Archive for July, 2015

I’m working on a mad piece based on artwork by Nick Blinko. His band, Rudimentary Peni, features his art on their album covers, and Paddy decided to take snippets from this and put it all together as a sort of japanese sleeve. The only japanese thing about it is the basic composition of the sleeve, with windbars, waves and clouds forming the backbone, and Nick Blinko’s art featuring as the main elements.

‘Blinko draws intensely dense and detailed compositions of faces, figures and obsessive patterns, which at times also incorporate fragmented phrases. Diagnosed as suffering from schizoaffective disorder, and in the past hospitalised, Blinko creates his pictures when not taking therapeutic medication that adversely affects his ability to work. His art conjures a nightmarish, anxiety-ridden world where inner demons might be exorcised through repetitive graphic marks. Out of thousands of tiny flecks and dashes emerge elaborate visions of skeletons, mysterious symbols and religious figures.’
You can find out more about Nick Blinko here

Paddy travels from London for his appointments, so likes to book a full day and get as much done as possible. A full day usually means 7 1/2 hours of tattooing, that’s a tough challenge! He sits like a champ and seems pretty unfazed by it all, which means we can get a load done. This is only his third session!
today we finished the top of the sleeve and did the two skulls on his chest. His decision to simply repeat the image on the other side of the chest is bold, and the effect is even more so! Love this piece for it’s madness and am amazed by how well Blinko’s art works as a sort of japanese sleeve.

17th -22nd july

Posted: 25/07/2015 in Uncategorized

craig’s dragon and koi half sleeve is getting there, another session should sort it to tweak and tidy up.

Thomas is starting on a half sleeve with a foo dog and some flowers. he had drawn his own foo dog image, and i loved it, so didn’t change anything, it’s quite manga and in your face!I’ll be designing the rest of the sleeve, so left a couple of negative spaces at the bottom to give me room to overlap and play around a bit with flow

Paddy’s armpit buddha! Nutter! 🙂

I think i’m finally getting somewhere with Darrell’s backpiece. one more session to do the usual tweaking and adding here and there and i might be ready to let it go, so to speak 🙂

another wee session on john’s abstract dragon, getting some colour in now

after having a break from getting tattooed to get on with real life (what??!?) Alex was back in the chair to work on his stag and autumn leaves sleeve . We worked on colour in the leaves and some shading at the top. The stag will be in colour, too.

10th-14th july

Posted: 16/07/2015 in Uncategorized

we are getting there with Marilyn’s floral leg piece, it’s all blocked in and the next stage is to fine tune and tweak some of the detail.

Kiaran’s sleeve just needed a small section on the wrist finishing off, now the whole restoration project is complete 🙂

this piece took us on a strange and wonderful journey, building up colours and textures as we went along. the result is warm and tactile looking, I don’t really have a word to describe it, apart from completely unique!

Stefan’s dragon is getting there, he has another few weeks to decide which colours he wants to go for, but I think he is warming to he combination of muted purples and greens. Could be amazing!

And then a scar cover. these self harm scars can be a real blight and an embarrassment to the owner- they act as a reminder of a troubled time, and give the wrong impression to onlookers. The only solution offered by the medical establishment is a skin graft, but i have seen the results of this procedure, and it aint pretty. In fact I’d prefer to have the self harm scars, if I had to chose.

tattooing can offer a real alternative, by covering the scars with something beautiful to distract from them and give new meaning to that part of the body.

Today we put a fluffy purple and blue feather over some long straight scars.

The scars are raised and angry from having been tattooed, but this will settle down again. As we went for a bold and smooth curve throughout the feather and spanning the length of the forearm, we may have to revisit this piece for some final touches.

The scars raise up and make the long lines look bumpy, and i can’t judge exactly how the will look when the bumpy scars settle down again. All there s to do in these cases is to let it heal and make adjustments later. I also like to revisit scar cover ups again after the healing, as sometimes the scars don’t take the ink as well as normal skin and require a ‘second coat’ so to speak.

3rd + 7th July

Posted: 09/07/2015 in Uncategorized

I’m working on a sleeve about the blues singer Robert Johnson,a  musician who supposedly sold his soul to the devil in exchange for his amazing talent. there are only two small black and white photos of him as he died young and in poverty- his legendary status only really developed posthumously. We used one of the photos for our portrait, and are working flames and a snarling devil figure into the background.

the upper arm will feature the part of the legend where he met the devil at a crossroads and exchanged his soul for a guitar and talent.

a work in progress, the forearm section still needs work done to it, too.

Chantelle is a young woman who knows what she wants. We had a consultation about her half sleeve a few months before her 18th birthday, and she booked in to get started just after her birthday. It’s a collection of softly shaded, black and grey roses surrounding  a white tiger with bright blue eyes- the only colour.

today we started on a couple of the roses at the top, to give us a good framework for the next step. Chantelle sat like a trouper, not a peep!

Anyone travelling between glasgow and edinburgh at the moment will know that the trains are all over the place and everything takes half an hour longer than usual. Poor samatha got caught out and ended up running half an hour late for her appointment, which unfortunately meant that we didn’t get her tattoo finished. She will have to come back to get the rest of the colour added to her jellyfish… although seeing as it’s going right on the elbow, maybe she didn’t mind this stay of execution!

Deek is planning a big ornamental collar type of thing in black and red. As you can see from his arm tattoo, he likes geometric shapes and lines, and the neck piece will be along those lines. We started with a thin section at the top of the piece and will be adding along the bottom as we go on. After 2 hours deek had enough and we stopped there, although it will require some tweaking and tidying up next time.

Last time Aileen was in I got hit with a migraine ( a new and worrying development for me) and we had to cut her appointment short because I had trouble seeing. Today i finished off the bits and pieces that needed it, and her sleeve is pretty much finished! I’d like to see it fully healed before I sign it off completely, though.

26th june- 1st july

Posted: 02/07/2015 in Uncategorized

neil had some work done a few years ago on his travels, and now wanted the gaps between them filled to make up a full sleeve. I added some lilies and background, to be continued in just black and grey

I did a phoenix sleeve on david a couple of years ago, and now David had decided that he would like the design brought just a bit further down, by adding a little bit of flame to the bottom edge of the piece. Once he was in i couldn’t stop myself from touching up other bits, too, I tend to get a bit carried away in these situations. It’s a welcome opportunity to revisit and tweak 🙂 here is the phoenix with a couple of lines I redid, just because i could.

Ross’ dragon sleeve is nearly done

as is Gavin’s flower sleeve. gavin had a restoration job for me, with a half sleeve of very basic flowers done by an amateur that needed fixing. The forearm was virgin skin, so we could do what we wanted there, but on the upper arm I was a bit tied to going with the flowers that were outlined already. Luckily flower shapes are quite forgiving and organic looking, so we could pull it off. we are still waiting on some pieces of the old tribal band to lighten up through lasering, then we can tackle the last bit of it that still needs blended and covered.

Carole ann is getting a cherry tree with flowers, it’s quite a large piece for the ribs, so we decided to split it into two sessions. next time we will refine and add colour to the blossoms, but the overall effect will be quite arty and more like calligraphy or water colour art than a solid tattoo.

Carole ann took it very well, but I think she was glad we weren’t going to power through the whole thing at once. (If you live locally and can travel easily enough to the studio, this approach might be for you!)

Craig is getting his first tattoo, a half sleeve, get in!

we outlined the koi and dragon, and did some basic shading here and there

more work on tony’s arm, we are going for a browny/ golden bird with flashes of purple and blue, to go with the dragon on the other side. More detail in the feathers and body to follow, and of course the head still needs colouring.

Phoenixes are fantasy birds, and basically you can decide for yourself how your bird is to look- there are no rules- except perhaps something fiery to differentiate it from a bird of paradise. I had asked Tony to have a think about how his phoenix was to look- head shape (peacock? eagle? parrot? chicken? etc)  tail feathers (fluffy? peacock eyes? plain or elaborate? etc) will it have flames or not? That kind of thing.

Tony did his research, and decided he liked the look of this, a hoatzin from south america. he liked the colours and the shape of the head, and the bird itself, it reminded him of a kind of archetypal, dinosaur kind of bird.

I took elements from it that i thought would work, and worked it so that it would flow with the arm and sort of match the dragon on the other side. The idea is to have a similar flow of design on each sleeve, and to use colour combinations that compliment each other. Both sleeves have similar flames going through them, to help unify the designs.

one more session on Alistair’s dragon and we are done!