By Omar Edmison
My wife of 18 years asked me awhile back if I was still writing a blog for Tattoo Artist Magazine. I shot her a pile of excuses about time & being busy at work, taking care of the shop & spending time with her & the kids. She looked at me with her amazingly sweet smile as if to say “Sure Omar, I love you I have your back but you’re throwing up a smoke screen.” She knows me really well, better than any other human being on the planet. Her words that she spoke next were small and to the point. she simply said ” you’re really good at what you do. you have wisdom to impart.” I am not making that part up; she really does speak like that. So here I am sitting in front of a computer trying to figure out what to “impart” on you, gentle reader. I started thinking about what I had said to my beautiful and talented better half. It wasn’t a lie I have been busy with an amazing varied rag tag bunch of folks who for what ever reason be it a bump on the head or just a history of poor life choices have asked me to mark them permanently. It is also true that -as any shop owner can attest to- when you own a tattoo shop stuff comes up, there are always fires to be put out, business needs handling. It is most decidedly true that I love spending time with her and our 3 awesome kids. I don’t know about y’all but the last time I checked there are only 24 hours in a day only 7 of those days in a week etc., etc. you know the math. You are,I am sure, by this point getting my point that there are a lot of things that come up in my day to day life that are at times pleasurable at times nerve wracking & everything in between. Much like some of you out there, I get to try to figure out how to balance business & family, which is what struck me as something to write about…
Life, Happens everyday. It comes at us pretty fast you have to keep your eyes open and your head up if you are going to get through it in one piece. How to balance work & family…
Campfires & Carbon’s mission is to have and promote real, unedited conversation with local tattooers. Here’s their podcast of a conversation with Tony Klett of Urban Art…
Interview by Ino Mei.
Reblogged from: Heartbeatink.gr
Accomplished, modest and a maitre of the black and grey realistic tattoo, Carlos Torres gave HeartbeatInk an exclusive interview about his career and his relationship with the tattoo and the Fine Arts.
When and how did you first start tattooing?
I was nineteen years old. In the beginning I used to tattoo at home which was probably not good, but that’s how I started. I think my first tattoo was done in 1996. I have an ugly picture of it too (laughs). Back then it was really hard to get an apprenticeship. I slowly learned, practiced more and more on people and then I worked in different shops. I got fired from the first shop I worked in, back in 1998. One day I went to this well-known shop with my portfolio and they were like “you wanna work here”? That shop was “So Call Tattoo” in San Pedro, LA and I stayed there for ten years. That’s where I did most of my learning. The guys there, Tom Berg and Ethan Morgan, were geniuses!
Now you have your own tattoo studio?
Yes. It’s like a collective of us that own the studio. It’s like a private studio – gallery type of thing. So everybody has freedom to come and go. I think that it is good for artists to have freedom, to be able to do what they want to do. I believe that I have learnt the most while being on the road; going to conventions, doing guest spots, so I think it is important to have freedom.
What is your relationship with Fine Art?
I never went to Art School. I never had a “formal” education. I started painting, rather recently, six – seven years ago. Once I realized I liked it, I focussed on it; I started attending some workshops from masters. I enjoy doing drawings and oil paintings. Our tattoo studio looks like an art gallery when you walk in and we are tattooing in the middle.
By Jeff Gogue
I call it a movie simply because it’s moving pictures as opposed to non moving pictures. I make my living making pictures, but they don’t move. I think my goal with anything is for it to actually “move” people. Pun intended. This dvd or video or whatever you want to call it is moving. My hope is that your soul would be moved and your mind would be engaged with your heart to search yourself and discover or rediscover why you do what you do. Whether you tattoo, paint, make music, or have any other creative outlet, be it business, art, management or anything else. When you stop and think about it “creativity” is just thinking outside of convention or routine; it’s coming up with a solution to whatever is perplexing you that is outside of the norm.
“Tattoo as I see it” is my message, which starts with my story, my “why” to what I’ve done in my life and what I do with each day. It presents my beginnings, my intentions and my resolutions after attaining the goals I set out for. Along the way I have learned to be an artist. I’ve learned to be a professional at expressing things visually, and I’ve discovered that the door has been opened to a wide world that goes beyond what I thought was there.
This project was not my idea, or my vision, at first. When Ryan Moon, (Film Director, director of photography, designer, and co-producer) approached me with the idea of a tattoo instructional dvd, I was of course not into it. I don’t want to be another guy trying to capitalize on the tattoo frenzy, but after talking and mulling over ideas, I was convinced to just be myself and say what I feel I need to say. After a year and a half of talking, tattooing and wondering, I am pleased with what has transpired. It’s a well rounded presentation of both ideals, and practical application of what I believe to be foundational and fundamental principles of both tattooing in general and artistic understanding that’s applicable to any medium, all of this mixed in with honest, real experience and reflection on an art based life.
The (pre sale) dvd is available currently for $39.00 plus shipping world wide with the official release date being Friday, November 29th when the price will be $49.00 plus shipping. We are also planning on releasing a limited edition collector’s edition with two DVDs, one being Tattoo As I See It, and the other containing my home videos of seven trips to Japan for a full back piece from the renown Shige, of Yellowblaze, Yokohama. I filmed over the last three years documenting my experience, all of this is the backdrop for my candid story of who Shige is to me and what the experience meant and how it affected my life. This edition will be signed, numbered and limited. I had hoped to have them out sooner than this but doing it ourselves, we of course came up against lots of hurdles and costs.
The final stages of the project were completely made possible by our sponsors, Fusion Ink, Cheyenne Tattoo Equipment, Sullen Art Collective, and Tattoonow, and Off the Map Tattoo.
I started my own art production company called Unicycle Brand in order to fund this project and all the time invested in the cameras, the computers, the filming and editing over the last year and a half. Unicycle brand will be launching over the next year, our contributing artist lines of prints by Jason Butcher and Lianne Moule of the UK, Markus Lenhard of Germany, Derek Noble, USA, and Shige, Yokohama Japan. I envision this being the start of great things to come for art and tattooing.
Special thanks to Tattoo Artist Magazine for the years of support and for keeping it real for tattooers in this ever-changing world.
Please visit http://www.unicyclebrand.com to view the Trailer and order your (pre sale) copy now.
Also please visit our sponsors’ sites:
Sullen- Tattoo as I see it, t-shirt available soon.
Check out the trailer…
I got some time and had an online chat with tattooer and all around good guy, Destroy Troy. Following is the interview, and ways you can reach him yourself for any inquiries.
Interview by Jordan Tinney
Reblogged from: http://www.swallowsndaggers.net
Jordan Tinney: What is your (nick)name and where do you work?
Destroy Troy: I go by “Destroy Troy”. I tattoo at Timeless Tattoo in Historic Westport in Kansas City, Missouri. USA
JT: What year did you start tattooing professionally, and what got you started on tattooing?
DT: I started working in tattoo shops 2005 then started tattooing full time in 2007. I’ve always had an interest in art. Lots of drawing and painting when I was a kid, I got my first tattoo & the next thing I knew I had sleeves.
JT: How did your nickname “Destroy Troy” come to be?
DT: I was apprenticed by someone with a nickname/tattoo name and forced to get one. Not knowing what to pick, I used my URL from MySpace, which was DestroyTroy because TroyDestroy was already taken. Hahaha. I’m screwed now, if I google my birth name, nothing shows up.
JT: Where was your first shop, and how long were you there for?
DT: The first shop I worked at is in Kansas City. I worked there for 2 years as a front counter guy/cleaner.
TattooNOW: Bob! How goes it?
Bob Tyrrell: Going good man!, enjoying a killer Detroit summer.
TN: Education and tattooing make for a controversial mix, why did you decide to put out a DVD and webinar?
Bob: Well, because you approached me with the idea, ha-ha! But seriously, I’ve been giving seminars at tattoo conventions for many years now. I thought the webinars you did with Guy Aitchison and Russ Abbott were a great idea. I remember Paul Booth had this idea years ago but never did it. It’s a great way for tattooers anywhere in the world to do a seminar without having to travel to a convention. It’s a convenient way to be able to take a seminar. As far as the DVD, people have been asking me for years when I’m going to put one out. So now seems like a good time. I have Nikko’s and Andy Engel’s DVD’s, and they’re awesome. Really helpful for anyone wanting to progress in those styles, and learn from those masters. I held off on the DVD idea for a long time, some tattooers feel we shouldn’t give people access to this kind of info so freely. “Giving away our secrets”. I kind of used to feel that way. But times have changed. With the internet and everything, tattooers have all kinds of access to tattoo techniques. The secrets are already out there, so fuck it, why not? If I can help someone become a better tattooer, maybe they’ll end up teaching me something someday.
Tattoos Sarah Bolen
Black Mirror Parlor, Berlin
TCM Issue 4 available now!!
Paul Booth, Miss Arianna, Dong Dong, Tattoo Archive, Tattoo History, Debra Yarian, Sean Herman, Needles and Sins, Pep Williams, Bro Safari, Artist Galleries and more…
Photos & interview by Ino Mei
Reblogged from: heartbeat ink.gr
Humble, experienced and gifted with valuable knowledge of the classic Oriental tattoo, Mike The Athens gave Heartbeatink an exclusive interview about his 24 year-old career and his presence in the international tattoo scene.
How did you come up with the name “Mike The Athens”?
It came from a typographical error, which occurred in the 90’s in Miki Vialetto’s article, on Tattoo Planet. Instead of “Mike from Athens”, he wrote “Mike The Athens” and the nickname stuck (laughs).
When was your first contact with tattoos?
Since I was very young, I thought tattoos were alluring. I was excited by the idea of tattoo from a very young age. I started as a collector. Around the age of sixteen, I used to visit Jimmys’ studio, the only one that existed back then, once or twice a month, to decide which tattoo I wanted. At some point, I made my decision and just like that, I got my first tattoo. The next one I got was done by Bugs in Camden, who was then considered to be the best tattoo artist in Central London. We were a group of friends; one of them grew up to be the future Yorg. These were the days (the 80s’) of true originality. Back then the only ones who were getting tattoos done were the bikers, the rock ’n’ rollers and the greasers. No posers and new-school guys. It wasn’t a trend. Tattooing was quite underground, even misunderstood sometimes.
From then on, I really started getting into it. I got myself a tattoo machine and I “added” some elements on the first tattoos of my friends. Ever since I was a child I loved painting, my grandfather was a painter, plus I was interested in painting and designing as far as tattoos were concerned. Then, after that, I dropped everything. I quit my studies in English Literature at the University of Athens, where I studied and right afterwards I went to the army in order to complete my “duty” there. I met a guy who had a home–made tattoo machine. From the moment I took it in my hands, I improved it with a rotring rapidograph that existed back then in order to use it as a tube and also used a bending fork as a base for the motor. The ink I used was of course rotring. That’s how they used to do it in jail, but of course I wasn’t aware of that; I was just guided by intuition and I was good at mechanics.I covered this guy up with tattoos, outlines only. He gave me some as well and that’s when I really started taking an interest in it.
When did you become a professional tattoo artist?
In 1989, after being encouraged by friends who wanted me to give them tattoos. I never went after it on my own. However, in the end I was mesmerized by the tattoo itself… I started with large cover ups and tribals. It’s really important to say that, at the time, there was no access to information when it came to tattooing. Everything was done either by books, or by visiting a tattoo place yourself, and of course there were no tattoo suppliers. I found Alex Binnie in a book; I had no idea who he was, I liked his tattoos so I sent him a letter (there was no email back then) to get him to give me a tattoo.
So, that’s how I tentatively entered “Into You” for the first time to get a tattoo done by Binnie, my first serious tattoo. We met and there was some great chemistry between us, he saw my work of the past six years, he liked it and he offered me a job as a guest (tattooer). He was planning to go to New York for a while and I would fill in for him in a way. So I moved to London and I became the main guest artist of Into You for two years. Ever since, I belong to the Into You tattoo family. There is a strong bond among us;it’s not coincidental that Tas (Danazoglou) works there now. Every time I go to London, the only studio I work for is Into You, and all of my friends and my tattoo family works there as well.
Check out TAM for more awesome interviews:
By Sanctioned TV.
By Ben Shaw
I finally climbed from my car in front of the Lodge section of Colorado’s Keystone Resort and Spa after trying unsuccessfully to check into the spa section of the massive resort. The sound of running water enters my awareness, teasing, because with little to no lighting outside the lodge, I can only hear it. The whole place is quiet and sleepy, with nowhere to eat at 11pm, so I chose from a vending machine buffet offered in the reception area and then crawled into a queen size mountain of pillows in my room. It was a long day on the road…
Suddenly awakened by a beam of light burning through my eyelids, I stumbled to the window, drew back the blinds, and gasped, awestruck by the magnificent view. A vast mountain range saturated with lush, green trees and split with running streams. A pond sits center stage in front of me, between the well-constructed resort floor plan and the gorgeous landscape. I took an eight-hour pilgrimage to interview Gabe Ripley, and this looks like the Holy Land…
Gabe Ripley has spent the last 13-14 yrs. immersed in the tattoo industry, developing websites, planning events, and building tattoo studios. His Off the Map corporation has three major divisions: TattooNOW, a company that powers a network of over 150 tattoo websites; Off the Map, a trio of custom tattoo studios, one in western Massachusetts, one in Grants Pass, OR, and a third opening soon in Italy!; and finally the Paradise Tattoo Gathering, a revolutionary four-day tattoo event, which I found myself transported to on this day.
After a day of amazing education, ending with Gabe’s own “Building a Great Business” seminar, I finally got his undivided attention. Gabe is a BUSY man. Orchestrating such a beautiful convention/seminar/tattoo artist retreat took all his focus, so I carry a deep sense of gratitude for the opportunity…
By Andrew Fingerhut
A – It was more difficult to wrap my mind around the process then physically make the art. I still find it hard to believe anyone figured out this process for print making . I loved working on Stone . It was incredible. The texture is like no other . I was destroying the tips of the grease pens ! Your basically using the softest of tools on the absolute hardest of surfaces.
What elements of the print were created in the studio with the printer and which were able to be created at your studio?
How much of the piece was planned out before starting and how much was improvised?
Was the lithograph process of working layer by layer to craft a single final print image difficult or easy to adapt to?
Did your tattoo background help or influence your work with the lithograph medium? If so, can you give an example or two?
When can we expect to see the next lithograph print from you?
The untitled piece is a single edition of 30 and was recently published by Raking Light Projects. It is available for purchase on the RakingLightProjects.com website.
Campfires & Carbon’s mission is to have and promote real, unedited conversation with local tattooers. Here’s their podcast of a conversation with Timo Sanders from Fifth Estate Tattoo in Gilbert, Arizona…
For those who don’t know you, could you please introduce yourself?
My name is Mike Shea, I make tattoos at Redemption Tattoo in Cambridge, Massachusetts, U.S.A. I have been tattooing professionally for 13 years.
You co-own Redemption Tattoo with Erick Lynch. How did you both come to the decision to open your own place?
Well tattooing was illegal in the state of Massachusetts until 2002, and up until that point Erick and I had been working in New Hampshire at different shops. When it finally got legalized in Boston, we got together and decided it would be good timing and a good idea to try and make a move and open something up, so we went for it.
Can you tell us a little about the shop and the artists working there?
Our shop is a custom tattoo shop that does walk-ins whenever there is time to do one (most people these days want something custom to some extent). As for artists at the shop, we have Josh McAlear who’s been with us for about 5 years now, Ben McClellan who’s been with us for almost two years, Salty Dave who was our apprentice and pretty much now does his own thing and is starting to tattoo full time, Joe Bastek who has worked with us for a few years but now does one day a week with us, Jeff the shop guy who makes our lives easier, and myself and Erick.
Doc Ink is a brazilian web series of short episodes featuring some of that country’s most respected tattooers. It was introduced to us by São Paulo-based tattooer Nico Acosta. Enjoy episode #4!
Tattoos by Thad Ritchey
Doc Ink is a brazilian web series of short episodes featuring some of that country’s most respected tattooers. It was introduced to us by São Paulo-based tattooer Nico Acosta. Enjoy episode #3!
Tattoos by Curtis Burgess
Fort Collins, CO
Tattoos and Painting by Jeff Johnson
By Chet Zar
Ego Death- Part 1: The Concept
“Ego death is an experience that is said to reveal the illusory aspect of the ego, sometimes undergone by mystics, shamans, monks, psychonauts and others interested in exploring the depths of the mind.”
In the first few hours of the first day of 2013, I got a really good idea. That idea was the title and theme of my next solo show of paintings, Ego Death.