tattoo 5


October 2010, was my 40th birthday; I know, hard to believe that such a handsome and youthful (dare I say boyish?) face can be 4 decades old?

As a gift to myself I decided to get a tattoo; something personal, something significant and definitely something that I wouldn’t regret.

Now, even if your idea is awesome, even if it is utterly symbolic and meaningful, much can go wrong between concept and creation.

It is vitally important to take your idea to someone who is not only artistically creative and technically skilled but to someone who is sensitive to your needs, your fears even.

Jake is the son of my very dear, creative and sober friend Karen. She is also an artist, a photographer; something clever, in fact, like social anthropology…ANYWAY, I DIGRESS.

Jake has also been incredibly supportive of my Equality Advocacy work and totally understood my desire to permanently place my, well Harvey Milk’s, mantra on my arm: NEVER BLEND IN.

Having these words so beautifully emblazoned on my forearm has opened the door to so many incredibly inspiring conversations.

People, often students (who are also people), ask “why these words?”

I love that this gives me the opportunity to explain about Harvey, about equality and ultimately connect on a deeper level than I could if I were wearing say a suit and tie (or anything that didn’t distinguise me from the masses).

Tattoos, as far as I’m concerned, should be individual, unique and a personal statement to reflect identity. I’m no expert and I imagine that there are many theories on the significance, cultural history etc of tattoos but, for me, this is what they are; a symbolic use of language and/or imagery to define or express individual identity, perhaps even to reclaim ownership of one’s own body. Or is that getting too deep?

tattoo 4

Anyway, Jake and I talked as he worked on my tattoo – we talked about anything and everything and, despite the slight discomfort, the afternoon was joyful, enlightening and has left me scarred (BUT IN A GOOD WAY).

tattoo 3

I can’t begin to express my gratitude to this talented, highly professional, creative, artistic and fascinating young artist but what I can do is recommend him to you.

If you have any questions, comments then ask Jake.


Colour Your Body is the alias of up and coming independent tattoo artist Jake Galleon.

Jake is a tattooist who mainly specialises in large scale, Japanese inspired tattooing, also working in other established tattoo styles such as traditional western and black & grey. while also putting a fresh twist into every piece.

Although he is self taught, he learned and continues to learn a great deal from the people he works with, the people who have tattooed him and ultimately from the customer’s themselves.

Tattooing out of South East London where he was ‘born and bred’. Jake finds a lot of inspiration from his surroundings in his artwork and is proud of his heritage

tattoo 2


About neverblendin

David Watters, a graduate of Napier University, Edinburgh, Trinity College of Music, London and the Institute of Education, University of London, has worked internationally within education and Educational Management for more than 20 years. He has taught extensively within many socially and culturally diverse settings; most recently as a Head of Performing Arts within Further Education. He is a personal and professional development associate with The Pacific Institute (, personal coach, freelance writer and founding member of NBI Associates. He is a writer on social equality issues, is a key player in the Equal Love Campaign UK and author of the forthcoming book, NEVER BLEND IN which features key voices from the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender community and which aims to inspire and encourage those who may lack self-esteem or who question their validity. David is currently promoting a youtube campaign"Give 'em Hope"and is asking individuals, couples and groups to make and share videos telling about the benefits of living with personal authenticity. He has shared a platform with Stuart Milk and Peter Tatchell and is a supporter of 17-24-30, The Trevor Project, Schools Out, The Terrence Higgins Trust, The Albert Kennedy Trust and numerous others. His background in arts and education, combined with a solid understanding of Cognitive Behavioural Strategies, and his passion for Equality Advocacy drive every aspect of his work as a personal development facilitator, motivational speaker and writer. View all posts by neverblendin

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