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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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

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

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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 »

Deb Yarian On the Pain of a Tattoo

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By Deb Yarian I’ve heard it over and over again from my customers – The more they get tattooed, the more it hurts, and I’ve thought about it and experienced it myself. I don’t think it’s my imagination. Each time I get tattooed it does seem to hurt way more than the time before! I have my own (not scientifically proven) theory about this… Simply put, if you were to be poked with a sharp object you would feel pain, your brain would say “hey there’s a pain, move away from the source of the pain.” The next time that you were poked with that sharp object, your brain again would direct you to move away from the source of the pain. Okay, so what happens if you don’t move away…? Your brain probably says, “hey, I recognize that pain, and I’ve directed you to move away from that pain source AND YOU’RE NOT!!!!” So what happens the next time you feel that pain and you don’t move away- again ignoring the primitive instinct to move one’s self out of harm’s way? Well this time your brain calculates that you’ve been stuck with this sharp object before and you still refuse to move away from the pain source- so your brain instinctively, as a survival mechanism, must some how convey to your uncooperative body the importance of moving away from the pain. So what does it do? It makes it hurt worse. Just because you’ve decided to subject yourself to ... Read More »

Marius Meyer finishing back tattoo

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Ivar Myhrvold is a tattoo enthusiast and a frequent reader of the TAM blog. Last friday he got the rare opportunity to shoot some video while Marius Meyer put the finishing touches on his friend Wilhelm’s full back piece. Check out this awesome piece come to completion!   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 »

FDA: Contaminated tattoo ink causing infections

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This is why you SHOULD NOT get tattooed at home or by a scratcher. Thinking about getting inked? Check the bottle first. The Food and Drug Administration is warning tattoo parlors, their customers and those buying at-home tattoo kits that not all tattoo ink is safe. Last month, California company White and Blue Lion Inc. recalled inks in in-home tattoo kits after testing confirmed bacterial contamination in unopened bottles. At least one skin infection has been linked to the company’s products, and FDA officials say they are aware of other reports of infections linked to tattoo inks with similar packaging. Infections from tattooing are nothing new. Hepatitis, staph infections and even the superbug known as MRSA have been tied to tattoos. Dirty needles and unsanitary environments are often to blame. But people getting tattoos can get infections in the skin even in the cleanest conditions. The ink can carry bacteria that can spread through the bloodstream – a process known as sepsis. Symptoms are fever, shaking chills and sweats, and the risk is particularly high for anyone with pre-existing heart or circulatory conditions. Less severe infections may involve bumps on the skin, discharge, redness, swelling, blisters or excessive pain at the site. And you may not be out of the woods for a while: The FDA says it has received reports of bad reactions to tattoo inks right after tattooing as well as years later. The FDA says it is concerned that consumers and tattoo artists may have some of ... Read More »

Life Happens Everyday, Balance is Key

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By Omar Edmison My wife of 18 years asked me awhile back if I was still writing a blog for Tattoo Artist Magazine. I shot her a pile of excuses about time & being busy at work, taking care of the shop & spending time with her & the kids. She looked at me with her amazingly sweet smile as if to say “Sure Omar, I love you I have your back but you’re throwing up a smoke screen.” She knows me really well, better than any other human being on the planet. Her words that she spoke next were small and to the point. she simply said ” you’re really good at what you do. you have wisdom to impart.” I am not making that part up; she really does speak like that. So here I am sitting in front of a computer trying to figure out what to “impart” on you, gentle reader. I started thinking about what I had said to my beautiful and talented better half. It wasn’t a lie I have been busy with an amazing varied rag tag bunch of folks who for what ever reason be it a bump on the head or just a history of poor life choices have asked me to mark them permanently. It is also true that -as any shop owner can attest to- when you own a tattoo shop stuff comes up, there are always fires to be put out, business needs handling. It is most decidedly true ... Read More »

HELP THE TATTOO DOCUMENTARY SACRED SKIN COME INTO FORMATION!

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By Reba Maybury Source: www.sangbleu.com Maellyn Macintosh is in the process of creating an exciting series of documentaries about tattooing in various cultures, but to complete all of the work that has been created so far she needs backing. You can read more about what Maellyn has created so far and watch a trailer of footage made so far. In the first episode proposed Maellyn will travel to remote regions of India to document the indigenous tribes who use tattooing and piercing as an essential way of life, for healing, as a form of currency and as a form of religious devotion.   Here is Maellyn’s background to the documentary series so far: Tattoos, piercing and scarification are now becoming mainstream and the taboos surrounding them are slowly vanishing.  But where do they come from and why were they used? Indigenous communities have cut, coloured, pierced and shaped the body for centuries as part of complex rituals; for identity, beauty, healing, spirituality, coming-of-age ceremonies, and even occasionally as punishments.  There are still some communities who live as they did hundreds of years ago but most are being forced to integrate into western society, by threats to their land, resources and customs. Maellyn wants to tell their stories before they are lost forever. Maellyn became fascinated by body modification while filming with a group of modern body modification artists and performers in London.  Her curiosity lead her to begin researching the origins of these practices and in December 2010 she took a camera and made ... Read More »

DIETZEL: A RETROSPECTIVE

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By Marisa Kakoulas Reblogged from: www.needlesandsins.com One hundred years ago, Amund Dietzel (1891-1974), of Kristiania, Norway, arrived in Milwaukee with a knowledge of tattooing he picked up on a merchant shop. Deciding to make the city his home, he opened up a tattoo parlor that attracted tattoo collectors far beyond Milwaukee. Sailors and marines during two world wars came to see Dietzel before leaving for battle, choosing powerful designs from his handpainted flash that hung on the shop’s walls. Dietzel “helped define the look of the traditional or old school tattoo,” the Milwaukee Art Museum wrote of their “Tattoo: Flash Art of Amund Dietzel” exhibition, which ran from July to October. That wonderful archive of Dietzel’s painted flash, stencils and drawings, from the collection of Jon Reiter, will be exhibited at Great Lakes Tattoo in Chicago, from November 29th to January 5th. During the November 29th opening, not only can you view Americana tattoo history, but also have a piece of it tattooed on you, as artists will be offering tattoos from Dietzel’s flash sheets from 12 to 10 PM that day. The opening party, with food & drink, runs from 5 to 8 PM. Proceeds from the tattoos, as well as beautiful limited edition prints (shown below) and shirts, will go towards the hefty medical expenses Jon incurred from an ICU stay. For more on Amund Dietzel’s life, pick up Jon’s fantastic books, These Old Blue Arms: The Life & Work of Amund Dietzel, Volumes 1 & 2. Read More »

Tattoo Smarter not Harder

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By Mickey Schlick www.mickeyschlick.com / www.blaqueowltattoo.com I’m always trying to find answers to as many of the little issues that life throws at me as possible. I wanted to share some things that I think are applicable to our life in the shop. Often, I notice that many tattoo shops, especially street shops, lack adequate space for that most important or our chores, drawing. I wanted to cover a quick fix for this: a low cost, zero floor space, cheap drawing table. Since my first gesture drawing class, I have been hooked on lap boards and I think they are a great solution when needing to move around is a must. Sitting in the chair and having the board at an angle against a table or the back of another chair gives a large drawing area and a much more comfortable angle. The other thing that most people don’t really notice is how much a horizontal surface can potentially skew a drawing. Personally, I was looking for a more permanent fix and so I did some “figurin'” to come up with an idea that matched all of the benefits of having a large drawing table without loosing any floor space in the shop. The one thing about this plan in particular (which I am hoping that some of you will turn into ideas of your own) is that it is not very adjustable. So, as the old adage goes, measure twice cut once. On the upside, it is so cheap and ... Read More »

Woodpower Woodworks: Stripping Down to the Affordable Basics

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By Pete DuFrene Most individuals that I meet who work in a tattoo studio often mention to me…”You’re furniture is really bloody great, but unfortunately I don’t have a $1000 kicking around for a light table, and some of the stuff that I would like to have in the studio isn’t readily available and at an affordable price.” So I talked with a friend of mine involved in the tattoo industry, he mentioned something to me; “Why don’t you offer a line of products that are more affordable? Products that are in the $450.00 or less price range.” I thought to myself. “Hmmm…what can I possibly build that would be useful to a tattoo artists at that price and still keep my head afloat.” After spending some time talking with him and other artists, I came up with some pretty damn good products which we both agreed upon as being really useful and also look great. These are products which will make your life as an artist much more simple and accessible, and will also be a striking piece in your shop. They will also offer trimmings and aspects of old traditional woodwork. Read More »

Why It’s Important For Tattoo Artists To Travel

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By Dawn Cooke I have been traveling on and off since the beginning of my career.  I haven’t always been able to travel as much as some of my peers because I have other obligations that make travel less accessible to me. But whenever I can I try to visit places and often I go where I have friends. True friends in life and in tattooing are hard to come by but as I have learned once you find them they make life so much more enjoyable. There are several reasons that I travel. I go for work, I go for pleasure, I go to network with others in tattooing and I go for inspiration. Nothing pays off more than being inspired by your peers. That’s why instagram is such a big hit! But instead of being glued to your phone get out there and meet all those great artists Face to face!  I recently went to Eagle River Alaska to visit my good friend Deb Yarian. It is a really beautiful place. Mountains, Fresh air, I really got the feeling that people there try to look out for one another. So different from here in metro Detroit where I am from. I have tried to bring a little of that brotherly love back here to Detroit with me.  Being there just really made me look at the world a little differently. People there are somewhat isolated and it seems like it makes they so much kinder to one another. Read More »

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