By Jack Smylie
OG graffiti writer/tattoo artist Mike Giant is set to open a new solo show in San Francisco this February.
The exhibition is entitled Modern Hieroglyphics and is hosted by Fecal Face Gallery. You’ll see a series of new works on paper that mix tattoo art, cultural symbols, logos and written motifs, as well as some custom screen-printed pieces.
The thing opens on February 7th, visit Fecal Face’s website and don’t miss out if you’re in the area.
By Kevin Miller
Earlier this week, Durb Morrison announced on Instagram that RedTree Tattoo Gallery would be opening a second location in Phoenix, Arizona. In the same announcement, Durb officially stated he would be relocating to Phoenix. This is obviously a huge announcement, as Durb is a leader in the Ohio tattoo scene and the tattoo industry as a whole.
To find out more about this news, we caught up with Durb Morrison and asked him a couple questions.
Tattoo Snob: Let’s start off with the basics Where is original location of Red Tree Tattoo, and when did it open?
Durb Morrison: The RedTree Tattoo Gallery opened in 2012 at in Italian Village connected to the Short North Arts District at 1002 N. 4th St. in Columbus, Ohio
TS: The shop is a little different than your average tattoo shop, can you tell us a little about that and why you chose to have it that way?
Port Monmouth, NJ – January 17, 2013 Nephews Skate Shop + Gallery will be hosting WILD AND FREE, a group artist exhibit on Saturday, January 25, 2014 from 6pm to 10pm. The exhibit has been guest curated by Little Chris Smith. WILD AND FREE will feature all original works of local tattoo artists Erik Schmidt, Little Chris Smith, Pete Pederson, Chuck Ordino, and Bryan Keinlen. Nephews will be opening up their doors to the public to host an evening of inspiration, conversation and enjoyment.
Erik Schmidt – “Erik has been tattooing in Neptune for several years after ‘doing time’ in Asbury Tattoo. He learned to tattoo under the guidance of Patrick Dean and Dave Shoemaker, following proudly in the tradition of those before him. His focus is clean, solid methodical tattooing, just like his mentors.”
Little Chris Smith – “Little Christopher Smith hails from Sandy Hook, New Jersey. He enjoys a radical lunch, surfing hella waves, skateboarding with buds, and entertaining hot chicks. You will usually find his best girl, Leche (his baby dog), at his side when he is not tattooing at Neptune Tattooville, where he works for the most gnarly awesome bosses Patrick Dean and Dave Shoemaker. Little Chris, or LC as his friends call him, prides himself on his ability to get wild and loves his mother like all radical dudes do.”
Pete Pedersen – “Pete has taken the long road at achieving his tattoo skills. His background in art of all mediums has proven to be vital in his development as a tattooer and as an artist. Working at print shops, screen printing factories, and in the fields of photography and graphic design all eventually lead to his discovery and love for tattooing. After spending much of the late 1990s loitering around Jersey Shore tattoo shops, Pete finally landed a job at a local shop as a body piercer. During his time working as a piercer, he started to acquire much tattoo knowledge under the guidance of Jim Weiss (now at Black Panther Tattoo). An opportunity to fulfill another dream of playing music fell in Pete’s lap right around the same time and he took a brief break from the tattoo world to peruse his passion in music, all the while still working as an artist. After a few years on the road, Pete decided he needed to get back to his original passion of becoming a tattooer. His chance came in the way of a job working as the shop manager of Neptune Tattooville complete with an apprenticeship. There he learned to tattoo under the guidance of Patrick Dean and Dave Shoemaker, following proudly in the tradition of all those before him.”
Chuck Ordino – “Chuck got his start in this shady business by apprenticing with Vinny Kapelewski, a Neptune native like himself, at Sinister Ink (now known as Revolver Tattoo) in New Brunswick. Upon completing his apprenticeship, he went on to work with Vinny and Joshua Disotell at Broken Heart Tattoo in Keyport for 5 good years before settling in at Neptune Tattoo in April of 2010. When he’s not watching the Cooking Channel, listening to sludgy doom metal or teaching his son Lucas how to “color inside the lines”, he is constantly woodshedding; trying to simplify and refine his work, and strives to apply a clean, solid tattoo.”
Bryan Keinlen - “Back in high school some friends and I started a punk band. Being the artist I naturally took on the task of inventing what would be our logo, and then went on to design all of our record covers, T-shirts and whatever other merchandise I could think up. More than 20 years of the Bouncing Souls has gone by like a million lifetimes and yet seemingly in the blink of an eye. Creating music and art has remained my means of expression all throughout. When not busy with the band, I tattoo at Neptune Tattooville in Neptune NJ.”
Nephews Skateshop + Gallery is located at 183 Main Street, Port Monmouth, NJ 07758.
By Craig Hlavaty
This weekend, Peveto Art Gallery will display 20 sheets of historic tattoo flash art that were recently found in an abandoned house in Corpus Christi. According to gallery owner Scott Peveto, the flash looks to be over 100 years old. The items were rescued from a Dumpster by a man who cleans out houses that are tagged to be torn down.
“I’ve spent enough time with them to know they are real,” said Peveto. The sheets are water and nicotine-stained and more than likely were originally displayed on the walls of a tattoo shop for customers to choose pieces from.
The art is on heavy illustration board and shows signs of wear from push pins. Artist names are included on most.
“The majority of them are by the same artist,” said Peveto. You can really pinpoint the ones that don’t quite go with the others.
Peveto is looking to sell half the lot at a public unveiling of the exhibit Saturday night at his Montrose gallery. He said he is going to ask around $2,000 per sheet. The exhibit opens at 6 p.m.
Peveto said the work predates the art of Norman “Sailor Jerry” Collins, who made his name tattooing sailors, rebels, and rogues. Sailor Jerry’s name is now on rum bottles, art galleries, dorm posters, baby clothes, and his artwork can be found re-imagined on skin all over the world.
A friend of Peveto’s who is a longtime sailor noticed that one piece looked particularly familiar.
“He said that the one piece of flash looks very much like Teddy Roosevelt’s ‘Great White Fleet’ that circumnavigated the globe from 1907 to 1909,” said Peveto. That could mean that the artist had drawn up the design for customers who had been aboard the ships. Or it just looked cool.
Corpus would have been a convenient spot for sailors to get tattoo work done given its proximity to the Gulf. Today, the city maintains a thriving tattoo scene with hotspots like Shipwreck Tattoo.
Bruce Morgan out at Shipwreck and his colleagues aren’t so sure the flash is the work of a homegrown Texas artist. They think it’s more of an East Coast-style. Texas tattoo flash from this era would probably have more Texicana involved, like state flag, cowboy, or yellow rose imagery, Morgan said.
“It could have been someone’s collection from their travels,” said Morgan. Even still he’s very curious about the collection’s lineage. He’d like a fellow tattoo artist to acquire them for their own collection.
“We tattooers try our best to keep tattoo-related history in our own family,” he said.
By Allison B. Siegel
Fineline Tattoo opened in 1976 during the New York City ban on tattooing and is considered the longest continually running tattoo shop in Manhattan. It’s located on 1st Street and First Avenue in the East Village. Previously, Mike Bakaty, the founder and owner, operated underground for 36 years in secret back rooms and loft apartments. With the walls adorned with Bakaty’s original flash art, Fineline is definitely near and dear to our skin and to the history of NYC.
We interviewed Bakaty and asked him about tattooing and New York City:
When did you first fall in love with tattooing?
I’m still falling in love with tattooing. I got interested back in ’74 when I went to get some work covered up…I got more interested in ’75…and then by 1976 my interest was such that I started tattooing myself.
And you didn’t care that tattooing was illegal at the time in NY?
Hell yeah, I cared. Every time the phone rang I jumped thinking it was the cops looking to bust me. After 21 years eventually I got over jumping at the phone.
How do you feel at the Bowery now and all the changes going on?
Well, you know, it’s not the Bowery I lived on for 34 years, you know? Don’t know how I feel about the changes. When they first built the Whole Foods down here I thought who the hell is gonna come down here and buy food? We tried to save the building we lived in (McGurk’s Suicide Hall). I lived there for 34 years. Check out more on McGurk’s.
What’s your opinion on Mildred Hull?
Millie Hull…well she was one of the first female tattooers I ever heard of. There’s a picture of her right there (points to picture on the wall).
This piece has her in it and some other legends like Charlie Wagner.
Well, it was us (Fineline) that brought tattooing back to the Bowery and the fact of the matter is I was totally blind to the fact that the Bowery had such tattoo history. I read somewhere the first heavily tattooed person exhibition was around 1876 right across from 295 (Bowery) where we lived…
Do you call this a parlor or a shop?
It’s a studio. I don’t see a parlor anywhere in here.
Can I ask how old you are?
Well, I’m 77.
G-d Bless you, man! You don’t look a day over 60.
Well, thank you, I just passed the big 77. If I knew I was gonna get this old I’d have taken better care of myself (laughter).
By Marisa Kakoulas
Having a Greek father who once told me that tattoos would never be accepted in the motherland, it’s with true pleasure (and a bit of “I told ya so“) to see a tattoo publication rise to international popularity, which happens to come out of Greece.
HEARTBEATINK is an online tattoo magazine in English and Greek with excellent photography and videos, and thoughtful interviews with tattooists, musicians, and collectors. I’m honored to be among those collectors interviewed by the magazine’s most excellent editor Ino Mei. Our Q &A was just posted today.
I first met Ino in person at the last NYC Tattoo Convention, where she beautifully captured the scene in her convention coverage for her mag. Then we got to hang at the London Tattoo Convention in September, for which she also took wonderful images and video. There, we found a moment to chat about a possible “tattoo gene,” the comparisons between tattooing & plastic surgery, tattoo law, and what happened when my dad did find out I was heavily tattooed (and more). It was a fun talk. Here’s a bit from it:
How did you get into tattoos?
Me: Ed Hardy once told me in an interview that he believes that there could be a “tattoo gene.” It made a lot of sense to me because, when you ask somebody who has a visceral response to tattooing — who sees tattooing and has an actual physical reaction and is attracted to it — that is something that’s ingrained; people can think back and say, “Well, I’ve always felt that way”. I remember when I was very young, looking at my mother’s National Geographic magazines and coming across tattooed tribal women, and I was instantly thinking that this is really beautiful, mysterious and bad-ass. Of course, this is an ideal way of looking at it. really, if I would be honest with myself, it is because I liked tattooed boys when I was teenager (laughs).
HEARTBEATINK: Where you then tattooed when you were a teenager?
I was a nerdy teenager, did good in school, and my parents were very conservative. I didn’t run around a lot. So when I found myself at tattoo shops at a young age, it held a kind of magic for me. Keep in mind that getting a tattoo was illegal back then, until 1997, in New York, so it was more secretive. You had to know where to go and ring the right buzzer. It was like a clandestine operation. However, when you were “inside”, it wasn’t what you’d expect, like a biker shop. At least in my experience, when I was first exposed to it, I was seeing really beautiful custom tattooing. There were art books rather than trendy flash for inspiration. I respected it so much that I felt I really wanted to wait until a had the right idea and do it at the right time. So, I didn’t get tattooed until I was in my early twenties. Actually, I got my first tattoo during the early weeks of law school. I felt I didn’t fit it, and was afraid that I’d become something that I wasn’t. I love the study of law, but I’ve never been super competitive and I’ve never felt that I had to be above somebody else to be better. It was really at that time that I started thinking about art and tattooing a lot in terms of individuation.
HEARTBEATINK: That sounds very mature…
I was a very mature kid (laughs). Now, I’m regressing. I’m like a thirteen-year-old boy (laughs). Back then, I was like a forty year old women (laughs).
Read more of this article here: http://www.needlesandsins.com/2014/01/my-chat-with-greeces-heartbeat-ink.html
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/
Shot by Estevan Oriol
January 12th we’ll be starting off our new season of Off The Map Live! If you are in the Massachusetts area we highly recommend coming out for the live party at PopCorn Noir. Before our normal episode we will be doing a live viewing of Jeff Gogues latest DVD “Tattoo As I see It”. Popcorn Noir has a great theatre room, Jeff will join us via Skype after the viewing. Jeff will chat with Off The Map Live host Ben Licata who will take questions from viewers. So, if you got January 12th free, come hang out for drinks and inspiration! After the viewing we’ll be doing our first episode of the season with Watson Aitkison in house, and Tom Strom, Thomas Kynst, Deano Cook, Stefano Alcantara, and Marisa Kakoulas skyping in from all over the world! It’ll be a fun time and we look forward to seeing you there!
You can see a preview of the DVD below, and rsvp here!
Campfires & Carbon’s mission is to have and promote real, unedited conversation with local tattooers. Here’s their podcast of a conversation with Justin Hartman from Urban Art Tattoo in Mesa, Arizona…
By Adam Guy Hays
A few months ago I took part in the “Fuck Art, Let’s Kill” exhibition put on at Nick Caruso’s Bound For Glory shop in Staten Island. It was a death and reaper themed art show. I’ve always been a big fan of drawing skulls and reapers and as excited as I was to be a part of the show the idea of trying to come up with something nice and original that would stand out was daunting. I decided to try to paint something a bit out of my comfort zone. I stuck to my preferred mix of watercolors, inks, and liquid acrylics, but I tried to give the piece a renaissance feel using those media.
Before I’d started this project I’d downloaded a bunch of books from IllustratedMonthly.com to my iPad. I thought I’d just grab a variety and see what there was in them. They were cheap enough that I ended up getting a heap of really good stuff for a fraction of what physical books would cost. There was a lot of visual information there in a variety of styles. I found it handy when I was struggling for ideas in coming up with the composition for this piece. I flipped through the books on my iPad until I saw something that caught my eye. I saved the first two images (Ref. 1) because I was drawn to the composition. I started formulating the idea of doing a reclined death. It just seemed different. Like he was just kicking back like a dude on a lazy Sunday. There were some good examples of drapery in there as well. In the third image (Ref. 2), I really liked the candle’s being snuffed out and the light effects. The last image (Ref. 2) is the skull from the cover of the Illustrated Monthly book of skulls. I thought it’d be fun to paint an ancient looking skull with missing teeth.
I’ve always done my brainstorming sketches very small. I like to do two or three tiny versions so I can work out the composition before dedicating time to the details in a full size sketch. I meant to take a photo before trashing the other tiny sketches but I just kinda forgot. I chose the sketch whose composition I liked best (Fig. 1) and enlarged it on the copy machine to the size I wanted the final painting to be. I then laid tracing paper over the quick version and did some fine tuning to flesh it out (Fig. 2).
This piece is 12″ x 16″ and is on a piece of Windsor & Newton Aquarelle paper. This is my favorite paper to use for most every project. It’s similar to Arches cold press in terms of durability, but the tooth of the paper is much finer and allows for much finer line work when you’re using ink. I usually cut my piece of paper larger than I want the final image to be and mask it off with orange artist tape. It helps me keep my compositional constraints in mind by giving me a border where a frame would be. I also like to have an edge to test paint on that’s from the same ream of paper. Paper always ages differently and I think you have better results if you can test your colors on a piece of scrap paper that’s identical to the piece you’re painting on. You can see what my primary paints for this piece were in Fig. B. I used the FW Liquid Acrylic colors Flesh Tint, Crimson, Antelope Brown, and Purple Lake; the Dr. Ph. Martin’s Hydrus watercolor series Yellow Ochre and Burnt Sienna; and the Dr. Ph. Martin’s Slate Blue and Van Dyke Brown in the concentrated and transparent watercolors. The black i’m using is Speed Ball black.
What are your thoughts on this…? We’d love to hear your comments.
Seeded by Carloz
When Floris Hirschfeld’s mother died two years ago, he had her portrait tattooed on his back to honor her memory. One day he hopes the image, skin and all, will adorn the wall of an art collector’s home.
It might sound like a macabre Roald Dahl story, but could soon be reality with the help of a Dutch entrepreneur who has set up a business to preserve the tattoos of the dead.
“Everyone spends their lives in search of immortality and this is a simple way to get a piece of it,” Peter van der Helm, the tattoo shop owner behind the concept, said in an interview…
Hirschfeld and about 30 other clients of the “Walls and Skin” tattoo parlor, which is tucked away in a canal house in the Dutch capital, have donated their skin to the company in a will and each paid a few hundred euros.
When they die a Dutch pathologist will remove the tattoo and freeze or package it in formaldehyde, ideally within 48 hours. It will then be sent to a laboratory outside the Netherlands, where a 12-week procedure extracts water and replaces it with silicone, leaving a rubbery substance.
Hirschfeld, an only child with no children of his own, does not yet know who will inherit his tattoo, but he knows he wants it saved.
By Molly Kitamura
Reblogged from: http://www.knivesandneedlesblog.com
Shawn Brown. Hardcore legend. Amazing tattooer. All-around cool guy. I had the honor of meeting Shawn and his wife, Michelle, a beautiful and talented photographer. Every time we hang out its continual laughs and high adventures (Japan <3)! Shawn lives in Washington DC and used to be the singer of legendary bands Dag Nasty, Jesus Eater, and Swiz. He is currently singing for Red Hare, they are definitely worth checking out! Shawn tattoos out of Tattoo Paradise, owned by Matt Knopp, so if you are ever in the DC area, you need to stop in and get a tattoo! In the meantime, read on and check out Shawn, his work and his mouth-watering tri-tip and vegetarian recipes!!
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!
Interview by Jordan Tinney.
Reblogged from: http://www.swallowsndaggers.com
I’m going to say this only once: don’t blink. Dusty Neal is an American tattooist based out of Ft. Wayne, Indiana at Black Anvil Tattoo. This might sound a little fan-boyish, but Dusty is one of the best and most under rated in the game today. A fastidious worker, incredible painter and even more amazing tattooer. I recently had the chance to conduct a short interview with Mr. Neal; if you’re in his area don’t sleep on this guy.
Jordan Tinney: What really got you into tattooing?
Dusty Neal: I’ve always known I wanted to make art for a living, but I never really thought about becoming a tattooer until I was already in college and getting tattooed when I could. It was really hardcore and metal that made me interested in getting tattooed though. Just being into all that stuff, seeing tattoos on bands and at shows really made me think about tattoos. I didn’t grow up with it around me in any other form and I guess that’s what attracted me to it. When I came into it finally I was so naive about what good tattoos really were, and over the few years I’ve been tattooing my tastes and thoughts on it have changed so very much.
JT: What year did you start tattooing professionally?
DN: I made my first tattoo in January of 2006.
JT: Did you have an apprenticeship in the traditional sense?
DN: I apprenticed under Donny Manco, and owe everything to him for giving me an opening into tattooing. He taught me the fundamentals of what I was actually doing, but other than that it was really not much of a passed down tradition or anything. Sometimes I wish I had a “proper” apprenticeship and was taught more traditional ideals and methods, yet by being someone’s 10th apprentice (with 5 after me), and not really being taught about flash or anything, it forced me to go out and learn what I could from serious tattooers or just by trial and error of my own experience. I would say now I do everything probably the complete opposite of what I was taught, but everyone has to find what works for them and everyone is different.
JT: Tell me about Black Anvil, and how that came to fruition?
DN: The conception of Black Anvil Tattoo is a recent happening. I met Nate (Click) my first year tattooing and have worked with him ever since he started, four years ago. He was there when Donny Manco and I started New Republic Tattoo. Over the past few years, especially after bringing in Beau Guenin, it was really our shared vision that started to shape New Republic into what it became, and also what started to create a tension between us and Donny. It was a non-dramatic split from Donny, as we just felt it was time to leave New Republic and create something that could be completely our own. With B.A.T. we wanted to pay tribute to the traditions and honor of tattooing, and create an environment that would display that pride while also being more advantageous to our clients and our shop morale.
JT: Did you do more traditional art in your past, before you started tattooing?
DN: Honestly, as much as I try to adhere to traditional principles, I still don’t even consider myself a “traditional” tattooer, but only because I feel like its disrespectful to those people who are really devoted to that mentality and lifestyle, and not just the aesthetic. Before tattooing, shamefully I had no understanding whatsoever of traditional tattooing. It took a few years before I really started to understand what my perception of it is. My perception of it is also constantly evolving.
DN: A tattooer’s life should be infused in his or her work. It’s important to me that my interests show through my work, because that’s what makes people stand apart from imitators, and will also attract like-minded artists towards each other. Having said that, classic heavy metal and “evil” imagery is probably the biggest influence over my work, but also occult symbolism, Aliester Crowley, sex, death, the supernatural, and nihilism. Aside from these things, I’m also very influenced by finding affirmation and sharing ideas with my co-workers and friends, especially, Jacob Des, Cla Wolfmeyer, Jacob Bryan, and Destroy Troy.
JT: Do you continue to find new things to keep you “into it” or are you always coming across inspiration?
DN: I find it easy to stay “into it,” but I also consider it a tattooer’s top priority to enjoy their work and be confident with it, otherwise they are only doing the craft a disservice and should find another line of work. There are too many passionate and talented people tattooing to allow room for those doing it merely to pay bills. However, it’s important to me to constantly be growing and evolving. Inspiration doesn’t always come, but I manage to seek it out and find it.
Again, I’m thankful to Dusty for entertaining me and this interview, and if your’e in Fort Wayne or Indiana in general, make sure to stop at Black Anvil and get a great tattoo, not only from Dusty but from his incredible coworkers. Dusty can be reached email@example.com, or http://www.dustyneal.tumblr.com. He’s on Instagram as well under @dustyneal. What we do is secret..
By Marisa Kakoulas
In The Guardian today is feature called “Painted Ladies: Why women get tattoos.” Normally, I find these types of articles banal, or even cringe worthy, for perpetuating cliches or not offering a broad spectrum of experience from our community. And so I was happily surprised to find many different voices of tattooed women in this article.
While there need not be any great miraculous reason to get tattooed, tattoos do come with a story, from an impulse to get a quick piece of historic flash to a full body project. I found the profiles of these women to be really interesting, and they made me think on the commonaIities and differences of our experiences with tattoos.
I particularly loved reading about Juanita Carberry, a merchant navy steward, who died in July at age 88. Here’s a bit from her story:
“The daughter of a renegade Irish peer, Carberry lived an extraordinarily full life. Her childhood in Kenya was difficult: her mother, a well-known aviator, died when she was three, and Carberry was often beaten by her governess. As a teenager, she was a key witness in a celebrated murder case, the 1941 shooting of the 22nd Earl of Erroll, and at 17 she joined the first aid nursing yeomanry in the Women’s Territorials during the second world war. In 1946, Carberry became one of a handful of women to join the merchant navy, remaining for 17 years. It was during this period, says photographer Christina Theisen, that she started acquiring tattoos. Her first was a small spider on the sole of her foot; it didn’t hurt, Theisen recalls Carberry saying, because the skin on her feet was so tough from walking barefoot as a child.”
Read more here.
It is the work of Christina Theisen and Eleni Stefanou that really makes this piece so engaging. Theisen and Stefanou are behind womenwithtattoos.co.uk, a photo and film endeavor that pays respect to all tattooed women. They offer this on their work: “Our project seeks to capture the personal and the individual, embracing each woman and her tattoos as one, rather than isolating or magnifying the inked parts of her body. At the same time, by using natural environments and the context of urban Western culture, we intentionally move away from the sexualised glamour model aesthetic that dominates tattoo magazines and popular culture.”
Two words: Hell. Yeah.
My regret is that I wasn’t aware of the project when it first rolled out. I will continue to follow Theisen and Stefanou’s work, and I hope that more media outlets also follow their lead in telling compelling stories without the usual pop culture hype and flash so prevalent today.
Is it Possible to be Heavily Tattooed and Still Have a Highly Paid Job in the Professional Workplace?
By Paddy VipondA conversation with my Girlfriend has inspired me to write this. What began as an off-the-cuff remark soon turned into a full blown debate. Those that know me would say that this is an inevitability. The topic of discussion was tattoos and whether they hinder ones chances of getting a highly paid job. My argument was that a heavily tattooed person would struggle to find a position that paid highly; my girlfriend disagreed. Heavily tattooed, in this case, was defined as one or more full sleeves, highly visible work and/or ink on the neck and/or hands and knuckles. Highly paid was defined as £65,000 a year, which is currently, just over double the UK national average salary for males. The figures for these have come from a Payscale report dated the 3rd of December this year.It would be foolish to say that tattoos, and being tattooed, are not becoming more common and more accepted within society, and the workplace. On the 20th of July 2010, the Guardian ran an article entitled “The Rise and Rise of the Tattoo“, which I will quote from here. Within this article it was stated that “a fifth of all British adults have now been inked”. The choice to get tattooed is even more popular across the pond in America where one tattooist says they are “about a decade ahead in terms of popularity”. There are many examples given of people who have tattoos and are well known, and highly paid, Angelina Jolie, Wayne Rooney, Robbie Williams and David Beckham are all mentioned, but I feel these represent a minority within their chosen fields. Lets take actresses for example, and though Angelina Jolie is tattooed and is also, currently, the highest paid actress (according to Forbes), she is not heavily tattooed. She is an actress with tattoos. Number two on Forbes’ list is Sarah Jessica Parker, she has no tattoos. Jennifer Aniston is third and only has a minor tattoo on her foot. The list goes on. None of Forbes’ highest paid actresses are heavily tattooed. Lets then look at football, which appears to be a more accepted sphere for tattoos. Once again we turn to Forbes and their top ten earners. David Beckham is noted as the highest earner and its fair to say that he is heavily tattooed. He has two full sleeves and more artwork on his chest and back. Cristiano Ronaldo is at two and he is not heavily tattooed, nor is Lionel Messi at three, or Wayne Rooney at four, though he does have a handful of tattoos. Indeed, outside of David Beckham nobody in the top ten is heavily tattooed.What we can conclude from this is that heavily tattooed individuals in the top pay bracket of their chosen professions represent a minority. Of course getting a tattoo is an individual choice, and to become heavily tattooed is a major commitment. In the arena of sports and music, and perhaps even modelling, I would not anticipate that it would be too detrimental, but what about more mundane, everyday jobs? What about a heavily tattooed banker? or lawyer? or politician?One case which immediately jumps out is that of Vladimir Franz. He came to worldwide attention earlier this year when he ran for Presidency in the Czech Republic. Vladimir finished fifth overall but the result was never the major media story. What caught everyones eye was that fact that Vladimir was not only heavily tattooed, he was almost completely covered. His arms, his hands, back, chest and even his face have artwork upon them. In fact he has achieved 90% body coverage. But once again Vladimir is the exception to the rule, despite extensive online searching I was not able to find any other example of a politician with large amounts of tattoos.A quick google search brought to my attention another article that featured on the Guardian, this one entitled ”Stamping Out the Persistent Myths and Misconceptions About Tattoos“. It was here that I found a passage that gave links to “heavily tattooed scientists at NASA” and “heavily tattooed heart surgeons”. I thought that these may well be strong evidence to support my Girlfriends theory. However, after following these links I was disappointed to find that the heavily tattooed NASA scientist was in fact not tattooed at all, but instead had a number of facial piercings. The heavily tattooed heart surgeon had only one tattoo, a heart on his back.To return to the former Guardian article, statistics were given stating that “14% of teachers are now tattooed” and “9% of servicemen and women”. It is highly unlikely though that these figures represent what we consider as heavily tattooed. If having a tattoo places you within the minority, being heavily tattooed places you within an even smaller minority. Perhaps being heavily tattooed and being in a highly paid job has no relationship, but judging how society views those with even a handful of tattoos, I feel it does. Though prejudices are changing and people are becoming more accepting, there are still many areas where having tattoos is not deemed as acceptable or appropriate. My own personal experience has told me that my tattoos will prevent me becoming a banker (not that I would want to), I would have trouble getting a recruitment consultancy job, and even working in a certain American coffee shop chain, the tattoos had to be covered up. A study in America with worrying findings has even suggested that being heavily tattooed, rather than getting you a good job, is more likely to mean time in prison. Jerome Koch, a sociology professor concluded that his study saw “a correlation between multiple tattoos and… socially unacceptable behaviour”. His study, “Body Art, Deviance and American College Students” found that those with four or more tattoos “are ten times more likely to have an arrest history [and] a four-fold increase in drug use”.From researching and writing this article I have found little evidence to suggest that heavily tattooed people occupy the higher paid jobs. This is not to say however that they do not, or that it is not possible. The resources I have available to me may hamper my ability to find relevant information and statistics. Ideally I would like to have access to questionnaires that have been located in tattoo parlours, these questionnaires would ask how much each of the clients earn, and how many tattoos they have. It would only be after this was conducted at many parlours within the UK that we would be able to get a more accurate story. I dont doubt that highly paid, heavily tattooed individuals exist, and with the ever growing popularity, more will appear in the years to come. For the time being, however, our society is in a place whereby those with an abundance of tattoos either cannot find highly paid employment due to prejudices against their appearance, or due to the generation gap, those who are heavily tattooed are not experienced or old enough to be in the positions of high pay.I fully expect my girlfriend to write a response to this.All comments and feedback is appreciated. You are more than welcome to add your own stories to this article.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Shot by Estevan Oriol
By Jared Preslar
Investing in ones self…
For years I have been purchasing instructional DVDs from amazing artists and I have always been very appreciative of their willingness to share information. I started my apprenticeship in 1994 with an artist who was self taught; as you could guess this was a very frustrating journey and my mentor did not have much to offer. I would ask questions and get answers back like “I don’t know how Filip Leu gets such large smooth gradients”. He did not have the answers to what I wanted to know. This method of apprenticeship was not ideal at all, and consequently it took me many extra years to learn what I could have learned in half the time had I searched out the proper experienced mentor.
In the meantime, I started getting on forums, talking to artists, and compiling pages and pages of conversations containing helpful information. I was so grateful to be getting some sort of help, even if it wasn’t from my mentor, because other artists from the forums, DVDs, seminars, and books ended up becoming my mentors. I started seeing that anyone could attain this information as long as they had the patience, motivation, and discipline to receive it. My mentor however, was not one of these people, and wanted me to share all of the information I was obtaining through my hard work and perseverance. I thought about this for awhile, and decided I was not willing to share with someone who was not willing to invest in themselves and take the time just like I was. If someone is not willing to take the time, spend the money to travel etc, then they are where they are because they have created that reality. Successful people, not just financially, have worked very hard to be where they are and in my experience they are always continuing to learn. Continuing education is key in any profession.
Over the years I kept buying DVDs, traveling to seminars, and buying books. I would talk to any artist whom I looked up to if given the opportunity, and soak up any information they were willing to share. I have accumulated quite the library for art and tattooing, and still have every bit of information I have collected from 1994 to today. I cannot express how appreciative I am to the artists who give back like this. Some people say this is unethical and people need to learn the old school way, I could not disagree more. People who are sharing this information, like TattooNow.com for example, are innovators in the industry. They are bringing education to people through technology. I am very impressed by how many are willing to take the time, spend the money, and offer this information to anyone who is willing to invest in themselves. I feel that Guy Aitchison is a person who truly gives back; he and www.tattooeducation.com are pioneers in this field of sharing within our industry and I highly recommend taking a look at the sites educational material; it has helped me a lot over the years.
To this day, I still spend the money to purchase the DVDs, books, webinars by TattooNow.com, and travel to seminars. I will never stop doing this, as I believe a person should improve every year, and if not then they are doing something wrong. In the past couple years I have started getting a lot of questions about my process, pigments, etc. which led to formulating a plan to create a DVD to answer these questions. I have no problem sharing this information with artists whom are willing to learn and improve. I do not believe myself to be some all knowing amazing artist, I would just like to give back, as others have done for me over the years.
I talked about doing this DVD for about a year, planned it, found the right people to help and participate. I have made my process a combination of things I have learned on my own, things I have learned from others, and things I have learned from others but have made my own. In this first DVD, which will be part of a series, I walk through my entire process of tattooing. Everything from getting a reference, stenciling, something I call color isolation, and execution. I also talk about my machines and needles of preference. I hope this DVD gives something beneficial to everyone who decides to acquire it, and I hope that it gives back even a fraction of what I have been given since I started this journey called Tattooing. I would like to thank all of the artists who share their knowledge, and the artists who give seminars, make DVDs, books, and Webinars! Any feedback is greatly appreciated for current and upcoming projects or suggestions for subjects that artists would like to hear more about etc.
The Tattooing from Life DVD is currently on Presale at a discount until after Christmas, can be purchased at www.luckybambootattoo.com/store.html and will be for sell at a couple of the reputable supply companies very soon.
Happy Continued Education,
By Brian Tremml
We’ve all been there. One day you have a moment of clarity over your morning coffee and come to the realization that you just don’t like dolphins anymore. There’s only one problem: that beautifully detailed, multi-colored and not-at-all-cartoonish representation of a dolphin you got tattooed on your arm during your rebellious phase of college. So, what’s a girl to do?
No need to worry, because Nekkid Nate and all of the other employees of Liberty Tattoo in Atlanta “can fix that,” by providing cover ups for any and all of the ill-informed decisions of your youth. Watch their hilarious advertisement above. The ad features Mastodon guitarist Brent Hinds, who apparently is interested in running for public office now. He’s got our vote.