Category Archives: leeds tattoo artist

Black and grey Sketch of the day

Thanks for passing by. In this post I would like to share my latest sketch. I love sketching, it’s an opportunity to get ideas out and practise proportion. I like to feel free when I sketch, as when I’m tattooing, I’m constantly trying to be precise and meeting the clients request. So when I sketch I try to do the opposite, just don’t think too much and just let it be. And it feels good. I believe tattooing has a lot to do with drawing. As when you tattoo you still drawing on skin. So the better you draw, the better tattoo artist you will be. I understand some tattoo artists don’t draw, and some of them tattoo really well, however, if they did draw, they would take their tattooing even further. And being able to draw, it allows you as a tattoo artist, to know how to deal with the human body better. When you draw, you will be able to make the tattoo flow and fit the human body better. Thank you for reading, follow us on instagram@familiatattooleeds

The table of the greats part-2

Bob Marley

Carrying on from my previous blog. Bob Marley next on my list of the table of the greats. I’ve always had this idea if I could for one night, have a meal with people who inspire me, no family members, only people who are no longer here, but who left a legacy.

Bob Marley was the first 3rd world artist to become world wide known for his music. His spirituality and genuine approach to his music made him someone to never be forgotten. 

Robert Nesta Marley wasn’t always a Rastafarian, when he married Rita Marley, he went to America as a normal Jamaican citizen, and worked in a a car factory in America, until realising what he should be doing was back in Jamaica. He left America to go back home, to then becoming a Rastafarian.

Bob Marley’s first attempt to work with music was a fail. While he was in America still, he got in touch with a musician called “Jimmy Norman” who wrote the lyrics of the song “time is on my side” by the Rolling Stones, and that’s a big success until to this day. When Bob Marley got in touch with Jimmy Norman, they did together a demo tape, and he presented this demo tape to various music labels at the time, and no one paid attention to this demo tape. No music label seemed interested in the project.

After years of work, Bob Marley got a deal not a contract, to go on tour with Jonny Nash in England. Jonny Nash was very successful at the time, so that would help Bob Marley to start his music journey. Bob Marley helped Jonny Nash to make a song for the movie “what’s so much to believe”

When that tour with Bob Marley and Jonny Nash ended in England, Jonny Nash went back to America, and said good bye to Bob Marley. So Bob Marley and his band stayed in England, because they couldn’t afford their ticket back to Jamaica. That was when “The Waillers” got in touch with the businessman called “Chris Blackwell”.

Chris Blackwell, had licensed some of the songs that Bob Marley had done in Jamaica, to be played in England, however the band hadn’t receive any money for that. So they made the most that they were stuck in England and Chris Blackwell owned them money, and they went to see, if they could get Chris Blackwell to give them something from all the songs he had from the band.

Chris Blackwell was intelligent and made an offer that would change Bob Marley’s career forever. He offered 4 thousand pounds for the band and, which back then it was a lot of money, all tickets paid for to go back to Jamaica. He would done that if Bob Marley and The Wailers recorded an album for him. Very intelligent guy, as he could see Bob Marley a already made star. 

Chris Blackwell has lost Jimmy Cliff in his music label company, and thought that Bob Marley would be a good substitute of this void of a star, in his music label.

And that’s when the band went back to Jamaica, and recorded the spectacular album “Catch a fire” The lyrics had a strong political content. This album was released with 2 covers, the first one is very rare to find. That’s when the name Bob Marley and The Wailers came about for the first time.

A lot of people don’t know this but one of the reasons why Bob Marley got so famous was because Eric Clapton, re-recorded one of Bob Marley’s songs “i shot the sheriff, and released in Eric Clapton’s album.

If you would like to know more in details about Bob Marleys life I would recommend a book called “No Woman, No Cry” my life with Bob Marley by Rita Marley. In this book you will have details of Bob Marley’s lifestyle, by someone who knew him like no one, his wife.

Bob Marley is immortal, his songs are always gonna be remembered forever. With his positive lyrics he reached and conquered different cultures all around the globe. I think it would been interesting having a conversation with him. I’ve watched a few interviews with him, and he seemed like not the typical guy you meet everyday. 

It’s sad to see some awesome people have such a short life. But the legacy he has is second to none. He’s known to have 14 kids, that he knows of, he could have more kids out there that he didn’t know of. 

Bob Marley died one year before I was born, it’s almost like I arrived a little too late, but getting to know him through his music has been a blessing to all of us, as an artist he had the ability to create his own world so we could live in it.

Thank you for reading 

The table of the greats

Familia Tattoo blog

The table of the greats

In this blog, I would like to mention about this idea I’ve always had in mind, about, how would it be like, if for one night, you had the opportunity to have a meal with people who inspire you, who are no longer with us. No family members, or friends, just people who you would love to have met, but the course of life came by and took them away, what would your list be?

Here’s is my list, and I will explain why in different blogs.

Albert Einstein, Bob Marley, Ayrton Senna, Nicola Tesla and Bruce Lee.

Albert Einstein- I wasn’t really much in Albert Einstein until recent years, when I saw a documentary about him on you tube from 2015 from National Geographic. I would highly recommend anyone to watch that documentary. I feel like that documentary really gave an amazing insight about Albert Einstein, however, considering how great he was, I believe he deserves a movie of his own.

 In my opinion, there will never be another scientist like Albert Einstein, and the reason why is that, I don’t think anyone else will have the courage, to sacrifice their whole life for science, like he did. Albert Einstein literally lived his life for science, he had two kids, and he never saw them, in order to focus on his projects, which is completely crazy, to think someone would sacrifice their kids life, to focus on what they are doing. I wouldn’t have the courage to do that, and I believe not many other people would. 

The best part of the documentary for me, which is a great example for us, he was working in a university as a teacher, with other talented minds of his time, and the Second World War started. All his friends teachers at the University were in favour and supported Germany fighting in the war, but Einstein was against it, as we can see, he was a single minded individual, and only single minded people change the world. 

Not only that, but Albert Einstein was divorcing his wife, and she was getting custody of his kids. A situation like that can even make or brake you, a lot of people would rather turn to alcohol and drugs, going to the pub all the time. But Albert Einstein was a special individual, and he threw himself to science very deeply, and isolated himself for years for what I heard. However that isolation had a positive side, as some of the mathematics he was working on, he realised they were wrong, and that’s what probably saved his career. And that’s when Albert Einstein made amazing discoveries, which the most famous one is energy moves mass, he had to prove that, and he proved by the eclipse, as the sun moved the stars.

I have had friends that when they split up with their wife, they nearly committed suicide, really went down hill, feeling depressed. However what they didn’t realise was,  that was a blessing, if I brake up with someone, I feel like they are doing me a favour, not only a favour, but the opportunity to become the person I want to be, and have the freedom to focus on my art which is what I love most.

So be thankful of a rejection, and if someone is not in your life anymore, and realise you have the opportunity to become your full potential in life.

In my next blog, I’m gonna talk about Bob Marley, and why he’s on my list.

Hope you guys enjoyed this blog, keep an eye for the second one.

Hope everyone is keeping safe.

Moving the studio around for Jimmy Scribbles

Hello everyone, thanks for looking at our blog, it’s a good way to get to know what’s been going on behind the scene in our tattoo studio in Leeds City Centre.

In this blog I would like to talk about what we have been up to in the studio. As you probably know, we are going to have a new artist in the studio, we were in search for an artist for a long time, and it seems like we have finally found someone. We were looking for someone who could deliver a clean line, good personality.

Monday’s are my days off, and I was really looking forward to have my day off, however this time, I couldn’t have my day off, as I needed to pop in the studio to move everything around for Jimmy Scribbles start working.

We have a bigger studio than our previous studio on call lane, we want to keep to one more artist for now, but we could be looking at having another one, as we do have the space for a fourth artist. However for now we are happy to have Jimmy, we look forward working with him, and we hope to learn something from him.

As artists, it’s an endless artistic journey, and where it takes you to, will only be translated by your dedication and focus. In the end of the day, you get out what you put in. That’s probably my favourite artistic quote, you get out what you put in. Simple, philosophical and factual.

So from now on in the studio, we have me, doing realism and fantasy. Joe doing Japanese, and Jimmy doing letters. It’s a good balance in styles, so we gonna bounce from each other’s style and trying to take the best from what each artist has to offer.

We are very passionate about art, and meeting good artists is the way to develop artistically.

Thanks for reading

Is it important to draw as a tattoo artist?

Is it important to draw as a tattoo artist?

Hello everyone! thanks for looking at our blog. In this blog I would like to talk about a interesting topic which is, is it important to draw as a tattoo artist? The reason why I had the idea to do this blog, is because a lot of tattoo artist nowadays don’t draw. And when I was taught to tattoo, I learned that drawing is one of the most important things you can do, to develop artistically. So why did the tattoo world stop drawing? Some tattoo artists still draw, but a majority of young kids coming up to be tattoo artists, a lot of them, do not draw, perhaps they are not interested, or they simply do not believe it’s necessary. That’s a topic I would like to discuss in this blog.

The word “tattoo artist” means, someone who’s a tattooist, who tattoos someone, combined with someone who is an artist. So the definition is a person who tattoos someone artistically. 

The foundation of art is always the drawing. The platform of art could vary, as video-games, painting, sculpting, graffiti. It doesn’t matter which type of art it is, the foundation of art, it’s always the drawing. Drawing is the foundation of all art, and without that foundation, your art will fall short. It’s like building a house without a strong foundation, it will fall eventually.

However nowadays we have technology, and that technology, will take over a lot of work previously done by the human hand. Digital painting is a good example. And Photoshop.

I love digital painting, it’s very convenient, fast and practical. However the down side to it, is as much as technology advances and try to replicate the sensitive touch of a digital pen going on the screen, and it’s so sensitive that it feels like it’s a real pen and a real paper, it will never be the same, as the machine takes over the human hand. So a tradicional drawing or painting, is always gonna feel more human and soulful than a digital paint or drawing.

Nowadays with the technology, tattoo artists are able to get an image online, and apply it on skin, already ready from the stencil machine. So it takes away, all the work we had to draw and stencil by hand before. I completely understand in realism you have to take the foundation of a realistic image, in order to be realistic, however without the ability of drawing, your image will look very static. If you notice a lot of realistic tattoos looks very good, it looks very realistic, however it looks very static. And the reason why is, the tattooist mix match a few images on photoshop, and is able to stencil on skin through a machine, and that’s it, the rest is technical ability. So if there is no drawing in the process, you are going to be very limited with the reference

Drawing and being an artist, you are able to push the boundaries a bit further. Your tattoo will look more artistic and unique, as the artist is able to do more than just a reference.  Being a tattoo artist who doesn’t draw, you will get away with static well applied stickers. However tattooing is not just about that. Tattooing has a lot involved and a lot to consider. Tattooing is not just about technical abilities, if a tattooist does not draw, it will be days, where they have to do a full sleeve, or a piece flowing from chest to the arm, and there’s something to consider, that only comes with the practise of drawing, which it will result with the knowledge of proportion. Without the understanding of proportion, a tattooist who can not draw will struggle or not be able to make a tattoo flow from one part of the body to another proportionally. 

A tattooist who is not interested in drawing, which is the foundation of all art, will be lost when they loose the stencil during the tattoo process. However I know some tattooists do everything not to loose the stencil, as they know if they loose it, they are in trouble, because they are unable to replicate the image they are applying on skin. I have lost my stencils so many times during a tattoo process, however, it was my ability to draw that made me get things back together, as when you are tattooing you are still drawing. 

So that’s my idea about why is so important to draw. I believe if you draw, your capabilities and possibilities are limitless, and you always can progress yourself artistically, and become a true tattoo artist.

My new Tattoo Machine by Louis

The Bishop wand 

The bishop wand is a new tattoo machine in the tattoo industry. The Bishop has 3 types of machines, each one of those for a different purposes, lining, shading and colour.

I have been listening to a pod cast on you tube of tattoo artists. And it was mentioned a few times, that the bishop wand is a rotary tattoo machine, very common among tradicional solid artists.

The bishop wand is the rotary tattoo machine that has a closer feeling to a coil machine. So this machine works very well for artists with a tradicional tattoo work approach, with bold lines and solid colours.

I heard in a podcast, in a tattoo convention, all bishop rotary tattoo machines were sold out within hours. So I thought I needed to try this tattoo machine everyone has been talking about.

I finally bought it, and I would like to say that I’m not disappointed with it. It completely met all my expectations, it was amazing to feel a new built tattoo machine. It for sure feels like a  coil machine, in a rotary way. To be fully honest, I believe you can only achieve a coil machine feel with a coil machine. The bishop wand is a machine that feels the closest to a coil machine. 

Another cool aspect for the bishop new rotaries is that it has the shape of a pen. Cheyenne, came out with the pen first around 5 years ago. I didn’t buy one myself, as I was using the inkjecta, which it was another amazing machine. 

However the bishop wand is my first pen shaped machine, I have to say the feeling is amazing. Having a pen in your hand, it allows you to move your wrist freely, in a way I have never had the opportunity to do before. You basically feel like you are  drawing in the skin.

I love the bishop tattoo machines. I have bought the colour packer, but I can’t wait to get the shader, I want to stick with the bishop for now as they are reaching my expectations right now.

Thank you for reading 

Quarantine Sketches

Sketches in Quarantine 

Hello everyone. We hope you are well and keeping safe in this pandemic.

In this blog I would like to talk about my sketches during the lock down.

Sketching has always been close to my heart as it’s an opportunity to develop your artistic skills, try new ideas and explore new areas.

A sketch for me is also a lot of fun, you can feel free to put down whatever comes to your head, without worrying too much about requests or opinions.

As tattoo artists we have clients to work with, and meet with their requests. Listen to their idea, and try to deliver their wishes. I love doing that, and I enjoy pleasing my customers, it’s an amazing feeling when you have given to a client what they were planning , and they are happy with the end result.

However, it’s even a better and satisfactory feeling when you have a blank piece of paper in front of you, a sharp pencil and just let your imagination flow, it’s just the artist and the paper, that feeling only artists can describe it.

Sketches are the birth of a racing creative mind, which it feels satisfied to have the opportunity to make an idea become concrete, in the eyes of the artist.

Thank you for reading 

The Masters of the Universe

The Masters of the Universe Project 


Thanks for reading our blog, it’s a good way to get to know what we have been up to behind the scenes, in our tattoo studio in Leeds City Centre.

In this blog I would like to talk about a digital painting work in progress I have, of probably my favourite cartoon animation of all time, which is He-man the masters of the universe.

As an 80’s kid, it was truly staggering to see one of the greatest animations ever made such as, He-Man, Thundercats, Dungeon and Dragons and The X-men.

I’m grateful to have been a kid in the 80’s and 90’s and experience all this awesome movies and cartoons. What a great era for creation, of movies and cartoons. I can mention a few of my favourites, Robocop, Predator, Back to the future, Rambo, Masters of the Universe, Labyrinth, Batman and so on. I’m sure I haven’t mentioned a few. 

I have heard that they are making a new series of Masters of the Universe. And that got me really exited, as it would be a real dream come true, to be able to see a movie based on my favourite cartoon as a kid.

I believe with the technology they have nowadays, CGI, they would be able to make justice, to translate to a movie all the magic the cartoon endured. Standards that the first making of Masters of the Universe didn’t achieve, due to the lack of technology. 

The very first Masters of the Universe movie was released in 1987, I was only 5 years old. I remember going to the cinema various times to watch it. And when it came out on cassette tapes, before dvds, I think I must watched it over 15 times.

He-man the masters of the Universe movie, is one of those movies made in the 80’s, that when I watch it nowadays, I still enjoy it just as much as when I watched it in the 80’s.

To be an artist, maintaining the child inside of you, is what gives you a fire under your butt, and inspire you to do art. I’m pretty much still like a kid in my head, and I hope to keep like that for many years to come. And get exited about watching fantasy movies and cartoons, and feel motivated to sit on the chair and translate my experience to a paper or a canvas.

Thanks for reading our blog

A change of plan to a Japanese Sleeve by Louis Santos

A change of plan to a Japanese Sleeve by Louis Santos 

Hello everyone,

In this blog I would like to speak about Bens sleeve work in progress. 

I got a phone call from Ben, requesting for a cover-up on his whole arm, I was surprised when he requested me to black out his arm, as he thought there was no way to fix his arm. He had visited many studios, and apparently all the studios visited by him mentioned a cover-up was not possible, and the only way around would be to black out his whole arm.

All this conversation was over the phone. And usually with a situation to this level, I would say sorry we don’t black out peoples arm. But I tried to convince Ben to come in to the studio, and let me have a look at his sleeve. I remember him repeating on the phone “honestly, it’s really bad” So I really thought it was gonna be so bad, that I would not be able to cover it with an normal image.

Few days went by and Ben came in to the studio for a consultation. As soon as he showed me his arm, I thought… that’s not as bad as I thought. And I knew he didn’t have to black his arm out. However I thought, If he was gonna be ok with the possibility of not blacking his arm out, as he already had the idea of doing so.

I mentioned about the possibility of not blacking his arm out, and he seemed surprised, as I was the only tattoo artist he had visited who had mentioned about this possibility. After the shock, he kind of started asking which options he had.

I introduced the possibility of turning his arm in to Japanese sleeve, and he considered the suggestion. We started to look at Japanese images, he seemed to like the Coy Carp’s, Lotus Flowers, and Japanese Phoenix. I thought… great! He was open minded, and ready to accept to look outside the box, and consider a better way to solve his problem.

We have so far worked on 2 sessions on Bens sleeve, I’m really enjoying having him, and free handing every Japanese theme on his arm he requests.

The reason why I chose to share this experience with Ben, was because I wanted to let everyone know how being open minded, and willing to think outside the box, and change your mind about your first idea, it could really help to achieve, the best and most effective outcome of your tattoo. 

Sometimes some clients are quiet stubborn, and don’t want to really listen to the artist. We have to listen to the client too, however what a few clients don’t realise is that, we want to do our best for them. However sometimes, some clients are not willing to listen to our advice, and the tattoo outcome is not the best as it could be, due to a lack of thinking outside the box and being open minded.

Thanks for reading our blog. And a big thanks to Ben for listening to me.

Thanks for reading and Thanks to Ben for listening to me.

Corona Virus and Tattooing

Corona Virus and Tattooing 


Thanks for reading our blog, it’s a good way to get to know what we have been up to behind the scenes, in our tattoo studio in Leeds City Centre.

In this blog, I would like to talk about the Corona Virus and how it has affected tattooing and the world.

As everyone knows, Corona Virus has taken the world in a way nothing have before. It started kicking in when I was still in Brazil, on my holidays. When I was in Brazil there were no cases yet, so I could I enjoyed my holiday in peace.

When I came back from my holiday, I had nothing in my mind but work hard as I could, as i had two weeks off. I was well rested and ready to get back on track and work, then when I came back to England, things just got from bad to worse. Then we had to shut the studio down for 3 weeks.

When tattooing we are opening people’s skin open. And having immediate contact with the client. Corona vírus can be transmitted by just touching the person I heard. So we did work for a bit, but we have decided to shut the studio down for 3 weeks, and have no contact with our clients whatsoever.

I think this virus is gonna change the world. It already has, we haven’t been through something like that in our life time, being world wide affected in a large scale like that, not in my life time I haven’t seen it anyway. 

I think we mite be going back to basics for a long time, we are gonna have to live simple and humble until we recover from stoping working for so long. 

I believe all this epidemic is gonna have a positive point to it. I’m already studying art and working on projects I had in my mind but had no much time to act on it due to lack of time and energy, after a full day tattooing for 6-8 hours, it’s hard to go home and spend the rest of the night painting.

Now I’m staying at home, I’m getting a few paintings ideas on the board and making it happen. I’m gonna be posting my painting on my next blog.

I just hope we all get out of this safe and carry on with our lives, now we are realising how much freedom we had, and how much we could do, we used to complain about little things in life, and we had the freedom to go wherever we wanted, now we have to stay at home and have faith that this is gonna get solved.

I’m pretty sure everything will be ok, I have faith we will get back to normal. 

Stay Home-Stay Safe!!


Familia Tattoo