Archive for November, 2014

I’ve been working on a sleeve behind your backs, and this is the first time i’m posting it- now that it’s complete!

It’s been a bit of a mad project from start to finish..

Our Laura has a sleeve or black and grey roses, with lace patterns in between, suitably gothy for the resident Tribe goth, and very pretty. I told her about a dream that I had, where she had a sleeve on the other arm, too, and it was similar to the original one, but instead of roses there were cobwebs, and the lace was torn and caught up in the webs. Also caught in the cobwebs were insects like moths and spiders, and leaf skeletons- it was like a fucked up version of her existing sleeve πŸ™‚

so we did it

it was fun, and I love it, lots of texture and detail

Johnny had a short session on his stylised dragon piece

and Simon got some more work done to his phoenix, today we got stuck into the colour, fiery colours (with blue accents to come)

Having finished Brian’s two dragon sleeves, it was time to turn our attentions to his back… backpieces are a wonderful opportunity for tattooists- such a big canvas! We didn’t muck around and went big! To match the scale and intensity of the dragon we felt that a japanese warrior would work, and who does better warrior than Horiyoshi the third? no one. They work well small and simplified, but also big with all the detail included, which is what we are going for here. It’s going to be epic πŸ™‚

Stephen just had a last wee session on his forearm dragon, a piece I added onto someone else’s work. I was trying to match the existing piece on the upper arm, with the density, darkness and colours that are dictated by it.

Robbie’s iris is now finished, with the wee kingfisher hiding in the leaves. It’s maybe not hiding as well as we think, Robbie told me that on a recent holiday in Florida, someone shouted across the pool ‘nice kingfisher, dude!’….

and now for a restoration job. I’ve been working on Kiaran’s sleeve, it’s by another artist and is over 10 years old and has faded quite a bit. It’s a mixture of flowers and girl’s faces, but as originally no black was used, it had lost it’s impact and looked very pale.

Today I reworked the faces, I’ll post before and after pictures of them. by doing them in black and grey, we were able to create a lot more contrast, and remodel the faces to be a lot more expressive. Kiaran said they had been ‘awesomised’, I like that πŸ™‚







our Angie got her chest piece finished, we’d done the birds and the rose last time, today we added the black ink splashes and sketchy lines, plus the names. The font of the names is deliberately scratchy, to fit in with the design and to make them less obvious

I did a 3/4 sleeve on Lee a couple of years ago, and unsurprisingly he now wanted to bring it right the way down. If I had a penny for every time I’ve heard this…..Β Β  πŸ™‚

we continued the water and added another flower, all in keeping with the original piece

john was booked in for a whole day, he was keen to make a good start on his sleeve, and if you can sit for that long, why not? 71/2Β  hours is no joke, though, so hats off to anyone who can take it. It’s not just the pain, but sitting still for so long, too, it’s very draining apart from being painful. After the long session you are left with a lot of healing tattoo to deal with, too. I’m certainly not trying to put anyone off, but if you are planning on an all dayer, be realistic about how much you can take…

John did really well. We structured it so that the last part of the session was on a less sensitive part of the arm, but that isn’t always possible. In our case we did the pocket watch last.

John wanted to add to a panel at the top of his arm, he had had some sections lasered, but they were still quite dark and will need more sessions. To be fair, the design is kept quite flexible at that part, so depending on how much more lasering he get’s done, I can work with it. The tribal dictates the flow of the piece to a degree, just so that it doesn’t jar and look out of place too much.

we did a lady with an urn, the pocket watch and some roses, all pulled together with wispy negative space like wind or rays.

It’s been a long while, but in Glasgow John was back to get some more work done to his backpiece, we are now starting up again and working on the edges. The side bits needed extending, as did the section at the top of th arm. We didn’t have much time, so the outlines are just sketched in

andy got some colour in his koi, and we started on the flower but ran out of time…to be continued






7th – 12th November

Posted: 14/11/2014 in Uncategorized

My customers are wonderful people, some have mad and creative ideas…none more so than Stephen. You may remember his sleeve which was a tattoo adaptation of a water colour painting by the horror writer Clive Barker, now he was after a full frontal torso piece based on a drawing by Alasdair Gray.

Alasdair Gray is a scottish author and artist, you may know his book ‘Lanark’, he is as madly creative as they come, so this piece is great fun.

It will develop slowly, as Stephen only plans to come once or twice a year, so you will have to have patience to watch this madness unfold. Here is the first installment, I really enjoyed tattooing all the little details from his artwork and trying to figure out what it all means..

Sadie was in next, she is getting some pink and purple cabbage roses, actually they are covering some coloured stars she got a long time ago. Sadie doesn’t like any black in her tattoos, and she can get away with it as her skin is so pale.

Btw, check out those fabulous nails!

Brad’s socialist leg piece is getting there, today we filled the last big gap. Still some smaller gaps to go, and some fine tuning, but it has really taken shape. I love how bold this is

a short session on danny’s phoenix, he is moving back to Belfast and we are trying to get it done before he leaves, so even a short session helps

Another bold piece- Darrel’s japanese backpiece has taken a leap forward, with the bottom section sketched out and the red sky finished

for some reason we had been concentrating on the lower part of Joe’s sleeve, but today we tackled the chest section. We did some background shading behind the dragon’s head and under the upper arm where we hadn’t got round to it last time. All in all a sore session..

Alistair’s dragon also needed some shading done on the chest panel , this piece will be lively and colourful when we’re done

speaking of being bonkers, we got a request for a tattoo of flying seagulls, being fed by a man covered in bread…

and I saw this on the pin-board, what exactly goes on in some of your brains? πŸ™‚


31st oct- 5th nov

Posted: 06/11/2014 in Uncategorized

I hope you all had a spooky Halloween, or day of the dead if you happen to be mexican, celebrating ‘the timeΒ  after the last harvests, when the barren earth is though to give passage to the souls lying beneath it’

I had the chance to tattoo a day of the dead lady, or should i say, add the skull make up to an existing lady, but I ran out of time! So Matthew’s day of the dead lady face is still just a lovely lady, i will add her make up next time!

Matthew’s piece is all about the passing of time, with a pocket watch, a winged hour glass and the (not so) day of the dead lady.Β  Very topical! Today I concentrated on the scrolls and had time to shade two of the skulls

Our new receptionist in Glasgow, Angie, was under the needle for the start of her chest piece, two sketchy blue birds and a blue rose. there will be more ink like scratches, splodges and general sketchiness added to this next time. next time you are in the Glasgow shop, ask to see how we are getting on with it! πŸ™‚

I also made a quick start on an unusual (for me) dragon, a more traditional chinese one. Only a short session, so just some line work today.

Lesley ann was in for her first tattoo, a nice big peacock on her hip, but she liked the tail feathers to be like a sort of paisley pattern.

I’m a bit of a fan of paisley pattern, I have some tattooed on one of my hands. Did you know that it’s named after the scottish town of Paisley? Paisley used to be a centre for cotton weaving and printing, back in the 18th and 19th centuries , and the patterns they became famous for, was their version of indian fabric patterns.Β  A kind of indian/scottish hybrid. I think it’s very cool, and a kind of scottish reference without being twee.

we ran out of time during the colouring in, but you can start to get the idea

andy was after a koi and flower sleeve, quite bold and flowing, today we worked on the shading a bit