Today's artist spotlight is on Shane Tan: tattoo artist and punk rock misfit currently killing it at Ink Tank Zurich and privately in Singapore. Anderson Cooper rivals our snobbery regarding "bad tattoos." And he's not completely off base. Professor Sam Steward is best known to the tattoo community as Phil Sparrow, a meticulous tattooer whom many credit with raising the bar of body art. Once again, the London Tattoo Convention brought in the modified masses this weekend -- an estimated 20,000 people -- with the draw of renowned tattooists from across the globe, fine art galleries, fire-breathing beauties, bands, and plenty of pints. The final installment of Vice TV's Tattoo Age profile on Troy Denning is now up and horrifying vegans across the Internet. Our friend Yushi Takei just hit us up with some new work and also added 50 images of his traditional Japanese tattooing to his online gallery. In the many interviews I've done with artists, the issue of whether "a tattoo should look like a tattoo" has come up repeatedly. It didn't seem obvious at first or even possible as I'd really had to relearn to draw for tattooing and my usual style contradicted everything I'd been taught. We're hooked on Vice TV's Tattoo Age series for its fun and fascinating look into the art and personal lives of tattooists. Today our friend Nick Schonberger posted "The Complex Guide to Tattoo Lettering," the first in a series of tattoo articles designed to help people avoid indelible mistakes. For those interested in hand-poked tattoo work, Grounded TV Network created this documentary short on Butterfly [no web site found], a painter who discovered traditional tattooing by hand in Goa, India and has traveled the world sharing her art ever since.In the video, Butterfly discusses her spiritual approach to tattooing and the freedom to be able to work anywhere -- up in trees and volcanoes she says -- giving people the opportunity to be tattooed in nature and sacred spaces. In May, I raved about the documentary Travelling Ink, a film that was part of a collection of films made for the Body Arts exhibition at the Pitt-Rivers Museum in Oxford, UK.
In the November issue (yes, November) issue of Skin & Ink magazine on newsstands now, you'll find my profile on Jesse Smith of Loose Screw Tattoo in Richmond, Virginia. If you feel this image is in violation of our Terms of Service, please use the following form to have it manually reviewed by a staff member. Every woman who wants to show off her femininity should look other than her own Sexy Back Tattoos.
Tattoos covering shoulder blade are pronounced for women who wants to highlight their ultimate feminine sensuality. Singapore is Shane's birthplace, although he claims that he's a direct descendant of "one of those immortal flying ninjas from old Chinese films." I didn't argue with him on this point.
It includes six photos accompanied by audio narration by Spring, giving context to the image. While we didn't make it this year, we followed dispatches on Facebook & Twitter as well as on Flickr, which has many fabulous photos from the show, including this one above by Ed London Photography. But it also has a little message about discriminating against big scary tattooed men.Many thanks to the fabulous Stephanie D.
It begins with Troy "putting crabs to sleep" in preparation of a BBQ he's hosting, with many of NY's tattooratti in attendance. As always, I'm utterly grateful for their participation.The text is by Michael Kaplan, a well respected journalist who has written for the New York Times, Wired and Details.


Yushi will be working at the London Tattoo Convention this upcoming weekend, then doing a guest spot at Frith Street Tattoo from Sept. Some say that only "bold will hold," that is, strong outlines, bold color, and lots of black. Nick enlisted one of my lettering favorites (and all around good guy) BJ Betts to offer advice on what to consider when deciding on the look and placement of your Nietzsche quote -- the one you'll regret later on in life no matter how well the tattoo is executed. Now the films, including the one above on Tatau and Ta Moko, are available to download for free as part of Oxford's iTunes University podcasts.
I came to know Jesse's work upon seeing two of his clients at a convention sporting bold and colorful bodysuits, which seemed to illustrate stories that would be beloved by children but best appreciated by adults. His portfolio is peppered with playful works that stand on their aesthetics alone, from pink bulldogs to a penis on a swing. The back is a huge canvas awaiting for the amazing artistic inspiration to give it a new dimensional look. Shane likes long walks on the beach, his aura color is pinkish blue, and his favorite meal is 13 magnum tubes from Good Luck Irons.
For example, in the photo above, Spring discusses Steward's tattooing and notes that he was the official tattooer for the Hells Angels from 1965-1970 in San Francisco. Others contest that tattoos need not be limited by these constraints and can indeed stand the body's aging while not strictly adhering to these tattoo tenets. After all there's lots of line movement so the line is always changing direction, which is good (no straight lines); there are lines crossing over each other everywhere, which breaks up large flat areas so you're not having to shade vast areas of flesh and trying to get it even. While geared primarily towards those new to tattoos, long-time collectors will also appreciate BJ's recommendations. What's particularly cool is that you can enjoy the films without being tied to a computer as the podcasts can be viewed on any device. In fact, he's managed to infuse his work with so much of what drives him personally that his portfolio has a distinct, energized quality that let's you know just who created the work.
Each image is worth a click for these kind of gems. --Many thanks to Bill of TattoosDay for the NY Times link!
Personally, I got quite a lot of flack for my "Art Brut" chapter in Black Tattoo Art, where I featured the avant garde style of deconstructed tattoos. This video starts off with footage of Troy & Jeb Maykut making bank by stumbling into the Cash Cab in NYC. I particularly enjoyed his thoughts on finding the right tone and ornamentation to the writing.
But if you prefer to stream them online without downloading, you can watch them here.Travelling Ink was created by anthropologist Cyril Siorat, and directors Dr.
Here is an excerpt:The characters that populate Jesse Smith's tattoo and fine art work are up to no good.
Invisible NYC artist Kiku calls Troy's tattoo work "super wild and strong," while Chris describes it as "over-sized refined Japanese style" with a toughness to it.Vice could've just showed Troy drinking and partying across NYC -- and there are some clips of that -- but I dig the fact that they didn't let boys-gone-wild footage overshadow art.
Those tattoos drawn in foreign languages, for instance, are the hottest according to new trends, and hence has taken the whole world by storm.


If you find it boring and unoriginal, you can tryout other designs such as dolphins, butterflies, or any other exotic animals drawn in 3D.
It was an interesting experience working with a large US publisher, representing the interests of our tattoo community in a project designed for a mainstream audience. You still want to give the correct overall impression of three dimensions but you don't have to be exactly literal with directions of shading or depth, etc.
It establishes Troy's smarts but goes on to discuss how the artist is self-taught in many facets of his life. Rabbits, squirrels, and mice may look cute but they play out evil plots in full-body tattooed color bombs reflecting the political and religious views of the wearer. For example, there's great discussion in this episode on American interpretations of Japanese tattooing ("hard outline, hard black, color"), which Troy is known for, and also how he has evolved his drawings to work quicker and smarter to meet the high demand. Then there's the little voice inside of me saying, This is kinda cool, as a watch him talk and nonchalantly put the "gun" together. There are also photos of him as a child, then as a punk rocker, and then images of his early days tattooing as the narrative follows his path from a kid who drew those cartoons from the TV Guide to a sought-after tattooist. The juxtaposition of heavy subject matter relayed in light and charming form has become a signature for Jesse that has attracted an international clientele since he began tattooing in 1999.
This evolution, he says, came about during the "dark period" when he was navigating a divorce and trying to run a business and be creative at the same time. But then we get to the end and some dude shows up and sits down on a bench next to Scott in Tompkins Square Park--a bench upon which I've seen too many junkies having sex--and then I'm just thinking, Eww.
The book isn't limited to the "big names," however, and highlights the work of some emerging artists pushing tattoo in new directions.
It's candid and compelling.I highly recommend checking out this episode and staying tuned for Pt. Of course, we couldn't include every brilliant artist (and not everyone agreed when asked). I do believe the work shown will inspire people to do more research and learn about the many tattoo masters across the globe.As with any book release of mine, there's a party. I talked with Simon about his evolving tattoo style in which he's incorporating his painting and street art approach into his tattoo portfolio. He explains: The drawings kind of look like I just sat down and tossed off some random scribble but there really is a lot of tweaking and editing along the way.
For anyone interested in a signed copy, perhaps with a love note, I have only 15 books available to Needles & Sins friends for $35. This kind of set me some necessary limitations as the cops don't like you running around drawing on public spaces, so you have to work fast.
But I've finally reached a point now where I was kind of on top of all that and could put it to the back of my mind and concentrate more on what I can do creatively with the medium, and because line is so important to a good tattoo holding up over time, I naturally started to think about my drawing style and how I could apply it to tattooing.



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