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Six NEW Awe-Inspiring Black and Gray Tattoos

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*In this blog, we are going to share some of the most amazing black and gray tattoos submitted recently by artists on TAM’s Instagram. Share YOUR work by tagging us and using #tattooartistmagazine!  Black and gray is a style of tattoo that only uses black ink and water mixed to different shades. Using only a single needle, this style is said to have started in the early 1970s and later became popular in tattoo studios across the US. Since then, needle grouping of up to 45 individual pins are used to cover a larger area per strike. This true technological breakthrough was championed by master artist Filip Leu in the late 90’s and adopted by all major artists doing large scale work now. Originally referred to as Joint Style or Jail House style, it is thought to have originated in prisons where the inmates had access to limited materials. Guitar strings were used as needles and pen ink or cigarette ashes were used to produce the tattoos. Even makeshift tattoo equipment was often found made with the motors of cassette players since tattooing is illegal in prison. The technique used in making black and gray art is through diluting black ink with distilled water, in different measurements, to make a “wash” that gives a lighter shade. Gray is produce by mixing black with white ink which produces a brighter result as compared to water, but many consider this method more prone to fading and discoloration as the white particles of ... Read More »

Seven Exquisite Full Back Tattoos

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Tattoos on the upper back range can be from simple and modest, to those that hold great significance and are quite elaborate. They can even be tattoos that stand alone or they may be the foundation for a greater idea that is yet to come. The mind of an individual getting a tattoo is unique, and the idea that generates from it is just as unique. Depending on how far the thought can go, a brilliant tattoo artist is sure to follow. Back tattoos are a commitment, in time, money and ideas. You may have to sit with your artist for a couple of planning sessions before you even begin the journey to completion.  You may also need to several sessions over the course of several months to complete your piece.  A full back tattoo is a statement of who you are and who you want to be in the world. This group of back tattoos was submitted to us via Instagram. To submit YOUR work for the world to see, TAG us on IG and use #TattooArtistMagazine  1 – Jeremy Sutton @1sutton1 Check out this article on Jeremy’s shop: Electric Anvil Tattoo This amazing tattoo is the work of Jeremy Sutton, an artist from Electric Anvil in Brooklyn. This tat gracefully blends Irezumi art with dragons to produce such a great result. 2 – Stan Corona @coronatattoo This tattoo design is a piece of art from the VMFA (Virginia Museum of Fine Arts!), one of the most dignified, revered art galleries in ... Read More »

Turn Heads with These Amazing Arm and Calf Tattoos!

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Arm and calf tattoos have been popular for decades.  Some choose these areas because you can show off or cover up your tattoos easily and some choose to tattoo the arms and calf areas because the pain is minimal and very manageable.  There is a lot flesh and soft skin to work with on the extremities, and the artist can do his/her work without tattooing directly on thin skin that is over a bone, which can be very uncomfortable.   Plus, over the years, your extremities are the slowest to age and change, so your tattoo remains consistent for decades. (Assuming you worked with a talented and qualified artist, of course). Tattoo sleeves are essentially a collection of various designs or one long tattoo that completely covers most of the arm. Sleeve is a serious tattooing style that requires commitment for a lifetime. It begins at the shoulder and then runs down, depicting a centralized theme. Here are some fine examples that have been shared with us on Instagram by brilliant tattoo artists. (*ARTISTS: submit YOUR work by tagging us an using #tattooartistmagazine on IG !!) 1 – Kajan @KajanTattoo All this tattoo requires is silent admiration. In art, faces and hands are traditionally very difficult to perfect. Notice her eyes follow you as you move from side to side and her hands are in perfect proportion to her wrists and body. While we can only speculate on the origins of this image and the meaning to the wearer, we can’t ... Read More »

Jeremy Sutton on the opening of Electric Anvil Tattoo

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By Nicki Kasper Tell us a little bit about your history in the tattoo industry… How long have you been tattooing?  What shops did you call home before opening Electric Anvil? Etc… I have been tattooing for 18 years. Josh Egnew has been tattooing for 10 years. We both came from Three Kings Tattoo. Josh has tattooed in Brooklyn his whole career. He started out at Hand of Glory. Before Three Kings I worked at Guru Tattoo in San Diego and before that with Russ Abbott at Ink and Dagger. Who do you credit for teaching you the trade, and what was that experience like?  I learned to tattoo in Toccoa, Georgia from an old biker named Ole Roy. He taught me all the foundations of tattooing. But I really accredit the crew at Alien Arts Tattoo (now the crew of Anonymous Tattoo) in Savannah, Georgia for really helping me understand the craft of tattooing. They are also incredible artists so the envelope was always being pushed. Josh never had a formal apprenticeship, but was fortunate to have some great people looking out for him. Regino Gonzales and Marco Serio being at the top of that list. Between those guys and all of the amazing people he’s worked with over the years at Hand of Glory, Three Kings and on the road, I’d say the experience has been pretty fantastic. What made you decide to open a shop?  Well it’s been a long time coming. Just turning the key to ... Read More »

6 Questions to Ask a Tattoo Artist Before You Hire Them

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Getting a 1st tattoo, for a majority of people, is a life changing decision. Once you get ink in your skin there is no coming back from it. Thus, there are quite a few things you should know before that first prick of the needle, because not knowing can result in an unpleasant (if not a prolonged, expensive) experience. For both new and experienced people who get tattoos, there are some questions you must ask to gauge the competency of the tattoo artist that is going to be working on you. In this blog, we are going to cover six of the most important questions you must ask a tattoo artist before you hire them to make a tattoo on you. Ask About the Artist’s Qualification Whether you’re getting something custom designed or a piece of flash, it is the artist’s skill and experience that will ultimately determine the quality of your body art. It is always worth your while to compare artists, shops and pricing, but keep in mind that when it comes to tattoos, you get what you pay for! Keeping all this in mind, asking about an artist’s skill level and experience are questions most people hesitate to ask because they fear the artist won’t consider it a question, but rather a challenge. Realistically though, if an artist is reactive to this question, it could be a strong indicator that they are more than a little uncomfortable with their own quality of work and/or experience, even if their tone ... Read More »

The Dangers of Shopping for Price: scratchers, infections and bad tattoos

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With tattoos becoming increasing popular by the day, the dangers associated with getting tattoos are also increasing. While most adults are already aware of these dangers, very few teenagers seem to realize what’s at risk. Often, it’s much more than just a bad patch of inked skin. Yet bargain-shoppers in the tattoo world can’t seem to keep sound reason in mind when they shop for price, rather than quality of technique, cleanliness AND artistry. This blog serves as a reminder for people who pass on reputable tattoo studios and opt for a subpar tattoo artist working out of an unsanitary shop or worse, from home. The dangers of getting a tattoo from unreliable studios and scratchers are as follows. An Unsafe Environment Most scratchers work out of kitchens, living rooms and basements. The fact that they lack professional equipment like the mandatory autoclave means that they cannot properly ensure your safety. And they do NOT care. Given that even professional tattoo artists use disposable tubes now, this is actually a positive thing. But really, tubes aren’t the only things that matter and a scratcher is unlicensed, untrained in cross-contamination, blood-borne pathogens, or legally responsible for any the numerous requirements set by an insurance company willing to make themselves responsible for a professional tattooists actions and inactions. The Risk of Cross Contamination Simply wearing latex gloves doesn’t make the practice sanitary. In fact, tattooing while wearing gloves for prolonged periods of time can also cause contamination. Unless precautions are taken, everything ... Read More »

Japan’s Complex Relationship with Tattoo

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Japan’s Complex Relationship with Tattoo When visiting Japanese Tattoo: Perseverance, Art, and Tradition, on view at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (VMFA) in Richmond, Virginia until September 27, you’re struck by the pure artistry. Photo after photo of intricate, mesmerizing designs, breathtaking colors, and symbolic imagery, one interwoven into the other, which would be difficult to render on canvas, much less flesh. There’s a passion and a reverence in these galleries that is almost palpable.  That’s why it’s almost inconceivable that Japan, which has been so instrumental in elevating tattooing to an art form, has also pushed this art form into the shadows, even condemned it for centuries. To understand the seemingly conflicted relationship that Japan has with tattooing, you must carefully unearth the deep roots of Japan’s tattoo culture, which date back to the Jomon Period (roughly 10,500 to 300 BC). That’s when the first evidence of tattooing in Japan was recovered from tombs, in the form of clay figurines with faces painted or engraved to represent tattoos. Fast forward many years later to the Edo Period (1615-1868) and Japanese authorities began using tattoos to mark criminals. According to “Japanese Tattoos: From Yakuza to Artisans, Aesthetes” in the Wall Street Journal, “…convicts were branded with penal markings such as bands on the arms, or the kanji character for ‘dog’ on the forehead.” While this criminal stigma would prove difficult to shake for many centuries, tattooing enjoyed a significant reprieve from the negative connotation at the end of the ... Read More »

Info-Graphic: The Truth about tattoos in america

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A very cool info-graphic found on www.Nerdgraph.com ! Read More »

“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 »

The Dangers of DIY Tattoos

Unless you are in prison - just say NO to DIY tattoos.

It’s never a good idea to tattoo yourself, even if you’re strapped for cash. If you’re thinking of getting a tattoo, you’re better off saving up the money for a professional tattoo artist rather than doing it yourself. We all know someone in the tattoo community who has (or had) a DIY tattoo and has regretted it ever since. Since a needle with ink is inserted into your skin multiple times during the tattooing process, if performed improperly you could be exposed to disease, infection and allergic reactions. It’s important to get a tattoo from an artist who has the proper training and equipment and who will ensure that procedures are followed to protect your health. Here are some of the dangers of DIY tattoos: – You may be at risk of serious infectious diseases such as hepatitis B, hepatitis C or HIV (the virus that causes AIDS), or skin infections. Hepatitis B and hepatitis C can cause liver disease, including cirrhosis and liver cancer. There is no cure for HIV. Don’t forget about staph infection….ugh!! – Tattoo equipment and inks purchased cheaply over the internet may be of poor quality - Poor quality inks could have harmful substances that remain permanently in your skin – An increased likelihood of scarring from skin infections or bad tattooing technique – A higher likelihood of your tattoo not turning out how you want. Tattoo artists generally have more experience with placement of tattoos, the best positioning and design.  If you’re not a tattoo artist, there’s a very good chance you’ll regret your DIY decision to tattoo. ... 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 »

10 insane, hyper-realistic 3-D & Portrait Tattoos: w/Karol Rybakowski

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NEW PHOTOS ADDED! Every now and then we find some hot new tattoo artist who has submitted photos to our InstaGram account, and they blow us away! Karol Rybakowski (of Ink Ognito Tattoo in Poland) did just that! Here’s just a taste of his AMAZING 3D, Portrait, and hyper-realism Tattoo Work! * If you’d like us to consider sharing YOUR tattoos, tag us on InstaGram @tattooArtistMagazine and use #tattooartistmagazine to submit your work!     Wow! A superb combination of black and grey technique with a truly stunning photo-realistic color blood-red rose! Hyper-realistic Chameleon tattoo. One thing I really like about Karol’s work is the use of focus and fuzziness in his work. In this image you can clearly see the technique called ‘reserve’, i.e.- reserving sharp focus and high detail for the specific focal point of the piece, while others seem to fade in both sharpness and detail. This is an artistic trick used to mimic the way our eyes naturally work. This Pit-bull tattoo seems to leap off the skin! Amazing full color animal portrait, with minimal background. Notice the use of deep background colors to PUSH the foreground subject forward toward the viewer. It not only establishes depth, but also a clean frame for the portrait, without the use of an outline.  The highlight on the tongue is particularly impressive to me, as an artist. Ahhh, here we have an incredible Portrait of actor Jean Reno in Luc Besson’s 1994 classic Hit-Man movie, “Léon: The Professional”. One of ... 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 »

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