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.”
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.
What are your thoughts on this…? We’d love to hear your comments.
Seeded by Carloz
When Floris Hirschfeld’s mother died two years ago, he had her portrait tattooed on his back to honor her memory. One day he hopes the image, skin and all, will adorn the wall of an art collector’s home.
It might sound like a macabre Roald Dahl story, but could soon be reality with the help of a Dutch entrepreneur who has set up a business to preserve the tattoos of the dead.
“Everyone spends their lives in search of immortality and this is a simple way to get a piece of it,” Peter van der Helm, the tattoo shop owner behind the concept, said in an interview…
Hirschfeld and about 30 other clients of the “Walls and Skin” tattoo parlor, which is tucked away in a canal house in the Dutch capital, have donated their skin to the company in a will and each paid a few hundred euros.
When they die a Dutch pathologist will remove the tattoo and freeze or package it in formaldehyde, ideally within 48 hours. It will then be sent to a laboratory outside the Netherlands, where a 12-week procedure extracts water and replaces it with silicone, leaving a rubbery substance.
Hirschfeld, an only child with no children of his own, does not yet know who will inherit his tattoo, but he knows he wants it saved.
By Marisa Kakoulas
Photo by Edgar Hoill.
As a happy update to our post on the French Health Ministry’s attempted ban of most colored inks, the association of professional tattooers in France, Tatouage & Partage, received a letter from health officials stating that the proposed ban was “malentendu” — a misunderstanding. You can find a copy of the letter here.
According to the AFP:
“The ban was “misinterpreted” by the government offices in charge of implementing it, he said, expressing relief on behalf of France’s 3,500 to 4,000 professional tattoo artists. […]
The tattoo artists’ association said the problem was one of the four tables printed in the government decree announcing the ban, which listed the dyes allowed in cosmetic products…”
To read the rest of this article, go to: http://www.needlesandsins.com/2013/12/color-tattoo-saved-in-france.html
By Molly Kitamura
Reblogged from: http://www.knivesandneedlesblog.com
Shawn Brown. Hardcore legend. Amazing tattooer. All-around cool guy. I had the honor of meeting Shawn and his wife, Michelle, a beautiful and talented photographer. Every time we hang out its continual laughs and high adventures (Japan <3)! Shawn lives in Washington DC and used to be the singer of legendary bands Dag Nasty, Jesus Eater, and Swiz. He is currently singing for Red Hare, they are definitely worth checking out! Shawn tattoos out of Tattoo Paradise, owned by Matt Knopp, so if you are ever in the DC area, you need to stop in and get a tattoo! In the meantime, read on and check out Shawn, his work and his mouth-watering tri-tip and vegetarian recipes!!
As a tattoo artist, it’s also important to protect your work from the fading and discoloration that can affect tattoos if they’re not properly treated. Although it’s not possible to make sure your clients are consistent with their aftercare routine, you can suggest the right products that will heal and protect your artwork that they wear.
Pride Aftercare by TATSoul has a three step system to cleanse, heal and protect new tattoos. The cleanser, ointment and lotion are specially formulated with natural ingredients to work together for best results.
The latest addition in Pride Aftercare’s system is the Tattoo Ointment. Pride Aftercare Tattoo Ointment is specifically formulated to heal tattoos so you can be assured that the gentle ingredients will in no way affect the new ink. Unlike other ointments, Pride Aftercare’s oil remains intact, allowing for better consistency and protection (see below).
Pride Aftercare’s Tattoo Ointment contains no dyes or fragrances and is approved by tattoo professionals and skin care specialists for its moisturizing and anti-aging ingredients. It may also be used to treat minor skin irritations.
Whether it’s your own tattoo or a piece you’ve just completed, make sure to treat it with the Pride Aftercare system to cleanse, heal and protect your new tattoo. Keep your work remaining vibrant for years to come.
Pride Aftercare’s Website: www.prideaftercare.com
Pride Aftercare’s Instagram: @prideaftercare
Pride Aftercare’s Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/prideaftercare
By Nicki Kasper
“In that moment, I realized that instead of trying to be inspired, I was going to try to inspire people.”
I recently ordered two copies of Jeff Gogue’s DVD, “tattoo as I see it”… Jeff is one of my closest and most genuine friends and I wanted to support his project, something I know he and put a lot of work, time, money, energy and heart into. I bought a copy for myself, and one for a close friend of mine – an artist I thought could use some inspiration. I didn’t know exactly what the DVD would be like, but I know Jeff, and I knew it would be inspiring, as well as very giving with valuable information and advice to tattooers… I just now was able to find the time to sit down and watch it, and it doesn’t disappoint.
I know Jeff in a couple different ways… We’re friends; I know him on a personal level, and he’s fun, open, genuine, kind, generous, and hilarious. I’m also one of his clients, so I know him on that level. I know how much he cares about his clients, about the pieces he puts on our bodies, about the pain we’re feeling, etc. I know how much heart he puts into every single piece, and I’m grateful and fortunate to be covered in them. But in addition to being a friend, and a client, I’ve also had the pleasure of working with him on side projects.
I know from experience that nothing Jeff Gogue does professionally or otherwise is half-assed. He cares about the details. If he decides he’s going to do something, he wants to give all of himself to it. If it has his name on it, he wants it to be the absolute best he has to offer at that time and place. He never thinks he’s reached his full potential, which is why we see his work changing and evolving over and over. I can relate to him in many ways, which I think is part of the reason we became instant friends so many years ago.
“You’re either a taker, or you’re a giver.”
He wants to inspire others, and that is the point of this movie. It will inspire everyone who watches, artist or not. He’s honest and open about his process, what he wants, his strengths and weaknesses. It’s real, and humble and people can always relate to that.
If you’re an artist, you will be blown away at how generous Jeff is with information that will help you from laying out a piece to tips on using contrast in your work to mixing colors. It’s invaluable information that he’s learned by trial and error over the years and he’s sharing it all with you. But if you’re not an artist, and you just want to be inspired about believing in yourself and making shit happen for yourself… About not accepting failure, and instead being driven by it, you need to watch this film.
To Jeff and Ryan Moon – You guys did an incredible job on this, and now I wish I hadn’t been such a chicken about being interviewed for it! I’m proud of you both!
Shot by Estevan Oriol.
SHIGE (Shigenori Iwasaki) is a famous tattoo artist, born in 1970 in Hiroshima.
After being a mechanic for Harley-Davidson in Yokohama, he taught himself how to tattoo since 1995 and pursues original Japanese Style with a traditional inspiration.
Interview by Jordan Tinney.
Reblogged from: http://www.swallowsndaggers.com
I’m going to say this only once: don’t blink. Dusty Neal is an American tattooist based out of Ft. Wayne, Indiana at Black Anvil Tattoo. This might sound a little fan-boyish, but Dusty is one of the best and most under rated in the game today. A fastidious worker, incredible painter and even more amazing tattooer. I recently had the chance to conduct a short interview with Mr. Neal; if you’re in his area don’t sleep on this guy.
Jordan Tinney: What really got you into tattooing?
Dusty Neal: I’ve always known I wanted to make art for a living, but I never really thought about becoming a tattooer until I was already in college and getting tattooed when I could. It was really hardcore and metal that made me interested in getting tattooed though. Just being into all that stuff, seeing tattoos on bands and at shows really made me think about tattoos. I didn’t grow up with it around me in any other form and I guess that’s what attracted me to it. When I came into it finally I was so naive about what good tattoos really were, and over the few years I’ve been tattooing my tastes and thoughts on it have changed so very much.
JT: What year did you start tattooing professionally?
DN: I made my first tattoo in January of 2006.
JT: Did you have an apprenticeship in the traditional sense?
DN: I apprenticed under Donny Manco, and owe everything to him for giving me an opening into tattooing. He taught me the fundamentals of what I was actually doing, but other than that it was really not much of a passed down tradition or anything. Sometimes I wish I had a “proper” apprenticeship and was taught more traditional ideals and methods, yet by being someone’s 10th apprentice (with 5 after me), and not really being taught about flash or anything, it forced me to go out and learn what I could from serious tattooers or just by trial and error of my own experience. I would say now I do everything probably the complete opposite of what I was taught, but everyone has to find what works for them and everyone is different.
JT: Tell me about Black Anvil, and how that came to fruition?
DN: The conception of Black Anvil Tattoo is a recent happening. I met Nate (Click) my first year tattooing and have worked with him ever since he started, four years ago. He was there when Donny Manco and I started New Republic Tattoo. Over the past few years, especially after bringing in Beau Guenin, it was really our shared vision that started to shape New Republic into what it became, and also what started to create a tension between us and Donny. It was a non-dramatic split from Donny, as we just felt it was time to leave New Republic and create something that could be completely our own. With B.A.T. we wanted to pay tribute to the traditions and honor of tattooing, and create an environment that would display that pride while also being more advantageous to our clients and our shop morale.
JT: Did you do more traditional art in your past, before you started tattooing?
DN: Honestly, as much as I try to adhere to traditional principles, I still don’t even consider myself a “traditional” tattooer, but only because I feel like its disrespectful to those people who are really devoted to that mentality and lifestyle, and not just the aesthetic. Before tattooing, shamefully I had no understanding whatsoever of traditional tattooing. It took a few years before I really started to understand what my perception of it is. My perception of it is also constantly evolving.
DN: A tattooer’s life should be infused in his or her work. It’s important to me that my interests show through my work, because that’s what makes people stand apart from imitators, and will also attract like-minded artists towards each other. Having said that, classic heavy metal and “evil” imagery is probably the biggest influence over my work, but also occult symbolism, Aliester Crowley, sex, death, the supernatural, and nihilism. Aside from these things, I’m also very influenced by finding affirmation and sharing ideas with my co-workers and friends, especially, Jacob Des, Cla Wolfmeyer, Jacob Bryan, and Destroy Troy.
JT: Do you continue to find new things to keep you “into it” or are you always coming across inspiration?
DN: I find it easy to stay “into it,” but I also consider it a tattooer’s top priority to enjoy their work and be confident with it, otherwise they are only doing the craft a disservice and should find another line of work. There are too many passionate and talented people tattooing to allow room for those doing it merely to pay bills. However, it’s important to me to constantly be growing and evolving. Inspiration doesn’t always come, but I manage to seek it out and find it.
Again, I’m thankful to Dusty for entertaining me and this interview, and if your’e in Fort Wayne or Indiana in general, make sure to stop at Black Anvil and get a great tattoo, not only from Dusty but from his incredible coworkers. Dusty can be reached firstname.lastname@example.org, or http://www.dustyneal.tumblr.com. He’s on Instagram as well under @dustyneal. What we do is secret..
By Marisa Kakoulas
In The Guardian today is feature called “Painted Ladies: Why women get tattoos.” Normally, I find these types of articles banal, or even cringe worthy, for perpetuating cliches or not offering a broad spectrum of experience from our community. And so I was happily surprised to find many different voices of tattooed women in this article.
While there need not be any great miraculous reason to get tattooed, tattoos do come with a story, from an impulse to get a quick piece of historic flash to a full body project. I found the profiles of these women to be really interesting, and they made me think on the commonaIities and differences of our experiences with tattoos.
I particularly loved reading about Juanita Carberry, a merchant navy steward, who died in July at age 88. Here’s a bit from her story:
“The daughter of a renegade Irish peer, Carberry lived an extraordinarily full life. Her childhood in Kenya was difficult: her mother, a well-known aviator, died when she was three, and Carberry was often beaten by her governess. As a teenager, she was a key witness in a celebrated murder case, the 1941 shooting of the 22nd Earl of Erroll, and at 17 she joined the first aid nursing yeomanry in the Women’s Territorials during the second world war. In 1946, Carberry became one of a handful of women to join the merchant navy, remaining for 17 years. It was during this period, says photographer Christina Theisen, that she started acquiring tattoos. Her first was a small spider on the sole of her foot; it didn’t hurt, Theisen recalls Carberry saying, because the skin on her feet was so tough from walking barefoot as a child.”
Read more here.
It is the work of Christina Theisen and Eleni Stefanou that really makes this piece so engaging. Theisen and Stefanou are behind womenwithtattoos.co.uk, a photo and film endeavor that pays respect to all tattooed women. They offer this on their work: “Our project seeks to capture the personal and the individual, embracing each woman and her tattoos as one, rather than isolating or magnifying the inked parts of her body. At the same time, by using natural environments and the context of urban Western culture, we intentionally move away from the sexualised glamour model aesthetic that dominates tattoo magazines and popular culture.”
Two words: Hell. Yeah.
My regret is that I wasn’t aware of the project when it first rolled out. I will continue to follow Theisen and Stefanou’s work, and I hope that more media outlets also follow their lead in telling compelling stories without the usual pop culture hype and flash so prevalent today.
Shot by Estevan Oriol
By Jared Preslar
Investing in ones self…
For years I have been purchasing instructional DVDs from amazing artists and I have always been very appreciative of their willingness to share information. I started my apprenticeship in 1994 with an artist who was self taught; as you could guess this was a very frustrating journey and my mentor did not have much to offer. I would ask questions and get answers back like “I don’t know how Filip Leu gets such large smooth gradients”. He did not have the answers to what I wanted to know. This method of apprenticeship was not ideal at all, and consequently it took me many extra years to learn what I could have learned in half the time had I searched out the proper experienced mentor.
In the meantime, I started getting on forums, talking to artists, and compiling pages and pages of conversations containing helpful information. I was so grateful to be getting some sort of help, even if it wasn’t from my mentor, because other artists from the forums, DVDs, seminars, and books ended up becoming my mentors. I started seeing that anyone could attain this information as long as they had the patience, motivation, and discipline to receive it. My mentor however, was not one of these people, and wanted me to share all of the information I was obtaining through my hard work and perseverance. I thought about this for awhile, and decided I was not willing to share with someone who was not willing to invest in themselves and take the time just like I was. If someone is not willing to take the time, spend the money to travel etc, then they are where they are because they have created that reality. Successful people, not just financially, have worked very hard to be where they are and in my experience they are always continuing to learn. Continuing education is key in any profession.
Over the years I kept buying DVDs, traveling to seminars, and buying books. I would talk to any artist whom I looked up to if given the opportunity, and soak up any information they were willing to share. I have accumulated quite the library for art and tattooing, and still have every bit of information I have collected from 1994 to today. I cannot express how appreciative I am to the artists who give back like this. Some people say this is unethical and people need to learn the old school way, I could not disagree more. People who are sharing this information, like TattooNow.com for example, are innovators in the industry. They are bringing education to people through technology. I am very impressed by how many are willing to take the time, spend the money, and offer this information to anyone who is willing to invest in themselves. I feel that Guy Aitchison is a person who truly gives back; he and www.tattooeducation.com are pioneers in this field of sharing within our industry and I highly recommend taking a look at the sites educational material; it has helped me a lot over the years.
To this day, I still spend the money to purchase the DVDs, books, webinars by TattooNow.com, and travel to seminars. I will never stop doing this, as I believe a person should improve every year, and if not then they are doing something wrong. In the past couple years I have started getting a lot of questions about my process, pigments, etc. which led to formulating a plan to create a DVD to answer these questions. I have no problem sharing this information with artists whom are willing to learn and improve. I do not believe myself to be some all knowing amazing artist, I would just like to give back, as others have done for me over the years.
I talked about doing this DVD for about a year, planned it, found the right people to help and participate. I have made my process a combination of things I have learned on my own, things I have learned from others, and things I have learned from others but have made my own. In this first DVD, which will be part of a series, I walk through my entire process of tattooing. Everything from getting a reference, stenciling, something I call color isolation, and execution. I also talk about my machines and needles of preference. I hope this DVD gives something beneficial to everyone who decides to acquire it, and I hope that it gives back even a fraction of what I have been given since I started this journey called Tattooing. I would like to thank all of the artists who share their knowledge, and the artists who give seminars, make DVDs, books, and Webinars! Any feedback is greatly appreciated for current and upcoming projects or suggestions for subjects that artists would like to hear more about etc.
The Tattooing from Life DVD is currently on Presale at a discount until after Christmas, can be purchased at www.luckybambootattoo.com/store.html and will be for sell at a couple of the reputable supply companies very soon.
Happy Continued Education,
By Marisa Kakoulas
A beautifully curated and styled collection of entomology-based artwork from around the world, Antennae of Inspiration: The Insect Art Project is yet another wonderful accomplishment of Jinxi Boo Caddel and her Out of Step Books. The cover artwork alone, by Jeff Gogue, is a perfect example of the stunning works on the pages inside. In addition to images of tattoos, paintings, drawings, photography and other mediums, there are also engaging stories behind many of the works.
Antennae of Inspiration is part of Out of Step’s Inspiration Art Project Series: beautiful hardcover publications designed to do exactly what the name says — inspire exciting interpretations of particular themes by presenting an ensemble of art in different mediums focused on those themes. This volume is all about bug art. Here’s more about it from Jinxi:
“With a multitude of mediums included, our insect, snail, and arachnid friends are colorfully interpreted in over 1,650 different ways by 848 unique and talented artisans. This collective project brings together an artistic treasure trove of inspirational work to celebrate the wondrous world of compound eyes, aerodynamic wings, and versatile antennae. Antennae of Inspiration is a full color, hardback, coffee-table style, 480-page beauty of a book.”
You can purchase the book online for $79.95. Such a compilation is worth so much more. Gorgeous examples of what you’ll find in the book are below.
What is also particularly excellent is that a percentage of the proceeds of all book sales through Jinxi’s Out of Step Books goes to Donorschoose.org in an effort to keep arts education alive and thriving. There are also art prints for purchase, and all the proceeds from those sales go to Donorschoose.org.
**Jinxi’s books are also available at: http://www.getTAM.com.
By Brian Tremml
We’ve all been there. One day you have a moment of clarity over your morning coffee and come to the realization that you just don’t like dolphins anymore. There’s only one problem: that beautifully detailed, multi-colored and not-at-all-cartoonish representation of a dolphin you got tattooed on your arm during your rebellious phase of college. So, what’s a girl to do?
No need to worry, because Nekkid Nate and all of the other employees of Liberty Tattoo in Atlanta “can fix that,” by providing cover ups for any and all of the ill-informed decisions of your youth. Watch their hilarious advertisement above. The ad features Mastodon guitarist Brent Hinds, who apparently is interested in running for public office now. He’s got our vote.
By Kevin Miller
Did you know the government in France is discussing the idea of banning colored inks? It’s been a few weeks since the last hearing, but the last proposal would ban all colored (or coloured) inks with the exception of black, white, grey and specific shades of blue and green.
Interview by Ricky Williams
Tony Nilsson aka Tony Tox first came to my attention when I noticed Ricky Williams (The Family Business) was doing a guest spot at his shop, Blue Arms in Norway. The work Tony was turning out and the work coming out of the shop in general really blew me away. It’s great to find awesome tattooers flying under the radar in this day and age. I’d been looking to start a new interview feature with various tattooers interviewing their friends and this seemed like an ideal start. Ricky and Tony were kind enough to oblige me and below is the interview that came of this request.
Ricky Williams: Hey Tony I’d like to say thanks for doing this interview with me for the Swallows&Daggers blog. I was lucky enough to come and work with you guys in Norway. How’s the shop going and what’s the story behind Blue Arms?
Tony Nilsson: Were absolutely honoured to have you over buddy. I had a great time when you came over here; you’re a funny guy Ricky! Yeah the story behind Blue Arms is basically that the three of us (Christoffer Wøien, Morten Transeth and I) needed a place to work at the same time and were buddies from some time ago so we started looking at a place and it all went super-fast so after just a couple of days we signed the contract for our new studio, then we started looking into what we should call our new shop and Morten came up with idea of Blue Arms Tattoo after reading the biography of the old tattooer Amund Dietzel, who was born in Norway and lived in the early 1900s. We have always loved his work and thought that it would be great to have a kind of tribute shop to him in Norway since he is/was one of the biggest names here, we opened the shop August 2012 and its been busy ever since. I’m so happy that it worked out…
RW: Getting tattooed by you one night after work was such a great and memorable experience and I must say it’s one of my favourite tattoos. Tell us, what are your favourite things to tattoo?
TN: Ha-ha, really, you have soooo many good ones! Well I’m honoured to tattoo you Ricky… I guess my favourite things to do are old classic flash pieces of any kind… snakes, girls, daggers, roses, eagles etc. and all of them combined together in any possible way.
RW: I still can’t believe you let me tattoo you on your birthday and how nervous I was to do it. I know it must have been a big mistake (laughing) who else have you been tattooed by and what’s your favourite piece?
TN: Aaah I love that little panther you gave me! And for you to do it on the first day guesting at blue arms on my birthday while I was drunk is awesome. Thanks for the great gift buddy! I guess I’ve been tattooed by mostly buddies over time, but to name everyone hmmm, let’s see; Morten Transeth, Christoffer Wøien, Marius Meyer, Marco Meloni, you, Mikael Harrstedt, Jonas Uggli, Steve Boltz, Bert Krak, Hillary Fisher-White, Brad Stevens, Ashley Love, Lautaro Belmonte, Nic Ink, Hans Heggum, Ezra Haidet, Austin Maples, Ryan Shaffer, some guy from Brazil, some shit from Thailand (since I’m Swedish hahahah) Jeff from AWR, Henry Hablak, and I guess that’s it. I must say that of my favourites is my neck from Steve and hands by Morten and yours off course, ahhh fuck they’re all good, great memories from everyone, even the shit from Thailand is cool in a way.