BOOK TITLE: The Australia Times - TATT magazine. Volume 2, issue 5

Vol. 2 No. 5 July 2015
Dirty Rat Kustoms
Lukest James
A Tatt or Two
We offer both veteran and undiscovered writers the opportunity to get published.
Have something to
COMMUNICATE, or an OPINION to state, we are your voice!
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join a like-minded community in a great project ?
Amie Jessop
Alexandria Nagy
Teisha Wilmot
Stephanie Hosler
Dirty Rat Kustoms
Amie Jessop
The Editor
Welcome to another issue
full of fantastic content from
the talented Tatt writers. I'm
very lucky to have such a great
team, and I hope you enjoy
reading what they've got for
you this month- I certainly did!
Well done team!
Welcome to Tatt!
Tatt is a newly created tattoo magazine that aims to be
not only entertaining and casual but also extraordinary
and magnificent. Tatt will portray the artistry of tattooing
and the passion that many individuals have for inking. Tatt
aspires to encourage the perception of tattooing as a kind
of artistic self-expression and hopes to replace the negative
connotations that currently surround tattooing.
Look out for exciting interviews, portfolios, photo-shoots,
and more!
The Tatt team sincerely wishes all readers an exciting and
meaningful “stay” with us.
Lots of love,
A Welcome From the Editor
Dirty Rat Kustoms
Dirty Rat Kustoms is the creative genius of
Diamond and his brother, Ball.
Originally from Thailand, Diamond now calls
Melbourne home, and he is quickly gaining
himself a reputation not only as a highly skilled
tattoo artist, but also as a painter (including
pinstriping- an insane skill in it's own right) and
a custom motorcycle builder.
Diamond's most recent labour of love can be
seen at the Thaiger Rabbit Restaurant on Victoria
Street in Abbotsford, Melbourne. Covering an
entire wall, Diamond's mural is nothing short of
impressive. If you're in the area, make sure you
go in and have a look- the pictures don't do it
justice! (and the food is pretty damn good too!).
To see more of Diamond's work check out his Instagram @dirtyratkustoms, or you can find him at
The Joy Of Ink Tattoo Studio in Cheltenham, Melbourne.
mi Jss
© Amie Jessop
Dirty Rat Kustoms
© Amie Jessop
Dirty Rat Kustoms
Dirty Rat Kustoms
Dirty Rat Kustoms
Dirty Rat Kustoms
Dirty Rat Kustoms
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Dirty Rat Kustoms
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Dirty Rat Kustoms
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Dirty Rat Kustoms
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© Simon Rumford Photography
'Burn your thoughts half an inch beneath
your skin and I promise you won't forget'
That profound sentence was uttered by
tattoo enthusiast Lukest James. His skel-
eton and flower design tattoo is an eye
catching masterpiece that even a year
after having it inked into his arm, still
has profound meaning to him.
‘I still get a buzz when I look at it up close
Chinese native Semia Lin is the artist be-
hind this unique piece, and her place-
ment within the journey for Lukest and
his tattoo have been paramount.
‘I met and worked with Semia in Banff,
Alberta in beautiful Canada. I would
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often catch Semia doodling on scrap
paper whilst we worked next to each
other. She had such a different style of
drawing and I became obsessed with
it. She would constantly draw cartoon
characters of myself or other peers, and
with the detail of the characters and how
fast she could whip one up … I knew the
girl had talent. I approached her one day
about drawing me a tattoo. She had full
authority to draw whatever she wanted
and I would get it- just to prove that I
was a huge fan of her work’.
Lukest proved true to his word, and after
receiving his design he was overwhelmed with
not only the artwork, but also the representation
of himself through another’s eyes.
© Simon Rumford Photography
Independent Media Inspiring Minds
© Simon Rumford Photography
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‘I got a sneak peek through Semia’s eyes
of what she thought I would want on
my body, and how she portrayed me
through her art. She finished it off with
the Chinese spelling of "To my friend".
My tattooist, Myles, who was working at
Perfect Image in Banff, put his spin on
it to flow a little better, but the soul that
Semia created still remained’.
Lukest became intrigued as to what in-
spired this design, as all tattoo enthusi-
asts who give an artist free reign to cre-
ate would.
‘She explained that the skeleton repre-
sented death, and for it to be a constant
reminder of the decisions I make and
to really think before I act. Semia was
aware that I spent a lot of time scram-
bling mountains and running into bears
in woods, and if I wasn't climbing, it was
long-boarding down huge mountain
roads with my crazy long-boarder/best
mate, Tim. Myles decided to put the lotus
in the mouth of the skeleton, which for
me gives me the sense of ‘Live hard and
taste the beauty of life’.
Not only does Lukest display his character
through an artist’s eyes on his skin, he
also has a grand plan for his ink. As jovial
as his explanation of choosing colour
over black may seem, the message is
reflective none the less.
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‘I have always been set on colour. It pops,
looks less criminal and most important-
ly, it's art! I plan to solve all racism by
the time I finish. I will be every colour
imaginable and I will be the first of my
species! I imagine a child to ask, "Mum?
What color is he?" and she will reply, "Ev-
ery colour, stop asking questions!"
This work is the most recent piece on
Lukest’s body. The rest of his ink accom-
panies the story of who he is, the cring-
ing memories right through to what he
holds in the highest esteem.
‘I have one tattoo on my side that is
from Bolivia in South America. It reads
in Spanish "Do not send me to heavens
waiting room" which I stole from
someone’sYear 12 English essay title. I
have ‘Bazz’ on my ankle, who is my mate
who happened to walk out of a club after
one of my old bands shows. We walked
across the road in Kings Cross to a tattoo
parlor, and I must have been happy with
him because sure enough, ‘Bazz’- on
the ankle. And finally I have "Family is
forever" under my arm. The simple idea
speaks the truth but I’ll also add that I
was 17, in Hawaii, and really wanted ink’.
After being so moved by Chinese artist
Semia Lin’s work on his bicep, Lukest has
remained in contact with her and plans
on utilizing her creative mind to further
his ink journey.
‘I plan to turn my right torso and right
side of my back into Michelangelo's Sis-
tine Chapel. As lame as that sounds, it is
going to be my ‘dark side’ BUT this will
be without any reference to any bloody
faith! The way I figure it is that the man
turned a lie into something beautiful. I
want my artist to do the same; without
the lie- just leave the beauty’
Lukest is an avid believer that his body
is like a book, a book of his life’s feats
and memories.
‘I know my body will be covered but it's
a representation of how I was feeling at
that time and at that place. People forget,
that's why some folks can’t relate to their
kids or the youth- they forget. Every time
I look at my tattoos, it is a fast reminder
about how I felt and why I got it .What's
the point of going through life learning
all the important lessons if you’re just
going to forget them? Some get a Journal,
you lose journals. I can’t lose any of this’.
Lukest has effectively turned his skin
into a tangible story, brought to life by
the voices behind them.
He left me with a suiting metaphor
that accurately summed up his journey
through ink.
‘We have one life. Map it out’.
lxandri Na
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© Simon Rumford Photography
Script piece and Star Sign
© Teisha Wilmot
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A Tatt or Two
The looks, the stares, the
whispers you get when
people notice you have ink
from top to bottom; then
the question- why?
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My response: why not? My tattoos each
have a meaning, or are relevant to me
in some way. Since I turned 18 and was
legally allowed to get a tattoo, I couldnt
wait to get one. I had chosen a tribal piece
to go on my lower back, and although I
have changed it now it still has meaning,
as it was a birthday gift from a dear
friend. It is now in the process of being
changed into three wolf cubs playing in
the forest, which holds more meaning to
me as it represents myself and my two
younger siblings.
I have my star sign (Capricorn) on the
back of my neck, and a celtic dragon that
sits just below my pants, representing
power, wisdom and knowledge. On my
left ankle I have a dream catcher; since
I can remember I have been fascinated
by them and the story of protection. It is
believed by Indian tribes that a mythical
spider woman would visit the cribs of
newly born infants, and spin a web for
protection. As she could not visit all
infants, the woman of the tribes would
make them to protect their newborns.
They believed the dream catchers would
keep away bad dreams and let only the
good ones in.
Snow leopard, Happy Boys and Compass
© Teisha Wilmot
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I also have a few script quotes that I have
come across over the years, or have
written myself that hold meaning to me.
My biggest piece is my sleeve and I am
extremely proud of it. It was done by
Jae Lovelace, who did an amazing job.
This tattoo represents and reflects who
I am on so many levels. I'm currently on
kidney dialysis and awaiting a kidney
and pancreas transplant, and before I
received a transplant my goal was to
have my sleeve completed.
Thanks to Jae's amazing talent and
hard work, that goal was achieved. Up
the top of my shoulder I have a snow
leopard cub's face with blue eyes, which
represents self reliance and to trust ones
inner self. Heading down my arm there
are three Happy Boys doing the prayer
"hear no evil, speak no evil, see no evil".
Further down I have a compass and map,
representing guidance and direction. On
the other side of my arm I have an angel
wing, which represents the loss of a baby.
Above that is a script piece from Buddha
which reads "Health is the greatest
gift, contentment the greyest wealth,
faithfulness the best relationship". I also
have a key and a smashed lock at the
back of my arm which, go with my soul.
I see my tattoos as a way of expressing
myself or telling my story, and for others
to try and guess their meaning. You can
usually see it ticking over in people's minds
as to why you got that particular tattoo.
esh Wil
Quote and
Angel wing
© Teisha Wilmot
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Dream Catcher
© Teisha Wilmot
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© SuicideGirls from
Los Angeles, CA, USA
s there anything unquestionably wrong with body modifi-
cation? The topic sparks controversy worldwide, but slowly
the trend to accept it as a form of self-decoration is growing.
When generations of non-western cultures have performed
body modification as part of their rituals and traditions- why is it
that body modification is rejected in mainstream culture?
Body modification can be something
social or sexual, but historically it has
been a heavily cultural and spiritual
practice. So can we- as individuals-
build our own sense of spirituality and
contentedness through tattooing and
body modification? Many people I know
would argue the opposite- you should
‘learn to love’ your natural body, and
connect your consciousness to your
physical body in the state which it was
born. However, self-decoration has been
practiced for centuries, and it became
vital ritualistic parts of many cultures;
there must be some substance to this?
Any modification one makes to their body
must have some kind of significance; to
accentuate, to illustrate, or to symbolise.
How deep that significance lies in the
beholder, is subjective. To me, tattooing is
going to become a sort of visual life-line,
as my body gradually begins to depict my
inner world over time. There is a quote
by Anne Michaels which demonstrates
the way I like to think about the body.
© Khond woman with
ear, septum and
nostril piercings
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© Maasai woman with
stretched earlobes
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“Fingers have a memory,
to read the familiar braille of another’s skin.
The body has a memory:
the children we make,
places we’ve hurt ourselves,
sieves of our skeletons in the fat soil.
No words mean as much as a life.
Anne Michaels, ‘Words for the Body’ The Weight of Oranges
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Our bodies collect markings and muscle,
and if something becomes a prolific part
of your life, perhaps you should let it leave
a mark. There are things that have hurt-
hurt an awful lot- and yet now, I look at
them and I know I want to have them on
my flesh and in my blood; to stamp them
on my body so I can look and reflect on
how much that meant, and how much I
value that experience. Once it is there,
it becomes a part of the story. I do not
trust my memory alone- over time, my
consciousness will begin to dissolve as
natural part of living; but if I form these
associations with parts of my body and
sections of skin, I have more of a chance
of holding onto those dear memories.
This isn’t only true for tattoos. Piercings
have equally formed important markings
on my body. There is no greater way to
form a lasting memory with a close friend
than to get your nipples out together and
have them poked by a stranger! It’s like
blood brotherhood, only… closer.
How much trust or belief do you put in
your dreams? Do you dwell on dreams?
Perhaps they are recurring? There is
no way to definitively know what your
subconscious mind sees, or what it
attempts to send, and the only chance I
get to explore it is in my dreams. While I
understand these are merely imagination,
I think that the importance of these
imagined worlds and experiences are
undermined. Dreams are the most
personal part of your consciousness.
When we dream, we are separate to
any other living being and completely
involved in our subconscious. Tattooist
Ben Lopez- who I featured in the last
issue- has begun to document these
subconscious experiences. Similarly,
these kind of abstract visualisations of
consciousness come in to play when
looking at Expanded Eye’s tattoo work,
or Annita Maslov’s illustrations and tattoo
art. Developing your own sense of being
can involve opening up to the influence
your dreams can have on your everyday
life. This is not for everybody, but letting
dreams help you to find meaning in the
mundanity of a daily routine can make
you realise something you thought
worthless, was actually a crucial part of
your life.
While permanence can keep a memory
safe, there’s also something beautiful
about a fleeting moment; so it is up to
the individual to decide what is more
appropriate for their body- transience
or permanence. I have the tendency
to lean towards permanence, but it
would be valuable for me to take time to
acknowledge the beauty of the ephemeral
as well. After all, one day each of us will
run out of space on our skin.
ephani Hosle
Independent Media Inspiring Minds
© Monroe, Septum,
and Lip piercings
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