By Kiri Westby
When I first heard there was a tattoo convention in Kathmandu, Nepal I was astounded!
I lived in Nepal as a college student, worked there as a human rights activist during the recent civil war and have spent a lot of time studying Nepali language and culture. I also married a tattoo artist seven years ago and have been on a crash course of American tattoo culture ever since. Nowhere in my mind did the tattoo scene that I had come to know and the traditional culture of Nepal mix. But there it was, website and all, and I was instantly fascinated.
My friend Eric Inksmith, a veteran of American tattooing, challenged me to take him to Kathmandu, having never really left the U.S. before. Like a butterfly suddenly wondering about the storms it’s own wings have produced, Eric was curious to follow the trail that he himself had blazed. I was honored to be enlisted for the job and to have the chance to experience alongside him what tattooing on the other side of the world has become.
At almost 70 years old, Eric recalled stories from the National Convention in Philadelphia more than 30 years ago. As I listened to tales of rival biker gangs fighting on convention room floors and people being thrown from hotel room windows, I tried to imagine how the kind, soft-spoken, Nepali people have embraced and come to celebrate tattooing. And not in a subtle, underground way either, the convention was being held at the famous Yak & Yeti hotel, one of the most iconic establishments in the Kathmandu valley.
As these things go, friends were recruited, word of the adventure spread and we soon had a posse heading East from the U.S., including: Mike Wilson, Mac Bibby, Robert Ryan, Jae Connor, Phill Bartell and Chad Koeplinger. Eric handled the longest flight of his life and no one killed each other on the way over…in fact, from the beginning, everything felt pretty magical.
Kathmandu has changed significantly since 2007. Corruption and an inefficient, newly-Democratic government have left city services under-funded and unattended. Half-finished construction projects leave gaping holes and exposed power lines, not to mention the electrical brown-outs and water shortages, which have left things feeling chaotic on the streets. But the upside to Nepal’s new political landscape is that there is also more public art and individual self-expression, and many people I spoke to were hopeful and optimistic for Nepal’s future, a far cry from my time here during the war in 2003. Part of this new self-expression has manifested in a relatively fresh and exciting tattoo scene.
Photos and Interview by Ino Mei
Unique, humble and conscious of himself, Yorg Powell spoke exclusively to HeartbeatInk, about his eighteen year-old career and traditional – classic tattooing.
What lead you to get your first tattoo?
I was born in London. My parents didn’t have any tattoos. However they were up to beat with everything. So in the summer of 1983 we were on a family trip in Mykonos and there was an English tattooist on the island working out of a rented room. It was the age of punk, we were very young and the moment we heard about him we went and got ourselves tattooed without a second thought. I didn’t even ask the price. I picked a design off the wall that was a rat with his hands behind his back holding a pool stick. It was an experience. I remember it well. Then we found out that the inhabitants of Mykonos got him, threw his things into the sea and shipped him home because he tattooed a fisherman’s daughter.
When I was sixteen, I saved up after selling an old BMX I had and went to Bugs. It was a random choice. He wasn’t known then and did his tattoos in 1,5 x 1,5 room next to the toilet of an underground retro rock n’ roll cafeteria in Camden. Nothing custom existed in those days, it was all ready-made flash designs on the wall.
What design did you choose the second time round?
I got a unicorn. I went for something classic (laughs)! Three years later, fully conscious of what we wanted, me and Mike went to Bugs again for our first official large tattoo. Bugs covered up his unicorn and the rat.
How did you and Mike meet?
We’ve been friends for many years, from before we started tattooing together. We met through a mutual friend. We had many things in common, such as our great love of tattoos and motorcycles and going out a lot. Mike had the balls and was the first of our group to dare to do a tattoo on someone, this during an era when it wasn’t cool to be a tattooist. I found it very weird sticking a needle at a person in order to make a design on him. Afterwards, I studied fine art at Wimbledon College of Art and although I designed tattoos, I hadn’t made the move to human skin yet and wasn’t even sure if I wanted to. Mike prompted me after our visit to the 1995 Amsterdam tattoo convention when he said “common man, what are you doing? I’m waiting for you!”.
Then you returned to Greece and began learning at Mike?
Yeah, I came back right away! Mike already had Tas (Danazoglou) as an apprentice for about a year. I didn’t have an entirely traditional apprenticeship. I mean I didn’t go with my portfolio and offer to be an apprentice for some tattooist. I was a bit spoiled (laughs). He was giving Tas a hard time. I feel lucky that my best with whom we talked constantly about tattoo and we were drawing on ourselves, prompted me to do this and provided me with the foundations to do so and helped me so much.
To read the rest of this article, go to: http://heartbeatink.gr/en/issues/december-2013/yorg-powell/
By Nicki Kasper
“In that moment, I realized that instead of trying to be inspired, I was going to try to inspire people.”
I recently ordered two copies of Jeff Gogue’s DVD, “tattoo as I see it”… Jeff is one of my closest and most genuine friends and I wanted to support his project, something I know he and put a lot of work, time, money, energy and heart into. I bought a copy for myself, and one for a close friend of mine – an artist I thought could use some inspiration. I didn’t know exactly what the DVD would be like, but I know Jeff, and I knew it would be inspiring, as well as very giving with valuable information and advice to tattooers… I just now was able to find the time to sit down and watch it, and it doesn’t disappoint.
I know Jeff in a couple different ways… We’re friends; I know him on a personal level, and he’s fun, open, genuine, kind, generous, and hilarious. I’m also one of his clients, so I know him on that level. I know how much he cares about his clients, about the pieces he puts on our bodies, about the pain we’re feeling, etc. I know how much heart he puts into every single piece, and I’m grateful and fortunate to be covered in them. But in addition to being a friend, and a client, I’ve also had the pleasure of working with him on side projects.
I know from experience that nothing Jeff Gogue does professionally or otherwise is half-assed. He cares about the details. If he decides he’s going to do something, he wants to give all of himself to it. If it has his name on it, he wants it to be the absolute best he has to offer at that time and place. He never thinks he’s reached his full potential, which is why we see his work changing and evolving over and over. I can relate to him in many ways, which I think is part of the reason we became instant friends so many years ago.
“You’re either a taker, or you’re a giver.”
He wants to inspire others, and that is the point of this movie. It will inspire everyone who watches, artist or not. He’s honest and open about his process, what he wants, his strengths and weaknesses. It’s real, and humble and people can always relate to that.
If you’re an artist, you will be blown away at how generous Jeff is with information that will help you from laying out a piece to tips on using contrast in your work to mixing colors. It’s invaluable information that he’s learned by trial and error over the years and he’s sharing it all with you. But if you’re not an artist, and you just want to be inspired about believing in yourself and making shit happen for yourself… About not accepting failure, and instead being driven by it, you need to watch this film.
To Jeff and Ryan Moon – You guys did an incredible job on this, and now I wish I hadn’t been such a chicken about being interviewed for it! I’m proud of you both!
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…
Campfires & Carbon’s mission is to have and promote real, unedited conversation with local tattooers. Here’s their podcast of a conversation with Jeff Wright…
By Marisa Kakoulas
Reblogged from: http://www.needlesandsins.com
One of the most acclaimed tattoo gatherings – the NYC Tattoo Convention – has brought beautiful freaks worldwide to New York in spring time, as it has been held each May for 16 years. However, with the sad news that the convention’s venue, the historicRoseland Ballroom, will be shutting down in April 2014, I worried about the fate of my hometown show.
Thankfully, we’ll still be able to party in this iconic spot, if not for one last time, as the convention dates for 2014 are March 21st through the 23rd. While the news has been spread around social media, I’ve still been hearing people talk about making travel plans for May or even setting up appointments at that time, so I wanted to help get the word out there that the show will go on, but in March.
We’ll be there and hope to see you too! Check my bad camera phone pics from past shows on Flickr.
Nicki is working the Bay Area Convention of the Tattoo Arts this weekend at the Hyatt Regency San Francisco Airport Hotel! If you’re in the area, stop by and check it out. The line up at this show is amazing, and there’s some amazing limited edition art prints and merchandise you can pick up!
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…
Around 14.000 people visited Fira de Barcelona to enjoy the work from some of the best artists in the world.
More than 1.200 tattoos were made in the three days convention, that generated more than 320.000 euro.
Many activities inspired by the urban expressions and trends completed the program of what is considered one of the best tattoo conventions in Europe
“Here the crises does not affect us much, as people that come for a tattoo by a well-known artist from New Zealand for example, knows what he wants and does not care about the price” says Laura Cubero, convention’s spokesperson and organizer. In fact, all tattooists had their agendas filled during the convention, in some cases two months in advance. Not only did they demonstrate their skills, but also participated in the awards festival. This year The Best Piece of the Show” was for Javier Olmo tattooed by Samuel Sancho from Wanted Tattoo studio (BCN).
Among a list of talented artists, the conventions special guest on his first visit to Spain, was the prestigious master of traditional Japanese tattoo, Horitoshi I. Other really gifted performers included Jack Rudy, the single needle inventor and the “Fine Line” creator. The limelight was also shared by other well known artists to include Brent McCown (New Zealand), Tang Ping (China), Norm (U.S.A), José López (U.S.A), Laura Juan (Spain), Ching y Yang, from East Tattoo (Taiwan), Jota Esteban, from Mao&Cathy (Spain) and Andrea Afferni (Italy),
Barcelona Tattoo Expo
International Tattoo Convention
When: From Friday the 4th to Sunday the 7th of October 2013
Timetable: From 12.00h to 24.00h on Friday and Saturday and from 12.00h to 22.00h on Sunday
Cost: 15€ Friday ticket
18 € Saturday ticket
18 € Sunday ticket
40 €3 days bonus
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M: +34 650 762 302
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By Bob Done
Reblogged from: http://www.swallowsndaggers.net
At a time when new Tattoo Studios are popping up in towns faster and more frequently than ever, I thought it would be cool to have a chat with my mentor and 20 year veteran of the craft Phil Kyle about the situation we find ourselves collectively in, and what it was like for him “back in the day”.
This is the slightly edited version because I don’t think the internet was, nor will it ever be ready for the original.
BD – Ok, what’s your name and how long have you been tattooing for?
PK – Phil Kyle, been tattooing 21 years and been getting tattooed for almost 30 now.
Where did you start tattooing?
I served my apprenticeship at Main Street Tattoo just outside of Baltimore Maryland in Edgewood. I started actually tattooing when my mentor thought it was the right time.
How many shops were in town when you first started tattooing?
2 at most, unlike today’s carnival.
And what was the relationship like between those shops and yours?
People just did their work and got on with it.
And what would have happened if someone else moved into town and opened up a shop?
(Laughing) Well…….Back then they would’ve got a warning, and if they ignored the warning there would’ve been some action. They’d have their equipment taken maybe, or you know… But the fact was that people with no morals or ethics got served the fuck up. It’s not like today where assholes open up one street over. What’s the fucking point? And they don’t even have the nut sacks to come say, “Hey I’m opening up”, or whatever. Like we did. It’s like fast food chains popping up everywhere. Serving total shit! (laughing) People that should just be clients are opening up shops. If they really loved tattooing they should just stick to getting tattooed, and not try to be some hipster cool guy who couldn’t tattoo their way out of a paper bag. These are the people that talk way too much trash too, if they could run their tattoo machines the way they run their mouths maybe they could actually tattoo.
I’m working the London Tattoo Convention this weekend at the Tobacco Dock. All back issues are on sale for 10 pounds! Newest 3 issues, 15 pounds! I have Volume 1 books (our volume 1 book is the first 5 issues of TAM compiled into a nice hard cover book) on sale for 50 pounds, and Subscriptions are on sale for 36 pounds plus shipping! Stop by the Great Gallery room and check it out.
Here’s a nice video of the Hell City show in Phoenix last month by our friends at Tattoo Snob. Check it out!
By Marisa Kakoulas
Reblogged from: http://www.needlesandsins.com
I am THRILLED about a new segment for N+S, which combines my two loves: tattoos & wine. The wonderful Demetra Molina, who co-owns The Hand of Fate Tattoo Parlor in Ithaca, NY, with her tattooist husband Eddie Molina, has graciously offered to share her expertise (she has a Level 1 Foundation from the Wine and Spirit Education Trust of England) — and with a fun twist. Demetra will be reviewing wines from the areas of upcoming tattoo conventions, so when you’re off to get tattooed, you can pick up a bottle of local wine as well. Considering that the Berlin Tattoo Convention kicks off today, Demetra educates us on German wines & the convention.
BY DEMETRA MOLINA:
Tattoo conventions are an international affair, and tattooists travel quite extensively. Artists jump on and off of planes constantly, and the landscape is often a blur. Slowing down during intense travel often means wandering about in our new surroundings, taking in the area. In my case, wine and wine tasting helps me enjoy and remember a place, not just running through its airports with my husband and tattoo artist Eddie Molina. Looking to the next few months, there are several high profile conventions coming, all in exceptional wine areas. First up: Berlin, Germany 2013.
August 2nd-4th, Tattoo Convention Berlin 2013 will mark its 23rd festival in Berlin, Germany. International tattoo artists are drawn to this well-established show, currently located in the refurbished hotspot Station Berlin (check out the link to this beautifully renovated historic space here, especially if you enjoy architecture: STATION Berlin). Station Berlin is a former train station in the hub of Berlin, now a historic landmark with seven different halls of differing sizes. Crystal chandeliers hang amidst very minimal surroundings, elegant yet stark spaces waiting for creativity. It’s the perfect place to showcase our colorful tattoo culture.
The convention is known by tattooists to be well organized, have a talented list of names, and promises a large crowd of art enthusiasts as well as potential clients. I asked friend and tattooist Cory Ferguson about his past Berlin Convention recollections, and he replied with “..lots of stuff going on other than tattooing to keep the public interested…really fun, I loved it! So many other shows were just disappointing after doing that one. There is also just so much culture to take in on top of the show, that you can’t go wrong doing Berlin.” Suspensions, live bands, collaborative ArtFusion, tattoo contests, and a Tattoo Queen title is up for grabs. No bored wandering of the floor for hours at this show, too much to do. Culture, history, architecture, tattoo convention, wine! While Germany is mainly known for its beers and brews, there are a few wines you don’t want to miss. Take a break from the beer gardens, and explore the local wines in the German Riesling scene.
Riesling is the leading grape variety grown in Germany, having originated in the Rhine region during the fifteenth century. It is an extremely flexible white grape that can be shaped into several styles of Riesling wine, from dry to sweet, and everywhere in between. The cool climate fruit is known to beautifully showcase the soil, or terroir, it is grown in. The vines do exceptionally well on the slate rock slopes of Mosel, and the slate is often a flavor dynamic of the finished wine.
Riesling is a very under rated, food friendly white wine, that is enjoying a renaissance in the culinary world. Many styles pair beautifully with seafood, poultry, and lighter pork dishes. Try a slightly off dry style Riesling with a Thai or Vietnamese meal next time; the crisp, fruity acidity and slight cooling sweetness will extinguish the heat!
We are fortunate that The Hand of Fate Tattoo Parlor is in the beautiful city of Ithaca. Located in upstate New York, and situated smack in the center of Finger Lakes wine country, it is a cooler climate viticulture area, very similar to prime German locations. The grape vines flourish in our climate, producing top-level grapes that will make world-class Riesling wines. Several of our wineries are responsible for highly rated Rieslings, in every style under the sun.
The Berlin Tattoo Convention is a fantastic opportunity to absorb a bit of tattoo culture, while enjoying wines that are created from part of the landscape. If you can’t make it to the show, at least try a few of the wines from the area!
A few German Rieslings to try:
Dr. F. Weins-Prum 2010 Feinherb Riesling (Mosel)
Erben von Beulwitz 2006 Kaseler Nies’chen Riesling Spatlese (Ruwer)
Dr. Loosen 2011 Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Spatlese (Mosel)
Schloss Vollrads 2011 Riesling (Rheingau)
And a few Finger Lakes Rieslings too:
Tierce Dry Riesling 2011 (Finger Lakes)
Dry Riesling Anthony Road Wine Company 2012 (Finger Lakes)
Riesling 2011 Sheldrake Point Winery (Finger Lakes)
Semi-Dry Riesling 2012 Leidenfrost Vineyards (Finger Lakes)
By Danny Casler
In 2011 we set out to accomplish something that has never been done before in Hawaii. A tattoo convention. Sounds simple enough. We all have been to one or 10. I remember my first one in Vegas where I met Mario Barth & Mike DeVries and I thought “Man, this is bad ass… everyone tattooing together, the camaraderie, the skill levels being matched, the talent pool and in some areas, the lack there of.”
By Jacob Hanks
Reblogged from :http://808ink.com
Last August the owners of Sullen Clothing Company, Ryan Smith and Jeremy Hannah, brought their brand to Hawaii, along with an array of Sullen related artists for the first ever tattoo convention in the state. The Sullen booth was out of stock by the 2nd day of the very popular three-day event. Carlos Torres, Norm, and Big Sleeps killed it as well bringing to the islands their unique styles of tattooing that has everyone paying attention.
By Jacob Hanks
I’m not usually into whatever new gimmick surfaces in the industry. It takes me a long time to even try it to confirm how bad it is, how cheaply made, or how much more difficult it is than what I was using before some random business man bestowed it to the masses. This is absolutely not the case with A Pound of Flesh; an innovation that is the hottest thing trending on internet social groups like Instagram and Facebook right now. It almost seems that from out of nowhere, these lifelike tattooable appendages have dominated tattoo conventions as well as art circles as the ‘It’ product to showcase your art in a very different and unusual way that surely will catch the public eye.
Video by Luke Holley
Video by Luke Holley
Stacie Jascott SLC International Tattoo Convention 2013 Interview for Tattoo Artist Magazine (VIDEO)
Video by Luke Holley
Video by Luke Holley
Video by Luke Holley
Video by Luke Holley