WHO IS IAINT NOSAINT?Very little is known about Iaint Nosaint prior to 2011 the year he opened the I Ain't No Saint Tattoo Studio in Abbots Langley, Herts.
A lot of folk choose to believe that he is a salty “Old School” Tattoo Artist from a bygone era but that would be a mistake. Iaint was an artist who started tattooing in 2004, despite buying his first microdial tattoo machine from Mickey Sharpz in 1995 when visiting Mickey in his Tindal Street Studio in Birmingham. But let’s start in the 70’s…
It was Iaint’s Great Uncle George, a man he met only once, that inspired his love of tattoos. A submariner during the Second World War, Uncle George had arms covered in individual old school tattoos, one from every port he had called into and he didn’t mind telling a wide eyed child the meaning and story behind each and every one.
So in the early 80’s, Iaint had his first tattoo from Brent in Dunstable. A very different era for tattooing there were fewer Studios and the “Artists” were far more intimidating than their counterparts today; an 18 year old needed a set of balls to walk into a Tattoo Studio at that time… The tattoo was not well received at ‘home’ and several nights were spent on a mate’s sofa whilst it healed. Iaint was the first in his direct family to get tattooed…a seed had been planted.
By 1985 Iaint himself was serving in the British Army and following his Uncle’s example; the tattoo collection started to grow with each and every posting.
After his short lived career in the army in 1988 Iaint found himself back in ‘civi street’ where he tried his hand at various roles: Doorman, Rave Promoter, HGV Driver, Car Salesman and Publican all helped to pay the bills until he discovered the Airbrush.
In the early 90’s Iaint was working in Lincolnshire and racing moto-cross. But the latest sport out of America was stadium-cross, a race under floodlights in a football stadium sized arena. Due to the razzle-dazzle of the events the top American riders started having their helmets professionally custom painted.
In the UK there were only two airbrush artists specialising in crash helmets. Self-taught to use a Paache VLS and the solvent automotive paints of the time Iaint was better than both of them. His work advertised itself leading to him painting helmets for many top riders, stunt men and racers of the era. The work took him to the US and Germany whilst representing Devilbiss as a demo artist.
By the late 90’s Iaint employed a number of people and was long past painting crash helmets. In 2000 his company became the first in the U.K. to receive the Nokia OK painter accreditation and was painting thousands of mobile phone covers every week. He no longer did the airbrushing and took to wearing a very expensive suit, driving a very expensive car and living in a moderately expensive house. The family were together, success was plentiful, but happiness was not.
Trouble hit hard in 2003, when he because the victim of identity theft. His name and identity at that time were stolen, as a result he lost his company, his home and his family. Those who knew him then may have held the view that he nearly lost his mind. Bad luck was followed by bad decisions, the dice stopped rolling, Iaint’s life had drastically changed course.
As a result on New Year’s Day 2004 Iaint found himself in Thailand with a tattoo machine in his hand and a Thai artist at his back while he started to ink a crazy American war correspondent who had “seen too much”. That day he tattooed for twelve hours straight. Exhausted but elated he knew he had found his true vocation. Returning to the UK he found that there was no love for a 40 year old apprentice Tattoo Artist with incomplete knowledge of his craft so, in order to progress, he returned to Thailand.
Five years in Thailand, working with some of the country’s top artists and following the Ajahn’s teachings, he honed his skills. This came at a high cost; there was no spiritual experience for Iaint.
Instead he found himself working in Thailand’s underbelly and all the madness that it entailed. Dealing with corrupt officials, the local mafia and the indigenous tattoo community became second nature, it had to as few appeared to want to see a Farang succeed.
Iaint built a strong business, but bad luck visited again and this time she brought her friends greed, dishonesty and disloyalty with her. In the middle of that little party Iaint suffered a badly broken arm, as a result he was unable to tattoo and was told there was a chance he may never do so again.
But the party was only just warming up, a client was brutally murdered, a friend was lost in a needless accident and in a final twist Iaint’s treasured dogs died along with his love for the person who was supposedly caring for them.
His time in Thailand was over, leaving never to return with literally only the shirt on his back. Iaint returned to the UK where his old car stood neglected with a boot full of clothes and his UK tattoo kit.
Once again he picked himself up using his passion for tattoos to propel him from his mate’s sofa to working with top Artists in the UK. It did much to further Iaint’s tattoo skills, but ‘top artists’ are not necessarily ‘top people’ and they did little to improve his faith in human nature as a result he bounced from Studio to Studio while realising that it was time to strike out on his own.
In 2011 he walked into Abbots Langley, a nice quiet village which he knew from his youth and took on a small unit in the High Street from which he Tattoos to this day.
The Studio has been built from the ground up from Iaint’s original dream and a lot of his own hard work, finally in 2012 after a year of people walking into the Studio asking “are you Iain?” Iaint realised that they were confusing the web address on the window with his identity and that people were reading “Iain Nosaint” so in October 2012 a deed poll application was finalised and Iaint Nosaint was born.
After a long journey he has finally found his identity and built a place to concentrate on his work, working alone by choice with the simple aim is to be the best Tattoo Artist that he can be. The work is everything, neither money nor fame are capable of matching the motivation of his work; he charges a fair market rate and in return provides the very best tattoo art.
In this day and age you will find it difficult to find a more forthright Tattooer, he does not view his role as an entertainer, friend or therapist. His mission is to give you the most attractive, well placed, well executed, appropriate and cost effective tattoo that he can in the most appropriate and professional manner.
He uses only traditional methods, materials and machines in order to create his tattoos; products that have been proven over decades to be safe and to do the job properly. Iaint has used the same UK based supplier for needles for the last ten years. All of his inks and associated products are vegan.
The tools are coil machines, the oldest of which is the 1995 microdial by Mickey Sharp mentioned at the start of this article.
Should you visit you will find you can talk directly to the artist as Iaint Nosaint tattoos six days a week. Do ring first though as Iaint currently attends as many UK and International tattoo conventions as possible.
Welcome to I Ain’t No Saint, we’re not trying to be popular, just different in a good way.