Are Tattoos Vegan?


Short answer – some are, most aren’t. Why should it matter to your tattoo studio? Because plenty of alternative individuals are interested in getting a tattoo, and veganism is a diet often pursued (although not exclusively) by alternative-minded people. If you’re not stocking vegan ink options for your tattoos, then you’re cutting yourself out of a sizeable portion of the market.

Not only does it not make any business sense for you to neglect your vegans, it’s also unethical to make your tattoos inaccessible for them by failing to stock vegan ink. If you’re a consumer reading this and you agree, share this blog with your local tattoo parlour!

As a business, you might have some questions regarding the performance and costs of vegan ink, which is perfectly reasonable and will be answered later on in this blog.

Firstly, we’re going to ask the question about what you need to change to make a tattoo vegan, and why many tattoos aren’t vegan in the first place.


Why Vegan Tattoos are Important

Some people become vegans for dietary reasons. For example, those who are lactose intolerant will be relieved to be able to go to a restaurant and pick out a vegan option, knowing that there will be no dairy products to upset their bodies. Others might turn vegan as an exercise to lose weight, or as a method for exercising their self-control.

For other vegans, the reasons behind their way of life stems from ethical arguments about the treatment of animals. The result is that many of these vegans are against the consuming of products that cause harm to animals during their production, and this may include faux leather shoes, cruelty-free make-up and vegan tattoo-inks.

For these individuals who are changing their lifestyles to fight for animal rights, the option to get a thoroughly vegan tattoo is very important and should be available. If you stock vegan ink, then you can market yourself to these groups of people. You can even create a subsection in your portfolio for pro-vegan tattoo designs.

What’s in My Tattoo?

General tattoo ink may contain a range of non-vegan elements, including but not limited to bone char, glycerine (animal fat), gelatin, and shellac. This use of animal products, however, is not necessary. Vegan inks will replace glycerine content with a vegetable version.

Other points of the tattoo inking process which may contain animal products include stencil paper and razors which might have been constructed with lanolin and gelatin. This means that creating an entirely vegan process could require you to look deeper than your tattoo inks, but changing your ink is probably a good start.

Design Benefits to Vegan Tattoos

As the vegan population continues to grow, you may also benefit from establishing yourself as a vegan-friendly business early on. If you develop your image as the most vegan-friendly parlour in your area, you might be able to capitalise on the entirety of this market for your business.

Some people argue that a tattoo made from vegan ink could be likely to retain their colour for longer. This is based on the idea that inks using natural compounds are less likely to be rejected by the body. However, there are no scientific studies that can either confirm or deny this.

If you’re a consumer looking for a guide to tattoo maintenance (or a budding tattoo parlour looking for guides to share with your consumers), then we recommend that you check out our handy blog: 3 Stages of a Healing Tattoo.


Health Benefits to Vegan Tattoos

You may have non-vegans entering your parlour enquiring about vegan inks too! This is because the best vegan inks will also avoid hypoallergenic ingredients like lanolin. Of course, if your client is worried about allergens in your tattoo ink, your parlour should always be careful with its ink, and consider running controlled tests with the individual before scheduling their full tattoo.


Vegan Ink Benefits for Businesses

Some trendy parlours argue that vegan tattoo inks are healthier than the average non-vegan inking, but various sources claim that this statement is currently unfounded. One of the greatest benefits to stocking vegan tattoo inks are that you open up your business to a new market. 6% of US consumers claimed to be vegan in 2017, whereas the vegan population in the UK was recorded at 1.16% in 2019. This means that out US investors will make more from stocking our vegan ink brands, although the UK still has a substantial market to benefit from.


Our best-selling vegan inks include Kuro Sumi and Fusion, but you may also be interested in sourcing vegan aftercare products from us too, such as our Spirit stencil cream. Contact us with any further questions you have regarding our tattoo supplies or services and we’ll look to get back to you ASAP.


Animal Tattoo Inspiration


If you’re managing a tattoo parlour, you’re going to want to be able to communicate with your customers successfully about their design wants. Sometimes, you might even get customers who come in knowing that they want a tattoo, but without a fixed idea on what the design should actually look that.

In that moment, you’re going to be really glad that you’re up to date on all the latest tattoo trends and have plenty of inspiration to offer them. Most tattoo artists keep portfolios they can show off to their clients too, but if your portfolio is missing a key design trend in tattoos, you might lose that customer to an alternative studio in the future.

In this blog, we’re going to look at a variety of popular animal tattoos, where this trend originated, and what we can learn from it.


Animal Tattoo Origins

Tattoos depicting animals have their origins in ancient history, and the thinking behind them hasn’t changed much in the modern day. The popularity of the Harry Potter Patronus quiz should tell you all you need to know about the connection that many humans feel towards certain species of animals.

There are often animals that are stereotyped for particular traits, and many people who see themselves exhibiting similar traits find themselves feeling an affinity for the animal in question. For example, individuals who see themselves as loyal survivors might feel an affinity for the wolf. People who identify as wild, wise and high-flying might opt for an owl.

Sailors in particular have a history of getting tattoos to bring them luck, and it was thought that a fish tattoo might help a man thrown overboard to swim (like a fish) and survive the ordeal.

Animal aspirations aren’t the only reasons why people might want animal tattoos, however, as many use tattoos as a way of remembering a loved one, and sometimes that loved one is a pet. As such, the ability to successfully draw and ink a variety of animals for your customers could bring a lot of meaning to their skin space. The ability to keep the memory of their beloved pet alive on their skin and close to them forever can bring a lot of comfort, especially in times of grief, and you could be providing this service to your customers with the right portfolio, skills, and tattoo equipment.

Animal Tattoo Meanings

Some animals are more popular than others, perhaps because their species has more of an established personality. If you have a client who enters your studio knowing that they want an animal tattoo that symbolizes part of their identity, the following guide might be able to help them come to a conclusion:

Wolf Tattoo – The wolf is a tattoo for a pack-orientated individual. This pack might symbolise their friends or their family. The wolf is also a hardy creature, able to withstand cold and harsh climates where food is scarce, and hunting is time-consuming. An individual with a lot of determination might feel an affinity to the wolf.

Dolphin Tattoo – Dolphins symbolise freedom, friendship and intelligence. Like birds, tattoos of dolphins and other fish symbolise a daringness to go where others cannot, because these are the animals that enjoy life in terrains that seem quite alien to most humans.

Bear Tattoo – The bear signifies strength and depending on the individual and the depiction of the tattoo, the bear could symbolise either wisdom or destruction. Whether the bear is good or evil, it will almost always portray magnificence.

Owl Tattoo – Like dolphins, owls suggest freedom, but they’re also known for being incredibly wise. Their ability to turn their heads to mind-boggling angling gives the impression that they are all-seeing, which lends to their wise-imagery.

In literature and some cultures, owls have also been used to signify madness and brushes with death, so an owl tattoo could signify an important personal memory for its wearer.

Stag Tattoo - The stag is a masculine figure that represents growth and resilience. Like the bear, the stag also represents deep feelings of spirituality.

Snake Tattoo – Snakes were very popular tattoos for the Ancient Egyptians, and they often represented female gods. In the modern day, the snake might represent a cunning attitude to life, but they also commonly communicate rebirth, transformation and healing. These positive traits of growth are linked to the snake’s frequent skin shedding, which is read as change and development by artists.

Swallow Tattoo – the outline of a swallow is very unique, meaning that a swallow tattoo could be quite small yet still immediately recognisable for its species. This makes it a popular choice amongst first time tattooees.

As a bird, the swallow naturally represents freedom, but it has a specific history and tradition for carrying soul to heaven at the point of death. The swallow represents wanderlust and experience as well as freedom.

Lion Tattoo – The ultimate cat tattoo – the lion represents strength, power, and strong family bonds. It represents someone who usually displays a very calm exterior, but contains a lot of passion deep down.

Horse Tattoo – Horses have long been resilient companions to humans, and so the horse might represent a sociable nature. The stallion, however, is also a symbol of wild freedom.

Of course, the trick to giving your clients the best animal tattoo experience is to use high-quality tattoo guns to ensure that the process of applying the tattoo is as smooth and painless as possible. We can help to supply you with tattoo machines, needles, and numerous aftercare products to help your clients maintain their new tattoos.


Beginner's Guide to Tattoo Needles


The number of needles available is almost infinite, with a range of styles and endless variations. Here at Body Shock, we understand the confusion about needle styles when you're just starting out, so we've put together a beginner's guide that will help you find your feet.

There are several categories of needles and a few key terms you need to be aware of.

Round Needles

These needles are soldered in round patterns centred on a shaft. Used as liners when packed close together, they're perfect for small lines, details, and technical work. Round loose liners can be used for bold lines, like the outlines often used in Japanese tattoos.


Flat Needles

Flat needles are soldered to the shaft in a straight line. They're very popular for lining due to their shape, which delivers extra ink. The result is a darker, more clearly defined line, created with a single stroke. Large flat needles are great for filling in colour.

Magnum Needles

The favoured needle for most shading, a magnum's taper is often longer than those of round shaders. They deliver lots of ink, which makes them the perfect needle for larger areas of colour. They also require fewer passes over an area, which won't damage the skin as much.

Weaved Magnum Needles

Similar to flat needles, weaved magnums are soldered to the shaft on alternating sides, enabling them to cover a greater area.

Stacked Magnum Needles

Each side of a stacked magnum has a double row of needles, positioned very closely together.

Round or Curved Magnums

A newer type of magnum, round or curved needles have a tip that arches at the centre. It's designed this way so that the edge of the needle runs along the skin with more conformity, allowing for better dispersal of ink and a more consistent line. It's also less damaging to the skin.


These are the same as magnum needles but far thinner. A standard needle is 0.30 mm to 0.35 mm thick, while a bugpin is only 0.20 mm to 0.25 mm. Whether or not you use them is down to taste and preference: some artists hate them, others won't use anything else for shading work. Trial and error will tell you if they're for you.

Needle Cartridges

Needle cartridges are a specialty needle only used with certain machines, for example, a Cheyenne Hawk rotary. The benefit is that they're usually easier and faster to set up than regular needles; however, they also cost more and can't be reused.

This beginner's guide to tattoo needles should get you started, but if you've got questions or need advice, simply contact us – we're always happy to help!

Would You Tattoo for Free Pizza?


It really is true that every tattoo you make is a walking advertisement for your business, in a way, but the tradition of advertising your allegiances through tattoos has changed over the years. Some people go under tattoo needles for personal reasons, others use their tattoos to signal to others that they are part of the same community, but a select few use their tattoos as a method for getting free pizza.

Dominoes Free Pizza Exchange

Domino’s promised the people of Russia 100 pizzas a year for 100 years if they accept the price: a permanent logo tattoo that must then be shared on social media under the hashtag #DominosForever. However, so many signed up that Dominoes had to cancel the campaign after two days, during which almost 400 people were tattooed.

According to some of the individuals who were interviewed after their inking, many were selling their skin as a result of poverty – a tattoo was a small price for them to pay compared to the free food they would be able to supply to their families.


Join the Melt Family

An American grilled cheese chain restaurant offers anyone who joins their tattoo family a discount in-store, and they have almost 1000 people on their website gallery who either seriously love the brand or just love getting a good deal.

Perhaps one of the reasons that Melt has succeeded where Dominoes did not, is that Melt recognised that people are actually quite keen to sacrifice a bit of skin for free food. As a result, Melt didn’t offer an outlandish scheme that would quickly lead to bankruptcy, and it also encourages individuals to get creative with the way they incorporate the logo into their tattoo. Melt sells more than just an instore discount; it offers a FB community where exclusive deals and announcements are held, too.


Reebok Forever

Reebok turned their tattoo-based advertising into a competition, challenging competitors at the Tough Viking competition to who would also dare get the biggest ink of the Reebok logo tattooed onto their body. The prize was approximately £3,500 in gear, and the winner tattooed the logo across their thigh.

For the winner of the competition, the tattoo meant more to her than freebies alone – they were prepared to invest in this huge tattoo because they felt that their Reebok gear had been an important factor of their strict weight-loss and exercise regime that led them to a healthier lifestyle.


Game of Thrones

Cultural phenomenon Game of Thrones convinced a small parlour to take their tattoo supplies to a Comic Con in San Diego, 2014 to promote both the show and the tattoo studio. A total of 111 fans received free Game of Thrones tattoos, some of these being individuals who had never before received a tattoo. The fans didn’t receive any freebies for their tattoos, but the parlour got some media coverage for their publicity stunt.


Forehead Tattoo for $10K USD

A woman auctioned her forehead space on eBay to the highest bidder, promising to get a tattoo of the buyer’s choosing. The auction never reached peak fervour, however, as the online casino, Golden Palace immediately cashed out a full $10K to claim the woman’s forehead for their logo.

The promise went ahead and the woman received her $10K, followed by getting the tattoo a week later. Apparently, the studio she requested the tattoo from tried to talk her out of it for 7 hours before getting out the tattoo guns and finishing the deal.



Melt, Dominoes and Reebok aren’t the only companies who have offered freebies to willing participants, however, there are many more. Some employers offer a 15% pay rise if you tattoo the company logo onto yourself (Rapid Realty NYC). Ecko also offer 20% off in-store items for life, Casa Sanchez brought back a devastating free burrito for a branded tattoo deal that lost them over $5m USD in 1988, and Hot Doug’s in Chicago continues to offer free hot dogs for life in return for a logo tattoo.

There are many reasons why an individual might want to get a branded tattoo, and they’re not always for money or freebies. Sometimes people experience a keen affinity with a particular brand’s ethos or morals, leading them to associate a piece of their own identity with the brand. Either way, it’s always important to encourage your customers to carefully consider their tattoo choices but is especially good practice when brands are involved.

Drunk Tattoos - Don't Go There!


Getting a tattoo while under the influence of booze is considered to be a bit of a joke. A guy on his stag do staggers into a tattoo studio and gets an inappropriate tattoo of something embarrassing, and all because his mates dared him to do it. Now, that might be funny to some people, but how does inking a drunk customer reflect on your business, and is it even legal?

With that sobering thought in mind, in this article, we discuss the thorny subject of whether it's ethical or legal to tattoo a customer who is clearly under the influence.


Drunk Tattoos – Are They Even Legal?

Well, in the UK and Australia, there are no laws that prohibit tattoo studios from working on inebriated customers. In theory, as long as the customer is over 18 years of age, you can legally give them a tattoo. Elsewhere in Europe, it is legal for kids of 16 to get tattoos, as long as they have their parents’ consent.

However, in the US, the law on who you can tattoo and who you can’t varies from state to state, so it’s advisable to check before you reach for your tattoo guns. Also, it should be noted that health professionals recommend that someone should not consume any alcohol for 24 hours prior to getting a tattoo.

What If the Tattoo Is Agreed on Pre-Intoxication?

If someone visits your studio to discuss the tattoo they want and then turns up drunk for their appointment, you should tactfully decline to carry out the work and suggest that the client makes another appointment.

People who genuinely want a tattoo will return to have the work done at a later date, hopefully when they are sober. The same principle applies to other work that you may offer in your studio, such as titanium body piercings.


Dealing with a Confrontational Drunk

Someone who receives a tattoo while they’re drunk is not going to recommend that people visit your studio. And it’s highly unlikely that they will come back to you in the future. You should also be wary of damage to your reputation, especially if, in the cold light of sobriety, the drunk person is not happy with the tattoo you gave them.

Most people who go to a tattoo studio while under the influence of alcohol are good-natured and unlikely to become aggressive if you refuse to give them a tattoo. Humour them and have a chat about the kind of tattoo they would like and why they’re choosing that particular design.

Then move on to point out the reasons why they should wait to get the tattoo done, take time to think about the potential ramifications of the tattoo, and the effect it could have on their loved ones, work colleagues, and even their boss, depending on the type of work they do.

Why a Drunk Person Should Not Get a Tattoo

Of course, there are other reasons why a drunk person should not get a tattoo, and these should be pointed out to the customer.


Blood Thinner

First of all, alcohol is a blood thinner; the degree of the thinning effect varies, depending on how much alcohol someone has consumed. However, even small amounts of booze can be all it takes to change someone’s blood consistency.

The thinner the blood, the more likely it is that it will leak out of the minute puncture wounds made by the tattoo needles. Excess blood pools over the skin, making it much more difficult for you to accurately create the tattoo. Also, if you're relatively inexperienced, you might struggle to tattoo through the excess blood over the area properly. That could result in a tattoo of lesser quality compared to your usual work.

Risk of Infection

Ordinarily, a tattoo site will continue to ooze blood and plasma for up to 48 hours after a tattoo. But, because of the blood-thinning effects of alcohol, healing may take longer, and that could leave the customer at risk of developing an infection around the tattoo site.

Ink Dilution

When the blood is thinner, it will be circulated around the body faster. So, the area being tattooed may contain excess blood. That can cause the blood to mix with the ink, diluting the colour and resulting in your tattoo looking washed out and faded, no matter how good the quality of your inks and other tattoo supplies.

After the tattooing process has been completed, the area may bleed heavily and continuously, potentially flushing away recently tattooed ink. That could leave the tattoo looking faded and patchy once the area has healed.

Sit Still!

Having a tattoo can be painful, and it’s not uncommon for a customer to want a little bit of Dutch courage before they attend their appointment.

However, if someone is drunk, they’re more likely to fidget while you’re working, and that will make life very difficult for you. The result could be a tattoo that’s not up to your usual standard and may result in a complaint when the client sobers up and sees the work, potentially leaving your good reputation in tatters.

Also, in response to pain, a drunk person may try to grab your tattoo gun, potentially causing injury to themselves or damaging your equipment.


Tattoo Refusal

If you suspect that a customer is drunk, you should immediately refuse to tattoo them.

Note that the customer cannot legally sign the liability waiver or consent form if they are drunk, because they are considered to be incapable of making a rational decision while they are intoxicated. So, you could leave your studio wide open to legal action if you go ahead and tattoo a drunk person, even though they signed your consent form.

Although it’s not illegal to give a drunk person a tattoo, it’s definitely not recommended.

As a professional tattoo artist, your reputation is as important as the work you do for your customers. Tattooing a person while they are intoxicated leaves you wide open to complaints after the fact, and that’s not worth the risk to either their health or your credibility.

Can Tattoos Improve Your Immune System?



It seems like a strange concept, but have you ever thought about whether tattoos can improve the immune system?

Most studies on tattoos emphasise issues such as the risk of infection, but new research on the immune system is coming to light – and may suggest that tattoos can actually have health benefits, especially when it comes to strengthening our bodies’ immune responses.

We are curious about this so, in this article, we’re looking at all the reasons why getting a tattoo might be good for you!

What Happens When We Get Tattooed?

While this may seem a bit far-fetched, you just have to consider what a tattoo really is – a permanent image etched onto the skin by inserting ink under its topmost layer. Our bodies and, more specifically, our immune systems, are programmed to react to any foreign material in order to defend us from a perceived threat.

This means that the tattoo is interpreted as a wound and your immune system responds by sending white blood cells (macrophages) to destroy the invaders, as well as to protect you against infection.

Your body also launches something called adaptive responses, in which proteins in the blood, such as antibodies or immunoglobulins, seek to fight invaders recognised as problems. These proteins will then continue to circulate in the bloodstream, ready to face the same intruder if it appears again.

Studies on Tattoos and the Immune System

A previous study by Dr Christopher Lynn at the University of Alabama revealed that people getting their first tattoo had a large drop in the antibody immunoglobulin A because of rising cortisol (a stress hormone) levels. Immunoglobulin A is linked to the defence of the immune system and protects against illnesses like the common cold.


For people with other tattoos, the level of antibodies decreased a little but not as much as it did with first timers. According to the research team, this can indicate that the immune system is improving its response to the same ‘invader’.

Dr Lynn has recently done a similar study to the Alabama one, this time in the Samoan Islands, where the tattoo culture and history is massive. The reason behind recreating the original study is that just one isn’t enough to draw scientific conclusions on the issue.

Repeating the same study and getting the same results can help people understand if there’s some kind of association between getting a tattoo and a boost to the immune system.

The Samoan study also measured the levels of immunoglobulins and cortisol in the saliva of people getting tattooed, both before and after the tattoo. This study achieved the same results as the first one and determined that the level of immunoglobulin A remains higher in the bloodstream even after the tattoo has healed.

This is good news for people with several tattoos who are interested in getting even more, as the secret to an enhanced immune system appears to be getting multiple tattoos. After all, people who had been tattooed before produced more immunoglobulin A, so there were more antibodies in their bloodstream.

The immune-boosting benefits of tattoos appear to be, therefore, cumulative.

Do Tattoos Really Improve Your Immune System?

While the studies certainly seem to suggest that tattoos give our immune system a boost, it can be difficult to know for sure whether improved immunity is due to having tattoos or whether healthier people heal better from the process and like to have multiple tattoos.

The body appears to undergo less stress after the first tattoo, which is natural, considering the first experience is unknown – after that, the body knows what to expect. So, whether or not tattoos offer health benefits, the developing studies on the subject appear favourable.


While we can’t tell you with absolute confidence that inking your clients will help them to achieve a stronger immune system, we do provide you with the best tattoo equipment for all of your creations.

You can find a wide range of tattoo supplies to meet your every need at Body Shock, including plenty of tattoo guns to stock your parlour with. We’re more than happy to answer any questions you may have about them.

Possessed by Your Own Tattoo!?


It’s Halloween, so we’re rightfully covering the spookier side of tattoos. As a proud artist in a tattoo studio, you need to be able to communicate with your customers about the exciting tattoo industry and community news to keep them coming back for more tattoos.

This month, we’re considering how the tattoo community interacts and the festivals dedicated to the tattoo – more specifically, the Thailand Magical Tattoo Festival.


The Magical Tattoo Festival

This is a festival dedicated to the mythos behind the tattoo, and the result is positively electrifying. The festival is held in Wat Bang Phra, which in Thailand is well known as a place where you can get a beautiful tattoo in traditional styles.

The traditionally styled tattoo that many of the attendees will be sporting is known as a ‘sak yant’ and it is a Thai tradition. The sak yant is said to imbue the wearer with protection, but only if they succeed in abiding by special rules. These special rules often involve some form of abstinence, such as refraining from drinking, but they may also require the wearer to avoid theft or other sinful actions.

During the festival, the attendees may become possessed by the animal featuring in their protective tattoo. This often includes individuals flying into a rage; hissing, roaring, moving like an animal might and generally heading towards the main stage where Buddhist monks are praying. These possessed individuals are restrained by those around them and, once calm, the individual returns to sit in their original position.

One blogger who attended this festival remarks on the clear organisation of the event, with plenty of toilets and nourishment available. They also spoke of the spectacular energy experienced by those attending the event, which is of little surprise given the strange, yet ethereal, behaviour exhibited by many of the festival’s participants.

It isn’t always clear is there is something which inspires the individuals to take off, as if possessed, but some wonder if the catalyst could be when they are touched by the holy waters which are sprayed on the crowd at moments during the event, or whether hearing the monk’s sutras brings it out of them.

Whatever the reason for their animalistic outbursts might be, it is certainly an interesting idea that one’s tattoo could affect them so deeply.

Notes for Attending the Festival

If you or one of your clients expresses an interest in attending this magical festival one day, you should talk about the potential dangers of getting a tattoo in Wat Bang Phra. Although the tattoos in Wat Bang Phra are rich with history, there is some controversy regarding the cleanliness of the needles used in this area.

In the aim of maintaining good health, it is recommended that attendees try not to get caught up by the excitement and swarms of people getting fresh inks in celebration of the festival. Instead, recommend that the individual sensibly plans a tattoo in advance of the celebration to enjoy at the festival.

The Importance of Great Needles and Grips

Great tattoos needles are the first step for achieving a great tattoo and failing to sterilise your needles could result in serious complications for your parlour or studio. It is also important to ensure that your needles are properly maintained – needles experiencing heavy use will change their shape and using these defunct needles could lead to scarring. Your needles can also develop barbs when they come into contact with the ink caps, so it’s important to change needles before problems arise.

You also need to think of your own health as a tattoo artist and your ability to continue to deliver great tattoos to your clients. Keeping your hands healthy is very important, which is why we recommend that you invest in some high-quality tattoo grips. Finding a grip that suits your style is important to your ability to create great tattoos every day – larger grips may even improve the quality of your tattoos if you can reduce the shake of your own arm when inking straight lines, and rubber grips will take some of the pressure off your fingertips – helping you to reduce the likelihood of giving yourself repetitive strain injuries that could put you out of work.


How Tattoos have Merged with Technology


Technology is rapidly evolving around us, and even the smallest improvements are making their way into our everyday habits – from coffee machines to google glass, technology has benefitted countless aspects of modern living. In this blog, we consider how tattoos are adjusting to technology too.


3D Printing Living Tattoos

MIT have designed inks that use genetically programmed living cells. These cells react to a range of stimuli to signal the tattoo’s wearer of various effects in the area. For example, some of the living tattoos light up when they sense a particular chemical or compound. This could be useful for sensing gas leaks externally or reacting to heightened temperatures in the wearer – signalling when individuals are experiencing a fever or illness.

These super-smart tattoos have been crafted from plenty of research. Current living tattoos use hydrogels mixed with nutrients and bacteria. The bacteria are programmed to react to stimuli, the nutrients feed the bacteria, and the hydrogel provides a habitat for them.

So far, the tattoos have been printed using a custom 3D printer which can account for the differences in this special ink compared to ink found in regular tattoo supplies. It is thought that this innovative and artistic research into living tattoos could provide important foundations in the creation of living computers in the future.

The living tattoo is the epitome of functionality blended with style; they could be the future of healthy living!

Invisible Ink Tattoos

These tattoos might have been around for a while now, but we think that could continue to gain popularity in the future. These are tattoos for working professionals who like to party – tattoos which are hidden during the day but come to life at the club, disco, or select bowling alleys.

Getting an invisible tattoo isn’t going to be at the top of most tattooee’s wish lists, however, as most people get tattoos to enjoy for themselves and to show to others. The benefit of an invisible tattoo is also its curse as there are few moments where an invisible tattoo is going to be viewed and enjoyed by the wearer.

On the other hand, they can augment pre-existing tattoos in interesting ways, and they allow some individuals to engage in an art form that might otherwise restrict their career. Perhaps one day we will see a combination of invisible ink tattoos with living tattoos.

QR Code Designs

Barcodes and QR code tattoos can offer individuals a link to a database – in most cases, a snapshot of someone’s QR code tattoo will send you to the world wide web, but it is important for the tattooee to understand how this works before requesting a QR code design.

For example, one football fan received a QR code on his calf, which linked to a video on YouTube showcasing his favourite moment in football history. Unfortunately, this video was later taken down, and now his QR tattoo links to an unavailable video. This is an example of where tattoos and technology have failed to merge, but there are alternatives for your clients requesting a QR code tattoo design. You should remind them to think about how they will feel if the link later fails to work or is changed, or you could suggest that they buy their domain online to link the QR to – giving them full control over the page that their tattoo links to.

Tech Tattoos

These tattoos are vaguely named, but this is because they still appear to be undergoing development. The aim is to find a way to computerise tattoos into transmitting credit card information or ID. By making our finances entirely digital, it is thought that individuals will feel safer. Similarly, the ability to access a person’s ID with the correct technology will make it easier for hospitals to identify individuals and care for them more appropriately and intelligently.

The future of tattoos are bright, so make sure that you are using the latest equipment with your tattoo grips and tattoo needles to ensure that your clients receive the best experience when they get their next tattoo. Our supplies are top quality, and we even offer free delivery on UK orders over £50.

What to Tell Your Customers About Foot Tattoos


What to Tell Your Customers About Foot Tattoos

In this blog, we consider the popularity (or lack thereof) of foot tattoos, including all the things you’ll want to tell your customers if they want a foot tattoo, such as inspiration for designs and myth-busting concepts around heightened pain for this area.

Foot Tattoos and Painfulness

Every tattoo is painful, we know this, and most of your customers will know this before they enter your studio, but precisely how much different people will feel the pain from different tattoos is difficult to discern. As you will no doubt know, there are some areas where tattoos will hurt more than they would in other places, but how do you communicate this to your customers and, if they’re not aware of it, should you?

You should always warn your customers about the upcoming pain they will experience before they get their tattoo. Otherwise, they have might have an unpleasant time and be unable to finish getting their tattoo. You should warn them that a tattoo in a place where bones are closer to the skin is going to hurt more than ‘meatier’ sections of the body, and it’s all to do with where the nervous system runs through your body.

If your customer is looking for a less painful tattoo, you should tell them to prioritise places away from bones with taut skin, away from heightened nerves. This means that a foot tattoo could hurt a little more than an upper arm tattoo because the bones of your feet are close to the surface, the nerves are tightly bound, and the underside of the foot lacks taut skin. This is something that clients should consider before getting a foot tattoo.

The Placement of a Foot Tattoo

Another issue that you will need to warn your customers about is that there will need to be some serious consideration of where they want their foot tattoo to be placed. ‘On the foot’ is simply too broad, as tattooing straight onto the flat surface of the foot is known for being extra painful, tattooing on the side of the foot will cause the design to fade quickly as it undergoes heavy traffic and rubbing from footwear, and behind the ankle doesn’t leave one with a lot of space.

Depending on your client’s pain tolerance and design ideas, you may have to discuss their plans carefully. It is important to remember that many of those going under the needle for the first time are unaware of how tattoos quickly fade in high traffic areas such as hands and feet. This will necessitate future touch-up sessions that will cause the foot tattoo to be an on-going pain.

Since a tattoo in a high traffic area is more likely to fade, it is also more important to go big or go home, since all tattoos bleed ink and tiny tattoos in high traffic areas are soon going to become a dark smudge. On the other hand, someone looking to get their first tattoo on their foot might be feeling a little self-conscious about their appearance – someone who desperately wants a tattoo for themselves, but doesn’t want it to affect their career opportunities, so they want it to be both small and easily hidden. In this case, you might want to suggest an upper thigh tattoo instead as it will hurt less, need fewer touch-ups in the long run, and only be on public show during beach occasions.

Some Great Foot Tattoo Designs


Some tattoo artists outright refuse to tattoo feet because of the number of clients complaining about the pain and the difficulty of placing the tattoo, despite this, there are still many talented artists working with feet and creating some truly stunning designs that we appreciate here:

The Traveller’s Best Friend

This is perhaps one of the few occasions where the placement of the tattoo on the foot can imbue the design with more meaning; this tattoo speaks of the fantastic terrains that these feet have covered, and an aspiration to continue a life walking amongst nature. Sometimes, the foot is the perfect place for the tattoo.

Anklet Designs

These designs which wrap around a joint in such an elegant fashion have a limited number of areas you can stylistically place them. This design would look equally gorgeous snaking down a hand, but if the client already has tattoos on their wrists, or is looking for a modest tattoo space, then the ankles are the place to start.

Gentle Turtle

The filling is notoriously the hardest part of the tattoo to endure, so naturally, any foot tattoo that avoids detailed shading is sure to be more do-able for those with low pain thresholds.

Overall, there are plenty of fantastic designs for feet that you could be pitching to your clients, just make sure that you talk to them about their expectations for pain and designs thoroughly beforehand. In the meantime, we will continue to supply you with all your tattoo needles and supporting equipment, as well as hints, tips and ideas for your studio.

Tattoo Trends: Embroidery


Tattoo Trends: Embroidery

Since the beginning of tattoos, there have always been trends. In the middle ages, it was important for people to express their religion through their tattoos. Sailors’ tattoos were thought to bring them luck or help prevent them from drowning. Today, one of the many trends sweeping the industry is embroidery – read this blog so that you’ll be ready to respond when your customers start asking you for these.

What Are Embroidery Tattoos?

To avoid any room for confusion - such as people thinking that an embroidery tattoo might involve literally threading the skin with materials – this section will explain what an embroidery tattoo really entails.

For all intents and purposes, an embroidery style tattoo is inked no differently to any other tattoo, by which we mean that it uses the same tattoo supplies and the same tattoo needles. It’s true; the trend of embroidery tattoos is purely design based, unlike scarification.

Embroidery tattoos are, as you might have guessed, inspired by embroidery. Designs appear as if they have been threaded onto the skin, but they are ink cleverly shaded to give the appearance of realistic threads.

Being a design based on an activity that has so long been stereotyped as a fairly feminine activity, many embroidery tattoos follow trends of being bright, colourful and cute. Occasionally, however, you might be asked to create something a little different, so you should be ready for anything.

Popular embroidery style tattoos include flowers, birds, or the appearance of jacket patches.

Why Are Embroidery Tattoos Popular?

These tattoos require a great deal of skill to complete, but they are very unique, which is – as you are no doubt already aware - something that can be quite important for many customers looking for a tattoo.

An embroidery tattoo is also a quaint play on words, as tattoo needles are used in place of sewing needles to use skilful design to replicate another medium. This also makes them a coveted tattoo style amongst many people.

Embroidery tattoos are often very detailed, which may also cause people to place greater faith in an artist who can successfully design and create a great embroidery tattoo.

How Do I Create an Embroidery Tattoo?

An embroidery tattoo is essentially a portrait. The aim is to create a photorealistic image of threading and needlework as a tattoo. Like all photorealistic designs in any medium, you need to closely understand the textures before you can hope to replicate them yourself.

When learning to design stitching, you should think about how thread interacts with light - how reflective are the types and colours of thread that you’re looking to replicate – as well as it’s shape, what’s realistic and what isn’t, can you use artistic licence to improve the original image, and so on. These are the kinds of questions that you should be asking yourself during your research.

Some More Examples

To understand the beauty and depth of the embroidery tattoo trend, you should do some detailed research about different designs, colours and shading before you decide to offer them in your studio.

- Black Heart

This design makes use of black edges to make the coloured 'embroidery' pop with vibrancy. The heart is a popular design for most people, and there are many creative ways to combine it with the embroidery theme.

- Cross Stitching

Simple lines aren’t the only method for creating a beautiful embroidery tattoo; as this design shows a simple flower rendered in cross stitch.

- Patches

Patches are another popular trend for embroidery tattoo enthusiasts, often looking as though they have been stuck onto the skin and harking back to an age of denim jackets.

- Combination

Combining the embroidery with a different art style can also be extremely effective, as shown by this bird here which uses cross stitch for the majority, but line art for the delicate sections.

- Going Big

Large sweeping embroidery tattoos take a lot of time to complete, but they can also look stunning, as shown by this individual in the image below:

There are a lot of different ways to have fun with creating your next portfolio of embroidery tattoo designs for clients, good luck mastering the techniques behind this wonderful art.

Royal Relationships with Body Art


There are various perceptions people hold about tattoos; for some, a tattoo will be a sign of their service to a military group, for others, it will be an expression of their identity, and for a few, it will be a family tradition. Royalty is often in the eye of the public, however, so their tattoos and body art decisions are often discussed – but how much could you tell one of your customers about the world’s most famous tattoos?







King Edward VII


Way back when in 1862, King Edward VII sat on the English throne. He is well known for fostering good relationships between Britain and France, as well as other European countries, but aside from his royal duties he is recognised as quite the character – the personification of the leisurely elite, he was confident, charming and free-spirited.

King Edward’s decision to get a tattoo was religiously inspired, as he received a tattoo of the Jerusalem Cross on his arm during a visit to the Holy Land in 1862 as a young adult. Interestingly, it was thought that many early Christians would get tattoos of the cross on their bodies as a sign of community and religious dedication. In AD 325, however, the Emperor outlawed face tattoos because they disfigured God’s image, and this rapidly developed into all churches denouncing tattoos of any kind on the human body.






King Harold II


Going back even earlier than King Edward, King Harold of England also celebrated tattoos. It is thought that one of his prominent chest tattoos read ‘Edith and England’, referring to his wife and country. For King Harold II, tattoos were a means of reaffirming his passions and rejoicing in positive emotions.

Later, in 1066, King Harold II was identified amongst the dead by his magnificent tattoos. His tattoos painted him as a patriot to his country, devoted to loving, and as a unique individual unafraid to express himself.



Prince Frederik of Denmark


For a more modern story, you should look towards Prince Frederik of Denmark who will ascend to the throne with a shark on his calf. Prince Frederik’s tattoos are in deference to his time spent serving in the Danish Navy, just like his grandfather King Frederik IX who displayed dragons and birds across his torso for similar reasons.

Sailors have a reputation and history for their tattoos, so it’s no surprise that either Frederik has decided in favour of a tattoo or two. Some popular tattoo amongst seafarers includes the anchor (which means that the sailor journeyed across the Atlantic), as well as a shellback turtle to show that the sailor has crossed the equator.







Meghan Markle


While not a permanent tattoo, Meghan’s henna was just as meaningful as many of the tattoos on this blog. On a journey to Morocco, the Duchess of Sussex gladly received a henna flower on her right hand – a Moroccan tradition that celebrates pregnancy. Her henna artist explained: “It is a traditional practice for pregnant women in Moroccan. It is to bring luck for the baby”.

In Meghan’s case, her henna tattoo was born out of love for her baby, like King Harold’s tattoo celebrating his love for his wife.





Princess Sofia of Sweden


Before marriage, the princess used to work as a reality star and glamour model, but her move into the royal family has hardly diminished her love for tattoos. In 2015, she married Prince Carl Philip, fourth in line to the Swedish throne, and during the ceremony, she proudly displayed the sun tattoo on the nape of her neck with her hair swept away from the region and her dress’ neckline scooping just below the tattoo.





Sophia’s love for tattoos comes out of a love for fashion, and we’re happy to see that she was able to maintain her tattoos as a member of the Swedish royal family.

When you’re tattooing your next client, why not impress them with your extensive knowledge of the culture around tattoos? Talking to your customers while you use your tattoo equipment is a great way to keep those new to tattoos calm and happy, so make sure to stay tuned to our blog for more information regarding tattoo trends and culture.

Mental Health Awareness and Tattoos


At first glance, these two might not originally seem like they have much in common, but this blog will explain how tattoos have had a positive impact on spreading the word about mental health, and how doing good deeds can benefit your business as well as your local community.


The Importance of Mental Health Awareness

Mental health is a serious affliction that is being treated with greater care today than ever before, but many will know that current efforts to improve mental health awareness and its treatments can’t stagnate just yet; there is still plenty to be done before we can truly say that mental health is being treated with the care and attention it needs.

There are many avenues through which mental health awareness is spread – social media is quite popular for sufferers and survivors, as are changes to school curriculums to teach kids, but tattoos are also a popular outlet for those who have struggled with mental health.

For those wearing and displaying mental health awareness tattoos, there is a sense of community which can be very important for many. Knowing that others are out there and still fighting can inspire a lot of strength in the individual, and while one can attain this feeling simply from going on social media, sometimes the incredible distances between reality and online can prove intimidating and even make the person feel more isolated in knowing that there are others out there who are too far away to meet in real life.

Wearing or seeing a shirt or tattoo that promotes mental health awareness in real life – not just online – is important for those who would benefit from knowing that there is a local community too.

What Does a Semicolon Tattoo Mean?

There are a variety of trends and tattoo designs which support positive mental health awareness movements, but the most well known is perhaps the semicolon –

The story behind the popularity of the semi-colon is a very uplifting story of tattoo parlours across the country reducing prices on semicolon tattoos for a day. The origin of the semicolon comes from Project Semicolon, which Is a mental health awareness and suicide prevention charity which started up in 2013. Since then, the semicolon has become a symbol of hope and strength for many.

One parlour in Glasgow charged £10 for each semicolon tattoo that day but taking no profits for themselves and instead of sending the proceeds to charity. The event was exceptionally powerful and saw queues lining the street to show their support for the semicolon.

Since then, the semicolon has become a very popular tattoo for those wishing to show their support for, or struggles with, mental health.

Marketing Techniques and Free Tattoos

The semicolon project was begun in earnest with the best intentions in mind for those suffering, but a bonus effect felt by those participating parlours and salons was the positive reception from the local community thereafter. Participating in positive movements can see benefits for your business too, especially if it’s helping a movement that is close to the heart of your employees. The first step is to choose a movement that your company staff can really get behind followed by connecting with the local community to create something truly amazing.

Other Popular Designs

Semicolons aren’t the only design used to promote awareness of mental health issues in the tattoo industry; it’s not uncommon for mothers and self-harmers to recreate their scars and stretch marks into something beautiful through tattoos. Some decide to accentuate their scars by tattooing over them in bright colours, while others will choose a design that they love so much that will remind them that their body is a beautiful canvas that should not be harmed.

Other designs include the logos of charity’s which have helped individuals overcome their difficulties. Like the semicolon project, the National Eating Disorders Association has also seen tattoos based on its logo appearing on its survivors.

Common themes are those which represent ongoing life and a determination to continue the journey. The most popular design under this theme is the symbol of the arrow, but others include EKG lines to represent the beating heart and a will to live.

If you want to add your business to an important social movement, then you should ensure that you are using top quality tattoo supplies before you begin your arrangements. For many people looking to get a tattoo to represent a facet of mental health, the permanence of a tattoo is extremely important so make sure that you get it right for them. We have plenty of advice on our blog as well as products such as skin locks which you can use to help your client’s tattoos achieve even higher standards. Talk to us about your ideas and we’ll find the right solution for your business.

6 Tips for Helping Your Clients Choose Their Next Tattoo


Your body is a canvas with limited space so getting a tattoo that you will treasure indefinitely is important. As experts in the industry, we can tell you about the tattoos that your clients are most likely to regret down the line, as well as some mental exercises you can do to find the ultimate tattoo for your next visit. These are the tips that you, as a tattoo artist, should be handing down to your clients:


1) Meditation

Getting into regular meditation could help you to figure out what is most important to you and how you could represent that through design. For example, if the concept of freedom is something you want to pursue in your life, there are plenty of symbols that you could use to suggest this concept.

What you need to convey to your client is that they should be choosing the design that means the most to them. Freedom could be conveyed by birds in flight or the lone wolf, but if your client is a showjumper then the image of a wild horse might be more personal to them.

2) Talking to Your Tattoo Artist

We all know that getting a tattoo is painful, but what we sometimes forget is that the experience can be scary. For those getting their first tattoo, or those getting their first large tattoo, the pain can be a barrier preventing them from committing to a design. The ability to calm your customer about the tattooing process could be what they need to help them come to a decision too.

As a tattoo artist, it can be beneficial for your business for you to develop a reputation for befriending and calming your customers. Those who enjoy their experience with you will be likely to come back for their next tattoo and tell their friends to visit your parlour next.


3) Soul Searching

Even when they think they have come to an answer, you might want to recommend that they wait a week or two to be sure that that they still love the idea. They are going to have this tattoo for life, so if you think that they may still have a few reservations, tell them to come back in a couple of weeks and if they still love the design then they will be likely to continue liking it in years to come. On the other hand, if two weeks pass and they have changed their mind, then they will be very grateful for your wise words.

4) Foreign Languages and Quotes

If your client is asking for a tattoo in a language that you aren’t fluent in, then you could find yourself at the mercy of google translator, or a well-meaning friend who professes to understand the language but is only mediocre at best. If you’re unlucky, you can end up with pictures of the tattoo fail circulating foreign social media sites.

For this reason, it is important to ask the client to come in with the translation ready for you, rather than expecting you to write a translation of their favourite phrase. This way, you won’t be liable for any blame if they come to realise that there is a typo present in their tattoo. The same goes for quotes, too.


5) Lovers

Getting the name of your current lover always seems like a sweet idea, but there’s a lot of scope for it to go wrong. It can be difficult to dissuade your customers from getting a tattoo dedicated to their lover because any suggestion that their relationship might not last could easily be taken offensively.

Instead, when designing their tattoo, consider keeping a few possible correction designs that you could apply later down the line should the client need a quick fix after a messy situation. Instead of trying to convince them against getting a lover’s name, encourage them to come back to you should they ever need to amend the tattoo, though you hope this won’t be the case.

6) Too Trendy

Everyone wants some variation of a butterfly, rose, skull or star these days, so you may want to evaluate how hipster your client may be. For some clients, the important part of a tattoo is the personal story behind the image – it doesn’t matter how often other people choose similar images to these people. For others, uniqueness is incredibly important, and they could end up a little put out when they realise that their skulls and roses tattoo isn’t quite as individual as they first hoped.


A tattoo should bring happiness, memories, confidence, or all three. One way to bring your customer closer to these goals is by purchasing high-quality tattoo supplies to make sure that their tattoo is a stress-free process with the best aftercare. If your customer comes to the conclusion that a tattoo isn’t actually the right path for them, make sure that you have adequate piercing supplies so that you can offer them an alternative that might suit them better.

Combining Tattoos with Piercings


Many of us who love tattoos also love piercings, but what if there were designs that married these two loves into the same beautiful works of art? With a little ingenuity, it is certainly possible to create some truly unique and beautiful combinations. In this blog, we will consider the possibilities for different common piercing zones.



The ear is a common choice for piercings; many people’s first piercing is a stud or two on their lobes, but it’s not uncommon for the ear to be the site of further piercing, especially since helix piercings have been considered quite fashionable in recent years. As the site of so much artistic potential, it’s also a place where tattoos and piercings can be mixed to create fabulous designs:






There are two main schools of ear tattoo-piercings; the first being a detailed pattern behind the ear and the second being a simple pattern on the edge of the ear [helix and antihelix zones]. The important thing to bear in mind when designing an ear tattoo is to choose one that has meaning to you and will be loved for life. This means choosing a design that will fit your style for years to come.

In the first example, the tattoo behind the ear is quite large and even mimics the earring function by depicting jewels draping from the elegant flowers. The simple monochromatic colour scheme means that the design will never clash with any of her wardrobe choices, and neither will it be immediately noticeable, especially when she wears her hair down. On the other hand, once she brings her hair up, the effect is quite stunning. This is a design which will augment simple stud piercing as well as long draping earrings.

The second example is far simpler, featuring a rainbow schematic on the antihelix. This design is fun and augments the playful earring choices that this person has chosen. Like the previous example, this tattoo will suit both studs and drop earrings and is a personal tattoo.



Like the ear, tattoo-piercings in this zone will only come to light under particular conditions: beach bods and crop tops. On the other hand, an inventive belly button tattoo-piercing can be stunning. The example given below is one beach-ready tattoo-piercing to love.






The combination of the blue belly ring with the dolphin is perfect in its simplicity. The bright blue jewel resting in the navel reminds the viewer of the sea which ties in perfectly with this body’s nautical tattoo.

Other ideas include mesmerizing henna patterns spiralling outwards from a jewelled navel for a tattoo-piercing that brings a little of the ’80s to your body. For the more Gothic-inclined artists among us, a well-planned belly button tattoo-piercing can be the beginning of a fantastic canvas. Consider a red naval jewel shining out from a monochromatic skull and roses.

Belly-button piercings may appear to be healed with four to six weeks but may indeed take between three to six months. This means that it is very important to take proper care of your piercing during the healing stage. You can do this by buying piercing supplies from a respectable piercing parlour.



If you have decided that tattoo-piercings are the next step for you and your body, then you should always begin with a thorough plan. In this blog, we helped you with the first step which is to gather some inspiration for your body’s designs before you commit to them. The next stage will require you to plan your piercing or tattoo, factoring in healing times and any upcoming plans you might have that could cause damage to newly pierced or tattooed skin.

For example, perhaps you have had a belly piercing for a long time but are looking to improve it with a tattoo before beach season – you will want to plan this in advance because many tattoo artists recommend avoiding submerging newly tattooed skin in water for at least two weeks. This means that you should try to plan to get inked at least one month before your holiday which will allow for the outermost layers of skin to heal. For a thoroughly healed tattoo for your holiday, however, you should plan to get inked around three months before beach season.

There are plenty of reasons and places to get a tattoo or piercing, all you need to do is be prepared to take thoughtful advice from talented tattoo artists regarding aftercare and plan out your designs appropriately. If you follow these rules, then you will be sure to have a design that you will love for life.

3 Stages of a Healing Body Piercing


In a previous post, we took you through the three stages of tattoo healing, which we hope proved to be helpful for all of our inked readers out there. Today, we’re turning the spotlight onto those interested in piercings or, more specifically, those thinking about getting their first body piercing.

Just like with tattoos, body piercings also go through a three-step healing process. If you’re considering a new piercing, or you’re just interested in the process, read on to find out how body piercings heal.

The Healing Process

A piercing, no matter where it is on the body, is considered a puncture wound, and should be treated like one. It is important to try and leave the freshly-done piercing alone as much as possible, allowing the site to heal naturally to avoid drying out the healing skin.

It’s also important to leave your jewellery in for the period of time specified by your piercing professional. Avoid swapping the piercing out for another kind of jewellery, as this can lead to infections or allergic reactions. Changing the piercing could also interrupt the natural healing process of the site, making it last even longer. All piercings have different healing times, with some taking over six months to a year to be fully healed.


Stage 1: The Inflammatory Phase

The inflammatory phase will occur for the first few days after you have gotten your new piercing. In this phase, playing with or changing the jewellery can cause bleeding from the site, as can accidentally knocking the piercing. For many people, a fresh piercing can cause pain, swelling and tenderness in and around the piercing area.

You should already be following your aftercare procedure as outlined by your piercer. This will help reduce the symptoms and help your piercing begin the second stage of healing.

Stage 2: Proliferative Phase

Stage two is the main healing stage, known as the proliferative phase, where the edge of your piercing will begin to heal. This stage is the defensive stage, your body will begin producing proteins to try to help heal the area, to destroy bacteria and remove any debris left in the wound.

It’s extremely important that you try not to knock or move your jewellery during this phase to allow the site to heal more quickly. Fibroblasts will make their way to the wound and begin contracting, pulling the outside edges of the wound towards the centre. This is the reason you should not change your jewellery out during this step, as taking it out and reinserting jewellery can damage the delicate tissue forming, effectively restarting the healing process over again.

The proliferative phase is the longest phase of healing your piercing, lasting up to many months, so hang in there!

Stage 3: Maturation Phase

During the third and final stage, your body will strengthen the skin which lines the site of the piercing. The wound is changing and maturing, the cells that were helping heal it are no longer needed.

You may notice a discharge hardening on your jewellery more in this phase, and as long as it is clear and not painful, it is normal to experience this. This occurs as the sebaceous glands in the skin produce the substance, known as lymph, to moisturise the piercing site. It can be gently cleaned from the jewellery using lukewarm water and a cotton ball.

As we mentioned before, every piercing will heal at different rates, so it’s important to discuss how long a piercing should take to heal with your piercer before the procedure. Genital piercings typically heal the fastest – healing within four weeks – whereas a navel piercing takes a very long time to heal – up to a year. Wherever your piercing, keeping the piercing site clean and free from any irritants will greatly aid your healing experience.


For all you tattoo artists and piercing professionals out there, Body Shock has you covered for all of your tattoo and piercing needs. From high quality tattoo ink, to piercing needles and body piercing jewellery, we have everything a professional body artist could need. For more information on the products that we provide, contact us today, and one of our team members will be happy to help you.

The Origins of Making Tattoos


Tattooing is an ancient art form, practised long before there were specialised machines. Tools found in parts of Europe dating as far back as 12,000 years show evidence or early tattooing art. Egyptians tattooed their mummies in cultural burial rituals as late as the second millennium BCE. Early Asian cultures also incorporated skin art very similar to modern tattoos, as did Africans.

Humans have been obsessed with skin art since the very beginning. Whether it’s an expression of beauty, or for cultural and religious purposes, we have come great lengths to perfect and appreciate its significance. At the heart of years of advancement in skin colouring lies the modern tattoo gun.

The gun completely revolutionised tattooing, as both an art and a trade. New designs became possible, as did new pigments and finer detailing. It brought about the birth of a profession and an art form. Modern tattooing, as we know it, would not exist without it.




So, how do tattoo guns work, and how did this incredible invention come to be?


The Origins


Early tattooing was a painstaking and lengthy process, limited by the crudeness of the methods, which involved using hammering tools and long needles.


Samuel O’Reilly, a former convict, patented the first electric tattoo gun in 1891 in the US. O’Reilly based his invention on Thomas Edison’s Electric Pen, a failed 1875 idea for a pen that would make duplicate copies of text by piercing through the master copy over a stencil with an inked roller to blank sheets underneath.


The electric pen suffered several drawbacks at a time when electric batteries were still rather crude, leading to its failure shortly after launch. O’Reilly added multiple tattoo needles at the tip of the pen, as well as an ink reservoir. That's how the modern hand-held tattoo machine was first designed.


The gun used the original high-speed reciprocating DC motor mechanism to turn circular spin into an up and down piercing movement of up to 50 times a second. At the time, the speed and precision of the machine were utterly impressive. The innovative device rapidly grew in popularity and soon established tattoo artists as professionals. The tattooing culture also grew in turn.


In 1929, another significant improvement came about. Percy Waters, a tattoo artist from Detroit, patented a new gun design that featured two parallel electromagnets to move the needles instead of the motor. His invention very closely resembled the modern tattoo gun.





The Takeaway


For new or even experienced tattoo artists, understanding how their guns work gives a unique insight into the making of the art. In addition, you can learn to tune the machine to suit your artistic style. This knowledge also helps you narrow down your choice of tools from the various types and brands.


Take some time to view our selection of the best quality machines for aspiring and veteran artists at Body-Shock. We have a wide range of world-popular specialist tools in both rotary and coil models. We will also supply you with everything you need to keep going, from quality inks and spare parts to needles and other tattooing products.


Here at Body Shock, we believe in spreading body art and have been dedicated to its growth for over 25 years. If you’d like to learn more about our equipment and supplies, we are always ready to lend a helping hand to a fellow art-lover.

Things to Consider with Cover-Up Tattoos


With more and more people choosing to have cover-up tattoos as opposed to traditional tattoo removal services, becoming a proficient cover-up tattoo artist has become more appealing in recent years. The quality of tattoo cover-ups has improved significantly, to the point where the quality and consistency of work is of such a high quality that tattoo removal is no longer the first port of call.

Tattoo removal can often be inconsistent, incredibly time consuming and very expensive to do. Having the ability to effectively cover up botched or unwanted tattoos leaves you in a particularly promising position.



What is a Tattoo Cover-Up?

While the name suggests that a tattoo cover-up is made up of ink on top of previously drawn tattoos, a tattoo cover-up actually combines blending, depth of colour and shading to produce a tattoo around an existing tattoo. Tattoo cover-ups do not work like painting a picture, where layers of colour conceal previously applied colour. Cover-ups take skill and specialised training.

Tips for a Successful Cover-Up Include:

• Ensuring that the design used is as close to the old one as possible.


• Incorporating features from the old tattoo into the new tattoo and strengthening weaker lines.


• Correcting spellings in misspelt tattoos.


• Removing excess ink as a way of fading a tattoo.


• Opting for illusions as a way of improving the overall look of the tattoo.

How are Tattoo Cover-Ups Performed?

A good cover-up tattoo would have you believe that there has never been anything else in the same position, but tattoos can be poorly done. A bad cover-up tattoo looks as though two tattoos have been placed on top of one another. A good tattoo cover-up uses the original tattoo as a basis but yields a final product that is completely new and unique. In some cases, where the tattoo is particularly dark, or block-based, the tattoo may need some laser removal treatments, but in most cases this won’t be necessary.

The trick to a good, seamless cover-up is still being able to see the original lines - these lines have just been reused within the replacement piece and should be identifiable. Tattoo ink is transparent - any ink placed over existing ink will eventually bleed through and will not result in the desired effect.

Tattoo artists follow a particular procedure when considering a cover-up:

• Using tracing paper to outline the features of the client’s old tattoo, as a way of finding a reference for the parts of the tattoo that need maximum coverage.


• Another piece of tracing paper is used to create the new design, ensuring that the faint outline of the old tattoo is there as a reference point to ensure it is concealed.

Using the right equipment is key to producing professional, flawless designs, particularly where cover-ups are concerned. Tattoo machines are very intricate pieces of equipment, with details such as the weight, look, style and budget attached to the tattoo machine specific to each tattoo artist.



What Kind of Designs Can Replace Original Tattoos?

As a rule of thumb, tattoo cover-ups should be around two-thirds larger than the original tattoo: there’s absolutely no way, for example, that a larger tattoo could be replaced with something much smaller and delicate. Coverage also relies on how old or faded the tattoo is; newer tattoos are harder to cover, as the ink has had much less time to dissipate.

When considering how to approach a cover-up tattoo, the colours you use significantly affect its chances of success. If the original tattoo has softer colourings, it will be much easier to cover and where darker colours have been used, it might be wise to recommend fading or removal of the previous tattoo first before attempting to cover it.

• Black is the standard colour that a tattoo artist uses in the cover-up.


• New ink, when combined with the original ink, creates a brand-new colour.


• Tattoo artists will experiment with colour and style to place the design conveniently to cover the old tattoo.

What Specialised Skills Do Tattoo Artists Need to Produce an Effective Cover-Up?


An effective cover-up incorporates lines from the previous tattoo into the new tattoo, in such a way that it looks as though the original tattoo had never been there. An inexperienced tattoo artist, on the other hand, lacks the ability to naturally blend old and new designs and would produce a larger and dark tattoo. Tattoo cover-ups should only be attempted by tattoo artists who are well-trained in the art and have specialist skills that set them apart from traditional tattoo artists.

An effective cover-up tattoo artist must have:

• A good understanding of ink.


• Excellent blending and manipulation skills.


• A strong understanding of needlework.


• A lot of patience - tattoo cover-ups can be both meticulous work and incredibly time-consuming. Artists wanting to work in cover-ups should be willing to spend a lot of time on the design process.


• Excellent communication skills - artists need to be able to discuss the limits that the client's current tattoo has and what they should expect from their new tattoo.

One of the easiest solutions to ensuring that a good cover-up is produced is to fade the hard and dark lines before attempting the cover-up using laser tattoo removal services. Every qualified tattoo artist is fully aware of the most reputable laser removal clinics in their area and is able to refer clients there for laser removal, if it is necessary.



If you’re an experienced tattoo artist looking at finessing your skills in cover-up tattoo work, our specialised, state-of-the-art tattoo machines may well be your saving grace. We are able to provide you with personalised equipment, perfect for you and suited to your needs and tastes to ensure that your clients are receiving the best possible care and the highest quality cover work available.

The History of the Tattoo Machine


Tattoo machines as we know them today were not always the easy-to-use, sophisticated piece of kit that no tattoo artist can do without. In fact, before the innovation of the tattoo machine, tattoos were done slowly by hand. Ancient cultures used tools like rose thorns, shark’s teeth and pelican bones to push pigment into the skin. The Maori of New Zealand used bone chisels to carve designs straight into the flesh of warriors, and Polynesian artists used a rake-like tool to hold the ink and a hammer to puncture the skin.

Tattoos have existed and been depicted in some shape and form throughout history in practically every culture. But it was one man’s innovative thinking and rehashing of a failed invention that brought tattooing into the modern era with the world’s first handheld tattoo machine.



The Electric Pen

The first attempt at the modern-day tattoo machine wasn’t in fact a tattoo machine at all. Thomas Edison, the inventor most famous for the lightbulb, the motion picture camera and the phonograph, had numerous failed inventions including the electric pen. But was it such a failure in the end?

In 1875, Edison designed a device which was intended to be used to make multiple copies of a single document by writing on multiple pages at once. Edison recognised the demand for high speed copying after observing the amount of document duplication required by the likes of merchants and lawyers. The electric pen would pass over a stencil with an inked roller and puncture the roller at 50 punctures a second, transferring the ink onto the sheets of paper below.

The pen sold worldwide for the first five years, but ultimately failed as it became clear it was not practical for every day use. The drawback was the pen’s battery, which had to be maintained by experienced telegraphists and engineers, resulting in a target market that was in fact unable to successfully use it. Soon, mechanical pens that did not require batteries took over the market in 1880, before being rendered completely obsolete by the typewriter in the late 1880s.

Whilst the electric pen was not a success for Edison, his invention did lead to a much greater, more innovative design via someone else.

The First Electric Tattoo Machine

Samuel O’Reilly was a tattoo artist born in Connecticut in 1854 to Irish immigrant parents. Little is known about his early life, but we do know that he was a bit of a rebellious teenager and had a few brushes with the law. After leaving prison he joined the Navy, and it’s there we believe he learnt the art of tattooing

While living in New York in 1891, where he’d been dubbed ‘Professor O’Reilly, the best tattooer in the world and a perfect gentleman’ he became aware of Edison’s failed electric pen invention. Using Edison’s original design, he created an electric needle, which operated in the same way as the pen. It used a similar rotating ink roller, but he replaced the pen tip with a needle that would push ink into the skin. O’Reilly had developed a machine that would make a tattoo artist’s job much easier – the handheld tattoo machine.

On 8th December 1891, he patented the device and changed the face of modern tattooing forever. With the previous method of hand-poking, even the most experienced artists cold only puncture the skin two or three times a second, O’Reilly’s machine increased this to around 50 perforations a second, completely revolutionising the way tattoos were done.

O’Reilly’s popularity also skyrocketed. He became inundated with bookings for his services, and since he could tattoo people much faster, tattoos became more popular. Rather than being heavily associated with drunk and disorderly military men, tattoos began to become more normalised in all factions of American society. Other tattoo artists were keen to get in on the machine-tattooing business. In 1900, O’Reilly took a rival artist to court over the use of his patented tattoo machine; however, the case was never conclusively resolved.

Tattoo studies began cropping up all across the country and spread further afield to Europe. O’Reilly managed to secure his legacy, but he did not get to enjoy his lucrative success for very long. He died in 1909 after falling whilst painting his house.



Tattooing has come a long way, but we have Samuel O’Reilly to thank for his innovation. If you’re looking for tattoo machines or tattoo supplies, Body Shock has everything you need. Browse our range of stock today.

Tips for Calming Your Clients for Their First Tattoo


You probably remember what it was like getting your first tattoo – a blend of excitement, anticipation and those unavoidable butterflies in the stomach. It’s easy for customers to get carried away with apprehensive thoughts as they sit, flicking through folders of flash-sheets, waiting for their turn. These fears are common amongst first-timers, especially if they aren’t used to the harsh buzzing of tattoo machines or the cold, clinical feel of some tattoo studios.

Like any situation involving a big decision, the degree to which anxiety and nerves can affect a person varies wildly from individual to individual. Some people can take that big leap of getting their first tattoo with absolutely no fear (or at least, they don’t show it on the outside), but most clients are going to need at least a bit of a helping hand in quelling those doubts and worries.

The effects of nerves go beyond the mind as well and manifest in physical symptoms that are not only deeply unpleasant for the clients themselves but could also make your job as an artist harder than it needs to be. Aside from that horrible sickly feeling in the pit of your stomach, anxiety can cause muscle tension and shakiness as the body’s ‘fight or flight’ reaction kicks in. No matter how high-quality your equipment is or how skilled you are as an artist, having a frightened client whose nerves are on edge is not only going to make your work harder, it could potentially ruin their first tattoo, thus putting them off from the experience for life. So here are some tips and techniques on how to achieve relax and calm those nervous first-time clients.


Explain the Process

When something unfamiliar is stressing you out, the best way to combat any anxiety caused is to find out as much as you can so that it seems less daunting or worrying. As such, there is a very high likelihood that the client has done their research on what the process might be like. However, the internet is a double-edged sword when it comes to information, especially with such a subjective experience as getting a tattoo. So, for someone who’s clearly on edge about getting that first piece of artwork etched on their body, hearing you explain the process clearly before you start tattooing or as you progress can go a long way to alleviating those feelings of anxiety.

Fear of pain is a natural human emotion; we wouldn’t have made it more than a few hundred years or so as a species if we didn’t avoid things that we think, or know, will end up causing pain. But being prepared for a certain level of pain can help to combat it, and it's advisable to be honest with your client that they should expect pain during the process of getting a tattoo, especially if they have chosen a more sensitive area such as the ribs, ankles or neck. If they are worried that they won’t be able to cope with the pain, it might help to gently remind them that there is no way on earth so many millions of people would get tattoos every single year if the pain was utterly unbearable.


Distract Them from the Pain

If you’ve ever had an operation under local anaesthetic where you can still talk, you will have probably also had the experience of having one of the surgical team trying to maintain a conversation with you. From this, you'll know first-hand that being able to talk to someone in a strange and potentially painful or frightening situation really helps to divert thoughts away from what is happening.

Distraction is one of the most immediately effective forms of relieving nerves. Engaging in a conversation with a nervous client, especially one that goes beyond just pleasant small talk, is likely to be an effective way of easing them into getting their first tattoo. As an artist, you most likely talk to your clients anyway, but if a first-timer seems more visibly nervous than most then maintaining an interesting conversation can really help them relax and make the process easier for the both of you. Jokes or funny anecdotes work great for setting nervous clients at ease.

If you prefer instead to really focus on the work in hand, or if you aren’t the biggest conversationalist, a better strategy for you may be allowing the client to have a friend or relative next to them to converse with them and take their mind off the discomfort.

Conversation isn’t the only method of distraction you can utilise to lull a client into relaxation. You could also allow them to read a book or magazine (where possible), suggest that they listen to their own music through headphones, or introduce some other form of stimulus for them to engage with, like a puzzle.

Give Them Reassurance if They Become Panicked

Anxiety about a situation before it happens can make it seem like it will be the worst thing that’s ever happened. But, in nearly every case, once the situation is actually unfolding it is completely bearable. Getting a first tattoo is one of those situations for many people, but for a small majority the pain or the anxiety may be too much to cope with and they may end up needing to take a break mid-session.

Should this happen, remain calm and encourage the client to take the time they need to de-escalate the panic. If a client is breathing very shallowly and rapidly during the tattoo, gently prompt them to breathe deeply and slowly. Controlling breathing is an immediately effective method of managing anxious feelings, and an anxious person may forget to do this in the midst of a panic attack, so a reminder from you can be hugely beneficial in defusing a moment of panic.


As well as tattoo machines, tattoo ink and other supplies, we know that your toolkit as a tattoo artist also needs to include techniques and tips on how to interact with your clients to get the best out of the transaction for both of you. Hopefully, the next time you have an experience with a nervous client, you can employ an 'explain, distract and reassure' strategy, which will enable them to enjoy the experience as much as you enjoy your art.

If you have any questions about our tattoo supplies and equipment, or the rest of our product range, contact us today, and we’ll be happy to help in any way we can.

Get Creative: Why a Signature Style is a Must for Any Modern Tattoo Artist




If you're a tattoo artist, you probably already know the benefit of having a social media presence, creating an excellent following for your shop and using the best possible supplies. From tattoo guns; to quality ink, you want to be known for how good your work is - but if you want to get big, and get noticed, then it's not enough to simply be good at what you do; you need a signature style that your customers will love, and your internet followers will adore even more.

Why use a signature style?

It might be tempting to think that being good at all designs is enough when it comes to tattooing - after all, it's up to the customer what style, colour or shape they want their designs to be. But actually, the tattoo artists who are diversifying their work are the one’s getting noticed more and more in today's digital world; and they are also the ones with their books filled into the next year with a waiting list as long as your (untattooed) arm.

If you want to stand out from other tattoo artists, simply being a jack of all trades but a master of none is not going to impress your customers. Sure, they will still love their tattoos, but very few people will seek you out specifically to get a certain type of tattoo. If they're not doing that, then you're missing out on valuable trade compared to artists who are willing to go all in with their signature style.

We're not saying you'll never tattoo an old-school piece or a tribal-style tattoo ever again, because by the very nature of the job, tattoo artists have to be able to create great work across a spectrum of designs. But if there's a style or design you particularly like doing, having a signature style can be an excellent way to connect yourself with customers who want you to create the designs that you love tattooing; a win for all parties involved.

Picking your signature style

So you've decided that a signature style might just be for you, but how do you decide what you want that style to be? Like anyone in the arts, most tattoo artists already have a preference for the kind of work they like to create, whether it's hyper realistic designs, geeky themed imagery, old-school ink or anything in between.

If you're particularly skilled at bright, colourful designs, then it might be worth opting for that kind of design as your signature; or if you find your customers love unique abstract styles, then that might be the right fit for you. Producing tattoos in a coherent theme, whether it's down to the linework, the innovation in your designs or simply the use of a specific colour palette, can go a long way towards creating a name for yourself as an artist.

Building the audience

Want to be known for a certain style? Then social media is your best friend. Start promoting your work online and your customers will soon follow, especially if you have a strong visual style and identity when it comes to what you produce. If you're looking to build up a portfolio, creating flash sheets in your chosen look can be an excellent way to gain interest in your designs, and can lead to more customers who love what you do.

Some tattoo artists create flash with the specific purpose of building their portfolio and even offer great discounts on pieces they particularly want to do. This isn't compulsory, but it can be a great way to demonstrate your skill and talent with a very happy customer who got both a design they love and a discount to boot. It's up to you how you choose to promote your style, but simply getting it out there and seen is an excellent start.

Looking for the best tools to get the job done? Our tattoo guns and tattoo equipment can provide you with the best way to start fresh; you’ve got a new style, why not try out some new gear to go with it? See our full range of products online today, and contact us; for more information if you need it.

Are Name Tattoos A Good Idea? The Pros and Cons of Inking One on Your Client


Name tattoos have been a popular request of the tattooing world ever since its inception. The craze – which admittedly has been around for generations after initially picking up steam during World War One – generally sees clients opting for the name of their current partner. However, it’s not uncommon for people to pay homage to someone they have lost, or to a family member when choosing the ink.



The question is: should you support someone’s decision to have a name permanently tattooed on their skin? As the artist – not to mention the one in possession of the tattoo supplies necessary to make the design – you have an obligation to decide where you stand on name tattoos. With this in mind, here are some pros and cons to weigh up as you consider your stance.




1. Duty of Care

Every tattoo artist has a duty of care towards their clients. This generally covers the likes of injury and negligence, rather than saying ‘no’ to every design that you don’t approve of. There is an element of trusting the decision your client has made – even if you wouldn’t choose it yourself. Don’t forget, each customer is another opportunity to grow your business and build a client base, so you should generally try to be respectful and keen to oblige with what they have decided upon.

2. Optimism

You have probably experienced clients regretting their choice of ink in your time as an artist. People’s tastes change with time, and a design or tattoo choice they had done years ago may seem a mistake now; however, the process of getting a tattoo should be one that’s happy and exciting. Getting a name tattoo is a deeply personal choice, and behind many of these tattoos is a story worth telling.


3. Reconsideration

When inking a client, the worst case scenario is that they come to regret the tattoo. This can be deflating for you as the artist – not to mention frustrating for the customer down the line. Luckily, name tattoos – which can be small and simple – are generally amongst the easiest to redesign.


Look no further than Hollywood actor Johnny Depp, who previously had the names of his exes, Amber Heard and Winona Ryder, tattooed on his skin. He managed to change both without needing all the ink to be removed, so your clients could also go down this route if worse comes to worse.




1. Expertise

Never underestimate your experience as a tattoo artist. You’ll have picked up a lot of invaluable knowledge about the world of ink during your career – something that your clients should really take into account. You could, for instance, suggest alternative designs for people to consider. For example, how about a symbol to acknowledge someone rather than an actual name? Offering a creative alternative helps you to do your job more effectively

2. Reputation

Your clients are a walking/talking portfolio of your work. They are arguably the best way to extend your brand and build your reputation in the industry. Due to this, allowing someone to get a tattoo that you don’t really endorse can lead to your name being damaged down the line. This could hinder your opportunity to grow and progress in your career

So Where Do You Stand?

You should try to have a clear idea of where you stand on name tattoos as you try to build your brand and improve your reputation in the community. That said, you can always assess each client on a case-by-case basis. In the meantime, be sure to get hold of all the equipment you need for your tattoo business by checking out the stock at Body Shock.

For more information, feel free to contact us today.

13 Tattoo Artists to Follow on Instagram


With 92,504,102 #tattoo posts on Instagram, you’ll never be short of ink-spiration. Here, we’ve rounded up thirteen of our favourite ink artists so you’ll never be stuck for ideas.


Instagram tattoo artist 1: Tea Leigh (@tealeigh)

Co-owner of Welcome Home, a New York tattoo studio and safe community space, Tea Leigh racks up an impressive 121,000 follows on Instagram alone. Specialising in the old-fashioned ‘stick and poke’ technique, which uses a needle to poke ink into the skin, Leigh’s simple designs have attracted a huge fan base.

Instagram tattoo artist 2: Johnny Gloom (@johnnygloom)

French tattoo artist Johnny Gloom has a consistent film noir theme to his designs. Dark, lustful and not always ‘safe for work’, he delivers striking work to an avid fanbase of nearly 200,000. If a mysterious aesthetic is what you’re after, head over to his page for some inspiration.

Instagram tattoo artist 3: Susanne Konig (@suflanda)

German artist Susanne Konig now operates out of Redwood Tattoo Studio in Manchester, UK. She’s currently booked up for the next 3 months, providing her clients with surreal, monochrome and detailed ink. For daily updates straight from the studio, just hit ‘follow’.

Instagram tattoo artist 4: Georgia Grey (@georgiagreynyc)

It’s easy to see how Georgia’s watercolour tattoos translate perfectly from sketchbook to skin. Her subjects vary, but they always brighten up our Insta feed with a much-appreciated injection of colour. This is an artist of serious skill.

Instagram tattoo artist 5: Jon Boy (@jonboytattoo)

Jon Boy of Bang Bang Tattoo isn’t short of fans. Coming in at over half a million followers, he’s a fan of pencil-thin design. Ever-so-small and delicate, he’s a leader of the tiny tattoo phenomenon.

Instagram tattoo artist 6: Joelle Green (@joellegreentattoo)

Hailing from the beautiful Cornish seaside town of Falmouth, Joelle’s feed gives us a whole lot of variety. From simple, striking line work, to intricate watercolour pieces and everything in between, she’s one of the most experimental artists on this list.

Instagram tattoo artist 7: Tati Compton (@taticompton)

Another fan of the traditional ‘stick and poke’ technique, Tati’s designs ooze mystery, with celestial themes meeting pin-up vibes for a unique design.

Instagram tattoo artist 8: Scott Campbell (@scampbell333)

Tattooing from the heart of Los Angeles, Scott has a particularly impressive client base. He’s been known to ink Marc Jacobs, Courtney Love and Robert Downey Jr. He’s an exceptional artist all round, but his shading, in particular, makes him stand out.

Instagram tattoo artist 9: Gabby Colledge (@gabbycolledge)

A true aesthete, Gabby’s feed looks almost like a catalogue from which you can browse ribcage tatts, forearm art and ankle ink. Everything she touches is dainty and dreamlike. Balancing her tattoo artistry with a music career, she’s one artist who’s in high demand. Right now, this London lady’s waiting list is at least six months.

Instagram tattoo artist 10: Franki Tattoo (@franki_tattoo)

Coming at us from Barcelona, Franki specialises in monochrome looks. They’re laden with natural motifs, including flowers, birds, moths and skulls. He travels, too! So keep an eye out in case he comes to a studio near you. Right now, Hamburg and Dresden are in the pipeline.

Instagram tattoo artist 11: Curt Montgomery (@curtmontgomerytattoos)

Add Curt to your following list and you’ll see a whole lot of bold line art, with silouhettes, drama and the occasional splash of red. Head over to his page to appreciate the power of a limited colour palette. Very striking.

Instagram tattoo artist 12: Sasha Unisex (@sashaunisex)

It wouldn’t be an article about Instagram tattoo artists without a special shout out to Sasha Unisex. Graphic, bold and with an unrestricted colour palette that often slips into neon, these are tattoos that make a statement.

Instagram artist 13: Eliot Kohek (@eliot.kohek)

Arguably saving the best for last, this French artist has to share his work as videos, not imagery. Why? Because he has such intricate skill that he can make a tattoo look truly three dimensional. This has to be seen to be believed, so head over to his page and prepare to be wowed.

If you're looking for tattoo supplies; or tattoo machines for your shop, simply get in touch; with us at Body Shock today for more information.

UV Tattoos Are the Latest Inking Trend - A Guide for Tattoo Artists


While tattoos are becoming more and more popular, with an ever-increasing percentage of the population getting inked, there is still a small number of people who really want a tattoo, but want to keep it a secret. This is where UV tattoos come in; barely visible in the day under normal light, they come alive when under UV light.


How Do They Work?

Black light tattoos are created by using special ink, which contains UV reactive fluorescent dye. This ink can be coloured, producing a standard colour on the skin which will then be transformed when hit with UV lights, leaving an almost invisible tattoo during the day, which only shows up under UV light, making for a subtler tattoo than normal.

Getting a UV tattoo is the closest people can get to becoming a bioluminescent fish without any genetic modification, and have been incredibly popular with the rave scene as well – because anything that glows in the dark is pretty cool. They can be designs in their own right or can be used as an overlay to a normal tattoo, dramatically changing the picture when the full image is revealed.

What Do Tattoo Artists Need to Know?

While a few artists and tattoo shops may be advertising and willing to use UV materials, it must be noted that no medical or governmental body has approved this black light ink for tattooing. According to these bodies, this dye’s only use should be in the fishing industry, to label products. Because this is a relatively new trend, there is little to no information about the long-term effects of using UV ink as a tattoo material for the human body.

However, UV inks have been noticed to be more prone to triggering allergic reactions than your usual, traditional ink. UV ink has caused painful blistering, severe skin rashes and even burning sensations. Even when the tattooing process goes as normal and there are no adverse effects, UV tattoos tend to produce more prominent scarring, because there is no coloured ink to conceal the small lines that the tattoo needle leaves.

UV ink tattoos also tend to take longer to fully heal, between 12 and 18 months, depending on the size. This is due to the thinner nature of UV ink, requiring significantly more passes of the needle over the skin to make the ink stick. Also, the quality of the tattoo gun has a large effect, although you can find quality tattoo guns; in our online store.

Should You Invest in UV Ink?

While UV tattoos are becoming a growing trend, they still make up a seriously small percentage of the actual tattoos done. It can be difficult sourcing reputable tattoo supplies, and this is also true of UV ink. Until more research is done on the long-term effects of UV ink and dye on the human body, most reputable tattoo artists and shops are avoiding this new craze, suggesting that true professionals don’t take chances with the health and safety of their clients. It seems that investing your time, effort and money into UV ink and its process might be a waste, certainly until further information is found about its long-term effects.

If your business is looking for quality tattoo supplies, guns and machines, then please visit our website. Feel free to contact us for advice and recommendations to suit your business needs.

4 Top Tips for Covering an Unwanted Inking


When it comes to getting a permanent inking, some clients might regret acting on the spur of the moment. 

While many people are thrilled with their new body art, others might not be quite so happy with their choice in retrospect.

Clients who rush into following a tattoo trend, rely on celebrity inspiration, or ink a partner's name on their body might be forced to revisit the tattooist again on a later date.  

For clients that do wish to cover up an unwanted inking, here are some top tips to cover the most common mistakes and help your client give their old tattoo a new lease of life …

Tattoo being made_2

Unwanted Names

Tattooing a partner’s name on your body can seem like a great idea at the time; however, if the relationship ends, this can be a constant and unwanted reminder.

One of the most famous examples of this is Johnny Depp’s infamous Winona Forever tattoo, which was altered to Wino Forever after he parted ways with his ex.

For clients who are feeling a similar degree of regret, choosing a bold and timeless design, which includes darker shades to ensure the name is fully covered up, might be the most effective way to cover their inking and help them erase the past.

Bad Portraits

Many people opt to ink the face of a favourite celebrity or beloved family member onto their body as a tribute.

Sadly, the expectation doesn’t always match reality and the client could be left feeling unsatisfied.

For those who wish to cover a tattoo of a person’s face, it is often more effective to use the original elements of the design and incorporate these into the new tattoo. Portrait tattoos can be quite distinctive, so fixing it, rather than creating an entirely new tattoo, could be more successful.

Whether this involves improving the intended likeness, or creating a new face, modifying the tattoo could have more effective results.

Bold Colours

When it comes to covering up an old tattoo, the results very much depend on the original design.

If the old tattoo features a black ink with a thick application, this could be more difficult to cover than a lighter coloured tattoo. The boldness of the original design could severely limit their new tattoo options.

To cover a darker tattoo, your client may need to choose bolder colours to ensure the old inking isn’t visible underneath. Explaining this to them, and talking through the options, will ensure they choose the design that is right for them.

Thoroughly Consult with the Client

Finally, as clients may have rushed into their last tattoo, it is essential that the consultation to cover up their unwanted body art is thorough, and the tattoo artist ensures the client is completely happy. During the consultation sketch out the new design and take photos to allow them to raise any concerns, or suggest alterations before the tattoo is carried out.

For more information on tattoo suppliescontact Body Shock today and we will be happy to help.

The Importance of Tattoo Art Consultation


When you are thinking about getting a tattoo, the last thing you are probably thinking about is having a tattoo art consultation. However, this consultation is vital in ensuring that you get the right tattoo for you. Tattoos that will be large, are on the back, or arms, always usually require a consultation. Below we explore why tattoo art consultation is important and what you should expect.


What Should I Expect?

The first thing is not to feel anxious or to worry. The initial consultation is basically a chance to share ideas and to meet your tattooist and the environment in which they work. You can check the tattoo artist's credentials, check their tattoo equipment and previous work that is usually showcased in their portfolio and on the walls. You will get a sense of how they work and if they are the right fit for you.

The Importance of Image Size and Placement

The art tattoo consultation will allow you to discuss where you want the tattoo placed, and what size it should be. This is in consultation and at the advice of the tattoo artist. There may be an alternative part of the body where the tattoo can be placed, and a smaller tattoo may be preferable to a larger tattoo. It's also important to remember that if you want to expand on the tattoo in future, then placement is incredibly important.

Express Your Ideas

The consultation allows the artist to gain great insight into what you actually want. But to do so, you need to share your ideas and to be open to their suggestions. It's important that you chat openly about what tattoo you want, in terms of colour, size, and theme. The artist will work with you. If you find it difficult to articulate your ideas, then find a similar image on screen or share a photo of a favoured tattoo.

Share Images You Have Found

An image is worth a thousand words. Collect images in a sketchbook, colours that you want to be used, print out any images that you have found online. Take a screenshot of any images so that you can show the artist. It's also worth browsing the tattoo artist's portfolio of images to see if they have something that can be used as a starting point if you are struggling for ideas.

Additional Information About Your Initial Consultation

It's worth asking a few questions before setting the date for the inking to begin. Check if you can see the final design before the ink is put on the skin. It's also important that you determine the time that it will take to ink the entire tattoo, and how many sessions will be needed. This is important if you need to factor in time to your working day. The initial consultation is also a good opportunity to ask about aftercare.

Body Shock sells a range of tattoo supplies including tattoo machines and tattoo guns. Please do contact us for more information today.

4 Tips For Landing Yourself a Tattoo Apprenticeship


For many art lovers, becoming a tattoo artist is a dream job. Yet being a tattooist requires much more skill than simply being able to draw. There is plenty to learn regarding health and safety, techniques and styles and even exceptional customer service and care. It is, therefore, a great idea to begin your career with an apprenticeship. This way you will learn from skilled artists and kick-start your working life positively. With many people aspiring to claim a place in this incredible career, here are four top tips to help you land yourself that all-important apprenticeship.


1. Be Determined

Tattooing is not easy, and the job of a tattoo artist requires passion, dedication and commitment. You must ensure that you have that same mindset, otherwise, those who do will get ahead of you. Set yourself a goal and work for it with determination, energy and a strong sense of personal motivation. This attitude will show in your interviews and on your applications, so you need to get it spot on.

2. Build your Portfolio

Get together a professional looking portfolio, either online, on paper or both. This will be a showcase of your artwork and you should aim to have around 50 completed pieces. Try to show varying skill sets with a range of art, including outlines, shaded designs, full-colour pieces and typography. If you have a particularly unique style, make sure this stands out as a show of your talent and individuality.

3. Do Your Research

Not all tattoo shops or artists will take on apprentices and there is no point wasting time writing to those who don't. Look online, call shops/artists or pop in to local shops to ask. This way you can spend adequate time on your applications to those who are looking to take somebody on. By doing your research well you will also know if the shop/artist you're applying to has a particular style, clientele or atmosphere. This means you will know if it is the right place for you, and can interview with a level of understanding.

4. Go Prepared

It is not just your portfolio that will show you are prepared. It is also important to have a knowledge of the industry, of current trends, and of different types of tattoo guns and inks. Don't worry - you are not expected to know it all right away, and in an apprenticeship you learn on the job. However, a basic understanding helps to demonstrate your passion and interest in the business and gives you a higher chance of being successful in your attempt to get the apprenticeship.

When you begin your apprenticeship be sure to start your new career on a positive. At Body Shock, we are a leading supplier of top quality tattoo guns and high-quality inks. Contact us today to find out more about what we offer and how it can benefit you as an artist.

The True Meanings Behind Some of The Most Iconic Tattoos


Tattoos have become ingrained in so many different cultures, transforming the body into a living, moving, breathing work of art. But, have you ever wondered about the true meanings behind some of the most iconic tattoo designs? Yes, dream catchers and swallows are popular, but why? Let’s take a look at the meanings in further detail…


Dream Catchers

The dream catcher stems from Native American culture. They are a sign of happiness, good fortune and protection. Grandparents wove dream catchers for newborns, placing them above their cradle so that the infants would have peaceful dreams.


Siren tattoos have been popular for many years now, and they have a fascinating back story. Half woman, half fish, these creatures used to lure sailors, seducing them to their death with their seductive music. Sirens speak of how dangerous, yet enticing, the sea is. A siren tattoo, therefore, signifies that you are a person who lets their passions lead the way.

Cherry Blossoms

Cherry trees and blossoms are going through a surge in popularity again. Not only do they look stunning, but they're also a Japanese symbol of the beauty and fragility of life. This tattoo will remind you that, while life is overwhelmingly beautiful, it can also be tragically short at the same time. This is a lovely tribute to someone you love who has passed away too soon.


You’re probably already well aware that a rose symbols romance. However, this flower is a powerful symbol, which has strong and diverse meanings across the world. While the red rose speaks of passion and love, if you change the colour, the meaning changes. For example, a blue rose symbolises mystery and longing to attain the impossible. Some cultures even believe that the blue rose will grant wishes.


Soft and elegant, feathers have a different meaning depending on the culture. They can be both a positive and a negative symbol. In some cultures, feathers represent luck and birth. In others, a feather is for loss and death.


The Om is the sacred sound and spiritual icon. It points to all ends and to all beginnings. It comes from the Hindu religion, yet has become a popular symbol across the world.


Finally, we have pin-ups. Sailors used to get pin-up tattoos to remind them that they had their girlfriends or wives waiting for them at home. After all, life at sea meant separation from the ones you love. These tattoos portray femininity, perfection and excellency, wrapped up in the silhouette of seduction and guile.

If you would like one of the tattoos mentioned above, or you are looking for something more unique, Body Shock can assist. We sell a great selection of tattoo supplies including tattoo guns and machines. Place an order online or contact us for more information on +44 (0)1922 744088.

5 Benefits You Get Every Time You Tattoo Someone


The best tattoo artists often ink multiple customers during a working day. Between all your excellent handiwork it’s worth taking a moment to remember that you are also benefiting from your artwork in a roundabout way.

This is certainly something to consider when you’re thinking of purchasing more tattoo supplies to use in future. With this in mind, here are five benefits that you get from every tattoo you deliver.


1. Expression

Every tattoo is another chance to exercise your creativity. This might not seem like it’s very important, but it is. Studies have found that even the smallest doses of creative input can help relieve stress and stimulate brain function.

Research also suggests that it can help prevent diseases like Alzheimer’s. You should remember this every time that you offer words of wisdom to a customer who’s unsure about which design is right for them.

2. Satisfaction

You don’t just get a fee out of inking someone with their dream tattoo. Instead, you will hopefully get to make them smile. Once you’ve done a good job and secured another satisfied customer, you should feel a sense of fulfilment that keeps you feeling both motivated and happy in your career. This isn’t always the most powerful emotion but it’s there under the surface.

3. Skills

It’s impossible to be completely perfect at what you do. The best way to improve your skills is, of course, to practice. You should therefore feel comfortable knowing that each tattoo you deliver is yet another step closer to honing your craft and nearing the top of your game. Even the ones that don’t turn out how you expected can still be considered a valuable learning curve.

4. Trends

The world of tattoos is constantly moving forward and evolving. It’s all too easy to fall behind on the trends that are out there if you’re not regularly interacting with customers and listening first-hand to what designs they’ve set their sights on. You’ll know full well that the best tattoos artists are always on-trend and know just what designs are emerging, so take this on board every time you complete a piece of body art.

5. Brand

The tattoo industry is quickly learning that their brands can be built by social media platforms like Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. Meanwhile, word of mouth is still majorly important when it comes to making a name for yourself as a tattoo artist. It is, therefore, worth remembering that you’re building your reputation with every tattoo you do. This means that you’re constantly moving towards bigger and better things in your career.

Remember the Benefits

Working as a tattoo artist can be good money – but that shouldn’t be the only reason why you do it. Instead, it’s worth considering all these benefits that you get from each and every inking. This is something to remember when you’re investing in further supplies. For more information on getting your hands on the best equipment going, contact us today.

How A Memorial Tattoo Can Help Your Clients Move On


When one of your clients chooses to get a tattoo, you're helping them tell a story or mark an important moment. After all, that's exactly what the Tahitian word 'tatu' means. But some tattoos can have a deeper meaning and getting inked is becoming a popular way of memorialising a lost loved one.

It's a practice as old as tattooing itself - a centuries old custom in Hawaii, where death is commemorated with a tongue tattoo as a lasting reminder of the pain and loss. No one's suggesting you act as a grief counsellor, but memorial tattoos are proven to help people move on with their lives, so here are some modern approaches to consider.


Tattoo with Ashes

Popularly known as a cremation tattoo, in this technique an ultra-fine powder of sterilised ashes is mixed into the tattoo ink and then applied using standard tattoo guns in the required design. It's a deeply personal way to memorialise a loved one, but you'll need to make sure that you're both 100% happy with the procedure before moving forward.

Be Distinctive

Highly distinctive handwriting or a personal note can make a good design for a memorial tattoo, particularly if the wording is personal and motivational. The same to applies to a meaningful date that might be as personal as the day your parent taught you to ride a bike. Another approach might be to create a design based on hobbies or pastimes - if they loved Winnie the Pooh or collected stamps, some gentle questioning should guide you towards the basis for a distinctive and unique design. 


A tattoo of soundwaves representing the sound of a loved one's voice is a unique and very special way to memorialise them. Thanks to a new smartphone app, as a tattooist you can help your client create a permanent record of their loved one's voice to listen to as a reminder of their influence on their life. Nailing this type of memorial tattoo is highly skilled and takes a great deal of care and attention with tattoo guns but it makes a stunning design with a great deal of meaning.

If you need high quality tattoo supplies to help your customers create modern memorial tattoos, then contact us today.

Body Piercing Jewellery Trends To Look Out For In 2018


Body jewellery has never been so exciting. Today you can adorn every part of your body with a selection of different materials and styles of art. Below we explore some of the hottest body jewellery trends to try out this year.

Nose rings

When it comes to nose piercings then the good news is that anything goes, leaving you free to express yourself. This year also sees us embracing multiple nose piercings, especially nose rings. Trends to look out for are bead rings, septum tusks, nostril screws and cute studs.


Naval piercings

Naval piercings are seeing something of a revival this year which is good news for those who love their body piercings. Belly button studs remain as popular as ever, but belly button rings are also bang on trend for those hot summer days. Choose from fun stainless steel naval bars and naval jewels to really stand out from the crowd.

Tongue and eyebrow

Formed back in the late 1970s, tongue and eyebrow piercings remain as hot as ever before. When it comes to tongue piercings, the industry standard is still that of the straight barbell. Spiral barbells are also bang on trend, while eyebrow rings really allow you to showcase your true personality. There are now many different styles and shapes, that include captive rings and surgical steel eyebrow bars, that feature a pendant of your choice, such as a bat, cobra or even the devil.

Lip piercings

Lip piercing remains as popular as ever before, with women now embracing this body art. Choose from lip rings in a variety of different materials, plus an assortment of colours and gems. Black titanium and ball closure lip rings will also be incredibly popular.

Body piercing and the choice of body jewellery is very much a personal choice. Opt for colours and shapes that reflect your personality, and don't forget to have fun with your choice of body jewellery.

For more information about our body piercing supplies and range of body jewellery, then please do contact us here at Body Shock via phone or our online form.

4 Tattoo Trends to Expect in 2018


With 2018 in full swing, new trends are emerging in all areas of fashion, music and art. Tattoos are gaining increasing popularity, especially in particular styles, so there are some trends that you can be sure are going to be on the up throughout the year.

Here are four tattoo trends that your clients may be excited about this year:


1. Plant Stencil

Botanical tattoos are no new concept, but rising in popularity are plant stencil tattoos. The leaf or flower is dipped into stencil ink and pressed against the clients skin to leave an impression, which then forms the basis of the tattoo. These designs truly flourish and work especially well as colour and watercolour pieces.

2. 3D Gem Stones

Taking the world of ink by storm right now are 3D gem stone tattoos. Using a combination of white ink and water colours, artists are creating designs that truly sparkle. Many people have an association with gem stones - their birth stones, for example - and this new trend is set to make them even more fashionable for 2018.

3. Traditional Styles

Traditional styles have begun to make a comeback, so you can expect to see anchors, roses, hearts and daggers hitting popularity again. The old sailor styles of chunky black lines and vibrant colours have also become a retro favourite amongst ink enthusiasts. With the modern day ink available, the colours really pop, to create bold, eye catching art.

4. Minimalist Tattoos

They might be small and simple, but they're completely gorgeous in their own unique ways. As people from all walks of life continue to develop a taste for ink, you may find people wanting small, subtle designs. From mountain tops to planes to origami animals, these petite pieces are proving increasingly popular and, thanks to social media posts, this trend is likely to rise as the year goes on.

With so many trends, all varying in style and design, you'll need to be well prepared and equipped. Get ahead by making sure that you have the best quality tattoo supplies. For a huge range of tattoo guns and ink, visit Body Shock today, or get in touch with us now.

5 Ways Tattooists Can Calm Nervous Customers


It is not uncommon for those getting a tattoo to feel nervous, but some people react worse than others. As a tattooist, having a customer who is over anxious can make the experience difficult for them and for you. For a more relaxing session, here are five ways you can help calm nervous customers.

1. Show Them the Tattoo Equipment

For a lot of people their main worry is a fear of needles. Often, they picture a set up similar to medical needles and injections which causes them to panic. Showing them the tattoo equipment can help put their mind at rest, as the needle is barely visible within the tattoo gun set up.


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2. Make Sure They Are Comfortable

Offer the client a drink so that they feel more at ease. Depending on the position of the tattoo it can be quite awkward to get a comfortable angle, but don't start until the customer feels relaxed. Offering cushions and foot rests are a good way to maximise comfort.

3. Start With a Small Dot or Line

Allow the customer to experience the feeling of a small dot or line before committing to the full piece. Many people find that the feeling is not as painful as they'd anticipated and this can make them feel more confident going forward.

4. Take Breaks

Take breaks whenever the customer needs to and keep an eye on any signs that they might need fresh air or a glass of water. Taking a break to pop to the toilet or take in some sugar can also provide the customer with more comfort.

5. Offer Distractions

Keeping distracted is a great way to push through tattoo nerves. Make sure your client knows they're welcome to talk, use their phone or watch TV (if one is available). Playing music is also a good way to keep their mind occupied on something else.

Calm clients lead to a more pleasurable experience for everybody. If you are a tattoo artist looking for high-quality tattoo guns and inks then contact a member of our team at Body Shock today to see our huge range of popular products.


White Ink - Is It worth It?


If a client comes in demanding a white ink tattoo, it can be difficult to dissuade them. Most people see freshly done white ink tattoos online and fall in love. But few realise that white ink tattoos are incredibly risky. There are so many ways in which white ink can come out badly. Even if the most stringent measures are taken, there is no telling how it will heal. Here are a few pointers to use when trying to equip your clients with the best information.

White Ink Is Too Thick

White ink is traditionally meant to add highlights around black outlines. It is thicker than other inks, so it doesn’t make a sharp, clean outline. Thick ink will also raise the tattooed skin higher than normal - an effect that could be undesirable for some.


Light Colours Fade Faster

The lighter the colour, the quicker it will fade. White is the lightest colour of the lot, meaning it will fade the fastest. Your client will have to come in regularly for touch-ups to repair broken lines and keep the tattoo bright.

Discolouration Is Likely

Those looking for bright white tattoos will be sorely disappointed. Two millimetres of skin will grow on top of the white ink and could stain the colour. If you use blue stencil ink instead of bloodline, the tattoo will pick up the blue colour and discolour to a weird green-grey colour.


Some clients like the raised scar effect of tattoos, but others dislike it. Make sure your client knows that their tattoo is probably going to end up looking like a scar. Because the ink is so light and prone to discolouration, the tattoo might heal to look like scar tissue.

The Bottom Line

If your client has decided to go ahead with a white ink tattoo, make sure you have the best tattoo supplies possible. If you are unsure what the best ink is, or how to correctly stencil for white ink, then be sure to contact us and we will help you out.

4 Tips for New Tattoo Artists


If you're just starting out as a new tattoo artist, congratulations! This is an exciting time and the start of what can be a fun and fulfilling career. Many people dream of pursuing an artistic passion within their work, and being a tattoo artist means that every day will be different. There's so much you'll learn along the way, but if you're a beginner, we have compiled a list of 4 tips to help you get started.

1. Build Your Portfolio

All tattoo artists need a portfolio of work. A physical album or scrapbook of your work is great for potential clients, but you should also set up an online profile. Using social media to showcase your work is highly effective in today's modern world. Showcasing what you can do not only sends clients your way but is a great way for you to look back on your progress as an artist throughout the years.


2. Stay Committed

It can be difficult for new tattoo artists, with many established tattooists already out there. You'll need to be persistent, hard working and committed to keeping going, even while it's tough. While tattooing is fun, it can include long, late shifts, so you must have a strong work ethic.

3. Practice Good Customer Service

Every day you'll meet new people of different ages with different interests. They could be sat with you for hours at a time so you need to make sure that you practice customer service skills. Offer drinks, keep them comfortable and encourage friendly chat. Meeting new people is one of the perks of the job, but only if you make it so.

4. Use Quality Equipment

Using high-quality tattoo guns and ink will make a huge different to your work. Strong, vibrant colours are essential and you'll need a huge range so that you're ready to take on any design. Working with a high standard of equipment not only makes your job easier but produces better results for satisfied customers.

If you're looking for affordable, quality tattoo supplies then just take a look at our large range. For more information please don't hesitate to contact us.

Three Celebs Who May Have Inspired Your Clients to Get Inked


It’s not uncommon for tattoo artists to want to get inside their clients’ heads before inking their body. Why? Well, it can help them understand what motivated them to choose the art – and, in the process, can assist them with doing the best possible job.

These days, people seeking tattoos are often inspired by the ink of the rich and famous. After all, some celebrities boast a diverse selection of body art and are happy to promote the prospect of others following in their footsteps. With this in mind, here are three famous faces who may have inspired your clients.


Johnny Depp

Actor Johnny Depp now has 31 tattoos across his body. While some were there at the start of his career, he amassed many on his way to becoming arguably one of the most famous men in Hollywood. When quizzed about his body art, he once told Ellen DeGeneres: "I've always felt that the body is kind of a journal in a way." Who wouldn’t be inspired by those wise words?

Demi Lovato

Singer Demi Lovato has 20 tattoos, across places such as her fingers, wrists, feet and forearm. While she’s only 25, Demi’s been happy to tell her fans that tattoos should be about living in the moment. During an interview on Live With Kelly and Michael, she once explained: "I'm young and I can rock it now and when I get older, I can worry about that later.” This ethos is surely very easy for many to get on board with.

Angeline Jolie

Oscar winner Angelina Jolie now has over 20 tattoos. Why has she opted for so many? According to the actress, it’s a great form of self-expression. In a feature in Post Modern Ink magazine, she famously elaborated: "I don't think it's abnormal that someone who spends their life in other skins wants to claim their own by marking things on it that matter to them."

Be the Best at What You Do

It’s important to have a knowledge of what could be motivating your clients, as well as access to the best tattoo supplies you can get hold of when doing your job. For more information, feel free to contact us today to buy your equipment from Body Shock.

Eyebrow Tattoos - The Pros and Cons


Eyebrow feathering tattoos are among the latest beauty trends and are something that some of your clients may ask you about. Here’s an overview of the pros and cons of eyebrow feathering tattoos.

The Pros

Long-Lasting and Hassle-Free

Although not permanent, eyebrow tattoos are pretty long-lasting; one treatment should last for about a year before it will need to be repeated. Unlike makeup, eyebrow tattoos don’t smudge or come off in the shower or when swimming, so your client won’t have the hassle of continually reapplying traditional makeup in order to keep their brows looking good. Be sure to use high-quality tattoo supplies for the job to give the best results.

Immediate Results

Eyebrow feathering tattoos will give an immediate result! The whole process takes around an hour, and your client will leave your shop with their new look in place and ready to rock.

A New, Confidence-Boosting Look

Professionally done eyebrow tattoos give the brows a clearly defined shape, a perfect symmetry, and uniform density in the colour of your client’s choice, making them perfect for people whose natural brows are very sparse or pale in colour. The end result of the procedure should greatly enhance the appearance and bring balance to the facial features, leaving your client feeling much more confident in both their social life and at work.

The Cons

No Pain, No Gain

One downside of eyebrow tattoos is that your client will experience a small amount of mild, stinging sensation during the procedure, as this area is particularly sensitive. You can apply numbing cream to the brow area before the procedure begins, in order to minimise the discomfort. Unlike some other cosmetic procedures, there’s no prolonged recovery time during which they have to hide away until the swelling goes down, but there may be a small amount of swelling and sensitivity for a day or so. Over a period of about two weeks, the tattoos will scab-over and drop off, leaving the area feeling rather itchy. You should provide your client with a suitable soothing lotion to apply to the brows until the area heals completely. Remind your client not to scratch the scabs or they could cause permanent scarring.

Top Up Costs

Like any form of semi-permanent makeup, eyebrow tattoos fade over time, so you will need to recommend having them touched-up every year or so. Obviously, this can mean more expense in the long term, if your client wants to maintain the look. For more information on the right products to use for eyebrow feathering tattoos, contact the helpful experts at Body Shock.

Five Tattoo Themes That Just Won't Go Away


You don’t have to hang around with people who have tattoos for long before you notice certain themes. Some of them – like the Manchester Worker Bee design – are very much of a time, whilst others have been around for decades, and still look fresh and vibrant. While every tattoo is unique, the symbolism of certain objects makes them evergreen subjects for body art.


Popular among ladies, there are as many butterfly designs as there are species of butterfly. From an artistic point of view, they are beautiful to look at, with striking colours, and bold shapes and swirls. The butterfly represents a positive attitude to change and new beginnings, whilst also showing us how fragile life can be. Another interpretation is that butterflies represent peace, tranquillity and serenity.

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It is estimated that almost a third of the world’s tattoos are based on a tribal design. Since the word ‘tribal’ can refer to almost anything from Celtic knots, to Mayan faces, to Samoan abstract animals, the symbolism is linked in with the culture it is cribbed from. These tattoos are often chosen for important milestones in a person’s life, or to represent their pride in their heritage.

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Star tattoos are aspirational, denoting a person’s hopes and ideals, whatever they might be. Distant and beautiful, they represent things of great importance yet to be attained, and star tattoos are often seen as a contract that the wearer is making with themselves to fulfil their potential.

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Signs of the Zodiac

Popular amongst believers in astrology, having one’s sign of the zodiac incorporated into a tattoo is a way of declaring your own individuality, whilst admitting there are aspects of your personality that you have no control over. Though their popularity is seemingly on the wane, signs of the zodiac form a great basis for tattoo design, running the gamut from the simple to the wonderfully elaborate.


Once the preserve of metalheads and Goths, skulls have always been a popular theme for tattoos. However, in recent years people have been adopting the familiar skull motif to denote strength in the face of adversity. It has become a popular choice amongst people facing terminal illnesses, or major life changes.

All these themes are popular for a reason – the symbolism they denote has endured through the centuries and has only become stronger by adding a modern interpretation. At Body Shock, we have a wide variety of tattoo supplies that provide the best equipment for rendering any of these common themes. Contact us and see how we can help you.

Five Unique Tattoo Styles You'll Love


It doesn't matter if your customer is already covered or just about to get their first tattoo, the trickiest part of planning their new ink - whether it's a small two-hour job or a forty-four sleeve - is deciding what exactly what they want. The second trickiest part is deciding what style they want that proud tiger or beautiful mermaid in. It's a lot more difficult than old or new-school these days; so here are some artists who particularly inspire us with their stunning artwork:

Hugo Tattooer, Seoul

❤️❤️❤️ Done in Seoul

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Have you ever seen such bold, and yet adorable, lifework? Hugo Tattooer focuses on the monochrome side of tattooing, producing amazingly bold designs from Japanese culture, video games and nature that seem to jump off the skin. This simplified style creates impact without scrimping on style.

Herdis Solveig, Liverpool

If you're looking for stunning animal portraiture, look no further than Herdis. Would you believe this talented artist is only one year into the job? We certainly wouldn't. This vibrant, realistic style is fantastic for anything from mythological creatures to beautiful florals.

Laura Anunnaki, Mexico

So sweet it could curl your teeth! Laura Anunnaki creates stunningly colourful ink with a bubblegum twist. If you're looking for something glitter or sugar coated, then she is the master. You certainly won't find any dark and brooding artwork in her portfolio, with a rainbow included in nearly every piece she creates.

Sol Tattoo, Seoul

🌿🌸 . #soltattoo#솔타투

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Focusing on minuscule, detailed artwork, Sol Tattoo produces some of the most delicate yet lifelike tattoos we've seen. From lilacs to narwhals and kittens to jellyfish, all work at the studio is done in this same detailed, dainty style - we can certainly see why it's so popular.

Sasha Unisex, Rome



Now a household name thanks to her unique and vibrant style, Sasha's work speaks for itself. Created with geometric shapes and block colours, this ink looks impressive from any distance. Specialising in animals and florals, this style can lend itself to practically anything.

Itching to get tattooing? We've got supplies for anything, from ink for the most vibrant designs through to flash and stencils for extra inspiration. Contact us today.

Body Piercing 101: Best and Worst Metals


There are several metals that are safe for body piercing and others that aren’t. The wrong type of metal can stall the body’s healing process or cause an allergic reaction. Nickel is a common culprit for skin irritation, and it is typically used in both inexpensive and expensive metals. Even the smallest quantity of nickel can cause the skin to turn black, green, or another colour.

Here at Body Shock, we have only the highest quality of body piercing jewellery, ensuring that piercings can heal quickly and safely. So, what are the best metals for body piercing?


Stainless Steel (surgical)

Low-carbon surgical stainless steel is ideal for body piercing as, even though they contain alloys, these are trapped in the metal through a special process and aren’t released. 316L and 316LVM are the only types that are body-friendly. Surgical stainless steel is often a good choice for people with allergies, except in cases in which people have hypersensitivity. In this case, titanium should be used.

Titanium (surgical)

Titanium is a great metal for initial piercings; it’s comfortable due to being lightweight and it’s body-friendly because it barely contains nickel. This metal is very strong and highly resistant to sea water corrosion. Extremely hypoallergenic, it’s also easily shaped into jewellery styles that can range from curved piercings to other designs.


Being a low toxicity material, niobium is also soft and malleable. As it is hypoallergenic, it’s a perfect choice for people who usually have allergic reactions or suffer from irritation caused by piercings. Niobium is similar to titanium but it’s heavier and softer; it also doesn’t react to cleaning agents, oxygen, or bodily fluids.


Aztec Gold (PVD)

Also known as PVD, Aztec gold doesn’t discolour or react with the body. It’s a lightweight material that can easily replace gold to avoid allergies but copy the stunning colour. Aztec gold can be a stunning choice for piercings, particularly for facial piercings that work in conjunction with other ones – such as a septum piercing and a nose piercing.


Although not a metal, tygon is a plastic material that is typically used when there are extreme allergies to metals. It’s also an advisable material for pregnant women with navel piercings, in which the latter should be removed and replaced with a tygon piercing.

Metals to Avoid

Sterling Silver has an oxidation property that makes it harmful as a body piercing, particularly when a piercing is healing. Iron not only rusts easily but also reacts very easily and can cause severe reactions. Plated Gold flakes off and exposes the inner metal, which can cause a big problem if the metal isn’t inert. Low-grade metals such as copper, nickel, tin, zinc, and brass aren’t proper choices for body piercings. They can cause allergic reactions and infections, or even cause the body to completely reject the piercing.

It’s always best to keep to safe metals to ensure proper healing. Get your body piercing supplies here at Body Shock for the highest quality of metals. Get in touch with our team to know more about our products – we’re always happy to help!

5 Instagram Accounts to Give You Tattoo Inspiration


When looking for your next tattoo inspiration, it can be difficult to decide on what designs to get to drawing up next. Especially when you know this piece of work is going to be on your client’s skin for the rest of your life, you know that your work should be of your highest standards.

 Luckily in this social media mad world, there are hundreds of thousands of fantastic artists who have accounts, giving us sheer inspiration and motivation for our next tattoo venture. So, who are the top dogs in the Instagram tattoo world we should be following right now?

Nikki Hurtado 

Location: Los Angeles, Black Anchor LA

This tattoo king has been featured on the likes of LA Ink and Tattoo Wars, having inked some of the most famous faces in the media. He has tattooed celebs such as Drake, Wale and The Game, and is well known for his colour-popping portraits and eye catching fictional character tats from Daenerys Targaryen to Yoda! Be sure to check out his account, follow him, and get some inspiration to add to your lookbook.

These last two weeks have been nothing short of amazing. Some super highs and some lows. But all in all a balance of life. Opportunity comes and opportunity goes. New people come into your life and others go. I am so grateful for the life I get to lead. The path I get to make on my own terms and my own way. Tattooing @therock has been one of favourite things I've been able to do to date. It was less of a meeting of a celebrity but a meeting of minds. It was cool to be able to chill, vibe, and tattoo. Making art has always been my passion. This experience has changed me in very positive way. Today is 2 of my children's first day back to school and tomorrow my youngest very first day school. I feel more motivated and inspired to make some major life changes. I am ready to put my head back down and continue to work, and, work smarter. Thank you All of instagram for your support my followers who keep growing and continue to like and comment I see them all. All love all respect. Now enjoy this amazing photo I had the opportunity to take with the one and only Dwayne Johnson. So sick!!! " Be humble. Be hungry. And always be the hardest worker in the room." #therock #dwaynejohnson #itstimetogetmoreserious @blackanchorworldwide

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Followers: 1.3m
Posts: 2,600

Valerie Vargas 

Location: London, Modern Classic Tattoo

Since 2007, Vargas has been the co-owner of a stunning shop in the heart of London, going by the name of Modern Classic Tattoo. Alongside her partner in ink, husband Stewart, the couple seek out larger scale tattoo projects, working on full body pieces with a preferred western traditional emphasis on figurative work, as well as a mixture of Japanese stylings. By following these guys, you’ll know what your next design will be in no time!

Details from recently finished Athena sleeve @modernclassictattoo

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Followers: 73.4k
Posts: 1,501

Michael Taguet 

Location: France, Yama Tattoo

You only have to take one look at this man’s Instagram account to realise the amount of skill he possesses. Specialising in hyper realistic art and portraits, both in colour and black and white, you can barely differentiate from a photograph and Michael’s tattoos. Anything from Alien to Harley Quinn, you name it, this guy can conjure it up! Be sure to check out his profile for some new inspiration!

Followers: 102k
Posts: 174

Abbie Williams 

Location: Leeds, Abbie Williams Tattoo

Previously on the road, inking on her travels, this creative mind will be permanent from October onwards in Leeds, giving the northerners a taste of her cartoon, animation style tatts. With bright vibrant colours, a hint of Japanese, neo-traditional and a constant creative backbone, this girl is definitely one to keep an eye on for future tattoo inspiration. Make sure you follow her and get designing!

Merbabe for the lovely Steph! Inner arm sucks but she did awesome, so happy to finally do this one!

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Followers: 48.3K
Posts: 1,810

Dominique Holmes 

Location: London, Dominique Holmes

Sometimes an intricate pattern and a minimalistic approach can give the wow you are looking for, and this is what Dominique certainly does. Through the use of black and white, geometry, traditional mehndi patterns, Islamic designs, Tibetan paintings and a vibe of Art Noveau, these tattoo designs give you an ultimate urban spirit. This lady knows what she’s doing, through her career and experience with mixed media, sculpting and much more, meaning her passion is truly behind her craft. Make sure you take a good look at her work. Her designs could be the gateway to a new tattoo vision.

As a tattoo artist, keeping on top of new and upcoming artists and trends is important to keeping fresh in the industry and making sure you are keeping clients happy. If you are feeling inspired from any of these insta-accounts, and are eager to get designing and inking, here at Body Shock, we have the perfect tools of the trade to turn the inspiration into reality. 

Stop Motion is Back in Motion in the Tattoo World


The stop motion animation technique has been beautifully re-introduced into the 21st century through the medium of tattoos. This once lost art creates the illusion of movement by playing a series of images in a fast sequence and is traditionally associated with flip book art - an artistic form most of us will admit to experimenting with at some point during our childhood, probably with the help of a stick man! Flip books have been considered one of the earliest forms of interactive media and they are a technique that has been brought back to life by a number of modern day animators including The Flippist, for example. Stop motion art is now beginning to capture attention in the tattoo world.

A Future for Flip Books: The Stop Motion Tattoo

29-year old Canadian tattoo artist, or tattoo animator, Phil Berge has attracted a mass of media coverage in the tattoo world over the recent months. He integrates his appreciation of the traditional stop-motion technique into his tattoo creations to recreate the traditional flipbook art in a futuristic and visually enticing way. Berge creates extremely similar looking tattoos multiple times on different people. Each tattoo is part of a larger picture and brought to life in a short story animation when presented in unity. The individual tattoos represent a single frame in the video and are designed on a story board beforehand, which is then posted to Berge’s Instagram account to attract prospective participators in the piece.

Berge’s work often brings to life cartoon characters from various time eras including Bart Simpson and Mickey Mouse - he is even referred to as the Walt Disney of tattooists. One of his most complex pieces, named ‘The Skeleton Dance,’ was inspired by Walt Disney’s 1929 namesake short film and has created a 21st-century example of Medieval European danse macabre imagery. In total, this intricate piece features 28 skeleton tattoo designs in slightly different positions inked on the bodies of 28 strangers and took a staggering three months to complete. As such, Berge’s tattoos have what he describes as a “unifying vibe” and bring together different people from different walks of life into a single piece of art to be enjoyed globally by the public - his Instagram account is in itself a virtual art museum displaying short bursts of fun entertainment.

Berge’s obvious love of the world of body art is something that is also highly valued here at Body Shock. Like Berge, Body Shock actively seek to stay ahead of the game in the tattoo world by regularly attending exhibitions and conventions in order to become aware of its latest developments. If you feel inspired by Berge’s work and are eager to get started on creating high-quality stop motion tattoos, Body Shock have the high-quality supplies to make this a reality today.

Is There Truly an Age Limit on Getting Inked?


Whether you consider yourself a lover of tattoos or not, everywhere around the world we are facing the fact that tattoos are making their way into every society, from Henna to tribal to westernised portraits. The long-standing stigma against tattoos is starting to disappear and, whatever the generation, we are seeing everyone dabbling in some fantastic body art.

So, now that getting some ink is no longer ‘taboo’ is there such thing as too old or even too young to get a tattoo?


Too Young?

Of course, there are age restrictions on getting a tattoo due to health and safety reason. Plus, some may say that at a certain age you aren’t 100% responsible to  decide on what permanent image you want on your body. Perhaps most people will agree that you can’t trust a minor to make such a life changing decision, that they may regret in years to come.

Imagine getting a Justin Bieber tattoo as a minor. Do you think you would still love the pop star’s face on your body when you are 40+ years older?

If you ask many adults who had tattoos when they were much younger, they might also say that they wish they would’ve waited until they were mature enough to choose a more meaningful and relevant piece of art. The age limit is there for a reason.


Too Old?

Technically, there is no age limit for how old you are and get a tattoo, but the one thing that can make it much more difficult for the tattooed and the tattooist is the texture of the skin. When you are older we can’t deny that the tightness of your skin changes significantly, and this is just human form and nature. If you find a super-skilled tattoo artist, however, then this isn’t even an issue as they can work around it.

If you have reached this age and want to get your first ink, or add to the rest, then please go for it! You have probably dedicated most of your life giving in to what society has said is not taboo and if a tattoo is now on your wish-list, don’t let anyone stop you.

If anything, a collection of weathered and worn tattoos tell the true story of your life through art. Just look at Charlotte Guttenberg, for example, (Google her, go on); she has completely covered herself head to toe in ink, telling her life story, and couldn’t be happier. And at 67 years old, she now has 91.5% of her body covered in flamboyant colours and intricate designs.

What Does the Law Say?

The tattooing of Minors Act 1969 makes it illegal for any tattoo artist to tattoo you if you are under 18 years of age, and it is also an offence. If found that the artist tattoos a minor, the person who carries out the tattoo procedure will be prosecuted, not the wearer of the new ink. This is why tattoo artists always ask for proof of age!

In some places, you can get a tattoo at the age of 16 but you need parental consent. Make sure your parents approve before you go ahead. Even if you are of age and are 18, maybe check with your parents to make sure your new ink won’t scare them too much!


There will always be a constant argument of whether a person is too young or too old to get a tattoo. We think that whatever your age is, just think before you ink and consider the facts. Also, with the development of technology and the revelation of laser removal surgery, these points could be skewered. What do you think? What is your age limit on getting a tattoo? Do you have any advice for a younger individual considering getting inked?

If you would like to know any more information about the products we supply at Body Shock, simply browse our products and supplies, and get in touch for a chat if you can’t find what you’re looking for. 

New Tattoo Trend: Armpit Tattoos


We’ve seen just about every tattoo trend – or so we thought! The latest tattoo trend, however, promises to take it up another step with an armpit tattoo. Yes, you read correctly! Tattoos are hardly rare nowadays, and this new tattoo placement is seemingly gaining traction in social media platforms like Instagram with the hashtag #armpittattoo.

With infinite designs to choose from, you can easily find a tattoo that you love and will want to keep forever. Unlike other tattoos, armpit tattoos are fairly easy to conceal and cover up when needed.  

The Next Big Thing?

According to Elle, armpit tattoos are going to be a big thing. However, armpit skin is very sensitive and delicate and the healing process could be difficult. And armpit tattoos are very unlikely to be seen, as you need to raise your arms before anyone can see them.

It can be quite cool to have a hidden design under your arm, and it’s always a great idea if you’ve run out of space or simply think it’s amazing and quirky. Tattoo trends never cease to amaze, particularly when we think we have seen it all.


#telaraña #blacktattoos #spiderwebtattoo #armpittattoo

A post shared by Aldo Falchetti (@krektattoo) on


Getting More Popular

Tattoo artists are seemingly doing more of these tattoos, as people are beginning to enjoy having a tattoo that is sligtly different and more discreet. Many tattoo lovers are using it as a way to complete their full-body designs, while others have seemingly found the ideal place for a tattoo that will always be covered.

Whether this is a trend that is here to stay or not, many people seem to have jumped on board, Armpit tattoos seem to provide an exciting experience, even through the pain, as they provide a wow factor that many look for.

However, armpit tattoos also give the ideal excuse of a tattoo that is easy to cover and unlikely to be seen. Knowing is the pain will be within range of what you can take can be tricky, which is why these tattoos will probably be advised for people who already have a few. The area might also be more difficult to heal, as sweat is a factor to consider, and tattoo aftercare is a very important factor that can't be ignored.

What are your thoughts on this new trend? Do you think it’s here to stay or that it’s just a passing fad?

Get in touch with us today to know more about our products!

Tats the Way to Do it: The Manchester Working Bee


In the name of charity, many people wear wristbands, bracelets, run a marathon or take part in fundraising events. However, tattoos can be a fantastic way to raise awareness and money for disastrous events which have sadly happened. We’ve seen a huge surge in this as a gesture of defiance for the Manchester Arena bombings that took place at the Ariana Grande concert last month, with thousands of people getting a tattoo as a symbol of unity.

So how can tattoos be a tool for charities and raising money?


What Does It Symbolise?

The symbol of the working bee represents the city’s hard-working past during the industrial revolution. It is also a part of the city’s coat of arms which was given to the city in 1842. The story behind it dates to the 1800s when Manchester was filled with textile mills. These mills were commonly described as ‘hives of activity’ with the workers being called the bees. ‘Busy Bee’ is also a term which is mainly associated with hard work and industriousness. Not only this but beekeeping also takes place on the rooftop of the Printworks, producing local honey for the city.

The bee can be seen through the streets of the bustling city, on the sides of buildings, on mosaic flooring, bins and in other places such as the face of the clock of the Palace Hotel. Next time you’re out in the city full of culture, vibrancy and personality, see how many you can spot!


So, How Can Tattoos Raise Awareness and Money?

In total, the Manchester Evening News have raised a whopping £2,528,037 (as it stands) and the Just Giving page for the Tattoo Appeal is currently at the sum of £544,419.

People are heading to tattoo parlours all over the country to get the infamous bee as a piece of art on their skin. By the tattoo shops giving all proceeds to the charity, tattoo artists are donating their time, their skills and essentially their wages as a lasting symbol of the courage, defiance and strength that Manchester holds. The artists were committing a full day of inking the bees or are continuously bee’ing busy with the tats.  With an overwhelming response, people even at the age of 70 and up are going to their local tattoo artist to get the bee-autiful inking. Sacred Art Tattoo Manager Vent Brewer summed up why this is happening:

"I think people just don't know what to do, and they want to do something, they want to give, but they don't know where to give, and they don't know who to give to." “I think it’s easy to feel detached with something like this and I think that's why some people actively pursue ways of making a contribution."


By taking part and giving the small amount of £50 to get a tattoo the sum really adds up, and the evidence is in the current standing total.  A tattoo is an everlasting symbol that shows the resilience and pride of the city, with the desire to come together.

If you’re thinking of taking part in a similar project in the future, or have a charity you would love to support and raise funds for, this could be a wonderful way to do so!

If you would like any information on our tattoo supplies and how we can help your tattoo studio, feel free to get in touch, to find out more about what we can offer tattoo artists.

The Best Swimming Advice for Customers


Tattoo aftercare is just as an important part of getting a tattoo as the initial design process. It is important that you stress the importance of after-care to your customers, especially in the case of swimming and other situations where their tattoo may become submerged.

Having a tattoo exposes skin during the initial healing process, meaning swimming is potentially a very dangerous act. Educating your customers of this fact is important for both their safety and the reputation of yourself as a business. Medical recommendations should also be followed post-tattooing.



Illnesses caused by swimming are particularly prevalent when swimming in the ocean. Vibrio bacteria cause many illnesses’ and even deaths every year, which come from exposing wounds to sea water in the warmer months of the year.

Though a swimming pool is less likely to have these deadly bacteria, it is still particularly susceptible to causing harm to a new tattoo. The advice that swimming pools should be avoided altogether is generally best for your customer's health, as it avoids any potential risk completely.


So, with the very real risk of infection, it is important that you advise your customers to follow the necessary steps to ensure they are protected in water following getting a tattoo. More and more people are getting tattoos in the modern age, so the right precautions need to be in place in order to ensure best safety practice.

Breaking the skin increases the risk of infection, no matter if it is a tattoo or a simple graze. Being aware of this is important, especially as healing times are very different from person to person and can differ depending on the location of the tattoo also. Tattoos close to genitals, near the knee or on the bottom are particularly susceptible to infection – primarily because they are more likely to come into contact with bacteria.

You should give the advice that a customer should wait at least two weeks. If there are no complications and scabbing has subsided, then swimming should be safe again. Prior to this, it should be avoided for safety.

Tattoo being made_2

Here at Body Shock, we supply tattoo artists and body piercers with the finest quality tattoo supplies and wholesale body piercing jewellery around the world. Get in touch with a friendly member of our team to find out more about what we have on offer.

The Coolest Ear Piercings You Can Choose From


The earlobe piercing is a common one; women and men have been choosing this particular piercing for a long time, with thousands of earring options to choose from. There are, however, many more ear piercings to choose from! With the helix piercing craze slowing down, there are a few more that are becoming just as popular.



Situated on the cartilage right above the inner rim of the ear’s ‘cave’, this piercing is shallow and has a healing time of approximately 16 weeks. It can be a bit painful but it’s becoming popular due to its trendy look.

Forward Helix

Done at the very top of the year, the forward helix piercing is one of the trendiest piercings to have. Whether embellished by a ring or a stud, it’s a quick piercing that takes approximately 12 weeks to heal properly.


One of the most popular piercings, the industrial piercing is also referred to as a ‘scaffold’ piercing. It involves a double piercing connected by one bar. The piercings are done on opposite ends of your ear, and the healing time can be up to a year or longer.



Another piercing that involves two separate piercings in your ear connected by one earring, the orbital piercing’s holes are closer together than an industrial one. These piercings can be placed anywhere on the ear, and they are very trendy right now.


Located just above the ear canal, the daith piercing is done on the inner cartilage and it requires a special type of needle. Although located in a weird spot, its popularity exploded due to it being thought to help reduce the number and intensity of migraines.


The oval-shaped cartilage jutting out from your ear is called the tragus. This very popular piercing takes around 16 weeks to heal and any jewellery can be used. Whether a stud or a ring, it will always look cool.



The ani-tragus piercing is located on the opposite side of the tragus piercing, and a barbell is the most common choice for the piercing.


Said to be one of the most painful ear piercings, the rook piercing is located on the cartilage above the daith piercing. Similar to the industrial piercing, it can also take up to a year to fully heal. The results can be very fashionable and trendy, however.


The conch is the outer part or the shell of the ear, and you can have an inner or outer conch piercing done. The inner conch piercing is done at the centre of the cartilage and the outer conch piercing is done on the flat surface of the outer ear diagonally from the rook piercing.


With a wide range of wholesale body jewellery, you are sure to find what you’re looking for here at Body Shock

Soundwave Tattoos: Here to Stay?


Have you heard of the latest tattoo trend, the soundwave tattoo? Developed by Skin Motion, these tattoos are comprised of a shape of a soundwave that can be read through a mobile app. And the tattoos can be listened to! Currently in development, the Skin Motion app is set to be released in June 2017.

With pretty much any tattoo design available, now sound tattoos promise to revolutionalise the industry. Allowing for sounds to be drawn permanently onto the skin, they provide a new way of expression.

Tattoos have been around for millennia and will continue to provide an artform for expression for just as long, helping people to express themselves and their culture through ink, and now there can be an added dimension to body art thanks to this new technology.



How Does it Work?

Soundwave Tattoos are created through Skin Motion’s app. The audio is transformed into a soundwave and then played back. Tattoo artists around the world are being pre-qualified, building a community of artists who are not only excited about this new trend but also helping the industry to move forward.

Recording or uploading an audio clip to Skin Motion's app is all that's needed before a certified tattoo artist can ink the soundwave onto the skin.

What Can Be Uploaded?

Whether the audio clips are words, noises, music, or a combination, there is no limit to the sounds that can be transformed into a waveform pattern. As the mobile app can read and play back the sound, these new tattoos can provide a new and more intense way of paying tribute to loved ones who have passed away.

The creator, Nate Siggard, is one of the first people to have a soundwave tattoo, with his partner's voice saying 'I love you' and the sound of their baby recorded into his skin through waveform pattern format.

Siggard and his partner Juliana Damiano both have these soundwave tattoos, with Damiano being instrumental in their development. When seeing the tattoos two friends got of the opening line of Elton John's 'Tiny Dancer', tattooed by Siggard, she asked if it "wouldn't be cool if you could listen to the tattoo?"

Tattoo being made_1

The concept of soundwave tattoos was born from there, and they never looked back. Seemingly gaining traction in the tattoo industry, it's exciting to see a new development in how people can express themselves through tattoos.

What do you think of this new tattoo trend? 

Tattoo Trends of 2017

 Tattoo Trends of 2017

There are many tattoo lovers who enjoy the permanent inking and design etched across their body. To many, it is a way to express their thoughts and emotions about something or someone they love.

Every year there seems to be new trends for tattoos that spread across the world and everybody seems to ask tattoo artists for this design. Here are the trends that are set to hit 2017.


The running paint effect is a huge trend nowadays and is set to get bigger throughout the year. The blend of the watercolours looks amazing to the eyes. One individual that springs to mind who has this trend of tattoo is Ed Sheeran.

Clocks and Watches

Pocket watches and clocks are highly asked for tattoos within the industry, and these seem to be close to having their day. Instead, clocks and watches are replacing it as the new big trend. This new style looks amazing on the skin, and can be a great beginning to a sleeve.

Black Out

Full black tattoos are becoming a huge trend in 2017. Seeing this tattoo on somebody really sets a statement for their body. People have been having this type of tattoo for years, but it’s only recently this trend has boomed. Having full black ink on the skin is really simple for a tattoo artist but can be particularly effective.


Mandala tattoos are a huge trend and are set to be even more popular throughout 2017. It can be a complicated design for a tattoo artist to complete, but, if done well, these designs look stunning.

Fine Lines

Fine line tattoos have been around for a while, but it’s only recently that more tattoo artists are willing to do them. This popular trend looks fantastic in photographs, but the only issue is the longevity of them, due to being such fine lines.

Lion Portraits

This is a trend that has become huge and is set to stay in 2017. People are opting for more realistic lion portraits on their bodies, whether big or small, these are a highly popular choice for individuals. Many celebrities have shown off their lion tattoos, including Cara Delevigne and again Ed Sheeran.

Trends Going Out

But with new trends coming in, that makes room for older trends coming out. These are trends that have had their day.

Zodiac Signs

These were a huge trend years ago, but as the years have passed, so have the trends. Zodiac signs are on their way out.

Chinese Lettering

Years ago, Chinese character tattoos were one of the biggest trends. Everyone seemed to want to have this style of tattoo to represent a symbol of ‘strength’ or somebody’s name. These have had their day and are on their way out of the trending world.


These plain and simple tattoos are on their way out as they lack excitement. With today’s designs, people are opting for tattoos that stand out and make statements.

Here at Body Shock , we supply tattoo artists and body piercers with the finest quality tattoo supplies and wholesale body piercing jewellery around the world. Get in touch with a friendly member of our team to find out more about what we have on offer.

Tattoo Aftercare: Summer Tips [Infographic]


 When getting a new tattoo it's normal to want to show it off. In summer, however, you need to take special care with your tattoo to ensure you get the best results!


Preparing Your Skin After Having a Tattoo


Getting a tattoo is an exciting time, whether it’s your first or your tenth, you still get the rush of having a new design inked on your body. As soon as the artist is finished you just want to show the world your new work of art. Many people seem to forget the long process of getting a tattoo, it isn’t the inking itself that’s important, but how you take care of your skin afterwards.

As a tattoo artist, you’ll fully understand that the body has gone through pain and will begin to react to try and rid itself of the ink and scab over the damaged area. Without the proper care, the tattoo will fade very quickly and what you thought looked good has now gone and turned into something completely unrecognisable. As a tattoo artist, you should advise your own clients on the steps to take to maintain the best results of their tattoo. Here is a list of products to help prepare the skin after having a tattoo.


Tattoo Goo Aftercare Soap

This product is highly recommended to use after getting a tattoo as it prevents bacteria and infection attacking the sore area whilst also keeping it clean. This not only protects the tattoo itself but protects the skin around it. You can purchase Tattoo Goo Aftercare Soap here at £44.64 for 24 bottles of 59ml.

SkinLock Lock It In

This product provides a thin covering to protect the tattoo from any damage that might occur. It helps reduce drainage and ink loss which heightens the result of the healed tattoo. It’s normal for the tattoo to leak as that is just a natural reaction from the body, but this helps keep the colouring. It also keeps the area moist whilst still allowing the skin and tattoo to breathe which enables healing. SkinLock Lock It In is available to purchase here at £32.95.

Emu Oil

After having a tattoo, it’s normal for the body to still be in distress. Therefore, products such as Emu Oil are perfect for relieving discomfort. It also reduces inflammation and redness, which will also relieve some of the pain. Not only that, Emu Oil helps set the colours of the tattoo whilst reducing any plasma oozing. This will give some relief when waking up the next day to see colouring on the bed sheets thinking the tattoo will have no colours left! This happens to everybody, but it is nothing to worry about if the tattoo is looked until it is fully healed. Emu Oil is here for £25.


Tattoo Goo Colour Guard

This colour guard stick defends against the natural fading process of the tattoo using UV and UVA inhibitors. This product is £49.20 for 26 14g sticks.

Tattoo Goo Tattoo Aftercare Kit

This product is a combination of some of the above products but in smaller form, for those who don’t have the funds to spend big on protective items. The Tattoo Goo Tattoo Aftercare Kit contains; 1x Tattoo Goo Colour Guard (14g), 1x Tattoo Goo Aftercare Lotion (56.6g), 1x Tattoo Goo Original Tin (21.3g) and Tattoo Goo Aftercare Soap (59ml) which you could purchase for £10.

As long as you advise all customers to prepare their skin for around 2 weeks after having their tattoo, it will heal perfectly, leaving your amazing design ready for them to show to the world!

Optical Illusion Tattoos: The Rising Trend


If you’re on any social media platform and have been browsing your newsfeed for the last few weeks, chances are you’ve seen the video of a woman with a tattoo on her back that appears to move.

No, this isn’t a trick of the light or a new tattoo technique that means moving images can now be embedded in the skin of your clients; it’s simply your vision playing tricks on you. Yes, the wonderful world of optical illusion has now firmly attached itself to the tattooing world, and with the video mentioned above going viral, we don’t think this new trend is going anywhere soon!

The Rising Phoenix

If you haven’t seen the video that we’re talking about, it was posted by Austrian Tattoo Design Art Studio Andre on Facebook. The video shows a tattoo which depicts a phoenix which appears to fly as the person moves their shoulders up and down.

The video has been viewed – at the time of writing this post – over 38 million times and has racked up over 480 thousand shares. This tattoo is incredibly impressive, but it isn’t the first time that optical illusions have featured in the tattoo world; it has brought this unique style back into the limelight, though!

Brain Teasers

Whether it’s a 3D butterfly that looks like it’s perching on your shoulder for a rest or even an intricate zip tattoo that makes it look like you can simply unzip your skin and reveal a robotic skeleton underneath, illusion tattoos have become increasingly more popular as time goes on.

It takes a whole other level of skill to create these mind-boggling designs, and it may be that your style simply doesn’t allow for such realistic results. It’s not just a case of drawing up a design; it needs to be placed perfectly to show off the illusion, too!

The placement is important as many illusion tattoos rely on shadows, which you will need to tattoo onto the design; if these aren’t accurate, it can make the illusion fail and look flat. This is especially important in designs which have something appearing to come out of the skin, or even an object that looks like it’s placed on top of the skin.

It doesn’t require any specialist tattoo equipment either – just the standard kit you would normally use!

Tattoo Movement

While most of the tattoo illusions that we’d come across before the phoenix one that spurred on this post were static images that trick the brain without movement, some tattoos give the illusion of movement, too.

The phoenix tattoo works well as a static tattoo, but the beauty of it lies in the fact that it can move when the shoulders are moved up and down slowly. This is what has drawn so much attention to the piece for sure – while it’s an incredible piece of artwork, the movement is what makes it so unique.

We think that this is only the beginning for moving illusion tattoos; it's in the nature of tattooists that once a bar has been set and clients come in wanting something similar, they will need to adapt and gain new skills to be able to deliver what clients want – if they feel like they can take on the challenge!

Tattoo Culture: Egypt


Tattoos have been present in Egypt since ancient times, with women the most likely to have tattoos and it’s thought that tattoos in Egypt originate from approximately 4,000 BCE. A mummy named Amunet, dated to 4160 BCE, possesses circular patterns around her naval, and another mummy diamond patterns alongside both her arms and chest.

In ancient Egypt, tattoos were used as a symbol of power and female empowerment, which is why tattoos are typically found on female mummies.

Tattoo being made_2

Eyes of Ra and Horus

Both the Eye of Horus and the Eye of Ra belonged to the god Horus in the original mythology. The god Horus was represented by the moon and the sun, which were thought to have given birth to man. The Eye of Horus, the left eye, symbolises the cycle of life and death.

The right eye, the Eye of Ra, is considered to be the ultimate protector and the eternal watcher of men. It represents safety, and the assurance that all will be well.


The Ankh symbolises the key of life, eternity, and love, and is often portrayed together with the Eye of Ra. Symbolising endurance and strength, pyramids are a common Egyptian-themed tattoo. Featuring the head of a human and the body of a lion, the sphinx is a mythical creature known for asking riddles and threatening with death if people didn't solve them. It symbolises gambling and danger, being a powerful symbol.

Considered to be one of the world's seven wonders, pyramids are magnificent works of architecture that have stood for millennia and they signify endurance and strength. Hieroglyphics are widely used in tattoos, becoming a stunning display of an ancient language. Easily translatable to Hieroglyphics,  any word or sentence can be incorporated.


Kings and Queens

The tattoo of a pharaoh represents power and leadership, both in life and death. King Tutankhamen is often utilised in tattoos to symbolise royalty and power with a hint of hedonism, as his opulent, golden death mask is still admired to this day. As one of Egypt’s greatest queens, Queen Nefertiti represents progress and power, as she led a monotheist revolution.

Gods and Goddesses

The god Anubis is depicted with the head of a jackal, representing death and the afterlife. As a strong warrior, it represents the positive side of death, such as protection, respect, and peace. The goddess Isis symbolises motherhood, fertility, and family.

Featuring high-quality tattoo equipment, at Body Shock we have everything you need!

Why Do People Get Tattoos?


As tattoo artists, you’ll already know the thrill that getting a tattoo can bring; having art created on your body is a great way to express yourself and show off an artist's work, too.

However, there are so many reasons that people want to be tattooed, and while it’s not really something that tattoo artists will ask their clients, it’s interesting to understand some of the common reasoning’s behind getting a tattoo – and some are more unique than you think!

Cosmetic Reasons

Tattoo’s don’t have to necessarily be bright, bold pieces, although it’s generally what we think of when we hear the word tattoo.


However, there are ways in which tattoos can help them feel better about themselves, but not in the way you’re probably thinking. There are tattoos which can help people cover areas of their bodies which they aren’t happy with for one reason or another.

Tattoos helping people who are conscious about their stretch marks gain a more even skin tone, offer a more permanently groomed looking eyebrow for those people who may have over-plucked in the past, and even allow those who have undergone surgery for breast cancer to have a realistic tattoo of a nipple help overcome the cosmetic side of such an important surgery.

There are even people who have scars from other surgeries that they feel are unsightly, and opt to have them covered up by a colourful, vibrant tattoo.


One of the more common reasons that people want a tattoo is that they want to immortalise a memory in a creative way on their body. This can be anything from the loss of a loved one, remembering the trip of a lifetime, or even just commemorating a special date in their life.


There’s not one right or wrong way to go about a memorial tattoo, and ultimately, your client will have some idea of how they want the memory to be depicted, but don’t feel like you can’t offer help and guidance along the way – after all, you’re the artist!

It’s important to remember that these tattoos will hold a special meaning for the client, and while it’s a given that you’ll always ensure that the design it just right, it’s even more important that you’re sure that they are completely happy with the design before proceeding; we’ve all heard stories of these types of tattoos going very wrong!

Their Culture

Tattoos are ingrained in a variety of different cultures around the world, so it’s only natural that some people want to embrace that. As tattoos have been around since the Neolithic times, you can guarantee that the majority of cultures will have some form of tattoo associated with them.


However, not every culture has a positive view with regards to tattooing; many used tattoos as a way to brand prisoners and criminals to allow them to be identified, or even disrespectful to the body, whereas others embraced tattoos and used them to show class, honour and respect.

There are so many cultural reasons to get tattoos, and it’s important that when asked to design one for a client, the utmost care is taken to get it right – the meaning behind certain symbols can mean everything.

Because They Want To

It might be obvious, but some people simply want to decorate their body with art. Especially in our society right now, tattoos don’t need to have a special meaning behind them; if you want one, you want one.


However, it’s important to alert your client to the fact that these are permanent features on their bodies, and no tattoo should even be undertaken on a whim. While there are laser removal options out there, it’s better – and more cost-effective – to create a design that your client will love forever!

If you’re looking for the best tattoo supplies around, look no further than Body Shock. We have everything from inks to needles and even hygiene supplies, we have everything to keep your studio stocked and ready to go!

For more information, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us today – we’ll be more than happy to help you!

Techniques That Are Used in Tattooing


Tattooing has been around for thousands of years, and it has come to no surprise that it has become more popular than ever before. One benefit of tattooing is that it has had years to evolve and get influences from other cultures around the world.

At Body Shock, we love everything to do with tattoos, from the intricate design to the meaning behind each tattoo. A few weeks ago, we started to talk about the science behind tattooing; now let’s look at the different techniques that are used in tattooing.

Tattoo Lining

This technique is also known as outlining, and it is the one that is used to create the generic shape on the skin. This technique is developed using a round group of needles that are tightly compacted into the tattoo machine, and the lines that are produced can be as small or as thick as they need to be.

It is also possible for tattoo artists to build up lines by proceeding with multiple passes along the linings to make them more noticeable and thicker. People may think that this is one of the most basic tattooing skills to learn – granted it is a basic skill – but it is one of the most important.

The lining technique is incredibly important for defining the design of the tattoo itself. Some people seem to think that lining simply adds a black line to the tattoo – much like adding an outline to an image in a colouring book – but this technique can be used with any colour you want, meaning that you can add your own twist to a world-renowned skill.


Tattoo Colouring

This skill describes exactly what it is; it’s when tattoo artists fill in areas of a design with colour. This can be in any colour imaginable, and more than one colour can be incorporated into the technique, which is great if tattooists want to perform any type of shading to the design.

Different techniques can be used within this particular skill to produce various effects on the tattoo. For example, you can choose to use a serious of overlapping circles to fill in a certain region, or you can sweep the needle across the specific area whilst applying pressure in certain parts to accommodate the shading effect.

When it comes to colouring, the predominant rule is that it is completed from dark to light. This is because it means that the darker colours are kept from mixing with the lighter colours. Another thing that is important to remember is to make sure that the needles, tubes, and tips are cleaned properly when using different colours, as you wouldn’t want certain colours to mix when applying a tattoo.



Lettering is becoming increasingly popular in modern day tattoo designs, so being skilled at lettering can be a major bonus for any tattoo artist; even though certain trends come and go, tattoos that consist of names in certain languages, names that are sentimental, or quotations from various things are still incredibly popular.

The art of creating stunning tattoos that incorporate lettering can require a lot of skills and techniques, such as understanding the amount of spacing needed within words so that they look attractive, as well as calligraphy and how the words will look at different angles.

The first thing to know, especially as a tattoo artist, is to understand the dictionary, knowing how to spell different words, and to properly understand the translation of multiple words and phrases. This may seem very simple, but it is all too common to find people that have had a tattoo and then realised that some of the words are spelt wrong, or a certain translation isn’t entirely correct.

Woman with a tattoo on her back

These are some of the most well-known techniques that are used in the tattooing industry, so it is important to understand why they are used when completing a tattoo. There are others that are just as important, such as shading – this can give the perfect 3D illusion to your tattoo – so if you are planning on completing a tattoo, remember to use these to your advantage.

At Body Shock, we can provide you with the highest quality tattoo equipment on the market, so if you want to ability to apply the ink using small dots, or you wish to complete it with a continuous stroke, then we can provide you with specialist equipment that will aid you.

If you want more information, then please get in touch today on 01922 744088 and we will be more than happy to help.

The Science of Tattooing


The art of tattooing has been around for centuries, with some civilisations adopting it several millennia ago. It’s a great way to express yourself, and it is considered to be part of a ritual in other cultures. But what goes into tattooing? Is there a lot of science involved?

What Makes Up the Skin?

When it comes to tattooing, you first need to know about the different components of the skin. The skin is the largest organ in the human body and it consists of three important layers: the epidermis, the dermis, and the subcutis, or the hypodermis.

The epidermis is the outermost layer of the skin, and it helps to protect the body from any external impacts, such as water, heat, and objects, as well as providing a barrier that protects the skin from any harmful bacteria that can result in infection. One feature of the epidermis is that it doesn’t contain any blood vessels, meaning that it can provide the perfect initial layer of skin when performing a tattoo.

The dermis is situated below the epidermis and it is the section that contains various tissues that are responsible for protecting the body from any external stresses and strains. It is also where many of the nerve endings are located, which help to provide the sense of heat and touch, as well the hair follicles, sweat glands, and other important features.

The subcutis, or the hypodermis, is the final part of the skin; well, in fact, it isn’t a part of the skin at all. It is situated directly below the dermis and its main function is to attach the skin to the muscles and bone, as well supplying the skin with blood vessels and nerves. However, the hypodermis mostly consists of fat, which provides both protection and insulation.


What is Involved in a Tattoo?

A tattoo is simply a type of skin modification where a specialist applies a needle to the dermis layer of the skin. The secret with a tattoo is that the needle also has a feed that provides ink to the end of the needle, which is applied to the dermis.

The most important thing to consider when getting a tattoo is to make sure that it is completely sterilised and it is free of any bacteria whatsoever. The reason why this is the case is because the needle has to penetrate the epidermis in order to get to the dermis; remember that the epidermis is there to protect the skin from any external obstacles and bacteria.

As such, having sterilised tattooing equipment is used to ensure that the chances of having any bacteria getting to the dermis are minimised.


The Science Behind Having a Tattoo

There are a lot of things that actually go into getting a tattoo. The first step, which is the most obvious one, is that the sterilised tattoo needles pierce the skin so that the ink can reach the dermis layer of the skin. However, because the needle pierces the epidermis, this causes the body to react in such a way that inflammation begins to occur.

The body’s first response is to target the white blood cells towards the wound and repair the damaged site. These cells aim to repair the wound, but they also work together to fight against any foreign chemicals or materials, such as bacteria, but more importantly the dye that is used within the tattooing needle.

However, while this process occurs, the cells don’t attack all of the dye, as the majority of it is absorbed into the dermis, which results in the tattoo image; this is the reason why tattoos are permanent, and once the epidermis repairs itself, it’s as if there is a thin barrier protecting the tattoo.


Tips You Should Take After Getting a Tattoo

One common thing that you will see when people get tattoos is that their tattoos are covered in cling film; there’s a reason behind this. One of the reasons is that it helps to protect the tattoo area from any bacteria present in the air. Another reason is to prevent any bleeding occurring; the bleeding can actually result in some of the ink to run out as well, which can effectively result in a less defined tattoo.

Another thing you need to do, under any circumstances, is to not itch your tattoo. This is because itching the tattoo site can aggravate the region, which can, potentially, cause the ink pigments to break down slightly. The other reason is because it can promote the spread of bacteria around the tattooed area, which can lead to a not very nice infection.

And that’s pretty much it when it comes to tattoos. As long as you make sure that the amount of contact between a tattoo and the surroundings is minimised, then you will have a great looking tattoo once it has fully recovered.

At Body Shock, we specialise in providing the high quality tattoo equipment which is completely sterile, meaning that our equipment is perfectly safe to use without attaining any harmful problems.

If you want to know more about the products we can provide, then please contact us today on 01922 744088 and one of our specialists will be more than happy to help.

2017 Tattoo Trends: Geometric Tattoos


Tattoos are more than body art; they have become fashion statements, and their popularity has risen in the past years. This ancient art style can be traced back many centuries, with different designs being in and out of fashion. Trends tend to come and go, and 2017 is being predicted as a year that will continue what 2016 started; increasingly complex and original tattoos.

Unique and symbolic, geometric tattoos work with details done to perfection in order to create symmetric tattoos. Often minimalistic, this style requires you to have a high level of expertise – and a very steady hand – to effectively create the lines and dots involved in geometric tattoos. Whether imbued with deep meaning or representing lighter, more fun designs, geometric tattoos can be arranged in a wide number of styles.

From bold colours to 3D effects, these tattoos create intricate designs from simple geometrical shapes such as squares, circles, and triangles. Within geometric tattoos, sacred geometric tattoos have emerged as preferential deigns due to their religious and spiritual significance. Geometrical shapes are associated with nature and other deep meanings.


Basic Geometric Shapes

Both squares and triangles impart a sense of conformity and equality, often associated with stability and trust. This shape can also be associated with the four points of the compass, represented by the four corners of the geometric shape. A cube symbolises the earth, often seen as representing order and rationality. As the most common geometric shape, rectangles can be designed in a tilted angle to provide a touch of unexpectedness.

Without any beginning or end, circles are often chosen for their eternally whole meaning. The nature connection to the moon, the sun, and other celestial beings transform any tattoo. Representing completeness and freedom, circles can have an added depth with shading and multiple circles to form a complex design.

With energetic and powerful meaning, triangles have a religious and scientific symbolism. Commonly seen in pyramids and arrows, there is a certain level of action and aggression that triangles can transpire. On another hand, they also convey a sense of purpose, progression, and direction and, in religion, they represent the holy trinity.


Complex Shapes in Sacred Geometric Tattoos

With sacred geometric tattoos, the spiritual meaning of natural elements is represented through complex shapes. A tetrahedron signifies fire, an icosahedron signifies water, and an octahedron represents air. The placement of these tattoos is said to affect the body positively and restore both balance and health to the body.

With striking aesthetic beauty, these tattoos work best in bigger sizes so that their full design can be properly seen. Mandalas are a popular design for sacred geometric tattoos due to their deep spiritual meaning. Although modifications can be made for a more personalised Mandala, they are typically composed of a circle within a square.

In both Buddhist and Hindu culture, the square possesses four gates on each side, which would then proceed to open into the circle. The belief is that this design showcases radial balance and a connection to the universe. In Christianity, the design can be seen on Celtic crosses and rosaries, representing a journey in which the divine can be found.

Seen in the nautilus shell, the golden ratio represents its constant growth rate and how the shell accommodates growth through a logarithmic spiral that allows it to not change shape. The golden ratio signifies the measurements of the universe and the nautilus shell is now a symbol of this ratio.

The Flower of Life can be dated back 6,000 years and seen in Ancient Egypt, with seven or more overlapping circles with even space between them. It creates a pattern that is reminiscent of a flower with a hexagon symmetrical structure. Its similarity to the human cellular structure after three embryonic divisions confers it a deep meaning associated with life itself and the universe.

The Genesa Crystal shape dates to 1940 when agricultural geneticist Derald Langham discovered a cellular connection between all life forms. He found that an eight-cell stage is shared, which is represented in the design as a circular shape with rings that oscillate around it. A solid shape can be placed in the middle of the design, elevating its already deep meaning of harmony and health.


From architecture to engineering, nature influences every aspect of our lives. Tattoos are no different! Geometric shapes are found all around nature, and by incorporating these designs into tattoos the deep meaning of life is represented.

Through sacred geometry, geometric shapes and proportions are conferred deep religious and spiritual meanings. At Body Shock we have a wide variety of tattooing supplies to provide the best possible equipment for your geometric tattoos. Simply get in touch with us to speak to our friendly team and they’ll answer any query you have.

Tattoo Conventions to Watch Out for in 2017


Tattoo conventions provide a great atmosphere for artists to share their talent and skill. If you’re an artist and looking to boost your bookings for the next year and really make a name for yourself, try and book yourself a slot at one of the conventions planned for next year!

Not only will you widen your client base, you’ll get to network with other artists, too!

The Tattoo Collective

One of the newest conventions to launch is the Tattoo Collective; a collaboration between Tattoo Life and The London Tattoo Convention.

Tattoo being made_1

Running from February 17th-19th at the Old Truman Brewery in London, over 150 tattoo artists have been invited already to showcase their work. Tattooing, art exhibitions and networking opportunities galore, even if you’re not taking part in the convention yourself, we recommend getting yourself down there and having a wander around – if only for inspiration and networking purposes.

Tattoo Tea Party

Another convention which occurs early on in the year is the huge Tattoo Tea Party which is held in Manchester.


This year, the event will take place on the 4th and 5th of March at EventCity. It is officially 6 years old this year and is expected to bring in some of the biggest, most-influential artists from the UK, offering an audience experience that they are describing as “something that they haven’t seen before”.

It really is a celebration of all things tattoo-related, and we can’t wait to see what they have in store for us this year!

Tattoo Jam

If you’re looking for a date a little further into the year, August plays host to Tattoo Jam. On the 11th-13th of August, Doncaster Racecourse is set to host the world record breaking convention, offering artists and attendees a place to embrace the tattoo culture and show off their body art!


The convention holds its own awards, and even hosts a wide range of entertainment, such as burlesque shows, parties, and even body painting for those who aren’t quite ready to take the plunge and get a real tattoo just yet!

Tattoo Jam will be celebrating its 10th year running, and according to its Facebook page, this year’s convention will be a little bit different to the previous years, and promises that it will be even more special!

Scottish Tattoo Convention

For all our Scottish artists out there, there’s a convention which is a little closer to home happening on the 26th to the 27th of March – The 7th Annual Scottish Tattoo Convention!

Edinburgh opens up to the convention which welcomes artists from all over the UK to attend in a huge gathering at the Edinburgh Corn Exchange. Some of the most prolific artists from around the world will descend on the capital to showcase their incredible skill, and we can’t wait to see what the artists have to offer this year!


Whether you’re an artist looking to network with fellow tattoists, a tattoo enthusiast, or someone who is looking to appreciate the body modification culture on a whole new level, be sure to get yourself to a tattoo convention in 2017!

As providers of a variety of tattoo equipment to many artists across the UK, we think that conventions are a great way to get your talent noticed! If you’d like to stock up on inks or equipment before heading to a convention, feel free to get in touch with us today and we’ll do our best to help you out!

How To Become a Tattoo Artist


Becoming a tattoo artist starts with passion for the industry. A lot of hard work and willingness to learn and to study are involved, and without dedication you might find it difficult to persevere in such a competitive industry.

Get a Portfolio

If you’re passionate about tattoos and making them your living, then you need to start practising your drawing skills! Being good at drawing is a bit different than being good at tattooing; it takes a lot of hard work to be able to know tattoo as well as you can draw. Drawing skills do, of course, help you but transferring those skills to tattooing is much like drawing something and then trying to carve it on a pumpkin – it takes practice. You can’t just copy designs from magazines or from other artists; you need to build a portfolio of your own original artwork that shows your creativity and passion.


An Art Degree is Always Good

While natural aptitude for drawing is always a plus, an art degree will help you understand forms, shapes, and colours in new ways. Degrees like Graphic Design and Painting will give you new skills that you can apply to tattooing. Don’t forget that tattooing is an art in which you never stop learning!


Before you can become a tattoo artist, you will to have an apprenticeship with an experienced tattoo artist that you admire. With your portfolio in hand, be ready to undertake at least a year of probably unpaid work while you learn from experts. You are likely to only see how a tattoo studio works during that period of time and little else, which is why you need to be passionate about the industry.

You’ll start small after the first year, working on your own designs to perfect your tattooing skill. As you’ll be working on commission, your salary will depend on how many tattoos you do. Your name will progressively get out there and you’ll get more clients. You might find that you need a second job for the first couple of years until this happens, which is when your dedication comes into play.


Get Professional Training

More common in modern times, you can undertake a course at an official tattoo academy . You’ll receive professional training by some of the most experienced tattoo artists and gain a qualification in the industry. A diploma or certificate will be delivered, proving your experience in keeping to the British Health Authority Standards. With both theory and practical lessons, you learn how to prepare needles, skin, and actually tattoo live models.

Becoming a Tattoo Artist

After getting your foot in the door and beginning to work on your own designs, you’ll need to invest on your own tattoo equipment. Starting up, you will need a few basic equipment such as tattoo machines, tattoo needles, tattoo parts, medical supplies, and art and stencil supplies. The investment might seem daunting, but you need high quality tattoo equipment to guarantee your clients a professional and safe experience.

At Body Shock we have a wide range of products you can choose from to compose your own tattoo equipment. You can get in touch with our team if you want to know more about our tattoo equipment; we’re always happy to answer any question you might have!

Tattoo Artist Guide to Protecting Your Art on Social Media


Social platforms such as Instagram and Pinterest have become almost essential for tattoo artists to showcase their work to the world. Acting as an online portfolio, potential clients can search through your feeds and get a feel for your style and see what you are capable of, which is great for attracting new clients to your studio.

As an artist, you know that there has to be a certain respect for other people’s work, but unfortunately, not everyone is as respectful as they should be. Posting your artwork online can potentially leave you open to those people looking to copy your work while gaining money and custom for themselves.

Where Does the Law Stand?

Believe it or not, if you create a wholly unique design for a client, the copyright lies with you- the artist. This means that any copies which are made without permission are technically breaking copyright law, especially if they are making money from a design that they did not create or hold the copyright for.


As you are the creator, the design that you create is your property, meaning that anyone who copies or uses your work for profit is breaking the law. You are the one who can give permission for your work to be

recreated, but simply uploading your design to your social media does not mean that you are giving permission to other artists to copy your artwork.

How Can You Protect Your Art?

We don’t want to tell a tattoo artist not to share their work; it will help them in the long run by showcasing their style and hard work which will, in turn, make people book in a tattoo session with them. However, we do advise putting a watermark over any design that you may upload. The sad truth is that once you upload a picture to the internet, there’s very little that you can do to stop someone saving, downloading and printing your work.


Adding a watermark with your name over the top of the image is one way to make it harder for rogue artists to steal your work, but it can also make it harder for clients to see the full extent of your design. You can always ask customers who are interested in a design to come in and have a look at your design first hand if they are interested, though!

When it comes to inspiration, tattoo artists are constantly walking a fine line when they use other people’s work to create their own. The only sure way to avoid this is creating a completely unique design from scratch – and as a reputable artist, this is something that you should be doing anyway! Here at Body Shock, we want to help all tattoo artists create the best art that they can. That’s why we only provide the best tattoo equipment for artists to use. For more information on how we can help you as a tattoo artist, feel free to get in touch with us today – we’ll be more than help to help you out!

Beginners' Tattoo Kit Tips [Infographic]


As a beginner tattoo artist, it's important to understand what your kit is made up from. Having everything to hand is essential for gaining confidence and creating the best tattoos that you can!

Here's the Body Shock guide to what tattoo equipment you need to kickstart your tattooing kit!


To stock up your kit with the best equipment around, please don't hesitate to browse our site and contact us if you have any queries!

Spotlight on: East Coast Tattoo Expo


At Body Shock, we are passionate about getting the word out there when it comes to the art of tattooing. One of the best ways to do this is by attending exhibitions that are accessible for everyone that has a passion for tattooing.

This weekend, on the 12th and 13th of November, the East Coast Tattoo Expo is taking place in Clacton-on-Sea in Essex. As avid tattoo enthusiasts, we wanted to give you a heads-up on what to expect at this exciting opportunity.

What is the East Coast Tattoo Expo?

The East Coast Tattoo Expo is an annual tattoo convention that brings together tattoo enthusiasts, artists, and other tattoo lovers to celebrate the art of tattooing. The Expo is held in Highfield Grange Holiday Parkin Clacton and it has been running for twelve years; this year is the 13th annual East Coast Tattoo Expo, with the theme delving into the oriental styling of Japan.


What to Expect at the Expo

The Expo itself has a plethora of activities and events available through the two-day long festival. At this year’s Expo, there are a wealth of tattoo artists working on different booths over the entire weekend; and if you are incredibly eager to find out who the artists that will be there are, then you can check out the official listing of artists here!

As well as this, there is also an array of entertainment available at the Expo. Some forms of entertainment will include live bands, a gambling casino that includes blackjack, roulette and many others, beautiful Japanese goodies and décor, and also the visualisation of turning Essex into the outstanding Las Vegas. For more information with regards to the entertainment, you can follow the link here!


Is the Tattoo Expo Affordable?

Currently, the tickets are split into three categories. If you want the day pass, then the ticket is worth £12; this provides you will a single entry day ticket for either the 12th or the 13th of November from 10am until late. If you want the weekend pass, then the ticket is £20, where you can go for both days.

If you want the party pass, then the ticket price is £25. With this ticket, you get the perks of the weekend pass but you are also allowed access to the pre-party on Friday 11th of November at 7pm.

And there you have it, an exciting event for an exciting 2016! You can check out the event itself on the link here! We at Body Shock are excited about this event, and we will always show our passion for the tattooing industry by providing extremely high quality tattoo supplies.

If you would like to know more about the Expo or the products that we can provide, then please don’t hesitate to contact us. Just give us a call on 01922 744088 and we will be more than happy to help.

New Piercing Trend: Constellation Piercings


Los Angeles’ famous piercer Brian Keith Thompson is well-known for owning the Body Electric Studio. His extensive piercing expertise is world famous, as is his knowledge of piercing trends and which work best with your ears.

The new trend? Constellation piercings that are placed in groups on your ears, typically with a minimum of three. Although the technique isn’t new, it is becoming more popular now and the possibilities are endless!

#BodyElectricTattoo #BrianKeithThompson

A photo posted by Brian Keith Thompson (@bodyelectrictattoo) on

Uniquely Yours

Like stars in constellations, these piercings are placed in unique areas on your ears. You might not be happy with your first earlobe piercing because it’s not centred, which understandably makes you unhappy. As Brian Keith Thompson said to Refinery29, with a triangle shaped constellation “you can take something that you’re not happy with and give it a brother and sister, becomes something that you’re totally stoked about again”.

If you like minimal jewellery, you can easily have a beautiful constellation pattern of piercings. And if you prefer earlobe piercings to cartilage ones, the delicate nature of this trend allows for a lovely placement of the cluster without losing the aesthetic of your piercings.


Constellation piercings allow for a wide variety of completely different clusters of piercings. Whether you want a small constellation of three earrings on your earlobes or a bigger constellation that includes your entire ear, you are free to choose their locations. From loops to studs, each constellation will be as creative as you want it to be.

Bigger jewellery with smaller jewellery, Brian Keith Thompson says, looks like “a planet and a couple of moons”, and easily included in each design according to your ear size and shape.

My little Niece's ear by BKT. #BodyElectricTattoo #BrianKeithThompson

A photo posted by Brian Keith Thompson (@bodyelectrictattoo) on

Care for Your Piercings!

Caring for a piercing is a long-term process, often taking up to five months. Making sure that your hands are clean before you touch a new piercing will reduce the chance of infection. You should always follow your piercer’s instructions on how to care for your piercing!

With the new trend of constellation piercings, you need to consider the number of piercings you get in one sitting. Piercer Brian Keith Thompson recommends a maximum amount of five piercings, as they will take time to heal. You can always add more to your constellation at a later date, when it’s safer.

As leading body piercer suppliers, here at Body Shock we are always excited to hear about new piercing trends. We provide a wide range of tattoo and piercing supplies of the highest quality for health and safety assurance. Feel free to get in touch with us to speak to our friendly team; we’re always happy to help! 

Starting Up: The Tattoo Supplies You Need


If you're starting up in the tattoo industry, you're in for a fun ride. You'll need a lot of creative flair, a lot of hard graft, and a fair bit of products to get your started. Here's a comprehensive list of the essential tattoo supplies you need to get you started - and it's all available from Body Shock!

Tattoo Machines

Sometimes called tattoo guns, these machines come in three main forms: one for lining, another for black and grey shading, and a third for colour shading. The latter isn't essential, but very useful. If you're a beginner, go for aluminium or steel machines - they're lighter and easier to handle initially than the copper and iron alternatives.


Tattoo Parts

You will need a power supply (a main unit to power your tattoo machine), as well as a foot switch, spring clip cord, and feeler gauge.

Medical Supplies and Sterilisation Equipment

It's imperative you keep your kit and studio immaculate, and have ample medical supplies on hand. You will need the following:

• Cover bag for your machine, and cover sleeve for your headrest
• Tattoo after care antiseptic
• Surface disinfectant sterilisation
• Tattoo topical antiseptic ointment/cleanser
• An autoclave bag for storing tattoo equipment after sterilisation
• Alcohol prep pads and rubbing alcohol
• Disinfectant wipes
• Medical waste container
• Tattoo autoclave (stericlave)
• Latex gloves
• Cleaning brushes for tubes and tips
• Tattoo machine rack
• An ultrasonic cleaner and cleaning solution
• Germicidal solution to keep equipment sterile
• Vaseline
• Needle trays
• Disposable razors
• Bandages, wraps, and hospital tape
• Sharp pair of stainless steel medical scissors
• Tongue depressors
• Needle supplies

There's a fair bit of equipment required where needles are concerned. You will obviously need needles (round liners and magnum or flat shaders), but you will also need needle bars, a soldering gun and stainless solder, flat and round tubes, sharp containers for disposal, rubber nipples, rubber bands, grips, and tweezers.

Art and Stencil Supplies

As you gain experience you will find what works best for you, and what you like to have at hand. To start with, however, you will need black and coloured inks, ink bottles (4 oz), and a cup holder.

You will also need your tattoo designs on flash sheets, watercolours and pencils, and a thermal copier.

Some of these items you will need immediately, as you can't start without them. Others can be built up over time, as you gain more experience and skill and expand your studio.

Contact us today for further help and tips regarding how to get started in the tattoo business.

The Future is Here: High Tech Tattoos


Tattoos are ever-evolving. Since Neolithic times tattooing has become a common practice by different civilisations, and technology has made it what we know today. Now, it seems, it’s taking us to the future. Tattoos created with DuoSkin don’t just look cool – these high-tech tattoos are practical as well, since they’re essentially a wearable interface that lets you connect and interact with a multitude of devices.

What is DuoSkin?

Researchers at the MIT Media Lab have created metallic temporary tattoos that can be used as connected interfaces. The DuoSkin technology was created in partnership with Microsoft Research. PhD student Cindy Hsin-Liu Kao and the rest of the MIT team used gold metal leaf, a cheap and sturdy material, to create three different types of interfaces: sensing touch input, displaying output and wireless communication.

The input interface includes elements that resembles buttons and sliders, and has a 2D touchpad that allows users to interact with the tattoo. The output interface creates displays on the skin, as the thermochromic pigments used trigger colour changes when heated through body temperature. As for communication, DuoSkin devices are capable of exchanging data across various on-skin interfaces.

How do These Tattoos Work?

This innovative technology might look complex at a first glance but it’s actually built in a very simple way. The skin circuitry is sketched with graphic design software, and is then fabricated in a process that includes the creation of stencils, the application of gold leaf as the conductive material and the mounting of the electronics. The final step, after the circuitry is done, is the application of the tattoo to skin, through the use of the water-transfer method.

The end result is a tattoo that looks very similar to the temporary metallic tattoos that are so fashionable right now. the DuoSkin process, then, creates tattoos that are not only functional but aesthetically pleasing as well!

Will People Be Able to Have Them?

The goal behind using the DuoSkin process is to have these tattoos introduced in parlours, making it accessible for the public. After all, because of the affordability and aesthetic appeal of the tattoo, as well as the fact that the wearer can choose any design they wish, DuoSkin has the potential to increase the value and attraction of wearable technology.

The way tattoos are designed, created and applied is constantly changing over the years, so maybe in a near future permanent tattoos that act as an interface will also become possible.

The Migraine Piercing: Does It Really Work?


Believe it or not, piercings can be pretty versatile in nature. Although the majority of people will get them because they look great, some piercings have more of a significant role in a person’s life; whether it be cultural or religious.

However, more recently it has emerged that a specific piercing may have pain relieving properties for a common condition. According to some sufferers, a daith piercing has relieved their symptoms of a migraine; a condition which can be extremely debilitating for many people.

But does this piercing really help?


The Daith Piercing

There are so many different ear piercing, and each has a different name depending what area of the ear is to be pierced. The daith piercing is located on the innermost curl of cartilage nearest the earhole.

Once a fashion piercing, it has emerged that this point of the ear could help reduce the symptoms of migraines in a similar way to how acupuncture works – putting pressure on specific pressure points to relieve any discomfort.

The area which the piercing is located is actually an area which many acupuncturists target when using their skills to attempt to reduce the effects of headaches and migraines, so having a permanent pressure applied on it in the form of a piercing makes perfect sense as to why this could work.

Do They Work?

As the piercing is often likened to acupuncture, it goes without saying that getting a daith piercing may not work for everyone.

Although there are many stories out there on social media of people who the piercing has worked wonders for, it is worth mentioning that not all headaches or migraines will be cured by having the piercing done.

There are many different conditions under the umbrella term of “migraine”, so although many people report the daith piercing as a solution for their migraines, it may not be as effective in another case. In fact, many of the people who are raving about this piercing for their migraines have commented that although their migraines and headaches have improved, they haven’t disappeared altogether.

The Verdict?

Suffering from migraines and frequent headaches can be very frustrating, and sufferers can often feel so weak and ill that they’d do anything to make the pain and nausea stop.

The great thing about this piercing is that it’s not permanent; that is, if it doesn’t work for you, you aren’t losing out and can simply remove the piercing. It’s a great opportunity to try and find a solution which doesn’t require reliance on having painkillers on hand, and what’s more – it looks great too!

As a piercer, you may notice an influx of customers asking for this particular piercing as the exposure and research into whether it can help migraine sufferers or not grows. Make sure you’re prepared with the correct equipment and join in the migraine piercing movement!

Find out how we can help you provide the perfect piercing service by getting in touch with the Body Shock team today!

The Most Removed Tattoos



Although there are infinite design options when it comes to tattoos, some are still more popular than others. As a tattoo artist it’s likely you do the same tattoos over and over again, which also means that the same designs are often getting removed.

No matter why someone wants to have laser tattoo removal, be it because they absolutely hate their tattoo or because it didn’t match their expectations, there seems to be some common denominators between these designs. For instance, prevalent issues with tattoos appear to be poor execution, misspelled names and high visibility.

Knowing which tattoos are most likely to be removed can help you avoid putting them on your clients in the first place.


Name Tattoos


It’s not just misspelled names that people want to remove or cover-up, even though you’ve probably seen your fair share. Most of the time people just want to get away from memories of their past, which includes tattoos of their ex’s name. While it seems like a good idea at the time, getting a tattoo of someone else’s name is usually nothing more than a painful reminder in the near future.

So if your clients want to tattoo their sweetheart’s name on their skin, it’s advisable to let them know this might not be the right thing…

Tattoos You Can’t Cover


These are also popular candidates for removal. When people get tattoos in difficult or impossible to cover locations, such as the neck or the hands, chances are they might regret it later. Putting aside the fact that visible tattoos may affect the way employers see job applicants – as they may be seen as unprofessional – they also have a stigma attached to them.

While the general public is much more accepting of tattoos now than before, most people draw the line at face tattoos or other highly visible locations – no matter what the design is. Choosing the right location, then, is key when thinking about getting a tattoo, and overlooking it is part of the reason why many people seek tattoo removal.


Trends of the Past


Fashion is not stationary. In fact, trends seem to come and go, and tattoo designs are no different. While something may be popular for the moment, it won’t stay like that forever. Also, people’s tastes change all the time, so it’s likely that while your customer may be completely enamoured with a current trend, he or she may not feel the same once this trend becomes outdated.

Whether these tattoos are butterflies, tribal symbols, Chinese words or favourite rock bands, it’s important that your clients are sure they won’t fall out of love with the design and will continue to appreciate it even if it’s not as fashionable anymore.


Getting a tattoo is a decision that should never be taken lightly, since its permanent nature always requires careful consideration, both of the design and the location where it will be tattooed. If not, there’s a risk that people will eventually stop loving their tattoo and want to have it removed from their skins forever.

Advice for New Tattoo Artists

Every tattoo artist has to start somewhere; we were all new at tattooing once upon a time. Not a single tattoo artist started out being as good as they are now and, like many art forms, practice really does make perfect.

We’ve all made and learnt from mistakes in the past, no matter how well we are able to tattoo. That’s why asking seasoned tattooing professionals for help and advice is always advised – especially as our art form is intended to be a permanent addition to someone’s body.

So what would our advice be to budding new tattoo artists looking to get into the wonderful world of body art?

Practise Makes Perfect

It’s definitely an over-used saying, but it is really true – the more your practise tattooing, the better you will get. Whether you are great at line work but need to brush up on your shading technique – or even simply improve your drawing skill to be able to draw in your own unique style it will take time to perfect and definitely won’t happen overnight.

It’s also worth mentioning that you shouldn’t put too much pressure on yourself to finish an entire tattoo design in one sitting. It will require multiple conversations with your client to get it right, so don’t expect your first design to be perfect. Again, the more you practice the art of tattooing and all the processes that come along with it, the better you'll get

Don’t Be Scared of Critique

The one thing that many new tattooists are scared of is finding out what more experienced artists think of their work, when in fact it’s the one thing that they should be doing.


Having a seasoned tattooist take a look at your work will allow them to give advice on how you can improve – or more importantly what they like about your skill. As most tattooists have their own style, they’ll be able to help you identify and focus on your style, making your tattoo style even better and more unique.

They’ll also be able to help you avoid slipping into bad habits; don’t worry, every tattooist makes them at some point. Experienced artists will be able to guide you away from them and keep your art and tattoo service from suffering because of bad habits that you may have picked up.

Whether you’re a tattooing pro or an artistic newbie, you’re going to need to invest in some top quality tattooing supplies. Feel free to get in touch with us today and we’ll be happy to help you find the equipment you need.

Choosing the Perfect Tattoo Location



Most people know exactly what tattoo they want and where they want it to go. However, while your clients are sure of the design they want on their skin, they may not be completely certain of where that tattoo should go. Or they might have chosen a location you don’t think is ideal, whether because the design won’t stand out there or because it’s actually too big for the location.

No matter the reason, you’re likely to find clients who will ask your opinion on where to place their tattoo, so it’s important that you’re prepared to answer that question!



Is Pain a Problem?

People are different, meaning they have different levels of tolerance to pain. If your client can’t tolerate it that much, it might be better to advise him or her to get a tattoo in locations that are typically less painful, like the shoulder. It can be extremely painful to be tattooed on the hands, for example, because the skin there is thinner than everywhere else and there are a lot of ligaments and bones.

Visible or Hidden?

Although tattoos are becoming more and more accepted, certain jobs still require employees to keep tattoos hidden away. If your client works in a place that doesn’t accept visible tattoos, then it’s important that they opt for a location that is easy to cover if the need arises.


Due to the permanent nature of tattoos, it’s impossible for your clients to try out several spots until they land on the one they want – however, it’s still imperative that they experiment with location. This can be achieved by cutting out the design in different sizes and moving it around the body. This way your client can get an idea of what the tattoo will look like if placed on the back or on the chest, for example, and make a decision they’re not likely to regret later.

Consider the Design

Playing around with the size of the tattoo is vital to determine the best location, but it’s not the only aspect of the tattoo that matters. The design is equally important. If it’s a portrait, it can be difficult to place it on the arms or forearms, as some details may be lost or the tattoo may not look as good as it could. Your client’s back, shoulder or legs, for instance, can be excellent places for this type of tattoo.

In the end, however, it will depend on the tattoo’s size and design, so make sure to take its printed version and hold it against several different places on the body!

Choosing the right design can be time consuming sometimes, as your clients want the perfect tattoo on their skin! However, a lot of people will not give the same consideration to the location of the design itself, and either ask their artist or end up choosing a place they’re not completely sure of.

You can help them make this decision by providing them with your expert knowledge, so that they leave your parlour happy with their brand new design and won’t regret its location!

The Science Behind Tattoos: What Makes Them Permanent?


Tattoos are something that can be traced right back throughout history. Different countries and cultures have used tattoos to represent memories, beliefs, groups and associations. Some people use them as artwork, whilst others to express their love for someone or something.

We know a lot about why people get tattoos, but do we ever stop to think about the science behind them? Most people don’t even give it a second thought before getting their body inked. As a tattoo artist; how much do you know?

We know it’s sort of painful, that the ink goes deep into the skin and that it’s permanent. However, it’s not actually that simple.

Tattoo being made_1

The Relationship Between the Ink & Dermis

When your needle pierces the skin, it must get into the dermis in order to make the tattoo permanent. This is the second, deeper layer of skin that just underneath the outer layer of our skin - the epidermis. The epidermis is the layer that sheds around 40,000 cells every hour – no ink is deposited here. The dermis is composed of nerves, glands, blood vessels and collagen fibres.

The needle repeatedly pierces the skin quickly, a process that allows the ink to enter the dermis. The needle moves up and down between 50 to 3,000 times in one single minute. This penetrates the skin’s dermis – inflicting damage and creating a wound.

The Body Fights Back

When the needle enters the skin, the body reacts in the same way it would when suffering from an attack. It reacts to the pain by distributing immune cells (macrophages) to the area which the needle has entered - it wants to repair the wound. This is the reason why some tattoos do fade over the years.

These macrophages consume ink particles; taking them to the liver for excretion. Some don’t make it this far though and end up staying in the dermis – these ink particles remain as visible as ever. This is the tattoo that is revealed to the outside world.


Tattoo Removal

The permanent nature of a tattoo is what makes it so hard to remove. Tattoo removal generally depends on the size, location, colour, application and length of time that it’s been on the skin of your client.

When a tattoo has been done by a high quality professional, the tattoo is easier to remove. This is due to the even application to the same level of skin. This isn’t always done by artists with little experience.

Now that you know the science behind tattooing, we wish you happy tattooing! 

If you’re a tattoo artist looking for tattoo ink or supplies, please don’t hesitate to contact us. You can give us a call on 01922 744088 and a member of our helpful team will be more than happy to answer any questions!

The Importance of Hygiene in Tattoo Parlours



It goes without saying that hygiene is a vital part of all tattoo parlours. All tattoo artists know it, and most act accordingly – however, the truth is that not all parlours are safe, and the public perception of tattoo artists can suffer because of this.




Hygiene is not just a way to reduce the risk of infection, but also to prevent the transmission of diseases through needles. By improving hygiene standards, you can also help improve the public’s perception about tattoos, and maybe even convert the undecided people into getting inked.

Public Perception

People’s ideas about tattoos are already changing; they used to be attributed to tribal communities or outlaws, while now it has become more acceptable for people to get tattooed. Still, no matter how popular they seem to become, not everyone seems to think tattoos are safe – whether because of the ink itself, such as the use of UV ink tattoos, or because of the idea that tattoos are not hygienic.

Further changing the way people view the tattoo world means ensuring that parlours have high standards of hygiene. This is because your customers might stay away from your shop if they don’t believe your needles are sterilised or your ink is of high quality. Maintaining clean premises is important for this as well, as it gives a good first impression.

Good hygiene can help a business tremendously, then. It’s not just the reduced risk of infection that benefits both artists and customers alike, but also how it informs the public of the safety of tattoos – and piercings.


Hygiene Ratings

For a long time it was considered that tattoo parlours should be rated according to their hygiene standards, just like restaurants were, until that became a reality. A tattoo parlour in South Wales took it seriously and volunteered to be graded according to its hygiene standards, becoming the first in the UK to receive such a rating from the Tattoo Hygiene Rating Scheme, in 2014.


And they’re not alone. Blackpool Council also introduced a hygiene rating system for piercing and tattoo artists, with the intention of transmitting transparency to the public – and assuring great hygiene conditions.

This means that customers can see the certificate sticker that indicates a parlour does indeed follow good hygiene practices, meaning they’re more likely to drive more customers. After all, a study by the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health showcased that out of 168 people, 93% of them would only use a tattoo parlour if it had obtained the highest mark in the hygiene rating.

Tattoo artists agree that this is a good thing, with 80% considering that it would improve their businesses. It’s clear to see how you could benefit from such a system: not only do tattoo parlours’ standards go up with the introduction of a certification, but customers’ confidence will increase, which is likely to result in the expansion of your business.


Good hygiene practises are incredibly important in tattoo parlours, and they can greatly benefit your business, meaning they should be observed at all times. The introduction of hygiene ratings is, therefore, a fantastic way to ensure that the public is informed of how parlours work and that they don’t need to be afraid of getting a tattoo!

Plastic or Alloy Grips: Which is the Right One For You?


A tattoo machine grip is essential in every tattoo artist’s toolkit, but with several options, like plastic and alloy, available how do you know which works best for you? Depending on your individual tattooing needs, you will have to consider what each grip brings as advantages and disadvantages.

Tattooing can be a long process, and finding the right grip for your tattoo machine is important.

Plastic Grips

If you are looking for tattoo machine grips that are comfortable to use on a day to day basis, then plastic grips might be for you. The slender, classic beehive shape is comfortable to hold in your hand. The elegant profile gives this grip a pen-like silhouette.

Plastic can, however, be less resistant to wear and tear. A tattoo shop that sees a lot of movement and a lot of tattooing hours might not necessarily want plastic grips. In this case, a metal alloy grip might be the best solution for you.


Alloy Grips

A Hi Tech alloy tattoo grip is a sturdier option than the plastic grip. Because the alloy won’t bend, it allows for a more precise movement of the tattoo machine. You might find it easier to use and a long-lasting option.

Although a metal alloy grip is more durable, it’s not as comfortable as a plastic one. As some tattoos can require several hours-long sessions, you might find the metal option hurts your fingers more, and forces you to take more breaks.

How Do You Choose Your Best Option?

Take into consideration your tattooing projects; do you undertake small or big tattoo designs? If you disperse your tattoo sessions into smaller blocks of hours, you can choose an alloy grip if you prefer it. Likewise, if you tattoo for many hours and want a more comfortable option, then you can choose a plastic grip.

With any design, particularly intricate ones, precision and a steady hand are vital. Essentially, choosing the best tattoo machine grip depends on what you feel is more comfortable for your tattoo projects.

If you’re looking for tattoo supplies with high quality for your tattooing needs, here at Body Shock we have a wide variety of products fit for every requirement. For either a plastic or a metal alloy grip solution, you can contact us by giving us a call on +44 (0)1922 744088 in the UK, or on 608-313-3090 in the United States. You can also find us on Facebook or Twitter to see our news and updates.

Mischief Managed: Would You Offer a UV Tattoo?


There’s been a bit of a stir in the tattoo community on the internet of late, and it all revolves around one simple tattoo that a fan of a popular series has posted on the web.

The tattoo in question is a UV Harry Potter tattoo that plays on an item that features in the series -  the Marauder’s Map. This magical map shows the reader a real time view of Hogwarts and can only be read if the wizard taps the parchment with their wand and says “I solemnly swear that I am up to no good”.

It is this saying which is written in UV ink on the tattoo that has arisen on the web, and it is the use of UV ink that is causing many tattoo artists to shed their opinion on the use of UV ink in tattooing.

Is UV Ink Safe?

Although the tattoo looks effective, many people on the internet are concerned that UV ink has been used to create such a “magical” tattoo which is probably the closest thing Harry Potter fans will get to experiencing real magic.


Even some tattoo artists are condemning the tattoo artist for using  UV ink, but is it really that dangerous?

According to dermatologic surgeon, Joel Schlessinger, inks which glow in the dark such as the ink used in this tattoo can contain phosphorus if bought from a source whose reputation isn’t established.

On the flip side, if you choose ink from a reputable manufacturer, you reduce the risk of the ink containing this harmful chemical, and therefore the UV ink should be just as safe as any other ink that you are using.

Why Do People Want Them?

If there is so much of a risk that the ink may contain why do so many people want to have one?

Well, the obvious benefit is that a UV tattoo is essentially invisible until it is under a blacklight. This is especially attractive to those who are in a profession where they aren’t allowed to have tattoos on show as the chances of them being visible are minimal.


They also look pretty amazing when they are visible – who wouldn’t want a glowing tattoo?

With all this in mind, would you consider tattooing with UV ink? We think that they do look pretty awesome, but it’s so important to understand the risks that can come about with using UV ink over regular ink!

If we’ve sparked your creativity and you’re raring to get tattooing once more, feel free to browse our range of tattoo inks and supplies! You can contact us if you have any further queries, too!

5 Questions You’re Probably Tired of Hearing


As a professional tattoo artist, you’re likely used to being asked the same questions over and over again. Still, while it might be the millionth time you’ve heard that particular question, the same is not true for your client. Having to answer the same thing practically every time you have a new client can quickly become old, but it’s important to understand that your customer means well and just needs information, which you can provide.



‘What Should I Get?’ You’ve probably had to bite your tongue to avoid replying with ‘how should I know?’ more times that you can count every time someone asks you this. If your client doesn’t know what they want, then they probably shouldn’t get tattooed. Tattoos are for life, so it’s important that your customer understands that he or she needs to be 100% committed to their design, or they will end up hating it.

‘Will it Hurt?’ Considering that tattooing is the process of inserting pigment into the skin’s dermis, it will always hurt! No matter whether the tattoo is small or large, a certain amount of pain is to be expected, although it’s far from excruciating. When they ask this question, your clients already know this – what they want is reassurance. Yes, it will hurt, but the reward will be amazing, as they’ll finally get the tattoo of their dreams. In the end, though, it all depends on the person’s pain threshold. That said, some people will scream no matter what you say!


‘Can You do the Whole Sleeve Now?’ ’No’, is the answer you probably give a thousand times a week, so you might be sick of answering this question. Your clients are impatient to get your art on their skin, which is understandable, although they might overestimate the amount of work involved. There’s a lot of tattooing involved in a sleeve, which is usually split into multiple sessions – a lot of people may not be aware of the time it takes to do a tattoo, so just discuss it with them so that they understand.

‘Can You Tattoo This Other Artist’s Design?’ Take a deep breath. This question comes up quite a lot and the client is probably not aware that this question can be considered rude, since tattoo artists don’t like to copy other artists’ work. It’s one thing to be inspired by something or use an image as reference but, no matter how much your customers love the original design they saw online or on someone else’s arm, it’s important that they realise you won’t copy it as is.


Tattoo being made_2


‘That’s too Expensive, Can You Go Lower?’ Few things are as frustrating as having your customer negotiate the price like they’re in a flea market! While you may be upset at this, they probably didn’t mean to make you feel undervalued. Because tattoos can be expensive, some people will always try to bargain, and don’t realise that you do get what you pay for. Explaining how it all works will no doubt ensure that your customers understand that to get a quality tattoo they need to pay for that quality.

We understand that it can be frustrating having to answer the same questions every day, so we aim to help you deal with them! Feel free to contact us at anytime if you have any questions about our services and products and we’ll be more than happy to help.

Everything You Need to Know About: Sleeve Tattoos


A tattoo is a big commitment; a whole sleeve tattoo even more so. Often, with the help of the right tattoo artist, these pieces can be less tattoo and more genuine piece of art. It can be a real statement that defines your client and as such is not a piece to be taken lightly.

There are a number of things that you should advise anyone thinking of getting a full sleeve tattoo to consider. It’s a serious, life altering, decision and you should have a few key issues to discuss with your client as you develop tattoo ideas.

A Full Theme


There is an endless sea of ideas from which your clients can pluck their tattoo sleeve. Whether it is close to their heart, a style they find cool or a lifelong passion in tattoo form, the design can be everything. A mismatch that makes no sense can be the tattoo of their dreams, but it might not look as good as something with a coherent theme. So, it might be dragons or flowers or moon rocks for all anyone else knows, but help your clients plan a theme that you can then design around. They may find it looks better in the long run!

Colour or Not


Any tattoo you might create has an important question to answer: should it be in colour or black and white? As a large piece a sleeve can be the perfect candidate for a fully coloured tattoo. A lot of popular sleeve designs, such as mermaids or religious scenes, pop fantastically when they are done in colour. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that it won’t look even better in black and white. This is obviously a personal decision for your client to make, but if you think that one or the other works better stylistically then it is best to let your client know this early in the process.

Why Shouldn’t They Get a Full Sleeve Tattoo?


However, is a full sleeve tattoo a good idea? They can be the most obvious and hard to cover up tattoo that a client can get. On a hot day in the office, rolling up sleeves is the go-to way to cool down, but this puts their ink on full display and is not exactly subtle.

Also, if they are unhappy with the final outcome this isn’t a small tattoo that can be changed in a jiffy at your studio, covered up or removed. A full sleeve is likely going to be the final product that they have to live with for the rest of their life. So it is important to ensure that the client is confident in your skills as a tattooist and that they are fully in love with their design choices. A full sleeve should be a testament to the creativity of the client, not a life-long regret.

Want to give your clients some amazing tattoo sleeves? Then it is important to have the right ink to get their tattoo looking as close to their dream as possible. Get in touch with our friendly team to discover the choices available!

One Year Tattoos: The Future of Tattooing?


Everyone knows that tattoos are a permanent fixture on the body; that’s why it’s important for both the tattooist and the person getting the tattoo to be absolutely sure that they’re happy before proceding. 

However, a new tattoo ink could change all that, and the future of permanent tattoos could be stopped in its tracks as soon as 2017.

But first, let’s take a look at why tattoos are a permanent addition to our bodies.

The Science Behind Tattoo Ink

The ink that is currently used by tattoo artists to add art to a person’s body is made up of molecules – like most things on the planet.


It is the structure of these molecules which makes current tattoos permanent. They are so big in size that the body can’t physically break them down any smaller, meaning they can’t be flushed from the system and are therefore remain within the skin forever more – unless removed by laser procedures.

So, how are Ephemeral – the company behind this new revolutionary ink – combating this?

Smaller Molecules

Instead of using inks which have these large, unbreakable molecules, the creators have come up with a new type of ink which consists of smaller molecules which can eventually be broken down by the body, and therefore flushed from the system easily.


Used in exactly the same context as regular ink, the Ephemeral ink can be used with a traditional tattoo gun and can create a tattoo which will last a year in the skin before being completely flushed naturally from the system.

Although a special solution can be used by a tattoo artist to remove the tattoo ink earlier, it is opening up even more possibilities for those who are thinking about getting a tattoo, but are worrying over the commitment.

So, What Are The Benefits?

Other than the obvious temporary nature of the ink, why should people be getting excited about this new ink technology?


Firstly, tattoos which are completed with this ink are expected to be a little cheaper than those created with traditional ink. Ephemeral has said that it hopes a “standard” sized tattoo will cost around £70 using this ink, although it hasn’t been specified what they class as “standard” sized… or indeed if this includes colours.

Secondly, it reduces the risk of people having tattoos done and then realising there is a mistake in them. This is often a genuine mistake during the design of the tattoo that neither the designers or the person has picked up on. Using this new ink, you can simply remove the area which has an error and re-tattoo over the area to make it right!

Lastly; it gives more people freedom to express themselves without having to commit to one particular design. People are always changing, and so are their tastes, which is one of the main drawbacks of permanent tattoos; if you like it now, what’s to say that you will years down the line?

We’re pretty intrigued at what this ink is going to bring to the table with regards to the future of tattooing, and we’re willing to bet that you tattoo artists out there are wondering how this will affect your work in the future too!

In the meantime, if you are in need of conventional tattoo inks or equipment, feel free to get in touch with us here at Body Shock! We have a wide range of products to choose from, so we’re sure to have something for you!

Trending Tattoo Styles


Tattoos are like any form of art: styles go through changes and trends depending on the popular artists and growing exposure of tattooing as an art. Here at Body Shock we follow all these new trends eagerly, new styles bring new challenges to tattoo artists and we love to help you out in these endeavours.



A style made famous by Pablo Picasso during the early 20th century, Cubism is one of the most influential visual styles of the century and it has become an in-demand tattoo style. Tattoo artists such as Sasha Unisex have made this style their own, modifying it for application on skin. It uses block colours to shape portraits of animals and flowers. Unisex’s tattoos have gained popularity due to their feminine appearance and there is no doubt that this will be a growing trend in 2016.



A growing shared asset on social media comes in the form of the geometric tattoo. This style allows for you as an artist to create a 100% unique and interesting design each and every time; no two geometric tattoos will ever be exactly the same. This style can also be used in smaller tattoos, in flower pieces for example, or in much larger full-body pieces that turn the body into a whole geometric pattern.



This is a tattoo design that is taking over the world, with artists such as Dr Woo perfecting the art of small and minimal tattoos that are understated but make a big statement all the same. This is a trend that has reached a whole demographic of people that have never stepped foot into a tattoo parlour due to the increase in celebrities taking this style for their own tattoos. It’s a trend that will no doubt sky rocket this year in your parlours.

Single Line


Another growing tattoo trend that relies on a minimalist approach is the single line tattoo. This is a style that requires expert execution, as a single mistake can ruin the piece, and can be used in a number of patterns such as animals, flowers, skulls and so much more. It is a style that artist Mo Ganji has perfected and we expect it to be a growing tattoo trend for 2016.

If you’re a tattoo artist who can’t wait to get started on some of these new and interesting trends in tattooing, then contact us at Body Shock for all your supply needs. We offer an expansive range of products for all your needs at inexpensive prices. Call us on 01922 744088 and a member of our fantastic team will be happy to help with your enquiries.

Tattoos in the Workplace: Are Opinions Really Changing?


More and more people are going under the needle and committing to inking up their bodies, and here at Body Shock, we love that people are experimenting with styles and making their bodies even more unique with beautiful art!

However, even though more people are getting tattoos, does this really mean that the attitudes towards tattoos (and therefore piercings and coloured hair, too!) are finally changing? After all the years of prejudice that tattooed and pierced individuals have experienced at the hands of some employers, we’re really hoping so!

Why Is It A Problem?

Tattoos and piercings aren’t seen as “professional attire” to many businesses, which is why many individuals hold off getting their tattoos until they find a more accepting company – or simply cave in and get the tattoo in a more acceptable place in their body which can easily be covered by their business attire.


It’s something that many tattoo artists will come across while tattooing; many will ask why the client wants a tattoo in a particular place, not just because they are being nosy, but often the design would look better on other parts of the body – and we’re willing to bet if you’re a tattoo artists reading this, you’ll want your art on show, too!

However, it’s not every industry that despises tattoos; in fact, many industries where you aren’t customer or client facing may have more lenient rules on tattoos and piercings, especially as you won’t be out there representing their brand. Even then, some may welcome the individuality that comes with a tattoo – especially those within creative industries.

Is Opinion Really Changing?

Although there’s no Government legislation in place to say that employers can’t refuse to give someone a job because of their tattoos – sadly tattoos, hair colour and piercings still aren’t covered by the Equality Act 2010 – there does seem to be a slight change in the tattoos in the workplace.

In fact, we covered the tattoo that Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau has back in October. Mr Trudeau is one of the first world leaders to openly flaunt his ink – and that’s not to say that other world leaders don’t have ink themselves.


If people in places of high power are showing that having a tattoo no longer carries the same stigma that it used to many years ago, we’re hoping that more and more industries become more accepting of this beautiful art form.

After all, a tattoo isn’t going to affect how well your client can do their job, right? Watch this space, we’re eagerly awaiting universal acceptance of tattoos in the workplace!

If you’re a tattoo artist and need to stock up on equipment, feel free to get in touch with us here at Body Shock. We have a variety of tattoo inks, tattoo equipment and art supplies to help you out!

Everything You Need to Know About: Skull Tattoos


Skull themed tattoos have been around for years, and much like the compass, rose and feather they are a staple in every tattoo artists arsenal; let’s face it, if you’re a professional tattooist, you’re going to be asked to do a skull design at some point in your career.

Just like we’ve done when we’ve spotlighted the other popular tattoo designs, we’re going to take a look at why skull tattoos are so popular and why many people choose to have a skull inked on their body!

What Do They Mean?

Aside from the outdated view that skull tattoos can only be done on burly biker men, skulls hold many different meanings for the person who is being tattooed.


For some, a skull tattoo can be a symbol or memorial for a loved one who has passed away. it is commonly seen as a symbol of death, and is often paired with a rose tattoo to create a startling memorial piece with traditional meaning.

Skulls can also symbolise overcoming death; whether it’s to incorporate or cover a scar that an individual had sustained in a tragic accident, or just simply acting as a reminder of a dark time in their life where their future was unclear. Many people use the grim reaper as a way to incorporate a skull in this instance, sometimes considering it a badge of honour for slipping through death’s grip.

For others, it’s just simply an interesting design - not every tattoo has to have a deep meaning behind it, right?

The Incorporation of Colours

Traditionally, many skull tattoos are designed to be black and grey, especially if they are created using a traditional, realistic design.

However, this doesn’t always have to be the case. In fact, many people prefer to add some form of colour to their skull tattoos, especially if they are symbolising the death of a loved one to reduce the dark nature surrounding the skull as a symbol.


Adding colour can also give a skull tattoo some character; after all, the generic skull shape can sometimes look, well, generic. Give a skull tattoo a bit of character and make it unique – we guarantee it will look incredible.

Alternatively if the dark, eerie look is what you’re going for, stick with the traditional black and grey if you prefer!

Types of Skull

Not all skull tattoo designs have to look menacing and bare and, as with many other tattoo designs, depending on your tattoo artist’s preferred style, skull tattoos can be designed in a variety of different ways. In addition to the realistic approach to tattooing a skull design, there are other styles which work too!

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One of the more popular styles is the sugar skull tattoo, which mimics the El Dia de los Muertos – or Day of the Dead – festival’s beautiful sugar skull sweet designs. Many of these designs incorporate depictions of lace, flowers and bright colours to make them bright and noticeable and much less menacing; befitting of the festival which focuses around families celebrating the lives of their departed loved ones.

Cartoon skulls are also a great way to bring a bit of light heartedness into your skull tattoo if you want to steer away from the seriousness often associated with traditional, realistic skulls.

As a tattoo artist, it’s important to showcase your skills, especially when it comes to popular symbols which you definitely will be asked to tattoo at some point.

So stock up on our high quality tattoo equipment today and start counting down the days to your next skull tattoo booking! If you need any help or advice, don’t hesitate to give us a call – we’ll be happy to advise you!

Everything You Need to Know About: Rose Tattoos


The rose tattoo has been one of the most popular tattoo designs for a long time, and joins the compass and the feather as some of the most tattooed items in history.

Similarly to the previous two that we have spotlighted on this blog, the rose and rose tattoos have a deep meaning behind them. So what is it that makes this tattoo design so popular?

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What Does The Rose Mean?

Like many forms of imagery, the symbol of the rose is said to represent certain aspects or features.

In this case, the rose has been used throughout history as a symbol of love, peace, passion and beauty, and the flower itself is associated with romance.

It can be found in most art forms, both modern and traditional, as well as in almost every culture.

Do Colours Matter?

Contrary to popular belief, there are different colours of roses rather than just the traditional red and white which we are familiar with.

If colour is something that you want to play with, it’s important to understand what the colours of the rose mean – you don’t want to give off the wrong impression!

Let’s start with the obvious colours that we know of. Red roses are known to symbolise passion and true love as well as dedication and are often used in memorial tattoos. White roses – like most white objects – signify purity and cleansing as well as spirituality.

Other colours can include (but aren’t limited to) yellow; which signifies happiness, blue; which can symbolise fantasy, pink; which can represent gentleness and gracefulness and orange; which often signifies excitement or vibrancy of life.

There are other colours – after all, your artist will have many at their disposal – but if you are looking to have a tattoo with real meaning behind it, choosing an appropriate colour is definitely recommended, even if you are the only one who understands the significance!

Why Are They So Popular?

Because they are a traditional style, many designs often incorporate a rose somewhere in the design. Much like the other timeless tattoo designs that we have covered, the rose is firmly embedded in tattoo history, and we don’t see it dropping out of fashion anytime soon.

Even celebrities such as Cheryl Fernandez-Versini with her huge rose tattoo on her … ahem... derriere and pop punk legend Travis Barker of Blink 182 have rose tattoos on their body, so it just goes to show that this versatile design can be successful in a variety of styles!

Even if you don’t want a whole piece dedicated to a rose, it’s extremely easy to incorporate a rose into the design if it is something that you are adamant on having included!

Have you got a large rose tattooing session coming up? Make sure you’ve stocked up on the best possible tattoo inks and other tattoo equipment in preparation!  If you need any further information don't hesitate to get in touch with us today, we'll be happy to provide you with the best equipment available!

How to Know When to Say “No” To Your Tattoo Customer


Being a tattoo artist is one of the most rewarding jobs in the world; after all, you have your artwork permanently on the body of a variety of different people, sometimes all around the world! That is a pretty incredible feeling, and we know that many tattoo artists wouldn’t give up their job for the world.

We’re always told that the customer is always right, but in the tattooing industry especially, it’s important to let your customers know if you don’t agree with what they are asking of you. Your work is permanent, so it is important that both you and your client can agree on the design and subsequent care of the tattoo that they want.

We’ve already covered sticking to your personal and professional policies on our blog before, but here’s a quick guide to help you recognise when it’s perfectly okay to say no to your client.

If They Are Drunk

We’ve all heard the horror stories of drunken people heading to their local tattoo studio after having a few too many and getting the world’s worst tattoo and regretting it the next day.


However, a professional tattooist will never tattoo someone who is under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Not only will their judgement be impaired and they may ask for something that they would have never asked for if they were sober, it also puts them at risk of bleeding too much during the procedure.

Alcohol is widely known for thinning your blood, so even if they are adamant that they don’t bleed much, it is still highly possible for them to bleed a lot more than you are used to. This will obscure the stencil as you work, and can often mix with the ink, making the lines fainter and less vibrant, too.

If you consider yourself a professional tattoo artist, never ever agree to tattoo a drunk person.

If Their Idea Simply Won’t Work

You are the tattoo artist and you’ve probably had years of experience behind you; you’ll know what will work and where it will be best placed, and what wont and can’t be changed to fit what your customer wants.

Although they might know what they want, it’s always important to voice your concerns whenever they arise. If you really believe that the tattoo that they want can’t be done exactly in the way they want it, try to offer some advice on how you might be able to adapt it to make it work.

If there is definitely no way that you can see the design fitting or working in that position - tell them. There’s no point in trying and then failing, leaving your client with a tattoo that they aren’t happy with.

Yes, it might come as a shock to them, but they aren’t the one with their reputation on the line if the tattoo doesn’t live up their expectations.

If They Want An Exact Replica of Another Tattoo

The beauty of a tattoo is that it is unique to the person who is getting it. If a customer comes in with w picture of an existing tattoo that they want “exactly like that”, it’s always best to advise them that copying someone else’s artwork isn’t very professional, and try to suggest a design which is similar, but not exactly the same.

Tattoo artists are very protective over their work; after all, it’s all for their portfolio and they have spent time custom designing it for a single particular customer.

Even if it’s obvious that the work was from a flash card, it’s always best to change and tweak the design to your style and the desires of your customer – that way you won’t be treading on another artists toes by copying (and in some people’s eyes, stealing) their artwork.

Tattooing is an incredibly rewarding career path, and although the majority of the time your customers are happy to take on board your advice, it’s important to remember that you are the expert and only you can decide if you can tattoo a person with a specific design,

For more information on how Body Shock can help you with industry standard, reliable tattoo supplies, don’t hesitate to contact us today.

Everything You Need to Know About: Compass Tattoos


Earlier this month, we started our new series all about some of the most popular and enduring tattoo designs, looking at the light and summery feather style. Today, we’re going to look at a symbol with an incredibly rich history and a lot of meaning attached to it: the compass design.

You’ll probably already know that the history of compass tattoos is tied together with maritime culture and – as with many maritime traditions – the compass tattoo would have signified very specific things to the people who chose to get inked with them…


Protection, Luck and Guidance

For those about to embark on a lengthy sea journey, or already out drifting on the waves, a tattoo which was rumoured to offer guidance and protection would be a welcome thing indeed. Images of the compass would adorn sailors and their ships alike, serving as a reminder that even those who felt themselves to be lost at sea would eventually find their way back to sure.

The very familiar ‘North Star’ compass design, with eight star-like points, was considered the most potent symbol of a sailor’s ability to find their way out of trouble, with the guiding light of the north star itself representing a sense of direction.

In the Modern World

While there’s a chance that you might end up with a client who’s in the Navy or spends a lot of time out on their boat, these days it’s become very common for land-lubbers to opt for compass designs too.

This may be in order to honour sailors in the family tree or, more typically, because the idea of guidance and direction strikes a resonating chord. Just like the old-time seafarers, many people who sport these tats today see them as a symbol of moving forwards – only now, the troubled waters have become metaphorical.

Wear it Your Way

We love compass tattoos – not only because of their fascinating history and modern evolution, but also because of the almost unlimited design potential. Simple and sturdy, intricate and full of colour… there’s no wrong way to put together a compass design, allowing for a lot of individuality and creativity.

A ‘natural’ design with earthy colours can be great if you are trying to emphasise the tattoo’s heritage, while a more stylised approach that uses bolder colours scan take it in a more modern direction. Similarly, these tattoos can be embellished with anchors, flowers, stars, feathers… anything that gives a little more personality.

And, while Justin Bieber’s choice of the compass for one of his back tattoos may not be the biggest endorsement of the design, it does pick up a lot more credibility thanks to Bjork, whose very subtle thigh tattoo is more than we need as inspiration to go get ourselves some compass ink. 

If your interested in creating some stunning compass tattoos then make sure you have some earthy colours in the basket next time you stock up on tattoo inks. Get in touch with us today and we'll be more than happy to help you pick. 

4 Ways to Earn the Trust of Your Client


Whether working in a customer faced role or working inside an office, earning the trust of your clients is definitely an important part of your job – if not THE most important. It’s also one of the most difficult aspects. 

This is no different when it comes to being a tattoo artist. Being successful depends entirely on getting business. Therefore, it’s more important than ever to gain the trust of clients.


Luckily, we’ve put together 4 top tips to help you out!

Get Proper Training

As with any job, it’s essential that you receive proper training before starting out as a tattoo artist. This is the first step in becoming an artist and is probably the most important. You need to learn fundamental information on how to ink safely and correctly

It would be beneficial as a new artist to gain experience by shadowing a respectable artist. This person will provide you with tips and techniques that will provide invaluable when you go it alone.

Build a Portfolio

Building a portfolio as a tattoo artist is extremely important – this will be crucial to the way you succeed in the industry. Therefore, you need to have a high quality portfolio put together to show potential clients what you are capable of doing. You can do this by taking pictures of previous clients work (ask their permission first) and by putting together testimonials. New clients will want to know things such as how long your tattoos took to heal, how happy people were with the results and whether they would recommend you. 


Remember That It’s All About the Client

Being a tattoo artist is 50% talent and 50% customer service. No matter how good you are at designing and inking tattoos, you’ll get nowhere without being good with people. The tattoo industry is massive and therefore people have a lot of choice. How do you specifically get them to choose you? By having fantastic social skills and by listening to what they are asking for. You want to be someone who people don’t mind spending hours with.

Market Yourself

No one is going to do it for you. The only way to get your name out there as a reliable and GOOD tattoo artist is by promoting and advertising your work. Hand out leaflets, make a website, promote yourself over social media and attend tattoo conventions. Whilst this isn’t automatically going to get people to trust you, it does show that you are dedicated and passionate to your job.


If you’re a tattoo artist looking for supplies for your studio, whether needles, ink or machines, please don’t hesitate to contact us. You can give us a call on 01922 744088 and we will be happy to answer any questions you have. 

Spotlight On: Everything You Need to Know About Feather Tattoos


The feather is an incredibly popular tattoo design idea. Although it’s most often linked to subjects such as freedom and dreams, it’s fair to say that it holds a lot of different meanings for each person that chooses to have it tattooed.

Despite the popularity of the feather, a lot of people don’t know the history, meaning and symbolism behind the design. Before getting any tattoo, you should always do your research beforehand. Even as tattoo artists, we think there should be some knowledge behind some of the most popular tattoo designs.


Symbolism & Meaning

Historically, the tattoo feather has a Native American background. They believed that the feathers represented the spirit of the bird and that the bird spirit was powerful enough to cleanse the environment.

Tattoos of feathers can definitely have lots of different meanings. However, they are most prevalently associated with the concept of freedom. The reason behind this is that feathers are closely linked to birds and generally, birds are seen as being free animals. This is most certainly thanks to their amazing ability to fly wherever and whenever they wish. Therefore, the single feather tattooed on the body can represent that individual’s freedom – whether it’s something that they have or something they are seeking.

For some people, it depends on the type of tattoo chosen. Owl feather tattoos represent intellect and wisdom, whilst tattoos of eagle feathers can represent strength and courage. Another popular feather design is the peacock tattoo – representing beauty and royalty.

A Colourful & Vibrant Tattoo Design

One of the best things about feather tattoos is that you have endless choices when it comes to design and colours. Depending on what you are looking for, you can make it as colourful, detailed or basic as you like.

Colours such as black and grey are the normal, but people also opt for coral and turquoise patterns, as they are thought to add an early and spiritual touch to the tattoo.

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Celebrity Fans

With the feather tattoo being so popular and meaningful, it won’t come as a surprise that a lot of celebrities have a variation of the tattoo inked on their body. Singer Chris Brown has feathers on his back, whilst Demi Lovato has a small turquoise tattoo above her ear. She has said that the design represents both freedom and courage. Miley Cyrus has feathers incorporated into her dream catcher tattoo, whilst Gossip Girl star Ed Westwick has a gigantic single feather tattooed up his left arm.

We hope you enjoyed learning a little more about the feather tattoo and what they symbolise! For the tattoo artists reading this, next time a client asks you for a tattoo using a feather design, you should definitely ask them whether they mind sharing the significance to them as an individual.

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If you’re a tattoo artist looking for tattoo ink or supplies, please don’t hesitate to contact us. You can give us a call on 01922 744088 and we will be happy to help. 

Are Couple Tattoos a Good Idea?


Tattoos in general tend to split opinion and people find themselves in one of two camps; you are either for or against. The fact that it is a permanent alteration to your skin is bound to court some controversy and there are certain types of tattoos that stand above the rest in the level of controversy they inspire.

The most controversial are of course those on the face, neck or hands but it is sometimes the inspiration rather than the placement of a tattoo that can be controversial. One of the most contentious types of tattoo is the couples’ tattoo; so are couples’ tattoos a good idea? Let’s look at the good and the bad - we’ll start with the good...

The Good

Check out the video above and you will doubtless see several great ideas for a tattoo, and will no doubt be fumbling for the phone to book in for a pair of finger sabres as we speak. The truth is that many couples are very happy with their couples’ tattoos and use them as a permanent keepsake that reminds them of their favourite person in the world.

The trick to getting a great couples tattoos is to get one that is good by itself but even better when part of a pair.

The Bad

Here we go with the other side of the couples’ tattoo coin, and there is no doubting that there have been some epically bad couple’s tattoos. Check out the video below for an example of one of the biggest mistakes that many people make: getting their half of a couples’ tattoo without talking to their partner first.

*Warning: May cause severe cringing.

A one sided couple’s tattoo is pretty much an inherently bad idea and should be avoided if your client wants to steer clear of arguments!

The Timing

When it comes down to it, we think that the success joint tattoos is all down to the timing of it. The likelihood of regretting a tattoo decreases with every year of your relationship so if you get it on the first date then you are pretty much definitely going to regret it.

If you are one of those lucky couples that can barely even keep track of the numbers that you’ve been together then go wild and treat yourselves to a cute little couples’ tattoo. Yes, your friends will gip but so what, they’re just jealous!

So, that’s our somewhat definitive answer - another question, how long have you been a couple? If the answer provokes a giggle from the tattoo artist then you’re probably being a bit silly and should just get a pet rock instead.

Happy inking folks!

Tips for Choosing the Perfect Tattoo Machine for You


In order to be a successful tattooist, it’s important to have the right tattoo supplies available to you at all times.

The most important piece of equipment in your tattooing arsenal will always be your tattoo machine. It’s the machine that will allow you to transfer your art from paper to body in an attractive, high quality manner, so it’s essential that you are choosing the right machine for you.

If you’ve never quite understood what you should be looking for in a machine, or are simply an apprentice looking for your first piece of kit, here are our tips for finding the tattoo machine that is right for you.

Look for a Quality Material

As you will be using the machine to permanently create art on a customer’s skin, it’s important to first look into what material you want your tattoo gun to be made from.

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Most tattoo guns from reputable suppliers will be made from materials such as brass and iron as they boast reliable sturdiness which reduces the risk of them breaking or shattering while a tattoo is being created.

Using a gun made from a flimsy material is putting your customer at risk of damage, especially if the gun malfunctions. You need to be sure that you can trust your tattoo gun to perform to the best of its ability every single time you begin a tattoo and the best way to be able to do this is to invest in a good quality gun made from a reliable material.

The last thing you want is for your gun to break and damage your customers skin – reputation is everything when tattooing!

Find the Right Shape and Size for your Hand

After choosing a material for your tattoo machine, the next thing that you should consider is the size and shape of the gun itself.

You have to remember that you will be tattooing on and off all day – often every day – so it’s important that you will be comfortable holding the machine for extended periods of time. This would include looking at how big the tattoo gun is and whether it fits comfortably in your hand as well as whether you feel like you could use the machine for extended periods of time.

It’s also advisable to remember how much flexibility you will need your gun to be able to perform. Some designs may require tricky details which often require you tattooing in some awkward positions – would you be happy holding this machine for a long time doing these details?

Think About Using A Variety of Guns

Rather than constantly relying on one single machine to do all your tattooing work, why not think about getting a variety of different machines which deal with specific tasks such as shading, line work and so forth.

This will not only make your life much easier when it comes to tattoos which require a lot of different techniques to be used in one sitting, but will also improve the quality of your tattooing too.

There are hybrid machines that are available, but as tattoo professionals, we’d recommend investing in different machines, simply because it’s easier to rely on machines which have a specific purpose than having to remember to adjust countless settings to change a liner to a shader.

Tattoo artists should always put the safety of their clients at the forefront of their minds, and as the tattoo machine will be the piece of equipment that’s doing a lot of the essential work, it’s important that you are making sure that it’s the right machine for the job – and for you.

Don’t hesitate to get in touch with us here at Body Shock if you’re in need of high quality tattoo supplies. Contact us today, or head over to our Facebook and Twitter pages for more information on our services.

Networking Tips for Tattoo Artists


Whether clients are going to come to you for one single tattoo, or become returning customers who can never wait to get their next ink, you need to spend some time building up a meaningful relationship – and, of course, you need to get your name out there so people know that you’re available in the first place.

You might be a budding new artist breaking out into the tattooing market, or an old hand who simply wants to see some fresh faces… regardless, these networking tips will help you grow relationships with those looking for your skills.

Form Bonds with Other Tattoo Artists

Yes, they’re your competition, but that’s no reason that they shouldn’t be your friends – or at least your allies. Chances are, you all have your own unique art styles which are better suited to different types of design, and there’s no point ruining your reputation by attempting a photorealistic portrait when you’ve always been more inclined towards striking tribal patterns.

Instead, why not form an agreement to swap clients with an artist who has a very different style to your own; that way, you’ll have better access to customers who actually want the type of tattoo that you’re itching to create. Head out to trade conventions to start meeting fellow artists in your community.

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Maintain an Online Presence

Whether you stick to conventional social networking sites or head to spaces specifically tailored to tattoo enthusiasts, keeping a presence online can help to build trust as well as to get you exposure. There are three crucial things that you should aim to do when you’re online:

• Share images of your work. This is vital – it shows just what you can do! The best way to make people want your work is to make them jealous of what you’ve done before, and sites like Instagram are perfect for sharing the best snaps.

• Check in with people who have had a recent tattoo. Call this part of your aftercare – drop a direct message which simply asks them if they’re still happy with everything. Showing this level of attention is great for spreading word of mouth praise.

• Join groups of likeminded people and start getting to know them. Add posts and comments – just don’t make them too self-promotional. Instead, offer genuine tips and advice which prove that you know your business inside and out, and that you’re a decent human being to boot.

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Networking is an ongoing task, but once you get into the swing of it, it can also become fun and rewarding. Just don’t forget to stock up on supplies such as tattoo ink before your next influx of customers!

Get in touch with the Body Shock team today for all the equipment you might need – just contact us online or give us a call at 01922 744088.

Is Winter the Best Time of Year to Get a Tattoo?


Summer is a busy time for tattoo artists. As you’re probably aware, a lot more people decide to get a tattoo during the warmer months than during the colder ones. As soon as the sun appears, tattoo studios around the country see an increase in people walking through their doors.

Do you find business drying up throughout the winter? This is because people want to stay wrapped up and warm when it’s cold outside – stripping down for a tattoo couldn’t be further from their mind.

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Despite this, winter is actually the perfect time to get a tattoo. There are lots of advantages to getting tattooed during this cold and dreary season. If your clients aren’t sure, here are some of the top reasons to advise them that getting a tattoo right now is the ideal time. 

More Comfortable 

We actually couldn’t think of anything worse than getting a tattoo in the heat of summer. For many, it’s already an uncomfortable experience, made worse by the higher temperatures. This isn’t just true for the person getting the tattoo – the artists will also feel so much better doing it in cooler temperatures. 

Also, a tattoo needs to be covered for a while after completion. Having to wear plastic on your arm (or wherever) in the hot weather? Not pleasant. 

Healing Process

The more that skin is exposed to outside elements, the longer it will take for a tattoo to heal. This also includes sweat – this can irritate a new tattoo. There is less chance of this happening during the winter, as the body isn’t exposed to these things as much. 

The sun can also be harmful for new tattoos. Overexposure of sunlight can cause colour loss and cause a longer healing period. In winter, people are more likely to wear clothes with longer sleeves. 


Less Waiting 

As tattoo artists, you’ll know that your appointment books are jam packed during the summer months. Everyone wants a tattoo in summer and therefore getting an appointment is almost impossible sometimes. This is why it’s much better to get one during winter – there is likely to be a shorter waiting list. 

More Money

People are likely to have more money in the winter than during the summer. Apart from the expense of Christmas, more money is usually spent during summer. Holidays, festivals, weddings and events are things that cost money during the summer months – leaving less money for a tattoo. Plus, people often get given money at Christmas – making it the perfect time to book in for a new tattoo!


If you’re a tattoo artist who is looking for inks and supplies for your studio, please don’t hesitate to contact us here at Body Shock. We have a full range of tattoo related items in stock, including tattoo grips, ink and needles. 

For more information, please give us a call on 01922 744088 and we will be more than happy to help. You can also find us over on Twitter and Facebook too

4 Things Tattoo Artists Want Their Clients To Know


The majority of people who want tattoos already know what to expect when they approach an artist for a design. They will have researched what their artist will need to know and when they need to know it by, as well as what to expect throughout the whole process.

However, there are some people who simply want a tattoo and that is that. Without any further research, they will wander into a tattoo studio and state what they want with very little thought.

We’ve mentioned before that planning and preparation are key to getting the tattoo you want, but this time, we’re going to take a look at what your tattoo artist expects of you- the paying customer- to make their job easier and give you the tattoo that you are looking for.

Tattoos Take Time

The whole tattoo process will take time to complete. There’s the design, tweaks to the design, stencilling, line work and shading that goes into creating a tattoo, and rather than rush through the process, a good artist will want to spend time working on each section to get it perfect before moving on to the next.


With this in mind, be prepared to wait a little for your tattoo, especially if it’s a custom design that you want. If you want a design that is on your artist flash card portfolio, you won’t have to wait as long, but your tattoo won’t be as unique.

Patience is key!

Come In With An Idea Already Formed

There’s nothing more frustrating than a customer walking in wanting a tattoo then asking the tattoo artist what they should get.

They aren’t mind readers and they don’t know what sort of designs you are looking for or what you even like. Even if you give them some idea of style, they wont be able to design you a tattoo without a comprehensive description from yourself.


So, before you even step foot in that tattoo studio and book your appointment, make sure that you know what you want- only you can decide that!

Don’t Book an Appointment If You’re On A Time Limit

Oh, you’re at an important meeting in 3 hours that you can’t be late for? That’s fine… just rearrange your tattoo appointment for another time.

A tattoo artist should never feel under pressure to work to a very strict deadline. Yes the majority of artists will charge per hour and you will usually be given a time slot that will cover them tattooing you, but there has to be some wiggle room on both sides just in case further work is needed that can be done without needing an extra appointment.

Besides, you definitely don’t want to have to pay out for a tattoo that was rushed and isn’t as good as it could have been!

Don’t Bring Your Children

No matter how well behaved you child is, most tattoo studios and individual artists will prefer it if your children weren’t in the studio.

This isn’t because they don’t like kids, in fact, it’s to protect them from potential hazards and adult orientated artwork and conversations within the studio. While your tattoo artist may be aware of your child, others in the studio may not be and will often have conversations with clients and other artists that may not be suitable for your child to hear.

It’s also to avoid any distractions that the child may create while your artist is working on you. It’s wrong to assume your child will be able to sit for 3 hours in one place without needing to get up or start getting agitated- something that neither you or the artist will appreciate while you are getting inked.

Leave your little ones at home and enjoy the peace and quiet… and the new tattoo!

Most tattoo parlours will have rules and guidelines set out describing their stance on what is expected of clients somewhere in their studio, or will even tell their clients to their face.

In order to get your tattoos perfect every time, you’ll need the best tattoo needles around. That’s where we come in here at Body Shock! With a wide range of tattoo equipment to choose from, we’re a tattooists first point of call.

For more information, don’t hesitate to contact us today by calling 01922 744 088 or follow us over on our Facebook and Twitter pages to keep up to date with our latest news!

Choosing Meaningful Tattoo Locations


For many clients walking into your tattoo studio, the art that you’re about to ink into their skin has some kind of meaning. It could symbolise an important event in their life, or be a statement about their personality – it could even be a way to remember a lost loved one. However, it’s not just the art that could have meaning – the location of the tattoo can be meaningful, too. So, if you’re faced with a client who knows what they want to get, but they don’t know where, alongside advising them which areas might hurt more or less, you can suggest...

Chest Tattoos: Close to Your Heart

The heart has been symbolic of love, passion and emotion for centuries – so, if it’s a subject that means a lot to you, you might say that it’s close to your heart. By placing a tattoo on your chest, you make that symbolism literal, and instantly express just how much the subject of your artwork means to you.




Arm Tattoos: Wear it on Your Sleeve

If you’re particularly open about a belief, and make it part of your public persona, it’s often said that you wear that belief on your sleeve. The phrase is thought to originate from medieval jousts – knights would wear the colours of the lady they supported tied around their sleeve. So, if you’re looking at a piece of ink that expresses such an important belief, putting it right there on your arm could be a good way to go.




Feet Tattoos: Keeping You Grounded

What about art that represents something absolutely fundamental about you – a belief or a person that keeps you grounded, keeps you balanced and makes you you? Choosing to put tattoos on your feet can make a powerful symbolic statement: that this is something you’ve chosen to make part of your personal foundations.




Back/Shoulder Tattoos: Got Your Back

The back or shoulder is a great location for art which represents something or someone you can always rely on, with absolute certainty. The friends you can turn to even if you’ve not spoken for years, the beliefs that have sustained you all your life. If you’ve got that kind of trust in the subject of your art, you don’t need to see it every day, and you can simply enjoy the knowledge that it/they will always have your back, literally.



Of course, if somebody’s coming to you for art that’s truly meaningful to them, you want to be sure that you’re delivering tattoos that they can be proud to have. That means you need the best tattoo equipment, inks and art supplies to back up your skills. At Body Shock, we’ve got your back – even if you don’t tattoo our name there. You can shop our range online, or contact us in the UK and the US for more information. Don’t forget, you can also find us on Facebook and Twitter.


Ink Inspired Art

More and more people are choosing to transform their bodies to express themselves which causes such a high demand for tattooing equipment and wholesale body jewellery, although choosing something that is personal to them can be an arduous task. People can often end up choosing something that may be trending or novel at the time which is why it might be a better idea to draw inspiration for a tattoo from the work of different legendary artists who are part of a lasting culture.


Famous pop art pieces prove popular choices, such as Andy Warhol’s Marilyn Monroe prints and Roy Lichenstein’s unmistakable polka-dot face portraits. There are also more modern designs inspired by graffiti artist Banksy which now rate as favourites for more modern tattoos.

However, in recent years there have also been artists who have been inspired instead from tattoo culture, using the style of tattoo artistry in their works of art. Inspired by tattoo design, here are some artists who exhibit a different view on the industry of inking.

Dr Lakra

Mexican tattooist turned artist, Dr Lakra, (real name Jeronimo Lopez Ramirez) found he wanted to take his craft further by sketching his designs on things other than skin.

Lakra would salvage different objects such as dolls and old medical illustrations, doodling tattoo style drawings all over them. Cut-outs from 1950s magazines were a popular choice featuring pictures of scantily clad pin up girls and Mexican wrestlers, or pretty much anyone with a great deal of exposed skin on which he would etch his designs.


Cheyenne Randall

Instead of doodling on anonymous fifties floozies, Randall focuses more on the idea of celebrity by tattooing famous images of well-known music, TV and film personalities.

Amongst his muses are the Prince and Princess of Wales, Muhammad Ali and John Lennon and Yoko Ono. The Seattle-based artist claims that tattooing these iconic faces makes it appear as though they are completely different people from a parallel universe.

The tattoos themselves aren’t just drawn on at random either – Randall chooses specific ink for certain celebrities in order to tell a story and to depict a special meaning. For example, on a pensive picture of Albert Einstein, emblazoned on his knuckles is his famous formula E=MC².

His work can be found on his Instagram account which has accumulated over 107,000 followers.

Mike Giant

Like Lakra, Giant’s work has expanded from tattoo artistry to exhibiting his fine art pieces at various art galleries around America. He got his big break however in creating tattoo style designs for Think Skateboards.

Earlier this year in the US, Giant exhibited his Rocky Mountain High pieces which take on the style of tattoo flash sheets with hand-written notes around each describing his thought processes behind them.

Punk-rock imagery, religious symbols and a range of typical tattoo iconography feature in a lot of his work.

Drawing inspiration from the work of people’s favourite artists, or even from one of their pieces, could give you ideas for designs to suggest to your clients. Whether you focus on the intricate details of Gustav Klimt, or the abstract images of Gaudi, be sure to be equipped with all the necessary needles and colours to replicate these famous masterpieces. 


To browse our range of inks and supplies visit our website or if you would like to request a brochure contact us at 01922 744 088. Or to keep up with the latest news at Body Shock, follow our Facebook and Twitter pages.

Adore Your Loved One? Commemorate Them With a Tattoo… Made From Their Hair


Although we’re called Body Shock, it takes quite a bit to shock us- especially when it comes to news about tattoos and piercings.

However, while browsing our news feeds we came across a slightly weird-yet-interesting story which did initially make our jaws drop… and we’re still unsure what we think about it!

The story in question looks at a new form of tattoo ink…. made from human hair.

Taking “I Love You” To Another Level

Now, we’re all for people getting commemorative tattoos of their loved ones. In fact it’s your body and we fully agree that it’s up to the person what they have tattooed on their body.

tattoo of love heart on upper left arm with mother written in the middle

This new tattoo ink- which could be available as soon as January 2016- takes personal tattoos to a whole new level by using what they refer to as “human genetic material” in the ink. we’re not quite sure how comfortable we are with someone’s hair being injected into our skin, however.

The Human Hair Ink

The inventor of this weird-yet-wonderful tattoo ink is a 54 year old man called Andreas Wampl from Switzerland. His tattoo ink takes the carbon from a strand of hair and mixes it into the tattoo ink.

white woman with straw coloured hair is pulling her own hair

He hopes that more people will appreciate the intimate connection that these tattoos will bring to people, even going so far as to committing his skin to being the first to receiving a hair ink tattoo. He says "I am quite exited to receive this tattoo, but also it is a strange feeling - the fact, that I will have my children visible and physical in me."

The Future of Personal Tattoos?

So, is this the future of personal tattooing? Will you me able to really have your spouse with you always in the form of your tattoo dedication to them?

eastern style tattoo on the left ankle of a woman with red toenail varnish on, can only see lower legs and feet

With the expected price of the ink to be around £600 per 15ml, we’re not too sure how popular this will be amongst tattoo artists. Let’s face it, you won’t want to be tattooed with the “human genetic material” of someone you don’t know if the original tattoo didn’t use all the ink!

The process will include receiving a collection box which you will place the hair you want in the ink into and then ship it off to Wampl’s business, Skin 46 in Switzerland who will make your personal ink for you.

As we say, we aren’t completely sold on the idea- it just seems a little too out there for us. We think we’ll stick to stocking professional inks such as dynamic tattoo ink instead.

If you are a professional tattoo artist and aren’t ready to commit to the hair ink idea either, you can contact us today on  01922 744088 or head over to our Facebook and Twitter pages to keep up to date with our latest news.

4 Ways You May Be Ruining Your New Tattoo


So, you’ve finally got around to getting that new ink you’ve been planning for a while and it looks pretty sweet! Just the healing process to go through and then you’ll be able to show your new tat off to the world.

As you’ve put a lot of time, money and effort into this body art, we’re willing to bet that you want to make sure that your tattoo looks awesome once it’s healed, right? Here are 4 tips from our tattoo experts which you should avoid doing to make sure that you don’t ruin your new artwork!


Any good tattoo artist will have probably already told you this, and it’s pretty obvious why you shouldn’t be rubbing your grubby hands all over your tattoo.

close up of the back of a woman's shoulder with her opposite hand placed on the top of it

The skin will be raw and trying to heal as tattoos essentially are an open wound. Try to keep your hands away from the area unless you are cleaning it, and even then you need to make sure that you have washed your hands thoroughly before you touch it- we don’t want any nasty bacteria in your new tattoo.

Sleeping On It

It might sound a bit gross, but if you sleep on top of your tattoo, there’s a good chance that you will find yourself stuck to the sheets during the healing process. This can be incredibly painful to remove and you are risking defacing your tattoo if you rip the sheet off.

 a young Asian woman sleeping on her right side in bed

Try to sleep on a different side where it won’t be possible for your tattoo to stick to your sheets, or sleep on a towel which can easily be taken with you to the shower where you can gently wet it with lukewarm water to help remove it from your skin safely.

Submerging It In Water

It’s incredibly important not to stay in any form of standing water during the healing process. Standing water equals prolonged contact with bacteria and that is a big no-no when it comes to healing a tattoo.

 a woman in a bubble bath with cucumbers placed over her eyes

Swap your long, soaky baths out for a shower and keep your tattoo clean like you normally would- just no baths, swimming pools or swimming in the sea… we want to keep that new art looking fantastic!

Over or Under Caring For Your Tattoo

Your artist will have probably given his or her preferred method of cleaning and caring for your tattoo so it is important to stick to the advice that they give you.

Try to find the perfect balance between over caring for your tattoo and under caring as both can seriously damage the look of your tattoo. If you are unsure, go back to the tattoo studio and ask for advice, they will be able to look at your tattoo and tell you what you need to do… or stop doing!

a young woman with brown hair and tattoo sleeves on her arms

Keeping your tattoo looking great while encouraging it to heal isn’t something that should be an issue if you are following your professional’s advice. Because you have spent so much time and money on your new tattoo, you will want to be doing the best you can to care for it and making it look as fantastic as you expected it to.

For all you tattoo artists out there, Body Shock only supply the best tattoo supplies to you. Although much of the pressure is on you to create a client’s dream artwork, it’s important to let them know you can’t work miracles and that they will need to play their part too.

For more information on our tattoo supplies, contact our team today by calling 01922 744088 and we will be happy to advice you on your enquiry. Keep up to date on all the latest tattoo and piercing news over on our Facebook and Twitter pages!

When the Fun Fades: What You Can Do If You Hate Your Tattoo


Have we stressed it enough yet that tattoos are a permanent addition to your body? More and more people are getting tattooed every single day and we think that even though those who are getting tattooed are generally more educating than they were years ago, it’s still important to realise how permanent this form of body art is.

Although we’ve touched on the fact that you must choose a design which you won’t get bored of easily, there are some people who simply fall out of love with their tattoos for various reasons; maybe it was your first tattoo which wasn’t done amazingly well or simply a reminder of a past relationship.

Whatever your reason, you’re probably wondering what your options are for getting rid of the tattoo that you no longer want on your body and as providers of high quality tattoo equipment, we’re happy to oblige with some answers!

Tattoo Removal

If you are really sure that you never ever want to see your tattoo ever again, there is always the option of laser tattoo removal.

woman with brown hair is laid on a clinical table having her tattoo laser removed by another woman wearing gloves and a gown

However, before jumping on the first laser tattoo service you find put as much effort as you can into finding a reputable expert. Think of it like finding the perfect artist for your tattoo- you’ll want to put the same amount of research into finding someone who can remove it for you.

Not all laser tattoo removal sessions will yield the same results and you may have to book another session to fade the tattoo even further.

Re-Work the Existing Art

Rather than laser the work off your skin, why not find an artist that you love and get the tattoo covered over and turn it into a piece of art that you will like.

 close up of a man's arm having its tattoo covered up

We’ve previously covered the things you should consider before getting a tattoo cover up, which should be something that you read before deciding to completely cover your old tattoo with another one. Not only will the cover up tattoo be bigger, but you may be limited to what design can be used to cover the previous art.

Find an artist who has previous experience that they can show you of their cover-ups- you don’t want to end up with another tattoo that you don’t like because the artist has never done a a cover up before.

Embrace It

If you don’t love your tattoo any more but don’t want to have laser removal or have to save up for another tattoo to cover it, there’s always the “embrace it” route.

Although this wont get rid of your tattoo, the sooner you embrace that it’s a part of you, the easier it will be to forget about.

close up of an older man's folded arms where in one hand he holds a pipe and the other he shows a faded tattoo

There are many people in the world who detest their tattoos but refuse to get rid of them because they meant something to them at some point in their life. Some even use the old tattoo within a new tattoo design in the future, such as the famous cover-up Pikachu tattoo design.

Rather than going through a rough break up with your tattoo, there are various options that you can look into. Research all your choices before fully deciding on the right one for you- we don’t want you to further regret your tattoo decision!

If you are a tattoo artist and are looking for top of the range tattoo equipment to use on your cover up clients to help them feel happy with their tattoos again, don’t hesitate to contact us by calling our team on 01922 744088 and we will be happy to provide you with more information.

Remember to keep on top of our latest news and updates over on Facebook and Twitter!

Expert Advice on Getting Your First Tattoo


Your first tattoo is a massive thing to consider. It’s a given that you are going to feel incredibly nervous, but it’s also important to be happy with what you are about to have done; after all, tattoos are a permanent addition to your body!

However, as leading providers of tattoo supplies to some of the most talented tattoo artists on the planet and proud owners of an array of tattoos ourselves, we’ve selected some of the best pieces of advice that you can have to help calm your nerves before the big day arrives.

You Need to Trust the Artist

Do your research before you walk into a tattoo parlour and ask for a tattoo appointment. There are millions of tattoo artists out there to choose from, and it’s essential that you find the right person for the job.

Different artists specialise in various different art styles, so if you have a particular tattoo in mind that you want designing in a particular style, seek out a professional who specialises in it.

close of of woman holding a pen and writing

Other than the design of your tattoo (which is important in itself) you need to be able to trust your tattoo artist to do an amazing job and give you the tattoo that you have been planning and saving for. A good artist will explore all design options, as well as talk you through the process of a tattoo and should always offer additional suggestions and advice as they see fit.

Besides, the tattoo is going to be their artwork and they should be investing their time into creating a fantastic piece that you will be proud to show off and say “____ designed this for me! Check it out!”

Customise It

It’s easy to settle for a trendy tattoo that is popular right now, but tattoos are meant to represent you.

Sure, you may like the design, but if you are spending money on a design, it makes perfect sense to have your artist design a completely unique design for you so that you can be sure that no one else has the same design that you are paying good money for.

tattoo of a red heart and the text mum on the upper arm of a person

Your artist should even be able to take a popular tattoo and tweak the design to make it unique enough to you.

Don’t Scrimp on the Price

You may be tempted to find an artist who has the cheapest prices, but it’s important that you look at the quality of their work compared to how much you are paying.

close up of a white pig shaped money box with a hand putting 10p into it

Generally speaking, if you are seriously looking to getting a tattoo that is good quality, you should be prepared to spend as much money as necessary on it. It is an investment and you essentially get what you pay for, so don’t be caught out by paying a small amount for a tattoo that you will have to fix years down the line.

And there we have it! Getting your first tattoo doesn't have to be a scary situation and we hope that we have helped  eaase your mind a bit before you commit to a design and an artist.

Here at Body Shock, we specialise in providing high quality tattoo and piercing supplies to studios around the world. If you are a tattoo artist and are wondering how we can help you, don't hesitate to get in touch with us today by calling 01922 744088 and a member of our team will be happy to help you.

Keep up to date with us here at Body Shock by following us over on our Facebook and Twitter for all our latest news.

World Leaders with Tattoos: Is Canada’s Trudeau the Only Leader with Body Art?


The eyes of the world have been firmly fixed on Canada’s new Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau.  Although much of this attention has been due to his huge election victory, we couldn’t help but notice the huge, awesome-looking tattoo that the new Canadian leader is sporting on his left arm.

This has left us- and many others- wondering if Trudeau is the only world leader to have a tattoo.

The Haida Raven

The new leader addressed the tattoo back in 2012, explaining  the origin of his tattoo, which is in the form of a raven. Here’s what he had to say:

This tattoo design is a great example of a meaningful design which is also attractive to look at. It’s a design which is especially meaningful to Trudeau’s family; they were made honorary members of the Haida tribe in 1976 during Justin’s father entered his second term as Prime Minister.

Do Any Other Leaders Have a Tattoo?

It can be quite difficult to tell if any other world leaders have a tattoo, especially when they are often photographed in the media in full, professional attire such as a suit.

Anna Felicity Friedman, a tattoo historian has revealed that she isn’t aware of any current world leaders sporting some ink, and self-proclaimed tattoo professor Kevin Gannon also reports that there are no known tattooed world leaders.

This doesn’t mean that there haven’t been any tattoo clad world leaders in the past, however.

An Ink to the Past

It has been recorded that our very own Monarchs, George V and Edward VII had the Jerusalem cross tattooed on their arms, depicting their pilgrimages to the holy city.

Teddy Roosevelt, the US President was also said to have his family crest tattooed on his chest, with two other former US presidents also having tattoos; James Polk who apparently had a Chinese character which was said to mean “eager” and Andrew Jackson who supposedly had a tomahawk tattooed on his thigh.

Nicolas II, a Russian Tsar also dabbled with tattoos, coming back from a visit to Japan with a dragon inked on his arm, and Yugoslavian king, King Alexander had a huge heraldic eagle tattooed onto his chest. Denmark also had a tattooed king, King Frederick IX, who had a variety of naval themed tattoos from the navy.

close up of red, white and black tattoo ink pots

So, although Trudeau seems to currently be the only leader with ink at the moment, the notion of a leader with a tattoo is nothing new. Who knows, maybe he will start the revival of the tattooed world leader!

We think that Trudeau’s tattoo art looks fantastic and for a Prime Minister to adopt and embrace such a great form of self expression, we can only hope this makes tattoos even more popular!

If you need to stock up on tattoo supplies just in case a powerful leader walks through your studio doors, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us here at Body Shock. We have everything you need, from amazing, pigmented ink to transfer paper for your designs, so call us today on 01922 744088 and we will be more than happy to help you.

Be sure to keep up to date with us here at Body Shock by following us over on Facebook and Twitter for all our latest news.

3 Signs That You Are Ready for a Tattoo


It seems like most people are looking to get a tattoo nowadays and while we are excited that more people want to express themselves creatively, we do often wonder if there are still people who are rushing into getting a tattoo on a whim.

Deciding on a tattoo is something which requires a great deal of thought from the outset; it’s something that will be a permanent feature on your body so you want to make sure that it is something you are completely happy investing in.

So, how can you tell if you are completely ready to commit to getting a tattoo? Here are just a few main indicators!

You’ve Wanted a Design for a While

If you have been sat with an idea in your head of what you want for a long while, you are probably ready to go ahead and make it a reality.

If your idea hasn’t changed for a long time, that’s even more of an indication that the design is something that you will be happy with in years to come.

mans hand holding a pen to white paper

Of course, you will need to make sure you locate a reputable artist to make sure that your idea is designed perfectly, too!

You Haven’t Had Doubts

Getting a tattoo is a nerve-wracking experience for many people; it is permanent after all.

Feeling nervous about getting a tattoo is completely normal, but obsessively worry about the design and the artist who is going to be tattooing you isn’t, and it may be a sign that you aren’t fully ready for the commitment that a tattoo requires.

man looking like he is pondering something with one arm extended to his face with his head slightly tilted

If you are feeling apprehensive about these aspects, talk to your artist. They want you to be completely happy with your design and will want you to be as excited as they are when it comes to having your tattoo done.

You Are Old Enough

There are many young people under the age of 18 who want to get a tattoo, and while this is great, it’s important to understand that tattoo artists are bound by law to refuse to tattoo anyone under 18 years of age.

If you are under 18, use the time that you have to wait til you are old enough to perfect your design; who knows, your tastes may change by that time and you will have a better grasp of what ideas you have.

two girls sat at a bus stop looking in the same direction out of the frame of the image, with one of the girls pointing

Tattoos are a great way to express ourselves as individuals while looking amazing at the same time. Here at Body Shock , we provide only the best supplies to piercers and tattoo artists around the globe. From Skin Candy tattoo ink to piercing jewellery, we have it all.

For more information on how we can help your tattoo parlour or piercing studio, don’t hesitate to contact us on 01922 744088 today.

3 Most Painful Places to Get a Piercing


If you've never had a piercing before, getting your first can be a bit nerve wracking. Where you decide to get your piercing will play a big part in your comfort but to be completely honest with you, you barely notice it.

You're own pain threshold, is the clincher. Knowing yourself before you decide to get a piercing will help you to decide where your piercing will be. Skin piercings, such as your earlobe, is by far the easiest piercing to get. There's no mass of nerves to piercing through for one, and as the skin is much softer, there's less resistance to the gun or needle.

There are, however, some parts of the body that are far more painful than others.

 young woman with cartilage piercing


The Cartilage piercing has steadily grown in popularity. Cartilage isn't bone, it's a firm, flexible connective tissue which is why we're able to pierce through it. The resistance from the tissue, however, is what may cause you a slight discomfort. Many people can breeze through a cartilage piercing, the most popular body part being the many different places of the ear such as the;

• Rook

• Helix

• Forward Helix

• Diath

• Tragus

• Snug

• Inner Conch

• and Outer Conch


Places of filled with nerve endings will be far more uncomfortable to get pierced than skin piercings or cartilage. You're nipples are sensitive so it stands to reason that they won't be kind when it comes to getting them pierced. As with tattoos, when your piercing is healing, it's far more comfortable to allow it to air. Unfortunately, unless you're thinking of walking around shirtless during your healing period, you'll have to wear a shirt which can cause further discomfort and irritation during healing.


If your nipples are sensitive then you can correctly assume getting your genitals pierced will be very uncomfortable. On top of the process of piercing, your genitals will have to go through the healing process, not only will your underwear constantly rub against your piercing, so will your legs every time you move.

 confused guy

Once you've succeeded in getting a piercing, you'll start to look at beautiful, unique and classical studs and hoops. For all of your piercing professionals out there don't worry we've got you covered. We provide a variety of great quality wholesale body jewellery for you to delight your customers in, simply contact us today on 01922 744088 to find out more!

Considering a Cover Up Tattoo? Here’s What You Need to Know


Considering a Cover-Up Tattoo? Here’s What You Need to Know

Whether you are regretting one of your tattoos or you simply dislike the design and want another one instead, there’s no need to head straight for laser removal.

Tattoo cover ups can be done and the results are often incredible, especially if you find an artist who excels at being able to incorporate and cover the old design.

Instead of wasting money and enduring more pain than getting a tattoo in the first place, here’s what you need to know about getting a tattoo covered up.

It Will Be a Bigger Tattoo

There’s no way to avoid it; your tattoo will have to be bigger than your existing tattoo to be able to cover it completely.

Although this may seem a little daunting at first, the extra area which needs to be covered will give you and your artist a greater freedom of the design that you decide on. Your artist will be able to guide you on what styles and designs will cover the area best.

Let’s face it, you can’t cover a tribal tattoo with a realistic portrait piece. Well, you could if you don’t mind the portrait sporting a tribal design on their face.

Choice of Design

As we just mentioned, you will have a limited range of designs that you will be able to choose from in order to be able to completely cover your existing tattoo.

The fact that many designs won’t work with your tattoo is something that many people should be aware of before heading to a tattoo parlour with a set idea in mind.

Your artist is there to assess the existing work and create a design which tweaks and integrates with the new design flawlessly so that nobody would ever be able to tell there was another piece of art there to begin with.

man in black t-shirt reading a book. his right arm is a tattoo sleeve

Coming up with a design for a cover up may take a little longer than a fresh tattoo on virgin skin, but rest assured that your tattoo professional knows what they are doing. This is why it’s important to find an experienced artist; they will already know what will and won’t work, saving you from further tattoo disaster.


As with design, you may be restricted when it comes to colouring a cover up tattoo.

Darker colours such as blacks, blues and browns are preferred as they cover most colours easily. The darker you go, the better your cover up will be.

close up of tattoo artists ink pots of black and red coloured ink

If you are wanting a more colourful tattoo, but your existing piece is quite dark, you can opt for laser removal to lighten the art so that you and your artist have more colours to play around with, such as the beautiful colours of Skin Candy tattoo ink.

Tattoos are permanent and a costly investment. That’s why it’s important to be 100% sure that you are happy with the design to avoid having to pay out for a cover up tattoo which is much more limiting in what you can have done.

If you are a tattooist or a piercer and would like more information on the tattoo and piercing supplies that we have available, contact us today by calling 01922 744088 and we will be happy to discuss your queries with you.

3 Most Frequently Regretted Tattoos


We love tattoos here at Body Shock. As a leading supplier of tattoo supplies and ink, this isn’t something that will come as a huge surprise to most people. We love looking at all the fantastic designs, especially those that are unique and original. Tattooing is a brilliant way for people to express their creativeness, person experiences and achievements in life. However, there are some designs that are probably best kept away from the body. These are usually the ones that haven’t been thought out enough beforehand and end up being one big regret. We don’t believe in bad tattoos but these are the ones that seem to be most frequently regretted by people.

The Name of Your Ex Boyfriend/Girlfriend

This is probably the number one reason for why a lot of people regret getting a tattoo. They’re in love, they think they will be with this person forever – so they get their name tattooed on their arm in a cute little heart. Fast forward a few years and you would like to forget the name of this person, but you can’t – their name is tattooed on you as a constant reminder. Oops. We think that you should avoid getting the name of someone tattooed onto any part of your body - even if you think it's true love at the time.

Tattoo Shaking Hand

A Misspelled Quote

That meaningful quote on your leg looks amazing...until you realise that it’s actually spelt wrong. Did you accidently write it down wrong? Did you get it done by a tattoo artist who isn’t reputable? There is nothing more frustrating than spending hours in a chair to realise that your perfect tattoo isn’t quite as perfect as you hoped. This is a very embarrassing problem for a lot of people. If you insist on having a quote tattoo, make sure you take the time to double check that it's spelt correctly.

Chinese Symbols

A lot of people love the idea of getting something tattooed on their body that is in a different language – most commonly spelt out through Chinese symbols. Whilst they can look awesome, the problem is that not a lot of people actually know what it says. How do you know that the quote you’ve just got on your arm, doesn’t actually translate to something completely different? Unfortunately, this is a reality for a lot of people. If you can't read what your tattoo says, we think it's probably best choosing something different.

We hate hearing about tattoos having to be removed, which is we advise everyone to think it through completely beforehand.

If you’re a tattoo artist who is looking for tattoo ink or supplies for your store, you can check out our stock online. We also specialise in wholesale body jewellery. and art supplies, so feel free to check those out too.

If you would like more information about our products or services, please don’t hesitate to contact us.. You can give us a call on 01992 744088 and a member of our team will be happy to help.

The History of the Tattooing Process

Tattoos have been around for thousands of years! Throughout that time people have had them done purely for the pleasure of having that inked on their skin, to remember someone or to label themselves as part of a movement or group.

This blog post is all about permanent tattoos, so we don’t include semi-permanent war markings or the peel on tattoos we all had as children, we’re on about proper tattoos and their needles. We’ve previously discussed the history of tattoos themselves, looking at who had them and how popular they were. We summarised that due to the criminalisation of tattoos in some parts of the states, they were heavily associated with criminals.

We also discussed that this attitude towards tattoos is changing, without the help of TV shows like Orange is the New Black where the protagonist tattoos herself with a put together needle and fake white ink, we all loved that cliché and we’re sure you did too!

So anyway, the first kind of needle that has been found and been proved to be a tattooing needle is made from Bronze and is from Egypt!


They had multiple sized needles, so they could do intricate tattoos or more basic designs. In fact, whilst researching for this blog, we found a pharaoh who has tattooed fingers, and it’s stayed on through the mummification! How cool is that?

Check it out here! And in this very cool video!

Next in the history of tattooing needles comes the Thai needle kit!

These were made from bamboo, imagine the splinters from that! They used to engrave the tattoos into the skin, very much like the modern day scar tattoos. Bamboo was sharpened to a point, like a quill needle and then repeatedly punctured into the person’s skin.

These tattoos have their own name, Yak Saint. They are meant to give the wearer magical healing powers, luck and fortune. In fact, these tattoos were performed by monks, and are still about today. They have been done for over 2000 years.

The needles themselves vary in length, from six inches to twelve.

Check this article out for more information on their practice!


Third on our list is the Maori Chisel!

This is probably the goriest way we’ve found to give someone a tattoo. The tools include a chisel and a hammer. We’ve included a link to Rhianna getting her own tribal tattoo! The user experiences the tattooist making little cuts into their skin, almost like scarring again, and then they get the ink hammered into their skin. Fortunately, today such torturous tattoo methods have been replaced with much nicer tattoo needles.

Read more about it on this here website!

Ready for the next one? Polynesian Rake Tattoo

Like the Thai, the Polynesian rake Tattoo requires two people. The rake holds the ink and a hammer is once again involved, this time to puncture the skin.

Polynesian tattoos were and are given out as a rite of passage, for great wealth or status. The more heavily tattoed you are, the more authority and respect you have from the community, the less you have the more you are shunned. Like most cultures, this focus’ more men than women. Although women were also given a rite of passage tattoo!

Interesting fact: The needles themselves are usually made from bone or tortoise shell!


Are You Ever Too Old to Ink? Study Show That Tattoos Are Becoming More Popular Later on in Life


Have you ever told someone who doesn’t agree with tattoos that you are getting one done, and received a “that won’t look good when you’re old” comment. We’ve heard this comment hundreds of times and every time we reply “who looks good when they’re old?”

For some reason, a lot of people believe that tattoos don’t look good after a certain age. However, with a generation that is embracing tattoos, it’s safe to say that nursing homes in 10/20 years time are going to look a lot different than they do now. In fact, it might be a lot sooner than that.

A recent study from Remember A Charity, has shown that around 5% of people are now getting their first tattoo after they have turned 60.

The Guinness World Record Holder

Earlier this year, Isobel Varley passed away at the age of 77. Before she died, she was known for holding the Guinness World Record for being the “most tattooed female senior citizen” – over 90% of her body was covered in them!

Having got her first tattoo at the age of 49, she later went on to get a further 200 tattoos done. It’s estimated that she spent around 500 hours in tattoo studios. Isobel said that she only wanted to get one done but fell in love with the tattoo and got addicted.

A New Generation?

So are the studies true? Are more people deciding to get tattoos in later life?

Back in 2013, a 75 year old BBC presenter was filming a documentary called Britain and the Sea, when he decided to get his first tattoo. He had a two and a half inch scorpion tattooed onto his shoulder. The owner of the parlour where he got it done, later said that he wasn’t her first customer over the age of 70. She said that she believes the times are changing and that it’s more “accepted now.”

It would certainly seem so, as earlier this year, 79 year old Sadie made the news after she got her very first tattoo. She chose to have a small love heart inked onto her arm, after being convinced by her granddaughter. She was asked what her other family were going to think of her idea to get a tattoo, in which she replied that she “didn’t care.”

It looks like times are definitely changing, and we think it’s exciting that more people are embracing the creativeness that tattoos can bring out. As a leading supplier of tattoo machines and other equipment, to artists around the country, we know how much hard work is put into creating the perfect tattoo.

If you’re a tattoo artist who is looking for new equipment, please don’t hesitate to contact us. You can give us a call on 01922 744088 and a member of our team will be happy to help.

How Important is Tattoo Aftercare Cream?


In a previous blog, we gave you a guide on the 3 stages of a healing tattoo and touched upon the use of a tattoo aftercare cream.

We thought it would be a good idea to follow this blog post up with reasoning as to why this aftercare step is essential. We don’t want you to run into problems when it comes to healing your tattoo, and applying a tattoo aftercare cream is a big part of getting your tattoo to heal correctly and make it look fantastic.

Why Is It Important?

Using a tattoo aftercare cream ensures that your tattoo will heal properly by creating a barrier against bacteria. It is one of the most important steps to successfully healing a tattoo, as it ensures that no infection can occur which could potentially make you ill as well as causing discolouration and distortion of your new tattoo.

You should be using your tattoo cream from day one, so make sure that you pick some up from your parlour or find out what your artist recommends so that you can protect your tattoo from the very beginning of your healing process.

“Can I Use ____ Instead?”

You may have heard about other products that other people have used on their tattoos, but it’s really important that you take the advice of your tattoo artist over the advice of other people.

Even though the method that they have used may have worked well for them, it may not be the best for your tattoo. After spending time and money on having your tattoo done, you will want to make sure that you are giving it the best possible care, so take the advice from a professional tattoo artist on what you should be using.

After all, we don’t want you using a product that will cause your tattoo to flare up and completely ruin all the hard work that your artist has put in to creating a beautiful tattoo. Some antibiotic ointments can work too well and although your tattoo will heal up quite fast, you may find that your tattoo becomes duller as it does so as it aids the body in ridding the skin of the ink rather than encouraging it to lock the ink into it.

How Often and How Much?

As we have mentioned many times before, your tattoo is an open wound. It may not look like it, but you need to take the best care you possibly can to keep bacteria away from it to avoid getting a nasty infection.

Make sure that you clean your hands before reaching for your tattoo aftercare cream so that you aren’t transferring any germs from your hands into the cream before it even goes on your skin. Clean your tattoo gently beforehand and pat it dry before putting the ointment on to avoid trapping moisture underneath and delaying the skin’s healing process.

You only need to use a very thin coat of ointment. Don’t smother it as your skin needs to be able to breathe to heal properly. You know you have enough when your tattoo has a very slight sheen.

As for how many times a day you need to re-apply the tattoo aftercare cream, around 3-5 times a day is about average, but this depends on the size, location and stage of healing that you are going through at any given time. Your artist will be able to advise you on this when giving you your aftercare tips.

It’s not a hard routine to follow, and it’s one that you must stick to if you want your tattoo to heal properly. As a leading provider of tattoo and piercing supplies to tattoo artists and piercers around the world, we know how important it is to take care of your new tattoo. If you are a tattoo artist or piercer and want to know more about our products, don’t hesitate to get in contact with us by calling 01922 744088 and we will be delighted to help you with your requests.

How to Protect Your Tattoo Against the Summer Sun


Summer is upon us! Great, isn’t it? But just because it’s the summer months doesn’t mean our tattoo machines have been getting any rest; we are continually inundated with back to back tat enthusiasts - but is summer a good time to be getting a tattoo?

Of course it is! You just need to be that bit more sensible.

Tattoos are like little skin kittens, constantly needing reminders that you love them and know they’re there. Tattoos can fade really badly in the sun (unlike kittens) but you are looking at some pretty serious skin problems if you decide to allow your tattoo-sensitive skin to be exposed in the sun. Not only that, a healing tattoo can get stroppy in the sun, meaning that it scabs up pretty bad and can cause little chunks of ink to pull away and be ripped out. And we don’t want that, do we?


Fade to Green

Lighter colours can fade into obscurity when the temptation is there to go all suns out, guns out, but as if it couldn’t get any worse, black shades can actually fade to blue or green. Not ideal, is it? The key is to treat everyday like it is sunny if you want to keep your tattoos the way you originally intended because even the UV kicking about around you doesn’t do your art any favours.

Lotion Up

One way to do this is by moisturising your tats up to the eyeballs. Having said that there are chemicals found in sun lotion that can do your tattoo some serious damage, so consult with one of our skin professionals before lathering your tats up straight away. Nevertheless, you do need to keep your tattoo nice and moist to stop it from drying out and *ahem* scabbing over so, again, just have a chat with your tattoo artist once it’s finished.

Cover Up

Now at this point you’re probably thinking we’re sounding a bit like your parent but if you’re seeking advice on how to stop your tattoo from fading... you watch your mouth young man/lady! And go to your room! Well, you don’t have to do that bit. Although staying in the shade would actually be greatly beneficial to the longevity of your tattoo. Keeping a light shirt or trousers on is a great way to protect your tattoo whilst simultaneously preventing yourself from over-heating in the warmer weather.

The Science

It’s not the sun rays that are fading your tattoo but the rays that are killing your skin cells, thus causing ink loss. This is important to remember during the healing process of your tattoo as your skin has not yet recovered and contains substantially less melanin. This melanin helps to protect your skin from the sunlight and with less there to battle the UV rays, your skin and tat are going to pay a hefty price. It is essential to follow the guidelines as set by your tattoo-master and follow them stringently. You don’t want to spend your hard earned cash on a gorgeous piece of art and then be in the unique position of having a front row seat to watch it fall apart or fade.

We’ve seen it happen... and it’s heartbreaking.

Think Smart and Protect Your Art

We can only go as far as providing you with tips, help and advice when it comes to tattoo and skin care; it’s down to you to actually protect yourself against the heat and rays from the sun. We’d all spend the summer outside basking in the heat and frolicking free if we could, but sometimes it just isn’t that simple. If you choose to get a tattoo in summer then there are a just those few extra things to consider, although we’re probably like you and wouldn’t want to wait either!

If you simply can’t wait and have an awesome design you’d like to run past one of our tattoo-professionals, don’t hesitate to give us a shout and contact us on 01922 744088 (UK) or 608-313-3090 (USA) where one of our friendly team will be eagerly awaiting your call!

Until then, enjoy the sun (responsibly)!

3 Stages of a Healing Tattoo


Having your tattoo completed can be an exhilarating experience, but don’t think that you can just walk out of the tattoo parlour and show off your perfect tattoo right away.

Here at Body Shock, we are leading providers of tattoo supplies to some of the best tattoo artists from around the world and we know just how much effort goes in to making your tattoos look fantastic. Just like most body modifications, there will be a healing process to go through to make sure that your tattoo looks its best.

It’s really important to understand these healing stages so that you have a better idea of what should and shouldn’t be happening while your tattoo is healing.

Stage One

Once your tattoo is finished it is considered to be a fresh, open wound. Your tattoo artist will generally clean the area to ensure that there is no bacteria that can get into tattoo and will wrap it to keep any other germs from getting in.

During this fresh healing stage, you will need to make sure that you keep it covered for around 2 hours. After this period has passed, gently remove the wrap and clean up any blood and leaked ink away with cool water and a mild soap. Make sure to pat the area dry with a freshly cleaned towel; we don’t want any germs from an old towel getting onto your skin.

Then it’s time to apply your aftercare ointment. Try to use this sparingly as you do need your skin to be able to breathe and heal and it won’t be able to if it is overloaded with ointment.

Your tattoo will look swollen and red during this phase and you will notice that scabs begin to form, which signifies the wound is closing and that your tattoo is progressing ocnto the next stage of healing.

Stage Two

It’s not unusual for you to experience itching during stage two of a healing tattoo. This is the stage where you skin begins to regenerate which is what causes the itching.

As hard as it may be, it’s really important not to pick any scabs or scratch your skin. This can cause scarring and even colour and shape damage to your tattoo; no one wants to ruin that after the time, effort and money that has gone into creating something awesome.

Your tattoo may look like it’s peeling when it gets to this stage. This top layer of skin will fall off and reveal the vibrant colours that have been absorbed in the lower layers, making your tattoo bright and colourful. This should last around a week and you can alleviate any itching by using your tattoo ointment.

Stage Three

The final stage is finally here! Your tattoo will be looking bright and vibrant and any skin flakes or scabs should have disappeared.

It may not look as vibrant as you were expecting, but as the layers of your skin shed and the lower layers become more exposed, you will see that the colour looks as vibrant as when it was freshly done.

Keep cleansing your tattoo once or twice a day to help keep your skin hydrated and encourage those layers to shed.

By now, your tattoo shouldn’t be swollen at all. If you are still experiencing swelling, it’s important to consult your doctor as it could potentially be an infection. Remember, healing a tattoo is a process and it will take time to completely heal, but it will be worth it in the end.

It’s really important to know how to take care of your tattoo properly from the moment you decide on getting one done. Your artist is there to answer any questions that you may have before, during and after your tattoo, so don’t be afraid to ask!

If you are a tattoo artist and are looking for some of the best tattoo supplies available, don’t delay in getting in contact with us by calling 01922 744088 and our friendly team will be available to help you with your enquiries.

Can Tattoos Change the World?


There are almost as many opinions on tattoos as there are people that have them nowadays, and whatever you think of them, they are always a talking point. One thing that opinion is split on is whether they can be a force for good or whether they are just a piece of inked skin. Here at Body Shock, we don’t just stock tattoo supplies such as “(tattoo grips)” , we also love tattoos and believe that they can transcend themselves and become incredibly personal.


One tattoo that is in the news lately is converting the non-believers and showing that tattoos can have a profound meaning. We are talking of course about the semicolon tattoo that has been appearing on hundreds of thousands of individuals all over the world.

What Does the Semicolon Mean?

This incredibly simple tattoo has become a trend that is gaining real recognition for its positive impact in raising awareness of mental health issues. Studies of suicides show that 90% of those that commit suicide have a diagnosable mental illness; the aim of this awareness campaign is to end this association.

The symbolism of the semicolon is that it signifies an unfinished sentence and is an inspiration for those with mental illnesses to remember that suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem.

Is it Working?

The sheer fact that the tattoos have made it into the news is proof positive that the campaign works. This increased awareness will hopefully lead to better understanding both from those that are suffering with mental illness and those impacted by it.

Should You Get One?

A tattoo, no matter how much it is influenced by trends, is a very personal thing and no one should rush in to getting one.

If you choose to go for a semicolon tattoo though, the most important thing to remember to visit a reputable tattoo shop. The artists in these shops will understand your requirements and will help you with decisions on style and placement to make sure that your tattoo is perfect for you.

For more information on Body Shock or any of our products don’t hesitate to (contact us) and we will be more than happy to help.

Convention Spotlight: Tattoo Jam, Doncaster

Convention season is in full swing right now, and we’ve decided to focus on one of the biggest dates in a tattooist’s calendar which is coming up very soon; the one and only Tattoo Jam which is held at Doncaster Racecourse from the 7th to the 9th of August this year.

As providers of high quality tattoo supplies, we’re going to take a deeper look at this phenomenal convention and provide you with some details of how you can make sure that you experience Tattoo Jam next month.

Tattoo being made_2

What is Tattoo Jam?

Tattoo Jam is one of the biggest tattooing events held in the UK. It is a world record breaking tattoo convention that is held annually and hosts over 300 experienced tattoo artists who are available for tattooing throughout the weekend.

Doncaster Racecourse has just undergone a £34 million development transformation, making it a perfect modern location for this fantastic three-day event. It boasts enough space for 3,000 parking spaces and is easily accessible by rail or road from all over the country.

Run by some of the best known tattoo magazines, you can be sure that this is a professionally run event, with many of the industry’s finest artists making an appearance.

Tattoo Newbie? No Problem!

If you haven’t experienced a tattoo convention before, don’t panic! The Tattoo Jam website offers a fantastic guide on how to handle the experience, which can sometimes seem a little overwhelming.

From how to plan a tattoo that you want, to what is going on during the convention, the guide covers it all. It’s well worth a read, even if you aren’t a complete newbie to the tattoo convention world.  

How Do I Get There?

If you are travelling to Tattoo Jam, you are going to want to know how to get there. As the convention is situated in Doncaster, it’s pretty easy to access by road and rail, and for you flyers out there, there’s even air links to a nearby airport.

By Car Doncaster Racecourse is situated east of the town centre, near the Dome Leisure Centre. With links to the nearby motorway network, using the M1(junction 32), M18 (junctions 3 and 4), A1M (junction 36) and the M62. Car parking on site costs £5 for a day.

By Rail Doncaster train station is just two and a half miles away from the venue, and operated on the main London-Edinburgh line. Taxis are available from the station to transport you to and from the venue.

By Air Robin Hood Airport is less than seven miles from the racecourse and facilitates flights to and from over 40 different destinations worldwide.

We hope that we’ve given you an insight into this fantastic event. If you would like to know more information, check out the event’s own FAQ page and book your tickets today!

For all you tattoo artists out there, need to stock up on supplies before Tattoo Jam? Don’t hesitate to contact us here at Body Shock and make sure you are ready for one of the biggest tattoo events of the year! Call our team on 01922 744088 today if you have any queries.

Upcoming Tattoo Trends: Ideas for Summer 2015


Just like anything that we wear on our body, tattoos can be used to make a fashion statement – and that means that it’s just as important to stay on top of tattooing trends as it is to update your wardrobe for the new season!

Here are some great design ideas for summer 2015, perfect for when you want to pass on some fresh ideas to your clients, or even if you want to get inked yourself:


Be Bold with a Pitch Black Bat(man)

The bat is a fantastic option for a tattoo that combines subtlety with just a little bit of edge. Since the idea is so versatile, it can be as simple as a small and discrete shoulder design, or spread its wings to fill the entire chest or back. We think that a small swarm of bats looks especially striking, although with two upcoming blockbuster movies set to feature characters from the Batman universe, now might be the time to base an idea around The Dark Knight himself.

Take Flight with a Unique Pair of Wings

If you’re not a big fan of the bat, but you love the idea of taking flight with your tattoo, then a set of wings could be the 2015 tattoo trend for you. Channel your inner mythical creature with a set of fairy or phoenix wings, or stay traditional and have the feathers of the almighty eagle etched on your back. You can mix it up a bit by having a set of wings etched somewhere unexpected, be it the shoulder, the foot, or even a tiny pair on the back of the neck!

Glisten in the Sun with Anything Gold

Perhaps you already know exactly what tattoo design you want, but you’re still a little undecided on the colour – alternatively, tattoo artists might be wondering which colours to stock up on for the coming months. Well, this summer it’s all about gold tattoos: something which will catch the light of the sun and glisten with seasonal light. From tribal designs to that classic book quote, anything looks good with gold. Why not try combining too summer trends and opt for a stand-out gold bat?

If you’re looking forward to inking up some clients with these fashionable summer designs then don’t forget the importance of keeping your equipment up to date – with inks, needles and tattoo guns you can come to Body Shock for all your studio supplies. Contact us today, online or at 01922 744088 to make an enquiry or place an order.

Tattoo Artists: Sticking To Your Personal and Professional Policies


Recently, we read a post (NSFW) on a ladies blog about her experience in a tattoo parlour in America. The nearly 40-year-old woman was told by the tattoo artist in the shop that he would, under no circumstances, give her a tattoo on her neck. He told the woman that it would look ‘tacky’ and that unless she was heavily tattooed and therefore out of room, he wouldn’t tattoo anything onto this area. The woman – who already had three small tattoos - was understandably angry, and after a few heated words, left the shop without booking any tattoos, before seeking out an alternative studio who would help her.

As a company who specialises in providing tattoo supplies to professional and reputable tattoo artists, we can see both sides to the argument. The tattoo artist should have put his point across in a more professional manner – explaining to the lady why it’s in his policy to be able to refuse a customer, especially if he doesn’t feel comfortable doing what they are asking. By telling the lady that it would be tacky, he caused a justifiably hostile reaction from her.

However, we can understand why he did refuse, as neck and face tattoos are high up on the list of places people regret getting inked. A tattoo is a signature for the artist, and they don’t want to be putting their name to something that a customer will later regret.

In general, as a tattoo artist, you may be asked to tattoo something that you are not comfortable in doing, you might be asked to tattoo an area of the body that you don’t want to work on, or you might simply feel like you can’t do justice to the exact design your client wants.

Whatever the reason you have for refusing to do a specific tattoo, you must be prepared for a negative reaction from the person asking. Whilst this might be inevitable at times, there are certain precautions and actions that you can limit the chances of being on the end of an angry rant like the one we mentioned above.


Carefully and clearly state your policies

If you have certain rules about what you are and aren’t willing to tattoo on an individual, then this is well within your rights as a tattoo artist. However, it’s extremely important that you make this known to potential customers – whether it’s on your website, in your shop policies, or by making sure that your receptionists are fully able to inform anyone that asks. The key here is to phrase everything in an appropriate way, you should never insult a customer’s taste by inferring that their choice is tacky!

Make appointments where you and your customer can discuss ideas

People are always going to feel more comfortable getting a tattoo from someone that they have met before. If you make it one of your policies to always sit down with customers before doing tattoos, you can discuss with them everything you are willing to do, and what are your limits. This way, the customer can decide whether to proceed with you, or look elsewhere.

Get to know other tattoo artists in the area

By getting to know other tattoo parlours and individual tattoo artists in the area, you’ll be fully equipped to advise people on the best place to go for a tattoo if it’s something you don’t feel comfortable doing.

It’s much better to give someone an alternative option than simply send them away.

By following our simple advice, there is less chance of finding yourself in an uncomfortable situation with a customer, where you have to tell them that you won’t do a tattoo for them.

As a tattoo artist, it’s entirely up to you for what you agree to do or not do, but it’s the way that you put this across that can be the difference between a disappointed customer and an angry one.

If you’re a tattoo artist, and you’re in need of some tattoo supplies, Body Shock has you covered. We provide an extensive collection of high quality products, but at affordable prices. Please get in contact with us by calling 01922 744088 and a member of our staff will be happy to answer any questions.

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Tattoo and Myths: Separating Fact from Fiction


Getting a tattoo is a big decision and shouldn’t be taken lightly. However, once you have decided on something significant to have tattooed on your body, it can look really good.

What was once reserved for jailbirds and tough looking men has now become something that is a lot more mainstream. Both men and women of all different ages are now spending thousands and thousands of pounds, getting tattoos every year.

As a company who specialises in providing an extensive selection of tattoo supplies, we are pretty passionate about all things ink! We consider ourselves experts on the subject, which makes it amusing when we read a whole bunch of rumours and myths that are definitely not true. Using our knowledge, we have decided to acknowledge some of the most common myths that seem to pop up everywhere – and hopefully put the mind at ease for anyone who is worried about getting one.

Read on for a list of some of the biggest myths surrounding tattoos and the tattoo industry.


Myth: A Tattoo Is Forever

Once upon a time getting a tattoo meant that you were going to be stuck with it forever. These days, this isn’t the case. Due to updated technology such as laser tattoo removal, there is now a real way of removing those tattoos that you regret getting in your crazy youth years.

However, laser tattoo removal can be a long process so that this doesn’t mean that you should rush into anything too quickly.

Myth: You Will Find It Extremely Hard To Find a Job

A lot of people are scared to get a tattoo because they think it’s going to prevent them from securing jobs in the future. Traditionally, a tattoo would be a problem when going for a job interview – but this isn’t really true anymore.

Whilst there might be some careers that restrict what tattoos you can have on show, a lot more companies are more relaxed about them these days.

Myth (Sort of): It Will Hurt Too Much

We have labelled this one as a sort of myth as at the end of the day, no one can predict if it’s going to hurt or not. It’s definitely false to say that it will definitely hurt – it all depends on your individual pain threshold.

Some people claim that one part of the body hurts more than the other, but again, we have to say that it really depends on you as a person. What might hurt more for one person, may be a walk in the park for someone else.

Myth: All Tattoo Artists Are The Same

Just like all singers and actors are the same, right? No, we didn’t think so. All tattoo artists are individual and will have their own style and ideas. In fact, choosing the correct tattoo artist for you might be the most important aspect of getting a tattoo.

You should always meet with a potential artist before hand, so you can chat about your tattoo and check out some of their previous work.

We hope that this list has managed to debunk some of the most common rumours surrounding getting a tattoo and that you feel a little more reassured. Just remember that it’s a big decision and it should be one that is entirely yours.

Whether you are thinking of getting a new tattoo, or you are a professional tattoo artist looking for equipment, here at Body Shock, we supply a whole number of tattoo supplies for your tattoo parlours.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you would like to ask any questions. You can give us a call on 01922 744 088 and a member of our friendly team will be happy to help!

Oops, They Did It Again: Celebrities With Tattoos Of Ex-Partners.


The biggest unspoken rule of getting a tattoo is to never get the name of your partner inked on your skin. Well, at least not until you have been together a very long time. However, everyone thinks their relationship is destined to last forever, and our favourite celebrities are no exception. In fact, many of them commit this tattoo sin!

Love can make people do foolish things, including getting the name of partners tattooed on body parts, and then splitting up with said partner. A nightmare for most people, it can be even more embarrassing for those in the public eye.

Some of them hurry to have the tattoo removed, or alter it so that it reads as something different. Some people also keep the tattoo as a reminder of why it’s best to not make the same mistake again.

Here we’ll give a rundown of the celebrities that have had tattoos that, unfortunately, have lasted longer than their relationships.

Britney Spears

Back in 2004, Britney Spears and her former partner Kevin Federline both got matching tattoos to show how much they loved each other. Britney got a picture of a pink dice tattooed onto her wrist, whilst Kevin opted for a blue one. Announcing that this was a symbol of their commitment to each other, the couple got engaged soon after. Unfortunately, we all know how this story ended!

Heidi Klum

The model married musician Seal in 2005, a relationship that we all thought would last. Heidi certainly did, getting the name of her husband tattooed in large font on her forearm. Fast forward seven years, and the couple announce their impending divorce. Ouch.

Pamela Anderson

Pamela got the name of her then-husband, Tommy Lee, tattooed on her ring finger. What was once a romantic gesture, turned into an embarrassing reminder of the failed relationship. Pamela eventually had the tattoo changed into the word ‘mummy’

Johnny Depp

This one is probably one of the most memorable celebrity tattoo mistakes of the 90s. Depp had the name of Winona Ryder, his girlfriend at the time, tattooed in clear view on his shoulder. The phrase read ‘Winona forever’ as he clearly believed their relationship was to last. Unluckily, they broke up soon after, and Depp creatively had the tattooed altered to read ‘Wino Forever’. Probably for the best!

Angelina Jolie

Whilst married to actor Billy Bob Thornton, Jolie had his name tattooed proudly on the top of her arm. The couple, who married after two months of dating, believed that their relationship would survive the Hollywood curse. They were wrong. After a very public relationship, in which the couple often gave very public declarations of their love, the couple split three years later. Jolie had the tattoo removed.

Marc Anthony

Once proudly displaying the name of his wife, Jennifer Lopez, on his wrist, Marc rushed to have the tattoo covered up after their split. Choosing to get a picture of the Statue of Liberty where the tattoo used to sit, Marc has since announced that the tattoo is a tribute to his latest girlfriend. Ah well, probably more wise than getting her name inked on his skin!

As this list shows, it’s probably wise to think through (and then think again) before deciding to get a tattoo of your current partners name on your body. However, getting another tattoo is always exciting! Whether you’re thinking of getting a new tattoo, or you’re a professional tattoo artist looking for high-quality equipment, here at Body Shock, we supply a whole number of tattoo supplies for your tattoo parlours, including tattoo machines

Please feel free to contact us on 01922 744 088, and a member of our friendly team will be happy to help!

Unique Tattoo Ideas


Tattoos are a great way to express your personality and how you live your life. If you are looking for unique tattoo ideas, you’ve come to the right place! Here, we will show you some very unique tattoo ideas to give you some inspiration for you and your clients.

Children’s Drawings

Canadian man Keith Anderson made news last week for his very unique tattoo idea. As the father of a very artistic little boy, Anderson came up with the idea to get a sleeve tattoo of all his son’s drawings. He began commemorating his son’s childhood in this way six years ago, and is an awesome example of both parental commitment and unique tattoos.

Couple Tattoos

For two people who are truly committed to one another, there are many unique couple tattoo ideas you can explore. Share half a tattoo each and use designs ranging from intricate hearts to origami figures. These tattoos can be designed for clients on an individual basis, or you can design some yourself. Let your imagination run wild.


This idea is naturally one that has been done before, with even the likes of Angelina Jolie using this concept to cover up an old tattoo. What makes this tattoo unique is the changing coordinates, based on who or what you want the tattoo to commemorate. You can also interchange designs from being simplistic to intricate and detailed, and even use coordinates to enhance tattoos of compasses or maps.

White Ink

A new tattoo trend that has been increasing in popularity, particularly with women, is white ink. Unlike traditional black and coloured inks, white ink is more subtle and can look amazing. The most popular design ideas for white ink are floral and feminine patterns, but experiment to see how designs look. Contrary to popular belief, it is untrue that white ink is more painful than black ink, so encourage clients to try it out!

Tattoos, when designed and applied correctly, can be the perfect way to express yourself. If you are in need of tattoo materials such as tattoo needles, Body Shock are a trusted supplier of tattoo and body piercing equipment in the UK and the US. Contact us today by calling 01922 744088.

Tattoo Needles and You


As a tattoo artist you’ll work with needles every day, provided you’re busy, but do you ever stop to think how that certain type of needle that sits firmly in your grip came to be?

We all know that the art of tattooing is as old as your granny’s granny’s gran, but how have the different needles from around the world developed and influenced the modern style of tattoo needles we supply here at Body Shock.

Thai Style

The traditional Thai style of needle was originally made from bamboo and fashioned into a quill shaped tool. The bamboo would have been split in two and razor sharp, ranging from 6 to 12 inches in length!

The Maori Chisel

The Maori method was to hack straight into the flesh using one of these interesting-looking tools! This was usually made from bone. After the lines were cut into the flesh, the chisel would then be dipped into ink and then tapped into the freshly made open wound.

Japanese Tebori Needles

Back in the good ole’ days Japanese tattoo artists used these needles and created a motion similar to that of a modern tattoo machine to embed the tattoos. Pretty cool, huh?

Edison’s Electric Pen

So, when would an electric pen be of any use? Tattooing, of course! It was Edison’s rotary coil pen invention, which never really took off as a pen, that we base the modern tattoo machine off. Samuel O’ Reilly saw the potential of it for tattooing, added needles with an ink reservoir and created the tattoo machine we know today!

So there you have it, we can now thank the Japanese, the Egyptians and everybody else that has contributed to the tattoo needles today, and, as tattoo artists, I think we owe them a pat on the back! Body Shock stock a wide range of tattoo needles including our own signature range to the revolutionary Cheyenne-style ones. So contact us now on 01922 744 088 for the UK and 608-313-3090 for the USA today for the best deals online!

Tattoos Through The Ages (Slideshare)


Here at Body Shock, we're passionate about ink, and we're fascinated by the rich history of tattooing. This is why we have created a slideshare all about how tattooing evolved and developed into the practice it is today.
If you would like more information about our products and services, please don't hesitate to contact us by calling 01922 744088.

Where Does it Hurt The Most?


Tattoos hurt, in spite of those who claim that they don’t in order to prove their strength or show how tough they are. They simply do hurt, and that’s a fact!

Given that the process involves several needles piercing your skin, it makes sense that it would smart a little, and this can put off first timers. Even those who have several tattoos still fear to let their tattoo artists loose on certain areas of their body, so we thought that we would put together a little guide to demonstrate where tattoos hurt the most:

Minimal Pain

Areas such as the outer arms, thighs and calves are all considered places that will suffer the least pain when being tattooed. It is a decent rule of thumb that areas on the body with more fat behind them and thicker skin will be less sensitive, and therefore cause less pain. Generally, the areas that cause the least pain will be those that are most often bumped into, as they will be desensitised.

Moderate Pain

Areas such as the feet, the neck, the abdomen and under the arms are generally considered to be areas that will hurt a moderate amount when tattooed. This is due to the fact that the skin is thinner, and there are more nerve endings underneath it, prompting a stronger pain response.

Severe Pain

Areas such as the hands, nipples and genitalia are known to be incredibly sensitive, and really aren’t for the faint of heart. Having personally sat through 8 hours of underarm tattooing without a flinch, I can testify to the severity of pain having the inside of your fingers tattooed causes...the most unpleasant experience of my none! If you choose one of these areas as your first tattoo spot, then it may well be your last, as it is enough to make grown adults whimper and throw in the towel.

We hope that you find this little guide helpful in both choosing the location of your next tattoo, as well as preparing for the inevitable pain. As a leading supplier of tattoo equipment, we would never try and stop anyone from booking some time at the parlour; we just like to let you know in advance about the discomfort it will cause. If you want to get a better idea of how sensitive an area will be to tattooing, simply pinch it with your nails and you will get a fairly good idea of its sensitivity. Just don’t try it on the inside of your fingers!

If you have any questions regarding any of our products, please don’t hesitate to contact us and we will be happy to help!

The Weird and Wonderful World of Tattoo Styles


Choosing a tattoo design that you love, and will inevitably continue to love for the next however many years can be tricky, but with so many talented and wonderful artists available – it can prove quite difficult to opt for something less than beautiful... Although we are well aware that some individuals still manage to achieve this, and more fool them!

With the talent and incredible achievements of tattoo artists in recent years, we couldn't help but highlight a few of the favourite tattoo styles we've seen, and hope to inspire you in your search for your next tattoo design. Tattoos are personal, so should be unique to you and your styles, no matter the theme. So, for a ltitle inkspiration - here are 3 of the most beautiful tattoo styles!


Watercolour Ink

A special type of tattoo that we recommend you only get done if by a capable artist. These tattoos are truly breathtaking, providing you with a one-off and ink-like skin creation which looks delicate yet striking against the skin.

BuzzFeed recommends that if you’re looking to get one of these specially-skilled tats - your best bet is Prague or St. Petersburg. So, you better get saving!

UV Ink

We’re not quite sure when this tatt-style started, but it’s pretty effective – if done right, of course! The whole idea of these tattoos is to be generally invisible (or nearly invisible) under broad daylight, however, in a club or UV environment, will react with the Ultraviolet and become visible.

Tattoos are drawn with specialist UV tattoo inks rather than normal inks, but although they look pretty cool when first done – UV-light sensitive chemicals can cease over time, resulting in a pretty dull and ineffective piece of skin-art. However, we still think they are a pretty awesome idea, perfect for the rave subculture, or people who prefer their subtle tattoos to not affect their career.

Dotwork Ink

Dotwork tattoos are a traditional method, made modern by today’s electrical technology. Once hand-tapped, electric machine dotwork ink is a new style emerging throughout modern tattooing, and we think it’s pretty nice!

Although these beautiful and unique tats must take hours to be created, they are well worth it! Delicate, stunning and interesting – dotworks are everything you want from a piece of body art that’ll be inked on you forever!

Here at Body Shock, we’re passionate about tattoo design, and are proud to be one of the leading providers of tattoo supplies to both artists and businesses. We offer high quality products at affordable prices, and stock a wide selection of all tattoo machines and studio furnishings to enhance your tattoo career! So, for more information, or to speak to one of our professional and friendly team – please get in contact with us on 01922 744 088 for the UK and 608-313-3090 for the USA today!

How to Become Shady; the Difficult Art of Tattoo Shading


Over the years tattoos have developed into a real art form, and some of the tattoos that accomplished artists create on a regular basis are breathtakingly intricate and impressive. With a huge variety of ink colours and ever more creative design ideas, the sky really seems to be the limit for tattoos in the next few years.<p>

One of the most important and profitable skills that a tattoo artist can develop is the ability to skilfully shade. Despite it seeming like an easy skill, shading is a deceptively tricky practice that takes years to master. It takes a careful hand and an expert knowledge of ink dilution, but the results can be simply amazing! As expert suppliers of everything to do with tattoo supplies from the vital tattoo machines used to create modern tattoo masterpieces, to body jewellery for those that also have a yearning for artistic piercing, we thought we would put together a quick guide to shading for the budding tattoo artists out there;

Don’t Go Too Deep

One of the most important skills for a tattoo artist to master is the depth that they allow the needle to penetrate to. Too shallow and the tattoo may lose some of its intensity during the healing process, but going too deep can cause scarring and ruin the end result. Practice is the key to this; whilst serving out your apprenticeship make sure you closely study the depth at which a professional’s needle is set for a given task.

Concentrate On Your Dilution

Think about if you were to do a pencil drawing, would you only use one pencil? They’re all grey right? The answer is no of course! A range of different pencils gives you a much richer end result, as you can vary the depth and intensity of your shading. The same is true of tattoo ink, and making sure that you get the right dilution of ink to water is vital. Shading cannot simply end abruptly, so being able to gently blend shading into the natural skin colour is an essential skill.

Use the Right Needle

The difference between outlining needles and shading needles is vast, as they are designed to create completely different looks on the skin. It may seem like a chore, constantly changing between wider and narrower needles, but in order to achieve the best results it is vital.

We hope that our quick guide has helped you and that your shading is well on its way to becoming masterful! The best advice that we can give is for you to practice, practice, practice, and if we can help out by providing you with some top quality supplies then don’t hesitate to contact us whenever you like.

Artists to the Stars


We’ve already looked at some of the best celebrity tattoos out there, with names such as Rihanna, James Hetfield and Anthony Kiedis, but what about the artist behind the big names? In this post, we’ll take a look at some of the talented artists entrusted with the task of inking some of the biggest stars around.

Bang Bang

Also known as Keith McCurdy, this talented artist has worked on the likes of Rihanna, Katy Perry and Justin Bieber. After tattooing his celebrity clients, he asks them to return the favour and add to his ‘scrapbook’ by tattooing his leg. He now has quite a collection of celebrity autograph doodles including a cartoon mouse named ‘swaggy’ from Bieber and a large breasted dove from Rita Ora.

Louis Molloy

Star of reality TV show ‘London Ink’ and artist behind the Beckham’s tattoos is known for his frank talking. He hit headlines in 2005 when he threatened to sue Posh and Becks if they went ahead with plans to use their tattoos as images in an ad campaign. Claiming he owned the copyright to the images, he was not best pleased when the power couple tried to use them to sell.

Kat Von D

One of the best known names in the tattoo business, this artist shot to fame due to the popularity of reality TV show ‘LA Ink’, which follows her career at tattoo shop ‘High Voltage’. Kat is well known for setting the world record for most tattoos carried out in a 24 hour period, with an impressive total of 400 people inked with the small ‘LA’ logo.

Here at Body Shock, we are passionate about all things ink, so we appreciate a really great tattoo artist. We love to support artists by providing great products and tattoo supplies including tattoo machines, needles and hygiene supplies. If you would like more information about any of our products or services, please don’t hesitate to contact us by calling 01922 744088 (UK) or 608-313-3090 to speak to a member of our team.

Top Tattoo Trends of 2014


The tattooing world is constantly changing, and new tattoo trends continue to pop up. With this in mind, now is a perfect time to take a look at some of the top tattoo trends of last year, where we’ll talk about some of the most popular tattoos of 2014.


Breaking Bad

With what seemed like the whole world talking about the TV series, it’s no surprise that people began inking their skin with designs inspired by the most talked about show over the past few years.

Head Mandala

The head mandala tattoo has become popular along with the half-shaved head style. It helps that in the latest instalment of the Hunger Games movie franchise, the character Cressida, played by Natalie Dormer, sports a similar tat. They look brilliant and particularly pretty, but we can imagine it’s not the most comfortable place to have inked!

Bottom of the Foot

2014 seemed to be the year of the masochist, with people choosing to be tattooed on the soles of their feet! Ouch! The trend seemed to be sparked by Miley Cyrus who had the words ‘Rolling’ and ‘$tone’ tattooed on the soles of her feet


Everyone’s favourite childhood brick is being immortalized by fans everywhere, who have been getting themselves inked with lego characters. Ironically, this example is on the feet, and we all know how feet and lego are a terrible mix…


These impressive, ultra-realistic tattoos were a huge hit in 2014, showing off the skills of some super talented artists. Admittedly, these tattoos can be a little creepy, especially when depicting a spider crawling across the skin… *shiver*

So that was 2014; now we can look forward to 2015 and see what trends the year will bring us! Here at Body Shock, we’re passionate about tattoos and stock a whole host of tattoo supplies including tattoo machines, studio furniture and ink, so we’ve got you covered! If you would like more information about any of our products, please don’t hesitate to contact us by calling 01922 744088 (UK) or 608-313-3090 (US) to speak to a member of our team.

Inside Ink: Tattoo Culture From Around the World [Infographic]


Getting a tattoo is becoming more and more popular, but not just here - right across the world. The tattoo as we know is not a new feature; tattoos are a part of history and are a firm part of some cultures. We've decided to take a look at tattoos from right across the world to see how they differ and what various designs actually mean; we've created this infographic (below) to take a look inside ink and explore the history behind them. Take a look and tell us what you think!


Awesome Tattoos of Musicians (Part Two)


Continuing our look at the ink on famous musicians, it’s time to turn to the ladies. Just like their male counterparts, there are literally hundreds of female musicians who use their tattoos to express their individuality and make a statement, such as:


A woman so sexy and talented, she needs only one name; Rihanna is one of the best-selling artists of all time with over 150 million records sold. She’s also officially a Fashion Icon, having received the title earlier this year from the Council of Fashion Designers of America. Apparently, that’s a thing. In Rihanna’s case, she hasn’t gone for any huge statement pieces; instead she has adorned herself with a number of small tattoos – 21 that we know of. Her first tattoo is thought to have been the musical notes on her foot, and her most copied tattoo is probably the “Shhh...” on her right index finger. Let’s not mention the two misspelt tattoos she has though...

Chibi (The Birthday Massacre)

Lead singer of the Canadian gothic/dark wave band The Birthday Massacre, Chibi rocks a number of tattoos. She’s said in interviews that she’s drawn to fictional female characters who she can identify with; she has a Sailor Saturn from the anime Sailor Moon on her left upper arm and Ramona Quimby on her right forearm. Like many tattoo aficionados, every piece of ink she bears has some significance – although not always one that’s easy to explain.

Ana Matronic (Scissor Sisters)

Apparently, there are still some people who say that tattoos on women can’t be glamorous. We dare them to say that to the face of women like Ana Matronic, the female singer with glam band Scissor Sisters. In case her choice of stage name wasn’t a giveaway, her tattoo clearly identifies her affection for robots. The armband was initially inspired by the Bionic Woman, and has been added to over time with tributes to her favourite robots – R2-D2, C-3PO and Maria from Metropolis.

If these talented ladies and their taste for ink have inspired you in your studio, we’d love to hear from you. At Body Shock, we harbour a passion for tattoos and provide a range of high quality tattoo supplies to help artists in the UK and USA alike meet their clients’ demands. For more information, you can call us on 01922 744088 in the UK or 608-313-3090 in the USA.

Awesome Tattoos of Musicians (Part One)

Rock stars and tattoos go together like music and volume. A great tattoo isn’t just an opportunity to sport some really creative art, it’s also a serious statement-maker. So we’re going to take a look at some of the best skin-inks worn by some of the greatest musicians ever. And we’re starting with…

James Hetfield (Metallica)

Metallica front-man James Hetfield is one seriously cool guy. Not only does he lead one of the biggest bands to ever grace the music world, he’s also beaten alcoholism – and has the tattoo to prove it. In addition to his kick-ass sleeve tattoos, on Hetfield’s upper back, between the shoulder blades, is the word ‘Leadfoot’, surrounded by red slashes and topped with a horseshoe. As most metal-heads know, ‘Leadfoot’ is the singer’s nickname due to his penchant for snowboarding and skateboarding. His tattoos are original, suit him, and scream ‘rock star’.

Frank Carter (Gallows)

Gallows are one of those bands that, if you’re a diehard music aficionado, you definitely know. They’re a hardcore punk band hailing from England. Back before he left the band in 2011, lead singer Frank Carter was pretty much a tattooed icon. A two-headed eagle adorns his chest, and his sleeve tats run, in an awesome display, from wrist to shoulders, featuring, amongst other things a pin-up girl peering out from rose petals. In 2007, Carter even had a tattoo inked while on-stage at Reading Festival. Now that really is hardcore.

Anthony Kiedis (Red Hot Chili Peppers)

When we think of kick-ass bands who really rock hard, The Red Hot Chili Peppers are never far from thought. They’ve released a ton of top tracks, their music videos are incredible, oh, and the band members are awesome as hell. The head of the Peppers, Anthony Kiedis, is a big fan of the tattoos. He’s not overdone it, but each one looks ace. Sure, he has the token rock star sleeves and tribal tats done, but for real style, it’s all about that highly stylised eagle spread across his back. Have these tattoos inspired you and your craft? We’d love to hear about it. Here at Body Shock, we provide professional tattoo artists in the UK and USA with high quality tattoo supplies. For more information, please contact us on 01922 744088 (UK) or 608-313-3090 (US).We’ll be glad to assist in any way we can.

5 Tattoo Supply Musts

Using the correct tattoo supplies is almost as important to the quality of the tattoo as the skills of the tattoo artist. You need to stock a variety of high-quality supplies to be able to complete tattoos in a wide range of styles. We’ve put together a list of tattoo supply musts to help you keep your tattoo studio fully stocked for any task. Starting with...

Choosing the right needle for the job

Choosing the right tattoo needle for each job is one of the most important things to do before starting the work. The needle will impact on both how the tattoo will turn out and the speed that it will heal, so you don’t want to choose the wrong one. If the needle isn’t sterile then it’ll cause even more problems, such as infections and a bad reputation. Therefore, it’s absolutely vital to have plenty of tattoo needles in your tattoo supplies to properly carry out any job you’re given.

Stocking a variety of inks

Each tattoo artist will have their own preference with inks and, on top of this, each style and tattoo will have its own requirements and the client may be very particular with the colours they want. Having a wide range of high-quality inks, including many colours and styles, will help to ensure that you can keep every customer happy with their tattoo.

Using the right tattoo machines

A tattoo artist will spend a lot of their working day holding a tattoo machine, so you don’t want to buy any old machine. The size, shape and weight all contribute to how comfortable the tattoo machine is for the artist to hold and these factors all impact on how intricate of a design can be completed. Using a low-quality tattoo machine will also carry the risk of having the machine break mid-job, which could damage both the customer’s skin and your reputation. On top of all that, different tasks will require a different machine with different settings. Therefore, a professional tattoo studio needs a collection of high-quality tattoo machines in order to cover every tattoo that you may be asked to do.

Having aftercare products

Aftercare is crucial to the healing and integrity of a tattoo and so you should carry a supply of aftercare products for your customers. Using products like Skin Lock tattoo sealant will ensure that the ink is locked in without wasting time wrapping your client in cling film. Aftercare serum products will further ensure the healing of the skin, helping to prevent infections and even alleviate the itches associated with a fresh tattoo. All customers will want different products so it’s important to carry a wide range of aftercare products.

Stocking the right hygiene supplies

Hygiene in a tattoo studio is an absolute essential. A good hygiene procedure will put your customer’s mind at ease and will help you build an excellent reputation. Products such as gloves, arm sleeves and lap cloths are a must for tattoo artists to avoid the artist or the customer coming into contact with any infections that another customer may have. As well as these, machine covers and cord covers will keep your machine clean. Stocking and using cleaning products such as disinfectants and sanitisers will ensure that the rest of the studio is clean enough the meet regulations and the customers’ expectations.

Here at Body Shock we stock all of the tattoo supplies mentioned above to ensure that your studio can complete the tattoos that your customers ask for to the best quality. If you need any supplies then don’t hesitate to contact us now on 01922 744 088.

The Pitfalls of Kanji Tattoos

Kanji – the characters used in written Japanese and other Asian languages – are a popular choice for elegant and meaningful tattoos, but they do present certain unique problems. If you’re running a tattoo parlour, you’re bound to get customers looking for kanji tattoos, so here are some of the dangers to look out for.

Does it mean what you think it means?

This is the first and most obvious issue. Because so many people getting kanji tattoos don’t read or write kanji themselves, they don’t actually know whether it’s correct. And, far too often, it isn’t. Whether that’s due to a simple error or somebody being malicious in providing the wrong characters, you end up with people tattooed with some very strange messages.

Now, maybe they really did want a tattoo that says “chicken noodle soup” or “picnic table” – but if they didn’t, and they find out what it really says, who do you think they’re coming back to for a fix?

The problem is, even if you’re doing a simple one-character tattoo, the Japanese language can give one character multiple meanings. Britney Spears is believed to have been going for “mysterious” with hers – but the kanji used generally has a negative meaning, and is more often read as “strange”.

Does it look right?

The second issue with kanji is that they’re supposed to be drawn in a very specific way; the strokes are made in a particular order for each character. It can actually take decades for even native speakers to master kanji calligraphy. This means that simply picking up the tattoo gun and getting going could mean that your hard work ends up looking like something a little kid drew – to a native speaker, at least.

Added to that is the complexity that many of these characters have –one little change (even if it looks artistic) can mean that you’ve changed the meaning altogether. Detach two parts of the symbol for “Tree”, for example, and you get a character that is generally meaningless – but used as slang in a particular subculture...

What can you do? Well, short of becoming fluent (and we doubt you have that much time spare), your best bet is to find somebody who is – and who you can trust not to troll you – to check your translation. If you want to offer a selection of kanji tattoos as standard options, keep your selection small, check for any unwanted meanings, and practice drawing and tattooing them the right way.

When a client comes in with the kanji they want written down for you, it’s trickier – you aren’t going to know the right stroke order, so it probably won’t look perfect to any fluent reader, but you can make it clear that you can’t be responsible for any translation errors.

Here at Body Shock, we may not be able to help you with translating kanji for your tattoo designs, but we can help you with a great range of tattoo supplies – for more information, give us a call on 01992 744088.

Body Shock to Stock: Spirit Stencil Cream

In our previous blog we mentioned that we’re proud to be the official stockists of two brand new products! The first that we went into detail with was the Skin Lock hydro-gel that you can read all about here.

But here’s an introduction to our second new and impressive product that you'll want to get your hands on! Spirit Tattoo Transfer Cream!


This cream is designed to work in perfect partnership with the Spirit Tattoo Transfer Papers, or any tattoo transfer paper, to be honest!

After being formulated in the lab, and months of testing, Spirit was created for superior, long-lasting image transfers. The formula increases the on-body stencil life, so you can really take your time perfecting your tattoo. This non-toxic cream is gentle on the skin and it’s also vegan friendly!

The way it works is by using mild organic solvents to transfer the stencil, before a buffer layer locks the dye pigment in the place when applied on top of your client’s skin. This means that the transfers are remarkably clear, bright and crisp! The long-lasting stencil will also allow tattoo artists to do multiple sessions without having to replace the stencil!


This transfer cream has been bottled up in 4 different sizes for your convenience and these sizes are: 8oz, 4oz, 2oz, and 1oz. Trust us, you'll want to buy the big one because it’ll make a huge difference to your tattooing experience!

So, if you’re looking to purchase some of this awesome new product or just stock up on tattoo supplies get in touch with us now. You can contact us on 01922 744088 and we’ll be more than happy to help. 

Body Shock to Stock 'Skin Lock'

Here at Body Shock we’re proud to announce that we have secured the exclusive distribution rights to two massive brands in the tattoo industry. Over the next two blogs we are going to tell you all about these cool products, and how they will make your life as a tattoo artist that little bit better. 

These two products are 'Skin Lock', a transparent tattoo sealant, and 'Spirit Tattoo Transfer Cream!'

In this first post we’ll focus on 'Skin Lock' and its unique features, and give you a look into how this product works. 

Gone are the days of struggling with miles of cling film, trying to cover up your clients fresh tattoo. With Skin Lock, you can create a rubber style membrane that’s dry to the touch, and protect the tattoo in two simple steps. 

Skin Lock is a hydro-gel tattoo sealant that instantly locks in the tattoo ink and protects the integrity of the fresh tattoo. With one simple spray formula it’ll replace all the faffing with bandages. 

To use Skin Lock you just need to follow these two very simple steps: 

Step 1.

Take one of the individual 5 gram sachets of Skin Lock gel and apply a thin layer directly onto the skin with about an half inch border around the fresh piece. Leave it a few seconds before moving to… 

Step 2.

Take the bottle of setting spray that comes in the box and hold it about 12 inches away from the gelled area. Spray the tattoo with 2-3 pumps and this will set the gel into a rubberised membrane that will protect the tattoo for 2-3 hours! 

And that's it! Goodbye Clingfilm! 

So if you're looking for a one-stop shop for all your tattoo supplies make you visit us at Body Shock. We stock everything you can imagine for running the perfect tattoo studio. So don't hesitate and contact us now on 01922 744 088 and get stocked up! 

Maori Meanings - Tā moko

The original tribal tattoos from the Maori tribes were a lot more than just pretty lines and dots. Each line or pattern had a meaning, and each collection of patterns meant something individual to the person that wore it.

The original Tā moko tattoos were created using a chisel, usually made from shark teeth or sharpened bones & stones, called the Uhi. This method left the skin with grooves instead of the modern smooth finish a tattoo machine leaves.

But what do these different designs mean?



This design represents courage and strength. This was worn by people that would battle and consider themselves warriors.


This design stands for prosperity as well as representing a region of New Zealand, Taranaki.


This design is meant to look like fish scales, and this tattoo is meant to represent abundance and health.

Ahu Ahu Mataroa:

This simple, yet elegant pattern represents talent or achievement in athleticism or sport. It can also be to represent a new challenge.


A very simple one for you now...

This design simply represents whale’s teeth.



A spiral-shaped symbol called the Koru represents a new beginning, growth and harmony.

Hei Matau:

This design closely resembles a fish hook and is worn to represent prosperity. The Maori were big consumers of fish as it was so plentiful in New Zealand, so the ownership of a fish hook meant prosperity.

Other meanings include strength, determination, good health and to provide a safe journey over water.

Single Twist:

This symbol represents the path of life and looks similar to the infinity symbol, thus meaning it is also the symbol of eternity.

Double Twist:

The double and triple twist represent the joining of people, be it two people, two cultures or tribes. These symbols also stand for friendship and loyalty.

Unfortunately, here at Body Shock we don't stock the old, traditional uhi (Hammer and chisels), but luckily for you we stock a fine and vast collection of modern day tattoo supplies, including Eternal Tattoo ink! Contact us now on 01992 744088 to order your equipment. 

First Time Clients: What Goes Through Their Mind

With owning a tattoo shop it's inevitable that you will tattoo a number of clients that will never have been tattooed before. These people with a fresh canvas of skin ready to tattoo will have a lot of thoughts firing through their mind... But what do people actually think before getting their very fist tattoo?

The Top Ten Emotions & The First Tattoo

1. The day for this client usually starts with waking up early doubting whether they are ready or even really want their first tattoo. (They do really, they will look bad ass!)

2. 'Will people get mad?' They will always assume that someone somewhere is going to flip out. Chances are nobody will, apart from the religious grandparents.

3. This is most commonly followed by the 'will my mum disown me' phase. Again, she won't.

4. The first tattoo for anyone is a big deal, after all it is the first time they will permanently add artwork to their body, so this sparks questions like 'what if I hate it in a month?’ Tattoos serve as a memory to look back at how you were around the time of getting it done.

5. Will I still get a job? Yes. Yes you will, tattoos aren't associated with prisoners and bikers anymore! Tattoos are socially accepted today so your client won't need to worry.

6. Rumour has it tattoo's hurt, and let's face it, they do a little. But the worried individual that is about to sit for their first tattoo thinks in their head it's going to hurt like they are being lanced with a knights sword for an hour. Just reassure them it's like little pin pricks and they'll soon calm down.

7. Following this, a strange feeling takes over them and they assume they are going to get addicted and be covered head to toe, by the end of next month. Odd. This very rarely happens if at all.
'I best eat too much so I don't faint!'


Back to panicking and the need to eat.


8 The fear of being tattooed and panicking with anticipation is more likely to cause the client to faint than the tattoo itself!

9. The 'Is it spelt right?' phase. This only applies to words and quotes (obviously) and you have to be a Sloppy Joe if you don't double and triple check yourself, but let them check to ease their worries.

10. 'The location could be somewhere else' said the client last minute. Just let them have a few minutes to place the design on every possible position on their body. 90% of the time it's will end up right back where you suggested first time. After all, you're the pro here!

All that's left is to strap them in and crack on with doing what you do best; tattooing, not babysitting.
Your client will be over the moon with their first tattoo, guaranteed.

Here at Body Shock we sell an impressive range of tattoo supplies from Intenze tattoo ink to multi-positioning tattoo chairs! So don’t hesitate to get in touch if you want to order or have any questions for us on 01922 744088!

What You Need To Set Up Your Own Tattoo Studio

So you're no longer a padawan learner to your tattoo master and you feel that you would be better off owning your own tattoo shop. The tattoo supplies are a very important part of running the show, but what are the other key things you'll need to consider before opening the doors of your very first shop?

Here is a little guide to explain what you'll need to know to get your business started and booming!

Step 1

Obviously the first step is to pass your apprenticeship, but we're going to go ahead and assume you've passed. Congratulations. Moving on.

Location is crucial. Your shop is one of the biggest advertisements for the business. A nice shop front on a busy street with plenty of footfall and passing traffic is going to be seen a lot more than a little shack hidden round the back of an alley. Makes sense doesn't it!

It also opens up potential for more walk-in clients! Bonus.

Step 2

No fun business would be complete without a boring step, so here it is!

Head to your local council to find out the health and safety regulations regarding tattoo shops and make sure you obtain the right documentation and licences. You don't want to get 6 weeks into running your beautiful shop to then be stung with fines and the potential to be shut down! If you're going to open a shop, do it right first time!

Step 3

Shop - Check.

Licences - Check.

It's time to buy equipment! This is where Body Shock will come in handy! You'll need to furnish your shop with stools, work stations, drawing tools, flash art, a cash register, card machines, paper, printers, but you'll know what you'll need from the apprenticeship right? Right.

Step 4

Advertise and make sure you have a good online presence! The internet is a brilliant way to showcase your work and target new customers! Reputation will only get you so much work so make sure you do market your new shop; even flyers and adverts will make a difference!

Step 5

Hire help. Let's face it, there's a lot of stuff involved with running the shop and one person can't do everything and still find time to produce beautiful pieces of permanent art!

Follow these basic steps and you will be well on your way to running a successful tattoo shop, just remember to buy your tattoo supplies from us here at Body Shock! Contact us now if you have any questions about our products on 01922 744088.

The Coolest Tattoos in Movies

You can tell a lot about a movie character by the tattoos they wear. And there have been some seriously stunning tats on the big-screen. Here are just few of the coolest in cinematic body art.

Once Were Warriors

An obscure 90’s film, Once Were Warriors is a pretty under-rated drama about an outcast family of Maori descendants living in suburban New Zealand. The traditional Maori tribal tattoos adorning the cast members are pretty spectacular – after all, they’ve had a lot of practice: Maori tats were one of the earliest discovered by modern civilisation.

Check out the trailer here.

The Night of the Hunter

Sometimes subtle is better. In The Night of the Hunter, Robert Mitchum plays a charmingly creepy reverend who murders lonely ladies for their money. He may not be the nicest guy in the world, but those tattoos he so casually wears speak of the dual nature of a man who believes his killings are just God’s work.

See the trailer here.

American History X

Ok, as a political declaration they’re not cool. At all. But while Edward Norton’s Nazi swastika tats in American History X may cause some discomfort for audiences, they make a powerful statement about the deviant nature of the character. They’re also symbolic of the film’s themes, and if making film-goers awkward about tattoos is the flip-side to confronting racism in society, we reckon it’s worth the price of a box office ticket.

Catch the trailer here.

Escape from New York

This one’s a no-brainer. When he’s forced to literally fight for his life, Kurt Russell’s super-cool action man Snake Plissken strips to reveal a cobra rising up from his trousers, and across his stomach. Doesn’t get much cooler than that.

Watch the trailer here.

Dude, Where’s My Car?

The one highlight for us in this otherwise forgettable teen comedy is the tattoo parlour scene. Having got the words ‘dude’ and ‘sweet’ tattooed on each other’s backs, Ashton Kutcher and Seann William ‘Stifler’ Scott spend the next five minutes getting increasingly frustrated at each other as they check out each other’s tats. Confusion abounds as they repeat the lines: ‘Dude - what does mine say?’ ‘Sweet - what does mine say?’ It’s a silly skit in a so-called comedy, but it did make us smile.

Click here for the trailer.


It’s not strictly a tattoo – in fact, it’s pretty much the opposite. When discussing scars while out hunting the great white, gnarled sailor Quint reveals one that used to bear a tattoo of the ‘USS Indianapolis’ before he got it removed. That tattoo removal speaks of a literal psychological scar, and leads to one of the best delivered and most heartfelt monologues in movie history. ‘1100 men went into the water, 316 men came out. The sharks took the rest…’

See that wicked-cool scene here.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Lisbeth Salander is one kick-ass lady, and her tattoos make her doubly so. The focal point of these being, as the title suggests, a dragon tattoo. The tattoos themselves show she’s unwilling to conform, again using body art to make a nice visual statement about a character’s personality. The fine curves of the dragon tattoo itself speak of a femininity stripped away, and her desire to harness the power of this mythical beast.

The Dragon Tattoo trailer can be found here.

The Place Beyond the Pines

Ryan Gosling’s bad-boy performance in The Place Beyond the Pines was pretty much acclaimed by everyone. That’s no small feat considering the film also starred Bradley Cooper, Ray Liotta and Eva Mendes. But we think the real star of the show was Gosling’s artistic tats. They cover his body like an illustrated storybook, and even his face gets a little ink – a dagger dripping blood. Perfect for this dramatic crime movie about a biker-turned-criminal.

Check out those tats in the trailer here.


Ever have one of those days when you can’t even remember what you had for lunch that day? Well, that’s Leonard Shelby’s whole life. After he’s knocked unconscious by home invaders who rape and murder his wife, Leonard, played by Guy Pearce, loses his long-term memory. So he does what anyone without a pen and pad would do – tattoos his body with a make-shift needle and ink. The only space on his body free of ink is his heart, which is reserved for when he discovers the name of his wife’s killer.

Need a friendly reminder? The trailer can be found here.

What are your favourite movies tattoos? If you fancy following in the footsteps of these awesome actors, check out our tattoo supplies or contact us for more info.

Piercing Trends: Holes In Your Ear

 Ears are the most commonly pierced place on the human body, and it's hardly surprising due to the vast location options available in all the nooks and crannies of an ear! Here we have a brief breakdown of the more common piercings that are done.


This is arguably the most common ear piercing around the world, dating way back even past the Tutankhamen era. Even he was known to have his ears pierced and stretched. Ear lobes can be decorated with a number of different types of jewellery, including studs, hoops (or sleepers), cuff earrings and dangling ones.

Old tribes used to stretch their earlobes and this practice is still popular today. Tunnels or Plugs are common phrases for the jewellery that is worn in stretched ears. Some people have stretched that much they can fit coke cans in their ears. Pretty weird, huh?


The helix piercing is located on the top outer ring of the ear and is in our opinion the second most common ear piercing location. This new ear hole can be filled with a number of types of jewellery but most commonly a stud or ring/hoop! Pair one of these with a forward helix and you have yourself a scaffold piercing.

Forward Helix

This is on the same part of the ear as the helix but located further round towards your face! This isn't as popular on its’ own but is most commonly done as part of a Scaffold piercing! It looks really cool when a number of these piercings are placed close together, and this is fast becoming the next trend.


After naming it in the last two types of piercing it would be rude not to talk about it! This piercing is in fact a combination of the two about. These two are then joined together using a barbell style piercing that goes across the front of your ear. Just like scaffolding...?


The positioning of this is kind of hard to explain so we will let the picture do the work for us! This piercing has to be worn with a ring or a curved barbell to sit within the ears natural shape. A little more daring of a piercing, but hey, it looks pretty cool!


Apparently when this piercing is done you hear a popping sound as the needle pops the cartilage, but don't let that put you off. This piercing has quickly become a popular choice amongst women. A labret stud (those worn in lip piercings) is the most common piece of jewellery for this piercing because of its flat back. Rings also look cool in this particular ear hole.


Imagine the back of your ear, the thick bit right inside, and now imagine having a needle pushed through it and some jewellery placed in the hole thus made. That, my friends, is a conch piercing. A pretty radical piercing don't you think!


Again, this is another hard one to explain without being an expert in the bendy parts of an ear, but this is located on the part of an ear where the outer rim has curled back into the ear. The picture should explain better! A barbell or ring is the best choice for this piercing.

Aside from all the tattoo supplies we sell here at Body Shock, we also can supply your studio with a full range of piercing equipment. If you're looking to kit out your studio with a full piercing set up contact us now on 01922 744088 and a member of staff will be more than happy to help. 

Identify Your Tattoo Clients

Everyday a tattoo shop will have a fair few customers walk in their doors, and typically they will fall into one of a number of categories, some good, some bad, and some outright annoying. Here at Body Shock we understand that you will have to deal with some monster clients, but allow us to dive into the tattoo realm of your clients; see how many of yours fit into our categories!

This isn't a dig at anybody, just a mere observation! Keep your eye out for hybrid clients, those who take traits from a couple of categories. Let's start with every tattooist’s favourite client.

Mr Perfect

This guy is what every tattoo artist wants from a client; well researched, knows what they want, works through a consultation, sits well and makes decent conversation. This best case scenario is the client that tattoo artists live for; they are polite and stick to the tattoo shop etiquette. This client and tattoo artist are working towards the same goal; to produce the best tattoo possible. Winner.

Mr Fanatic

Your most loyal customer has returned to your shop again, and this isn't a bad thing. This character probably got their first tattoo from you and hasn't been tattooed by anyone else since! This isn't someone that wants a sleeve done by one artist; it's someone who wants every single piece done by you! Not a bad thing for business, let's just hope they are cool and loyal, not clingy and invasive!

Mr Cover Up

Some kitchen wizard has gone and put a god-awful tattoo on this client’s arm, so they’re seeking desperate help to make this tattoo bearable. These aren't necessarily bad clients, but you’re pretty limited on what you can do with the piece because you have to cover up another ex’s name.

Mr Worry

These clients are easily identifiable as soon as they walk into your shop. Often shaking with beads of sweat cascading down their forehead, it's more often than not their first tattoo! This client will do some strange psyching routine before sitting, worry whilst you do the tattoo, peek a little too much, and quite possibly pass out.

Mr Motivator

This is a bit of a rogue category because they aren't actually the client, just usually an un-tattooed pal that has come for moral support. Armed with sweets, snacks, drinks and a loaded barrel of un-helpful phrases that can make your three hour session feel like a lifetime...

Mr Cheap

This client doesn't understand the value of time, resources and your work. Unfortunately, tattoos don't come cheap enough for this chap. You say a price, they suggest a cheaper one. You don't budge because you know what you're worth, and this will probably result in the client leaving the shop to try and prove a point. Bad news for the client, this tactic won't work here!

Mr Can't Decide

'I want this eyeball, wearing a top hat, a purple bow tie, with 3 roses,' said Mr Can't Decide. This client will then change his mind about everything, so expect to hit the drawing board a couple of times with this piece.

'Can the eye be blue? And a bowler hat? Can the roses be smaller... etc, etc...' Said Mr Can't Decide.

Try to keep a cool head and make the changes. Sods law suggests you will end up tattooing your first drawing anyway.

Mr Impulse

You have a spare two hours; this client has spontaneously decided that they want a new tattoo. This is usually a simple flash piece or small symbol so works well for the both of you. Win.

Here at Body Shock we are here for you, not only with interesting client categories but a wide range of piercing and tattoo supplies as well as studio furniture and hygiene supplies! Contact us now to chat and order supplies on 01922 744088.

Celebrity tattoos: The Good, The Bad, and the Famous!

Some celebrities are in positions where covering themselves in tattoos won't affect their career because let's face it, they're famous! You'll never see David Beckham out of a team because of his many tattoos!

Some celebrities take tattoos very seriously and can be seen wearing some amazing pieces, so let’s take a look at 3 famous and spectacularly tattooed celebs!

Miley Cyrus

Being only 21 years old hasn't stopped young Miley collecting her fair share of tattoos! With over 20 tattoos already Miley’s body is becoming a really interesting canvas! A fair few of her tattoos are on the actress and singer’s fingers including; A heart, a cross symbol, the peace sign, the words 'Karma & Bad', an equals sign, an evil eye, the tongue 'emoji', and a triangle.

Other tattoos of hers include a large dream catcher down her ribs, a Theodore Roosevelt quote, as well as many others.

Simon Neil

The Scottish rocker from the super successful band, Biffy Clyro, is definitely a massive fan of tattoos, and so are band mate twins, Ben and James. The band perform topless, as they say they sweat that much during their shows that it ruins too many clothes, but it is a great opportunity to see all the incredible pieces of art across his torso.

Some of his tattoos include the Beach Boys lyrics, 'God only knows what I'd be without you' from the 1966 classic. This song was also used as his first dance at his wedding. All the band members also have tattoos to represent their studio albums. Each member of the band has a puzzle piece on their left rib cage to honour their fourth studio album, Puzzle.

Click here to watch Simon talk about his tattoos for Radio 1.


Rihanna, the Barbadian singer, is also a big fan of tattoos. She has influenced many with her collection of body art and her most famous pieces include the star trail down her neck and the large goddess Isis on her stomach. She is also popular for her 'Shhh...' tattoo on her finger. Alongside these tattoos you can find a small gun under her arm pit, a star in her ear, a Pharaoh on her rib cage and more.

If you have been asked to replicate any celebrity tattoos and are in need of the finest tattoo supplies we at Body Shock stock a wide range, from inks and guns to tattoo parlour furniture! Contact us now to discuss any of your supply needs on 01922 744088 and we will be more than happy to help.

Record Breaking Tattoos

Back in 2007 tattoo artist Kat Von D set out to do the most tattoos in a 24 hour period. She successfully tattooed 400 people with her shops famous LA logo! However the challengers since have stood up and rattled Kat. The new record currently stands at 801.

People were queuing for hours just to be part of Kat’s original record breaking attempt in December 2007 and the proceeds of all the tattoos were to raise money for the children's-blindness charity, Vitamin Angels.

Click here to watch a video from the event.  

Friday, June 13th saw Kat Von D's ex husband, Oliver Peck, break the record with 415 tattoos in 24 hours, tattooing only the number 13 on people. Now every year on Friday 13th he stays open for 24 hours to tattoo 13s on people!

Here is a video from the event.

Derek Kastning, from Rat-a-tac-tat tattoo shop in Texas set the bar high with his attempt reaching 726 3.25x3.25 inch blue and black stars, raising over $15,500 for the Humane Society!

Jump across to November 15th 2008 and Kat Von D's record was blown out of the water! Hollis Cantrell from Phoenix, Arizona went over double Kat’s attempt of 400 and managed 801 tattoos of his stores 'AZ' logo! To be officiated as a world record all the tattoos had to be of a certain size and a minimum of two colours (which could be a grey wash). Another rule was that only Hollis could do the tattooing but a team would be able to help him with supplies and the application of stencils and wrapping them up once they were done!

If you fancy challenging these amazing artists who seem to have the stamina of an ox, and need some good quality tattoo supplies please contact us now on 01922 744088 and we will be more than happy to help. 

Tattoo Fails: Spelling & Grammar

Quotes are way up there in the top tattoos list, with many large pieces incorporating them, as well as looking pretty slick stood alone! However, quotes or even word tattoos are pieces that need checking, and checking again before being applied!

Example 1:

This adaptation of the famous Friedrich Nietzsche quote, (or more likely, the Kanye West lyrics) is, let’s face it, bad. However, he does seem pretty pleased with himself!

Everybody goes on saying ‘tattoos are for life’, and that’s pretty much because they are! So, with this in mind, it is imperative that you run all quotes through a spell checker, as well as checking for grammatical errors too!

Example 2:

This is a prime example why a spell checker needs to be used. Full of grammatical errors and spelling mistakes, this foot is pretty much ruined!

From experience, some tattoo artists that can produce some spectacular visual pieces, such as full yakuza body suits, may struggle with basic spelling. Plus with a potentially hectic schedule a simple spelling mistake could easily be dropped in!

Example 3:

Well this tattoo speaks for itself. This double negative really got us thinking! Spelling is spot on but does it make any sense?

So do your research! If you have someone booked in for some script take the time to double check it, and with most smart phones having spell checker built in there really is no excuse! Plus you don’t want your clients walking round with a bad tattoo that was done by yourself now do you! In this industry, you can’t have a bad word against you!

If you aren’t careful you could end up with some of these dreadful spelling mistakes!

Example 4:

This guy is definitely ‘YOLO-ing.’ Hopefully he can see the funny side to this mammoth mistake. Surely the artist would notice at some point! But, evidently not. Shame.

There are plenty more wonders out there that feature some shocking mistakes! Unfortunately we don’t supply dictionaries but we do stock the finest tattoo supplies! Contact us now on 01922 744088 to discuss all your supply needs!

Fantastic Fandom Tattoos

When it comes to tattoos there will always be trends in styles and designs. But it does raise a question; do some people take their love for fads too far by getting logos and portraits on them? We think you can do as you please, and who knows, it could mean something special to the wearer.

Take a look at some of the current trends of tattoos that are heavily influenced by todays popular culture! There people really are the best fans to have!

Harry Potter Tattoos

The boy who lived will have tattoos that will probably outlive him! Harry Potter is arguably the biggest fandom in the world! So, naturally it comes with the hardcore fans who feel that a tattoo is a true commitment to the magical world. Popular Harry Potter tattoos include the Deathly Hallows, little scars, glasses, quotes and the dreaded dark mark!

Band Logos

Music can change people’s lives, to the point of the fan wanting to be permanently branded with the bands logos! Some of the most popular band logo orientated tattoos include the famous Rolling Stones lips, the KISS facemasks, and the Led Zeppelin symbols.

Character Tattoos

Breaking Bad, Dexter, Star Wars... The list of cult shows is endless and has such an impact on people that they feel like the only way to show their love for the show, is to get some seriously cool tattoos. The mega fans really stand out, with portraits of protagonists, quotes, and space ships getting tattooed onto their skin to pay homage to their favourite shows.

Tattoos by Mark Reed.

Famous Faces – Portraits

Megan Fox is partly to blame for making the Marilyn Monroe portrait tattoo an iconic piece! She has recently had it removed, but the tattoo can still be seen on other people and celebrities including Helen Flanagan! The number of famous portraits is endless; from celebrities to musicians there are hundreds of portraits showing the wearers’ love for them!

The finest tattoos deserve the finest tattoo supplies and here at Body Shock we have everything you need for your tattoo parlour! Contact us now for more information on 01922 744088.

Top Tattoo Cultures: Cut-Throat Celts

Following on from our series of tattoo cultures from around the world, our attention will now be directed to medieval Europe, to the Celts and Celtic tattoos.  As a leading provider of tattoo supplies we have seen our fair share of these pieces of artwork being worn today still!

All of us will have seen a Celtic design somewhere, whether it’s on a flash sheet or on your old religious uncle, but what are the designs and what do they mean?

The origin of these designs comes from the Celtic warriors who had them done as a form of intimidation. They took the idea of intimidation from the Picts, a tribe living in Scotland. Picti translates in Latin to ‘painted ones’.

The four main tattoo designs of this era are as follows:

Celtic Knot Tattoos

This design are made with knot-work and usually drawn to have no beginning or end. This represents the never-ending cycle of death and rebirth. These can often be seen as armbands.

Celtic Spiral Tattoos

This tattoo is created out of lines that have a twirl or a spiral style that’s intertwined within parallel lines. Like most of these designs, there is very little space between the parallel lines.

Celtic Cross Tattoos

This tattoo symbolises the whole religion, and is seen as a bridge between heaven and earth. It is often worn as a remembrance tattoo for when a Celt has lost a loved one.

Celtic Zoomorphic Tattoos

These designs use a number of animal parts in the design; each animal used has a different meaning.

- Boars represented ferocity

- Bulls represented strength

- Butterflies represented transformation and rebirth

- Dogs represented loyalty and luck

- Dragons represented power and magic

- Horses represented beauty, speed, and vitality

- Snakes represented healing and rebirth

- Ravens represented death

Black ink was primarily used in these tattoos and still remains the most popular colour even with the development of tattoo equipment; Green is the second most popular colour.

The beauty of these designs has made Celtic tattoo designs popular around the world, and they are still being tattooed today. If your parlour wants the finest tattoo supplies then contact us now on 01922 744 088 to talk to someone here at Body Shock!

Top Tattoo Cultures: Aboriginal Tattoos

Tribal designs are one of the most popular tattoo styles for both men and women. Yes, there are times when they are less popular; however the tribal tattoo is something that is always a requested design. As a leading provider of tattoo supplies we know that many tattooists look to Australian aboriginal tattoos and art for inspiration.

Australia has an impressive collection of tattoo designs, with incredible history and meaning. Following on in our series of tattoo cultures, we're going to take a look back at native aboriginal tattoos.

History & Culture

Artwork and body painting were and still are an important part of aboriginal culture; it is used in traditional ceremonies and rituals. Many of the traditional tattoos we see from this side of the world are inspired by dreams and nature, which are incredibly important in Aboriginal culture. What's interesting is that many symbols (such as the simple black sun design, shown below) are passed down from generation to generation. Some symbols are more personal to that individual group. In fact there are some symbols and designs that are only allowed to be drawn by one single artist.

Aboriginal artwork and tattoos are incredibly personal and many of the meanings of symbols and designs are kept a secret. Native aboriginals sport tattoos both non-permanent and permanent right across their body from head to toe. Most tattoos are simple in colour featuring just black ink, however you are more likely to see colourful tattoos or artwork, when animals such as the kangaroo are featured.

The Significance of 'Dots'

Many aboriginal designs feature 'dots', and these are believed to distort the message of the tattoo and protect the artwork's true meaning. However, others disregard this and believe that dots are in fact an important symbol themselves and have their own hidden meaning. Nobody bar the tribes themselves has the answer to this.

Modern Aboriginal-inspired Tattoos

Modern aboriginal tattoos find their basis in the historical techniques used by ancient Aboriginal tribes. Many tattooists are inspired by this style and often these designs feature an excellent balance between nature, man and experience. These tattoos should be personal and not just decorative.

This exceptional culture is steeped in history, and aboriginal art is a great way to start when seeking inspiration. Do your research, be creative and create some of the most impressive tribal tattoo designs possible.

At Body Shock, we supply a vast range of tattoo equipment so that you can make your mark by creating the most incredible tattoos for your clients possible. For more information about our products call us now on 01922 744088.

Top Tattoo Cultures: Japanese Designs

Japan has one of the most impressive collections of tattoo designs, with an astonishing history to match. Carrying on with our series of tattoo cultures we are going to look into what makes the Japanese tattoo culture one of the most interesting tattoo topics ever.


The original Japanese tattoos were done with simpler marks and symbolism rather than imagery, up until the Edo period (1600-1868). This period saw the development of the Japanese tattoo into the beautiful ‘decorative’ style we know it as today.

‘Irezumi’ is the traditional Japanese style, where the body is decorated with mythical beasts, flowers, leafs and other designs from myths, stories and tales. The force for the development of this style was due to the progression of woodblock prints where the depicted hero would be heavily decorated with Irezumi, and so wearing Irezumi became a symbol of aspiration to the goals in the wearer’s life.

The artists that designed the woodblock words began the tattooing using the same tools for that they used for the wood, such as chisels, gouges, and a unique ink known as Nara black. This ink famously turns blue green underneath the skin, which is the true look of the tattoos.

The people that wore these tattoos are constantly under debate; with some saying it was the lower class who wore them, where others claim that wealthy merchants, barred by law from flaunting their wealth would wear expensive Irezumi under their clothes. One group it was heavily associated with were the firemen of Japan, as they represented their bravery and roguish sex-appeal. They also believed that they would bring spiritual aid and protection. The ‘Suit of Nine Dragons’ was popular as it would apparently give power over wind and water.

Modern Japanese Tattoos

In Japan tattoos were outlawed in 1869 as the Japanese government wanted to raise its public image and make good impressions on the west. In doing this, Irezumi came to be associated with criminality. However, it didn’t stop foreigners’ travelling to Japan to see the beautiful artistry of Japan’s tattoos. Traditional tattooing still carried on underground!

There is a belief that the British King Edward VII had a Japanese tattoo artist brought to his kingdom and had dragons tattooed on his fore arms, and later sent the tattoo artist to New England to have his American friends tattooed by him as a gift.

Although it was legalized in 1945, tattoos still remain a symbol of criminality, and are heavily associated with the Yakuza, Japans famous Mafia; because of this many businesses and public places (such as baths) ban people that have tattoos.

The original Irezumi is still done by certain tattooists, but it’s a slow and painful procedure as they don’t use modern tattoo guns. For a full traditional body suit it can take up to 5 years to complete with weekly visits.

Japanese Design Meanings

There are a large number of Japanese designs, so we can’t mention them all, but here are the top 5 most popular designs and their basic meanings. Different combinations of the designs give different overall meanings to the tattoo.

Koi Carp

Symbolise: Courage, Control, and the ability to achieve goals with an understanding of life.

The Koi fish is a specially bred form of carp and a fish native to China. The Koi are given masculine qualities in traditional eastern folklore, such as strength and bravery, because they were known to attempt to swim upstream in the Yellow River, however only a few could swim past a point known as ‘Dragons Gate’. Rumour had it that Koi that made it past would be rewarded by turning in a dragon.


Symbolise: Wisdom, Strength, Force for Good, and Wind and Water.

In the west we perceive dragons to be greedy, strong, destructive, fire-breathing monsters, whereas in Eastern culture they have a totally different view on the mythical creatures. They consider dragons as guardians. In tattoos and art, dragons are generous, kind creatures that use their strength for good to help mankind. All these positive connotations have made the dragon one of the most popular Japanese tattoo designs.

Oni Masks

Symbolise: Good & Evil, Protectors, Tricksters, and Demons.

Another common design is the Oni Mask, and refers to the belief in a spirit world, in which demons carry out their roles of punishing the evil. They could be worn to scare away evil and protect the wearer, or if the wearer considers themselves evil.


Symbolise: Rebirth, Triumph, and Fire.

The phoenix has a shared cultural background and most of us are familiar with the story of the phoenix, a bird that is consumed by fire and rises again from its own ashes.

Cherry Blossom

Symbolise: Beauty, Delicacy, and Life.

The small, subtle beauty and fragility of the cherry blossom can refer to the fragility of human existence. They are also called Sakura, and in Japan are symbols of life.

There are many more designs including lions, warriors, and other flowers that are all as interesting, so get out there and do some research!

Here at Body Shock we believe that Japanese tattoos are one of the most beautiful designs in the tattoo industry. If you are looking for tattoo supplies for your tattoo parlour, including flash artwork stands, contact us now on 01922 744088.

Top Tattoo Cultures: Prison Tattoos


Whilst in prison, inmates find ways to tattoo each other with unconventional methods, as they do not have access to traditional tattoo guns or supplies! The tattoos that they wear may not always be by choice, as some are applied by force.

A lot of the tattoos are to show their commitment to a gang or to represent the crimes they committed. Here are the 5 most popular prison tattoos.


Mi Vida Loca

These tattoos are three dots, usually done with the stick and poke method, and can be found on the hands or near the eyes. Mi Vida Loca translates from Latin to ‘My Crazy Life’, often referring to the gang lifestyle and not a gang itself.


The cobweb tattoo has gained popularity as an elbow tattoo but its original meaning is from prisoners wearing them, representing a number of things. One is a spider catches its prey and traps it in its web, similar to the prisoners being trapped behind bars.

Another representation is that the prisoners have been sat in prison for that long that a spider has been weaving a cobweb on their elbow.

Tear Drop

The meaning of a tear drop tattoo depends on the geographical location, as in certain states of America it can mean a long prison sentence. However the most common meaning of this tattoo is it represents an attempted murder or that the wearer is seeking revenge for a lost friend.

5 Point Crown

A crown may be a pretty design for a tattoo but if it has 5 points it represents a Hispanic gang. The Latin Kings are one of the biggest gangs in the US and are based in Chicago.

Clock with No Hands

The clock with no hands simply represents ‘Doing Time’ with a long sentence. These tattoos are usually worn by the prisoners that view time as somewhat meaningless, due to their long prison sentence.

All these tattoos are rarely done in accordance with the correct safety and hygiene procedures, as the prison artists don’t have access to proper tattoo supplies! Body shock, on the other hand, can supply the finest tattoo guns and supplies for your professional parlour so contact us now on 01922 744088 and chat to one of our fantastic members of staff.

Top Tattoo Cultures: Old-School Nautical Sailor Tattoos


In this new series of blogs, we’re going to take a look into different cultures and their styles of tattoos, from Bikers to Monks and everything in-between. This post is going to start with one of the most popular styles of tattoo that can still be seen today, Nautical Sailor Tattoos.



While tattoos don’t need to have a meaning, the sailors that wore these tattoos had special meanings for each of the designs that they wore. Dating back as far as the 16th century sailors have been seen sporting these ‘souvenirs’ of their travels, bringing them back from the Pacific Islands and back into Europe.

Sailors didn’t have access to tattoo supplies and would tattoo each other using an ink made from gun powder and urine and homemade tattoo machines! Grim. They also believed that gunpowder had some sort of mystical power that would protect them and provide them with a long life.


The collections of tattoos on a sailor’s body were worn for a number of reasons, mainly a memento to celebrate certain milestones during the voyage! Other main reasons behind some of these tattoos were patriotism, in remembrance of a lost crew mate, commemoration of triumphs made at sea and even to acknowledge the countries they had set foot on.

Tattoos were said to be a form of talisman to the sailor, and certain designs were trusted with warding off bad luck and bringing in good. As sailors work revolved around the unpredictable elements, many of them were very superstitious, and with life being at the mercy of the unfathomable sea they adopted the lifestyle of better safe than sorry.

Tattoo Meanings

So what are these tattoos? What do they look like and what do they mean?


These tattoos represented certain achievements in a sailor’s career.


sparrows and swallows were worn for every 5000 nautical miles travelled. They can also have different meanings and are still extremely popular in today’s society.


For the sailors in the navy an anchor was tattooed if a sailor was successful in crossing and returning home from the Atlantic Ocean. It was also considered as a sign of stability and unfaltering faith as the anchor was used to stabilise the ship. It was often tattooed with a banner saying ‘MOM’ or ‘DAD’ as a sign of staying grounded.


This was a tattoo that was sported by a sailor that had sailed to or served in a Chinese port.

Golden Dragon – There was an imaginary line on the earth’s surface following approximately the 180th meridian called the International Date Line. If this was successfully crossed the sailor would add a golden dragon to his collection.

A Fully Rigged Ship

If you see a sailor wearing one of these it usually means they have sailed around Cape Horn and live to tell the tail!


Tattoos were worn by the sailors to bring them luck whilst aboard the ships

Hold Fast 

This was often tattooed across the knuckles of sailors to remind them to hold on to the ships lines fast when the ship was passing through rough seas in bad weather so they weren’t thrown overboard!

Twin Propellers

This tattoo was often tattooed on the butt cheeks of sailors as it would prevent them from drowning, supposedly, as they would propel them to shore.

Pig & Rooster

 “Pig on the knee, safety at sea. A cock on the right, never lose a fight.” This tattoo symbolised safety and survival from a shipwreck. When carried on board, both these animals were kept in wooden crates so if a ship ever capsized the crates would float and the animals would safely float to shore.


These birds were used as tattoos to symbolise the hope that the sailor would always find their way home. This could mean back to your home, family or called home to God in death. These birds were believed to be the carriers of sailor’s souls when departing to heaven.

Nautical Star

Worn to represent the North Star and the ability to navigate the way home. This is still popular in modern tattooing.

Memento Mori

(In Remembrance)

Dagger Through a Swallow

 This tattoo was worn by sailor’s who had lost a comrade.

Pin Up Girls

These were worn as a reminder for the loved women the sailor’s had to leave behind when they left for the voyage.


Mermaids were a symbol of how enticing life at sea was, despite knowing the dangers that are associated with it. Mermaids, in

folklore, were said to seduce sailors into the sea and to their death, by luring them with their enchanting songs.

Hula Girl

 If a sailor visited Hawaii they got a hula girl tattoo. Simple as that.

This culture has brought tattooing to us in the western countries and since then it has become incredibly popular with one in five Brits having a tattoo. tattoo machines have developed and artists can reproduce picture-like quality tattoos. Keep your eyes peeled for the next look into another tattoo culture. Remember, Body Shock have a fantastic range of tattoo supplies for all your tattooing needs. Contact us now on 01922 744088 if you have any questions.

Famous Artists: Johny D Matthews

Following on in the series of famous artists we have decided to bring your attention to an incredible artist that you might recognise as a body shock customer. Johny D Matthews of Rotherham is making a big name for himself in the tattoo industry and fast!

Johny didn’t set out to be an award winning tattoo artist from the get-go, in fact he spent 5 years completing a college course in architecture from the age of 16. After the course Johny kept up with his artwork and drawings and it was the sharp eye of tattoo artist Sosk that picked up on Johny’s talent. Sosk went on to offer Johny an apprenticeship for 18 months and changed Johny’s life for the better!

Johny has already managed to bag himself some fantastic achievements in his time tattooing. These include winning the best large black and grey tattoo at the Ink for Hero’s tattoo convention in York in 2012. At the same convention his work also won him best tattoo of the show and a nomination for the best newcomer to the tattoo industry for 2012.

Since then he has won more awards and at the annual Croydon Tattoo Show in 2013 he won the award for the best small black and grey tattoo! His small black and grey tattoos seem to be his forte as in 2014 he won the same award at the Tattoo Freeze convention, held in Telford.

If you want to get in touch with Johny to book in for a tattoo at his studio in Rotherham you can find out more and contact him through his website, as well as see some more of his incredible work.

We are proud to supply Johny with the tattoo supplies he uses to create such fantastic pieces of permanent artwork. We also supply everything your parlour will need from tattoo furniture to hygiene supplies. Feel free to contact us if you have any questions regarding the products we offer on 01922 744088.

What Makes Green Soap Green?

When you have a client sitting for a tattoo you will, or should, be applying a Green soap solution to the clients skin before, during and after the session. We all know that with tattooing hygiene is crucial and equipment must be sterile as you don’t want to risk infections with your clients. But have you ever wondered what Green soap is?

For years professional tattoo artists have used the brand Tincture of Green soap all throughout the tattooing procedure as it is in fact a soap of medical level. With Green soap being so high-grade it is not available from stores and can only be purchased from companies that sell medical and tattoo supplies.

The solution is added to a spray bottle for ease of use and to lower the amount of contact the artist has to make with the clients skin, as well as providing an easy way to dilute the potentially harmful soap.

Green soap is a mild soap that contains isopropyl alcohol and glycerine. The glycerine works against the alcohols drying effect and moisturises and improves the skins texture when being used. There are no animal-based ingredients, nor dye or fillers making it natural and biodegradable. Thus how it got the name of Green Soap, not due to the colouring of it. (It’s not even green!)

However, green soap can cause irritation to the eyes and skin so make sure that you have the correctly diluted solution, or that you have diluted it correctly yourself. The use of green soap is also only for external purposes only so you must avoid getting it in your mouth as it could potentially be harmful.

Hygiene in a tattoo parlour is crucial and here at Body Shock we have the full range of tattoo supplies for your parlour from hygiene supplies such as Green soap and gloves to tattoo furniture at fantastic prices. Feel free to contact us if you have any questions about any of the products from our range on 01922 744088.

Polynesian Tattoo History – The Birth of Tattooing


“I shall now mention the way they mark themselves indelibly, each of them is so marked by their humor or disposition”. Joseph Banks

Before the explanation of the tattooing history itself, it makes sense to explain exactly where it all began and give a brief description of the culture surround Polynesian tattoo history.

Polynesian Culture and its Geographical Area

The origins of Polynesian culture still fuels a large number of debates, but one thing that is certain is that Polynesia is made up of a number of tribes, not just a single one. The Polynesian culture is built up from the following groups including, Marquesans, Samoans, Niuaeans, Tongans, Cook Islanders, Hawaiians, Māori and Tahitians. These are all genetically linked with the native peoples of parts of Southeast Asia.

This is a sub region of Oceania and all the islands that make up Polynesia are within a triangle that has New Zealand, Hawaii and Easter Island at each of its corners, grouping over 1,000 islands scattered across the ocean.

The people of these islands have similar trends in language, customs, society and culture, causing them to be referred to as Polynesians. This is why you find different designs of what are considered Polynesian tribal tattoos; each sub-tribe has their own subtle features that make them unique.


Why is it Called a Tattoo?

Alvaro de Mendana de Neira, the Spanish navigator and his team of European explorers, first visited the Polynesian Islands in 1595. The first of the islands visited were the Marquesas Islands but the navigators found very little valuable resources so showed very little interest.

However, it was Captain James cook who explored the entire Polynesian Triangle that brought back the word tattoo to Europe. His on board naturalist, Joseph Banks was the first person to mention the word tattoo in his journal. (It was also called ‘Tatau’ by Samoan and ‘Tatu’ by Tahitian tribes). He wrote the quote that is at the top of this post in his journal.

When Captain Cook returned from his first voyage the word ‘tattoo’ had appeared in Europe and he described the behaviour of the Polynesian and called it ‘tattaw’. From his travels he brought back with him a Tahitian named Ma’i and from the tattoos of Ma’i, tattoos started to become rapidly famous.

It is also noted that the Polynesian tattoos were popular with European sailors who would return home from voyages with their bodies decorated with these tattoos.

Development and Inheritance of the Polynesian Tattoo

In the 18th Century the tradition of Polynesian tattooing, which existed from 2000 years ago, was strictly banned by the Old Testament. It wasn’t until the early 1980s that Polynesian tattoos went through a renaissance and since then many of the lost arts have been retrieved by Polynesians. Unfortunately the tools were not sterilised properly to a good standard and led to the ban of tattooing by the Ministry of Health in French Polynesia in 1986. 

Even thought this is an aged tradition, the tools and techniques have hardly changed. The skill gets handed down from master to disciple, father to son, for strictly traditional designs. Like modern tattoo studios, each Polynesian tattoo artist, or tufuga, has to learn the craft by serving many years as his master’s apprentice. Polynesians passed this knowledge vertically to protect it because of its sacred nature.

Role in Culture

A tattoo served a purpose as it delivered information about its owner. It also was considered a method of harnessing spiritual power, strength and protection. It also defined a person and would show their character as well as positions and levels in a hierarchy. A tattoo would display their spiritual power or life force, which they referred to as mana.

Tattoo Masters

The Polynesian masters were crucial tribesmen as they memorised the meaning of every symbol and motif and knew how to beautifully integrate them into meaningful work on the person’s skin. Sea creatures are very common Polynesian symbols and each one has a different meaning, such as mantas, sharks and sea urchins. These tattoo masters can express a number of meanings by combining different symbols and motifs together.

Polynesian Tattoo Styles

The styles of Polynesian designs varied from island to island depending on the degree of the tribes evolution. The original styles would consist of simple repeating patterns on the body, usually straight lines. The meanings of these patterns are almost lost, or hotly debated. The most popular style used these days is from the Marquesas Island and consists of rounded patterns.

The Sacred Art

Tattoos and their location on the body would determine a lot of different things in Polynesian culture and tattooing was considered a sacred ceremony. They could show a person’s genealogy, position in society and even personal achievements. The high ranking members of the Maori Tribe were tattooed and the members of the lowest social level could wear none.

It has been said, from the basis of mythology, that humans learned the art of tattooing from the sons of the God of Creation, Ta’aroa. The origins of tattoo operation were originally handled by highly trained shamans in religious ceremonies as they were experts in the meanings of the tattoos. To qualify for a tattoo a person had to go through a long period of cleansing that would involve a fast for a fixed length of time and no sexual intercourse or contact with women. Warriors that wore these tattoos were considered more attractive to women, as they marked important events and rites of passage the warrior had been through.

These days modern tattooing uses the same basic concept as these fantastic old traditions but the development of modern equipment allows much more intricate designs. It is so much easier now to get hold of good quality, safe tattoo supplies than it was for the Polynesians. If you have any questions or want to discuss anything tattoo related contact us on 01922 744088.

The History of Body Modification – Piercings

With one in five Brits sporting a tattoo, the popularity and acceptance of wearing ‘ink’ is becoming more widespread. Ear and body piercing is the most common form of body modification over tattoos and generally more accepted.

With around 75% of female Brits having their ear lobes pierced it is far from uncommon. Some parents even choose to have small babies ears pierced and some young girls see this as a rite of passage. Although the lobe piercing is the most common location for both men and women to have pierced, other more radical piercings are growing in popularity.

Piercings of the lip originated from tribes in Africa and America, and these tribes also stretched their piercings and wore plates in the lip. These days people wear a number of different styles of lip piercings, from snakebites to Monroe’s. With the development of modern jewellery and it becoming more available to piercing studios, other types of piercing have gained popularity.

The micro dermal or ‘dermal anchor’ piercing is when the jewellery is inserted under the skin rather than through flesh such as your earlobe. This method has seen the development of metal Mohawks made of spikes, gems worn all over the body, and is even used to decorate existing tattoos. Piercing is not a new occurrence. It has been around for thousands of years and is evident from mummies with pierced ears and the oldest pair of earrings was found in a grave dating all the way back to 2500BC!

Even human remains with nose piercings date back to over 1500 years ago and even extreme forms of piercings such as genital and nipple piercings can be traced to the ancient Indians in 320 AD.

With many tattoo parlours also providing a piercing service you need to stock the finest piercing equipment for your studio. Here at Body Shock we have an extensive collection of piercing tattoo supplies as well as furniture and cleaning supplies for your professional parlour. If you have any questions please feel free to contact us on 01922 744088.

Famous Artists: Norman ‘Sailor Jerry’ Collins


Every tattoo artist has seen a piece of Sailor Jerry’s work somewhere in their lives. Possibly it is from his flash designs, which are considerably the most popular in the world. Or from the bottle label on the Caribbean rum that was made to remember his legacy. Sailor Jerry is a tattoo household name.

Norman Keith Collins, 1911 – 1973, was born in North Carolina and was famous for his tattoos on his fellow sailors in the navy. Originally Norman would tattoo using the hand prick method until he met Tatts Thomas who introduced him to tattoo machines. Some of his famous designs include nautical stars, pin up girls, swallows, anchors and the classically styled scrolled banners to name a few.

After his time in the navy sailing the Pacific Ocean, Sailor Jerry settled in Hawaii where he had his own tattoo parlour as well as skippering a ship that offered tours around the island. He even had a talk show on the local radio station on which he used the name ‘Old ironsides’.

His passion for safe and bright tattooing led to developing his own colours using safe pigments as well as creating needle formations that caused a lot less trauma to the skin when embedding the ink. Sailor Jerry was renowned for his attention to detail and accuracy with all the rigging in his tattoos being perfectly accurate to that of a ship.

Unfortunately, Norman Collins died June 12, 1973 and was buried in Honolulu, Hawaii at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, more commonly known as the “Punchbowl”.

Whether you are tattooing traditional old school tattoos or beautiful portraits, here at Body Shock we stock an impressive range of everything from tattoo machines to tattoo inks as bright as Sailor Jerry’s original collection. Shop with Body Shock all for your professional tattoo parlour equipment, as well as everything else you need to run a tight ship. If you have any questions please get in contact and call 01922 744088.

Famous Artists: Kat Von D



There are some outstanding artists in the tattooing industry that achieve a form of celebrity status due to the incredible work they produce. With tattooing becoming more acceptable and popular, TV network TLC have run reality shows based entirely on tattoo shops, their clients and their artists. One artist that has risen to fame from this is the now legendary, Kat Von D.

Katherine Von Drachenberg, more commonly known as Kat Von D was born March 8th 1982 in Montemorelos, North Mexico and was the main focus of hit TV show LA ink, in which the programme followed her as she opened up her own tattoo studio, High Voltage Tattoo.

This show came about due to Kat’s popularity on existing TLC show, Miami Ink, in which she was a guest tattoo artist for two seasons while one of their tattoo artists, Darren Brass, was off with a broken elbow. This series ran till September 15th 2011. Since then Kat has published a number of books and is currently working on her music career, as she is a keen pianist. Other ventures she has embarked on include her own make up range with Sephora and creating the music festival MusInk Tattoo Convention.

Kat is famous for her impeccable black and grey portraits as they are so lifelike, leading to a client list full of celebrities, including Ewan McGregor to Dave Grohl! With a career spanning over the last 16 years Kat has worked hard to earn her status as a world famous tattoo artist and more of her work can be seen here.

Body Shock stock a fantastic range of tattoo supplies from portrait perfect blacks for all the Kat Von D inspired work to eye popping bold colours for the traditional Sailor Jerry flash style works, everything you need to run your professional tattoo studio. Please feel free to get in contact with our team if you have any questions on 01922 744088.

Tattoo Do’s and Don’ts


Getting a tattoo is a huge decision to make, and one that will last a lifetime. It is important to be 100% sure of a few things before you commit to the hot seat. For example, be completely in love with the design you have chosen and make sure it is a theme you will not regret at a later date, i.e. a partner’s name or a contemporary trend, have complete confidence in the tattoo artist you have chosen and be sure that they are the right artist for job, providing the style and quality you need.

Here is a little list of things to consider and a bit of information before you get a piece of permanent skin art.



You Get What You Pay For

DO Recognise quality! Sure, that drunk person at a party who happens to own a tattoo gun and is offering to give you a cheeky tatt for free may save you some pennies, but no thanks!

Tattoo quality and price ranges vary dramatically; and you will only tend to get a good deal if you are friends with the artist, but remember, you are commissioning a piece of personal art so get something worth paying a little extra for. Tattoo designs that have been personally drawn, rendered cleanly and will age to a colourful and high quality are not going to come cheap.

And if you are completely in love and happy with your new body art, DO tip the artist! It’s nice to show a little love and appreciation.

Be Original

DON’T act on impulse. Be sure of an idea before popping into the studio and enquiring, DO stick to your guns and completely be yourself when choosing a theme or design. Tattoos are traditionally thought to have to have a deep or ‘personal’meaning otherwise they are pointless, this is completely wrong. If a tattoo makes you feel good about yourself and you enjoy it every time you look at it, go for it!

DON’T copy, getting inspiration or ideas from a tattoo you found online or in a magazine is fine, take a print out with you but DO ask your artist to create an original design for you, you may pay a little extra but at least the piece will be original and uniquely suited to you.

If using other languages or symbols, DO make sure it means exactly what you want it to and it is spelt correctly. It has become increasingly common, especially in celebrity tattoos, that tattoos have been misspelt or misused to give the owner a completely different outcome than they originally wanted, a very gutting result and high cost mistake to get it removed or covered over.

DO make sure to speak to your artist before your appointment, keep in touch and discuss any queries or questions you may have, this will enable you to feel more relaxed and confident with your choice. And DO consider your lifestyle and job commitments; although tattoo discrimination is becoming less valid slowly in the professional world, some industries regard it more highly than others, so keep this in mind.

Whether you are thinking about getting a tattoo, you are a professional tattoo artist or starting your own body art business, Body Shock stock a high quality range of tattoo equipment and supplies to suit your needs and get you started in the creative tattoo world. Please feel free to get in contact with our friendly team on 01922 744088.

How to Make Sure That Tattoo is for You!


Tattoos all too often get a bad press, but not here! As experts in providing the best possible tattoo supplies we have helped some of the best tattoo artists in Britain create some truly incredible pieces of body art. So if you are looking for high quality supplies then do not hesitate to contact us and we will be happy to help.

Fair to say we love tattoos and appreciate that they are not simply pictures on your skin, they are a part of you and can have huge emotional or personal significance. Even when tattoos are only there for the sake of looking good they fulfil a purpose, they are living art, they become one of the few absolute constants in your life and can be incredibly intricate and beautiful. One of the biggest stumbling blocks toward people getting their first tattoo is the idea that they will come to regret it in future; in this blog we have put together a great guide that will help to make sure that you never come to regret your body art.


Do Your Research

So you’ve decided that you want to get a tattoo but you’re not sure of the exact image and style that you want? The first place to start is not a tattoo artist’s studio; far too any people make the mistake of heading straight for the tattoo studio and assuming that the flashes on the wall are their only options. The first place to start is actually the internet, it contains literally billions of images, from the latest celebrity mug shot to the Mona Lisa they are all on there and your future tattoo could well be waiting for you. It is also important to bear in mind though that all of these images can be altered and personalised to further suit your personality.

Choose a Tattoo That Stands Alone But Can Be Added To

It is important to make sure that your tattoo is a piece of art in its own right as well as being able to add to it if you see fit. A heavily bordered piece is very hard to add to if you do choose to get another tattoo, the large majority of people that get a tattoo do not stop at one! If you decide that you only want that tattoo and do not want to add to it then you can always add the bordering in to help it stand out later.

Choose an Artist

When choosing an artist it is important to keep in mind that the piece will be on your skin forever so you want to make sure that you choose wisely. Tattoo artists usually have a flair for certain styles so look up one with an especial flair for the types of piece that you want. All tattoo artists will gladly show you their back catalogue and you will be able to tell from this whether or not they are the artist for you. Do not feel that you are limited to the artists in your local area, going a little further afield and spending a little more is a small price to pay if you are getting a better tattoo out of it.

Personalise Your Tattoo

It is rare that you will find an image that will absolutely encapsulate everything that you want, but worry not, there is a couple of ways that you can make it perfect. Firstly if you are blessed with an artistic flair then you can alter the image yourself and make it the perfect image for you. If you are not one of those blessed few then the next stop is your tattoo artist of choice, they will be happy to alter your tattoo to your exacting specifications. Some tattoo artists will expect a small deposit as a guarantee before undertaking the work but this will be money well spent when you get the perfect tattoo.

Live with the Image

Once you have followed all the above steps then it is important that you live with the image for at least a week to make sure that you have no further changes to make and that you are completely happy. A good rule to follow is to print the image and then give yourself a minimum of two weeks in which you spend time every day looking at the image. This simple evaluative step will help to make sure that the tattoo that you end up with is something that you will be completely happy with.

Make Sure that You Are Ready

The final step before you head down to the studio and get your ink is to be completely honest with yourself and make sure that you definitely still want it. A second opinion can be helpful but keep in mind that the tattoo will be on your skin so your decision shouldn’t be influenced too heavily by other people’s opinions.

Throughout the entire process it is important to be completely honest with yourself and make sure that there is no outward pressure or expectation influencing your decision. One of the most common factors in people regretting their tattoos is being subject to peer pressure when they got it. Once you have followed all of these steps and you are still absolutely sure that you still want it done then book in, sit down and enjoy!

Setting up your own tattoo studio


Tattoos have come a very long way in recent years and have developed into an incredibly intricate and varied art form. The sheer breadth of ability that many tattoo artists hold is simply staggering and the last decade has seen the idea of a tattooist being an artist become far more widely accepted. The popularity of tattoos and shows such as Miami Ink has helped to make tattooing a booming industry that shows no signs of slowing down.
Thanks to this popularity there is plenty of work out there for an aspiring tattoo artist and jobs in tattoo studios are not the hardest thing to come by if you have genuine artistic talent. What about when you want to break out on your own though? When you want to stop working in someone else’s shadow you will need to set up your own shop and start building your own reputation. Below we have listed the steps that you need to take in order to get your foot on the ladder of tattoo parlour ownership;

Serve your apprenticeship

First and foremost it is important to serve out your current apprenticeship under an experienced tattoo artist, even if you feel you are ready you may still be able to learn a lot about the process and the business from somebody with experience under their belt. These apprenticeships can last up to 2 years but it is important that you use this time to establish a customer base and broaden your abilities by undertaking a number of different styles. During this time you can also begin to save your money and look toward a future as a business owner.

Find a shop


When choosing a shop to set up in location is crucial, a tattoo studio can only afford to be a certain distance from a town centre, try finding a potential studio on the main road into a town centre and you will hit the balance between footfall and low rent. Once you have drawn up a list of candidates then it is time to go and view them and check their suitability. Factors such as how easily they could be converted into tattoo studios should all be thought of before you commit. Once you have decided on a shop then the real work can begin, you must ensure that the shop fully fits all health and safety requirements and is easily cleaned.

Get the right equipment

Getting your tattoo supplies from a reputable source will ensure that they are all of the highest quality. This quality will translate into quality tattoos for your customers; people that receive quality will not only return but will also spread the word about your new studio leading to more work. As well as inks and tattoo guns it is also important to make sure that you have a constant reliable supply of other such items as stencil spray, ink caps, thermal paper and other essentials will see that you never have to compromise.

Market yourself

There are several ways that you can market your work but by far the best is social media which is completely free. Tattoos are an aesthetic pleasure and the hugely visual medium of social media is sure to raise awareness of your work. As well as posting pictures of each tattoo you complete you can also advertise offers and available times on these platforms to keep people aware of your business.

The most important factor in setting out alone in any industry is being honest with yourself and having a realistic business strategy. So if you are desperate to break out on your own and start building your portfolio then the steps above will help to make sure that your newest business venture is a success.

Different Tattoo Styles for New Tattooists


Much like many art forms, in tattooing, there are many different styles to learn. If you are considering a career as a tattoo artist, then you will need to learn the basic skills of tattooing, and you will no doubt want to build on this. In this blog, we will look into some of the styles and techniques that it’s imperative for you to be aware of.



This technique is used to create a basic shape. It is usually done with a round group of needles, and the lines you put on a client’s skin can vary from thin to thick. You may also wish to build up lines by using multiple passes closer together, which will make it much thicker. Dexterity is the key with lining, as even lines are necessary for a quality looking tattoo. In addition to colouring in black ink, lining can also be done in colour.


Great shading can make all the difference in a tattoo. This is not a skill that can be learned overnight, as it could take years for an artist to perfect this. In terms of basic shading, you will have to adjust your needle for the shade that you want to create. The needle size should also be taken into consideration and adapted, as larger shadows are created by larger needles, and smaller needles create smaller shadows. In time, your skills will grow, and you will get a feel for shading as you get more experience.


One of the most popular tattoos a person can get is a tattoo that has lettering; this lettering can range from a child or a loved one’s name, to a favourite football team or artist. Being skilled in lettering will make you a hot commodity. Learning the techniques for lettering doesn’t take too much training. Once you have learned how to add lettering competently, be sure to check the spelling before you ‘ink’ your client, because a misspelt name looks extremely unprofessional and reflects badly on you.

Of course, once you are comfortable with your abilities and have developed your skills in the above areas, you can start thinking about opening your own tattoo parlour. Here at Body Shock we can supply you with a wide range of tattoo supplies, including tattoo guns and tattoo needles, so you can hit the ground running in time for your opening. If you are an apprentice and aren’t planning on going solo for the foreseeable future, it is still worth investing in quality tattoo supplies to show your prospective employer that you are dedicated to your art. Get in touch with us today for further information on our tattoo supplies.

Top Tips For Tattoo Aftercare


The art of tattooing has become increasingly popular among the current generation. Many people are paying considerable amounts of money, and even booking appointments months in advance, to access the services of top tattoo artists, and all in order to get the best bodywork that displays both skill and detail.


Many people that practise the art of tattooing are aware that, in order to achieve a tattoo masterpiece, the work does not simply stop at drawing the tattoo; it carries on beyond this into tattoo aftercare. Although the tattoo artist knows this, many of the clients themselves do not know how to nurse their body art properly throughout the healing process. As a company that specialises in tattoo supplies, we at Body Shock have rich knowledge about how to tend for a tattoo after visiting the tattoo artist.

Of course, it is common sense that the first place a person will be informed about how to look after their tattoo will be the place they get it done. As a tattoo artist, it is important that the client carefully listens as you explain each measure, and, as obvious as it sounds, make sure you reiterate how important it is to do as they are told.


This is probably the first aspect of aftercare that your clients need to consider. They need to remember that their tattoo is an open wound; therefore, they need to practise excellent hygiene to keep away bacteria that could lead to infections settling in. Many tattoo experts will recommend gently washing the tattoo with antibacterial soap and leaving it to air dry after the dressing has been removed.


A new tattoo will be sore for a couple of days or so, and so people should expect it to weep fluid during this period. As mentioned earlier, clients should be advised to keep it clean and make sure they moisturise the work with tattoo aftercare cream. This cream should be left to dry, as this will lead to the tattoo scabbing; a prominent part of the healing process. Experts advise that clients should avoid using excessive amounts of cream.

Let it be

Like any other fresh wound, the tattoo should be left to heal naturally. By this we mean that your clients should be told to avoid tampering with the skin surface. Towards the end of the healing process, the scabbing skin will start peeling away, which is commonly known as flaking. As a tattoo artist, you should advise clients to avoid picking at this dead skin, as this could aggravate the wound and lengthen the healing process. Professional tattoo artists state clients with freshly completed tattoos should avoid sun beds and sunbathing too, as UV rays do not only damage open skin but also encourage colour fading.

Great Places to Get Tattoos


Here at Body Shock we have been supplying tattoo artists with a wide range of products including tattoo machines and tattoo ink for a number of years, so to say we have just a passing interest in tattoos would be an understatement. In this blog we will look into places where a person can get a tattoo.


Inner Wrist

The inner wrist is a great place for a small tattoo and it has an advantage of being out of sight at work. In addition to this advantage, as a rule, inner wrist tattoos heal pretty quickly. Many people choose this kind of tattoo as a first tattoo to see if they get the bug for more.

Bicep/Upper Arm

You will most likely be aware that this is one of the most popular parts on the body for a client to get a tattoo. This area of the body is extremely visible, particularly in the summer when short sleeves are worn. However, much like the inner wrist, it won’t interfere with work as it is easily disguised. Of course, it isn’t a necessity to have to have huge biceps for a tattoo in this area to look good, but with some tattoos bigger biceps can complement the look.


Perhaps one of the most decorative places to get a tattoo, the design of a tattoo on the shoulders is especially significant. Tribal tattoos are common, as they have a distinctive and stylish look. If a client has a tattoo on the lower back then it is advisable to suggest a tattoo on the shoulder that is in keeping with its style.

If your client is stuck as to where they want a tattoo it is worthwhile reminding them that they will want it in a flattering spot, ensuring they don’t regret it in a few years. Of course, you will have your own techniques of consulting with your clients to create the best tattoo possible. As specialists in tattoo supplies, we are passionate about the tattoo industry, so if you are in the market for tattoo supplies get in touch with us today.

Advising Clients about Tattoos


As a tattoo studio owner, you no doubt take pride in your work and want your clients to leave your studio pleased with their body artwork. After all, the reputation of a tattoo artist relies heavily on word-of-mouth recommendations, so it is important to get the tattoo right. Before you put ink to skin, be sure to speak about the following topics with your client to ensure the best outcome possible.

Do They Want a Tattoo?

This topic may seem too obvious to even mention, but you would be surprised at the amount of people who get a tattoo as a spur of the moment decision, and then regret that choice as buyer remorse kicks in. If you get the impression that a client is just getting a tattoo for the sake of it, then make them fully aware that it will be a permanent marking on their body, and they will have it for life.


There are many available tattoo designs and styles that are found on websites, books, magazines and in your portfolio of work. Try to encourage your clients to think outside the box and get a design that isn’t currently fashionable and on thousands of other people, because these fads will soon pass. It is a good idea to advise your client to research their tattoo before they come to you for a consultation. Google images is an excellent resource for your client to start with. There are also many reputable tattoo magazines that can be used as a sound resource

Once your client has found an image that they are happy with, consider the best place for it to be placed, and advise them to go with that location.


Make sure you give your client extensive aftercare tips; such as advising them to clean the tattoo after the dressing has been taken off. Also, explain to them that their tattoo will weep within the first couple of days. As the fluid that weeps is the same colour as the tattoo, some people panic and think that their tattoo is coming off. If they know that this is normal, it will save a fair amount of panic.

Giving advice and planning a tattoo is a great way to go about creating a tattoo that your client will be proud to show off. Of course, in addition to planning you will have to have reliable tattoo equipment that won’t let you down. Here at Body Shock we have tattoo supplies ranging from tattoo needles and tattoo grips to studio furniture. We have extensive experience in the tattoo supply industry, so we can guarantee that our tattoo equipment will be nothing less than the best. If you would like to find out more information then call us today on 01922 744088.

The History of Tattooing


Tattooing is by no means a modern trend. Tattoos are an ancient tradition in several parts of the world and discoveries have shown the true age of tattooing. The discovery in 1991 of a frozen body known as Otzi the ice man has further deepened our understanding of tattooing and its age. Born in around the year 3,300 BC, Otzi’s skin held 57 tattoos, mostly lines and other designs, proving that tattoos are at least 5,000 years old.

The popularity of tattoos as a cultural adornment is most well known to herald from Polynesia and the surrounding areas. Early Polynesian tattoos are known to be incredibly intricate works that are started around the early teens and continue throughout life until the entire body is covered in the design. These are seen as the real birthplace of tattoos as a feature in popular culture and are the origin of the still extremely popular tribal designs.

Tattoos made their way to Europe and on to the rest of the world when early explorers sailed to Asia and Polynesia and first encountered heavily tattooed tribes. Many of these European sailors inevitably took some of this art home with them on their own skin and started a demand for tattoos in Europe that has gathered pace ever since.

Tattooing was at first a lengthy and extremely painful affair that involved several needles of different types and thicknesses being hammered into the skin. In 1876 Thomas Edison invented an electric pen that was originally meant as a Copy device, in 1891 though Samuel O’Reilly discovered this pen could be used to deliver ink to the skin and patented a tube and needle system to provide an ink reservoir. This was the birth of the modern tattoo machine and the design has not drastically changed since.

Once tattoos could be applied quickly and with greater precision they really took off as an art form, designs developed and tattooists really honed their craft into a genuine art form. Tattoos are now more popular than ever and one fifth of Britons sports a tattoo of some sort. It is now possible to get almost anything tattooed onto your skin, no matter how complex the design there will be an artist out there with the talent to transfer it to your skin.

There are now thousands of tattoo parlours up and down Britain that thrive on providing you with exactly what you want. Here at Body Shock we provide these tattoo studios with the highest quality tattoo supplies to make sure that all of your tattoos are performed hygienically and with the best possible equipment and inks.

Johny D Matthews Blog


Hello and welcome to my new Blog, I thought it would be cool if I shared with you my tattooing journey and revealed how I became a sponsored artist for Body Shock tattoo and piercing wholesale suppliers.

The secret Meeting:

The first meeting with the guys from Body Shock was at a low key restaurant in Doncaster, it was like a secret meeting between spies who had arranged to meet up and exchange their intel.  We got on great from the start and I had a good feeling that we this meeting was going to be the first of many, we talked about how Body Shock wanted to move forward as a company and how being able to offer the right products at the right price was a high priority for them.  We discussed various new products that they wanted me to try out and give honest feedback on, which I was very excited about.

I was impressed with the quality of the products that they had brought with them and I could see that quality was key for them, after realising pretty quickly that we were all on the same page in terms of what products should be circulating within our industry and what should not, I signed the contract and became a proud new member of the Body Shock family.

Getting our heads together:

I have recently been talking with the guys at Body Shock at great length and in great depth about about the new product range that they want to move forward with.

I am really excited about testing all of the new products out!!


Ok, so I have been sent various new products over to test out and tell Body Shock what I think of each product, all I can promise is my own honest feedback.

I have found a handful of products in particular to be so good, that I have agreed to put my name to them as a personally endorsed product. I hope they make it into the new catalogue which is due out soon!!

Johny and The Chocolate factory:

I was invited to go and meet everyone over at Body Shock and have a guided tour of the manufacturing facility that they have there, I didn't know before first meeting the guys in Doncaster that they are not just a company that buys in and sells tattoo supplies and body jewellery but they make it too!

They are one of the largest and longest running body jewellery manufacturers in the world, and they make tattoo grips and tips of the highest quality I have seen. I have to say that my trip to the factory to see how everything was made was absolutely awesome, I felt like charlie in the chocolate factory with all of the machinery and seeing how all the different materials were being ground down, bent, engraved, drilled or polished and turned in to awesome finished products, whether they be belly bars, segment rings or tattoo grips. The whole experience was brilliant and better still everything is being made here in the UK.

Croydon Tattoo Show:

Well the road trip to the Croydon tattoo show started off with myself and my long term friend (and client for the weekend) Noddy, having to get up at 5 am! Ouch, not my favourite time of the day but we needed to make sure that we got to the show on time.

I think its fair to say that things did not go to plan! We got stuck on the M25, and when I say stuck I mean 4 hours later we where still on the same road. Eventually we arrived at the tattoo show considerably late, in fact we tried to tip toe in so not to draw attention to the fact that we where walking in to set up after everyone else was ready to go. 

Well it wasn't our fault and there was nothing that we could do about it now so we decided to make the best of it and continued working the show, even though i wanted to have much more of Noddy's tattoo completed by now.

 The last day of the show was brilliant, I even took part in a live art expo which was really cool, the awards ceremony began at the end of the show and I was really happy to find out that I had won the award for best small black and grey of the weekend!! well happy!!

The show came to an end and we said our goodbye's to everyone and headed back up north to Doncaster.  I have to say that I gave the show a 10/10, it was brilliant and the organisers Leo & Richie did a great job. I will be going back next year!

Are you a member?

I have just been told the awesome news that Body Shock have come up with a great idea which is unique to their company at the moment, it's a membership card with great features which include latest news and updates, priority processing, and great discounts on all web orders, that's the best bit because I know that they are pretty much the cheapest wholesale supplier that there is, It's free to sign up as a member too.

The Sheffield Tattoo Show:

As you may or may not know, at the start of this year I decided to start a whole new tattoo show set to be a great blast off to the end of the year, it is going to take place on the 9th and 10th of November in the heart of the city of steel.

This is the first time that I have done anything remotely like this and it is proving to be a great and exciting challenge, arranging acts to perform, investigating the flights and accommodation that will be available for all of the artists that we have flying in from around the world, there will be some of the very best international artists working at the show.

I can't say too much more yet but keep an eye on our website for all of the developments and news. Very exciting times.

Ink for Heroes:

Another awesome show!  I traveled to the ink for heroes convention in York with my apprentice Bob in his classic camper which was an experience to say the least!! ;/

I tattooed a nice York minster and I was happy to take home second place to Richards tattoo which won best of the weekend. Well done Buddy!

I had a brilliant two days there and met some really talented new artists, I also hooked up with some old friends and had a genuinely great time.

I would also like to give this show a 10/10, a real great show for a great cause, I can't wait o go back next year.

Hold on, what's this?  The new catalogue is out!

Awesome, really cool to see myself in the new look Body Shock catalogue, and I'm very happy to see a whole new range of brilliant products including some that I have personally endorsed too.

Request your copy at