Inkoming - 138

Published: 10 October, 2006 - Featured in Skin Deep 138, October, 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

Dear Inkoming,

I felt compelled to respond to the letter from Guy in Skin Deep issue 136. I can appreciate your disappointment at the way you were treated, but I resent the scathing and inaccurate generalisation that you HAD to travel to Cornwall to encounter a helpful & decent tattooist, as this was unavailable in your home area of the West Midlands. 

In our studio, we pride ourselves on treating everyone who sets foot through the door in an open, honest and friendly manner, irrespective of age, sex, race, religion, size, shape, fashion sense or tattoo coverage. 

We value our customers highly, and each one is treated with respect and courtesy, whether they are looking to spend a few quid on something small and discreet, or their life savings on a bodysuit. Both the tattoo and the whole experience, from beginning to end, is important to them, and therefore it is important to us. 

We want everyone’s tattoo experience to be a pleasant one, from taking that first step into the studio, through to the rest of their life happily showing off what we have created for and with them. 

The only time a person is ever given a frosty reception is when they behave in an obnoxious, aggressive or violent manner towards the staff. 

I know for a fact that ours is not the only studio in the county that adopts a more 21st century approach to the tattooing experience (rather than the old fashioned grunting and sneering at unworthy customers treatment that you speak of).  

You couldn’t possibly have visited all of the studios in the region, otherwise you would have encountered some of the pleasant and welcoming places I know are here, so please refrain from giving the impression they don’t exist. 

I do not intend to name our studio as this is not an attempt to gain a free advert, I just want to point out that it is certainly not the case that the West Midlands is devoid of friendly and helpful tattoo studios. We are here; maybe you just need to look a little harder next time. 

Best wishes, and I am glad you have embarked upon your personal tattoo experience.

Via email:



Dear Skin Deep

I’ve been contemplating getting my first tattoo for several years now, but life has just seemed to keep getting in the way, mostly financially - buying a house, getting married, having babies, etc, etc. 

I was brought up in a family where tattoos were the norm. My granddad was tattooed as a soldier during the Second World War and my dad who was a rocker during the 60s was inked with old school tattoos all over his arms, back and legs. My younger brother has just finished his first full sleeve (which looks amazing) and is about to get started on his back. It has now been so long since I started thinking about my first tattoo that I am starting to feel bare without it! And pretty jealous of my bro’s tats, obviously! 

During my research I found out about Skin Deep through the web and ordered myself a copy. And it must be a sign from someone somewhere that now is the time for me to get my first tat because the copy I purchased just happened to be the one that contained the additional publication ‘So You Want A Tattoo?’ 

Your magazine is fantastic and gave me the kick up the arse I’ve been needing for a long time. 

I’ve now found the artist that I’ve been looking for and have actually booked an appointment for a first consultation for a full sleeve. I’m so excited! I just wanted to thank you guys for the excellent work you’re doing and hopefully I’ll be sending some pics in to you in the near future. Keep up the good work guys and thanks again! 

All the best, 

Melissa Hoang


Hi Skin Deep

May I take this opportunity to thank Cooky and the Crew for the fantastic Great North Tattoo Show. 

I was greatly honoured to be invited to Judge at the show, and the quality of work was of such a high level, it really was difficult to separate the final winners from the entries. The whole event ran on well-oiled efficiency due entirely to the efforts of the Crew. Nothing was too much trouble, and they all worked tirelessly well into the night. 

This is definitely one to look out for next year, and I would advise anyone with a free slot in his or her diary to mark it down for a visit. 

My thanks go to all who worked to make it a success, and to all those I met, friends old and new, thanks for the fun and the laughter. 

Alan Moon


Dear Skin Deep,

I purchase your magazine every month and was looking forward to this months issue with the review of Portsmouth’s convention. However I was very disappointed that the photo coverage didn’t include the winners. What’s the point in telling us who has won what without showing us what was so worthy of winning each award. Surely the space dedicated to the woman in the bikini could have been put to better use, especially as her ankle piece was shown on another page, perhaps if the winner of the best large male piece had been wearing a bikini you would have published a photo? 

While I’m on the subject, especially as I’m sure this email won’t be published, what was the point of the pictures of clement and Hellen, I could quite easily have seen the tattoos, and other body modifications without pictures of her breasts. I’m not a prude by any means, but I don’t agree with gratuitous nudity, if I wanted to see breasts and penis’ (as we have done in other issues of skin deep) I could buy a copy of a porno mag. 

I used to regard Skin Deep as a family magazine but find I now have to censor each issue before I allow my 9-year-old son to read it. 

Kev (proud owner of 2 full sleeves, a full back piece and a half leg)

Dear Kev,

I’m sorry that you feel that space in the magazine could have been better used. Paul Callaby did the coverage of the Portsmouth show. Paul was working on his own that weekend so surely you can appreciate the he can’t be everywhere all at the same time. Between taking photos in the studio, (which takes up a good proportion of his time) and running about the show, photographing everything else that is going on, he is spread very thinly and it is very difficult to try and catch up with all the winners as many have either left early or have wandered off elsewhere in the building. Even Paul, who I consider as one of this country’s top tattoo photographers, might be able to work magic with his camera, he can’t perform miracles!

As for the ‘gratuitous nudity, surely a nipple (which is pierced) isn’t seen as porn these days and Skin Deep is an adult magazine covering an adult subject? As you will be aware of the fact that you have to be over eighteen to have a tattoo in this country. 

Again, a superbly talented body-art photographer called Ashley took the photos of Clement and Hellen. I regard Ashley’s photographs as nothing short of art and the subjects of his photography have a justifiable place in the magazine. Or do you want me to start putting stars or blurring out parts of the body that we all have in some shape or another? 

I for one don’t want to go down the American route of censorship when Skin Deep proudly displays the human body and all its adornments.



Dear Inkoming,

I am writing to you and your readers to say thank you for the feedback that was give to me when I wrote a letter to you back in October of 2005. I was doing a textile degree at Leeds college of art and design and was writing a dissertation on tattoos and thought that by asking your readers how they felt about tattoos, what their opinions were and why they got their tattoos would give me the research and information that I needed to go that bit further than just looking through the many books out there. I have since graduated with a 2:2 an this wouldn’t have been possible without my dissertation and the help I received, so thank you to everyone who contacted me, you know who you are. And as yet I still don’t have any ink but am still thinking about what I want and where. I like star designs so that is what I am hoping to get at some point in my life.

Thanks again to all,

Gillian Westwood.