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10 of the world’s best Japanese tattoo artists: pt2- Horiyoshi III

Horiyoshi-III-tattoo-blog-header-image

This is Part 2: Horiyoshi III – 10 of the world’s best Japanese style tattoo artists. -Horiyoshi III (no connection to Horiyoshi II, from the last post), is Yoshihito Nakano of Yokohama, Japan, and is our featured artist today. Horiyoshi the 3rd is perhaps THE most respected and celebrated tattoo artist in Japan’s history. His work is admired and studied by experts, artists and collectors worldwide, and with more than a dozen books available on Horiyoshi’s life and work, it’s easy to understand why he is unarguably considered the preeminent Japanese tattoo master of this or any era. His work is EPIC! Beautiful! And Groundbreaking! While still remaining rooted in centuries of tradition.                   It was during the first year of Tattoo Artists Magazine’s existence that I found myself given the sudden chance to travel to Japan and meet this legendary tattooer, Horiyoshi III. TAM was still brand new at the time, so having a friend send along my request to Horiyoshi, asking to feature him and his work in the new magazine project opened up the chance of a lifetime- an invitation to come visit Horiyoshi’s studio and museum. It would be the realization of a lifelong dream to see Japan, (having become obsessed with Japanese art, history and lore as a young child after watching the mini-series “SHOGUN” on television, and then discovering the amazing filmography of Akira Kurosawa and books of translated Japanese legends by Lufcadio Hearn in my teen years!) Hell yeah! I could NOT ... Read More »

10 of the World’s BEST Japanese style TATTOO ARTISTS: pt1

Best Japanese Tattoo Artist

Over the next few weeks we’re going to pay tribute to Japanese-themed tattoos and the contributions of 10 Tattoo Artists widely considered to be some of the BEST IN THE WORLD. For an ever-increasing  number of tattoo collectors (and artists alike), Japanese-styled tattoos are appreciated as the most sophisticated and visually pleasing style of tattooing, today. Though known about since the late 1800s, the popularity of Japanese tattoos in the United States, Europe and around the globe has really only expanded exponentially since the 1960s, prior to this time very few people could understand the depth to these expressions of ink in skin- historically or mythologically. Tattooing is a visual art form, however, and Japanese tattoo work has always had an incomparable effect on even untrained eyes. Just imagine early westerners traveling to a strange land, months at sea, stepping off and seeing such decorated warriors! The history of Japanese tattooing and the mythological roots of its powerful yet elegant imagery are deep topics of study and the daunting pursuit of many modern professional artists and scholars, alike. The myths represented in these tattoos and Japan’s rich history of tattooing are subjects for future blog posts, but for our purposes, now, let us trace the various Japanese styles of tattooing, today, back to but a few primary influences- starting with (perhaps, surprisingly to some) the pioneering work of American master, Sailor Jerry Collins and his correspondence with Tattooers around the globe. There are reasons Norman Collins (aka Sailor Jerry) is so respected by the tattoo community, not the ... Read More »

Italian Adventures and Lessons Learned

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By Nicki Kasper I’ve met a lot of people over the last five years in this industry… I’ve made a lot of surface level friends and I’ve been blessed with quite a few real genuine friendships with people who truly care for me, and want to know who I am and what I’m about. I’m always humbled by this, and it means a lot to me when it’s clear that I’m not being used for what I might be able to do for someone. I always notice. I was personally invited to attend the World Wide Tattoo Conference by my friend, Alex de Pase last week in Venice, and it was great. It’s two and a half days of seminars, speeches, and discussion panels in front of a room full of people eager to learn and be inspired. I’m not a tattooer, I’m a business owner, but even I can stand to learn something from artists who are teaching and talking about what inspires them, what they have trouble with, and how they get through it. It’s all relative. There are many different styles when it comes to tattooing, as well as different schools of thought in this small industry, but… I do believe that we all stand to learn something from all of them. I think having an open mind and a willingness to shut the fuck up, realize that you might not know everything, and listen to someone teach or speak about what it is that helps them ... Read More »

Tattoo Artist Profile: “Texas Tony Hundahl”

Featured tattoo artist Tony Hundahl

I met Tony Hundahl in January, 2007, (I think), at the famed Austin Tattoo convention. It was my first trip to Austin so, as was my custom, I spent the week before the convention traveling the city, meeting artists, visiting tattoo shops, (searching for the good food:) and booking interviews for the convention. The Austin Convention was (and still is) a great show! My team and I had a blast; we met a ton of new people and managed to get about 8 interviews completed in only two days, with just as many tattoos filmed. There wasn’t a whole lot of time for chit-chat during convention hours so I distinctly remember being stunned silent in the middle of an interview set-up by this GIANT full-torso WOLF-HEAD tattoo (and the shirtless Texan it adorned) marching abruptly past me and out the front doors for a smoke. “He must be on a break,” I figured, since he was still oozing. “I NEED to get a better look at that tattoo!” No joke, it was the most impressive tattoo I’d seen all weekend…(perhaps all year!) It displayed an intensity and boldness I’d only really seen Ed Hardy pull off so successfully! I dropped whatever it was I was doing and swiftly headed outside to see this tattoo and find out WHO was working on it!  GET the FULL 20 min video interview HERE for only $.99 I went hunting for the guy outside and quickly found him, the tattoo screaming at me from across the street, (as a good tattoo should). I briskly strolled up and ... Read More »

Gideon’s Army: Tattoos In Law

Gideon's Army tattoos

By Marisa Kakoulas When my tattoo world and legal world collide, in some very powerful ways, I want to share it with you. I attended NYU Law School’s screening of Gideon’s Army, a film that takes a tough look at the American criminal justice system through the lives of three young public defenders in the the South who struggle with an overwhelming case load, long hours, and very low pay in order to ensure that those who are poor and cannot afford a lawyer in a criminal trial have the right to representation — a right guaranteed by the 6th Amendment of the US Constitution and the 1963 case of Gideon v. Wainwright, in which the Supreme Court ruled that defendants in criminal cases have the right to legal representation in state courts, and if they cannot afford a lawyer, the state would have provide one. Public defenders are such lawyers.Gideon’s Army, brilliantly directed by Dawn Porter, is not a documentary where tattoos play heavily. This film, at its core, is about how some of the greatest civil rights abuses lie in a broken criminal justice system, as noted by Jonathan Rapping, who heads the Southern Public Defender Training Center, now known as Gideon’s Promise.However, one of the most powerful moments in the film comes in the form of tattoos. As seen in the short clip below (which is not all entirely in the film), Travis Williams, a public defender in Hall County, Georgia, calls himself and other public defenders who fight for the constitution ... Read More »

Forrest Cavacco Video Interview

By Luke Holley Read More »

Bay Area Tattoo Convention 2014

Bay area tattoo convention 2014

Video by Luke Holley Read More »

Painted ladies: why women get tattoos

Elise Harrison: 'My dad is old-fashioned: he thinks all tattooed people are prostitutes or criminals.' Photograph: Christina Theisen and Eleni Stefanou Christina Theisen and Eleni Stefanou/Christina Theisen and Eleni Stefanou

Introduction by Jenn Ashworth Why are so many women getting tattoos?  Eight women reveal the appeal of permanent markings.  Photographs by Christina Theisen and Eleni Stefanou. The first tattoo I ever saw belonged to my grandad. He had it done in Scotland during his national service in the 50s, so the tattoo must have been more than 30 years old when I became fascinated by it. I used to ask him to roll up his shirtsleeve and I would use my finger to follow the outline of a woman cheekily reclining in a margarita glass. The shading that was supposed to indicate the flirty curl of the woman’s toes had become a faded, bluish blur. Now and again, he’d wink and say it was a picture of my granny. She would purse her lips in pretend disapproval. My grandad died over 15 years ago and I’d have to look at a photograph to remember the details of his face, but I can always remember that tattoo. I was raised in a religious household where tattoos were verboten; the body was a temple and women even hesitated over piercing their ears. Modesty in all things was required, especially for girls, and a flash of colour on the skin was a desecration of a holy vessel made in God’s image. So I went and had my first tattoo done when I was 16. I was out on my own for the first time, throwing myself headlong into making my mark, and letting the world mark ... Read More »

Dennis Pase Interview by Pooch

Dennis Pase Tattoo Artist Interview

Pooch: I’m sitting here with my buddy Dennis Pase at his home in Louisville, Kentucky, going to do a little interview here, alright let’s start from the beginning, tell me a little about your history and where did you grow up? Dennis Pase: I grew up in Lake Worth and Boynton Beach, Florida, but I was born in Delaware in a doublewide…pretty cool haha! Delaware in a doublewide…cool, so when did you move to Florida? When I was 5, in 1981, we moved in with my Grandma at her house in Boca Raton. So, what got you into tattoos? Y’know it’s funny, the only thing I can think of was there was this real crazy white trash dude named John Hubbard that lived across the street from us and he had an old panther on his arm and it just looked like shit haha. but it was kinda cool, it was like he was a rebel…and then I guess when I got into hardcore and was into the straightedge thing and started seeing more people with them. Yeah I was going to ask you next if music had something to do with it…same thing for me…playing in bands. I was straightedge when I was 18, that’s when I got tattooed by Kevin Buckstrup at Louie Lombi’s Tatttoo Paradise, it still looks crisp as hell, he put “One Life Drug Free” on my lower back, it hurt so bad I don’t know why I got any more after that haha! My friend Nancy had a bunch of work from him, all old ... Read More »

Alliance of Professional Tattooists

Professional tattoo alliance

By Jason Sweet This article is part two, in a two part series, about the professional organizations in tattooing. I attended the APT Trade Show as part of my research and found myself not only rejoining them after a 10 year hiatus; I found myself being recruited for service to the APT in the future.   As much as I tried to resist, the call of service to my profession was too loud to ignore. Over the weekend, I was struck as to the commitment some had made to attend the APT trade show. I met a woman tattooist from Austria and a man from Australia. One couple I met drove to the trade show from Indiana, because flying from their home was prohibitively expensive. I personally found this type of dedication to tattooing and the APT, inspiring and motivating. I only took 5 days out of my year to attend the trade show; they took two weeks. I was originally introduced to the Alliance of Professional Tattooists, when I was tattooing about 2 years. I was hired at a tattoo studio that required I become a member of the APT as part of working for them. Joining the APT required filling out an application and providing professional references and a sponsor, as I had been tattooing less than three years. Additionally, I was required to take the Preventing Disease Transmission in Tattooing (PDTT) as part of my membership. The PDTT course was 6 hours long. It covered Blood Born Pathogens ... Read More »

Nick Baxter / Jeff Ensminger Exhibition

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Press Release Nick Baxter: Perception of Being Jeff Ensminger: Into the Void Exhibition of new works at Mindzai Creative, 2001 South Lamar #D, Austin, TX 78704 November 21 – December 3, 2014 OPENING – 8pm – 11pm Friday, November 21 Mindzai Creative in Austin Texas is pleased to present a dual exhibition of new paintings by two Austin fine artists and tattooers, Nick Baxter and Jeff Ensminger. Both artists have worked over the past year to create a new body of work for the show, each with their own cohesive theme and symbolism. The unveiling of these paintings will take place at the Mindzai warehouse and gallery space in South Austin from 8 to 11 pm on Friday, November 21st. Both Nick and Jeff will be in attendance, with originals for sale as well as limited edition giclee prints and posters, along with live t-shirt screen printing featuring a design from each of their painting series.   Nick Baxter’s series titled Perception of Being consists of twenty oil paintings on board, each sized at 9 x 12 inches and depicting a lone human heart on a background of pure white. Each of the twenty hearts features a unique variation or visual effect representing one of the many complex emotional or feeling states of the human experience. Conceptually, this series references the philosophical study of phenomenology while also being inspired by modern scientific research into emotion-based changes in the electromagnetic fields generated by the heart. Nick reduces these ideas into a ... Read More »

Halloween Tattoo Contest Winners

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Congratulations to the five winners of the TAM FACEBOOK HALLOWEEN TATTOO CONTEST! If you can email us immediately with your name, city, tattoo artist who did your tattoo, plus a paragraph of why you got this tattoo and what it means to you, we’ll send you a download for your prizes and we’ll include your picture and tattoo story on the TAMBlog and our next newsletter! Thanks to everyone who entered and shared our contest! Don’t Forget Our Halloween Super Sales Ends 11/1 Enter promo code SCARED at check out www.GetTAM.com Read More »

Nick Baxter: Notes and Advice 9

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By Nick Baxter “If you wish to make certain your painting will succeed, a minimum of three things must come from you–and only you. The first thing is knowing why you want to paint your subject, the second is an analytical grasp of what you see, and the third is the skill to control the process of painting.” –Richard Schmid This quote I recently came across, written by a wise and very accomplished alla prima realism painter, got me thinking about the underlying structure that comprises the task of creating art. Schmid divides this structure nicely into 3 primary, foundational elements. This striking simplicity belies the complexity inherent in most forms of art, especially realism, and that simplicity bodes well for artists and laypersons alike–the so-called “uncreative” types, those who mistakenly regard themselves as “not having an artistic bone in my body.” Here’s my interpretation of Richard Schmid’s quote, expounding on his 3 main tenets and how they (encouragingly) apply to everyone: “Knowing why you want to paint your subject” refers to concept and theory. In other words, the philosophical side of the craft, the ideas and meaning the artist is working with or wishes to communicate through their work (I’ve written a lot about this here and here, with a future post coming as well). This relates to the study of your own mind, to “knowing thyself” and formulating ideas about life and the world around you. I believe that everyone has ideas about themselves and the world around them, because our living brains ... Read More »

Jeff Gogue on attracting large scale tattoo clients

Jeff-Gogue

By TattooNOWTV Jeff Gogue, internationally known for his famed original tattooing style and amazingly popular tattooing seminars, talks about how to attract large scale tattoo clients including backpieces and sleeve tattoos. Jeff chats about how the Shige and New Skool Collective backpiece books and his own experience getting a backpiece have help open clients vision. He is also asked if he feel like his work plateaus, and about learning to tattoo better. Whether you are a tattoo collector or just someone vaguely interested, this is great advice from one of the worlds top tattoo artists. Avoid tattoo mistakes that are easy to make but difficult to fix! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1aTqv6… to watch this 2 hour episode in its entirety which also featured famed tattoo artists Jeff Gogue and Nikko Hurtado who answered a number of fantastic questions via Skype and Canman who was in house and talked about his style and what he learned from Guy Aitchison’s painting critiques. Check out these other Gogue clips! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2DJys5… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MO1rep… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kG-Ogj… Originally streamed from http://www.OfftheMapTattoo.com in Easthampton Massachusetts http://www.TattooNOWTV.com     Read More »

Palm Tattoos with Travis Berg

Palm-Tattoo

By Luke Holley   Read More »