Interview with tattoo artist Sambee

Posted by Admin in th-ink on 05 31st, 2022

We chat to North London tattooer Sambee about her journey into the tattoo world and her experiences in the ever changing tattoo world..

What inspired you to become a tattoo artist? To be honest it was never an ambition of mine, even though I had always drawn, been creative and did art at school. I also used to go home after school and watch LA Ink and NY Ink. I thought they were pretty cool shows but I never saw them as a future career.

Saying that, the idea of making things with my hands was attractive to me. It meant I would always have a way of being able to provide for myself without relying on someone to hire me.

How did you become an artist? A friend took a design of mine to a local tattooist and asked if I would go with him to get the tattoo done. Whilst I was there the tattooist talked to me about my designs, he was opening a studio soon and asked if I’d like to be the apprentice.

At the time I was looking to go to university but my parents were surprisingly supportive of me becoming a tattoo apprentice.

Can you tell us about your experiences in the tattoo industry? My apprenticeship started two months before my nineteenth birthday. I’m at the end of my twenties now, so it has been quite an education. It’s been a strange world to navigate through especially when you come into it quite young.

Tattooing is a great expressive art form and there’s always something to learn or a way to challenge yourself. The more you put in the more you’ll get out.

You meet all types of people, some sweet and some more savoury, but that’s like all industries. It’s nice to see more women and women of colour coming up in the industry.

Can you tell us more about the experiences you have had as a woman and a woman of colour in the industry? I’ve had some awkward moments. I think the frustrating thing about being a woman in a male dominated industry is that you can feel obliged to not create what’s sometimes perceived as ‘trouble’, or perhaps what used to be perceived that way. 

Even now, I initially felt like I had to answer this question by downplaying or lightly glossing over experiences.

If I were to mention every little moment where race or gender felt to me like a disadvantage or something I’ve had to speak out to defend against, it would be a long list. 

Toward the end of my apprenticeship, I was being tattooed by someone (who my mentor invited to the studio). I can’t remember how the subject of race was brought up, but somehow we got talking about it and mid tattoo session, with my limb in the tattooists’ hand, he says the words “ya know, I don’t actually believe in ‘mix raced’.”

My ears perked up, my heart rate rose and I just had to control my facial expression. I just thought, let me make it to the end of the tattoo session and then I won’t have to listen to any more ignorance. 

I’ve also heard clients say they don’t believe in racism, casually, while I’m tattooing them. I’ve also seen someone point out the window at a person in a wheelchair and say the words “look, that’s a n*gger in a wheeelchair”. I was in that room. 

Are there any female artists and women of colour artists you’d like our readers to know about? Hell yeah there is! There’s lots of women that I know and follow on social media that make me proud to be in this job, at this time, because it has come such a long way since I started. 

My colleagues Trang and Chanelle are so talented, focused, driven and kind hearted. I used to work with Jade and we both had the ambition to get into tattooing. She’s got a beautiful heart and does beautiful tattoos. 

People should also follow:

The list goes on!

What attracted you to black and grey tattooing? I’m not sure why I was more interested in black and grey. I appreciate all styles, but when it came to doing them I found that black and grey made more sense. It feels more straightforward.

Have you always tattooed like you do now? I started out doing anything and everything and then slowly just narrowed it down to black and grey realism.

I’m sure in another 10 years my style will change, but I can’t see it changing too drastically. That’s the thing within any creative industry the only limits are what you put on yourself. It’s sometimes scary to change because it’s new to you and you obviously lack experience. Also you’re beginning the process all over again and that creates more self doubt.

Can you tell us about the process behind your tattoos? Sure! There’s not too much to it, my client would have given me images or a description through an email enquiry. With that information I search and source photos relevant to the idea and begin putting that into a composition to suit whichever area the tattoo is going. I tend to do image sourcing the night before and then put together designs in the morning showing a few options.

What inspires you? Other artists, not just artists who do black and grey. Or seeing people who have older tattoos and wondering how can I do my work to a standard that will hold and look sick as it ages.

It would be cool when my clients are in nursing homes and still feel excited about their tattoos or getting compliments.

What do you like to tattoo and what would you like to do more of? I really enjoy tattooing animals. Anything fluffy! I’d love to do more iconic portraits too. I’ve done a few civil rights projects and I loved those! Also any Marvel/DC characters would be a dream!

Are you a tattoo collector? I’ve got a few cats! I wouldnt say I’m a collector maybe just an enthusiast, I’m definitely not at that level by any means.

I’ve enjoyed getting pieces so far from my talented colleague Matt Lunn and the awesome Anrijs, Ash Higham and Edgar Ivanov.

What moment in your career are you most proud of? Working my first convention felt quite pivotal. There’s a lot of anticipation for that moment, so much preparation and it can feel like a big hurdle when you build it up in your head. But it was a lot of fun!

I’m currently at a big transitional moment in my career. I’m joining my friends in making our own artist led studio. I cannot wait for it to be finished! This will definitely be the proudest moment in my career once it’s up and running.

Make sure to follow Sambee for more amazing realism tattoos and updates on her new studio.



Weekly r/Tattoos Question/FreeTalk Thread! – May 28, 2022

Posted by Admin in reddit on 05 28th, 2022

It's question time!


Part of our subreddit's recent transformation includes a new weekly discussion thread! Ask any question you'd like, and people from our community will give you their most honest opinions/answers. Please remember that most usual rules apply.

Important rules:


  • No aftercare/medical questions/advice

  • No pricing questions/advice

  • Please be kind to your fellow tattoo-lovers, and follow reddiquette

Some examples of things to ask the community about:


  • Tattoo placement

  • Skin tone

  • Tattoo subject/style/design

  • Recommended tattoo artists in your area

  • Pain

  • Anything else you'd like!

If you're asking about your tattoo, please provide an image of the stencil or final tattoo, rather than elaborately describing it in a paragraph. Also, remember that unless a user has a verified flair, their advice may not be coming from a history of tattooing.

submitted by /u/esoterix_luke
[link] [comments]



Within the algorithm prison, be unashamedly you

Posted by Admin in th-ink on 05 26th, 2022

Social media consultant and tattoo geek Rebecca Givens has been thinking about how artists are keeping up with Instagram trends, changes and updates. 

I can’t take credit for this article title – you have Twin Atlantic to thank and a lyric from their most recent album. When I heard these particular words last week (“algorithm prison that we’re all bred to live in”), they resonated with me. I’ve had quite a few conversations with tattooists lately during which we’ve reminisced over the old pre-algorithm days of apps like Instagram. 

What began as a simple photography platform designed to show, within set square templates, the aesthetic vibe of your brand, work or life (to everyone who actually followed you, might I add), has now become something much more complex. Managed by invisible but powerful mechanisms that decide who gets to see you, when, where and how.

In June 2021 when the Head of Instagram officially declared it “no longer a photo sharing app” but an entertainment hub that prioritises video experiences, we said a sad goodbye to the days of taking a photo and clicking publish.

As small business owners, we now find ourselves in a position where – if we’re not playing by the current rules, consistently and creatively – our efforts shoot down the system’s pecking order and we are consequently less and less visible, even to those loyal people who actively clicked ‘follow’.

For industries like tattooing, in which many artists rely almost solely on Instagram for customers, this is kind of a big (and often anxiety-inducing) deal. Many feel like they simply can’t keep up with what they feel they ‘should be’ doing online.

Yes, it is inevitable for content sharing sites to evolve as time moves forward, but that doesn’t change the fact that we now feel differently about the channels we’re glued to throughout the day. In other words, we’re spending a lot of our time doing stuff we don’t love doing. No one wants that.

Tattooists are finding themselves – not just designing art, creating tattoos, setting up, cleaning down, managing businesses and the other million things they have to do, but also – feeling the pressure to create entire social media strategies that showcase the process and the end result in order to get impressions and engagement. A simple post-tattoo photo with a few hashtags doesn’t cut through the noise anymore.

We know that we need to consider higher-performing formats like video, we need to edit and publish in an optimised way, we need to share at the most efficient time of day, equally spreading ourselves across reels, carousels, live and stories whilst also innovatively telling our brand narratives, jumping on tending audio, keeping our highlights neat, branding our bios and much, much more. Overwhelmed yet?

It’s no wonder we feel like we’re stuck in a game, one we didn’t sign up to play, one we’re desperately trying to follow the rules of, but often failing. The reason why we frequently feel like we’re not mastering the sport is because as self-employed individuals, or often as artists who have other ‘day-jobs’, we CAN’T do it all. 

The first and most important thing I ask a client to do when working on a social media strategy together is I ask them to have a think about what makes them unique (as this will influence selecting which things they CAN do). Uniqueness is key right now because, as influencers and social media entrepreneurs begin to identify what the algorithm loves, we are seeing a repetition of aesthetics, templates, sounds and styles which users are inevitably becoming fatigued by.

It is becoming more and more important to ask yourself – within your industry, what can make you unique?

There are dozens of ideas, our feeds are clogged up with ‘what everyone else is doing’, but don’t rush into anything just yet – take a step back and think about who YOU are and how YOU want to be seen. 

Once you’ve thought about your image and branding you can eventually select two or three ideas to focus on that match up with your values. Incorporate these into a solid and realistic strategy (a list of best-performing formats you are going to do – why, how and when). What things can become ‘your things’, and why? And know that everything is not for everyone and that’s OK – lots of very successful artists don’t ever show their face, they find other ways to shout about who they are and what they do in a vibrant and distinctive way.

What it all comes down to, what is at the heart of any good social strategy for an individual creative is one important thing – you.

Any content plan should be built on the foundation of your individuality and your unique skills, only then can you even entertain the notion of doing something that stands out from everything else churned out in your particular communities.

The end result – you feel less of an algorithm prisoner and more in control and passionate about sharing your work, through content that needs to follow some sort of system, yes, but steers clear of the monotonous compliance of keeping up with social trends. And if there’s any culture in the world that does this already, that is all about breaking the mould and embracing individuality, it’s tattooing. If anyone can shatter the cycle of Insta-clones, it’s us. 

Words: Rebecca Givens (RaRa Media) raramedia.co.uk
Photography: Ally Shipway



Interview with tattoo artist Songe

Posted by Admin in th-ink on 05 23rd, 2022

Shin Song Eun (@songe.tattoo) creates colourful floral inspired tattoos at Inktable tattoo studio in Hapjeong, Seoul. We chat to the tattooer about her journey into the tattoo world, her intricate style and favourite things to tattoo…

What inspired you to become a tattoo artist? I happened to see a tattoo on my SNS app. It was so detailed and I thought how can you express that kind of detail on the body? That’s when I started to get interested in tattoos.

 How did you become an artist? I was a student at art college and then I found a tattoo academy after much consideration.

I learned to tattoo under my teacher, @soltattoo. I worked on my tattooing every day for two and a half years to get where I am now and grow as an artist.

How would you describe your art? I like natural things so my tattoos feature a lot of flowers. I try to express a composition and arrangement that goes well with the body of the person I’m tattooing.

Your tattoos are really bright, what do you love about colour? I think a lot of people also like my bright pastel colours. I also like to use a lot of colourful tones rather than dark colours.

What’s the inspiration behind your work? I read a lot of fairy tale books. And I usually read botanicical books too. I like to look at the pictures of nature that have been taken by the writers as well.

What do you like to tattoo? I work on a lot of ‘fluttering flowers’ and I like them. I think small flowers flow beautifully on different people’s bodies, I love the feeling I get when I see them.

Even if they’re the same flowers, they all look different and give off a different vibe.

Where can people get tattooed by you? My tattoo studio is near Hapjeong Station in Seoul and I’ll also be in Singapore in June.

What’s your favourite thing about being a tattoo artist? Every day I can draw and express myself through my drawings. When I would draw at work or school I would design inside a fixed frame, or so it felt. But with tattooing it’s different, I can draw in my own way.

I also really like drawing in a way that combines my customer’s style with my own style.

How do you create your small tattoos, are there any challenges with these? Some people work on a small tattoo because they think it’s going to be faster and easier.

But, I think small tattoos need to be even more detailed than bigger tattoos, because they need to express the same details in a smaller areas. It takes more time than you’d think.

Do you have a favourite tattoo? I like plant tattoos I do the most.

What moment in your career are you most proud of? When I was guesting abroad of lot of people really liked my work and wanted to get tattooed by me. There was someone who had waitee several years to get tattooed by me, which made me feel so happy and proud.

Make sure to follow @songe.tattoo for more beautiful tattoos.



Weekly r/Tattoos Question/FreeTalk Thread! – May 21, 2022

Posted by Admin in reddit on 05 21st, 2022

It's question time!


Part of our subreddit's recent transformation includes a new weekly discussion thread! Ask any question you'd like, and people from our community will give you their most honest opinions/answers. Please remember that most usual rules apply.

Important rules:


  • No aftercare/medical questions/advice

  • No pricing questions/advice

  • Please be kind to your fellow tattoo-lovers, and follow reddiquette

Some examples of things to ask the community about:


  • Tattoo placement

  • Skin tone

  • Tattoo subject/style/design

  • Recommended tattoo artists in your area

  • Pain

  • Anything else you'd like!

If you're asking about your tattoo, please provide an image of the stencil or final tattoo, rather than elaborately describing it in a paragraph. Also, remember that unless a user has a verified flair, their advice may not be coming from a history of tattooing.

submitted by /u/esoterix_luke
[link] [comments]



Interview with tattoo artist Pauline

Posted by Admin in th-ink on 05 19th, 2022

Tattooer Pauline (taken from his mother’s baptismal name) creates beautifully delicate fineline tattoos at Inktable in Seoul, Korea. We chat to Pauline about capturing the feelings of a specific moment in his tattoos…

Why did you want to become a tattoo artist? There are many reasons, including thoughts and memories that I don’t want to forget. Tattooing allows for elements of beauty in my life. It also indicates a direction and ideals that I want to live in and live by.

How did you become a tattooer? Since I was young I have encountered art in my natural environment. Being around art so much inspired me to go to university to study sculpture.

I was attracted to painting and the field of tattooing and so wanted to study this too. While studying sculpture, I fell in love with tattooing and creating my own paintings, especially the idea of engraving these onto skin.

How would you describe your style? I think my tattoos capture the emotions and stories of the moment. Due to the nature of my line drawings it’s difficult to get the same picture more than once. So, I can only draw the lines and the feelings expressed in that very moment. I think it’s this part that is so attractive to me and my clients.

Have you always tattooed like this? No, there’s been a lot of changes in how I paint. At first I did blackwork and oriental paintings as I liked this painting style. However, I was always drawn to line style paintings without realising it and then I openly fell in love with linework.

Your lines are mainly in black, do you prefer this over colour? I don’t insist on black, but I think I prefer black to color. In my tattoos I like to change the thickness of the line as well as the strength and weakness of it. Personally, I think black can express these things best.

What inspires your designs? In the past I was very inspired by Klimt’s drawings and Egon Schile’s drawings. These artists are one of the reasons why I became more interested in drawing.

I always try to look at other artists’ paintings to broaden my horizons. Mainly because other paintings, music and movies are also inspired by areas of art that surround them.

What do you like about tattoos? Tattoos are a way that you can live with pictures of your own stories. Then when we see a tattoo we remember ourselves and others from that time. You can express your personality through them and to me they’re a part of art.

What do you love the most about being a tattoo artist? I get to do what I like to do. It’s a very good thing as I love painting and I’m able to do a job that’s related to it. I also like having a free schedule and control over my time, that’s one of the many factors that makes it so good.

Can you tell us about the process behind linework tattoos? When you’re painting, you’re drawing and so you’re creating a line without any hesitation. It’s different when you’re transcribing that line into a tattoo. You have to express every line well from the neat ones to those with strong and weak points too. I think it’s better to make a line in the skin rather than draw it on paper.

Tell us about your own tattoos, do you collect them? Yes, I have a lot of tattoos. I have the face of my mother, whom I respect, engraved on me. Then there’s also a figure from Korean history, this tattoo helps to give me direction and live the life I want.

Sometimes I collect tattoos because I just like the artist’s paintings. I have a wide variety of tattoos.

When in your career have you felt the happiest? My tattoo appointments are a time where I can be supportive of people. Everyone has pain and some people want to overcome their pain by getting one of my tattoos. I feel proud and happy to be an artist who can be of any help in other people’s lives.

Do you have any guestspots or travel planned? I have been to so many countries including Germany, America, England and France. I’ll be in Singapore soon but currently I don’t have a planned schedule.

Make sure to follow @pauline.tattoo for more beautiful tattoos and travel plans.



The Original Sin

Posted by Admin in tattoo ideas on 05 17th, 2022
Creation of Adam

The Original Sin / Creation of Adam. Tattoo by Gabriele Palma, a contemporary artist based in Milan, Italy.

The post The Original Sin first appeared on Best Tattoo Ideas For Men & Women.



Weekly r/Tattoos Question/FreeTalk Thread! – May 14, 2022

Posted by Admin in reddit on 05 14th, 2022

It's question time!


Part of our subreddit's recent transformation includes a new weekly discussion thread! Ask any question you'd like, and people from our community will give you their most honest opinions/answers. Please remember that most usual rules apply.

Important rules:


  • No aftercare/medical questions/advice

  • No pricing questions/advice

  • Please be kind to your fellow tattoo-lovers, and follow reddiquette

Some examples of things to ask the community about:


  • Tattoo placement

  • Skin tone

  • Tattoo subject/style/design

  • Recommended tattoo artists in your area

  • Pain

  • Anything else you'd like!

If you're asking about your tattoo, please provide an image of the stencil or final tattoo, rather than elaborately describing it in a paragraph. Also, remember that unless a user has a verified flair, their advice may not be coming from a history of tattooing.

submitted by /u/esoterix_luke
[link] [comments]



Weekly r/Tattoos Question/FreeTalk Thread! – May 07, 2022

Posted by Admin in reddit on 05 7th, 2022

It's question time!


Part of our subreddit's recent transformation includes a new weekly discussion thread! Ask any question you'd like, and people from our community will give you their most honest opinions/answers. Please remember that most usual rules apply.

Important rules:


  • No aftercare/medical questions/advice

  • No pricing questions/advice

  • Please be kind to your fellow tattoo-lovers, and follow reddiquette

Some examples of things to ask the community about:


  • Tattoo placement

  • Skin tone

  • Tattoo subject/style/design

  • Recommended tattoo artists in your area

  • Pain

  • Anything else you'd like!

If you're asking about your tattoo, please provide an image of the stencil or final tattoo, rather than elaborately describing it in a paragraph. Also, remember that unless a user has a verified flair, their advice may not be coming from a history of tattooing.

submitted by /u/esoterix_luke
[link] [comments]












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