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Himalayan High: Tattooing in the Shadow of Everest

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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 ... Read More »

*NEW* Photos Added to the Gallery

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Tattoos by Marco Tafuri www.facebook.com/marco.tafuri Read More »

Heartbeatink with Yorg Powell

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Photos and Interview by Ino Mei Source: www.heartbeatink.gr 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. ... Read More »

Tattoo Stories Episode 6: Rick Walters

Shot by Estevan Oriol Read More »

A Review on Jeff Gogue’s “tattoo as I see it”

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 ... Read More »

Tattoo Culture Issue 4: AVAILABLE NOW!!!

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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… Available in the app store here: http://bit.ly/18jVH9p For all other devices: www.TattooCultureMagazine.com Read More »

Campfires & Carbon Episode 4: Jeff Wright

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… Read More »

NYC TATTOO CONVENTION MOVED TO MARCH 2014

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By Marisa Kakoulas Reblogged from: 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. Read More »

Bay Area Convention of the Tattoo Arts: THIS WEEKEND!

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! Read More »

An Interview with Gabe Ripley: Self-Taught Computer Programmer Business Guy

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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 ... Read More »

Fira de Barcelona

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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 Once more, the record for attendance at the XVI International Tattoo Convention in Barcelona was broken with around 14,000 visitors.  With 180 artists, performances of Pin Ups, Burlesque, Hakas, Graffitti, Break, Body Paint, Hula workshops, seminars or daily tattoo competitions the EXPO did not dissapoint . Since it’s creation in Cotxeres de Sants 18 years ago, some time in La Farga de l’Hospitalet and now at Fira de Barcelona, only the best of the best continue to support this amazing EXPO. One of the data highlighted by the convention’s organizers was the fact that almost all the tattooist stands were full during the 3 days tattoo show. 180 artists, among the best of the world, coming from 29 countries, had made a total of more than 1,200 tattoos, what generated approximately 320,000 euro profit.   Taking into account hotels, restaurants, investment on staging area, publicity, merchandising, tickets sale, cloths etc… there was around 1 million euros of capital movement during the hall convention. “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” ... Read More »

The Old School Code of Conduct

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 ... Read More »

Get TAM at the London Tattoo Convention this weekend!!!

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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. -Nicki Read More »

Hell City Phoenix 2013

Here’s a nice video of the Hell City show in Phoenix last month by our friends at Tattoo Snob.  Check it out!   Read More »

Next Call for Art Submissions! – Heikegani (Samurai Crabs)

Heikegami – Samurai Crabs   These are the rad crabs  popular with Kuniyoshi that feature the face of a samurai on their shells. Really cool little guys. They are a product of the Gempei war, a conflict between the Taira and Minamoto Clans. During the battle of Dan- no-ura Yoshitsune and his chief retainer Benkei defeat the Taira clan. These crabs are believed to be the reincarnated spirits of the defeated Heike warriors, who,  following their leader Tomomori, jumped into the ocean to their deaths in shame from their defeat. Their fierce spirits however would not surrender and instead infused into the crabs living in the bay. Because these crab hold the spirit of their ancestors Japanese people do not eat then, so now they are quite common in that area. Deadline for submissions October 31st, 2013 Submissions WILL NOT be returned so if you want to keep yours please send a HIGH QUALITY digital scan of at least 400dpi. Do not send photos. Email or dropbox to gominekobooks@yahoo.com Submissions sent in will be auctioned off online and the money donated to the Support The Underground Crew – a group of underground bikers, musicians and artists that spend one weekend a month biking supplies in and donating their time to help out some of the villages in Tohoku the government deemed too small to resuscitate. Post to: Gomineko Books/ 3-13-29 Imagawa/ Suginami-ku, Tokyo/ 167-0035 Japan Please send a written statement giving Gomineko the right to publish your piece in any ... Read More »