Are the blind leading the blind in tattooing these days? This is a question that has been a major topic of discussion between my peers lately. With tattooing becoming as popular as it is these days every person that knows how to doodle wants to become a tattooer. I can only complain about it so much before I start feeling sad and a bit responsible as a result of partaking in crappy reality TV. When I first watched a tattoo being made it felt like I was in something out of a J.R.R. Tolkien book, it felt totally magical and mysterious, and in some ways it really was. Myke Chambers described it best when he said “This local tattooer was like a wizard to me”. Tattooers would perform the most amazing magic act, and they’d be damned if they would teach you how their trick was done. Now days you can go to a ‘school’ for tattooing and pay money in trade for second-rate so-called knowledge on how to tattoo. It’s a terrible shame, those who know little or nothing about our trade trying to teach the undeserved how to tattoo… for money. (more…)
I don’t think you can ever go wrong with a Koi fish and some Japanese finger waves. This guy here was with his friend and they both were in their “whites” from the night before, both stained from a long night of NY partying. True sailors, and the best part is during the tattoo, him and I exchanged what we each knew about the navy and its strong ties to traditional tattooing, the meaning of swallows, nautical stars, and classic images like that. I was impressed with his knowledge on the subject, it was great. Good for him, its cool to see a young guy respecting some tradition.
Jose started with some lettering “Unforgettable” on his lower arm, it was his first tattoo and at that time I don’t think he thought he would go all the way with a sleeve, but thats how it starts. Next we added the mermaid with a little bit of Japanese finger waves, after that we added the koi, more water, and the peonies. So we finally finished this thing the other day. Thank you Jose for your openness and your consistency. Good client and a fun tattoo.
Its always a pleasure to tattoo someone who has tattoos by other tattooers that you respect. In this case my friend Kevin here has a couple real nice tattoos from one of my favorite tattooers in New York City, my friend Damion Ross at New York Adorned. Damion’s tattoo style is my favorite “The kind that look good and last forever, style” the way tattoos should look and be.
You can get a small sample of Damion’s work here NyAdorned
When I was in Germany last week I had the pleasure of spending some time with my dear friends Nancy and Marco. Also meeting their friend Robin de Goede, who took these really great photos. *the hands in the one photo, are Nancy’s and I got to do a very special tattoo on one of them “Bratt Pack” in honor of her special relationship between Marco Bratt and herself. Im honored to have done this tattoo and to call both of them friends.
Every once and a while a intelligent client finds his way to the shop and asks for the kind of tattoos I like doing, and in my opinion the way they should be done, bold and set to last the test of time. Tattooing in itself is its very own art medium, and classic bold tattooing is the foundation of this tattoo medium. Just as oil and acrylic painting have their boundaries, so does the art of tattooing. Over the years young ambitious art kids have came into tattooing with out proper apprenticeships, not having a real apprenticeship, they never learn from the “trial and error” that a master tattooer has been through and would have taught them, they get extra fancy, impressing the uneducated and the young with out knowledge of the tricky tattoos fate. My point is in 10 years put a real tattoo like this one next to a fancy no out line lily and see who has more happiness and pride with their tattoo. Bold will hold and fancy will fail. #proven
Positive mental attitude!
Look in my eyes
Tell me what you see
No trace of ignorance
Inside of me
Free from guilt
Proud of the friendships
That I’ve built
Think positive PMA!
Live positive PMA!
Act positive PMA!
Positive mental attitude!