Sunday, November 3, 2013

I haven't posted here in a while. Trying to keep up with Facebook, Instagram, email, appointments, and a personal life is a challenge for sure. Oh poor blog, you are always the neglected one.

I finished this piece up last night, 11-2-2013. The client is a photographer, and wanted to incorporate a few things here: Obviously, the camera is for her and her profession. Her grandmother was a nurse named Rose. Finally her husband had the nickname of "Jay Bird" as kid, hence the bird. This was a pleasure to draw and tattoo. Thank you to Amber for being tough on a pretty big tattoo. Took 7+ hours done over two sessions. The linework is healed and a little shiny. I apologize for the glare! Despite my attempts to glean photo taking secrets from Amber, I couldn't avoid a slight glare here.

I would love to do more work similar in style to this. Thank you for looking!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Thinking Outside of the Box

For this tattoo I had my appointments mixed up and I had to draw this spur of the moment. Had a lot of fun doing it though, and I'm glad it was so unexpected because it allowed me to travel off of my beaten artistic path. Great change of pace. Thanks to a really cool US Marine that wanted something so different!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

War Never Changes

Any of you out there who are fans of the Fallout video game franchise will appreciate this piece. Done on the same client as the Sindragosa (WoW) sleeve, Austin. This is the laser pistol from the game, along with a quote that is a recurring theme within the Fallout world. I am a huge fan of Fallout 3, so this was a great piece to be able to create. This is a healed photo.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Get Your Legal Team on Standby, Spike.

Just a few days ago I blogged about the raping of a culture known as "Inkmaster." Today I share with you blatant, indisputable evidence of just how much these folks are no where near the title of "master."

Below is an image of two tattoos. One, on the left, is an original new school tattoo done by Jeremy Miller, a well known tattooer. The tattoo on the right, was done by Tray Benham of Inkmaster season 2.
Is this a direct rip off? It certainly appears that way. I can't believe that Tray's tattoo just happens to be so similar to Jeremy's. Aside from a few flames being moved around and flipping the image, this is the same piston.

To make things even worse, this is not the only tattoo that got ripped off, one the same episode of Inkmaster! That's right folks, not one, but two stolen original tattoos on ONE episode of this show. Check out the video below to see Kristel Oreto's case for her peacock being ripped. It is not as cut and dry as this one. Do you think that Jamie Davies stole Kristel's work here? Or is it just a similar style?

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Sooooo Close.

It has been a while since I posted my last in-progress shot of this Transformers Bumblebee tattoo. Above is an almost completed piece, only lacking a little more background to e fully finished. This is about 16 hours of work. Bryan has been an awesome sitter, never complaining or squirming during our 4 hour sessions. Not an easy task on the side/ribs.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012


So surely many of you have watched at least a bit of the TV series "Inkmaster." If you have not, let me fill you in:

A cast of tattooers are chosen to come compete in a series of tattooing challenges. The winner takes home $100,000 and also gets a feature article in a tattoo publication. Oh, and let me not forget they will obtain the Spike TV endorsed title of "Inkmaster!" *Cough...snort*

Okay, first, the title of Inkmaster sounds quite impressive. And there are no doubt many true masters of the ink out there... A couple of them have even made it to the show. But being given an arbitrary title, doled out by Spike TV? Seriously? This is pure TV entertainment folks...not a legitimate title.

A quick look at the cast of this show presents a very mismatched level of talent. The majority of the tattooers I see on Inkmaster are of average skill level. I do not mean this in a derogatory manner whatsoever. I consider myself to be average.

Then there are a handful of guys with superb talent.

And finally, there are a few who are just plain terrible.

I am certain that there have been plenty of highly skilled tattooers who have applied to be on this show. It would be astonishing if there were not plenty of master tattooers out there who do not want to win $100,000 by doing what they do every day. On the other hand, I am certain there have been loads of average or poorly skilled tattooers applying.

This show could be a showcase of true talent. We could be seeing amazing tattoos done every week, with a tough decision to eliminate a good tattooer who just couldn't best his competition. I suppose that would make for a boring show, for the less tattoo-literate anyhow. I, for one, would have liked to never see a terrible tattoo done on this show. These tattoos are being applied to actual humans, who most likely expect only high caliber artists to be competing on a show that clearly is about mastering the art. Instead, some of these people are going home in tears, no doubt. It is their own fault, true enough, but it is insulting to see the miscarriage of my personal craft become entertainment.

Shame on you Spike.

Friday, October 19, 2012

To Copy, or Not to Copy?

It happens far too often. The shop doorbell dings, I greet a customer at the counter. They clutch a piece of paper in their hand. It's a picture of a tattoo they printed off, or ripped out of a magazine. This is THE tattoo they want. This one. Right here.

That's where a lot of tattooers will differ on where to go from there. It sure is easy to take that copy of someone else's art, trace it off, and produce a nice replica.

But is this ethical?
(Yes, ethics of tattooing, I know...crazy. But we're not a bunch of savages either, you see.)

People don't tend to look at a tattoo as they would a traditional piece of art. There is no thought to the fact that someone paid a lot of money to have an original piece embedded into their skin. Not to mention the time an artist put into creating a drawing to place into this collector's skin.

I have yet to encounter my own original tattoos being copied, but I constantly see tattoos done by more well known (and generally very skilled) tattooers being replicated. It certainly wouldn't sit well with me to see something I put my heart into being copied without a second thought.

Tattoos are often the most personal sort of art. Someone chose a particular image to grace their skin for the rest of their life. To take that image a copy it, because someone else likes it, is stealing. And to copy a tattoo poorly (which is what usually happens) is adding insult to injury.

In short, if you like a particular tattoo, feel free to bring a copy of it. But don't approach your artist with "I want THIS exactly." If you want Joe Tattooer's work, you need to see Joe Tattooer. Instead, bring in your art with the attitude of creating something similar to what you so enjoyed. Don't be an art thief.