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Crystal Morey: Horibenny (Part II)

By Crystal Morey Horibenny is one of my favorite monsters. Odder than bacon with legs, he oozes with creative zealotry and possesses an indiscriminate passion for life that is contagious. Benny is one of the first round-eyes to be given and to complete a formal tattoo apprenticeship here in Japan, and by this I mean, he cooked, fetched and lived for his sempai for over four years… A far cry from the ‘two week a year drop in to study and pay money’ apprenticeship awarded to many gaijin deshi these days. Benny is an accomplished painter, his tattoo work is delicate yet powerful, it often embodies the Japanese tenet that less is more, and his earnest demeanor only lends to his accomplishments as an artists. Ever the student, Ben works his ass of on a daily basis to learn more and push himself further and I’ve had the pleasure of watching him make significant artistic advancements over the past few years. He is not unlike one of those wind-up toys you point and they take off pointedly in one direction… only Ben’s nose is pointed at the moon and with his passion it wouldn’t surprise me at all if he got there… (Click here to read Part I) Read More »

Crystal Morey: Horibenny (Part I)

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By Crystal Morey Horibenny is one of my favorite monsters. Odder than bacon with legs, he oozes with creative zealotry and possesses an indiscriminate passion for life that is contagious. Benny is one of the first round-eyes to be given and to complete a formal tattoo apprenticeship here in Japan, and by this I mean, he cooked, fetched and lived for his sempai for over four years… A far cry from the ‘two week a year drop in to study and pay money’ apprenticeship awarded to many gaijin deshi these days. Benny is an accomplished painter, his tattoo work is delicate yet powerful, it often embodies the Japanese tenet that less is more, and his earnest demeanor only lends to his accomplishments as an artists. Ever the student, Ben works his ass of on a daily basis to learn more and push himself further and I’ve had the pleasure of watching him make significant artistic advancements over the past few years. He is not unlike one of those wind-up toys you point and they take off pointedly in one direction… only Ben’s nose is pointed at the moon and with his passion it wouldn’t surprise me at all if he got there… Read More »

Gomineko Books: Adam Kitamoto’s Myths, Gods & Legends

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Courtesy of Gomineko Books: Gomineko Books is proud to announce our newest publication, Adam Kitamoto’s Myths, Gods & Legends. This is a brilliant collection of Kitamoto’s illustrations and tattoo work, highlighting his keen eye for Japanese nuances and aesthetic…  Read More »

Photos of 19th-Century Tattooed Japanese Mail Runners

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By Alison Nastasi (Article originally appears at Flavorwire.com) Who runs around wearing a loincloth, covered in tattoos, and delivers mail on a stick while managing not to look like an absolute fool? Japanese mail runners during the 19th century, that’s who — and they put modern bike messengers to shame. During the Edo period, tattoos became a popular form of art, and these guys are sporting some fantastic ink… Read More »

Sailor Jerry: Oliver Peck Hold Fast (VIDEO)

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Courtesy of Salior Jerry: Oliver Peck aka “Ducky” needs little introduction ever since he joined the judging panel on the hit Spike TV tattoo competition Ink Master, but this guy’s been at it for awhile. Based at Elm Street Tattoo in Dallas TX, a shop he founded with Dean Williams, Oliver has been laying in color since he was 19 years old. He even holds the Guinness World Record for most tattoos done in 24 hours with 415 pieces of his favorite subject, the number 13… Read More »

Crystal Morey: William Thidemann Interview

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By Crystal Morey I just spent a couple weeks in Colorado, participating in the Paradise Gathering giving seminars and at Kaze Gallery in Denver, and I got a chance to sit down with one of Kaze’s owners William Thidemann. I love talking to William. His world is wonderfully black and white and he filters it through a well thought out canon of ethics that centers on respect and hard work. It is incredibly refreshing to come home to the states and find that it isn’t all reality TV and triple Big Gulps, there are still people there working to improve their lot and who inspire growth in those around them. William’s demeanor impressed me… his door seemed to be open to anyone who comes in earnest, be it a hot mess needing to cover up her old lover inspired tattoos, or younger tattooers looking for help with compositions and design. He was like minor royalty… ha-ha, like a duke. The Duke of Denver! But seriously I appreciate his pragmatic view of the world and his steadfast dedication to the code he lives by. Interviewing him was a treat… Read More »

Crystal Morey: Tanuki (Japanese Raccoon Dog)

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By Crystal Morey One of the three most famous Henge (shape-shifters) the tanuki is a round jolly little fellow with an enormous scrotum who usually has a sake bottle in hand. He is a Dionysian spirit, devoted to self gratification possessing a head full of tricks to get his hands on rice wine, rich foods and warm ladies. Not malicious in spirit, he’s portrayed as a fun loving character whose exploits backfire as often as they succeed… Undaunted he moves on to the next. For tanuki life is an adventure. Tanuki’s supernatural powers are strong and he’s believed to be more adept at shapeshifting than even the kitsune… Read More »

Owen Williams: Crystal Morey Interview

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By Owen Williams Anyone who has been to a tattoo convention of late, from Milan to Sydney may not have actually seen, but definitely would have heard the whirlwind that is Crystal Morey. Usually holding court at the Gomineko Books stall (an invaluable source of Japanese tattoo culture reference and hard-to-find, out-of-print rarities) while simultaneously translating and taking bookings for her Japanese tattoo cohorts. Aside from kicking butt, taking names and rolling dice at convention time, what is it that goes on in the life of the pint-sized Texas Tornado and number one Tiger Mama?  Read More »

Dave Allen: Kannon, Goddess of Mercy Art Show & Auction

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By Dave Allen Last year’s devastating tsunami and earthquake in Japan deeply affected everyone in our industry. It would be hard not to be. More than 20,000 dead and 100,000’s left rebuilding. As a community we banded together and raised money for relief efforts. After a full year it is still apparent that people in Japan could use our help… Read More »

Chris Crooks: Three Tattooers, One Tattoo (VIDEO)

By Chris Crooks It has been a really busy few months at White Dragon Tattoo in Belfast. It has been an honor to have Ching from East Tattoo and Takami from Japan guesting at the studio. We decided that it was a great opportunity to work together on something. It is rare to have three japanese style tattooists in the same studio, and most definitely the first time something like this has happen in my country…  Read More »

Signatures of the Soul – Tattooing Today: Video Project Fronted by Peter Fonda (1984)

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Courtesy of NZ On Screen: We have just added to our website Signatures of the Soul, the 1984 documentary fronted by Peter Fonda (directed by New Zealander Geoff Steven) that tracks the art of tattooing from New Zealand, through Samoa and the East L.A. and San Francisco scenes (including interviews with Ed Hardy and Bob Roberts) and on to Japan. Click this link to watch full video: http://www.nzonscreen.com/title/signatures-of-the-soul-tattooing-today-1984  Read More »

Sailor Jerry: Chris Trevino Hold Fast (VIDEO)

  Courtesy of Salior Jerry: Chris Trevino is an expert in traditional Japanese tattooing who earned the nickname “Horimana” after studying for five years under the legendary master Horiyoshi III. His elaborate, full-body representations of Asian symbology remind us of the later works by Norman “Sailor Jerry” Collins aka Horismoku. Trevino now runs Perfection Tattoo in Austin, TX which was founded by Bob Moreau in the late 70s… Read More »

Crystal Morey: Sandi Calistro Interview

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By Crystal Morey I met Sandi Calistro in Montreal last year and was struck by how sweet she was and by how amazing her business cards were! I went back to my hotel and pulled up her website that night. For someone so young her portfolio is very strong and it looks like she has really redefined the way artwork is translated onto skin. It has been my experience that many tattooers can’t draw on paper, and many artists have a hard time satisfactorily tattooing their illustrations… Sandi not only works well in both mediums, but her work transcends and she brings her trademark ladies to a new level of distinction with each new piece. Suffice it to say, I am a big fan of both Sandi and her work… Read More »

Subscribe Now: Win Free Stuff!!! (BLOODWORK: BODIES Book)

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Subscribe, renew or add to your Tattoo Artist Magazine subscription now for a chance to win one extra year’s subscription to TAM and a copy of the amazing Bloodwork:Bodies book. Winner will be chosen by May 15th, 2012. (Contest is for tattooers only.) Click here to sign up: http://www.tattooartistmagazine.com/payment  Read More »

Crystal Morey: Owen Williams Interview

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By Crystal Morey I’m gonna just start this whole interview with a disclaimer… I love Owen dearly and really want to do this interview, but he’s one of my best friends and partner in crime so this is bound to get real messy, real fast. That being said I do think, for the record, that he’s über talented. Each new piece he does leaves the last in the dust… Sucking its thumb and crying for its mother. While he is without a doubt one of the loudest people in the industry, he is also incredibly modest and hard-working. His artwork is insane, be it portrait work, Japanese inspired pieces or pin-ups – the end result is always jaw-dropping. I think he’s a bit of an idiot savant…  Read More »