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Posts tagged “alaska

The Evolution of Tattooing on TV – As I See It

By Deb Yarian
www.eaglerivertattoo.com

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I grew up watching TV- I loved it!

I’m past middle age now, so I was a child when TV was still fairly young and I still remember when television was broadcast only in B & W. I also remember when there were only 7 channels (and this was in NYC), the three major networks, three local networks and the public broadcast network. They came on early in the morning, ran programs and commercials throughout the day – but ended sometime after midnight, culminating with a picture of a waving American flag, the playing of the national anthem and then dead air and static, literally static- till they resumed broadcasting in the morning.

When the weekly TV guide came out, I would plot my viewing for the days ahead- first searching for my favorite shows, then looking for any specials or movies I wanted to watch and then i’d adjust my schedule for time conflicts.
This continued, to a degree through my teens, when other interests like REAL LIFE got in the way of my television viewing habits.

Fast forward thirty- years… I’ve changed- tv viewing has changed.
I still enjoy watching a few series that I have set to record. I still love watching movies and can do so on any of the many movie viewing options available – in color, high def etc, and so goes the evolution of my tv watching.

When I first became aware of tattoos, as a teenager in the 70s, and started tattooing, I was also acutely aware of the absence of tattoos and tattooing on TV.
Tattooing was still an underground art then and tattoos just did not fit in to everyday, mainstream American life… there was little, if any, mention or presence of them on TV or in the movies with the exception of a couple of movies: The Illustrated Man,1969 and Tattoo, 1981 as well as an occasional documentary or the very rare appearance of a tattooer on TV.
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Flattery, Thievery, Or Just Plain Business?

By Deb Yarian

www.eaglerivertattoo.com

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Almost daily, people come in to my shop with drawings or illustrations that they want tattooed on them.
More times than not they get them on line- Pinterest or another source, without a clue as to who the original artist is.
Now I am not speaking of a photo of an existing tattoo done by a known to you, or unknown to you tattoo artist.
My question is – as a tattooer, is it my responsibility to search for the artist, contact them and ask for their permission to do a tattoo based on or directly from their artwork?
I ask this question because i’ve read a few blogs and articles on the subject of plagiarism recently regarding tattoos, and it started affecting how I do business…
Case in point- a girl came in to my shop to make an appointment- she has with her a line drawing of flowers surrounded by Victorian scrollwork. It’s a lovely design that I would enjoy tattooing. I ask her if she drew it? To which she replies, “No, I found it on Pinterest.” So I delve deeper. I ask if there was a signature or credit given to an artist?  Was she able to track back to an original post? But she had no idea who drew it, if it was drawn to be tattooed (which it looks like) which would lead me to believe that it was drawn by a tattooer.
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Now, I have in my mind that to tattoo this image as is, would be plagiarism. So I say to the girl  “I can draw something similar to this drawing, something original for you.” To which she replies, “No, I like the drawing I brought to you, I want the tattoo to look exactly like the drawing that I brought to you!”
So do I or don’t I tattoo the image?
Do I refuse to tattoo images that are of unknown origin to me?
Do I seek permission of known artists, in order to do tattoos of their illustrations?
Is it a lesser offense to do tattoos from the designs or illustrations of non- tattooers than it is from the designs or illustrations of tattoo artists?
I consider myself a shop tattooer, a draftsman- though I often draw “custom” tattoo designs for people, this is something that has developed over the past 10 or 20 years. Prior to that I tattooed mainly flash, or derivations of flash, and designs that people brought to me – which I may have had to alter to make more tattooable.
But over the years , which tattooist hasn’t tattooed an image of Disney’s or Merrie Melodie’s? Or of Frazetta or Boris?
What about a tattoo from one of Gil Elvgren’s or Vargas’s or Olivia’s pin up illustrations?
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Perhaps it’s ok if the artist, whose design you want to do as a tattoo is no longer living, like Michaelangelo, DaVinci, Maxfield Parish, Mucha, Freida Kahlo – just a few of the hundreds of artists- whose work I’ve seen as tattoos?
Is it okay if I go to the library or purchase a book and tattoo an image from the book? Copyright laws clearly state otherwise.
With millions of images accessible on line. How do you decide or police ownership of an image that you can use as a tattoo?
But I am speaking ethically, not legally.
Obviously there is no one, clear cut answer. Like with any rule, people will arbitrarily decide when it should be used, when to appy it and under what circumstances they’ll ignore it or bend it. I guess we’ll each make a decision when the time comes and we’ll each have an opinion of one another based on the decisions we make.

Why It’s Important For Tattoo Artists To Travel

By Dawn Cooke

Dawn cooke at Japanese tea garden

I have been traveling on and off since the beginning of my career.  I haven’t always been able to travel as much as some of my peers because I have other obligations that make travel less accessible to me. But whenever I can I try to visit places and often I go where I have friends. True friends in life and in tattooing are hard to come by but as I have learned once you find them they make life so much more enjoyable.

There are several reasons that I travel. I go for work, I go for pleasure, I go to network with others in tattooing and I go for inspiration. Nothing pays off more than being inspired by your peers. That’s why instagram is such a big hit! But instead of being glued to your phone get out there and meet all those great artists Face to face!

Totem at Native herritage museum Anchorage

 I recently went to Eagle River Alaska to visit my good friend Deb Yarian. It is a really beautiful place. Mountains, Fresh air, I really got the feeling that people there try to look out for one another. So different from here in metro Detroit where I am from. I have tried to bring a little of that brotherly love back here to Detroit with me.  Being there just really made me look at the world a little differently. People there are somewhat isolated and it seems like it makes they so much kinder to one another.
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Lessons from Ink Smith and Rogers: Week 1

image copyBy Deb Yarian

As a young tattooer I didn’t have a formal apprenticeship. Like many of my contemporaries, I went to work too early, as the means for another’s source of income. Through fortunate circumstances though, I formed a lifelong friendship with Eric Inksmith, and was blessed to have Paul Rogers, as a dear friend and mentor.

So it was with great pleasure, and some nostalgia that I sent my second son, Nick to Inksmith and Rogers in Jacksonville, FL for a month long visit and learning experience after he finished his apprenticeship with me, his father and brother at our family shop in Alaska.

I couldn’t help but to think, what a great opportunity for any young tattooer and it made me wish I was a 20 year old new tattooer again!

I spoke to Crash about somehow chronicling Nick’s experience there and I spoke to my son about that prospect. The conversation went like this- (more…)


Knives & Needles: Tattooer Deb Yarian

brynne-profileBy Brynne Palmer
I have been so fortunate to meet some amazing people in the tattoo industry, and one of them I really look up to is Debra. She’s been tattooing for longer than I’ve been alive, and her accomplishments in her work and family life are truly impressive. Her demeanor is so sweet and comforting, when she tattooed me at the last SFO convention I felt like we were just old friends having a lunch date! When she told me she would like to contribute to our blog, I was so excited to get more of a glimpse into her life and family, and how she seamlessly balances the two. Deb, thank you for sharing with us; and for doing all you do as a tattooer, wife, mother and grandmother!  (more…)


Debra Yarian: Not My Gift To You

deb-yarian-5By Debra Yarian
We are constantly being asked by people, how either they or their family members can “get in to tattooing?” How they can obtain a license, open a shop, get a job and so-on and so-on and so-on.

In recent years I’ve had more and more people indignantly explain, that even though they or their relatives really want to become tattooists, nobody will teach them! This is often at our initial introduction…  (more…)