From the Archives

From Awen’s archives… check out the watercolor gray work.  It’s an unusual effect you don’t see everyday, providing depth and texture to a tattoo.  Ka Chow!

Gray Watercolor

Today at the Studio

Hey Hey Hey… this is going to be one sweet cover up!  Joe wanted to keep his moon design while covering the existing bicep band.  The plan was an extensive tribal piece.  I sketched a basic concept on paper, and then we spent the first hour of his appointment customizing the design to tailor fit his arm.  What you see here is phase one… the outline of the new piece.  Stay tuned for phase two:  super sweet solid tribal fill… coming up in a couple of weeks!

Tribal Cover Up

Save Dough on Your New Ink

Save Dough on Your New Ink

Contemporary spin on Old School

Contemporary spin on Old School… from concept to complete.

Bluebird Banner

Special Offer… ’til 2/28!

Special Offer February 2010

(re-posted from 2/10/10) Tattooed folks appreciate choosing a new tattoo over an awesomacious trip, tickets to a sweeeet concert or the newest electronic doo dad.  Tattoos last forever and serve as a grounding reminder of what’s important to us.

The fact remains that lots of people are feeling the financial pinch right now.  The current economic situation is challenging, causing us to reconsider spending on ourselves.  And yet, treating yourself provides a well earned respite from the daily grind of life… like a cheer up turbo.  It’s true that tattoos can be expensive, however there are ways you can save on your new ink:


Winter months tend to be the slowest in tattoo studios.  While it’s not proper to haggle with the artist over the cost for their time and expertise, keep a close watch on blogs, Facebook, MySpace, Twitter and member mailings announcing specials offered through the colder months.  Art With a Point has a special offer running through 2/29 – check it out above!


Creating the tattoo is an artistic process – one that begins with your ideas.  The more clear you are about what you want, the easier your idea is to bring to life.  Collect images or items that can help you to describe your ideas.  Google images is a fantastic free resource.

Make use of the Consultation

Art With a Point is unique in that it’s one of the only studios providing you the opportunity to speak directly with your artist prior to your tattoo.  I offer free consultations, so hey – why not take advantage of them!  Get your questions answered and collaborate with me to hone in on the details of your design so that you can rest easy knowing your tattoo is an authentic reflection of your ideas.

Take it in steps

Patience is a virtue… blah blah blah.  Hey, I hear you.  It’s hard to be patient waiting for new ink.  And while small tattoos are easily completed in one sitting, when it comes to budgeting there’s something to be said for working on a medium or larger sized tattoo in a couple of (or more) sittings.  This shortens each appointment time, spreading out the cost.  And hey, in the meantime your new ink is tangibly with you rather than but a concept.

So, when the craving for new ink keeps you awake at night Google your ideas and email me the images you find.  Schedule a complimentary basic consultation to get the ball rolling.  From there we’ll create a plan to bring your tattoo to life in a way that works for you.

Celtic Evolution

New art done in 17 minutes! Just kidding. (Got your attention, though, huh?.) Okay, here we have the most recent addition to Nate’s Celtic back piece. You will experience a Where’s Waldo moment if you look closely… Check it out: three of the challenges facing us with this piece were: 1) Tying in the existing tribal piece on the left, 2) Connecting the two existing open strands from the lower left and right sides to the new work, and 3) Lining up the new knot work to fit in a symmetrical way with the existing knot work. Stay tuned for photos of the completed work in a couple of weeks. (A photo of Nate’s right shoulder addition were posted on the Art With a Point FB page back on 1/2/10.)

Celtic Backpiece Evolution

The Context of Pain

Radio Lab

I have an addiction to podcasts.  Hey, what better than public radio without commercials (or even worse, depressing news) *and* on my own timeline.  It’s all that and a bag of chips.  So the other day I caught a rebroadcast of Radio Lab entitled, “Placebo”.  Great episode, check it out.  One theory their guest Dr. Daniel Carr suggests is that pain is dependent upon context, which got me to thinking.  I’m constantly asked “Do tattoos hurt?”  And my response is always the same, “The experience is different for everyone”.  But why?

It’s about context.  Speaking for myself, I have an attitude problem when it comes to going to the doctor.  I’m not a happy patient.  Yet I have a high pain tolerance and a stoic nature.  Nine years ago I nearly lost two finger tips in a power tool accident and I was one hurtin’ unit over the next four hours in the ER.  Yet, I’ve enthusiastically endured multiple eight hour sessions of tattooing, and have participated in ritualistic piercing.

The pain we feel isn’t about the pain.  It’s about the story that comes with the pain.  Our stories are filtering the pain even before it’s felt, for better or worse.  Consider the context of “What am I losing with this pain?”  …As compared with, “What have I to gain from this pain?”

In the context of tattooing, when you believe (or know) that something good is coming of your pain, that this is your story being born on your skin… that this is your healing in order to move forward… then the story you have woven for yourself makes all the difference in your ability to process and sit with the level of discomfort you physically and psychologically feel.

“Scientists currently view our entire identity as something we construct from one second to the next. You are the unfolding of an ongoing narrative.  Not just a narrative in words, but touch… odor…  We use all of these inputs to generate the next frame from the last frame in our story.”
~ Dr. Daniel Carr

Henna Styled Ink

Mehndi (also known as “Henna”) has, for many in Western culture, become a fashionable way to test drive a tattoo. Mehndi itself is a body art tradition dating back to the 12th Century whereupon Henna paste is painted on the body as an aspect of festive celebration. Straight up, this is the short version of specific and sacred traditions found in multiple Eastern cultures. Sorry for such an abbreviated explanation, but hey – this is a blog entry after all… right?

Read more about Mehndi.

Anyway, the Henna paste is left to dry for several hours and then removed. The intricate and elaborate stained designs that remain last for weeks. As this form of body art has gained popularity in the west, I’ve received requests to replicate this Henna look in the medium of permanent tattoo. While certain aspects of Mehndi and Henna body art lend themselves nicely to tattooing, the translation from Henna to the medium of tattooing has its limitations. For example, intricate detailing applied temporarily to the surface of the skin can be rendered more finely than intricate permanent detailing within the skin due primarily to how skin changes over time. The piece highlighted here took some strategizing in terms of balancing size with detail as well as use of color, and hey – it turned out pretty sweet!

art with a point custom tattoo s

Do It Your Way

A New Spin on the Sacred HeartHey, it’s Valentines Day, but don’t despair!  Let’s face it, like other holidays commercialism has tainted that which at its core is meaningful.  And that can leave us with, well, a sour taste.

I for one prefer sweet and salty to sour, so why not put a new spin on Valentines Day and celebrate the love and gratitude in your life in your own way?  In this case this simple and symbolic heart represents a Mother’s unconditional love for her twin boys.  Nice, huh?

So just walk on by the pink and red zone at your local store, take the opportunity to run to the kitchen for a snack when the diamond commercials tell you that only a diamond is forever, and instead take a moment to give props to those important to you in your own way.