Sunday, 19 August 2012


Oh and I'm on instagram, follow me @michellemaddison !

It's been ages since I've posted...

It feels like I've done loads of tattoos since then! I'll share the ones I have photos of and try to tell you a little bit about them, there's a few bigger pieces I've started that aren't finished yet or that I don't have photos of. I've also finished two new pencil drawings (it's hard making new art on paper when all I think about is tattoos!) and I have another new piece in progress! All I can say is the last few months have been up and down, I've been stressed and tired and happy and excited, I can't wait to see what's going to hapen next!

This is Kayleigh's My Little Pony, hairdresser stylee! It was a long day and she came all the way from Wales to get tattooed by me, stressful but fun and after this John decided I could try using a rotary tattoo machine for shading, I'd been using coil machines for everything up until this point.

This is Viki's bookwork, we named her Audrey, another long day!

This is Lauras pumpkin carriage, she came from Scotland and is also a tattooist! So I was really nervous, but we got there in the end, mega long day.

This is Sues heart lock, Sue had the twitchy leg! But when Sue came back for the second sitting she was fine, she sat so well and my lines weren't as wobbley as I thought they were after the first sitting, I feel like I learnt a lot from this tattoo! We're going to add a key soon :)

This isn't the best picture (it was half healed!) but I stole it from Lyndsay who has the tattoo, her roses and butterflies, took two sittings and she sat amazingly well both times.

This is Gemmas butterfly, the photo is photoshop stitched together because it wraps around her leg quite a bit, this was fun and Gemma sat really well.

Gails Maneki Neko, long day because we kept getting stopped but we got there eventually, Gail was so chilled and didn't whinge once.

Sarahs Pegasus, it was her first colour tattoo, another long day!

Claires rose and moth, so much fun, Claire sat so well and now she's letting me work on the rest of her arm, I'm so excited to do more!

And this is the start of Sarah's butterflies, we still have background to go and I can't wait to get it finished. Although John has never really stood over me and watched everything I did (he's always been about if I need him though!) he pretty much left me completely alone with this one, it was a little bit scary but I did alright I think!

So I still have loads to learn and I think its always going to be that way, at the moment it's mostly been starting larger pieces and trying different needles. I'll also be doing some smaller tattoos and drawing some of my own flash. I'm still super slow but speed will come with time, I am getting faster though! So greatful to everyone that has sat for me so far, everyone has been really patient and I couldn't ask for anything more.

Right, so new drawings...

I did these two ladies with pencil on bristol board, I stole the photo from Lyndsay who brough them as prints. I'll try to get good photographs of them on there own. 

I feel like I say this everytime but I'm going to attempt to blog more, I'm not keeping as good a diary as I probably should!

Saturday, 26 May 2012

I'm so tired...

Got back to York tonight at a good time, normally I don't get home till after 9pm on a Saturday. Last week the exhibition was on and when I wasn't at the shop I was working on stuff for that, this week I've been worried about the tattoos I've had to do and not slept much at all. Even though I have drawing to do I'm taking tonight off, I'll be drawing most of tomorrow on my only day off so I don't suppose one night will matter much.
I did two tattoos last week and two tattoos this week, last week was the twitchy leg tattoo and I did my first tribal piece, this week I worked on Pauline's rose tattoo some more (she now has the outline of a full on gypsy lady face with roses and butterflies) and got to start another larger piece on Dan of an owl. Leaving tattoos as just an outline is really hard because I know my lines aren't good enough, all three tattoos that I've had to leave as an outline have stressed me out no end, I hate the thought of anybody seeing them how they currently look, I can't wait to finish them all! Next week I have three tattoos booked in, I'm hoping to get at least two of them finished, the other is probably going to be too big and will need a second sitting, I'm so slow! I know I'm only going to get faster with practice and I can't be too harsh or impatient with myself, I'm still only at the start of it all.
So it's not even 10.30pm and I'm thinking I'm going to crawl into bed, yep thats what I'm going to do, night all :)

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Exhibition this weekend...

Here is a link:
If you're about join us for drinks and arty fun times, this Friday and Saturday in York :D

Monday, 14 May 2012

Today was hard...

First tattoo in two weeks, I was a bit nervous! Happy with the design, excited to tattoo it and Sue (who I was tattooing) loved it too, unfortunately she had a really twitchy leg. I was my first really twitchy tattoo and I found it hard and stressful, I'm just an apprentice after all and I really struggled with my linework. She kept apologising but she didn't need to, obviously these things happen, legs are twitchy, thats part of tattooing, people move and hurt and ache. We didn't get finished so she's back in a few weeks and hopefully I'll be able to sort out some of my lines and finish the colour, today I feel dissapointed in myself for not doing better. It was a good learning experience though and had to happen sooner or later and apart from the twitchy leg Sue was amazing, I'm looking forward to finishing it, I just hope I can do a good job for her.
Should I be so honest about how I'm feeling and what I'm going through while I learn to tattoo?! I don't know but I'm going to do it anyway this is my apprenticeship diary!

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

It's been a while...

I've not posted in weeks, but since I'm sat at home ill (I was actually sent home because nobody at the shop wanted to catch my horrid cold!) I thought I'd try catch up.
Here are pictures of all the tattoos I've done up til now...

No. 2: Phillis the bee, I found this one so hard, at the time it was too big for my skill level, there were a lot of tears that day!

No 3: On one of my besties, it was her first colour tattoo, there were so many lines and any apprentice will tell you lining is so flippin hard, hahaha :)

No 4: I struggled with the cherries, once again there was tears!

No 5: I feel like the feather was a turning point for me, I'd been so stressed and nervous with all of the other tattoos and with this one I was really excited to do it. I was still stressed and nervous but it all finally started to become fun!

No 6: Morris the Moth, I was excited to tattoo a moth!

No 7: Max Power the stag beetle, I was excited to do this, although its not typical stag beetle colours John helped me pick colours that would make it more interesting.

No 8: This horseshoe and rose took a long time, I was attempting black and grey, trying new needles and new colour combinations, it was a long day but Paul sat like a rock!

No 9: This is Mike the snail, I had a stressful morning because I had some things to sort out with the design but we got there in the end, this was the first day I was mostly on my own and it was terrifying!

No 10: I was so excited to do the crown and Emma loved the drawing.

No 11: Pencil the wasp! This day also started out stressfully but we got there in the end, Mark was a star and it didn't take me forever to finish, maybe I'm finally starting to get a little bit faster.

All I can say is a massive thank you to everyone who has let me tattoo them so far, you've all been amazing! I'm very grateful to everyone that's shared or blogged about my tattoos and I honestly don't know what I'd do without John and Jen looking after me.
At the moment I'm finding it hard to keep up, I'm still an apprentice so looking after the shop, John, Jen and their enquiries comes first, then I can think about drawings for tattoos, tattooing and answering my own enquiries. There have been a lot of early morning starts and late night finishes for me over the last few weeks, which is probably why I'm ill now, I'm completely ran down. I know I'm not the only apprentice going through this right now and I'm not whinging by any means, I love my job! All of this hard work is eventually going to be worth it :)

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

I did a real tattoo!!

Hahaha, an actual tattoo on an actual person!
The person was one of my best friends (Pauline Carney AKA Enola Autumn) and she sat so well, especially since I wasn't at my most confident and it took me a good few hours.
I did it last friday and I should have blogged about it last week but I was completely frazzled, it's taken me until now to have the time to do it. It took me a long time to do that first line and although I have a long way to go and need to improve my lines a lot, once I'd settled into it the linework was the most straightforward part for me. The shading was completely different to the pigskin, the ink didn't go in anywhere near as quickly and I was concerned I was going to make the whole tattoo too dark! I was also worried about over-working and blowouts, since these aren't really issues on the pigskin, but I did alright, John kept a close watch on me and helped me through. So here is a photograph of my first tattoo...

We're going to do a lot more to it yet, it's going to end up being a full gypsy lady head and shoulders with roses and butterflies, but this is it for now. I know I still have a long way to go and so much to learn but this is a start. Thank you so much Pauline and John, I don't know what I'd have done without you :)
This week I got tattooed myself, by Jen who works at the shop too (!/talloola), she did some lovely flowers and a ladybird on my foot. It was agony! I give in before she'd finished, foot tattoos really hurt, so we've still got some leaves and background to finish in the future. My foot is currently swollen and sore, it's gone down since yesterday when it looked like a balloon but I still have a very fat foot and ankle today. It's going to take a long time to forget how much it hurt so that I can eventually get the other foot tattooed! :D

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Pigskin colour blending...

So I'd been practicing colour blending through some tribal patterns last week on the pigskin, I finally decided (with a little push) to try colour blending on a rose design and this is what I managed...
Still a long way to go but it's a start! I've been colour blending blues today, the problem with the pigskin is that the lighter colours stain the dark colours straight away and you end up with a washed out looking tattoo, the reds weren't too bad but the blues today were terrible, I'll be trying the blues again tomorrow...
Standing watching John tattoo today made me realise what a crazy and awesome job this is, making permanent art on people skin, its amazing! I can't wait :D
Also today I've been talking to another apprentice (hi Alicia!) and it's nice to know that I'm not the only one going through the things I am, its nice to have someone else to talk to about the learning process, we can swap tips and discuss things we're finding hard, it makes me feel less crazy!
And finally I'm looking forward to this weekend because I have some time off, I'm going to a wedding (nothing to wear, eekkk!) and then next week Chris (the bf) is getting tattooed in Hull and I'll be going with him, so it'll be tattooed, wedding holiday fun for me, yey, can't wait for the break! :)

Wednesday, 14 March 2012


So I've not posted in a little while, I've been on a bit of a downer since getting back from the Tattoo Tea Party. I met some amazing people there, I even met some tattoo artists that I've been following for years now, I was a little star struck, hahaha
It was such a fun weekend and then driving back on the Sunday made me realise I've got such a long way to go and it was overwhelming. Because of this I've considered stopping the blog just because I don't feel like I have time but I really want some sort of record of my apprenticeship. It's not easy, its really flippin hard, and I don't want to forget where I started.
The sketch a day was murdered over the tea party weekend too, so its just become a sketch as often as I can situation. I'll try to get some of them posted soon but being without my scanner and pc makes it difficult.
Today was one of those days when it hit me how much everything has changed in the last year. If someone had told me this time last year that in a year I'd be apprenticing, meeting artists that I'd followed for years and living miles away from Chris I'd probably have laughed at them. It's strange how things turn out...

Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Wellllll, as you can see I've still not posted any of my sketch a days, also I'm the most inconsistant blogger ever, especially lately! I'm too busy!! Hahaha
Today I've committed to a group art exhibition in York in May, so I'll probably be giving up sleep pretty soon just to make sure I get my artwork ready in time.
I've been tattooing pigskin for the last few days as well, yesterday was one of my own drawings in black and grey, today some tribals, tried out a 3 round liner today too.
We get a lot of customers that are wanting to get into tattooing and it's hard hearing about their own struggles to get an apprenticeship. It takes me back to when I was looking and makes me feel greatful for the opportunity I was given, it took me a year and a half to find an apprenticeship (a real apprenticeship, some people really do like to mess you around!) and I spent the whole time working on my art. So if you're stuggling right now trying to find an apprenticeship and feeling like you're getting nowhere don't give up, keep working on your art and drawing, take critisism constructively and if anyone is rude to you just remind yourself that one day you'll be able to show them what they missed out on...
Right, now this weekend is convention time again and I'm really looking forward to it. It's the Tattoo Tea Party in Manchester, it's new and should be so much fun! So if you're in Manchester this weekend get yourself to this and come say hi to the Nemesis crew :)

Saturday, 25 February 2012

Feeling better but a little ranty...

My headache has finally settled, whoop whoop, must have been some sort of head cold, finally starting to feel alive again!
I've been on the pig skin all week, the last two day have been working with greywash and different shapes and sizes of magnum needles, it's been interesting, still a long way to go, more practice ahead tomorrow....
And I was just about to have a massive rant about how people treat other people but then thought better of it, I had a post all typed out and everything! But someone wise once told me that it's best not to have an opinion in a public forum, you never know who you are going to upset and I think that is really good advice. So for now I shall remain opinion-less, I am getting quite good at keeping them to myself lately... Goodnight :) x

Wednesday, 22 February 2012


Escaped from the studio early today, I've had the worst headache since yesterday and even with painkillers I can't seem to shake it :( Left the studio at ten past six for an early stress free night and I still feel guilty, I feel like I should have stayed and practiced more but I know that sometimes you just need an early night. I'm off to the optician to get my eyes tested tomorrow incase it's due to eye strain...
Other than that, I started my 'sketch a day' again yesterday in my lovely new sketchbook, when I'm back in York on Sunday I'll get everything scanned and posted on the Sketch a Day page.
Now if I can just get a decent nights sleep I should be feeling better tomorrow and able to tattoo some more pig skin...

Monday, 20 February 2012

Weekend and sketch a day?!

This weekend was fun, the convention went well and we get to do it all over again in two weeks for a two day convention. We got back so late last night that I was given today off so I've managed to get some sleeping, shopping, washing and other boring things done that I can never manage to do when I'm at the studio. I've picked up my pigskin ready for tomorrow, more lining ahead and I'm going to work on shading as much as I can this week too.
I decided today that I would start the 'sketch a day' again, I want to try to produce at least one finished (as much as I can) drawing a day rather than letting my half finished work stack up. I'm going to get a new sketchbook tomorrow for a fresh start. I draw everyday anyway but I get so many ideas its easy to put things aside to work on new things and before you know it there's a load of 'ideas' laying around on my carpet and nothing to show for it, my thought is that a 'sketch a day' sketchbook will bring some focus to my over crowded brain. Heres to hoping anyway....

Thursday, 16 February 2012

Not posted in a few days...

I've been too busy!! All I can think about is tattoos and my line work and how my line work compares to other tattoos and how my line work is still not on living skin yet and that its going to be completely different again when I do start on it... But other than that my lines are getting better, they aren't going to be amazing for a long time but I know it'll come with practice. My left hand middle stretching finger still hates me, its got a right swell on, I can't wait for it to get strong so it isn't swollen and achey all the time! I had some nice piggy today (didn't think I'd ever say that!) it was fat and soft and beside some little cuts it was quite nice to tattoo, the last few days worth of pig skin have been tough and thin and horrible for practice.
Convention time again this weekend on Sunday so I'm taking Saturday off as a chill out and driving day, I hope its a fun one :)

Sunday, 12 February 2012

Lazy days...

I love lazy days, today has been an awesome lazy day and I needed it after a busy week. I didn't get up till late, had an unproductive grocery shop (mostly bought chocolate and pop), chain drank tea, watched loads of Big Bang Theory and had takeaway for tea. It's nice to have a quiet day once in a while, I'm feeling rather relaxed... :)

Friday, 10 February 2012

This week has been a busy one, I'm still at the studio now... I am however just chilling and blogging but still hahaha this will actually be my earliest finish in a few nights and it's already eight o'clock.
Pig skin still stinks but it getting easier to work with, my hands and arms are aching from all the stretching and heavy machine holding, my middle finger on my left hand hates me right now! But its all going to be worth it and give me an awesome start to working on real skin. My lines are getting better, they still aren't amazing but they're getting better, I've tried different types of shading and filling now too, I'll get there eventually. Feeling knackered but positive today, I can't wait for my bed! :D

Monday, 6 February 2012

Pig Skin...

... it's gross, I can still smell it now even after hours of not being near it!!
So yeah, I worked on pig skin today, apparently it's better than the fake 'skin' stuff but with my lack of experience I still can't really tell much difference (apart from the smell and general feel). Ohh and I got to try a 7 mag today too, I've only just been using liners so far, 5's and 14's, today I got to try a 7 liner as well. Also I seem to be having trouble anchoring my hand in a way that will help me to line, working on that is hard, I feel like my hands are too small to hold and anchor and stretch all at the same time, but they're not, they're flippin massive...
As for the rest of my day the horrible weather in York this morning (snow and fog = traffic jams!) meant it took 2 hours and 15mins to get to Seaham (normally only an hour and 10 worth of driving) where there was no snow or fog and it was sunny, SUNNY!! And my lovely cat Jack is ill :( he's being kept at the vets tonight with a very swollen bladder, they don't know why so they need to keep a check on him, I hope they can fix him and that he gets better soon x

Sunday, 5 February 2012

This weekend has been nice but as always when you plan for a quiet one it never really is...
I had a really lazy Friday, drove back to York and caught up on my rubbish tv shows until Chris got home from work and then it was just nice to spend some time together. Saturday was party day (a friends 30th) but due to the ridiculous snow fall we ended up spending more time driving than actually partying, an hours journey took three hours. It resulted in five full hours driving and only one hour at the party, we still had fun though and wouldn't have missed it for the world. Today has been a total bust after getting in so late last night, I slept for a long time this morning, I've spent the afternoon washing, cleaning the house and cooking a mega pot full of stew.
So my painting plans have gone up in smoke once again but its been nice attempting to relax, today isn't over yet though, there's still time if I fancy picking up my paintbrushes... :)

Thursday, 2 February 2012

It's been a busy few day, I'm going to be taking a long weekend off in an attempt to de-stress, working six days a week away from home, the boyfriend and cat has taken its toll. I've been feeling like I need a break for a little while now and after crying my eyes out the other day it is well and truely time for one. Three whole days away from the shop, think I'm going to paint.... :D

Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Today was an odd one...

Set up this morning as usual, answered emails and phone calls as usual, tried to work on the fake skin and couldn't get a single straight line at all! So I gave up for a little while frustrated and stressed, then it was pointed out to me that I'd forgotten my elastic band, doh! No wonder I couldn't get a decent line! Then it got more frustrating... I had to tattoo with the fake skin strapped to an arm, I've already been working with it resting on my leg (so I'm not working on a flat surface) but this was so different. I understand that eventually I will be working on arms and legs and everything in between but I wasn't ready for it today. With the afternoons frustration built up and the lack of a 'minute to think' about what I was doing it all ended in tears. Today has definitely been a 'I'm not cut out for this' day, fresh start again tomorrow though, I'm not giving up just yet...

Monday, 30 January 2012

Feeling ill and making stencils...

This morning I felt so ill I didn't think I was going to make it through the day, the drive from York was horrible, I thought I was going to fall asleep. When I got to the studio I managed to perk myself up with some painkillers and a gallon of tea. Luckily the day went by fast enough and I'm now tucked up in my pj's ready for an early night. I did manage to make some stencils of letters ready for tomorrows practice skins, I even have a photo...

I'll try and get another photo tomorrow of my tattooed letters, hopefully they won't be too wonky!
I'm mostly working with letters at the moment because thats one of the best things for practicing line work, also the fake 'skin' I'm working on isn't great for anything other than practicing lines. Once I get better at the lines it'll be onto the pig skin to try everything else...

Thursday, 26 January 2012

The last two days have been so much happier than the days before.
I couldn't post last night due to internet connectivity issues so I should have plently to say tonight... but I don't, it's been quite quiet, unless I want my lunch (or a cup of tea) and then it gets busy, hahaha
I've been working with my pen in my machine and with needles and ink on the fake 'skin' again and my lines are getting smoother, still not amazing but there's been an improvement. I'll try get a picture of the next one... I did some drawing too, I don't know why I didn't finish off the unfinished drawings I have rather than start new ones but thats just what happens when you get inspired. If I ever finish off the unfinished pieces I have lying around then I'll have tons of new art to show, I really do need more time! Tonight though I'm going for an early night, I'm so tired, I have a feeling I'll get into bed and then be struck by the drawing bug but if I try I might just fall asleep x

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Whinging, prints and drawing time!

One thing after another at the minute, now Chris's car is knackered too and a little bit beyond our means to fix, waahhhh! hahaha
Ok then, whinge over, going to have to rein the whinges in from now on, I've been a whinge monster lately, I'm doing my own head in!
I have pictures today....
Of prints that I made last week and my power pack and pink clip cord.

The prints are just waiting to be signed and wrapped now, I can't wait to get them sorted :D
I'm planning on a mega drawing session tonight, I need to put this nervous energy to good use and fire out some art work!!

Monday, 23 January 2012

A strange day, I've been annoyed, wound up and then completely de-stressed again. I love my friends and family, I don't know what I'd do without them.
I had plans to paint this evening but they've been stomped all over, now I'm tired and in need of my bed, Monday always tends to be a bust! I've been practicing with my pen and machine again today and I feel like I may have made some progress, perhaps in the most obvious way... I realised I'd been watching the line I'd drawn (to see how straight it was) rather the the line I was following, sounds simple (and also stupid!) but I feel like it's made a massive difference, plus I'm not really getting hand ache anymore, am I finally getting use to the weight of my heavy machine?!?! I hope so :)

Sunday, 22 January 2012

Trying to relax....

Day off and I still get messages from work, on my only day with Chris, wahhh!! I think I may start turning my phone off when I leave the shop on a Saturday night and not turn it back on again until about half 10 on Monday morning...
I didn't get back to York until after 9 last night so I'm trying to have a chilled out day today, I've been feeling pretty stressed this week. Being around other people who are stressed takes it out of you, especially if you're like me and take everything to heart, I hate walking around on eggshells. I'm currently watching old episodes of Friends and drinking tea, later I'll get my pen and tattoo machine out and have a practice tracing letters and words again. I've been thinking a lot about the painting projects I want to start soon, it's been ages since I've properly sat down and painted and I miss it loads. Chris is going to make some boards for me to paint on and I can't wait to get started on something more relaxing that I can actually do for a change.

Friday, 20 January 2012

All I can say about today is that it's been horrible, I'll be glad when I'm on my way back to York to the boyfriend and cat tomorrow night.... Can I have more nice days please?

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Today was productive, even if I didn't get to do everything I set out to. I drew with my pen in my machine, I was loads smoother than yesterday but I still have some way to go. Then my power supply, footswitch and clip cord (its pink!) turned up and I was able to start on the fake 'skin' we have at the studio with actual needles and ink.... I was rubbish! I struggled with maintaining depth, speed, the right angle, luckily I had someone there to tell me what I was doing wrong and I'm so glad I wasn't thrown in at the deep end on real skin. Hopefully next time I'll be better, I'll just have to keep practicing with my pen, on the 'skin' and then I've been told I'll be moving on to pigskin.... yuukkk! Surely the only way is up now?!?!
I'm now in the process of sorting out my diary for the year and organising the drawing and painting projects I have on the go, busy busy! I wish tattooing could be as simple as painting....

Feeling down and planning ahead...

I was feeling a little ill and down yesterday so I wasn't really in the mood to post. I'd been working with my pen in my tattoo machine and I couldn't seem to draw any straight lines, that coupled with looking at some amazing artwork made me feel like I wasn't good enough to be learning to tattoo. So I had an early night last night woke up feeling well rested and a little bit more positive. There are always going to be down days, its part of the artistic temperament, I just have to keep reminding myself that John wouldn't have taken me on if he didn't think I could do it! Today I'm making plans and generally trying to prepare myself more for what's ahead, I need to organise (in fact I still need a diary for this year!) and get on top of things, its going to be a busy one... 

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Tattoo Machine!!

Whoo hooo!! My tattoo machine arrived today, my first official machine! It's a Sunskin liner, I love it!
For the last few months I've been practicing drawing things with a pencil in a tattoo machine, scripts and tribals and then just before Christmas I was drawing with the pencil machine while it was plugged into a power supply. All this to get my hand strong and use to the weight, its a little bit heavier than a pencil and vibrates just a little more too, lol. Now I can practice with my own machine, I was also able to order my own power supply today too, so it looks like I'm getting closer to actual skin finally! :D

Monday, 16 January 2012

What a busy weekend! I'm so tired and a little bit hungover today, me and Chris finally got back to York at about 5pm. I've been chilling out watching tv all evening wrapped in my dressing gown and feeling sorry for myself. Not as sorry as Chris though who has a massively swollen leg after his tattoo on Sunday and has been sat on the couch with his leg up since we got back. I'll try and get a picture of it to post but probably not tonight, I can't be bothered!
The convention was still a little bit stressful, I was happy when we were all packed up at about half seven and could go for a drink, everyone could finally relax. It was amazing to be there as part of a team and I met some new people but the thought of having to do this every month for the next few is quite scary, I better get used to it quick. Now I'm off for an early night before I have to drive back up to Seaham tomorrow, I might not be able to face it otherwise. Night x

Friday, 13 January 2012

Stress headed-ness and a pencil drawing....

Today was one of those days where nothing really happened but it still went by really quickly. My friend got tattooed, we had a bit of a catch up, all was good. Right now I should be packing for the weekend in Telford but I've been putting it off for a while, I'm sick of packing!! Tomorrow I have to go to the studio to get things packed up, then I have to got to York to pick up Chris, then I have to drive to Telford, so I'm not looking forward to all of the driving either. I have that nervous stressing feeling I get when I'm not really in control of what's going to be happening, I certainly don't have any control over what's going to be happening for the next few days. I just like to have a plan, I'm a right stress head, I wish I didn't worry about things that are outside of my control because worrying doesn't help, its not going to change anything, its just going to make me unhappy until everything is over and back to normal. Maybe once I've finished this post and packed my bag I'll feel less stressed, maybe....
I've kind of sorted some pictures out so here is an original pencil sketch and a finished drawing I worked on a while ago now. Once I get a decent picture I'll post the finished drawing again.

It's pencil on bristol board, this is almost a new medium to me since its something I very rarely work with, I'm still learning! I enjoyed working on it and I'm hoping to do some more pencil work soon, I also did a pencil portrait drawing before Christmas (well two actually but one was sold) and again once I have a good picture I'll get her posted.
Right, packing and sleep time....

Thursday, 12 January 2012

Birthday's, Friday the 13th and conventions...

Didn't get to post last night, my mum turned 50 yesterday so I was out with family celebrating, I had a lovely night. Today however I am feeling a bit down, missing the boyfriend and the cat I think...
Tomorrow is Friday 13th and my friend is getting tattooed at the studio, I'm looking forward to a good catch up because I haven't seen her since before Christmas now, plus she's all excited because she's getting her 13th tattoo on Friday the 13th, hahaha
This weekend the studio is off to the Tattoo Freeze convention in Telford, I'm excited because although it's not my first convention, it's my first convention where I'm going as part of a tattoo studio. The idea of meeting new people is making me nervous but I'm sure I'll settle once I'm there and 'working'. I wish I could have gotten booked in for a tattoo with somebody, infact I'm determined to get booked in with somebody this year, I just don't know who. I have a list as long as my arm of people I'd like to get tattooed by and I don't know what I'd like from any of them yet.....
No pictures tonight, I have a pile full of drawings but no decent pictures of any of them, I'll work on it for tomorrow x

Tuesday, 10 January 2012


I must admit I was totally dreading attempting to draw the dragons, I drew some dragon heads earlier today, they weren't as bad as I was expecting. There are definitely things that need ironing out but that will come with practice, I am officially completely out of my comfort zone when it comes to drawing dragons since it's not a subject matter I know at all!

Still working on body shapes now....

Monday, 9 January 2012

More homework...

Well I say homework, I'll probably be working on them at the shop tomorrow. Drawings of a Japanese dragon and a tribal piece for a bicep, oh the joys! I know nothing about Japanese work at all so I'm frantically trying to research now and as for tribal... well it's all about fit and flow with the body so as long as I have an image of a bicep near by I should be able to work out something that will kind of fit, I am still just learning after all!!
Here is another half finished picture of my biro drawing...

I wish I'd done her eyes already, I think it will look completely different when her eyes are finished. I might get her done soon, man I hate being slow. I don't think I'll ever get round to producing a nice, neat finished one that doesn't have biro construction lines all over her face! Perhaps I'm a little bit stressed tonight?!?

Sunday, 8 January 2012

Day off...

I didn't get to post yesterday, I was too busy!
The shop was mega busy all day and then I had to drive back to York last night, so I tried to chill out when I got in.
Mega lie in this morning, today is my day off so I always plan to do nothing but end up feeling guilty and then the pencils and paper come out. I've been working on my biro drawing on and off for the last few days, I've managed to get a fair bit done today but my pen has ran out of ink. Also I don't have my camera to show you my progress so this is kind of a pointless post... again...
My day in York always goes by really quick and I'm already feeling sad about leaving Chris and Jack again, I look forward to the day when I'm tattooing and able to spend more time with my little family, miss you two x

Friday, 6 January 2012

Today I've been tired, headachy and just generally feeling stressed, probably because of the headache!   It's hard to be to be happy and welcoming and patient and polite and nice to everyone especially when I'm not feeling my best (isn't it the same for us all?). I could have just curled up in a ball somewhere quiet and slept until the headache went away.... it's safe to say that to day has not been an inspired one!
My head still hurts now so I'm going to bed in the hope that I'll wake up feeling fresh as a daisy tomorrow. Tomorrow is also the day I get to go back to York so I'm looking forward to seeing Chris and my cat Jack :D

Thursday, 5 January 2012

Biro drawing...

I didn't even get started on my biro drawings last night, inspiration was not my friend! So I had to start one today at the studio...

No pencil sketching at all, everything was sketched with the biro, so she's always going to have those lovely construction lines through her face! I really enjoyed doing it actually, I thought that if I couldn't get things sketched out and right with a pencil first I'd hate it. But it was fun and I'm actually looking forward to getting her a bit more finished now.

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Biro pen 'homework'

So tired today, I think an early night is in order, so much for giving up sleep to paint!Today I mentioned that I wanted to try and do some biro pen drawings, so that instantly became my 'homework', I have to do one completely in biro, from sketch to finished piece (eekkk!) and one how I usually work with a pencil drawing as a starting point, this should be fun. Now, what to draw....
Update later?!

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

How I got my apprenticeship...

Well if I'm going to start a diary I may as well tell you a little bit about how I got my apprenticeship. I'd been trying to get into a tattoo studio, as an apprentice, for the better part of 2 years, before this I was working as a prop maker / painter at a workshop in York, it wasn't for me. I spoke with and visited a few tattoo studios, in and around the north of England, I had some good experiences and some bad but ultimately nothing came from this. I decided that the little portfolio of work I had wasn't good enough and that I'd work on my art until I felt ready to try for an apprenticeship again. My confidence grew and I took part in an art exhibition. Then in May / June last year I decided that I was going to book in for a tattoo with someone who's work I was a massive fan of, my friend had recently been for a tattoo from John and she seemed to think there might be space at the studio for an apprentice (thanks Pauline!). I was going to show him my artwork while I was there, I was skint but wanted to take the chance and nearly bottled the whole thing when I found out how honest he was rumoured to be, I still didn't have the confidence to ask about an apprenticeship! Luckily with the help of a pushy boyfriend (thanks Chris!) I showed John one of my paintings, it went down well and this is how I got my apprenticeship.
So currently I live in York, work in Seaham and stay with family most of the week in Hartlepool, I feel like I spend most of my time driving but I know how lucky I am, both with the apprenticeship and with having such a supportive family.
And since I feel like I've written an essay.... here is a painting that I've nearly finished, I feel like I've been working on it forever but since starting the apprenticeship there hasn't been a whole lot of time for painting (which I miss a lot, but drawing has taken over), I think I may give up sleep just so I have more painting time, I always feel more inspired on a night anyway....
 night night x

Monday, 2 January 2012

New year, apprenticeship diary?!

Well, it's now officially 2012, a whole year since I started blogging and last year I was so forgetful, this year I'm going to try and blog every day. I'd like to record my feelings and thoughts about my tattoo apprenticeship over the next year, I'm already 6 months in and I've never been so excited, confused and completely consumed by anything like this before. I'll also try and share as many new drawings, sketches and paintings as I can and hopefully soon I'll be able to share my tattoos too. Best wishes for 2012 everybody :) x