Archive for June, 2013

25th + 26th june

Posted: 27/06/2013 in Uncategorized

Compared to last blog’s bumper crop of photos, today I’m only showing you two pieces I’ve been working on.
One of my customers from the last two days doesn’t want her tattoo to be shared on the internet as it’s a personal voyage, this is of course a choice i completely accept. She is warming to the idea of maybe sharing a small section of it with everyone, but this is up to her and I’m not pushing for it.#

The other piece that I did that I didn’t photograph is the ongoing blackwork on Bill’s leg. We did another section of what will be his completely black knee, as this is a pretty slow process, done in short session, I’ve decided to wait a bit to show you an update.

I started a koi and flowers sleeve/ half sleeve/ three quarters sleeve on Bryan.
Bryan already has a full sleeve by me on his other arm, so I was surprised to see in the booking that he was now wanting the other side to ‘just below the elbow’. I asked him why this side was to be shorter than the other, as it turns out there was no specific reason, except that Bryan was a bit stuck on what else he wanted for the forearm.
I’m going to reveal my bossy side here, but in my experience if a person has one full sleeve, anything but another full sleeve on the other arm is just not going to cut it. Specially if the other side is just a few inches shorter than the full sleeve, it’s not going to take long before the customer is back in to get ‘something added’ to bring it down.
I’ve fallen for this a few times in my days, and ended up having to mix and match and stitch bits of design on to existing pieces, and have found that this approach tends to inhibit a decent flow from happening throughout the design.
The solution to this is to plan big, even if you only want to complete it in sections. Have a game plan for the overall direction you are heading and the overall look you are wanting to achieve, take into consideration that you might want to go for a bigger piece in the long run.
I’m aware that I have lost the odd customer in the consultation stage, who felt i was trying to con them into getting more work than they had planned. This is hopefully balanced by having rescued a few projects that were not thought out properly and may have ended up a cobbled together awkwardness.

In Bryan’s case I had a fair idea where we were going, as we had already completed his other arm, and the tone has been set so to speak.
I kept the new koi design to above the elbow, with just the tail flowing down a bit, leaving myself a nice bit of space for the next section to slot into, and I’ve got an idea for the flow and shape of the rest of the sleeve.

Charly’s sleeve is a completely different beastie, here i was provided with over 150 images of potential ingredients for his sleeve, the exercise here was to select the ones I felt workedย  ๐Ÿ˜†

Having said that, the same general rule applied here, and we constructed a general framework (the tree/ day into night) for the whole sleeve and flow of the piece before we even started to decide on the detailing. Now we are working our way up from the bottom, colouring in the outlines we did first.

Another couple of things I wanted to mention today…
We will be asking you to provide two means of contacting you if you have an appointment with us- phone number and email address. Sometimes something happens and we need to contact you about your appointment (specially if when booked months in advance) and we also like to contact you to confirm you appointment a few days before, so having up to date contact details is important.
If we are unable to confirm your appointment in advance, it may be on a shaky nail- so please let us have up to date contact details to avoid anxiety, tears and tantrums- mostly ours!

Another thing is our tribe Mafia- keeping it in the family! We are in the process of putting up notice boards in Tribe 1 and 2; if you are a Tribe customer and you have a business, offer a service or put on events, etc, give us your business card/ flyers…we will put it on the board!
By the same token, if you are looking for a service/ product/event/etc, check out the boards, you might find a like minded person who has just what you need.
I would love to see this work, so bring in you business cards on your next visit and become part of the mafia

Happy belated Solstice, dear people, where has this year gone??

David got the start of his dragon 1/2 sleeve done, lines today and we got a bit of colour in, too

Barry got the finishing touches on his sleeve, it’s been slow progress as barry lives in Dubai and can’t come in as often as we’d have liked. But now it’s done, and I can show you a photo of barry with his sleeve.
The sun in Dubai is messing with my colours, that bloody tan doesn’t show them off to their best advantage… maybe I can get another picture when he’s all peelywally like the rest of us!ย  ๐Ÿ˜†

Another one to get his sleeve finished was dave, his phoenix came along in record time, and his skin is nice and white, so the colours glow.
I don’t want to sound like some horrible racist when I say that from a tattooist’s point of view, the white the skin the better for colourful work. This is from a purely artistic standpoint of course!!
I took some of Dave’s pictures outside as it was nice and sunny, and the colours really pop in the sunlight

More colour next, we added a bright red poppy into the black and grey ones, it’s a nice contrast

Brian is getting more done to his dragon, all of today’s session was taken up putting darker blue detail into the scales. Time consuming, but the effect is worth it, giving the dragon a kind of serpent like texture visually.
there will be yellows in the belly scales and crest.

Ross is working on a phoenix which is wrapping around some older work (not by me), and also we still had the last bit of colour to put in his dragon sleeve. One of the autumn leaves had been lasered a bit until recently, but now we reckoned it was light enough to take some colour, which was the last piece of the puzzle.

his dragon sleeve

And last but not least, Mark got the start of his koi and dragon sleeve and chest piece.
we managed to find some time to do a bit of shading after we finished the outlines

11th -14th june

Posted: 17/06/2013 in Uncategorized

Sheena is working on an ever evolving collection of images of her favourite things. Today we added these wee flowers and bumble bees. It’s quite a loose composition at the moment, but all that could change as Sheena keeps adding bits. It’s not the way I usually approach compositions, but in Sheena’s case, it just seems right in an organic kind of wayย  ๐Ÿ˜€

Emma’s design for her sleeve is also unusual, not just the colours, ‘pomegranate’ and greys, but her idea to combine the rigidity of the seals and script with the soft waves in the background. he result is beautiful, and I’m posting a picture of her wearing it beautifully, now hat my work is doneย  ๐Ÿ˜€

I also had another hour with Bill at the end of the day, we are filling in his skin with ink, leaving only thin lines cutting through it. And no, it’s not cover up work, it’s his first tattoo and it’s epic. we have loosely lined the bits that will remain white, but those gaps will be refined down to thin slithers.


Neil is after a dragon sleeve, today we got the outlines done

and jenny got her cherry tree finished. It was more about the gnarled tree than the blossoms in this tattoo

Chris is getting to end of his sleeve, just one hanya mask to finish and a couple of bits and pieces to tidy up, and he is done. (for now, there is talk of the other arm ๐Ÿ˜‰ )

Gillian is after a piece hat will stretch from her calf up to her hip, and it’s to have a flowing, slightly art nouveau style feel to it. we have sketched in the general flow of the piece, but it will have shading and colour added and the lines will be chunky in places.
We started with this adorable wee owl, it’s an Athens owl, and this is about life size. Everyone at the studio was fawning over the picture of this owl, who would have thought an owl could be so cute?
yes, those are olives in the surround, sorry for the crappy out of focus photo

Mark’s backpiece is getting there, we added some blue to the water, this is to be a colourful and bright piece

4th + 5th june

Posted: 06/06/2013 in Uncategorized

kerry anne is getting a collection of flowers and shapes that are a kind of memorial tattoo, we are doing it in small steps as she finds it tough to sit for long

Ryan is getting a black koi with blue water, in a nice reversal of the traditional ‘coloured objects, black and grey background’

and Jim is getting two tiger cubs to represent his twin daughters, its going to wrap all round his calf by the time we are done, but today we got a good chunk of the shading to this piece. There will be a small bit of colour here and there

31st may +1st june

Posted: 03/06/2013 in Uncategorized

i am still having internet issues, so apologies for posting a link to the forum again…


24th + 25th may

Posted: 03/06/2013 in Uncategorized



21st+ 22nd may

Posted: 03/06/2013 in Uncategorized

Scott was in for another session on his two koi sleeve, we got some of the background shaded

i then did a scar cover up, but didn’t ask if it was ok to photograph it for the blog. Scars are quite personal, and if someone wants to cover theirs with a tattoo, it usually indicates that they don’t feel too good about it in the first place. The last thing they probably want is for me to plaster it all over the World Wide Web…

In Glasgow the next day I started a new piece, Jenny is getting a cherry tree in bloom on her side, it’s more about the knurled tree than the flowers for a change, delicate flowers are of minor importance for her.


Tusheru was in to get his dragon finished, he wanted a traditional Japanese one with red belly scales, but of course by the time it has been drawn and tattooed by me, it had a lot more 3D background and less of the traditional look to it. What can I say, Im not japanese ( neither is Tusheru) so we are free to do what we like ๐Ÿ™‚