The Cloak and Dagger tattoo parlour is situated just off the buzzing Brick Lane in the East End of London. The shop was set up in 2013 at a time when the competition was fierce in the industry. George, the owner and manager, wanted to create a friendly atmosphere, breaking away from the stereotypical parlour where customers are often nervous before even entering the shop. Judging by the online reviews left by customers, he has hit the nail on the head! George has focused on refining the shop t to make it as close to his vision of the perfect parlour as possible, making it the ideal spot to go, whether it’s your first or your fiftieth tattoo.
George came from a customer service background, so he has transferred these skills into the business. The shop is bright and welcoming and the staff couldn’t be friendlier. George rightly points out that you can only get so far with customer service, at the end of the day, the quality of the tattoos are equally as important. Subsequently, Cloak and Dagger are staffed with nine talented full-time artists as well as a couple of part-time artists, all who have been carefully assessed for the quality of work they offer before joining the business. With such a variety of artists, it isn’t difficult to find someone’s work that resonates with you.
Personally, I particularly loved the work of Davide Di Cintio, an Italian artist in his mid-twenties with a unique style and bold images. His black and grey work was really exciting and his passion for Japanese style tattoos appealed to me a lot.
As usual, I arrived at my consultation with a couple of ideas, but my lack of artistic imagination means that I have a hard time putting images and thoughts to paper. Fortunately for me, Davide took the bag of flour I gave him and turned it into a cake! He put forward several suggestions and eventually we narrowed it down to the one concept. I left the parlour excited and eager to return in several weeks’ time to see what Davide had come up with.
It’s very rare for an artist to send images of the tattoo to you prior to your appointment, so arriving on the morning of my tattoo I felt a degree of apprehension mixed with curiosity. As usual, I was met with a warm welcome and within a few minutes, Davide showed me the incredible drawing of a Golden Eagle that he had done. It was seriously impressive and beyond what I had expected. With my concerns about the design well and truly banished, I now found myself feeling nervous about the actual tattoo being done. I’m no stranger to tattoos but this was the first one to be done on the side of my ribs – and as some of you may already know, this is a painful area to have a tattoo done!
We soon started work, as it was a larger piece we were based in the basement, which is obviously darker, but I was pleased as it meant that we were away from other artists and customers so my screwed up face couldn’t be seen! In total, the piece took roughly 5 hours. Davide was incredibly patient with me as I had to stop him several times in order compose myself. Despite my fairly consistent wriggling and calling out to God and any other higher entity that was listening, Davide kept a cheery and calm manner that made me feel like I wasn’t being completely pathetic!
Once finished, I was totally blown away with the result. The flow and detail of the piece are absolutely amazing. Davide’s work is superb, he’s clearly a seriously talented artist! Not only is the design superb but the finish of the tattoo is first rate and justified the pain! The healing process has been very quick and as the image has slowly revealed itself from under the scab it has, without doubt, justified the few hours of pain incurred!
The video below shows some of the process and the results 2 weeks into the healing process. Huge thanks again to George, Davide and the rest of the team at Cloak and Dagger for a great experience!