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Tattoo Shop News

Posted by: Brian Pollard on July 7, 2016

You’ve spent months carefully choosing your design, researched reputable artists and now, finally, you have a gorgeous piece of ink permanently etched onto your skin. But how do you ensure it still looks as fresh in ten years time as it does when you first walk out the shop with your new body art? Looking after your investment is a little bit more than just rubbing some tattoo aftercare cream over it once and hoping for the best. Here are the best tips to guarantee your tattoo always looks good:

Listen to your tattoo artist’s advice

Your tattoo artist will have likely spent years in the industry, so listen to them when they  instruct you on the best way for you to look after your ink. All reputable artists will give you a sheet of advice for caring for your new body art so you have no excuse not to heed to their advice.

care for your tattoo

Treat your tattoo like an open wound

While you’ve paid a handsome amount of money for the pleasure, your fresh new ink is essentially still an open wound. This means you need to be wary of infections. Ensure you’re washing your hands at all time before coming into contact with your new tattoo, be conscious of the environments you’re exposing it to and keep it as far away from potential bacteria and germs as possible.

Do not pick at any scabs

It can be so tempting to pick at a scab, but there’s the danger it can scar your skin and ruin your tattoo – is that worth it for a few seconds of satisfaction? Also, remember that while scabbing is normal, heavy scabbing is not and should be monitored closely. Call back into your tattoo shop if you have any concerns.

Remember the first few days of aftercare are crucial

Your treatment of your tattoo in the immediate short term massively impacts the long term results. Ensure you keep your fresh ink covered by the bandage for a few hours after leaving the shop (even though it’s so tempting to want to show it off to everyone), never touch your tattoo without having washed your hands first, make sure you apply a recommended aftercare cream for at least the first week and finally, avoid exposing your new body art to the sun and excessive amounts of sweat – an excuse to skip the gym for a few days.

how to care for your tattoo

Think about your sleeping arrangements

It may be wise to invest in a spare set of sheets you don’t mind ruining post tattoo as many have found themselves waking up to find a fresh imprint of their new ink on their sheets. You shouldn’t be covering your tattoo as you sleep as it’s important to give it chance to breath and heal. If you get tattooed on your back, sleep on your front etc etc.

Watch out for infections

Providing you visit a reputable tattoo artist and follow all the recommended aftercare tips, you shouldn’t be too worried about infections. However, it’s always best to be prepared for the worst case scenario. If you see any signs of a red haze around the tattoo after a few days, excessive swelling, oozing puss, heat in the area or indentations in the tattoo, these are all signs of infection. Don’t be afraid to visit your doctor re any concerns as, if left untreated, some infections can lead to nastier long term issues. It only takes a quick google of images that will scare you enough to ensure you always apply your tattoo aftercare cream and keep your ink clean.

Posted by: Brian Pollard on May 30, 2016

So, you’ve decided against the daily grind of a mundane 9-to-5 job and instead opted to put your creative talents to good use and pursue a career as a tattoo artist. But just how do you end up like your idols Kat Von D and Scott Campbell? What does it take to go from doodling your designs on the back of scrap paper to having your very own studio with all the tattoo supplies you could dream of?

With the help of some wise words from some industry pros, here’s a guide to what it takes to make it as a tattoo artist and how to ink your way to the top!

Be prepared to study

Just because you’re entering a creative, non-traditional industry does not mean you can wave goodbye to academia and exams the second you finish your GCSE’s. The easiest way to start your career is via an apprenticeship with a tattoo shop and an art related qualification from a college will make your application far more desirable.

Plus, during your time on the course you will be expanding and honing your skills and building up a portfolio of design ready for when you’re let loose with a tattoo gun.  

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Have a strong work ethic

It’s a long road to becoming a tattoo artist but the hard work doesn’t stop when you become qualified. Phil Kyle, tattooist and owner of Brighton’s Magnum Opus Tattoo is one of the UK’s leading artists and his typical day sees him running around dealing with paperwork and admin, consultations and tattooing clients until 7pm before going home to work on more designs throughout the evening. “When you’re in, it’s your life. You don’t clock out,” he says. “You have to be inquisitive and eager to master new skills. You need determination and tenacity, too, because it can be hard to get started. You’ve got to be like a dog that won’t let go of a bone.”

If you want to succeed as a tattoo artist you need ambition, dedication and willingness to work hard; from the second you start as apprentice right through to the days where you run your own shop.

Get a portfolio of work together

Louis Molloy, the man responsible for most of the Beckham’s tattoos, is constantly asked what his advice for aspiring artists is. “The first thing I’d say is to get a portfolio of your work together,” he revealed in an interview with The Independent. “Don’t just copy designs out of tattoo magazines. That won’t impress anyone. A lot of people want to get into the industry because somehow they think it’s a glamorous rock’*’roll lifestyle. It’s not. It’s bloody hard work.

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Learn all about taxes and being self employed

Even though you may end up working in a shop, complete with a boss to answer to, you will more than likely be self-employed. Most tattoo artists are regarded as freelance contractors and need to file their own taxes etc.

For many, this can be daunting so if life administration and maths aren’t your strongest skills, it may be worth finding a mini course to teach you what you need to know about invoices, how to deal with HMRC and just how many of your tattoo supplies are tax deductible.

If you’re lucky, artists that have been working in the industry for a while will happily help point you in the right direction of what to be doing and help you along the way when you first start out.

Be prepared to constantly develop your skills

Even top artists will tell you that they are forever learning and looking how to better themselves as tattooists. It isn’t enough to just pass your qualifications; you need to practise, keep on top of the latest trends, research new methods, experiment with new tattoo supplies, push your limits – this isn’t a job with set hours, it will become a part of your lifestyle.

While it’s not a career you clock off from, it’s certainly creative and rewarding and you certainly get back from the hours you put in.

Posted by: Brian Pollard on May 23, 2016

Thinking of getting your first tattoo and after some inspiration? Perhaps you just fancy adding some art into your Instagram feed. Or maybe you can’t get enough of hot people with body art! Whatever the reason, you need to get following some of the hottest tattooists on Instagram right now. Here are ten of the coolest artists online who pick up a camera after they’ve put down the tattoo gun.

@Inkbysaga

inkbysaga

Saga Anderson is an award winning tattoo artist based out of Calgary, Canada. He’s so popular new applications to book in for some ink with him won’t even be reviewed until summer 2016. You can console yourself by following his Instagram feed; filled with custom photo-based large scale realism tattoo work, including this awesome Michelangelo (TMNT) design.

@gambittattoo

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Getting someone’s portrait tattooed on your can be quite the risk – you may go in with intentions of your baby being immortalised in ink but come out with something that looks more like Winston Churchill. That would never happen with Germany based Gambler Tatuaje  as your artist- his exceptionally accurate recreations of famous figures showcased across his account prove his talent and need to make their way into your feed ASAP.

@glen_decker

glenn decker

Dark and gothic designs fill the feed of the artist from the Northern Peninsula of Newfoundland. Mainly tattooing while on the road, his portfolio features twists on everything; from Chihuahuas to Chucky.

@Chiwontattoo

chiwon

Chiwon An is one of the owners of An Tattoo; a team that specialise in creating realistic and custom Japanese/Asian style tattoos. Hit follow to fill your feed with all the dragon designs you could dream of.  

@artbyads

artbyads

UK based awarding winning artist Adam Sargent is famed his impressive portrait skills and his feed is currently filled with the development of a Sin City design across a client’s entire back which makes him a must for fans of the neo-noir tales.

@jennakerrtattoo

jennakerr

Not only is Jenna Kerr’s account filled with vibrant, bright designs and tattoos, but as she also works as a semi-permanent make-up artist, there’s a fair bit of eyebrow and lip #goals for you to fawn over too. Bonus.

@raphyo6.36

raphyo

With everything from Star Wars thigh pieces, to pretty delicate flowers, Raphyo’s portfolio guarantees there’s something for everyone looking for some ‘inkspiration’.

@Onnieolearytattoo

Onnie

Down under Onnie O’Leary is exploring some themes that his website describes as ‘may not be suitable for work.’ When your boss isn’t looking, check out his ‘colourful’ characters.

@bangbangnyc

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Keith McCurdy is a celebrity favourite; with the likes of Cara Delevinge, Justin Bieber, Miley Cyrus and Kylie Jenner all rocking ink from his tattoo gun. His Instagram account is a must follow for those after some inkspriation and celeb gossip thrown in too.

@sashaunisex

sas

Using water-coloured inspired pieces, Sasha certainly stands out from the crowd. If her breathtaking designs aren’t enough to convince you to brave the needle, she’s released her own line of temporary tattoos for those not quite ready to commit to some ink.

Posted by: Brian Pollard on August 25, 2015

Tattooing is quite painful process, but the result is worth it, totally. Though, when you choose the place on your body where to make it, you maybe interested in the most painful dots on your skin.

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Posted by: Brian Pollard on July 20, 2015

Tattoo is art. And all tattoo artists are very creative people. Tattooing is a whole culture with a lot of interesting facts to learn about. So, check out our new infographic with interesting info about tattoo that you might not even known about:

 

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Posted by: The Tattoo Shop on June 18, 2015

Whether you’re a novice or an experienced tattooist, there’s always room for improvement when it comes to body art. Even tattoo masters who have been inking for years are continually refining and developing their skills. The world of tattooing is competitive, and artists need to work hard to stand out from the rest. So if you’re looking to improve your tattoo skills, let’s take a look at some ways you can up your game.

Practice Makes Perfect

The best way to perfect your tattooing skills is through practice. Just like any art form, the more you do it, the better you get. But trying out new techniques on paying customers and friends is never recommended and could land you in trouble! Before you go anywhere near real skin, make sure your skills are up to scratch.

While pig skin and fruit are often used as surfaces for tattoo practice, fake skin is much cleaner, offers better results and is easier to work with. Synthetic skin can be bought in sheets or on fake body parts to mimic the look and feel of tattooing a person. Only when you’ve perfected your craft should you move on to the real deal.

Improve Your Tattoo Skills

Develop Your Stencil Skills

The key to a great tattoo is a good base. Before you think about shading and colouring, you need to make sure your outlines are perfect. While freehand inking offers unique results, it can be easy to make mistakes, even for experienced tattoo artists. Stencils provide a guideline to follow and allow you to position the tattoo perfectly.

The Tattoo Shop has a range of stencil-making materials including transfer paper, markers, solution and light boxes that are easy to use and will help you to create amazing outlines every time.

Experiment with Styles

While most tattooists develop a signature style, it’s always good to have a range of techniques you can work with. A good body artist should have a diverse portfolio, so once you’ve learned the basic skills of tattooing, try out new designs to build on your experience.

There are many different styles of tattoos including Japanese, tribal and American traditional to name a few. If your strength is in portraits, try switching up your style by mastering the art of geometric tattoos. Always work in black and white? Practice with coloured inks to improve your tattoo skills.

Upgrade Your Equipment

Still using that cheap starter kit you bought years ago? If you want to improve your tattooing skills, it may be time to invest in some quality equipment. They say that a man is only as good as his tools, and a good tattoo machine can be the key to great body art. Do your research and choose equipment and materials that will offer the best results within your budget.

Good tattooists perfect their skills over years, racking up thousands of hours of work, so don’t worry if your skills aren’t up to professional standards just yet. Keep practicing, use good quality equipment and try out different styles to improve your tattoo skills and become a successful tattoo artist.

Posted by: The Tattoo Shop on June 8, 2015

Whether you’re a body art novice or a tattoo aficionado, it can be tough to dig deep and find a way to convey the inspiration behind your ink. Sometimes you’ve got a concept on the tips of your fingers that you just can’t morph into a final design, or perhaps the image you have in your head just doesn’t quite feel complete.

Art

From cavemen painting on walls to Egyptian hieroglyphics; from the beauty of the renaissance through to quirky contemporary art of the modern day; drawing, painting and imagery have long been some of the strongest forms of human expression.

There are so many types of art you could look to when searching for tattoo ideas. For example, you could explore art styles from a country you have travelled to, or which has given you a sense of heritage and identity, to give your body art a unique personal touch.

Family

Many people like to use a tattoo as a tribute to a loved one or a declaration of commitment to a partner. Subtlety is the key here, as permanently inking someone’s name across your body can be seen as tacky, not to mention risky, in some cases.

Drawing upon creativity can deliver beautiful results. Perhaps you could research the original meaning behind your loved one’s name – it may contain evocative imagery. Failing that, think of something that defines that person or look to one of their passions, and a good tattoo artist should be able to help you transform this idea into an elegant tattoo design.

Tattoo Design

Symbolism

Artistic and emotional expression is limitless, and with a little research you can find interesting and thought-provoking ways of displaying meaning through tattoos. A butterfly, for example, is a metaphor for hope and positive transformation.

However symbolism isn’t necessarily important to everybody who wants a tattoo; some people just want a beautiful and unique piece of body art they can show off. If this is the case, take a broad idea to an excellent tattooist and give them creative license.

Simplicity Rules

Whilst symbolism is an imaginative way to convey thoughts and ideas, significance can sometimes become lost in an overly-complex design.

If your tattoo has an important meaning that you want to be seen and interpreted clearly, then perhaps the message you’re trying to convey through artistic intricacy could have even more impact by stripping it back to something bold and simple.

When planning a tattoo, it can be hard to transform very personal thoughts and ideas into an eye-catching and meaningful design. However think outside the box and be prepared to consult others for a second opinion, and you’ll soon settle on something that really stands out as ‘the one’. How did you find the inspiration behind your body art? Comment below and share your experiences!

Photo Credit: Justin Wolfe

Posted by: The Tattoo Shop on June 4, 2015

Every year, tattoo trends emerge as people are inspired by their favourite inked celebrities and popular culture. This isn’t a new phenomenon – from the heavily outlined pin-up girls of the World War II era to the barbed wire arm bands made popular by Pamela Anderson in the nineties, tattoos have always gone in and out of fashion.

These days, tattoo trends are becoming more creative than ever. Let’s take a look at some of the most popular designs that people are getting inked in 2015.

White Ink

While they’re not to everyone’s taste, white tattoos have been growing in popularity for a while now, and remain a big trend for 2015. Using white is a fresh idea and is less predictable than black or coloured tattoos. Because of the soft, subtle look it creates, white ink is often used to create feminine designs such as lace patterns and feathers, but the trend has recently been adopted by men looking for something different too.

Head Mandalas

Head tattoos are having a moment in 2015, and one of the most unique styles is the head mandala. Mandalas are intricate, circular designs originating from Buddhist and Hindu culture, representing unity and perfection. Tattoos range from full-head coverage to half mandalas that radiate out from behind the ear. Of course, head tattoos are only visible on a shaved head, but the great thing about them is that they are easy to cover up if you get bored– just grow your hair out!

Underfoot

The popularity of foot tattoos has been on the rise for some time, but this year sees more and more people inking the bottom of their feet. This trend could be inspired by celebrities such as Cara Delevingne, who recently declared her love for bacon by having the word permanently placed on the sole of her foot. While it may seem a little strange to tattoo an area that’s usually hidden, foot tattoos are great for those who want something a little bit quirky but not too visible.

Optical Illusions

Optical illusions became one of the most talked-about tattoo designs last year and are still popular in 2015. These tattoos take body art to the next level and stretch artistic boundaries, using eye-fooling imagery to create a cool effect. Great tattoo artists can fake ripped skin, make tattoos appear three dimensional, or even create a tattoo that looks like it’s carved into the body.

Tattoo Trends 2015

Finger Portraits

Another celebrity-inspired tattoo trend is the micro finger portrait. Portraits have always made popular tattoo designs for those who want to pay tribute to someone important, but now they’re being shrunk down and placed just above the knuckle. The possibilities are endless when it comes to this latest trend – we’ve seen designs ranging from animal portraits to famous faces on fingers.

What do you think of these latest styles? While tattoo trends change quickly, ink lasts forever, so think carefully before you choose your next tattoo design!

Photo Credit: Britt-Knee

Posted by: The Tattoo Shop on May 12, 2015

For most, tattoos are an expression of identity. But for others, getting inked can be a way to feel more confident after a difficult time. Many people are now turning to tattoos to cover up scars and marks on their bodies, transforming them into something beautiful. Let’s find out more about this unconventional but inspiring use for body art.

Tattoos to Cover Mastectomy Scars

Tattoos can help mastectomy patients to transform the scars left after surgery. Recently, an Australian tattoo artist uploaded an image of a woman who, after a double mastectomy, had her scarred breasts covered in flowers. The image was shared over 14,000 times in 24 hours.

From floral pieces to lace-inspired designs, tattoos are making a difference to how people see their mastectomy scars, turning them from something they may feel self-conscious about into something amazing. Tattoos can help women to get through their experience of breast cancer and regain their femininity.

Disguising Stretch Marks & Birthmarks

However, there are many more ways in which tattoos can be used to turn wounds into works of art. Cover-up tattoos can also help to camouflage birthmarks, burns, surgery scars and more. Depending on the type and size, a tattoo can almost completely hide a scar or disguise it using colour, design and positioning.

From mothers looking to transform their stretch-marked stomachs or caesarean scars, to those who want to hide reminders of painful injuries, tattoos allow people to obtain a body they love and are proud of.

Cover Up Tattoos

How to Get the Best Results

The key to getting a great cover up tattoo is to find an experienced and reputable artist. A well-trained tattooist will understand your needs and help you to design something suitable and beautiful to disguise your scar.

To get the best results, scars need time to heal before being inked. The length depends on the extent of the injury and the individual’s body, but can be anywhere from a few months to years. When it comes to getting inked, there will be some limits to tattooing over scars; scarred skin is different in texture so it holds ink less effectively. This means it may not be possible to completely cover the scar, but there’s still a lot that can be done to transform it. A good tattoo artist will be able to use colour, texture and layout to disguise a scar or mark and make it much less noticeable.

But what design should you go for? When it comes to covering scars, stretch marks and birthmarks, organic designs with depth and a variety of colour are best. While lettering and tribal tattoos are great, they’re not usually recommended for cover ups as they often leave spaces where scars are still visible.

Tattoos are not just a form of body art: they can also help us to love our bodies, scars and all. If you have a scar that you would like to hide, would you consider getting it inked?

Photo Credit: Tudno Media Group

Posted by: The Tattoo Shop on May 8, 2015

If you have a passion for tech and tattoos, you may have been informed (or found out for yourself!) that wrist tattoos interfere with the functions of the newly released Apple Watch. A pioneering piece of wearable technology, it’s hard to believe that the tech giant didn’t pre-empt this problem. But after users pointed out the issue, the industry has been quick to react and come up with some rather interesting solutions. Let’s take a look at the problem and how to overcome it.

Apple Watch Tattoo-Gate

Several days after ‘tattoo-gate’ came to light, Apple responded confirming that in fact ‘permanent or temporary changes to your skin, such as some tattoos, can… impact heart rate sensor performance.’ So if you’ve got a sleeve or even a delicate tattoo on your inner wrist, you may find that the Apple Watch doesn’t take your pulse, and that other apps designed to react with the skin perform poorly too.

After spending hundreds of pounds on this much-acclaimed piece of technology, it’s understandable that you’d be a little disappointed if you couldn’t make full use of its features, simply because you’re inked. After all, it’s not like tattoos are rare these days. Surely somebody in Apple HQ has a tattoo, and could have pointed it out before it went to market? Apparently not.

 

Apple Watch

Overcoming the Issue

But does this mean that inked tech-lovers are excluded from the Apple Watch market? Or are there ways to overcome this problem so that you too can be the proud owner of an (not-so-perfect) Apple Watch? Conan O’Brien introduced one of the more humorous solutions – the Apple Watch hand. However, all jokes aside, what alternatives are available?

Firstly, if you’ve only got a tattoo on one of your wrists, it goes without saying that you should use the ink-free arm for your Apple Watch. Even if it’s not the hand you usually wear a watch on, it’s better to be able to use your device to its full potential than repeating passwords on apps and getting frustrated with your Watch.

If you’re inked from arm to arm, head to toe? Why not invest in another device that can monitor your heartbeat, and connect via Bluetooth? It may not be ideal, but it you’ve got your heart set on investing in an Apple Watch it’s a workable solution. Alternatively, wait and see if the issue is addressed in the next generation of the watch – we imagine it’ll be pretty high up their priority list after tattoo-gate!

Annoying though it may be that Apple ignored the inked community in the release of their new wearable, after the initial frustration you have to see the funny side of it. Perhaps your next tattoo design could be an inked-on watch?

Photo Credit: Shinya Suzuki

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