By Kevin Miller
Last month we posted this video featuring Mr. X, also known as Duncan X. Since we’ve posted the video, it’s become a ‘Staff Favorite’ on Vimeo, and it’s receiving national attention. The Atlantic featured a short interviewed Alex Nicholson, the mastermind behind the short video.
The Atlantic: How did you come up with the idea for the film?
Alex Nicholson: It was a combination of things really, summed up by one event really: I once saw Duncan walking down the street. Fifty percent of the people walking past almost got whiplash from turning around to look/stare at him. I was wondering what was going through their heads. I have been getting tattooed by him for a number of years and the way he speaks, his manner and personality all smack of a man who wouldn’t make people walk into lampposts if they knew him in this way.
TA: Do you personally have a connection to tattoo art?
AN: Only in the way that I have tattoos really. Duncan once said in an interview (paraphrasing here) that getting a tattoo was like getting a (actually very cheap considering) work of art that you can’t give away. That resonates nicely with me.
TA: What’s the process for digitally removing and then re-illustrating tattoos?
AN: Well I have to heap praise on my make-up artist (the lovely and talented Denise Kum) here who relentlessly edged out his many tattoos during the course of the day. We put them back on (when they animate) digitally. The process of removing the tattoos was a mind blowing process that I’d probably get killed for talking about in detail.
While it’s an interesting interview, I think the fact that The Atlantic published an interview about a short tattoo film is far more interesting. It says a lot about the world we live in, and how comfortable people are with tattoos.
Shot by Estevan Oriol
Shot by Estivan Oriol
Shot by Estevan Oriol
By Nicki Kasper
“In that moment, I realized that instead of trying to be inspired, I was going to try to inspire people.”
I recently ordered two copies of Jeff Gogue’s DVD, “tattoo as I see it”… Jeff is one of my closest and most genuine friends and I wanted to support his project, something I know he and put a lot of work, time, money, energy and heart into. I bought a copy for myself, and one for a close friend of mine – an artist I thought could use some inspiration. I didn’t know exactly what the DVD would be like, but I know Jeff, and I knew it would be inspiring, as well as very giving with valuable information and advice to tattooers… I just now was able to find the time to sit down and watch it, and it doesn’t disappoint.
I know Jeff in a couple different ways… We’re friends; I know him on a personal level, and he’s fun, open, genuine, kind, generous, and hilarious. I’m also one of his clients, so I know him on that level. I know how much he cares about his clients, about the pieces he puts on our bodies, about the pain we’re feeling, etc. I know how much heart he puts into every single piece, and I’m grateful and fortunate to be covered in them. But in addition to being a friend, and a client, I’ve also had the pleasure of working with him on side projects.
I know from experience that nothing Jeff Gogue does professionally or otherwise is half-assed. He cares about the details. If he decides he’s going to do something, he wants to give all of himself to it. If it has his name on it, he wants it to be the absolute best he has to offer at that time and place. He never thinks he’s reached his full potential, which is why we see his work changing and evolving over and over. I can relate to him in many ways, which I think is part of the reason we became instant friends so many years ago.
“You’re either a taker, or you’re a giver.”
He wants to inspire others, and that is the point of this movie. It will inspire everyone who watches, artist or not. He’s honest and open about his process, what he wants, his strengths and weaknesses. It’s real, and humble and people can always relate to that.
If you’re an artist, you will be blown away at how generous Jeff is with information that will help you from laying out a piece to tips on using contrast in your work to mixing colors. It’s invaluable information that he’s learned by trial and error over the years and he’s sharing it all with you. But if you’re not an artist, and you just want to be inspired about believing in yourself and making shit happen for yourself… About not accepting failure, and instead being driven by it, you need to watch this film.
To Jeff and Ryan Moon – You guys did an incredible job on this, and now I wish I hadn’t been such a chicken about being interviewed for it! I’m proud of you both!
Shot by Estevan Oriol.
Shot by Estevan Oriol