Kilmarnock Tattoo Artist’s Generosity Shines: Donates Profits to Mental Health Charities


A Kilmarnock tattoo artist has donated all profits from a particular flash day to charity.

Hard Luck Tattoo held a flash day on Killieween, and 100 per cent of the owner’s profits went to mental health charities.

The event took place on Friday, October 27, where owner Niky Brown and his team offered hundreds of tattoo designs in colour or black and grey.

Niky, 36, donated his profit of £1,010 to two charities, Megan’s Space Charity and Beautiful Inside & Out – SCIO.

Niky, who has been a tattoo artist for more than ten years, told Ayrshire Live: “I’ve been struggling quite a bit recently with anxiety and stress.

“I am in the middle of opening a vast tattoo shop in Kilmarnock. We’re in the middle of lawyers and planning, which got knocked back, so it got me thinking that I will choose a mental health charity and donate the money I make to it.

“I just felt that I wanted to help someone like people have been helping me recently. I guess it’s okay to talk about your problems even if you are a 6-foot-2 male and covered in tattoos.

Hard Luck Tattoo owner Niky Brown
Brutal Luck Tattoo owner Niky Brown

He continued: “I had a customer on Friday, and she told me she lost her brother recently. He was only 23. She spoke about Megan’s Space charity organisation, which has been helping her, so I’ve decided to donate £505 to them.

“After reading the comments on my Facebook post, I have also decided to send the remaining 50% of the money to the charity Beautiful Inside & Out – SCIO.

“I have quite a big social media following, and I’m always trying to talk about issues and other topics outside of my tattooing, which can help people. Some posts can be controversial at times, but all of them aim to make people’s day a little brighter, and if you know me personally, I am always up for a laugh.”

Hard Luck Tattoo wants to create a safe space for everyone, and the team is always happy to listen to the customers.

Niky said: “Sometimes tattoo sessions can be long, and we sit with clients from a range of a few hours to 7 hours; some people don’t sit with their friends for that amount of time nearby, so it creates this comfortable space where sometimes clients feel they can be open up about their struggles be it mental health, or maybe they are getting the tattoo for a loved one they have lost.

“Although we aren’t therapists, we appreciate being in a job where we can listen to someone in need, and we want people to know our shop is a safe space. ”

On the flash day, Niky completed between 10 and 15 tattoos daily from 10 am until 9 pm.

He said: “I think we could raise a lot of money for charities. It’s something we all need to plan for.”

Niky Brown outside his shop in 2019
Niky Brown outside his shop in 2019
(Image: Kilmarnock standard)

The tattoo flash day was an excellent way for people to get tattooed and meet new like-minded people.

Since not everyone wants extensive, large-scale work done, Niky thought it might be best to get a small one on the flash day and see if they can handle it.

Niky said: “We could do hundreds of tattoos on the day, but I’m always saying to my artists to take their time and focus on the quality of the tattoo and the finished product instead of rushing it out and on to the next customer.

“We always aim for quality over quantity. However, it hasn’t stopped me from doing a few tattoos per hour.

“It’s great for the apparent. “It’s younger tattoo artists in the shop to build their confidence and clientele. I’m always a huge believer in giving younger people a chance if they’re interested and they.”

Niky is now working on  “reading and expanding Hard Luck Tattoo and opening his second shop in Kilmarnock to create more jobs and apprenticeships there.

After the council didn’t approve Niky’s initial proposal for the shop, he decided to try again and hoped the new application would be successful.

He said: “I could have just taken my “business to Glasgow as it would probably make sense as we’ve outgrown our shop and most of my clientele come from all over the UK now, as far as Iceland and Germany.

“But we decided to keep it “local and put it back into the town. The new space is fantastic. It will be the biggest tattoo shop in Ayrshire with the best talent.

“The people I work with are “all amazing, and they deserve credit for all the hard work they put in with people and their tattoos. ”

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