Skin Deep 250

Skin Deep 250 28 April 2015 250

As you may have noticed from the cover, it’s our 250th issue. What it doesn’t tell you on the cover is it’s also our 21st birthday. There should be a badge. A badge about four inches wide that says “21 AND INKED UP”… or similar. I should have pushed for a badge with every issue but it occurred to me that maybe, just maybe, not all of our readers are 21.

There’s a bagful of inking years between 18 and 21. I wouldn’t want anybody to fall in the cracks. It’s a tricky business being 21 that’s for sure… then again, the rest of us might appreciate it.

Anyway, to mark our official growing up year, as discussed last issue, we flicked the off switch on the internet and sat around by candlelight with a box of Sharpies for a redesign. Not a whole lot, but enough so that when it goes out in public, it looks like it means business… and I for one am more than pleased with the results—and we haven’t finished yet.
In spite (or should that be despite? I can never remember) of the rest of the world treating tattooing like some Easter Island statues just turned up on the bank of the Thames, we have a fantastic readership. Smart, sassy and a whole bunch of other things that make it worth getting up in the morning.

Things are changing. The pressure for your attention is unbelievable but one of the things that makes tattooing a successful renegade outsider amongst the noise, is it’s a truly analogue art. Over the years, we’ve all seen ‘advances’ in technology that will ‘help’ you choose what you want to put into your skin and where, but it all fades to insignificant grey when you enter a studio to find an artist hunkering down to prep a design for the real world. I get a kick out of it every single time—sometimes even more than the tattoo itself because it’s uninterrupted by time and blood. It triggers something inside of me that recognises a person doing real work. When you get that far, it’s no longer just noise, it’s not posturing. It’s a real world item with a purpose.

What we need around our lives is more shit that uses time and attention properly otherwise, we’re in danger of losing any sense of anticipation and magic. Sometimes, it’s like we live in a world in which all of your Christmas presents have a label on them telling you what’s inside.

To bring it full circle, if I got most of my ducks in a straight line here, this new approach will bring you some of that magic on a four weekly basis. Things are changing fast out there. The last time you want to find out you’re not in shape is when the bell rings.


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