Posts Tagged ‘rose tattoo’

September, and my time to pack my bags and go to work in Hamburg for a week, at my friend Charly’s studio ‘Jungbluth’. I have some lovely regulars in Hamburg, including of course Martje, who is getting quite a bit of work done including this colourful goddess we are working on. The goddess is Kwan Yin, the goddess of compassion and mercy- or as Martje calls her ‘the vegan chick’ 🙂


Danker decided to get some another wing/ feathers kind of shape to connect to one we did a while ago, and to connect with another, older piece to make a sleeve. We got some of the shading done, and apart from finishing that next time, we also want to add some dates in the gaps. The dates will be in a rough typewriter font, done in a punky ‘ransom letter’ kind of graphic style, with splashes of red and black. Danker sings in a punk band, so this look will be perfect for him.

Christine is getting a fairy backpiece, we did the last session on this when Christine was in scotland, travelling around in her beautiful campervan. We were all pretty jealous of her motor!

Lisa got a dram catcher on her side, this piece was a struggle for her from the first dot til the last, poor lisa!! We tried everything for the pain, numbing creams of all types, but nothing really worked. I felt terrible. Some people are just very sensitive to pain, and the ribs are famously tender. We got there in the end, but I would love to get a chance to work on it just a bit more…poor Lisa will probably kill me though.

Even though I only go to Hamburg twice a year, I’ve managed to do a full back piece and a chest piece on Marko, just chipping away at it every time I’m over. (Actually, he did come to Scotland once in between, too. Good old easyjet flies direct these days) This time we started on a half sleeve, as usual Marko has a wonderfully eclectic mixture of graphic elements he wants to include, my job is to fit them together and make it work. The top is a masked lady that on first glance could also be a butterfly, going into a softly shaded city scape with trees and a wee figure crossing a tight rope. There is also some lettering in there, we made a good start on the basics, but I can’t wait to see this finished!

back in Edinburgh, I had Gerald in who has decided to take his sleeve down onto his hand. He likes this illustrative skull, which works well with the work we have been building up on his arm over the years. make that decades haha!

We also added a little bit a script on the forearm, it’s from a bottle of jameson whisky 🙂

Ian was after a night sky to tie together some existing pieces he had been collecting on his upper arm. Once this has settled in I will revisit it and make sure all works together with the older tattoos.

Mark is getting a fiery dragon in warm colours and with autumn leaves, as a contrasting colour we added some teals to the belly scales and crest. Some yellow in the flames and hair will finish this off nicely.

also working on some pink roses as scar cover up

Laurenne fell in love with the mon mon cats

(by artist Horitomo), so we designed one just for her, with peacock feathers. This is just the first session, there will be flowers surrounding the cat and background, love it 🙂


I had two weeks off at the beginning of august, one for doing Edinburgh festival stuff/ lazing around in the garden (which was great 🙂 )

and one pretty much for fecking jury duty. I was cited for the tuesday and managed to shift enough appointments to make it just about work,  ended up with 4 days off to do my jury duty. Of course I didn’t get picked the first day, got asked to come back on the third day, didn’t get picked, etc, and in the end I was excused. What a monumental waste of everyone’s time! Next time I’m called, I’m going online and booking a hotel for the dates- anywhere- and say I have a  holiday booked and i can’t make it.

Anyway, rant over. I did some tattooing in the second half of august, so here goes!

roses are a popular choice, and I did a fair few recently. Here is Colin, who is getting a lot of roses eventually, with a few other objects of his choice in between. Roses compliment pretty much anything you put them with, a design classic that manages to be romantic without being sugary- I think that’s because of the thorns on the stems, they have a bit of a sinister side.

Dave is working on a dragon and foo dog sleeve, today we added a wee pagoda in the background. Nothing makes a scene look more japanese than a pagoda (although I did find myself wondering what actually goes on inside of them. I will look it up) (it’s a place of worship. must be small congregations)

my next piece is very romantic, Helen wanted a tattoo based on her wedding flowers. We chose the main features of the bouquet for her tattoo, and although there is still a bit of work to do, the resemblance is already there

Alex was in for a couple of finishing touches on his geisha and tengu sleeve. (The tengu artwork is not mine)

I covered some old self harm scars with some cute, illustrative daisies. I wish more people with these type of scars would chose to get them covered with a nice tattoo, it makes a remarkable difference.

If you have some, and have been advised that your only option is a skin graft, please come and see me!

my next customer, Kirsty, had had some lasering done on her old tattoo and was ready to get it covered. Kirsty had come across some manga style graffiti and loved the colours and chunky fluidity of it. We used these elements to our advantage, and will add a cute manga girl (not the ones in this artwork) and some drippy spray paint style background, too.

I’ve been tattooing some bright and colourful work on Alex, and she surprised me this time by saying she had experimented with her eyeliner on her tattoo, and was now in favour of some more black in the background.

this has the advantage of helping to bring out the different animals and figures, and tones down the overall brightness of it. I like it! I liked it bright, too, but the more muted effect really brings out the shapes.( the nymph piece at the top is not by me, I’ve just been adding on to it)

Another sleeve in progress, this one is for Elliot, and we are going for lots of movement and detail

and to finish how I started this blog- some roses. This will be a half sleeve of mostly black and grey ones, with maybe one coloured one somewhere. Samantha’s son has black and grey roses tattooed, so she is getting, some, too. It’s a family affair 🙂

oh, and a wee piece i did, it’s reference to Dougie’s Hebridean heritage

I love the Scottish tattoo convention, it’s in Edinburgh and therefore my home turf. The benefits of this are that you don’t have to travel for it, and you can bring half your studio with you if you like- comfy chairs, work stations, good lighting and massage tables. Another plus is that there are lots of our customers at the show, stopping by the booth to say hi, and showing off our work to the rest of the people. That’s good fun, specially if you’re used to traveling to conventions and  being pretty much on your own in a foreign place.

We were only allowed two stalls per studio for this convention, as the organizers are swamped with applicants wanting to work, this year it was olivia and me from tribe.

The convention kicked off in style and it was busy from the get go, unlike quite a few other conventions I’ve been to/ worked at lately! There was a real buzz, and people everywhere were interested in getting work done- another thing I’ve not been taking for granted lately, times are tough.

I had a full schedule, however, so i couldn’t accommodate any more customers. My first one was Brian, we did some more work to his backpiece, this got a lot of attention from passersby and the odd photographer. here is a fab one that photographer Paul Campbell took

and one i took of his backpiece

Next up was Laurenne, we added some more flowers, a rabbit, a dragonfly and a tiger moth to her collection. I didn’t get round to finishing it but we got a fair bit of it done. laurenne wanted a dragon and a tiger, as they signified special people in her life, but in keeping with her tattoo, changed them to a dragonfly and tiger moth respectively. That’s as clever as it is cute!

Laurenne had never been to a convention before, so this was a first- and she got tattooed! She took to like a duck to water, charming the punters and handing out tribe business cards whilst getting tattooed- what a girl 🙂

the next day i had Brad in, and  swear to god, as soon as he sits down, the photographers show up. It’s like magic, every time! here is a link to one that aforementioned paul campbell took, (and if you want to see more pictures of cool people getting tattooed at the show, keep klicking, there are some crackers there)

I couldn’t resist taking a picture of him, too, here he is making Nik look petite

I was working on the crown of thorns around Brad’s neck, and the sacred heart between the Banksy doves on the front got some colour.

I took the opportunity to add some more cobwebs, leaf skeleton and moth gothiness to laura’s hand. I need another session to fine tune and blend the whole sleeve here and there, but it’s nearing completion.

Last but not least a wee cat, work in progress as there will be another cat and some more detailling in this one. very cute idea

I took some photos of our neighbours at the convention, to our right were the gang from Custom Ink in glasgow, and to our left the lads from inkdependent in edinburgh. Marcin from Inkdependent won best of day on saturday, congrats to him!

there was also a guy wearing lederhosen, now that’s a bold fashion statement. he rocked them, though.

Nik was selling his prints on my stall, he fair took over- haha!

There was a great aftershow party, with free tequila shots (oh dear) and limbo dancing contests, I managed to avoid limbo dancing, but a couple of tequila shots did hit the spot…

An amazing convention, all in, and I’m already looking forward to the next one ❤

I had other work in progress in the studio of course, here are a few of the ones I’m working on at the moment

Steph got more colour, this time we tackled the elbow. God loves a trier, but if the elbow skin doesn’t want to take the colour ( always a possibility, it’s so thick) then there will be a paler leaf. That’s not a problem, as we have designed the possibility in.

Paula started on a sleeve of ( what will be ) pink roses

Stevie got the first of some colour in his chrysanthemum

Another flower, Douglas is working his scattered pieces into a sleeve, so we started with two grey roses and some waves

and Tony got more colour in his backpiece.

American tattoo artist Dan Henk was here for the convention, and as always stayed at my house for a week or so. This has become  sort of tradition, as he adds a few days work in the studio onto his stay here. Dan likes his horror and creepy stuff, so I took him to Surgeon’s Hall museum to look at all the horrible specimens. One of the specimens was of a piece of tattooed skin, off a sailor’s chest. I’m certain I wasn’t meant to take photos, but I just couldn’t help myself. Look at how fine those lines are! Pretty nice piece of work- usually you see these old piece on old people whose skin has blurred the lines over time. Seeing something looking like it did back then is really  interesting, the tools they had then were quite crude compared to our today, but this is nice quality considering.




our Angie got her chest piece finished, we’d done the birds and the rose last time, today we added the black ink splashes and sketchy lines, plus the names. The font of the names is deliberately scratchy, to fit in with the design and to make them less obvious

I did a 3/4 sleeve on Lee a couple of years ago, and unsurprisingly he now wanted to bring it right the way down. If I had a penny for every time I’ve heard this…..   🙂

we continued the water and added another flower, all in keeping with the original piece

john was booked in for a whole day, he was keen to make a good start on his sleeve, and if you can sit for that long, why not? 71/2  hours is no joke, though, so hats off to anyone who can take it. It’s not just the pain, but sitting still for so long, too, it’s very draining apart from being painful. After the long session you are left with a lot of healing tattoo to deal with, too. I’m certainly not trying to put anyone off, but if you are planning on an all dayer, be realistic about how much you can take…

John did really well. We structured it so that the last part of the session was on a less sensitive part of the arm, but that isn’t always possible. In our case we did the pocket watch last.

John wanted to add to a panel at the top of his arm, he had had some sections lasered, but they were still quite dark and will need more sessions. To be fair, the design is kept quite flexible at that part, so depending on how much more lasering he get’s done, I can work with it. The tribal dictates the flow of the piece to a degree, just so that it doesn’t jar and look out of place too much.

we did a lady with an urn, the pocket watch and some roses, all pulled together with wispy negative space like wind or rays.

It’s been a long while, but in Glasgow John was back to get some more work done to his backpiece, we are now starting up again and working on the edges. The side bits needed extending, as did the section at the top of th arm. We didn’t have much time, so the outlines are just sketched in

andy got some colour in his koi, and we started on the flower but ran out of time…to be continued






16th + 17th october

Posted: 18/10/2012 in morag sangster

Jai is getting a scottish themed half backpiece, combining various design elements that mean something to him, in an abstract way which is borrowed from japanese design. The windbars will have some celtic knotwork in them, and the sea stacks at the top are from an actual place. The tunnel (which looks a bit red at the moment, jai bled a bit today) with the wee family in it represents him and his parents. It’s very much autobiographical, in a different way.

Chris has some work that needs fixing up, he’d got a cover up done by another artist, but wasn’t too pleased with the result. Roz has been lasering a bit here and there to give us some breathing space, and we added some waves, a couple of flowers and recoloured the koi. It looks a lot better now

then in Glasgow the next day I only did roses! One of those strange coincidences where types of tattoos appear in groups.
First up was Rachael, we’d started her black and grey roses a wee while ago, and now got to finish it. So, you get to see a photo of the beautiful Racheal, too! Bonus!

Mike’s roses are an addition to an existing piece, we’re working around it but not covering the older piece. It still has relevance to Mike and also fits in with the theme he is going for. The roses represent him, his wife and his child, and the existing crest and celtic bear paw relate to his name and family.
We are leaving plenty of room for more roses should there be more children  😉