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Alliance of Professional Tattooists

Professional tattoo alliance

By Jason Sweet This article is part two, in a two part series, about the professional organizations in tattooing. I attended the APT Trade Show as part of my research and found myself not only rejoining them after a 10 year hiatus; I found myself being recruited for service to the APT in the future.   As much as I tried to resist, the call of service to my profession was too loud to ignore. Over the weekend, I was struck as to the commitment some had made to attend the APT trade show. I met a woman tattooist from Austria and a man from Australia. One couple I met drove to the trade show from Indiana, because flying from their home was prohibitively expensive. I personally found this type of dedication to tattooing and the APT, inspiring and motivating. I only took 5 days out of my year to attend the trade show; they took two weeks. I was originally introduced to the Alliance of Professional Tattooists, when I was tattooing about 2 years. I was hired at a tattoo studio that required I become a member of the APT as part of working for them. Joining the APT required filling out an application and providing professional references and a sponsor, as I had been tattooing less than three years. Additionally, I was required to take the Preventing Disease Transmission in Tattooing (PDTT) as part of my membership. The PDTT course was 6 hours long. It covered Blood Born Pathogens ...Read More »

Local Tattoo Artists Host Lansing Fundraiser


By Juliana Moxley/The State News Source: Local Lansing tattoo artists collaborated on Sunday evening for Artonica, an event meant to benefit the Greater Lansing Food Bank and Capital Area Humane Society. But these artists weren’t focused on their typical work. Rather than creating artwork on skin, the artists rotated around 10 different canvases every 20 minutes and drew whatever came to mind with charcoal. The pieces were sold at an auction later in the evening. Monica and Greg Drake started Artonica three years ago as a way to give back to local charities. Greg said the artists don’t get paid for the work because the night was just about giving back to charity. The tattoo artists at the event were hand-picked by Greg for demonstrating exceptional creative skills. “We look for custom shops,” Monica Drake said. “We look for artists that have the ability to actually be able to draw.” The Drakes partner together to run Local Tattoo & Laser Co. in Lansing, a shop that only uses vegan ink for its creations. The artists rotate to different canvases for a total of about two hours and once the artwork is complete, it gets framed and auctioned off to the crowd. Proceeds from the auction go towards the Greater Lansing Food Bank and Capital Area Humane Society. Photographer Michele Hoffman heard of Artonica and the praise its artists received for their skills, so she came to the event in the hopes of finding artists that she could use for her own photography ...Read More »

Campfires & Carbon Episode 8: Justin Hartman

Campfires & Carbon’s mission is to have and promote real, unedited conversation with local tattooers.  Here’s their podcast of a conversation with Justin Hartman from Urban Art Tattoo in Mesa, Arizona… More »

Brandon Collins: “So you wanna be a tattoo artist?”


By Brandon Collins Reblogged from: With the invention of tattoo “reality” shows, the average un-tattooed or mildly tattooed person is led to believe that tattoo artists are superheroes: they can draw an entire back piece in 15 minutes, go out to the clubs all night and still come to work on time, able to tattoo whatever you want, wherever you want it. That sounds awfully appealing to some kids–but it couldn’t be any further from the truth. Anyone who has spent time in a tattoo shop knows that most tattooers are your average hardworking dads and moms with mortgages, car payments and phone bills,not prima donna rockstars that get VIP everywhere and drive Lamborghini’s. Those TV shows make a mockery of our profession and because of them, our trade has been diluted by half-ass, mediocre tattooers. Not only have these hacks not paid their dues, but they pump out crappy $20 tattoos that the average joes doesn’t even realize are shit. Before deciding you want to be a tattooer, think about this: Say my appointment for the day doesn’t show up, so that $400 I needed to pay rent and put food on my table will just have to wait. If YOU go to work and no one shows up, YOU still get paid and so you can afford to sit home home and watch “TATTOO SCHOOL” and say to your stoned roommate “bro, I can totally do that shit!”. You get breaks and paid holidays, insurance and an guaranteed paycheck ...Read More »

Trippin’ Balls Art Show: Toronto, November 28th


OPENING: NOVEMBER 28, 2013, 7PM-11PM RUNNING TO: DECEMBER 8, 2013 ………………………………………………………. Trippin Balls features paintings and print work by Toronto tattoo artists Alex Snelgrove, Kyle Hollindrake of Okey Doke Tattoo shop, and illustrator Paul Jackson. The exhibit features over a dozen bold and bright coloured vintage graphic designs, and vibrant psychedelic painted scenes pulled from the artists’ imaginations. We’d describe the works as nothing less then AWESOME!. HUNTCLUB will be displaying and selling original paintings, custom prints, and temporary tattoos. The opening reception is November 28 from 7pm – 11pm. The exhibition will remain on display from 1pm-7pm on weekdays until December 8 . About the artists: Alex Snelgrove has been tattooing since 2009. She has an extensive illustration background and continues to make art outside of the tattoo shop. Kyle Hollingdrake has been tattooing since 2001. He loves tattooing tigers, dragons, wizards, unicorns, motorcycles, buxom ladies, muscle bound warriors and anything else thats awesome. Paul Jackson is Toronto based illustrator and painter. For any inquiries regarding the show or gallery, contact Darlene Huynh at HUNTCLUB 709 College St. W Toronto, Canada Read More »

Bill Baker Interview: Part 2

By Andrew Goodfellow Reblogged by: Read Part 1 here: Like the effect on the skin? “Yeah, the way the work was going in. And, again, there was no internet. So I had to go the fucking library, go to the reference library, lookup needle manufacturing companies all over the world, write them a letter, by hand “Dear Sir or Maddam’ and hopefully get a sample. And sure enough, samples did come. Sometimes I would get a letter back that would come and say ‘You need to buy the samples. They cost this much’. And I would go and do that. And I would get the needles and solder them and tattoo with them. And I began to see, like, oh man this really makes a difference.” “So I began to get excited about the potential. So I went and registered the company name, and I realized that I could probably make needles myself. Buying them was hit-and-miss. They would come and some of them would be measured in a weird way. I would get some that were big and short tapered. And I’d get some that were big and long tapered. And I’d get all different types. But if I could get stuff in between, it seemed reasonable that I could make a better needle. These are just sewing needles! They’re just getting thrown at me. I’m just doing what I can with them. So that’s when I started to believe that it was possible. I registered the name ...Read More »

Campfires & Carbon Episode 4: Jeff Wright

Campfires & Carbon’s mission is to have and promote real, unedited conversation with local tattooers.  Here’s their podcast of a conversation with Jeff Wright…Read More »

Bill Baker Interview: Part 1


By Andrew Goodfellow Reblogged by:  There are very few tattooers working today that can lay claim to over 30 years of experience. Fewer still are those who can truly be said to have changed the course of tattooing. Bill Baker – artist, icon, entrepreneur, and now part owner of Pearl Harbor Gift Shop – is among those storied few.  In all honesty, I had no idea what to expect of my meeting with Bill when he agreed to speak with me for Swallows & Daggers. Highly regarded yet notoriously reclusive, Bill casts something of a mythical shadow over the tattoo community in Toronto. Though Pearl Harbor is among the city’s premiere shops and receives constant acclaim, he is rarely glimpsed by the clientele and is extremely selective in taking on new work. Having been tattooed there on a number of occasions, I had yet to catch sight of him even once. Little wonder, then, that I hadn’t any notion of what my afternoon with Bill would entail. What followed was an incredibly candid and fascinating tour through Bill’s 32 year career. Part raconteur, part machine technology and tattoo history teacher, Bill has managed to remain humble and utterly genuine in his love for tattooing. I learned more from him in the course of two hours than I had in the last two years of my own pursuits in the tattoo world.  I only hope that I can convey our conversation in terms that do justice to the man himself, ...Read More »

Campfires & Carbon Episode 2: Timo Sanders


Campfires & Carbon’s mission is to have and promote real, unedited conversation with local tattooers.  Here’s their podcast of a conversation with Timo Sanders from Fifth Estate Tattoo in Gilbert, Arizona…Read More »

Campfires & Carbon Episode 1: Clifton Carter

Campfires-and-Carbon Campfires & Carbon’s mission is to have and promote real, unedited conversation with local tattooers.  Here’s their podcast of a conversation with Clifton Carter who works in San Francisco and Tempe, Arizona…Read More »

Knives and Needles: Jeff Gogue


By Molly Kitamura Reblogged from: I had heard Jeff Gogue was a foodie through my husband. So imagine how excited I was to hear that Jeff had agreed to have a chat with me about food. This was the first time I had ever gotten the chance to sit down with Jeff one-on-one, and I have to say that he is very genuine and very nice. His humble attitude is almost shocking as he is one of the most talented tattoo artists out there today and could have every right to be not as nice as he is. We mostly spoke about food, what Jeff’s favorite things to cook and eat are. We also spoke about his love of fishing. Jeff grew up fishing around Lake Tahoe but now lives in Grant’s Pass, Oregon. It sounds scenically stunning and really chill, have to make it up there one day! Just imagine the seasonal foods you could forage in the abundant wildlife up there! Jeff and his wife recently took a fishing trip up the Puget Sound where he caught some pretty impressive-looking salmon. The trip sounded fun and like a real adventure with the crisp sea air and ice-cold sea! Jeff likes cooking (and eating!) fish in pretty much any way you could think of preparing it. He also loves a good pork chop or a rare steak on occasion. But he really tries to stay on a healthy diet and exercise regime. His favorite lunch at work consists of ...Read More »

DOC INK #4: Julio Casagrande

Doc Ink is a brazilian  web series of short episodes featuring some of that country’s most respected tattooers. It was introduced to us by São Paulo-based tattooer Nico Acosta. Enjoy episode #4!Read More »

The Importance of Social Media on the Career of an Artist


By Mauricio Tadashi With social media being so popular these days, many artists are taking advantage of it by creating a huge following and promoting their work on-line. Most of the tools available today are free, making it easier for the artist to showcase their art and have an instant feedback. Some of the tools most commonly used today are: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram. A few things have to be considered when starting a profile. *Make sure you give credit if you post something you didn’t make. *Consistency is key. *Update your feed regularly. *Keep it professional but show that you are human, posting pictures of your work is fine, but people like to know about their artist too! We had a little talk with Brad Anderson, founder of @Art_collective with over 240k active followers on Instagram, he was kind enough to share some of his experience and will give some tips on how to make the most out of the app. MT- When did you start @Art_collective?  AC- November 5th 2012. What motivated you to create the page?  Art Collective was inspired by the efforts of The ISI Group “Industry Supporting industry” Created/Owned by my brother/partner Dana Anderson and Phillip Limon Owner of Cornerstone Art Gallery in Las Vegas, NV. Focusing on Low brow art & art shows with live paintings, music, etc… These efforts have brought so many artists from all over the Las Vegas Valley together to celebrate the one thing they all have in common, ...Read More »

Irezumi Japanese Tattoo Art Exhibition


Check out the IREZUMI art show at Space 15 Twenty in Hollywood, CA.  The show is up until October 20th. IREZUMI is a group art show featuring original Japanese Tattoo art works from around the world. Artists include: HORIYOSHI 3, BOB ROBERTS, HIROSHI HIRAKAWA, MUTSUO NAKABAYASHI, GANJI, NAMI CHANG, MIKE ROPER, MIYAZO, BRIAN KANEKO, SMALL PAUL & more!  Read More »

TATTOO STORIES Episode 1: Trigger

By Santioned TVRead More »