Posts Tagged ‘tiger 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


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

there’s a blog missing, because i went and lost my phone… all the photos gone, my trip to Hamburg included. You’ll just have to imagine what a fabulous time I had and how hard i worked 🙂

For this blog I have pictures of our trip to Toronto and the convention there, but first a few pieces I worked on before I went

Chantelle got a couple of roses added to her tiger and roses piece

Joanne added a few bits to her cover up

Paul’s magpies piece is done. He already had a half backpiece by another artist, so I tried to add to that in a way that flowed well and had continuity colour wise. We were going for a bright but lose, illustrative look, which works well on paul’s white skin.

The two magpies are for his fiance and him, and the new chapter they are embarking on

and Rannoch got a tiger piece, cover up. The tiger is an old image he found and that i adjusted slightly to work as a cover up, and then added some water to set it in.

Lynne was in for a cute cover up, a kokeshi doll in a field of daisies (had to steal my own photo back off instagram, not sure what happened to it on the phone!)

Lyndsey got the outline and some colour of her chinese phoenix, a colourful bird with an unusual tail! The tail is based on an image Lyndsey found online, something a bit different

Last session for Thomas, he got a koi and water to go around his existing pieces

Tony got some more shading in his koi and frog piece

Then it was time for me, Olivia and Raffi, my colleagues, to go and work at the Toronto convention. It’s been years since I worked at that convention, it’s a really good one and the organiser really tried to do something unusual each time.

This year he had brought an exhibition to Toronto’s Royal Ontario Museum, this exhibition had been in Paris before and is really good. Check out what the website has to say about it

there was an opening party in the museum the evening before the convention opened, with some of the more ‘famous’ artists doing art fusion. Art fusion is a concept by Filip Leu and Paul Booth, and involves various artists working spontaneously on the same canvas or canvases (on rotation).  the results can vary haha

here are Paul Booth, Filip Leu, his wife Titine Leu and Kurt Wisecomb working at the opening party

some other people working on theirs

and some more, including our regular guest artist/Tribe pet american, Dan Henk.

The museum is a wonderful space, and we got to wander around the exhibits- great fun! here is Raffi next to a huge totem pole, I couldn’t believe how massive these things are… for some reason I imagined them about 10 feet tall or something.

The convention was reasonably well attended, and we all did some work, although we weren’t stowed out. That way we had an opportunity to have a good look around the convention, which was ace, some amazing artists at work there, and i got to pore over the newest products at the supply stalls. Happy Days!

I picked up a few wee pieces, including a rework/ cover up of these little birds

a red peony

added some flowers to a shoulder piece

and a wee bit of lace with some forget me nots, the base of a larger piece to follow by her usual artist. This lady was having a great time. She is from an Amish background (a strict religious group who don’t approve of tattoos), but as she has a rare genetic condition, she wanted to do something to feel more positive about her body. She was loving the convention, because there she didn’t feel like a freak, we were all freaks together! 🙂

here’s our booths, Raffi, me and the Olivia, not sure what happened to her banner in this picture, must have fallen down! Mine was always just a crap piece of paper with my name on it. My bottle crashed about bringing a proper banner through immigration, as we are not theoretically meant to be working.

When did I become so dependent on technology??

For you celebrity spotters, I took some photos for you, here’s is Filip Leu getting tattooed by Tin Tin, also in the picture Titine Leu and Kurt Wisecomb

Paul Booth at work

and- not so famous but my personal favourite- Steve Moore at work. I love his large scale work and dynamic compositions

I kept checking on him to see what he was up to now. Olivia accused me of being a groupie..

Toronto is a great place, I’ve not been for a while and it was nice to see it still had a cool and rough edge, I had been worried I’d only find Starbucks and GAP. It’s still got an alternative boho vibe and good music scene, and we managed to find a nice apartment right in the middle of it.

I also saw some black squirrels

my first racoon, yay!


remember those strange clusters of events I was on about lately? here’s another one: two of my customers cancelled on me short notice for friday…. One was in hospital the other one couldn’t get time off work after all. Nothing you can do, really, so enjoyed my time off and didn’t swan into the studio until 3pm.
gerald got his tiger finished when I did go to work though, that was well worth coming in for  😀

the next day I worked some more on BBB’s vietnam war scene, it’s starting to take shape, but I’m looking forward to the next session where I add detail, depth and pull it all together. Finally managed to get a couple of pictures where you can actually see what’s going on

after BBB Ruaraidh was in for a nice long session and we got cracking with his grey shading

I feel this blog is lacking in pictures due to my cancelled appointments, so I’ll post this one. My mother found it in some old paperwork she was chucking out, it’s a drawing of a dog I did as a small child. I think this piece displays an early interest in dogs and in drawing, and-judging by the signature- a surprisingly healthy ego for a child  😆