Adam Hawkes has been a tattoo artist for 13 years and has been at Skins and Needles for 8 years. He is a self-taught realism artist working in both black and grey and colour. His preferred kind of work is large-scale, bold tattoos and he would love to have the opportunity to do more back pieces as they give him that large canvas to work with. Adam’s favourite aspect of his job is meeting new people and working around so many creative minds. He loves that working at Skins and Needles he gets to have so much artistic freedom. Outside of work Adam is an enthusiastic MMA and BJJ fighter. Adam has a deeply loyal client base and is extremely popular; he is usually fully booked 6 to 8 months in advance, but customers agree he is worth the wait.
Peter Allen began his apprenticeship at skins 5 years ago and has been tattooing professionally for 3 years. He works as both a colour and a black and grey realism artist. He draws a lot of inspiration from the tattoo artists he follows on Instagram, seeing their work helps to push him to constantly strive to be better. He has always had an appreciation for art and loved the tattoo medium, so he felt tattooing was his calling. He loves to tackle all kinds of pieces whether they are really dark or softer grey tones. He has produced some excellent, brightly coloured worked in his own unique style. He loves the day to day variety that comes with tattooing, whether it’s the pieces he creates or the clients. He has developed longstanding friendships with many of his customers and always brings a smile and a laugh to the studio. He is proud to be working at Middlesbrough’s biggest studio and loves the Skins and Needles reputation for delivering consistently amazing work; he wakes up and genuinely feels excited to go to work. Outside of work Pete loves training but is also known for his smooth and funky dancing skills and his ability to bring the party!
Trust is from Portugal and has been a tattoo artist for 13 years. He came to work in England 4 years ago and became a resident at Skins and Needles around 2 years ago. He has gained many loyal clients who are enthusiastic about his original, bold style. He began his career as a self-taught artist but then worked in a series of studios in his hometown of Lisbon. He has a deep love of art and thrives on giving people the gift of art for life by turning their skin into a canvas. He specialises in black and grey realism using opaque inks which give his work a very defined look. However, he has also some stunning full colour and partial colour work. He is insistent on making sure each customer gets an original, custom designed piece… his biggest buzz comes from client satisfaction. He is very proud to be part of the Skins and Needles team and is passionate about constant self-improvement.
Jay Quinn has been a tattoo artist for 3 years and started his apprenticeship at Skins and Needles which he got through quickly, taking just under a year, but states that this period is different for everyone. He does line and dot work but manages to achieve a realistic look with extra fine detail. His work has a gothic style and he has also produced some amazing Nordic pieces. He gains a lot of inspiration from films, music, games and other artists; both from the studio and on Instagram but he also loves how much his clients inspire him with their awesome tattoo ideas. He would love to do some dinosaurs as there is a lot of room for detail. He really wants to push the boundaries of black work… constant progression is key. His favourite thing about tattooing is the enthusiasm of his customers. Working at Skins he gets a lot of creative freedom from both his clients and the studio. He loves his cool little private room that he shares with Gonzalo. Outside of work Jay is all about the Mosher lifestyle; he goes skate and snow boarding and plays on his PlayStation. He goes to gigs and festivals and likes chilling with his girlfriend Kara and Eric the dog. He loves all his pieces as they are unique to his loyal customers
Soren Dam has been a tattoo artist for 4 and a half years after completing his 2-and-a-half-year apprenticeship in Demark. He joined us at skins 2 years ago and alternates between working here and Denmark. Soren has his own unique style of black and grey surrealist realism that often has dark but very beautiful themes. He takes his inspiration from everywhere; a lot of his designs have elements of natural beauty which are perfectly juxtaposed against the darkness of his work.
He his prolific and would love to have the opportunity to do more of his own designs and be allowed the chance to create narratives with them on people’s skin. He feels tattooing is a never-ending cycle of improvement and perfection. He loves working at Skins and states, for him, it is the best studio in the UK. He highly values the desk staff and other artists and the variety of clients that come to him; he has built up strong client base that all appreciate his unique style. Outside of work he enjoys painting and spending time with his family. One of his favourite pieces was a design of his own which was put up by the studio as a competition prize on Instagram.
Claire Richards has been a tattoo artist for 8 years. She did 2 apprenticeships which took just over a year. Claire specialises in black and grey realism and portraits and has done many beautiful and striking memorial pieces. Her favourite kind of work is horror and would love to do more of this. She loves the creative release she gets from working in the industry and feels particularly lucky to be working at Skins with so many amazing artists where they can all inspire and motivate each other. She loves meeting and working with all the guest artists from around the world. The combination of these things gives the studio a great, fun atmosphere that she thrives in. Outside of work she likes to spend time with friends and family and spends time on the shooting range.
Lotti Reid has been tattooing for 3 years, including her 1 and a half years as an apprentice which she began at another studio and finished at Skins and Needles; she has been with us for the last 2 years. Her style is illustrative watercolour but draws inspiration from neo-traditional and Japanese styles as well as nature, animals and anime. In a short time, she has developed a wide and loyal client base. Her favourite pieces are usually centred around animals; to which she brings a lot of character. She also loves doing illustrative portraits. She has always loved drawing and painting and did her degree in fine art, which shows in her work through her layering of colours. Tattooing allows her to combine her love of art with making a living. She feels she has always been an artist but is truly in love with her job as a tattoo artist and the freedom it gives her; she feels inspired every day. She loves the whole team at Skins and Needles, from desk to artists, and says there is never a dull moment. Outside of work she hangs out with her cats and plays piano. She would love to do more Studio Ghibli inspired pieces and pet portraits.
Antonio Sav has always wanted to be a tattoo artist after seeing it in movies as a child. He loved the idea of creating a story on someone’s skin. He began tattooing at 13 years old but became an apprentice in 1999 which lasted for 4 years, until he was old enough to tattoo professionally. He works in black and grey realism and enjoys creating dark, gothic pieces, animals and portraits. He also does a lot of freehand work which he feels gives him the opportunity to produce something 100% unique. For Antonio, tattooing is like a form of meditation that helps him connect to himself, his creativity and the customer. He loves to use that headspace to create a story that will last forever. He cannot imagine a life without tattooing. He joined Skins and Needles in October 2019 after guest spotting with us regularly. He loves the environment, the friendly people and to have the freedom to work as he wants and grow as an artist. Outside of work he loves anything with an engine! From cars, to motorcycles to speed boats; he likes to live fast! He does not have any favourite pieces as he loves each piece for the individual story it represents between himself and the customer, but sentimentally he most values the piece he made for his mother.
Melany has been a tattoo artist for 3 years and came to work permanently at Skins in October 2019. She is self-taught and has cultivated her own unique and feminine style of line work, creating beautiful and delicate pieces to fit both the male and female form. She has a deep passion for art; she likes to paint with oil on canvas but loves that she can now use skin and ink in the same way. She feels incredibly lucky to have made her hobby into a profession, especially one where she gets to meet new and interesting people every day. Melany likes to draw inspiration from every aspect of her life, whether that is movies, other art or nature; she likes to keep in touch with nature as possible as it brings her peace. She works best when given creative freedom and loves the trust and open mindedness of her customers. She would like to start working more with colour and do her own interpretation of classical art pieces. Melany’s favourite thing about being part of the Skins and Needles team is the amazing staff she gets to work with; they have always made her feel calm and welcome. She loves to read and has an interest in neuroscience. She also enjoys video games and Disney movies.
Lenny has been a tattoo artist for 10 years and joined the Skins and Needles team in 2019. He did his apprenticeship with his cousin who helped him get into the industry. He remembers getting his first tattoo and being fascinated by the process which led him down this career path. He works in black and grey but covers a variety of styles from line work to Japanese and realism. He has recently started doing a couple of Japanese sleeves and loves to do anything bone or space themed. He takes inspiration from the world and other artists; a lot of his designs have a strong, topical theme. Lenny is looking to do larger and more striking pieces to improve his style. He loves the constant challenge of the tattoo industry, there is always new things to try and ways to improve and loves putting art on people’s skins that will last forever. He loves the Skins atmosphere and meeting so many new people daily. Outside of work Lenny loves the outdoors and goes on long treks with his dog. One of his favourite pieces is one he did on our very own Claire Richards.
Leah Lisle has been a tattoo artist for a year and a half. She began her apprenticeship at Thirteen Tattoo Studio when she finished college and then moved to Skins and Needles in July 2019. Being a tattoo artist appealed to her because of her self-proclaimed obsession with composition and the art of juxta positioning images with and against the contours of the body. She finds it a huge compliment that clients trust her judgement when it comes to designing tattoos. She loves doing sprawling floral pieces and surrealist work and describes her style as sludgy, marshland fantasy world meets Teesside steelwork. She is inspired by the works of H.R Giger and through studying his work over the years has learned to create her own little landscapes. Her favourite tattoo artists are Geary and Ruco; she loves their originality and surrealist designs. Leah feels she works best when there’s a meaning or story behind the piece. She would love to do more pieces that allow her to create weird worlds. She loves working at Skins because she is constantly surrounded by artists that strive to be the best. Her favourite piece so far has been of the Goddess Kali; she had full creative freedom and it was her first back of thigh piece
Jay Smith AKA Ruby Raven has been tattooing for over 20 years and completed his apprenticeship in Cumbria. He was fascinated by tattoos from a young age as his father was heavily tattooed. He only joined Skins and Needles earlier this year but already states it is hands down the best studio he has worked in and feels the desire to push himself harder, being surrounded by so much talent. He is a multi-style artist but loves doing bold illustration. He enjoys using bright colours but also has a love for all things dark and demonic and would love to do more work in this vane. He loves the freedom of being a tattoo artist and being allowed to create every day. Outside of his work he has a passion for alternative music, gaming and walking his big wolf dog
Marco Riccardo AKA Drainhateletters has been in the industry for 3 years and is the newest member of the Skins and Needles team. He specialises in script and lettering which stems from his origins as a graffiti artist. He thrives on seeing his art on a moving canvas. He carried out his apprenticeship at a small studio in London but believes, as a tattoo artist, the apprenticeship never ends as there is always room for growth. He draws much of his inspiration from Californian West Coast, Mexican and East European broken lettering and black work. He loves to do pieces involving script, skulls, roses and Chicano. He is excited to join the skins team as he sees the endless opportunities available to grow as an artist. Outside of tattooing he enjoys making music, playing bass, guitar and singing. His favourite piece was done on our very own Dom from the reception team, who allowed him full creative freedom to experiment with lettering and composition.