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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 »

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 »

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 »

Inked in Montreal

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For more information about the Art Tattoo Quebec show May 29-31 in Quebec City, visit: http://news.arttattooquebec.com For more information about the Art Tattoo Montreal show September 11-13 in Montreal, visit: http://http://news.arttattoomontreal.com Read More »

TAM presents: mastectomy testimonial- Janine

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Shane Wallin, artist and TAMblog contributor, spends his time helping survivors of breast cancer reclaim their bodies and their lives. Today we hear from Janine, one of Shane’s clients and an amazing WARRIOR! In February of 2012 at age 46 I was diagnosed with breast cancer. After chemotherapy I had a double Mastectomy and several reconstruction surgeries. While I was happy to have breasts and look normal in a shirt it was very hard to see myself naked. There were many scares and my breasts just seemed very foreign to me. I never wanted to take my clothes off and I would avoid looking in the mirror. I never had a tattoo and quite frankly was apposed to inking my body until I was left with the scars that reminded me of my breast cancer. I had watched a video online about a year before  about a women who turned her scares into something beautiful with tattoo. The video was from PINK and I contacted them to see if they would be doing the event in my area. About a year later I was contacted and was asked if I would like to participate in PINK. The event was at Twilight Tattoo and I was matched with owner Shane Wallin. Being not to sure about the decision to get tattoos made this really hard for me that day. Shane took me in and made me feel completely comfortable first listening to what I wanted him to create, putting it on ... Read More »

Crash: My first tattoo convention, San Diego,1993

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This post is the story about my very first tattoo convention. It was (gasp) 1993 (I think; it could have been 1992); I was a fairly inexperienced, young tattooer and my new boss, “Painless” Paul Nelson (of Atlanta’s famous Ace Tattoo Studio), decided to attend the San Diego “Tattoo Tour”, (an early convention circuit put on by JD Crowe and his partner…both tattoo artists). Paul was scheduled to get his chest worked on by Gil Monte, a leading black and grey artist of the day who specialized in these awesome fineline, black and grey skulls with eyeballs…and, most importantly, Paul insisted I come with him and try to get tattooed while we were there. So COOL! Here I was– new job, new boss, first trip, and I was hungry to learn everything I could about tattooing. It was a big deal, my first convention…and most exciting was when I learned that all the superstars of 1990’s tattooing were going to be there. Now I wanted a tattoo. Not only that, but I wanted a GOOD TATTOO, from one of the artists who was inspiring me. It was great realizing that I could actually be getting a piece from one of my personal tattoo heroes! I saved money for a few months and began trying to figure out how to get an appointment, and who with, once I realized there were a lot of choices– Jack Rudy, Eddie Deutsche, Guy Aitchison, Aaron Cain, Marcus Pacheco, Paul Booth, Kari Barba, Gil Monte, and so many more…(I ... 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 »

Imagination is the Limit for 3D Tattoos

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For as long as tattoos have existed, they have been used for a wide variety of reasons. Tattoos offer different experiences to the people who get them, and to the people creating them. Getting a tattoo is a good medium for exploring creativity. It enables one to experiment with different looks. It allows people to use their bodies as a living canvas where they could mark their feelings and interests to their hearts’ content. Every tattoo has a story to tell. Like art, people will interpret them differently and it will cultivate in them a growing interest for the tattooed person. Tattoos are generally so artistically and beautifully made and they are usually 2D or 2-dimensional. So it is not surprising for tattoo artists to kick their creative skills up a notch by creating 3D tattoos. 3D tattoos are tattoos that look so realistic on your skin, as if the real thing is on your body. In making these they still use ink which is used in normal tattoos. It is also different from inserting implants into the skin to make it look more pronounced. The difference is how a tattoo artist makes the picture. They are created by utilizing lighting and shadows to add depth to the picture, creating an illusion of being lifelike. It also takes advantage of the body’s natural contour to define and shape a picture. One example of this is of a person getting a dolphin’s face tattoo on his amputated arm, creating a lifelike ... Read More »

The Right Tattoo Artist For The First Time

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Picking the right tattoo artist is as important as picking the perfect design to place on your body. After all, how good is that perfect design when the artist does not know how to render it properly? Here are some things to consider when looking for the most suitable tattoo artist for the job. First thing to consider: does the artist’s work reflect the style you want? Some tattoo artists specialize in black and white, while others are good with vivid colors. There are those with a comic-style output, some are good in realistic portraits, and others on landscapes. Ideally, most have experience with all styles of artwork, but if you have a particular one in mind that you want to be rendered then it is best to do a research beforehand to find the best artist. After all, the ink will stay on the skin forever. In addition, check the reputation of the artist as well as his studio, if he has one. You might also ask some friends who have previous experience and knowledge with getting inked. Check not only a tattoo artist’s output, but his style of working as well. Are you more comfortable with someone who free hands the drawing on the body or rather make a drawing first on pen and paper? Do they have reputation for tattooing anyone who walks through the door, anywhere in the body they want? Usually a responsible tattoo artist would talk you through the tattoo, especially if the placement ... Read More »

Interesting Facts About Blossom Tattoos

Interesting Facts About Blossom Tattoos

One of the most popular designs of tattoos for women is blossom tattoos, along with butterflies and angels. Although this design is generally related to East Asia’s culture, it has now spread through the Western part of the world. Its popularity stems from the nature of the design, colors and its rich meaning. Let us look more closely at different aspects of blossom tattoos. Meaning behind the Tattoo Cherry blossoms mean different things to different countries. In China, cherry blossoms signify power and love. This tattoo is suitable for a woman who is strong and has high respect for her freedom. In Japan, this flower signifies high regard for life and temporary sadness. Having this tattoo could mean that you treasure your limited time in this world and you are aware that everything is not forever. Adjustment for Men and Women As previously mentioned, due to the nature of its color, blossom tattoos are more commonly seen in women. However, if a tattoo artist knows how to reign in choosing and adjusting the colors and design in such a way that it appears masculine, then men can wear this design. For example, the artist can use black ink for the entire blossom and incorporate skulls and fire images to go with the sakura design. For women, even the flower itself is enough to create a powerful and striking design. Depending on the personality of the person getting a tattoo, she can also add in images of hearts, koi fish and ... Read More »

Celtic Style Tattoos and their Universal Meaning

Celtic Style Tattoos and their Universal Meaning

In history, the Celts have exceptional talents in the world of the arts. Celtic artifacts like potteries, jeweleries and other ancient Celtic artworks serve as tangible proof of their creativity and expertise. The natural things found in the environment have been established by the Celts as symbols of humanity and the progress of time. There is an abundance of symbolism in Celtic art and they represent almost every facet of the human life. No wonder people have been inspired in coming up with Celtic style tattoos as they can relate these symbols to their own experiences. Continuity is a significant quality of Celtic art. Starting line and finish line generally do not seem to be present in Celtic symbols. The symmetrical and detailed designs make the art more interesting. Their shapes have the same form in any direction one would look. Spirals and knots can also be implicitly seen in their symbols. At times, the complex details and extraordinary symmetry make the Celtic symbols difficult to copy onto the skin as Celtic style tattoos. The following are some of the common elements in Celtic style tattoos: 1. Spirals   Single spirals – signify the radiation of spiritual energy. Depending on how a person looks at it, the direction of the radiation may be different. It may be inward for some and outward for the others. Double spirals – They represent balance like the existence of equinoxes. Triple spirals – These generally symbolize female strength and energy through their various stages ... Read More »

The Truth About Tattoos

The Truth about Tattoos

Getting a tattoo is a serious business. It is more than just a piece of art. It also requires a certain responsibility on your part. There are particular things you need to know about tattoos: 1.    Tattoo Machine. Have you ever seen the machine used for tattooing? Well, that device generally has four essential parts: •    Needle •    Tube for ink •    Electric motor •    Foot pedal 2.    Allergic reaction. It is important to research more about your medical history as well as the quality of ink used for tattooing. This is because when you get a tattoo, some allergic reactions do not occur right away. There are instances when scars and rashes happen after tattooing. 3.    The tattoos don’t age, but your skin does. One thing you have to remember about tattoos is that they fade as you get older. However, it does not have something to do with the tattoo per se. The reason it looks blurry is that the skin goes through a constant cycle of renewal. As it renews over time, it affects the appearance of the tattoo; thus, making it look aged. 4.    Temporary tattoo has its own risks, too. In fact, FDA advised the public to watch out for the ink used in temporary tattoos. These inks are black henna that may contain para-phenylenediamine or PDD that can cause for permanent scarring. 5.    Do not judge the quality of all tattoos based on a single one. There are people who are having second thoughts ... Read More »

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