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  1. Blog

Killer Ink Tattoo

Tattoo Reference Books, DVDs & USBs

Looking for high-quality reference materials for your next tattoo? We have a killer range of tattoo reference books, DVDs and USBs in stock at Killer Ink!

Our tattoo reference book collection comprises publications from Out of Step Books, Illustrated Monthly, Tattoo Life, and many of the world's most renowned tattooists, including our sponsored artist Anrijs Straume.

Our great range of tattoo reference DVDs includes the full TattooSoul collection, featuring tutorials from some of the best tattooers around.

We also stock USBs containing three volumes of skull references from Boris Tattoo of Hungary. The perfect choice for tattoo artists who want to recreate realistic skulls on the skin.

No matter what type of media you’re interested in, whether it be books, DVDs or USBs, our selection contains the perfect tattoo reference materials for artists of any skill level, no matter what style you work in or whether you prefer colour or black and grey!

Our tattoo reference books, DVDs and USBs also make great stocking fillers for the artist in your life! (Christmas will be here before you know it…)

Tattoo Tea Party 2020 Video

We took the short trip over to Manchester for the 2020 Tattoo Tea Party and shot our latest video featuring some incredible artists and fiery entertainment!

The 9th annual Tattoo Tea Party was again held within EventCity and it was great to both catch-up with old friends and see some of the new tattooists on the block!

Make sure to give the video a watch below!

Sponsored Artist of the Month – Hokowhitu Sciascia

Known for his morbid black and grey body art, New Zealand artist Hokowhitu Sciascia is a master of the macabre and purveyor of abstract and surreal tattoos.

Although he had always known that he wanted a creative career, it wasn’t until he received his first tattoo at the age of 17 that Hoko realised tattooing was his calling all along.

Since becoming a full-time tattoo artist, Hoko has found himself working at conventions and studios in most continents across the globe, bringing his dark, macabre body art to the masses.

Most recently, the Kiwi tattooist has found himself back at Ship Shape Tattoo in his home country, alongside fellow Killer Ink sponsored artists Matt Jordan, Ben Kaye, Nicklas Wong, Jason Baker, and Nato Borges.

A lover of classical art, Hoko cites Caravaggio, Gustave Doré, and Peter Paul Rubens as his biggest influences, alongside modern contemporaries like H.R. Giger and Zdzisław Beksiński.

As well as being an incredible tattooer, Hoko is also well versed in digital design, primarily digital sculpture, which he used to create designs for his clients, ensuring that each and every one is unique.

To create his morbid, surreal work, Hoko uses a variety of tattoo supplies from Killer Ink, namely Inkjecta tattoo machines.

Make sure to keep up to date with all of Hokowhitu Sciascia’s work by following him on Instagram!

Milano Tattoo Convention 2020 Highlights

The 2020 Milano Tattoo Convention was an incredible event, with hundreds of the world’s best artists creating more tattoos than you could ever imagine!

We wanted to make sure that all of the amazing work done by tattooists at the 25th anniversary edition of the Milano Tattoo Convention got the plaudits they deserve, so we’ve featured every one that we filmed in our latest highlights video!

Make sure to watch it below and let us know which tattoos are your favourites!

Latest Products From FK Irons/Spektra Rotary/DarkLab

It’s been an incredibly busy year for the team behind popular tattoo brands FK Irons, Spektra Rotary and DarkLab, with a trio of new, game-changing products launched and lauded by artists worldwide.

Alongside the release of its first wireless tattoo machine, the Spektra Flux, the US-based team introduced the Hover touchless power supply and Lightning Bolt wireless battery pack, with all three products receiving great praise from tattooists across the globe.

So, let’s take a look at what each has to offer!

Spektra Flux Wireless Tattoo Machine

The Spektra Flux is the follow-on to the popular Xion rotary and is the brand’s first wireless tattoo machine.

Spektra’s Flux machine is powered by a detachable battery known as a PowerBolt, which allows tattoo artists to run their rotary wirelessly without the need for cables or power supplies.

As it's interchangeable, you can quickly and easily switch to an auxiliary battery (sold separately) when the charge runs out, so you can keep working with no problems.

The Spektra Flux is Bluetooth-enabled, which means that you can pair it with DarkLab's Hover power supply and app. You can use the DarkLab app to wirelessly update the Flux with the latest firmware, making it future-proof.

You can watch Killer Ink’s video review of the Spektra Flux below.

FK Irons DarkLab Hover Power Supply

The DarkLab Hover from FK Irons is the first touchless, OLED display power supply for tattooing and has been built for maximum hygiene.

DarkLab's innovative power supply is choc-full of new and exciting features. With touchless control, tattooists simply need to gesture to the power supply to control it, therefore avoiding cross-contamination.

The DarkLab Hover is also Bluetooth-enabled, meaning that you can connect the power supply to multiple wireless devices and upgrade the firmware via a mobile app. It is also compatible with USB-A and USB-C, allowing you to recharge your battery packs, wireless machines or mobile devices.

With dual machine inputs, you can connect up to two tattoo machines to the Hover power supply and toggle back and forth between them with the swipe air gesture feature.

You can watch Killer Ink’s video review of the DarkLab Hover below.

FK Irons DarkLab Lightning Bolt Wireless RCA Battery Pack

The DarkLab Lightning Bolt from FK Irons is a wireless battery pack that clips onto your tattoo machine via its RCA connection and offers up to 10 hours of work with a single charge.

Thanks to its wireless capability, the DarkLab Lighting Bolt helps to cut down on the clutter in your work space by removing the need for cables.

The DarkLab Lightning Bolt offers Bluetooth connectivity, allowing you to pair the battery pack with other wireless products from DarkLab, as well as the brand's mobile app. Wireless firmware updates also mean that the Lightning Bolt is future-proof.

The Lightning Bolt battery pack from FK Irons weighs just 58 grams, which means that it won’t leave your tattoo machine feeling top-heavy during use.

Reference87 – New Tattoo Reference Site

Take your tattoo reference game up to the next level with Reference87, a new website from artist Ben Kaye.

Reference87 delivers an exciting new way to source reference material, coming up with unique images to incorporate into your design work. Whether it be a compass, skull, or girl covered in blood, they've got you covered!

The photographs are curated and taken by tattooists with body placement and structure in mind, meaning quality images tailored to your needs.

To get you started, we have three exclusive codes for you to use on Reference87:

  • KILLER15 - receive 15% off your first artist bundle purchase.
  • JOINKILLER - receive 97% off your first month of membership when joining Reference87 for the first time.
  • KILLER50 – receive 50% off all single image purchases.

To check out their website and learn more about what they have to offer, click here.

Sponsored Artist of the Month – Toni Donaire

Toni Donaire is a Spanish neo-traditional specialist renowned for his bright and bold tattoos.

Born and raised in Barcelona, Spain, Toni has always had an interest in art, working as a children’s book illustrator before making the switch to tattooing.

After working at various Barcelona-based tattoo studios, including Blue Cat Tattoo and Sacrifice BCN (home to fellow sponsored artist Melow Perez), Toni can now be found plying his trade at Bhorn Tattoo in his home town.

As with most artists, Toni tried out various styles when beginning his tattooing career, including geometrical figures, crazy surrealist designs, and a good measure of Catrinas and more traditional work.

He soon clicked with a neo-traditional style that he has become notorious for today, with artists, customers and social media users alike lauding his eye-catching tattoos.

In his downtime, Toni enjoys taking the three-hour drive to the Andorran mountains for a spot of snowboarding to help him unwind from his work. However, tattooing is never far from his mind, as he has also released four sketchbooks of his original drawings and sketches that make for great reference material!

Toni uses various supplies from Killer Ink to create his incredible neo-traditional tattoos, including Hustle Butter Deluxe tattoo care, META workstations, Musotoku power supplies, FK Irons tattoo machines, and Eternal Tattoo Ink.

Make sure to keep up to date with all of Toni Donaire’s latest work by following him on Instagram!

How to Use a Thermal Printer for Tattoo Stencils

Killer Ink had the pleasure to welcome UK tattoo artist Paul Talbot to our studio to discuss how to use a thermal printer for tattoo stencils.

While he was here, Paul answered some frequently asked questions regarding creating tattoo stencils with your Brother printer, as well as troubleshooting some common issues that artists face.

Make sure to watch our video with Paul Talbot and Brother Printers below to learn just how to use a thermal printer for your tattoo stencils, along with some other tattooing tips from Paul!

How to Become a Tattoo Artist

Tattooing is an age-old profession that has only grown in popularity over the years, but how exactly do you become a tattoo artist?

We interviewed a handful of our sponsored artists about why and how they became a tattooist, along with looking into their passion for art, what tattoo equipment they prefer, and what advice they would give to tattoo apprentices.

Read on for our Q&A with experienced UK tattoo artist Arron Raw, Spanish neo-traditional queen Debora Cherrys, and brilliant German artists Guido Schmitz and Samanta Annie.

Why Did You Want to Become a Tattoo Artist?

Guido: I was always fascinated by bringing art onto the skin and letting people wear my artwork for their entire life. And it's a way for me to create crazy pictures with my designs.

Samanta: I became a tattoo artist because I always knew I wanted to create art that makes an impact on people. And it is such a wonderful feeling to know that somebody likes your art so much that they choose to “wear” one of your artworks for the rest of their lives.

Debora: I never thought about being a tattoo artist. Since I was a child, I was always painting and drawing, and I decided to study Art at university, but without knowing what will I would be in the future. When I met my husband, he taught me to tattoo, and I believed that was my destiny.

Arron: I needed to make a lifestyle change due to a stress-related illness brought on by my previous business.

Debora Cherrys

Have You Always Had an Interest in Art?

Debora: Always. I can’t say when I started to be interested in art because I have been as long as I remember. I think everyone who is an artist has this feeling inside, but you can’t choose to have it.

Arron: I have been into art as far back as I can remember. It’s all I’ve ever wanted to do.

Samanta: I’ve been interested in art since I was a little child. With my parents’ support, I began to attend my local art school when I was 10 years old and my interest in art grew even bigger.

Guido: I started drawing at a young age and Art was always my favourite lesson in school.  I grew up to be a teenager addicted to and in love with punk rock and hardcore music, which came along with a lot of collage art that fascinated me a lot. I wished to create even more abstract art.

What Did You Work as Before Becoming a Tattoo Artist?

Arron: When I left school, I started a Youth Training Scheme (YTS) as a Traditional Signwriter, which years later led me into running my own business ‘Raw Graphics’ as a Signwriter/Graphic Designer.

Guido: I always wanted to take a job in crafts and try to combine it with doing art, so I ended up with an apprenticeship as a stonemason and sculptor, which I did until I was a professional. Working in this job in a small family-owned company gave me the chance to learn a lot about basic rules of creating, lights and shadows, and even the golden ratio.

Debora: I worked in many jobs while I was studying. I was a lifeguard, waitress, shop assistant, and an interior designer for two years.

Samanta: I’ve had a lot of small jobs before getting into tattooing, but none of them were “official” since I was still very young and still going to school.

Samanta Annie

Did You Have a Tattoo Apprenticeship?

Samanta: I had a tattoo apprenticeship at a studio called Tattoo Art Karlsruhe.

Arron: I didn’t have an apprenticeship! I was heavily tattooed when I first got into it at 35, I learned a lot from all the other artists who’d tattooed me in the past. I would always ask questions.

Guido: I didn't have a proper tattoo apprenticeship – I am self-taught. I watched other artists whenever I got the chance to and asked a lot of questions.

Arron Raw

What Was Your First Tattoo Machine?

Debora: My husband was a tattooer for a long time and so I got all of my supplies from him. I used handmade coil machines to start (Koko Fernandez and Micky Sharpz) and sometime later I bought my first rotary machine to start with colour work.

Guido: My first tattoo machine was a Micky Sharpz and I bought it just before I started to get into tattooing.

Arron: Micky Sharpz T Dial.

Samanta: My first tattoo machine was a Cheyenne Hawk Spirit.

What Tattoo Supplies and Equipment Are You Using Now?

Guido: For the last couple of years, I've only been tattooing with Cheyenne tattoo machines and needles and I'm more than happy with that! I use two colour brands at the moment, including World Famous Ink - I love the red tones. For any freehand parts, I use Squidster Skinmarkers. While tattooing I also use Cleany Skin Tattoo Wipes instead of kitchen roll and Dermalize for aftercare.

Samanta: I’m still sticking to Cheyenne supplies and tattoo machines – mostly the Thunder and sometimes the SOL Luna and SOL Terra. I also prefer to use Intenze Tattoo Ink.

Arron: I get all of my supplies from Killer Ink (other than what I get from my sponsors), including INK-EEZE, Immortal Prime, and Wipe Outz.

Debora: My favourite tattoo supply company for years is Killer Ink. I buy all of my supplies there and I trust them. The website is super easy, they have all you need and I receive all my orders in 2-3 days. They never disappoint! And about the equipment, I use FK Irons tattoo machines, a Musotoku power supply, and World Famous Ink - I have my own set of inks called “MUSAS” with my favourite colours.

Guido Schmitz

When Did You Think You Had “Made It”?

Arron: I am still on the journey to get there!

Debora: I never think that! Honestly, I feel like an ant, small and always working. I feel proud when other artists say congratulations to me or tell me that I am their inspiration, but... I can’t believe it! I think there are hundreds of talented artists in the tattoo world and I admire them, but I don’t feel like one of them.

Samanta: I’m not sure I will ever think that I actually “made it”. In my opinion, no matter how good an artist is, there’s always something new to learn, something new to try and some more room to grow. At the point where artists start to think that they’ve “made it” and achieved everything they can, they stop growing and developing - that’s not how I want to be.

Guido: I´ll let you know, guys! To be honest, is there really a point where an artist thinks they finally made it? I feel like there´s always one more step I want to reach with my art.

What Advice Would You Give Apprentices and Those Starting Out in Tattooing?

Samanta: Be patient and always give your best. Good things take time and hard work.

Arron: If you are lucky enough to get an apprenticeship, put 100% into it day after day - you need to live and breathe tattooing, in my opinion. Just keep pushing yourself, be inspired by all forms of art. We are all still learning. Stay true to yourself…

Guido: Don't be an asshole, just be kind and patient! Believe in yourself, even if you think there’s a long way to go. Always respect your customers and their massive trust in you and your work. Work in a hygienic way and don´t forget to be good in the basics before working on a special style. Work hard - not for the big money, work hard because it should be your passion and this comes along with never stopping learning and improving yourself. Always give your best and be nice!

Debora: If you like to draw or paint, let’s try it! But the reason should be because you love tattooing, not for the money or fame or other bullshit. It’s not easy to be part of this world, but if you fight and you deserve it, you will get it! And the most important word they should learn: RESPECT! For themselves, for other artists and for all their clients.


Hopefully, you found our Q&A with some of our sponsored artists on how to become a tattoo artist useful! If you're just starting out on this exciting career journey then make sure you buy top quality tattoo supplies and equipment at the most competitive prices from Killer Ink Tattoo.

EGO Rotary

EGO Rotary tattoo machines are super-lightweight models with wrist-friendly designs. The original idea from UK tattoo artist Bez was to create a machine that could be held like a pen, offering perfect balance and needle control.

The most recent offering from Bez and EGO Rotary is the EGO Switch pen-style tattoo machine, the world’s first to feature an in-built ON/OFF switch and now available with adjustable give!

The EGO Switch V2 is a cartridge-dedicated rotary tattoo machine that is lightweight, reliable, consistent and quiet.  It features an exceptional ergonomic design, with a 28 mm diameter that fits into your hand well and feels great when tattooing.

EGO Rotary’s Switch V2 has two operating modes. Mode one is constant power on, meaning that tattoo artists control the power of the machine via their power supply with a foot switch. Mode two is Switch mode, which allows artists to turn the power on and off via the switch at the top of the rotary. One press engages the power, and it will stay on until the switch is pressed again.

The perfect accompaniment to the Switch V2 is the EGO Micro-Lite RCA cord, which is available in straight and right-angle configurations.

The EGO Micro-Lite RCA cables weigh just 20 grams, making them the lightest cords available. With a diameter of 2 mm, the cords are very thin and more flexible than other RCA cords.

The gold-plated jack and RCA plug ensure a clean connection between your tattoo machine and power supply.

Bez's popular EGO V2 Plus is also available in three of the latest eye-catching Crystal colours!

The EGO V2 Plus is a super-lightweight rotary tattoo machine with a wrist-friendly design. With all of the weight shifted to create a more pen-like feeling and eliminate wrist pain, the EGO V2 Plus is perfectly balanced for maximum needle control and balance.

Features EGO's patented 'Power Triangle' system, which efficiently replicates the front and back spring system from coil machines.

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