Interview by Ricky Williams
Tony Nilsson aka Tony Tox first came to my attention when I noticed Ricky Williams (The Family Business) was doing a guest spot at his shop, Blue Arms in Norway. The work Tony was turning out and the work coming out of the shop in general really blew me away. It’s great to find awesome tattooers flying under the radar in this day and age. I’d been looking to start a new interview feature with various tattooers interviewing their friends and this seemed like an ideal start. Ricky and Tony were kind enough to oblige me and below is the interview that came of this request.
Ricky Williams: Hey Tony I’d like to say thanks for doing this interview with me for the Swallows&Daggers blog. I was lucky enough to come and work with you guys in Norway. How’s the shop going and what’s the story behind Blue Arms?
Tony Nilsson: Were absolutely honoured to have you over buddy. I had a great time when you came over here; you’re a funny guy Ricky! Yeah the story behind Blue Arms is basically that the three of us (Christoffer Wøien, Morten Transeth and I) needed a place to work at the same time and were buddies from some time ago so we started looking at a place and it all went super-fast so after just a couple of days we signed the contract for our new studio, then we started looking into what we should call our new shop and Morten came up with idea of Blue Arms Tattoo after reading the biography of the old tattooer Amund Dietzel, who was born in Norway and lived in the early 1900s. We have always loved his work and thought that it would be great to have a kind of tribute shop to him in Norway since he is/was one of the biggest names here, we opened the shop August 2012 and its been busy ever since. I’m so happy that it worked out…
RW: Getting tattooed by you one night after work was such a great and memorable experience and I must say it’s one of my favourite tattoos. Tell us, what are your favourite things to tattoo?
TN: Ha-ha, really, you have soooo many good ones! Well I’m honoured to tattoo you Ricky… I guess my favourite things to do are old classic flash pieces of any kind… snakes, girls, daggers, roses, eagles etc. and all of them combined together in any possible way.
RW: I still can’t believe you let me tattoo you on your birthday and how nervous I was to do it. I know it must have been a big mistake (laughing) who else have you been tattooed by and what’s your favourite piece?
TN: Aaah I love that little panther you gave me! And for you to do it on the first day guesting at blue arms on my birthday while I was drunk is awesome. Thanks for the great gift buddy! I guess I’ve been tattooed by mostly buddies over time, but to name everyone hmmm, let’s see; Morten Transeth, Christoffer Wøien, Marius Meyer, Marco Meloni, you, Mikael Harrstedt, Jonas Uggli, Steve Boltz, Bert Krak, Hillary Fisher-White, Brad Stevens, Ashley Love, Lautaro Belmonte, Nic Ink, Hans Heggum, Ezra Haidet, Austin Maples, Ryan Shaffer, some guy from Brazil, some shit from Thailand (since I’m Swedish hahahah) Jeff from AWR, Henry Hablak, and I guess that’s it. I must say that of my favourites is my neck from Steve and hands by Morten and yours off course, ahhh fuck they’re all good, great memories from everyone, even the shit from Thailand is cool in a way.
By Marisa Kakoulas
Reblogged from: http://www.needlesandsins.com
Influencing and inspiring the international tattoo community for generations, The Leu Family transformed tattooing, pushing it further into the realm of a fine art — and they’ve done so with openness and kindness, spearheaded by their wonderful matriarch Loretta Leu aka Y Maria.
Our friend (and wine expert) Demetra Molina of The Hand of Fate Tattoo Parlor sat down with Loretta at the Montreal Art Tattoo Show in September and spoke about a myriad of topics, from Loretta’s travels, early days tattooing, her adorable dog, and the freedom of getting older. Here’s a taste from their talk:
Demetra: I asked about all of the travel she had done over the years with her husband Felix and their four children. Was that a difficult undertaking?
Loretta Leu: I had traveled a lot already in my life with my mother, I had traveled a lot with Felix before we ever got into tattooing. We didn’t start until we were thirty-five, both of us. Tattooing was really a Godsend; it saved our asses, because we always lived an alternative lifestyle, with four kids, already. So, it was always difficult finding ways of surviving. We didn’t want to go work in a shop, we found things to do, we made crafts, we went and lived in Spain, cheaper places, we would find ways of being able to carry on, the way we wanted to live with our kids…you know, without working for the man kind of thing…but it was always difficult. We got a bit of help from my mother sometimes, Felix’s mom when things were really tough, so when through sheer coincidence this chance came into our life, it seemed the perfect thing, you know, because you are your own boss, you don’t need to sell it in the sense that they come to you because they want a tattoo. You could be on a beach in Brazil with a little tattoo case, start talking to someone in a cafe, go back to your hotel room or whatever, settle on a price, and if they want a tattoo you tattoo. It is a very direct thing. We were both already artists, started that way originally, so it seemed perfect.
“Home is where the heart is….on the bus.” -Frank Zappa, Wet T-Shirt Nite
It has taken me almost exactly two months to finish writing this blog post, and I’ve thought about it every single day. After our trip to the Montreal Art and Tattoo Show held in mid September, my husband hit the road with a vengeance. Paris, London, Barcelona, Eddie toured around for two international tattoo shows in just over three weeks, plus a few guest spots with new contacts. I stayed home on this sudden European jaunt, helping to run our tattoo shop and keep things from burning down at home. Eddie had watched Filip Leu tattoo a one sitting backpiece in Montreal, and had been ready to travel, draw, and tattoo compulsively soon after. The London Convention was calling; so was Barcelona. Off he went. I was a proud tattoo wife from across an ocean.
I’ve been following Danny’s work for years, and finally crossed paths with him this summer. I’ve always admired his hard work and approach to the art, and I’m proud we’re featuring his work on Tattoo Snob. I always knew that Danny was one of the good guys in tattooing, and this interview does nothing if not reinforce that.
Tattoo Snob: How would you describe your tattooing?
Danny Derrick: I do tattoos that are built on Traditional American rules, but they have a lighter, more illustrative look to them. However, the longer I’ve been tattooing, the more I am leaning toward a classic traditional look.
TS: What is the most random thing you’ve tattooed on someone?
DD: In my 5 years of tattooing, I’ve worked in mostly appointment-only studios, which has afforded me the privilege of not having to do many random/weird tattoos. However, sometimes clients will request an idea that is somewhat out of the norm like a blonde wolf with antlers and the antlers becoming branches with an apple growing from them. This one, although random, still allowed me to arrange them in a way that didn’t feel too forced. At least to me it did.
TS: Imagine you found yourself stuck in an elevator with one tattooer of your choice — we’re talking several hours at minimum, so you two could really talk business. Who would it be, and why?
DD: Although a handful of tattooers instantly come to mind, I’d have to say Chris Conn. I was lucky enough to get tattooed by him recently and he has a wealth of knowledge, not only when it comes to tattooing and painting, but on seemingly most everything. I’m sure it would be an enriching experience. But let’s be serious, this scenario is highly unlikely.
TS: What would you be doing professionally right now if you weren’t tattooing?
DD: Who knows. My life could have gone a number of different ways. I probably would have pursued music more. I was in a touring band at the time I started tattooing and at that point I switched gears and gave tattooing the highest priority. If I hadn’t started tattooing there may have been another career path that sparked my interest and developed into something I was really passionate about, but like I said, who knows.
TS: Name an “ah-ha!” moment you’ve had in regards to tattooing.
DD: Seeing Chris Conn’s work for the first time. It was then that I saw how refined tattooing could be. His work gives you a window into another world and crates a narrative that tells a story that a tattoo of words never could. There are many other ah-ha moments, most of which were during my apprenticeship with Craig Beasley. It seemed, every day he’d explain a new piece of the tattooing puzzle I was trying to put together in my head.
TS: If you could only tattoo one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?
DD: It definitely wouldn’t be family crests, I’ll tell you that god damn much. I’d be happy tattooing faces. There’s so many different ways to do them and show emotion They can be adorned with almost any other element I’d want to include as well. So that would be my loop-hole. A girls face with, fill in the blank.
TS: Name your influencers in life — people, things, whatever.
DD: This is something that is rediscovered every day. Everything in life influences me in one way or another, both directly and indirectly, consciously and unconsciously.
TS: Where do you find inspiration in regards to tattooing? And art?
DD: In tattooing, I’d have to give credit to Craig Beasley, Russ Abbott, Chris Conn, Seth Wood, Dan Smith and Adam Barton
TS: What kind of music do you prefer to listen to while tattooing? What about drawing and painting?
DD: I’m constantly trying to switch up what I listen to while working. A few constants would include Thrice, City and Colour, Murder by Death (especially “like the exorcist”), Converge, and Willy Tea Taylor.
TS: I’m sure you have a favorite tattoo of your own. Who did it, what is it… and any chance we could see a picture?
DD: My favorite tattoo is of a passenger pigeon on a branch of a pine tree and it was done by Seth Wood in 2009. I have to opt out of sharing a photo of the tattoo, since he never published it himself. If you take a look at his work, you’ll see what general style he does and why it would be my favorite.
Find Danny Derrick online:
By Bj Johnson
The meaning behind the madness…
I have been making things my entire life. I was never a conscious choice, it simply flowed naturally and automatically from my skills, my interests and my passion. For me, creating is innate. I cannot not create.
I finally made a career of my art in 1997 when I began tattooing. Tattooing is creative and experiential, but I found I still needed to build tangible things as well, so I soon gravitated to investigating the mechanics of building tattoo machines. Creating custom tattoo machines from scratch was wildly fulfilling, and naturally I wanted to set my work apart from others. To do this, I turned to other forms of metal art. I took a couple jewelry making classes at GVSU and was introduced to the metalsmithing craft. I became addicted to this new medium immediately. However the constraints of tattoo machine mechanics would not allow for exploration of all these wonderful tricks and techniques the metalsmithing world offered, so I began making little sculptures. These small scale sculptures were simply physical forms based on ideas and emotions I had, but I never went in any specific direction with them. It was just playing.
I have also always loved symbolism. Wanting my work to have deeper meaning and layers, I began researching. All the paintings of the old masters are rife with symbolism. Each element in their paintings was there for a reason. I loved this and began to search for ways to include symbolism in my own work.
All of this became a explosion of purpose when I thought of making my monster sketches into three-dimensional pieces. Through my research I found that historically,
By Omar Edmison
My wife of 18 years asked me awhile back if I was still writing a blog for Tattoo Artist Magazine. I shot her a pile of excuses about time & being busy at work, taking care of the shop & spending time with her & the kids. She looked at me with her amazingly sweet smile as if to say “Sure Omar, I love you I have your back but you’re throwing up a smoke screen.” She knows me really well, better than any other human being on the planet. Her words that she spoke next were small and to the point. she simply said ” you’re really good at what you do. you have wisdom to impart.” I am not making that part up; she really does speak like that. So here I am sitting in front of a computer trying to figure out what to “impart” on you, gentle reader. I started thinking about what I had said to my beautiful and talented better half. It wasn’t a lie I have been busy with an amazing varied rag tag bunch of folks who for what ever reason be it a bump on the head or just a history of poor life choices have asked me to mark them permanently. It is also true that -as any shop owner can attest to- when you own a tattoo shop stuff comes up, there are always fires to be put out, business needs handling. It is most decidedly true that I love spending time with her and our 3 awesome kids. I don’t know about y’all but the last time I checked there are only 24 hours in a day only 7 of those days in a week etc., etc. you know the math. You are,I am sure, by this point getting my point that there are a lot of things that come up in my day to day life that are at times pleasurable at times nerve wracking & everything in between. Much like some of you out there, I get to try to figure out how to balance business & family, which is what struck me as something to write about…
Life, Happens everyday. It comes at us pretty fast you have to keep your eyes open and your head up if you are going to get through it in one piece. How to balance work & family…
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 Jon Osiris
Read Part 1 here: http://wp.me/p14cQJ-59Q
It so happens that after becoming a bit more familiar with this place, I have been privy to further tales and experiences with The Natha and his strange and magical ways…
After morning exercises some weeks back, I was invited to take tea with the Natha somewhat privately, along with a couple of other students. While we were ushered past a stone statue in the courtyard of the elephant headed god Ganesh, whom was bedecked with garlands of marigolds and offering bowls full of sweets, we entered into a small antechamber where the Natha’s consort was serving tea. I exchanged formalities and a few pleasantries with her and the other three while everyone was served. Two of them were male senior students at the temple and neither were likely yet twenty years of age. The third, a friend and guest of the Natha, a pleasant woman tattooist and artisan in her early thirties.
While sipping the aromatic brew we listened as the Natha told us why we were assembled. It had to do with a messenger who had arrived a few days back… a weary looking fellow that had appeared one evening and begged to see the Natha straight away, even before accepting food or water. I had not heard anything more about him until now. The man had traveled for several days without stopping, only taking sustenance when it was dire, exhausting his provisions quickly nonetheless. The news that the messenger carried came from his village in the hill country north of the temple. Several animals from the village had gone missing and most recently a small mute child was also gone from her play area near her families’ hut. The local hunters had seen the sign and tracks of a large snake near the livestock pens, though absolutely no sign was detected near where the child was playing. If that wasn’t enough, the headman’s daughter was coming into her own as a shaman and had sent word also to request a special tattoo ceremony to mark the transition fully into this capacity as a helper and healer of her people. The Natha had lived with the people of this village for several years before he had the vision to build the temple. He related that the headman and the old shaman were close friends of his and it was apparent that the he held them in high esteem. We were asked to accompany the him if we desired, on his journey into the hills to assist his friends in whatever capacity he could. Of course, all of us were keen on going and made immediate preparations to leave the following morning. The messenger would stay on to rest and receive needed care from the Natha’s consort.
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By Marisa Kakoulas
From today through December 23 (or until they run out because I don’t have many left), my new Black Tattoo Art 2 will be on sale for $140 (including free shipping in the US); theBlack & Grey Tattoo box set is on sale for $300 (originally $399); and the individual books of the set are $120 each.
You can order via Paypal on the Needles & Sins online store or contact me at email@example.com.
By Reba Maybury
Maellyn Macintosh is in the process of creating an exciting series of documentaries about tattooing in various cultures, but to complete all of the work that has been created so far she needs backing. You can read more about what Maellyn has created so far and watch a trailer of footage made so far.
In the first episode proposed Maellyn will travel to remote regions of India to document the indigenous tribes who use tattooing and piercing as an essential way of life, for healing, as a form of currency and as a form of religious devotion.
Here is Maellyn’s background to the documentary series so far:
Tattoos, piercing and scarification are now becoming mainstream and the taboos surrounding them are slowly vanishing. But where do they come from and why were they used?
Indigenous communities have cut, coloured, pierced and shaped the body for centuries as part of complex rituals; for identity, beauty, healing, spirituality, coming-of-age ceremonies, and even occasionally as punishments. There are still some communities who live as they did hundreds of years ago but most are being forced to integrate into western society, by threats to their land, resources and customs. Maellyn wants to tell their stories before they are lost forever.
Maellyn became fascinated by body modification while filming with a group of modern body modification artists and performers in London. Her curiosity lead her to begin researching the origins of these practices and in December 2010 she took a camera and made a trip from Kathmandu in Nepal, through Central India to Southern India. In Nepal she met the older tribeswomen with beautiful tattoos, whose grandchildren wouldn’t dream of tattooing in fear of not being offered work. In Central India she met the fascinating Baiga tribe, natives of the forest who use plant medicine in their tattoos, which are also placed on pressure points for healing. The women of this tribe wear their tattoos with pride as they are considered a currency which can be passed on to the next life. She also met the nomadic and elusive Ramnami tribe, a low caste tribe whose facial and full body tattoos bear the name of the upper caste god, Ram.
By Tomas Jivanda
Reblogged from: http://www.independent.co.uk
Five tattoo parlours in Scotland will be offering free swastika tattoos on Wednesday as part of a global event to “reclaim” the symbol.
The worldwide initiative branded “Learn to Love the Swastika”, is being held on the first anniversary of the death of a Canadian artist and poet called ManWoman, who was covered in swastika tattoos.
ManWoman spent decades trying to restore the image of the swastika – an ancient image of peace in Hinduism and Buddhism – tainted by its use in Nazi Germany.
He claimed to have been prompted to start the campaign after a series of dreams and wrote a book on the subject titled “Gentle Swastika, Reclaiming the Innocence.”
Writing on Facebook, organisers said the event, which will see tattoo parlours across the world participating, was set up to “spread knowledge and appreciation of the gentle swastika”.
Audrie Cabena, who works at Yankee Tattoo Parlour in Dundee – one of the shops taking part – told the Evening Telegraph: “I met ManWoman once and he was covered in swastikas. I think it is important to recover that symbol and educate people really.
“It has been a peace symbol for thousands of years, but it is now seen as a symbol of hatred just because of a relatively short amount of time.
“I will talk to the people that come in on Wednesday and make sure they are doing it for the right reasons.
“I’m not saying it is safe to walk around with a swastika on you and you might get people making comments. But if I receive any backlash over this then I will have to deal with it when it happens.”
Anti-racism campaigners have condemned the event. A spokeswoman for Show Racism The Red Card in Scotland told the Daily Record: “I’m shocked – really shocked – by this. I’m appalled.
“I don’t think anyone today would see the swastika as a peace symbol, and I would advise against any legitimate tattooing business doing this.
“Much as the swastika may have started as meaning one thing, fascism is what it represents now.”
Campfires & Carbon’s mission is to have and promote real, unedited conversation with local tattooers. Here’s their podcast of a conversation with Tony Klett of Urban Art…
By Molly Kitamura
Reblogged from: Knivesandneedlesblog.com
Its rare to find a vegan chef, let alone a really good one! This is Knives and Needles first vegan chef feature, Mary of Nom Yourself! Her food looks amazing and she loves tattoos; so please read, enjoy and be inspired to step out of your animal-product box!
Molly: Tell me about yourself, please include what you are doing now
Mary: I am a 27 year old vegan cook living in NYC. I am currently developing recipes for my second cookbook that is currently untitled, and promote my first cookbook Nom Yourself – The Cookbook. I run nomyourself.com and advocate home cooking.
Molly: I always want to advocate to cook at home as well, especially these days. Have you always been vegan?
Mary: I haven’t. I actually became vegan 14 months ago while living in Baltimore, Maryland. I started teaching myself how to cook and found that adding meat and dairy to my dishes was actually taking away from the flavor of all these amazing fruits and vegetables I was buying from the farmers market. Most people find veganism through animal rights or health reasons. I found it through cooking.
Molly: Very cool! How did you get into developing Nom Yourself?
Mary: I started posting pictures of the food I was making on my personal Instagram account. Then a friend suggested I start a website. Within a week I had a thousand followers and a new love for the internet.
Molly: What a great idea! So on to tattoos. What was your first tattoo and what inspired you to get tattooed?
Mary: My first tattoo was a star I got when I was 16. Reading Andrew Parsons interview on Knives & Needles is making me think this is what a lot of people in our generation would answer. I wanted to get tattooed because my family did and still does mean the world to me. I wanted to make it permanent and have something that would remind me of that. So, I got the star to represent the 5 people in my family. I went to some seedy place in downtown NYC and probably used a fake ID. It was less about art and more about being a rebel child than the tattoos that came after.
By Estevan Oriol
By Brandon Collins
Reblogged from: http://www.tattoosnob.com
With the invention of tattoo “reality” shows, the average un-tattooed or mildly tattooed person is led to believe that tattoo artists are superheroes: they can draw an entire back piece in 15 minutes, go out to the clubs all night and still come to work on time, able to tattoo whatever you want, wherever you want it.
That sounds awfully appealing to some kids–but it couldn’t be any further from the truth. Anyone who has spent time in a tattoo shop knows that most tattooers are your average hardworking dads and moms with mortgages, car payments and phone bills,not prima donna rockstars that get VIP everywhere and drive Lamborghini’s. Those TV shows make a mockery of our profession and because of them, our trade has been diluted by half-ass, mediocre tattooers. Not only have these hacks not paid their dues, but they pump out crappy $20 tattoos that the average joes doesn’t even realize are shit.
Before deciding you want to be a tattooer, think about this: Say my appointment for the day doesn’t show up, so that $400 I needed to pay rent and put food on my table will just have to wait. If YOU go to work and no one shows up, YOU still get paid and so you can afford to sit home home and watch “TATTOO SCHOOL” and say to your stoned roommate “bro, I can totally do that shit!”. You get breaks and paid holidays, insurance and an guaranteed paycheck every week. We don’t. We work 50-60 hours a week tattooing, drawing and painting with no medical benefits and no retirement funds.
Don’t listen to your family. That skull with the lightning bolts and a joint in its mouth you drew in the 8th grade ISN’T amazing. Your parents, close family members and friends are always going to tell you that you are a natural artist. Their biased encouragement will only give you the false confidence to go into a tattoo shop and get your feelings hurt. Tattooing isn’t a hobby or something just to pass the time. It is a profession and a sole mean of income, so if you think we will welcome you and your “tat guns” into our trade with open arms, you are sorely mistaken. Apprenticeships are meant to be hard–to weed out the undeserving. If you are lucky enough to get one (and I do mean lucky) you will be taught a skill that can carry you for the rest of your life and you are forever indebted to the person who taught you. There are those dip-shits that don’t have the balls to go into a tattoo shop and try to get an apprenticeship – or they did and were tossed out, just order some “guns” online and “do tats” out of their house. Not only is this completely disgusting, unsanitary and unethical, but also illegal. Don’t even think about doing that. Those fucktards can do some real and irreversible damage to someone not to mention potentially spread disease.
Most tattoo artists don’t make a lot of money. Tattooers get paid by the hour but that money isn’t dumped right into our pockets. We have to give a percentage to the shop and pay for supplies and what-not. In reality we only get a fraction of what we charge for your tattoo. So when you tell me, “Dannnng $100?… Thats a lot, you must be rich!” and I want to run a steel spike through your head, you will understand why. As I mentioned before, if an appointment doesn’t show up or you don’t have anything scheduled, you don’t get paid. Imagine going to your job at Home Depot or where ever and working a full day without pay.
So next time you have the urge to be like Kat Von D or whatever rockstar tattooer is the flavor of the week… remember this: Countless hours of work for minimal pay and no benefits is the life that we have chosen and will defend with extreme prejudice. Do yourself a favor: keep your day job, and leave our profession alone.
Brandon owns and works at Nightmare Studios in Reno, NV.
By Marisa Kakoulas
Reblogged from: http://www.needlesandsins.com
One hundred years ago, Amund Dietzel (1891-1974), of Kristiania, Norway, arrived in Milwaukee with a knowledge of tattooing he picked up on a merchant shop. Deciding to make the city his home, he opened up a tattoo parlor that attracted tattoo collectors far beyond Milwaukee. Sailors and marines during two world wars came to see Dietzel before leaving for battle, choosing powerful designs from his handpainted flash that hung on the shop’s walls.
Dietzel “helped define the look of the traditional or old school tattoo,” the Milwaukee Art Museum wrote of their “Tattoo: Flash Art of Amund Dietzel” exhibition, which ran from July to October.
That wonderful archive of Dietzel’s painted flash, stencils and drawings, from the collection of Jon Reiter, will be exhibited at Great Lakes Tattoo in Chicago, from November 29th to January 5th.
During the November 29th opening, not only can you view Americana tattoo history, but also have a piece of it tattooed on you, as artists will be offering tattoos from Dietzel’s flash sheets from 12 to 10 PM that day. The opening party, with food & drink, runs from 5 to 8 PM.
Proceeds from the tattoos, as well as beautiful limited edition prints (shown below) and shirts, will go towards the hefty medical expenses Jon incurred from an ICU stay.
For more on Amund Dietzel’s life, pick up Jon’s fantastic books, These Old Blue Arms: The Life & Work of Amund Dietzel, Volumes 1 & 2.
By Deborah Bach
Reblogged from: http://www.fhcrc.org
Even before her mastectomy, Inga Duncan Thornell knew she didn’t want to have her breasts reconstructed.
She didn’t want to go through more surgery and didn’t like the idea of implants. So when her husband brought home a book showing a woman with a rose tattoo on her chest where a breast used to be, Thornell was intrigued.
She had a double prophylactic mastectomy in 1993, not long after her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer and her stepmother died of it. After Thornell’s surgery, she got a tattoo that took more than a year of Saturdays to complete and resembles a cropped camisole adorned with flowers and vines. Almost two decades later, she still loves it.
“I think it’s fantastic,” said Thornell, 51, who lives in Burien, south of Seattle. “When I see myself in the mirror, it’s like it’s always been a part of me.”
A growing number of women are following Thornell’s lead, choosing to cover their post-mastectomy scars with colorful images that block out painful reminders of the losses they have endured. Some, like Thornell, decided against breast reconstruction, while others have undergone reconstruction but want to tattoo over their mastectomy scars. The tattoos range from recreated nipples ― which can be realistic-looking or take the form of flowers, hearts or other shapes ― to much larger, more expansive designs.
By Mickey Schlick
I’m always trying to find answers to as many of the little issues that life throws at me as possible. I wanted to share some things that I think are applicable to our life in the shop. Often, I notice that many tattoo shops, especially street shops, lack adequate space for that most important or our chores, drawing. I wanted to cover a quick fix for this: a low cost, zero floor space, cheap drawing table.
Since my first gesture drawing class, I have been hooked on lap boards and I think they are a great solution when needing to move around is a must. Sitting in the chair and having the board at an angle against a table or the back of another chair gives a large drawing area and a much more comfortable angle. The other thing that most people don’t really notice is how much a horizontal surface can potentially skew a drawing.
Personally, I was looking for a more permanent fix and so I did some “figurin’” to come up with an idea that matched all of the benefits of having a large drawing table without loosing any floor space in the shop. The one thing about this plan in particular (which I am hoping that some of you will turn into ideas of your own) is that it is not very adjustable. So, as the old adage goes, measure twice cut once. On the upside, it is so cheap and easy that you can have multiple drawing surfaces in the shop that work for different people or drawing styles or projects for well under $100.
In our shop, most of the artists like to draw pretty big which we like because you can get a lot of life into the work when drawing with your whole arm. Personally, I’m about the newsprint because I would rather retrace my design with a marker on tracing paper than slide the rough onto the copier, or photograph it and deal with it digitally, but sometimes I can go big with it or sometimes I can work out a whole bunch of thumbnails on one sheet. Most papers have a larger style (I like 18×24), just think about what you like to draw on and then buy your table based on having enough room to draw and support your whole drawing pad and arms and whatever else you need, while still fitting the space. Obviously, you don’t need to go that big, but you could go larger or smaller on the table or paper (all of the measurements for this will be unique to you and your situation, so I’m not going to get too deep into that. ) Just read this, think about the logic of it, then go out and build your own that is perfect for your situation.
I started with a very complicated idea, which I won’t get into, but I will say looking back that I don’t know how my head got that far up my ass. I had spent all this time planning out this awesome drawing table with a support frame and a bunch of super heavy wood with a crazy detailed stain. Sounded good until I realized that it was going to be entirely too heavy for the wall and the stain didn’t go as easy as I thought it would. In the end, what worked the best was to keep it simple, use this 24″ x 48 1/2″ MDF for like $10. I just had them cut right there at Home Depot, to like 24″ x 36″ then painted it to match the wall that it was going to hang on with paint from the shop, so that you can barely tell it’s there at all. Very low impact, even visually. It’s great!
Tattoos By Phil Hatchet-Yau
Tahiti Felix’s Master Tattoo, San Diego, CA
Most individuals that I meet who work in a tattoo studio often mention to me…”You’re furniture is really bloody great, but unfortunately I don’t have a $1000 kicking around for a light table, and some of the stuff that I would like to have in the studio isn’t readily available and at an affordable price.” So I talked with a friend of mine involved in the tattoo industry, he mentioned something to me; “Why don’t you offer a line of products that are more affordable? Products that are in the $450.00 or less price range.”
I thought to myself. “Hmmm…what can I possibly build that would be useful to a tattoo artists at that price and still keep my head afloat.”
After spending some time talking with him and other artists, I came up with some pretty damn good products which we both agreed upon as being really useful and also look great. These are products which will make your life as an artist much more simple and accessible, and will also be a striking piece in your shop. They will also offer trimmings and aspects of old traditional woodwork.
By Marisa Kakoulas
Reblogged from: http://www.needlesandsins.com
Last week, I wrote, with a heavy heart, about how the tattoo community lost one of our own, Agit Sustento, in the devastating typhoon in the Philippines. And, as a true community, artists and collectors from around the world are joining Tattoo for the Philippines, and raising funds to be donated to the Red Cross relief efforts in the country. Find a list of participating artists here – and more are artists are welcome to be a part of it.
“The inspiration for the tattoo design comes from an artifact known as the Manunggul Jar. The artifact was discovered in a burial site Manunggal Cave in Lipuun Point, Quezon, Palawan. It was chosen as the inspiration for the design because the figures represent guides taking the deceased to the next life, in essence guiding the souls of those who died. The artist’s interpretation of the design is in the style of a petroglyph. This style was chosen as a nod to the indigenous cultures of the Philippines. The design also incorporates a dedication to Jonas Agit Sustento, a tattoo artist and musician from Tacloban, who perished in the typhoon along with several members of his family.”
The cost of the tattoo is $30.00 U.S. or $20.00 Euros. The costs of supplies will be borne by the tattoo artists who are also dedicating their time.
Find more info on Facebook.
By Kevin Miller
Reblogged from: http://www.tattoosnob.com
Yesterday we shared this picture that Tim Beck of Freedom Ink Tattoo Co. posted over the weekend. The picture is from Tim’s neighborhood, and which was in the path of the tornados and severe weather that rolled through the Midwest this weekend.
Many people have asked how they can help Tim and his family, and several people/companies in the tattoo world have stepped up. Here are the details:
Great Lakes Tattoo will be donating all proceeds from merchandise to Tim and his family help rebuild. Crew necks $40, tshirts $20 and patches $5. Stop into the shop or PayPal your order (friends and family) to firstname.lastname@example.org
The Dirty Magic Book will be donating 100% of all proceeds of orders placed between now and Friday.
Lastly, several people have asked if they can send money directly to Tim. If you’re interested in doing this, you can send donations to email@example.com.
*** TAM will be donating 20% of all magazine sales to help Tim and his family today, Wednesday, 11/20/2013 until next Thursday, 11/28/2013. Use checkout code: TIMBECK. Please spread the word!
By Dawn Cooke
I have been traveling on and off since the beginning of my career. I haven’t always been able to travel as much as some of my peers because I have other obligations that make travel less accessible to me. But whenever I can I try to visit places and often I go where I have friends. True friends in life and in tattooing are hard to come by but as I have learned once you find them they make life so much more enjoyable.
There are several reasons that I travel. I go for work, I go for pleasure, I go to network with others in tattooing and I go for inspiration. Nothing pays off more than being inspired by your peers. That’s why instagram is such a big hit! But instead of being glued to your phone get out there and meet all those great artists Face to face!
I recently went to Eagle River Alaska to visit my good friend Deb Yarian. It is a really beautiful place. Mountains, Fresh air, I really got the feeling that people there try to look out for one another. So different from here in metro Detroit where I am from. I have tried to bring a little of that brotherly love back here to Detroit with me. Being there just really made me look at the world a little differently. People there are somewhat isolated and it seems like it makes they so much kinder to one another.