Well it's been a while since I blogged a blog so when I was approached by Fern Kenney, of Leicester University's Feminist Society, about a cross-promotion opportunity for tattisfaction.co.uk and the tattoo competition she is running to celebrate International Women's Day, I thought, "I've never done that before....why not?"
Cutting a long story short, she asked me to judge the competition. Well, at that point panic set in....Do I know enough to judge a tattoo competition? erm.............not really, I'm just a hard to impress, grumpy, old man with tattoos and a website. So, I called in some favours, did some begging and ultimately managed to rope in two incredibly talented young women to help me out, but more about them later.
As a 47 year old bloke, I apologise in advance for my ignorance.
Thursday March the 8th is International Women's Day (IWD), for those who aren't familiar with it, IWD is "global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity"
To mark this day of celebration Fern and her friends over at the University of Leicester's Feminist Society have decided to run a tattoo competition to demonstrate that any stigma attached to women for having tattoos is wrong and is disappearing. Fern wanted to give the tattooed women of Leicester University an opportunity to share their tattoos and the stories behind them.
This "double-barrelled" competition is open to all self-identifying women who are currently students at Leicester University.
The first "barrel" will be judged by myself, my tattooist and best mate Laura TCB of Voodoo Tattoo in Warrington and tattisfaction.co.uk's first Featured Artist, Libby Wells currently of Needlework in Lightwater (mostly by Laura and Libby if I'm honest). You can enter by contacting Fern via the University of Leicester's Feminist Society Facebook page (the link is in the pictures). All you have to do is send a photograph of your tattoo to Fern (with or without a background story, that's up to you) and you're in. Free, Gratis and for nothing.
The winner will be notified by Fern in due course.
So what do you win?
The lucky winner will get what every tattoo nut wants...free tattoo time!
Tattoo 2000 in Leicester have kindly donated a £50 voucher so that the winner can take themselves off and have their fix of ink related discomfort without having to worry about the money. So, come on ladies, share your tattoos they might just win you another one.
The second "barrel" is an entirely new concept to me, you can actually enter this tattoo competition even if you haven't got a tattoo.
Fern is also looking for the best feminist tattoo design, so this is your chance to get in touch with your artistic side and design a new feminist tattoo. Fern and the ladies at the UoL Feminist Society will pick a winner who will receive some (I believe) original artwork kindly donated by EmJay Tattoo in Leicester.
So that's it, if you're interested in entering or just want some more information, get in touch with Fern via Facebook. The competition closes on Friday March 9th so you need to get cracking.
About the Collaborators
Fern Kenney - The Instigator
Fern is a second year Sociology student at the University of Leicester and is the Feminist Society's Publicist. While she has no tattoos herself, she does see them in her future. Fern's fascination with tattoos stems from her father's extensive collection and from watching Kat Von D on LA Ink. Fern had ambitions to become a tattooist herself but says that the dream went out of the window when she accepted that she can't draw (I feel your pain, Fern).
Fern had the idea to run a tattoo competition after seeing a picture of an elderly woman, "she looks bad ass!", thought Fern. That photograph got Fern to thinking about how many women she knows who have tattoos that don't fit the stereotype of "inked women" and before you can say, "Bob's your uncle and Fanny's your aunt".....the first University of Leicester Feminist Society tattoo competition was born.
Laura TCB - Judge
Laura is a very talented tattoo artist with a background in graphic design. Fourteen years ago she turned her hand to tattooing and never looked back. She's currently part of the team over at Voodoo Tattoo in Warrington, owned by the award winning Paul Saunders (son of Northern tattoo legend Saz Saunders). Laura is an incredibly versatile artist, my best mate and the artist I now trust all of my tattoos to, racking up over 40 hours in her company while she jabs with with needles.
I particularly love her colour work (to the point of spending 24 hours and a lot of money on getting her work on my back), she's a cover-up specialist and an accomplished belly dancer, not that that will help much here.
Libby Wells - Judge
Libby was the first and sadly, so far only, artist to take up the tattisfaction.co.uk offer of free promotional work for tattoo artists. Lucky me! She's brilliant! Libby comes from a very artistic family and, fortunately for people who prefer their art in their skin, she picked up a tattoo machine and the rest is history.
In addition to being a very talented tattoo artist, Libby is a dab hand with a brush, paint and canvas. I love her black and grey work in particular and I'm still struggling to find an artist who does birds better than Libby.
Jason K (AKA Me) - Grumpy old git/Middle man
Having almost zero artistic ability, I find myself working in the sales department of a marketing company. I've been a tattoo nut since the lick 'em and stick 'em days of Bazooka Bubble Gum and became a keen student of tattoo history and have spent 50+ hours (I reckon) slowly turning my pale Irish skin blue and green and red and you get the picture.
I put this site together to hopefully give some assistance to those of virgin skin, for whom getting that first tattoo can be a pretty daunting task. The aim being to steer people away from bad tattooists and bad tattoos. I live in hope.