The Apprentice

Published: 28 May, 2012 - Featured in Skin Deep 212, May, 2012

Once in a while, you can come across an apprentice who has taken the bull by the horns and risen to the occasion. It has to be said that an apprentice is only as good as their mentor will let them fly, so in this case, we must tip our hats to Iain Stanfield at Mother of all Sins for taking Lil’ Vicki Norton to – we think you’ll agree – a level that some can only dream of. Read on children of the corn…

Of course, we weren’t going to let her get away with palming us off with any old story. One look at the ink and it’s pretty obvious to anybody who has even a basic understanding of tattoo design that there’s a good story behind this. So what’s going on in Sutton Coldfield that’s so damn special? Vicki has been apprenticing under Iain for 14 months now, but this tattoo is actually comes from just six months into her story there.

Helpfully, this sprightly bloke (who’s not holding his stomach in for the camera at all – it’s OK, we’ve all been there) is Vicki’s old man, Paul Norton. Mr Norton is 62 (we put that in because that’s what the daily papers would do to make it all look official!) and a part-time healer. The image meantime is taken from the work of Dan Platt (top character modeller whose awesome work you can find at – believe me, what you’ll find there will inspire you all the way into next month), and is a take on the god, Mercury, complete with a double helix, replacing the traditional adders normally found in the classical caduceus symbol – that’s the symbol of the healer for those of you who didn’t go to school that day. The work was originally produced by Dan for Merck (global healthcare giant), but we figured it was so excellently duped for a much higher purpose here, that it was more than worth shouting about.

Apparently, Mr Norton “sat like a bloody rock”, which is good. That’s what all dads should do while their daughters set about them with the needles. Top work everybody.


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