Anybody familiar with Disney and cartoon culture will recognize this immediately. For the rest, this is heavily influenced by the great illustrator Tim Shumate (click on the link, click on his portfolio and be prepared to be blown away!!! The man is a genius!). Mr. Shumate has created a plethora of hip, updated and edgy illustrations based on many of the beloved Disney characters many of us have grown with. Those illustrations have thus inspired hundreds of fans to get his version of the characters etched into their skin. This is no exception. The story behind this is; a couple of months ago an interested patron called the shop and asked if she could pay for a tattoo over the phone. I replied yes then she proceeded to tell me the story of her friend whom she loves to pieces really wants a tattoo of the Ariel design of Mr. Shumate’s. I researched the design and decided to create something new for her friend. At some point communication switched and I was able to show the person receiving the tattoo the designs I conjured up. She loved them.
This is a client who had come to the shop several times to hang out and chill one day asked if I could do a cover-up for him. I said sure! We planned a date, he came in, sat in the chair and we both just stared at his arm… We couldn’t figure out what to do do as a cover! His elder tattoos were of a confederate flag, and some other random symbols that he was anxious to cover. After some brainstorming, we concluded on the Kraken. The Kraken is a mythical, monstrous, 50 foot creature that would attack sea-fairing vessels… or so the legends say… check out Pirates of the Caribbean to get a better understanding. Nonetheless, I became giggly at the thought of this tattoo because I LOVE squid, octopi, nautilus or any of the cephalopod classification of undersea creatures. Something about them that makes me get hard. WOOO! After 2 hours of drawing this on and 14 hours of tattooing (over 2 days) emerged was a very sore, and very happy client. It still needs another session for background stuff, but we are done for now.
This was created with a 9 liner, 15 curved magnum, 18 round shader and a lot of intenze, eternal and starbrite inks.
Something about tigers. They’re ferocious, mysterious, big, deceptively gentle and all around cool. The client this went on, I have a feeling she may be like that. Very quiet but very tough. She survived 7 hours of this on her hip/butt area. 75% of people out there cannot do that. I know I definitely couldn’t. During the process I became more amazed at her endurance and determination to get this done in one sitting. I remember thinking “Where is this stamina coming from?” Kudos girl.
This was created with a 8 bugpin liner (fits into a 5 liner tip) 9 curved magnum, 13 curved magnum, and intenze, eternal and starbrite inks.
So this client strolls in the shop asking for a paritcular style of tattooing that isn’t my own. She said she likes the “scratchy look” of an artist named Peter Aurisch. Shit, I love his work, I think the man is a damn genius and I wish more people had the balls to get something like this. Anywho, this is one of those projects that went through several sketches before coming to this final design. I like going through the selection process and choosiness of clients at times because it let’s me know they really give a damn about what’s going on their bodies and that they are genuinely and passionately interested. This kind of design literally came to me at the 11th hour… literally. At 11pm on the day before the client was to come to her appointment I had a eureka moment in a laundrymat while drying my clothes. Oh the creative process………
This was created with a #09 03 bugpin liner, #08 11 bugpin curved magnum and eternal inks.
I am at a loss for understanding the fascination people have with animal print patterns. Leopard spots, Tiger stripes, Zebra stripes… hell, I’m waiting for someone to pop up with a Skunk stripe down their back. LOL! Imagine that!!! A skunk stripe! I’d pay someone to do that on them. Anywho, this is a wonderful repeat client who definitely has a strong taste for all things fashionable and leopard-enhanced. When she first asked for this design, it was just the Dia de los Muertos Sugar skulls. When I had shown her the initial idea, she liked it a lot and wanted to add cupcakes to it. That became a head scratcher for me. Obviously I figured out the composition and 3 sessions later, this is born. I actually had a really fun time doing it. It made me dance in my head. Not sure why…
This was created with a 9 tight liner, 3 liner, 18 round shader, #12 13 curved magnum and intenze, eternal and starbrite inks.
Ever since I began tattooing I’ve noticed a strong metamorphosis in the way that I draw. I design more-so for body parts. For instance, if I’m drawing a horse, I’m thinking about what body part it best fits, i.e. calf, quadricep, forearm, etc. This has become good mental practice for me so I develop a better understanding of human form and function. This thought went into designing these bows. The challenge was to make sure they look good on a wirst… In my mind, I made sure the design was longer than wider, and trailed to a nice ending so it sits well on the wrist when at rest and moving. I tried a technique that I use when I paint, use colored lines for the line work instead of black. The end result, 2 wrists, 2 tats, 2 bows, 5 hours, 2 machines,and 1 sitting… and a partridge in a pear tree…
This was created with a 3 tight liner, 9 curved magnum, and eternal and starbrite ink. No black in this one so no intenze.
This is a cover-up and I’m quite ashamed of myself for not taking a photo of the tattoo this covered. It was a bizarre little tattoo.. The client couldn’t even properly explain what it was. Nonetheless, she asked for me to cover it with these lips, and her instructions were very clear… “Make sure the lips are succulent and juicy”. With those instructions I ran with it. I decided with this to push my limits and see how I can do a tattoo without lines. No use of my liner machines… this one was strictly my one favorite color machine, my Borg. The result is nice, succulent and juicy. MUAH!
This was created with a 13 curved magnum and eternal, intenze and starbrite inks.
Tip: To create good tattoos, study more than just other tattoos and tattoo artists. Study the High and Low Renaissance (you’ll really understand why religious tattoos come from), Baroque, Rococo, Art Nouveau (my personal favorite), and many others… don’t forget to sprinkle in some Americana. Norman Rockwell could paint his ass off!
One thing I’ve learned doing this is that your good name and reputation are EVERYTHING!!! I heard it takes 5 minutes to get a customer, but 5 seconds to lose one. Oh the wonderful world of business. Another artist began this design a while ago promising to complete it. Well, months later it’s still incomplete for reason’s unbeknownst to me. But the client desperately wanted it colored so I helped out. It went smoothly and the client is a trooper. Gained a new client 🙂
This was colored in with a 15 curved magnum and intenze, starbrite, and eternal inks
Fish are synonymous with tattoos. The koi is the most famous. Talking about koi, if you ever watched Pokemon back in the day there was a character on there called MagiKarp (Karp being the other name for a koi…).MagiKarp evolved into this bad-ass dragon thingy that was a force to be reckoned with. It’ actually followed Japanese folk lore. Pretty cool… Anywho, Dolphins are some smart ass creatures. Throughout time they have helped humans many times from meeting a watery grave. I’ve never drawn a dolphin, but when this cover-up came up, I couldn’t let it go by. The thing being covered is a rose. It wasn’t a bad rose by no means, but she felt it was time to get rid of it and move on. She told me how she went to a few shops and they were pretty much telling her no, they won’t do it and basically, they don’t have the skill to do it. Tsk, Tsk, Tsk. Skill-less bastards.
This was created with a 7 textured tight liner, 15 curved magnum, and intenze, eternal and starbrite inks.
Tip: A successful coverup will not only cover, but redirect a viewers attention away from the original place of the tattoo so it’s no longer a focal point