Archive for May, 2015

Olivia, Raffi and me packed our bags and flew to Luxembourg to work the annual convention there. Neither of us had ever been to Luxembourg, so we were curious to see it for ourselves.

Luxembourg has half a million inhabitants, and at under a thousand square miles, is the smallest sovereign nation in Europe, and i can tell you that listening to the luxembourgians, it sounds like someone who can’t make up their mind whether to speak french, german or dutch, it seems to all be in there! Having said that, Luxembourg seems to be quite a melting pot for people all over the place, and there is to be plenty of evidence. I can’t remember seeing so many fancy cars anywhere else!

For being such a small place, it has a massive amount of local white wine, look at the aisle in the supermarket! 🙂

As usual we didn’t really get much time to do any sightseeing, but what we did see was pretty. Lots of bridges and very pointy spires!

Olivia and Raffi

the convention was well organised, if a little quiet. .Raffi, Olivia and me were kept fairly busy, but not rushed off our feet, which is sometimes quite nice. We had time to chat to other artists and look at portfolios, and by the end of it, we had made some new friends, a good result.

My first piece of the convention was a wolf head, it was to look a bit illustrative and very fierce. I did put some yellow in the eyes, but you can’t really see it because it was still a bit bloody when i took the photo.

A freehand black dragon, with yellow flames and hair

a cute sketchy little teddy playing basketball, on a young man called Raffael- his first tattoo!

and a piece of graffiti on a Londoner 🙂 who was in town working on a film (Peter Pan)

Gary is from Camden, and he is a fan of the street artist called ‘Pure Evil’. This piece in particular has a lot of meaning for gary, and I was delighted to be able to do it for him.

It’s a Pearly King, if, like me, you don’t know what pearly kings and queens are, here’s a link

I loved hearing stories about gary’s youth, the great places in London and the punk bands he got to see in the late 70’s- what a time and a place to be!

it was great spending time with the girls, and the convention was slick, who knows, we might do it again….

15th- 20th may

Posted: 26/05/2015 in Uncategorized

we finished Stewart’s phoenix, mostly black and grey, with some colour accents in the flames and the feathers

Gerald the nutter decided he needed a smiling buddha in his armpit…as you do…:)

the skin in the fold of the armpit swells up and bleeds very quickly, it’s comparable to the skin in the crease of your elbow. Therefore we had to call it quits on that particular part before we were finished, we can complete the colour in some of the leaves and the face next time, once it’s settled down

another quick session on Aileen’s sleeve, we added colour to the tiger and the bamboo, getting there! there is still a moth to go on the inside of the upper arm, and some tidying up here and there. Aileen really suits her sleeves! I’m biased, i know, but i love how sleeves look, and Aileen has chosen her colours and designs perfectly, i can’t wait to post a photo of both her arms together

I’m starting a new sleeve, gary wants a biker kind of theme, done in black and grey. He likes skulls and roses, and the idea of chains, with some personal symbols chucked in here and there. Today we started on the roses and skull with chains, leaving gaps for the symbols that will be added. The whole thing is to flow like a japanese sleeve, with windbars in the background.

Yvonne is getting a big cover up on her thigh, there is a black blobby kind of thing that needs to go, so we are putting some lilies around it to distract the eye, and some more dark sections in other places to balance the overall design.

Some lasering would have been good here, but Yvonne didn’t like the idea.

Monica’s tree got a sky with clouds behind it

I started another sleeve, this is going to be essentially a japanese style sleeve, onto chest piece, but with different elements from your usual traditional ones like kois and dragons.

Paddy loves a band called Rudimentary Peni, and their record art is wondefully bonkers and a bit dark. We had so much to chose from, but went for some skull type figures and some small type of flower things. Hard to describe 🙂

I love it. I also like Rudimentary Peni, and have always thought the artwork was outstanding.

I got to tattoo my own painting! This has never happened before, but Christine liked my lucky cat painting so much she felt it would make a good tattoo. How amazing!

I paint completely differently from how I tattoo, and the colours I use are massively different, so this was quite a challenge, like an artistic crossover. I had a great time, thanks to Christine for choosing my painting to get as a tattoo!

Riley was after a sort of art nouveau piece, involving thistles and a fox. I drew this for her, but unfortunately we will only have time to do the outline before Riley moves back to her native Canada. Another artist will have to finish this piece, I hope i get to see a picture of the finished article…

a blog that includes stay days from before i went to Hamburg, I never got round to writing before I left, it was all a bit hectic. Now it seems like ages ago!

I’m adding to an existing piece that Alex had done in her native USA. The wood nymph/female figure and the frame around her were there already, I added the gnome, flowers, rabbits, a mouse and some background, it’s going to be super cute! I’ve yet to add more detail and finish the colouring of course

Viki’s tengu is finished! The idea was to do a piece that combined/ bridged the two pieces Viki already had. I was able to include references to the maori piece on her shoulder by adding some of the same patterns to the tengu’s trousers, quite pleased with myself 🙂

Brad had a session on his chest, we still need to finish shading the christ figure, but got the wood of the cross coloured.

Darrell’s backpiece is coming together, I still need to work on the pink sky some more, and on the geisha, Considering it’s such a dense colour piece, and so big, it seems to have come along quite quick.

Monika is getting a tree tattoo, next time we are adding a colourful mandala in the background

Melissa loves the indy ref girl by Stewart Bremner, so we did a version with blue grey hair. I have done this piece before, it’s become an icon of the independence campaign here in Scotland, and a beautiful one, too. We will be adding a frame to this next time, but keeping it fairly simple and illustrative.

Aileen’s dragon is looking adorable. the colours Aileen chose work so well and give it a regal sort of look.

I’m working on a cover up of some tribal dragons for Dale, so today we concentrated on getting the darkest shades in, and to see how much black was required to cover the existing pieces.. The storm clouds are now in, and next time I can refine what we started.

Even though Tony’s dragon sleeve isn’t technically finished yet, we jumped in and started the phoenix on the other side 🙂

there’s some lasering going on still, but me and the laser tech can work around each other up to a point. The bit that’s getting lasered may take a bit longer than the rest, but we’ll get there.

that time of the year again, and i packed my bags to go to Hamburg to work at my friend Charly’s studio, Jungbluth.

I was delighted o discover that the Jungbluth now has a designated tattoo receptionist in the studio, as opposed to a general enquieries desk in another shop downstairs. This always led to lots of miscommunication and misinformation, and general chaos when it came to bookings. I have been making all my own bookings via facebook or email, thereby cutting out a lot of potential for bad bookings, but also for new customers…

I’m happy there is now a better system in place, and I apologise to any of my Hamburg customers who have experienced difficulties. Onwards and upwards 🙂

My first customer was the lovely Martje, we are working on a mermaid on her leg, and today we added a bit of a map in the background, a map of the coastline in Germany where she is from. As you can see from the picture, we are also planning a compass at the bottom next time, as well as an anchor and other nautical images. I love he way this is coming together!

Hamburg in general has a strong nautical identity, it has a massive trade harbour and is called ‘the gateway to the world’ in Germany.  Germany as a whole doesn’t have much in the way of coast, so this makes the north of Germany quite distinctly different from the rest, which is either characterised by heavy industry, or mountains.

There can’t be that many germans like martje, a girl who lives to surf and spend time on the beach. This tattoo is perfect for her.

I also did a rework on an old piece that Verena wasn’t too happy with, it didn’t flow too well and was a bit bulky. The idea was to draw it out a bit and make it a bit more delicate, by adding some soft swirls and some more of the little stars we have included in other work I have done for her.

the next day i started a magnolia piece, i say started because even though we did exactly what she had planned in her head, I can see this one growing- plant tattoo have a habit of doing this, just like their real inspirations 🙂

(Maybe next time I can persuade her to get a background, too)

And for a very special girl, for her 18th birthday, I gave Emily an anchor tattoo. Happy birthday and welcome to the club!

Ronnie had a koi on one forearm, and was after koi dragon on the other forearm, in a similar position as the koi. We got the outline and some shading done, it looks finished enough to not be a problem to leave it for 6 months, until I’m back and can colour it.

Last but certainly not least, Marco the badass, who can sit for 7 hours and get his back tattooed. HATS OFF!

we got his collage of images down last time, today we added colour and shadows, and tied it all together. One more short session for finishing touches, but his backpiece is pretty much there! Considering we only get to work on it every 6 months, this is a bit of a miracle, and entirely down to Marco’s badassery. 🙂