Adam McDade

Beyond the Epidermis: A practical investigation of how cross-cultural and multi-disciplinary influences may enrich contemporary tattooing

Tattooing has successfully integrated into mainstream culture as a form of commercial art and design, but appears to be outdated in how it is perceived within the context of academia. While research on the discipline has been conducted from a historical and social sciences lens, there is an absence of practice-based exploration into enrichment of the discipline.

Working as a tattoo artist at Triplesix Studios, the research sets out to investigate what role interdisciplinary and cross-cultural influences may take within tattooing. Beyond the Epidermis is a unique opportunity to develop original processes and outcomes, aiming to explore the possibilities and accelerate the modernisation of the discipline of tattooing in an academic and broader design context.

The objective of the research is to contribute to the enrichment of both practice and academic understanding of tattooing, with implications for the studio in regard to both artists, and clients. 


Adam McDade is a Freelance Illustrator, academic tutor in Illustration and design at the University of Sunderland, and apprentice tattoo artist at Triplesix Studios, Sunderland. His past clients include; Misfit Press, NESTA, END. Clothing, The Northern Correspondent, The University of Valencia, amongst numerous others. Adam is interested in utilising visual communication as a form of creative inquiry, and creating imagery that is both aesthetically pleasing and conceptually considered.