A Big Fuckoff List of Tattooists

You know when you're writing and stuff, be it a blog post, or book, a thesis, police statement, the occasional letter to the reader's page of Razzle etcetera - and sometimes you feel all inspired and it's really easy and the creativity pours out of you like jism at a bukkake party? And then at other times it's really difficult and you think fuck it, this will have to do, and you churn out any old bollocks and hope you'll get away with it? Well this is one of those times. So fear ye not little person, even someone as amazingly talented as me can't be arsed and has an off-day sometimes. With that in mind, here's a boring list of all the tattooists (and I use that term very loosely in places) that have etched upon my skin at one time or another. You'll have to make do with this until I can think of something better to write this month... Aidan Forde A big Irish biker-type who tattoos all the chavs from Nunhead and Peckham in South London. This was in 1998 when I was 17 at Fantasy Tattoos. Rob Sutherland Works at Tattoo Living Image in Greenwich. Old school. Decent bloke. Instagram here. Random Brazilian bloke At London Tattoo Convention circa 2007. Looked like a member of Sepultura. Liam Sparkes Everyone knows Liam, has his own shop these days called Old Habits in trendy Dalston. Instagram here. Mil Martinez Tattooed me a few times at Diamond Jack's in Soho. Quality stuff. He's a wrestler these days. Instagram here. Ben Nuthink This was at Kids Love Ink in Deptford. On my arse. Instagram here. Chad Koeplinger Famous American tattooist. The tattoo cost a small fortune, rattled out in 20 minutes. Instagram here. Melissa Szeto Tattooed me a couple of times in Soho. Has her own shop nowadays. Instagram here. Calypso Saga Large-scale Japanese specialist. Works from a private studio in Muswell Hill. Instagram here. Random Amsterdam tattooist Somewhere in the Red Light District (I think?). I was wankered at the time. Me Because I'm an idiot. Some barmaids from the local pub Because I'm an idiot. Don Northstar Kids Love Ink again. On my arse again. Instagram here. Mark Edwards Good fun. Tattooed me in his shop in Camden. Instagram here. Stefano C A true gent from Italy. Instagram here. Charles Wicks-Stephens Diamond Jack's in Soho again. Instagram here. Arthur Perfetto Tattooed me at Trash City Tattoos in Berlin. Instagram here. Dave Condon A bigger GG Allin and Misfits fan than I! Instagram here. Guy Neutron Tattooed me at the London Tattoo Convention. Instagram here. Duncan X Legend. H-E-R-O. Instagram here. Gian Maurizio Fercioni Most recent tattoo whilst in Italy (can be seen in the photo at the top of the page). 70+ year old. Special one, this. Instagram here. If you cross-reference this with the list here - you will see how life rarely goes how you expect it to.

Things Not To Say To Someone with Tattoos

The full title to this blog post should have been "Things Not To Say To Someone with Tattoos (i.e me) - Especially if You Don't Know Them" - but that seemed a bit unnecessarily long-winded. Not that that usually stop me. Also you can see me in the picture above (I'm the one in the middle, wearing a shirt). Anyway, you might have noticed that I have one or two subtle tattoos - not that I make a big deal about it or anything. And speaking as someone who has been under the inky needle a couple of times - these are questions that tend to get on your nerves afterwards (which usually come from complete strangers as well). What is it? How could I ever answer that if you've got the nerve to ask? I actually pinched this line from overrated folk singer, Bob Dylan, although he wasn't referencing tattoos at the time. And besides, it's clearly a tattoo of a blue tiger with horns on my knee. Anyone could see that. Why? Is that an existential question? I have absolutely no idea (or motivation) to answer this one. Ever. What is the meaning behind it? Why would you expect a ludicrous activity such as poking ink under your skin with a needle to make an indelible mark on your flesh, have any meaning whatsoever attached to it? Did it hurt? Yes, it fucking hurt. But not so bad that I didn't do it again after the first time. Ahem. Don't you worry about it being permanent? Unlike my hair - tattoos ARE permanent, it's an integral part of what tattooing is. If I was worried about it lasting forever I wouldn't have done it, and opted to doodle on my body with a biro instead. Silly bollocks. Are you addicted? On most days I put trousers on, does this mean I must be addicted to wearing trousers too? Don't you worry about what they will look like when you get old? No, because even without the tattoos I'd still be old, and have an old body. But hopefully I'll be more interesting than you. How much money have you spent on it? I've no idea. But I've no idea how much I've spent on other things I enjoy either - like going on holiday, or boozing down the pub. You'll never find work... Ok, this isn't a question - but it's still an annoying statement that gets said often (usually when I'm at the job centre, scratching on). You'll never find a partner (unless they have tattoos as well) Again, not a question, but people always seem to think that because I like tattoos on me - I must only like girls with tattoos too. Which is a ridiculous assumption to make; for example, I like to grow a moustache - but that doesn't mean I'd date a bird who had one. Did you get it to rebel/look hard? No! (i.e yes, yes I did) Oh and by the way - don't think you can randomly grab my arms to look at them either!

Tom’s Guide to SEO

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation and is a way of fine-tuning your website's content so that it appears higher in the search engine results when people browse for information online. One of the ways to do this is to carefully craft your content and tailor it for what your intended users/clients are looking for. Basically, if you make your website content as relevant and focussed on a key topic as possible - there is a higher likelihood that it will be found. For example, if you were searching for a plumber in Gateshead you would not expect to be served up results for a fish & chip shop in Slough instead. I know this because I work as a web developer, but don't worry - that introduction is a technical as this blog post will get! Luckily, Google have provided some helpful tools that are easy to use (and free!), that allow you to see the Google search terms that people have used to find your site. I used this recently to get some insight into how people are being directed here, so I thought I'd share this information with you. As this is a personal website about me - Tom Fogarty - it was no surprise that my name is the leading phase that brings visitors to my site. It was very light on web development or music review phrases sadly though, and some of the other phrases were more unexpected... The person who arrived after searching for "name?" must have been somewhat baffled when I made an appearance, as would the person who simply searched for "Russian". I expect whoever searched for "bakake" would have been highly disappointed when my face popped up in their results. Hopefully I didn't put them off their stroke. I also hope anyone who ended up at this blog by looking for "how to wax your balls at home", found me beneficial in the their quest for silky smooth ballbags. Some of the results are cryptic, others downright confusing. Examples: "the power of christ compels you dog" "dulcet relapse lyrics" "cat pornstar" Darts players such as Brian "Pecker" Woods, Mervyn "The King" King and "The Count" Ted Hankey seems to feature frequently, as does wrestler Hulk Hogan. Alarmingly, so do rock 'n' roll heavyweights, Gary Glitter and Rolf Harris. GG Allin, Sebastian Horsley, Creedence Clearwater Revival and Lemmy from Motorhead are all heroes of mine, so I can't begrudge them featuring. The "goldfinger midget", however, is less well regarded in my house. Many of the search terms are obscene. Should I be offended that Google think people searching for "cunt tattoo" or "tattooed twats" are looking for me - or grateful that they are sending traffic my way? As a fan of tattoos and a frequent moustache-grower, it is to be expected that phrases relating to these terms feature regularly - but directing "paedo moustache" explorers to my site is a bit harsh. Other pleasant phrases include "Count Macula" and "mongoloid urban dictionary". I've included the full list below - you should read these before continuing with this post as it will be relevant later). The list will open in a new tab as there are too many to mention here, but I'd recommend you read them all as there are some real gems to be found in there - especially near the bottom... Click here for FULL LIST OF SEARCH TERMS. Maybe at best then, my website stands as a sterling example of how not to efficiently optimise your content for effective SEO, but in the spirit of of the old saying -if you can't beat them, join them - here's a make believe story (somewhat stream of consciousness), garbled together using the random search phrases people have used to unwittingly discover this blog. This will further bolster the traffic, but also reinforce the strength of these keywords, therefore increasing the probability that my organic visitors will be mongoloids, sex-pests or other assorted members of the criminally insane, looking for tattooed twats. Story: Darts legends Ted Hankey and Brian Woods were practicing, ahead of a big charity match against a couple of midgets to raise money to keep paedofiles off the telly during Christmas repeats of Top of The Pops from the 70s. Originally they were supposed to be playing the midget from Goldmember and that little bloke off Fantasy Island, but those little people from America couldn't get visas in time, so they'd ended up having to play against some generic UK-based dwarves instead (a couple of the cast of Time Bandits who were looking for work). The sponsors had initially made an even bigger fuckup for the event by selecting a medley of Gary Glitter hits to play between match rounds to get the crowd going, until their mistake had been pointed out by a good-intentioned Russian criminal who happened to be passing by. Ironically, Ted had once had a Rolfaroo tattoo in honour of Rolf Harris, which he later had covered up with a portrait of himself when it was discovered that the Australian entertainer had been a little bit too busy with his artistic hands, so that's alright then. Sadly, Ted had intended to have his darts nickname "The Count" etched on as part his self-portrait, but not being a person what spells too good he left out the U, leaving him with a tattoo that simply said "The Cunt" instead. In a likewise fashion, Brian Woods also sported a tattoo dedicated to his darting nickname, which amazingly he had managed to get spelled correctly: Pecker. He gained this epithet from his surname and was certainly in no way an indication that he had a tiny willy (unlike GG Allin, who had a microscopic member, much like a pornstar cat - plus an assortment of crudely done homemade tattoos, who done using Indian ink in prison). At this point you're probably thinking "These cats aren't as cool as Lemmy, Sebastian Horsley or Tom Fogerty from Creedence Clearwater Revival. The power of christ compels you dog, what a right pair of tattooed twats!" - but this would be very unfair assumption to make. At least they've never been adorned with a paedo-style handlebar moustache, tattooed themselves with a biro or had a horrible experience trying to wax their balls at home. Only a true mongoloid from Camberwell would do that. The end.

Even Tattoos Fade (so don’t get lippy)

Apart from dating and the very occasional one-night stand, I've not had a proper girlfriend for about 8 years (a period of time that has slipped by alarmingly quickly). The girl in question was a co-worker at the time - a situation I would never repeat again - and had only been in the country for a couple of years, having lived in Shanghai for the previous years of her life. This made her, to some extent, a complete maniac to deal with in a relationship (as are most Chinese girls I've been led to believe). Now I'm not one to generalise in any way, but it is a perfectly reasonable reaction I find, to make a sweeping value judgement over a race of over 1.3 billion - if you've had sex with just one of them. Take this story as an example of her lunacy. She became obsessed with picking up tiny English traits and customs, thinking that by adopting these idioms - she could blend in seamlessly - rather than say, getting to grips with the English sense of humour; black comedy, sarcasm, pessimism, gallows humour - and the like. So in order to help her in this quest, I told her that the very best way to become accustomed to the English way of life was to embrace the quaint toilet ritual that all Brit girls implement when using the loo - but never talk about - whereby they sit on the bog the other way around, facing the wall and leaning on the cistern as an elbow rest for comfort and extra leverage. And she believed me. We were only together for a year but I will carry a memory of her etched into my skin forever; during the very early days of our brief romance, I decided to get her name tattooed on me (this is a very clever thing to do - it never fails to impress the ladies and I guarantee 100% that you will not regret it later). You probably think this was a reckless and idiotic action on my part, but there was a certain degree of method in my madness; the girl had one of those ridiculously long and unpronounceable Chinese names, so instead of having the whole thing inked upon my person - I opted to get the initial of her first name: "X". I also decided to have the tattoo situated inside my lip. There were dual benefits to this - the most obvious being that the tattoo was completely out of sight, and secondly, that I could claim that the "X" was a signifier of something else at a later date. My love of the X-Factor, or X-Files, or my commitment to the Straight Edge movement for instance. As luck would have it, a quarter of the tattoo disappeared within a week - leaving a "Y" in it's place (which goes to show the power of chromosomes if nothing else I suppose). Then during the following year the remainder of the ink faded further - along with the relationship - until only a faint forward slash and dot remained (and still does to this day). Nevertheless, it still tickles me that somewhere out there, there is a Chinese lady sitting on the toilet the wrong way round, trying to blend in.

Photoshop Tattoos 2014

Back in 2010 - in a time before I had many tattoos or could grow a proper moustache - I was bored one night and decided to add ink to my torso digitally using Photoshop. The results were as diabolical as you can imagine, a proper dog's dinner - and can be viewed here. Then I tried the same jape again in 2011, albeit by that time a couple of the tattoos were actually real and my moustache was marginally better. The results were slightly better and you can see them here. These proved to be two of my most popular blog posts ever, which shows there's no accounting for taste if nothing else - although they also provoked a lot of online abuse as well (which I quite like). I decided to push my luck again in 2014 when I attempted this again, but never bothered to post the picture and promptly forgot about it. By chance I stumbled upon the image whilst cleaning up my  laptop the other day and as it's Halloween, I thought I might as well share. The main differences being a couple of additional real tattoos, plus more beard and less  penis on display. I'd also perfected my Charles Manson stare by this time.

Tattoo Stats

One of my most popular blog posts was back in 2010 where I listed out all my tattoos and the meanings behind them. Needless to say, I've had quite a few more since then so that list is now well out of date - but you can view it here if you wish. These days one of the questions I get asked often is "how many tattoos do you actually have then?", to which my stock answer has been "I've lost count...". Taking this into account, I've decided to write a new blog post with an updated list of my inkage along with some photos for you lot to wank over. But not today. In the meantime, here is a list of random tattoos stats following a count-up I did last night when I was bored. 34 is the number of tattoos I currently have. 32 of these were done professionally in a shop and 2 of these were DIY jobbies at home (I had 6 other homemade tattoos that I've since had covered up, and 1 on my heal that faded away to nothing). 1 tattoo is currently still in progress; this is a full backpiece by Calypso Saga. Calypso previously did my full left leg which took 8+ sessions in total. I will blog separately about this later, but for now take a look at her website. 19 people in total have tattooed me, including Chad Koeplinger, Melissa Szeto, Liam Sparkes, Mil Martinez - plus myself and 2 friends from the pub. 2 of my tattoos were done abroad in Amsterdam and on the island of Koh Samui in Thailand. 0 of my tattoos are on my chest, neck, left arm, belly or cock! (This might change in the future...) 5 tattoos are on my ribs. 9 of my tattoos feature animals; mainly tigers/cats and snakes. 3 of my tattoos depict genitals: 2 willies and 1 minge. I'm planning on getting some nude ladies etched onto the gaps on my leg to readdress this balance. 6 are paying homage to heroes: GG Allin, Sebastian Horsley, Tom Fogerty, Michael Jackson, Vlad the Impaler and Voltaire. 12 of them feature skulls or dead things. This includes the the grim reaper, the voodoo symbol for death, the Russian criminal symbol for murder, a zombie, Medusa's severed head, a coffin, a ghost, a slain wolf etcetera. And that's your lot for now!

Friday the 13th Tattoo

http://youtu.be/i7ICm55JpLk
About a year or so ago, one of the tattoo shops around the corner from where I work in Soho were doing a special Friday 13th offer: get a "13" tattoo for just £13. Anyone who knows me well (which is probably only about three people and my mum's cat), would know that this is exactly the kind of opportunity I would jump at. I went along after work (and a couple of pints) and took a couple of my colleagues along with me to film it. It was originally the idea that the Video Department at work would edit the footage into something cool, but sadly that never came to fruition. Probably because they were busy doing real work or something. I might try and edit the video myself one day - although this is highly unlikely - but in the meantime you can view this short clip from YouTube (I basically just took out all the bits of me talking to the camera and grimacing in pain).

Finger Tattoos Rule

A couple of years back I had a diamond tattooed on my thumb. It had no specific meaning to me, I just thought it would look cool. I had it done on a whim at the London Tattoo Convention, having spent about 15 minutes considering it beforehand. And I have to say, I'm very glad that I did. It triggers a lot of conversations (mainly in pubs) with people that would never normally bother talking to me. It's a substitute for being interesting I suppose. Anyway, it was done by Stefano C from Frith Street Tattoos, who also did the snake on my leg recently. A year or so before that I'd had a moustache etched on to the side of my finger - to commemorate the shaving off of a massive moustache I'd grown. Although very simple and incredibly silly, this has probably proven to be my most popular tattoo over the years. It's been mentioned in job interviews - jobs which I have then gone on to get. As long as you're not covered head-to-foot, tattoos draw people towards you. I know I've mentioned this loads of times on here before, but it's true, and it's part of the reason I have no regrets in choosing to go under the needle so many times. Tattoos can open doors, rather than close them. I've been thinking of getting something done on my other thumb for some time now, and when I was bored over Christmas, I was browsing the internet looking for some inspiration. If you Google the phrase "best finger tattoos", one of the top hits is a site called 45 Astounding Finger Tattoos. "That'll do me nicely", I thought - but was then astonished to find a picture of me on there! Admittedly I was number 45 in the list, but I was still quite chuffed all the same. Have a look at the site (and scroll right to the bottom...). I was even more happy than when I found myself on Inked Guys some time back (those aren't real tattoos after all).  

London Tattoo Convention 2012

I went on my annual jaunt to the London Tattoo Convention on Saturday. I had the best of times and the worst of times as Dickens might say (if he was keen on posing tattooed twats). The reasons for why it was good - I don't really want to go into at the moment. Yes, there are things that are too personal - even for me - to share. But to put it bluntly (yet still very obscurely), the reasons for why I enjoyed this year more than ever - had nothing to do with tattoos. But why did I also not enjoy it? Mainly because I am a little bit over tattooing. Yes, I realise it's my main topic of conversation, and I get them more regularly than I have even done - but at the same time that is why it's a little bit boring for me. I no longer get the buzz off a fresh tattoo. It's just something that I do - and feel compelled to keep doing - a bit like drinking tea, smoking or going to the pub. I am not a tattooist, nor involved in the tattoo industry in any way; I've had enough tattoos of my own to not find it a novelty to see others going under the needle. I had a tattoo while I was there from Stefano C from Frith Street. It's a really good tattoo, one of my best and the experience was enjoyable - but it wasn't the same adrenaline rush it once was. As I alluded too earlier, my main rush of the day came from entirely different sources. That said, Stefano is a very cool bloke and a great tattooist, and I am sure I will have more tattoos from him in the future. I will stick a glowing review and a photo up on this site once it's healed. I think it was more the vibe of the event as a whole that had somehow lost it's magic. I was also incredibly tired on the day. I'm getting a new one on Saturday and I am really am looking forward to, however. It's by a famous tattoo artist and it's in a painful spot. This means I will be more nervous than usual and ipso facto, the tattoo will be more exciting. One of the very coolest aspects of getting a tattoo at a convention is being tattooed in an unfamiliar environment. It is far more public than usual. It is cramped and it is crowded. Strangers take photos of you without asking. You do not have the comforts of lying on a bench as you would in a studio; instead you sit in a rickety chair and simply hold your limb out at a funny angle. This is charming and fun in it's own kind of way. I probably won't go again, but London Tattoo Convention - I salute you. We've had some fun together.

Shark!!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wnKrWOpUwR0
I've always been a big fan of sharks; they're big and scary and definitely not the kind of creatures you'd want to bump into on a dark night. In fact, the sea is pretty intimidating and imposing in general really. I'm not the strongest of swimmers and my stroke looks a bit like I'm having a real stroke. When I swim I actually look as if I might be drowning. Maybe that has something to do with why I find sharks so frightening - they are always hanging around in deep murky water. Well that, and their big fuck-off teeth. The artist Sebastian Horsley (yes, I know I've spoken about him many times before) - was also obsessed about these deadly fish. He was always trying to paint them, but was forever frustrated that he couldn't capture their ferociousness and raw power on canvas. Similarly, I'd quite like to get a tattoo of a shark, but worry that the results might be underwhelming. Anyway here's a video compilation of some of the best shark attack moments from monster movies, accompanied by some dramatic  music. For my money, Jaws is one of the best horror films of all time.

Ted Hankey the Christmas Poo (and his tattoo)

Yesterday, flabby bald darts cunt, Ted Hankey, got knocked out of the BDO semi-finals, complaining about the air conditioning. Well he should try playing a game in our office then. Although I doubt he would; he'd only start complaining about the laminated flooring, or the poofy wallpaper in the gents' toilets or something. And the four flights of stairs would kill him for sure. We do have a darts board though. After the defeat, he announced his departure from the BDO, which undoubtedly means he'll be swapping leagues and playing for Barry Hearn's PDC next season. "The Count" would then have the opportunity to change his nickname, possibly to "Mr Hankey the Christmas Poo", or simply, "The Cunt". Having a look through Google Analytics yesterday, I noticed that someone had found this blog from searching on The Sun's Website for "Ted Hankey Tattoo": Tom Fogarty - Darts Roundup Well, I hope they like what they found! Here's a picture of Ted Hankey getting a tattoo, which can be found here. It's a tattoo of the Bride of Dracula, which he got at Pyscho Tattoos in Kinmel Bay. A classy tattoo for a classy bloke. Imaginatively, the article is called "Darts champion Ted Hankey gets tattoo in Kinmel Bay", so it's a very rare combination where you get to see high quality journalism, sublime art, and top-notch sport - all rolled in to one. Hopefully someone will find this website via The Sun website again soon, this time searching for "flabby bald darts cunt Ted Hankey".

I Love Prison

This tattoo isn't new - I did it last year - but realised I hadn't posted about it directly before. I did it myself using a needle and thread and it took about 3 hours of patience to poke it in dot by dot. I was inspired by my 2 bibles: Home Made Tattoos Rule and the Russian Criminal Tattoo Encyclopaedia. I was originally going to pay tribute to the book by etching in "Home Made Tattoos Rule", then "Prison Tattoos Rule", before finally deciding on "I went to prison and all I got was this lousy tattoo". This entire thought process took me about 5 minutes. Half way through the first letter, I realised this would take forever to finish, so opted for "I <3 PRISON" instead. Here's a couple of pictures (probably not for the squeamish). I've been thinking recently that I think I'd quite like it in Prison; all the tattoos, and I hear you can get drugs easily in there. Then there's the free pool table. I could even brew some gut-rot moonshine under my bunk. I think I'd enjoy all the male banter and I get on well with most people so I don't think I'd get my head kicked in too often. I wouldn't get to have sex with any girls, but then again I don't get the chance in real life either. My mum reckons as I'm a pretty boy I'd probably get raped fairly regularly (these are the kind of conversations I have with my mum) - but I've seen Scum loads of times - and all you need to do is carry around a sock filled with billiard balls. If I was really lucky I'd get to share a cell with Gary Glitter.

Prison Tattoo Video

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tejce7senR0
Someone sent me this video via YouTube (@splattermac) because it made them "think of me". It's about 6 minutes long, but is well worth watching - it shows New York tattoo artist, Scott Campbell, making a prison-style tattoo machine and tattooing his friend in the park. Keep it real!

Bottom!

A while back I posted an appeal on here for help choosing a new text-based tattoo. And so about a month ago I got it done. I decided to go for "Common sense is not all that common" - partly because it's a quote that I really like, and partly to impress a girl (which is the only truly valid reason to get any tattoo). The trouble was, that turned out to be a misquote, the real line being "Common sense is not SO common". The trouble didn't end there though... For some reason I chose to get it done on my arse cheek. I went to a shop in Deptford, near where I went to school. The place was called Kids Love Ink. (If you don't know why I find that funny, read here) I got it done as a walk-in, which is quite rare these days, and I had a lot to drink beforehand - which they always say you shouldn't do (but which I always do). The bloke that did it had a massive 50s quiff and was good company, we chatted about high art such as Troma films, The Evil Dead, punk rock and the LunaChicks during the session. It took him about 2 hours to do, mainly I fear because he was enjoying groping me so much. His best quote of the day was "you can pull your pants up a bit higher than that, son", after he'd marked on the stencil. When I got home and peeled off the bandage, I realised that the bastard had actually put "Common sense is not THAT common". My first proper tattoo fail... what a bonus! Although the "X" on my lip comes a close second.

3 Tattoos in 3 Days

I was very bored this weekend and at a bit of a loose end, so I ended up getting 3 new tattoos. Two of them were by Liam Sparkes at Shangri-la and the other one was by Ben Nuthink at Kids Love Ink. You can't see what they are here, but I'll post better pictures when they're healed. I'm really happy with the results, but it's a bit of a worry that I only seem to get tattoos done when I'm in a really bad mood... [gallery]

Ego Surfing (because I’m worth it)

I did a little bit of "ego surfing" last night before bed. And why not? I've mentioned before that I'll never be top of the rankings for "Tom Fogarty" - as there's just too many famous Tom Fogartys about. Some of them even hold down steady jobs and have girlfriends and stuff. I decided to broaden the search a bit, and tried "Tom Fogarty web designer". This pulled in my website, my LinkedIn profile, and not a lot else.. I then tried "Tom Fogarty tattoos". Bingo! Tons of my blog entries turned up. Also, high up on the first page of hits, was this little gem (that I didn't even know existed). And that's why I'm giving them a plug here... Inked Guys is a Tumblr photo blog, unsurprisingly, full of inked guys. My tattooist, Liam Sparkes, features on the same page (the bloke wearing the horned mask) - and there's tons of other good pictures on there too. It may look suspiciously like gay porn, but it's well worth checking out! SpiderWebDezign on Inked Guys inkedguys.tumblr.com

Russian Criminal Owl Tattoo

Not blogged in ages, been really busy. If you follow this Blog, you'll know that a few weeks ago I went to Primavera Sound, and was quite excited about it. To mark the occasion I decided to get a tattoo while I was there. Trouble was, I couldn't find a tattoo shop. I came home un-inked. Luckily, I was booked in to get a new tattoo with Liam Sparkes a week later, back in London. So I guess this is my Primavera tattoo. Funnily enough, while I was getting it done, Liam told me he was at the festival too - and he did get a tattoo done while out there. His was done by Jondix. So this is it (proving once again that I cannot pose for photos). It's a Russian criminal tattoo, taken from the cover of The Russian Criminal Encyclopaedia Vol. III. It represents "a murderer". I already have Russian tattoos of a cat and a spider - which represent "a thief". If you ask me to explain why I chose these - I can't, really. Not to normal people anyway. For me, tattooing is about irony: choosing to get a tattoo is all about being brave and being stupid. You can't really justify it too much. If you do, you're just being pretentious. Go with the flow. And everyone ends up with the tattoo they really deserve... Incidentally, the Russian Criminal Tattoo Encyclopaedia Vol. II sells for silly money on Amazon now that it's out of print. I want a copy.

List Mania 5: Tattoo Artists

It's been a while, but I thought it was time for another Monday Night List Mania. I've not blogged much lately because I've been doing long hours at work, which has pretty much made me hate computers in my spare time. I decided to make a list of the tattooists I need to get tattooed by (including links to their websites where possible). Duncan X - one of my all time heroes. Was in the band Sheep on Drugs. Works in London but has a very big waiting list and doesn't come cheap. Alan Graves - does colourful comic-style horror tattoos. I want a zombie off him. Calypso Saga Moore - works at Into You. Does amazing bold Japanese pieces. Thomas Hooper - does some very dark stuff. Coool. Tomas Tomas - does abstract tribal stuff. Adam Sage - does hand-poked stuff. Jondix - from Barcelona, Spain. Tas - does dark satanic stuff. Plays in the band Electric Wizard. Crystal Willis - this is a personal one. She doesn't work in a shop anymore... Melissa Szet0 - does some good realistic shit. Anu La Luna - does really good black and grey demons. Fergus - tattoos from home. Was on the cover of Home Made Tattoos Rule.

Tattoo Help Needed!

Warning: this will be a bit of a peculiar blog post. Just for change. I've not had much sleep lately - tonight was meant to be an early night - but instead I find myself at 1am, tipsy on Scotch, listening to The Damned and posting gibberish (again). Righto. Down to business: this is an appeal for help. Not in an" intervention - take me to the hospital/psychiatric ward" - kind of way... but I genuinely would like readers' input on this (and it's a tattoo question). I don't really like tattoos with text/lettering (unless it's ironic) - but for some obscure reason I need to get some wordy ink (in red) pretty soon. So I'm asking for suggestions please. My first ideas were: Arbeit macht frei The end is nigh His beard was grizzled, no? See you next Wednesday Happiness is a warm gun Dog will hunt Fire walk with me Common sense isn't all that common Garbage Pail Kids Neil, your bedroom's on fire I am happy Or any other suggestions that're really cool, stupid or brutal...

15 Minutes of Fame

Being the boring sod/IT dweeb that I am, I check my site stats in Google Analytics daily. I was interested to see that I'm getting quite a few click-through hits from a Russian Live Journal site. I have no idea what any of the text says (it's all in Russian) and I haven't bothered to translate it - it's probably best not to know. Anyway, I am grateful to them, so I include a link back to the page here. The same picture of me and my tattooed torso (Russian Criminal style, à la Photoshop) features in a Flickr group called Tattooed Gay Men. I found this pretty funny as a) I'm not gay and b) most of the tattoos in the picture aren't real. They actually emailed me to ask permission if they could use the picture, and I just couldn't say no (warning: the group features many willies): Gay Tattoos. Incidentally, "15 Minutes of fame" isn't just a quote by Andy Warhol; it's also a reference to a song by Sheep on Drugs (great band). The former lead singer - Duncan X - is now a tattooist. Which leads me back to the first line of this post: being the boring sod that I am...

Tiger Tattoo!

I've neglected this blog a bit recently - mainly because I started a new job last week and I've got a lot to learn for that. I've still been tweeting as obsessively as ever, mind. So, rather than bore you by talking about MVC boilerplates and object-oriented PHP, I thought I'd share some pictures of the latest tattoo. I got this done 3 weeks ago by Mil Martinez at Diamond Jack's Tattoo Parlour in Soho (London). It's only just healed - which is about a week longer than usual - but it wasn't that painful. I had to have my leg shaved any everything. I wanted something old school, bold and colourful - and the design was drawn up especially for me. I think it was based on an old Indian tiger painting or something. It has some very funky eyebrows. Took about 2 hours to do:

Russian Criminal Tattoo

I've been doing too many home tattoos on myself lately (3 in the last week). I started this skull on my thigh ages ago, but stopped as it wasn't very good. Then a few days ago I decided to have another crack at it, so I added an oak leaf to it and started sharpening up the outline on the skull. I'm going to try and fix the crown and cigar next, before finishing the skull outline fully, and then lastly I'll try and add some shading. It was inspired by the Russian Criminal Tattoo Encyclopaedia by Sergey Vasiliev and Danzig Baldayev. The best thing about criminal tattoos - is that if they turn out to look shit - they still look authentic. In other unrelated news, this evening I managed to block up my bath plughole with my pubes.

Pirate Scar Tattoo

I've been a bit lazy with keeping this blog up-to-date recently, but that's only because I've been so busy. I did find some time to etch a couple of new tattoos on myself though. I did them at midnight last Thursday. They are very simple designs - a pirate scar and a cross (This is England skinhead style) but I'm pleased with the results. I did the cross totally freehand, with no stencil. I used red ink - so the tattoos look ultra bloody - although really they're not.

Wanna Be in My Gang?

When you get a tattoo done - it can be a bit like entering into a brotherhood or a secret society. Sometimes you'll see someone - a stranger - in a bar, or on a bus or wherever - and you'll start eyeing up their tattoos. Sometimes you'll recognise who did the tattoos - especially if you've been to the same place. At those times, I always feel  tempted to go over and start a conversation, although I never do. Some people like talking about their tattoos, some don't. For me, it usually depends on who's asking the questions. Twice recently, I've seen people with Liam Sparkes stuff done - his style is unmistakable. One was a man on the bus with a crown on the back of his hand, another was a barmaid with a penny-farthing bicycle on her bicep. I've got plenty of Liam Sparkes stuff done - he did the "Vlad" on my arm for example. I get more questions about that tattoo than any other - but there's no rational way to justify it - I just like it. It's not a unique piece - it's almost like his trademark in fact. I remember when I was getting it done, he said that he'd like to gather all the people together who he tattooed it on - and get them to do a big Thundercats roar. I'd be well up for that idea. So anyway, I live in an enclosed block of communal flats, and on Sunday, I met one of my neighbours for the first time. He started talking about my tattoos and used it as an excuse to touch me. Practically molested me there in the garden, the dirty swine. I'll be wearing long sleeves from now on. It's often said that people look down on those with tattoos, but in truth, sometimes the reverse is true. I'm sad to say, that often the tattooed ones think they are cooler than everyone else. I was on the bus the other day and there was a girl - probably about 20-years old - who had a couple of tattoos on her knee: a simple thunderbolt and a skull. It was really unusual and damn sexy too. I was also impressed, as I know what knee tattoos feel like. I fell in love with her for about 10 minutes (as I tend to do in these situations). She saw me looking though, and in an instant I could see what she thought of me: "How dare you look at me and my tattoo?! You're not cool enough to have tattoos - you haveabsolutely no idea what it feels like to sit through a knee-cap tattoo. Just go away and die, baldie!" Or something to that effect. But actually I have a huge tattoo on my knee, so fuck her!

Soho Tattoo

Got my first professionally-done tattoo of the year today. My first for about 6 months in fact. It was done by Mil at Diamond Jack's Tattoo Studio in Soho. It was a really fun session; Mil is incredibly talented and good company. I'm definitely going back there to get more stuff done by him soon! The tattoo is a tribute to one of my heroes - Sebastian Horsley - who lived in Soho and died last year. I'd done a bit of research beforehand, just see what I was letting myself in for - getting a tattoo on my ribs. I found this page that suggests it would be quite a painful one. My favourite comment is this: "To describe the pain of getting tattooed on the ribs, I would say something like this: It feels like a cross between being cut and being set on fire." Happily though, I can say that it wasn't too bad at all - although Mil was a very quick worker so that probably helped a lot.

How Not To Tattoo Yourself

So anyone reading this probably knows I'm a fan of the odd tattoo here and there, and that recently I've been doing a few of my own. The results have been mixed at best, but if you need a quick recap: Tom Fogarty - Tattoos More Dog Bites GG Allin Tattoo I was quite pleased with my last attempt (the GG Allin tribute) , but alas, it didn't last long. After just a few weeks it began to fade fast. This left me with 3 options: 1) Leave it to fade 2) Get a professional to sort it out 3) Have a second attempt myself. Anyone who knows me well, will know that I had to choose option 3 - even if I would end up making a total mess of it... I decided to try a coverup - a simple bomb design. My reasons were thus: 1) It reminded me of the Danger Mouse cartoon from my childhood 2) It reminded me of the Bob Ombs from Super Mario Bros. 3) It has significance in Russian criminal tattoo parlance 4) It would be easy to do. Well, I can say with certitude that it was a magnificent failure. Rather than improving my technique, this turned out to be a lesson in "how not to tattoo". If you can imagine an episode of Mr Bean, in which Mr Bean attempts to tattoo his heal, that would be pretty near the mark. At first my stool was too tall; I could only reach the pedal at a stretch. This made me knee jig up and down (and this was to be the surface on which I rested my heal while tattooing). I decided to sit on the floor instead. I then had to contort my body into a yoga-like pose to reach the spot. The kind of pose you'd have to get in to if you were to try and suck your own dick (not that I've tried of course - I wouldn't do that, honest...). Then the needle kept snagging in my skin. I shortened the length of the needle and changed the angle at which I was holding it. Then I ran out of ink. After refilling my cap, the tattoo machine stopped working altogether. The coil seemed to stop conducting electricity. Or something. I'll have to buy another bloody one now. So here are the (half-finished) results. If I could retract my actions  and have an unmarked foot - would I? No way! With the benefit of hindsight I can now say that my earlier attempts stayed in due to beginner's luck rather than raw ability. In my defence, however, I've since read this information: Yahoo Answers

Tattoo Influences

I've always been fascinated by tattoos, even from a very young age. Here a some pictures sourced from the internet of my early tattoo influences (from films and music etcetera). This was before recent times, when my main influences have become Russian criminal, sailor and homemade tattoo designs and applications. See what you think: The Red Hot Chili Peppers Robert De Niro, Cape Fear Evan Seifeld (former singer with BioHazard, star of Oz, and now a pornstar!) Steve-O, star of Jackass Tupac Shakur, dead rapper Charles Manson, killer Tim Roth, Made in Britain Dave Navarro, guitarist Russell Crowe, Romper Stomper Edward Norton, American History X Travis Barker, drummer

GG Allin Tattoo – Update

This tattoo didn't heal too well in the end. Some body parts have a tendency to reject ink, and the heal is one of those spots. I'm one of those blokes who always wears socks too; I just can't go around barefoot like some liberal hippie yoghurt eater. And that's not good for the healing process. I'm also one of those people that does a lot of walking (a bit like Jehovah's Witnesses or Ian Botham) which doesn't help! So after a week of walking around in my Dr Martin's, here's the results: I'll redo it in a couple of weeks, so hopefully the ink will stay in this time!

New Tattoos 2011

I've been blogging for just over a year now and I'm coming close to 100 posts. One of my first blog posts last year, was a picture of my tattooed torso and it was very popular. I also stuck the picture up on Flickr and it was by far my most viewed picture. The only trouble was that the tattoos were actually photoshop gimickry. I thought I'd upload a new version one year on, and yes - those ARE long johns (for that authentic prison/gulag-look). And as you can also see, I hang to the left.. Some are genuine, some are pretend, and some are intended for the new year. As always, comments and feedback and always welcome!

30th Birthday Loometh

Right, it keeps creeping closer; I'm going to be 3o-years old in about a week. Although I'm not totally dreading it, I'm not taking it as well as I thought I would... Several friends have recently had 3oth birthdays though, and they seem to have coped - so maybe there's hope for me yet. Luckily, I'm still quite young at heart (I'm always listening to The Bluebells, me) - and I was even asked for ID in Brixton last week. I was trying to chat up a 13-year old girl at the time though, so maybe that's not such a good thing. Trouble is, I still don't really know what I want to do with my life, and I don't feel like I've had enough adventures yet... My only real regret is being too damn nice when I was younger; if I'd have been a proper bastard I probably could have slept with more women. Probably. I also regret not drinking more, and developing a serious drug habit. All the really cool people have crazy drug  problems when they're young, then recover and live to a ripe old age. Maybe if I could get a load of heroin and coke I could mix a nice speedball, and that would see me through my 30th nicely. A few months ago I was in a tattoo shop, preparing to get my inner thigh indelibly marked for life. It was about 10:30pm on a Monday night and I had to be back at work at 9am the following morning, but I was really happy. In order to position the stencil properly I had to take down my trousers and stand up on a high stool, so that my thigh was in the seated tattooist's eye-line. This was all taking place at the shop window. As I stood there in my jazzy Y-fronts with strangers walking past, staring in at me - and while my thigh was being shaved my a heavily tattooed man - that this is what rock 'n' roll is all about. "Too old to rock 'n' roll, too young to die..." (Jethro Tull)

New Tattoos… Sort Of

I'm clearly a bloke with too much spare time on his hands this weekend (what with the snow and all) - but rather than sitting round in my pants, masturbating to Natalie Imbruglia "nip slips" - I decided to Photoshop some new tattoos on my arms. Some are real, some are not...     I'm seriously considering getting some of these done now...

Prison Tattoos (with Photoshop)

Around Xmas time last year I was playing around with Photoshop, and I put a load of tattoos on my skinny torso. This was like a blueprint of random ideas and the results can be seen below. Some of them are fake, some of them are real (and as you can see from the look on my face - tattoos really do make you happy). I was bored this evening so I did a similar thing with my left thigh. Again, some are real, some are fake...

The Power of Christ Compels You (more dogs bites & tattoos)

This post relates to a couple of my other recent entries, so you might want to read those first if you haven't already. The first is an account of me being bitten by a dog. The second is a list of my current tattoos. Simple! A week after being bitten, my ankle still hadn't healed so I decided it was time for some affirmative action. Some people said I should have gone to the hospital to get a tetanus jab but no way, Jose! As Jesse "The Body" Ventura said on the set of Predator, "I ain't got time to bleed". Nevertheless, a week later I did start to have second thoughts. @tojofo suggested that it was because of my werewolf tattoo that the dog bit me in the first place, and this reminded me of An American Werewolf in London - "Beware the moon, lads...". It then occurred to me that a full moon was imminent that very weekend; what I would be needing wasn't a doctor, but a vicar! Or maybe a silver bullet. Wisely, I decided the best course of action was to tattoo a small crucifix on my heal - to ward off the evil forces. Or maybe it's a plague cross to let people know I'm contaminated, not too sure. As I was about to begin, a quick count revealed that this would be my thirteenth tattoo. Obviously, my thirteenth tattoo had to be a "13" so I etched that onto my thigh quickly, before doing the crucifix. A 2-for-1 tattoo deal of sorts then. Needless to say, the heal was quite painful and I messed up both of the tattoos. Still, a least I didn't turn into a werewolf or die from lockjaw, so it must have worked! Yeah, I couldn't be bothered to rotate the photos before uploading...

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...

What’s In a Name?

I'm not an ego-surfer in particular, but recently I have  been entering my name into Google rather a lot. Not out of vanity, but instead to see how highly Google indexes my site based on certain keywords - mainly my name (which happens to be Tom Fogarty in case you wondered.. although there is a clue in the title of site). There happens to be a famous guitarist who shares my name, although he spells it with an "E" - Tom Fogerty. He's dead now, but he used to play with a really cool band called Creedence Clearwater Revival. Now my favourite film is An American Werewolf in London. Actually it's my third favourite, Withnail & I and Big Trouble in Little China are my tops favourites - but I digress. By coincidence, Creedence Clearwater Revival feature on the soundtrack; providing the best song of the film in fact - Bad Mood Rising. It wasn't until years later that I found out that I shared a name with one of the band. Here's the band (he's the one with the big bushy beard no less): Recently I had this tattoo done by Liam Sparkes - it looks a bit like the sign outside the Slaughtered Lamb pub in the film, and I asked for the "Bad Moon" text to be added to reference the song, which in turn links back to my name. Random I know, but that's the way my brain works... There's another Tom Fogarty ahead of me in Google - he's a doctor and he invented the "Fogarty Balloon Catheter" (I'm not making this up!). Here's the other Tom Fogarty: Lastly, there's a really good David Cronenberg film called A History of Violence. The hero of the piece is called Tom, whereas the villain is known simply as "Mr Fogarty"... And here they are (guess which is which):

www.liamsparkes.com – Live This Week

I've just finished this website for Shangri-la tattooist, Liam Sparkes. The site was made entirely with HTML, CSS and JavaScript, and I'm really pleased with the results. Check out the website and get some ink done: www.liamsparkes.com  

www.liamsparkes.com – COMING SOON!

I'm currently designing a website for talented tattoo artist, Liam Sparkes. There's only a holding page there at the moment, but have a look and keep checking back for updates. www.liamsparkes.com
Liam does some really cool and unusual tattoo work, and has recently done quite a few tattoos on me, no less.
Go and see him at his studio:
Monday-Wednesday (12-noon till late) Shangri-la Tattoo Parlour 52 Kingsland Road Shoreditch London E28DP

Moustache Project Week 13: Fin

Game Over... Although I do now have this replacement... Viva la 'tache!

I Went To Prison and All I Got Was This Lousy Tattoo…

Having signed up to every social networking site possible in order to shamelessly plug my websites, I thought maybe some hot male nudity might help... Actually, I've been arsing around with Photoshop. All tattoos taken from duncanx.com PS. My new year's resolution is to smile more..