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Alliance of Professional Tattooists

Professional tattoo alliance

By Jason Sweet This article is part two, in a two part series, about the professional organizations in tattooing. I attended the APT Trade Show as part of my research and found myself not only rejoining them after a 10 year hiatus; I found myself being recruited for service to the APT in the future.   As much as I tried to resist, the call of service to my profession was too loud to ignore. Over the weekend, I was struck as to the commitment some had made to attend the APT trade show. I met a woman tattooist from Austria and a man from Australia. One couple I met drove to the trade show from Indiana, because flying from their home was prohibitively expensive. I personally found this type of dedication to tattooing and the APT, inspiring and motivating. I only took 5 days out of my year to attend the trade show; they took two weeks. I was originally introduced to the Alliance of Professional Tattooists, when I was tattooing about 2 years. I was hired at a tattoo studio that required I become a member of the APT as part of working for them. Joining the APT required filling out an application and providing professional references and a sponsor, as I had been tattooing less than three years. Additionally, I was required to take the Preventing Disease Transmission in Tattooing (PDTT) as part of my membership. The PDTT course was 6 hours long. It covered Blood Born Pathogens ... Read More »

Nick Baxter / Jeff Ensminger Exhibition

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Press Release Nick Baxter: Perception of Being Jeff Ensminger: Into the Void Exhibition of new works at Mindzai Creative, 2001 South Lamar #D, Austin, TX 78704 November 21 – December 3, 2014 OPENING – 8pm – 11pm Friday, November 21 Mindzai Creative in Austin Texas is pleased to present a dual exhibition of new paintings by two Austin fine artists and tattooers, Nick Baxter and Jeff Ensminger. Both artists have worked over the past year to create a new body of work for the show, each with their own cohesive theme and symbolism. The unveiling of these paintings will take place at the Mindzai warehouse and gallery space in South Austin from 8 to 11 pm on Friday, November 21st. Both Nick and Jeff will be in attendance, with originals for sale as well as limited edition giclee prints and posters, along with live t-shirt screen printing featuring a design from each of their painting series.   Nick Baxter’s series titled Perception of Being consists of twenty oil paintings on board, each sized at 9 x 12 inches and depicting a lone human heart on a background of pure white. Each of the twenty hearts features a unique variation or visual effect representing one of the many complex emotional or feeling states of the human experience. Conceptually, this series references the philosophical study of phenomenology while also being inspired by modern scientific research into emotion-based changes in the electromagnetic fields generated by the heart. Nick reduces these ideas into a ... Read More »

Nick Baxter: Notes and Advice 9

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By Nick Baxter “If you wish to make certain your painting will succeed, a minimum of three things must come from you–and only you. The first thing is knowing why you want to paint your subject, the second is an analytical grasp of what you see, and the third is the skill to control the process of painting.” –Richard Schmid This quote I recently came across, written by a wise and very accomplished alla prima realism painter, got me thinking about the underlying structure that comprises the task of creating art. Schmid divides this structure nicely into 3 primary, foundational elements. This striking simplicity belies the complexity inherent in most forms of art, especially realism, and that simplicity bodes well for artists and laypersons alike–the so-called “uncreative” types, those who mistakenly regard themselves as “not having an artistic bone in my body.” Here’s my interpretation of Richard Schmid’s quote, expounding on his 3 main tenets and how they (encouragingly) apply to everyone: “Knowing why you want to paint your subject” refers to concept and theory. In other words, the philosophical side of the craft, the ideas and meaning the artist is working with or wishes to communicate through their work (I’ve written a lot about this here and here, with a future post coming as well). This relates to the study of your own mind, to “knowing thyself” and formulating ideas about life and the world around you. I believe that everyone has ideas about themselves and the world around them, because our living brains ... Read More »

Jeff Gogue on attracting large scale tattoo clients

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By TattooNOWTV Jeff Gogue, internationally known for his famed original tattooing style and amazingly popular tattooing seminars, talks about how to attract large scale tattoo clients including backpieces and sleeve tattoos. Jeff chats about how the Shige and New Skool Collective backpiece books and his own experience getting a backpiece have help open clients vision. He is also asked if he feel like his work plateaus, and about learning to tattoo better. Whether you are a tattoo collector or just someone vaguely interested, this is great advice from one of the worlds top tattoo artists. Avoid tattoo mistakes that are easy to make but difficult to fix! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1aTqv6… to watch this 2 hour episode in its entirety which also featured famed tattoo artists Jeff Gogue and Nikko Hurtado who answered a number of fantastic questions via Skype and Canman who was in house and talked about his style and what he learned from Guy Aitchison’s painting critiques. Check out these other Gogue clips! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2DJys5… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MO1rep… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kG-Ogj… Originally streamed from http://www.OfftheMapTattoo.com in Easthampton Massachusetts http://www.TattooNOWTV.com     Read More »

Palm Tattoos with Travis Berg

Palm-Tattoo

By Luke Holley   Read More »

The Hidden Elephant in the Room: Making Tattoos Stand the Test of Time

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By Dan Henk I’m sure some are going to take offense to this, and that is really not my intent. This is just what I have observed to be true over my 15 years of tattooing, and what I think the best options are. So, what am I talking about? The current trend towards, and elevation in public opinion, of so called “hyper realistic tattoos”. I’ll start out by saying, that many look amazing. Some even better than what similarly exalted oil painters produce. I was first offered an apprenticeship at 19, and turned it down because I thought all tattoos were basically old school designs. I liked them, and wanted to be covered, much like some of the rock stars I looked up to, but I really wanted to do comics and book covers. I didn’t think you could do anything nearly as realistic and artistic in tattooing. Fast forward eight years later, and I had attended art school, interviewed with book and comic companies, and was living in NYC cranking out illustrations and paintings on the side while I worked a food service job to pay the bills. Comics paid very little, and were very restrictive about what they wanted you to draw. Book and magazine publishers paid more, but only wanted work very occasionally. I had started to get more heavily tattooed, and I had now seen the work of people like Aaron Caine, Guy Aitchison, and Tom Renshaw. Then a tattoo artist, a friend of my ... Read More »

Alex de Pase on the World Wide Tattoo Conference

By Nicki Kasper What was the inspiration for the World Wide Tattoo Conference, and who’s idea was it in the beginning?  The project WWTC (WorldWideTattooConference) was conceived in 2011. The original idea was to get together different talented Tattoists in an itinerant multicultural context who would travel around the world, stopping over in significant European and American spots to share and offer their expertise and personal views of their work to the global tattoo community. The initial idea was mine. This year’s conference is in Venice, Italy… Where have previous conferences been held?  Did you find that each event had a different vibe? 2014 is the year to get back to the origins… After the first edition of Rome 2011, the WWTC is going back to its home country, Italy. So far the WWTC has been held 5 times, once in Europe and once in the States alternatively: 2011 was in Rome, April 2012 was the turn of Chigago, then September of the same year in London… 2013 was in Boston and 2014 will be Venice (actually it is in Mogliano Veneto, 10 minutes from Venice). Each edition had definitely a different vibe, specially if we distinguish between Europe and the US, but I guess the most distinctive one was the atmosphere perceived in London, as this conference was much rougher and wilder than the other ones, being it held in the same premises of the 8th London Tattoo Convention and just before the very same convention.   How has the conference progressed ... Read More »

Robert Atkinson and Jojo Ackermann: Ten Thousand Waves

Robert Atkinson and Jojo Ackermann

By Nicki Kasper How long have you guys been tattooing? Where are you from?  What shops were you in before opening Ten Thousand Waves?    Robert: We both started tattooing in 1992… I grew up in Santa Clarita, North LA.  I’ve worked in many shop throughout my career, Melrose Tattoo, Royal Tattoo in Denmark, Dragon Tattoo in Holland, Eternal Art, The Tattoo Room, and last but not least, The Dolorosa. Jojo: I started tattooing back when there was no internet hahah. I am born and raised in the high desert of Southern California and recently have moved out closer towords Los Angeles. I began tattooing at Psycho City Tattoo in Lancaster CA. Under Mike Pike, where I worked for my first 16 years. Then Pike and myself opened American Made Tattoo near Edwards Air Force base, but we had to leave due to the military downsizing and local economy shift, then I ended up in Santa Clarita at Eternal Art Tattoo for almost 3 years until now. What made you decide to partner up on a shop?   R: I had been looking into locations for a new studio and Jo happened to call and said he was looking for a change… I told him I wanted to open a studio and asked him if he wanted to do it together, he said yes and here we are. J: We both discussed having a shop together for a few years now and the timing seemed right, so we went for it. Tell us a little ... Read More »

Victory Cult with Josh Egnew

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by Nicki Kasper Tell us a little bit about yourself… Where are you from? How long have you been tattooing?  What shop are you in now? Etc… I was raised in Florida, ended up in NYC where I’ve been for the past 10+years. I began tattooing just about 9 years ago and have been at Three Kings in Brooklyn for the last 6 1/2.  How would you describe Victory Cult, and what was the inspiration?  I’d call it sort of a sophisticated street wear brand. I grew up skateboarding and playing in bands, so I’ve always had a strong inclination towards graphics and the merch game. When I began tattooing It was just a natural progression to carry that on. With this project, I have begun with the basics (t-shirts,hats,hoodies,etc.), but I aim to eventually expand that scope. I also wanted to create a project that would treat the artists involved respectfully. I know a lot of us tattooers have been approached by companies that look at us as cheap labor, so I’m just trying to keep this all in the family and have everybody treated correctly. You know the old adage, if you want to do something right, you have to do it yourself.   How long did you sit on the idea before you decided to get it rolling?  Probably not long enough. Haha. I had always thought it would be fun to create a proper brand, but I had never taken the idea all that seriously. It took a ... Read More »

Guy Aitchison – Jeff Gogué tattooing

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In this one hour clip Guy Aitchison and Jeff Gogue join talents for this unprecedented tattoo event. Guy and Jeff come together to create a large collaborative sleeve tattoo that includes both traditional Japanese elements and some more modern techniques and effects. This is an amazing opportunity for you to sit in on a unique project. This one hour clip brought to you by http://wwwTattooNOW.com and Cheyenne Tattoo Equipment http://www.cheyenne-tattoo.com/ You can view the full 8 hour collaboration by visiting the link below: http://www.tattoonow.com/Webinars-and… http://www.TattooNOWTV.com   Tattoo Artist Magazine Issue #15 features Jeff Gogué, Shige & more… Get issue 15 Featuring Jeff Gogué here | Enter code October at check out and save 65%   Jeff Gogue – honesty…from the gut By Crash Shige – Yellow Blaze Tattoo By Horitaka Scott Sterling – The Bridge between Paul Rogers and Dringenberg, Cain and Ciferri is pure Sterling By Shane Enholm Book Reviews – Original Cliff Raven Designs, Bella, Vintage Tattoos Asian Art Museum – State of Grace By Horiyuki News Flash – Featuring Aloha Monkey Flash (Hardy and Arment), Richard Stell Sailor Jerry Letter – Experiments with Sailor Jerry Tattoo Photography – Basic Principles By Max Dolberg For The Record – Tattoo Design Origins: Hot Stuff By Tattoo Archive Professional Product Review – Critical Tattoo Supply Models CX-1 and CX-2 Read More »

Tattoos and Piercings in the Workplace: Common Sense Advice for Workers with Body Art

Tattoos and piercings in the workplace

By Erika Icon Tattoos and piercings are becoming more accepted as a form of art and expression. They are a big part of the cultural landscape in cosmopolitan cities like Los Angeles. To give you an idea of their rise in popularity here are a few figures. Thirty years ago, 1 in 100 people in this country had tattoos. Now 1 in 10 Americans have them, and one-third of those aged 25 to 30 have tattoos. While society is becoming more liberated and expressive, and piercings and tattoos become part of mainstream culture, some employers are still having a hard time wrapping their heads around body art in the workplace. What are my rights? If your company tells you that you can’t wear piercings or reveal your tattoos at work, they aren’t doing anything illegal. Don’t look to the legal system to protect workers who have body art. The law covers discrimination on the grounds of race, color, religion, age, nationality, origin and gender. The one exception may be if you’re a Hindu with a nose ring, which could be a religious observation. But there are limits. Your company can’t use tats or piercings as an excuse to fire you. A company can, on the flipside, use it as an excuse not to hire you. I’ll cover more reasons for this later. Many companies have policies that prohibit tats and piercings that are generally outlined in their handbook and/or employee manual. If the policy is new, it may be given out ... Read More »

Jeff Gogue |Cherry Blossom Tutorial

Cherry Blossoms by Jeff Gogue

By Jeff Gogue www.unicyclebrand.com Whether you are a seasoned veteran looking to reduce and rebuild your skill set, or a new aspiring artist that is trying to fill in the gaps, we hope this video helps to advance you forward. Our objective at UB is to embody the intention of excellence. We are giving this to you with our whole hearts, hoping it enables you to produce original works that inspire others to do the same. Thank you for your support! The drawing from this video is available as a PDF unicyclebrand.com/tutorials Instructor: Jeff Gogué Director: Ryan Moon Music: Free Tone Textures By Small Colin freemusicarchive.org/music/Small_Colin/Retro_Masters/01_-Small_Colin-Free_Tone_Textures-_Retro_Master Kosmiche Slop by Anenon freemusicarchive.org/music/Anenon/Bonus_Beat_Blast_2011/06_anenon-kosmiche_slop   Read More »

Honduran Experts Decode The Hidden Meanings Behind Gang Tattoos

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It’s an image ingrained in the culture of both the United States and countries throughout Central America: the heavily-tattooed, ruthless gang members on the prowl for victims. These inked-up thugs – such as members of the feared Mara Salvatrucha (or MS-13) and Barrio 18 street gangs operating in El Salvador and Honduras – have been blamed in part for the surge in unaccompanied minors streaming north toward safety in the U.S. and have kept border agents busy making sure that none of these hoodlums enter the country. While law enforcement officials in places like Los Angeles and throughout the federal prison system have been studying gang tattoos for years to get a grasp on affiliations and meanings, the countries in Central America have only recently latched on to this practice as violent crime rates spiral out of control throughout these nations. Police in Honduras now claim to have cracked the code on the symbolic meaning of these tattoos even as more and more gang members hide their ink amid a crackdown on gangs in the country. One of the most popular images found on gang members is two hands clasped together and fingers facing skyward in prayer posture. Experts interviewed by Honduras’ El Heraldo newspaper say that this tattoo is not a representation of any religiosity on the part of the gang member, but a plea to “forgive me mother for my crazy life.” “This phrase means that there are normal moments in the life of gang member or a ... Read More »

Forever: The New Tattoo – Recap of Berlin Book Launch

From Gestalten The suggestion that “tattoos are not just for sailors any more” is a familiar one. It might be surprising to learn, then, that the popular media has been reporting the arrival of tattooing in high society for nearly one hundred years. To celebrate the release of “Forever: The New Tattoo”, Gestalten hosted an evening of informative and entertaining talks by renowned tattoo artists Alex Binnie and Duncan X, as well as by heavily tattooed art historian Matt Lodder, author of the book’s preface. Further tattoo protagonists, namely Jon John, Liam Sparkes and Zoe Binnie, attended the event at the Gestalten Space in Berlin and gave us additional insight. The book shop.gestalten.com/forever.html See photos from the event here bit.ly/V4w6rP and bit.ly/Sqd5uW More videos on gestalten.tvhttp://vimeo.com/50360812   Read More »

The World’s Best Tattoos Just Might Be Centuries Old

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By Katherine Brooks www.huffingtonpost.com Oh, the tattoo. From an innocuous badge inked ever so carefully on one’s back to a blanket of color flowing from the shoulders to the ankles, the world has proven the tradition of permanently adorning the body with artwork is here to stay. Hidden from sight or paraded in public, designed by professionals or picked and poked by amateurs, humans just can’t get enough of this particular brand of body modification. Take, for example, a Harris poll from 2012, which declared that in the U.S. alone, one in five individuals had chosen to bring needle to flesh. That’s 20% of the adults surveyed, for those bad with fractions. Read More »

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