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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

Janine's photos and of P.ink day 2014 were taken by John Swanson of JPS photography

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 »

Interesting Facts About Blossom Tattoos

Interesting Facts About Blossom Tattoos

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

Celtic Style Tattoos and their Universal Meaning

Celtic Style Tattoos and their Universal Meaning

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

The Truth About Tattoos

The Truth about Tattoos

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

Make Sure You Don’t Regret Your Tattoo

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When people get drunk, they do crazy things. They dance a little weirder. They call their exes. They crave for crispy, greasy fast food. Worst case scenario is if they get into an accident while driving. However, nothing immortalizes the drunken craziness quite like—no, not tagged Facebook photos—tattoos. More importantly, terrible tattoos. However, getting terrible tattoos is not exclusive to those who went a little crazy at the bar, and those who got it while nursing a broken. Anyone can be a victim of this just because of sheer carelessness or not doing proper research. Perhaps the most common mistake: getting a tattoo of a significant other’s name. Unless he/she can promise the kind of forever that a tattoo makes, one should steer clear of names of loved ones, although make an exception for names of children or parents as those are sure to remain the same for all of eternity. A more disastrous situation is getting a portrait of a significant other. These are more terrible tattoos because these are usually bigger than a name, and unfortunately not a lot of artists can render a good portrait tattoo. So if the design is not an old flame’s name, what else could fall under the category of terrible tattoos? Mistakes in spelling, grammar or language. Before getting inked always, always do thorough research. If it is in one’s native language, make sure to check the spelling and grammar. When in doubt, make sure to look through a dictionary or even ... Read More »

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