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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 (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 »

Patty: “I didn’t want the scars to be all I saw”


Each month we 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! And remember- Get your exams, ladies! -TAM Warrior: Patty Artist: Shane Wallin Shop: Garnet Tattoo Studio, San Diego, CA Here’s Patty’s Story: In 1991 my father was diagnosed with breast cancer.  That was a shock since we didn’t realize that men could get that particular form of the disease.  Over the next seven years he underwent a mastectomy and many rounds of chemo before passing away in 1998.  In 1997 my sister Robin was also diagnosed with breast cancer. She had a mastectomy and went through many rounds of both chemo and radiation as the disease metastasized.  Robin passed away in 2004. After speaking with her oncologist I decided to see some experts.  One genetic counselor and many doctors later I had a prophylactic double mastectomy and reconstruction.  My surgeons were fantastic and things went very well but after 2 1/2 years and two serious infections the implants had to be removed.  By 2014 I had undergone two more surgeries and received new implants. Every time I looked in the mirror I would have very mixed feelings.  I didn’t want the scars to be all I saw everyday but these were scars that I chose, and that I would choose again.  My father and sister didn’t have that choice. I started looking at ... Read More »

10 insane, hyper-realistic 3-D & Portrait Tattoos: w/Karol Rybakowski

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NEW PHOTOS ADDED! Every now and then we find some hot new tattoo artist who has submitted photos to our InstaGram account, and they blow us away! Karol Rybakowski (of Ink Ognito Tattoo in Poland) did just that! Here’s just a taste of his AMAZING 3D, Portrait, and hyper-realism Tattoo Work! * If you’d like us to consider sharing YOUR tattoos, tag us on InstaGram @tattooArtistMagazine and use #tattooartistmagazine to submit your work!     Wow! A superb combination of black and grey technique with a truly stunning photo-realistic color blood-red rose! Hyper-realistic Chameleon tattoo. One thing I really like about Karol’s work is the use of focus and fuzziness in his work. In this image you can clearly see the technique called ‘reserve’, i.e.- reserving sharp focus and high detail for the specific focal point of the piece, while others seem to fade in both sharpness and detail. This is an artistic trick used to mimic the way our eyes naturally work. This Pit-bull tattoo seems to leap off the skin! Amazing full color animal portrait, with minimal background. Notice the use of deep background colors to PUSH the foreground subject forward toward the viewer. It not only establishes depth, but also a clean frame for the portrait, without the use of an outline.  The highlight on the tongue is particularly impressive to me, as an artist. Ahhh, here we have an incredible Portrait of actor Jean Reno in Luc Besson’s 1994 classic Hit-Man movie, “Léon: The Professional”. One of ... Read More »

An Interview with Dennis M Del Prete


By Nicki Kasper Let’s start with who you are and where you work… Dennis M Del Prete and I work at my shop, Providence Tattoo in Providence, Rhode Island. Tell us about your shop… how many artists work there, and what kind of shop is it…? Custom work? Walk-ins? etc… I have had my own shop now for about 8 years. We do custom work and walk ins. The five guys I work with now are some of my favorite tattooers and best friends. Nick Pellegrino, Rick Lacapria, Pete Toatley, Andy Reach, and John Gorman. They are what my shop is made up of and I am lucky to work with them. What was your art background like? Did you like drawing as a kid, or did that come later? I liked drawing. I have always been drawing. I Have no formal art training. I buy a lot of books and read them and study them. What made you want to start tattooing? I wanted to stay off the beaten path ( Ironic now, I know). I wanted to work with my hands and make something art related. It just seemed fucking cool, it still does to me. Tell us how you got into tattooing… Who do you credit for teaching you the trade, and how long have you been in it? I found out Ken Johnson, a local shop owner and tattooer was going to be making machines so I contacted him for a pair. He was kind enough ... Read More »

Debra Yarian: So You Want To Be A Tattoo Artist…


By Debra Yarian My recent, internationally distributed book (ha-ha), So You Want To Be A Tattoo Artist? -Helpful hints on getting started in an exciting career as a tattoo artist, with little or no training or skill, caused quite a furor in the tattoo world. Both seasoned and novice tattooers alike, voiced outrage and indignation. At what started out as a joke between my oldest son and me and then evolved into a satirical corporate style handbook. While I understand that people are protective about what they are infatuated with, involved in and devoted to -I was still surprised and amused at the anger expressed by my critics .Fortunately there were far greater positive responses & most of my friends and peers , those whom I respect— got it -and appreciate the humor. So I’ve decided to take this opportunity to share a part of my book here, and then I’ll stray from its sarcasm and approach the subject seriously… Read More »

TAM presents: mastectomy testimonial- Janine


Shane Wallin, artist and TAMblog contributor, spends his time helping survivors of breast cancer reclaim their bodies and their lives. Today we hear from Janine, one of Shane’s clients and an amazing WARRIOR! In February of 2012 at age 46 I was diagnosed with breast cancer. After chemotherapy I had a double Mastectomy and several reconstruction surgeries. While I was happy to have breasts and look normal in a shirt it was very hard to see myself naked. There were many scares and my breasts just seemed very foreign to me. I never wanted to take my clothes off and I would avoid looking in the mirror. I never had a tattoo and quite frankly was apposed to inking my body until I was left with the scars that reminded me of my breast cancer. I had watched a video online about a year before  about a women who turned her scares into something beautiful with tattoo. The video was from PINK and I contacted them to see if they would be doing the event in my area. About a year later I was contacted and was asked if I would like to participate in PINK. The event was at Twilight Tattoo and I was matched with owner Shane Wallin. Being not to sure about the decision to get tattoos made this really hard for me that day. Shane took me in and made me feel completely comfortable first listening to what I wanted him to create, putting it on ... Read More »

Tattoo Artist Magazine BLOG: top 10 recent skull tattoos

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There are so many awesome skull tattoo designs out there, here you will find a top 10 list taken from TAM’s recent FaceBook posts, as submitted by one of our esteemed readers! Thanks for the blog post submission, Emily! Starting off with a sick Grim Rippah’ tattoo by Tomas Vaitkunas! Amazing black and grey technique. We really can’t wait to see more of Tomas’ work. Here’s a cool more traditionally based cowboy skull, Tattoo by Mike Shaw. Aww, a nice valentine DEATH HEAD SKULL Tattoo by Andrea Giulimondi. What a super backpiece Tattoo by Victor Portugal. Two recent skull Tattoos by Augis.    Here’s TWO super sick tattoos by Matthew Henning. It’s really exciting to see the new breed of artists making their mark in tattooing with such amazing, out of the box, tattoo work.        How many people know who Nikko Hurtado is? He blew the doors off of the percieved limitations of modern tattooing and had a guest spot on LA Ink…the rest is hostory! Yet another hyper-realistic Tattoo by one of the true masters of modern tattooing, Nikko Hurtado. (*NOTE: If you are are Nikko fan, be sure to pick up a copy of his superb interview in Tattoo Artist Magazine #21 to learn how this construction worker became one of tattooing’s most celebrated and talented artists. It’s an amazing story, and one we’re proud to share! Get it digitally for $4.99 or in print on sale to our readers this week only for $6.99! (regular price $14.99) ONLY 100 copies ... Read More »

An Interview with Phil Holt

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By Nicki Kasper Lets start by telling those who don’t know you who you are, what you do, where you’re located, etc… My name is Phil Holt. I live in Tampa Florida with my four kids. I own RedLetter1 with my friend Jeff Srsic. We have three of our friends share the space with us where we all tattoo 5-6 day a weeks. Nick Stegall, Chris Reed and David Bruehl are the best shipmates Jeff and myself could ask for. I also sell my handmade pigment under the name “Old Gold Small Batch”. The batches are still “small” but it’s really gotten busy so the facility has grown and I have a lot of small batches brewing nonstop. How long have you been in the tattoo industry and what’s your tattoo history?  How did you come up in the trade? … My brother started bringing tattoo magazines around when I was about 12 years old. I think he was mainly bringing them around because back then, in the magazines like EasyRider’s you could see bikes and boobs… Not that I wasn’t impressed with boobies but I became mostly interested in tattoos. Then in high school I really sunk my teeth into art and tattooing.  I started making tattoos in 1996. In 1998 I moved to Ohio on a sink or swim mission to become a real tattooer and basically I moved every 20-24 months for a decade. In a surreal sort of way, every shop I worked at had an amazing ... Read More »

An Interview with Dan Trocchio

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By Nicki Kasper Tell us a little bit about yourself… Where are you from?  Where do you work? etc… I’ve been working in NYC since I moved there in 2000, however I’ve been doing a lot of traveling the last couple of years and six months ago I moved to Providence Rhode Island.  I’m still tattooing in NYC for a week or two at a time and it’s still primarily where I make my living, tattooing at Three Kings Tattoo in Brooklyn.  I think I’m going to move back in spring, or start traveling again. Were you primarily traveling here in the states or were you also working internationally? Any specific places on your bucket list? I was in Madrid and Barcelona, both amazing places. I love Spain. And to Bremen, Germany to see some good friends and do a little work. I took the train from Spain to Germany, I prefer trains. Looking out the window and being grounded is best. When i got back to the states, I took the train from NYC to Colorado, then to SF, then Portland. The West Coast train was awesome, the star light and the Zephyr. Though the train through the Midwest, I would skip… Not a very exiting landscape from the window of a train. I really want to go to Thailand, or any of those beautiful places where you can survive on 2$. Grand Canyon and Crater National Park are definitely on my bucket list, too. I’ve been staying put at the ... Read More »

Victory Cult with Josh Egnew


by Nicki Kasper Tell us a little bit about yourself… Where are you from? How long have you been tattooing?  What shop are you in now? Etc… I was raised in Florida, ended up in NYC where I’ve been for the past 10+years. I began tattooing just about 9 years ago and have been at Three Kings in Brooklyn for the last 6 1/2.  How would you describe Victory Cult, and what was the inspiration?  I’d call it sort of a sophisticated street wear brand. I grew up skateboarding and playing in bands, so I’ve always had a strong inclination towards graphics and the merch game. When I began tattooing It was just a natural progression to carry that on. With this project, I have begun with the basics (t-shirts,hats,hoodies,etc.), but I aim to eventually expand that scope. I also wanted to create a project that would treat the artists involved respectfully. I know a lot of us tattooers have been approached by companies that look at us as cheap labor, so I’m just trying to keep this all in the family and have everybody treated correctly. You know the old adage, if you want to do something right, you have to do it yourself.   How long did you sit on the idea before you decided to get it rolling?  Probably not long enough. Haha. I had always thought it would be fun to create a proper brand, but I had never taken the idea all that seriously. It took a ... Read More »

Tattoo Artist Brings Dots And Lines To New Heights In Stunning Geometric Ink Designs

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The Huffington Post  | By Katherine Brooks original article here Imagine this scene: Sharp waves stretch back for as far as you can see, eating up the horizon in a vast display of stunning movement. Like the peaks and troughs of a chaotic line graph, the seas capture jumping fish as they weave in and out of the thrashes. Careful shading separates the animal bodies as they surface, drenched in the bleeding red pigment of a sunset-flooded landscape. The description might sound like a recounting of an ancient Japanese print or a sprawling painted canvas, but the words are actually attached to artwork of a different sort. They tell the story of artist Chaim Machlev and his gorgeous tattoos. Read More »

Changing of the Guard

  It is with excitement and purpose that I start as the new Editor-in-Chief of Tattoo Artist Magazine. First and foremost, I am committed to continuing the culture of excellence and quality of TAM as admirably lead by outgoing Editor-in-Chief, Crash. I recognize the importance of TAM to our community & cultural progress and envision clear potential for continued growth and innovation. In conjunction with editing every issue of TAM, I also have a vision of further integrating TAM into the hands of avid tattoo collectors and artists, fully mining the educational format of TAM to better serve artists, collectors, readers and our society as a whole. The “changing of the guard” at TAM will bring a new perspective to the magazine. With this change comes a shift in editorial emphasis to make TAM the world’s primary outlet for tattoo culture, tattoo education and tattoo art more relevant to our industry than any other magazine in our field. As the new Editor, my aim will be to increase the availability of important articles, artists, values, social and artistic advancements in our industry. For those of you who are unfamiliar with me, I have been with TAM since it’s inception 11 years ago. Unlike Crash, I am not a tattoo artist, but have paid my dues within the industry for well over a decade. I know the ins and outs of everything tattoo and tattoo related. I am eager to start this position and see where I can help carry TAM into the future. I invite each and every one of you who has any ... Read More »

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