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 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.
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.
I’m not sure when it happened, but it did. I’ve become the lucky S.o.B that gets numerous cover-ups to do. I like doing them. I feel like I could be on that Tattoo Nightmares show. Check it out when you get a chance, it’ll make you think 4 and 5 times before you get a craptastic tattoo. This client came to me and asked for a cover-up of some sort to cover her old tribal tattoo from the 90s. Damn those 90s and their cursed tribal tattoo era. Tribals are a bitch to do because they take a while to do an
d they don’t show off an artist’s talent really. When she asked me for a Medusa to cover her 90s cursed tribal thing I damn near jumped out of my skin for joy. This was a gift from the tattoo gods lol! This took about 3 sessions and roughly 9 hours to complete. Not bad really and she sat extremely well for it. During the last session, I looked over it and thought to myself “This thing needs more texture…” referring to the snakes. So the scales were added last. I’m glad I added them, it breathed a little life and dimension into the piece.
This was created with a 3 tight liner, #08 08 bugpin liner (it creates some of the most beautiful lines I have experienced. I’m hooked on this needle), #08 11 bugpin curved magnum, #08 17 curved magnum and intenze and eternal inks.
There are people in our lives that effect us in such immense ways we show it through a variety of methods. Some methods include constantly shouting it out in the middle of the street like a screaming lunatic, going on TV and proclaiming that love to the universe, getting matching uniforms, getting names or representations of the person on our bodies. I admit, I’m one of those people… kinda. I have my son’s name on my forearm, when he was born I was affected lol! This client is a repeat customer. She hates the pain but loves the results (don’t we all?). She originally wanted lips (of a special person) with leopard print in them. After some discussion I convinced her it wouldn’t look too good, so we went with the design you see. The leopard print heart-shape wasn’t part of the original design. I had completed tattooing the lips but she still wanted the leopard print in there somehow, so, me being the guy that I am, originally drew on her some ugly ass shape to contain the print within. Thankfully I didn’t get my way with this one. Another set of eyes that happened to be in the room at the time said the ugly shape was ghastly and suggested a heart instead. Good thing I listened. I decided to do no outlines on this, something about it said it didn’t need them. So I used a painterly technique to create what you see. BOOYAKA!!!!
This was created entirely with a #09 11 bugpin curved magnum on my Neotat rotary machine and intenze, starbrite and eternal inks.
This was a serious challenge to design. A koi fish with hydrangeas. A new take on the classic japanese tattoo. The human body is a plethora of changing and undulating planes that present very unique situations to tattoo upon. This was very apparent for this design. The client asked for the koi to swim from her back to front right chest via her shoulder area. I understood exactly what she was looking for, so I had to figure a way of successful execution. This ended up being a fairly easy area to work on because there wasn’t a huge amount of hand-tiring skin stretching. I really got into this, developed a rhythm, especially with the background. After the typical 3.5 hours of tattooing, the pain index on her went through the roof and we had to extend this to another session. Those flowers you see are hydrangeas, and they will be colored in the next session.
This was created with a 5 super tight liner, 3 super tight liner, 15 bugpin curved magnum, and intenze zuper black ink.
Helpful tip: When diluting a black to make gray tones, I use a solution of 1 part witch hazel and 2 parts distilled water. Helps smooth out the tones. Don’t use tap water, that’s just too prison-ish lol!
Is anyone familiar with that old opera, the Barber of Seville? I never knew the storyline so I can’t talk about it. Nonetheless, a straight razor is the skilled barber’s tool of choice. In the right hands, this thing can make you look like a billion dollars. In the wrong hands your jugular will be cut. This particular straight razor design is heavily influenced by the clients wife and the movie “Sweeney Todd” with my homie Johnnie Depp. I never seen it, but his straight razors are hot!
This design was an interesting challenge because I had to 1. make this flow with his arm anatomy and contours, 2. have it make sense when his arm bends and 3. make sure those razor lines were as straight as I could possible get them as a freehand line can be. Admittedly that elbow part gave me a a lil trouble but I figured it out eventually. And the sculpted handle was a lot of fun to do. A bunch of technique and needle types and sizes went into this making this one of the more rewarding tats that I’ve completed.
This was created with a 9 tight liner (outline), 3 supertight liner (handle lines), 14 round shader (white areas), 15 bugpin curved magnum, 17 bugpin curved magnum and intenze and starbrite inks… like I said, a technical lil bastard of a tat.
Damn those mistakes as a younger person. We think we know everything until something explodes horribly in our face. This was definitely one of those explosions. Not gonna go into too much detail about the who, what and why, but just know this relationship ended strangely. But lucky for us all, moving forward is part of of our human nature. We grow, make mistakes, learn, move forward, and flourish.
This was created with a 7 textured super tight liner, 17 bugpin curved magnum, and intenze and alla prima ink
Doing cover-ups is a fine art within itself. A good cover-up not only covers the old tattoo and makes it vanish, but steers the viewers attention away from the covered area. The correct response to a cover-up should be “…wait, there was something there before?”
This was created with a textured 7 tight liner (should’ve used a traditional 9 liner), 13 curved magnum, 17 bugpin curved magnum, and eternal, intenze and alla prima inks.
Siiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiggggggggggghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh…. this should be done now…. Can you detect the frustration? But I have to honestly say that I understand the pain. I have linework of a huge elephant on my back and the pain that I went through with that was astonishing. I never experienced pain like that ever! Still haven’t. I was pissing from my armpits, my tongue went dry, I felt like I went deaf for a moment my vision became blurry… I mean I was in a bad place… but I somehow pushed through it. This is Session 3 of this particular tattoo. This is taking particularly long because the pain gets real intense for the client. Funny thing, when she walked in to my place, I told her, “Ok, so we are going to fill in one flower today.” Her response, “Nope! We are finishing this…” Tattoo artist 1, client 0. But I must admit, I’m loving the outcome of this.
In this session, I used are 15 curved magnum, and starbrite, eternal, intenze and Alla Prima inks… certain colors work certain ways for each ink on different skin types…