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Turning My Mastectomy Scars into Art

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I have always loved tattoos. Shortly after my 18th birthday, I walked into a tattoo shop filled with courage and a bit of cockiness. After studying the wall of images, I confidently pointed to a small cartoon devil named “hot stuff” and said, “Perfect!” Many people ask whether or I not have any regrets about my first tattoo, but, honesty, I don’t. 23 years later, I look at it and smile. It’s a part of my history, a personalized scar of sorts. Over the years, I have added other tattoos, so it’s no surprise to anyone that knows me that I decided to add one more. This one however, is the most meaningful piece of art I have ever added to my skin. It is a beautiful ending to a very difficult 6 years. Choosing to remove my healthy breasts because of my 87% chance of developing breast cancer is a decision I don’t regret for one minute. My BRCA gene mutation has forced me to make decisions that no woman should ever have to make.  By choosing this tattoo, it was an opportunity to turn my mastectomy into a work of art! After my mastectomy, I suffered complications with my reconstruction and endured an additional 4 surgeries. I was not interested in another operation to recreate nipples that would never look, feel or work like my real ones. That is when I knew that I was going to do things differently. My search for a tattoo artist was a ... Read More »

Jack Rudy – Photo Gallery of Black & Grey Masterpieces

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Jack Rudy is an American tattoo artist notable for his reinvention of the ‘Black and Gray’ style of tattooing, realistic portraits, and single-needle use. He is considered to be one of the top tattoo artists in the world. After leaving the Marines in 1975, Rudy began his career as an apprentice at Goodtime Charlie’s Tattooland, in East Los Angeles. Under the watch of Charlie Cartwright, a friend of his he had met while visiting the Old Long Beach pike while on leave from the USMC Logistics Base in Barstow CA, Rudy and Cartwright began to hone their craft of single-needle, Black and Gray style tattoos. Simultaneously creating a whole new subgenre of modern tattooing and raising the proverbial bar for many new emerging tattoo artists and artists in general. His very distinct and distinguishable style is renowned for its masterful use of light and dark shades of varying degrees of black and grey. In addition to creating a softer and more realistic style of tattooing, with the advent of the new single needle tattoo technology artists were now able to use a much greater level of detail than previously attainable utilizing older and more readily accepted tattoo machine and needle configurations. As the client base of East Los Angeles began requesting this ‘penitentiary-style’, the pair decided to create a single-needle configured tattoo machine. Jack Rudy can be found at Good Time Charlie’s Tattooland in Anaheim, CA. (From the full article as seen in Tattoo Artist Magazine #25)  Get it HERE for $14.99     OR ... Read More »

Photo Gallery for Los Angeles Black & Grey Master – Carlos Torres

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  Tattoos by Carlos Torres Carlos’ Website — FOLLOW CARLOS on Instagram Los Angeles, CA   SAVE $20 off this already discounted set of Tattoo Artist Magazine’s BLACK & GREY Masters BUNDLE!   *To see MORE and learn about some of the MOST AMAZING tattoo artists of our age, check out these deals from Tattoo Artist Magazine! There’s a reason tattooers themselves consider TAM the most informative and important tattoo magazine ever –   *Be sure to check out the digital issues of Tattoo Artist Magazine ON SALE NOW– JUST $2.99 – $7.99. TAM DIGITAL ISSUES And look at our $.99 collection of  TAM VIDEO Downloads available now! Either way, See the BEST TATTOOS from the BEST ARTISTS in the world. Add to your collection today!   Read More »

Chriss Dettmer Tats, from Hamburg, Germany

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Tattoos by Chriss Dettmer Black Hole Tattoo Hamburg, Germany FOLLOW HIM to see MORE AMAZING Tattoos: Instagram & Facebook It’s sold out in PRINT, but you can SEE MORE tattoos by Chriss by ordering a digital copy of Chriss Dettmer’s article in TAM #8! On Sale NOW     *To see MORE and learn about some of the MOST AMAZING tattoo artists of our age, check out these deals from Tattoo Artist Magazine! There’s a reason tattooers themselves consider TAM the most informative and important tattoo magazine ever –   *Be sure to check out the digital issues of Tattoo Artist Magazine ON SALE NOW– JUST $2.99 – $7.99. TAM DIGITAL ISSUES And look at our $.99 collection of  TAM VIDEO Downloads available now! Either way, See the BEST TATTOOS from the BEST ARTISTS in the world. Add to your collection today!   Read More »

from Orbetello, Italy – tattoos by Samuele Briganti

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Tattoos By Samuele Briganti Drum Tattoo Orbetello, Italy FOLLOW ON Instagram & FaceBook    *To see MORE and learn about some of the MOST AMAZING tattoo artists of our age, check out these deals from Tattoo Artist Magazine! There’s a reason tattooers themselves consider TAM the most informative and important tattoo magazine ever –   *Be sure to check out the digital issues of Tattoo Artist Magazine ON SALE NOW– JUST $2.99 – $7.99. TAM DIGITAL ISSUES And look at our $.99 collection of  TAM VIDEO Downloads available now! Either way, See the BEST TATTOOS from the BEST ARTISTS in the world. Add to your collection today!   Read More »

10 Grimmest Skull and Skeleton Tattoos

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All the PHOTOS in this GALLERY of Skulls & Skeletons are from professional tattooers in the TAM community who have shared their work with us on instaGram! When it comes to the design you want for your tattoo, sky is the limit. The array of designs you can find in each category is endless, not to mention that every individual owns creativity! The type of tattoo one decides to put on their skin is essentially a message they give to the world. A Skull and/or Skeleton tattoo, is it a symbol of death or life? To quite a lot of people when they see a skull tattoo, the word that immediately comes to their mind is death and danger. Yet, before tattooing was even a thing, the sign of a skull was always associated with life and even a symbol to celebrate it. In ancient societies, skulls and skeleton were meant to bring great change, and the greatest of all changes in one’s life is death. People who opt for skull tattoos each have their own motivations, meanings, and reason for getting them. To each individual personally, it can mean anything from celebration of life to recognition of the inevitability of death. While the symbolism of a skull tattoo holds significance, nowadays, it has become a display only, rather than holding its inherent meaning, and if you really want to find out the message that a person is trying to convey, you will have to ask them that directly. There ... Read More »

Perseverance Japanese Tattoo Exhibit Video3 w/Drew Flores

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Japanese Tattoo: Perseverance, Art, and Tradition focuses on the work of seven internationally acclaimed tattoo artists –Ryudaibori (formerly Horitaka), Horitomo, Horishiki, Miyazo, Shige, Junii, and Yokohama Horiken – inspired by the Japanese tradition of tattooing and heavily influenced by the traditional Japanese arts ofcalligraphy and ukiyo-e woodblock printmaking. Specially commissioned photographs of work by each artist will be displayed alongside tools and relief carvings, as well as a recreated Torii. A companion book of the same title features additional photographs and writings, and is published by the Japanese American National Museum. Japanese Tattoo: Perseverance, Art, and Tradition is created, designed and photographed by Kip Fulbeck, and curated by Takahiro Kitamura (Ryudaibori, formerly Horitaka). *Please help SUPPORT the VMFA’s efforts to elevate tattoo and tattoo art — Follow the VMFA on FaceBook:   Related Articles: Introduction to “Perseverance” by the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Japan’s Complex Relationship with Tattoo Perseverance Tattoo Exhibit VIDEO #1: VMFA w/Kip Fulbeck Perseverance Japanese Exhibit VIDEO #2 w/L.A. Horitaka Perseverance Japanese Exhibit VIDEO #3 w/Drew Flores Virginia’s 2015 Tattoo Arts & Film Festival !!  Read More »

Perseverance Japanese Tattoo Exhibit Video2 w/L.A. Horitaka

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With the opening of Japanese Tattoo: Perseverance, Art, and Tradition (also known as Perseverance), Richmond’s most popular art form moves into the biggest gallery in town. The world-famous exhibition—including pieces by Horitaki, Horitomo, Miyazo, and Shige—combines the mysticism and beauty of feudal Japan with the style and skill of modern art. And if there’s a better place on the East Coast for it, we can’t think of it. The capital of the old South—Richmond, Virginia—is now the artistic hub of the new South. *Please help SUPPORT the VMFA’s efforts to elevate tattoo and tattoo art — Follow the VMFA on FaceBook:   Related Articles: Introduction to “Perseverance” by the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Japan’s Complex Relationship with Tattoo Perseverance Tattoo Exhibit Video1: VMFA w/Kip Fulbeck       Read More »

Perseverance Tattoo Exhibit Video1: VMFA w/Kip Fulbeck

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The title of the exhibition at Virginia Museum of Fine Arts is derived the Japanese word gaman, loosely translated as “perseverance“—a word that has long been associated with tattooing in Japan. According to Takahiro Kitamura, curator of the exhibition, and Kip Fulbeck, exhibition creator, designer and photographer, perseverance is what has created this amazing art form despite numerous attempts by the Japanese government to suppress it, despite ongoing prejudices against its practitioners and clients, and despite a constant trend to oversimplify its complexities in contemporary media. Perseverance is a core concept in the fleeting art of the Japanese tattoo, a tradition that is transient yet also alive and well in this modern world. *Please help SUPPORT the VMFA’s efforts to elevate tattoo and tattoo art — Follow the VMFA on FaceBook:   Related Articles: Introduction to “Perseverance” by the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Japan’s Complex Relationship with Tattoo Read More »

“The Amazing Phoenix tattoo on my post mastectomy breast”, Anne Sanchez

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Each month we a feature the inspirational and transformative Stories of few post-mastectomy cancer survivors and the artists & ink that help change their lives. Please support these Warrior Women by sharing their stories with those you love! It’s all these women ask. And remember- schedule your exams, ladies! -TAM Warrior: Anne Artist: Shane Wallin Shop: Garnet Tattoo Studio, San Diego, CA Here’s Anne’s Story: I was diagnosed with breast cancer way back in 1990 on Valentines Day. Even though aunts on both my mother’s and father’s sides had had bilateral mastectomies, I was still shocked. I can remember walking through the lingerie department and thinking I would never look pretty in a bra again, or especially without one. The doctors recommended a full mastectomy to give me the best survival rate. Most reconstructions don’t last forever, so I have had 2 implant replacements over the past 25 years for a total of 4 surgeries on that breast. My husband has been wonderful, in fact, he proposed to me when I was diagnosed.  I always wanted a tattoo to cover my scar and uneven nipple reconstruction. It took me all this time to think of the perfect design and get up my nerve! Well, it was definitely worth the wait because I found Shane Wallin. I really appreciate his professional approach, artistic ability and attention to detail. The studio is so welcoming, clean and non threatening, especially to a “first-timer”. I am letting all my other “survivors” know about your outstanding artistry ... Read More »

Top Six Father’s Day Gifts on sale from TAM

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Look no further for the a perfect and unique Father’s Day gift for the tattoo enthusiast Dad in your life. Chris Treviño – Gods and Warriors ON SALE NOW — SAVE 60% — This is a fitting title for Chris Trevino’s first book. His tattoos often depict themes of ancient war and hidden images in his full body work. Chris is a master of Japanese tattooing and this book has more than 200 pages of backpieces, body-suits on tri-fold pages, and some amazing art. Plus an intro by Ed Hardy– Great coffee table book or perfect for your waiting area. Shop Now               Old Timers TRADITIONAL Set: A collection of the most popular issues of TAM SAVE 50% and Get lost of in the works of old masters in the days before tattoos were mainstream. Study the techniques of artists like Mike Malone, Pinky Yun, Bob Roberts, Dave Gibson, Thom DeVita, jack rudy, Chuck Eldridge, Scott Sterling, Hanky Panky, Tony Polito, Eric Inksmith, and more! Shop Now   Original Art and Sketches From the TAM Memorabilia Collection! For the exclusive and discerning collector, our selection of one of a kind, original works is a fine addition to anyone’s tattoo art collection. See original art, flash, stencils and photos from legendary artists including: Sailor Jerry, Mike Malone, Ed Hardy, Pinky Yun, and MORE. Shop Now Tattoo Culture Magazines The perfect gift for new tattoo fans. Tattoo Culture Magazine is a digital magazine available for immediate download. Create ... Read More »

Skin Book: practice sketchbook w/synthetic skin [video]

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Everyone wants to be a tattoo artist these days, but how can someone learn to tattoo without practicing on real people? No one wants to be the guinea pig, and for good reason- these things last forever! Well, a Brazillian ad agency has released this video on the net, and it’s going viral! The Skin Book video is making quite a ‘mark’ on the internet the last few days. It features artists who are simply amazed by a handy, Moleskine-esque little sketchbook designed for aspiring tattoo artists to practice on. The thing is, as far as anyone knows for sure, it isn’t real! Created by an Brazilian ad agency for their client, Tattoo Art Magazine, (not Tattoo ARTIST Magazine), the Skin Book promo is making waves. We’ve been getting tons of emails from people wanting to BUY one for themselves, their friends, their neighbors. I guess no one realizes that practice tattoo skins have been around for quite some time, now. I know plenty of artists who have used them in the past; some for learning and some just for creating art. But why doesn’t this product exist? And could it? Well, yes, it could…but it wouldn’t look anything like the prop in this video. Practice skins are thick and spongy, designed to mimic the look and feel of human flesh. Some are made really, really well (like the company Pound of Flesh’s products) and some are cheap plastics that don’t even hold ink well, but any of these options ... Read More »

Breast Reconstruction Process: Carrie

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Each month we a feature the inspirational and transformative Stories of few post-mastectomy cancer survivors and the artists & ink that help change their lives. Please support these Warrior Women by sharing their stories with those you love! It’s all these women ask. And remember- schedule your exams, ladies! -TAM Warrior: Carrie Artist: Shane Wallin Shop: Garnet Tattoo Studio, San Diego, CA Here’s Carrie’s Story: Hello, My name is Carrie.  I am a 2 time cancer survivor. I was diagnosed with Hodgskin’s Lymphoma 25 years ago when I was 26 years old and did chemo and radiation to my chest wall. In 2013 cancer reared its ugly head again in the form of Invasive Ductal Carcinoma aka Breast Cancer. After 4 chemo treatments I endured a double mastectomy with reconstruction. The reconstruction process has several steps, my 1st set of implants were problematic with one implant actually flipping over so they needed to be replaced. The final process of reconstruction is the tattooing of the areola’s which was done in a hospital setting by the plastic surgeon. Give him credit for a try but the areola tattoo that he did was a flat flesh colored circle…no definition!!  I thought “this is it? after all that I have been through???” I was extremely disappointed in the results. In my desperation to feel complete I started to research 3D tattooing and I became hopeful. In my search process I saw the group P.ink (Personal Ink) on Facebook and in looking into what ... Read More »

Interesting Tattoo Trends Among Women

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  It’s not just twenty and thirty-somethings who get tattoos these days. Baby Boomers, especially women, are increasingly shelling out big bucks for their first tattoos. About 15% of Baby Boomers, the generation born between 1946 and 1964, have tattoos. This is an interesting finding because in the 50’s and 60’s when most boomers were growing up, tattoos were reserved for troublemakers, sailors and bikers. A lot has changed since then, and apparently boomer attitudes have also shifted with the times. You’ve no doubt known business professionals, teachers and doctors with tattoos. Perhaps even your pastor has a tattoo. Despite how tattoos might have been viewed in their younger years, women in the boomer generation are increasingly open to tattoos. However, many have them placed where they can be covered up. Women in the boomer generation like tattoos that are pretty, are remembrances of their children, grandchildren, mark important turning points or spiritual symbols. However, it’s not just boomer women who are getting more tattoos: a 2012 Harris Poll of 2,016 adult respondents revealed that women were slightly more likely than men to have a tattoo, with 23% of women to 19% of men. The 2012 survey results were especially interesting because it was the first time in ten years of the survey where women were more likely than men to get tattoos. The numbers were attributed to television shows about tattoos, which may have helped permanent body art become more acceptable. It’s also possible that more men already had ... Read More »

Virginia Museum of Fine Arts: “Perseverance”

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Since 1936, the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts has been dignified. Revered. Respectable. Timeless. As of May 29th, however, it’s going to look a little different. On May 29th, it’s getting 115 tattoos. And frankly, it’s about time.  With the opening of Japanese Tattoo: Perseverance, Art, and Tradition (also known as Perseverance), Richmond’s most popular art form moves into the biggest gallery in town. The world-famous exhibition—including pieces by Horitaki, Horitomo, Miyazo, and Shige—combines the mysticism and beauty of feudal Japan with the style and skill of modern art. And if there’s a better place on the East Coast for it, we can’t think of it. The capital of the old South—Richmond, Virginia—is now the artistic hub of the new South. It’s the third-most tattooed city in America (per capita, mind you), which makes it the perfect match of artists and audience. Richmond is, was, and will always be in love with art. Just not always the kind that hangs on gallery walls. Tattoos, graphic design, sculpture, typography, mural painting—Richmond’s breaking all kinds of new ground in these every year. When you’ve got a mix of young artists, art students, tattoo artists, musicians, skateboarders, crust punks, regular old (or as regular as they get) punks, bike gangs, motor-scooter gangs, and general nonconformists like Richmond has, you’re going to see an awful lot of beautiful things that don’t always fit the 20th-century definition of “art.” VMFA, to its credit, has realized this. In a city that prides itself fiercely on outsider ... Read More »

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