I will start by simply saying that one of the hardest parts of being a tattoo artist is adjusting your technique to suit the many different types of skin. Skin varies from client to client, it can be dry, cracked, stretchy, tough, greasy, supple, fair, tanned, pigmented, sun damaged, weathered, cracked, and everything in-between! Aside from individual peoples skin types, there can also be multiple different textures of skin just on one client, sometimes in just one tattoo.

So, whilst none of the following advice is essential, it is here to help you as clients and us as Tattooers have the best chance of executing and healing a tattoo properly!

There is a separate post about healing your tattoo, this post is more geared towards the weeks and days leading up to your appointment.

Skin science (the absolute basics):

Your skin is made up of three main layers, the epidermis which is the thinnest and outermost layer of skin (protective) the dermis which is the middle layer containing blood vessels, hair follicles, oil glands and nerve endings which sense pain and touch (sensory) and finally the subcutis which is deep down and contains your sweat glands, fat and tissue (padding).

Your epidermis (outer layer) skin regenerates approximately every month, shedding dead cells and replacing them with new ones.

Tattoo science (the absolute basics):

A properly executed tattoo will penetrate the outer layer called the epidermis and inject ink pigment with multiple needle pricks into the middle (dermis) layer of your skin. You may have wondered why tattoos stay in your skin if your skin is constantly regrowing itself. The simple explanation is that when your body heals a wound (which is essentially what a tattoo is) it sends white blood cells to the area to remove any foreign particles such (as infection) and they take them away from the wound allowing the cells to regenerate healthily. But, in the case of tattoo ink injected into the wound made in the dermis, the pigment used is too big for white blood cells to carry away, and instead it is absorbed into the cell and they become trapped in the dermis layer of skin.

Not ALL the tattoo ink is held perfectly under the skin, some of it will be small enough to be removed by your lymphatic system via the white blood cells. This, combined with the newly formed layer of epidermis skin over your tattoo, is why tattoos can look a little less vibrant once healed.

Over time, your body is able to break down the pigment particles making them smaller and therefore easier for your lymphatic system to cope with, this contributes to tattoos fading and looking duller over time. As with any skincare, there are things we can do to help tattoos stay as fresh as possible for as long as possible, these things include avoiding the sun (UV light breaks down colour pigments and allows your body to deal with them like it would an infection), other weather damage, cuts and wounds and poor skincare etc.

However, I am of the opinion that the two MOST important parts of ensuring a tattoo lasts well over time are choosing a competent tattoo artist who’s technique correctly creates your tattoo, and also the client making sure the tattoo heals well in the first place.

This brings me on to why I think the weeks leading up to your tattoo are just as important as the weeks following it. This time is the clients responsibility, we can give them the advice and tools needed but it is up to the client to use them properly.

One of the things we have to contest with as tattoo artists is that we don’t know what state a customers skin is in when they come in.

If they have booked a tattoo in advance, customers have the advantage of being able to prepare their skin and their body in a way which gives them the best chance of receiving a good tattoo, and the tattoo artist the best chance of creating one through eliminating some of the variables which contribute to tricky tattoo sessions and poor healing!


I have found issues with skin that has a dead layer attached to it, it can mean the stencil doesn’t stick well, the ink doesn’t wipe from the skin properly, it can also mean the needles get clogged or blunted, and let’s face it it’s not pleasant to have to see dead skin come off every time we wipe the skin.

What can you do to help?

Two weeks prior to your tattoo, you can start to gently exfoliate your skin in the area you are having tattooed (or all over) daily. It’s best to do this when you shower or bath, this will help to loosen the dead skin cells meaning that using a gentle exfoliating body wash and an exfoliation glove will easily remove dead surface skin with little irritation. Make sure you use soap that won’t irritate your skin, and if you have especially sensitive skin just use warm water and an exfoliating glove or brush. Please also tell your tattoo artist if you do have particularly sensitive skin 🙂

Do this every day for two weeks prior to your appointment and on the morning of your appointment too.

Moisturiser & hydrating your skin:

Dry skin can cause issues for us during the tattoo process, most noticeably the ink will cling to dehydrated skin as your skin tries to absorb it to use as moisture. This means we have to wipe your tattoo more often, to be able to see properly what we are doing, which can irritate the area and cause redness.

What can you do to help?

After exfoliating, you can use a moisturiser like palmers cocoa butter, or even better a tattoo specific balm (such as yayo – link below) to inject your skin with plenty of moisture, plumping it up and replenishing any lost moisture from the exfoliation process. Try to use this twice a day, you can even apply a thick layer and wrap it in clingfilm a couple of times closer to the appointment for a deeper absorption).

Some tattoo artists will ask you not to apply moisturiser the day of your appointment because it can make the stencil harder to apply and stick, but tattooers should be cleaning your skin in the area and around it thoroughly with alcohol and medical grade green soap as standard before applying a stencil solution anyway, so for me this isn’t a problem.

Hydrating your body plays a HUGE part in keeping your skin healthy! We are largely made of water. Drinking plenty of it keeps your body hydrated and refreshed and helps maintain your skin’s elasticity. People who drink large amounts of water heal wounds quicker than those who don’t. Leading up to your tattoo make sure you drink plenty of water, the recommended daily water intake is 6-8 glasses. Bring water with you to your appointment or ask your artist for a glass to sip on through the day 🙂

Supplements and vitamins:

A poorly nourished body or a person with a lowered immune system will be unable to properly heal a wound, and that includes tattoos. We always recommend a full meal before being tattooed and to bring snacks along, but this is just to prevent you feeling feint or having low blood sugar during the process.

What can you do to help?

Try to avoid catching a cold or other virus leading up to your tattoo, we know that’s not always possible but taking steps to stay healthy for your tattoo day is a good idea!

You can increase your protein intake leading up to your tattoo, and continue that after for the extent of the healing process. Your body needs protein to help build and repair muscle, skin, and other body tissues. Protein also helps fight infection, balance body fluids, supports the production of collagen and carries oxygen through your body. When you have a wound that’s healing, think of food as medicine, before during and after!

You can use protein shakes, bars or soups to increase your protein intake, or simply introduce more protein rich foods into your diet! (Link below)

There are many vitamins and minerals that play a role in repairing your body inside and out, and which can contribute to healing a tattoo well. These include; Vit A,B,C,D & E, Collagen, Zinc and Hyaluronic acid.

Things to avoid:

As well as things that may increase the chances of healing your tattoo well, there are things that may decrease it too.

Alcohol: Although a few pints the night before is unlikely to have a big impact on your tattoo appointment, consuming large amounts of alcohol regularly prior to the day certainly will. Alcohol thins the blood and causes your body to bleed more making it harder for the tattoo artist to see what they are doing, as well as potentially washing some of the pigment out as it is being applied.

Drugs: For much the same reasons as above.

Painkillers: It can be tempting to take painkillers prior to a tattoo appointment, and after to help with pain and swelling. BUT keep in mind that in most cases anti-inflammatory drugs (like ibuprofen or naproxen) don’t help healing. In fact, it can even delay healing! After a few days it may be safe to use them as your body will have begun the healing process properly. But avoid them completely where possible until your tattoo is fully healed!

There are natural ways such as cold compress (over clingfilm and a layer of material) or elevating the area to reduce swelling and pain. Supplements such as omega 3 and green tea can help to reduce inclination in the body (link below).

Aspirin is well known to thin blood, and for the same reasons as alcohol it is a good idea to avoid them prior to, during and immediately after your tattoo.

There are also other safer methods of pain relief that don’t involve taking anti inflammatory drugs such as paracetamol based products. Please speak to your doctor if you feel your tattoo is excessively painful following an appointment.

For helping reduce pain and inflammation on my own tattoos whilst healing I use a truly magical concoction that I discovered years ago when a tattoo I had became infected.

Mix in a 100ml sterile spray bottle distilled witchazel with a couple of large spoons of medical grade manuka honey, and a splash of aloe Vera for skin, shake well and spritz onto your tattoo whenever the pain and swelling flares up! Make sure you use this regularly through the day to fight infection and reduce swelling and redness! (Links below)

Blood thinners: This should be fairly self explanatory! If you are taking them you may be able to speak to your doctor and agree a period for which it would be safe to come off them.

Antibiotics: Antibiotics force out foreign antibodies – which is exactly what tattoo pigment is. A new tattoo will not heal well with antibiotics in your system. According to doctors, you need to be off of antibiotics for at least one week before you can get tattooed. Consult your doctor if you have more questions.

Obviously, infections do occur, no matter how careful you have been, and antibiotics are a common treatment for tattoo infections. In this case it is unavoidable and do not put your health at risk by not taking them!!! The tattoo can ALWAYS be touched up later! 🙂

In conclusion, everyone’s skin is different and everyone heals at different rates in different ways, but there are common grounds we can agree on which allow us to promote the best environment for tattoos to be created in and live in!

Thank you for reading, there are some useful links to things I have mentioned below!

Protein for skin health and healing:

Vitamins and minerals for skin health:

Natural anti-inflammatories:

Medical manuka honey:

http://Activon Medical Grade Manuka Honey 25g (Pack of 2)

WHY don’t we send designs to you prior to your appointment?

Firstly, in some circumstances we can do that! On rare occasions we can and do, but these occasions must be agreed at the time of booking in, there will also be a fee for receiving the design prior to the appointment.

For some context, designs can take several hours to draw up, it’s a big part of the process and although you may feel we are only working for you for the hours you are in the shop with us, the time we have spent emailing and time we take designing is also time we are spending working for you on your tattoo.


Tattoo artists usually have their work easily available on social media these days. Customers choose an artist based on the style of tattoo they are interested in having done. 

In that circumstance you should have plenty of confidence in me and my ability to create what you have asked for! 

Potential customers can see our work online, the style each artists has us usually very specific and customers don’t tend to book with an artist unless they know they like what that artist does. We assume that is why people specifically request to be tattooed by an artist, they like that style and want us to work our magic 🙂


If you are booking in with a specific artist, we can only assume it’s because you have seen and loved what they have done in the past, or others have recommended their style based on work they have done for them. Ultimately, we are the professionals and you can trust us to do what we do best. We will never stray from your brief, we will never go rogue and draw something totally outside of the box, and if we have suggestions about the design because we are concerned about it not working perfectly for any reason we will always ask you first! 🙂


Artists each have their own way of gathering information, from booking enquiry forms to a series of emails discussing your ideas. We do this so we can gather enough information as possible to create the tattoo you want. This should leave very little margin for error!

We usually do all drawing the night before an appointment, partly so it is fresh in our mind for your appointment, and partly because we have other clients every day of the week and are drawing for them every evening prior to their appointment.


In the past, we have sent designs to clients prior to the appointment. Unfortunately, some times we have had our designs stolen or taken to another artist to complete, at a much lower quality and lower cost than we would have done. Leaving us out of pocket for the design and for the appointment when the custimer doesn’t show up.


Often when we send a design to a customer prior to the appointment they will show friends and family, who will all have their own opinions (and be keen to tell you them) on the artwork. We have had had numerous ‘my boyfriend thinks I should have a smaller flower’ or ‘auntie June said she thinks the font should be more slanted’ type comments. These mean I have to redraw the design and re-send it to the client. They then show it to friends or family again and send back more small adjustments to make. Just this back and forth process can take hours of our time, outside of the time we have spent drawing it and will spend tattooing it. It is all time that we are not specifically being paid for, and takes away from our focus on other projects, as well as from our personal lives.

It is absolutely fine to ask for other peoples opinions, but don’t forget that this tattoo is on YOU and for YOU only! Partners come and go, mates do too sometimes, and auntie June probably doesn’t like the same things you like anyway! So think about what YOU like and want, don’t rely on other peoples thoughts to form your opinion. 


Although you have been given a start time, that doesn’t necessarily mean the time we start tattooing at. You pay by the hour for the time we spend tattooing. The cost of the design is built into this price. 

This means there is always time at the start of the appointment to make adjustments, or tweaks, discuss size and placement and make sure you are absolutely happy with your design. You will only start officially being charged when we start tattooing. 

We design everything on the iPad, so making tweaks and adjustments is fairly straightforward! However, if you decide on the day that you want to make big drastic changes to the design this may impact your appointment and deposit. The big advantage to us working on designs the night before the appointment is that it means you can email us up to 6pm the night before to make any changes or discuss final points! This should almost totally eliminate any margin for error on our part!

We will never tattoo something you aren’t absolutely certain about, there is even a section in our consent form about being happy with the design. Please be open and honest with us at this time and we can alleviate any worries you have or amend anything you feel needs to be changed. 


We want you to feel totally happy and confident about your tattoo, so communication is the most important thing you can give us! Please try to be open and honest during your emails, phone calls and at the appointment, and we will do our best to accommodate your needs as best as we can!

(Belated) Welcome, Gee!

We are so very happy to have the amazing Gee Foskett with us here at Black Moon! She started with us in October 2021 and has been tattooing for over ten years. We love her beautiful florals as well as her gorgeous realism work. She’s a perfect fit here in the studio and we can’t enough of this chatty little munchkin ❤️


We want to try and educate clients on the best practices to avoid contaminating fresh tattoos with bacteria during aftercare.

Recently the issue of ‘Sepsis’ commonly known as blood poisoning has been in the media a lot, partly due to soap opera storylines about how getting a simple graze on your knee that you don’t clean properly turns into an infection at the site and eventually into potentially fatal sepsis or septic shock.

This kind of hygiene awareness is so important in hospitals, in day to day life but also in the tattoo and piercing industry.

We do everything in our power to ensure that you leave the studio with a perfectly clean, sterile, disinfected tattoo or piercing, tattoos are wrapped in sterile dressing and we then provide you with all the instructions needed to properly heal your tattoo.

We also offer a first day cleaning pack and butterluxe antibacterial aftercare balm at £5 each.

Infections are very rare, and hardly ever picked up from tattoo studios or their equipment directly, especially not reputable ones like ours! This is because of the amount of disinfectant and antibacterial products used, we can confidently eliminate the possibility of bacteria growing anywhere that the tattoo is exposed to. All of our equipment is single use & disposable, machines and power units are sterilised after every client with medical grade disinfectant and an autoclave and all furniture and surfaces are double protected with fresh plastic wrapping and medical disinfectant after every client.

Infections are most commonly picked up after you unwrap your tattoo, in your own environments at home. Bacteria is commonly present on bathroom towels, clothing, skin, furniture and in pet hair, dander and saliva among other places. So we can do our bit to ensure you leave us with a perfectly clean and sterile tattoo, and the rest is up to you!

The point of making you aware of this risk is not to scare you, but to help encourage best practise when taking care of your new tattoo. It is extremely rare for tattoos to become infected, but arming every client with the knowledge and tools to prevent it is the best way to ensure that it happens as rarely as possible!!

This is why we are overly cautious, and why we are constantly cleaning your tattoo during the process with medical grade soaps and disinfectants, and why we continue to clean it obsessively before we actually wrap you up! We aren’t just wiping it more at the end to cause more pain, we are trying to give you the best possible chance of a good healing environment!


Animal hair, dander or saliva. Unclean hands used for cleaning or creaming the tattoo, Fibres and bacteria from bed linen, furniture, bath towels and flannels etc. Bath tubs, swimming pools, saunas and the sea. You may also pick up infections from bacteria living on your own clothing, especially tight fitting clothes over open tattoos. Tattoos can become infected if the wrong aftercare balm or soap is used and aggravates it, or from picking or itching healing tattoos.

Bacteria grows everywhere, and it only takes a very small amount to get into your open tattoo (and not be cleaned away properly) to multiply and develop into an infection.

We have information on the signs and symptoms to look out for in our 14 day aftercare guide.

Remember that bacterial infections are VERY rare, especially if you take good care of your tattoo so don’t panic about every little thing, some things are part of the normal healing process. That is why we have the 14 day aftercare guide to check what is normal and what isn’t! 🙂


We now offer a first day cleaning care pack at Black Moon, which we highly recommend you purchase. It’s £5 for the basic cleaning pack and £10 with aftercare balm included.

Purchase of these packs is not compulsory, but if you choose not to we do ask that you sign a consent form saying that you opted out of this offer.

We also always provide a 14 day aftercare guide, PLEASE read it carefully it is very important. Yes there is a lot of information in there, but it has the basic steps for cleaning and healing your tattoo as well as plenty of in depth information on what to look out for and how to care for your tattoo long term too!


You might also be surprised to know that if you are unwell or have recently been unwell or run down your tattoo could take a lot longer to heal due to a drop in your immune system response. Being unwell could also lead to an infected tattoo, so please be honest with us about your recent health and we will advise you on how best to treat your new tattoo.


You can use supplements such as vitamins C & A to help your skin heal quickly, and garlic and echinaecea which are powerful antioxidants and excellent immune system support.

Eating lots of protein and drinking plenty of water leading up to and after your tattoo session is also really helpful for effective healing.

In short, please do ever not think that the tattoo process is complete when you leave the studio with your new tattoo clean and wrapped, it is really just beginning! The moment you unwrap it that evening you allow foreign contaminants to enter the tattoo site. Be as careful as we are. The healing process is JUST as important if not MORE important than the tattooing process.

FRIDAY 13th!!

The League Against Cruel Sports aimed to ban fox hunting, stag hunting, otter hunting, hare hunting and coursing throughout the whole of the United Kingdom, back when the organisation was first founded in 1924.

Since then, sadly The League are still having to campaign many of the same issues today but despite this, their work has been essential in helping to bring about more protective laws with the backing of cross-party political groups, which to name a few include otters having full protection from hunting, the hunting act 2004 which banned hunting with hounds, they helped change the law on badger baiting to strengthen the law for badger protection. Not to mention their undercover investigations, leading roles in liaising with police and private prosecutions to help enforce the law in hunting activities, even persuading travel agents to stop promoting trips to the Pamplona Bull Run. Not only does The League Against Cruel Sports campaign and gather evidence of the cruelty involved, they also provide woodland and fields in the West Country that provides much needed sanctuary for hunted animals.

One of The League Against Cruel Sports many key crusades is dog fighting. After it being banned in 1835, these cruel activities still remain prevalent today. Project Bloodline was set up to protect dogs from being exploited, investigating participants and to educate and therein lies The League Against Cruel Sports motto: Investigate. Educate. Protect.

Here at Black Moon, we can’t think of a single reason why we shouldn’t be backing such a remarkable cause! So with this in mind on Friday 13th July Black Moon Tattoo Studio will be holding a fundraising event, whereby 30% of all the profits raised from the Friday 13th tattoos will be going straight to The League Against Cruel Sports.

The event will be starting at 11am and will last all day!

We pride ourselves on having a comfortable and friendly atmosphere, so bring your friends and family along to see what we have going on. We will have snacks and drinks available, kids are more than welcome! If you don’t fancy getting a tattoo we are more than happy for you to come and take a look at our beautiful studio, maybe even pop in a donation while you’re here!

Hope to see you there!

For more information on The League Against Cruel Sports visit:


I wanted to just address something that we are asked regularly by clients. The question ‘Do you use vegan inks?’

The answer in short is yes we do. Most tattoo inks are now vegan and certainly all the brands we use at Black Moon are.

So, we could just leave it there and let people make the assumption that because we use vegan friendly ink, that means that the tattooing process is vegan also.

However, tattoo artists do also use many disposable items such as Vaseline, cling film, carbon paper, various plastic items such as our disposable razors, cartridges, soaps and balms as well as products that contain things like beeswax, lanolin and honey or occasionally even glycerine which are not technically vegan. Additionally, some products in the process may be made by companies that do not produce items in a manor which is not strictly vegan.

Some of these things are items that many of our Vegan customers (and there are a lot) are happy to ‘overlook’ because they are necessary in order to do a tattoo, however some vegans seek out studios that make an effort to source alternative ‘vegan friendly’ versions of these things. However, they are often very difficult to get hold of and much more expensive so many studios cannot maintain this ethical standard 100% of the time.

If you are searching for strictly vegan studios there is a really useful site here:

So you see it isn’t a simple yes or not, really it isn’t just about the inks, there are tons of products to consider when deciding if the studio you use is a completely vegan one.

There is some really good info on line about the various products we use on a daily basis which are not necessarily completely vegan, we do source products that are cruelty free, from ethical companies but sadly ‘strictly vegan’ is not always possible in this industry.

As a studio, we are happy to discuss any concerns you have about products we use and would also be completely happy for anyone wanting to replace any of these products with a vegan alternative to get in contact, so they can purchase these items in advance and eliminate anything that isn’t strictly vegan such as Vaseline or razors etc.

We look forward to helping you to make your tattoo exactly what you want.

You can email or call us on 01373464699 for more info.



The owner of Black Moon was originally from London, and grew up in Wiltshire.

Jo started tattooing almost ten years ago.

Before becoming a tattoo artist some of her previous occupations included life insurance sales, bar work and chef work.

Jo specialises in the illustrative – traditional style, but would love to design more dark and gothic inspired tattoos.



To book with Jo please complete her booking enquiry form:


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Originally from Haverfordwest, Wales, Jodie moved here when she was a child. She has been artistic since avery young age and joined the Black Moon team as an apprentice in January 2017. This has been Jodie’s first job in the tattoo industry and a far cry from the retail assistant that once was!

Jodie specialises in colour realism and would like to incorporate more portraits into her portfolio.

📱Instagram: @jodieeyoung

To book with Jodie email:


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Originally from Buckland, Oxfordshire Amy moved to Bath back in 2012. Before starting her apprenticeship in June 2017, Amy has always worked in artistic and creative jobs ranging from design work for a florist, a print finisher for a letter press company and even a freelance illustrator.

Having an interest in the industry since as far back as she can remember, it wasn’t until after she had finished university that she developed her own style of illustration using pen and ink. Designing tattoos for people who asked she soon came to the realisation that she would prefer to be the one to tattoo her own designs!

Amy specialises in blackwork with themes of nature, the macabre, and the esoteric but would love to add to her ever growing portfolio by introducing some spookier and darker pieces, both in contrast and in theme!



To book email:

✉️ to book in with her.




Jim specialises in Black and Grey Realism, if you want a portrait of Someone famous or a family member, or a tattoo that looks like a photograph, Jim is the man for the job!



To book in email:





📱 @hello_kerry_tattoos

To book in email:


Originally from Belfast, Kerry moved to Bristol in 2006 to study fine art at university. Before starting an apprenticeship in 2012 Kerry was working as a bar maid and waitress alongside studying for her art degree, she also found the time to begin work experience at a tattoo studio in Bristol with tattoo artist Ben Boston.

With an early love of the art styles involved in tattooing, Kerry went on to collect her own tattoos when she was 18 and has been designing and tattooing pieces for 6 years.

Kerry specialises in anything cartoony, cute and colourful and would love to add more watercolour designs to her portfolio and to list a few themes she’d also love incorporating would be Hello Kitty, Disney, Studio Ghibli, My Little Pony, Pusheen, Rila Kumma, Simpsons and Sanrio characters!


Email: to book in with her.



It’s been a fruity week. 

We let Amy loose on a grapefruit to get to grips with using a machine. 

We are often asked ‘how do you learn to tattoo?’ And this method of using fruit skin is not an uncommon starting point for most apprentices. 

(Myself, I actually jumped straight into my own thighs but that was pure stupidity and desperation to learn as fast as possible)

And as such… grapefruit, bananas, oranges etc are all common starting points for apprentices to get to grips with holding a machine whilst it runs. There are several brands of ‘fake skin’ usually in the form of dismembered body parts, skulls or sheets of flat skin. This is good, but hard to apply a stencil to and less like human skin than you would imagine from the look of it. It doesn’t move, feel or flex like skin, nor does it take the needle and ink as easily. 

After several attempts to apply a stencil in the ‘normal’ manner we came to the conclusion that the waxy exterior of the grapefruit needed to be washed and powdered to remove the residue and allow the design to stick. Scrunching up the stencil to allow it to become more flexible, on turn making it easier to apply to a spherical shape, we were able to get a fairly good carbon copy on the flesh of the fruit.

Amy flew into concentration mode, tattooing a peony flower, and we hardly heard a peep from her for the whole afternoon except to tell us how much she was enjoying it! 

Proud mentors we are, myself and Yoji watched as she created a very beautiful piece of floral art, or food, or art food. Whatever it was it was gorgeous! 

Keep checking in to see more fruit art! 🍊

Jodie and Amy are quite the ‘pear’ two in a melon and I wanna say that I love them ‘from ma head tomatos’. 

What. The. Fuck.



As I mentioned in the previous update, one of the weekly tasks I have set for our apprentices is the ‘classic tattoo re-draw task’. Where I ask then to recreate a classic Sailor Jerry tattoo design but in their own style. Check out this BEAUTIFUL snake Amy did this week. 

I am in LOVE with this and would totally have it tattooed on me! 

She’s also been practising some more lettering:I’m not neglecting Jodie this week, she’s having a well deserved trip to NAS festival. These young kids, I am still recovering from last weekend and it’s Wednesday! 😂

Growing old is compulsory, growing up is optional. 



So… as you know we have two apprentices at Black Moon. Mad you say? Berserk? We say no… just twice the clean, twice the laughs and twice as many chances not to fuck them up completely 😂

To me having two is a really useful tool in encouraging the drive and ambition in them. It is obvious to me already that they consciously compare themselves to one another and encourage the best out of each other. 

Jodie has been apprenticing longer, whilst Amy has a longer history in creative industries, Jodie favours colour and Amy favours Blackwork, Jodie is tall Amy is short… you get the picture. They are different, and this is GREAT! Neither seems to resent or feel threatened by the other, at least they don’t let it show if they do feel that way, but I can sense the fire that each lights underneath the other. The competition. It’s exciting to watch them… And I couldn’t be more proud of these kids. 

 As a mentor you need to always be thinking of ways to develop your little seedlings, sprinkle them with miracle grow, encourage and nurture them into strong, sturdy and mindful artists. That ain’t always easy. Sometimes just trying to think up your own creative ideas is a stretch… 

BUT… On this occasion I think I have nailed it. 

After the daily cleaning, shopping, setting up, researching artists, coffee fetching and watching vice documentaries about the tattoo industry is done, the girls have three additional tasks to complete. 

  1. To re-draw a classic Sailor Jerry tattoo in their own style. 
  2. To re-draw one of the tattoos either myself, verity or Yoji has booked in and interpret it in their own unique way. 
  3. To do two or three words of lettering. 

For now, this is keeping them busy and they both seem really inspired to produce great artwork. 



I will be setting new challenges for them as their  apprenticeships go on and making things harder and more exciting each time. Keep checking in to see what they get up to next! 

Make tea not war.