Issuu on Google+


Step by Step Painting Tutorial by Leigh

Oldcorn from Cosmic Tattoo

“A publication for the future of tattooing”

Issue 7-June 2011 £4.20

TATTOO ARTISTS & STUDIOS The Colourful world of

Jeremy Miller

Pigment Dermagraphics USA

usive ExclInterview

Immortal Ink’s

Lianne Moule

Melissa Fusco

Godspeed Tattoo USA

OUT & ABOUT AT The North Lakes Show Carlisle


A Dutch masterpiece of a show

Ink & Iron

The UK’s longest running convention

talks Art and Tattoos

W IN a Full Days

Tattooing By


Triple Six Studios, Sunderland


9 772046 747003

Welcome to Tattoo Revolution Issue 7! As I sit to write this edition’s editorial I can’t help but reflect on what a busy month it has been. So much has happened and it is all good news. To new readers who have picked up Tattoo Revolution Magazine (TRM) for the first time, I extend to you a very warm welcome.

The digital version of the magazine (complete with our unique page turning software) is available a full week before the physical copies go on sale, if you just can’t wait.

After a goodly amount of negotiations, we are proud to announce that TRM is being sold in the newsagents. From this issue onwards, we will be on sale in many independent newsagents up and down the UK, as well as various countries abroad. Then from next month we will continue our plans for world domination by being available in a very healthy selection of W H Smiths stores. So, to those of you who have been with us from the start, joined us along the way or have just found us, I want to say a big Thank You for your support.

Our regular readers may wonder why I am here, writing the editorial, on my own. There have been a few changes at TRM Towers and Alex is no longer editor. As many of you will know, Alex and Zoë are expanding their family and his new commitments have meant that he has revisited his priorities. Luckily for us Alex’s passion and talent is writing, so he is now working for Tattoo Revolution as a freelance journalist. He is still actively involved in the magazine, and the tattoo world, and we look forward to publishing more from the Tattoo Journalist of the year (2010). In the long term we hope to get him back on board full time. But this was one of the driving forces behind our choice to start the magazine in the first place, to

If you have trouble finding us on the shelves then check out page 6, where you will find details of how to ensure you get your monthly fix of Tattoo Revolution Magazine. A visit to our website, www. tattoorevolutionmagazine. com, will allow you the usual full range of ordering options, be it subscriptions, back copies or digital downloads.

Art by Lianne Moule Featured on page 34


Model: Miss IVI, Photographer: Ernst Alexander, Hair & Make up: Sooraya,

MANAGING EDITOR Neil Dalleywater 01824 750616




Issue 7Issue 7

Tattoos: Herke / The Flying Dutchman, Kelu / Black Thorn, Herbert Hoffmann, Clemens Hahn, Michi / Soulgallery


Alex Guest, Alexa MacDermot, James Evans




Ramarra Brown 01824 750695

Tattoo Revolution Magazine

PUBLISHED BY DIVINE KARMA PUBLISHING LTD Bryn Llwyni, Clawddnewydd, Ruthin, Denbighshire LL15 2NG




Please ensure that any materials submitted are copies and not originals, as unfortunately we cannot return or be held responsible for any unsolicited submissions. Any views expressed by the contributors are not necessarily those of the publishers or the magazine and as such, Tattoo Revolution Magazine and Divine Karma Publishing Ltd cannot be held responsible for any effects that may arise from materials published within the magazine. Adverts and advertisers that appear in Tattoo Revolution Magazine carry no implied or actual recommendation from the magazine or the publishers. Reproduction of any material contained within Tattoo Revolution Magazine is prohibited without prior written permission.

Contents SKIN STANDARDS 6 Tattoo Talk News straight from the beating heart of the tattoo world. 24 Book Review Tattoo Tomes under the spotlight. 28 From Cranium to Canvas Leigh Oldcorn gives us a full on, no bullshit painting tutorial – Listen up people!

be able to have the flexibility to adjust our lives and take control of our own destinies. TRM wouldn’t be where it is now if he and I didn’t share the same commitment to producing a high quality tattoo magazine. We have been very busy attending shows across the UK and Europe, as often as possible with the Tattoo Revolution stand. Ramarra has joined the crew, helping out at shows and in the office. This has been a bit of an eye opener for me because she has no tattoos...yet. I have been surprised at the number of people who have stated “What are you doing selling tattoo magazines when you don’t have any tattoos?” Firstly, I have been pointing out that what they mean to say is that she has no visible tattoos that the individual can see, because Ramarra does not work the stand naked. Also I would have expected more respect and support for a 20-year-old girl

who is actively researching her first tattoo and tattooist, prior to getting any work. Many of her peers (me included) have dashed out and at 18 got pieces of work they now regret. It is really strange that as a group we often complain about how we are treated or perceived because of our ink, and yet some of us don’t think twice before showing a similar attitude to people who are not tattooed. It is a shame as this is a golden opportunity to really demonstrate that it does not matter if you have a tattoo or not. Still, it won’t be long before she happily joins the ranks of the tattooed tribe... if ever she can make up her mind. These days there is such a huge amount of tattooing talent out there, much of it showcased in TRM, that she is really spoilt for choice, as are we all!

Vive La Revolution! Neil

84 Dermal Diary A fully loaded convention calendar for your tattoo travels. TATTOO ARTISTS & STUDIOS 18 Melissa Fusco Godspeed Tattoos, USA 34 Lianne Moule Immortal Ink, Essex 40 Jeremy Miller Pigment Dermagraphics, USA TATTOO CONVENTIONS & GATHERINGS 9 The North Lakes Tattoo Convention A small but perfectly formed gem of a show. 51 Rotterdam A Dutch Masterpiece of a convention. 62 Ink & Iron Britain’s sixteenth edition of the longest running tattoo show. SPECIAL FEATURES 48 WIN A TATTOO! Richard ‘Bez” Beston has very kindly offered to tattoo one very lucky individual for a full day! 68 Secret life of Trees We get under the bark and to the root behind tree motifs as tattoos. 60 The Earth Spider Crystal from Gominekp books give us an insight to the Japanese myth that is Tsuchigumo. 74 Spotlight On... The Liverpool Tattoo Convention A small taster of the tattooing talent on hand at the Adelphi hotel, for the Liverpool convention. Featured on page 34

on page18

Art by Li anne Mou le

Featured issa Fusco Art by Mel


It’s all for a good cause. Talk

On Friday 13th May 2011 Tony Grant will be tattooing the number 13, for £13 per tattoo, for 13 hours. So whatever your reason for having a 13 tattoo get down to “The Original Docklands” Tattoo Studio, 21 Suttons Lane, Hornchurch, RM12 6RD. Telephone number 01708459535. Adornment Freak will also be donating £100 worth of jewellery to be sold. All the money raised will be going to help a 10 year old girl with leukaemia. The day is just for a good cause, so people can come along without getting tattooed and still have fun, and donate money. So what are some of the many reasons and meanings behind the number 13? Sailors would have a Black Cat standing on a number 13, as protection against the sea. 13 symbolises the 13th letter of the alphabet – M for Marijuana or Meths. 13 could just be a lucky number, as in Lucky 13. Friday 13th always used to be a lucky day, not an unlucky one.

WHAT’S IN A NAME? After ten years of trading under the name of Indigo tattoos, multi-award winning tattooist and all-round nice bloke, Paul Naylor has decided that a change is as good as a rest. He has re-named his studio Powerhouse Tattoo. Paul, Lisa, Steph and Stu will still be housed in the 163 Witton Road studio, putting out the same stunning tattoo work, under the new name of Powerhouse Tattoo. 01606 352022

Brighton Summer Vacation Offer

INKA TATTOOS based in Brighton is looking for guest artists for the forthcoming summer months. A minimum of 5 years experience is preferable. Please apply with a current CV and portfolio, by post or email, to Barb/Marc at: Inka Tattoos 80c St James Street, Brighton. East Sussex. BN2 1PA E-mail:

Giving Recycling a New Twist Katie-Jean Rose Simmons, AKA Miss Katie Cupcake, has found a unique way of channelling her creativity and her love of all things antique by creating a very quirky and unique range of products. The Australian born designer cuts vintage porcelain such as old willow pattern and Royal Albert, then she has them encased in Sterling Silver in a fair trade workshop. She also reuses antique watch faces and whole watches amongst her designs, the end result - Beautiful one off bespoke jewellery ranging from cuff links to earrings, rings and pendants.

Among some of her other quirky products she uses doll’s house pieces to make tea pot pendants and tea cup earrings, 7’’ record fascinators and mad hatter tea set hair pieces. If you ever have the chance to see her stall it’s well worth paying her a visit, or check out her web site on Alternatively write to her on Facebook - misskatiecupcake1

! Newsagent order form

Please reserve/deliver* a copy of Tattoo Revolution Magazine on a monthly basis, commencing with issue......... YOUR DETAILS: Please complete in Block Capitals NAME ADDRESS POSTCODE DAYTIME TELEPHONE NUMBER:

Newsagent order form


Take this completed form or download the form from our website, to your local newsagent who will reserve your copy of Tattoo Revolution Magazine. You may even be able to get it delivered to your door, making sure that you never miss an issue.

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We are delighted to now be in the Newsagents and want to ensure that you do not experience any difficulty getting your copy of Tattoo Revolution Magazine. Use the form to your left to reserve your copy with your local newsagent.

Issue 7

So don’t miss an issue, simply complete the form and take it to your newsagent today!



The opulent empire that is Empress Tattoos is now fully open for business. Sista Sammy, formerly of Fallen Angel in Liverpool, has flown the nest to branch out on her own with a studio that offers not only great tattooing but also a real feast for the eyes. Attention to detail is the key here, with the shop set in a newly refurbished, grade 2 listed building. Set in the beautiful business district of Birkenhead the studio has no flash, just a great selection of reference books. Sammy and Dave have set out to offer every single customer, who comes to Empress, a bespoke, personal design process. Fresh coffee and home made cakes adorn the coffee station, and groovy old vinyl record player crackles away on the 50’s Decca in the corner. With plush leather chesterfield chairs, polished floors and artwork hanging everywhere, they hope to welcome and inspire each and every customer. The Empress crew are also looking forward to collaborating with some big names in comedy, music and burlesque entertainment in the future with unique ‘Empress’ hosted events. Don’t just take our word for it, go see the ‘Empress’ at: 126 Chester Street, Birkenhead.

0151 6061335

FILL ‘YER BOOTS! FREE MAGAZINE! In these times of austerity and hardship we thought it was time to give back to you, the readers and supporters of Tattoo Revolution Magazine. So we have made Issue one of TRM available as a FREE digital download. Yup, you read that right, FREE! www.tattoore

“A public

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Element Tattoo - USA


Full seaside coverage comes from Brighton and Australia’s Surf ‘n’ Ink

Whose Line Is It? Taking a considered look at how tattooing has changed over the years

Tutorial Canman takes to his acrylics in this month’s masterclass

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Tommy Lee Wendtn Wendtner

Sonya from Red’s Tattoos fame has just informed TRM that her Manningtree studio has undergone a complete re-fit and had a general spruce up for the summer. Not only can she offer some great tattooing but is now offering laser removal/ reduction and piercing, as well as permanent cosmetics. Asides from running Red’s Tattoos, Sonya is currently working on the next instalment of the East Coast Tattoo Expo (12th-13th November). Is there anything this lady can’t do?


All you have to do to read the inaugural issue of TRM is to visit our website, log in with your email address and you can then download onto your computer for absolutely NOTHING! We hope that you like the magazine and feel free to spread the love!


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NORTH LAKES Tattoo Convention 2011



Tattoo Convention – Carlisle

Colin ‘Doc” Fell

Co-organiser The North Lakes Show

I’m really pleased with the turn out this year. Early indications are that we are up on numbers compared to last year. Sometimes when the sun shines (as it seems to most years here!) you run the risk of folk not coming in, but we have had a good, steady crowd again. For me, one of the highlights this year has been the sheer quality of the work that has been produced over the weekend. We do hand pick all the artists and we expect a high quality from the, which is then offered to the public. I think booth for booth, you’re not going to get a better calibre of artist, not for the size of the venue anyway. We have talked about increasing the size of the convention but we feel that would diminish the feel of the show. We just want to keep the show how it is and keep the quality high. Mike and I have been in the tattoo game for nearly 30 years now and we have got to know lots of great artists, many we are proud to call friends and we invite them. They in turn spread the word about us, and we get more and more artists applying. Each artist that gets accepted only pays once and the following years are free for them. All we charge is the council registration fee and a little bit for admin. After that, the booths are free. The way we look at it, if you haven’t got quality artists you are not going to get anyone through the doors. We now have close to one hundred artists that we can pick from. They have to shut their shop to come up here,so we want to give them something back. The feedback we have had this year has all been positive, they like the care we try to give them, the friendliness of the show and value for money – that is one of the main criteria for the North Lakes Convention. If it ain’t broken, don’t fix it! The only thing we will probably do differently next year will be to have a different attraction outside, possibly dodgem cars or a big wheel or something like that.


Issue 7

y Gary by Steven Wrigley

of Irezumi Tattoos, Glasgow

p Jeff by Martin Couley of Couley’s Tattoos, Newcastle

Star ratings Location Working tattooists Atmosphere Bar prices Food facilities Value for money Overall experience There are some tattoo conventions that you go to that just feel ‘right’, do you know what I mean? You can’t quite put your finger on which elements make the show that little bit special. It might be the venue, it might be the artists working that weekend, it might even just be a simple thing- such as the weather being nice on your journey to the show. Whatever it is, you know the instant you walk into the convention that it is right and you are going to have a great weekend. For the last four years the North Lakes Tattoo Convention has had bucket loads of “it”.

This show is small but oh so perfectly formed and I can’t find a soul who had a bad thing to say about the creation from Colin ‘Doc’ Fell and Mike, both from Mike’s Tattooz in Carlisle.

x Stuart by Bez

of Triple Six Studios, Sunderland

The Shepherds Inn & Auctioneer is a small venue that caters for weddings, conferences and the like, and as such is perfect for a tattoo show. The artist list is sublime, with only those hand picked by the guys working. This allows them to keep a beady eye on quality of work and this is turn makes the show very professional. It is a much sought after show and now has a healthy waiting list of artists wishing to work the North Lakes Convention.

q Andy by Paul Naylor of Powerhouse Tattoo, Northwich


z Jordan by

Markus Korling of Funny Farm, Sweden

u Nick by Karl

of Flecky’s Tattoos, Warrington

Best ic elt Tribal/C t Dave by Mel

of Dark Circle, Middlesborough

rge Best Laur Colo u Janette by Bez

of Triple Six Studios, Sunderland


Issue 7


Tattoo Convention – Carlisle

On the front line with... t Sean by Spacey

of Bizarre Inc, Edinburgh

Fraser, Dumfries

- Attendee

I’m a full time tattooist but I always come to this show as a party goer, I love the show. This is my local show so I always support it and I always have a great time too. I try to get to as many shows as I can both here and abroad, it’s just good to see the different mix of artists working these shows. I treat going to conventions as a bit of a holiday. The show runs on a tried and tested formula. It’s pretty well thought out, with a superb selection of artists working. I know both Colin and Mike, the organisers, so I like to come and show my support to them. This weekend I have had my eyebrows raised yet again by Bez, everything he does is amazing!

q Shaun by Carl Cooke of Artful Ink, Durham

The size of the show is pretty much perfect, we find that the relaxed atmosphere is one of the reasons that we come to this show. You can get to the bar and food without queuing, which is nice. I also think that as many of the artists come back year after year, they know where everything is so they don’t have to keep bugging the organisers for stuff and this contributes to the chilled out atmosphere. There are way too many shows for me personally to go to but also the quality suffers, as there are too many for the artists to attend. There are quite a few shows now that are run by business men who are not tattooists and their shows tend to have the lesser known artists working, making the Conventions not the best. I’d love to see three or four big shows and that would be it. That would give us all something to look forward too.

t Andy by Bez from

Triple Six Studios, Sunderland



Tattoo Convention – Carlisle

p Paul by Gary Wiednehof of Inkredible Kreations, Perth

The attendance is mainly a local one and, with the absence of a Scottish show (until this year), the North Lakes convention had catered for many coming from Scotland. Saying that, the Edinburgh Convention, though busy, certainly didn’t seem to reduce the numbers of tattoo fans coming through the doors of the Shepherds Inn at all. The footfall proved that there is room for more than one convention in the far North.

q Zbiggy by Gruchan of Rock n Roll Tattoos, Aberdeen

p Andy by Gary Wiedenhof of Inkredible Kreations, Perth u Duncan by Mr Greg

of Rock n Roll Tattoo, Edinburgh


Issue 7

t Andrea by

John Anderton of Nemesis Tattoo Studio, Co Durham

t Adam by Danny

of Vida Loca, Bolton

With an eye for detail and an extremely laid back atmosphere covering all with a warm, homely feel, the North Lakes Tattoo Convention is certainly one show not to be missed.

Critical Information Location: The Shepherds Inn & Auctioneer, Carlisle Working Artists: 50+ Other Attractions:

Trade Stalls, Merchandise, Fun Fair, Custom motorcycles.

t Fraiser by Soap

of Lab Monkey, Scotland

u Joni by Paul Naylor of Powerhouse Tattoo, Northwich

t Kenneth by John Anderton of Nemesis Tattoo Studio, Co Durham



Tattoo Convention – Carlisle Donna by Demon of Triple Six Studios, Sunderland

Trader Russell Graham

Vanishing Point Biker Shack

This is my first time trading at a tattoo show. I draw and paint mainly motorcycleinspired canvases showcasing some of the iconic marques in both pen & ink, and paint. I do many bike related events but as I’m quite local and thought I’d give this a try. I must confess I wasn’t too sure what to expect but the response I have had from the public has been very encouraging. Most people have been appreciative of my work. They are into tattoos and are into art anyway, so my work crosses over, as it does with the biker scene. Mike and the gang have been really helpful and attentive to my needs. I think having done this show i’ll probably try a few more conventions, maybe some bigger ones... After being here, I have decided to try and do some tattoo-related designs. It’s such a large market, I’m quite looking forward to trying some tattoo designs to see how they do. I have to say, one of the best things about being at a tattoo convention compared to a bike rally is that you are inside in the warm and dry! There’s nothing worse than spending three nights under canvas in the rain, waiting for your tent to blow away! Haha...


Issue 7

p Anth by Pixie of Triple Six Studios, Sunderland q By Endre of Tattoo End, London

Victors & Victresses Saturday: Best of Day Kimberley by Dave the Buddha of All Style Tattoos, Barrow-in-Furness Sunday: Best of Day Crash by Paul Naylor of Powerhouse Tattoo, Northwich Large Black & Grey Steven by Martin Couley of Couley’s Tattoo, Newcastle Best Small Black & Grey Margret by Roy Priestly of Skinshokz, Bradford

p By Spacey of Bizarre Ink, Edinburgh x Jordan by Markus Korling of funny Farm, Sweden

p Guy by Steve Martin of Saz’s Tattoos, Warrington

Best Tribal/Celtic David by Mel of Dark Circle Tattoos, Middlesborough Best Leg Sleeve Nicki by Hazel of Saz’s Tattoos, Warrington Best Large Colour Jeanette by Bez of Triple Six Studios, Sunderland Best Small Colour Julie by Bez of Triple Six Studios, Sunderland



Melissa Fusco Godsp e 100 N ed Tattoo . Main S Breck enridg treet, e, Colo 970-4 rado 5 www.g 3-6992 odspe suppo e rt@go dspee m dtatto

But as well as having a talent for art, Melissa is also a passionate tattoo collector. Since getting her first ink in New Jersey in 1994, she has been on a journey that has taken her across America and earned her the status of an accomplished and well-respected tattooist herself. In 2002, a meeting with Roger Pearson of Ink Link Tattoo Studio in Florida led to an apprenticeship and eventually a burgeoning career in tattooing. Tattoo Revolution caught up with her at the recent Surf ‘n Ink Festival on the Gold Coast of Australia.


Issue 7

Whether taking photographs at gigs or indulging in her high school love of painting, Melissa Fusco has always been involved with the creation of art.


Melissa Fusco

“I started tattooing out in Florida, West Palm beach and Jensen Beach under Roger Pearson in about 2003. He was a really good friend of mine who I had got to know through music and bands, and he was my tattoo artist at the time. When he saw I had been painting for a really long time, and was a tattoo collector, he was a little confused about what I was doing in life. So he kind of opened my eyes a little bit. I had started getting tattooed by him in early 2002, so it was maybe a year or so until I actually felt that burning feeling inside. The one that told me this was something I had to do. He had planted the seed.” By the time Melissa began her apprenticeship she was already 24 and wasted no time at all launching into her career as a tattooist. After only eight months as an apprentice she found her first fulltime position, again in Florida. But 10 short months later Melis’ moved on, this time to Arizona where she worked for almost five years. Although she was at the studio in Arizona, Melis’s wanderlust had already started, seeing her working at a variety of conventions, but also pitching up in 20

other places across the States, such as Philadelphia, Phoenix and Florida. Since Melis’ took up tattooing, the industry has boomed. It is no longer unusual to see tattoos in the workplace; a single city can boast several

Issue 7

tattoo studios and the standard of the work done around the world has become so jaw-dropping that it makes you wonder just how much better it can really get. The sharp upturn in the popularity of tattoos in the last

decade or so has predictably led to an increased mainstream media interest, resulting in shows such as L.A. Ink and the like. Just as predictable is the tattoo world’s divided opinion of the

media coverage. Melis’ isn’t sure which side of the fence she falls on but acknowledges that the exposure has at least raised the profile of her profession, although she concedes

the shows aren’t always an accurate portrayal of the process. “As far as television shows go. It’s a little bit of good and bad. I would say it is good to open up the eyes of the people who did not have the balls to walk into a shop until they saw it on TV. Not every tattoo has to have an extravagant reason but you do get some people who come in and have to, you know, prove themselves. They have to tell you their life stories. Sometimes it is super sentimental.

I have definitely shed a tear with a client or two, you know? But the cons would be that they don’t really talk about price, they don’t talk about how long a tattoo really takes or the commitment needed to do a large piece. In a 15 minute segment the customer could have sat there for six hours with that smile on their face; life ain’t like that!”


Melissa Fusco

The experience Melis’ has as a painter has helped her shape her own style of tattooing, along with many outside influences. She draws inspiration from her multi-talented fellow tattooist, Nick Baxter. Melis’ said: “Nick Baxter is an amazing artist. Pretty influential to most people in the industry, for sure. I didn’t know him as a person until recently, I just knew about some of his work. 22

I felt that he was going in the direction that I could see myself going. He really is a great guy. He is so talented it is sickening! I told him that in an e-mail. At one time I was looking on his website and I had to turn it off because it had my stomach in knots. Basically he’s got something very unique and I can’t wait to see, down the road, what he does. But I would like to make it clear that I don’t

Issue 7

really study people as far as their artwork is concerned. I am very much in my own bubble, to try and find my own style. I will definitely, once in a while, peek in and see what he is doing and then I have to turn it off because the intensity of his work makes me feel physically ill, it’s that good!” A large chunk of Melis’s ideas and influences comes from the world around her and it is very clear from the art she produces that an appreciation of nature is a vital aspect to her work. It’s also obvious from speaking to Melis’ that her interest in nature is more than just in passing. She spends a lot of time in the great outdoors, in particular

to pursue another love of hers – snowboarding. Her study of textures, colours and form are there to be seen in her designs. “I like to make things look fluffy and soft. Really you can only get that in one place and that is outside. It may sound totally out there and in left field but when you are standing on a mountain and you know you are standing on a few hundred inches of snow and each little one of the snowflakes, that make up those few hundred inches, is totally different and unique, it trips me out and I over think it, over analyse it and I don’t take it for granted. I think about that stuff. I will be hiking and going through the trees and I’ll see how the pine needle is

attached to the branch or something and take a mental picture. I will then carry that into something else. I have this mental camera and I can take snap shots and hold on to them. Then if it is something totally custom that someone is coming to me to do, sometimes I will tattoo the subject matter but add some of those more naturebased elements from those snap shots I have stored away in my mind. I don’t even draw it, I will just tattoo. The client will just trust me. Ultimately the clients are my influences. They are the ones coming to me with their ideas and I hope that they bring something that I can relate to and am excited about, and that I can put my own twist on it, if they allow me too.” Melis’ struggles to liken her style to any other and she has many distinct quirks, such as her very sparse use of black ink. She explains: “I don’t really want ever to be titled because then you will fall into a

category amongst so many other people. So I kind of just do what I do. ‘Melis’ style, which consists of colourful, organic and painterly work because I don’t really put down hard lines all the time or work with black for shading. I barely use black at all and a lot of my friends make fun of me for it. But you can get black with really dark green and really dark purple.” The bright colours and fluffy edges Melis’ uses makes the majority of her work appear quite feminine, however she reveals that she has plenty of male customers too. “I really get a mix of clients. It depends on where I am, I don’t want to cut myself off but I’ll get guys who want natural settings, I’ve done mountain scenes, outdoor scenes.… They look for that or snowflakes for the snow lovers. Trees had a big phase last year and I think they became really popular. But with

the girls it is more the floral and the birds, and the guys go more for the scenic. I am trying to branch more into female faces and hopefully I will be able to combine the two. Trying to mix it to make it a really organic face with maybe the veiny type hair and stuff like that.” Talent aside, values are central to Melis’s work and her way of working has ensured that her reputation as a professional is second to none. Although the transient nature of the work appeals to her, she ensures that loose ends are always tied up before moving on. “I never burn my bridges and I stay committed to what I do. You hear a lot of horror stories of artists just picking up and going off. I plan things out months in advance and make sure that I am finishing projects before I leave. I do not want to leave people to see it through. You high and dry like that; have not just your I have a commitment to them and I am going own reputation but you have to look after the shop’s as well. So if I work in a shop I respect them, as well as myself. So I try to stay true to whatever I am doing. No matter where I go. I am not in this for the cool factor. This struck something inside of me that I can’t explain and I am in it for the long haul. It is like, this is my life and it is kind of insulting when I see people get into it for the wrong

reasons. I don’t want to be part of an oversaturated industry and I don’t want to be part of people putting bad tattoos on people because that is disrespecting their skin. It is such an honour to do what I do, I feel really passionate about that.” What more can one say? Melis’ has a talent and passion to take her a long, long way for sure and I’m certain we will be seeing more of the ‘Melis’ style soon. Watch this space...


Book Review

arm or a leg, our existence carries on, but if we loose our head, it is game over. There are a multitude of reasons why different cultures took the skulls of their fallen enemies but there it is again, this is the one body part that has received the same treatment by cultures the world over, that have evolved separately from each other. Whatever the reason for the fascination; skull imagery has played a large part in art for centuries. Throughout the Tattoo Community Mike DeVries has a reputation for quality in his work; not only in his tattooing but in everything he produces. Cranial Visions is the latest of his books and that attention to detail is apparent from the first time you lay eyes on his new project. It has a fantastic cover image from artist and tattooist; Shawn Barber, which makes you want to pick the book up instantly. Then you find yourself with one of the most tactile books I have ever experienced, in your hands. There is a luxurious quality and weight to this book... and you haven’t even opened it yet! Mike DeVries and fellow artist, Jeff Johnson have gathered examples of skulls in art from around the globe. Not just tattoos but skulls in all forms, be it photography, tattoos, paintings, ‘skullptures’ and sketches. Each genre has it’s own chapter full of diverse images and interpretations of this skeletal body part, literally brimming over the 200+ pages. The production quality is excellent, as always with Mike’s projects, and I think this is truly a timeless book. One that in 30 - 40 years time will be as relevant as it is today.

By Mike DeVries and Jeff Johnson We as a species have a long running relationship with skulls, which we do not have with other bones of the body. I finished my secondary education in Rye on the South Coast of England. There, on display in a private room, in the Town Hall is an iron


gibbet that still contains the skull of John Beards, a man executed in 1743 for murder. After his execution his body was put on display and left to rot. He could possibly be the last British criminal from the eighteenth century still being punished. So,

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returning to my point regarding our infactuation with skulls, if it had been a leg bone would it still have been preserved and displayed with such reverence? I think not. Perhaps it is the finality of the skull that holds the fascination. If we loose an

The book’s introduction and conclusion touches on the fascination we have with skulls and their place in art, past and present. The list of artists who have contributed to the book is phenomenal with many of the greats from tattooing being joined by non-tattooists to culminate in a tome that your life will (in my humble opinion), be incomplete without. Use your head, get yourself a copy! Available from: Cost: $69.99 plus postage Published by: Memento Publishing Rating: 9.5 out of 10 Pagination: 244 pages Dimensions: 31 x 21cms (12 x 8 inches) ISBN: 978-0-615-39053-6







Was there any one thing that spurred you on to create this book? The skull has inspired artists for thousands of years. The current extreme popularity of using the skull within the art world prompted me to think of the idea to begin the project; but all-in-all, it is just a fascinating subject matter. I love to see the different artistic interpretations of the skull. Cranial Visions is visually stunning in every way, how long did this take you to put together? Cranial Visions took about one year to complete. Without the help of Jeff Johnson and the rest of us here at Memento, it wouldn’t have been possible. I’ve just got to give a shout out to everyone that participates in these book projects - if it wasn’t for you, they wouldn’t be possible. Thank you! What do you think it is about skulls, that artists and tattooists feel compelled to draw, paint and tattoo? For me, it’s just fun! There’s a lot you can do with it. Like I said, it’s a fascinating subject to work with. There is something eerie about it and it’s something that we all have in common. Some people can look at it as representing life/death or both.

q q

I know many artists actually own a skull and actively collect them for reference. Is this something that you do also? Yes, I own two real human skulls and a bunch of random animal skulls, including: deer, coyote, cow, badger, and a beaver skull. Is there one particular skull that holds your fascination more than others, if so, can you tell us why? I received one particular human skull as a Christmas gift from everyone that works with me at MD Tattoo Studio. They all pitched in and got it from me. I was excited! It’s funny the reaction you get from guests that come to your home and see it and ask, “Is that real?” People trip out, and one thing that was interesting is when I brought it home my dog was freaking out for a good 20 minutes.

Can you expand on your statement that Skulls can represent both life and death? When I look at it, I trip out, thinking, “I have one of these on my shoulders!” I also think this is how I will look one day. I think about that type of weird stuff rather than it representing any deeper meanings. If I had to pick one, I see it more on the death representation. This is a pretty weighty book, did you have trouble filling the pages with skull material? We had no trouble at all, we actually figured out the size we wanted it to be, and we packed it to the brim. The amount of material in this book could have been used to produce three or four books. You simply cannot look through this book once and retain it all. You have to look at it page by page, about ten times through, to actually see everything and take it all in. It’s pretty amazing. Given the diversity of styles and mediums contained in the book, did you learn anything new or was there anything that surprised you from seeing the work from other artists? A lot of pieces that are in the book are very inspiring. So inspiration is an easy gain from this book. What surprised me was some of the trippy “Skullptures” that are in the book. There is some serious time and dedication invested in some of those pieces!


Here in the UK, there is an annual event called the Sugar Skull project, whereby skulls get sent out to tattooists to adorn in their own way then have the skull auctioned off for charity. Have you heard of this and would you be willing to participant at some point? I actually recently heard about it; and yeah, I would be into it, for sure!


After this and Tattoo Prodigies, do you have plans for your next book and can you tell us yet what it’s subject matter is going to be? Yes, we are working on two new book projects at the moment, with Jinxi Caddel. The first book is “Animal Ink,” which focuses on tattoos that have to do with animals. It will include all different tattoo styles, with many stories included that describe what inspired the collector to get each particular tattoo. We have already received so much content for this book that I am sure it is going to be awesome! The second book is “Tattoo Extremities,” which will focus on the extremities: feet, head, and hand tattoos. I can’t wait to get to the design stage for this book. They both look as if they are going to be great and they are fun projects to work on...


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ART TUTORIAL ) OIL PAINTING Leigh Oldcorn from Cosmic Tattoo in Colchester has very kindly shared his knowledge of oil painting with us all in this month’s Start to Finish. Right guys ‘n’ gals, Neil has asked me to write a little feature on oil painting, so if you don’t like this article, please blame him - haha! I’ve only just started oil painting myself - I’m usually more comfortable with a pencil and paper - so maybe I might just strike a chord with anyone wanting to paint but is perhaps put off by all the technical jargon and possible previous attempts at oil painting (which probably, like my early attempts, resulted in a muddy mess), or the thought of spending a year in a smock and floppy beret, looking angst-ridden and moodily applying the occasional daub to a canvas puts you off... Well, there’s none of that malarkey here! No jargon, no talk of values and tone, no ‘loadsa’ bollocks, so listen up, and hopefully we will get somewhere with this. I’ve done a fairly straightforward painting of a sparrow hawk for this tutorial, on a 12x10 inch canvas. Here’s what I did...

Cosmic Tattoo Unit 2 Portal Precinct, Sir Isaacs Walk Colchester, Essex CO1 1JJ

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Tools of the Trade Griffin Alkyd fast-drying oil paint (it dries in about a day or two; it’s much faster drying than usual oil, for which you have to wait for ages to dry before you can do anything with). Genuine turps (to water down your paint so it’s thinner when you want it to be). White spirit to wash your brushes out between colour changes. As you can see, you can use cheap canvasses for now from Argos, The Range, art shops etc. you don’t need to use expensive stuff just yet. Brushes. Buy a selection of different size ends (wide/narrow, long/short). Hog bristle is good for getting the paint on the canvas quickly; Prolene (usually brown or white bristles) are softer and are good for blending colours, fine work etc. I work mainly with hog hair, then at the end, sort the little stuff out with Prolene fine detail brushes, and smoothing out blends.


Gently sketch your image onto your canvas. Do not trace - you are an artist: kids trace, you don’t! You will never improve as an artist if you trace. No offence to anyone, but that’s my honest opinion. And this is my lesson, so what I say goes - haha! Draw your image on with a 5b pencil gently! If you use too soft a pencil, or scribble all over your canvas, your paint will “pick up’ the graphite as you paint, and it will dirty your paint, so less pencil is best. STEP 2


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Look at your reference picture and apply the colours you think you will need onto a palette; a blob of each colour, neatly in rows. The disposable paper pad types are great! Fuck cleaning up, just tear it off and put in the bin when you’re done at the end - cushty!




STEP 3 & 4

Time to stop putting things off, so put some music on, pick your hog bristle up, dip it in the paint, and apply some to the will not bite! Be a devil, add some more and before you know it, you are painting! Do the background first, working neatly up to the edges. The blobs of colour will look like shit at first; this is when you use a dry, soft brush to gently blend the colours into each other, using a light touch. Suddenly it looks fine. Background...done!

5 STEP 5

Again, look at your reference picture. Now is the time to ‘block in’ which basic colours go where. Think of these as your base coat, so don’t look too much at the lighter colours, look at the darker tones and apply these using a hog hair; don’t slap too much paint on, use sparingly a little goes a long way! Work in layers and add small amounts of paint gently, not huge globs of paint that end up in a mess quickly.




STEP 6 & 7

Once the big blocks of colour are done, start to refine things. Take the beak, for example: look at the reference picture and do what’s in the picture to your canvas. Where there is dark blue on the picture, put it on your canvas. Don’t paint what you think should be right, paint what you see, and nothing but (or as near as dammit!).



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Your palette will start to look like this as you dip your brush from one colour to another, adding a bit of brown to blue, white to green etc. to match colours in your reference picture. You must paint the colour you see, not what you think you see. For example, is something white...or is it very, very light green?

If it’s light green, paint it light frickin’ green! It’s not rocket science! Once you have grasped this, it’s going to be so enjoyable for you; mix colours, try things out, it’s fun! You will keep going back over what you’ve done, adding a little more black, a little more brown, a little more

detail, and so on. To add more paint, thin it down a little; it will stick better to thick paint, and vice versa. To do finer detail, thin your paint with turps and use, for example, a softer brush like a Prolene rigger (fine-pointed brush).





Once you’ve got to the point where you think the painting is finished, take a photo of it, and look at the photo. This will usually show up any flaws you don’t notice in the flesh, so to speak. If you’re happy with it, put your brushes down and DONT FIDDLE! Quit while you are ahead; you are guaranteed to balls it up if you keep faffing, adding shit that doesn’t need to be in the picture, adding highlights that just aren’t there so it looks unnatural. Leave it alone! Wash your brushes out with white spirit, then with a little soap in your palm, make sure they’re clean by rubbing the bristles in the soapy palm and then running under clean, running water. Pull your bristles

back into shape, and stand handle down in an empty jar. Put your feet up, take a deep breath, relax, have a cuppa, upload your picture to Facebook, and show people what you can really do!

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If you have enjoyed this Start to Finish article and you are an artist who would like to impart some I hope this has been of use. Thank you for reading of your artistic knowledge and I hope that I haven’t taught my Granny how to be it in pastels, oils, suck eggs! If you’re interested, I have loads of my pens, inks, then please paintings and art on my Facebook page, have a look- get in touch with us at: see next time you’re on there. Honestly, just pick the info@tattoorevolution brush up and have a go - it’s really not that hard!

Once you’ve done a couple, you will be hooked, I promise!



INTERVIEW Immortal Ink ad, 39-43 Baddow Ro CM2 0DB x se Es d, Chelmsfor 01245 493444 www.immortalin

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Lianne Moule When you think about it logically, dynasties have to start somewhere, so are we all present at the birth of a new British tattooing dynasty? Sisters Lianne and Leah Moule have now been joined by their cousin, Iona, who is an apprentice at Immortal Ink. But being part of a dynasty can bring its own problems. Lianne is the younger sister and has come to tattooing in the shadow of not only her older sister but also her partner, Jason Butcher. Tattoo Revolution feels it is high time for Lianne to stand alone in the spotlight, given the strength of her artwork and her tattooing.

Lianne openly admits that she actively made the decision not to become a tattooist after leaving university. Whilst she was still studying art, she started dating Jason Butcher, who had been introduced to her by her sister, Leah. She explains “I always thought; ‘No, I am not going to tattoo, I want to do my own thing, I don’t want to copy those two. I want to work for myself’. In fact, their being

tattooists almost put me off tattooing. But then I had finished university and I carried on painting but I wasn’t selling enough - I couldn’t earn enough money - so I ended up working in a hospital being a cleaner, which helped me realise that I needed a career and that I really needed to do something.” So Lianne toyed with the idea of tattooing and approached Jason. Many of you will assume that she walked straight into her spot at Immortal Ink, but Lianne explains it was not that easy. “Jason said that he would not teach me unless I was

100% into it. He said that I needed to love it, otherwise he was not going to take me on. So I thought long and hard, finally making the decision that tattooing was going to be my career. The minute I started tattooing, I thought I should have been doing this years ago I love it! All that time I spent saying that I was not going to copy them was ridiculous. Additionally, I worked part-time at another studio, as it was important for me to experience working away from Leah and Jason.”


Lianne Moule Having lived with a piece of Lianne’s artwork in our house for years now, I had to ask how she had found university and whether, like some other artists, she had found it restrictive at all. “My university was very contemporary, and when I say to people that I went to an ‘Arts Uni’ they just assume that I got taught to paint in a structured manner. But I was not; I went to Byam Shaw (part of St Martin’s in London). You go in there, get given a studio space and told to “make art”. There was a lecture one day a week, but it was only about art history, which we had to write essays about. There was a certain amount of essay work to do but at the end of the grade, 20% of the mark came from the written work and 80% came from practical. Each student had a tutor who was there for you to


talk to and to help you but everything was very contemporary. To them, art wasn’t painting, or craft, or drawing; it was anything you could get

Issue 7

away with doing and calling it art. I chose painting and spent a lot of time messing around painting massive

canvases; they are in the garage at home now. Well, one of them is in St Martin’s permanent collection, but the others are at home, they are like, 7 foot and 9 foot, just like crazy faces and things I was experimenting with at the time.” “I still paint a lot and I do love working with oils. I don’t really know why. When I was at uni, my painting was very different to how it is now but what I do now is more the kind of thing that people like to have on their living room walls, so my style has evolved somewhat. I still enjoy painting, whatever it is, but it is nice to sell them. There is no point doing a load of paintings and having them in the garage. Although you

do it and you are really proud of it and you love it, you do need to share your art. You can’t beat that feeling when someone else likes your work as much as you do and that they want to pay you for it and have it for themselves.” Tattooing has brought Lianne into contact with many other artists and travelling around the world has allowed her to attend some of the workshops run by those talented individuals. When asked if this has had an affect on the evolution of her art, she confesses “Those workshops are why my work changed. I have learned so much from Jeff Gogué. People see my art and ask me “How do you paint?” and “How do you do this?”.

I just tell them that I appreciate it costs a lot, but go to one of Jeff’s workshops or seminars. He is an absolutely amazing teacher. He just makes it look so easy but makes you super comfortable doing it. A lot of times you see a blank canvas and you get scared, but Jeff makes you feel comfortable with it and push yourself forward, and not worry about it. The way he tells you how to do it and helps you, it’s awesome. I also had the same experience with Shawn Barber at the Paradise Gathering. Jeff and Shawn’s workshops have just completely changed how I paint.” Lianne acknowledges the link between fine art and tattooing has become stronger over the last few years, and she laughs heartily as she explains that when she first met Jason 10 years ago, she had commented to him that he was “just a tattooist”. She herself had not made the link between art and tattooing, and has been paying for the “just” comment ever since. When asked how she had found the move from canvas to skin, Lianne confesses “At first it was difficult but I have been painting and drawing all my life, so yeah, the move to tattooing was difficult, but for me it is more like a new medium (that I’m) getting to grips with. Every time I paint, I get better and better: likewise, every time


Lianne Moule I tattoo, I get better and better. I am still improving but I do think it was a lot easier for me to do it from the beginning because I was transferring existing artistic skills.” Those of you familiar with Lianne’s work will notice that she produces a lot of floral tattoos, so I had to ask if she had become pigeonholed. “Definitely: I was pigeon-holed from the beginning! It was maybe from my third or fourth tattoo. I did a painting of a poppy, which was a commission for someone. A customer had seen this painting and asked me to tattoo the poppy on their foot. So I thought it was great; for my third or fourth tattoo, I was going to do a poppy, not some piece of flash, script or tribal. So I did the tattoo, took photos and other people then said “That’s amazing! Can I have a rose or a lilly?” (and) it just went on from there. Now most of the things I do are floral and I love it. But it has become, dare I say it, quite easy now to do - I can’t even count the number of lilies I have done. Lately I have been doing some different stuff and I am really enjoying the challenge that brings. I panic when I wake up in the morning and think I really don’t want to go to work today, but as soon as I get in and start tattooing, it feels really good, and at the end I feel that I have achieved


Issue 7

a lot more from it, that it’s been successful, and I like that. Not every day, but I do like it.” Lianne acknowledges that she is lucky to be working at such a wellknown studio, and the hard work that Jason has put in to build a place where everyone in the studio works together. The artists share what they have done, proud of what they and the studio produce. This ensures that everyone gets better because they are encouraged and supported, which leads to continual improvement, but when asked where she sees herself in five years’ time, Lianne tells me, “I don’t really think about it. I don’t know; as long as I am taking one day at a time and working the hardest I can at that particular time, I am happy. Yet, every time you finish a tattoo,

you see the things you could improve on and you just take that to the next tattoo. The same applies to my painting, really. So, no, I don’t really have a goal for five years’ time because I do not want to get to that goal and think that’s it, I am done now. As long as I am enjoying myself in what I am doing now, I don’t really mind; whatever makes me happy.” She cannot thank Jason enough for the support he has given her and the fact that she would not be where she is today in the tattooing world without him. I would like to offer him my thanks as well because I personally am excited to see where Lianne’s love of tattooing and art are going to take her in the future, and what she will bring to the ‘Moule Dynasty’.

LIANNE’S WIS H LIST Lianne has been influenced by many artists. Her favourite artist is Jen ny Saville and although Lianne’s artwo rk is nothing like Jenny’s any more, she wa s inspired by her whilst at uni. Lianne adm its that when she was young, she used to try and recreate what Jenny did. From within the tattoo world, she finds inspiration in the ori ginal and different work produced by Jeff Go gué and Robert Hernandez. She would lov e to have a tattoo from Jeff but has resign ed herself to the fact that he is so busy that it may never happen. She would also like some ink from Kamil and has a chest piece pla nned with Jo Harrison.

SISTERS mes mister who co “Lord help the ” er st si y dm , between me an e The Prisoner the programm ow kn l al e ar e Most of us w e, so al or the remak e be it the origin a number!” as th t no am “I y cr e th ith an w ar as famili recognised r battles to be e main characte n battle with th ow r he ne fights to le op pe individual. Lian r s fo ah!”. She battle cry “I am not Le by L. Moule is ne do ng hi yt er ev t no at th pt acce n as possible d is seen as ofte an ah Le by ne do r to prove that r sister in orde in public with he oule sisters! ually talented M there are two eq rd straight. has put the reco Let’s hope this



Jeremy Miller Pigment De rm and Fine Art agraphics 12233 R. R .6 AUSTIN, TX 20 N SUITE 111 78750 www.Pigme

if unsure s a w t u Kb at know th to the U e e h m d o i c d oo ittle ed to UK Tatt style. L er want e l s l h i i t h , M y e t y g cia olo Jerem n techn curately ld appre r c u e a o d e w o r s o m t s of or m us Bri wonder sights… ion of his trip e r h u t o g n n i i him ipat st by us ady had ety. So in antic rthcoming gue a e r l a d i o crow nd his f web var to know a e e r k h i a t l e f t y o h ’ s g thi mi hat ‘sites August ght you s and w u n o i o o h t K t t U a n t e o his uti to th his art, o Revol , o n t t a a m T . , e s spot eneral.. bout th g a n e i r f o f u m t st little bi s about he think


Issue 7


Jeremy Miller

My personality definitely shows through in my work. I love word play and when I am sitting at home thinking of what I can draw, I try to think of a pun that I can turn into a tattoo.

Q When and why did you become interested in tattoos and tattooing?

Q So who else have you collected work from and who is on your wish list?

interested in tattoos while I was in high school because I saw it as a way to be cool and rebel, but I didn’t start tattooing until some time later.

Jeff Ensminger, a sleeve from Matthew Clarke, and a bunch of other little tattoos from some great artists such as Timmy B, Brad Worrell, Jason Reeder, and Joey Foote.

A Initially, I became

Q How did you get your “foot in the door “of the first studio you worked at?

A For me the important part

of getting my foot in the door was actually getting my butt in the chair. I actually spent quite a bit of time getting tattooed, as well as getting to know the tattoo artists that worked at the studio in the hope of stealing a little bit of their ‘mojo’.

A I have a half sleeve from

I want to be tattooed by Tomasz Torfinski more than any other artist. His work is so incredible!

Q Tell us about your apprenticeship. Did you find working on skin difficult? A My “apprenticeship” was

pretty easy since it only lasted about 2 months. I expected to have to do a lot more work, but it was actually far too easy. Once I really began tattooing clients, I quickly realised that a short apprenticeship was terrible for a successful career. Every aspect of working on skin was incredibly difficult, more so because of the lack of training that I received during my so-called; “apprenticeship.”

Q Which artist did you looked up to in your early days, the ones you saw as pushing the boundaries of what tattooing could and should be?

A Tony Ciavarro has always been one of the artists that I really looked up to, and that has not changed because he is a badass!


Issue 7

Q Do you regret dropping out of college? A I actually dropped out

of college after my first semester, but it wasn’t art school, it was pre-law. However, I did return to college and I finished a bachelor’s degree in business and I am now working on my master’s in business. I think my schooling puts a significant dampener on my work as an artist, but it helps to fuel my life in many other ways. As a shop owner, my degree will prove to be beneficial in the future. It is hoped that in turn this will free up time for future artistic endeavors and growth.

Q What inspires your artwork and tattooing? A So many things are

inspirational to me, but I think growth is what really fuels me. I feel that as long as I am trying new things and my work is continually changing, then the finished tattoo is incredibly inspiring.

Q With your tattooing and work on you master’s do you find time to draw and paint? Artistically, where do you hope to be in five or ten years’ time? A I spend a ton of time

drawing, whether it be at the studio, at home, or even on vacation! It seems that no matter where I go, I have to have my pencils and some paper with me. As for the future I really would love to have a firm grasp on oil paints and rattle a graffiti can.


Jeremy Miller

Q What are the most important elements in making a great tattoo? A This questions has

two answers. To make a technically great tattoo, the most important things are solid, smooth line work, colours that are fully saturated, and smooth blends. Of course this goes for new school work. Black and grey portraits would probably be a little different. Now to make a truly great tattoo, not just technically great, the most important element is the reaction it will get from people. I don’t really understand getting a tattoo that people won’t love when they see it.


Issue 7

Q How important is it to you that you attempt to educate a client who may be set on a tattoo you know won’t work, and is a good artist and client relationship vital?

A It is very important to me to educate clients. I actually end up losing a lot of business because I won’t do a tattoo that I know won’t work. A lot of people tend to get mad when I tell them why it won’t work and they just think I have no clue what I’m talking about. I think the relationship between client and artist is also extremely important.

I typically only do one tattoo per day because most of my clients start as regular clients looking into my work, but after we get to know one another we often become good friends. This is especially true when the pieces are large because we tend to have a lot more consultation time and we spend a lot more time together working on the tattoo. So we end up spending more time hanging out and talking than working, hence one tattoo a day.


Jeremy Miller Q You have a good sense of humor and seem to inject some of that into your tattoos.

A My personality definitely

shows through in my work. I love word play and when I am sitting at home thinking of what I can draw, I try to think of a pun that I can turn into a tattoo.

Q How do you feel about tattooing’s increasing commercialisation?

A There are a lot of artists

out there that get flat out angry with this, but I think it is wonderful from an economic standpoint. The process is inevitable, and if you don’t get on board you will be left behind. A lot of people like tattoos because they are rebellious and taboo, but this issue is

causing a more wide-spread acceptance of tattoos. This acceptance is opening our craft to people that would not have gone out and got a tattoo a few years ago. This leads directly to more clients, but it also leads to more tattoo artists. So while I may be a fan, the sad truth is that it doesn’t matter because it’s going to happen anyway.I think that over the next few years, tattoos will become increasingly respected and accepted. I truly believe that the craft will be viewed as an additional medium in the art community.

Q With this new found commercialisation do you think it is easy for tattooists to become victims of their own success and that there is a need for them to stay grounded in order to continue learning? A Yes, however, there are

several ways to look at this. A lot of artists build up a clientele, which means they are allowed more freedom in what they do, which can be good for development. But this is a double-edged sword, in that, it can often bring about a lack of challenges and motivation, which is

detrimental to growth. This is not limited to industry leaders though. Tattooing is an easy career to make a lot of quick money, therefore I think that a lot of young artists can easily lose focus on their priorities and begin focusing on making as much cash as possible. This trend is a quick and easy way to slow down the young tattooist’s growth as an artist.

Q What lessons and skills do you think should be passed on to younger tattooists and preserved for the future of the art? A I think the most important

thing is that there is always room for improvement. So many people become content with their quality of work, but there is always room for improvement. I don’t really think an artist needs to understand the specific mechanics of a tattoo machine, but it is important that an artist use good tools. If an artist understands how those tools function then they are more likely to be able to use them to their best potential.I owe a huge debt of thanks to my machine builder, Dewey Smith of Orphan Irons. He has really helped me out with the best machines I have ever used.

Q Which conventions can people find you at?

A I work a lot of conventions every year, such as Philadelphia, Detroit , Dallas, Hell City and Miami. You can keep up with me via the studios Facebook page “Pigment Dermagraphics” and of course the website,

Q What would you have written on your gravestone? A

My gravestone would say “ least he tried!” I wonder how a psychiatrist would read that one? Haha...


Issue 7

W I N a Full Days

g n i o o t Tat s Triple Six Studio Sunderland, e, ac 6 Grange Terr 7DF Tyne & Wear SR2 0191 567 9126 www.triplesixstu



Richard ‘Bez’ Beston is probably one of the UK’s most talented and innovative tattooists working today.

His tattoo work is eye-wateringly stunning with an attention to detail that many try to emulate but struggle to achieve. Bez has won more trophies than you could shake an inky stick at, both in the UK and abroad. You can pretty much guarantee if Bez is working a show, he’ll be carrying a new award home with him, such is his talent.

BEZ IS NOT ONLY HUGELY TALENTED BUT HE IS BIG HEARTED TOO AND HE HAS OFFERED TO TATTOO ONE VERY LUCKY TATTOO REVOLUTION MAGAZINE READER FOR A WHOLE DAY! Working away quietly from his Triple Six Studio in Sunderland, he certainly isn’t frightened of pushing himself in both his painting and tattooing skills. Bez will always go that extra mile and somehow has the ability to create a new masterpiece every time he puts needles to skin, re-inventing himself constantly. Speaking to the maestro recently about where he sees his work going in the future, Bez said: “I’m really starting to plan out my work more than before. I’m enjoying making my designs fit and flow with the body as much as possible, to try to give them the feel that they have been there from birth. I also fancy trying some dot work but only if I can come up with a unique way of doing this.” When asked if there was anything that he would like to tattoo but hasn’t yet, Bez mentioned; “I’d love to do anything that is strange, you know, really strange. To be honest, the more weirder and whackier the better!”


Issue 7

Over the next two issues of TRM we will be printing vouchers for you to collect, then send them to us (along with any bribes – ahem...)

The winner will then work with Bez to get a masterpiece etched into their skin at a time that is mutually agreeable.

WIN a Full Days Tattooing

Best of luck to all!





All you have to do to be in the chance of winning this incredible competition is: Fill in the form, collect the next two vouchers printed in issues 8 and 9 (on sale 14th June & 12th July respectively), send them to the postal address and cross all your digits, buy some lucky heather, pray, rub your lucky rabbit’s foot and may the best person win.

Triple Six Studios, Sunderland




Please send your completed form to: TRM - Tattoo Day Competition Bryn Llwyni, Clawddnewydd, Ruthin, Denbighshire LL15 2NG Tick here if you do not wish to receive any promotional material from Tattoo Revolution Magazine. Please be assured that your details are NEVER passed on to anyone else.

TRM Issue 07



Entries must be received by 16th August 2011 Only one entry per person permitted. Photocopies are acceptable. Please note: The tattoo will take place in the UK, if you are the winner, you will have to make your own travel arrangements to Triple Six Studios, Sunderland.

TRM Issue 08

TRM Issue 09


Join the revolution! Issue one of TRM available as a FREE digital download. Yup, you read that right, FREE!

All you have to do to read the inaugural issue of TRM is to visit our website, log in with your email address and you can then download onto your computer for absolutely NOTHING! We hope that you like the magazine and feel free to spread the love! www.tattoore

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Rotterdam is

Amsterdam’s quieter sister. Amsterdam is where the bright lights shine and the mysteries of the Netherlands come together in a melting pot of many styles and cultures, whereas Rotterdam is more of a “let’s sit back and have a cup of tea” type of place. Many say that Amsterdam is where the parties take place and Rotterdam is where the work gets done, and I could see that analogy ringing true for myself when I visited the city for the first Rotterdam Tattoo Convention.

q Tamara by Florencio Rojas of Bunker Tattoo

TACoTnvTeOn O tion u Sven by Greg

of Dragon Tattoo, Eindhoven




The Netherl ands has a h uge history in the British Is tattooing, riva les, and is ve lled only by ry proud of it colourful line s rich, deep a age in the art n d extremely o f tattooing. K as it was kno atendrecht, wn locally, h o o u r ‘De Kaap,’ se for decades, d many a fam rubbing shou ous Dutch ta ld ttooist ers with the frequented th pimps and h e small penin o o ke su slowly passe rs that la. Sadly, the d away, leavi se tattooists ng only one o h a far as I am aw ve all r two studio are, so it was s still there a good to see resurrect th s An e fine Dutch tradition of ta dy Spaan and his crew the first sho ttooing in Ro w to be held tterdam, wit in the Nethe for a very lon h rlands’ secon g time. d largest city The show wa s housed in a fine-looking centre of Ro building just tterdam, in a outside the place called the Ahoy. Th purpose-built e Ahoy is a venue that h as played ho name pop st st to some b ars over the ig years and ind area, just aw eed in anoth ay from the er tattooists, th tractor pullin ere was a g contest ta k in g and the spirit p ual healing se lace minar under way ju st upstairs a more divers e selection o f activities yo u could not wish to fi nd anywhere.

p Hugo by Vatea, Tahiti


Issue 7

Star Ratings Location /Venue Working Tattooists Atmosphere Entertainment Bar Prices Food Facilities Hotel in Locale Value for Money Overall Experience

Being the first year and having such a rich history in tattoo art, Andy used his considerable knowledge and sway to invite many big names in the world of Dutch tattooing to attend. This was pretty interesting for me, as there were many artists I’d not heard of and I was looking forward to seeing their work. As well as the Dutch influx to the show, countries such as Japan, Greece, France and the UK were all represented by their tattooing ambassadors. Inside, the venue was laid out much the same as many others, with aisles of booths and a large stage area at the front. The gaps between the booths were of a good enough size so that you could walk along them without getting barged about too much and still have space to stop and look at a particular booth to see what was going on without being swept away in the tide of folk wandering from tattooist to tattooist. q By Gekko Tattoos, Terneuzen

I got there courtesy of a stallholder Eust and his van, as did many other guys working the show. There was a coach hired especially to ferry the artists to and from the venue, which is a nice touch, and it’s the little things like that, that make a good show into a great show; attention to detail is very important.

p Marion by Markus Lenhard of Lux Altura, Germany


The place was very busy with the artists setting up for the weekend and I saw some people setting out tape on the floor area in front of the stage, only to discover that it was the area for the roller girls to put on a daring display of eight-wheeled acrobatics, and also to give those wishing to have a go the chance to experience the feeling of being thundered down upon by hoards of roller skating tattooed girls. Rather them than me...well actually, now I think about it... This gave the by-now very respectable crowd something to look at other than the tattooing. Upon hearing a noise, I looked up to see a selection of chaps called Tenue Hiaka Alifuru, a warrior-dance group opening the convention, dressed in traditional outfits with some sharp-looking swords. y Lindsay by Greg of

Dragon Tattoo, Eindhoven


Issue Issue77


These guys were calling the spirits with a triton shell and the MoluccanAlfurian Tifa hand drums, which certainly stopped all in their tracks. With the venue blessed, the tattooing could take place and away went the machines, putting some amazing designs into the skin. As I mentioned earlier, there were many artists I had not heard of and wandering about the booths, I was quite surprised to see a great deal of Japanese-inspired work taking place. After asking a few folk in the


know, they said that the Netherlands has a rich history of Japanese tattoo followers and tattooists. Thinking about this, I started to collate loosely in my head the amount of Dutch artists that adhere to Japanese thinking behind their tattoos and I was amazed at just how many there were. I’m not too sure if it is down to the maritime history of sailors from both countries meeting and melding their respective styles, but it was good to see something a little different from the new/old school and realistic tattoos that seem to be ‘en vogue’ at the moment. However, these popular genres in tattooing were more than well catered for at the show and it was a testament to Andy for getting such a diverse array of styles under one roof.




As the day wore on, all eyes looked to the stage – well, those not tattooing – to see the various stage shows lined up. These took the form of various burlesques dancers, fashion shows and live music acts. Now I’m not the biggest fan of rockabilly music and the whole scene (other than the cars and bikes, that is) but this style of music is huge over here; you hear it everywhere and no self-respecting tattooist from Eastern Europe would be complete without huge trouser turn-ups and a quiff or delivery boy floppy hat or polka dot dress, and as such, the fifties music scene is massive. So this was the musical style that entertained us all weekend and normally this would be the hint for me to run to the bar, but there was one band who made

Critical Information Location: Ahoy, Ahoyweg 10, Rotterdam

Working Artists: 100+ Vendors: 10+ Other attractions: Burlesque, Fashion shows, Custom Cars & Bikes, Roller derby girls Music: Departure Level, DeeAnn and the Night captains, El Rio Trio, Big Shampoo & the Hairstylers Next year’s dates: 9th - 11th March 2012


Issue 7

me stop and watch the entire set (twice) and even had my foot tapping (a rare occurrence!). Big Shampoo & The Hairstylers are good. I mean very good. They play more bebop than rockabilly and boy, can they play! The lead singer/guitarist is not only a very well accomplished musician but he has the energy of a four month old kitten that has just had its milk spiked with Red Bull. The horn section was smooth and loud, but not too loud, just right, and the backing singers and double bass player complimented the rest of the ensemble perfectly. They played twice over the course of the weekend and achieved what is probably a first at a convention, and that was to pretty much empty the aisles. Folk actually stopped watching the tattooing and came to the stage to hear the fine, fine music. Their range was as diverse as the tattooists at the convention, with rockabilly and bebop being joined by current covers from the likes of Pink and Michael Jackson. As they finished their encores, folk drifted back to the tattoo booths and it was soon time for the competitions. I took my customary position (behind the judges) to see what was on offer and again, being at a different and foreign show, I didn’t see a single tattoo that I recognised, which was really refreshing and a treat. There weren’t

p By Rick of Veni Vidi Vichi, Holland

q u Both By Gerrit of Tattoomania, Apeldorn

too many entrants but enough to keep the judges deliberating whilst the compère, Freanz, kept everyone happy. He is a lovely chap and a big ‘face’ on the scene in the Netherlands (so I am told) and I can see why folk warm to him and his obvious passion for tattooing. A true tattooing statesman for sure. Over the course of the weekend, I met many, many new people and renewed my friendship with others I’d not seen for a while. I got to see some amazing home-grown tattooing talent and took photos of lots of their work. I had a wonderful time in Rotterdam and was looked after like a prince by Andy and his crew, for which I thank you all. Stepping off the train in Amsterdam, I noticed the pace of life had stepped up a notch and I could compare firsthand that Rotterdam is more laid-back than its bigger, more boisterous sister, and can’t wait to come back for next year’s instalment of the Rotterdam Tattoo Convention. Zie je volgend jaar! You may have noticed that not all the tattoo photographs are credited, for which I apologise to the wearer and the artist. I could say that my dog ate the paperwork but that would just be a lie...quite a good one, though - I have four hounds to choose from!





Join the revolution! To discuss our advertising power call:

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The Earth Spider

Crystal Morey, owner of Gomineko Books in Japan, runs regular art galleries in both Japan and the US to showcase the work of many of the artists that contribute to her growing collection of Tattoo-related books available from the Gomineko on-line store. We thought we would give you the chance to see some of the outstanding artwork based around a similar theme: Tsuchigumo – The Earth Spider. Here is a small insight into the legend that is Tsuchigumo... Tsuchigumo, the earth spider, appears in several Japanese legends and she is fantastic. She was one of the main adversaries of Minamoto no Yorimitsu, or Raiko as he is often called. Minamoto no Yorimitsu and his four chief retainers were commissioned to rid the capital of an ever growing population of robbers and bandits. Through a series of exploits he was eventually credited with ridding Kyoto of its yokai (monster) denizens as well.



Jason Ju


Issue 7

There are two famous stories involving Raiko and the Tsuchigumo. In the first story, which is also a well known Noh play, he is a retainer at the palace in Kyoto and is in bed in his chambers, very ill. Delirious he was plagued night after night by dreams of being attacked by demons. His retainers stood by his bedside to keep watch but they eventually fell asleep and Raiko envisioned himself being bound with silken robes. Crazed, he struck out with his short sword and the vision evaporated and a creature fled the room leaving a trail of blood. Raiko and his retainers followed the blood to a large mound of earth where they were met by Tsuchigumo, a giant earth spider. Raiko attacks and kills Tsuchigumo and his sword was given the name Kumokirimaru spider killer.

Sky Winch



In another story Raiko and his men are found following a fiery skull, floating in the air above them. Bound by the emperor to rid Kyoto of evil spirits, they raced after the skull chasing it outside the city to a hill where they were met by an army of gruesome yokai. Apparently the yokai did not take kindly to Raiko’s quest. The army was led by an enchantingly beautiful woman and while his retainers began to position themselves against the monsters, Raiko sat motionless, staring at her, dumbstruck. He became aware of soft cobwebs enveloping him and with effort, struck out with his sword. With that thrust the phantom woman dissolved into Tsuchigumo, the giant earth spider, and her legions of yokai immediately vanished. Raiko attacks Tsuchigumo, slicing open her belly in the battle. As she died thousands of skulls poured from her slit stomach, revealing a lifetime of human victims, as well as thousands of vicious baby spiders, all the size of small dogs, which Raiko and his retainers in turn set upon and defeated. Grim. Cody Meyer


I’m not too sure who the organisers talk to “upstairs” but for the last two years, since the re-birth of the UK’s longest-running tattoo convention, the sun has shone relentlessly over the weekend of the Ink & Iron show. The new home for this show is The Tower – a nightclub situated on the edge of a lovely reservoir in Edgbaston, Birmingham.

Last year was the continuation of a long and rich history of the Ink & Iron show and things have moved on and improved as each year passes. Last year saw the show’s new home open its doors to the public and it was plain to see that this year’s show would be another success. Again, as the car park filled with an exotic array of vintage and brand new custom machinery in the shape of bikes and cars, folk started to queue, basking in the sunshine, waiting to see what inky delights awaited them inside the venue.


Issue 7

q Leighton by Mandie Barber of True Love Tattoos, Kidderminster

Ink & Iron 1 1 0 2 n io t n e v n o C o Tatto

p Donna by Cesar De Cesaro of Body Garden Tattoo, Birmingham

This is only my second Ink & Iron and I have to say, as a one-day show, it packs in a goodly amount of artists – many from the surrounding area – proving that Birmingham has a strong and vibrant tattooing talent pool.


zClucky by John

Treharne, Skin Creations, Cardiff

Critical Information

ale Best M Back

Location: The Tower, Edgbaston, Birmingham Working Artists: 50+ Vendors: 10+

of Birmingham Ink

Music: X-Changed, Aka Ska Face Entertainment: Mad Dominic, Big Grey & Dave Straightjacket, Tattoo Parade, Constant Elevation Suspension


u Lee Westwood

Issue 7

With over fifty tattooists on hand to deliver some fine ink, the public had a good pool to choose from. It was nice to see some old stalwarts of the industry such and Kev Shercliffe and John Treharne rubbing shoulders with new talent like Filip Pasieka from Interskin Studios and Lee Westwood from Birmingham Ink. I first met Lee in America a few years ago at a convention and we have kept in touch ever since, and his work has really stepped up a pace just recently: so much so that he walked away with the trophy for Best Back Piece for an African animal-inspired tattoo that was superb. Good job, sir! t Ryan by Phatt German of No Regrets, Cheltenham

u Seth by Sass of

No Regrets, Cheltenham

Ink & Iron

Tattoo Convention

Star Ratings Location Venue Working Tattooists Entertainment Bar Prices Food Facilities Value for Money Overall Experience zAmy by Leah Moule of Spear Studio

u Ren by Ren of

Skin Creations, Cardiff

One of the things I like the most about working at tattoo conventions are the constant surprises that present themselves to me. A chap by the name of Ren dropped his trousers in front of me (it’s okay, I’m used to it now...) to display a superbly tattooed Spiderman on his thigh. Upon asking whom the artist was, he proudly announced that he did the tattoo himself and that he has only been tattooing for a few months! As you will see here in the photo, Ren is going to be one to watch out for in the future for sure.

u Donna by

Jace Butler of Underground Tatoos, Brownhills

zAdam by Cesar De Cesaro of

Body Garden Tattoo, Birmingham


Ink & Iron

Tattoo Convention

t Ash by Phatt German

of No Regrets, Cheltenham

The judging started pretty early as you would expect from a one-day show. Curiously, it took place behind closed doors, which is a shame as often folk like to see the tattoos that are being judged, giving an extra visual element to the show. Still, the judges took a fair time to deliberate over each tattoo, making the wait to be seen quite lengthy. I do understand (having judged many a competition) that you need to give each piece the same amount of time but I felt that this was taken to the extreme and the proposed Tattoo Parade was started later than expected, putting all the other acts slightly behind schedule. q Steve By Phatt German of No Regrets, Cheltenham

p Vicky by Mandie Barber of True Love Tattoo, Kidderminster


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u Paul by Tommi Crazy

of No Regrets, Cheltenham

u Martin by Wayne of ABH Tattooing

t Richard by Colin Jones

of Stained Class, Shrewsbury

The live music for the day was a mixture of a rock cover band (X-Changed) and a great ska band (Aka Ska Face) keeping toes tapping throughout the day. It can be hard to get the sound right

Other entertainment came in the form of Mad Dominic, giving impromptu floor shows of magic and tomfoolery, and of course, the ‘Iron’ in Ink & Iron; the cars and bikes amassed outside. This really is a nice touch to the day, as not everyone can or wants to spend the whole day watching tattooing (unless you are the recipient, of course) and the custom display, glinting in the warm sunshine, made for a welcome break from the internal goings on, and I’m sure that the warm weather brought when you have live out many a pride and music in the same room joy for the day. as the working artists Back inside, with the but the noise level seemed pretty spot on, tattooing well under allowing the tattooists way, I could see that all the booths were to still communicate busy and folk were with their clients. wandering about, wrapped in cling-film, x Ronnie Godard sporting new ink, and of Blood Sweat and Pain, Boston this kept me busy most of the day, chasing

the new tattoos for photographs. As with most one-day shows, the time flies by and it was soon time to pack up and head back to the hills of Wales and reflect on the sixteenth Ink & Iron Tattoo Convention. This is a very well run show with friendly and

helpful organisers, and their laid-back attitude is imparted to all those who walk through the doors. The sun, they say, shines on the righteous, and here’s wishing another sunny instalment for the seventeenth Ink & Iron show next year.

u Ash by Meehow of No Regrets, Cheltneham

t Donna by Jace

Butler of Underground Tatoos, Brownhills


Secret Life

A magical-looking tree on the grounds of Elvaston Castle


Issue 7

of Trees Whiling away long hours daydreaming over tattoo portfolios can produce a curious out-of-mind experience. Looking at any kind of art can send you to that happy place of simply being, where the images merge and unfold, bringing unexpected and often unlikely associations with them of places visited, people met, and emotions re-experienced. After a while, though, I noticed how many tattoos there were of trees. It’s a strange thing to pick up on with all the variety going on out there, but it made me wonder what the story was. I decided to find out why tree tattoos in general, and also in particular. To have a tattoo inspired by nature, and of trees specifically, can present a unique freedom of expression that is hard-pushed to be found elsewhere. The reason being that while a lot of plants already have connotations, like roses for romance, or lilies for funerals, the unruliness of a growing plant presents an unpredictability that is kin to the spectrum of emotional expression, whatever the plant or feeling. The ‘tree-ness’ of a tree comes with the texture of the bark, the shape of the trunk and branches, the colours of its leaves, and how it interacts with the world around it. Unlike something smaller that can be crushed underfoot, or eaten, or rained on to death, a tree adapts to the world around it.

A photo of a particularly magical-looking tree on the grounds of Elvaston Castle shows how the rain has eroded the soil around it, uncovering roots that extend like legs beneath the trunk, giving it a very Entish character. This very tree was turned into a tattoo by Joolz Denby, who transformed it from a living thing into an expression of spiritual awakening. Trees are such a diverse subject

for tattoo artists to work with, not only because of the liberties to be taken from texture and colour and composition, but as a vehicle for spiritual representation. A tree can be a kind of pictorial blueprint for any kind of emotion you wish to express. Inner darkness and death; the universality and integrity of nature and humans; rebirth; family; maternal protection, to name a few. Trees used

p Artwork by Jin O, Australia in company logos vary in what they sell to such a degree that people seem to find inspiration beneath the green canopy without seeming to bother looking elsewhere. As well as the expected conservation and green companies, you can find media production studios, therapy groups, restaurants, schools and publishing houses.


Secret Life of Trees A tattoo artist will easily inject a personality into any subject matter given as needed: animals can be clothed, perform a pose, have extraordinary colours and expressions that reveal an inner life. How much does that have to do with the fact that animals have a face, though? If there were no eyes, no mouths, no claws or clothing to show personality, then how would one show emotion through a picture? The answer is relatively simple to express, but the execution is going to be down to the talent of the artist: through composition, colour palette, body placement, and artistic liberties with the subject offered. For example, a simple subject of a key in a lock might be given rust and dereliction, coupled with a placement over the heart, for a sinister take on a romantic standard. Do nature-inspired tattoos give the artist more liberty than other tattoos? If so, why do emotions to be expressed in a tattoo become relayed with greater effect through nature as a subject?

There is an innate human kinship with nature, in that we feel the effects of the seasons along with the world around us – some people are happier in spring and summer on the whole when nature is in full swing, while others love the autumnal winding down, or the sleeping death of empty branches in winter. Emil Ren’s tree tattoo was inspired by the thought that the natural world around him would provide a constant emotional grounding, despite the ebb and flow of life that cannot be controlled. Nor can nature be controlled, but certain things about it will remain reliable, such as seasons, falling rain, wind, and snow. “My original idea was of thorny branches growing up my shin and kind of grabbing my leg and pulling it down in to the earth. I had this idea that it would symbolise that it was taking me back “to where we came from”, sort of “back to our origin”.” u Darwin Enriquez, Venezuela

There is an appealing variety in nature with every emotion seemingly expressed if a person empathises with it - cacti are prickly; flowers are delicate and feminine but can be aggressive in Venus Flytraps; some flowers only bloom once every hundred years, some are nightbloomers. Every lifestyle, feeling, and sensation wished to be turned into a tattoo, it seems, can be found in nature - perhaps this is an obvious link as we all are elementally the same as plant-life, but are any of these ideas due to the “back to nature” ideology we live in now?

t Emil Edge


Issue 7

It is fashionable and socially responsible to recycle, drive efficient cars, eat organic, become vegan/vegetarian/ aware of wheat and dairy intolerance, buy animalfriendly clothing, and donate money to save animals in danger of extinction. It makes sense that tattoos would reflect our rediscovered respect for nature as well. If nature tattoos are in part a subconscious response to this social aspect in our lives, then there is also a very conscious decision to include nature for spiritual meaning as well. Joolz Denby had this to say about her tree tattoo: “I do a lot of tree tattoos - as a Pagan myself, other Pagans know I understand the Pagan associations with trees and the natural world. To many, trees symbolise strength, stability and great beauty. They also have a deeply ecological meaning to others as they are the ‘lungs’ of our planet. Many people find trees deeply calming and reviving, other find them magical and legendary. The great ages some trees reach also make some people feel part of the greater life of the planet and they find that comforting. I draw the trees I tattoo from life, and personally, I find that very satisfying.” Nature tattoos are symbols rather than signs. I don’t think people get tree tattoos only because they want to only have nature represented on their skin, but mainly because of what it means to them. For Nige, who got his tree tattoo from Joolz Denby, it was a way of weaving his past and present together, and finding his way back to his family and what was most important in his life. After suffering from crippling depression and alcoholism, Nige took off one day and went missing. When his wife found him, he took her to Elvaston Castle where he had played as a child, and showed her a tree

p Shakey Pete of Dragstrip Tattoo, Southampton


t Rude Waterzooi whose roots were exposed to erosion over the years and looked as though it were walking. It had always been special to him, but particularly its reappearance in his life at that moment. It seemed to bring him full circle from beginning his life as a young man dreaming about limitless possibilities, all the way through a troubled life, and back to another beginning where he was able to start afresh. He went to Joolz, who drew up a tattoo for him, and the experience of getting his tree became a turning point in his life. “[Joolz] tattooing my tree from my childhood brought the past and my present together, all the bad that happened in between (14 years’ worth) had been erased, the tree of life from the past had been connected to the one in the present and now my life feels complete. Tracey, our kids and I are settled, I hardly drink at all, we walk 7 - 10 miles a day and enjoy each other’s company and the Earth, nature, birds, everything.” Aside from the spiritual qualities that are evoked by the symbols of nature, tree tattoos seem to also evoke the supernatural and fantastical imaginings in us. Rude Waterzooi’s tattoo of a spooky treehouse, with wonderfully evocative dark outlines and a staircase leading up to improbable hanging porches and glass paned windows, is like a gravity-defiant haunted house. There is something about the silhouette of a jabbing branch and the twist of an ageing trunk that brings out an inner Sleepy Hollow in all of us. I have seen a tattoo by Joao Bosco’s that has a full moon with all its magical, mystical connotations to supplement the already Halloween-like aspect of the dead Weeping Willow - Tim Burton has a lot to answer for when it comes to dream-like landscapes and surrealist takes on nature.


Issue 7

Secret Life of Trees

He seems to have inspired many people when it comes to injecting a little of the bizarre into an otherwise ordinary view of the Great Outdoors. Nature inspires in a way that other tattoo subjects cannot touch: it is a being in itself that is as alive as we are, and so can reach into the deepest places that struggle to be expressed at all. Tattoo art is not alone in recognising the versatility of nature as a means of elaborating on the human condition, and has been shared with literature, music, poetry, dance, and all mediums that derive from places of creativity. Any meandering discussion about trees in art wouldn’t be complete without a quotation from a Romantic, hopeless or not. “The tree which moves some to tears of joy is in the eyes of others only a green thing that stands in the way. Some see Nature all ridicule and deformity, and some scarce see Nature at all. But to the eyes of the man of imagination, Nature is Imagination itself.” William Blake.

p Nick Baxter, USA u George Bardadim guesting at Unique Canvas, Southam


Spot Liverpool . . . n o t h Lig

Tattoo Convention 13th -15th May

This is a small taster of some of the tattooing talent that will be attending the Liverpool Tattoo Convention


Tom Sugar

Studio: Alan’s Tattoos, Moreton Speciality: Realism Find out more at: Recommended because:

Tom’s use of both colour and black & grey work is outstanding and his realistic renditions are in a class of their own.


Issue 7



Cesar De Cesaro

Studio: Body Garden Tattoos, Birmingham Speciality: Neo-traditional colour work Find out more at: Recommended because:

Realistic and colourful renditions of old school work with an updated twist.



Andy Bowler

Studio: Monki Do, Derby

Speciality: Portraits and realistic Find out more at: Recommended because:

Realistic and off-beat work with a hint of humour thrown in for good measure.


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Chris Harrison

Studio: Bridgend Tattoo Studio, Bridgend, Wales Speciality: Vibrant Colour work Find out more at: Recommended because:

Shockingly bright colour work coupled with a hint of New and Old school styles.



Darwin Enriquez

Studio: Darwin Enriquez, Venezuela

Speciality: Realistic colour tattooing Find out more at: Recommended because:

Soft, smooth and a minute attention to detail.


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Fil, Toni & Marcos

Studio: Broad Street Studio, Bath

Speciality: A fusion of styles from dots to colour. Find out more at: Recommended because:

All three artists have unique styles, Fil: Superb dot-work tattooing, Marcos: Old/New school & Toni: feminine and realistic work.



Ryan Davies

Studio: Royal Owl Tattoos, Nantwich Speciality: Colour & Black & Grey Find out more at: Recommended because:

Superb Colour bio mechanical renditions as well as graffiti inspired tattooing.


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Studio: On the Road, Spain Speciality: Dark side Horror Tattooing Find out more at: Recommended because:

Sick, horror-based tattooing at its best.


2011 Sponsored by


If you are organising a tattoo convention or art exhibition and want your details to appear in the Dermal Diary, please send us your details to:

Please bear in mind that we work a good six weeks in advance of the latest issue so please make sure you send us your information well in advance of your convention.



May 14 - 15 Liverpool Tattoo Convention The Adelphi Hotel

July 16 - 17 State of the Art The Assembly Rooms, Derby

May 19th - 20th Tattoobåten Stockholm, Sweden

May 22nd Somerset Tattoo Convention Bridgwater Sports & Social Club, Bridgwater somersettattooconvention

August 13th - 14th Norwich Body Art Festival St Andrews Hall, Norwich

May 28th - 30th China Tattoo Convention Beijing, China

September 23rd - 25th The International London Tattoo Convention Tobacco Dock, London

June 10th - 12th Ink ‘n’ Iron Queen Mary, Long Beach, CA, USA



May 29th - 30th Gillingham Tattoo Convention Kind Charles Hotel, Gillingham 02392 851 661 May 28th - 29th The Festival Hall Bournemouth Tattoo Convention June 12th Reading Tattoo Show Rivermead Lesuire Complex, Reading, Berkshire June 18th - 19th 12TH Annual Portsmouth Tattoo Convention The Portsmouth Guildhall June 18th - 19th Ink for Heroes Catterick Leisure Centre, Catterick Garrison, North Yorkshire June 18th - 19th MK Tattoo Convention MK Dons Football Stadium, Milton Keynes



October 9th 1st Annual Female Tattoo Artist Show The Assembly, Leamington Spa October 29th - 30th Halloween Tattoo Bash Newton Abbot Racecourse, Devon November 12th – 13th East Coast Tattoo Expo Highfield Holiday Park, London Road, Clacton, Essex


June 11th - 12th Tattoofest 2011 Krakow, Poland June 24th - 26th TattooLaPalooza Miami, FL, USA August 6th - 7th Jailhouse Ink Kassel, Germany August 19th - 21st 4th Styrian Tattoo & Hot-rod Show Gleisdorf, Austria

June 3rd – 5th Traditional Tattoo & World Culture Festival Cobh, County Cork, ROI

August 25th - 28th Rick’s 14th International Tattoo Convention Green Bay, WI, USA

August 5th - 7th Waterford City’s 1st International Tattoo Convention

September 15th - 18th Paradise Tattoo Gathering Jiminy Peak Mountain Resort Hancock, MA, USA October 14th - 16th Brussels Tattoo Convention Belgium November 11th - 13th Nordic Ink Festival Denmark

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