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Killer Ink Tattoo

Sponsored Artist of the Month – Ben Kaye

New Zealand may have provided the filming locations for the Lord of the Rings trilogy, but we think it should be revered for the spectacular tattoo artists that work there - especially a certain Ben Kaye

Based in Matt Jordan’s Ship Shape Tattoo studio in Auckland, New Zealand, Killer Ink sponsored artist Ben Kaye has been dropping jaws with his incredible colour realism pieces for about nine years.

Originally from England, Ben’s career has seen him work in studios across the globe, including taking an apprenticeship in Malaysia, living in a bohemian neighbourhood in Madrid, Spain and opening a small studio in Bergen-Belsen, Germany.

Fast forward to the present and Ben can be found working alongside fellow Killer Ink sponsored artists Matt Jordan, Steve Butcher and Nicklas Wong Kold in Ship Shape Tattoo.


Ben is known for creating stunning colour realism tattoos, especially incredibly realistic portraits, with Killer Ink Tattoo supplies, including inks from one of his sponsors, Fusion Ink. A particular favourite of ours is his realistic portrait of Walter White from the TV series Breaking Bad.

We’re not quite sure what goods the UK exports to New Zealand these days, but Ben Kaye certainly seems to top the lot!

You can check out more of Ben Kaye’s incredible work by heading over to his Facebook and Instagram pages.


Killer Ink Tattoo at the Liverpool Tattoo Convention

What better way to spend a sunny weekend than taking the short drive to attend the 10th anniversary of the Liverpool Tattoo Convention!

Earlier this month, we headed to our hometown tattoo convention and shot a brand new video that features good friends, sponsored artists and a group of girls playing with fire…

Make sure to check it out below!

Celebrating its 10th anniversary, the 2017 Liverpool Tattoo Convention featured live tattooing from over 250 artists, including live music and performances from jaw-dropping group The Fuel Girls and comedy daredevil Johnny Strange.

Bringing the hustle to Liverpool was our good friend Richie Bulldog – Supreme Hustler, creator of Hustle Butter Deluxe tattoo care and our M.C. for the weekend.

As with the Milano Tattoo Convention in February, our sponsored artist Ryan Smith won the ‘Best of Show’ award with another incredible collaborative piece with artist Jay Freestyle. Ryan also took home the ‘People’s Choice Award’ at the 2017 UK Tattoo Awards.

Fellow sponsored artist Damian Gorski took the prizes for ‘Best Large Colour’ and ‘2nd Best of Show’, while Mark Bester’s colour sleeve won him ‘2nd Best Large Colour’.

Remember to keep checking out our social media accounts to see what conventions we’re at next!


Tattoo Artists Raise Over £150,000 For Manchester Terror Attack Victims

Tattoo artists of Manchester and beyond banded together over the bank holiday weekend to fundraise for those affected by the Manchester terrorist attacks, raising over £150,000 so far!

Killer Ink sponsored artist Sam Barber announced last week that tattoo artists in Manchester would come together and offer worker bee tattoos for £50 to raise money for the victims and families affected by the terrorist attack at a recent Ariana Grande concert.

After the announcement, artists all over the UK said that they too would offer Manchester Bee tattoos to clients for £50 and donate the money to the cause.

The story picked up national interest, with newspapers and popular websites highlighting the great act of charity from tattoo artists across the UK. Dubbed the Manchester Tattoo Appeal, the fundraising event became so much more.


The response was overwhelming. Clients turned up in droves to get a worker bee (and other flash pieces) tattooed onto their skin in a show of solidarity for the people of Manchester.

At the time of writing, Sam’s JustGiving page has smashed numerous targets and has currently raised over £150,000! We at Killer Ink Tattoo want to give huge congratulations to all artists and clients involved in raising such an incredible figure!

In the wake of such senseless violence, Manchester, and the rest of the UK, really stood together over the last week.

Manchester Tattoo Appeal

In response to the recent terror attack at the Manchester Arena, a group of Manchester-based tattoo artists led by Sam Barber are banding together to raise money for the victims and families affected.

The idea was the brainchild of Killer Ink sponsored artist Sam Barber, who announced that tattoo artists in Manchester will be coming together and offering Manchester worker bee tattoos for £50 this weekend to raise money for those affected by the attack.

Under the name of the Manchester Tattoo Appeal, Sam and fellow artists will be tattooing the worker bee symbol, and other flash pieces, on Sunday 28th and Monday 29th of May.

They are hoping to raise £10,000 for the families and victims of the terror attack that took place on Monday 22nd at the Manchester Arena as concertgoers were just leaving an Ariana Grande show.


Sam will be joined by fellow Killer Ink sponsored artists Jak Connolly and Ash Higham, as well as other Manchester-based tattooists, to try and raise the money for the cause.

The worker bee has been a symbol of the City of Manchester for many years; originally adopted as a motif for the city during the Industrial Revolution, the worker bee symbolises Mancunians’ hard working past and steadfast spirit. It even features on the coat of arms of Manchester City Council!

This makes the worker bee a perfect choice of tattoo to try and fundraise for terror attack victims as Manchester bands together to show that they won’t be intimidated.

You can donate to the Manchester Tattoo Appeal’s JustGiving page here.

WIN a Critical Atom Power Supply

Want to be in with the chance to win a new Critical Atom Power Supply worth £180?

If you place an order for £150 or more with Killer Ink Tattoo between Monday 22nd May and midnight Friday 26th May 2017, you’ll automatically be entered into a competition to win this awesome power supply!

Whether you need a new power supply or simply want another one that looks cool as hell and is easy to use, the Critical Atom is a great piece of tattoo equipment – so make sure you get entering our competition!

The Atom is the latest power supply from Critical Tattoo, the makers of the CX-1 and CX-2 power stations.


So, what sets the Critical Atom apart from other power supplies? Well, it looks like no other. The colour of the Atom changes depending on the voltage that you’re running your machine on – between 1.5 and 17 volts.

Critical Tattoo’s Atom is also very easy to operate, with all functions adjustable by pushing or turning just one button. You can turn the button to change the voltage and push it to switch on your tattoo machine or change settings like maintained mode and jump start.

All coil and rotary tattoo machines are compatible with the Critical Atom, while you can also connect a foot pedal to the power supply.

Other nifty design features include built-in magnets in the base of the Atom, allowing you to attach it to any magnetic surface. If you want to keep it on a horizontal surface however, then the silicone on the base will ensure that it does not slide about.

The Critical Atom is available to order from Killer Ink Tattoo for £180 and comes in silver or black. You also get a comprehensive two-year manufacturer’s warranty with the power supply.

Take a look at the video below to see just how easy the Critical Atom is to set-up and operate!

Silverback Ink®

When it comes down to which tattoo ink is right for you, it’s all about preference. However, there is one brand of ink that has continued to get rave reviews from tattoo artists for over 10 years: Silverback Ink®.

Silverback Ink® has been a mainstay in the arsenal of black and grey artists for over a decade, but why is the tattoo ink so popular?

First of all, it’s consistency. The same guy who made and introduced ‘The Original’ Grey Wash Series back in 2005 is still making every single batch today! Owner Randy Scott Howell ensures that the quality and consistency of every Silverback Ink® is flawless, and he should know because he uses it too!

As well as being the creator of Silverback Ink®, Randy is a professional tattoo artist with over 21 years in the business, so you know that he knows his stuff. To put it simply, Silverback Ink® is made by a tattooer for tattooers!

What helps make the products so consistent is the use of high-quality ingredients, all of which are vegan-friendly. With more and more tattoo artists turning to animal-friendly products, the fact that Silverback Ink® is 100% vegan is such a draw when it comes to choosing a tattoo ink you can trust and want to use on your clients’ skin.


Don’t just take our word for it though, many of the top tattoo artists in the world use Silverback Ink® for their black and grey work. Artists like Anrijs Straume, Mumia, Phil Wilkinson, and Sonny Mitchell use different washes and sets from Silverback Ink® to achieve their killer tattoos!

When it comes to the different inks that are produced by Silverback Ink®, which one is right for you?

Again, it all comes down to preference. You will find that different tattoo inks from Silverback Ink® are easier to use, depending on what your style is and how you tattoo. The best way to find the perfect Silverback Ink® for you is to try them out!

Killer Ink Tattoo stocks the whole range of EU-compliant Silverback Ink®, so there is more than enough choice for artists. We stock the XXX Series, DARK Grey Wash Series, InstaBlack, Insta10Shade Grey Wash Series, Stupid Black, White and Clear Solution.


As well as offering individual 30ml (1oz) or 120ml (4oz) bottles of Silverback Ink®, we also stock complete sets of Insta10Shade, XXX and DARK tattoo inks.

Each and every Silverback Ink® goes into the skin smooth, fast and even, and mixes well with most colours. Since the grey wash series come pre-mixed, artists have found that their work is more consistent, as it cuts out the guess work of whether your grey washes are too dark or too light.

If you’re still unsure as to what ink you should try first, we can help you out.


Stupid Black – Extremely dense due to the increased surface tension, but not thick. This ink is perfect for all applications, especially those fleshy areas where working too fast will not heal solid. Stupid Black is also great for hand tapping/poking, whip shading, solid fill, or breaking down to a wash.

XXX Black – Very fast. Perfect for fine lines or those who prefer a fast hand motion while working. XXX Black is also great for a grey wash! This is the black ink that Silverback Ink® uses for its XXX Grey Wash Series and DARK Grey Wash Series.

InstaBlack – Normal/medium speed. InstaBlack works fantastic for lining, shading, solid fill or breaking down to a wash. We stock a 10 shade grey wash series (Insta10Shade – the most expanded range offered by Silverback Ink®) that is made from InstaBlack.

Depending on the tools that you use and/or where you’re working on the body, you may prefer one of the black inks to another, or possibly all three!

Basically, whichever black goes into the skin the easiest for you should heal the blackest!

Luke Sayer Wins E4’s Tattoo Artist of the Year

E4’s Tattoo Artist of the Year has just aired its finale, and a Killer Ink sponsored artist has managed to win the top prize!

Massive congratulations are in order to Cumbrian tattooist Luke Sayer - Killer Ink sponsored artist and now the first ever winner of E4’s Tattoo Artist of the Year!

24-year-old Luke managed to hold off stiff competition from fellow Killer Ink artist JJ Jackson, among other talented tattoo artists, to take home the gold.


Viewers saw Luke create a black and grey tattoo of a coil machine for the final episode, while JJ went with a snake/Hannya mask piece.

Perhaps the most memorable moment in the series came when Luke tattooed a steak bake onto a drag queen from Newcastle. I never thought I’d write a sentence like that…

E4’s Tattoo Artist of the Year was hosted and judged by UK tattooist Jay Hutton and international artist Rose Hardy.

Well done again Luke – making us at Killer Ink Tattoo proud!

Sponsored Artist of the Month – Michael Taguet

French colour realism artist Michael Taguet turned some heads on social media this year with a certain 18+ tattoo…

When he’s not uploading jaw-dropping realistic pieces to his social media accounts, Michael can be found working at his own studio, Yama Tattoo, in his hometown of Saint-Chamond, Loire in France.

Michael Taguet bought his tattoo shop in 2009 and has spent the last eight years creating some of the most incredible realism pieces, in colour and black and grey, that we’ve ever seen!

We’re not just being biased because he is a Killer Ink sponsored artist, he really is that good!


Although he currently owns Yama Tattoo studio, he is planning to sell it soon to open a private studio – hopefully around September this year.

Michael’s work continues to push the boundaries for realistic art, especially a certain piece that caused a bit of a stir online – which you can see here.

All of Michael’s incredible tattoos are created using Killer Ink Tattoo supplies, including the use of Fusion Ink, FK Irons, Electrum Stencil Primer, and Hustle Butter Deluxe – other sponsors of his.

To check out more of Michael Taguet’s unbelievably realistic tattoos, head on over to his Facebook and Instagram pages.


Ryan ‘The Scientist’ Smith

‘The Scientist’. No, it’s not the name of a boring song by Coldplay, it’s the nickname given to Ryan Smith, one of the UK’s top tattoo artists.

We met up with the travelling tattooist (and Killer Ink sponsored artist) Ryan Smith to film him continuing with the awesome leg sleeve that won him ‘3rd Best Ornamental’ at the 2016 London Tattoo Convention.

Ryan was up in Liverpool guest spotting at Ant and Hazel Nicholl’s tattoo studio Design 4 Life, so it was a great time to catch up with him.

Check out the video below to see The Scientist at work!

Although he can be found guest spotting all over the world, Ryan ‘The Scientist’ Smith is the lead artist at No Regrets Studio Exeter. NR Studios are based in Exeter and Cheltenham, with a third exciting ‘concept’ studio opening up in London this summer.

Ryan’s large ornamental and realism pieces have been catching the eye at tattoo conventions everywhere. He won ‘Best of Show’ at the first ever Tattoo Collective convention in London in February, as well as taking the top prize at the 2017 Milano Tattoo Convention for a collaboration piece with friend and artist Jay Freestyle.

As well as being sponsored by Killer Ink Tattoo, Ryan is also a Cheyenne Professional Tattoo Equipment Artist and can be seen using the awesome Cheyenne HAWK Pen to create his masterpieces. He is also supported by World Famous Ink and uses its products to get that vibrant colour in his tattoos.


Win Two Tickets to the Liverpool Tattoo Convention

Liverpool Tattoo Convention is returning for its 10th year, so we have two tickets up for grabs in our latest competition!

The Adelphi Hotel will again be the setting for this year’s Liverpool Tattoo Convention between 5th and 7th of May, which will see live tattooing from over 250 artists, as well as live music, market stalls and more goings-on.

If you want to win two tickets to the Liverpool Tattoo Convention for entry on the Saturday and Sunday, simply find our competition posts on Facebook or Instagram and answer the following question:

Where is the Liverpool Tattoo Convention being held this year?

a) Adelphi Hotel
b) Anfield Stadium
c) Platform 1, Lime Street Station.

The competition will run until midnight 24th of April 2017 and the winner will be announced on 25th of April 2017.

Good luck!


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