Showing posts from 2017

More of my right arm sleeve

Unexpectedly I was able to take a cancellation from Ben today and he was able to complete the small extension to my sleeve.  He than went on to do bits and pieces elsewhere to my right arm.  It doesn't look that different but I am pleased it is now bigger and better.

Super neck

Tina and Jay Rill from the Inkwell 215 tattoo studio in Philadelphia.  They live in nearby Southampton.

My eyes quickly picked up on Tina's neck and her striking looks.  I love the strength and confidence of the image along with her full sleeves and chest tattoos.  Jay has a pretty similar approach on his own somewhat less visible neck tattoo.

When I chatted to them at the London International they were like so many Americans extremely friendly and chatty.  None of the aloofness that you sometimes get in the UK.  A great couple.

My left sleeve progresses at last

I made the longish journey up to Shrewsbury, where Jo Harrison has her studio at home.  It's rather different from other studios I've been to, given it is also where she and her family live.  I was greeted by her dog Benji.  That was different.  Then I sat down by their window that looked out onto their garden and the countryside beyond and ate my sandwich and the rest of my lunch.

My last appointment was in June so this had been a long wait.  I normally prefer to go to her Birmingham studio as it is just a one and half hour journey away.  But this time I drove and took my wife and three Saluki dogs too as my sister-in-law lives near Shrewsbury.  This gave Suzanne time to catch up with her sister and give the dogs a good walk in the Shropshire countryside.

As you can see most of one side of my arm is now complete - the side I can't see!  I just hope I can get my next appointment with less of a gap  though it won't be by much as Jo is about to produce her second child.…

My tattooed left knee and my right arm sleeve

Here are some images from my latest session with Ben Boston.  They were tidying up jobs involving the back of my left knee and adding an inch to my right arm sleeve so that it matches the length of left arm sleeve.

No drama here, but I had to get a cancellation from Ben given that I have managed to get out of his bookings loop since I went to Jo Harrison to finish my left arm.  I had a pretty relaxed time with Ben. No travel and a two hours session.  Easy.

Young Italian tattooists

In the afternoon I sat down for a coffee and met three young tattooists and we had a lovely conversation.   Marta and Francesco are Italian and  is Lithuanian.  Marta is often known as Malamarta and is from Italy.  She works at  Ushuaia Tattoo in London.

Marta is quite new to tattooing but very self assured.  She may or may not stay in London.  We had a good chat about the possible impact of Brexit on young people like them.  This didn't cheer me up.

Francesco is working at London Classic Tattoos

A pity we can't see any of his ink.  As you might guess from his name. he is also Italian.

And the third of the group is Lithuanian and annoyingly I can't remember his name.  He works at West One Tattoo in Oxford Street.

London International Tattoo Convention 2017

The big crowds gathered around the tattoo booths.
 Monami Frost, major tattoo celebrity.

 Tina Rill from Philadelphia and her amazing neck.

Marta, tattooist, Ushuaia Tattoo, London.  She is Italian

Jay Rill, Tattooist, The Inkwell, Philadelphia, USA

This was my second time at the London International Tattoo convention.  I like the fact I can go on a Friday.  Here are a few of the people I met and chatted to.

It seemed a little quieter than last year but still great.  It felt like the majority of the people I met were from outside the UK or non-British and so it was with the tattooists.  In every way the convention lived up to its name.

Head tattoo

Jamie Wintle is from Brislington in Bristol and had just had his new head tattoo done at Avon Tattoo by Jordan Ferris. He'd been planning it for a while and Jordan found the script he was looking for and it was completed in three hours.  In the next few weeks he'll get the other side of his head done.

Jamie works at a car body shop so it's no problem getting visible tattoos.

He was with Jodie.  They have been a couple for a year.  Tattoos helped attract him to her.  Being together encourages her to get more ink, knowing he will like it.  He even encourages her.  She is busy getting her arms done by Dave Middleton at Somerton near Glastonbury.

So they are getting tattooed together and seemingly getting their hair styles together.  Let's hope their compatibility keeps them together.

The road to becoming a tattoo artist

Felicity Cocher works at the tattoo studio Higgins & Co, which sounds like it might be a cobblers or hardware store but isn't.  She is felicity_dixon on Instagram.

Felicity has been working at Higgins and Co for four years, initially given the mundane task of flyering for them on Eastbourne High Street where she didn't always get a good reception, though she says it was good for her as she had the chance to change people's impressions of tattoos.  Since then she has worked on the front desk.  Just after Christmas she picked up her first tattoo needle. This made her very nervous.  She was told to start on pigskin so she went to the local butchers where they had put a piece aside.  They had saved some skin but it wasn't big enough, being only the size of the palm of the hand.  So she tattooed her own leg.

Before she let me photograph her leg sporting her very first work she nipped off to find some oil.  She was determined that her wor…

More on the tattoo exhibition at the National Maritime Museum

I was very surprised when I arrived at the Bristol Tattoo convention last month to see a stall dedicated to the British Tattoo Art Revealed exhibition at National Maritime Museum in Falmouth.

I visited there on my holiday in April and was delighted a couple of months later to have the chance to meet one of the tattoo exhibition's curators, Derryth Ridge.  She was one was one of those who set everything up and given that she has lots of tattoos it's not hard to see what motivated her.

Stuart Slade and Dr Matt Lodder (from Essex University) were the two principal people behind it all.  Stuart worked on the tattoo exhibition in Greenwich about fifteen years ago and felt there was more that could be done with it.  At the same time the museum in Falmouth was looking to expand its audience to the young, a wider audience and to some older peopl…

Colouring my left sleeve

Sometimes you can spend a few hours being tattooed and there doesn't seem much to show for it.  Jo Harrison just worked on colouring in the heavily line piece and as she dotted around doing background work the changes superficially didn't seem very dramatic. Most of the work was on the back of my arm, which normally I can hardly see.
For some reason I struggled on this occasion.  I had as usual used some numbing cream, but it didn't seem to have much effect.  Normally I find it does.  Anyhow, I survived the 3 and half hours session though felt rather sore, which is surprising given that the arm is one of the easiest areas to tattoo.

I live in Bristol and Jo's studio is in Birmingham, so I get the train which takes one and a half hours station to station, which means I have to go to the train toilet and start putting on the ointment and then the shrink wrap as I can't do this before I leave the house as it would be too early.  I am not very good at it in these conf…

Progress with my left arm sleeve

I went to Birmingham again in May, five months after Jo Harrison had begun the lower left arm sleeve.  This was to be the longest ever session I had had.  It started at 9:30 am and at 4:15 pm I had to give up early.  I couldn't make it until 5:00 pm.

 In the time available Jo had drawn on me the rest of the design, completed all the very detailed black outlines and then begun with the colour.

While, the arm is probably the easiest area of the body to tattoo, later in the day my body strength weakened all of a sudden.  I just couldn't cope with any area Jo tried to touch.  A big disappointment. Next time I will limit myself to a half session.

Here is Jo herself after she had finished for the day.


This was my third visit to the Bristol Tattoo Convention and it seems busier than ever.  I was there on the Sunday which is usually quieter than Saturday.
Derryth Ridge was at the stall for the national Maritime Museum in Falmouth.  That was something new.  But very relevant given that they have the UK's biggest exhibition on the history of Tattoos in the UK.

Felicity Tocher is a tattoo trainee at the Higgins and Co studio in Eastbourne.  She has been working there for three years but last December picked up the needles and started the long process of becoming a trained tattooist.
 Jamie Wintle is from Bristol and had just had his head tattooed the previous day.  Here he is with his partner Jodie.  They both have the same haircuts!

Bristol Tattoo Convention is for the tattoo purist.  What is there is tattooing.  No piercing, no roller blade races, no glamour models and fire eating.  Just tattooing.

I love the fact that I have a successful convention based in my own city and it is…

My knee is now tattooed

While the main project over the coming months is to complete my left arm sleeve, Ben has progressed a little further down my left leg.  Originally I had planned to take the diamonds right down my leg, but Ben has persuaded me otherwise.  So after adding another band similar to that higher up my legs in green and yellow, then I will go for something different.  I don't know what that will be yet.