Archive for December, 2011

so, the hidden gift voucher has been found. This was a bit of an experiment, hiding something in the city centre always carried the risk of someone coming across it who had no connection to tribe, a council cleaner or random bored person at the bus stop for example, which would have been an anti climax and annoying for the people who were really looking for it…
I did what i could, hid it well, covered the black box with leaves and chose a spot that no one would ever have any reason to be looking in and hoped for the best. It worked! mark with the massive dragon backpiece found it- Merry Christmas!  😀
he dropped off the box it was hidden in, here it is, looking much bigger than it really is…

now you know what you’ll be looking for next time  😉

so, on to my work, on friday I was working in tribe 1 in the Southside, and i had only one customer booked. there seemed to have been a booking error, and we had someone down who wasn’t actually booked in, when Laura phone him to confirm he was genuinely confused..oops.. our bad.
It’s December the 23rd. Laura did make half an attempt to phone people on the cancellation list, but realistically that wasn’t going to suit anyone a day before Christmas eve  😆

Kevin was in though, even afflicted with gout as he was. he said that the pain i inflicted on his arm took the pain away from his foot- I think we’ve found the cure for gout!

we’d outlined a dragon and koi last time, going over some old tattoo work tht had been lasered a bit to lighten it.
I covered some of the old pieces with a bit of orange and some grey here and there, next time he’s in we can assess what that has done and add more colour accordingly. Ah, the luxury of multiple sessions!

then on christmas eve I worked a half day in tribe 1 with laura and New Boy Nic. Nic has been covering reception for us for a while, but being a talented artist his real destiny is to be a tattooist, and the process has now started. You might see him hovering and taking an interest next time you are in Tribe 3 getting tattooed…be nice to him…

I had gerald and his mum in for a couple of hours each, gerald is getting his tiger worked on, the one that luxuriates  all down his side and gives the dragon of his backpiece a sly look.  😀

gerald’s mum has been watching her sons getting tattooed by me for about 12 years or more, and last year finally got the bug herself. For her 60th she got a sweet pea piece on her upper arm (in fact she was the first tattoo I did this year) and today (the last tattoo I did this year) she decided, to hell with it, I want it more visible and I’m going for more tattoos on my forearm  😆
Go girl!

it’s only a matter of time til we join the two pieces up and start elaborating  😉

All of you have a very merry christmas! I’m off for a week and back tattooing on the 3rd of january, so have a wonderful time until then  😀

You are still looking for that £50 tribe voucher, and we already know that it’s hidden in Edinburgh.
We have also talked about the need to protect graves from grave robbers and the various options to achieve that, but seeing as you don’t have to enter a graveyard to find the black tub that contains the voucher, the clever buggers that you are you will have surmised that it’s on the outside of a graveyard wall.
In fact, this guy is pointing pretty much at the gift voucher.

I had the same customer in on both day! all day!  😯  The lady in question is Egad, who has previously graced this blog when we did a Jules Verne type of sleeve, steam punky sea creatures and victoriana telling a tale of daring adventure and disaster.
Now we started another sleeve, the theme this time is more 40’s and 50’s, starting with H.G. Well’s ‘War of the Worlds’. (Terrifying Martians come to earth and set fire to it and kill everyone! First written in 1898)
In 1938, Orson Welles  took this story and read it out on radio as if it was an actual news broadcast, causing major panic as people tried to flee the invasion and landing himself in hot water for his troubles
here we have a picture of Orson reading into the microphone ( we went for a grainy 40’s feel for this picture) surrounded by illustrations of the Martians attacking earth. There will be some colour for the fire, but overall we are trying to create a sense of symmetry and echo the muted illustrative style of the other sleeve.
Most elements on this sleeve has a counter part on the other sleeve, when we are done I’ll post a synopsis of the two  😀

the other day we did the top of the sleeve, where the flying saucers attack from space, this is the more 50’s style part of the sleeve, where visions of alien beings had progressed a bit from the insect like creatures imagined by HG Wells.
I should have taken a photo after we did it, and not waited until we’d finished for two days, as you can see it’s covered in cream and has started to dry up a bit, i should have thought of that! Instead i fondly imagined that it would have lost it’s redness and look less shiny because it wasn’t just done. Wrong, sigh.

Gift voucher clues continued!

Edinburgh has a history of grave robbing, the new interest in anatomy and dissection in the medical universities that were thriving in 18th and 19th century Edinburgh, needed a continuous supply of fresh bodies.
If you were unlucky enough to have lost a loved one during those days, you would have been keen to prevent your loved one’s body to be dug up and sold to the universities. What were your options to protect the body in Edinburgh’s gave yards?
You could watch the grave yourself until the body was decomposed enough to make it unusable for the dissectors. You could hire an armed guard to do this for you if you were flush. You could build walls with watch towers around the grave yard, cover the grave with heavy stone slabs or metal cages… all dependant on your finances. But then it had to look good, too. this site tells you more if you are interested in the subject, and for the purpose of the search for the gift voucher I’d like to encourage you to think about protecting bodies and graves, with an eye on aesthetics, too.

The gift voucher is folded up and in a smallish round black tub, about 7 cm high and wide. You will not need to enter a grave yard to find it.
Still baffled? keep watching this space, as i will keep elaborating until someone has found it….

Alright, onto my work for he last 2 days! I had me a floral day in Tribe 3 on friday  😀
these things tend to come in bunches (bada boom)

first I did these primroses and blue bells, adding onto the piece we’ve been working on to wind it’s way up Justine’s back, with a couple of bumble bees, too

then Jennifer wanted to make a start on some roses flowing down her back and onto the front of her hip, we managed to outline 3, shade 2 and add some grey shading

the next day it was Glasgow for me and Roz, and my first customer was dave, who was suitably attired with a black santa hat saying ba humbug on it  😆

we are working on the background to his hell bird, the volcano and rocky horizon is mapped out and we’ve got our work cut out! this is going to be a fiery, desolate landscape with burning hell bugs flying around. yey!  😈

Tom got his backpiece finished!!  😯  Apart from a finishing session where I tweak wee bits here and there, it’s done. I am really pleased with it, now i just need to get some good pictures once it’s all healed

last in for the week was darren, we worked on the back ground to his piper sleeve, incorporating his love for motor bikes, and the open road, the final section of this piece will be some scottish scenery on the top of the arm, with Stirling castle and Glencoe featuring

so, today we’re off to celebrate Christmas, Tribe style! For the first time we’ve got everyone from Glasgow AND edinburgh together, and we’re going for a meal and some drinks, all 20 of us  😆
wish us luck, may the best man or woman be the last one standing!

Clue Time!
Here’s the next bit of information for the gift voucher hunt, the tribe gift voucher for £50 has been hidden and it’s up to you to find it…
We’ve established that it’s in Edinburgh.
These characters are your next clue

these two charmers areBurke and Hare, two notorious grave robbers in Edinburgh who were executed in 1828 for their troubles

Don’t worry, you will NOT be expected to rob any graves to find this gift voucher, tribe does not condone or encourage the act of grave robbing etc etc,no matter how skint you are. I do, however, encourage you to think about graves….

Oh yes, in case you were thinking of bribing one of the weaker members of the tribe staff to reveal the secret hiding place, forget it! They don’t know where it’s stashed, only me. And I’m incorruptible

ok, onto the blog, on tuesday my one customer was Emma, she’d booked the day for her two portraits. As she lives in Ireland she was keen to get both of them done in one day to save on travelling, smart thinking if you don’t mind getting tattooed for long periods, that is. (terrible idea if you can’t take it and have to tap out halfway through.)

these two are her husband and cute young son

the next day I worked in Glasgow, Ian had been in to get a piece with clouds and a flag (his dad is american) and he wanted the edges to be more defined, originally I’d left them very soft and blended into the skin, so today we added some shading to make it more of a panel

Also in was Ryan, we started the next section of his snow queen sleeve. This part today is of the snow queen just after she’s snatched a wee boy and wrapped him in her coat, she steals him because she’s lonely, but of course he gets rescued in the end. that happens further down the arm  😉
her hat and cloak are very detailled and icy blue looking, that will contrast nicely with the warm skin tones.
next time I hope to get a better photo of it, it’s hard to get some decent light on the underside of the upper arm

sunny South side and Tribe 1 for me! 😀

We started a dragon piece on jason, he wanted me to include a cala lily, which I did at the top of the shoulder, unusual choice but I like it!

then Andrew got a rose on his arm, in black and grey to go with the other tattoos on his arm. usually he gets tattoos in far away foreign countries as souvenirs, but this tattoo is of personal significance and not a travel souvenir, so a less exotic Scotland was sufficient  😉

Tiddy had enjoyed getting festive in Tribe 1, the place is bristling with tinsel and fake icicles to get you in the mood, but of course with a touch of Tiddy’s style, those googly eye mirror baubles are inspired  😆

and either Rob or george is responsible for this bit of naughty silliness

Laura in Tribe 3 however likes to keep it understated and classy  😆

and Tribe 3 was where I was working on the saturday, starting off with some more work to BBB’s vietnam war picture. Ignore the sketched in outline of a figure, that’s not permanent, just a rough guide for today’s session which will wash off

And gerald got a new piece, we’re adding a tiger to his backpiece, which was done in a stylised and bold style, so the new tiger is along the same lines. I do like a tiger, me.

and Amy popped in for a quick adjustment to her sleeve, we’d decided to darken the grey fade out at the bottom of her piece to show off the snowflakes better

now, we are giving away a £50 gift voucher this Christmas! Yes, but you will have to hunt for it, as we will be hiding it  😈
It will be in Edinburgh, that’s your first hint.
More hints will follow, on here and on our facebook page
add us for updates, (and to stay up to date with our news in general, the artists post new work on there as it’s a lot easier to do than on the website)

happy hunting!

on tuesday only had one customer in, Alex from Aberdeen. I did have another customer boked in, but we couldn’t get a hold of him to confirm his appointment, there was no deposit paid and we were a bit suspicious about whether he was going to show up. In fact we’d already given a few of his later appointments to other customers because we’d lost faith in him showing up, but still, we kept his first one for him in case he did show up saying something along the lines of ‘I’ve been off shore, didn’t realise you wanted to contact me, been waiting for this appointment for months!’ etc etc, but alas. No show.
Why oh why can’t people just cancel their appointment? We’re not going to be upset, honest! We’d MUCH rather know as far in advance as possible, to avoid this kind of annoyance and to be able to offer the appointment to someone else.

So, Alex had the whole day, and we were able to take it easy, start a bit later and run over. He had a train to catch, so we had to call it a day in time for that.

got the octopus started, it’s going to be bright red with orangey undersides to the tentacles, also finished the gray shading.

the the next day i was in Glasgow, as per usual on a wednesday, natalie had her second session on her peacock, we’re breaking it into smaller sessions now as she really suffered the last time, this is more manageable

And bobby got the first ingredient of his music themed sleeve done, it’s a piece of surrealist art from the musician Nick Drake’s album cover. Wonderfully far out there, you’ve got to love the wee tea cup and the clown face!  😆

Stewart was my first customer on friday, we’d started a ‘lee’ (the bit in between a sleeve) an now we are getting on with the rest of it, some shading still to finish here and there, and also Stewart is still debating whether to add a bit of colour to the chrysanthemum in the crook of the elbow. It doesn’t need it, the shape of it stands out enough against the background (sometimes a bit of colour adds structure where it can be useful in an otherwise confusing black and grey piece) but it might look nice. we’ve also added a bit of pink to two of the cherry blossoms and the lotus, so it would fit in should he decide to go for it.

then i had a unscheduled break due to a cancellation, where I unwisely decided to go up to the bank. The town was heaving with christmas shoppers, and by the time i reached the bank i was ready to murder someone. I’ll make sure i do all my christmas shopping online I think, best for everyone!

then our rhino was in for a couple of hours of colouring, I’d calmed back down by then of course  😉

next day Roz and me piled into her wee car and she drove us through to Glasgow where it’s officially Christmas since we installed our black christmas tree with the blue lights and sparkly skeletons and skull baubles.. festive!

And speaking of festive, may I plug our gift vouchers? get them for your friends or get your friends to get them for you. get them or we’ll get you, get it?:D Makes perfect sense.

I had a strange one in next, Ross had a geisha started by another artist who had since left the country, so i was finishing it off for him. The face is a portrait of his wife, i think I’ll need to finish it as I don’t think it was completed at the time, so I’m covering it in the picture in case the casual viewer thinks I did it. I’ll show you the finished result once I’m done with it, today I concentrated on the kimono which had only been outlined up until now

My last customer was kenny, we are in the middle of an elaborate cover up job, Roz is still lasering the piece we are covering, but I’ve put the new tattoo around it already, so she knows where to do some precision lasering to lighten just the necessary bits

My first customer of the week was Ruaraidh, we are starting on his first tattoo, only a sleeve  😆 , what happened to the ‘I’ll just get a small one to see what it’s like’ attitude?
He’s getting a dragon on the upper arm, than some flowers and a hanya mask, in clouds. We got the dragon drawn on and outlined today, Ruaraidh had ideas and reference material to support what he was after, and we made sure it was all working out for him.
I took a bit longer drawing this dragon on freehand as Ruaraidh had specific ideas about how the dragon should look and where it should go on his body. i like that, it makes the end result more individual and means that there is more of the customer’s input into their tattoo, rather than me doing my thing (don’t get me wrong, I like to do my thing  :D) but being forced to think outside the box always turns up new ideas which is exciting.
Now, I’ve been ummin and ahhing about whether to write this, I don’t want to seem like I’m moaning but I’ve decided to go for it.
This tattoo isn’t a huge departure from my usual dragon tattoos, but it illustrates this point: Ruaraidh asked me at the end of the session whether i charge for drawing time. The answer is yes.
The time i spend freehanding on the customer is work. I enjoy it, but it is none the less the result of a lot of time spent studying, practising and absorbing influences, working out problems and obsessing over what works and what doesn’t. the fact that i can get a few pens out and draw it on the arm and make it look easy belies the fact that there is a lot of work going on behind the scenes. I’m not charging for experimenting.

Anyway, we got this dragon outlined, and Ruaraidh took it really well, I don’t think I heard a single moan  😀

Brian was next up, he had an old tattoo on his arm that we’d talked about lasering. this piece is pretty big and dark, and brain isn’t really adverse to it as it as it represented a period in his life that he recalls fondly, I quite respect that.  I’ve got some work on me that isn’t the most cutting edge, I’d never get rid of it because of the memories it brings back, so if brian is happy to incorporate his old tattoo, so am I.

we worked some japanese style water and flowers around the existing piece, or the outlines of of the new piece, with some basic shading for now

then on wednesday I was in Glasgow, and my first customer was our very own brunella, she’s been through a lot this year, and now it was time for her to get a tattoo to mark the occasion and empower herself, I’m happy to be a part of this process!
She is getting a green man tattoo, strong, vibrant and full of the force of life, on her back  😀
just the basic sketchy outline today, with a bit of basic shading. because we can, we will be doing this in small sessions

next up was Hazel, we’d done a cover up on her back of a really old school dagger tattoo, and now she wanted to bring the stylised flowers around her ribs to help the flow and for general prettification (new word!)

Another lovely lady, Melissa got her phoenix finished and a cute bumble bee on her toe!  😀