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10 Grimmest Skull and Skeleton Tattoos

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All the PHOTOS in this GALLERY of Skulls & Skeletons are from professional tattooers in the TAM community who have shared their work with us on instaGram! When it comes to the design you want for your tattoo, sky is the limit. The array of designs you can find in each category is endless, not to mention that every individual owns creativity! The type of tattoo one decides to put on their skin is essentially a message they give to the world. A Skull and/or Skeleton tattoo, is it a symbol of death or life? To quite a lot of people when they see a skull tattoo, the word that immediately comes to their mind is death and danger. Yet, before tattooing was even a thing, the sign of a skull was always associated with life and even a symbol to celebrate it. In ancient societies, skulls and skeleton were meant to bring great change, and the greatest of all changes in one’s life is death. People who opt for skull tattoos each have their own motivations, meanings, and reason for getting them. To each individual personally, it can mean anything from celebration of life to recognition of the inevitability of death. While the symbolism of a skull tattoo holds significance, nowadays, it has become a display only, rather than holding its inherent meaning, and if you really want to find out the message that a person is trying to convey, you will have to ask them that directly. There ... Read More »

Jeremy Sutton on the opening of Electric Anvil Tattoo

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By Nicki Kasper Tell us a little bit about your history in the tattoo industry… How long have you been tattooing?  What shops did you call home before opening Electric Anvil? Etc… I have been tattooing for 18 years. Josh Egnew has been tattooing for 10 years. We both came from Three Kings Tattoo. Josh has tattooed in Brooklyn his whole career. He started out at Hand of Glory. Before Three Kings I worked at Guru Tattoo in San Diego and before that with Russ Abbott at Ink and Dagger. Who do you credit for teaching you the trade, and what was that experience like?  I learned to tattoo in Toccoa, Georgia from an old biker named Ole Roy. He taught me all the foundations of tattooing. But I really accredit the crew at Alien Arts Tattoo (now the crew of Anonymous Tattoo) in Savannah, Georgia for really helping me understand the craft of tattooing. They are also incredible artists so the envelope was always being pushed. Josh never had a formal apprenticeship, but was fortunate to have some great people looking out for him. Regino Gonzales and Marco Serio being at the top of that list. Between those guys and all of the amazing people he’s worked with over the years at Hand of Glory, Three Kings and on the road, I’d say the experience has been pretty fantastic. What made you decide to open a shop?  Well it’s been a long time coming. Just turning the key to ... Read More »

Tattoos Based on a Special Moment

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Tattoo design has expanded greatly in the past few years and influences now come from all corners of the globe, ranging from British street art to Pacific Islander tribal patterns and all points in between. While most tattoos are based on a love of the image or art, a new trend in tattoos is using the medium to commemorate a specific moment in time, whether it’s an important event, marriage, birth of a child, or something else equally momentous. Here are a few examples of tattoos based on a special moment.  Wedding Tattoos  They’ve been a thing for a while now, but wedding tattoos are really starting to take off. While the usual version is just a single line band, plenty of couples are putting their own spin on things, with intricate designs, images of diamonds, and tons of other creative ideas. Why get a wedding tattoo? Well, it makes perfect sense. A tattoo lasts forever and a marriage is the same (at least that’s the idea). As with writing your own vows, the wedding tattoo trend seems to have taken hold and is showing up on more and more fingers. Even though there are countless wedding tattoos out there, there is definitely one more famous than all others. When Jay-Z and Beyonce Knowles tied the knot in 2008, it may have been a quiet wedding, but news quickly spread that in addition to a ring costing a reported $5 million, Beyonce and her hubby also exchanged wedding tattoos. Instead of a traditional ... Read More »

Trippy Eyeball Tattoos that are looking back!

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EYE CAN SEE YOU! – Eyeball Tattoos are all the rage these days – BAM!! “LOOK AT ME!”, they seem to say, but there’s also an eerie sense that they are looking back at US! A well executed tattoo of any sort commands our attention and Eyeball Tattoos are flipping freaky to look at…when done well. They SNAP us into the moment. In many philosophical circles this is THE defining characteristic of ‘Art’. To cause us to pause, however briefly, from the endless, running commentary in our heads and in the midst of that momentary ‘confusion’, remind us again of the Mystery of life and our place in it. Art is powerful. And it can change us. It effectively slaps us OUT of our wandering thoughts and forces us to take notice of something other than ourselves (& our own inner dialog); something that has this sort of visual power opens us again to the wonders of the universe. Hand made tattoos by artists who want to help us ‘see’… Thanks to all the artists and Instagram submissions we’ve been getting! MORE COMING SOON! — ARTISTS: tag us and use # tattooartistmagazine on IG to submit YOUR best work! 1) tattoo by @gordonptattooist 2) tattoo by @paulsmithtattoo 3) tattoo by @otzistattoostudio 4) tattoo by @eduardolascano 5) tattoo by @mikeylotattoos 6) tattoo by @john_laurent 7) tattoo by @jessem_tattoos 8) tattoo by @nesotattoo 9) tattoo by @xecutionstyle 10) tattoo by @pedrotattoovz 11) tattoo by @tomas_garcia   12) tattoo by @ [we lost this ... Read More »

8 Full Back Tattoos on Strong Women

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Like any great work of art, there is a combination of talent and vision to bring a piece to life.  Large scale tattoo work is a huge commitment for both the collector and the artist. A full back piece like these often require 6-10 sessions of 4-6 hours each, and could take even 100 hours or more to complete. This is dedication. Large scale work should NOT be entered into lightly. Long hours of work and suffering (and payment for those long hours of work) are being committed to the project by both parties. It is a relationship and, like all relationships, it will be based on mutual understanding and trust. Some artists who have been burned over and over again by clients who fail to finish large tattoos, require a binding contract before taking on new clients, simply so they can know that the time they spend in this process will come to fruition– a finished tattoo. That really IS their prize- to complete one more piece for their happy clients. These images were submitted to our Instragram from around the world and we are honored to share then with you here. Full back piece by Anthony Ortega Beautiful work. Geometric shapes perfectly integrated with elements from nature.  Creative and captivating.   Tattoo by Dave Regan Dave is one fn’ AMAZING and versatile tattooer, (follow him). Excellent shading and placement on this elegant, asian themed backpiece.  The flowers are the perfect element to tie everything together.     Full Back ... Read More »

Virginia Museum of Fine Arts: “Perseverance”

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Since 1936, the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts has been dignified. Revered. Respectable. Timeless. As of May 29th, however, it’s going to look a little different. On May 29th, it’s getting 115 tattoos. And frankly, it’s about time.  With the opening of Japanese Tattoo: Perseverance, Art, and Tradition (also known as Perseverance), Richmond’s most popular art form moves into the biggest gallery in town. The world-famous exhibition—including pieces by Horitaki, Horitomo, Miyazo, and Shige—combines the mysticism and beauty of feudal Japan with the style and skill of modern art. And if there’s a better place on the East Coast for it, we can’t think of it. The capital of the old South—Richmond, Virginia—is now the artistic hub of the new South. It’s the third-most tattooed city in America (per capita, mind you), which makes it the perfect match of artists and audience. Richmond is, was, and will always be in love with art. Just not always the kind that hangs on gallery walls. Tattoos, graphic design, sculpture, typography, mural painting—Richmond’s breaking all kinds of new ground in these every year. When you’ve got a mix of young artists, art students, tattoo artists, musicians, skateboarders, crust punks, regular old (or as regular as they get) punks, bike gangs, motor-scooter gangs, and general nonconformists like Richmond has, you’re going to see an awful lot of beautiful things that don’t always fit the 20th-century definition of “art.” VMFA, to its credit, has realized this. In a city that prides itself fiercely on outsider ... Read More »

Patty: “I didn’t want the scars to be all I saw”

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Each month we feature the inspirational and transformative Stories of few post-mastectomy cancer survivors and the artists & ink that help change their lives. Please support these Warrior Women by sharing their stories with those you love! And remember- Get your exams, ladies! -TAM Warrior: Patty Artist: Shane Wallin Shop: Garnet Tattoo Studio, San Diego, CA Here’s Patty’s Story: In 1991 my father was diagnosed with breast cancer.  That was a shock since we didn’t realize that men could get that particular form of the disease.  Over the next seven years he underwent a mastectomy and many rounds of chemo before passing away in 1998.  In 1997 my sister Robin was also diagnosed with breast cancer. She had a mastectomy and went through many rounds of both chemo and radiation as the disease metastasized.  Robin passed away in 2004. After speaking with her oncologist I decided to see some experts.  One genetic counselor and many doctors later I had a prophylactic double mastectomy and reconstruction.  My surgeons were fantastic and things went very well but after 2 1/2 years and two serious infections the implants had to be removed.  By 2014 I had undergone two more surgeries and received new implants. Every time I looked in the mirror I would have very mixed feelings.  I didn’t want the scars to be all I saw everyday but these were scars that I chose, and that I would choose again.  My father and sister didn’t have that choice. I started looking at ... Read More »

TAM- Artist Profile: the Classic look of Eric Jones’ tattoos!

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TAM Artist Profile: ERIC JONES, Costa Mesa, California. Interview by: MARCO ANNUNZIATA Originally from Southern California, born in Long Beach.  Since being a tattoo artist, Eric Jones worked in both Southern California and New York. He currently resides in Costa Mesa and works at Port City Tattoo.  What are your first memories of tattooed people? My first memories of tattoos involve the movie ‘The Illustrated Man’, based on the novel by Ray Bradbury. My father enjoyed the movie quite a bit, so, as a child, I was exposed to the concept of skin art. When I was a teenager, we attended the Renaissance Fair, here in California, and there was this man who had his entire skull cap tattooed. I do remember my father thinking poorly of his decision. How did you get into tattooing? I got my first tattoo done when I was eighteen. That is the legal age in California, and my friends in high school were getting them before me, so I had been looking at magazines for a year prior. One of the magazines was an International Tattoo Art featuring Dave Gibson and Mike Wilson. That was the defining moment in my decision to start drawing tattoo designs, or my redraws of these two great artists style. I redrew one of Gibson’s swallows that ran a banner with the name of his shop. In place of LUCKY, I had the name Jesus in the banner, that part of my life included christian belief. I went to a local Orange ... Read More »

10 insane, hyper-realistic 3-D & Portrait Tattoos: w/Karol Rybakowski

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NEW PHOTOS ADDED! Every now and then we find some hot new tattoo artist who has submitted photos to our InstaGram account, and they blow us away! Karol Rybakowski (of Ink Ognito Tattoo in Poland) did just that! Here’s just a taste of his AMAZING 3D, Portrait, and hyper-realism Tattoo Work! * If you’d like us to consider sharing YOUR tattoos, tag us on InstaGram @tattooArtistMagazine and use #tattooartistmagazine to submit your work!     Wow! A superb combination of black and grey technique with a truly stunning photo-realistic color blood-red rose! Hyper-realistic Chameleon tattoo. One thing I really like about Karol’s work is the use of focus and fuzziness in his work. In this image you can clearly see the technique called ‘reserve’, i.e.- reserving sharp focus and high detail for the specific focal point of the piece, while others seem to fade in both sharpness and detail. This is an artistic trick used to mimic the way our eyes naturally work. This Pit-bull tattoo seems to leap off the skin! Amazing full color animal portrait, with minimal background. Notice the use of deep background colors to PUSH the foreground subject forward toward the viewer. It not only establishes depth, but also a clean frame for the portrait, without the use of an outline.  The highlight on the tongue is particularly impressive to me, as an artist. Ahhh, here we have an incredible Portrait of actor Jean Reno in Luc Besson’s 1994 classic Hit-Man movie, “Léon: The Professional”. One of ... Read More »

An Interview with Dennis M Del Prete

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By Nicki Kasper Let’s start with who you are and where you work… Dennis M Del Prete and I work at my shop, Providence Tattoo in Providence, Rhode Island. Tell us about your shop… how many artists work there, and what kind of shop is it…? Custom work? Walk-ins? etc… I have had my own shop now for about 8 years. We do custom work and walk ins. The five guys I work with now are some of my favorite tattooers and best friends. Nick Pellegrino, Rick Lacapria, Pete Toatley, Andy Reach, and John Gorman. They are what my shop is made up of and I am lucky to work with them. What was your art background like? Did you like drawing as a kid, or did that come later? I liked drawing. I have always been drawing. I Have no formal art training. I buy a lot of books and read them and study them. What made you want to start tattooing? I wanted to stay off the beaten path ( Ironic now, I know). I wanted to work with my hands and make something art related. It just seemed fucking cool, it still does to me. Tell us how you got into tattooing… Who do you credit for teaching you the trade, and how long have you been in it? I found out Ken Johnson, a local shop owner and tattooer was going to be making machines so I contacted him for a pair. He was kind enough ... Read More »

3 Day Ed Hardy Event at Kings Avenue Tattoo

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From Kings Avenue Tattoo: We are honored and humbled to host the legendary tattooer and artist Ed Hardy for an unprecedented 3-day event.  Hardy, renowned for his genre changing, globally influenced tattoo designs, announced that he will host “Pictures of the Gone World,” taking place May 15th, 16th & 17th at Kings Avenue Tattoo.  The event will consist of a three-day exhibition of Hardy’s most recent artwork, accompanied by the release of a New York- centric tattoo history book and a series of talks covering his influential, six-decade career. “Ed is a pioneer of tattooing, and we are making history with this event,” says Kings Avenue owner Mike Rubendall. Hardy will present a collection of his current and past artwork, consisting of mixed-media paintings that incorporate American an Japanese tattoo motifs, and “kiddie flash” – traditional maritime-inspired designs that he drew as a tattoo-obsessed child in the late 1950s, rendered with colored pencil on looseleaf notebook paper-which has never been publicly exhibited. The event marks the release of the Lew The Jew Alberts: Early 20th Century Tattoo Drawings, a compilation of designs attributed to Lew Alberts, a Newark, NJ native who tattooed under the famed Bowery-based artist Charlie Wagner. It’s the most recent title from Hardy Marks, the publishing imprint that Hardy co-founded in 1982, specializing in tattoo history and alternative art.  A limited number of books will be available for purchase at Kings Avenue, and Hardy will be signing copies on May 15th. Hardy will also stage two talks.  ... Read More »

An Interview with Matt Arriola

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By Nicki Kasper Let’s start with who you are and where you work…. My name is Matt Arriola. I work by appointment at Spotlight Tattoo in Los Angeles where I’ve been for almost a year. Tell us about your tattoo history. Who do you credit for teaching you the trade? How long have you been at it? I’ve been fascinated with tattoos since I was a little kid in Idaho… I can’t remember any special moment where I knew it was my thing, that probably came later as I got involved with skateboarding and playing music in punk and hardcore bands in Idaho. That’s what kind of led me into tattooing. I’ve  liked to draw since I was a little kid and when I was about 18 I decided I wanted to tattoo. I went to every shop in town with a resume and a bunch of drawings asking for apprenticeships. Haha!! Totally the way you’re not supposed to do it! I spent every day and night copying my favorite artist’s work out of tattoo magazines I bought at the gas station. I think my friends and family thought I was nuts!! Anyway after many denials, I finally landed an apprenticeship with Sean Wyett at Black Cat Tattoo. I bailed out early on my apprenticeship and moved to Seattle. This was about 6 months into it. Once in Seattle with no money and a whole 7 months of tattooing under my belt I found it difficult to find a job. Haha!! Once ... Read More »

10 Amazingly Cute Furry Animal Tattoos!

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Whether it’s a pet or you’re just an animal lover, animal tattoos never go out of style! Here’s a small collection of furry animal tattoos from the artists at STR Body Modifications for your viewing pleasure…Hope you’re not allergic! Read More »

How to paint Danny Trejo w/artist Ettore Bechis

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by Ettore Bechis Danny Trejo is one of the most easily recognizable tattooed actors of our generation. From Desperado to Heat and his solo film, Machete, Danny’s tattoos are nearly as famous as he is! A big thank you to artist Ettore Bechis for submitting this article to TAM. Enjoy! Read More »

Tattoo Artist Magazine BLOG: top 10 recent skull tattoos

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There are so many awesome skull tattoo designs out there, here you will find a top 10 list taken from TAM’s recent FaceBook posts, as submitted by one of our esteemed readers! Thanks for the blog post submission, Emily! Starting off with a sick Grim Rippah’ tattoo by Tomas Vaitkunas! Amazing black and grey technique. We really can’t wait to see more of Tomas’ work. Here’s a cool more traditionally based cowboy skull, Tattoo by Mike Shaw. Aww, a nice valentine DEATH HEAD SKULL Tattoo by Andrea Giulimondi. What a super backpiece Tattoo by Victor Portugal. Two recent skull Tattoos by Augis.    Here’s TWO super sick tattoos by Matthew Henning. It’s really exciting to see the new breed of artists making their mark in tattooing with such amazing, out of the box, tattoo work.        How many people know who Nikko Hurtado is? He blew the doors off of the percieved limitations of modern tattooing and had a guest spot on LA Ink…the rest is hostory! Yet another hyper-realistic Tattoo by one of the true masters of modern tattooing, Nikko Hurtado. (*NOTE: If you are are Nikko fan, be sure to pick up a copy of his superb interview in Tattoo Artist Magazine #21 to learn how this construction worker became one of tattooing’s most celebrated and talented artists. It’s an amazing story, and one we’re proud to share! Get it digitally for $4.99 or in print on sale to our readers this week only for $6.99! (regular price $14.99) ONLY 100 copies ... Read More »

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