First Tattoo Story By Tattoo Artist Miles Monaghan

I had a chat to UK tattoo artist Miles Monaghan about what it was like doing his first ever tattoo.

beccyrimmer10 months ago in Tattoo Artists

Tattoo artist Miles Monaghan reflects upon the experience of doing his first ever tattoo 16 years ago.

"When I did my first tattoo, I was 13 and had just watched the documentary The Vanishing Tattoo, with Thomas Lockhart"
Beccy RimmerFrom Tattoodo App
Spider and chrysanthemum back piece by Miles Monaghan #MilesMonaghan #chrysanthemum #spider #cobweb #hannya
Spider and chrysanthemum back piece by Miles Monaghan #MilesMonaghan #chrysanthemum #spider #cobweb #hannya

"I had previously seen tattoos on people here and there, my neighbour was an old war vet with tattoos all over and most of the guys in the bands I liked were tattooed. So I decided it was time to get tattooed..."

Beccy RimmerFrom Tattoodo App
Asian back piece #MilesMonaghan #leaves #japanese #backpiece
Asian back piece #MilesMonaghan #leaves #japanese #backpiece
"I decided it was time to get tattooed"

"...Thomas had been tattooed by the Iban Headhunters of Borneo in the documentary, all by hand with no electricity. I had a small wall hanging in my room, made of beads and bits but it had a sea urchins spine on it, I used that as a grip. I tied a sewing needle to the end where I had screwed a picture in, making an L shape. With a small bottle of blue Parker ink that I took from my Dad's office, I decided I was going to do a 5 pointed star on my leg. I drew it on very poorly with a marker and using a wooden incense burner, tapped it into my leg. After a few knocks I decided it wasn't really working and decided to just push it in. It worked much better."

Beccy RimmerFrom Tattoodo App
Self-made tattoo tool from 16 years ago #MilesMonaghan #DharmaTattoo #London #tattootool
Self-made tattoo tool from 16 years ago #MilesMonaghan #DharmaTattoo #London #tattootool
Beccy RimmerFrom Tattoodo App
Ongoing back piece by Miles Monaghan on tattoo artist and colleague of Miles' Dave Condon #MilesMonaghan #bakcpiece #blackwork
Ongoing back piece by Miles Monaghan on tattoo artist and colleague of Miles' Dave Condon #MilesMonaghan #bakcpiece #blackwork
"All these years later, it feels pretty surreal to think it all started in my bedroom as a young child"

"Unfortunately, in my heist of wanting to be tattooed I covered what was left of that first tattoo. It lasted a week or so before it mostly vanishing. The sentimental part of me wishes I still had it."

"At that point, I knew I wanted to have lots of tattoos and it was the first time I thought about being a tattooer. All these years later, after 10 years tattooing, working around the world and opening my own shop, it feels pretty surreal to think it all started in my bedroom as a young child."

Beccy RimmerFrom Tattoodo App
Ongoing back piece by Miles Monaghan on tattoo artist and colleague of Miles' Dave Condon #MilesMonaghan #tattooartist #artist #backpiece
Ongoing back piece by Miles Monaghan on tattoo artist and colleague of Miles' Dave Condon #MilesMonaghan #tattooartist #artist #backpiece

16 years on, Miles is the owner of Dharma Tattoo in London.

Beccy RimmerFrom Tattoodo App
Japanese Phoenix tattoo #MilesMonaghan #bird #japanese #phoenix
Japanese Phoenix tattoo #MilesMonaghan #bird #japanese #phoenix
Beccy RimmerFrom Tattoodo App
The Dharma Tattoo family #London #DharmaTattoo #tattooartists #artists
The Dharma Tattoo family #London #DharmaTattoo #tattooartists #artists
Beccy RimmerFrom Tattoodo App
Inside Dharma Tattoo studio in London #MilesMonaghan #London #DharmaTattoo #tattoostudio
Inside Dharma Tattoo studio in London #MilesMonaghan #London #DharmaTattoo #tattoostudio

Follow Miles on Instagram.