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.
Shot by Estevan Oriol
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!
Shot by Estevan Oriol
By Ino Mei
Heavy guitars, authentic attitude and a strong live presence, Orange Goblin could not but have tattoos.HeartbeatInk had the chance to “interrogate” and take photos of them before their long awaited concert in November in Athens.
Ben Ward: vocals
Joe Hoare: guitar
Martyn Millard: bass
Chris Turner: drums
How many times have you performed in Greece so far?
Ben: Tonight, it will be our sixth time and our fourth here at An Club. We always have a great time in Greece. The fans are very enthusiastic and as long as that continues we’ll keep coming back.
Chris: The thing with Greece is that it is part of Europe, but quite far out the bay; so whenever American & European bands travel, not many of them make it this far. So when a band seems to play, everyone seems to give their support.
Ben: And great food.
Chris: Terrible driving (laughs).
Are you familiar perhaps with any Greek bands?
Ben: I actually did vocals on an album for a band called “Lord 13”; good friends of mine. I also know Nightstalker who are quite big everywhere. We’ve heard things from the bands that we’re playing with; Stonerbringer tonight and Lucky Funeral tomorrow. We’re aware that there is a descent scene and there are a lot of good bands.
How’s the scene currently in London?
Ben: The scene in London is great! There’s a variety of shows every week. There’s always something on. Just this week Monster Magnet played last night and Alice in Chains and Ghost the night before. There are a lot of new good bands in London as well and many venues are doing a lot to support. Like the Black Heart in Camden; pretty much every night they put a young – new band to play live.
Martyn: The “Desert Fest” as well. It is every year the week before “Roadburn Festival” and it takes place in Camden Town for the whole week-end. It is actually quite big now.
Chris: It is basically like the British “Roadburn” but ten years ago; when it was less avant – garde and more just kind of riff based bands.
Are you preparing a follow up to your latest album “A Eulogy of the Damned”?
The plan is next year to knuckle down and do a new record. We have got a bit of time because
Martyn is getting married in May and that means that he’ll be away for his honeymoon. So if we can get stuff written, get in the studio before he gets married and goes away, we can get his parts done and the rest of us can finish it; hopefully we are looking at a midsummer release and so there is time to hit all the big summer festivals.
To read the rest of this interview, go to: http://heartbeatink.gr/en/issues/november-2013/orange-goblin/#
By Estevan Oriol
Check out this amazing instructional video Jeff made about drawing finger waves. His new DVD, Tattoo as I see it is available for pre-sale now on http://www.unicyclebrand.com.
By Jeff Gogue
I call it a movie simply because it’s moving pictures as opposed to non moving pictures. I make my living making pictures, but they don’t move. I think my goal with anything is for it to actually “move” people. Pun intended. This dvd or video or whatever you want to call it is moving. My hope is that your soul would be moved and your mind would be engaged with your heart to search yourself and discover or rediscover why you do what you do. Whether you tattoo, paint, make music, or have any other creative outlet, be it business, art, management or anything else. When you stop and think about it “creativity” is just thinking outside of convention or routine; it’s coming up with a solution to whatever is perplexing you that is outside of the norm.
“Tattoo as I see it” is my message, which starts with my story, my “why” to what I’ve done in my life and what I do with each day. It presents my beginnings, my intentions and my resolutions after attaining the goals I set out for. Along the way I have learned to be an artist. I’ve learned to be a professional at expressing things visually, and I’ve discovered that the door has been opened to a wide world that goes beyond what I thought was there.
This project was not my idea, or my vision, at first. When Ryan Moon, (Film Director, director of photography, designer, and co-producer) approached me with the idea of a tattoo instructional dvd, I was of course not into it. I don’t want to be another guy trying to capitalize on the tattoo frenzy, but after talking and mulling over ideas, I was convinced to just be myself and say what I feel I need to say. After a year and a half of talking, tattooing and wondering, I am pleased with what has transpired. It’s a well rounded presentation of both ideals, and practical application of what I believe to be foundational and fundamental principles of both tattooing in general and artistic understanding that’s applicable to any medium, all of this mixed in with honest, real experience and reflection on an art based life.
The (pre sale) dvd is available currently for $39.00 plus shipping world wide with the official release date being Friday, November 29th when the price will be $49.00 plus shipping. We are also planning on releasing a limited edition collector’s edition with two DVDs, one being Tattoo As I See It, and the other containing my home videos of seven trips to Japan for a full back piece from the renown Shige, of Yellowblaze, Yokohama. I filmed over the last three years documenting my experience, all of this is the backdrop for my candid story of who Shige is to me and what the experience meant and how it affected my life. This edition will be signed, numbered and limited. I had hoped to have them out sooner than this but doing it ourselves, we of course came up against lots of hurdles and costs.
The final stages of the project were completely made possible by our sponsors, Fusion Ink, Cheyenne Tattoo Equipment, Sullen Art Collective, and Tattoonow, and Off the Map Tattoo.
I started my own art production company called Unicycle Brand in order to fund this project and all the time invested in the cameras, the computers, the filming and editing over the last year and a half. Unicycle brand will be launching over the next year, our contributing artist lines of prints by Jason Butcher and Lianne Moule of the UK, Markus Lenhard of Germany, Derek Noble, USA, and Shige, Yokohama Japan. I envision this being the start of great things to come for art and tattooing.
Special thanks to Tattoo Artist Magazine for the years of support and for keeping it real for tattooers in this ever-changing world.
Please visit http://www.unicyclebrand.com to view the Trailer and order your (pre sale) copy now.
Also please visit our sponsors’ sites:
Sullen- Tattoo as I see it, t-shirt available soon.
Check out the trailer…
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…
By Sanctioned TV.
Doc Ink is a brazilian web series of short episodes featuring some of that country’s most respected tattooers. It was introduced to us by São Paulo-based tattooer Nico Acosta. Enjoy episode #4!
Doc Ink is a brazilian web series of short episodes featuring some of that country’s most respected tattooers. It was introduced to us by São Paulo-based tattooer Nico Acosta. Enjoy episode #3!
Huge congratulations to Henning from your friends here at TAM!!!
*Video by Lars Stig Moller
By Dan Henk
You know, I’m probably going to draw plenty of flak for this, but it’s not the first time, I doubt it will be the last time, and in all seriousness, I honestly don’t care.
I came from a punk rock back background. In high school I had a blue mohawk, painted up spiky leather jacket, and combat boots. And this was in conservative Virginia back in 1989. I was the guy that painted everyone’s leather jackets. I did the fliers for my friend’s bands. The political cartoons for their fanzines. All under the watchful eyes of the Fairfax County police, who have mug shots of me with at least 5 different hairstyles, and a file cabinet full of fabricated charges that sometimes kept me in the drunk tank overnight. I had a super christian,military dad that made me go to a psychiatrist every week and threw my brother in a mental institution. He’s a recovering junky now. I turned 18 and he kicked me out of the house and moved. To another country. I spent 8 months homeless. Like living in the woods, with a rock as my pillow, homeless.
By Dave Waugh
So I’ ll begin this weeks record reviews from low to high. It was a good score from Emmittsburg this week with both lows and highs. And lows that should have been highs. Up first, a bland 60′s comp of “danger music” movie and TV theme songs…