Miguel Montgomery: On a little bit of a different note about your tattooing, I’ve seen some Japanese tattoos with American roses in the background. I haven’t seen too much of that. Did something spark that made you want to do that? Or did you just take it upon yourself, like ‘this snake needs a rose next to it’?
Bryan Burk: There were a few conversations I had when I was working with Bob about how we should try doing that stuff. And there were some kids that I had tattooed on, one was my friend Jeff, who’d gotten a bunch of tattoos and wanted to fill in all the space around them. So he was one of the first people that I filled in with roses and water around everything because it kind of fit in all these little spaces he had. On his it worked, and I think if you’re gonna do blue water with roses and some American stuff, it works. As long as you kinda keep it pumped up on the American side of town; color clouds and blue water with black behind all of that, like Eddy Deutsche, like Eddy meets late Sailor Jerry-type Japanese compositions, it’ll work. But I think if you’re doing black Japanese background with grey water, for whatever reason, roses look weird… (more…)
Crash: Okay, let’s start with a basic history of yourself and then I want you to talk about the shop and it’s crew.
Horitaka Kitamura: Sure man, basic story… Well I was born in Japan and my parents moved to America when I was a few years old. My parents were bilingual so they taught me Japanese as well, which opened a lot of doors for me later on… So I grew up here and probably had a very similar interest in tattooing like many of my generation, I was a skater, turned punk rocker and liked tattoos from my junior high school days. I do recall liking the tattoos in an old Japanese TV show, “the tattooed magistrate” where the hero shows his cherry blossom tattoos before he kicks ass at the end of every episode. So I guess I’ve long had an affinity for tattoos. I know in high school I had already decided I wanted a body suit, didn’t know what the hell that meant or what was good but I just knew that I wanted tons of tattoos! (more…)
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… (more…)
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… (more…)
By Takahiro “Horitaka” Kitamura
When I think about good tattooing, I think of art executed by skilled craftsman. In an era of chain stores and mass production, it is always refreshing to see something hand-made. I met Jamie from RePop through my good friend Chris Yvon. Chris told me about Jamie and RePop, and the hand-made goods they produced. The product certainly lived up to the hype! Rings, buckles, wallets and more, all with old world craftsmanship, with some weight -no cheap materials, and a great retro feel…
Interview by Nicki Kasper
Nicki Kasper: Do you explore other mediums, like paint? If so, how do you approach that? Do you market and sell them?
Horiken: Yes, I like to paint very much. I usually paint with acrylics on paper. I like wooden panels as well. I do try to do different things from my tattooing, I may use the same motifs, but I lay paintings out differently. And, I guess I use different shading and coloring techniques; some that may not work in a tattoo. And… yeah, I do sell paintings, I don’t really make a huge effort to sell them, but if someone wants one, I do sell them. When I was in art school, I studied art history. I am trying to study this more and I have the thought that maybe I can paint and draw, a bit separate from tattooing and make something new…
Tattoo Artist Magazine (TAM) #27 features articles from Henk Schiffmacher (Hanky Panky), Doug Hardy, Adam Shrewsbury and Horiken. Click here: http://tattooartistmagazine.myshopify.com/ to pre-order TAM #27. TAM checks each individual order to verify that you are a professional artist. If you are not a professional your order will be cancelled and money refunded. Please don’t waste our time… We stay pretty busy… (Cover art by Doug Hardy and Adam Shrewsbury.)
Cheers- TEAM TAM