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.
I have developed a healthy obsession with tattoos that really challenge me and put me outside my normal style. Lately I’ve been seeing a lot of tattoos that have no linework. Just shading or color blocking. I kinda like it. It produces a result that’s soft, a little realistic and in my opinion, feminine (depending on the design subject). This is my execution of that technique. I’mma do more.
This was created with a #08 15 bugpin curved magnum and intenze ink watered down with a mixture of distilled water and witch hazel.
I seriously get a kick out of the clients I have the opportunity to work with. I appreciate the constant challenges they bring to me. I do have to admit though… Some times when I send them the drawing to approve and they reply to me “Change this, that, make this more…” I get kinda frustrated because in my brain it’s perfect for them and that’s the way it should be. Then I work in the changes they asked for and I look at it and think “Yeah, they were right about that one.” It doesn’t happen all the time, but when it does I listen to my gut and listen to them. This is one of those examples. I sent the client a drawing that was perfectly fine but I also sent an additional drawing for just-in-case purposes… He loved the back up and here’s the result. Angry Aries.
This was created with a 7 liner, #10 17 bugpin curved magnum and Eternal and Intenze inks.
This is one of those human stories that I just love. This client wanted to commemorate his uncle with an image of a catfish. Why a catfish? Because when Uncle Floyd took him on a fishing trip, the first fish he caught was a catfish. Brings a tear to my eye
This was created with a 7 tight liner, #10 17 bugpin magnum, #08 15 bugpin magnum and intenze inks watered down with a mixture of distilled water and a splash of witch hazel.
If you get the heebie jeebies from looking at pictures of spiders, turn away now please. Otherwise, here is my first attempt at what the world loves to call “3D tattoos”. When the client asked for a realistic Black Widow Spider my skin crawled a little. I laughed and asked if he was serious, then away we went. I’m familiar with doing anything 3D, realistic or whatever because of my painter/ illustrator/ designer background. So this was a new but comfortable direction for me. The actual name for this technique is called Trompe-l’œil which is derived from french meaning “deceive the eye”. But for simpler terms, 3D will suffice. I did this using a painterly technique using no lines, just shapes. I like the results.
This was created using a #08 11 bugpin curved magnum and silverback graywash and intenze inks.
Have you ever seen that movie Black Swan? Crazy! I love that movie. Not for the racy scenery but because of the whole concept of losing yourself in what you love most to make it successful. Powerful message. Nonetheless, this client wanted a ballet inspired tattoo to represent her love of dance and of the movie. II have a habit of really diving into tattoo designs to create the most original piece I can for a client. So for this I watched the movie a few times so I can see nuances within it to better understand how I’mma approach this piece. Some important pieces that had to be included were the ballet shoes, the dancer be on her toes enpointe, and that she be in the 4th position. I’m no dancer, I can barely get my leg up so I had no clue what in the world she was talking about. Then I got a text with the client in the correct position. That served as a basis for this and away I went. We mutually loved the design and it’s execution was on point. I love getting challenges.
This was created with a 3 bugpin liner, #08 11 bugping curved magnum and intenze zuper black and silverback gray wash inks.
When this client first approached me about doing a coverup/ enhancement/ please-make-it-look-better, I didn’t understand the urgency until I seen what she needed. Whoa, was my first thought. I kept asking what the hell the previous tattoo guys (I can’t rightfully call them artists…) were thinking! When her appointment date came, I stared at her back and had to really allow my imagination go. After a few minutes of staring, it occurred to me that this need s to look like Spring because the previous attempt is reminiscent of winter. So after an hour of drawing on her with a sharpie to figure out a better composition and direction, off I went to bring Spring to her back. I decided to add in the hummingbird after most of the tattoo was in there because it helped to cover the last bit of “what-the-hell”ness. She is definitely a tough cookie. After roughly 6 hours and her spitting loud curse words at her friend who sat by her side through the pain, she was very excited about the final outcome. Yea for Spring time bloom.
This was created with a 7 tight liner, 15 curved magnum and a 9 curved magnum and eternal., starbrite and intenze inks.
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.