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UNDER THE SKIN MAGAZINE Edition 8 May 2014

Yomico Moreno Paul Seagrave Paul 'Sureno'Saliba Mark Bester Endre Szabo Mitch Griffiths CALLY JO LES SKUSE DANA BRUNSON .. and much more FREE@www.undertheskinmagazine.co.uk


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Contents

Cover Artwork by Mitch Griffiths Contributors: Ness Hay Kate Sheard Ant Nicholls Amanda Kirkwood Jimmie Skuse Under The Skin 70 Lime St Liverpool L1 1JN

www.undertheskinmagazine.co.uk Please do not submit originals we cannot return them to you, also please ensure that you have any necessary copyright clearance to submit material as in the event of a dispute you will be held accountable. In submitting items to Under the Skin magazine for publication you are accepting that they will be treated as unconditionally assigned for publication and copyright and may be subject to editing and further editorial. In addition may be used in further articles and marketing activity. Whilst we endeavour to check the accuracy of articles, adverts and submissions we will not be responsible for errors or omissions. Nor do any articles, adverts or other materials included within Under the Skin Magazine carry any implied recommendation or endorsement by Under the Skin Magazine. Views expressed by contributors are not necessarily the views of Under the Skin Magazine. To submit items for consideration please use the online form at www.undertheskinmagazine.co.uk.


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From the Editor By Ness Hay This month out Editorial column is devoted to beautiful tattooed women. Well, it would be rude not to when we have Miss Tattoo UK coming up this month at The Liverpool Tattoo Convention. Miss Tattoo UK is now in it’s third year running. It all started in a quest to reclaim the real tattooed woman; it is a celebration of our beautiful tattooed women that live in the real world and simply ooze that very essence that makes the word womand so bloody sexy in its own right. What makes a woman beautiful? Her ways, her presence, her confidence to take over a situation, yet her cleverness to know when to be silent. The way she smells, the way she walks in a room and the room becomes alive with her presence, the way she conducts herself, her walk, how she holds her body, how she laughs when she talks, how her nose creases and her eyes sparkle as she giggles, her look when she is angry, the ways she offers unconditional love, her touch that is warm and comforting, her body when the sun shines upon it and you stare in amazement and think... Wow she is a beautiful woman! We had a selection of ladies and asked for public votes to decide the final ten who would then go before a panel of judges at the live final. Would this lady be a good role model to younger tattooed ladies? Would this lady be an inspiration to any female with tattoo passion? The winner is representing tattooed women within society so a good clean living free from addictions and criminal records is standard. Any art work or associations with illegal tattooists means immediate disqualification. This year we have an amazing array of la-

dies and would like to welcome to our final Kate Sargent, Claire O Sullivan, NataLeigh Tovell, Sarah Welsh, Ami Glasgow, Carly Robertson, Sabien Gorczyk, Annalieza Parsons, Kit Johnson (one of our ladies had to drop out due to personal reasons). Our ladies represent the very essence of tattooed women. “I’d like to think I’d be a good role model, as I live a clean but fun life. I don’t drink or smoke, but I know how to have fun. Having just entered a new chapter of my life in February this year becoming a first time mama, which is absolutely amazing. My little girl makes giving my everything in all I do for her. She amazes me every day. I also would like to change the way people see tattooed women. As I see it so often. I get looked down upon by others. Having tattoos seems to make me a bad mum apparently to some..” (Kate) “Working in the healthcare environment means I have to have my arms out with no clothing to cover my extensively tattooed arms and whilst this was initially seen as a problem I have worked hard to ensure that I am seen as an equal to my peers and that despite having tattoos I am a nice person and a good midwife. I have raised some eyebrows along the way and the nursing and midwifery professional is a very old fashioned one with staunch views and ethics. I have had to battle against this to prove that kindness, compassion and ability make you a good midwife and that tattooed people come from all walks of life.” (Claire) “Everything I do is for my daughter and she is my everything. Being pregnant with her inspired me to produce my own Tattoo style baby brand of clothing ‘Bratz with Tatz’. I hope to inspire her to grow up to become whoever she wishes to be and to follow her dreams no matter how www.undertheskinmagazine.co.uk Page 7


crazy or big they are. I’ve given every dream a go and always believed in myself and I always try to encourage others to do the same.” (Nataleigh) “As a beauty advisor, I love make-up as it’s another form of expression for me, and I strive to promote cruelty free products and tools. I’m required to cover my tattoos up in work, but I get asked about them a lot and I’m always changing people’s opinions on them. Being quite heavily tattooed is not very common in my town and I do have to put up with some negative opinions, but I like to show people how amazing tattoos can be if you do your research and support the true artists in the industry.” (Sarah) “I was kicked out at 16 supported myself ever since, I have never had a day out of employment. I currently work 4 jobs a day, not the most glamorous of jobs and no way do I think I’m Miss Tattoo UK when I’m cleaning warehouse toilets. But think I’m a great role model I’m hard working, have never give up and a real friendly down to earth person. Would be great to actually achieve something I want out of life and show no matter how hard life gets to never give up. Tattoos have been my escape they allow me to be creative and I recently had jaw surgery before that I wasn’t the most confident and tattoos helped me to express myself.” (Ami) “I support Show INK not RIBS organ-

isation that shows girls that they are beautiful no matter what size they are. I support social campaigns against glorification of skinny and unhealthy look” (Sabien) “I absolute live and breathe tattoo - it’s in every aspect of my life. I’d say my wow factor is trying to still keep my girl next door image and then when I unveil my ink get a truly positive wow. They really don’t expect it and that’s what I love! I love being able to change people perception of tattoos and females with them.” (Annalieza) “Reasons for being Miss Tattoos UK: There is a stigma attached to individuals with body art that makes people assume that they are thugs, unemployed, uneducated and unapproachable. I would love to represent individuals with body art and show that that is not the case. I work in a forensic psychiatric hospital as a healthcare worker, I have a degree, I can’t wait to settle down and have a lovely family in the future” (Kit)

Ami Glasgow

Claire O Sullivan

Live final held on Saturday 17th May 2014 at Liverpool Tattoo Convention. Previous Winners: Miss Tattoo UK 2013 Emy Claire Thomas Miss Tattoo UK 2012 Samantha Sorci

Sabien Gorczyk


Annalieza Parsons

Kate Sargent

Sarah Welsh

Carly Robertson

Kit Johnson

Nataleigh Trovell

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As a Mum of five and Editor I am always interested to obtain other people’s views on issues I am passionate about so I asked our readers for an insight into their view on their children and tattoos. Yes, technically at 18 you are an adult but at 42 I am very much my mum’s baby. Here’s some of the replies: Editor Asks: Your 18 years old son/daughter ask you can they get a tattoo. Legally they are allowed. You may have tattoos, be a tattooist yourself. What are your views on your “children” having tattoos? Coverage very early in life? Did your parents say no you can’t? www.undertheskinmagazine.co.uk Page 10

Did you listen to your parents? Old timers refused many people and had many signs on their walls regarding what, who they were prepared to tattoo.

Old Timer Tattooist : “We “old timers” had signs up in our studios no necks hands or faces will be tattooed. Fast forward twenty years and now look. We see kids with full neck coverage and nothing on the arms, (I don’t get that one) I do not think there’s a part of the anatomy I haven’t tattooed over the years. However this is my take on it now. I have an 18 year old come in and ask for his or her neck to be tattooed. My first question is why? Secondly, what will Mum or Dad say, then it’s do you ever think you’ll attend an interview for employment, as a candi-


date without a tattoo on the neck would be viewed more favourably. Of course I’m not to judge but I have to live with my conscience. I sleep well at night, knowing that I’ve given the best advice to a youngster that I could. My own daughter at 14 pestered me to do her a tattoo when I stated that 18 is the law, she said “Well all my mates are getting them”. I did do her back on her 18th birthday, she’s 21 now and still loves it, though it still irritates my sub conscious. Just a few of my thoughts on your question for the magazine. One to note though is tattoos are very in vogue in present times. That’s great for us, however many old timers have seen splurges in popularity before and we have seen the low times. The media aren’t always kind to us.” Juzzi Austin Mother: “My eldest is 18 this autumn and I have no concerns about her getting one. She knows to go to a reputable artist and not some minty backstreet parlour. She also knows to choose a design wisely. A girl that was at her school started getting covered in Marilyn Monroe tats at 14 and my kid thought that A) She was too young and B) Would later regret them.” Lisa Booth Studio Owner, wife of a tattooist and mother: “I had my first tattoo at 19 - it was tiny and has since been covered with something much bigger. My ear tattoo was the first one where my mum totally lost it, she said I’d disfigured

my face, despite the fact I had more tattoos in coverable places than I can count. I’ve since had my hand and other ear done. I never really knew anything about tattoos until it started to be a daily part of my life - there were no obvious places to go to find things out, and tattoo studios had that vibe that they weren’t friendly and you felt pretty intimidated asking questions. A lot has changed in ten years though.

We get a lot of people asking if you can tattoo a 16/17 year old if their mum comes along. It’s a struggle trying to explain to some people that you’re asking someone to knowingly break the law and we can’t. The “Isn’t my money good enough” question comes up or the “Their my kid, I say they can have a tattoo, who are you to question me?” comments are not a winning way to get someone to do something they want. They all get turned away. We did a pop poll on our FB page a while ago, the majority of people said they re-

gretted their first tattoos, or tattoos they got before they were 21. A lot had never even thought about infections or blood borne pathogens they just wanted a tattoo to rebel or because their friends had one. For them it was go in, pick something off the wall and get it tattooed. The more time spent in studios showed them the range of options with regards to design and colour and subject and it then became a collaborative thought process and they got involved with the art in their skin For me, it’s not even so much about the design. I’m honoured to get tattooed by husband and my friends. It’s about where we are, how it came about, the conversation, the buzz when it happened. In the studio with some good tunes and a great atmosphere and the feeling of total relaxation - you know you’re going to love whatever design they do because you trust them and you know they’ll never let you down. I’m a lucky girl. My girls will get tattooed if they want, after they are 18. Knowing my two they’ll find their own ways of expressing who they are, I don’t expect them to go down my path, but on a daily basis they are with awesome artists and they get to meet some of the most well respected tattoo artists in the country. Hannah Melling Mother: “ I am a mum of 3 and the owner of 2 large tattoo pieces. My parents are and always have been negative about tattoos so I waited www.undertheskinmagazine.co.uk Page 11


and researched artists for 3 years before having my first at 27 years old. My (very tattooed) husband and I are very open about tattoos provided that they are inoffensive, and will endeavour to teach the kids to do their research before they make any rash decisions. “ Charlie Heap Tattoo Enthusiast: “My tattooed dad said I couldn’t get any tattoos at 18, he still doesn’t like it now I’m 25 but I went and did it anyway. Not to spite him, I just knew what I wanted and did it properly. My first tattoo had meaning to me so it was something I felt I needed to do and most of my family are tattooed so I secretly knew I wouldn’t be in massive trouble just think I’ll always be his little girl. Still on a mission to go for a tattoo together.”

was a complete turd done cheaply. At least my children will get a quality piece of work and decent advice on styles etc”. ANON: Just cos of the work thing: “I work at a College (mostly 16-18 year olds) and over the past couple of years I have noticed that there has been an increase in just how many of my students are getting tattooed. And I don’t mean discreet ones - I’m talking full sleeves, hands and neck. My main concern and question is Who is tattooing them? They tell me some are

half sleeve is visible (and only then when I wear a short sleeved shirt).... So it’s not like I’m influencing them (in fact if they only knew how many I’d got I think they would be shocked!). I don’t want to lecture them about it. I’m a believer that tattoos are a form of expression and all depict a stage in our lives.... But I also want them to be aware of what they are doing and how it might affect them in the future. I do not want them to be defined so early in life by poor choices.

Bekah Baker (Twisted Pix): “My son is just about to turn 18, he knows that if he wants to keep his balls then he won’t be getting a tattoo just because he’s legally able to. I don’t see why just because you’re 18, you have to run out and get a tattoo. You don’t stand eagerly outside the polling office because you can vote?! It’s a trend, not an actual love of the art. When you’re old enough to respect that art, then get a tattoo. Don’t just get one because you can. I despair at the fact I’ve just seen an 18 year old with a full (badly done) chest piece, 2 sleeves and her neck tattooed. I’d love to be there when she grows up a bit and realises that the shitty tribal and hello kitty she’s got will hurt like hell to get lasered off.” Kevin Simner Father: “I have plenty of tattoos and both my kids have stated they would like tattoos when they are old enough (currently 14 and 9). I am married to a tattoo artist and would be honoured if my wife was to tattoo my kids. My dad was and still is very anti tattoo and consequently my first experience of tattooing

done by their friends (one said she’d got her first at 14 in someone’s shed!)... But other than that it’s probably a not-so-reputable or law abiding tattooist/scratcher (definitely NOT any of the tattoo ARTISTS that I go to!) who take advantage of misguided/naive teenagers looking for a cheap tattoo.

As someone who had their first tattoo at the tender age of 17 I can tell them how I eventually got that faded rose on my shoulder covered up 20 years later and that it’s important to be more informed about who and what makes a good tattoo. I obviously only go to reputable/established/talented artists now.

I have quite a few tattoos but only my

I know as students they don’t have a lot

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of money.... But I do tell then that “cheap tattoos aren’t good....And good/amazing long lasting tattoos aren’t cheap”....And the ones you had done free in someone’s shed? .....well.... Even calling them “bad” would be too good for em!

shouldn’t be, I was in my 40’s before I had my first (getting decent coverage now lol). My niece has just turned 18 and I took her to my artist for her first, when my kids are old enough I’ll let them decide.

All in all - I think they are (and always should be a personal choice). I do not have any children but as a loving Aunt to 2 nephews I will guide them in the right direction if they ever want any in the future (only 10 at the moment.... So plenty of time yet!)” .

Ian Pardoe Father: “We are best placed to guide them and avoid the mistakes we may have made”

Matt Capewell Father: “My dad was tattooed, but he was quite strict that I

Grub Hubbucks Father: “ I booked my eldest daughter Rou in with a reputable artist for her 18th, took her there, waited with her and then took her for her first legal pint. In the event Rou decides it was a mistake I shall always know I gave

her that opportunity to learn something new”. Rou Iris Daughter: “Indeed he did! I think the most important thing was that I wasn’t told no, I was encouraged to find a good artist and a design that couldn’t lose significance! If my parents had said no I would most probably have (purely as a rebellion) gone for the cheapest artist, with a shit design and hate it by now!! But actually I was given all the facts and had several sensible and easy going conversations with me old geezer”.

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PAUL 'SURENO' SALI Interview: Ant Nicholls Photos: Paul ‘Sureno’ Saliba

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BA

larly I just Anyway!!! So I was getting tattooed regu look, just wanted coverage, I loved that Chicano !!! I still like Compton Dave, I think that’s amazing level of coverage :-/ So there’s me London haven’t got that Well where do I start, I grew up in west io every getting tattooed and chilling in the stud e cam ly fami My s. area ing und surro mainly and the the atmosphere and banter that ed here other day, I loved to the UK to study many years ago and settl was such a happened in the studio and thought it Poin time of lot a t spen I d. mixe are so my roots the fact I could provide something my dad, cool job, I loved land where my mother is from and as for love and to people that they would treasure and a e quit lled trave so d worl the over all he had roots just fucking cool, I mean come America, lets be real, it was bit to visit family etc, all over in places like k that toon what’s not cool about it and I still thin one , that all ugh thro ay Anyw . non Mexico and Leba amazing job that anyone who does I fitted in day its such an thing that stood out for me, I never felt that opit should be forever grateful for getting insive mas a was le who a as that k anywhere, I thin I mean I’ve portunity to do something so cool!!!! fluence to who I am now. and stuff done some shit jobs in my past, hard jobs doing door I’m not proud of, I was a handful, I was Did members of your family or friends many a work, private security, got my hands dirty did How art? y stud you tattoo? Did came of it time and paid for it!!! The only good that you get into tattooing? Did you have a t giving me was that I mainly did all my work at nigh ? ght tau self you re whe mentor or o shop. the day to go gym then chill out at the tatto had interNah no one I knew tattooed or even was I slowly introduced the fact I was I but gcse art ied tattoos. I stud ested in learning, they where fully staffed wasn’t much a fan of school so getting an apprenticeship was d erne conc e and was mor not really happening but I studied about doing my own how the artist set up before every and in thing. I was tattoo asked questions etc. out of trouble all the anyway I bought 2 machines y reall r time and neve a steel and brass Mickey Sharpz followed my artistic hybrid. So I heard on the is her side. My mot grape vine there was an apvery artistic so I think I prenticeship going in a shop d bloo my in it always had 30 minutes drive from me so I but just never exercised went to enquire, I didn’t really o tatto first it. I got my have a clue how to approach it when I was 18, it was a but went up with some sketchwas I as bull Lamborghini es and pretty much blagged my a Taurus, it was terrible and way in, the owner of the shop terwas it did the guy who knew some guys I knew so there rible but I didn’t know any betwas already a mutual respect. I got ly slow I that from ter. Anyway ything, had some money saved so I bought ever etc. the bug, 2 or 3 tattoos later I had the tops lies grips, needle making equipment, inks, supp of all ish, rubb r utte e som in red cove of my arms c and enigma vacuum steriliser, a tattooist even an ultrasoni it has been lasered since. I finally found a studio. I the room I lived in was kitted out like the for me ire insp and me o tatto to g who was goin ing into something and doing it ence and have a habit of gett following few years, he was a massive influ ph. old boog 100% and at 100m inspiration. I loved the Chicano stuff, the ce when I stuff etc, it was just making an appearan t time with was getting tattooed, also when I spen ys hangfamily in Cali early/mid teens I was alwa my dads ing with the cholos through my cousin on the name side which was so cool, that’s where I got it means Sureno, they used to call me lil’ Sureno, London so southerner in Spanish and I was from me from down south of England so it stuck with exploits. there on and I used it through out all my

Tell me a bit about yourself, where you ily are from, where you grew up, your fam etc?

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Anyway I already knew how to set up and basically the concept of how to tattoo I just needed to practise, I was taught how to make needles and pretty much let loose on tattooing friends etc. As I had been doing so at home, yeah I know its frowned on but my hygiene conditions where on point from what I had learnt along my ways and a lot of it was common sense to me, I always over analysed stuff. So that lasted about 6 months and came to a bit of an abrupt end in 2005, I managed to come away with some experience and a licence. I was still doing door work and still living a bit of a precarious life tattooing friends occasionally in the meantime till I had to stop for a couple years but that’s another story… So a couple years later I had to get a proper job and grow up basically, I still loved tattooing but had nothing, no machines, no equipment, a good friend of mine bought me all the gear again

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on the condition I did his back piece which I jumped on, I tattooed for about a year doing 1 tattoo a month or so, I did this to build up a portfolio as I knew I couldn’t do or even get a “normal” job as all I wanted to do was tattoo, when anyone asks me why I became a tattooist I always reply “because I couldn’t get a normal job” hahaha but yeah I just wanted to tattoo and I knew this is what I had to do, so a year later I had a pretty poor portfolio together and hit the streets looking for work and checking websites etc. Long story short I got a job in a street shop in 2012, at first it was cool but I soon hated it, not tattooing but hated the atmosphere and the politics, I don’t like being treated like a kid, I’m also pretty stubborn if I feel I’m in the right but it did one thing for me and that was drive me to improve, and improve I did. Just under a year later I left and went to the shop I currently work at which is fucking awesome :-)


Tell me about tattooing in your area, is it popular, what sort of tattoos do people get? What is popular?

In the immediate area where I live there are a lot of street shops that just seem to do a lot of flash work etc, however the shop that I mentioned earlier where I used to regularly get tattooed do a lot of custom work and is home to my friend and very talented Antony Flemming. Also a little further out of London there is a studio that houses my friend Filip Pasieka. Other then that you have to travel into London for the better custom shops. As for where I work its more into London, we have a lot of tourists pass through amongst our regulars and we have a fair few people travel far to come and get tattooed, people that come into our shop get custom tattoos as we don’t have any flash other then our art. There is a diverse selection of people who get tattooed and its very popular which is a good thing, its nice to see people wanting more custom work as this shows the knowledge of tattooing is ever expanding and horizons are broadening, which is always a good thing.

Do you have your own studio or work from someone else’s? tell us about the people you work with? I work for Hammersmith Tattoo, it’s a great shop and brilliant atmosphere, all the artists have their own flavour of tattooing, I love Alex Roze’s work, he has done some awesome script on me and the neo trad deaths head moth on the back of my head and he’s only like 21!!!! He’s like the baby of the shop or our kid brother, also we got Jamie the shop manager, a right character and has a great guy to be around, funny as fuck!!! :-) They are all good guys and it’s a great shop to work for!!!

Tell me about some of the memorable places you’ve visited and experiences you’ve had both in and outside of tattooing?

Memorable places hey? Is that good or bad memories hahaha I have more of the latter. I’ll mention some good places, I mean I’ve been about and experienced a lot it’s hard to really pin-point anything in particular, all I can say is its usually a memorable moment when the adrenaline is pumping :-). I recently just done my first convention in Portsmouth which was so cool, I was nervous, anxious and all the feelings you don’t normally associate with a good time but it was great. To be honest all my energy goes into tattooing so I live and breathe it, I don’t have much time to do much else, sad I know but I like it that way.


Do you prefer tattooing at a convention or in a studio?

I’m not sure if I can answer that yet as I’ve only done one convention so far but hope to do a lot more, I have Liverpool tattoo convention coming up and I’m super excited to work it as there are so many cool artists and I’ve heard nothing but good things about it! So, back to the question, I love tattooing I don’t care where I do it as long as I do it. I definitely want to tattoo more conventions however I really have a taste for it now.

Do you work in other mediums? Pencil, charcoal, digital etc? What do you prefer to use and where do you draw your influence and ideas from?

I can’t seem to find the time anymore well I suppose I could but its all about sacrifices, I have to drop something to make room for something else, my primary focus is tattooing and I work long hours. I’ve recently started taking 2 days off a week to make time for other mediums etc. So hopefully I’ll get to draw and paint more. I’ve used most mediums but love charcoal, graphite, acrylic and digital. Digital media being my favourite at the mo-

Having said all that I still try and go for realism so nothing is more realistic then an image, so I try and pick my images carefully and really look for a reference image to use and if I can ones that haven’t been used all that often

Do you like to freehand when possible or work from stencils?

I would love to do more freehand… eventually but right now I’m really concentrating on getting my style and technique down, you need to walk before you can run etc, I feel I’m still walking and slowly at that. Don’t get me wrong I freehand stuff here and there but if I can get a stencil I will, for me a stencil eliminates certain concerns letting me focus on other areas first, but like I said I will do more free hand stuff when the time is right. Also

ment. My influences come from all over, I am continually looking for inspiration via all the usual channels, there is so much good art out there but I’ve always leaned towards the dark side of things, the macabre, the sinister, the night, don’t know why but it really appeals to me, I’ve recently got into the habit of writing ideas down when I get them so I can later develop them, it helps a lot as I’m very forgetful.

How would you describe your tattooing?

Wow that’s a tough one, not really sure how to approach that question, if it’s the style in which I tattoo I’d say, or rather I’d like to say realistic or semi realistic other than that I have no idea what I’m doing I just do it hahaha! One thing I will say is that its evolving I’m always trying to better it, I see it as I’ve only been tattooing properly short of 2 years so I have to sculpt the direction I’m going in so I can achieve the best of my ability.

A lot of your tattoo work is custom and unique rather than direct replication of an image, tell us about how you conceptualise these pieces, do they start off as drawings and sketches?

I use Photoshop a lot to get basic concepts together, it’s all mainly digital a lot of the time I’ll get the basics and then piece it together with the client when its being done if its multiple sittings, if it’s a one session piece I like to use a 3D model where I can to show the customer, I find some people can’t see where a rough sketch is going until its placed on a body part like a tattoo. Bez had a dvd that was awesome I use it all the time. It’s amazing what you can do digitally now, if you can think of it you can pretty much create it and it’s forgiving so you can make intermediate changes with out great consequences.

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doing realism you can never get a more realistic image then straight from a photo. I see some artists do some freehand stuff and think to myself how awesome it would be but my time will come and I’ll give it a go but some artists are just amazing at that stuff and make me very depressed hahahahaha!


Tell us about your favourite tattoo you have made?

This has to be the skeletor I did at the Portsmouth tattoo con, I shit myself through the whole process, I was saying in my head repeatedly “please don’t fuck up, please don’t fuck up, oh god I’m fucking it up” I get like this with colour work 90% of the tattoo I’m bricking it and by the some miracle it turns out ok hahaha! Having said that I am never happy with my tattoos I always find fault and I’m sure every artist is the same but I always try and improve in the next tattoo and the tattoo after that and after that so on.

Do you find your customer gives you an idea and then gives you free reign as they want your interpretation? Or are they very specific about what they want?

Ah this old chestnut, I find as much as a customer says they want me to have free reign it never ends up being the case, however I do get the occasional customer who just lets me do what I want but they are few and far between but having said that I then have customers wanting very specific ideas and I’ll do the concept according to specs and I’ll also do an “alternate” concept if I feel I should or really into the design and sometimes the customer goes for the alternate design which is really cool :-)

Having a potential customer come to you because they admire your style and want a piece of you on them is the ULTIMATE compliment in my eyes!!!

What do you want to tattoo more of?

I want to do more colour realism, its that simple I’ve got such a hard on for it right now hahaha but never get a lot of it, I always offer crazy discounts for those who let me but it just seems hard to break into???

What is the most random thing you’ve tattooed on someone?

Hahaha had to think about this for a while, think it was a face of a monkey on some guys arse cheek, there was three of them and 3 artists at the time, we all did one, it was some sort of dare/pact or something like that. Either way as far as random goes that’s in the lead.

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Which other Tattoo Artists do you respect and why?

his to mind, so much so, I got a tattoo of one of or how I like to ing” Stand Man books, “LMS” on my neck, “Last He’s such a cool refer to it “Last Motherfucker Standing” hahaha. I have a terrible guy too!!! Man I find it unfair to name names as memory and would hate to forget anyone.

n’t matter at All artists who work hard at what they do, it does earn respect in what level they’re at, you do your best and you ct for artists willon my eyes, also I have a massive amount of respe You have a lot of tattoos, who tattooed them r themselves. bette to g tryin are who s artist r othe help to Who ing your favourites and why? lives deserve you, which are People who are doing positive things with their to get tattooed by in future? s who have my would you like artist many so are There on. opini my in ct respe space so I’m worrying about running for Wow, ok I’m running out of ns ratio inspi huge all are they but list too respect, too many from Edgar Ivaout of areas to get stuff. I LOVE all the ink I have ! me!!! neck, zombie on my leg and skull t nov, he has done the lady on my effec t direc a had have who s artist some There are however my calf!!! Also I love the head tattoo I have on and they are Anna pavlova on gear a up ies abilit my step me d helpe and me Roze. I got my on the side of it “The Realness” by my colleague Alex Filip Tofi, v, Ivano r Edga wn, Mcko rt Robe Ian Dan Chase, Oddboy, an awesome arthand tattooed with a skull by Dan Chase, he’s Bez. and ka Pasie over my first tatist!!! Haha I had my first traditional tattoo done pretty cool, it has a Russian ect too that has since been lasered, that’s r tattoo and Which other artists(non-tattooing) do you resp prison style to it which I love!!! I only have one colou and why? head moth on the back of my head, I’m more a diately pops that is the deaths Dan Luvisi is a legend, I love his stuff, he imme www.undertheskinmagazine.co.uk Page 20


. Before Whatever I’d be doing it would be my own thing which was tattooing I did what I had to do and none of knows? something that can be done long term so who gh shit throu ed You know, tattooing is a dream job, I trawl the dream to get to where I want to be but I’m finally living ful for it!!! grate so so to speak, this is my dream job and I’m of no I really can’t stress that enough. Sometimes out s a huge bring ys where I’ll remind myself of this and it alwa are doing smile to my face, not everyone can say they there dream job. period of I once dabbled with music, I was a DJ for a short and search time and I also made music, if you go to iTunes ses, it was “Sureno” or “Paul Sureno” you’ll see all my relea there is but s label house music but I got signed to a fair few just for no money in it, I still occasionally make something shits and giggles really.

You’re always posting something new online. Whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, or your website. How important has social media become in your business?

use it to its Social media is a tool in my eyes and I try to work, it has full potential, social media has not only got me great tool, I a it’s helped me learn, form new acquaintances don’t know where I’d be without it.

in What is the most ”WTF?” moment you’ve had regards to tattooing?

black e??? and grey guy myself but may go colour in the futur

bie Imagine you found yourself stuck in the zom — apocalypse with one tattooer of your choice time d spen Who would it be, and why? Would you talking art, or would you want to get straight down to zombie killing business?

ome question!!!! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA this is such an awes and that’s Ian There is only one guy I’d like to be stuck with… !! The guy is a Robert mother fucking Mckown!!! That’s who! weight he pushbeast!!!! Have you seen the size of him and the and kill us some es, I’d want to get straight down to business we can talk art motherfucking zombies!!! HELL YEAH!!! then hahahaha!

t now What would you be doing professionally righ if you weren’t tattooing?

I’m no good in a HAHA I don’t think I’d like to answer that one, patience for it. conventional job scenario, I just don’t have the

to answer, I HAHAHAHA this question has been the hardest !!! But I was was thinking what’s made me go “what the fuck” moment approaching it all wrong, the most “what the fuck” for an ed view inter is right now!!! I mean, I’m being fucking interviewed awesome mag!!! The only time I’ve EVER been in front of was with a tape recording and a uniformed man lf a reality me hahahaha I mean I’m constantly giving myse ssionally I check at the moment, when I first tattooed profe at that, I was was doing street shop designs and pretty poorly thought I’d r neve I being told I’ll not amount to much and le requesting my have my work featured on sharing sites, peop supporters etc. I work on them, a steadily growing number of even though I’m look at all these as signs that I’m getting better moment but always unhappy with my work haha this is my WTF of the fight, I’m in a good way. But I’m hungry, I’ll never be out my work so the really trying to keep on moving forward with haha. whole journey for me is a what the fuck moment

What travels have you got planned in 2014?

pool convenNothing in concrete but like I said earlier the Liver Other than that tion in May which I’m super stoked about!!! somewhere nothing set in stone, I’d love to do some guest spots so if you know with tattooists who have a similar style to me, Venice around in any one ;-) Oh and also there is a conference no one wants August time I think, I really want to go to that but it will be aweto go, looks like I’ll be going on my Jack Jones but some I think!!! www.undertheskinmagazine.co.uk Page 21


Who was the last person that tattooed you? What/where was it?

Ronnie Ronson, he did the cover up on my shoulder and the first traditional tattoo I’ve had, it was a man in a jail cell with a skull over him and 2 crosses either side of the skull, and “Your last enemy is death” underneath… all black. He smashed it out in 4 or 5hrs

What’s the process like to get tattooed by you? How far out are you booked?

I’m usually booked up 3-4 weeks in advance but like everyone else I get cancellations no shows etc. So sometimes I can squeeze you in sooner, my weekends go pretty quickly and I’ve only just cut down to 5 days a week from 7 so I’ve taken Sundays andMondays off. For cool designs that I’m really into I’ll quite happily come in on my day off too :-)

When you get burned out or feeling uninspired, how do you go about re-gaining the desire to do it all again?

prison film, how did you get involved? tell us a bit about it?

Hahahaha that was the most random thing ever, I was approached by the director/producer in a café in Kensington, she said I had the “look” she was after hahahaha wasn’t sure if that was a compliment or insult haha either way it was for a film promo for the Cannes Film Festival. A lot of my friends have been in films like Snatch, Lock Stock and Rise of the Foot Soldier, in fact I was meant to be in Rise of the Foot Soldier as one of the extras but never got round to it. Anyway this was my first time so was a great experience, I should be ready to rock around may 15th so see what happens...

Where can people find your work, Facebook, instagram, website etc? and if someone wants a tattoo from you what’s the best way to contact you?

Yeah I’m on all those social sites my main ones are Instagram and Facebook, I’m also on the shop website, if you want to get at me its best through I stop all things art related, absence Facebook or my email makes the heart grow fonder etc. I surenotattoos@gmail.com soon start pining for the creativity. Instagram: Sureno When I had my motorbike that was Facebook: Paul Sureno Saliba my go-to for stress relief!!! I also have Twitter: surenotattoos pushed weights for years since I was Tumblr: Sureno tattoos 16 so gym is a go-to and I love boxing, when I was doing security work I would always box, it’s a great escape. Right now I’m watching “OZ” the old prison series, its so cool!!! I also got a soft spot for games consoles got the xbox one “sureno81” and PS4 “sureno81” add me if you want your ass whooped hahahahaha nah I’m crap at them! When I was doing 7 days a week I got to a point after about 6months where I needed a day or two off, usually an early night refreshes me, I get a bit irritable when feeling burnt out lol so I’m better off out of everyone’s way haha.

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TATTOO ROYALE Coming SOON www.tattooroyale.co.uk www.undertheskinmagazine.co.uk Page 25


yomico moreno Interview: Ant Nicholls Photos: Yomico Moreno

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I

had the pleasure of meeting Yomico when he accompanied Darwin Enriquez to the Liverpool Tattoo Convention a few years ago now. At the time Darwin didn’t speak much English. Yomico on the other hand, was pretty fluent and fortunately for myself and Darwin, Yomico acted as translator on many an occasion. In his absence we resorted to Google translate and showing each other our phone screens with some dubious results at times. Although Darwin had told me about Yomico’s talent, I’d yet to see it in the flesh. But as it transpired, we had a no-show for one of the booths and offered it to Yomico. Over the course of the show myself and no doubt many others where blown away by his work. Obviously travelling such a distance he had packed light, didn’t have a banner as it was impromptu that he was tattooing, but once he got to work this guy had some serious skills. Yomico returned again last year and he had become an even better artist. Whilst Yomico can turn his hand to any style of tattoo he

excels in realism with his keen eye for detail and faultless execution he’s surely one of the best realism artists in the world today. Despite thousands of miles of ocean I feel we have become good friends, Yomico has attended Liverpool shows and also spent time guesting at our studio. I’ve not only discovered how good an artist he is but also how friendly, polite and humble he is.

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tells us, “I started out with pencils and later moved on to oils and acrylics. I think all tattoo artists need to vary their creative methods to compliment their career. Tattoos are normally an idea between two people, but with other mediums, its more free.” While he hopes that their burgeoning studio will become “one of the biggest in Venezuela”, Yomico is also passionate about travelling. “Every country and city I have visited has always turned out to be a good experience and I always try to find moments to make every trip stand out”. After spending time working and visiting places like Copenhagen, Milan, Florence and Liverpool, Moreno says that he never forgets all the special people he’s had the pleasure to meet and work alongside. Usually accompanying him is his young family. His wife and baby son are always present at conventions and seminars. Yomico adds, “My boy and my wife have always been paramount in supporting my career.” The family can be found travelling throughout North and South America this year, (starting in Panama, then Mexico and Yomico may do a guest spot in Paul Booth’s Last Rites studio in New York). Europe is once again on the agenda, with appearances at conventions and studios in England, France, Denmark and Italy. As well as attending conventions and guesting at studios all over Europe, Yomico also runs seminars. “I’ve

Yomico Moreno grew up in Puerto Cabello, Venezuela and has been tattooing for ten years. It has been said that even though Venezuela is fairly new to tattooing (Yomico estimates that the most established shops have only been around for about 30 years), its a place of culture and creativity. It is also, apparently, one of the best places in South America to be tattooing in at the moment. The people really love and support this particular medium of art and have allowed it to grow quickly in its short time. Tattoo artists are popular, but can find it difficult to obtain supplies and to work to the best of their ability. However, the government is trying to make things better for the budding industry by bringing in legislation that would regulate health conditions. Yomico is currently working in a small studio in his home town, but has plans to expand into a much larger studio. He is teaming up with fellow Venezuelan and good friend, Darwin Enriquez. They will open a studio that also serves as an Art Gallery. Moreno says that the plan is to have many different art mediums in the shop, in order to inspire the artists everyday and allow them to develop their creativity outside of tattooing. Yomico www.undertheskinmagazine.co.uk Page 28


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done seminars for large and small groups. The biggest was 345 people, which I found to be a good experience but it can be challenging to make myself understood to so many people at one time. This is why I prefer small groups. Its easier to interact and answer all their questions.” During the seminars, Yomico chats and gives demonstrations about his specialist subject; realistic art. While he is proficient at Black and Grey realism, Yomico also works with colour. He also incorporates his other passion of photography by using photos he has taken as reference. When presented with an initial idea for a tattoo, Yomico says that he approches the whole process as a conceptual one. He’ll take photos, study other references and decide which elements serve to compliment the initial idea, what colours to use (if any), as well as the size and the area to be www.undertheskinmagazine.co.uk Page 32

tattooed. Sometimes stencils are used, sometimes the design is drawn onto skin freehand. The whole process is a long one, but is essential to create a tattoo that he hopes the client would be proud to wear. But Yomico states, “Sometimes clients have crazy ideas and believe that everything can look good in a tattoo, which is not always the case. One of the requirements in getting a tattoo from me, is to let me be free to develop the idea. As artists, we need to be free to create a good tattoo.” While he applies this process to all his work, Yomico cites a recent tattoo he did as one of his favourites. “Recently I did a Skull with a candle. This tattoo was based around a photo that I took. It is one of my favourites because it was completely my idea, from the reference to the execution of the tattoo. Another of


my favourites was a realistic snake wrapped around the arm. This tattoo was done freehand, using photos that I took of the snake.” Although Yomico goes to great lengths to conceptualise and create each tattoo to the best of his ability, like a lot of his contempories, he does admit to feeling burnt out and uninspired from time to time. Moreno says that, while he feels he does have a bad day every so often; taking his time, listening to music and relaxing can help him to re-gain his inspiration. The Venezuelan also finds inspiration from artists such as Salvador Dali and Gustave Courbert, whose proficiency in realistic art is influential on his own work. As well as creating some brilliant artwork, Yomico also wears some inspired art, himself. He notes that his favourite tattoos are the portrait of his son, placed on his right hand, the portrait of his mother

on his chest, a portrait of Venezuelan independence hero, Simon Boliivar and a skull tattoo created by Robert Hernandez. Someone, Moreno says he looks up to, as an artist. Like most artists, Yomico does have a waiting list for those who wish to get an appointment with him; “I’m particular about the work I choose to do. People write to me asking for Tribal, Japanese and Lettering. However, they are usually disappointed when I respond back, telling them that I only create realistic-style tattoos. I ask that any potential client be patient with me, as I can be booked up for as many as 8 months as a time, depending on my travelling schedule for the year. But always welcome brilliant and exciting tattoo ideas.” Yomico can be found on his Facebook page here - https://www. facebook.com/YomicoMoreno www.undertheskinmagazine.co.uk Page 33


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convention calen

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ndar 2014

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PAUL SEAGRAVE Interview: Ness Hay Photos: Paul ‘Seagrave

P

aul Seagrave is a tattooist from Nottingham, United Kingdom now residing in Gothenburg, Sweden. I shall be completely honest regarding how this interview came about; this man confused the hell out of me! When you follow many artists on social networks you get used to each one and what style they tattoo. I became aware of Paul’s work by liking some of his old school stuff. I would simply see the work and think, hmm that is done well. One day a great dot work appeared under his name. Old School artists tend not to dip their toe in the dots dept, then another day a different great style was under his name.. Enough was enough I had to have it out with this man on Facebook. Ness Hay- “Paul, how come you have changed from old school to dot work? I am intrigued x” Paul Seagrave- “Lol. I haven’t changed. I like everything and don’t want to get stuck doing the same stuff just feeling very inspired by mandalas, dotwork etc at the moment. Still love doing old school though Ness Hay- “Ha nosy cow aren’t I... Can I interview you anyway as it is kinda cool you are great at both x” There you have it, a random conversation because I was nosy.

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What made you to become a tattoo artist? Honestly, I don’t really know. I don’t really have a cool story about my granddad having old navy tattoos or anything. I never knew anyone with tattoos growing up and had never really seen or been around tattoos. I decided to get a tattoo when I was fifteen sitting in the school dining hall eating lunch, and I don’t really know where the urge came from. Anyway, the next day I went down to the tattoo studio and got a small tattoo done with my paper round money, and even though I was shit scared the whole time, it was the coolest thing ever. 2 weeks later I went back and got another tattoo. I remember walking out of the studio and just thinking to myself “This is what I’m going to do for a living” .

We originally had a chat on facebook when you baffled me being an old school artist doing mandalas. How would you define your style or are you simply an all-rounder? I do pretty much everything except portraits. I did my apprenticeship in a very old fashioned street shop. Flash from floor to ceiling, prices on a chart that went from A-Z the whole lot. There was even a snake in the waiting room. Haha. I was taught that you had to be able to accommodate whatever the customer wanted, which basically meant have enough flash so everyone will find something they like. I wasn’t even really aware of tattoo magazines, conventions, guest spots or anything like that. The only books I had read about tattooing were Modern Primitives and the old Skin Shows books. As far as I was aware, the styles of tattooing involved Japanese, tribal (including Maori and Polynesian) and then “other”. If pushed to choose, my favourite things are Japanese, old school, mandalas, ornamental etc. blackwork and abstract. But I love everything. I didn’t get into tattoo-

ing through art, I got into tattooing for tattooing, so I love everything no matter what the style or subject matter. I’m just happy if I’m tattooing, and preferably if the customer is sitting still.

Some people say that it is impossible to be an original artist and every artist through time copies inspiration. What are your thoughts about this? Oh, I don’t really know. I think tattooing flash is absolutely fine. Copying someone else’s custom tattoo however isn’t. People often say it’s a fine line between being inspired by and stealing from, but I don’t think so. If you look at a tattoo and your reaction is “cool roses, I really like how they

her whole life, whereas I didn’t start drawing until after I started tattooing, so I get loads of input from her. All the fancy stuff as I like to call it. Stuff like flow and movement, making the design dynamic. That was stuff I never had to think about when I was working in a flash shop and didn’t realise you could draw tattoos yourself. But yeah, asking questions and getting opinions about what you’re doing, and do the stuff that works, and stop with the stuff that doesn’t work.

In which designs you find most creative freedom?

Tribal. I bet you didn’t expect that answer. Haha. But I’m serious. If somebody comes in wanting an old school piece, they will ask for a rose, ship, gypsy, whatever. Yeah you get to draw the design your own way, but they have still decided a motif and style. Same with Japanese, if they want a koi with water and cherry blossoms, again, you can draw it how you want, but they still chose the style and motif. With tribal, they generally just want a tribal tattoo. I will normally ask them if they want it more curly, or more sharp and pointy, and how big. That’s about it. Same goes for Polynesian. Literally 9 out of 10 people who want to get a Polynesian tattoo bring the same reference picture. The Rock. I have never have a soft ripped of The Rock’s tattoo, and if you my draw and try gonna I’m feel to them, roses with a bit of a softer feel to them” looked at the customers Polynesian tatthat’s ok. If you look at the same tattoo toos, you would never guess that they all and think “cool roses, where’s the trac- showed me the same reference picture. ing paper?” That’s not so ok. Haha. If you It’s more of a general “I want this kind of are gonna trace something, trace flash or thing” so long as it looks good, so I pretty much get free reign. something, not a custom tattoo.

What is your favourite kind of customer? One who knows exactly what they want or one who allows you space to create? try just I Haha. better. got Hopefully it’s

How has your work style, technically and artistically developed over the years?

and see what I’m doing that works well, and what doesn’t work so well. Then keep doing the stuff that works well, and stop doing the stuff that doesn’t work so well. My girlfriend Elin is also a tattooist and we work together. She has been drawing

A bit of both really. I like if somebody has an idea of what they want. I’m not going to decide what they should have, but I can help them decide what size, placement, composition and style will work best for their idea. If they want to do a

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koi and something else, on their calf, I can suggest things that will fit that space, but if they just want to do “something” on their arm, I will advise them to go and have a bit of a think about what they want to do. I will give the customer a lot of control over the tattoo, because at the end of the day, it’s their tattoo and they have got to like it, but if what they want just won’t work as a tattoo, I will explain to them why it won’t work, and try to give them some alternative ideas. I will also refuse to do the tattoo if I am just not willing to put the studios, and my own, name and reputation to the tattoo. I will always explain though, I will never just refuse to tattoo someone. I will explain that if I was to tattoo the drawing that their mate did, people would look at it and think that was my ability level, and putting the eye of the beholder aside, if the drawing is just that badly done, and they aren’t willing to let me improve it, I can’t damage the studios, or my own reputation. It’s pretty good here though, we hardly ever get customers who we have to turn away.

You are sat at home ready to do some art/draw ups. What non art essentials do you need to have close? Eg, mobile phone/music/ cup of coffee

ham uses them. Every time. Without fail. It used to drive me crazy. Not the fact of having to answer the same question over and over, but more the suggestion that my life is influenced by David Beckham.

Is you had a really smelly skanky meff to tattoo would you comment on personal hygiene or just take a deep breath and get the job done?

Have you ever been secretly evil to a customer if they annoyed you? Dry wiped the tattoo to smell, of I actually have a really bad sense so I probably wouldn’t notice. Haha. But shut them up etc if they were dirty to the point that it became an infection risk, I would bite the bullet and tell them to come back another day and to wash first. Luckily I have never had to send someone home for being too unhygienic though.

To be a good tattooist you need to be able to…..

Who inspires you to become a better man?

Elin. With us both being tattooists, I’m always trying to impress her. Haha

In your home town where is your favourite sandwich shop?

It’s not so much shop, but a certain type of sandwich they have in Sweden. It’s called a smörgåstårta, which basically translates to sandwich cake, and they are as awesome as they sound. Imagine a sandwich the size of a cake, with mayonnaise instead of icing.

What is the most annoying thing a customer can say during a tattoo?

It’s got to be just after the Sharpie marker pen adverts came out with David Beckham. Every time I took out a Sharpie to draw on somebody they would ask me if I used Sharpies because David Beck-

I haven’t I’m afraid. Sorry to disappoint.

What is your best app on your mobile? Either instagram or the tram timetable with the live updates for delays and stuff. I spend more time on instagram, but the timetable app is so handy. Haha

Tomato sauce or Brown sauce?

Talk continuously. About anything and everything.

Brown sauce with everything except bacon sandwiches. They need ketchup. I don’t know why, it’s just one of those things.

They’re pretty much higgledy piggledy. I have great fun when I do arrange them all neatly though.

Gravy or Curry?

Do you have all your inks in OCD order or just higgledy piggledy?

Do you have a design/ tattoo that when people come in and ask for it you want to slap them I like to watch telly while I draw. And drink for being a sheep? loads of tea. I think I actually spend more time making tea than drawing.

Just do it a little different each time and give the customer an individual piece. If it was the fashion to do something that was deemed “cool” by tattooists, nobody would complain about it. Anyway, I got a peace sign with a sun around it on my lower back when I was 16, and I am now a tattooist so... Haha

No. Like I said earlier, I just love tattooing, so am pretty much happy whatever I am tattooing. Obviously I have things that I personally prefer, but that doesn’t matter really. As tattooists, we become used to tattoos, and people having lots of tattoos. We don’t think twice if someone has their hands of neck tattooed, or if they have some Japanese shunga tattooed on them. But for people who aren’t tattooists, or into the “tattoo scene” it’s a completely different matter. It’s a big thing to them. So what if they got their idea from seeing it on instagram or on someone in the street. Most people get their ideas from seeing something they like. A lot of the reason people get fed up with doing the same tattoo over and over is because they do the same tattoo over and over. Obviously the customer has an idea of what they want and how it will look, but I have done quite a few feather tattoos, and none of them were the same.

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Haha. Depends what you’re talking about. If it’s chips, mushy peas and mint sauce. If it’s just in general, curry. Unless it’s on a pie or something, that would just be weird.

Black n Grey or Colour? Either. Whichever the customer wants, or is best for the piece.

Chinese Take away or Indian Take away?

Indian. Chicken korma with peshwari naan and a mango lassi.

Lining or shading? If the customer is sitting still, lining. If they are moving around, shading. Haha

Pints or Spirits? Spirits. Preferably vodka or rum. I actually don’t like beer. Living in Sweden, people can never believe that I’m English and don’t like beer.

Chocolate or Crisps? Chocolate

Tea or Coffee? Tea. Buckets and buckets of tea. If you ever see me, it’s milk and one sugar. It’s really hard to get good tea in Sweden so I get my PG Tips posted over. Haha


If I could have a meal and conversation with anyone (alive or past) who would it be and why….. Sheldon from Big Bang Theory because Elin reckons we would get on well together. I’m not sure if that’s a compliment or not though. Haha.

Contact info. American Art Tattoo Andra Långgatan 24 413 28 Gothenburg Sweden 0046-31-425904 0046-735305612 www.paulseagrave.co.uk mail@paulseagrave.co.uk www.facebook.com/paul.seagrave.16 www.instagram.com/paulseagravetattoo or @paulseagravetattoo

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MITCH GRIFFIT

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was first attracted to Mitch’s work by discovering a compelling piece of a lady with a bloodied lip and face shroud on a union flag. So thought provoking and I knew I had to find the man behind the art and explore his mind. The conflict in the image between past and present, old style painting with modern wrongs within current society.

Disillusioned, I left, and took any job I could. Bar work, bin man, factory work. Then I began to teach myself how to paint and through trial and error, managed to get to grips with oil paint. This carried on for few years, work in the day, and paint through the night.

I instantly thought of Picasso’s Guernica as he used art to express his response to the bombing of Guernica. Are you a man that is passionate So Mitch, tell me a little about the man behind about the wrongs within our society and use your the art. Who are you and where was young Mitch’s art to express this distaste? What came first your mind educated? beliefs as a man or your ability to paint? Where you a passionate painter in your youth baffling I’ve always drawn for as long as I can remember. It was usually your teachers in class with the wrong when monsters, soldiers and cowboys that I was scribbling. I carried Thatcher took away our milk? on doing this through my teenage years (with the brief dalliances with graffiti art and Iron Maiden’s ‘Eddie’). I went on to study Graphic Design at south Devon College (before the days of computers!) then, went on to study Illustration at Southampton Institute. What a disappointment that was. No training, no structure. We hardly ever saw our tutors and the course was full of people who couldn’t draw. Mention Caravaggio’s name and the tutors would have spat. www.undertheskinmagazine.co.uk Page 46

As I’ve gotten older, I have become more passionate and concerned about the state of the world. I’m a lot more compassionate than I used to be. I seem to have a lot more empathy than I used to. We are also exposed to a lot more disturbing images nowadays. We can’t help but be affected by it. I do worry that the next generation will be de-sensitised to them. I suppose my art is my manifestation my outrage and despair.


THS

Interview: Ness Hay Photos: Mitch Griffiths

I always try to create something beautiful, to find some beauty in the chaos of it all.

What past masters have influenced you? Caravaggio is a great influence on me, especially his lighting. I like Rubens for his compositions and Anthony Van Dyke and Velasques for their brushwork.

It would be a sin to not mention you have done oil on canvas of two of my favourite men Ray Winston and Bob Geldof. (Ohhh be still my beating heart). Where these commissioned pieces by the gents or did you just fancy painting them one day? Was Bob not tempted to have the tricolour flag? I asked Ray and Bob to be paintings. Both were great personalities. Bob wasn’t expecting to be depicted with rats crawling all over him (he’d posed in a different pose) and gave quite a ‘colourful’ response when the work was unveiled!

Webpage http://www.mitchgriffiths.com/

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It all began with a sticker. Not even a big sticker. A small, blue and white swallow. Browsing a well-known auction website, I spotted a pair of fifties style kitten heels in black suede. They weren’t particularly remarkable until I noticed a little swallow on the outer edge at the front of each shoe. This accelerated them from the category of ‘nice’ to ‘they shall be mine’. When the shoes arrived, I pulled them out of the box and – like Cinderella – was delighted when they fitted perfectly. On a shoe high, I took them off for a closer inspection. I was surprised to see that the swallow wasn’t part of the original design. They were just stickers. Hmm, I thought, I can do better than that. And so began months of experimenting with different glues, fabrics, charms and trims (one day I actually went out with my eyebrows covered in glue and nobody told me!). The shoe designs draw upon my favourite influences, colours and textiles from the 50’s, mixed with a dash of Rockabilly. If I fall in love with a particular fabric or charm, I’ll use it in a design whether it’s authentically ‘vintage’ or not. Alongside my shoe making fetish, I was reaching that stage in a woman’s life when things started to wobble. Things that didn’t wobble before. After having two Cherubs, my figure had seen better days. Without realising it, I started buying baggy tops and long dresses to cover myself up. I didn’t want any part of my

body on show. I’d lost my sense of style and, worst of all, my confidence. On a rare weekend away with Mr Born Bad Betty, we wandered in to a vintage-inspired clothes store. Thumbing through the rails, a stunning red and black polka dot dress caught my eye. A stunning red and black polka dot wiggle dress. I gazed at it lovingly and Mr BBB urged me to try it on. But it’s fitted, I thought. Really fitted. Somehow, he twisted my arm, and I scurried off in to the changing room. The minute that fabric hugged my curves I felt amazing. It was like my body shouted “I’m back, baby!” The combination of the cut and the fabric had the same effect as wearing Spanx (except that I could breath and didn’t have to deal with that horrible open crutch thing). We were the perfect partnership – wiggle dresses need curvy girls and curvy girls need wiggle dresses. From that moment, I was on a mission. I wanted every woman to feel the way I did when I tried on that wiggle dress. For the first time in many years, I was no longer hiding my curves, I was flaunting them. Born Bad Betty was born. So, I began searching for dresses that all women could feel fabulous in – no matter what size – and designed gorgeous shoes to go with them. As the saying goes, Cinderella is proof that a new pair of shoes can change your life. Throw in a wiggle dress and you can take on the world.

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Interview: Ness Hay Photos: As Credited

Was that your longest sitting for a tattoo? 10 hours is definitely my longest… I’ve had a few full days before but that was probably only 7-8 hours! I met the artist through Timebomb Tattoo (in Croydon) which is where I went to get my sleeves done by Vlado. I had already been a fan of Leo’s work so when I heard he wanted someone for a large piece at a convention I hounded him to pick me!

Prep before hand, what did you do? I’ve learnt from my mistakes and made sure I had a good night’s sleep, a hearty breakfast and had plenty of water!

Lying on a bed nearly naked, must have been cold how did you cope?. Regardless of the pain, that is hard-core. Where you cold? I had long socks on the whole time, that was pretty much it! Once Leo got going I started to heat up, but when he stopped the tattoo flu started and I couldn’t even bring myself to stay for the after party, which considering I had another day still to do was probably a good thing!

Pain factor.. wow you nailed it, did you reach a wall at any stage and was close to tapping out? I did feel like I was cheating, Leo was using Super Juice on me after each section which definitely helped! Normally I wouldn’t bother but because it was live, I didn’t want to risk messing up the session. The backs of the knees were definitely a tender area and the section over my ribs definitely pushed me!

Did you take any pain relief afterward? I don’t normally bother; I just carefully lay down on the bed and eventually found a comfortable position to sleep in!

What aftercare did you follow? Daily showers, loose clothing and lots of bepanthen to stop me from being itchy!

How long have you been a lover of tattoos and what sparked the initial interest for you? Do family members have tattoos and you have grown up in that environment etc I got my first tattoo when I had just turned 18 and had moved out of my parents’ house. My Dad has a few old school tattoos on his arms but that’s about it, my mum couldn’t stand them (probably because there’s a few of his ex’s names on there!) so I kept my first inking on the down low! It’s only a small pair of cherries on my right hip so it wasn’t that hard!

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CHERYL GREEN

I first became aware of Cheryl when she had a “small” (insert a smile) t is hard as nails lady!


L

Photo Cosmo Magazine

tattoo at a the Tattoo Tea Party. I had to interview her as she

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What other kind of tattoos do you have upon your skin? I have an Asian/oriental theme going on. I think its better when the tattoos you choose have a meaning and a story behind them. I did have a thing for tribal so I’ve got a weird swirl on my ankle, but that was before I realised there was more than flash!

What other interests outside of tattoos do you enjoy? Music, hobbies, work etc I have a bit of an obsession with all things Kevin Smith (I’ve got a quote from my favourite movie of his inked on my right forearm!) it’s not just the movies but his Podcast’s as well. It actually inspired some friends to start their own pod and I feature on there from time to time (The Baked English Podcast – shameless plug!). That evolved in our own website NerdBong.com (again another shameless plug!!) so I’m involved in the social media side as well as doing reviews and interviews! I try and squeeze a few gym sessions in around all that and my day job!

If you had the chance to be tattooed by anyone in the world, who would it be and why that person? Leo has already called dibs on my calves so I’m not sure if I’ve got space for anyone else!

Anything else you’d like to add? If you’re thinking of getting tattooed at a convention, brace yourself for crowds (especially if you are laying there naked!) and the camera phones!

Photo Frederique Bernard

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Photo Frederique Bernard

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a pretty friendly gal I love meeting new clients and working with them on tattoo ideas, I’m actually pretty shy I hate having my picture taken. People only see what I choose to show them online, maybe I do come across as a diva haha?! ...now make me a sandwich!

Who did you apprentice with? How did you approach them to help your learning develop? I started an apprenticeship with Pete Belson but he decided to move to a different shop so I continued to teach myself for a while. He had messaged me and asked if I wanted to learn from him and he tattooed the black and grey style that I love so I said yes. I then went on to work at Love Hate in London and got to learn from some really amazing artists, they helped me with all different styles of tattooing it was good fun.

Before you even held a tattoo machine, what artists inspired you? A lot of artists inspired me, I’ve always been more inspired by fine artists and painters than tattooers, I love pop surrealism. Some of my fave’s are Mark Ryden, Femke Heimstra, Laurie Lipton, James Jean. Any art enthusiasts reading should definitely check them out!

How long have you been tattooing and what sparked the initial interest for you? Do family members have tattoos and you have grown up in that environment etc

CALLY JO C

ally Jo, I will hold my hands up here and have always presumed (wrongly) that you were a bit of a diva, yet meeting you made me see a really sweet lady. Do people often get you wrong and expect a really huge character? I’m a little taken aback by that question haha! I definitely wouldn’t consider myself a diva, although I do have a strict regime of mini cheddars and a breakfast bar in the mornings. I’m www.undertheskinmagazine.co.uk Page 60

My dad has some really good tattoos from when he was like 16, all my friends growing up worked in tattoo and piercing shops or were involved in some way with body modification. I picked up my first machine when I was 16 but have been tattooing on and off since 2011 officially.

What was your plan B career if tattooing failed?

I’ve never really though of a plan B. There are other things that interest me though I love interior design and architecture, I love fashion, anything creative I guess! I think if anything ever happened to my hands where I couldn’t tattoo or draw I’d just learn to use my feet!

What kind of tattoos do you have upon your skin? I have some great artwork on myself I’m very lucky, I have work from Tim Hendricks, Pete Belson, Nikki Hurtado, Ami James, Grant Cobb, Guy Waisman, Steve Vinall. It’s mostly black and grey I probably won’t get any more colour work on my body.


Interview: Ness Hay Photos: Cally Jo

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You are currently working with Lal Hardy, he has nothing but good to say about you , how long have you worked there? I’ve been working at Lal’s for a couple of months now it’s a great environment; we’re both as immature as each other so we get along like a house on fire.

What other interests outside of tattooing do you enjoy? Music, hobbies etc I don’t really have much time for hobbies at the moment, I like to play piano when I get time, I spend most of my spare time drawing and writing emails. I have a bit of a shopping problem but I’m trying to keep it under control....

What to date is the strangest tattoo question you have had when out and about trying to be just Cally Jo, not a tattooist? I got a cab once and the driver asked what I did for a living- I said I tattoo, he then proceeded to ask if I could fix his tattoo... He had tattooed his own name on himself when he was 13, then in his 20’s decided to go for the cheaper laser option of burning the tattoo off with a cigarette. His arm was totally mangled he begged me to help him. It was a little scary.

If I asked your friends and family, “What really pisses Cally Jo off?” what would they say?.

tiful soft black and grey work, he’s incredibly skilled.

If your career ended now, what tattoo would you like to be remembered for? I did a little Big Ben tattoo on a nice lady that I’m pretty happy with, most of the stencil rubbed off and I kind of just had to wing it for the most part, it’s really detailed and really small, which I think sums up my style.

Ok girlie talk, you have beautiful skin... What skin care regime do you use and what brand of make up? Why thank you! I’m actually pretty lazy with taking care of myself, I never take off my make-up and I barely moisturise... I don’t eat well and I never drink anything, I keep telling myself to take care but, probably not gunna happen any time soon. I use mostly mac make up, I love some of Sephoras own brand lip glosses too

Anything else you’d like to add? Just a thank you to all my clients for trusting me to tattoo them and helping me progress, some of my clients travel far and most let me have creative freedom so I can build up my portfolio, it’s a special thing to let someone design something for you to wear for the rest of your life! Very grateful.

I have a lot of pet hates haha... My two dogs bark CONSTANTLY it drives me nuts, I hate rudeness I’m so big on manners I love when people are polite. I hate peoples screaming children on planes, people who don’t wash before they get tattooed, Lal throwing things at me while I tattoo haha!

What is your favourite book as a child that you enjoyed? I really loved pop up books as a kid, I had an awesome cinderella one. I’m a huge disney fan, anything disney floats my boat.

If you had to teach a class full of teenagers about art to stir up passion, what artist would you teach them about? Probably Laurie Lipton. She’s a massive influence to me she does incredibly detailed large scale pencil drawings, she had a t-shirt line in All Saints which is one of my favourite stores, I’m in love with what she does

Who is the one person you feel really knows your inner mind? I’m kind of a recluse I don’t really spend a lot of time with other people other than tattooing, I like to think I know myself best. My mum knows me pretty well too, we’re besties.

If you had the chance to be tattooed anyone in the world, who would it be and why that person? I’ve been tattooed by most of the people I’ve really wanted to get tattooed by, I want something from Chuey Quintanar next time I make it out to America, he makes the most beau-

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https://www.facebook.com/callyjoart http://instagram.com/callyjoart http://callyjoart.bigcartel.com/

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WONDERLAND GLASS Hi, my real life name is Jacqui Chana (no relation whatsoever to Jackie Chan) and my passion is making stained glass stuff (my other passion is spending weekends in a field full of classic Volkswagens with good friends and a bottle of vodka .... but that is another story). I have been making stained glass stuff for about 17 years now, after deciding I wanted to learn something un-academic, up until the day I enrolled I couldn’t decide between belly dancing or stained glass .... I don’t look good in chiffon so the stained glass course won. I have made all sorts of stuff over the years, and spent a while making Volkswagen themed mirrors and bud vases. I set up Wonderland Glass 2 years ago as I needed a proper name to trade under to sell the miniature glass buildings I make for dolls house enthusiasts (don’t laugh....it is a huge ‘scene’ lol). I love the intricacy of making these buildings but I was soon longing to make something bright and colourful that I would be happy to have hanging in my house so I decided to make a stained glass koi panel. I put progress pics of the make on facebook and got a huge and positive response so decided to branch off into tattoo inspired stained glass panels. Tattoo Freeze in January was my first convention showing the

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panels, closely followed by Brighton Tattoo Convention and I will be at Ink & Iron this weekend ... It would be rude not to as it is only down the road from me and I am really pleased to say that so far I have had a really positive response. I make each panel myself, so I can honestly say that blood, sweat and tears go into making each one (I do clean them before I post them out) and so far I have been lucky enough to have loved every panel I have made. If I had to pick a favourite I think it would be the hannya panel as I just love the vibrancy of the colours and it looks absolutely amazing with sunlight shining through the red glass, but I also love the poster girl panel from the Brighton Tattoo Convention. I am currently working on a St George panel, and an elephant wearing a party hat and balancing on a ball ... so look out for pics of these on my facebook page www.facebook.com/wonderlandtattoostyleglass and if you fancy having something made feel free to drop me a message Thanks Jacqui x


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Dana brunson Biography by Ness Hay I was stationed at Ft. Bragg, Fayetteville, North Carolina in 1970 after a year in Vietnam, and went with a friend to watch him get a tattoo. It was an old yellow bus by the road, and the artist was named Steamboat John, aka Poison John. Watching the process sparked my interest and I asked old John “how does someone learn to tattoo?” His advice was the Zeis School of Tattooing, a mail order “how to course “ or find an apprenticeship. With this in mind, I approached the only other shop in town, a real tattoo shop, run by D.C. Paul. D.C. Paul had apprenticed under Huck Spaulding and Paul Rogers and had been given their old shop there at Ft Bragg. I saw a career opportunity , D.C. Paul saw dollar signs $$$$ from a GI, Ha Ha….. and the journey began. At the time I didn’t have any tattoos, just an interest in the profession and the art. I served my apprenticeship, of course got tattooed and got discharged from the army in 1971. I left the U. S. Army, went home to Indianapolis, Indiana and tattooed underground for 6 years. (Tattooing in Indiana was illegal at the time). In the meantime, I was attending Herron School of Art, working on my B. F. A. In 1976, I attended the First World Tattoo Convention, in Houston Texas. I met many young artists with the same passion for this art form as I had. I met an artist named Tim McGuire, and in 1977, I moved to Cincinnati, Ohio to buy into the only tattoo shop in town, while also pursuing my M.F.A. in Fine Arts at the University of Cincinnati. Tim and I worked together for 11 years, remaining friends, and parting amicably, I decided to open a more custom tattoo studio across town and to purchase an old bank building for a permanent home for my shop . This

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year I have tattooed for 44 years and have had the opportunity to befriend some of the best in the business. The list starts with D.C. Paul, Paul Rogers, Cliff Raven, Don Nolan, Robert Benedetti, Greg James, Tim McGuire, Mike Bakaty, Jerry Reigger, Tennessee Dave James and hundreds more that have offered advice and told great stories. I was at a great turning point of tattooing when traditional tattooing was handed to a group of new artists Cliff Raven, Don Nolan, Ed Hardy, and Zeke Owen, changing the course of tattoo history forever. I had the best of both worlds, my respect for the tattooist before me and the excitement of seeing a major change in the tattoo profession. While tattooing has soared to a popularity never seen before, the mystic that captured my heart has faded. Mainstream tattooing has forgotten a lot of our tradition, with artist egos leaving no room for respect or the history of our past. This being said, there are still a few young and old artists that refuse to let our past die. A resurrection of traditional tattooing and history is on the rise. The traditional tattoo still has it’s place beside the photorealism of today. My belief is that traditional tattooing will endure when all the “art sparkle” is gone, always has, always will. As in an art museum, there is room for all styles of art. I’ve worked in a variety of styles in my career, trying now to return to my roots. New machines, new inks, new designs, new technology is fine, but you can’t be a pirate with a light saber. I encourage artists to embrace their past before trying to change the future……..But then I was young once Ha Ha!


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Les Skuse and the Bristol Tattoo club by Jimmie Skuse

L

es Skuse started his tattoo career in 1928, he was taught to tattoo by the master Joseph Hartley of Bristol. Les helped Hartley around his studio mixing colour tidying the studio and helping him with his supply business. Hartley had started his studio around the 1910’s before that he was a diver hence is nickname Diver Joe. Hartley was a little deaf due to the diving, he had a successful supply business and his machines and flash commanded high money them days. Les was in the royal artillery during the Second World War, and used to be on the battery guns that tried to shoot enemy aircraft down. On many occasions Les used the batteries that was used by the guns to tattoo with and got reprimanded on a few occasions when retuning back from the war. At this time Hartley had sadly passed away and Les decided to open up his own shop in Bristol, number 95 Lower Ashley road. Les stayed in this studio for two years, during this time Les did lots of work on eager tattoo customers and he also removed Concentration camp numbers free of charge. After two years in number 95 he moved next door to number 97 a bigger shop and remained in there until 1952 when he then moved to his most prominent know shop number 57 Lower Ashley Road. Around this time Les had decided to form the now famous Bristol Tattoo Club for his customers and a few known artists. It started to get a lot of press wanting to do articles for leading newspapers of the day and magazines this got Les well known throughout the world. Around 1955 Al Schiffley from Sudusky Ohio USA got in contact asking if he could come to Bristol to visit Les and come to the club meeting which he did in 1955. On his visit they also attended the London Tattoo Society first meeting ran by London tattooist Cash Cooper. Quite a few artists attended and entered the competition ran by a London newspaper for the champion tattoo artist. All the artists that entered had taken a few of their customers up with them to enter. Les won first prize and now was champion tattoo artist of all England and Jessie knight at the time was England’s only female tattoo artist came second. The following year Les was guest of honour for the FIRST tattoo convention in the USA at Sudusky Ohio that was held by Al Schiffley. Other artists attended were Huck Spaulding , Paul Rogers ,

Milton Zeis, DC Paul and quite a few others along with customers that was now members of ALS club The Sudusky Tattoo Club. This same year Milton Zeis also formed the International Tattoo Club in 1958. Milton Zeis and Al came over to Bristol to attend that years club convention and met lots of UK artists. At the time during the 1950s the Bristol Tattoo Club had golden girl in tattooing Pam Nash. Who was photographed and can be seen in many publications. During the mid 1960s Les started tattooing a couple that later married, Ivor and Marianne Holier. Ivor had the fox and hound scene on his back Marianne had quite a few pictures, she posed for the album cover Indelible stamp by the group Super Tramp lots of people mistake this cover as Rusty Skse due to the fact Marianne had Rusty and Bill’s name on her arm. At first Rusty was approached and asked if she would be willing to do the photos she turn it down and so Bill Skuse rang Les and asked if Marianne would be willing to do it. She Eventually said yes and was offered the price of twenty five pounds. During the photography shoot the photographer asked Marianne’s husband Ivor if he had tattoos, when Ivor said what he had the photographer asked if he could photograph both of them and they negotiated a larger price to forty five pounds. Later on they never did use Ivor on the cover and just stuck with Marianne’s topless torso, the deal was no face pictures. Les in 1972 was asked to put on a Tattoo Land Art Exhibition of his work, Les had paintings and some of his customers on show at the Camden Art Centre. The first night they had a power cut and Les customers held candles while the press photographers snapped away with their cameras. The following year 1973 Les passed away. A month before his great friend Al Schiffley had also passed away then and a month after Les passed away another of his great friends passed away as well sailor Jerry Collins. I like to think that year there must of been a great get together up there with all three talking about tattooing. This is a small part of the Skuse family history I hope you enjoyed this small part of a family dynasty. Jimmie Skuse president of the Bristol Tattoo Club www.bristoltattooclub.co.uk

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Interview: Ant Nicholls Photos: Endre Szabo

Endre

ENDRE SZABO E

ndre Szabo was born and raised in the capital of Hungary in Budapest, he tells me “I come from a middle class family. My Dad was the one who had good handcraft. He loved carving and sculpturing. He always saw my artistic side and supported me all the way. No one was ever a tattoo artist in my family although few of my uncles had military tattoos which always amazed me but I had no idea what they were all about.”

Having graduated high school Endre went on to study computer graphics and design. “I got an opportunity to work in the world famous Varga animation studio in Budapest right after I finished the course. I love cartoons but I started to see this type of art in a different perspective. Making a cartoon is different then watching it. This environment affected me so much that I decided to study visual communication/animation at the Art University in Budapest. I did the Uni and the work as a cartoon character animator work in parallel for a few years and I had a lot of fun... Mostly not in the Uni...”

Having worked for TriStar, NBC and the BBC Endre says one of the most famous animations he worked on was Mr Bean. “I enjoyed working at the Animation Studio so much that I started skipping Uni and eventually I dropped out. I realised I do not need to graduate as an Animation Director because at the end of the day it does not make me a better artist and also I found out that art is all about good connections- if you have them you can fly if not ...struggle. I have to admit though that Uni helped me understand and analyse colours - their meaning and their harmony and disharmony.”

Endres interested in tattooing started while working at the Animation Studio. “I was introduced to a tattoo artist one day and I found tattoo art fascinating. I had a so called apprenticeship in this studio where I could ask any questions I wanted from the artists but lots of my questions remained unanswered and I was not given enough opportunity to tattoo. I left the studio and started practicing myself. I realised it wasn’t working too well as I was shit at tattooing. I really wanted to be better so I looked for another opportunity to develop...and I found one” www.undertheskinmagazine.co.uk Page 78


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I asked Endre to tell me about his studio in London. ”In my area getting a tattoo is really popular. I own TattooEnd in Kennington, London. We only do custom tattoos and designs mainly colour and black and grey realism. My colleague Marta does watercolour stuff which is extra popular nowadays. She is a very talented and promising artist in many ways. My apprentice Bee does traditional style occasionally and she is interested in realism too. I think she is on the right path to make herself a really good tattoo artist” Endre travels quite a bit doing guest spot and international conventions “One of my favourite ones outside UK was the Styrian Tattoo Convention held in Austria. This was a convention organised by tattoo artists for only highly qualified tattoo artists where all artists were treated with respect and appreciation. Clients were happy as well as the quality of the show was really high with good food, good variety of music, high volume of clients and affordable prices. Sadly this convention is no longer running. I enjoy tattooing at conventions as I love the atmosphere and it is a great opportunity to meet friends and newcomers. I can tattoo long hours at conventions and not get tired of beer, party and good company...Conventions are also a good place to learn and socialise. I met a guy at Amsterdam tattoo convention who become one of my best friends. He is Mr Gerhard Wimmer - who gave me so much in the last few years”. I asked Endre what he prefers, tattooing in the studio or at conventions “Tattooing in the studio is different. I love the peace and quiet when I work.” Many tattoo artists stick to certain styles of tattoo and also use other mediums, often paintings and sketches form the basis of tattoos. “ I used to paint a lot in the past. Nowadays I have less time unfortunately but still try to create when I can. My new Copic markers are waiting for my creativity... I use Photoshop a lot for designing, playing with brightness and contrast, colour saturation and different type of compositions. I can not rank the way I tattoo into a category

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but if I have to I would say I do a sort of colour realism - not photo exact but painterly with lots of pastel tones. I like to improvise even if I use a stencil during tattooing. I never completely follow a reference picture unless it is a portrait. I use free hand quite a lot when I do cover-ups.” With a huge portfolio of outstanding work, I wanted to know if Endre had a particular favourite he’d tattooed and whether his clients gave him free reign on designs to put his own touch and interpretation on. “I have many favourite pieces or projects I’ve already started and lots of finished ones but my recent number one is a full leg piece of a hyena face which is big enough to cover a 3/4 of a leg including the knee cup. This piece is still in progress and hopefully I can finish it by the Liverpool Tattoo convention. I’d like to tattoo more similar pieces to this hyena in the future. Most of my clients are really open so I am hoping I will have the opportunity to start another big project like this hyena piece shortly. My clients listen to my advice most of the time. When I hear their idea I try to reason and recommend them some changes that would make their tattoo unique. I like when clients are involved in the designing part ... a good idea from the client or just seeing things from a different perspective can give me new ideas and help me soar. I don’t do random tattoos...I always think the tattoo over in my head before I do it.” Endre has a lot of respect for other Tattoo artists, in his own words. “I have quite a lot of friends from the tattoo scene and I really respect them - not only how they tattoo, but how impressive and hard working people they are. Most of them are really humble and their work is amazing. I don’t want to mention any names I think when they will read this interview they’ll know who I was talking about.” Outside of tattooing I asked Endre what inspired him. “I really like and I am a great believer in ORIGINAL ART ...Artist from the past such as Mihaly Munkacsy(1844-1900) who was a world famous artist/painter inspired me in many ways....I think his work is really close


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to me. I appreciate his approach to using colours contrasts and compositions. Almost every piece he painted is painfully beautiful.” After stripping off at a Liverpool Tattoo Convention Tattoo Duel, I noticed Endre had quite a bit of coverage. “I have quite a few tattoos done by different artists. Some of my tattoos are meaningless some of them have strong meaning. My favourite one is the portrait of my kids and their Mayan oracles and signs. Recently I am going to get my chest piece finished by the amazing Matt Barrett Johns. He started to tattoo my second son’s portrait last time.” Social media has had a big impact on the world of tattooing; I was keen to know is Endre loved or loathed it. “I use social media to publish my work... mostly Facebook and Instagram. I try to update our website continuously as well. I think the past few years the social media gave us lots of opportunities to show our stuff to the world and make new connections. Although Facebook is trying to cut out or control some of the profiles lately for some reason. I still have a lot of requests coming from social media and also from the internet. Word of mouth in my situation is also relevant and the best feedback from a client is when they recommend you to a friend.” Artists of Endres calibre book up quickly. “Recently I have loads of requests from clients which is a good thing but I only book myself maximum 1.5-2 months in advance because I travel a lot lately. I like it this way because I want to keep up my passion rather than being my own slave if I pre-book myself for a year. I am attending quite a few conventions this year and I do guest spots in Austria every 3 months. The next upcoming convention will be the Liverpool one which I look forward to :) I’ll be guesting in Denmark end of May this year for the first time. It should be a good fun. I’m happy to see that my colleague and my apprentice is getting more busy. It’s important for me that they evolve week by week by tattooing more and more. Now Marta has a good client base and more and more new clients start to ask to get tattooed by her.” Tattooing day in and day out can take its toll, “I never felt uninspired but I often feel tired and all I need is to switch my mind off for a while www.undertheskinmagazine.co.uk Page 83


or have a good sleep or just relax a little. I have two toddlers so it’s pretty difficult to find a quiet spot in our house :)” If he wasn’t tattooing what would Endre be doing now? “If i wasn’t a tattooist I’d probably still would be in the animation industry which I always loved and I always will. But there is nothing better then being your own boss, tattooing gave me this and I prefer it this way.” And finally the Zombie Question… “If I was in zombie apocalypse with another tattooist alongside it would be my friend Gerhard Wimmer. I’d hide somewhere and try to take good reference pics of the zombies. But if it does not work then I would send Gerhard over to them with a torch so I could take a better picture with great contrast and highlights. When done and if Gerhard is still alive then we would obviously kill them all. If I lost Gerhard in the process then I would kill them even more from anger. If you are interested in getting a tattoo done by either Endre or his colleagues: Visit www.tattooend.com or Facebook: h t t p s : / / w w w. f a ce b o o k . co m / p a g e s / Ta ttooEnd/291008454261702

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BY Marta - Tattoo END

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MARK BESTER Interview: Ant Nicholls Photos: Mark Bester

Mark

Vibrant, painterly and surreal are some of the words that spring to mind when looking at Mark Bester’s work. A deservedly award winning artist Mark has developed a very distinct and sort after style. Looking through his portfolio his work covers all bases from skulls to wildlife all in his own unique interpretation. Over and above tattooing Mark organises the North East Tattoo Expo(formerly the Teesside Charity Tattoo Convention) with his good friend Ian Richardson, tirelessly raising funds for the Joe and Mya Memorial fund. To read more about the Jo & Mya fund please visit the website www. joandmya.co.uk

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I

had the chance to catch up with Mark recently and chat about his background, his career, his art and even managed to get in my favourite question about Zombies!! Mark currently owns and Tattoos at Marked for Life in Eaglescliffe, he doesn’t sound Northern to me so I was keen to find out about his origins and how he got in tattooing.

“Originally from Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire, I moved to the North East in 2004 as I met my future wife, we now have 3 lovely kiddies, Jay 8, Laney 4 and Jesse 11 months old. None of my family or friends tattooed however my dad does have the old school tattoos, I have always enjoyed art and have done an A level in art, the artist who taught me to paint was quite a loose style painter which I am sure is where I have adopted my tattooing from.”

So why tattooing?

“I have always been interested in tattoos and got quite a few when I was younger but it wasn’t until we had our first son that I walked back into a tattoo studio to get his name, this re kindled my passion for tattoos and I was getting a sleeve of cover-ups done, it dawned on me that ‘hey I could do better than this’ and so the story begins, self-teaching at my house in the spare room. Tattooing work colleagues mainly as I was an engineer at the time. I do believe that this can be a great way to start, if you do it correctly and learn correct hygiene etc, but I won’t go off on that haha.”

I talk to many artists around the county about the popularity of tattooing in their area and types of tattoos people get, tell us about your studio, who works with you and what tattooing is like where your based?

“I think tattooing in the area is very popular and believe people are opening their eyes a little more to what is available as a tattoo now. We are the only flash free studio in the area which in turn makes

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y us quite popular and very busy. Generall ng willi are we clients seem impressed that to do a design just for them, makes them feel special. d I have my own studio which is calle ent pres At Marked for life in Eaglescliffe. the studio is managed by my wife who also does laser treatments. Paul Smith who was my apprentice works here full time and Charlotte Hughes who is still my apof prentice. I’m very proud of the progress from gs thin t these two and expect grea ts them. We also have plenty of guest artis learn to all us that visit. I feel these help more.”

Do you get to travel much?

ns “ Yes I’ve worked abroad at conventio and my most memorable one was Cape st town (Jan 2013)where I took my elde son Jay with me. I worked the weekend as convention and spent the next 6 days h a holiday. We stayed with friends, Patc his and ) elf McFarlane(great artist hims family. It is somewhere I plan on visiting nt again but with all the family. Also a rece convention I have worked is Zwickau, Ran to by Randy Engelhard, which turned out be amazing, working and socialising with his some of the world’s best. Randy and crew seriously know how to host a convention!!”

I noticed on the gospel that is Facebook that you have started doing seminars?

“Yeah I have just done my first seminar of which was local and for a small selection it. artists, I was very nervous I have to adm perld wou I This basically covered how form a custom tattoo, starting off from the basics with putting an image together using a tablet with Photoshop and then performing a live tattoo on the day to show s people how I work and using the method all with hips ions that I use. I have great relat the local studios, I’m constantly answering questions about different aspects of my ll tattooing, so I thought why not do a sma esom is and seminar. It went really well .” thing I may do on a larger scale next time

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You’ve got a very distinct style, How do you conceptualise and go about putting a tattoo together?

“At present I’m working with iPads/Tablets using Photoshop. I put images together fairly quickly and then either draw over the image to add my own touch, or transfer the image onto skin and free style a little whilst doing the piece, my main influence with tattooing at the moment comes from painterly artists, or just stylistic artists, not

“my tattooing is based on realism however simplifying it somewhat to give it my style and touch.”

necessarily realism artists. I would say my tattooing is based on realism however simplifying it somewhat to give it my style and touch. I work both with stencils and freehand. Freehand I generally use with the backgrounds”.

Do you get free reign from your customers?

“I find my customers give me an idea of what they are looking at getting and then I will give my interpretation of this and make the design unique; my philosophy in this area is that the customer is never right, haha.”

Do you have a favourite piece you’ve tattooed?

“I feel that I have lots of memorable pieces of work that I have done, not necessarily favourite but I have enjoyed working on and of course the finished result. Currently I am doing lots of wildlife pieces but I would like to do larger pieces in this area, more back pieces if possible!”

Do you get strange requests?

“The most random tattoo I have done would have to be a zombie girl eating a baby, done in the best possible taste of course!”

Who in tattooing inspires you?

“There is no secret that my favourite artist is Kamil Terczynski, where I have been lucky enough to do regular guest spots at his studio, I’ve explained a few times to people wanting to go down certain paths of tattooing, that you pick an artist of the style you want to learn more about, and go get tattooed as often as you can ,watch listen an learn and try not to ask loads of silly questions haha”.

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You’ve been tattooed by Kamil? Who else has tattooed you, do you have any regrettable tattoos and what have got planned in the future? “The majority of my recent work is done by Kamil, my favourite been the lotus on my neck. My least favourite is the whole of my left sleeve which was what I was getting tattooed at the time I decided I should have a go at this tattooing game. I do plan on getting this Lasered eventually. I have future appointments for work with Kamil and Sebastian Nowacki. I would love to get a piece off Tofi and looking forward to a tattoo swap with Ryan Evans. I’m also getting a full chest piece from Jordan Oterski, who’s a great friend and a truly amazing artist. The last person that tattooed me was General Grieves of Robert Zyla…..oops was that the other way round! Haha,Robert is one of my favourites now ,hes amazing and crazy!!”

Ok time for the Zombie Question… ready? ... Imagine you found yourself stuck in the zombie apocolypse with one tattooer of your choice — Who would it be, and why? Would you spend time talking art, or would you want to get straight down to zombie killing business? Okay so with the Zombie apocalypse I would have to choose Gray Silva, due to the fact that he is that grumpy the zombies wouldn’t want to come near us and we could chill out and discuss art and tattooing over a nice cuppa.

If you didn’t tattoo what would you be doing? “If I wasn’t tattooing right now, I would be back on heavy machinery engineering, Thank god I found tattooing!”

Facebook, Instagram et al, pain in the ass or a useful tool? “I think Social media is very important and it’s such a useful tool, for advertising of work and what work is available to be had. It keeps us all up to date with what’s

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out there! Everyone knows I’m partial to keeping pictures moving on my pages.”

Memorable WTF moment? “The most WTF moment would probably be seeing my name on the Zwickau convention poster alongside the world’s best. I was blown away by that for sure, really can’t believe how things have gone in the last few years.”

What’s the rest of 2014 got in store for you? “I plan on a few English conventions, a few guest spots and a trip away with the family to the south of France in May which is much needed. Can’t wait for this!”

Tattooing can be very intensive, long days, long evenings doing prep work artists tell me that they can burn out or loose inspiration, how do you cope with this? “Sometimes when I am feeling a little burnt out I do enjoy a bit of carp fishing which is a huge passion on mine! or just shaking my head and reminding myself. I’ve got the best job and family ever, so stop being a tool an get on with it!!!”

If someone wants work from you what’s the best way to go about it? “Potential customers can email, call or pop into the studio. I generally book large work i.e. sleeves in a block so we can get the piece complete without waiting months to finish it. As at the moment I am booked up 4 months ahead. To get in touch about appointments, either use facebook or you can email me markedforlifeeaglescliffe@ gmail.com. You can also call the studio on 01642205331 or pop in.”

You can find Mark and more of his work on: Facebook – facebook.com/ markedforlifetattoostudio Instagram - @markbestertattoo

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s h t n o os m s i o h t T t a T p o T

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Under the Skin Tattoo Magazine Edition 8 May 2014