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Thursday, 19 June 2014

TATTOOS: Review - Things and Ink, Issue 7 - The Identity Issue

There aren't many tattoo publications that I would consistently want to write about,  but Things & Ink is a totally different story.
When Issue 7 arrived, I couldn't wait to get five, I mean 30 minutes to myself to sit and delve into this little beauty.

Cat Tattoo Magazine

The Identity Issue, as always with T&I, tackled some interesting and topical subjects, with its usual excellent reportage style, and proper investigative journalism.

"What do our tattoos say about us and our identities? And what do they say about the artist? We all choose where, why and how we get tattooed, and I guess for me now that has become a huge part of who I am as a person. Not that being tattooed will ever completely define who I am of course, but without them, I don't know if I would feel like the person  I have become today.  Perhaps our identities are inextricably linked with the tattoos we wear on our skin"

Alice Snape, Editor, Things & Ink

I don't think I could put it more perfectly than that.
This issue investigated the notion of identity within tattoo culture, which lead to seem truly interesting articles and interviews. It's an unusual subject matter with lots of sides to the story.
From an interview with tattooist Dominque Holmes, and some of her clients to investigate how they feel about identity and their tattoos, prisoner tattoos, to questioning who a tattoo really belongs to and how a tattooists tattoo style can develop and change over time to make a new signature; this issue really delves into the debate of identity and covers both ends of the spectrum, from the tattooists point of view, and the customers.

And of  course, the cover star,  Wendy Pham, gave that extra level awesome, that T&I so often finds. Her open and honest interview was refreshing.

Things and Ink Magazine

"Tattoos definitely play a big part in a person's identity. Its the same as the clothing we choose to wear, how we have our hair, how we decorate our homes, what we choose to say via social media - we're expressing our personalities to the outside world.  We want others to know what we're about."

Wendy Pham, Tattooist, Conspiracy Inc

And the photos, well the photos are a mix of sophisticated and glamourous, in contrast to fun and noodle based cute photos.

Black Cat Magazine

Probably my favourite article of the issue however was the interview with Laura Jane Grace, who was born Tom Gables. She discusses her gender transition in a frank and honest manner, informing and acknowledging the difficulties in working out your identity. 

"Life is a transition., everybody is in transition. The person you were yesterday is not the person you will be tomorrow"
Laura Jane Grace, Singer, Against Me!

And I think this above everything else is the point.  Life itself changes a person each and every day of their life. A tattoo could be seen, in my opinion, as a mark of your past,  telling your own personal story, identifying your past and your present, and signalling to your future.

By your copy here.
And read about Issue 6 here.

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