Inkoming - 134

Published: 01 July, 2006 - Featured in Skin Deep 134, June, 2006

Air your views or have a rant and we’ll give one letter a free, yes free, t-shirt! Aren’t we nice?

Winning Letter  

Hi to you all and great mag 

My name is Lee and I have been collecting tattoo artwork for the last couple of years and this year I decided to enter a tattoo at the Peterlee Convention. As this was the first time I have entered a competition at a convention I didn’t really know what to expect but as the Tattoo Community are a friendly bunch I thought what the hell. 

It was only when I went up to register that I found out that you have to give the name of the artist that carried out the work when you register. 

What I want to know is does this happen at all conventions and if so why?

My point is surely it would make judging the competitions more impartial and objective if the judges had no idea who did the work until after the winners had been called out and then they are judging on just what they see in each piece. And I’m sure then it would be no problem when the winners are announced the artist coming up to collect their prize.

I do hope you can answer this for me and then I will know what to expect in the future.

Keep up the good work.


Lee Topcliffe

Hi Lee,

It is pretty normal for the person showing their work to give the name of the artist when they register. The name of the artist and their studio is usually withheld from the judges and only revealed if that person wins a category. Some shows go to such an extent that they won’t allow a person showing off their tattoos to even wear their tattoo artists merchandise. This makes the judging very fair and totally impartial. You can however sometimes recognise an artists style but this is still judged as fairly as all the others. If you are ever asked by a judge for the artist, decline that information as this is unfair on everyone else entering that category.

I hope you enjoyed your experience showing off your work and will continue to do so in the future at other conventions.

Good luck.



Dear Skin Deep

I would like to add my thoughts to your letters page, if okay with you at Skin Deep. 

I have been a tattooed lady as such for over 20 years now, and have always shown off my ink, much to the disapproval of my then employers, partners parents, you name it, I’ve had it thrown at me... 

And while being an avid reader of Skin Deep and other publications and seeing the new surge of pretty young ladies going and getting inked, I can’t but help feel that the fashion element of tattooing is now making its way into mainstream society. Have you noticed the influx of Rockabilly old school tattoos since the Suicide Girls website has popped up on the scene? 

My god, everyone seems to be getting inked for the sake of it, to be alternative. 

While I can applaud the Suicide Girls founder for creating a site for likeminded people, I do think its so sell out to be putting information across the net in such a way, that the Airheads amongst us, only want to get tattooed just for one upmanship on the next model, so to speak. 

Not much thought or reasoning goes into these tattoos, and when the said ‘girls’ are too old to be seen naked on such websites, It’ll be a race to the laser clinic to get them all removed, ‘Mark my words!’ 

Jane Stacey - An old tattooed blue lady


Won, Again & Again & Again…

Although I greatly admire all winning entries at tattoo conventions, praying that one day I will be up there with the greats. I cannot help feeling very frustrated when I see the same winning work being entered at Every Venue/ Surely you should only be allowed to win once, then maybe re-entered in the future under the category ‘Best of Winners’ for 2006/7/8/9 etc at a main finale convention held in December (British venues).

I know by speaking to many other artists that they all say the same thing. So why hasn’t this been organised?

If you are an artist and feel the same way, let the magazine editors know, then maybe this will bring about an injection of life into the tattoo industry, that seems to be stuck in a rut of repetition!

After all, if you’ve got too many trophies, you’ve only got to dust them constantly (I wish!)

Name withheld in fear of pissing off the powers that be!



Hi Skin Deep

In issue 129 (Feb 06) I read an article about small business rate relief. Kindly forwarded by Shirley from the Hemp Company. Upon reading that I may be able to reduce my business rates by up to 50% delighted me.

However my joy was short lived when enquiring about the application form I needed, I was informed that this rate relief only applied to England and was not available to businesses in Wales, Ireland or Scotland as they are rated separately. He did advise me that the Welsh assembly were looking into this issue and the Rural Rate Relief may soon be available in Wales. His advice was to watch out for press releases on this subject.

So to all tattooists and piercers in Wales, Ireland and Scotland, I recommend that you read all the small prints in your daily newspapers as it is unlikely to be a full page spread if it does become available,

All the best,

BJ – Wicked Image Tattoos


Dear Editor

I am writing to tell you about my 12 year-old granddaughter. She went to a home in Bristol where someone working under the name of ***** (name withheld), pierced her tongue. My granddaughter lied about her age and told this man that she was 15. Her mother was horrified and called the Police. They advised her to take my granddaughter to the children’s hospital, prior to looking into this. The doctor spent over an hour trying to remove the bar. He was angry and my granddaughter distressed.

A lady there told us to take her to a shop by the hospital called Pierced Up Body piercing.

What wonderful people. They took the by now very upset young girl straight in and reassured her.

The man then removed the piercing and gave her some tablets for mouthwash and a leaflet about aftercare. When we asked him how much, he wouldn’t accept any payment.

We asked if there was a forum where we could warn people and he gave us your address.

Yours gratefully,

C A Simons


Hi All at Skin Deep,

First things first, thanks for a truly awesome magazine!

Keep up the good work.

Now anyone with tattoos will be well used to hearing “How are they going to look when you get older?’ But as a young tattooed woman, I get asked another that is just as annoying.

I’m nineteen and about to start on a half sleeve. Although I have five tattoos at the moment, this will be my first big piece. However whenever I mention this to anyone, instead of asking me about the design, artist or concept for the piece, all I get is “How are you going to look in your wedding dress?”

All people seem to care about is some dress that I’m probably going to wear in about ten years time if I’m lucky.

I think my tattoos are beautiful and I’m proud of them, they give me confidence and make me feel really good about myself and the way I look. So there is no way I’m going to cover them up on my wedding day or any other day in my life and people will just have to deal with it.

Anyway, rant over for now,



I think everyone who reads this letter will have had some form of negative reaction about their ink at some point in their lives. We all have to live up to that stigma that still exists in this so-called ‘free thinking, modern world’. 

There are two quotes that spring to mind whenever I hear a similar story:

First is: If I had to explain, you wouldn’t understand’ and the second and best is by an American tattooist Jack Rudy: ‘Man, by the time I’m eighty, I’ll be more worried about being able to wipe my own arse than the state of my tattoos!’

Enough said I think…



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Skin Deep 134 1 June 2006 134