12 years ago today I worked my first day tattooing in a shop. I walked in that morning with my suitcase and portfolio and realised very quickly that I knew barely a fraction of what I thought I knew. Four months later the guy I shared the studio with (the “experienced” one) vanished and I found myself running the show; working 12hr days, seven days a week in a BUSY tourist trap street shop. Seems like a lifetime ago. Since then I’ve worked in some fantastic shops and conventions around the world and along the way many of the people I once saw as heroes I now count as friends. I’m eternally thankful for all the good things and people that tattooing has brought into my life and to everyone who has supported me along the journey. My life and how tattooing fits into it has changed so much in the last twelve years - the last year or two in particular. I’m not going to get into how the business of tattooing has changed during this time - we all know what’s up - some things have changed for the better and some have not. I do sometimes miss those early days in the street before the TV and the internet got involved (says man on internet). * I was half planning to organise something to mark the date but I completely forgot until this morning and I’m not even booked in to work today! Ha ha! I’ll try and organise a little flash Saturday for later in the year, maybe. For now I’ll celebrate by making pizza with my kids and maybe getting a bit day-drunk, who knows...
One day Dolly Parton’s gonna write a 23 minute long, unlistenable prog epic in 33/16 about the number of hours/days I work and my erratic pattern of start/finish times. #pouryourowncupofdamnambition
Respring night - working through the pile. If you’re waiting in a respring something good could be coming your way... #horrorvampirebatbite
Lil’ prince’o’dorkness from my last flash-set - Cheers, O 🙏🏻 #tohellwiththedevil
I do a thing, photograph the thing, get distracted by something shiny, forget I’ve photographed the thing then find the photograph of the thing and share it on here...”in a dance as old as time.” #magic8ball
It’s 1*C in the workshop and the paint fumes are making The Minutemen sound like the 90 Day Men. This one’s gonna be fun...
Strong start on Lauren’s big fruit coverup today. Colour to follow. You think fruit is your ally but you merely adopted the fruit. I was born in it, moulded by it. #fruit
Forgot about this one. I love Supremes and the taste of spray paint...in that order. #yougottapaythetrolltolltogetin
Coupla crisp resprings on their way out to ol’ fancy-longhair @alex_woodhead * This stuff makes my perfectionism itch but it’s so satisfying when they go together just right. On an unrelated note; I took an online quiz this evening to determine which “It’s Always Sunny...” character I am. I am “The Waitress”, apparently. I got myself retested and came up as Cricket the second time. Not what I was expecting (Charlie, obvs) but I’ll take both.
Another U-Boat heading out to Okinawa 🎉 Very jealous. If I could find a box big enough I reckon I’d post myself out to Okinawa - winter kills me in Dingleland. Just need a volunteer to help put the stamps on... * This machine and it’s partner we’re part of a fun little collaboration with my old friend @woodfordtattoo - Woody carved the blanks for the original frames that grew into the Cast U-Boats you see today. He does crazy good model painting too under the guise of @anung_un_rama_79 so it seemed fitting to celebrate the launch of these machines with a pair of frames hand painted by the man himself. Both liners will soon be working side-by-side in Okinawa and I’m really pleased they’ve found a good home. Gonna re-stock the bigcartel soon - I’ll post up when it’s done. Nerds - did you know there’s only ONE Cast U-Boat left from that original run of castings (unless I can be persuaded to part with mine...)? Maybe that’ll go up in the re-stock...jussayin’... #tattoomachines
“2019 was weird, then I found that big carrot.” Me, 2019 (sometime after finding the big carrot). Happy new year and congratulations on going another 365(ish) days without dying or forgetting how to read. Extra points to all who bought machines and paintings and got tattooed - you’re the best! My Saturdays are filling up into March/April so if we’ve got work ongoing or you’re keen to start something new in 2020 get in touch sooner rather than later. I also found a big pepper this year but don’t have a photo - you’ll just have to take my word for it. * 明けましておめでとう。二千二十の年五月日本に行く予定が有る。遊ぼうよー 🙌🏼
...and so concludes tonight’s episode of “I paint your cat, you trip-balls in my kitchen.” If you’d like to feature in a future instalment of IPYCYTBIMK please email with a photo of your cat, list of preferred hallucinogens and a short paragraph outlining why on earth I’d let your freak-ass in my house in the first place. #IPYCYTBIMK
Merry Christmas. Here’s to another year of wishing we were Paul Stanley but knowing, deep down, that we’re all Peter Criss 😿 Fuck it.
Shipping out, next stop: Okinawa! Woop. Bon Voyage, little dude 👋🏻
I did a little collaboration with the rad people at @darkartscoffeejapan and now I’m a rad people, too. That’s how it works. Do you wake up in the morning wanting to blow your brains out? Of course you do. Does the feeling subside after coffee number one and creep back in around coffee number four or five? I feel ya. Limited quantities available in store. #darkartscoffee #darkartscoffeejapan #hayama #shonan
Cat down. Expect mail. Sing me to sleep now... 😴
That’s enough cat for one night. Gotta get up early and vote for the good guys before work. #eatadickboris
My new flash set is now available to purchase from the bigcartel store (link in profile). Eight sheets of blades and dribbly things on silk 170gsm paper stock. http://phantomlimbtattoo.bigcartel.com #tattooflash #traditionaltattoo #brightontattoo
When you have butt-ugly gorillas to paint but @clubdevo is life... Penetration In The Centrefold is the best Devo song. Fight me. #theaperegardshistail
Been doing a lot of reminiscing of late. Seasonal thing, I think. Sometimes I miss this like a hole in the head and sometimes I don’t.
I’ve been painting. You kids all set for Halloween???
Take me back! All I need is sunshine and beer money and one of those funny blue paddles to stop me burning my arse on the slide. Is that too much to ask? Throwback Thursday to the time I found that watch. 懐かしい.
I almost came as a shark actually, but then I realized an eagle's slightly better.
Respring night. Expect mail. Feels nice to get my hands dirty again...gonna go wash my hands now.
Obstacle removed. Happy Pride 🤗