Reno Sammut



About Me

Well, where do I start? I suppose from the beginning would be a good idea!

About 15 years ago, in a first floor tattoo studio in Fratton Road, I was hanging around helping my long time friend who I am sure, if you know anything about the trade, you will all know the world famous tattoo artist Darren Stares. His studio was the first in the Portsmouth area to introduce body piercing to our city.

Anyway, back then he had a couple of different piercers come and go, one of which started traveling the world and ending up in Australia (Simon Bishop) and the other (George Prentice) who at the time had to have a little vacation at Her Majesty's pleasure.

This left Darren with no body piercer, so as I had already been helping him out by looking after customers, the general day to day running of the shop and a bit of ear piercing, he asked me if I fancied doing a bit of body piercing for him. Immediately, I said I'd give it a go and brushed up on a bit of literature and various illustrations, which really opened my eyes. I even got a couple of mates to have a few things done. It just seemed like I had done it for years and everything felt right - probably due to the fact that I had watched the previous piercers at work.

After a few weeks of piercing the clients just kept rolling in and piercing became more popular than ever before. Darren then suggested that because of limited space in the tattoo studio would I like to use one of the back rooms of the shop and do it in there, so that’s what I did and never looked back.I was then was approached by all the other tattooists in the area to go to there studios and pierce their clients which worked out really well as I was also doing mobile parties in the evenings as well.

This was now the start of what I call the best ride of my life and I never wanted to get off.

I then started going to and working at conventions and by chance one day I had a phone call from a tattoo artist Ian from Reading, saying that he had been let down by his regular piercing company to work his convention and would I like to stand in? I automatically said yes! He said that he had spoken to the tattoo artist that inspires me the most, the one and only Kevin Shercliff of Midlands Tattoo Centre, who, to me is the best all round artist and businessman in the trade and has become a really good mate over the years. He recommended me to work at what I would say the best convention Europe has ever seen, Dunstable, and they were some of the best memories of my life.

After a while of things going real good for Darren he decided to up and move his life to Germany where he spent a lot of time previously working conventions and in other studios.

This left me in a bit of a problem as I had so many customers that I needed a base to work from. So I waited, out of respect for Darren, to close his studio and found myself a ground floor shop in Fratton Road, and after a lot of hard work, I opened the studio in 1997.

We had a few names in mind but the one that had the best ring to it, that my wife Hayley thought of, was what you know today as “Bodyimages” Portsmouth’s Premier Body Piercing and Tattoo Studio located at 40 Fratton Road, Portsmouth.

I started by having other tattooists working my studio, but after 3 years or more of relying on other artists that were coming and going I moved the studio into a bigger premises next door and started doing a bit of tattooing myself purely with the knowledge that I had picked up by being around some of the best artists in the world. I then moved out to Malta for a year and worked along side my good friend Bobby who owns 3 studios on the island. We had some great times but eventually I got fed up of tattooing sunburnt hairy ass Maltesers and returned to my home town of Pompey as the shop just was not the same without me being there.

Well it seems to have worked out real well with a great clientele and repeat customers returning and passing on their recommendations to their friends and families. The studio as you can see is by far one of the most state of the art and most hygienic studios around and now after years of hard work and success we have added a new addition to the family... Bodyimages 2.

Tip Top Tattoos, again ultra modern and ultra clean, is located at 109 London Road, North End, Portsmouth. 2 great shops 2 great locations with great staff and talent. What more can you ask for!

I have and will always have respect for the trade and the people that helped me along the way. This goes out to tattoo artists and good friends: Darren Stares / Kevin Shercliff / Ian of Reading / John Treherne / Pete Lake / Gary Jones / Bill Middleton / Bobby {Malta} Lee Lashley (my personal decorator).

And last, but certainly not least my rock and love of my life who has not only given me my 2 lovely kids, but put up with every bit of s- - t slung at her over the years, my wife Hayley.

So my friends that’s about it in a nut shell.