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“Ladies Ladies” Art Show & Fundraiser, opens June 11

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by Dawn Cooke: Some of the top Ladies of tattooing bring you the  “Ladies Ladies” art show, happening again this year as it has for several years now. As always it’s a great representation of female artists in trade of tattooing. There are emerging and well established artists included in this show. The work is fantastic, done by some of the most skilled hands in our trade. This show is worth going to if you are anywhere in the area. It’s not just that these are great women artists but they are just great artists who are amazing contributors to our craft with ground-breaking ideas and techniques. Work will be on display and for sale so go forth in support of great artist in the trade of tattooing and be inspired. Show opens June 11th from 7-11pm at Forget Me Not Tattoo in Brooklyn, NY. – This year the show is also a benefit fundraiser for Charlene Gibbons, daughter of the famous Artoria and Charles “RED” Gibbons! LLAS 2015 will raise funds to help Charlene with her book project about her parents’ life. Charlene will be present at the opening. Many contributions from tattoo artists worldwide include original artwork, autographed pictures, acetate stencils, flesh and prints for sale. Some will be up for silent auction the night of the opening. – Once again the artists line up for the show is stellar, and includes names like Deb Yarian, Dawn Cooke, Judy Parker, Jill Bonny, Virginia Elwood, Telisa Swan, miss Mikki, ... Read More »

Virginia Museum of Fine Arts: “Perseverance”

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Since 1936, the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts has been dignified. Revered. Respectable. Timeless. As of May 29th, however, it’s going to look a little different. On May 29th, it’s getting 115 tattoos. And frankly, it’s about time. With the opening of Japanese Tattoo: Perseverance, Art, and Tradition (also known as Perseverance), Richmond’s most popular art form moves into the biggest gallery in town. The world-famous exhibition—including pieces by Horitaki, Horitomo, Miyazo, and Shige—combines the mysticism and beauty of feudal Japan with the style and skill of modern art. And if there’s a better place on the East Coast for it, we can’t think of it. The capital of the old South—Richmond, Virginia—is now the artistic hub of the new South. It’s the third-most tattooed city in America (per capita, mind you), which makes it the perfect match of artists and audience. Richmond is, was, and will always be in love with art. Just not always the kind that hangs on gallery walls. Tattoos, graphic design, sculpture, typography, mural painting—Richmond’s breaking all kinds of new ground in these every year. When you’ve got a mix of young artists, art students, tattoo artists, musicians, skateboarders, crust punks, regular old (or as regular as they get) punks, bike gangs, motor-scooter gangs, and general nonconformists like Richmond has, you’re going to see an awful lot of beautiful things that don’t always fit the 20th-century definition of “art.” VMFA, to its credit, has realized this. In a city that prides itself fiercely on outsider ... 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 »

Dawn Cooke: Ladies, What are you selling?

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What exactly are you selling? I’m going to preface this by saying first that I am not judging anyone for their personal choices in any way and I love a beautiful human body as much as anyone would. My intention with this piece is to bring a bit more mindfulness to how we package and sell our brand of tattooing as women. I find it ironic that the male tattoo artists in our trade don’t feel the need to sexualize themselves at all in order to sell their work. But our female peers in this trade seem to overly sexualize themselves. Now before you go thinking I’m just getting older and being catty, keep in mind that I’ve built a career in tattooing never having to show a picture of myself nude. So I know for a fact that it can be done. What disturbs me isn’t the fact that women are doing this; it’s the fact that they obviously feel the need to exploit their sexuality so that they will be noticed.  I know this is a loaded topic with many different points of view. I’m not saying anyone is doing anything wrong. I think some women do find it empowering to post half naked pictures. That’s cool! But I’m talking about the over sexualized pictures of tattoo artists who just so happen to be women. The problem I see for some of these women is, they don’t seem to understand why their male peers don’t take them seriously. It’s ... 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 »

Are Tattoo Conventions Sanitary? Helpful Guidelines–

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Tattoo conventions certainly have a lot to offer tattoo enthusiasts and the local communities, starting with access to some of the best artists from around the world, without the expense of flights and accommodations. The question of sanitation at conventions has long been a topic of concern debated by artists and collectors in the community…how can you protect yourself? As far as artists and sterility goes, you’re fine- the same professional level of cleanliness is mandated by the local governing bodies and health departments. In many places the artists are required to show proof of their own health licenses, if not acquire temporary ones from the city hosting the tattoo convention. So, that’s not the real problem. All the same sterilization techniques are used, their machines and equipment is covered, cleaned and/or disposed of between each tattoo. And all tattoos done at the convention site should still be properly cleaned and wrapped prior to anyone leaving the booth. No problem, right? So what’s the concern, then? Not much at all, until you visit the bathrooms and find dozens of those fresh, bloody, tattoo bandages discarded in the waste receptacles, lying around on the floors or even sitting on the sink countertops! Cross-contamination concerns abound! Once that bandage is removed, the safety barrier protecting their bloody wound from the outside environment (and vice versa) is gone. Without proper knowledge on sanitary procedures, everything those people touch after that bandage becomes a possible reservoir for disease- doors, sinks, stalls, mirrors, walls, furniture, bars, stools, ... 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 »

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 »

TAM presents: Mastectomy Tattoos w/artist Shane Wallin

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Many of you may remember this amazing post-mastectomy tattoo image, shared across social media and blogs worldwide- Crash: When I first saw Shane’s work I was blown away, not just by the work he does (which is exceptional) but by the stories of the women he has helped reclaim a sense of feminine dignity after the trauma of cancer, mastectomy surgeries and other reconstructive measures.   TAM is proud to introduce our new columnist, Shane Wallin, of Garnet Tattoo in southern California. When I first saw Shane’s amazing work and heard the stories of women he was helping reclaim feminine dignity, I was blown away– not just by the work (which is amazing) but by the lives he changes with his work. I reached out to him to learn more-  Artist Shane Wallin: Fast & Furious facts: -Shane Wallin 40 years old -Born and raised in MN -Always wanted to tattoo and focused on it in High School -Used my graduation money to start a sleeve and talk my way in to an apprenticeship -Tattooing 21 years/1994 -Opened Twilight Tattoo in 2001. -Just opened Garnet Tattoo in Southern California last month. To start off this series of seri-ous posts here on the TAMblog, I asked Shane to tell us all a little bit about his history and how he came to this rather unique form of specialized tattooing: I’ve been tattooing for over twenty years now. About 15 years ago, I opened my first tattoo shop in Minneapolis, MN, Twilight Tattoo. I didn’t get my ... Read More »

Useful Tips For Generating Tattoo Design Ideas

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Body arts such as tattoos have been a well-known art form for so long now. At some point, they had distinctive meanings like status symbol and leadership. At present, tattoos have become a fashion statement that symbolizes individuality. People who want to get a tattoo certainly want to have an excellent design that uniquely represents them. Here are some of the tips that can help in coming up with the best tattoo design ideas: 1. Check out Books, Magazines, etc. You can find inspiration for tattoo designs everywhere. To get wonderful ideas, take some time to look into books and magazines. It does not necessarily be a tattoo already for it to be a good idea. 2. Find a Meaningful Design Things that have special meaning most often make up great tattoo design ideas. It can be a special image drawn from favorite movies or books, or the name of an important person. It does not matter whether other people understand it or not as long as the tattoo is meaningful. 3. Personality Everyone has different personalities so a person would want to have a tattoo design that suitably reflects his or her personality. A lot of tattoo design ideas perfectly match an individual’s style and taste. 4. Look at Other People’s Tattoos One of the best places to look at other people’s tattoos is the Internet. Just simply do an image search and look at other tattoo designs. For instance, if a person wants a lion for his or ... 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 »

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