Illustration and tattoo design course launched by Northampton College

Aspiring tattooists can get "thinking about inking" thanks to a new course launched by Northampton College to inspire the next generation of body artists.

Monday, 10th April 2017, 1:37 pm
Updated Tuesday, 9th May 2017, 7:04 pm
Tattooist, Stuart Rolls will be delivering master classes to students, with his son, Thomas, who is a Level 1 art and design student at Northampton College.

The level two illustration and tattoo design course has been designed to equip students with the skills they need to build a portfolio of eye-catching designs and prepare them for a career in an industry that has recently enjoyed a surge in popularity.

The course is being run in conjunction with professional illustrators and tattooists, including Stuart Rolls – who has 25 years of industry experience and runs the All One Tribe parlour in Adam and Eve Street in Market Harborough.

Mr Rolls said: “In recent years the tattoo industry has jumped into the mainstream. The popularity of programmes such as Miami Ink and the number of celebrities and role models with tattoos has taken us from the back streets to the high street.

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“Interest in tattoos is greater than it’s ever been and we need to bring through a new generation of designers to cater for that demand. I want to see students who are passionate about a career in illustration and have the eye for innovative design.

“This course is a fantastic initiative and gives us the chance to prepare students for what lies ahead, helping them to build a portfolio which will impress employers and give them the opportunity to get their foot in the door.”

The latest research has estimated that one in five people in the UK has a tattoo and the figure rises to one in three for young adults.

The course content has been designed following feedback from students interested in the surging popularity of tattoos.

Julie Teckman, head of the school of arts, said: “This new course is based on feedback from young people who want to come to college, are creative but don’t want to go down a traditional fine arts route.

"They want something a little different so this course will enable us to harness talent and develop their illustration and artistic skills at the same time. The focus will be on the design side of tattooing, and not the process of inking the tattoos.”

It is hoped that students will be able to get "real world" experience by gaining work placements with local employers who have played a role in developing the content of the programme.

Sophie Pennington, curriculum manager for art and design, added: “We have worked closely with local tattoo businesses who are supportive of this new course and looking forward to working with our students, offering work placements, and coming into college to meet and advise our students.”

For more information on the course, which will launch at Northampton College’s Booth Lane campus in September, visit:,-design-photography/463-level-2/1835-level-2-art-and-design-tattooing-design-illustration.html