Alice Snape is the Founding Editor of Things&Ink Blog and Magazine. She has been my mentor and she made me believe that dreams actually do come true. I am very happy to have her on I am Not a Tattoo Blog.
Thank you Alice, for what you taught me, for what you are doing.
How did you fall in love with tattoo art?
When my friends all started getting tattooed underage at 16, I didn’t join in. I had no interest in Chinese symbols, weird little tribal scribbles, or anything on the wall at the only tattoo shop in our small market town. But I was always intrigued by body modification, especially tattoos. I doodled tattoo ideas in notebooks, and often thought of markings I’d like to wear on my skin. I am not sure why, I guess it is human nature, a want to change or modify our bodies in a way that is within our control. However it wasn’t until I started becoming more heavily tattooed that I truly fell in love with tattoo art.
Do you see a difference between your first and your latest tattoo? Do you feel more aware about the whole process?
Even at the age of 21, I’d still not got my first – even though I had thought about it a lot. I think I was 22 when I finally did it, I was living in Oxford at the time doing a masters in publishing. After waiting so long, my first tattoo wasn’t even that good. It’s a skipping Alice in Wonderland on my lower back that turned into a weird blurry mess. But it’s now covered, as I am working on a backpiece that comes all the way down to my bum.
I waited a couple of years to get my second tattoo, as I wanted to make sure I found the right artist. It was actually discovering the work of tattoo artist Claudia de Sabe that made me realise I wanted to become heavily tattooed, I had never seen tattoos like that before. Her colour palette, and detail in her work, was something that I just didn’t realise was possible on the skin.
Now, I am very aware of the process of getting tattooed – choosing the right artist is so important, as a custom tattoo is a collaborative process, you have to pick the artist who you feel will execute your idea and take it a new level.
How does it feel to have created such a beautiful magazine and to have reunited an equally amazing community around its blog?
Things&Ink had been a dream of mine for years, I even created a prototype of a ‘women’s tattoo magazine’ for my MA in publishing. Not only had I become disillusioned with tattoo magazines (they cater for men and always have an alt model on the cover posing provocatively), but also magazines in general – especially women’s lifestyle. They all seemed to follow such a similar format, and regurgitate the same articles, over and over again. Heavily photoshopped covers, formulaic content, uninspiring photo shoots… I wanted to do something different, create something aspirational, yes, but also something with more depth and meaning. I wanted to show tattoos as they should be, against their rich cultural history, and also as they are viewed – or should be viewed – today, as art. I want to showcase the fact that there’s a huge variety of people who choose to get tattooed, and that we’re not all ‘alternative’ or fit into certain categories. Ultimately, Things&Ink is a luxurious read that provides inspiration, not just for tattoos, but for fashion, beauty and life in general. I am ecstatic that other people feel like they belong in the Things&Ink world and feel that this vision represents them too.
What is your own concept of ‘forever’?
Foreverness in terms of tattoos is an interesting concept. Tattoos only last as long as the wearer – unless you get them preserved. So in that way I don’t really see tattoos as forever. They just make my life more beautiful while I am here.
Can you tell us about your beautiful backpiece?
My backpiece is work in progress, I have only had three sessions so far, but there are many more to go. I still have no idea what it will look like when it is finished. I went to Matthew, the tattoo artist, with the idea of creating a butterfly lady, and told him the periods of time and art that I love and he created the concept. I am really pleased with it so far, and look forward to seeing how it progresses. Although I am in no hurry for the process to end, I like watching it unfold and I will only have sessions when I am in the right state of mind (and also have enough money). Having a long session really takes its toll mentally and physically.
Who are the artists you would love to get tattooed by in the future?
Oh the list is never-ending. I am constantly discovering new people and I can’t imagine my body being covered in the work of just one artist. I would love to get tattooed by Emily Rose Murray, Guy Le Tatooer, Rose Hardy, Kate Selkie, Jeff Gogue, Lus Lips, oh so many more it’s impossible to name them all. I would also love more work from Tracy D and I recently got additions from Mister Paterson and Myra Brodsky, I absolutely adore both of their work.
What does ‘being a tattoo collector’ mean to you?
I love that my tattoos are a collection. They are all by different artists and as yet they don’t quite all fit together. They reflect my tastes, some have meaning and some don’t. I don’t want to say anything cheesy like they tell a story of my life, but you can see a certain progression in them – in my choose of placement and size, they certainly get more visible and large. I love collecting from different artists, in the same way that I collect art from different artists for the walls of my home. I also love that I have become friends with other tattoo collectors, all united by our passion.
What do you think about nowadays tattoo society?
I love being a part of the tattoo world. I feel like I am in a bubble when I go to tattoo conventions, hundreds of collectors all under one roof sharing their passion. Before I dared to get tattooed, the tattoo world seemed so alien to me, but now I am a part of it I realise it’s not so scary. In fact, it’s the opposite, it’s a very welcoming world.
What do you find more exciting: a new tattoo or a new marathon? 😉
Now this is the hardest question. I love that new tattoo feeling, but running a marathon was one of the biggest achievements of my life. Training for a marathon takes over your life and is so hard, but then nothing beats the high of crossing that finish line. Of course, I always get tattooed to celebrate completing a marathon… I have only ran one so far, but really hope to run another in this new year (and beat my time, too).
What about your life philosophy?
This is a difficult one. I feel like I have recently undergone a period of change, reassessing what is important to me and my life. I guess the simplest way of putting it is do what makes you happy.
What are your upcoming projects? And dreams?
I am currently working on a freelance basis for a number of women’s magazines. I have also taken on the curation of three charity exhibitions that will take place next year, one for cancer charity Sarcoma UK, one in collaboration with owner of Into You Alex Binnie and also a Things&Ink archive… look out for updates.
Photo Credits: Claire Paice