New Custom Tattoo Shop In the Heart of Hereford Specialising in Traditional Tattoos

Blackfriars Tattoos Owner, Jon Tagart, Hereford England
Jon Harper
In the world of tattooing there are some artists who uphold a level of criteria they will never falter from, that no amount of money could lure them away from, like a bible of tattoo ethics.

Jon Tagart Harper, owner of the newly opened Blackfriars Tattoo on Maylord Street around the corner from Neal’s Yard, is one of these purists.  Your body is his canvas, and he takes it seriously.

He is driven by his love of the trade, and a passion for the traditional style of tattooing that is always evolving, while maintaining its purity.  The hand of each individual artist adds its own character – and of course, Jon is an artist in his own right.

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Personally, as a barer of traditional-style tattoos, his devotion is touching.  I am elated to find a tattooist bringing incredible skill and talent to Hereford, while keeping to a strong code of ethics.   By this I mean, he does not take on work he isn’t comfortable with.  No worries though, Jon will happily refer you to other qualified colleagues in the city specializing in the requested style.


blackfriars custom traditional tattoos, hereford

Upon entering his Tattoo Studio you are greeted by his beautiful receptionist Sophie,  who will either make you an appointment, or prepare you to be seen by Jon.  There is currently a one month waiting list, and this ofcourse… before he even opened his doors!  This is not unheard of when extremely talented, sought after tattooists are involved.  I recommend making your appointment as soon as you can.


Jon Harper, Blackfriars Tattoo, Hereford England
Traditional-Style Tattoo by Jon Harper

Jon has been tattooing for five years. His career initiated at Mr. Beards of Kington, followed by Skinzophrenic in the city of Hereford.  It should be noted that Jon has a cult following, he did not dive into the deep end without being certain that setting up his own business would be viable.  I asked him why he chose to open his own studio in Hereford, and why he prefers  the traditional style made famous by such greats as ‘Sailor Jerry’ Colliins.

His reply was, “Traditional tattoos are timeless, and they always look striking, even many years down the line.   Since, I am a Hereford boy, born and bred, and a proud Herefordian, it was inevitable I should open a shop here.  This city has incredible history attached to it,  and if you stop and notice,  there is amazing architecture all around us”.  Yes Jon, I agree.

This of course does not need to be spoken, the shop front window depicts an incredible image of the Hereford Cathedral, and on the door window, a medievel Friar dressed in robes (the Blackfriars logo), painted by one of Jon’s friends.


IMG_1147_The shop has three levels, and a view of the magnificent Philip Morris & Son building, built during the Tudor period.  This adds to the old world appeal the studio possesses, in which Jon exposed the beams to reveal as much character as possible, while adding his own personal style to the interior.

You see, the studio is also an art gallery where Jon will be displaying some pretty unique artists’ work.  You could  almost say the studio feels like it should be placed in London or Bristol with its fresh, minimalist interior.

Jon works out of a room on the second level ensuring complete privacy.  He also provides a separate room for guest tattooists coming from as far as America, and is in a network of highly skilled tattooists who practice his own style of work ethics.  Many will be coming to work in his Hereford studio from around the country.

Guest Tattooist Loo Pimble All the Way from  America


His first guest tattooist, Loo Pimble, will be coming to work with Jon from America, where he also has a devoted following tattooing in Built 4 Speed.   He is also a Herefordian and a protogee of Mr. Beard’s.  Loo begins taking on appointments from February 17.

It is only appropriate that Loo be his first guest tattooist since he has been Jon’s inspiration from the beginning of his career.  You only have to look at Jon’s tattoos – which are all of Loo’s custom work, to understand why he looks up to him as a mentor.  Both artists produce incredible work, known for its bright, strong colours, seamless blending and clean lines.  If you can’t wait a month for Jon, Loo’s work is just as worthy.


Blackfriars Tattoos
5 Maylord Street, Hereford
Instagram @blackfriarstattoos

Photography by John Rose, Music Reviewer – Hereford City Centric, The John Rose Vinyl Review, Artist and Frontman to Pablo Alto

A New Hereford City Centric Series…Skinzophrenic Behind the Scenes

Skinzphrenic The Best Hereford Tattoo ShopLocated in the busy hub that is West Street in Hereford City Centre, the new independent quarter for the consumer with a passion for individuality and Foodie culture, you will find the Skinzophrenic Tattoo Shop established by world-class tattooist and photographer, Peter Masters.

tradtional black work pin up skinzophrenic tattoos
Traditional black work pin up

The second longest running tattoo shop in Hereford, Skinzophrenic has built its impeccable reputation on Peter’s commitment to his craft by producing high quality work in a professional environment.

Hereford City Centric will be following Peter Masters and his team of highly skilled tattooists behind the scenes to educate and inform the community about this unique art form.  After all, you have to wear your tattoos for the rest of your life.  Of course, if you are looking for a cover up Skinzophrenic is the place to go.

Any tattooist who is lucky enough to become a member of Peter’s team may find themselves on a plane to Iraq, where he has a second tattoo shop, and the majority of his clientele are our heroes fighting on the frontline.  What a most honourable position to be in Peter!

Total Tattoo magazine Febraury 2016 Skinzophrenic Iraq shop
Skinzophrenic are featured in the February 2016 edition of Total Tattoo Magazine with a four page spread. Wow!

This of course, has allowed him the opportunity to capture these soldiers in their element with his camera building an amazing portfolio few can parallel.  Add the long line of tattooists he has mentored over 15 years to his CV, and the fact that he is the only studio in the city to be insured and licensed to take on students for work experience in his shop, and you suddenly realize Peter is building a legacy in the city of Hereford.

When you meet him, his energy and charisma instantly draw you in; all part of the Skinzophrenic experience.  The shop branding and interior eminate his passion for the Red Hot Chili Peppers (one of my very faves too).  It has an edgy, cool interior and you can assure that you won’t find a ‘Scratcher’ in the place.  He adheres to strict health codes, and keeps on top of his industry.

Having several tattooists on the floor at all times, who specialize in their own tattoo techniques and use the appropriate tools to ensure authenticity, you can come in and request an appointment and know you will walk out ready to show your work off to the world.

joker tattoo by vid skinzophrenic hereford
The joker’s eyes have such a realistic effect. Tattoo by Vid

There is an endless list of tattoo styles that Skinzophrenic tattoo artists are not afraid to take on such as, neo traditional, trash polka, realism, black and white, portraits, maori, custom and on and on.  If they feel they cannot not take on a commission they will be honest, rather than put you in a position where you are stuck with something you are unhappy with for the rest of your life.  NO egos here.

In this coming series we will get to know the individual artists and their work, take it as a guide for your next tattoo…you will be inspired and an expert by then.

*Also look forward to our series on Blackfriars Tattoo which will be situated at 3 Maylord Orchard in the city centre.  Jon Harper is an exceptional seasoned tattoo artist working for Skinzophrenic, who is now branching off with Peter’s blessing to establish his own unique brand of tattooing and put  his stamp on Hereford’s local tattoo culture.  All very exciting . *

Skinzophrenic Tattoos

18 West Street,  Hereford  HR4 0BX

Telephone: 01432 358696

Skinzophrenic Tattoos/FB