Bringing a unique opportunity to life

Joey Nolan on living and working in Lancashire, and his work with local shoemaker LANX
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This Lancashire Day, Visit Lancashire are celebrating with a fantastic giveaway featuring Lancashire themed products. Including a pair of LANX shoes of your choice, custom tattooed by local lad Joey Nolan.

LANX partnered with Joey to bring an extra unique charm to their already celebrated range of shoes. Almost any design can be tattooed onto a pair of LANX Leather boots or shoes, and Joey is always happy to chat about the designs he creates.

Joey was born and raised in Clitheroe, a stone’s throw from LANX’s shop in Whalley, and as he puts it; “I’ve got Lancashire running through my veins, there’s nowhere else I would set up my business.” Due to this love of his local area, he was happy to get involved in this year’s Lancashire Day celebrations!

Joey was thrilled when the idea of tattooed shoes came about after a conversation with a friend at LANX and loves working with the team there. The process isn’t that much different from his everyday tattooing, which he is lucky enough to do from Nolan Tats, a licensed studio in his home. It just took a little practise and some trial and error with finding the right cleansers and items like that so that the leather isn’t marked, other than from the tattoo itself.

There has been a great response to the unique service of tattooing LANX shoes since they launched. Joey is often asked for floral designs, like those on the bramble rose shoes pictured, which work really well, especially on women’s boots. Tattoos with wedding dates and messages on them are popular too, with people choosing them to commemorate their big day. Joey is reluctant to choose a favourite design that he has done – we’re sure picking just one would be like choosing a favourite child – and says he is happy as long as he’s drawing. However, he does love a challenge and bringing someone’s idea to life is the best part of the process.

Finishing college Joey had the option of going into graphic design or tattooing. The latter opened up more creative freedom and a more hands-on approach to work, rather than doing work on the computer all the time. He’s been drawing since he was a kid, never far away from pen and paper so coming up with designs for his customers and completing drawings by hand with his tattoo needle was always going to be the ideal.

With such an affinity for drawing and artwork, Joey loves that his passion can be his work. He’s always loved tattoos, especially traditional tattoos like Sailor Jerry’s, and is inspired by those and his contemporaries’ designs, following many other tattoo artists online to collaborate and share ideas.

Tattoo artists have grown in popularity as the art has become less taboo in recent years and its wonderful to see the range of designs that you can get. Joey’s advice for anyone wanting to go into the industry is to build a good portfolio, be confident in your art and your abilities and put yourself out there. Speak to a number of studios to find the right on for you, that fits your style.

Joey sketched a number of iconic Lancashire landmarks that could be tattooed onto the Lancashire Day winner’s shoes, including Blackpool Tower, Ashton Memorial, Clitheroe Castle and Darwen Tower. The winner will get to choose a pair of LANX shoes, and a design for themselves; when asked which of the sketches and shoes Joey would choose, he said; “I like all the boots, especially the new 365 Vibram range. Hmmm… Lancashire landmark of choice? It would have to be Clitheroe Castle. It gets almost forgotten about by us locals because we are so used to it, but it’s really quite iconic and the view from up there is phenomenal.” And we couldn’t agree more about the views!

Remember to share your happy memories of Lancashire on X, formerly known as Twitter, Facebook or Instagram and tag @VisitLancashire, in order to be in with a chance of winning the shoes, along with a subscription to Lancashire Life magazine and a Lancashire Gift Pack from local business, Good Intent Gifts. For more information about the giveaway and how to enter head to