Fresh Ink!

Phoenix cover up

Phoenix cover up

Fresh Ink… hot off the press!  This is a cover up of an old tattoo – stay tuned for a posting of the process!


Here’s a portion of an extensive Blue Whale back piece.  We’re using the bubbles bring energy, texture and depth to the expanses of ocean blue.  Bubbles rock!

A portion of an extensive Blue Whale backpiece

A portion of an extensive Blue Whale backpiece

*POOF*! The Old Tattoo is No More…

Evolution of a tattoo… and *POOF* the oldie is a goner…

Tribal Coverup

Today at the studio

Joe’s cover up is complete!

I posted this two weeks ago.  From concept to outline… and then…

Cover up in process: Tribal Black and Red

The completion of the piece!  Here it is:

Cover up Complete: Tribal Black and Red

Today at the Studio

Today at the studio…

Rework and add Cherry Blossoms

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

The Ambitious Professional

Tattooing has traveled a long way from its sacred origins in Indigenous communities around the world to its’ out of context arrival in North American seaports and military bases.  And has continued to evolved further from crude art form to a fine art medium.  Tattooing has in fact consistently evolved more rapidly than our society’s understanding of the medium and the people who choose to be tattooed.

This NY Times article (1.26.10) reports an estimate from the Food and Drug Administration that an estimated 45 million people have tattoos.  The author also states “that it is unlikely that the ambitious professional… will ever have… a full chest or back ‘panel’ or a tattooed arm or leg.”  Now, of an estimated 45 million Americans that have tattoos, I’m gonna bet that number includes ambitious professionals.  In fact, a majority of my clients are ambitious professionals with tattooed arms and legs, and yes… even pack pieces.

Throughout the documented 5300 year history of tattooing, tattoos have been used to reflect changes in life status.  This remains exactly why so many people continue to choose to wear tattoos.  They are acknowledgements.  Bookmarks.   And while the media may continue to reinforce old stereotypes about tattoos and the people who wear them, assumptions about individuals cannot reasonably be made.  Really – we have no idea what mind blowing tattoo sleeve is under that suit coat or what captivating back piece is under that dress.  (Okay, sometimes I do because I put it there…but you know what I mean.)

And while its feasible that an estimated 17% of tattooed Americans “regrets it”, I find that statistic vague.  What in life doesn’t change?  The person we are at 40 will be (hopefully) different than the person we were at 18.  Life changes and we change with it.  And your tattoos can change with you as well.

Here’s a photo of a cover up I completed yesterday on (you guessed it) an ambitious professional.  There’s an old saying that goes, ” The only difference between tattooed people and non-tattooed people is that tattooed people don’t care if you don’t have a tattoo”.

Cover Up: Running Horse

“Always waiting for some Batman to save you…”

Thanks for the quote, Catwoman…

Jim Lee BatmanAnd thanks to the art and inspiration of  Jim Lee, Cooter has this sweet new tattoo!  On top of being far out, this design is also a cover up.  I was so stoked to get going on this piece that I completely spaced taking a “before” photo of the previous tattoo… a bull.

Cooter and I had all kinds of fun hanging out, talking music (Cooter is a touring bassist), generations of Batman comics, kids, art and ink.  You rock, Cooter!  And props to Jim Lee!

Now for the thought of the day… an old school Batman quote:

Batman: One: “What has yellow skin and writes?”
Robin: A ballpoint banana.
Batman: Exactly! Two: “What people are always in a hurry?”
Robin: Rushing people? Russians!
Batman: Right again! Now, what would you say they mean?
Robin: Banana… Russian… I’ve got it! Someone Russian is gonna slip on a banana peel and break their neck!
Batman: Precisely, Robin! The only possible meaning!

the Last Tattoo of 2009

we're not horsing around here...

Here it is… drum roll please… the last tattoo of 2009… freshly inked!  And a coverup too… complete evolution of pics to be posted soon.  (Postscript… the completed photos of this cover up are posted in the 1.28.10 blog.)

Hey everybody, have a safe and happy New Year!  See you in 2010…

Transformation of a Tattoo, part 3

GrafCoverUpOnce you’re ready to transform that old tattoo, trying to come up with a new idea that you know will work over the old can be mind bending. Begin by coming up with three ideas you’d like for a brand spanking new tattoo, then schedule a design consultation and we’ll sit down and talk tattoos. Chances are, at least one of your three ideas will work as a cover up. During your consultation we’ll zoom in on which idea to focus on, how we’ll go about integrating the old with the new, and we’ll schedule your appointment for the cover up to take place.

Nothing is permanent. Life changes and so do we. Will the tattoos I have when I’m eighty be the same tattoos I have now? Not a chance… I’ve already covered or transformed several of my first tattoos into new designs that better reflect where I am now on my journey.