The Official Blog for Tattoo Artist Magazine

Archive for December, 2011

Paul Dobleman: Asshole of the Month

By Paul Dobleman
Send me a story via letter or e-mail of why you are the asshole of the month! If your story gets chosen, you win a free donkey tattoo from the asshole of the month flash page. This will be for 2012 only and each winners story that was chosen proving them to be the asshole of the month will be posted on Tattoo Artist Magazine’s blog, along with a picture of themself and the donkey tattoo they chose.

GOOD LUCK!!! (more…)


Jay Brown: 28 Machine Builders Part IV of IV

By Jay Brown
As a machine builder these are some of the things I look for in a machine. And I am not saying that this is it, the gospel, this is just the way I look at it. So the other day I thought to myself, “Man, this would make a great article.” As I started listing candidates for the article I found that the list got long really fast. Thus, I decided that I would stop at 28, because it’s as good of a number as any, and it was enough for a broad spectrum of builders. So here it is, 28 tattoo great machine builders… (If I missed anyone don’t be offended, it’s nothing personal, I just had to think of space. Maybe there’ll be additions in a future article?) So without further ado here they are, starting with historical builders, because they were the pioneers and should be recognized first, (plus I’m a history buff) and then moving to present day. Again this is not a Top 10 list, just a list of great builders, hope you enjoy…

PART IV on expanded page…

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For the Record: The Coney Island of the West

Courtesy of Tattoo Archive: The Pike, often known as the “Coney Island of the West”, was a large amusement park located on the waterfront in Long Beach, California. It all started with a pier that was built in 1893 that grew into a major amusement area. It is unknown when or where the first tattooist set-up shop at the Pike, but it was probably in the corner of one of those small arcades that lined the, “Walk of a Thousand Lights…”

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Josh Egnew: Gomineko Tour Diary (Part I)

By Josh Egnew
A while back some friends from around the globe and I decided that we should all converge in Tokyo to take one of Gomineko’s tours. Crystal Morey is a good friend and fellow tiger, so I knew that we would be in good hands. She’s extremely knowledgeable about Japanese art and culture and speaks fluent Japanese. How could we go wrong? We can’t sir.

Read on my friends…

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Stef Pitera: What It’s All About

By Stef Pitera
After all these years doing this, suddenly a simple question pops up; What is it all about? It has been underlined many times recently by many people. The industry is changing. And that’s a fact. I can’t say I have been tattooing 20 or 30 years like a few people I’ve had the pleasure to meet, work with or learn from. But I’ve been in this long enough to witness the change…

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Jay Brown: 28 Machine Builders Part III of IV

By Jay Brown
As a machine builder these are some of the things I look for in a machine. And I am not saying that this is it, the gospel, this is just the way I look at it. So the other day I thought to myself, “Man, this would make a great article.” As I started listing candidates for the article I found that the list got long really fast. Thus, I decided that I would stop at 28, because it’s as good of a number as any, and it was enough for a broad spectrum of builders. So here it is, 28 tattoo great machine builders… (If I missed anyone don’t be offended, it’s nothing personal, I just had to think of space. Maybe there’ll be additions in a future article?) So without further ado here they are, starting with historical builders, because they were the pioneers and should be recognized first, (plus I’m a history buff) and then moving to present day. Again this is not a Top 10 list, just a list of great builders, hope you enjoy…

PART III on expanded page…

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Molly Skobba: Pacific Soul’s Renowned Paulo Manabe

By Takahiro “Horitaka” Kitamura and Molly Skobba
I was really excited for Molly to meet Paulo and Blaise Manabe and even happier that she wanted to blog about my Hawaiian braddah! Paulo is an amazing artist, and an even more amazing person. I always work with him when I am in Hawaii and am continually impressed with his tattoos. He is a true master of the Polynesian-style (though he would never let you call him that) and is constantly working to improve his work. He is a great father and has the coolest kid ever. You can find him at Pacific Soul Tattoo or at Zippy’s…

-Horitaka

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TAM Music: Puscifer Show Review

By Rose Riot
Puscifer is “Simply a playground for the various voices inside my head… A space with no clear or discernible goals… Where my Id, Ego and Anima all come together to exchange cookie recipes,” this is how Maynard James Keenan [Tool, A Perfect Circle] describes his newest project. Puscifer is the least mainstream of Keenan’s bands and my favorite. I caught this wacky mix of musical silly and serious on November 30 at The Cobb Energy Center, a much smaller venue than the huge arenas that Tool sells out. The band is currently touring for their latest album Conditions of My Parole, released in October 2011…

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For the Record: Doc Webb (UDT)

Courtesy of Tattoo Archive: Before Doc Webb came into the tattoo world he worked as a commercial artist for the Fox West Coast Theaters. He also worked in Seattle, Washington at local arcades making signs. While working at these arcades Doc Webb met tattooist Bob Kelton. As fate would have it before too long Doc Webb had a tattoo machine in his hands and he spent the next 40 plus years working as a tattooist. Doc Webb operated shops in Vallejo, California and in San Diego, California. In fact, he spent his entire tattoo career around the military and the Underwater Demolition Teams (UDT) flash sheet seen here is a classic example of Doc Webb’s tattooing style.

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Joe Larralde: Polynesian Tattooing in the Pacific Northwest

By Joe Larralde
Polynesian tattooing is alive and well here in the Pacific Northwest. Washington and Oregon have long been a hub for Hawaiian and other people of Pacific-island descent. Portland in particular has a large and ever growing population, and fortunately for me they are seeking out their roots when choosing their tattoos…

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TAM Music: Mastodon, Red Fang, Dillinger Escape Plan, The Black Fangs, Tiger! Tiger! Show Review

Story and Photos by Ellen Eldridge
The recently Grammy-nominated, Atlanta-local Mastodon, a band that found its name based on guitarist Bill Kelliher’s Star Wars Bantha tattoo, celebrated in style with their network of friends and families during “The Missing Link” show at the Tabernacle Dec. 2. Of the opening acts, Atlanta’s most recent conglomeration of metal and psychedelia mix in MonstrO with Mastodon singer/bassist Troy Sanders’ brother Kyle on bass… (more…)


J: How We Started on the Other End of the Earth

By J
My name is J, and I am currently the owner of the Dark J Tattoo Studio here in Taipei, Taiwan. The studio/shop is located on the basement floor, next to the studio is a band practice space, and that’s co-owned by the Taiwanese metal band, Chthonic. The studio/shop has frequent customers and a lot of bands walk by, like the artwork, and then got tattoos. I’ve worked with multiple bands and artist, I would say that the studio has been doing really well. Fans, bands, friends and walk-ins are the major source of customers at the place. It’s located at such a perfect environment that it became an attraction around the area. TV shows often come by and pick up the scene as the background for various TV programs…

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Jay Brown: 28 Machine Builders Part II of IV

By Jay Brown
As a machine builder these are some of the things I look for in a machine. And I am not saying that this is it, the gospel, this is just the way I look at it. So the other day I thought to myself, “Man, this would make a great article.” As I started listing candidates for the article I found that the list got long really fast. Thus, I decided that I would stop at 28, because it’s as good of a number as any, and it was enough for a broad spectrum of builders. So here it is, 28 tattoo great machine builders… (If I missed anyone don’t be offended, it’s nothing personal, I just had to think of space. Maybe there’ll be additions in a future article?) So without further ado here they are, starting with historical builders, because they were the pioneers and should be recognized first, (plus I’m a history buff) and then moving to present day. Again this is not a Top 10 list, just a list of great builders, hope you enjoy…

PART II on expanded page…

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Omar Edmison: Who the Hell Does This Guy Think He Is?

By Omar Edmison
In this age of websites, magazines, blogs, TV shows and a vast myriad of other such social networking venues the tattoo world has shrunk. There are lots of super-talented kids out there tattooing who are doing mind-bending work that everyone knows about. Their names are talked about in excited conversations in tattoo shops springing up on every corner in every town with a population larger than 200 all over the world. Some are even being spoken in hushed reverent tones as the new “legends” of tattooing. There are more people tattooing now than ever before. They are more widely recognized than ever before the age of the “tattoo celebrity” is upon us. The possibilities are seemingly endless for a young up-and-coming kid with talent and ambition…

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Ultimate Skull & Cobra: Trufant Bros. Tattoo, Formerly Bulletproof Tattoo (VIDEO)

[Editor's Note: This video is clearly a parody of Reality Television's intrusion on the tattoo community... and it's pretty funny too!] 

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For the Record: History of Tattooing in Chicago

Courtesy of Tattoo Archive:  Today, we can say that Chicago is one of the great cities of the world, but Chicago was a late bloomer. It was still a wilderness roamed by Indians at a time when many other large cities were great centers of trade and industry. Less than one hundred years after it was founded Chicago joined these cities as one of the largest in the world. Chicago gets its name from the Miami-Illinois Indian word shikaakwa, which means “stinky onion.” This meaning came about because of the onions that grew along its river. The 1990 World Almanac lists Chicago as the third largest city in the United States, after New York City and Los Angeles, and the twenty-second largest in the world — all of this for a city that was not incorporated until 1832! In 1840 the population was 4,417, and by 1850 it had grown to 29,936! From there the city never looked back…

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Sean Herman: Famous Gabe Smith

By Sean Herman
It’s been almost 10 years since I got some of the greatest advice I’ve ever been lucky enough to receive. I was getting tattooed in Pensacola, Florida at a beautiful shop called Hula Moon. Famous Gabe, a name he received from Bob Montagna, was tattooing me, a little skinny 19-year-old. I had just received news that I was going to start my apprenticeship at Aerochild Tattoos, and was so excited that it was all I could talk about…

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TAM News: An Open Letter From Miki Vialetto

TAM headquarters received the email below regarding a new crop of European shows. This email was sent from Miki Vialetto, a long time friend of TAM’s, publisher of Tattoo Life and Tattoo Energy, and mastermind behind the ORIGINAL London Tattoo Convention and the Milano Tattoo Convention.

We are publishing this email not to color the tattoo community’s perception of any given company, but to bring to light what is happening in our industry, so that each of you can make informed decisions on the shows, companies and people you support. (more…)


TAM Music: Interview with Brian “Head” Welch Formerly of KoRn

By Rose Riot
We’ve all seen VH1′s: Behind the Music where the story is told of a hungry musician who fights to get to the top only to stumble upon money, drugs and sin eventually falling from the top position to a hard, cold rock-bottom. Brian “Head” Welch was no stranger to this storyline. The founding member and acclaimed guitarist of the band KoRn caved to the temptations of fame and found himself with a serious drug addiction…

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Jason Lambert: It Takes Two to Tattoo

By Jason Lambert
I read a lot of interviews with tattooers, like most people I enjoy seeing the interior world of artists who I admire and it is fascinating to see the strangely differing ways that we all ended up in this profession. Often these interviews will focus on the things each tattooer sees as important to his or her work, things like choice of inks, machines, style of tattooing, etc. Yet, over and over again I notice there is one conspicuous absence, one giant factor in any tattooers world that seldom gets mentioned, even in passing. This something is so fundamental to the act of tattooing that it literally can not occur if it is missing and yet in page after page of story it doesn’t get even a passing mention… (more…)


Richmond Tattoo Arts Festival: On the Road in Virginia (VIDEO)

By John
The 19th Annual Richmond Convention was… ah… screw-it!  Just watch the video:

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Jay Brown: 28 Machine Builders Part I of IV

By Jay Brown
The tattoo machine has been around for 135 years now, the first stencil pen by Thomas Edison was used by tattooers. Then in 1891 Samuel O’Reily came up with his version of the tattoo machine and then it has just evolved from there. The odd thing is, the basic concept of the machine hasn’t changed all that much since the turn of the century, and the inline electromagnetic coil type machine still reigns supreme in today’s modern world.

I am a tattoo artist of 25 years, but I am also a tattoo machine builder. In this day and age it seems like everyone is building or assembling machines, some who haven’t been tattooing long enough to know the nuances of the machine itself, yet others really understand the geometry, and workings of a machine due to years of experience tattooing.

A few years ago everyone had to have apprentices, and apprentices had apprentices, now it seems the fad is to build machines. I personally do it because I have had a passion for tattoo machines since the beginning, hacking off Supreme frames in the 90s to do it as a version of Paul Rogers’ Mad Bee or Mike Malone’s Rollo-matic. And then 10 years ago I began building machines,  starting out with some basic designs and bolt together-s in steel and aluminum, then cast brass only doing 13-20 a year. Now I work with steel, kind of gone full circle, all though I still do Jonesy replicas in cast brass. In the past few years I have made it more a full-time venture. Now I build 50-100 a year, all handmade and my designs and geometry. I really enjoy building good quality tattoo machines, and knowing that the artist using it gets to create beautiful skin art… So how do you know who a good machine builder is? (more…)


Myke Chambers: Fox in Rose Tattoo (VIDEO)

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For the Record: Pelikan Ink

Courtesy of Tattoo Archive: Has anyone else noticed that the large bottles (33.82 oz) of black Pelikan Ink have disappeared from store shelves and tattoo supply catalogs? For several years the famous German ink makers have put labels on their large bottles of Noir Black ink warning, in nine languages, that their product was “Not to be used for tattooing”. I am almost certain that this had little effect in the tattoo business. You must remember that for at least one hundred years Pelikan Ink was the standard for the tattoo industry. Tattooists and tattoo suppliers alike would brag that they used the very finest German black ink, which was shorthand for Pelikan Ink…

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