Some Quality Meat collaborated with Fitzroy Amsterdam to organize their annual new year’s bash. Kim Papanatos Rense made six classic nautical designs that are now placed on Fitzroy’s office walls, dishes and pig legs. The night ended in a huge party.
After a year & a half search, six months of construction, blood, sweat, tears, etc., we at last announce the opening of the ATAK:SF creative workspace & gallery. Located in the heart of San Francisco’s Tenderloin neighborhood within a lofty brick building, this flex creative space will allow us to peruse new & different avenues while still focusing on our core mission of tattooing. The main floor will host the gallery & creative workspace with tattooing on a private second floor loft.
To consecrate the space we are hosting an inaugural exhibition centered around the ubiquitous theme of rebirth. The event will feature over forty artists from around the globe. Come & celebrate this new beginning with us.
By Dan Henk
I want to address two things in this blog. They might seem unrelated at first, but I’ll try my best to tie them together.
The first is that people love to complain, and they have a ton of excuses on why it is someone else’s fault. You know what I’ve learned in my 41 years on this planet?
Shut the fuck up, put your nose down, and try doing some ground work for a change.
I hear all the time “I’m a good artist, but no one would give me a chance, so I bought this kit of eBay and starting tattooing out of my house.”
Unless you happen to be one of the very few who just stumble into opportunity, like Kim Kardashian or Paris Hilton, you have to go above and beyond, spending countless hours trying to realize your dreams.
I spent years doing menial jobs until, at age 28, I finally started tattooing for a living. Even then it was a touch and go at first. But after striving for so long, I was not about to give in. The guy who taught me was in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. I lived in Brooklyn, New York. Working at his shop was not an option. The first shop I worked at was way out in the ghetto in Queens. I would barely even call it a shop. The second shop I worked at was Underground Tattoos on Pitkin Avenue in Brooklyn. That is where Mike Tyson is from. We closed at dark so we didn’t get robbed, I got called “white devil”, and we had to call the cops more than once when we were being scoped out by some guy who wanted to rob us. People tried to pay with food stamps. My third shop was also a nightmare, one of slowest shops of an infamous chain in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn. I wasn’t until my fourth shop, on St. Mark’s Place in NYC that I could finally pay rent and afford 3 square meals a day.
By Kiri Westby
When I first heard there was a tattoo convention in Kathmandu, Nepal I was astounded!
I lived in Nepal as a college student, worked there as a human rights activist during the recent civil war and have spent a lot of time studying Nepali language and culture. I also married a tattoo artist seven years ago and have been on a crash course of American tattoo culture ever since. Nowhere in my mind did the tattoo scene that I had come to know and the traditional culture of Nepal mix. But there it was, website and all, and I was instantly fascinated.
My friend Eric Inksmith, a veteran of American tattooing, challenged me to take him to Kathmandu, having never really left the U.S. before. Like a butterfly suddenly wondering about the storms it’s own wings have produced, Eric was curious to follow the trail that he himself had blazed. I was honored to be enlisted for the job and to have the chance to experience alongside him what tattooing on the other side of the world has become.
At almost 70 years old, Eric recalled stories from the National Convention in Philadelphia more than 30 years ago. As I listened to tales of rival biker gangs fighting on convention room floors and people being thrown from hotel room windows, I tried to imagine how the kind, soft-spoken, Nepali people have embraced and come to celebrate tattooing. And not in a subtle, underground way either, the convention was being held at the famous Yak & Yeti hotel, one of the most iconic establishments in the Kathmandu valley.
As these things go, friends were recruited, word of the adventure spread and we soon had a posse heading East from the U.S., including: Mike Wilson, Mac Bibby, Robert Ryan, Jae Connor, Phill Bartell and Chad Koeplinger. Eric handled the longest flight of his life and no one killed each other on the way over…in fact, from the beginning, everything felt pretty magical.
Kathmandu has changed significantly since 2007. Corruption and an inefficient, newly-Democratic government have left city services under-funded and unattended. Half-finished construction projects leave gaping holes and exposed power lines, not to mention the electrical brown-outs and water shortages, which have left things feeling chaotic on the streets. But the upside to Nepal’s new political landscape is that there is also more public art and individual self-expression, and many people I spoke to were hopeful and optimistic for Nepal’s future, a far cry from my time here during the war in 2003. Part of this new self-expression has manifested in a relatively fresh and exciting tattoo scene.
By Marisa Kakoulas
As we first posted back in October, the original the NYC Tattoo Convention will be taking place March 7-9, 2014 at the the historic Roseland Ballroom – before this legendary venue closes in April (hence, why the show won’t be taking place as it usually does in May).
And as always, we’re stoked for the show, particularly for its finely curated line-up of tattooers from around the world, including long-time legends, and also traditional hand-tattooing booths. There are some great sideshow performances, and tattoo competitions that really present some stellar work. Plus, the kickass vendors offer badass merch. [Literally, "badass."]
I have been attending the NYC Convention for 13 years, and it has consistently been one of the most electric shows I attend. I’ll be doing a book signing there this year for my latest monster, “Black Tattoo Art II.” Just follow the loud maniacal laugh when you get to the convention and you’ll find me.
Read the full article here: http://www.needlesandsins.com/2014/02/nyc-tattoo-convention-march-7-9.html
Photos and interview by Ino Mei
Alex “Kofuu” Reinke Horikitsune, the only apprentice of Horiyoshi III apart from his son Souryou Kazuyoshi and part of Horiyoshi III family, spoke exclusively to HeartbeatInk Tattoo Magazine about the path in tattooing, the “Shu Ha Ri” learning system, the highly importance of the design and the “limits” of tradition.
How were you first introduced to tattoo?
When I was twelve years old I started Martial Arts. As a kid, from a really young age I was constantly drawing. So when the Martial Arts came into the picture, I started drawing Asian themes and especially Japanese; like dragons and all sorts of stuff. When I was fourteen, we were on a trip with my family to San Francisco and by chance I walked into “Tattoo City” which is Ed Hardy’s tattoo shop. Of course I had absolutely no idea about it. I bought Ed Hardy’s yellow “Tattoo Time” and Sandi Fellman’s “Japanese Tattoo” book and then I was drawing out of those books all the time. I was crazy for them. At that age, I had many older friends and when we returned to Germany after San Francisco, they asked me to design some tattoos for them because they liked my drawings and they couldn’t draw themselves. So I drew some designs for them and they went and got them tattooed.
I kept drawing and drawing tattoos until I finished high-school and went for my A – levels. At that time I started tattooing. It was 1995 and I was twenty-one. I bought a starter kit and I began teaching myself; I am self-taught. Pretty hideous, but what can you do? Then I went straight to the army, where I was also tattooing. Afterwards I met Horiyoshi III in Bologna at a convention in 1997. A few months later, in 1998, I went to Japan to start my body-suit. There I saw and realized that I could make a decent living from tattooing. Back then things were different and therefore I took a huge risk; in many people’s eyes it seemed “crazy” that I became a tattooist. It was socially “unacceptable” and perceived as “a step down” from my family; although they offered me the freedom to decide what I wanted to become. My dad is a surgeon and told me “you have to decide yourself about what you want to do for a living. When I am dead, you’ll still have your job and I don’t want to be responsible for you not being happy with your job”. He knew I was into tattooing, but he thought that tattoo was a phase. Like all kids go through phases. But this one stuck (laughs)!
What happened when you went to Japan to get tattooed by Horiyoshi III?
I was totally into Japan, as I’ve previously mentioned, since I was a kid. I was also used to serving from being in the army; therefore I believe that the combination of those two resulted in me knowing my way around Japan quite well and I think that Horiyoshi III was taken by it, and we got along very well. At the end of 1998 Horiyoshi III came to Germany for the Berlin Tattoo Convention; he wrote me a letter asking to whether we could meet there and I took some time off in order to meet him. All of a sudden, I was the “organizer” for everything, because I could communicate with Horiyoshi III. It turned out really great. We had a great time together and we became friends.
How did your friendship “evolve” from this point onwards?
In the beginning of 1999 I went back to Japan to get tattooed again. I asked Horiyoshi III if he had a student, and he was like “no I don’t take any students”. Then, there was the Tokyo Tattoo Convention towards at the end of the same year and he said “you have to come again to Japan”. That is when I met the old-timers and many of the friends I have today like Lucky Bastard (Horiko), Mick from Zurich, Filip Leu, Luke Atkinson, Chris Garver, Marcus Paecheco; all super-great guys. It was a really important convention for all of us.
A couple of months after the convention, Horiyoshi III came to Germany again and I joined him on a trip to London to buy antiques. And Horiyoshi III asked me there, in London, in a black cab on the way to some antique shop, if I was still interested in being part of the Horiyoshi Family…
To read the full article, visit: http://heartbeatink.gr/en/columns-features/artists-studios-columns-features/horikitsune/#!prettyPhoto/0/
Shot by Estevan Oriol
Anna Felicity Friedman FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 2/10/14
+1 773 307-2753
Lyle Tuttle Tattoos on All 7 Continents
Becomes First Person to Accomplish This Feat
On January 21, 2014, 82-year-old tattoo legend Lyle Tuttle became the first person to
tattoo on all 7 continents. A long-standing “bucket list” item of his, this accomplishment
fulfilled a personal mission for Mr. Tuttle. He said of the endeavor: “Because I was lucky
to have the greatest time slot that any tattoo artist ever had in tattooing, it wound up
that I had tattooed on six continents. So I had an opportunity to tattoo on seven
continents. Well, I’m not out to break any records but why not do it, it’s there! Edmund
Hillary, they asked him why he climbed Mount Everest, and he said ‘because it was
After a long trip to the tip of South America, he and project assistant/tattoo historian Dr.
Anna Felicity Friedman, flew across the Drake Passage on a 6-seat charter flight. Still
plagued by after-effects from a bout of frostbite acquired while serving in the Marines in
the Korean War, the trip posed a particular challenge for Mr. Tuttle. The two travelers
spent a full day touring, seeing—among the many wonders of the icy southern world—
glaciers, icebergs, penguins, seals, and whales—and experiencing what life is like for
those who live in Antarctica for extended periods of time. Then, late at night, Mr. Tuttle
set up his tattoo station in a scientist’s guesthouse at the Russian Bellingshausen Station
and tattooed his signature tattoo—his autograph—on Dr. Friedman’s leg, later adding
“ANTARCTICA 2014” when back in Punta Arenas, Chile. They were among only a
handful of tourists who have the privilege of sleeping on the continent each year.
Along the way, Mr. Tuttle acquired two new tattoos (he calls them “stickers on your
luggage”), the word “LIMA” during a stopover in Lima, Peru, and “ANTARCTICA 2014”
with a small penguin after returning to Patagonia. A natural prankster, he delighted in
surprising local tattoo artists along the way with his completely unexpected visits.
Mr. Tuttle, noted for his role in helping bring tattooing to a wider clientele in the 1960s
and 70s, began his career in 1949. He has tattooed such prominent clients as Janis
Joplin, Joan Baez, and the Allman Brothers and was featured on the cover of Rolling
Stone Magazine in 1970. Mostly retired from tattooing, Mr. Tuttle hosts an annual tattoo
convention every fall in St. Louis, travels widely educating about tattoo machines and
other topics, and maintains one of the world’s largest collections of tattoo-history
artifacts and ephemera.
You can read more about the project and view some images at: http://bit.ly/ltaproject
Media inquires: Please contact Lyle’s assistant on this project, Dr. Anna Felicity
Friedman, at email@example.com or +1 773 307-2753. High-resolution images
and video are available. Thumbnails on request.
By Nick Baxter
Here’s a process sequence for a tiny diptych painting I did a few months ago related to the recurring theme in my work of healing wounds.
This tiny little pair will be included in the forthcoming art catalogue Pint Size Paintings Volume 2, which compiles these small paintings completed by members of the worldwide tattoo community, and features them in a traveling art show.
I wrote about the Tibetan Buddhist symbolism surrounding my use of the hook symbol last year, after completing Shenpa I (which now resides in the collection of the amazing and prolific figurative painter Shawn Barber!).
By Carroll Gardens
The brownstone-lined streets of Carroll Gardens may not seem like much of a tourist destination. But brand Brooklyn is ascendant these days, and foreigners come to idle at farm-to-table restaurants and browse in fanciful boutiques.And farther south, where affluence gives way to aluminum siding and Smith Street dead-ends under the din of the Gowanus Expressway, visitors come for a more permanent souvenir: authentic Brooklyn ink.
On a recent Thursday, Yossy Yoshino, 35, a tattoo artist from Japan, lay face down on a massage table at Smith Street Tattoo Parlour while Dan Santoro, 31, inscribed a pig in a bikini on his back (“three tops, one for each set of teats,” Mr. Santoro explained). The words “Weird World” floated above the pig’s head.
Mr. Yoshino, a teardrop tattoo dripping from his eye, said he had traveled thousands of miles from his home in Okinawa to get a “New York tattoo.”
Just what makes a New York tattoo can be a bit difficult to pin down. The shop’s owner, Bert Krak, 35, described the parlor’s style as traditional American, with a bit of Japanese thrown in.
An Exhibition of the Contemporary Art + Collectible Design
Celebrate the World’s First Large-Scale Exhibition Dedicated to Designer Toys at the Design exchange.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – TORONTO, Canada – February 7, 2014 – Design Exchange (DX), Canada’s Design Museum, is proud to present a series of firsts with its playful, unprecedented exhibition This Is Not A Toy, guest curated by music and fashion mogul Pharrell Williams. The first major original programming produced by DX. The first foray into museum curation for cultural connector Williams. The first time coveted artists, Brooklyn’s KAWS and Japan’s Takashi Murakami, have shown their work in a design museum. Dedicated to exploring the conceptual toy – a form made solely as an expression of an aesthetic or idea – as a fine art and design object, as well as a contemporary cultural signifier, This Is Not A Toy marks the first time these vibrant collectible sculptures, figures and paintings have collectively been on display in a museum setting.
By David Gonzalez
Visitors to the cluttered studio inside Thom DeVita’s Victorian house marvel at the artwork that covers the walls, his drawing table, even his hands. The images reflect not just his interests, but his skills, which he honed as a tattoo artist on the Lower East Side for some 30 years; a storied era to aficionados. The accomplishment was all the more remarkable because it was illegal in New York City at the time.
Nowadays, it seems everybody has a tattoo. If there is someone to thank for the art’s increased acceptance and visibility, it might be Mr. DeVita. Every month, Chris Grosso brings admirers up to visit the old master, in Newburgh, the upstate town where he has lived since leaving the Lower East Side in the early 1990s.
“He is one of the founders of modern tattooing,” said Mr. Grosso, who befriended Mr. DeVita two years ago while filming a documentary about him. “It’s not what you see on reality television, but something that only he and seven other people in the 1960s started, from purely a love for the art form. He wasn’t from a sailor or biker background, where tattooing comes with the territory. They appreciated the great Japanese masters, the people from Samoa. Thom was at the forefront of that.”
Growing up in East Harlem, the son of Italian immigrants, Mr. DeVita did not set out to be an artist. After high school, he worked at various jobs, from factory hand to messenger. He recalled how his parents used to refer to some people as “bohemians,” and how he warmed to the idea.
“It seemed like a nice life to live, being with artists,” he said. “It didn’t seem like they went to work. Then I realized when I got to the Lower East Side, I was 30 years too late to be a bohemian. But I caught the tail end of the beatnik era and the beginning of the hippie era.”
His own entree into the art world was improvised, when a potential girlfriend asked him what he did.
“I had to be something, so I told her I was an artist,” he said. “So I became an artist. I had to show her I was an artist, so I started doing some artwork.”
He decided to become a tattoo artist when the city banned tattooing in 1961 (the ban was lifted in 1997). He figured business would be good, since the law drove out his competitors, and the police on the Lower East Side had more pressing concerns than outlaw skin art.
Mr. Grosso said that Mr. DeVita created new designs incorporating nontraditional elements, such as Pueblo Indian iconography and even the rose from the Lord & Taylor shopping bag. He said he admires him for his restless creativity, even if — at 81 years of age, with hands trembling from Parkinson’s disease — he no longer does many tattoos.
Instead, Mr. DeVita resorts to rubbings, stencils and stamps, making montages of old tattoo designs on recycled wooden crates, paper, cutting boards and even ancient ledgers. He signs them with his surname, rendered in snakelike letters that would be the envy of any graffiti writer.
“He paints on everything,” Mr. Grosso said. “Maybe if he had seen graffiti he would have been a tagger. He just doesn’t stop. It has to be a compulsion.”
Mr. Grosso can understand. After making a documentary on Mr. DeVita, he set up a website to sell his work. Now he visits him monthly, to give him cash from the sales and pick up new work to ship. He is often accompanied by a friend or two who might want to learn about tattoo history firsthand, like Fernando Lions, a tattoo artist from Brooklyn who recently accompanied him on a trek.
The two young men peppered Mr. DeVita with questions, and asked to see some classic designs or snapshots from his time on the Lower East Side. Depending on his mood, he may or may not comply; pictures he had told Mr. Grasso never existed magically appeared during this visit. At one point, Mr. DeVita took out some panoramas he had painted in bold, black brush strokes.
“These are beautiful,” Mr. Lions said quietly.
“You know how they’re done?” Mr. DeVita asked. “The paper is scrap I cut off bigger pieces. I paint on them with whatever is left in the ink pot.”
Before they are sent off to customers, Mr. DeVita packs a slip that reads: “Any Imperfections Will Add to Its Beauty.” He first saw the phrase when he bought a china closet, and liked it so much he appropriated it.
“All my art is imperfection,” he said. “I dwell on imperfection. I’m constantly pulling things out of the fire.”
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 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?
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.
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