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Crystal Morey: Sandi Calistro Interview

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… (more…)


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

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  (more…)


Crystal Morey: Owen Williams Interview

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…  (more…)


Crystal Morey: Yotsuya Kaidan – The Story of Oiwa

By Crystal Morey
This is one of the most famous Japanese ghost stories and a popular motif here in Japan for tattoos. There are many variations since it was first penned in the early 1800s but the essence of the story is the same. It is the story of Tamiya Lemon, a samurai turned ronin, and his wife Oiwa. Lemon, a masterless samurai forced to take up employ in a redundant job making oil paper umbrellas becomes resentful and bitter about the downward turn his life has taken and he in turn focuses his frustration on his wife Oiwa…  (more…)


Kokoro: The Art of Horiyoshi III

Horiyoshi III art exhibition to open in London on March 21st, 2012 at the Somerset House. Meaning ‘heart, mind and spirit’ in Japanese, the concept of Kokoro underpins the Japanese culture and defines its people’s approach to all aspects of life.

Described as a “living legend” by The New York Times, Horiyoshi III is best known as the undisputed master of Japan’s ancient art of tattooing of his generation, but he is also a prolific artist who has a passion for painting on paper and silk as well as skin… (more…)


(UPDATE) Hannya Mask Project: A Woman Scorned

By Anthony Iannucci: Over one year ago, a massive 9.0 earthquake struck off the coast of Japan, birthing a devastating tsunami that had swept over the cities and farmland in the north-east part of the country and set off warnings as far away as the west coast of the USA and South America. The death toll high and the long-term impact still in question, the citizens of Japan were in great need of assistance and support from the world community. That need still exists today. During the year since this event, good and compassionate people from all over the globe have helped in various ways whether it be donating independently, to massive fund-raising drives…  (more…)


Amsterdam Tattoo Museum

“The Book of Lucky” by Lucky Bastard

In the beginning there was the Red Light…

In 1998, I took my first trip to Amsterdam to try and sit-in at the infamous Hanky Panky Tattoo. I was told by others that had worked for Hanky (Henk Schiffmacher) that it was not possible to get someone to vouch for you, or to call ahead to test the waters. You just had to meet Henk face-to-face, and hope he liked what you were doing. Not just artistically, but most importantly personality-wise… (more…)


Josh Egnew: Gomineko Tour Diary (Part II)

By Josh Egnew

Day 5
Up and at ‘em! We hit our local ramen spot and jumped on the train. Today we were going to see the Great Buddha! As we exited the train and made our way through the tiny village, Crystal brought our attention to a vending machine that dispenses fortune poos. Yes, little piles of colored plastic poo complete with faces depicting their moods, each with an accompanying fortune! We had to have them… (more…)


Molly Skobba: In Yokohama, Japan With Shige and His Family (Part II)

By Molly Skobba 
Shigenori Iwasaki is a remarkable being. Sorry, just had to get that out there. Taki and I spent two-and-a-half  days with Shige, his adorable family (beautiful Chisato, plus cute-as-a-button Ayaka) and a family friend nicknamed ‘Mister’. We started out the mini but extremely action-packed adventure at the famed Yellow Blaze Studio…
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Crystal Morey Gets Fast and Furious With Bunshin Saikian Horimasa (VIDEO)

By Crystal Morey
Sooooo… I was hoping to interview Bunshin Saikian Horimasa while racing through the Nagano mountains in his Porsche 996. He and 69 other Hemi enthusiasts have formed a “touring” club that meets once a month and just drives fast. The 69 Brothers. I was hoping for footage of me screaming obscenities and wishing I had a helmet but on the day we went it was raining. And there were police. With cameras. It was the weirdest thing… We would pull into a truck stop and the police would follow us, one would eventually come over and say how much he liked the cars and asked where were we going, while another car came around the back of us and took photos.

I’m from Texas, when cops are taking your picture on the sly it is NOT good. Back in the car I asked Horimasa if he was concerned and he laughed and said we were fine, that we weren’t ‘bōsōzoku’ (teenage gangs identified by their obscenely festooned motorcycles and cars that they race through the city causing as much noise and mayhem as possible) and we weren’t doing anything illegal. Except doubling the speed limit. He maintained that he and his crew were adults and responsible drivers therefore it was not a problem. We did slow down whenever a cop caught up, and the guys in the back quickly texted the guys in the front to let them know, but no one was pulled over or issued even a warning and, as there are no speed cameras in the tunnels, we did get a fair bit of racing in. We drove for eight hours and is seemed like three, with stops off here and there to see the Shunen no Ishi – the rock of regret*, and eat soba on the peak…  (more…)


Crystal Morey: Baku, The Nightmare Eater

By Crystal Morey
Going to start the New Year off with a benevolent creature and a personal favorite, the Baku. Unlike the more devious Kappa, Baku come to the aid of those who suffer from nightmares or bad dreams, and supposedly they devour the evil spirit or creatures responsible for the disruptive visages…
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Molly Skobba: In Japan With Horikiku (Part I)

By Molly Skobba 
I briefly met Horikiku at the Bay Area Convention of the Tattoo Arts last October, and first got to witness him in action. I didn’t get to see a finished piece in person at the convention, the weekend was just too crazy, and so I was super stoked to get a chance to photograph some of his current clients in Japan. (more…)


Josh Egnew: Gomineko Tour Diary (Part I)

By Josh Egnew
A while back some friends from around the globe and I decided that we should all converge in Tokyo to take one of Gomineko’s tours. Crystal Morey is a good friend and fellow tiger, so I knew that we would be in good hands. She’s extremely knowledgeable about Japanese art and culture and speaks fluent Japanese. How could we go wrong? We can’t sir.

Read on my friends…

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TAM Music: Shonen Knife

By Rose Riot
Raise your hand if remember the all-girl, Japanese surf/garage rock band 5.6.7.8′s in the movie Kill Bill Volume 1? I am happy to report that these diminutive ladies otherwise known as Shonen Knife are celebrating their 30th year rocking Ramone-esque style with a US tour. Seen by some as a novelty act, Shonen Knife gained popularity and respect by the likes of Sonic Youth, Red Kross and Nirvana in the 90s. They have also gone on to do many theme songs used in movies and cartoons…

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Japanese Mythical Creatures from Gomineko Books

Courtesy of Gomineko Books: Our new Japanese Mythical Creatures book is finally in the works. Illustrations of Kappa, Kirin, Baku, Nue, Kitsune and Tsuchigumo from over 120 different artists world wide. Reserve your copy today through the website: www.gominekobooks.com.

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Hannya Mask Project Teaser (VIDEO)

  [More info on expanded page]

Click here for more details: Hannya Mask Project: A Woman Scorned


Crystal Morey: The Japanese HiHi (Horiyoshi III VIDEO)

By Crystal Morey
I want to continue blogging on some of the more obscure Japanese yokai and as chance would have it, Matty No Times from Three Kings Tattoo was just out here on tour and wanted to have Horiyoshi III tattoo something on him that is some way mirrored his visage… and I immediately thought of a HiHi. We pitched the idea to Horiyoshi III who thought it was hilarious and, sourcing Yoshitoshi, he did an amazing piece in about 45 minutes…

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Horitaka: Molly Skobba Previews Bloodwork: Bodies


By Molly Skobba

I had a hard time writing this blog. It took me longer than usual, with more restarts and edits before send off. I realized that it’s because BloodWork: Bodies is such a gigantic project with so many facets and possible approaches in writing about this book. It is epic not only in content but also in physical stature with 2 volumes, 900 pages and weighing over 25-pounds filled with massive pages of outsized and extravagant photos that bond the human form and visual art seamlessly…

 
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Horitaka: Give ‘Em A Hand Project

By Takahiro “Horitaka” Kitamura
When I think about good tattooing, I think of art executed by skilled craftsman. In an era of chain stores and mass production, it is always refreshing to see something hand-made. I met Jamie from RePop through my good friend Chris Yvon. Chris told me about Jamie and RePop, and the hand-made goods they produced. The product certainly lived up to the hype! Rings, buckles, wallets and more, all with old world craftsmanship, with some weight -no cheap materials, and a great retro feel…

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Artist Profile: Don Ed Hardy Teaser (VIDEO)


[More information on expanded page]

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Crystal Morey Talks to the Unconventional Gakkin About Japan and Tattooing

By Crystal Morey
There are a million differences between the Kanto (Tokyo) region and the Kansai (Osaka/Kyoto) region of Japan. The ramen tastes different. They use different words and expressions. They stand on the opposite sides of the escalator. There are more tacoyaki (fried octopus fritters) shops down in Kansai than convenient stores. In Kansai people just forget to sleep. They go to work, then go out, then walk outside the club or karaoke bar at 5 a.m. and say, “Oops! It’s daytime!” go home, take a shower and do it all over again. It’s insane. Kansai is also home to some off the hook tattooers and is the birthplace of Japanese new school tattooing. 21st century wabori. Strongly influenced by manga, graffiti and graphic design these pioneers have taken Japanese tattooing a whole different direction and the results are incredible. One of my favorite shops in Kansai is Harizanmai in Kyoto – home of Gotch, the owner and Gakkin. These guys have been consistently putting out unique, mind-blowing tattoos for years now and their work continues to evolve. I snagged Gakkin this weekend for an interview…

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New Amsterdam Tattoo Museum to Open on Schedule

By Danny Boy (A letter to Crash)
Just wanted to let you and your readers know where we are at with the museum. We got 12 days left and going into the last round. This week should be pretty hectic, but that’s how we like it. The permanent exhibitions are just about finished as far as painters and carpenters go. Henk is working around the clock, painting away, having meetings, interviews, barking at everyone, overseeing some 50 people with the help of Annemarie Beers and Almar, still squeezing in some tattoos here and there, and still showing up in the mornings with new ideas and drawings of rooms and exhibitions he had made the night before. And all this is for you, tattoo lovers of the world…

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Horitaka: Getting Tattooed by Horitomo by Molly Skobba

By Molly Skobba and Takahiro “Horitaka” Kitamura
First off, I want to express how absolutely honored I am to have been tattooed by the renowned Horitomo. Not only did he take the time out of his incredibly busy schedule, but also he tattooed a one-point tattoo on my hand -something he does not do often. It was incredibly kind and generous of him and I am so very grateful.

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Crystal Morey: Kyubi no Kitsune – Nine Tailed Fox

By Crystal Morey
This was a really difficult write-up for me because there is so much information and such a wealth of folklore surrounding these creatures, it is quite overwhelming. In Japanese Kitsune means fox. Foxes play a huge role in Japanese mythology -they are both loved and feared by the Japanese people. Foxes, by their very nature, are perceived as sneaky and cunning. Though not always malicious they are generally not to be trusted, and they appear in folklore worldwide as the antagonist… (more…)


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