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An Interview with Matt Arriola

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By Nicki Kasper Let’s start with who you are and where you work…. My name is Matt Arriola. I work by appointment at Spotlight Tattoo in Los Angeles where I’ve been for almost a year. Tell us about your tattoo history. Who do you credit for teaching you the trade? How long have you been at it? I’ve been fascinated with tattoos since I was a little kid in Idaho… I can’t remember any special moment where I knew it was my thing, that probably came later as I got involved with skateboarding and playing music in punk and hardcore bands in Idaho. That’s what kind of led me into tattooing. I’ve  liked to draw since I was a little kid and when I was about 18 I decided I wanted to tattoo. I went to every shop in town with a resume and a bunch of drawings asking for apprenticeships. Haha!! Totally the way you’re not supposed to do it! I spent every day and night copying my favorite artist’s work out of tattoo magazines I bought at the gas station. I think my friends and family thought I was nuts!! Anyway after many denials, I finally landed an apprenticeship with Sean Wyett at Black Cat Tattoo. I bailed out early on my apprenticeship and moved to Seattle. This was about 6 months into it. Once in Seattle with no money and a whole 7 months of tattooing under my belt I found it difficult to find a job. Haha!! Once ... Read More »

10 Amazingly Cute Furry Animal Tattoos!

EbonyMellowship4fox

Whether it’s a pet or you’re just an animal lover, animal tattoos never go out of style! Here’s a small collection of furry animal tattoos from the artists at STR Body Modifications for your viewing pleasure…Hope you’re not allergic! Read More »

How to paint Danny Trejo w/artist Ettore Bechis

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by Ettore Bechis Danny Trejo is one of the most easily recognizable tattooed actors of our generation. From Desperado to Heat and his solo film, Machete, Danny’s tattoos are nearly as famous as he is! A big thank you to artist Ettore Bechis for submitting this article to TAM. Enjoy! Read More »

Inked in Montreal

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For more information about the Art Tattoo Quebec show May 29-31 in Quebec City, visit: http://news.arttattooquebec.com For more information about the Art Tattoo Montreal show September 11-13 in Montreal, visit: http://http://news.arttattoomontreal.com Read More »

Info-Graphic: Basic tattoo info: who, what, where, how and how much…

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TAM presents: mastectomy testimonial- Janine

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Shane Wallin, artist and TAMblog contributor, spends his time helping survivors of breast cancer reclaim their bodies and their lives. Today we hear from Janine, one of Shane’s clients and an amazing WARRIOR! In February of 2012 at age 46 I was diagnosed with breast cancer. After chemotherapy I had a double Mastectomy and several reconstruction surgeries. While I was happy to have breasts and look normal in a shirt it was very hard to see myself naked. There were many scares and my breasts just seemed very foreign to me. I never wanted to take my clothes off and I would avoid looking in the mirror. I never had a tattoo and quite frankly was apposed to inking my body until I was left with the scars that reminded me of my breast cancer. I had watched a video online about a year before  about a women who turned her scares into something beautiful with tattoo. The video was from PINK and I contacted them to see if they would be doing the event in my area. About a year later I was contacted and was asked if I would like to participate in PINK. The event was at Twilight Tattoo and I was matched with owner Shane Wallin. Being not to sure about the decision to get tattoos made this really hard for me that day. Shane took me in and made me feel completely comfortable first listening to what I wanted him to create, putting it on ... Read More »

Tattoo Artist Magazine BLOG: top 10 recent skull tattoos

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There are so many awesome skull tattoo designs out there, here you will find a top 10 list taken from TAM’s recent FaceBook posts, as submitted by one of our esteemed readers! Thanks for the blog post submission, Emily! Starting off with a sick Grim Rippah’ tattoo by Tomas Vaitkunas! Amazing black and grey technique. We really can’t wait to see more of Tomas’ work. Here’s a cool more traditionally based cowboy skull, Tattoo by Mike Shaw. Aww, a nice valentine DEATH HEAD SKULL Tattoo by Andrea Giulimondi. What a super backpiece Tattoo by Victor Portugal. Two recent skull Tattoos by Augis.    Here’s TWO super sick tattoos by Matthew Henning. It’s really exciting to see the new breed of artists making their mark in tattooing with such amazing, out of the box, tattoo work.        How many people know who Nikko Hurtado is? He blew the doors off of the percieved limitations of modern tattooing and had a guest spot on LA Ink…the rest is hostory! Yet another hyper-realistic Tattoo by one of the true masters of modern tattooing, Nikko Hurtado. (*NOTE: If you are are Nikko fan, be sure to pick up a copy of his superb interview in Tattoo Artist Magazine #21 to learn how this construction worker became one of tattooing’s most celebrated and talented artists. It’s an amazing story, and one we’re proud to share! Get it digitally for $4.99 or in print on sale to our readers this week only for $6.99! (regular price $14.99) ONLY 100 copies ... Read More »

TAM presents: Mastectomy Tattoos w/artist Shane Wallin

Janine's photos and of P.ink day 2014 were taken by John Swanson of JPS photography

Many of you may remember this amazing post-mastectomy tattoo image, shared across social media and blogs worldwide- Crash: When I first saw Shane’s work I was blown away, not just by the work he does (which is exceptional) but by the stories of the women he has helped reclaim a sense of feminine dignity after the trauma of cancer, mastectomy surgeries and other reconstructive measures.   TAM is proud to introduce our new columnist, Shane Wallin, of Garnet Tattoo in southern California. When I first saw Shane’s amazing work and heard the stories of women he was helping reclaim feminine dignity, I was blown away– not just by the work (which is amazing) but by the lives he changes with his work. I reached out to him to learn more-  Artist Shane Wallin: Fast & Furious facts: -Shane Wallin 40 years old -Born and raised in MN -Always wanted to tattoo and focused on it in High School -Used my graduation money to start a sleeve and talk my way in to an apprenticeship -Tattooing 21 years/1994 -Opened Twilight Tattoo in 2001. -Just opened Garnet Tattoo in Southern California last month. To start off this series of seri-ous posts here on the TAMblog, I asked Shane to tell us all a little bit about his history and how he came to this rather unique form of specialized tattooing: I’ve been tattooing for over twenty years now. About 15 years ago, I opened my first tattoo shop in Minneapolis, MN, Twilight Tattoo. I didn’t get my ... Read More »

Top 10 Super Hero Tattoo Designs

Top 10 Super Hero Tattoo Designs

There are so many awesome super hero tattoo designs out there, here you will find the top 10 based on our writers pic. Enjoy! *Note from Tattoo Artist Magazine blog – Unfortunately, we were not able to find the information on the artists who are responsible for some these tattoos. If you happen to know who did one of these pieces, please feel free to leave a comment and let us and the rest of the readers know! Read More »

Tattoo Art’s Journey through Time

General Photographic Agency / Getty Images

Tattoo art keeps changing with time, but one thing remains the same – the desire of some individuals to adorn their skin with it. Take a journey through time and get to know more about the transformation in the designs of tattoo. Tattoo Designs of the Past Ancient people use sticks and other spiky objects for tattooing. They intentionally wound themselves and pack ashes or dirt into the graze. They have their unique tattoo art. It is assumed that men in prehistoric era puncture their skin and add color to it by applying the black substance from the cooled burnt sticks. They usually create tribal markings. For the ancient men, there were no terrible tattoos. They wear their tattoo as a protective charm to safeguard them during the hunt. They also viewed tattoos as a way to align their lives with God’s purpose, ensure the preservation of their body even after death, as a sign of their status within the tribe, and boost fertility and virility. Tattoo Designs of the Not-So-Distant Past In the 1930s and 1940s, the only men and women who wore body ink were those in the service, circus people, or criminals. Popular tattoo art designs were anchor, ships, ferocious animals, ladies, weapons, eagles, and anything that can depict the patriotism of the men and women in service. Wearing a tattoo for art’s sake, and nothing more, became popular in the 1960s. There were people who decided to collect tattoos as if they were collecting paintings or ... Read More »

Meet and Greet Tattoo Stars

My first tattoo convention

As you start to get more and more tattoos on your skin, you would also want to know more about the tattoo world and how it all works, right? Luckily, there is always a venue for an up-close and personal encounter with all the amazing people who run the tattoo industry. Among these are tattoo events. These are conventions held all around the world and the basic idea behind it is to showcase the artists and their artworks. Aside from seeing great practitioners in person, they also have the opportunity to show off existing works that they are proud of. Most interestingly, tattoo events are also a venue to see them at work. This is great for aspiring tattoo artists who want to pick up techniques from the very best, as well as tattoo enthusiasts who want to see their favorite artist in person.   Tattoo events or conventions are mainly organized by professionals involved the industry. Examples of these are suppliers, tattoo studios/companies, and artists. Conventions can last anywhere from a day to three days, and the entrance tickets can range from about $10 to more than $30 per day. Not only do conventions showcase artists at work, but these can also provide other entertainment for its participants. Music shows, seminars, supplier booths, and contests are just some of the things you may expect when walking through the biggest tattoo events. This is also a perfect opportunity to book your favorite artists for an appointment. Some of the more ... Read More »

Deb Yarian On the Pain of a Tattoo

Deb Yarian tattoo artist

By Deb Yarian I’ve heard it over and over again from my customers – The more they get tattooed, the more it hurts, and I’ve thought about it and experienced it myself. I don’t think it’s my imagination. Each time I get tattooed it does seem to hurt way more than the time before! I have my own (not scientifically proven) theory about this… Simply put, if you were to be poked with a sharp object you would feel pain, your brain would say “hey there’s a pain, move away from the source of the pain.” The next time that you were poked with that sharp object, your brain again would direct you to move away from the source of the pain. Okay, so what happens if you don’t move away…? Your brain probably says, “hey, I recognize that pain, and I’ve directed you to move away from that pain source AND YOU’RE NOT!!!!” So what happens the next time you feel that pain and you don’t move away- again ignoring the primitive instinct to move one’s self out of harm’s way? Well this time your brain calculates that you’ve been stuck with this sharp object before and you still refuse to move away from the pain source- so your brain instinctively, as a survival mechanism, must some how convey to your uncooperative body the importance of moving away from the pain. So what does it do? It makes it hurt worse. Just because you’ve decided to subject yourself to ... Read More »

Jim Miner – Elegance Of Entropy Opening Reception: March 14th

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We just received this announcement from our friends at Analog Tattoo in San Francisco about their next art exhibit, this time featuring the amazingly talented Jim Minor. If you can make it, check out the exhibit. It’s sure to be superb! In this virtually empty & inhospitable universe where anything that does live will, after a beautifully brutish moment in time break down & disappear, we have a unique opportunity to understand & appreciate the beauty of the world around us.  Even in the chaos of an indifferent existence, beautiful things exist so they can be witnessed and interpreted by the viewer. Jim Miner, an integral member of the Analog Tattoo Arts Kolectiv, has been a practicing tattooer for over seventeen years, the last ten of which has found him further integrating decorative & ornamental themes into his work, adding layer upon layer of beauty to tried & true designs.  Jim is also an accomplished musician & his ability to combine musical & visual influences is immediately apparent to anyone familiar with his body of work. Inspired by Baroque & Victorian decorative styles, nature, travel & music, Jim’s works in watercolor & acrylic incorporate themes from the world of tattooing, attempting to elevate the visual & metaphorical imagery to another level of elegance.  As Jim puts it “making things beautiful for no reason”.  A simple reflection of the world itself, before this cycle ends & moves on to another state. For details about the March 14th, 2015 opening, click here. Read More »

Brooklyn Tattoo Shop to Host “Warriors Fund” Art Exhibition

Art Exhibition to Benefit Wounded Knee District School

Brooklyn Tattoo Shop to Host “Warriors Fund” Art Exhibition to Benefit Wounded Knee District School BROOKLYN, NY – Brooklyn tattoo shop Eight of Swords recently announced plans to host a fundraiser benefiting Lakota students from the Wounded Knee District School (WKDS) on South Dakota’s Pine Ridge reservation. The event, called The Warriors’ Fund, is slated for Friday, March 6th at 7:00 PM and will showcase original artwork from over fifty of the country’s top-notch tattooers, including veteran Scott Sylvia of San Francisco’s iconic Black Heart Tattoo, Timothy Hoyer, known for his decidedly non-tattoo style oil paintings, and Justin Weatherholtz from King’s Avenue, one of New York’s best-known shops owned by internationally recognized tattooer Mike Rubendall.   The WKDS serves 134 students ranging from kindergarten through eighth grade. Reservation schools throughout the country are often geographically isolated, contend with a severe lack of funding, and have some of the highest dropout rates in the nation. But one of the most immediate issues facing the students at the WKDS is hunger. While every student qualifies for free meals during school, the need is greater at home.   Newly-appointed principal Alice Phelps has made arrangements with Feeding America in Rapid City for a monthly food distribution for reservation families. Unfortunately, the need at home is more than they can handle. With only a single convenience store on the reservation and the nearest grocery store a staggering 80 miles away, Phelps started a food pantry that she runs out of the school for families ... Read More »

An Interview with Phil Holt

Phil Holt interview

By Nicki Kasper Lets start by telling those who don’t know you who you are, what you do, where you’re located, etc… My name is Phil Holt. I live in Tampa Florida with my four kids. I own RedLetter1 with my friend Jeff Srsic. We have three of our friends share the space with us where we all tattoo 5-6 day a weeks. Nick Stegall, Chris Reed and David Bruehl are the best shipmates Jeff and myself could ask for. I also sell my handmade pigment under the name “Old Gold Small Batch”. The batches are still “small” but it’s really gotten busy so the facility has grown and I have a lot of small batches brewing nonstop. How long have you been in the tattoo industry and what’s your tattoo history?  How did you come up in the trade? … My brother started bringing tattoo magazines around when I was about 12 years old. I think he was mainly bringing them around because back then, in the magazines like EasyRider’s you could see bikes and boobs… Not that I wasn’t impressed with boobies but I became mostly interested in tattoos. Then in high school I really sunk my teeth into art and tattooing.  I started making tattoos in 1996. In 1998 I moved to Ohio on a sink or swim mission to become a real tattooer and basically I moved every 20-24 months for a decade. In a surreal sort of way, every shop I worked at had an amazing ... Read More »

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