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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 »

Tattoo Stories Episode 3: Jack Rudy

By Sanctioned TV. Read More »

I Deserve To Be Naked If I Want To

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By Margaret Cho Reblogged from: jezebel.com This is a really beautiful Korean spa in Los Angeles called Aroma Spa & Sports. Korean spas are wonderful, and they hold a special place in my heart. I have been going to the jimjilbang since I was a little girl in Korea. You can have a bath and a scrub and a sauna and usually a meal and other spa treatments if you like, and aroma is special because there’s a huge swimming pool, a state of the art gym and a golf range on the top floor. I went this morning, had a gorgeous swim in the pool, then went downstairs to have a soak, scrub and sauna. As soon as I walked into the locker room, I felt uncomfortable. I guess I should mention here, Korean spas are, uh — well, clothing optional is not the right thing to call them. It’s more clothing non-optional, in that everyone is naked. Read More »

Patrick Moore: Dan Smith – Tattooer (VIDEO)

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Noon Tattoo Artist Magazine #30 Article Preview

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Interview By Gene Coffey  Gene Coffey: There are a lot of people in Europe now that do your style. Noon: Well, not really my style. They’re definitely influenced by your style though… Yes, they’re influenced. There are some people that try to make copies every time. Like Bugs has been copied a lot, or Guy Aitchison has been copied, or Paul Booth and so on. So as soon as it’s on the market, you can get copied. I think when I started tattooing I really liked the work of guys like Guy Aitchison or Bugs or Paul Booth. Even if it’s not my style, I really liked Bugs’ style. But the way that these people went into their universe and tried to work in their universe making no concession for traditional codes, like Japanese, traditional Americana… I really like the way Bugs had a classical influence on the new generation to go their way, to take up their style. If people are now following the way it’s going in Europe now partly because of me, I’m just really proud of that. This is also what I want people to do. Go your way, develop your style, there’s a lot to do. I think we’re really only at the beginning of tattooing. We are the beginning. It will change a lot. A lot of artists came into tattooing because it was a moneymaker, but a lot of artists are interested in this art because it can be a way of art. ... Read More »

Shawn Barber Article Excerpt, paintings and tattoos

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Interview Excerpt from TAM#30 By Kore Flatmo …Kore Flatmo: Were you making art that whole time? Or did you put it on the shelf? Shawn Barber: Yes. I was always drawing comics. Doing murals on friends’ walls, posters for friends’ music shows and album artwork. I got my first tattoo at 16, and continued to get more and more tattoos. So there was an attraction early on. Yeah. I wanted to be tattooed. When you got that first tattoo, did you think, ‘I’d like to do this’? I thought, “This guy doesn’t know how to draw.” [Laughs]…  Read More »

Dan Smith Tattoo Artist Magazine Issue #28 Preview

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Interview By Lindsey Carmichael Lindsey Carmichael: But you are not the type of person I know to be affected in a negative way by nonsense. And most of the people who would have negative things to say about the show or whatever—it wouldn’t affect you. From what I’ve seen, in your life- only great, positive things have come of this. So, I’m just wondering, what the experience was like? It seems at times overwhelming, but mostly great…  Dan Smith: Well it’s such a funny thing, because everybody and their dog has an opinion about it. Yet, no one really knows about it. Everyone wants to know about it, and wants to talk about it, but it is what it is. How much thought and energy do you want to put into the fact that it’s a TV show? In order for tattooing to be a TV show, it has to cover some stuff that’s exaggerated, or that might not be 100 percent accurate, or whatever else. That’s just being realistic about what TV is. LC: It’s a show. DS: Why should that make you have an opinion about somebody that you don’t know, haven’t met and haven’t had a conversation with? You know? They film for 50 or 60 hours a week and put that into a 45-minute show… Read More »

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