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Disney & tattoo inspired art by Tim Shumate

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Tim Shumate isn’t a tattoo artist. You won’t find him using someone’s arm as the canvas for his next masterpiece or traveling between tattoo conventions, yet his unique art style clearly has some tattoo roots behind it. Where do these roots come from? Why does his work resonate with the tattoo community as a whole? It all became clear in an interview with teevillain.com. When asked about the origins of the vintage tattoo nature of his work, Time replied, “Well, Sailor Jerry (The Godfather of Traditional Tattoos) has always been in my top 5 favorite artists. He keeps things really simple and bold, which is something I can’t do no matter how hard I try. He is definitely what started my obsession with tattoos. I am also really into restructuring pop art and icons.  Covering your favorite childhood Heroes in ‘hard life’ tattoos is a great way to make them grow along with you. They can stay relatable.” As Tim puts it, the goal of each portrait shown below is to “capture [the] essence” of the character. “Eyes are the first thing I start when I draw,” he explains. “If I didn’t capture the eyes, I would scrap the entire thing and start over. It’s important. The eyes are the window to the soul…” Tim Shumate’s soulful art style has no doubt inspired numerous tattoos, whether those tattoos are replicas of his work as seen in the gallery before or renditions of his unique pin-up girl style. Fans of his artwork ... Read More »

Tim Shumate’s Soulful Art Style

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Tim Shumate isn’t a tattoo artist. You won’t find him using someone’s arm as the canvas for his next masterpiece or traveling between tattoo conventions, yet his unique art style clearly has some tattoo roots behind it. Where do these roots come from? Why does his work resonate with the tattoo community as a whole? It all became clear in an interview with teevillain.com. When asked about the origins of the vintage tattoo nature of his work, Time replied, “Well, Sailor Jerry (The Godfather of Traditional Tattoos) has always been in my top 5 favorite artists. He keeps things really simple and bold, which is something I can’t do no matter how hard I try. He is definitely what started my obsession with tattoos. I am also really into restructuring pop art and icons.  Covering your favorite childhood Heroes in ‘hard life’ tattoos is a great way to make them grow along with you. They can stay relatable.” As Tim puts it, the goal of each portrait shown below is to “capture [the] essence” of the character. “Eyes are the first thing I start when I draw,” he explains. “If I didn’t capture the eyes, I would scrap the entire thing and start over. It’s important. The eyes are the window to the soul…” Tim Shumate’s soulful art style has no doubt inspired numerous tattoos, whether those tattoos are replicas of his work as seen in the gallery before or renditions of his unique pin-up girl style. Fans of his artwork ... Read More »

The Art of Watercolor Tattoos

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Have you ever seen a watercolor tattoo in person? You’d certainly known if you had. Watercolor tattoos stand apart from their traditional counterparts in a variety ways, from their vibrant color schemes to the special techniques artists employ to create them. While the term watercolors may cause you to think of the Crayola trays parents give children to paint with in an attempt to limit post painting destruction, they’ve actually been used for centuries to capture the colorful essence of nature. The art style was utilized during the Italian Renaissance by many famous painters and was often used to depict wildlife and landscapes. The art style uses paint in which pigments are suspended within a water-based solution, hence the name. While it can be supported on a wide variety of different materials, it’s most commonly applied to paper that’s either partially or entirely made of cotton in order to reduce the painting’s distortion when wet. Watercolor tattoo artists obtain the same sort of visual effect by lessening the overall ink saturation through subtle shading. They often achieve the brushstroke-esque design by forgoing the typical black outline seen in more traditional tattoos. If you do a bit of research into watercolor tattoos you’ll find a lot of people calling into question the art style’s longevity due to the lack of outline and lessened amounts of ink saturation. It’s true that watercolor tattoos don’t last quite as long as their traditional counterparts and tend to require more touch-ups to maintain, but the ... Read More »

Biker Tattoos: A Historic Example of Meaning

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Those new to tattoos are often cautioned by veterans to get something that represents a strong symbolic message or meaning unique to their personality or life experience. For more than seventy-five years biker tattoos have served as a prime example of the intense meaningfulness of the art. Anyone who’s watched Sons of Anarchy at least has a functioning understanding of how important tattoos are within the biker subculture. Most fans still vividly remember the scene where Kyle gets his tattoo burned off to signify his lack of association with the gang during season one. The history of biker tattoos started back in the 1940s and 50s right alongside the beginning of motorcycle gangs. Many of the first biker gangs consisted of ex-soldiers and served primarily as a means to continue the same sense of brotherhood and companionship many soldiers lost after coming back home from war. Even today many soldiers get tattoos to signify their devotion to their unit and position in the military, so it only made sense that the trend would continue among biker gangs as well. That being said, the historic significance is pretty much where Sons of Anarchy stops paralleling the real world nature of motorcycle gangs and biker tattoos. The outlaw connotations drawn by people outside of biker gangs came from an early assumption that biker tattoos were similar in nature to prison tattoos. While there have been a number of unlawful biker gangs over the decades, the vast majority are actually law abiding organizations ... Read More »

On the Topic of Hip Tattoos

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Even the most basic tattoo can be an incredibly sensual piece of art when strategically placed. The hip is often used as one such location, particularly by women who enjoy showing off their midriffs at the beach and during the warmer times of year. People who exercise to extreme degrees often use tattoos as a way to accentuate and draw attention to particular parts of their body. Men tend to focus on their biceps, hence the popularity of bicep tattoos. Women tend to focus on their core, which is why the fairer sex tend to sport hip tattoos more than their testosterone-fueled counterparts. The hips is also a prime locations for people who work in industries that frown upon the practice. It’s an easy location to cover up, making it simple for people to deny their existence during an interview process if need be. That being said, tattoos are starting to become commonplace and more accepted year after year. This trend has caused many people to feel comfortable getting more extensive and detailed designs, and the hip is the perfect place for these larger pieces of art. As you can see from many of the designs in the gallery below, hip tattoos tend to be quite large in nature, spanning the entire region above and below the waist. If a small picture’s worth a thousand words then a hip tattoo can be likened to a novel; an easy-to-read novel visible without the need of a mirror. Hip tattoos are also ... Read More »

San Francisco’s Black Heart Tattoo (Video)

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*To see MORE and learn about some of the MOST AMAZING tattoo artists of our age, check out these deals from Tattoo Artist Magazine! There’s a reason tattooers themselves consider TAM the most informative and important tattoo magazine ever –   *Be sure to check out the digital issues of Tattoo Artist Magazine ON SALE NOW– JUST $2.99 – $7.99. TAM DIGITAL ISSUES And look at our $.99 collection of  TAM VIDEO Downloads available now! Either way, See the BEST TATTOOS from the BEST ARTISTS in the world. Add to your collection today! 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 »

Perseverance Japanese Tattoo Exhibit Video3 w/Drew Flores

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Japanese Tattoo: Perseverance, Art, and Tradition focuses on the work of seven internationally acclaimed tattoo artists –Ryudaibori (formerly Horitaka), Horitomo, Horishiki, Miyazo, Shige, Junii, and Yokohama Horiken – inspired by the Japanese tradition of tattooing and heavily influenced by the traditional Japanese arts ofcalligraphy and ukiyo-e woodblock printmaking. Specially commissioned photographs of work by each artist will be displayed alongside tools and relief carvings, as well as a recreated Torii. A companion book of the same title features additional photographs and writings, and is published by the Japanese American National Museum. Japanese Tattoo: Perseverance, Art, and Tradition is created, designed and photographed by Kip Fulbeck, and curated by Takahiro Kitamura (Ryudaibori, formerly Horitaka). *Please help SUPPORT the VMFA’s efforts to elevate tattoo and tattoo art — Follow the VMFA on FaceBook:   Related Articles: Introduction to “Perseverance” by the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Japan’s Complex Relationship with Tattoo Perseverance Tattoo Exhibit VIDEO #1: VMFA w/Kip Fulbeck Perseverance Japanese Exhibit VIDEO #2 w/L.A. Horitaka Perseverance Japanese Exhibit VIDEO #3 w/Drew Flores Virginia’s 2015 Tattoo Arts & Film Festival !!  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 »

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 »

Inked in Montreal

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For more information about the Art Tattoo Quebec show May 29-31 in Quebec City, visit: http://news.arttattooquebec.com For more information about the Art Tattoo Montreal show September 11-13 in Montreal, visit: http://http://news.arttattoomontreal.com Read More »

Deb Yarian On the Pain of a Tattoo

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By Deb Yarian I’ve heard it over and over again from my customers – The more they get tattooed, the more it hurts, and I’ve thought about it and experienced it myself. I don’t think it’s my imagination. Each time I get tattooed it does seem to hurt way more than the time before! I have my own (not scientifically proven) theory about this… Simply put, if you were to be poked with a sharp object you would feel pain, your brain would say “hey there’s a pain, move away from the source of the pain.” The next time that you were poked with that sharp object, your brain again would direct you to move away from the source of the pain. Okay, so what happens if you don’t move away…? Your brain probably says, “hey, I recognize that pain, and I’ve directed you to move away from that pain source AND YOU’RE NOT!!!!” So what happens the next time you feel that pain and you don’t move away- again ignoring the primitive instinct to move one’s self out of harm’s way? Well this time your brain calculates that you’ve been stuck with this sharp object before and you still refuse to move away from the pain source- so your brain instinctively, as a survival mechanism, must some how convey to your uncooperative body the importance of moving away from the pain. So what does it do? It makes it hurt worse. Just because you’ve decided to subject yourself to ... Read More »

An Interview with Phil Holt

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By Nicki Kasper Lets start by telling those who don’t know you who you are, what you do, where you’re located, etc… My name is Phil Holt. I live in Tampa Florida with my four kids. I own RedLetter1 with my friend Jeff Srsic. We have three of our friends share the space with us where we all tattoo 5-6 day a weeks. Nick Stegall, Chris Reed and David Bruehl are the best shipmates Jeff and myself could ask for. I also sell my handmade pigment under the name “Old Gold Small Batch”. The batches are still “small” but it’s really gotten busy so the facility has grown and I have a lot of small batches brewing nonstop. How long have you been in the tattoo industry and what’s your tattoo history?  How did you come up in the trade? … My brother started bringing tattoo magazines around when I was about 12 years old. I think he was mainly bringing them around because back then, in the magazines like EasyRider’s you could see bikes and boobs… Not that I wasn’t impressed with boobies but I became mostly interested in tattoos. Then in high school I really sunk my teeth into art and tattooing.  I started making tattoos in 1996. In 1998 I moved to Ohio on a sink or swim mission to become a real tattooer and basically I moved every 20-24 months for a decade. In a surreal sort of way, every shop I worked at had an amazing ... Read More »