Archive for April, 2012

my friday was spent in Tribe 1 with the ‘southside crew’  😀

kicking the day off was kevin, we are working on a cover-up sleeve for him, the koi is now pretty much done and we can move up the arm to the dragon

then I started a new big piece, kathrine wanted a backpiece with big ornamental thistles and petunias, with swirly bits to tie it all together
this is going to be epic, it’s to go all down her back and onto her hip, so i started with nice big flowers, still some colour to go of course

and Robbie who had got a tiger tattoo a few weeks ago, decided he wanted something to go behind the tiger at the top of the arm to finish the piece off, so we went for a japanese chrysanthemum

on saturday i was back at tribe 3, with Brad getting a piece of soviet propaganda tattooed on him, this kind of stuff is fun to do, bold and no nonsense, you’ve got to love the style of artwork (once it’s finished of course0

and Roddy was in to get the back of his knee tattooed, not something he was looking forward to much

and finally malcom got the koi cover up finished, he’d had an appointment just before christmas, but had to cancel it due to snow, this was his replacement appointment just come up now. If you can only make a saturday, that’s what can happen unfortunately

it’s the year of the dragon, and today we created another one  😀
got the lines and a couple of the scales done. Plenty of scales here!

and then something completely different, the Tintin inspired piece that neil has been working on for years (with long gaps to be fair) got another bit of symbolism added. I know that Ruth is his partner, but the disk is greek to me  😆

in Glasgow the next day I continued with the samurai piece we started a few weeks back, the photos are rubbish, but of course he’ll be back. I’ve got to sort out getting decent photos of sleeves in Tribe 2, the light is very bright and it messes with my white balance. Someone who knows what they are doing would probably know how to get a proper shot of a sleeve, but i seem to fail..
I’ll be picking a brain or two when i get a chance. So, if you’re booked in with me soon and know a thing or two about photography, let me know!

and then Bobby got a rose tattoo, it’s the symbol of the musician Ryan Adams and is meant to look a bit wonky, I’ve not suddenly forgotten how to tattoo an even curve  😆

there will be colour in the rose

late blog… there’s something wrong if your weekends are busier than your weekdays! I’m doing a lot of painting on my days off, and I could do with more days off to indulge my current obsession with portraiture. In fact a few months ago I decided to start working longer days, starting earlier on 3 days a week, with the intention to take the odd tuesday off. Somehow this never really happened, and all I’m doing is working more…..
next month I’m looking at sharing a art studio space in St Margaret’s Art Complex, so I think I’ll be taking some days off to make the most of it. Exciting! If I think I have enough material that would interest youse, I’ll have an exhibition at one of the studios, just don’t hold your breath  😆
in the meantime, I keep updating my art webpage if you’re interested

Onto my tattooing
Andy’s dragon got some more colour, we will be adding a light turquoise to the crest to set all the warm colours off

then david got the start of a sleeve lined, we kept the bottom of the design open so that we could add to it at a later date

and then more japanese, Jamie’s geisha girl got some background added, still some flowing kimono fabric to be added at the bottom, and wee bits of colour here and there.

saturday Roz and me went to Glasgow to work, we had Maggie on reception, for the last time for a few months- her baby bump is HUGE and she is giving birth in a couple of weeks. I felt bad when she brought me a cup of tea, it felt like I should be making her tea!
We wish her all the best of course, and hope she can come back soon because she will be missed.

My first customer was Gill, her idea was to have quite stylised cherry branches going up her side and onto her shoulder. The whole thing is to be done just in red and black.
I bet photobucket will remove the photo of Gill from the front, so for those of you who can’t see that picture, the design goes around the front of the hip and also comes round onto the front of the shoulder.

Darren is nearing the end of his piper sleeve, we strted with colour in the thistles, and it’s taking longer than we thought, quite a few thistles in there!
As usual, terrible photos of this piece, I’m resigned to that now, and will get proper ones once it’s complete.
I also did a lousy job cleaning green ink off Darren’s arm by the look of these photos. Sorry, Darren!


back home and at work in Tribe 3, it’s great to go away, but it’s even better to come back home after having had an adventure!
Actually I’m not sure going to Hamburg and working at Jungbluth counts as an adventure. I’m so at home there now that I feel as if I’m having an affair with another studio! In Hamburg I’m thought of as part of the Jungbluth team  😆

but back here I’ve got plenty to be getting on with, including gareth’s phoenix

and Helen had asked me to do this swirly, watery design on her foot, she’d worked it all out down to the finest wee curl, and it was just a matter of transferring it onto her foot and tattooing it. This isn’t my usual way of doing things, in case anyone is wondering, but as we’d done quite a lot of these wee swirls on helen over the years, I wanted to continue.
Normally i like to work freehand of course, with the odd stencil used here and there.

Mark’s dragon got some more colour added

the next day was weegie wednesday, and another backpiece for me. John’s tattoo is full of drama and movement, as requested, and it’s starting to take shape

also in for a wee session was natalie, we are working on her peacock, but in small baby steps, as natalie has a hard time with the pain

it’s been a hectic few days, working long hours at Jungbluth and socialising in the evening, I couldn’t keep this up for too long! It’s been brilliant, though, met lots of people and enjoyed my stay at Jungbluth studio. Now that we are more familiar with each other and know how we like to work, it gets easier and more relaxing. I’m also working mostly on regulars now that people are coming back for more work from me, so there’s that nice familiar thing going on which I like.

Having said that, today started off with a new face, Matje was booked in to get some ‘wind and cherry blossom thing’ according to the booking, and we decided to incorporate her existing tattoo and make it sweep up her back. Matje is already planning to extend it, so I guess I’ll be seeing her next time  😀

another familiar face was Thorsten, we are working on a sleeve it appears, as he is a fountain of good ideas for the next bit  😀 I have to reign him in sometimes when he get’s carried away and over estimates how big his arm is, and how much space we have!
I love the raven we did today, it’s picking up the joker card, when Thorsten moves his elbow it actually looks like the bird is moving, neat!

Then a customer from a year ago was booked in to get more done to the piece we started last time. There is a bit of a cover up going on here, where he had some lasering done, and on top of that there was a wee dragon that snaked around the original piece. The dragon had to be incorporated, so the rest of the design was worked around it. Today I finished some of the grey here and there, added some colour to the dragon and one of the flowers and generally beefed the piece up a bit. We ran out of time for the other flower, and the dragon will have some black lines put back in once it#s all healed up, and we can see how much of the original linework is still obvious through the colour, as some of it was quite faded in places.

the beauty of regulars is that you can work in layers like that, come back to a piece and tweak it where necessary, rather than going for the ‘worst case scenario’ approach and making everything really dark.

and then the lovely Nina was in, we are working on a music themed piece on her leg, and today we added some script and the head of her guitar. Unfortunately we could have done with another hour, the guitar isn’t finished and there’s some more shading to be done on the scrolls. We did manage to get it up to an acceptable standard so that it looks fairly finished, and the chunky shading is kind of rock’n’roll I suppose, in tune with the piece  😆
I’ll see Nina next time I’m back, in October.

the next day Femke was in, she’s been to see me everytime I’ve been in Jngbluth tattoo, and by now we’ve covered most of her back! Just needed some more flowers and tendrils down the bottom, and this might be us done, unless Femke decides to add some more. This stylised lily design seems to be addictive!

my last customer of this visit was Marko again, the man I had in yesterday, he’d booked to get his other arm started, and this time I had a clean slate, yey!
We decided to stick with the dragom theme, but this one was to be in the clouds. I arranged the dragon to sort of echo the position of the other one, but this  new dragon was bigger and more in proportion. We got the outline done, I would have liked to get some shading done, too, but the shop was closing, and the receptionists were noisily emptying bins, cashing up and giving me looks, I got the message,

they didn’t want to hang around past shop hours on a saturday evening!

I heard something loud and familiar sounding across the road of the studio today, guess what, a stag party, pissed as farts….having a rare old time  😆

I managed to get an invite to the theatre this trip, and the amazing venue would have been worth the trip alone, like being inside a wedding cake
(no idea who those women are btw)

ok, that’s the curtains closed on this journey to Hamburg, I’ll be doing it all again in 6 months, it’s turning into a regular thing!

hello from not so sunny Hamburg.
I visited the Hamburg convention at the weekend, not working, just looking, saying hi and feeling sorry for the poor artists working at it.
I worked the last convention here (it’s on every two years) and it nearly put me off working conventions again full stop. Hot, loud, dirty and cramped, I had the worst time at a convention to date and vowed never to do it again.
I took some pictures, but they can’t convey how jammed packed the aisles were, bottlenecks everywhere and people going nowhere.

the guy’s from Jungbluth had a relatively spaceous corner booth. Spacious for them, but impossible to get to

small booths


this poor artist had her customer sitting on her workstation in the corner to get at his shin

being there as a punter showed me that it’s not just the artists who suffer, I had to wait in a stagnant queue to get in, and half the time couldn’t get near the artists’ portfolios to have a look.
Why oh why don’t they move to a better venue? There is clearly a great demand for a convention, why not make the most of it?

so, I’m back at Jungbluth, my home away from home, or should that be my tattoo studio away from Tribe. It was great to see everyone again, and this time I’m back in the street studio, not the custome studio off the main street. Although I liked working in the custom studio last time, and there is more space, I do prefer to be in the street shop with the receptionist and public. Less ‘ivory tower’  😉

I also like working next to Hungarian Kris, a really nice guy and a very talented artist.
Oh, and the street studio has had a make over, very swanky, must get some pictures tomorrow.

My first customer was an old aquaintance of mine, he wanted a wee turtle on his arm

and then I had a ‘fixer upper’ to do, I’d been dreading this appointment, as no one could really tell me anything about what it entailed, and the last time I had one of those booked in it turned out to be a completely hopeless mess that needed a magician or a laser technician to sort it out.
At the time I suspected it only got booked in with me because every other artists had said ‘no way’ and i wasn’t there to protest, so I got it.

I needn’t have fretted, this piece was ok, just needed some tlc and some finishing touches. The original artist had lost interest and declared it ‘finished’ when it clearly wasn’t, and then moved away.

here it is


and after I’d finished some bits, consolidated others and added yet more to give it a good shape.

a blog for just one day, as I’m off to Hamburg tomorrow and not working. I’ll be back at work on wednesday, doing my usual guest spot in Jungbluth tattoo. I will report from there of course.
I’ll be at the Hamburg tattoo convention on Mzonday, not tattooing, but there chatting to customers and just ‘being there’. If anyone in Hamburg wants to chat to me, I’ll be around.

Today was a black and grey day for me in Tribe 3. First up was Coco, now we’re bringing smoke up the sides of the poster to finish it off, at the top we will bring down some of the roses and skulls behind the smoke.

John was in to get the finishing touches added to his Ikarus piece

and Jamie added a cute geisha to his collection, she will be part of his sleeve next time when we add the background

have a great easter weekend, and i’ll be back on here after wednesday  😀

second convention, last year was great fun and went really well, so we were really looking forward to it this time. It’s so easy for us, all we need to do is wrap up our trolleys in cling film, put them in the back of the van, taken them out at the convention, cling film off and voilà! ready to go  😀
None of this packing a suitcase, leaving half your stuff behind by accident, having to rummage in the suitcase for stuff when you need it, and generally just ‘making do’. No Sir, we just moved half our studio, Alex even brought his massive chair!
Working it from tribe were Alex, Rob, Raffi, Bru and me, so we had a whole wall to ourselves again. Well, apart from the addition of Dan Henk, who is a triber while he’s here, doing a guest spot at Tribe 3 for a week after the convention again. He’s our american pet  😆

Alex and Rob won awards for their work this year, we were all well chuffed for them!
Also the Italian girls Raffi and Bru, had an article in Tattoo Revolution about themselves this month, so that was perfect timing. Good weekend for Tribe!

I had planned to have time to get a look around the convention this year, last time i just had my head down the whole time and didn’t really get a chance to catch up with others or check out new portfolios. I only booked 4 hours of work for myself on the saturday to allow me to do my nosey.
First up was Angela, a new customer for me, but i think we’ve started something that will grow and grow….

Billy is getting shading added to the fire dragon sleeve we are working on, he likes to get tattooed at conventions because there is so much going on, so much people watching to do, that it takes his mind off the pain. I think that is a good way to look at it, time flies by when you’re having fun.
(really bad pictures, sorry)

I then took my wallet for a walk to the supply stalls, not as big a mistake as usual, but only because I’d just stocked up at the Manchester convention…
I saw some lovely portfolios, my favourites were King carlos and jeremy Fish. We were working opposite to jeremy last year and i checked it out, but his portfolio this year seemed to have something special, loved it.
Not so many japanese specialists at this convention, the emphasis seems to be more on ‘neo traditional’. Some conventions seem to have that bias.

It was very busy and a bit frantic on the saturday, and the organisers say that attendance was up, but on sunday it seemed more sedate. people had made their appointments and were just browsing slightly, as opposed to trying to secure a slot with their chosen artist.
I didn’t really take any photos of the show, lazy me, but here’s a link to the convention’s facebook page, plenty of pictures on there (cop out alert!)

the next and final day of the convention i was working pretty much the whole day, had time to say hi to familiar faces who popped by on their rounds, thanks to all of you who came and showed off their work!

Steven still had quite a bit of colour to go in his japanese sleeve, this one has blue water, and a contrasting red orange koi, with purply petals in the lotus, a very bright and more manga style japanese piece, less traditional and very light and bright. I might add some black here and there if i think it needs it, but for now we are enjoying the bright and pure colour.

and i pretty much finished the Vietnam war battlefield piece on Brad, we’ve been chipping away at it slowly, and I’m sure i can find things to add and refine for a long time, but for now it’s come to a conclusion, if you can say that about a piece like this. You could keep adding detail for years, but for now I like the balance we’ve arrived at, and it was the end of the convention.

Taking pictures is hard, though, specially at a convention. As this will be added to with more anti war scenes, we will get a better chance at some point

we packed all our stuff back n the van, dropped it off at the studio, and went to the after party, yey! see you all there next year  😀

ok, I’m grouping my blog entries according to location, not dates, and these two days are of work done in the shops, not the convention, although one of them was before and one after the convention.
Friday before the convention I worked in Tribe 1, Ed was in for 2 hours to get some more work done to his backpiece, although I’ve stupidly managed to delete the photos. i was merrily deleting pictures to make room for new ones, when it occurred to me that I hadn’t actually written the blog yet. oops.

Ed will be back, and I’ll get more pictures then.

I did manage to snap out of the deleting frenzy before i got rid of the pictures of Andy’s back, however. we started on some colour in his dragon

and also surviving are the photos of Ross’ foo dog. He had a dragon done on his arm by another artists, but now we are filling in the gaps with more water and said foo dog

over the weekend we worked at the edinburgh tattoo convention, but that merits it’s own blog, so I’ll skip it for now.

On wednesday after the convention i was back at work, in Glasgow, and this time i brought our guest artist Heather with me, who had been staying at my house while she worked at the convention. Heather worked at Tribe for years a while back, so it was all very familiar to her, except that we’d redecorated in the meantime, and gone much more custom only. I think she quite liked the new look.

I’m working on the background to davie’s samurai sleeve, we also got round to putting some pinks in the cherry blossoms

and Bobby got the ‘portrait’ of his fender guitar hear finished apart from a couple of wee bits, it’s a part of his music themed sleeve