My Tattoos

I've always been a big fan of tattoos. I enjoy the juxtaposition of art and seediness. I got my first tattoo when I was 18, my second at 22, but only recently have I started getting them regularly. I currently have 12, and they're all quite random. They're also pretty stupid but I don't regret any of them. You can try to rationalise tattoos - to justify your choices with personal significance ("I got an angel to represent my dead aunt who watches over me" etcetera); but at the end of the day, tattoos are impulsive, reckless foolery. And I love that. Here's a picture of each of them, with a brief description. I didn't know whether to list them in chronolgical order, or reverse chronological order etcetera... so in the end I decided to listy them in random order. This is a piece of Liam Sparkes' flash. I really like the image and it looks like the pub signpost, The Slaughtered Lamb, from the film An American Werewolf in London. My favourite song from the film's soundtrack is Bad Moon Rising by Creedence Clearwater Revival, hence the tattoo text. The song was written by Tom Fogerty, so it seemed like fate to get the tattoo. It's underneath my right bicep. This is a Russian criminal tattoo of a black widow, by Liam Sparkes. In Russian prisons, tattoos have deep symbolic meaning, and have to be earned (tattoos = status). If you are found to have a tattoo that have not earned - they will kill you. This one either means "murderer" or "thief" (I can't remember which). I got it for shit and giggles. If I go to Russia and remove my trousers I'm a dead man! It's on the front of my right thigh. Smiley acid face. This is my second tattoo - I had it done when I was 22. I've always liked this symbol and I used to be a fan of acid during my university years. People still think this is a transfer when they see it (and I still love that reaction).  It was done by some bloke in Greenwich. The yellow is fading fast... This was an "X" inside my lip - I had it done done for a girlfriend at the London Tattoo Convention in 2008. After about 2 years it turned into a "Y". I guess that's the power of chromosomes for you. We've since split up but it's still a funny story of whim and folly. This tattoo was visible in the last photo so I might as well list it here. It's a moustache on my finger. It was done in the middle of the night - a work night I should add - by Liam Sparkes. I had it done after I shaved off my handlebar moustache. I'm not a huge Ghostbusters fan or anything, but I've always been a fan of this image. It's on my inner thigh, next to the black widow spider (quite a sore place to get done). People usually think this is the most stupid of all my tattoos.  This was also done by Liam Sparkes. A lot of the red ink fell out after it healed, needs touching up (ooh er, missus...). I did this one myself! It's very crude but I'm still proud of it. It says "CRIPS", a Los Angeles street gang. Again, it means I'm a dead man if I go there and remove my trousers. My first tattoo when I was 18 (12 years ago now!). It's a sun on my hip. I don't even notice it's there anymore - I've had it so long it feels like a birth mark I've learned to live with. Done by a big fat man in Nunhead while I was still at school. Happy days... This is taken from an old wood-cut of Vlad the Impaler (i.e Dracula). It was done by Liam Sparkes as a part barter for me setting up his website (it's sort of his trademark piece). It's on my right bicep and might be my favourite tattoo... I did this one on myself with a needle, thread and Indian ink - prison-style-eee. Took bloody ages to do and it's wonky, but I love it just the same. Nothing else to say really... This is a cat on my knee by Liam Sparkes. I love cats, me, so I had to get a cat tattoo. Because it's on my knee it gets distorted quite a bit, and it seems to have bat/rabbit ears. This one hurt. A lot. Last one (so far). Also by me, not finished yet - another Russian prison tattoo. I messed up the crown, and it needs lots of shading added. Front of left thigh. Work in progress...

Bits and Pieces Update

Been knackered lately, slept for about 12 hours last night. Got up early(ish) this morning and went to Shangi-la Tattoos to see Lesley Chan; not to get a tattoo, but to discuss the website I'm doing for them. It's a really good project to get my teeth into and Lesley is very cool. Here's a picture of her (not taken by me). "Make sure you get up to something naughty this week", said Lesley as I left the shop... And here I am writing this blog on a Saturday night... Was supposed to be meeting a friend for coffee this afternoon but they cancelled. The thing about getting old is that you can never call a friend up and say "fancy a pint tonight?" Everyone has plans, and you have to schedule a week in advance. Or even a month in advance. I hate that. After that I went to London Bridge to have a walk by the river - took some random pictures of bridges, water and dark nooks and crannies. When I was taking this picture (under Tower Bridge), an old man came up to me and said, "Do you know why they call this Dead Man's Hole?". I thought it was a prelude to a dirty joke or even a sex-attack upon my person. It was neither; turned out to be a rhetorical question as he already knew the answer and just wanted to share. Apparently they marched convicted men through here on their way to be executed at Traitor's Gate. I love London. Came home and fixed some bugs on this website - small things that I might document in another exciting blog post sometime (for the techie-minded out there). Might finish my prison tattoo off later, and that's about it!

A couple of new websites on the way!

It's been a really long busy week, workwise, so not really been blogging and twittering much. I can report that I'm working on 2 new websites though; the first is for a very cool tattoo studio called Shangri-la. The second is for a slick band called Joana and The Wolf. Watch this space for news and updates. Also met another Tom Fogarty (albeit via Twitter). He's very cool, have a look: @tojofo