Jasmine Danks

Published: 25 September, 2009 - Featured in Skin Deep 150, September, 2007

Jasmine Danks originally came from the South West coast of Australia and after travelling around the world has settled on London; the one city where there is enough going on to keep her interested! 


Jasmine has adopted the Blood Brothers Studio in Holloway road as her home-from-home, where she currently works on the front desk. She kindly found the time to talk to Skin Deep about Roller Derby, Music and her ever-growing collection of impressive tattoos.    

“After graduating with a Film and Production advanced diploma, I felt it was time to leave Perth and travel around,” Jasmine explains. Finding London to be the perfect blend of art, history and interesting people she decided to stay. Her next priority, after finding somewhere to rent, was to find a good tattooist! A week after being recommended to take a trip to Blood Brothers, Jasmine found herself getting her ‘Lady Luck‘ and ‘Miss Fortune’‘ pieces done by JayJay Dallas. Fortune would have it that they needed a receptionist and Jasmine wanted to do something other than barwork. Over a year later Jasmine has continued to get regular ink updates. “The majority of my work is by JayJay, he has done the ladies, the skull-rose and gun on my arm, my armpit, the writing on my chest my backpiece, which is still a work in progress,” her latest addition are the words ‘Drop Dead’ across her knuckles. “Some of the pieces were designs I thought up, or we worked out together, and some were JayJay saying ‘Hey you might like this drawing I did last night’. Actually a bunch of my tattoos have stories like that!”   

Working in a tattooists and attending various conventions means Jasmine has had the opportunity to be tattooed by a variety of high-quality artists. Her Peacock was done by Luci (who has now returned to Brazil), Theo Mindell did the winged envelope on her wrist and Grez tattooed the coffin/eye piece that dominates her sternum.    

Jasmine has no doubt that this isn’t the end for her, “Becca [also of Blood Brothers] did the Cowboy and Horseshoe on my right arm, which we are going to work into a girly, Western themed sleeve”, Jasmine grins. “We are going to be filling in the gaps on the top half of my arm really soon!”   

Most of us have a story behind how we got into tattoos and why we went and got that first piece of ink, Jasmine is no exception to this rule. “Having grown up around punk and hardcore, I was so used to seeing tattoos it was more of question of ‘when’ rather than ‘if’! Having spent years seeing different trends come and go, I always found myself attracted to the more traditional style.” So when the moment of inspiration finally struck, she went to see Matt Rat of W.A Ink in Perth and had nautical stars tattooed on her wrists, one with a banner reading ‘hope’, the other reading ‘courage’. She liked them so much she later returned to get Anchors drawn on her hips. Her travels didn’t stop her adding to her collection; the burning heart & swallows on her chest were tattooed by Jarrod & Dylan at Unique Tattoos in Perth, WA.   

The strangest place Jasmine has been tattooed was in Frankfurt during a book fair. Adam Craft was helping to promote a book he had drawn the artwork for and flew in a few friends to tattoo them at the event. “Moving to London really inspired me and I took a different view of tattoo art”, she jokes “It was pretty strange being tattooed in the middle of a huge air hanger full of books and curious publishing executives!”   

For those who were assuming Jasmine’s ‘XXX’ liquor bottle and her ‘I walk the line’ pieces were subtle nods to the straightedge scene [no drink, drugs or meat] you’d be wrong. It’s about her love of music, “The tattoo under my arm is by JayJay again, it’s half of a Murder City Devils piece – after the album Empty Bottles, Broken Hearts.

I’m getting and empty heart next to the broken bottle…I didn’t want to be too obvious about it though!” she goes on to explain the inspiration for the other piece. “In contrast, my ‘I walk the line’ tattoo is as far from subtle as you can get! That’s one of my all time favourite songs & Johnny Cash is a song writing genius”.

Jasmine’s appreciation of hard and fast music is also reflected in her choice of ‘extra curricular’ activities: Twice a week she dons skates and trains with the other tattooed London Roller Girls as ‘Lady Frankenstein’, “It is an awesome way to get fit & I’ve met some of my best friends through Roller Derby”. She also enjoys dancing, from jive and Lindy hop though to her neo-Burlesque performances where she designs and makes her own costumes for each performance. “Having met several other tattooed dancers I think one day we should do a show called ‘the painted ladies of burlesque’, although I am currently recuperating after a skating injury so that might have to wait.” Not one to waste time while waiting to be mobile again, Jasmine has been spending more time on her photographic hobby.   

I asked Jasmine wherever or not she has had any problems in the UK, since relatively few females have such visible artwork compared to Australia. She quickly put any fears about our hospitality to rest “No, not at all. It seems that everyone I meet has at least one tattoo, even if it’s something small and hidden. These days people wonder where I got them done rather than why would I have gotten tattoos in the first place! Having said that, being a girl with a fair amount of coverage means I do get some funny looks at times… then again there’s the fact I have my knuckles done. Sorry Mum & Dad!’


Photography And Interview: Al Overdrive


Skin Deep 150 1 September 2007 150