by Jess Howard 

Covering the body with tattoos has been a tradition among multiple socio-economic groups for centuries. From identification to decoration, the act of adorning the skin with ink is in no way novel or unique. Day to day it is incredibly common to see tattoos on people of all ages, from the first tattoo immediately after the 18th birthday, to the person in their mid forties with an exquisite and elaborate full sleeve. In short, ink is everywhere.

Yet the stigma attached to visual tattoos in the work place shows minimal chance of disappearing. When I started my first ‘proper’ job, I was told that tattoos were not allowed to be visible, and even today, ten pieces of ink later, I find myself wearing long sleeves to interviews and asking if my potential employer would like me to cover them up. Even I, a woman who has long loved body art in all of its forms, assume that the stigma is still attached.Continue Reading


by Jess Howard 

Last month an image appeared on my Facebook news feed of a heavily tattooed cat. Completely fake, of course, the image accompanied a blog post about the ethical and artistic implications of animal body art. It raised a significant issue. Is tattooing pets a sign of creativity, or cruelty, on the part of the owner?

Searching through Google, many news stories feature pet owners being vilified for inking their animals. An online petition to make the practice illegal has amassed over 180,000 signatures, and it has already been banned in the state of New York. However I was unable to find any direct statements regarding the legality of the process in the UK.

The featured blog post predominately focused on two artists — Ernesto Rodriguez, from North Carolina, and Mistah Metro, an artist from Brooklyn. Rodriguez inked his Pit bull in his basement studio, whilst Metro tattooed his pet whilst the animal was sedated having undergone surgery.Continue Reading