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Posts tagged “michigan

Dawn Cooke: Never Take Each Other For Granted


By Dawn Cooke
This blog is about the intricacies of the client/artist relationship. It’s sort of like any other relationship, only usually interactions happen in relatively short bursts and there are just so many of them. I try to always value this relationship and interaction. I think it is a valuable life experience for both parties, usually… (more…)


Dawn Cooke: Jesse Stark Fundraiser


By Dawn Cooke
Let me tell you a little story about Jesse Stark. Jesse starting tattooing as a young man and like most of us had to struggle to learn the craft of tattooing. Jesse worked in Detroit for a while. When I say he worked in Detroit I mean in the city not the suburbs. He was shot at one too many times there and he left to work in the safer community of Ann Arbor… (more…)


Dawn Cooke: 15 Great Artists’ Pictures From Instagram

By Dawn Cooke
So I screen-shotted some of my favorite pictures from Intagram to share. My intention is to share some great work and give the artists every bit of the credit! I’m doing it to showcase what I consider to be some really great work. I hope you will all agree. One thing I want to make clear is that I am not trying to promote the idea of “stealing.” All artists are inspired by other artists. There’s a difference between being inspired and flat-out stealing. I think it’s important to know the difference. Most images in tattooing have been taken from other sources. It’s always good to know the source if you can, and try to be inspired by art outside of tattooing… and also by life and nature… (more…)


Depot Town Tattoo: Toys for Tats 2012 (VIDEO)

By Dawn Cooke This event is about donating a toy to a child in need. Every year around Christmas Depot Town Tattoo holds a toy drive. Front Street Tattoo, Mike Emmets shop in Traverse City, Michigan does the event also every year. Clients bring in a toy valued over $15 bucks and get a tattoo valued at least 50. We usually do 100-120 tattoos that day. We do this as a way to give back to the community. The toys go to Carrot Way Community Center for low income families who are struggling to get on their feet. They also go to Methodist Children’s Orphanage to kids who don’t have parents and kids who live in foster care…  (more…)


Dawn Cooke: Ask Not What Your Culture Can Do For You, But What Can You Do For Your Culture

By Dawn Cooke
I have been thinking lately about how important it is to support the culture and community of tattooing. It seems like a no-brainer, but I noticed that it doesn’t seem like people have any real criteria for the support they do give. It’s almost like people have an odd biased that is based on a “what can I get out of this” attitude. This makes sense since we have such a capitalist environment at play…  (more…)


Dawn Cooke: Freedom

By Dawn Cooke
I hear talk about freedom all of the time. As an artist, my first amendment right is pretty important. The fact that we can share our thoughts freely is something we often take for granted. It’s easy to do because we are taught to believe that we are entitled to be free and we can do or say anything we want in this country. The truth is, that’s not entirely the case. You have to go along with society’s laws and norms for the most part because if you can’t find a productive place in society for whatever reason, society will find a place for you and it might not be a place you would like to go…  (more…)


Dawn Cooke: Top 10 Ways to Balance Family and Career

By Dawn Cooke
In this fast paced, competitive world, how does a parent balance a career with the many other obligations of family and life? It’s not easy! It definitely requires planning and some sacrifice. There are so many things going on around any given person at any given time today in our world. It can be easy to become bombarded by media such as news, Internet and television. It can feel like the world is flying past you in fast forward while you are struggling to check things off of your list. Meanwhile your list of things to do grows and grows… But I found a few things that really help me manage all the tasks I have as mother, shop owner, artist, tattooist and wife… (more…)


Dawn Cooke: Laws and Money

By Dawn Cooke
Leave it to me to write about the less exciting things about tattooing. This might just be one of the more important subjects I could have the honor of making you think about. With more popularity for tattooing comes more attention from the government. This means laws and money. I can talk about Michigan specifically and explain to you all what’s happening here…  (more…)


Dawn Cooke: I Hate to Burst Your Bubble!

By Dawn Cooke
Lately, I have had some cynical views toward the state of tattoo culture and pop culture in general and I have had to apologize for affecting sensitivities. So I have been researching, writing and thinking about why I feel this way. The phenomenon of counter-culture becoming popular culture has been written about quite a lot. If you are interested in this topic the book, Nation of Rebels is a good one. What I see, is that we have an overly competitive narcissistic consumer culture that has really negative effects on individuals and on society as a whole. A person can get swept away by the tide if they aren’t careful. I have come dangerously close too many times personally…  (more…)


Dawn Cooke: Ladies, Ladies! Art Show 2012

By Dawn Cooke
I just wanted to tell everyone about a really cool art show you should check out if you are in NY or if you’re going out to the Convention. This should be really fun for both guys and gals to attend…

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Dawn Cooke: The Tattoo Shop Environment

By Dawn Cooke
My tolerance for suffering and a small amount of self-loathing has always made me able to stand sometimes-intolerable environments. Also a drive and fight against resistance has always been fueled by passion to do my work. To everyday people some of the happenings and things said in the tattoo shop are not PC to say the least, in fact some people might be down right disgusted and offended at most of the things that are said and topics discussed within the shop atmosphere…  (more…)


Dawn Cooke: Why a Tattoo Is Not a Painting, and a Painting Is Not a Tattoo

By Dawn Cooke
This is actually a simple concept really, it’s because they are completely different mediums, if you even consider tattooing an artistic medium. The same way a sculpture isn’t a painting, a drawing isn’t a sculpture, needlepoint isn’t furniture making, a tattoo is not a painting and a painting is not a tattoo.

Many tattoo artists have attempted to combine or blur the lines between the two forms of expression. While these attempts are very impressive to people who know little or care nothing about the tradition and history of tattooing, they can sometimes go against the spirit of the trade or craft of tattooing… (more…)


Depot Town Tattoo: Toys for Tats (VIDEO)

By Dawn Cooke
Toys for Tats is something we started at Depot Town Tattoo two years ago. Our first year 100 people showed up and we tattooed as many as we could. That first year we had no idea it would go down like that at all. The second year was twice the turn out and four of us did double the work. This year there are five of us and we are doing something a bit different. Since we couldn’t possibly get to everyone, we are signing up the first 100 people early starting on December 1st and anyone else who wishes to donate a toy will receive a voucher for $20 dollars toward their next tattoo.

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Dawn Cooke: What is a Tattoo? 6 Other Artists Who Get It!

By Dawn Cooke
Every day I ask myself this question. And if you think I always have the correct answer, I do not. Every tattoo that I do gets me closer to figuring out exactly what a tattoo is. Some of the first thoughts I have when I meet a client lead me to my conclusions about that particular piece. Each piece is different and every piece is a different answer to the question…

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Dawn Cooke: 32 Great Tattoo Artists Everyone Should Know

By Dawn Cooke
This is for the guys…

So I featured ladies-only last time and I didn’t want the guys to feel left out. So I sent messages to all the guys who I admire for their contribution to the tattoo community. Some of these fellows I know personally and some of them I do not but for some reason their work, ethics or both caught my eye… (more…)


Adam Shrewsbury Tattoo Artist Magazine Article Preview for Issue #27

Robert Ryan: So what are some things that could distract a tattooer in the application of a tattoo? And drain power from the image?

Adam Shrewsbury: Again, there are several different things. It could be the environment being real hectic, or the music could be really terrible, or maybe the customer has come with a friend who is putting off terrible vibes, or maybe the customers themselves are putting you off… I guess, probably, the biggest thing for me is when the customers themselves don’t trust you. You know? And they question every action, and every time you’re about to put red in, they’re like, “Uhhhhhh, let’s stop. Let’s not do that.” And they question you with every step. So really, I guess I feel that if a tattoo doesn’t show its strengths, it’s because the relationship between the tattooer and the customer has sort of floundered a bit…

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Dawn Cooke’s Body Shrine Book Now Available in the TAM Pro Store

Body Shrine by Dawn Cooke: Told from the perspective of one very respected female tattoo artist, several beautifully written stories about the client/artist relationship. These moving experiences and beautiful photographs tell the tale of an inspiring life…

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Tattoo Artist Magazine #27 Preview: Adam Shrewsbury Interview by Robert Ryan (VIDEO)

Interview by Robert Ryan

[More info on expanded page]

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Dawn Cooke: Symbolism

Everything we see has a significant meaning and stands as a symbol when used in any context regarding sculpture, image and even written language. If objects are used in any art context they become symbols just the same as images used in an illustration. This is the reason I believe we are seeing so much usage of symbols with object imagery in tattooing… (more…)


Dawn Cooke: Art School

Warning: If you do not like opinionated strong-willed women you should not read this blog! Do yourself and me a favor and don’t waste our time.

So what does it mean to go to art school? Most art school students enter college right out of high school. A lot of them have parents who are paying for their tuition. Those who do not have parental support are relaying on loans, grants and scholarships (mainly loans). Those who don’t go right out of high school usually had some life circumstances that prevented them from going to college such as poor guidance, no money or no ambition, just to name a few. (more…)


Dawn Cooke: Nothing is Sacred in the Market Place

Lately there has been concern about bloggers taking artists’ pictures without permission. I have been paying strict attention to this. When Frank worked for me at Depot Town there was one blogger, in particular, who was taking some of his images from Facebook and using it in his blog. (I won’t name this particular blog because this isn’t the important part.) Now, there are a few more out there since then… (more…)


Dawn Cooke: Tattoo Ethics

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It’s okay to take up a hobby or make various other works of art. It’s also okay to dedicate your life solely to tattooing and polishing those skills of your craft. It’s okay to just do flash tattoos for your whole career. It’s also acceptable to actually learn how to draw things yourself. I mean putting forth extra effort never hurt anyone. Knock yourself out! (more…)


Dawn Cooke: Lady Tattooers

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Today Nick (our shop guy) asked me why there weren’t that many good women tattoo artists. He felt there should be more I suppose. I said two reasons, first most women aren’t tough enough to work ten times harder than their male peers and take tons of shit along the way. Second they aren’t taken seriously enough in the first place to even be offered the opportunity. Then if they are offered the opportunity based on their skill or looks which ever go back to reason one. (more…)


Motor City Tattoo Expo: On the Road in Detroit

By John

The Motor City Tattoo Expo holds a special place in my heart. This convention (four years ago) was the very first convention I worked for Tattoo Artist Magazine. I had no clue what I was doing! Crash mostly abandoned me that first year, like a newborn gazelle, I was thrown to the “tat con” wolves and had to get on my feet and start running. But I guess there’s no better way to figure out how to survive than sink or swim… (more…)


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