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Tag Archives: Crystal Morey

An Interview with Alex McWatt

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By Crystal Morey When I first met Alex McWatt he immediately demanded to know where I lived, in Japanese. It caught me off guard but I answered him, in Japanese, and that was it. I passed the test and we were friends. I believe the next night ended in an odd hand poke circle of amazingness, but that’s a whole other story. Read More »

Gomineko Books Customer Appreciation Contest

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I wanted to take a sec to say thanks for all the orders of late, so I figured I’d make a honker of a contest. Post a pic of books ordered from me, tag @gominekobooks and #gominekobooks and you are entered. I know a lot of you are still waiting on books, they are coming! Contest ends August 31st, a winner will be picked randomly, from the hashtagged page and the winner will receive $1000 credit for anything I have a hand in, the books, the ig auctions, the tours…you can spend it on whatever you want! Only photos with purchases from me will be considered, thank you very very much for supporting Gomineko Books and helping sustain a quickly fading genre. xoxo Crystal Read More »

Crystal Morey: Horibenny (Part II)

By Crystal Morey Horibenny is one of my favorite monsters. Odder than bacon with legs, he oozes with creative zealotry and possesses an indiscriminate passion for life that is contagious. Benny is one of the first round-eyes to be given and to complete a formal tattoo apprenticeship here in Japan, and by this I mean, he cooked, fetched and lived for his sempai for over four years… A far cry from the ‘two week a year drop in to study and pay money’ apprenticeship awarded to many gaijin deshi these days. Benny is an accomplished painter, his tattoo work is delicate yet powerful, it often embodies the Japanese tenet that less is more, and his earnest demeanor only lends to his accomplishments as an artists. Ever the student, Ben works his ass of on a daily basis to learn more and push himself further and I’ve had the pleasure of watching him make significant artistic advancements over the past few years. He is not unlike one of those wind-up toys you point and they take off pointedly in one direction… only Ben’s nose is pointed at the moon and with his passion it wouldn’t surprise me at all if he got there… (Click here to read Part I) Read More »

Crystal Morey: Horibenny (Part I)

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By Crystal Morey Horibenny is one of my favorite monsters. Odder than bacon with legs, he oozes with creative zealotry and possesses an indiscriminate passion for life that is contagious. Benny is one of the first round-eyes to be given and to complete a formal tattoo apprenticeship here in Japan, and by this I mean, he cooked, fetched and lived for his sempai for over four years… A far cry from the ‘two week a year drop in to study and pay money’ apprenticeship awarded to many gaijin deshi these days. Benny is an accomplished painter, his tattoo work is delicate yet powerful, it often embodies the Japanese tenet that less is more, and his earnest demeanor only lends to his accomplishments as an artists. Ever the student, Ben works his ass of on a daily basis to learn more and push himself further and I’ve had the pleasure of watching him make significant artistic advancements over the past few years. He is not unlike one of those wind-up toys you point and they take off pointedly in one direction… only Ben’s nose is pointed at the moon and with his passion it wouldn’t surprise me at all if he got there… Read More »

Crystal Morey: William Thidemann Interview

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By Crystal Morey I just spent a couple weeks in Colorado, participating in the Paradise Gathering giving seminars and at Kaze Gallery in Denver, and I got a chance to sit down with one of Kaze’s owners William Thidemann. I love talking to William. His world is wonderfully black and white and he filters it through a well thought out canon of ethics that centers on respect and hard work. It is incredibly refreshing to come home to the states and find that it isn’t all reality TV and triple Big Gulps, there are still people there working to improve their lot and who inspire growth in those around them. William’s demeanor impressed me… his door seemed to be open to anyone who comes in earnest, be it a hot mess needing to cover up her old lover inspired tattoos, or younger tattooers looking for help with compositions and design. He was like minor royalty… ha-ha, like a duke. The Duke of Denver! But seriously I appreciate his pragmatic view of the world and his steadfast dedication to the code he lives by. Interviewing him was a treat… Read More »

TAM News: One Million Reasons to Say ‘Thank You’

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By John  As many of you know, we started this little TAM Blog less than two years ago after I “convinced” Crash and Kent to hire me full-time to spearhead the digital media nerd moment that is sweeping the world-over… So, I am happy to announce that this week the TAM Blog has surpassed the 1 million page view mark already! This amazing accomplishment is greatly due to all of our contributors, writers, followers and sponsors that have helped us grow and build a digital space for tattooers and enthusiasts to share stories, ideas and events, not just with the tattoo community, but the entire globe…  Read More »

Crystal Morey: Tanuki (Japanese Raccoon Dog)

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By Crystal Morey One of the three most famous Henge (shape-shifters) the tanuki is a round jolly little fellow with an enormous scrotum who usually has a sake bottle in hand. He is a Dionysian spirit, devoted to self gratification possessing a head full of tricks to get his hands on rice wine, rich foods and warm ladies. Not malicious in spirit, he’s portrayed as a fun loving character whose exploits backfire as often as they succeed… Undaunted he moves on to the next. For tanuki life is an adventure. Tanuki’s supernatural powers are strong and he’s believed to be more adept at shapeshifting than even the kitsune… Read More »

Owen Williams: Crystal Morey Interview

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By Owen Williams Anyone who has been to a tattoo convention of late, from Milan to Sydney may not have actually seen, but definitely would have heard the whirlwind that is Crystal Morey. Usually holding court at the Gomineko Books stall (an invaluable source of Japanese tattoo culture reference and hard-to-find, out-of-print rarities) while simultaneously translating and taking bookings for her Japanese tattoo cohorts. Aside from kicking butt, taking names and rolling dice at convention time, what is it that goes on in the life of the pint-sized Texas Tornado and number one Tiger Mama?  Read More »

Crystal Morey: Sandi Calistro Interview

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By Crystal Morey I met Sandi Calistro in Montreal last year and was struck by how sweet she was and by how amazing her business cards were! I went back to my hotel and pulled up her website that night. For someone so young her portfolio is very strong and it looks like she has really redefined the way artwork is translated onto skin. It has been my experience that many tattooers can’t draw on paper, and many artists have a hard time satisfactorily tattooing their illustrations… Sandi not only works well in both mediums, but her work transcends and she brings her trademark ladies to a new level of distinction with each new piece. Suffice it to say, I am a big fan of both Sandi and her work… Read More »

Crystal Morey: Owen Williams Interview

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By Crystal Morey I’m gonna just start this whole interview with a disclaimer… I love Owen dearly and really want to do this interview, but he’s one of my best friends and partner in crime so this is bound to get real messy, real fast. That being said I do think, for the record, that he’s über talented. Each new piece he does leaves the last in the dust… Sucking its thumb and crying for its mother. While he is without a doubt one of the loudest people in the industry, he is also incredibly modest and hard-working. His artwork is insane, be it portrait work, Japanese inspired pieces or pin-ups – the end result is always jaw-dropping. I think he’s a bit of an idiot savant…  Read More »

Crystal Morey: Yotsuya Kaidan – The Story of Oiwa

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By Crystal Morey This is one of the most famous Japanese ghost stories and a popular motif here in Japan for tattoos. There are many variations since it was first penned in the early 1800s but the essence of the story is the same. It is the story of Tamiya Lemon, a samurai turned ronin, and his wife Oiwa. Lemon, a masterless samurai forced to take up employ in a redundant job making oil paper umbrellas becomes resentful and bitter about the downward turn his life has taken and he in turn focuses his frustration on his wife Oiwa…  Read More »

Phil Kyle: From Brighton to Milan and Back… Part II

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By Phil Kyle So a few days later it’s off to Milan tattoo convention… The 17th edition, already! This is another one of my favorite convention because you get to see everyone and yet again… another great time. This convention is always packed with kick-ass artists, the attendance is unreal and it’s placed perfectly for folks from Switzerland, Germany, Austria and France to get there fairly easy… Read More »

Phil Kyle: From Brighton to Milan and Back… Part I (VIDEO)

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By Phil Kyle So I got to Brighton on the 26th of February.  The day after was the Magnum Opus pre-tattoo convention party. There was a shit-ton to do in that short time.Had to haul my drum set over to the Prince Albert where the party was..had to pack for the Brighton convention… had to get prints made etc… You know, all that last-minute shit… Read More »

Josh Egnew: Gomineko Tour Diary (Part II)

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By Josh Egnew Day 5 Up and at ‘em! We hit our local ramen spot and jumped on the train. Today we were going to see the Great Buddha! As we exited the train and made our way through the tiny village, Crystal brought our attention to a vending machine that dispenses fortune poos. Yes, little piles of colored plastic poo complete with faces depicting their moods, each with an accompanying fortune! We had to have them… Read More »

Crystal Morey Gets Fast and Furious With Bunshin Saikian Horimasa (VIDEO)

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By Crystal Morey Sooooo… I was hoping to interview Bunshin Saikian Horimasa while racing through the Nagano mountains in his Porsche 996. He and 69 other Hemi enthusiasts have formed a “touring” club that meets once a month and just drives fast. The 69 Brothers. I was hoping for footage of me screaming obscenities and wishing I had a helmet but on the day we went it was raining. And there were police. With cameras. It was the weirdest thing… We would pull into a truck stop and the police would follow us, one would eventually come over and say how much he liked the cars and asked where were we going, while another car came around the back of us and took photos.   I’m from Texas, when cops are taking your picture on the sly it is NOT good. Back in the car I asked Horimasa if he was concerned and he laughed and said we were fine, that we weren’t ‘bōsōzoku’ (teenage gangs identified by their obscenely festooned motorcycles and cars that they race through the city causing as much noise and mayhem as possible) and we weren’t doing anything illegal. Except doubling the speed limit. He maintained that he and his crew were adults and responsible drivers therefore it was not a problem. We did slow down whenever a cop caught up, and the guys in the back quickly texted the guys in the front to let them know, but no one was pulled over or ... Read More »