How a Tattoo is Done - See Lal Hardy Famous Tattoo Artist at Work
Tatoos, Body Art and Inking - How the tattoo artist does a tattoo
This web page is all about the process of choosing, designing, transferring and executing two tattoos. They were done with the specific intention of covering up existing poor quality inking. There are lots of photos to show you what it's like to get a tattoo done.
Being curious myself, I took these photos when my friend got two new tattoos to cover up some rubbish writing on his arm done as a schoolboy prank. Oh, very funny, I don't think.
Tattoo by Lal Hardy
Have you ever wondered what it's like in the studio of a tattooist or "Inker" - how do you decide on the artwork; how does the artwork get transferred on to you
What happens next? What's the result? Watch Lal Hardy in Muswell Hill, North London, he's an expert in tattoo art.
The Background Story: Tattoos are permanent so don't trust your friends! - Tattooists come in all shapes, sizes and levels of skill
This is a close-up of the old and embarrassing tattoos before work started - see the daft schoolboy scribblings up his arm
One of my friends, James, had the most awful amateur tattoos on his arms, done by drunken teenagers back in Scotland (that's what they do for laughs up there). He considered having them removed, but this can leave scars as unsightly as the stupid writing, which fortunately had paled over the years.
I had heard that our local tattooist, Lal Hardy, was one of the best around London, and his studio was only a couple of roads away from where I live, on the borders of Muswell Hill, so we went to have a reccy.
This all took place in 1992 and I am afraid Lal Hardy looks somewhat older now - but his New Wave Tattoo Studio is still flourishing in Muswell Hill, North London, most deservedly I would say. He's a real enthusiast.
Amazon is Offering a REDUCTION on The Mammoth Book of Tattoos by Lal Hardy - All you need to know about tattoos
Lal Hardy, the writer, is a well known Tattoo artist and proprietor of the very popular New Wave Tattoo in North London, which he has operated since 1979. He has been tattooist to numerous rock stars and film actors. And, what's more, I know him personally.
His studio is just round the corner from where I live, so go on, buy it!
First We Discussed the Design - Then we choose a tattoo design and the design had to be drawn out
This is Lal drawing out the design before starting work on the tattoo itself
The designs looked good, and he confirmed that as the existing tattoos were fairly light in colour, he would be able to cover them over with an appropriate design.
That was good news, and so an appointment was made for a few days' time - oh yes, you couldn't just walk in and have a complex design done on the spot - it takes a bit of time to discuss and do.
We looked at loads of different designs and settled on an eagle, which was large enough to cover all the writing. It was a good choice, and James was always very happy with it.
This is Lal Tracing out his Design - He takes a lot of care doing this
The design is traced out.
By the way, have a closer look at Lal's tattooed arms.
Lal Transferring the Drawing to James's Arm - So far no pain is involved!
But plenty of time to think about it with apprehension
You can study Lal's arms again, to see if you love or hate his tattoos.
I wonder who did them - I mean, he couldn't have done them himself, could he?
Here is the Outline Tattoo on James's Forearm - Keep your eyes on the job, Lal - this could turn into body piercing!
Not much to see yet but ready to begin
Will James squeal or wince?..............Wait for it!!
If you are Squeamish, Look Away Now!
Aaaagh the needle!!!!
Just Starting the Tattoo - Needle at the ready
Not a wince, nor even a flicker of the eyelids (maybe that's why James is wearing sunglasses). Is this a man or some machine? Those men from North of the Border are tough...or is it just a case of where there's no sense there's no feeling?
Glad it's not me, anyway
Tattooing in Progress - No looking back now
Too late to change his mind! But it's beginning to take shape and look interesting
"Je regret riens", as Edith Piaff would say
Well, the Tattoo is Beginning to Look Good Now - The colours go on one at a time
But it's not nearly finished yet
Whose tattoo looks better - James's or Lal's?
The Detail of the Tattoo is Coming on Nicely - I think this body art is about half way now
Hope Lal doesn't get tired - he's been working for a long time
Still, I suppose he's insured (that's the lawyer in me talking - sorry!)
More Filling in and Detail on the Tattoo - It's taking shape now
I prefer James's tattoo to the somewhat crowded aspect of Lal's arm - I think it stands out better, you know, more is less and all that sort of stuff about gilding the lily
This Tattoo is a Small Celtic Design - He wasn't originally planning to have a tattoo on his other arm
but it just seemed like a good idea, again covering some existing hieroglyphics
And Here are the Finished Tattoos
Good, aren't they?
James was really chuffed when he came out.
In the first few days scabs form wherever the lines were drawn. They have to be left alone until it has all healed up, leaving the bright colours of the tattoo to take.They must be kept scrupulously clean, to avoid infection.
And Here's the Final Photo - A Close-up of the Eagle and Snake Tattoo - Isn't it a fine piece of artistry?
The tattoo was allowed to develop over the next few weeks and this is the end result
This is what Rachel Kennedy, writing for Tattoo TV says about Lal:
" he's very old school, and a very respected name. One of the original "London Inkers" in fact, these days a bona fide legend, due not only to his artistic skill, but also his highly knowledgeable voice promoting the art and its traditions.
"Lal got his start far, far back during the Teddy boy revival and on through the punk scenes, the new wave period, the rockabilly chapters and the rave kids. There are decades of experience under this man's belt. He's self taught, his origins in the solid old school genre, honing expertise over time with more styles such as the Japanese Traditional genre - he's created full body suits, back pieces and detailed colour work that masters of the genre themselves would double-take upon.
"Lal is also a dedicated enthusiast and admirer of his fellow tattooists, having recently released a photo-book collection of the work of assorted tattoo artists whom he considers top in the industry ....The book - The Mammoth book of Tattoos (see above) has quickly become an essential addition to those serious about collecting publications that document the very best of tattoo work".
Take a look below at the Websites about Tattoos, Inking, Body Art, Piercing - And Tattoo-related Things to Interest You
Some websites relating to tattooing, including a poem I wrote, and also Lal Hardy's own websites, and health advice on maintenance of new tattoos to stop them going septic
- Tattoo - a Poem
Tattoos – love them or hate them, tattoos are everywhere these days. So I wrote this poem about them, from unpleasant historical tattoos to some humour about them; also nice tattoo pictures and a poll
- New Wave Tattoo
This is Lal Hardy's Studio and there is lots of information about his tattoos and contact details
- Muswell Hill People - this one is about Lal Hardy
This is a good and up-to-date description of Lal Hardy's work
- Health - Tattooing - What it Costs - and General Information
There is a wealth of good information about tattoos, hygiene and health and safety and how to choose a good tatooist. It's an American site, but has international relevance
- How Tattoos Work
Very detailed and knowledgeable information about tattooing generally on a website about Captain Brett's Tattoo Shop Inc - I really recommend this one
- The Tattoo Parlor
WHO SAID A TATTOO PARLOR COULDN'T BE FUN? The Tattoo Parlor is a fun site that will keep you busy and keep you coming back!.
- Why Tattoos and Body Art Are Not Acceptable for Job Interviews
"Part of My Job Involves Coaching Adult Students About What Employers are Looking For"
I love to hear from people, whether what you have to say is good, bad, indifferent, irrelevant and or irreverant. Take your pick, but just communicate!