My first book......

I wanted to share with you my first completed project of my final year at uni, I am specialising in graphics so for my project I had to create a book (the subject could be anything) Not only did I have to create the content of the book, but I had to source paper, printers and eventually bind it together then cover it. This is the first book I have ever made, so everything was pretty new to me, a definite learning curve.

My book is called "Tattoo" and features photography (another love of mine) guessed it Tattoos. I am fascinated by tattoos, the idea of body art, permanently changing your body. I love to know the stories, reasons and history behind tattoos, why people get them. I was also interested in looking at machine tattoos vs hand pricked tattoos.

I was very lucky as my friend Danny got some new ink at the amazing Cock a Snook tattoo parlour in Newcastle, so I went along with my SLR camera and minolta x300 and snapped away for the 5 hours we were there. It was mesmerising to watch, and interesting to talk to the tattoo artist, the incredibly talented Kerry-Anne Richardson, she added another layer to the narrative of my book, as women tattoo artists are rare and often face prejudice and do not get the same respect, so it makes it even better that Kerry-Anne has been extremely successful.

My second subject was Will, he hand pricks tattoos on himself and friends. His section of the book was inspired by documentary style photography, I wanted to photograph him in his flat, find out what he was interested in, and find out more about why he got the tattoos. Again I was very very lucky as he hand pricked a tattoo on to his "practice" leg on the day I was there, a really great experience. I loved the way that when you hand prick a tattoo you do not need electricity, it is a very tribal thing. The process is gentler on the skin, and the finished effect can be very delicate compared to machine tattoos.

The book is printed on 308 gsm 100% cotton paper, and the second section (which features the scanned in developed photos) is printed on 120gsm recycled paper. I bound the book with cow leather, which I dyed and cut down to size. It has been bound by glue. I embossed the leather also.

Anyway I'll stop typing, here is the finished article, let me know what you think.....
This is cock a snook's facebook page, amazing work on there!

I am very very proud of the book, it has been a labour of love! But it's so good to have something that I can actually put on my shelf to show people :)


  1. this project looks incredible, you have done such a nice job finishing it off with the bounding and choice of paper. i can tell it would look so much better in real life too. the image of that chap's forearm with red ink (surely it's not blood) looks painful. seems like you found a good place to help you with the constructing of it too, bonus.

    my anchor tattoo was done by a woman, in a tattoo parlor in my town called hello sailor, which is run by women.

  2. thanks so much, its nice to get feedback! :) No it's not blood, although he was bleeding a bit when it got to the shading. We are lucky as we have a binding machine at uni, so it was all done in house, so good to have creative control on that side of things too. Oooh that tattoo shop sounds great! :) thanks again love x