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Gone walkabout…

The final curtain has drawn on the I Aint No Saint Tattoo Studio in Abbots Langley, after seven years in the Village we have decided to close the doors and look to new horizons.

Long and the short of it is that the lease ran out.

After seven successful years we have simply outgrown the place and it has become counter productive, we are literally falling over each other.

Before everyone completely loses their “doodah” we have not done a runner.  The Studio is simply on hiatus for now; there are many reasons for this.  Customers who have not spoken to us or not been informed: Do not panic, simply contact us as usual through the contact form.

My tenancy has been a perverse Leonard Rossiter “rising damp” tribute act since I signed the damn lease.

Thank God that taking someone’s word that they would sell a property to me at fair market value after three years of a lease, really meant fair market value plus £40k. Or I may now own the place.

I did make an attempt to extend the lease until Christmas or perhaps even March of next year when we will all have a clearer picture of what the Country will be doing.  But in true EU negotiating style the Landlord decided to start negotiating 20 days before D-day.  Unlike our robotic lap dog of a Prime Minister I am not afraid of a “No Deal” scenario so have not bothered to return to the negotiating table.

Which brings me nicely to Brexit….

Although I believe this change (if it actually happens) will be the best thing for this Country: there is no ignoring that markets could change drastically.  One market that I believe will take a hit is the property market.

We need a bigger Studio and we need a bigger Team, I am after all not getting any younger.  I know, I know what your thinking, you’re flabbergasted that I should say such a thing?  What with my boyish good looks, my woke personality and that bluebird on my shoulder everyday of the week I give off the aura of a teenager.

It’s all a facade.  I’ve started wearing clothes because they are comfy not because they are stylish and I have suddenly become very cost aware, coupons in supermarkets have started to intrigue me.

I can see the signs, it’s time to step aside and pass my knowledge on to a younger generation, or perhaps just be locked in a back room and left to my own devices whilst younger blood takes the helm.

So we need a space in which to grow our Tattooing family and I think that in six months time space will be a lot cheaper, so we will wait.

As the old saying goes: “if you don’t like the weather wait five minutes”.

That’s not to say we haven’t been looking, we made an offer on a really cool building by the coast but we were just too far away on the figures to get the deal done.

So as things stand we are on Hiatus until further notice.

So what happens next?

As I write this I have enjoyed my first Tattoo free week in five years; difficult to explain the release of focus, that tunnel vision that has been my daily routine.  Traditionally I used to work like a lunatic for four months and then take a trip, but traditionally the Studio was never solely reliant on my work to keep the wheels turning.  I wasn’t forced by any outside influences to “just work” for the last five years, I just got in a zone, a very long zone….

But I feel like the hard work has paid off….

I mastered my coil machines.  Then in a bizarre chain of events I discovered the benefits of the new technology that has taken Tattooing by storm and to a new level.  A bitter sweet pill in one way as I love the tradition of my coils, I like having to apply a lot of discipline to my life so that I can swing those Irons for up to twelve hours at a time.

My new rotary machines take all of the work out of the job.  They don’t need tuning.  One machine does all, but the real star of the show: the needle cartridge, is so precise and with such a perfect ink flow that it is simply as if I am drawing on skin.

I think the days of the “Tattoo Artist” are numbered.  We are all just “Artists” now.  I am a little bit sad about that, but at the same time as I close the doors on Abbots Langley I am laying down the best goddamn Tattoos that I have ever done.

Anna has worked every bit as hard and put maximum effort into her Piercing and Vape business and she also deserves a break.

That is if you call a week of emptying the Studio and moving “a break”, but it is indeed a change and as the old saying goes a change is as good as a rest. And that “change” is going to last a month and then we will be back and we will be “the same same but different”.

Anna will no longer work for me.  Instead we will collaborate as she will be the M.D. of her own Ltd company going forward.  It’s all very exciting but I will not steal her thunder; she will inform you of her plans all in good time.  Expect a blog post soon.

As for me, I am going on the road.  Conventions, Guest Spots and I am doing it in style.  I am taking my own Tattoo Studio with me.  Already Licensed in Three Rivers District I am just awaiting my license for St Albans so current and local customers need not worry, I got you covered and normal service is resumed from November onwards.

Get across to in order to book in from November the 8th, it will be my personal website and blog going forward for at least the next six months and document my Tattoo truck adventure, you can also check out the new Instagram page @tattooracetruck which will be about the sum total of my social media input going forward.  Unless you are interested in what vegans eat in which case follow @cavevegan as well, oh then of course there is @ukcustompaint but I will come to that in a minute.

I will be dedicating at least two days a week (possibly three) to my Airbrush and Pin-Striping work. You will be able to follow this business at I will be taking commissions from November but unfortunately nothing bigger than a crash helmet or bike tank for in house Airbrush work, if you have access to a booth then we can do whatever but I am limited on space until we find our new home.  Not only do I need to dedicate more time to my Airbrush but it will satisfy that “cantankerous” element that will now be missing from my Tattoo work.

I had the opportunity to learn Pin-Striping from some real old professionals in the 80’s, regrettably I never took advantage, but I watched.  So this is an “old dog-new tricks” scenario, I am going to “teach myself” Pin-Striping, I will be the “pinhead” equivalent of a scratcher, but with a slight advantage: After thirty years of working with automotive paint I know how to fix my “foo-bahs” and remove my mistakes with ease.

My paintwork is evident in the back of the @tattooracetruck so if you are planning on working with me on a big Tattoo then you’re going to get to see lots of my Airbrush work, I plan to be painting the Truck interior, and put Airbrush work on every paintable surface.

The truck will be my “masterpiece”.  It’s kind of an old concept, but traditionally our forefather craftsmen were always encouraged to create a masterpiece.  Leonardo had the Sistine Chapel, I have a VW Crafter long wheel base high roof Truck. 

If you would like to know more or understand the history of this idea then get across to for the complete story.

It’s difficult to be sad about leaving Abbots, seven years have flown by and I have a very exciting new project.  Also I am really looking forward to a change; doing the same drive every day and looking at the same walls for seven years has been harsh no matter how much I have enjoyed my work.  I will miss it, but to be honest this last year or so has been horrible.  We were targeted by the village troll and then broken into, the result of which was the death of our Marine fish tank and fish that we had kept for years.  That was the final straw for me.

In the end we felt like a sitting target, online abuse from people with little to offer but noise and then despite being less that 200 yards from a Police Station, the constant worry of security. It felt as if I couldn’t afford to speak my mind as the Studio would suffer accordingly.

This is a much better scenario, now the trolls don’t know where I am…… I don’t have a Studio to attack.

But, I DO know where they are.

So the phone numbers been changed at the top of the site, the contact page is live, we are just having four weeks “off” and then its business as usual…… sort of.

This site will be updated in the short-term whilst we go through this transition, but the site will be changing in the long run as we have had some very real interest in our little “brand”.

We expect it to become much more merchandise focussed (and bigger), stay tuned for more exciting news on this in the not too distant future, I am not allowed to say too much about this and have possibly said enough already.

So there is little more to say than thank you to Abbots Langley for having us.  It’s been emotional, but this is not goodbye, its just “see ya” ……………… on the flip side.

With Kind Regards and thanks to you all….