Quite often in the mail, I get sent cuttings from newspapers that I might have missed simply because, no matter how hard you try, you can’t look at everything. You really can’t - I’ve tried.
This week the guys at the office shipped me down the centre pages from The Sun (March 31) in which writer Sean Hamilton does a story on tattooing that pulls in quotes from a conversation with Lal Hardy. It bore the title “Skin The Money” and my gut reaction on seeing that title was to wonder what kind of assassination we had in store... but I was wrong.
It actually turned out to be a really positive piece of work. Reading through it again, for a newspaper that is renowned to sensationalise whenever it can, they stuck to the facts, there’s no horror stories and it even contains a potted history lesson and decent advice. Impressed!
That very same week, I received a copy of Lal’s latest book - The Mammoth Book of Tattoo Art and it’s a peach. Seriously. We didn’t have room for reviews in this issue (so it will be in next time), but having just put together Tattoo Dynamite here at Jazz, I know from the heart, that behind the scenes it will have been a labour of love with much blood, sweat and tears behind it. Mr Hardy turned in a fine piece of work - you should check it out.
Nice work Sir!
To rewind a little, at the top of the article in The Sun, it quotes the official figure of the number of tattoos on “British Bodies” as being 20 million. By my reckoning, even with all the years Skin Deep has behind it, we haven’t even scaled the first leg of that mountain. I haven’t actually worked this out, so don’t quote me, but if your average issue of Skin Deep contains around 200 images, across almost 200 issues, that comes to approximately 40,000 images published in our lifetime. That’s a really small percentage. I don’t do maths and percentages but even I can tell there’s a lot out there still to cover. Recent appeals for work by both artists, studios and collectors have turned up some good stuff in the inbox - please keep it coming. It’s much appreciated and wherever possible, it will get featured somehow.
Finally, it wouldn’t be much of a Needle Has Landed column if I couldn’t find something mildy amusing to write about - it seems to have become “what I do” on this page but I have to admit, I’m struggling this issue. There have been no piano playing luchadores passing my window, I don’t think I’ve left my Mac for more than a single day (I blame Tattoo Dynamite) and only one Doctor Who submission has come in so far but then again, as I write this, the last issue has only been out for one day on the shelves. Nope, the only fun news I have - for me at least - is that with the back piece on hold for the time being, I’ve booked my slot for my next piece of sleeve work at the Jam. It’s taken months to figure it out and now that I have the basics down, let’s get it on...
I suggest you do the same... meantime, back to work slackers!