also now posses The Three Graces upon my arm which is taken from Botticelli’s painting the ‘La Primavera’, after studying this painting for a year whilst studying history of art at the age of 18 I flew to Florence to view this painting in the flesh.  I sobbed staring at it for hours mesmerised by the impact it had not only on my body but on me as a person. I decided to get the Three Graces tattooed on me due to what they represented as goddesses of such things as charm, beauty, and creativity.

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Photo by Nik Antonio

I made a start of my full back piece earlier this year with Hannah Sykes which is not only the largest piece on me to date but arguably the most physically and mentally draining also. The whole process through the amount of time, continuous alterations, and adjustments to fit the vision that both Hannah and myself hold for my body is a long and exciting journey we hope to finish at the end of this year. The piece itself is an array of Tibetan flowers spread over my full back and wrapping around my bum. Getting my back tattooed was a huge decision for me, not only for the amount of space it spanned on my body but also to make sure it fitted and worked with my petite frame rather than over powering it. However any worry swiftly disappeared when I saw the vision Hannah had come up with and altered to fit my body perfectly, and I couldn’t be happier with the way in which this continuation is turning out.

Inkluded Launch New Online Store

Here at Things&Ink we are big fans of the Inkluded blog founded by freelance journalist Beccy Rimmer. So when we heard Inkluded launched a brand-new online store, we had to share it!

We’ve teamed up with Inkluded to give you the chance to win a T-shirt! Check out our Instagram for more details.

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Inkluded have created a clothing range in which every design has been drawn by tattoo artists. Inkluded has worked with five UK tattoo artists, Hannya Jayne, Dan Metcalfe, Mike Love, Clare Lambert and Kat Winifred, who have all designed something from scratch for the launch range.

Founder of Inkluded, Beccy Rimmer, said: “At Inkluded, we’re passionate about showcasing and sharing amazing tattoo art. This country’s creative tattoo scene is fast-growing and flourishing with talented artists, remarkable artwork and innovative styles – we thought it was time tattoo enthusiasts had one online place from which they could buy tattoo products and fashion.”

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Inkluded was set up with a strong mission, to raise awareness of exceptional tattoo art through blog posts, art exhibitions and by creating an artistic community that people can feel included in. As well as browsing the new products, readers can meet the artists through a series of interviews published on the blog.

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A selection of limited edition T-shirts and vests (prices from £15) are available from www.inkluded.co.uk/store.

Photographs by JustJodie Photography

Apprentice Love: Lady Bonsai

Lady Bonsai is a 27-year-old Italian apprentice working in Naples, we love her dark, simple and often naughty tattoos. We chatted to her about her classic style and what inspires her… 

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When did you start tattooing? I started tattooing in 2015 and I am apprenticing at the moment at Napoli Ink in Naples. I sent my portfolio to lots of different studios and the guys at Napoli Ink asked me to work with them.

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What did you do before you were a tattooist? Before I started to tattoo I used to work as a manager in a street wear clothes store. I have always been fascinated by art. I changed my whole working life to follow my dream to become a tattoo artist.

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What inspires you? I’m inspired by Art Nouveau, 1920s actresses, porn and bsdm (bondage, submission, dominance, sadomasochism) subjects.

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What kind of things do you like to tattoo? I love to tattoo women’s silhouettes in a romantic yet sexy way.

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How would you describe your style? I would describe my style as a graphic and passionate blackwork.

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We have recently released The Horror Issue, what is your favourite horror film? My favourite horror movie is Freaks (Tod Browning, 1932). A black and white movie, it is really amazing and a great inspiration to me.

Can you tell us about your own tattoos? My own tattoos are a mix of various styles, I really love tattoos to suit my body and it’s different parts. I have  a lot of different subjects from various artists including a moth by Alessandro Florio on my leg.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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!

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