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Myke Chambers Article Preview for Tattoo Artist Magazine Issue #36

TAM-headerCHAMBERS-3Myke Chambers is one of the most positive voices in tattooing right now, which is kinda paradoxical in a way because behind all Myke’s openness, generosity and hard-earned skill is a guy who had it pretty rough growing up. Virtually abandoned in childhood to an institution, he’s gone from time in a home to time on the streets, (and even some time behind bars); through all this it’s Tattooing that’s given Myke the maturity and stability of mind required to make positive and intentional changes in his life and, along the way, in his work.

His story, like all the stories we feature in TAM & TCM, is about celebrating the transformative power inherent in the art & craft of tattooing to leave more than just a physical “mark” on our lives.
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At a young age, Myke left home with a backpack and his dog to wander the countryside by freight train in search of something he never found. Living a vagabond life he began his tattoo apprenticeship in the early 90’s…along with his schooling of hard-knocks and plenty of tough life lessons learned, he’s emerged into a well rounded tattooer and overall better person that is always there to help his fellow man when in need.

Myke’s style has strong roots in Traditional Americana, though he likes to put his own spin on the basic concepts of Old School, his style is clearly his own. Today, he’s trying to focus on painting and growing with every new endeavor he undertakes. Myke hasn’t yet shaken the wanderlust and you might find him roaming anywhere in the world, honing his craft.

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Myke Chambers

By Russ Abbott

Russ Abbott: Myke Chambers, how would you describe your tattoo style?

Myke Chambers: My tattoo style? I definitely have a traditional influence but I don’t really call it traditional, some people would. I don’t really. I just call it a tattoo.

What are some of the basic elements that you try to include in your work?

Basic elements I try to include are just a solid, bold outline, I like to whip-shade a lot of stuff, heavily saturate stuff… I usually try to keep mostly primary colors, minimum blending type of stuff.

And do you like to do big tattoos? 

I’d prefer big tattoos. I like tattoos that I can finish in one shot like three to five hours but I do like big projects. Lately, I’ve been having a lot of fun taking a design that should be maybe hand size and blowing it up to a full back piece, keeping it just as simple.

I just do tattoos. I don’t really even care to put my tattoos in any kind of category of realism or if I can do new school, or traditional. People say it’s traditional but I’d rather just not even be categorized in it. I just do tattoos. I like my tattoos to standout. I like people to know that I did it, make it unique, and true to myself.

What do you think makes a great tattoo as far as the structural elements?

That’s very suggestive. Having a good amount of black in a tattoo? It’s going to hold it up but then again, all the inks today; we don’t really know how they’re going to hold up. They could hold up just as well as any black ever did. With my tattoos, I like bold outlines, solid color, heavy black, but that’s all preference. I like realism tattoos. I like illustrative tattoos. I like all those types of tattoos.

BUY TAM 36 IN PRINT OR NOW DIGITAL(!) & READ MORE ABOUT MYKE’S AMAZING JOURNEY.

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Myke Chambers: Idiocracy?

0-1 By Myke Chambers
I was talking with a friend a little while back about the state of tattooing today, comparing it with how things were just 15 or 20 years ago. He made a really good point… A lot of people say, “Yeah tattooing going mainstream sucks but now there are more people getting tattooed so we’re all making a lot more money.”

But he then reminded me that yeah, 15 years ago there weren’t as many people getting tattooed but there also weren’t as many tattooers either, so anyone that wanted a tattoo didn’t have a whole lot of choices. Today there are sometimes a hundred shops in a city or maybe even upwards of 300 in a big city…  (more…)


Sullen TV: Rockstar Inked Up Tour Convention Coverage Philadelphia Part III (VIDEO)


Courtesy of Sullen TV: Sullen TV is covering the Rockstar Energy Drink Inked Up Tour 2013. Stop one was at the Philadelphia Tattoo Convention with the Sullen Art Collective. Sullen TV host Bernadette Macias catches up with a few artists like Myke Chambers, Christian Perez, Tattoo Ish and Jime Litwalk…
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Sullen TV: Rockstar Inked Up Tour Convention Coverage Philadelphia Part II (VIDEO)

Courtesy of Sullen TV: Sullen TV is covering the Rockstar Energy Drink Inked Up Tour 2013. Stop one was at the Philadelphia Tattoo Convention with the Sullen Art Collective. Sullen TV host Bernadette Macias catches up with a few artists like Myke Chambers, Christian Perez, Tattoo Ish and Jime Litwalk…
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Sullen TV: Rockstar Inked Up Tour Convention Coverage Philadelphia Part I (VIDEO)


Courtesy of Sullen TV: Sullen TV is covering the Rockstar Energy Drink Inked Up Tour 2013. Stop one was at the Philadelphia Tattoo Convention with the Sullen Art Collective. Sullen TV host Bernadette Macias catches up with a few artists like Myke Chambers, Christian Perez, Tattoo Ish and Jime Litwalk…
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Sullen TV: Rockstar Inked Up Tour Philadelphia with Myke Chambers (VIDEO)

(Myke can be found on the road and at Freaks & Geeks Tattoo in Asheville, NC  and Northern Liberty Tattoo, in Philadelphia, PA.)
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Tattoo Culture Magazine: Launch Party Time

nicki-kasper-profile-1By Nicki Kasper
Oh what a night… The TCM launch party was more than any of us could have asked for. We wanted to celebrate all the work and effort we’ve put into this project and really blow it up for the people who showed up to support us. I think it’s safe to say that no one left disappointed…  (more…)


Myke Chambers: Westward Expansion

Myke-profileBy Myke Chambers
If you’re familiar with 19th century American history then you should know a little about the westward expansion of the Euro-American and the ensuing American Indian wars leading to the near extinction of all Native American culture.

Now I’m not going to go into all the horrific atrocities committed by the Euro-American against the American Indians, all the countless promises broken and massacres of women and children. Please understand I’m in no way saying the mass genocide and all the horrors done to the Native American in the past and in the present in any way compares. That wasn’t the purpose of this at all. I myself am part Cherokee. What is happening with tattooing is obviously nowhere near as horrific as what happened to the native tribes. No, I have another purpose for bringing this bit of history up. You may be asking yourself where the hell is he going with this and what the hell does American history have to do with tattooing… Bear with me, and while you do look for history repeating itself… though not on such a horrific scale… (more…)


Myke Chambers: Fox in Rose Tattoo (VIDEO)

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Portland Tattoo Expo, On the Road in Oregon

By Nicki Kasper
I was looking forward to the Portland Tattoo Expo knowing that I had several friends working it and fun and debauchery would ensue. The fact that Portland is just a short drive from where I live was an awesome added bonus…

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Sullen Clothing: 21 Questions with Myke Chambers

Courtesy of Sullen Clothing: A few days ago I did our popular 21 questions with one of the coolest down to earth guys Myke Chambers. Myke is a part of our elite Sullen Art Collective team that consists of some of the best artists. This was a fun interview to do because Myke is so into Sullen and helping out us out. Sullen just launched a new tee design called the Myke Chambers which is his first artist collaboration piece. Myke is a huge fan of Traditional Americana imagery with tons of color and bold lines which is something we are a huge fan of as well, there are so many great black and grey artists, but when someone comes to us with awesome color work we are all over it… [Interview and pictures on expanded page]

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Myke Chambers: Sorry if I Sound Like a Dick, but Your Tattoos Suck

Myke=profileBy Myke Chambers
Sorry if I sound like a dick, (because I’m really not) but sometimes I’m blown away by how blind people are when it comes to tattoos. I know my tattoos aren’t the best, and they are not perfect, but the crap some people think are good tattoos is insane…

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