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.
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…
Check out the AMAZING deals we are offering for Cyber Monday!
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Campfires & Carbon’s mission is to have and promote real, unedited conversation with local tattooers. Here’s their podcast of a conversation with Jeff Wright…
By Marisa Kakoulas
Reblogged from: http://www.needlesandsins.com
One of the most acclaimed tattoo gatherings – the NYC Tattoo Convention – has brought beautiful freaks worldwide to New York in spring time, as it has been held each May for 16 years. However, with the sad news that the convention’s venue, the historicRoseland Ballroom, will be shutting down in April 2014, I worried about the fate of my hometown show.
Thankfully, we’ll still be able to party in this iconic spot, if not for one last time, as the convention dates for 2014 are March 21st through the 23rd. While the news has been spread around social media, I’ve still been hearing people talk about making travel plans for May or even setting up appointments at that time, so I wanted to help get the word out there that the show will go on, but in March.
We’ll be there and hope to see you too! Check my bad camera phone pics from past shows on Flickr.
Nicki is working the Bay Area Convention of the Tattoo Arts this weekend at the Hyatt Regency San Francisco Airport Hotel! If you’re in the area, stop by and check it out. The line up at this show is amazing, and there’s some amazing limited edition art prints and merchandise you can pick up!
By Ben Shaw
I finally climbed from my car in front of the Lodge section of Colorado’s Keystone Resort and Spa after trying unsuccessfully to check into the spa section of the massive resort. The sound of running water enters my awareness, teasing, because with little to no lighting outside the lodge, I can only hear it. The whole place is quiet and sleepy, with nowhere to eat at 11pm, so I chose from a vending machine buffet offered in the reception area and then crawled into a queen size mountain of pillows in my room. It was a long day on the road…
Suddenly awakened by a beam of light burning through my eyelids, I stumbled to the window, drew back the blinds, and gasped, awestruck by the magnificent view. A vast mountain range saturated with lush, green trees and split with running streams. A pond sits center stage in front of me, between the well-constructed resort floor plan and the gorgeous landscape. I took an eight-hour pilgrimage to interview Gabe Ripley, and this looks like the Holy Land…
Gabe Ripley has spent the last 13-14 yrs. immersed in the tattoo industry, developing websites, planning events, and building tattoo studios. His Off the Map corporation has three major divisions: TattooNOW, a company that powers a network of over 150 tattoo websites; Off the Map, a trio of custom tattoo studios, one in western Massachusetts, one in Grants Pass, OR, and a third opening soon in Italy!; and finally the Paradise Tattoo Gathering, a revolutionary four-day tattoo event, which I found myself transported to on this day.
After a day of amazing education, ending with Gabe’s own “Building a Great Business” seminar, I finally got his undivided attention. Gabe is a BUSY man. Orchestrating such a beautiful convention/seminar/tattoo artist retreat took all his focus, so I carry a deep sense of gratitude for the opportunity…
For those who don’t know you, could you please introduce yourself?
My name is Mike Shea, I make tattoos at Redemption Tattoo in Cambridge, Massachusetts, U.S.A. I have been tattooing professionally for 13 years.
You co-own Redemption Tattoo with Erick Lynch. How did you both come to the decision to open your own place?
Well tattooing was illegal in the state of Massachusetts until 2002, and up until that point Erick and I had been working in New Hampshire at different shops. When it finally got legalized in Boston, we got together and decided it would be good timing and a good idea to try and make a move and open something up, so we went for it.
Can you tell us a little about the shop and the artists working there?
Our shop is a custom tattoo shop that does walk-ins whenever there is time to do one (most people these days want something custom to some extent). As for artists at the shop, we have Josh McAlear who’s been with us for about 5 years now, Ben McClellan who’s been with us for almost two years, Salty Dave who was our apprentice and pretty much now does his own thing and is starting to tattoo full time, Joe Bastek who has worked with us for a few years but now does one day a week with us, Jeff the shop guy who makes our lives easier, and myself and Erick.
TAM will have a booth at the Bay Area Convention of the Tattoo Arts October 25-27! If you’re in the San Francisco area that weekend, stop by and check out the show!
By Bob Done
Reblogged from: http://www.swallowsndaggers.net
At a time when new Tattoo Studios are popping up in towns faster and more frequently than ever, I thought it would be cool to have a chat with my mentor and 20 year veteran of the craft Phil Kyle about the situation we find ourselves collectively in, and what it was like for him “back in the day”.
This is the slightly edited version because I don’t think the internet was, nor will it ever be ready for the original.
BD – Ok, what’s your name and how long have you been tattooing for?
PK – Phil Kyle, been tattooing 21 years and been getting tattooed for almost 30 now.
Where did you start tattooing?
I served my apprenticeship at Main Street Tattoo just outside of Baltimore Maryland in Edgewood. I started actually tattooing when my mentor thought it was the right time.
How many shops were in town when you first started tattooing?
2 at most, unlike today’s carnival.
And what was the relationship like between those shops and yours?
People just did their work and got on with it.
And what would have happened if someone else moved into town and opened up a shop?
(Laughing) Well…….Back then they would’ve got a warning, and if they ignored the warning there would’ve been some action. They’d have their equipment taken maybe, or you know… But the fact was that people with no morals or ethics got served the fuck up. It’s not like today where assholes open up one street over. What’s the fucking point? And they don’t even have the nut sacks to come say, “Hey I’m opening up”, or whatever. Like we did. It’s like fast food chains popping up everywhere. Serving total shit! (laughing) People that should just be clients are opening up shops. If they really loved tattooing they should just stick to getting tattooed, and not try to be some hipster cool guy who couldn’t tattoo their way out of a paper bag. These are the people that talk way too much trash too, if they could run their tattoo machines the way they run their mouths maybe they could actually tattoo.
I’m working the London Tattoo Convention this weekend at the Tobacco Dock. All back issues are on sale for 10 pounds! Newest 3 issues, 15 pounds! I have Volume 1 books (our volume 1 book is the first 5 issues of TAM compiled into a nice hard cover book) on sale for 50 pounds, and Subscriptions are on sale for 36 pounds plus shipping! Stop by the Great Gallery room and check it out.
Here’s a nice video of the Hell City show in Phoenix last month by our friends at Tattoo Snob. Check it out!
Tattoos by Dillon Forte
By Danny Casler
In 2011 we set out to accomplish something that has never been done before in Hawaii. A tattoo convention. Sounds simple enough. We all have been to one or 10. I remember my first one in Vegas where I met Mario Barth & Mike DeVries and I thought “Man, this is bad ass… everyone tattooing together, the camaraderie, the skill levels being matched, the talent pool and in some areas, the lack there of.”
By Jacob Hanks
Reblogged from :http://808ink.com
Last August the owners of Sullen Clothing Company, Ryan Smith and Jeremy Hannah, brought their brand to Hawaii, along with an array of Sullen related artists for the first ever tattoo convention in the state. The Sullen booth was out of stock by the 2nd day of the very popular three-day event. Carlos Torres, Norm, and Big Sleeps killed it as well bringing to the islands their unique styles of tattooing that has everyone paying attention.
- 1. If you are a tattooer, this show should be on your tat con list!
- 2. If you are a tattoo enthusiast, this show should be on your tat con list!
Actually, there’s more to it than that… But just like me, that’s the tall and skinny of it… I cannot begin to thank Jet (Joseph DiProjetto, Love Hate Tattoo), Shane Stevens and the whole ROC Crew for making this experience better every time I come to Rochester… (more…)
By Danny Claser
In 2009 I was free and clear from break-up with a female tattoo artist who was on the show LA Ink. In the time we were together we spent a lot of time traveling the world doing tattoo conventions. I fell in love with the atmosphere and the people who attended these expos. It reminded me of being on Warped Tour when I was a traveling musician. I think I connected to this messed up, chaotic, yet beautiful carny way of life where nothing had stability yet it was stable in the storm. I missed being surrounded by people the world looked at as weirdos or circus freaks. The musicians life is not that far off from the tattooers lifestyle and somehow porn stars and gypsies all seem to fall under that umbrella as well… (more…)
By Megan Hoogland
I’m sick, and I know why I’m sick. I was on the road for three weeks in a row and it was too much. I came home and came down with the plague as soon as I set foot in Minnesota. (I would like to say I’m allergic to this place but that would be an easy out.) This has happened before, so why do I do it? I have three kids and a shop and a house to take care of… It’s a lot and I know there are a lot of us in the same boat. Then throw tattooing and all that comes with that into the mix… (more…)
Miguel Montgomery: On a little bit of a different note about your tattooing, I’ve seen some Japanese tattoos with American roses in the background. I haven’t seen too much of that. Did something spark that made you want to do that? Or did you just take it upon yourself, like ‘this snake needs a rose next to it’?
Bryan Burk: There were a few conversations I had when I was working with Bob about how we should try doing that stuff. And there were some kids that I had tattooed on, one was my friend Jeff, who’d gotten a bunch of tattoos and wanted to fill in all the space around them. So he was one of the first people that I filled in with roses and water around everything because it kind of fit in all these little spaces he had. On his it worked, and I think if you’re gonna do blue water with roses and some American stuff, it works. As long as you kinda keep it pumped up on the American side of town; color clouds and blue water with black behind all of that, like Eddy Deutsche, like Eddy meets late Sailor Jerry-type Japanese compositions, it’ll work. But I think if you’re doing black Japanese background with grey water, for whatever reason, roses look weird… (more…)
Crash: Okay, let’s start with a basic history of yourself and then I want you to talk about the shop and it’s crew.
Horitaka Kitamura: Sure man, basic story… Well I was born in Japan and my parents moved to America when I was a few years old. My parents were bilingual so they taught me Japanese as well, which opened a lot of doors for me later on… So I grew up here and probably had a very similar interest in tattooing like many of my generation, I was a skater, turned punk rocker and liked tattoos from my junior high school days. I do recall liking the tattoos in an old Japanese TV show, “the tattooed magistrate” where the hero shows his cherry blossom tattoos before he kicks ass at the end of every episode. So I guess I’ve long had an affinity for tattoos. I know in high school I had already decided I wanted a body suit, didn’t know what the hell that meant or what was good but I just knew that I wanted tons of tattoos! (more…)
I understand why people confuse Kent Smith and I… We are both smart, handsome and incredibly funny, actually I’m slightly more handsome, but it is such a small margin of error I see how it’s confusing for most. I would personally like to thank Lucky Bastard for calling me “Kent” all weekend, even going out of his way to pop into the TAM booth room just to shout KENT at the top of his lungs. Thanks for adding to the surmounting confusion… Ha-ha! On with the show… (more…)