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Inside the Mind of a Tattoo Apprentice

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Every artist starts somewhere and these days, IF you want to be a legitimate and respected practitioner in the field, that means earning your right to a tattoo machine through a tattoo apprenticeship.  For every apprentice out there trying to do it the right way, there are hoards of unethical & untrained hacks more interested in short cuts then they are in getting better, (or in the best interests of those they are scratching up, generally speaking.) You see, tattooing didn’t start with reality television. It’s a time-honored tradition. The art & craft of tattooing is something that has been passed down for hundreds of years from trained masters to eager young artists who can show they have what it takes to make an actual contribution to the industry.  For the professional tattoo artist, finding someone who brings this sort of grit and potentially something new to tattooing can be extremely exciting, as every great artist once began at the bottom of the tattoo totem pole. That being said, Ana Nasuro of House of Color Tattoo in Bay Shore, New York, is here to share her voice on the life of an aspiring tattoo artist. “I knew that I wanted to tattoo since I was in high school. It was something I had always loved and been fascinated by. But it wasn’t until I got my first tattoo at 16 that I decided that it was what to do for the rest of my life!”  Like many artists in the industry, ... Read More »

Step by Step: How to paint a Zombie Eye in oils, by Ettore Bechis

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Here’s a nifty little Step-By-Step article by Ettore Bechis for painting a ZOMBIE EYE in oils. These creepy effects can be applied to any piece! – Enjoy! 1. Spray your frame (new or old doesn’t matter) with black varnish. Cut a piece of wood same size as frame glass. If you are slow-moving and don’t feel like drawing an eye, look up an image on the internet and print the size of the piece of wood; other wise draw an eye the size of the wood. Paint the piece of wood with Verdaccio Acrylic Paint. (To make Verdaccio mix colors; white, yellow, 1 drop of red, and couple drops of black). Dry overnight and sand the wood panel with fine sand paper. Transfer the image with carbon paper and pen or pencil. Trace the outline with acrylic paint in color burnt umber and make the highlight with white. Oil colors: Black, Brown, Burnt sienna, Burnt umber, Yellow medium cadmium, Cadmium orange, Alzarin crimson, White, Neutral 7, Neutral 5 and Neutral 3  from the John Howard Sanden set portrait. Brushes:       Filbert 4, Filbert 2Liner, 0 Liner 3 Other material: Cold pressed linseed oil, Paper towels, Mona Lisa odorless paint thinner Paint everything starting from the darker color ending with the lightest color (creating a somber effect). Make sure to not make the color look to thick; if so you won’t have a reference for later. Shade with a dry brush on the painting, continue until the painting looks smooth. Remember to ... 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 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 »

Japan’s Complex Relationship with Tattoo

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Japan’s Complex Relationship with Tattoo When visiting Japanese Tattoo: Perseverance, Art, and Tradition, on view at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (VMFA) in Richmond, Virginia until September 27, you’re struck by the pure artistry. Photo after photo of intricate, mesmerizing designs, breathtaking colors, and symbolic imagery, one interwoven into the other, which would be difficult to render on canvas, much less flesh. There’s a passion and a reverence in these galleries that is almost palpable.  That’s why it’s almost inconceivable that Japan, which has been so instrumental in elevating tattooing to an art form, has also pushed this art form into the shadows, even condemned it for centuries. To understand the seemingly conflicted relationship that Japan has with tattooing, you must carefully unearth the deep roots of Japan’s tattoo culture, which date back to the Jomon Period (roughly 10,500 to 300 BC). That’s when the first evidence of tattooing in Japan was recovered from tombs, in the form of clay figurines with faces painted or engraved to represent tattoos. Fast forward many years later to the Edo Period (1615-1868) and Japanese authorities began using tattoos to mark criminals. According to “Japanese Tattoos: From Yakuza to Artisans, Aesthetes” in the Wall Street Journal, “…convicts were branded with penal markings such as bands on the arms, or the kanji character for ‘dog’ on the forehead.” While this criminal stigma would prove difficult to shake for many centuries, tattooing enjoyed a significant reprieve from the negative connotation at the end of the ... 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 »

Trippy Eyeball Tattoos that are looking back!

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EYE CAN SEE YOU! – Eyeball Tattoos are all the rage these days – BAM!! “LOOK AT ME!”, they seem to say, but there’s also an eerie sense that they are looking back at US! A well executed tattoo of any sort commands our attention and Eyeball Tattoos are flipping freaky to look at…when done well. They SNAP us into the moment. In many philosophical circles this is THE defining characteristic of ‘Art’. To cause us to pause, however briefly, from the endless, running commentary in our heads and in the midst of that momentary ‘confusion’, remind us again of the Mystery of life and our place in it. Art is powerful. And it can change us. It effectively slaps us OUT of our wandering thoughts and forces us to take notice of something other than ourselves (& our own inner dialog); something that has this sort of visual power opens us again to the wonders of the universe. Hand made tattoos by artists who want to help us ‘see’… Thanks to all the artists and Instagram submissions we’ve been getting! MORE COMING SOON! — ARTISTS: tag us and use # tattooartistmagazine on IG to submit YOUR best work! 1) tattoo by @gordonptattooist 2) tattoo by @paulsmithtattoo 3) tattoo by @otzistattoostudio 4) tattoo by @eduardolascano 5) tattoo by @mikeylotattoos 6) tattoo by @john_laurent 7) tattoo by @jessem_tattoos 8) tattoo by @nesotattoo 9) tattoo by @xecutionstyle 10) tattoo by @pedrotattoovz 11) tattoo by @tomas_garcia   12) tattoo by @ [we lost this ... Read More »

Info-Graphic: The Truth about tattoos in america

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A very cool info-graphic found on www.Nerdgraph.com ! 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 »

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 »

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

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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 »

3 Day Ed Hardy Event at Kings Avenue Tattoo

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From Kings Avenue Tattoo: We are honored and humbled to host the legendary tattooer and artist Ed Hardy for an unprecedented 3-day event.  Hardy, renowned for his genre changing, globally influenced tattoo designs, announced that he will host “Pictures of the Gone World,” taking place May 15th, 16th & 17th at Kings Avenue Tattoo.  The event will consist of a three-day exhibition of Hardy’s most recent artwork, accompanied by the release of a New York- centric tattoo history book and a series of talks covering his influential, six-decade career. “Ed is a pioneer of tattooing, and we are making history with this event,” says Kings Avenue owner Mike Rubendall. Hardy will present a collection of his current and past artwork, consisting of mixed-media paintings that incorporate American an Japanese tattoo motifs, and “kiddie flash” – traditional maritime-inspired designs that he drew as a tattoo-obsessed child in the late 1950s, rendered with colored pencil on looseleaf notebook paper-which has never been publicly exhibited. The event marks the release of the Lew The Jew Alberts: Early 20th Century Tattoo Drawings, a compilation of designs attributed to Lew Alberts, a Newark, NJ native who tattooed under the famed Bowery-based artist Charlie Wagner. It’s the most recent title from Hardy Marks, the publishing imprint that Hardy co-founded in 1982, specializing in tattoo history and alternative art.  A limited number of books will be available for purchase at Kings Avenue, and Hardy will be signing copies on May 15th. Hardy will also stage two talks.  ... Read More »

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