By Andrew Goodfellow
Reblogged by: swallowsndaggers.net
There are very few tattooers working today that can lay claim to over 30 years of experience. Fewer still are those who can truly be said to have changed the course of tattooing. Bill Baker – artist, icon, entrepreneur, and now part owner of Pearl Harbor Gift Shop – is among those storied few.
In all honesty, I had no idea what to expect of my meeting with Bill when he agreed to speak with me for Swallows & Daggers. Highly regarded yet notoriously reclusive, Bill casts something of a mythical shadow over the tattoo community in Toronto. Though Pearl Harbor is among the city’s premiere shops and receives constant acclaim, he is rarely glimpsed by the clientele and is extremely selective in taking on new work. Having been tattooed there on a number of occasions, I had yet to catch sight of him even once.
Little wonder, then, that I hadn’t any notion of what my afternoon with Bill would entail. What followed was an incredibly candid and fascinating tour through Bill’s 32 year career. Part raconteur, part machine technology and tattoo history teacher, Bill has managed to remain humble and utterly genuine in his love for tattooing. I learned more from him in the course of two hours than I had in the last two years of my own pursuits in the tattoo world. I only hope that I can convey our conversation in terms that do justice to the man himself, the immense scope of his technical achievements, and to the work he has crafted since 1981. As recorded in the legendary environs atop Pearl Harbour – known simply as ‘The Hut’ – it is with tremendous respect that I relay his words to the readers of Swallows & Daggers:
“Okay, well let’s see…if you want to bust it down, I guess I’ve been tattooing 32 years. I started in ’81. So then there’s the first part, where I was learning and did my apprenticeship in Calgary.”
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…
Tattoos by Driz
Instagram: @drizelinink, @true_tattoo_studio
True Tattoo, Gold Coast, Australia
By Marisa Kakoulas
Reblogged from: http://www.needlesandsins.com
We’ve all seen them. Those tattoo “fan” pages with the billion “Likes” on Facebook where you’ll find beautiful tattoos but without any information on the artist, photographer, or collector.
Photos of me have popped up on these sites, and I have commented, “That’s me. My artist is Dan DiMattia, Calypso Tattoo,” but that all gets lost in the barrage of subsequent comments, often asking who did the work because they could not find my attribution. I’ve gotten tired of them and now simply report their use of my photos to Facebook, particularly because I don’t want to be associated — and even used by — these sites.
These sites are not tattoo fan pages. They are “Like Farms.” As Yahoo News explains:
“Here’s how it works. Someone creates a page and starts posting photos inspirational quotes or other innocent content. You like the page and it now shows up regularly in your news feed. Anytime you interact with a post, that activity shows up in your friends’ news feeds.The more likes the page gets, the more it shows up. The more comments each picture gets, the more power the page gets in the Facebook news feed algorithm.And that makes it more and more visible.
When the page gets enough fans (a hundred thousand or more)the owner might start placing ads on the page. Those ads show up in your news feed. They could be links to an app, a game, or a service they want you to buy. It could be a “recommendation” for a product on Amazon where the page owner gets a commission for every purchase made through the link. Or more nefariously, the page owner could be paid to spread malware by linking out to sites that install viruses on your computer for the purposes of identity theft. Bottom line: access to your news feed is lucrative.”
I came across the Yahoo News article thanks to Birmingham-based tattoo artist Goldilox, whose work was featured on the Facebook page Myttoo Tattoos & Piercings, without credit and with a caption linking to a clothing line (as shown in the screen capture above). Goldilox then shared with her own many fans how tattoo Like Farms are scamming tattoo fans, and encouraged people to speak out, report these sites to Facebook, and especially Unlike them.
Then the Facebook page “Credit My Work” was created to raise awareness of the issue. Now, that’s a site you should like!
It’s natural for us to want to follow sites that feature inspiring work, but we should do so only to those who support our community — not exploit it.
Around 14.000 people visited Fira de Barcelona to enjoy the work from some of the best artists in the world.
More than 1.200 tattoos were made in the three days convention, that generated more than 320.000 euro.
Many activities inspired by the urban expressions and trends completed the program of what is considered one of the best tattoo conventions in Europe
“Here the crises does not affect us much, as people that come for a tattoo by a well-known artist from New Zealand for example, knows what he wants and does not care about the price” says Laura Cubero, convention’s spokesperson and organizer. In fact, all tattooists had their agendas filled during the convention, in some cases two months in advance. Not only did they demonstrate their skills, but also participated in the awards festival. This year The Best Piece of the Show” was for Javier Olmo tattooed by Samuel Sancho from Wanted Tattoo studio (BCN).
Among a list of talented artists, the conventions special guest on his first visit to Spain, was the prestigious master of traditional Japanese tattoo, Horitoshi I. Other really gifted performers included Jack Rudy, the single needle inventor and the “Fine Line” creator. The limelight was also shared by other well known artists to include Brent McCown (New Zealand), Tang Ping (China), Norm (U.S.A), José López (U.S.A), Laura Juan (Spain), Ching y Yang, from East Tattoo (Taiwan), Jota Esteban, from Mao&Cathy (Spain) and Andrea Afferni (Italy),
Barcelona Tattoo Expo
International Tattoo Convention
When: From Friday the 4th to Sunday the 7th of October 2013
Timetable: From 12.00h to 24.00h on Friday and Saturday and from 12.00h to 22.00h on Sunday
Cost: 15€ Friday ticket
18 € Saturday ticket
18 € Sunday ticket
40 €3 days bonus
copyright by ©linuxbcn
M: +34 650 762 302
M: +34 661 324 980
By Andrew Fingerhut
A – It was more difficult to wrap my mind around the process then physically make the art. I still find it hard to believe anyone figured out this process for print making . I loved working on Stone . It was incredible. The texture is like no other . I was destroying the tips of the grease pens ! Your basically using the softest of tools on the absolute hardest of surfaces.
What elements of the print were created in the studio with the printer and which were able to be created at your studio?
How much of the piece was planned out before starting and how much was improvised?
Was the lithograph process of working layer by layer to craft a single final print image difficult or easy to adapt to?
Did your tattoo background help or influence your work with the lithograph medium? If so, can you give an example or two?
When can we expect to see the next lithograph print from you?
The untitled piece is a single edition of 30 and was recently published by Raking Light Projects. It is available for purchase on the RakingLightProjects.com website.
Photos and Interview by Ino Mei
The charismatic and one of a kind Tas Danazoglou spoke exclusively to HeartbeatInk, while tattooing at his booth at London’s “Into You” Tattoo Studio, about the art of the tattoo with absolute honesty and humour.
When did you first get involved with tattooing?
Twenty years ago, when I was 22 years old I began as an apprentice of Mike the Athens. Actually, Mike taught me everything I know. I still feel like Mike’s apprentice (laughs), because he is a such a perfectionist and even now calls me and tells me “what you did wasn’t that good, you have to do it like this”. He is also one of my best friends. We are like brothers.
What were you doing previously?
I was a radiologist’s assistant.
How did drawing come into the picture?
I have been drawing for as long as I can remember. My father was an amateur painter. Perhaps I was influenced by him. But yes, I definitely drew.
How did the transition from drawing to tattooing happen?
It’s kind of funny. Mike was my tattoo artist and because he likes music I used to record cassettes for him with death metal bands (I think he still has them) and I would paint their covers. At some point, after seeing my designs, he asked me to become his apprentice. I had never thought I would become a tatooer…
Campfires & Carbon’s mission is to have and promote real, unedited conversation with local tattooers. Here’s their podcast of a conversation with Timo Sanders from Fifth Estate Tattoo in Gilbert, Arizona…
By Ben Swann
The United States is nearly 17 trillion dollars in debt, the national unemployment rate is more than 7%, and one in seven Americans is on food stamps. But fixing those problems is just so darn hard! So several politicians in Washington DC have decided to spend their time creating tattoo regulations.
DC’s Health Department is aggressively pushing to instate a mandatory 24-hour waiting period for all individuals looking to get a tattoo in the District. The waiting period would mandate that “no tattoo artist applies any tattoo to a customer until after twenty-four hours have passed since the customer first requested the tattoo.”
Officials from the Department say the regulation would prevent “serious health risks.”
A spokeswoman for the Department of Health, Najma Roberts, thinks that the new rules would prevent individuals from making stupid decisions while they are intoxicated.
She said, “They can’t be responsible for themselves, as well as the person doing the work on them. We’re making sure when that decision is made that you’re in the right frame of mind, and you don’t wake up in the morning . . . saying, ‘Oh my God, what happened?’”
Tattoo shop owners, however, say the proposed regulations unfairly target their industry and would hurt business.
Paul Roe, a tattoo parlor owner in DC, said “Why not 24 hours’ waiting time before shaving your head?” The new rules are “honestly ridiculous” he claimed.
Gilda Acosta, a tattoo artist, said, “It would definitely be a direct hit to my income if I couldn’t tattoo people who come in and want work done on the same day.”
America is supposed to be the Land of the Free. If people want to make poor choices regarding their own bodies, they should be allowed to. In a free country, government cannot dictate lifestyle choices, nor can it become the overprotective mommy and daddy of its citizens. Freedom means having the right to make bad choices and then deal with the consequences ourselves.
Follow us: @BenSwann_ on Twitter
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.
Reblogged from: http://www.pbs.org/skinstories/
The journey to receive a tattoo can follow many different roads.
When you think of someone with a tattoo, what comes to mind? A biker? A sailor? A rebellious teen? These are all stereotypes of tattoos in American culture, but in reality tattoo began in the Polynesian islands, with a cultural tradition and meaning Westerners are only beginning to understand.
Tattoo, or tatau, has deeps roots among the indigenous peoples of Polynesia. As the tradition spread through the sea-faring cultures, each island brought its own style to this physical art form.
After Captain Cook arived in the islands in the late 1700s, missionaries were soon to follow. They denounced tattoo as “the Devil’s art,” and acted swiftly to abolish tattoo, which was condemned as a symbol of superstition and sorcery. The sophisticated body art form which had developed over thousands of years was nearly destroyed in just a few decades, preserved only in old paintings and photographs.
By Marisa Kakoulas
Last week, a site called jesustattoo.org came across my radar in which there is a video (shown below) of an actor, with a bad wig and faux facial hair, who plays Jesus as a tattoo artist. Tattoo Jesus transforms tattoos that say “useless” and “outcast” to “brave” and “purpose.” The big reveal is when he takes off his shirt, and we see that the negative marks are now on his body.
Even as a heathen, I thought it was a nice concept, but I just couldn’t get past the fake hair and cheezy production, so I decided not to post it. BUT, when I learned of the “outcry” against the jesustattoo.org billboard in Lubbock, Texas, well, that to me is newsworthy because it’s a reminder that many still view tattoos as “blasphemous,” and people take the tattoos of others — no matter what the subject matter — as personally offensive to their beliefs.
Also interesting is that the evangelicals behind jesustattoo.org are really digging the backlash. According to Vibe, media relations coordinator for the organization, Ashleigh Sawyer, stated: “Certainly, like with all deeply personal relationships, not everyone approves of the image of Jesus with tattoos, but we welcome the controversy because we understand that a dialogue on the issue is the best way to spread the message.”
Well, the message is out. Even I ended up posting it.
Campfires & Carbon’s mission is to have and promote real, unedited conversation with local tattooers. Here’s their podcast of a conversation with Clifton Carter who works in San Francisco and Tempe, Arizona…
By Molly Kitamura
Reblogged from: www.knivesandneedles.com
I had heard Jeff Gogue was a foodie through my husband. So imagine how excited I was to hear that Jeff had agreed to have a chat with me about food. This was the first time I had ever gotten the chance to sit down with Jeff one-on-one, and I have to say that he is very genuine and very nice. His humble attitude is almost shocking as he is one of the most talented tattoo artists out there today and could have every right to be not as nice as he is.
We mostly spoke about food, what Jeff’s favorite things to cook and eat are. We also spoke about his love of fishing. Jeff grew up fishing around Lake Tahoe but now lives in Grant’s Pass, Oregon. It sounds scenically stunning and really chill, have to make it up there one day! Just imagine the seasonal foods you could forage in the abundant wildlife up there! Jeff and his wife recently took a fishing trip up the Puget Sound where he caught some pretty impressive-looking salmon. The trip sounded fun and like a real adventure with the crisp sea air and ice-cold sea!
Jeff likes cooking (and eating!) fish in pretty much any way you could think of preparing it. He also loves a good pork chop or a rare steak on occasion. But he really tries to stay on a healthy diet and exercise regime. His favorite lunch at work consists of a young coconut filled with berries and Chia seeds. That actually sounds amazing and I will have to try it out myself! When he does have a cheat day, he loves to chow down on a burger with peanut butter. While that may sound strange, I think it is reminiscent of Thai beef with peanut sauce. Very innovative! Anyone have a good recipe for either?
An interesting fact about Mr. Gogue is he actually wanted to be a chef at one point in his life and had even taken a cooking class on one of his trips to France!
Here are some photos of Jeff, hope this inspires you to get tattooed or get in the kitchen!!
Thank you Jeff!!!! You can catch more of Jeff and what he’s up to at any of these fine places:
If you have food tattoos, recipe or are a tattooed chef or foodie tattooer- we want to talk to you!
Hit us up at @knivesandneedles or email@example.com
Doc Ink is a brazilian web series of short episodes featuring some of that country’s most respected tattooers. It was introduced to us by São Paulo-based tattooer Nico Acosta. Enjoy episode #4!
By Mauricio Tadashi
Tattoos by Thad Ritchey
Check out the IREZUMI art show at Space 15 Twenty in Hollywood, CA. The show is up until October 20th.
IREZUMI is a group art show featuring original Japanese Tattoo art works from around the world. Artists include: HORIYOSHI 3, BOB ROBERTS, HIROSHI HIRAKAWA, MUTSUO NAKABAYASHI, GANJI, NAMI CHANG, MIKE ROPER, MIYAZO, BRIAN KANEKO, SMALL PAUL & more!
Reblogged from: www.swallowsndaggers.net
Anybody who reads this blog knows a thing or two about tattoos (or so I assume). Here’s a question for everybody: do you know who the first Caucasian tattooed woman in North America was? Well, there’s no way to be sure, but there are many people who say it was Olive Oatman.
I first heard about her on tattooblog.com, and let me tell you guys, her story is fascinating. Too lazy to click the link? Well then, let me tell you the story of Olive Oatman myself!
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!
Doc Ink is a brazilian web series of short episodes featuring some of that country’s most respected tattooers. It was introduced to us by São Paulo-based tattooer Nico Acosta. Enjoy episode #3!