Posts Tagged ‘scar cover tattoo’

I managed to squeeze a quick overnight visit to London into my weekend, and check out the annual  London tattoo convention. I rate this convention as one of the best anywhere, lots of amazing international artists ply their trade that you would never get to see any other way. You can just stand and watch them work, flip through their portfolios and maybe pick up a print of their artwork if they have any for sale. I go into full throttle nerd mode when I’m there, it’s great to watch all the different ways of tattooing, machines and inks. Everyone has their own way of dong what is essentially the same basic process, there are of course the ones who use no electricity, only hand tapping the ink into the skin

and for those of us who use machines, there are a lot of trade stalls where you can browse different kinds of them, run them and see how they perform. Endless fun!

I noticed that some of the tattooists who were blowing us all away just a couple of years ago, and who were feted and hailed as gods, had been overtaken by the next ‘big thing’ and were not being paid much attention to

things develop and progress at such a rate, and the new talent is coming thick and fast with hundreds of thousands of ‘instagram followers’ in their tail, that it’s a case of here today, gone tomorrow. I was left wondering if the age of the ‘super star tattooist’ had passed. It’s hard to come up with anything new, and the boundaries of technical ability has pretty much gone as far as it can with the prevalence of incredible photo realism- what can you do now to blow people away?

I think I noticed a few more artist who were producing more dark and gritty, illustrative work, maybe that’s a reaction to all the photo realistic portraits and roses. here are some of my favourites

there were a few artist who had ‘black metal’ style logos, you know the ones that no one can make out what they say

whoooo?

I loved this guy’s stall. No portfolio. No nothing except business cards and three horrible, massive, rusty nails. Nice! 🙂

this guy is always fun to watch. he charges something like £400 euros an hour, but it must work out an ok deal, because when he gets going he is like possessed, going at a furious pace. i hate to think what that feels like.

With my interest in Japanese tattoos, I’m always pleased to see The Daddy of modern japanese tattooing, Shige of Yellow Blaze studio in Japan. I owe him a lot.

Also spotted Horiyoshi III’s son tattooing, I didn’t know anything about this person, but he’s certainly got a good start in his career with a dad like that!

Apart from the tattoo convention i enjoyed a trip down Brick Lane, where i was staying. It’s hard to beat for street food, vibe and quirkiness!

This guy made me some healthy pancakes with coconut chocolate on top. I love how the urban art in the background makes him look like a kind of saint- a pancake saint!

London is always fun for people spotting

and here’s a guy selling coffee from out of the top of a London cab. Genius.

beautiful detail reminding us that Brick lane used to be the centre of tailoring with the immigration of the Huguenots

The next day i had time to go and look at some paintings, another one of my favourite past times. I spotted some tattoos on a couple of paintings from 1851! Captain Cook had brought the idea of tattoos back from his voyages only  ~50 years earlier, so to see them in a painting is quite remarkable. You need to look carefully at the forearms in the bottom of the compositions, it may not be that obvious in the photos, but when you’re standing in front of the paintings the tattoos are very obvious.

as for tattoos I did this week, there was Laurenne’s cute ‘mon mon‘ cat (we designed our own) with her lily of the valley. In progress

also nice and colourful is Kirsty’s manga style piece, the flowers and peacock are based on a spray painted mural, and we might still add some of the more urban looking drippy detail in the background. The peacock covers some scarring left over from some terrible tattooing and some heavy handed lasering. None of it by us, i hasten to add

gareth’s tiger got some colour

dave’s black and grey sleeve is making progress

and Scott’s sleeve is finally finished, after having started it 6 years ago!

We made a start on Andrew’s half sleeve, today we tackled the cover up . The pin up will be surrounded by fairly dense detail, Andrew has a whole pile of ideas he would like incorporated, so we will see where this leads us. So far I’m liking his ideas

and last but not least another installment on Tony’s leg piece

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September, and my time to pack my bags and go to work in Hamburg for a week, at my friend Charly’s studio ‘Jungbluth’. I have some lovely regulars in Hamburg, including of course Martje, who is getting quite a bit of work done including this colourful goddess we are working on. The goddess is Kwan Yin, the goddess of compassion and mercy- or as Martje calls her ‘the vegan chick’ 🙂

 

Danker decided to get some another wing/ feathers kind of shape to connect to one we did a while ago, and to connect with another, older piece to make a sleeve. We got some of the shading done, and apart from finishing that next time, we also want to add some dates in the gaps. The dates will be in a rough typewriter font, done in a punky ‘ransom letter’ kind of graphic style, with splashes of red and black. Danker sings in a punk band, so this look will be perfect for him.

Christine is getting a fairy backpiece, we did the last session on this when Christine was in scotland, travelling around in her beautiful campervan. We were all pretty jealous of her motor!

Lisa got a dram catcher on her side, this piece was a struggle for her from the first dot til the last, poor lisa!! We tried everything for the pain, numbing creams of all types, but nothing really worked. I felt terrible. Some people are just very sensitive to pain, and the ribs are famously tender. We got there in the end, but I would love to get a chance to work on it just a bit more…poor Lisa will probably kill me though.

Even though I only go to Hamburg twice a year, I’ve managed to do a full back piece and a chest piece on Marko, just chipping away at it every time I’m over. (Actually, he did come to Scotland once in between, too. Good old easyjet flies direct these days) This time we started on a half sleeve, as usual Marko has a wonderfully eclectic mixture of graphic elements he wants to include, my job is to fit them together and make it work. The top is a masked lady that on first glance could also be a butterfly, going into a softly shaded city scape with trees and a wee figure crossing a tight rope. There is also some lettering in there, we made a good start on the basics, but I can’t wait to see this finished!

back in Edinburgh, I had Gerald in who has decided to take his sleeve down onto his hand. He likes this illustrative skull, which works well with the work we have been building up on his arm over the years. make that decades haha!

We also added a little bit a script on the forearm, it’s from a bottle of jameson whisky 🙂

Ian was after a night sky to tie together some existing pieces he had been collecting on his upper arm. Once this has settled in I will revisit it and make sure all works together with the older tattoos.

Mark is getting a fiery dragon in warm colours and with autumn leaves, as a contrasting colour we added some teals to the belly scales and crest. Some yellow in the flames and hair will finish this off nicely.

also working on some pink roses as scar cover up

Laurenne fell in love with the mon mon cats

(by artist Horitomo), so we designed one just for her, with peacock feathers. This is just the first session, there will be flowers surrounding the cat and background, love it 🙂

 

I had two weeks off at the beginning of august, one for doing Edinburgh festival stuff/ lazing around in the garden (which was great 🙂 )

and one pretty much for fecking jury duty. I was cited for the tuesday and managed to shift enough appointments to make it just about work,  ended up with 4 days off to do my jury duty. Of course I didn’t get picked the first day, got asked to come back on the third day, didn’t get picked, etc, and in the end I was excused. What a monumental waste of everyone’s time! Next time I’m called, I’m going online and booking a hotel for the dates- anywhere- and say I have a  holiday booked and i can’t make it.

Anyway, rant over. I did some tattooing in the second half of august, so here goes!

roses are a popular choice, and I did a fair few recently. Here is Colin, who is getting a lot of roses eventually, with a few other objects of his choice in between. Roses compliment pretty much anything you put them with, a design classic that manages to be romantic without being sugary- I think that’s because of the thorns on the stems, they have a bit of a sinister side.

Dave is working on a dragon and foo dog sleeve, today we added a wee pagoda in the background. Nothing makes a scene look more japanese than a pagoda (although I did find myself wondering what actually goes on inside of them. I will look it up) (it’s a place of worship. must be small congregations)

my next piece is very romantic, Helen wanted a tattoo based on her wedding flowers. We chose the main features of the bouquet for her tattoo, and although there is still a bit of work to do, the resemblance is already there

Alex was in for a couple of finishing touches on his geisha and tengu sleeve. (The tengu artwork is not mine)

I covered some old self harm scars with some cute, illustrative daisies. I wish more people with these type of scars would chose to get them covered with a nice tattoo, it makes a remarkable difference.

If you have some, and have been advised that your only option is a skin graft, please come and see me!

my next customer, Kirsty, had had some lasering done on her old tattoo and was ready to get it covered. Kirsty had come across some manga style graffiti and loved the colours and chunky fluidity of it. We used these elements to our advantage, and will add a cute manga girl (not the ones in this artwork) and some drippy spray paint style background, too.

I’ve been tattooing some bright and colourful work on Alex, and she surprised me this time by saying she had experimented with her eyeliner on her tattoo, and was now in favour of some more black in the background.

this has the advantage of helping to bring out the different animals and figures, and tones down the overall brightness of it. I like it! I liked it bright, too, but the more muted effect really brings out the shapes.( the nymph piece at the top is not by me, I’ve just been adding on to it)

Another sleeve in progress, this one is for Elliot, and we are going for lots of movement and detail

and to finish how I started this blog- some roses. This will be a half sleeve of mostly black and grey ones, with maybe one coloured one somewhere. Samantha’s son has black and grey roses tattooed, so she is getting, some, too. It’s a family affair 🙂

oh, and a wee piece i did, it’s reference to Dougie’s Hebridean heritage

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   😆

I know it’s considered uncool to talk about the weather (in journalistic terms, does this blog count as journalism..?) but… how beautiful has it been??

Now i do get sent maps of the world from the nice people at wordpress, to show me where people are reading my blog, so i know that there are some who are not living in the UK (Uganda! Philippines! Paraguay! so strange  😀 )
so I will explain for your benefit: Winter in Scotland is cold and wet, and devoid of any colour. Just grey and browns, with the odd flash of blue sky, but that’s rare. So, when spring starts and flowers pop up and blossom, the effect is quite overwhelming, some years I wonder if all that greyness for a few months is worth it, just for that mad rush you get when you see sun and colours again for the first time.
Today was one of those days  😀

on friday I had Stewart in for some colour of his own, after having swithered for a while, he decided he needed that chrysanthemum coloured after all. Maybe it’s a side effect of spring!
Stewart had had some lasering to some maori style work done by another artist, but we’d decided to keep some of it and build up from there, in case you were wondering about the lower part of the tattoo. The windbars where there already, too, so we went with the japanese theme for the rest

And then David was in, he’d decided to do something about that old skin graft scar on his arm. He’d scolded himself as a youngster and skin had been grafted from his leg onto his arm, leaving a very bumpy and uneven texture.
I drew a koi piece onto him, where the skin of the graft is disguised with water and shading. It’s going to be black and grey, with flashes of colour in the maple leaves

the next day I was working in Glasgow, Ryan was in to get some more of his snow queen sleeve done. Now we’re filling in the gaps, the main story is told, the characters represented, so now we’re having fun with background detail. We have so much reference material from the illustration in the book, it’s a case of pick the best artwork for the job, today we decided we needed some pigeons  😀

and dave needed a volcano, as you do…
not finished with it yet, though