Archive for August, 2012

poor Roz has been waiting for years to get the last bits of her leg piece added, we used to get her tattooing done at conventions, but now that I’ve cut back on them we hardly get round to it. So today we connected the thigh piece that jason did a long time ago, to the calf section, finally!

next i nearly finished katherines backpiece, just need a bit more time to finish the petunias

and another flower piece in the making, Louise’s asters are taking shape, there will be background shading and some butterflies going up her back

in Glasgow the next day I had sean in, he got a piece that was based on the decoration of an antique opium pipe from Vietnam on his arm a couple of years ago. he’d always wanted to add clouds to the background, so today we made a start on that. The background clouds will fade to a pale grey once they are settled

and John got more colour added to his backpiece, the koi this time

well, I got stood up again for a long appointment…first thing on friday… another customer who had had a sleeve outlined by myself and then not come back. For these two people who have done this lately, I’d like to say this: if you think it’s a good idea to get me to design your tattoo for you, and then get your mate or whoever to finish it for ‘cheaper’, you are wrong. I’ve been tattooing for 20 years, and i might make it look easy to get smooth greys and gradients, bright colours and sculpted lines, but it’s not. My designs rely heavily on these things and if you let someone loose on my outlines who isn’t competent (and anyone who is ‘cheap’ wont be) you WILL end up fucking it up, and will be forever trying to find someone to fix it.
Apart from that, the outlines I put on in the first instance are not self explanatory (apart to myself) so anyone trying to follow my design will be pretty lost.
Good luck getting it finished.

right, rant over. One last thing, we will be charging bigger deposits in future- please be warned- I’m sure you understand!

John did show up for his appointment on friday  😀
we did his california poppies and started on the red dragon

the next day in Glasgow I had Robert in, we are working on an interesting project involving layering of designs. After some bad tattoo work (not by me!!) and some lasering, we are putting together a textured mix of flowers and geometric designs to completely transform this 3/4 sleeve. It’s exciting, and we are discovering this piece as we go along, this approach is somewhat unpredictable! We love the results so far

and Dougie brought his friend in to get a tattoo, we gave Dougie another wee dragonfly and the friend got one on her foot, cute!

the international festival is in full swing in Edinburgh, the city is jam packed and everyone seems to be having a ball. As usual I fully intend to go to some shows, but then am intimidated by the sheer volume of stuff to chose from- the program always reminds me of a phone book- and I end up seeing nothing….
So, if anyone has some good suggestions, let me know!

Speaking of performances, I’ve been laughing a lot about those old prog rockers Focus and their song hocus pocus lately. If anyone out there would perform that for me on karaoke, I would come to wherever this is happening!  😆  😆
here’s how it’s done:

anyway! my week started off with gareth, he’s getting a phoenix on his leg and we got some tail feathers coloured today

and then I did something quite unusual for me, some freehand henna style paisley pattern! I love this kind of thing, more to look at than to do, but once in a while it’s great fun to do something quite different.

and kevin got more of his background shaded

in Glasgow the next day I did the second session on George’s dragon sleeve, it’s starting to take shape now

and bobby’s music sleeve is juuuust about to be finished, so close!

woops, completely forgot that i hadn’t written my blog over the weekend! I was busy, to be fair, we’ve been doing some redecorating in the back room at Tribe 3, the walls are now grey instead of white, (hope that helps with the photographs) and we’ve hung new mirrors. Hope you like it!

On friday I started a new piece on Kerry Anne, she wanted a combination of various specific flowers going up her side, with some ornamental blackwork holding them together, including a pendant from her necklace.

strangely enough, that’s kind of what I’m working on on Kathrine, who was in after her, we continued the thistle and petunia piece down her back, it’s going to be epic!

my last customer stood me up, and when Tiddy phoned him to ask if he remembered about his appointment, he hung up on her after grunting a bit. Needless to say his other appointments have been scrubbed, but I’m really annoyed that i outlined a nice sleeve on him.

the next day started with the lovely Tracey, we added some colour to the skull on her chest piece. She has been getting a lot of comments on this piece, specially guys telling her how nice her butterfly is….since when are blokes into nice butterflies? eh?  😆

A few years ago Gorden had got a dragon on his upper arm from me ( a cover up), he also had Didi add a koi to his forearm, and now he wanted to go the whole hog and get a full sleeve. We found space for a hanya mask and some clouds, another session with finish it, and Gordon will have a nice dense sleeve

Martyn decided on a dragon half sleeve, to incorporate some existing work on his chest (not by me), we got the outlines and even the scales done, not bad for a start

I wasn’t tattooing on tuesday! It wasn’t a fuck up with appointments, nothing to do with any illness or even natural disasters…a properly planned and scheduled day of painting for me  😀
In spring I decided that i would like more time to do my painting, as I’ve always got so many ideas for projects buzzing about my brain and no time to do them. I’ve noticed that i don’t have the energy or inclination to pick up my paintbrushes after a day of tattooing, and another day here and there to paint was required. I tried adding another day to the week but was met with resistance from the boring old farts who insist on the Gregorian calendar, citing vernal equinoxes and papal bulls, time honoured traditions and other such stifling restrictions; in the end i thought it would be easier to make better use of the days I do already have…

So, I started work a bit earlier on some days of the week, so that i could still get as much work done as before, but in effect ‘make up time’ to take every third tuesday off to devote to painting. Great idea, but I wasn’t on the ball enough to actually take the days off that I wanted, so in effect I’ve just been working more over the summer. It hasn’t done me any harm of course, but I did enjoy my first proper painting day immensely, I feel like I’ve well earned it  😀

I’m going to share what I’m painting at the moment, but in general i don’t think my painting projects will feature too much on this blog, they move slower than the tattoos, and posting regular updates would be like watching the proverbial paint dry, boring.

What I’m doing at the moment does have a relevance to tattooing in a way, though, because I’m putting together an exhibition for the Edinburgh tattoo convention in march! My current project of ‘The 7 deadly Sins’ has grown arms and legs, and now there are a few of us getting involved and doing their own version of the sins, which will be exhibited at the convention. So far 5 other Tribe artists are involved, artistic output will vary from paintings to sculpture, over photography and prints- all around the 7 deadly sins, It’s exciting  😀

I posted my first sin up, ‘Sloth’, a while ago, so now I can show you ‘pride’, ‘envy’ and a nearly complete ‘greed’ (which I was working on on tuesday) They are all oil paint on canvas board, I’ll need to get some better photos at some point, as these are sort of bleached looking at the bottom.

ok, onto tattooing! I had a scar covering piece to do, self harm scars tend to be a bit bumpy and quite straight, the best way to disguise them is with an irregular piece that can incorporate some of the bumps and distract from others.
This bird design isn’t mine (the customer brought it in), although I redrew it to cover the scars better, and added some flowers in a similarly sketchy way. The flowers are Columbines.

and more artistic flowers, this time carnations done in a more art nouveau style, representing her three daughters. it’s her first tattoo, and she has more than surprised some of her friends and colleagues by getting it at all, and then so big   😆

John got more shading done to his dragon 1/2 sleeve, and we started on the yellow poppies that are in the design.

Jai is getting a japanese influenced backpiece, but with scottish design elements instead of japanese ones. Today we worked some more on the thistles, and made a start on the tunnel/spiral that will have a simple representation of his family in it, just a small group of silhouettes in the centre. This piece is about family and background

In Glasgow the next day i had our very own Brunella under the needle. We are working on a green man piece, although her green man is definitely more of a green woman  😉

Gerry popped in to get a couple of additions to his sleeve, he’s decided he’d like a couple of leaves added to one of his roses, and for a couple of the pin stripe lines to be thickened up.

I think we’ve pretty much finished Coco’s backpiece. That begs the question, how to I get a portrait shot of someone wearing a backpiece?

So, if you want to see Coco and his tattooed back, you might just have to go and see his band, the Gingoblins  😀

Gareth was in to get more done to his phoenix piece

and at the end of the day Donna popped in to get a wee touch up on her tattoo, the orange in a couple of the stars had faded a bit, so we refreshed it. Great opportunity to pop up some photos of her tattoo, the artwork of which is by japanese artist Jinko Mizuno (her blog can be found  here

the next day in Glasgow I finished two pieces! First was vanessa’s floral piece.
It was based on a pastel drawing by vanessa herself, and although I tried to follow her artwork as closely as i could, pastels are a bit different to tattooing, so the result was more of a transcription than a copy, but I think it works really well as a tattoo

and I did ask Vanessa if she minded having her photo taken, and although she agreed, I think she wasn’t expecting it and is a reluctant photo model. Well, she’ll have to get used to having her photo taken, with an unusual and colourful piece like this on her  😆
I think she looks adorable

And Davie’s samurai sleeve is pretty much done. The only thing left to to is touching up a couple of spots where the scab was torn off by the looks of it, this can happen, but it’s best not to try and tattoo over bits like that too soon, or you run the risk of scarring.

and a picture of Davie Himself

I had a girly day, two lovely ladies in!
The first one was Melanie, she’d had a fairy done by another artist, and wanted something to go down her back and tie the fairy and a lower back piece together. the fairy was also to be worked on a bit, firstly to cover her bottom a bit with some floaty fabric, and also to stop her from looking so floating. We will also work on the wings a bit more.
I remembered to take a phot of it before we started, but after I’d already started scribbling on her, so excuse the pen lines


and after today’s session. We outlined the new piece, next time we will shade and colour it and maybe add more wee bits here and there. this is just the bones of it for us to work from

then Ali got her first tattoo, a nice sprig of cherry branch, with a moon behind it

next day I started a dragon sleeve, Alan wanted a nice big, fierce looking beastie with water and four cherry blossoms. He’s got big arms, so the dragon turned out big indeed  😀

and last bust certainly not least, Bobby’s music themed sleeve is starting to take shape!

speaking of music, that’s me off for the rest of the week, as I’m going down to Blackpool for some live music, the Rebellion festival, yey!  😀
See you on the other side!