Octopus Sleeve

I’m currently working on a full sleeve tattoo, with an octopus as its main feature. It’s in a contemporary Japanese art style and we worked together a lot to get it just right. ๐Ÿ™‚ Click on the Instagram posts to watch the videos.

Animated GIF of a tattoo sleeve design, featuring an octopus and flowers in a Japanese art style. Designed by Naomi Hoang at NAOHOA Luxury Bespoke Tattoos, Cardiff (Wales, UK).

The design process

Photo of the Octopus Sleeve, designed by Naomi Hoang at NAOHOA Luxury Bespoke Tattoos, Cardiff (Wales, UK).

 

 

 


#NAOHOAstory….Rat Pack

…okay, more of a ‘duo’ than a ‘pack’, but that’s less catchy. ๐Ÿ˜› Check out this client’s first venture into the world of tattoos with her cute buddies.ย ๐Ÿ€๐Ÿ

Photo of a woman sitting on the sofa at NAOHOA Luxury Bespoke Tattoos (Cardiff, Wales, UK) during her tattoo consultation, enjoying Hibiscus Berry tea from Waterloo Teas.

(1/3) “This will be my first tattoo…I want it to be of my pet rats. โค” I love how this client checked I didn’t have a phobia of rats before talking about them or showing me pictures. So kind. Thankfully it wasn’t for spiders, so we’re okay!! ๐Ÿ˜…๐Ÿ™ˆย  #NAOHOAstory
@waterlootea: Your Hibiscus Berry tea went down a treat here! ๐Ÿ‘Œ

 

 

 

Photo of a healed tattoo of two rats in a minimalistic line art style. Designed and tattooed by Naomi Hoang at NAOHOA Luxury Bespoke Tattoos, Cardiff, Wales, UK.

(3/3) The healed tattoo~ Rats are cute. ๐Ÿ€ย #NAOHOAstoryย 

 

Photo of an ankle tattoo of two rats next to the woman's pet rat. Designed and tattooed by Naomi Hoang at NAOHOA Luxury Bespoke Tattoos, Cardiff, Wales, UK.

(4/3) BONUS IMAGE: Isn’t this adorable?! ๐Ÿ˜ Wanna start your #NAOHOAstory? Email me at info@naohoa.com to book your Consultation~ โœจ๐Ÿ˜„

 

Client Testimonial

Icon for 5-star reviews at NAOHOA Luxury Bespoke Tattoos, Cardiff, Wales, UK. Run by Naomi Hoang.

“I had my first tattoo with NAOHOA. Naomi is a really welcoming person who makes you feel you’re in safe hands. She got my ideas straight away and the final tattoo is so cute! Already planning tattoo number 2!”

Want to start your #NAOHOAstory? Contact me now to book a Consultation!

 

#NAOHOAstory button

 


‘Four Seasons’ Sleeve

A colourful half-sleeve design by Naomi Hoang, which depicts the four seasons in the style of traditional Japanese woodblock art. NAOHOA Luxury Bespoke Tattoos, Cardiff, Wales, UK.

In a previous life, I was a Concept Artist/Illustrator for the gaming industry (I still do this sometimes but only on a remote, freelance basis). The first company I worked at was The Creative Assembly (SEGA), where I produced the Event Pictures for Shogun 2: Fall of the Samurai. Several pages of my work can be found in The Art of Total War or on my personal art blog.

My experience there left me well-versed in the art of Japanese wood-block prints, which I applied here. The idea was to have a design that resembled traditional Japanese art with a modern twist, rather than imitate big, bold styles that originated from the Yakusa*.

This was my first attempt with colourย and I really wanted to go all-out, so I could learn lots before inking people. It’s a lot like traditional painting, and having grown up trying out different types of media, this wasn’t any different.

* Japanese organised gang.

Spring

Japanese wood-block-style tattoo sleeve designed and tattooed by Naomi Hoang on an A Pound of Flesh silicone arm. NAOHOA Luxury Bespoke Tattoos, Cardiff, Wales, UK.

It was easy to decide what to base Spring on, given that their national flower is the cherry blossom. It’s my favourite type of tree too, so I had fun inking this part in. ๐Ÿ™‚ I used coloured lines (rather than black) throughout the sleeve for a softer and more vibrant look. It’s a technique Disney use that prevents the image looking too flat, which I think is the issue with using black outlines…unless you’re going for that look.

 

Summer

Japanese wood-block-style tattoo sleeve designed and tattooed by Naomi Hoang on an A Pound of Flesh silicone arm. NAOHOA Luxury Bespoke Tattoos, Cardiff, Wales, UK.

Summer was a tricky season to represent. My first thought was a clear blue sky but a.) that can happen in any season and b.) it’s not very interesting compared to the other subjects. Eventually, I read somewhere that fireflies emerge during the Summer, so I depicted this in a silhouetted forest scene. I was concerned it wouldn’t fit into the rest of the sleeve, being so dark, but over time it grew on me and serves as a contrast in light and colour palette.

 

 

Autumn

Japanese wood-block-style tattoo sleeve designed and tattooed by Naomi Hoang on an A Pound of Flesh silicone arm. NAOHOA Luxury Bespoke Tattoos, Cardiff, Wales, UK.

Trees look fabulous in Autumn, and I was delightfully surprised in how easy it was to portray bunches of leaves with simple lines. I drew a loooooot of clouds and waves during my contract at The Creative Assembly, to the point where people would call them “Naomi Clouds”, which was cute. ๐Ÿ™‚ “Naomi Swirls” were a thing too, hah.

 

 

Winter

Japanese wood-block-style tattoo sleeve designed and tattooed by Naomi Hoang on an A Pound of Flesh silicone arm. NAOHOA Luxury Bespoke Tattoos, Cardiff, Wales, UK.

Winter was another tricky one. I knew I wanted to feature Mt. Fuji, which always has some snow on the peak and figured it would be a clear and easy way to portray the season when covered in snow. I added a cooler, brighter hue of blue/turquoise to give the surrounding patch of sky an icy chill…subtle details like that can be nicer than big, literal ones, I think. For example, slapping a snowflake on top would be too much, imo, and distract from the overall image.

 

Wave

Japanese wood-block-style tattoo sleeve designed and tattooed by Naomi Hoang on an A Pound of Flesh silicone arm. NAOHOA Luxury Bespoke Tattoos, Cardiff, Wales, UK.

I’m aware that Hokusai’s ‘The Great Wave off Kanagawa‘ is hugely popular as a tattoo as well as a print, so I wanted to feature this in the sleeve for solid practice. I noticed a lot of tattoos neglected the subtle shading on the outer waves, so I added some in blue for my version. It’s a tiny detail that adds a lot to the image, I think. Having studied his work for Shogun 2, it was already embedded in my brain anyway!

 

Closing Thoughts

It’s been around two years since this piece was completed. I started practising on my desk in the spare room and carried on working on it in the studio during late hours…because parking in Cardiff is free after 6pm and I couldn’t afford to pay for a spot or didn’t know the area enough to find free ones. I put everything I had into this and setting up the studio, making as many sacrifices needed to make it all happen. It’s easy to forget about that sense of tenacity once it’s all done and bewildering to look back on.

‘Four Seasons’ is still my favourite and proudest tattoo moment and I think it’s because it was fun and void of pressure. Sure, these arms aren’t cheap to use, but I did have the freedom to work on it whenever I liked, on a subject I enjoyed and, if I messed up, at least it wasn’t on a human being!ย ๐Ÿ™ˆ

Thanks for reading~ I hope you liked reading about my thought process and musings behind this design. If not…that’s okay too! It was nice to reflect on this piece and the time around it. ๐Ÿ™‚

Kind regards,
Naomi xxx


#NAOHOAstory…Geo Tulip

 

Pencil drawings by a Bristol-based NAOHOA client for Naomi Hoang to use as inspiration for her tattoo design (Cardiff, Wales).

(1/4) After seeing the Watercolour Geo Flower I did, this client wanted something along the same lines, featuring a tulip. Here are sketches she gave me to work with. ๐Ÿ™‚

 

(Click to play the videos below)

 

(4/4) The healed tattoo! This client travelled over from Bristol and took this photo for me.ย #NAOHOAstory

Healed back tattoo of a geometric tulip. Designed and inked at NAOHOA Luxury Bespoke Tattoos (Cardiff, Wales, UK) by Naomi Hoang.

(4/4) The healed tattoo! This client travelled over from Bristol and took this photo for me.ย ย #NAOHOAstory

 

This client travelled over from Bristol for her ink! If you’d like to know more about travelling for your tattoo (and hear what others have to say), check out my blog post, Visiting Wales.


Will It Hurt?

Most common question? You guessed it: “Do tattoos hurt?”

In a nutshell:

The level of pain you experience will depend on where and what you’re getting, along with your personalย pain threshold.

Here’s a simple breakdown based on my experience as a tattoo artist:

 

Places That Don’t Hurt (…as much):

  • Outer arm
  • Outer thigh
  • Calves
  • Forearms
  • Shoulders

Why?

If you think about it, these parts of the body are used to being, well…used. The skin is conditioned from being out in the open more often. Nerves aren’t as close to the skin as other parts of the body, making these areas good starting points for first tattoos.

 

Places That (typically) Hurt More:

  • Inner arm
  • Inner thigh
  • Chest
  • Foot
  • Knees (front and back)
  • Ankles
  • Elbows (front and back)

Why?

Bony areas essentially have less ‘padding’, so they tend to hurt more than more fleshy parts of the body. Skin is more sensitive on inner arms, thighs and joints. They’re less exposed to the elements, so they don’t need to be as hardy as the outer parts. There’s also a lot of motion/friction from clothing in these areas, which can contribute to longer healing times.

 

In-betweenies

Here are places I’ve noticed clients have very different reactions:

  • Back
  • Ribs
  • Wrists

Yeah…I’m surprised ribs are on this list too, but the people I’ve inked there so far dealt with it really well. It’s a bony area that’s notorious for being a pain-point – same goes for the wrists. Goes to show that it really comes down to the individual!

 

Places I Won’t Tattoo:

  • Face and neck (nape of the neck is fine)
  • Intimate areas
  • Hands

Why?

The first two are places I personally don’t want to tattoo. Hand tattoos tend not to heal properly and fade quicker than other areas due to the amount of use and movement they go through. I’m simply not convinced they’re a hygienic place to ink and don’t want my name to something that won’t look as good as my usual work.

 

 

Final Thoughts

…ultimately, everyone’s different, so it’s impossible to predict. What might be agony for one person is a breeze for another. Factors such as weather and preparation (such as eating beforehand and staying hydrated…or not) can affect your tattoo session, as well as location and size of tattoo. Naturally, I try to make things as comfortable for you as possible when you visit NAOHOA, but some things are out of my control.

From 1-10 (10 being the most painful), what was your last tattoo like?

Naomi xxx


Manchester Tattoo Appeal

Photos of Manchester Bee tattoos by Naomi Hoang, in tribute to the Manchester Arena Attack on 22nd May 2017 at an Ariana Grande concert.

#ManchesterTattooAppeal

Hi everyone!

In response to the horrific Manchester Arena Attackย on 22nd May, I was approached to do a Manchester Bee tattoo as a tribute and means to raise money for the families affected. The first person to contact me was a Cardiff-based Mancunian and interest soon spread to fellow locals, all happy to save a big trip to Manchester and queuing for hours.

 

Manchester Bee Tattoos

 

(click to view videos)

First #ManchesterBee done! ๐Ÿ˜„๐Ÿ #manchestertattooappeal #manchester #bee #vmfc #tattoo #firsttattoo #charity

A post shared by NAOHOA Luxury Bespoke Tattoos (@naohoa) on

 

A couple came in for matching tattoos – one of whom had never been inked before!

“…a way to show that you’re against terrorism”
– Client during tattoo session.

 

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Temporary Tattoos

 

Understandably, not everyone was keen to go under the needle at such short notice but wanted to participate somehow, so I made temporary tattoo transfers as an alternative:

 

They’re also safe for kids and even helped one user ‘test drive’ hers before committing to the real thing:

Manchester Bee temporary tattoo, in tribute to the Manchester Arena Attack on 22nd May 2017 at an Ariana Grande concert.

 

American Fashion Designer, model and photographer, Julia Marie Chew, purchased two bees and used them in this beautiful photoshoot with her partner, Stephen Zane (photography by Greg Suarez):

Manchester Bee temporary tattoo, in tribute to the Manchester Arena Attack on 22nd May 2017 at an Ariana Grande concert.ย  ย Manchester Bee temporary tattoo, in tribute to the Manchester Arena Attack on 22nd May 2017 at an Ariana Grande concert.

 

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Money Raised for #ManchesterTattooAppeal

 

Overall, ยฃ88 was raised via tattoos and I topped it up to make ยฃ100.

Photos of Manchester Bee tattoos by Naomi Hoang, in tribute to the Manchester Arena Attack on 22nd May 2017 at an Ariana Grande concert.

With love, from Cardiff! ๐Ÿ’–๐Ÿ

Donation to the Manchester Tattoo Appeal from NAOHOA Luxury Bespoke Tattoos, Cardiff

…looks like formatting went out the window! ๐Ÿ˜…

It’s been an honour being part of this and helping the families whilst meeting wonderful people. Britain has experienced a cluster of devastating events recently, such as the Westminster Attack, London Bridge and Grenfell Tower…not to mention the unfair surge of Islamophobic hate crimes (including the attack on Finsbury Park Mosque) that continue to rise and cause more pain.

Times like this is when we need to be especially mindful of our actions and fellow peers.

Please, be kind…life’s too short to waste on hate.

Naomi xxx


#NAOHOAstory…Sunshine

Photo of a client at NAOHOA Luxury Bespoke Tattoos (Cardiff, Wales, UK), drinking Waterloo Tea.

(1/3) “I am looking to have my first tattoo. Nothing big. Just a small one around my nipple…I read your rave reviews so would be interested in what ideas you may have.” #NAOHOAstory #NAOHOA #Luxury #Bespoke #Tattoos #Consultation

 

(click to play video)

 

 

Healed tattoo of a black stylised sun around a nipple. Designed and inked at NAOHOA Luxury Bespoke Tattoos (Cardiff, Wales, UK) by Naomi Hoang.

(3/3) It healed beautifully. Well sat for a first tattoo….around the nipple, no less! I’ve since heard touching news that this client was so happy, that he embarked on a healthier lifestyle to be in better shape to show off his ink. Well done!! ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ‘ #NAOHOAstory #changinglives #tattoo #Bespoke #customtattoo #customerservice #sun #nipple #nippletattoo

 

What did you think of this story? Message me, using #NAOHOAstory !

 

Facebook Icon for NAOHOA Luxury Bespoke Tattoos (Cardiff, Wales, UK). Naomi Hoang. ย ย Instagram Icon for NAOHOA Luxury Bespoke Tattoos (Cardiff, Wales, UK). Naomi Hoang. Twitter Icon for NAOHOA Luxury Bespoke Tattoos (Cardiff, Wales, UK). Naomi Hoang.

 

 


Designing Clocks & Roses

 

Hi all ๐Ÿ™‚

I received a cluster of requests around the same time for clocks and roses (inner arm pieces) and thought I’d share my design process for them.

Aware of the popularity of this combination, I wanted to ensure each design was personal and unique to each client. Everyone has their own reasons to choose the subjects for their tattoos and I strongly believe it is my duty to fulfil that to the best of my ability…in a way where the client feels their tattoo is special for them and them alone.

 

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Clocks & Roses with…

 

#01: …an Asian Twist

Work-in-progress of a Clock and Rose for an Asian-influenced tattoo design, by Naomi Hoang at  NAOHOA Luxury Bespoke Tattoos, Cardiff, Wales (UK).

Transition from final design to linework for the stencil.

This tattoo wraps around an existing one of Chinese characters and the client intends on havingย it extended into a Chinese dragon that ends at his chest. Bearing this in mind, I felt it would be fitting to doย the clouds and water in an Asian art style. It’s still realistic (to tie in with the clock and roses), but the forms are stylised. I did this by omitting the hard outline that would normally be used in Asian drawings.

By doing this, the art stylesย won’t feel disjointed to the rest of the sleeve when complete.

Here’s a short vid of its progress so far (click to play):

 

#02: …a Feminine Touch

Work-in-progress of a Clock and Rose for a delicate tattoo design, by Naomi Hoang at  NAOHOA Luxury Bespoke Tattoos, Cardiff, Wales (UK).

This client was easy-going with her design so long as it had a clock and roses. Given her slim frame and feminine nature, I felt it would be more appropriate to incorporate this. Visioning white roses (rather than red) and usingย negative space meant the overall tattoo wouldn’t be too heavy on her. I already knew she preferred delicate tattoos having done a smaller one on her ankle beforehand.

Unfortunately, she disappeared after I designed it, so it’s now available to tattooo:

An original tattoo design by Naomi Hoang, featuring a pocket watch, roses and birds flying away.

This design is available! Contact me if interested. ๐Ÿ™‚

 

#03: …a Modern Spin

Work-in-progress of a Clock and Rose for a modern tattoo design, by Naomi Hoang at  NAOHOA Luxury Bespoke Tattoos, Cardiff, Wales (UK).

There were several things to consider with this design: It was his first tattoo, so the clock needed to work as a stand-alone piece, should he change his mind in wanting more; we thought it would be cool to slip in various references of his interests into the design; elements needed to be left out until after a big event. Overall, the brief was to provide a modern take with subtle references woven into the design.

Work-in-progress of a clock and rose tattoo by Naomi Hoang, NAOHOA Luxury Bespoke Tattoos, Cardiff, Wales, UK.

 

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What do you think? I hope you enjoyed this insight to my process and perhaps feel assured that I’ll always do my best to design something special for you. ๐Ÿ™‚

If you’re interested in ink, please get in touch and we’ll get the ball rolling!

Thank for reading,

Naomi xxx


#NAOHOAstory…We Are United

This piece was a collaboration between the client and myself. She had the core idea on paper and simply wanted me to snazz up the wave. From what I recall: the circle, sky and water portrays the world and its elements and the dots represent people and how we’re all the same, regardless of gender or race…hence ‘United’ in the title. ๐Ÿ™‚

 

Photograph of a young woman's arm whilst sat on a sofa at NAOHOA Luxury Bespoke Tattoos, Cardiff (Wales, UK).

“I’ve been thinking about getting this tattoo for a few months now….”

 

 

Drawing by the client for Naomi Hoang to elaborate on. NAOHOA Luxury Bespoke Tattoos, Cardiff (Wales, UK).

(2/8) Here’s a sketch the client gave me to elaborate on…

 

(Click to play videos)

 

 

 

Photo of the finished design at NAOHOA Luxury Bespoke Tattoos, Cardiff (Wales, UK).

(4/8) Design done! Not long now. ๐Ÿ˜‰

 

Photo of a tattoo stencil, featuring the Hokusai wave, applied to a client's skin at NAOHOA Luxury Bespoke Tattoos, Cardiff (Wales, UK).

(6/8) Stenciled and ready to go. ๐Ÿ™‚

 

Work-in-progress shot of an arm tattoo featuring the Hokusai wave, at NAOHOA Luxury Bespoke Tattoos, Cardiff (Wales, UK).

(7/8) Upon making a comment about this being a cool collab project: “It’s our baaabeeeyyy~~ ๐Ÿ’–” ๐Ÿ˜‚

 

A black and white tattoo of the Japanese Great Wave and dot work

(8/8) Healed up nicely. ๐Ÿ™‚ย 


The Color Festival 2016

Great News, Everyone!

I’ll be at The Color Festival, Cardiff!! If you fancy some face paint or tattoo transfers whilst dancing to some sweet beats, swing by NAOHOA’s stall to get your fix. ๐Ÿ˜€

I’ll be there all day with my lovely helpers, so even if I’m busy talking to someone about real ink, there will always be someone around to see to you. Obviously, big music festivals aren’t the most relaxing or sterileย of environments, so we’ll only be doing temporary tattoos on the day.

Right now, I’m drawing up some Pokรฉmon designs but will have some more non-nerdy ones available on the day at varying sizes and prices.

 

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* Stay Tuned for Updates on Designs & Services *

I’ll be around all day, so if you’d like to discuss tattoos with me, please do.ย You can book and pay Consultations, which we’ll have after the festival when alcohol isn’t at play! ๐Ÿ˜›

All of the designs will be available to have tattooed however, as soon as one has been reserved,ย no one else can have it. NAOHOA stands true to being bespoke. To keepย a design, you’ll need to pay a Reservation Fee upfront to secure it. The fee will vary depending on the size and duration you’d like to reserve it for.

 

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Competition & Prizes

 

Twitter

The most retweets of your selfie donning NAOHOA temp. ink.

T&C’s:
  • Your post MUST include: Photo selfie clearly showing your temporary tattoo,ย #TCFtattoo and tag @_naohoa
  • Applicants must be 18 years or older.
  • Follow us on Twitter.

If these requirements are not met, you will not qualify for the competition.

 

FacebookNAOHOA Prize

The most ‘likes’ย of your selfie donning NAOHOA temp. ink.

T&C’s:
  • Your post MUST include: Photo selfie clearly showing your temporary tattoo,ย #TCFtattooย and tagย @NAOHOA
  • Applicants must be 18 years or older.
  • Like our Page.

If these requirements are not met, you will not qualify for the competition.

 

Prizes

A free Consultation and one hour of tattooing at NAOHOA!
ONE winner from EACH account will be selected on Sunday 28th August at 6pm, then announced soon afterwards.

 

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Cheers for reading and see you there!

Naomi xxx