My beautiful new iPhone case, by Rachel McCarthy

Pretty iPhone case
Pretty iPhone case

I bought this lovely iPhone case from the Brighton Tattoo Convention last weekend. The lovely Rachel McCarthy, from Modern Body Art, makes them and she will make a unique one for you if you order one. She sells lots of other craft-type things and prints, too. Of course her tattoos are amazing and she is another person to add to my list of people I would like to get tattooed by.

My beautiful lamp tattoo, by Claudia De Sabe

Alice Th'ink
Alice Th'ink and the final ink

I fell in the love with the work of Claudia De Sabe at my first tattoo convention in Brighton. I have wanted to get tattooed by her ever since. I managed to get on her waiting list at the Jolie Rouge, London, last year and I had a consultation with her at the end of last year. My one inspiration: a lamp.

This is all I told her at my consultation and, of course, where I would like it positioned –the inner top of my left arm.

After my consultation, an appointment was booked for 10 January 2012. And I didn’t see the beautiful drawing until then – the grand unveiling of my beautiful vintage-inspired lamp.

lamp stencil
The lamp stencil

The amazing thing about this design is it captures both of Claudia’s styles in one tattoo. The beautifully intricate and vintage nature of the shade, then the Japanese-inspired base. It’s just perfect and I loved the stencil instantly.

Claudia was also so lovely when she was tattooing me, so friendly and concerned about how comfortable I was. It was actually a really lovely experience.

I decided to let Claudia pick the colours, too. I hadn’t quite decided. And I am so glad I left it to her because I couldn’t be happier with the finished tattoo…

Claudia De Sabe lamp tattoo
My beautiful lamp tattoo
after tattoo joy
Post-tattoo euphoria (and maybe a little tipsy)
Showing off my new tattoo at the London Tattoo Convention (shortly before this photo my tattoo was spotted to be featured in Bizarre magazine!)
Showing off my new tattoo at the London Tattoo Convention (shortly before this photo my tattoo was spotted to be featured in Bizarre magazine!)

I love you Claudia!

Alice Th’ink

xxxx

Behind the Needle 3 – part 4 of the London Tattoo Convention series with Papercut Pictures and Zeitgeist

This is part of the exclusive Tattoo film series I filmed with Papercut Pictures for Zeitgeist magazine

“Tattooing has become a victim of its own popularity” Zele

Behind the Needle 3  features three more notable tattoo artists. Ninoslav Zelenovic aka Zele from Zagreb Tattoo, Jason Donahue from Idle Hand and Alex Binnie from IntoYou London/Brighton talk about the past, present and future of the tattoo world. Has it really become a victim of its own popularity in this Facebook-obsessed world?

Zele
Zele

Zele used to be a military man, and this is reflected in his love of historical, ethnic and traditional styles of tattooing. His tattoos reflect his value system and past. In this film he also talks about the negative impact of the growing popularity of tattoos and how this affects those who have been in the business for a long time.

Jason Donahue
Jason Donahue

Jason Donahue has always been into art, and as soon as he got his first tattoo he realised he’d found something he really wanted to do. His influences come from the past, his strongest being American traditional and Japanese. He also talks about the explosive nature of the tattoo industry now and the fact the he is his own biggest critic, constantly seeking tattoo perfection.

Alex Binnie
Alex Binnie

Tattooing was a very ‘closed’ world when Alex Binnie started out, and not at all fashionable. He tells us about his varied style and how the industry has changed since he has been a part of it. He talks about tattooing as a beautiful contract between the tattooer and the person being tattooed that avoids the constraints of the gallery system.

Watch the other films in the series: the London Tattoo Convention 2011, Behind the Needle and Behind the Needle 2.

Word by Alice Th’ink as featured on Zeitgeist
Behind the Needle 3 from Papercut Pictures on Vimeo.

Get your tat out – Brighton Tattoo Convention 2012 special

Get your tat out

Convention Special – I spotted these beautiful tattoos yesterday at the Brighton Tattoo Convention.

This lovely lady was at the Forever True Tattoo stand.

Peacock lady tattoo
Peacock lady
Forever true tattoo lady
Forever true - tattood lady
Lady with beautiful eyes
Lady with beautiful eyes
Sewing tattoo
Because she used to be a dressmaker

I saw this girl and her intricate and delicate tattoo a couple of times in the crowds at the convention. I finally tracked her down at the Tattoo Workshop stand and managed to get this gorgeous picture. The tattoo is by Saira Hunjan.

Saira Hunjan chest piece
Delicate and beautiful - just the outline now, but some colour will be added in the next sitting.

Photos: Papercut Pictures

Getting excited about the Brighton Tattoo Convention

brighton_poster_2012

I attended the Brighton Tattoo Convention in 2010 and I absolutely loved it – I was supposed to attend last year too, but due to unforeseen circumstances I was unable to (see the day of the phantom tweet).

The 2010 Brighton Convention was my first ever tattoo convention – I was a little younger and a little less tattooed, so I attended with apprehension. In fact, it doesn’t matter if you’re covered head to toe in ink or never intend to get tattooed, the Brighton Tattoo Convention welcomes all who are there to appreciate the art form. Although, this year I can’t wait to show off the ink I have collected throughout 2011…

See the beautiful photos from the 2010 Convention. This year I will be attending the convention with a little more experience and the help of Papercut Pictures, so I will be able to show you lots more photos and maybe a little film, too…

Maybe see some of you there?

Alice Th’ink

x

Behind the Needle 2: Part three of the London Tattoo Convention series

“I don’t know if I really felt inspired, in as much as I kind of fell into it” Ryan Mason, Scapegoat Tattoo, Portland

This is part of the London Tattoo Convention series I filmed with Papercut Pictures for Zeitgeist magazine

 

Behind the Needle 1 explored the motivations and inspirations behind four renowned artists’ work, Behind the Needle 2 features four more of my favourites. Ryan Mason (Scapegoat Tattoo, Portland), Jo Harrison (Modern Body Art, Birmingham), Steve Vinall (The Family Business, London) and Brian Thomas Wilson (Scapegoat Tattoo, Portland).

Ryan tells me how he needed to find something to do with his life, that wasn’t a shitty job after dropping out of art school, and what’s it’s like tattooing in Portland.

Jo Harrison
Jo Harrison

Jo talks about punks, rockers and what it’s like being in the tattoo world as a woman. She was actually pregnant at the time of filming and has since given birth to a beautiful baby girl called Marley.

Since Steve has been able to hold a pencil all he has really done is draw, he sees tattooing as one of the strongest and most permanent ways to put your imagery into the world.

Steve Vinall
Steve Vinall

Brian tells me how he got lucky by being offered an apprenticeship and was ‘pretty bad’ for a long time. Now he loves the symbolism of fairy tales in his tattoos. (I think in this part of the film you may be able to hear my stupid laugh in the background!)

He works with Ryan at Scapegoat, and as you can see from the film, they really love each other, ahh. (I LOVE you guys)

Ryan and Brian
Ryan and Brian

Words by Alice Th’ink as seen on Zeitgeist.
Photos by Papercut Pictures

Behind the Needle – Part 2 of London Tattoo Convention film series

“When I was a kid I saw a guy in McDonalds that was covered in tattoos and I thought it looked tough” Chad Koeplinger.

This film (exclusively for Zeitgeist magazine, with Papercut Pictures) moves on from the convention, as each of the artists delves deeper into their personal motivations for becoming a tattoo artist, their distinctive style of tattooing, their heroes, inspiration and who they like to get tattooed by.

Watch the first film here

This film features Chad Koeplinger of Paradise Tattoo, Washington DC;  Michelle Myles of Daredevil Tattoo, New York City; Uncle Allan of Conspiracy Inc., Copenhagen and Claudia De Sabe of Jolie Rouge, London.

Chad always wanted to travel and tattooing definitely seemed like a more viable way to do this than the merchant marines. His style is strongly rooted in Western traditional, but his experimentation in a variety of styles has allowed him to thrive as an artist.

From her underground origins in New York City, Michelle began her career when tattooing was illegal. She talks about her journey and the changes in her style and technique since its legalisation in 1997.

Uncle Allan’s love for tattooing derived from his passion for music and this is illustrated in his distinctive artistic style. His theme for the convention was ‘metal and satanic stuff’, see the first film in the series for his burning bible tattoo.

Claudia was encouraged to get into tattooing by her friends who hung out in tattoos shops, they could see her raw talent as an artist. She has two very distinctive styles of tattooing and in this film she talks about her love of both styles and how she can’t let either of them go.

Behind the Needle 1 from Papercut Pictures on Vimeo.

 

My first tattoo film with Papercut Pictures for Zeitgeist Magazine

I decided a couple of months ago I would like to make a film about the London Tattoo Convention, so I enlisted the help of  Papercut Pictures. I never dreamt for a moment I could actually do it. But, I am pleased to announce the release of my first ever film…

This film is the first in a series for Zeitgeist Magazine. Shot at the London Tattoo Convention on September 23rd, 24th and 25th 2011, this film provides an overview of the convention and asks some of the notable attending artists their feelings on the convention.

Interviewing Steve Vinall
Interviewing Steve Vinall - Photo by Olivia Snape

From traditional Samoan done by hand, to antique Victoriana and old-school Americana, we spoke to some of the leading artists of each style about their particular take on the art form. This film shows the artist’s views on the convention itself. The next film will concentrate on the artist’s and their motivations behind tattooing. Keep watching for future installments.

In order of appearance:
Chad Koeplinger (Paradise Tattoo, Washington D.C.)
Amanda Wachob (Daredevil Tattoo, New York City)
Claudia De Sabe (Jolie Rouge, London)
Deno Jr. (Circus Tattoo, Madrid)
Jo Harrison (Modern Body Art, Birmingham)
Zele (Zagreb Tattoo, Zagreb)
Michelle Myles (Daredevil Tattoo, New York City)
Brian Thomas Wilson and Ryan Mason (Scapegoat Tattoo, Portland)
Steve Vinall (The Family Business, London)
Uncle Allan (Conspiracy Inc., Copenhagen)
Jason Donahue (Idle Hand Tattoo, San Francisco)
Doctor Matt Lodder being tattooed by Uncle Allan
Alex Binnie (Into You, London/Brighton) talking about his new collection of wood block prints
Ryan Mason (Scapegoat Tattoo, Portland)
Pili Mo’o (Mo’o Tatau, Tenerife)
Marcus Berriman (London Tattoo Convention Organiser)

Lies bible tattoo
Tattoo by Uncle Allan. Photo by James Stittle, Papercut Pictures

Music by:
Honkeyfinger – ‘HonknSkronkn’ & ‘Margarine Man’
Black Mass – ‘To The Cross’
The Lysergic Suite – ‘Earth and Water’

Filmed by Papercut Pictures
Special thanks to Olivia Snape who assisted with filming throughout the weekend

London Tattoo Convention First – first day of filming

20,000 or more visitors are expected to attend this weekend’s International London Tattoo Convention at Tobacco Dock in Wapping. The halls of the warehouse have become a fantastical world of tattoo parlours, tattoo museums, fashion boutiques, a rockabilly club and performance stages.

And I have been lucky enough to film and report the action for Zeitgeist magazine…

Friday 23 September – Day one of filming

It is easy to spot the convention goers from the moment we arrive at Shadwell station, a trilby, a pin-up style head scarf…and of course lots of beautifully decorated skin – wonderfully out of context on the streets of Shadwell. I wait for the rest of the film crew to arrive (the boys from Papercut Pictures and Olivia Snape) with a cup of coffee and a cheese toastie, and wonder what the day will hold.

Queue
Queue of tattoo collectors

Thinking we are organised, we arrive at the gates at 10.30am ready to get inside and start arranging film times. We are clearly not as eager as a lot of art enthusiasts and a queue is steadily building outside the main gates. I am in awe, amazed by the inkings and body modifications that adorn the skin of these art collectors.

Even though the convention is not yet open, when we get inside there is already a buzz as the artists set up their equipment for a day of tattooing. We have a list of the artists we need to see and arrange suitable times in their busy schedules for them to speak to us on camera about their particular take on the art form. From traditional Samoan done by hand, to antique victoriana and old-school American.

Neck tattoo I spotted in the queue
Neck tattoo I spotted in the queue

Many of the artists have travelled the world to work at the convention and while it can be easy to put ‘tattoos’ in one category, the convention truly illustrates the variety of styles and traditions in the history of the art form, as they are all there to see in the maze of Tobacco Dock.

Our first day of filming was stressful, but amazing and we spoke to some of the world’s leading tatooers: Pili Mo’o, Ryan from Scapegoat tattoo, Jo Harrison, Steve Vinall and Michelle and Amanda from Daredevil tattoo NYC.

I won’t tell you what they had to say though, as the short films will be on Zeitgeist very soon. I can’t wait to go back today and speak to some more artists, including Uncle Allan (who I LOVE!) let’s hope he gives me a sneaky tattoo while I interview him.

Hope to see some of you there again today…