Recent years have seen huge debates between tattooers about whether modern technology adds value to tattooing. Are all new products improvements or are we losing vital artistic skills?
Therefore, it is so refreshing to see technology used in such a way that no one can deny that it adds value to tattooing. An age old skill meets the height of modern technology.
The use of webinars allows you, as an artist, to learn from fellow tattooers without the need to leave the comfort of your own home. It’s a win/win situation where you do not need to close your studio for days and bear the cost of extensive travelling; artists that you know and respect are made available to you without the need to leave the house.
Off the Map are pleased to offer you the opportunity to buy one of a limited number of places available for a three day webinar extravaganza. So, what will you get over the three days?
It all kicks off on February 9th (is there a start time?) with a webcast that is live and free (oh yeah, free!) to the public at HYPERLINK “http://www.tattooNOWTV.com/“www.tattooNOWTV.com. This is not about indepth technical details of tattooing but will cover a variety of issues that are faced by Jeff Gogue and Guy Aitchison when they set about designing and executing large tattoos. It will be a collaboration, seeing these artists working on a sleeve project. Watch as they fuse together traditional Japanese elements alongside cutting-edge techniques. Not only will you be able to get a rare glimpse inside this high-energy creative process but you can ask questions, which will be answered during the seminar.
It doesn’t get more up close and personal than this!
On February 10th at noon (Pacific Standard Time – USA & Canada), the king of bio organic tattooing, Guy Aitchison, brings you “Structure: Optimizing Your Use Of Value And Color”.
Probably more so today, than ever before in the history of tattooing artists are striving to make their tattoos clearer, stronger and more easily readable. Again this is an issue brought to the fore by the advances in inks and the popularity of tattoos in modern society.
In this webinar Guy will demonstrate how you can use design to your advantage and how your execution of a tattoo can increase the graphic contrast in the final piece.
He will start with the layout and use of stencils, and follow this with a live tattoo demonstration, focusing on the subject of contrast. This webinar will allow you access to Guy’s experiences and knowledge, and a personal insight into how he strengthens his work and how you can strengthen yours. There is an interactive element within this process, in that student questions will be answered during the webinar.
Then on February 11th at noon (Pacific Standard Time – USA & Canada), world famous tattooer: Jeff Gogue brings you ”Size doesn’t matter… Hand tattoo”
When asked why the title of this webinar, Jeff said “Whether I am laying out a full back piece, a sleeve, a leg, a head or a hand, I focus on the entire “canvas”. Whatever it may be.”
During the webinar he will share how he uses those proven tools of design and flow to create a successful piece of art. He will explain how he feels that sometimes as artists we overlook the basics in our attempts to produce something new and exciting. How often have we heard about tattoos being done “for the photo”. Again that modern technology of social media means that tattoos are “out there” within minutes of their conclusion and this has become the excitement we crave.
Jeff will talk to you about going back to basics, whatever size piece you are doing; and concentrate on those fundamentals of doing what you know works and to get good at that. He believes that the excitement you seek will follow, in other ways. Jeff will share with you his thoughts about transition, size, placement, and those other key elements that result in an intriguing, pleasing and above all, insightful tattoo.
To demonstrate to you all how he puts these personal tattooing values into practise Jeff will be tattooing Guy Aitchison’s hand. Whilst doing this he will explain his thought processes as the tattoo progresses and he will also be answering your questions from the chat room.So if you are looking for that training and education opportunity that will add value to your business for a mere $300.00 and greatly add a deeper understanding of creating a wonderful tattoo, then more details can be found at : http://www.tattooeducation.com/Event-and-Seminar_Tickets/item3865.htmlWhat are you waiting for, come join us on a journey of dermal discovery!
By Mitch Dudek
Occasionally mixed among the family photos on Dr. Tyler Koski’s cellphone are pictures of back tattoos.
Koski, a surgeon, takes pains to preserve patients’ tattoos when he fixes their spines.
He’ll slice the inked skin, spend hours tinkering with a spine, and then study the picture the way someone working on a jigsaw puzzle looks at the box.
“It’s easy if the tattoo is letters or words, but when it’s a picture, it gets trickier,” said Koski, 40, co-director of the Northwestern Medicine Spine Center.
After concentrating for hours while standing on their feet, many surgeons will use staples — a quicker, easier option and less tattoo-friendly way to close a wound.
But Koski will spend an extra 45 minutes carefully stitching tattooed skin, even if a patient tells him not to “worry about making my tattoo look good.”
“It’s an art form like anything else. And people are proud of them and they are meant to be permanent,” said Koski, who doesn’t have any tattoos.
By Jack Smylie
OG graffiti writer/tattoo artist Mike Giant is set to open a new solo show in San Francisco this February.
The exhibition is entitled Modern Hieroglyphics and is hosted by Fecal Face Gallery. You’ll see a series of new works on paper that mix tattoo art, cultural symbols, logos and written motifs, as well as some custom screen-printed pieces.
The thing opens on February 7th, visit Fecal Face’s website and don’t miss out if you’re in the area.
By Kevin Miller
Earlier this week, Durb Morrison announced on Instagram that RedTree Tattoo Gallery would be opening a second location in Phoenix, Arizona. In the same announcement, Durb officially stated he would be relocating to Phoenix. This is obviously a huge announcement, as Durb is a leader in the Ohio tattoo scene and the tattoo industry as a whole.
To find out more about this news, we caught up with Durb Morrison and asked him a couple questions.
Tattoo Snob: Let’s start off with the basics Where is original location of Red Tree Tattoo, and when did it open?
Durb Morrison: The RedTree Tattoo Gallery opened in 2012 at in Italian Village connected to the Short North Arts District at 1002 N. 4th St. in Columbus, Ohio
TS: The shop is a little different than your average tattoo shop, can you tell us a little about that and why you chose to have it that way?
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Long Beach, CA, December 20th, 2013 — TATTCase has just launched a IndieGoGo campaign that aims to put your tattoo onto your smartphone or tablet.
The TATTCase process goes far beyond simply taking a photo of a tattoo and printing it onto a generic case. Using a photo of your tattoo, each case is individually transformed into high quality case by our team of graphic designers.
Here’s what our project will create;
Amazing Reproductions - The contrast between skin and ink makes it impossible to create a high-quality case with only a photo. We have a team of top-notch designers who will take your photo and transform it into a case of the quality you would expect.
Sleek design - Our cases offer a custom fit, snap-on design with a raised bezel that feels exquisite to the touch. They provide good all around protection, maintain ease of access to all of your device ports, and protect the screen when your device is face down, so you can show off your unique case without worry.
Easy as can be - All that is needed to get a TattCase is a photo of a tattoo and your approval of the pre-production work. After that, it will be delivered right to your front door.
Anyone interested in obtaining a TattCase can visit http://IndieGoGo.com/TattCase
By Juliana Moxley/The State News
Local Lansing tattoo artists collaborated on Sunday evening for Artonica, an event meant to benefit the Greater Lansing Food Bank and Capital Area Humane Society.
But these artists weren’t focused on their typical work. Rather than creating artwork on skin, the artists rotated around 10 different canvases every 20 minutes and drew whatever came to mind with charcoal.
The pieces were sold at an auction later in the evening.
Monica and Greg Drake started Artonica three years ago as a way to give back to local charities.
Greg said the artists don’t get paid for the work because the night was just about giving back to charity.
The tattoo artists at the event were hand-picked by Greg for demonstrating exceptional creative skills.
“We look for custom shops,” Monica Drake said. “We look for artists that have the ability to actually be able to draw.”
The Drakes partner together to run Local Tattoo & Laser Co. in Lansing, a shop that only uses vegan ink for its creations.
The artists rotate to different canvases for a total of about two hours and once the artwork is complete, it gets framed and auctioned off to the crowd. Proceeds from the auction go towards the Greater Lansing Food Bank and Capital Area Humane Society.
Photographer Michele Hoffman heard of Artonica and the praise its artists received for their skills, so she came to the event in the hopes of finding artists that she could use for her own photography project.
VanGogh Tattoos artist Ian Wallace was participating in Artonica this year for the first time. Greg Drake got in contact with Wallace and invited him to the event.
“I’ve done a couple art fusions in the past with Greg,” Wallace said. “This is my first art fusion at Artonica.”
The artists at Artonica come recommended and display a strong passion for their work.
“I’ve always loved doing art and the idea of putting your art on somebody is probably one of the best things in the world that could possibly happen for me,” Wallace said. “You are leaving your mark on somebody and it’s going to last forever.”
Port Monmouth, NJ – January 17, 2013 Nephews Skate Shop + Gallery will be hosting WILD AND FREE, a group artist exhibit on Saturday, January 25, 2014 from 6pm to 10pm. The exhibit has been guest curated by Little Chris Smith. WILD AND FREE will feature all original works of local tattoo artists Erik Schmidt, Little Chris Smith, Pete Pederson, Chuck Ordino, and Bryan Keinlen. Nephews will be opening up their doors to the public to host an evening of inspiration, conversation and enjoyment.
Erik Schmidt – “Erik has been tattooing in Neptune for several years after ‘doing time’ in Asbury Tattoo. He learned to tattoo under the guidance of Patrick Dean and Dave Shoemaker, following proudly in the tradition of those before him. His focus is clean, solid methodical tattooing, just like his mentors.”
Little Chris Smith – “Little Christopher Smith hails from Sandy Hook, New Jersey. He enjoys a radical lunch, surfing hella waves, skateboarding with buds, and entertaining hot chicks. You will usually find his best girl, Leche (his baby dog), at his side when he is not tattooing at Neptune Tattooville, where he works for the most gnarly awesome bosses Patrick Dean and Dave Shoemaker. Little Chris, or LC as his friends call him, prides himself on his ability to get wild and loves his mother like all radical dudes do.”
Pete Pedersen – “Pete has taken the long road at achieving his tattoo skills. His background in art of all mediums has proven to be vital in his development as a tattooer and as an artist. Working at print shops, screen printing factories, and in the fields of photography and graphic design all eventually lead to his discovery and love for tattooing. After spending much of the late 1990s loitering around Jersey Shore tattoo shops, Pete finally landed a job at a local shop as a body piercer. During his time working as a piercer, he started to acquire much tattoo knowledge under the guidance of Jim Weiss (now at Black Panther Tattoo). An opportunity to fulfill another dream of playing music fell in Pete’s lap right around the same time and he took a brief break from the tattoo world to peruse his passion in music, all the while still working as an artist. After a few years on the road, Pete decided he needed to get back to his original passion of becoming a tattooer. His chance came in the way of a job working as the shop manager of Neptune Tattooville complete with an apprenticeship. There he learned to tattoo under the guidance of Patrick Dean and Dave Shoemaker, following proudly in the tradition of all those before him.”
Chuck Ordino – “Chuck got his start in this shady business by apprenticing with Vinny Kapelewski, a Neptune native like himself, at Sinister Ink (now known as Revolver Tattoo) in New Brunswick. Upon completing his apprenticeship, he went on to work with Vinny and Joshua Disotell at Broken Heart Tattoo in Keyport for 5 good years before settling in at Neptune Tattoo in April of 2010. When he’s not watching the Cooking Channel, listening to sludgy doom metal or teaching his son Lucas how to “color inside the lines”, he is constantly woodshedding; trying to simplify and refine his work, and strives to apply a clean, solid tattoo.”
Bryan Keinlen - “Back in high school some friends and I started a punk band. Being the artist I naturally took on the task of inventing what would be our logo, and then went on to design all of our record covers, T-shirts and whatever other merchandise I could think up. More than 20 years of the Bouncing Souls has gone by like a million lifetimes and yet seemingly in the blink of an eye. Creating music and art has remained my means of expression all throughout. When not busy with the band, I tattoo at Neptune Tattooville in Neptune NJ.”
Nephews Skateshop + Gallery is located at 183 Main Street, Port Monmouth, NJ 07758.
Hand-poked tattoos are experiencing a Renaissance, with stellar professional tattooers reviving the ancient methods of body adornment. Employing techniques passed down from generations, much of hand tattooing comes with strict tradition and sacred rituals. The question is should it come in a box?
When SF tattooist Shannon Archuleta sent me the link to the Stick & Poke Tattoo Kit, we both said that our initial reaction was Oooh nooo. Then there’s the rationalization reaction: people have always been sticking and poking themselves, so they might as well be safe. This rationalization is how the kit is touted.
However, upon further reading of the site — particularly the “Open letter to the precious tattoo artist” on the blog portion — the disdain for the craft, the hygiene 101 info and bad advice on what to do with the dirty needles, and also the goal of putting the kits in stores around the world, well, it made Shannon and I revert to our original reaction: this is not a good thing.
To read more of this article, go to: http://www.needlesandsins.com/2014/01/stick-and-poke-tattoo-kits.html
By Craig Hlavaty
This weekend, Peveto Art Gallery will display 20 sheets of historic tattoo flash art that were recently found in an abandoned house in Corpus Christi. According to gallery owner Scott Peveto, the flash looks to be over 100 years old. The items were rescued from a Dumpster by a man who cleans out houses that are tagged to be torn down.
“I’ve spent enough time with them to know they are real,” said Peveto. The sheets are water and nicotine-stained and more than likely were originally displayed on the walls of a tattoo shop for customers to choose pieces from.
The art is on heavy illustration board and shows signs of wear from push pins. Artist names are included on most.
“The majority of them are by the same artist,” said Peveto. You can really pinpoint the ones that don’t quite go with the others.
Peveto is looking to sell half the lot at a public unveiling of the exhibit Saturday night at his Montrose gallery. He said he is going to ask around $2,000 per sheet. The exhibit opens at 6 p.m.
Peveto said the work predates the art of Norman “Sailor Jerry” Collins, who made his name tattooing sailors, rebels, and rogues. Sailor Jerry’s name is now on rum bottles, art galleries, dorm posters, baby clothes, and his artwork can be found re-imagined on skin all over the world.
A friend of Peveto’s who is a longtime sailor noticed that one piece looked particularly familiar.
“He said that the one piece of flash looks very much like Teddy Roosevelt’s ‘Great White Fleet’ that circumnavigated the globe from 1907 to 1909,” said Peveto. That could mean that the artist had drawn up the design for customers who had been aboard the ships. Or it just looked cool.
Corpus would have been a convenient spot for sailors to get tattoo work done given its proximity to the Gulf. Today, the city maintains a thriving tattoo scene with hotspots like Shipwreck Tattoo.
Bruce Morgan out at Shipwreck and his colleagues aren’t so sure the flash is the work of a homegrown Texas artist. They think it’s more of an East Coast-style. Texas tattoo flash from this era would probably have more Texicana involved, like state flag, cowboy, or yellow rose imagery, Morgan said.
“It could have been someone’s collection from their travels,” said Morgan. Even still he’s very curious about the collection’s lineage. He’d like a fellow tattoo artist to acquire them for their own collection.
“We tattooers try our best to keep tattoo-related history in our own family,” he said.
By Allison B. Siegel
Fineline Tattoo opened in 1976 during the New York City ban on tattooing and is considered the longest continually running tattoo shop in Manhattan. It’s located on 1st Street and First Avenue in the East Village. Previously, Mike Bakaty, the founder and owner, operated underground for 36 years in secret back rooms and loft apartments. With the walls adorned with Bakaty’s original flash art, Fineline is definitely near and dear to our skin and to the history of NYC.
We interviewed Bakaty and asked him about tattooing and New York City:
When did you first fall in love with tattooing?
I’m still falling in love with tattooing. I got interested back in ’74 when I went to get some work covered up…I got more interested in ’75…and then by 1976 my interest was such that I started tattooing myself.
And you didn’t care that tattooing was illegal at the time in NY?
Hell yeah, I cared. Every time the phone rang I jumped thinking it was the cops looking to bust me. After 21 years eventually I got over jumping at the phone.
How do you feel at the Bowery now and all the changes going on?
Well, you know, it’s not the Bowery I lived on for 34 years, you know? Don’t know how I feel about the changes. When they first built the Whole Foods down here I thought who the hell is gonna come down here and buy food? We tried to save the building we lived in (McGurk’s Suicide Hall). I lived there for 34 years. Check out more on McGurk’s.
What’s your opinion on Mildred Hull?
Millie Hull…well she was one of the first female tattooers I ever heard of. There’s a picture of her right there (points to picture on the wall).
This piece has her in it and some other legends like Charlie Wagner.
Well, it was us (Fineline) that brought tattooing back to the Bowery and the fact of the matter is I was totally blind to the fact that the Bowery had such tattoo history. I read somewhere the first heavily tattooed person exhibition was around 1876 right across from 295 (Bowery) where we lived…
Do you call this a parlor or a shop?
It’s a studio. I don’t see a parlor anywhere in here.
Can I ask how old you are?
Well, I’m 77.
G-d Bless you, man! You don’t look a day over 60.
Well, thank you, I just passed the big 77. If I knew I was gonna get this old I’d have taken better care of myself (laughter).
Dark Age Tattoo is now open!!
Check out the shop located at:
1407 E. Madison St
Reblogged from: feeldesain.com
Russian (St. Petersburg) artist Sasha Unisex transports beautiful geometric watercolors on skin as permanent tattoos. Find her works on Facebook and instagram.
By Marisa Kakoulas
Having a Greek father who once told me that tattoos would never be accepted in the motherland, it’s with true pleasure (and a bit of “I told ya so“) to see a tattoo publication rise to international popularity, which happens to come out of Greece.
HEARTBEATINK is an online tattoo magazine in English and Greek with excellent photography and videos, and thoughtful interviews with tattooists, musicians, and collectors. I’m honored to be among those collectors interviewed by the magazine’s most excellent editor Ino Mei. Our Q &A was just posted today.
I first met Ino in person at the last NYC Tattoo Convention, where she beautifully captured the scene in her convention coverage for her mag. Then we got to hang at the London Tattoo Convention in September, for which she also took wonderful images and video. There, we found a moment to chat about a possible “tattoo gene,” the comparisons between tattooing & plastic surgery, tattoo law, and what happened when my dad did find out I was heavily tattooed (and more). It was a fun talk. Here’s a bit from it:
How did you get into tattoos?
Me: Ed Hardy once told me in an interview that he believes that there could be a “tattoo gene.” It made a lot of sense to me because, when you ask somebody who has a visceral response to tattooing — who sees tattooing and has an actual physical reaction and is attracted to it — that is something that’s ingrained; people can think back and say, “Well, I’ve always felt that way”. I remember when I was very young, looking at my mother’s National Geographic magazines and coming across tattooed tribal women, and I was instantly thinking that this is really beautiful, mysterious and bad-ass. Of course, this is an ideal way of looking at it. really, if I would be honest with myself, it is because I liked tattooed boys when I was teenager (laughs).
HEARTBEATINK: Where you then tattooed when you were a teenager?
I was a nerdy teenager, did good in school, and my parents were very conservative. I didn’t run around a lot. So when I found myself at tattoo shops at a young age, it held a kind of magic for me. Keep in mind that getting a tattoo was illegal back then, until 1997, in New York, so it was more secretive. You had to know where to go and ring the right buzzer. It was like a clandestine operation. However, when you were “inside”, it wasn’t what you’d expect, like a biker shop. At least in my experience, when I was first exposed to it, I was seeing really beautiful custom tattooing. There were art books rather than trendy flash for inspiration. I respected it so much that I felt I really wanted to wait until a had the right idea and do it at the right time. So, I didn’t get tattooed until I was in my early twenties. Actually, I got my first tattoo during the early weeks of law school. I felt I didn’t fit it, and was afraid that I’d become something that I wasn’t. I love the study of law, but I’ve never been super competitive and I’ve never felt that I had to be above somebody else to be better. It was really at that time that I started thinking about art and tattooing a lot in terms of individuation.
HEARTBEATINK: That sounds very mature…
I was a very mature kid (laughs). Now, I’m regressing. I’m like a thirteen-year-old boy (laughs). Back then, I was like a forty year old women (laughs).
Read more of this article here: http://www.needlesandsins.com/2014/01/my-chat-with-greeces-heartbeat-ink.html
Photos and Interview by Ino Mei
Unique, humble and conscious of himself, Yorg Powell spoke exclusively to HeartbeatInk, about his eighteen year-old career and traditional – classic tattooing.
What lead you to get your first tattoo?
I was born in London. My parents didn’t have any tattoos. However they were up to beat with everything. So in the summer of 1983 we were on a family trip in Mykonos and there was an English tattooist on the island working out of a rented room. It was the age of punk, we were very young and the moment we heard about him we went and got ourselves tattooed without a second thought. I didn’t even ask the price. I picked a design off the wall that was a rat with his hands behind his back holding a pool stick. It was an experience. I remember it well. Then we found out that the inhabitants of Mykonos got him, threw his things into the sea and shipped him home because he tattooed a fisherman’s daughter.
When I was sixteen, I saved up after selling an old BMX I had and went to Bugs. It was a random choice. He wasn’t known then and did his tattoos in 1,5 x 1,5 room next to the toilet of an underground retro rock n’ roll cafeteria in Camden. Nothing custom existed in those days, it was all ready-made flash designs on the wall.
What design did you choose the second time round?
I got a unicorn. I went for something classic (laughs)! Three years later, fully conscious of what we wanted, me and Mike went to Bugs again for our first official large tattoo. Bugs covered up his unicorn and the rat.
How did you and Mike meet?
We’ve been friends for many years, from before we started tattooing together. We met through a mutual friend. We had many things in common, such as our great love of tattoos and motorcycles and going out a lot. Mike had the balls and was the first of our group to dare to do a tattoo on someone, this during an era when it wasn’t cool to be a tattooist. I found it very weird sticking a needle at a person in order to make a design on him. Afterwards, I studied fine art at Wimbledon College of Art and although I designed tattoos, I hadn’t made the move to human skin yet and wasn’t even sure if I wanted to. Mike prompted me after our visit to the 1995 Amsterdam tattoo convention when he said “common man, what are you doing? I’m waiting for you!”.
Then you returned to Greece and began learning at Mike?
Yeah, I came back right away! Mike already had Tas (Danazoglou) as an apprentice for about a year. I didn’t have an entirely traditional apprenticeship. I mean I didn’t go with my portfolio and offer to be an apprentice for some tattooist. I was a bit spoiled (laughs). He was giving Tas a hard time. I feel lucky that my best with whom we talked constantly about tattoo and we were drawing on ourselves, prompted me to do this and provided me with the foundations to do so and helped me so much.
To read the rest of this article, go to: http://heartbeatink.gr/en/issues/december-2013/yorg-powell/
By Molly Kitamura
Ryan Zale is a very talented chef. He also loves tattoos! I got Ryan to write some stuff about himself the other day. Continue reading and see what makes this amazing chef tick! Plus he has a terrific recipe at the end…. A serious must try!
I am the Executive Chef at the Local Chop and Grill House in Harrisonburg VA. I work hard and play hard, haha. I love disc golf, gardening, home brewing, eating weird stuff and the Pittsburgh steelers. I grew up on a dairy farm in Ohio so fell in love with farm concept early on. My grandmother and mom were good cooks, so I learned a lot from them, but there always something about food that gave my pleasure in life, so I cooked a lot on my own.
Experimenting, trying different flavor profiles, cooking for friends late-night wasted, that kinda of stuff. I went on to culinary school right out of high school knowing I wanted explore this crazy lifestyle. I really enjoy the snout to tail concept, utilizing the entire animal. Butchering is great, and the farm to table concept is what I’m really into. My first tattoo is terrible, I was 15 and it’s a stupid tribal piece with an eye ball in the middle of it. I love the creative side of artists, the passion they have. I think it makes are industry very similar, they get a human I get an animal and we transform it into something beautiful. As for tattoo artists, Andrew Connor is my favorite artist. He’s local and he’s vegan so its fun when he comes in to dine with us
Shot by Estevan Oriol
By Deb Yarian
January 12th we’ll be starting off our new season of Off The Map Live! If you are in the Massachusetts area we highly recommend coming out for the live party at PopCorn Noir. Before our normal episode we will be doing a live viewing of Jeff Gogues latest DVD “Tattoo As I see It”. Popcorn Noir has a great theatre room, Jeff will join us via Skype after the viewing. Jeff will chat with Off The Map Live host Ben Licata who will take questions from viewers. So, if you got January 12th free, come hang out for drinks and inspiration! After the viewing we’ll be doing our first episode of the season with Watson Aitkison in house, and Tom Strom, Thomas Kynst, Deano Cook, Stefano Alcantara, and Marisa Kakoulas skyping in from all over the world! It’ll be a fun time and we look forward to seeing you there!
You can see a preview of the DVD below, and rsvp here!
Reblogged from: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/news/tattoo
Police departments all over the country are imposing tattoo bans of various scope on their officers, but it is unclear what difference these bans make on their abilities to enforce the law.
Most recently, the Honolulu Police Department announced a ban on any visible tattoos, piercings or “dental ornaments.” Existing tattoos must be covered with a long sleeve uniform or with makeup. (Yes, makeup.)
The new ban raises multiple concerns. Tattoos are a huge part of Hawaii culture, Polynesian tattoos in particular. Many see tattoos not as a fashion statement but as a statement of heritage. Similar issues were raised last year when the London Metropolitan Police banned some tattoos, since a portion of their force came from Pacific islands.
A Honolulu resident summed up the second problem best: “Somebody’s going to get a heat stroke,” Beverly Neely told KITV, referring to the suggestion that the officers wear long sleeve uniforms to cover their tattoos. Mark Spencer, then president of the Phoenix Law Enforcement Association, raised the same concern when Phoenix banned tattoos in 2011. “Imagine having to wear long sleeves along with body armor, a gun belt and having to get in and out of a police car 50 times every day,” Spencer told the New York Times.
The New Orleans police department is in the process of reviewing its proposed tattoo ban in light of this concern. “As we reach temperatures close to 100 degrees on some days, it just seems like cruel and unusual punishment, just because you are proud that you served in the U.S. Navy or you put the name of your child on your arm,” a Fraternal Order of Police spokesman said during this summer’s debate over the ban.
Finally, on an island where every branch of the military has at least one base, no doubt the Honolulu PD will also face the problem of a large portion of their officers having military backgrounds. The military has a strong tattoo culture, and veterans wear their ink with pride. Retired military members provide one of the best pools from which police departments could and should recruit.
“We’re losing a lot of good applicants, especially veterans returning back from Iraq and Afghanistan,” Vermont State Police Capt. David Notte said last year. Vermont iscurrently considering loosening its strict policies regarding tattoos in order to give themselves more recruiting options.
Baltimore, Los Angeles and New York all have tattoo bans of varying degrees, and smaller departments are clearly trying to follow suit. But what effect do tattoo bans have on the success of the officers? “The absence of visible tattoos gives a more professional appearance to law enforcement officers,” an NOPD spokesperson argued.
Some officers agree, believing a tattoo-less police force will aid in their community interactions. Jeffrey Yzquierdo, who has a full-sleeve tattoo on his arm, had been with the Phoenix Police Department for 11 years when he told the New York Times that he had no problem with a tattoo ban. “Some people want nothing to do with me,” Yzquierdo said, indicating he was frustrated with the public’s negative response towards him because of his tattoos.
But many police departments’ bans involve an incredible amount of bureaucracy and nitpicking that possibly takes focus away from much more important concerns. Department bans specify the size of the allowable tattoos, “no greater than 3″ X 3″ size each” and only one on each arm for new hires in Palm Beach County. (For veterans, a little leeway: “No larger than a notecard.”) In Phoenix, tattoos could not be larger than a “3×5 index card.”
In departments where the ban only applies to new hires, like Des Moines, current officers had to document by photograph and report every tattoo they already had so that no new tattoo went unnoticed — or unpunished.
As Honolulu moves forward with its tattoo ban, NOPD continues to reconsider its ban. It may be one of the few departments heeding the argument that the police have bigger fish to fry. According to The Advocate, New Orleans loses an average of one police officer every three days.
“I think it’s bad for the city,” Police Association of New Orleans President Mike Glasser said. “It accomplishes nothing. I don’t know if it makes for a more professional appearance, but it doesn’t make for more professional policing.”
In fact, when the Des Moines Police Department banned tattoos in 2009, police union president Stewart Barnes argued that his tattoos actually helped him do his job. Then 48 years old, Barnes said his ink helped local youth relate to him. “”They come up to me and talk to me about tattoos.”
Campfires & Carbon’s mission is to have and promote real, unedited conversation with local tattooers. Here’s their podcast of a conversation with Justin Hartman from Urban Art Tattoo in Mesa, Arizona…
By Katy Watson
Source: BBC News, Baltimore: http://www.bbc.co.uk
A tattooist in Baltimore has built up a huge customer base because of his unusual specialty – tattooing nipples on to women who have suffered from cancer and had their breasts removed.
There is something very familiar about the suburbs of small towns across America.
The roads are big and distances long, but sooner or later you are guaranteed to come across a strip mall – a little open air shopping complex along the side of a main road.
And so there I was, 20 minutes outside Baltimore, parked outside one of these strip malls.
This one had a 24-hour pharmacy as well as a veterinary surgery, a hairdresser’s, a tanning shop and a tattoo parlour – Little Vinnie’s Tattoos, to be precise, and it was Little Vinnie I had come to meet.
He was a friendly man dressed in a tweed waistcoat, a striped shirt and a smart felt hat. Vinnie shook our hands, welcomed us in and showed us around his business.
The walls were covered in tattoo art with catalogues lined up at the back of the room, packed with thousands of designs to choose from.
A classic heart with a dagger through the middle, perhaps? Or maybe your favourite cartoon character or – if you are feeling patriotic – you could choose from a bald eagle or the American flag.
A few customers were sitting on the benches, waiting to go in one of the six studios along the side of the wall, each with a black crushed velvet curtain for a door.
But one studio on the other side of the room stood out. It had more of a structure to it and a wooden door, much like an office or a doctor’s surgery.
Rather appropriate really, because although Vinnie has no medical training, he has become a bit of a star in the medical world.
He no longer spends his day tattooing anchors on men’s biceps. In fact, most of his clients are women and they have one thing in common, they are all recovering from breast cancer.
A few years ago, a doctor in Baltimore asked Vinnie to help out with a patient who had had breast reconstruction, leaving her with no nipples.
So realistic were his skills in creating 3D nipple tattoos, patients started demanding him over doctors who typically carry out basic tattoos as the final stage of reconstruction.
Now, he says, it has taken over his life. Vinnie sees up to 1,400 patients a year and travels across the country and beyond.
To prove it, there is a map in his studio with pins in it, showing where people come from – he has clients in countries as far away as Saudi Arabia, no mean feat in a part of the world where tattoos are considered haram, or forbidden.
When I was visiting, Sarah had just finished her appointment and was beaming.
Sarah is in her mid-30s and last year was devastated to find out she had cancer – just a few months after being told she was pregnant.
Within a month of giving birth to her son, she had to have an operation to remove both her breasts. She describes the first time she took off her bandages as the hardest day of her life.
“Every time you go and take a shower you see these scars that are a permanent reminder of what you just went through,” she says.
But now she can smile.
“I have other tattoos but I never thought I would be getting my nipples done.” It is certainly a conversation starter, she jokes.
A self-confessed bad boy who learned his trade while in the army, Vinnie says there are a million people who need this done, but just a handful of people doing it.
He was even asked to fly to the United Arab Emirates recently because there were about 20 women who wanted his tattoos – but only three of their husbands would give them permission, so he could not go.
Such is his reputation, he is affectionately nicknamed “the Michelangelo of nipple tattoos”. But Vinnie plays down his talents – he says his work is not artistically challenging.
In fact, he got fed up a few years ago and decided to stop. He said enough was enough and he wanted to get back to regular tattoos.
But then one day a woman called him up to ask for an appointment. He said “No” and she sounded very upset.
Then out of the blue his sister called, telling him she had breast cancer too. It was a sign, he says, that he had to continue with this work.
“You lose the artistic satisfaction but then you gain this other satisfaction that is incredible,” he says. “I was not prepared for how it was going to make me feel.”
By Adam Guy Hays
A few months ago I took part in the “Fuck Art, Let’s Kill” exhibition put on at Nick Caruso’s Bound For Glory shop in Staten Island. It was a death and reaper themed art show. I’ve always been a big fan of drawing skulls and reapers and as excited as I was to be a part of the show the idea of trying to come up with something nice and original that would stand out was daunting. I decided to try to paint something a bit out of my comfort zone. I stuck to my preferred mix of watercolors, inks, and liquid acrylics, but I tried to give the piece a renaissance feel using those media.
Before I’d started this project I’d downloaded a bunch of books from IllustratedMonthly.com to my iPad. I thought I’d just grab a variety and see what there was in them. They were cheap enough that I ended up getting a heap of really good stuff for a fraction of what physical books would cost. There was a lot of visual information there in a variety of styles. I found it handy when I was struggling for ideas in coming up with the composition for this piece. I flipped through the books on my iPad until I saw something that caught my eye. I saved the first two images (Ref. 1) because I was drawn to the composition. I started formulating the idea of doing a reclined death. It just seemed different. Like he was just kicking back like a dude on a lazy Sunday. There were some good examples of drapery in there as well. In the third image (Ref. 2), I really liked the candle’s being snuffed out and the light effects. The last image (Ref. 2) is the skull from the cover of the Illustrated Monthly book of skulls. I thought it’d be fun to paint an ancient looking skull with missing teeth.
I’ve always done my brainstorming sketches very small. I like to do two or three tiny versions so I can work out the composition before dedicating time to the details in a full size sketch. I meant to take a photo before trashing the other tiny sketches but I just kinda forgot. I chose the sketch whose composition I liked best (Fig. 1) and enlarged it on the copy machine to the size I wanted the final painting to be. I then laid tracing paper over the quick version and did some fine tuning to flesh it out (Fig. 2).
This piece is 12″ x 16″ and is on a piece of Windsor & Newton Aquarelle paper. This is my favorite paper to use for most every project. It’s similar to Arches cold press in terms of durability, but the tooth of the paper is much finer and allows for much finer line work when you’re using ink. I usually cut my piece of paper larger than I want the final image to be and mask it off with orange artist tape. It helps me keep my compositional constraints in mind by giving me a border where a frame would be. I also like to have an edge to test paint on that’s from the same ream of paper. Paper always ages differently and I think you have better results if you can test your colors on a piece of scrap paper that’s identical to the piece you’re painting on. You can see what my primary paints for this piece were in Fig. B. I used the FW Liquid Acrylic colors Flesh Tint, Crimson, Antelope Brown, and Purple Lake; the Dr. Ph. Martin’s Hydrus watercolor series Yellow Ochre and Burnt Sienna; and the Dr. Ph. Martin’s Slate Blue and Van Dyke Brown in the concentrated and transparent watercolors. The black i’m using is Speed Ball black.