Myke 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.
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.
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.
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I’m working the London Tattoo Convention this weekend at the Tobacco Dock. All back issues are on sale for 10 pounds! Newest 3 issues, 15 pounds! I have Volume 1 books (our volume 1 book is the first 5 issues of TAM compiled into a nice hard cover book) on sale for 50 pounds, and Subscriptions are on sale for 36 pounds plus shipping! Stop by the Great Gallery room and check it out.
Tattoo Artist Magazine and Tattoo Culture Magazine have long believed that the key to our success in this industry is community.
By Hunter Spanks
1:41pm August 29, 2012 and Lizzy finds herself back in Georgetown at Jinx Proof Tattoo for the sixth session on her back piece by Dave Waugh. A mystical piece complete with unicorns, naked women, hidden cocks and butt plugs just to round things out. Dave prepares a message table as they harass each other in preparation for the session to start. I’m sure this is just to work out the nerves. At least on Lizzy’s part. Dave seems cool as a cucumber as always… (more…)
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…)
Story by Jasper Craven. Photos by Stacey Rupolo. (Story originally appears at www.VICE.com.)
This year, a 52-year-old politician named Miguel Diaz-Canel was appointed vice president of the ruling Council of State in Cuba, making him a likely future leader of the country. Some Cubans hope he will lead their country into a new era. One reason: while he was governor of Villa Clara province, he sponsored a tattoo festival… (more…)
By Melissa Fusco
At one time or another in every artist’s life, including myself, we have all experienced some type of artist block. There are many levels of creative block, from just the annoyance of interrupted flow that is short-lived or even deeper resulting in depression, lack of self-worth, loss of self-esteem and unfortunately self-destruction. An artist block or otherwise known as “creative block” is the inability to access one’s flowing stream of inspiration and creativity. What was once an overflowing well of ideas may now feel like an endless drought. It can last for days, weeks, months or even years. A feeling of loss in self may arise, and with every forward gaze stands fear, fear of not creating a worthy piece because of all the emotional strain that has occurred… (more…)
By Rick Kelsey (Story originally appears at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/.)
A group of the UK’s leading tattoo artists has called for tougher regulations across the industry. They want people to be more aware of the dangers of backstreet parlours and home inking kits bought online… (more…)
Story and photos by johndotcom
Iceland… Land of the Midnight Sun… In retrospect, ending a month-long European trip in a place that has 24-hours of sunlight was probably not the best idea I’ve had. However, despite the lack of sleep and the subsequent fatigue-jetlag-exhuastion-sleep deprivation-sinus cold I’ve had since returning to the States… I’d say it was well worth it… Before I continue, I just want to thank Össur, Linda, Thomas Asher, Olafia and everyone at Reykjavik Ink for making all the madness possible… (more…)
Courtesy of The Andy Warhol Museum: The Patron Saint of White Guys That Went Tribal and Other Works, the first solo museum exhibition of work by Pittsburgh artist Nick Bubash features a recreation of the artist’s studio which focuses on a large group of found object sculptures. These sculptures reveal a playful approach to the artist’s practices and sardonic sense of humor… (more…)
By Paul Dobleman: Due to the fact I’ve been on the road, I haven’t had the chance to do a proper psychedelic story, so you are going to just have to hear one of mine… (more…)
Video by Luke Holley (more…)
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…)