By Ben Shaw
Tattooing is a passionate craft that some are blessed to do. And for the seriously dedicated it is a lifelong journey of progress and self reflection. To chase this dream is exciting! Especially when you find some measure of success and recognition with it. Being in high demand and consistently busy makes you feel great…for awhile. Then like anything we do day in and day out, it can become a job. The pros create some cons, and it takes on the form of work. We can find our passions waining or losing focus, and our purpose less defined.
Tattooing is popular. Lots of people want work and we can make a good living at this. Its gaining such recognition that we take on almost rock star status if we’re artistically talented enough. But even that doesn’t satiate the hole left by the day to day grind.
By Dan Henk
People love clichés. They love to pick apart their coworkers and neighbors. One of the many, many little schools of dissension in tattooing tends to be the “tattoo artist” versus the “tattooer” label.
Some circles, especially those who focus on old-school, have decided that “tattoo artist” is a pejorative. There is a whole list of complaints I’ve heard regarding anything that doesn’t look like a traditional tattoo. Everything from ”that won’t hold up over time,” to “that doesn’t look like a tattoo” to “anyone who wants to be called a tattoo artist is a pretentious hipster, this is a noble working class profession like pipe fitting or blacksmithing…” (more…)
Courtesy of Raking Light: Raking Light Projects is an online contemporary art gallery that specializes in the sale of original art and collectible prints created by skilled tattoo artists. Based in Los Angeles, CA, the online gallery exhibits artwork from an array of internationally recognized artists with a background in or relationship to tattooing. Raking Light Projects went live in March 2012 with an exhibition of works created exclusively for the website by artists Guy Aitchison, Jondix, Timothy Hoyer, Bert Krak, Carlos “WENT” Rodriguez and Derrick Snodgrass… (more…)
By Dan Henk
When I first started tattooing, the industry seemed to be breaking new ground. People like Guy Aitchison, Tom Renshaw and Aaron Caine were redefining what could be done with the form. It was an exciting time. I had been to art school, was doing album covers for bands, illustrations for a few clubs and magazines, and I finally saw that tattooing could be as detailed and complex as any other medium. I had interviewed with DC Comics, and Penguin books and both were very restrictive… (more…)
By Chet Zar
I only discovered the tattoo community about 3 years ago when I was invited by tattoo artist Jon Lane to paint live at 2009′s Visionary Tattoo Art Festival. I was impressed from the start. Not only were these artists creating truly cutting edge art work on skin (conceptually, tattooing blows every other artistic statement out of the water, in my opinion), they were also painting as good as or better than a lot of well known contemporary painters I’ve seen. I was truly blown away at the variety of styles, techniques and ideas and wondered why I wasn’t seeing a lot of this stuff at the galleries I was showing at and going to, especially when a lot of the artists were expressing interest in showing at these galleries… (more…)
Some may recall my enthusiastic blog report last fall on the Paradise Tattoo Gathering… Well, I’m gonna do it again! The World Wide Tattoo Conference, brainchild of Italian tattoo artist Alex De Pase and co-hosted by Gabe Ripley and TattooNOW.com, is a new first in the tattoo world; a two-day seminar event for professional tattooers, boasting lectures from six highly respected and influential global artists. More than 200 tattoo artists from around the globe travelled to St. Charles, Illinois to attend this specialized tattoo conference… (more…)
By Dan Henk
So, let’s talk about the new tattoo show, Ink Master. It was originally pitched to me (as I’m sure it was to several artists) by a lady named Lisa. She said, and this is an almost direct quote, “We have people on this show like Jeff Gouge and Guy Aitchison. That’s who we’re talking to. Do you think you can compete?” (more…)
By Gabe Ripley
Guy Aitchison Seminar: “The Extra Mile Is Never Crowded- A Few Extra Things You Can Do To Make Your Work Stand Out” Included as part of the Worldwide Tattoo Conference educational program, $800 for 6 2-hour classes (see event description for more information). Free ticket giveaway: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/viewform?formkey=dENTeUV2QTJfdE1VMXBOMWo0S1JOclE6MQ (more…)
By Gabe Ripley
To have a chance to win a free ticket to the World Wide Tattoo Conference, please click the link below and fill out form. Winners will be chosen at the start of next week: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/viewform?formkey=dENTeUV2QTJfdE1VMXBOMWo0S1JOclE6MQ
Six of the world’s most famous tattoo artists will gather together in the Chicago area to share their expertise and experiences. Two days of full immersion into the secrets that made Guy Aitchison, Jeff Gogue, Nick Baxter, Boris, Bob Tyrrell and Alex De Pase very popular and successful. The program includes a series of highly integrated core seminars and lectures that provide attendees with a great opportunity to learn more about the technical skills, tips and tricks and suggestions that can make you a better tattooist. Every artist will explain his unique artistic approach to body art and show his own peculiar vision on the tattoo world. (more…)
By Dan Henk
This industry has been around a long time. People come in from many different angles, some just want to make a living and there is certainly a place for that. Others are artistic geniuses, and there is a place for that as well. The vast majority fall in the mid-ground. All are welcomed, as long as they approach it with the right attitude… And if you can do a good, clean tattoo…
South By South West (SXSW) is a 10-day film, music and interactive conference that happens every year in Austin, Texas since 1987. It has been the career starting place for many musicians and a place for bigger name musicians to play for intimate crowds. SXSW has been on my “bucket list” for many years.
My only reservation was that I would need to have help with the 15-plus-hour drive. As long as I could get help, I would do it. Luckily, I found the world’s best co-pilot, my friend Jen. I picked her up on Tuesday morning and we set out for what could be no less than a rock and roll adventure. (more…)