LATEST POSTS2021-04-19T17:29:14+01:00

Tattooing in the UK – Part II

Sutherland Macdonald was a huge driving force in making tattooing as popular as it was in Victorian England early on among the upper classes. In 1898, the Harmsworth monthly pictorial magazine, later known as the London magazine, estimated that as many as every fifth person among the gentry had tattoos.

Even Winston Churchill’s mother had a snake tattooed around her wrist. However, this, of course, pales compared to the number of British sailors sporting body art during the time, which was as high as 80%.

No longer confined either to back alleys around the harbours or to the one upscale establishment in London’s West End, however, it is now accessible to a much broader range of customers.

Today, about one-fifth of all Britons have at least one tattoo. That includes nearly half of all millennials. While there was certainly a lull in the practice’s popularity, Sutherland Macdonald and his influence definitely contributed to tattooing’s relatively early adoption into a more mainstream part of UK society.


Reopening and Homage to Tattooing in the UK

By Denis from Vivid Ink Wolverhampton

We interrupt the usual program this week for a celebratory post in honour of the reopening of the Vivid Ink tattoo studios. We know you have been waiting as impatiently and eagerly as the artists for things to get back into the buzzing swing. After all this time you have spent planning, daydreaming and saving for your new piece of body art, it’s finally time to get back under the needle and get your next tattoo. Just in time for it to heal beautifully until it’s time to show it off in shorts and tank tops.

The tattooing tradition has come a long way from Otzi the iceman, hand-poked Polynesian tribal tattoos, criminal branding and sailor service record markings. It would not be where it is today, so accessible, available and enjoyable to such a large audience if it wasn’t for the people who were driving forces behind its evolution. So in the spirit of jubilation, we thought we would celebrate some instrumental moments and iconic figures in the history of tattooing in the UK.

Evidence of tattooed Britons way ahead of Captain Cook >>>

The Story of Russian Prison Tattoos

The Russian prison system has been getting a lot of press lately due to the incarceration of political opposition leader Alexei Navalny. He is currently held in a notorious penal colony in Vladimir, a couple of hours from Moscow, on a two-year plus sentence for alleged parole violations. Prisons in Russia are not exactly known for their clemency and coziness. The culture of tattooing in Russian prisons is equally grim, but incredibly fascinating.

Still stigmatized with the older generations >>>

What Do Lewis Hamilton’s Tattoos Mean?

As the Formula 1 season of 2021 has kicked off, Lewis Hamilton, who already beat Michael Schumacher’s record of 91 race wins last year, chases the record for most world championship titles. Currently equalling Schumacher for seven championships, the 36-year-old driver is looking to become the best Formula 1 race car driver of all time. 

A family affair >>>

How to Protect Your Tattoo From the Sun

It is almost Easter and the Northern hemisphere is beginning to emerge in earnest from its winter hibernation. The sun actually provides a bit of warmth, as opposed to only a weak light struggling to reach us through the clouds. Green little buds are starting to pop up on the trees, and flowers are reaching out of the earth like little colourful easter eggs. No, this will not be a post about bunny tattoos. Cute as they may be.

By Kay from Vivid Ink Birmingham

This will be a blog about how to best protect your tattoo from the sun. Because no matter how much we tend to lose all hope throughout the winter months (especially the past ones where we have all been tied to our homes), there is a summer ahead – and would you believe it, it is just around the corner.

Reducing tattoo fading >>>

What to Eat to Help Your Tattoo Heal

By Mike from Sutton Coldfield

You know that saying you are what you eat? Well, it is true. All the building blocks of the cells in your body are made up of nutrients from the food you put in your mouth. That includes your skin.

You already know that you should fuel up before getting a tattoo to keep your blood sugar levels stable throughout the process. You also know that you need to snack regularly during a long session (but not while your artist is working, that is unhygienic and rude, not to mention the chewing can cause you to move about, with permanent implications for your design). But did you know that what you eat the weeks following an appointment with your artist and their needles can help your tattoo heal better? >>>


By @kulutureshockstudio

We know, your skin is itching to get some new tattoos done before summer is here so that they can heal in time to show them off (by then, we should all be more social again, right?). So let’s keep the inspiration going. If you look through this blog, you will find a ton of guides to different styles. This time, we are highlighting the hard-to-miss New School. >>>

Top Tips for Tattoo Etiquette

You may be nervous about getting your first/next tattoo. Nerves can make people act in all kinds of funny ways. Sometimes, we feel that we need to share an uncomfortable experience with people we know or even get a little help numbing ourselves through an intoxicating substance like alcohol. However, if you want your tattoo experience to be smooth, friendly, and overall positive, you need to remember that you are walking into someone’s workplace.

By Jo from Vivid Ink Sutton

The studio is the place where the artists come to make their living and create spectacular pieces that people will carry with them through the rest of their lives. It is not the place for drunken banter with your entire entourage. Let’s take a look at some of the other things it is advisable to steer clear of if you want to stay on your tattoo artist’s good side.

Come prepared – but listen >>>


The global tattoo ink market is worth about $3.5 billion. And despite a hiccup in the trajectory (as for so many other plans and estimates) in 2020, it is expected to continue to grow in the years to come. It is the means for creating some truly spectacular and unique works of art, promoting self-esteem and body image. But how exactly does the stuff work? Let’s take a look at some of the characteristics and why it is so important to come to knowledgeable tattoo artists to look out for your long-term health. 

Tattoo inks are made up of carriers and pigments. The carrier acts to keep the ink evenly mixed, free from pathogens, and to aid in its application. Carrier substances include ethyl alcohol, distilled water, methanol and glycerine. Homemade ink often uses vodka. There are also preservatives to make sure that no bacteria could potentially grow and cause infection. >>>

Old ink contained all kinds of minerals.


Last week, it was ten years to the day since Vivid Ink Birmingham opened its doors and the tattooing machines began buzzing inside. While it is way quieter on this anniversary than anyone would have liked, it is still just a small part of ten marvellous years, during which Vivid Ink has grown to become one of the most recognized names in the Midlands tattooing community, delivering outstanding quality pieces to skin near you almost every single day. 

The space, management, artists, and customers/canvases that make up Vivid Ink’s uniqueness are all interconnected. And taking part in tattooing and body modifications is sharing in a living tradition thousands of years old that keeps growing and evolving. This way, we all support and contribute to the art form.

By Cat at Vivid Ink Hagley Road, Marvel and DC join forces

And hey, keep your eyes peeled on Vivid Ink’s social media channels for a big upcoming tenth-anniversary competition as a way for the studio to say thank you! 

2011 IN REVIEW >>>

More Title Fight Tattoos – UFC 259

Saturday, March 6th, is the night of Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) 259. We have already highlighted the tattoos of the main contender for the light heavyweight title against Jan Blachowicz, Israel Adesanya. However, as International Women’s Day on March 8th is coming up, it would be amiss of us not to turn the spotlight on the women taking place in the octagon.

The second title fight of the night is between Brazil’s Amanda Nunes and Australia’s Megan Anderson for the women’s Featherweight belt. And they are not lacking in ink. Both fighters have a significant amount of tattoos adorning their bodies.

Photo from Amanda Nunes’ Instagram @amanda_leoa

Amanda ‘The Lioness’ Nunes >>>

Super Unique Tattoos

Todays post is going to be a bit of a different topic and were going to be focusing on tattoos you don’t see everyday.

Ok so at the time of writing this we have 10 vivid ink studios and whenever you see as many people on a day to day basis as we do, you’re always going to get some really unique tattoo ideas, in this post I want to highlight a few tattoos you don’t necessarily see ever day.

Ok so first up is this super unique piece by Andrei over in the Sutton Coldfield studio, it’s a portrait of Nicoli Tesla but utilising only individual circles, the effect is awesome, the further you are away from this piece the more it looks like a siliouehtte style image but the closer you get you can see its all-individual circles and how its made up. >>>


With March 8th and the International Women’s Day around the corner, we can ascertain that there are still many fights remaining in the battle for true gender equality. And tattooing is still very much a male-dominated sphere – in artists, if not any longer the clientele. 

When the women we are about to highlight in this post got into the game though, tattoos were definitely not widespread among members of the ‘fairer sex,’ and feminism was still an uknown concept. While getting tattoed is today something close to mainstream, these ladies were true rebels, going against the grain and not letting societal norms dictate what they could or could not do with their bodies or as a profession. Here is to strong women; may we know them, may we be them, may we raise them. 



Todays post is going to be about tattoo infections, how they happen, the problems they cause and how best to avoid it.

The first thing we want to explain is that a tattoo is a tattoo is a process where the skin is broken by a bunch of tiny needles, and inherently anytime you undertake a process of this type there is a risk of infection.  Generally, infections will have one or multiple of the following symptoms and issues

  • Consistent pain in the area
  • A rash
  • Redness over that normally seen in a fresh tattoo
  • Skin which is really hot.
  • Really uncomfortable and itchy
  • A unusual discharge
  • Generally angry appearance

If your tattoo is showing these symptoms it could be that you have an infection, >>>

Blog Post Archive:

Tattoos in the UFC and Mixed Martial Arts
Self-love: Tattoos and Body Image
Laser Tattoo Removal
Alternative Valentine’s Day Tattoos