Roll flowers and Carrie Metz-Caporusso

Posted by Admin in th-ink on 09 17th, 2021

Michigan based tattooer Carrie Metz-Caporusso (They/She) is known for her “roll flowers” tattoo project. A collection of tattoos that celebrate diverse bodies and defy the notion that you need to change your body to get tattooed. We chatted to Carrie about how authenticity and inclusivity have a space, not just at Lucky Monkey Tattoo studio, but in the world of tattooing…

What inspired you to become a tattoo artist and how did you become an artist? It wasn’t until my best friend mentioned that I should be a tattooer that the notion even crossed my mind. But once it did, I couldn’t stop till I got there. After going from shop to shop around the Tampa area with no luck, I finally broke into tattooing when I met my partner. I had a whirlwind romance and apprenticeship. It was such an exciting time in my life. I did my first tattoo on myself in 2011 and started professionally tattooing in 2013. 

What inspires your work? My work is inspired by what I want to see in the world, or how I’m feeling. My “not a girl flash” came out of being misgendered and it was therapeutic to get it out of my head and onto paper. Same with the roll flowers. I design what’s on my mind and it’s a bonus that people feel the same way and they resonate with me and what’s in my heart.

It seems the more authentically me I am the more people seem to like my work. It’s a beautiful thing.

How would you describe your tattoos? I describe my tattoos as whimsical black and grey illustrations. I’ve tattooed like this most of my career, although I did start off learning American traditional, because it’s a strong base for most styles of tattooing. This is how I drew since before I started tattooing so it was only natural to find my way back once I had the basics down.

What do you love to tattoo and what would you like to do more of? I love tattooing anything nature inspired, I’m a plant collector so drawing plants and flowers makes me happy.  I’d love to do more tiny tattoos. I love trying to find the balance between making a small tattoo and designing something that will last a life time.  It’s a fine balance and I like the challenge.

We love your beautiful pieces which celebrate the body of the wearer, what inspired you to start creating ‘roll flowers’ and what’s the process behind your pieces? I had personally felt a sense of ownership over my fat body once I started decorating it. I heard other fat folks wishing they could get tattoos on their backs and tummy etc. but had to wait till they were thinner.  I knew if I could come up with something specifically for us, that would highlight and work with our bodies, I could change some minds.  So I sat myself down and brain stormed until I came up with roll  flowers.

What advice would you give anyone who is worried about getting tattooed because of their body? My advice is take the plunge! When I started viewing myself as art, that’s when my confidence grew. With that being said, the world of tattooing is still very fat-phobic, sexist, racist, ableist etc. so be sure to work with someone who represents you. And don’t be afraid to ask thing such as “do you have photos of work on fat folks” or “have you tattooed people with melanated skin”. If you don’t see yourself represented, they may not be the right artist for you. 

How can the rest of the tattoo industry be more inclusive, especially towards fat bodies? I think one of the biggest things tattooers could do is share photos of diverse bodies. Representation is so important. Worry less about trying to curate a “perfect” aesthetic by posting the same thin/white bodies with desaturated pics and show your range. It hit me hardest when in my comments people mentioned they’ve never seen themselves represented in tattoo photos before.

Can you tell us about your own tattoos? Are you a tattoo collector? Since I am married to a tattooer, most of my tattoos are by him. Although Tony is my teacher I still can see how he’s  grown and changed over the years on my own skin. I love to see where we’ve started and where’s he’s at now. Tony is a constant source of inspiration and it’s an honour to be covered in his work. 

Have tattoos helped you to see your body differently or changed how you see your body in any way? For me getting tattooed is absolutely magical, with every tattoo I add I feel more and more like myself. Tattoos have helped me to see that I am living art, and art should be appreciated, loved and admired. 

Follow Carrie on Insta for more celebratory and illustrative tattoos.



Stretch marks and tattoos

Posted by Admin in th-ink on 08 27th, 2021

Stretch marks, scars, stretchies, tiger stripes… whatever you call them, most of us have them, and that’s okay. But what about when you want to get a tattoo where you have a stretch mark or a scar? Can you tattoo over them, will the tattoo look alright? We spoke to a couple of tattoo artists to find out…

Hannah Gehrke, Red Tattoo and Piercing, Leeds

As someone who is absolutely riddled with stretch marks (which hindered me a lot in my teenage years, thanks, puberty), I am absolutely unbothered by them and I fully empathise with those who aren’t so comfortable with having them. 

If you do have concerns about them and are looking to get tattooed, the best thing to do – if you feel comfortable – is to send over a photo of the area so I can have a look, and we can further discuss the best way to make a tattoo that’ll look good and last a lifetime!

When someone is looking to cover up stretch marks or scars, I firstly like to make it clear that putting a tattoo over them does not remove them. The tattoo is a distraction – no one will primarily notice stretch marks or scars when there’s a fun tattoo over them!

I’d also say, with scars especially, make sure they are completely and totally healed before getting a tattoo over them. It’s a lot safer and you’ll have a more pleasant experience. Otherwise, as I say to all of my customers, get into a routine of moisturising the area a week or so before your appointment! The more soft and supple the skin, the easier it is to work with, but I feel that’s just a general rule for life though. Get on that daily moisturiser, folks!

Notes for artists:

There’s no particular dos and don’ts when it comes to tattooing scars, but the style of tattoo does have to be taken into consideration depending on what the individual’s skin is currently like, and I do like to have a thorough consultation before going ahead with anything so we can get a good end result.

Scars, especially those that are raised, do tend to be a little physically tougher to tattoo, but that doesn’t mean you can just hammer anything into them; you still have to be careful especially when it comes to doing line work. Go slightly too hard and you’ve got yourself a ticket to Blow Out City, somewhere we want to avoid!

Stretch marks tend to swell and raise quicker as the skin is thinner and more delicate, which can sometimes make them a little tricky. As long as you’re not too heavy handed and it’s applied correctly, line work and colour/shading usually heal and last well. They can sometimes take longer to settle back down to normal during the healing process though, and do need to be babied a little more.

Katherine Alexander, Perseverance Tattoo, Inverness, Florida

I promise you, any good artist will not care about your stretch marks or scars. You don’t need to be scared, worried or self conscious. We’re here to help you feel good and make you some beautiful art! If you are ever uncomfortable in an artist’s chair for any reason, please speak up! For any reason at all. Tattoos are a very personal thing and your comfort always matters first and foremost. We are at YOUR service, don’t forget that!

Honestly, just do it. There’s nothing wrong with stretch marks, but if you are wanting to redecorate them with some art, don’t be afraid!

It doesn’t feel super different to tattoo, but it depends on the scar and stretch mark. It can depend on depth, how it healed and how old it is. If anything, it may be a little more tender in some areas but it isn’t going to feel any worse than a regular tattoo. It is a little tricky to actually do the tattoo, it can blow out or not take the ink. It just takes a little extra time and care! So make sure you research your artist as well as talk to them about their work with scar tissue! Don’t be afraid to look around until you find someone you trust and would like to work with.

There isn’t much prep out of the ordinary that you need to do before your appointment, but it is always good to use moisturiser. Just keep the area clean and make sure there isn’t any irritated or open scar tissue and you’ll be good to go, just like any appointment.

As far as aftercare goes, just give it some extra moisturising and keep it hydrated and it should heal as normal! It’s always good to apply lotion even after it’s healed to keep it looking nice, and your skin will thank you. The scars may be a little irritated and swollen after the tattoo is done, but that is normal, they will go down once everything is healed!

Have you got a tattoo over scars or stretch marks and would like to share them with us? Tag us in your photo on Insta and we’ll share them in our stories!



Interview with Hernán Giamberardino

Posted by Admin in th-ink on 08 21st, 2021

Tattoo artist and founder of Cry Baby tattoo in Palma de Mallorca, Spain, Hernán Giamberardino (best known as “Adamexiste”) tells us about his journey to become a tattooer, his appreciation for his clients and the detailed tattoos he creates…

What inspired you to become a tattoo artist? I got my first tattoo at the age of 15, but what inspired me to become a tattoo artist was actually TV shows. Back then we didn’t have social media, so I was exposed to the tattoo scene by the pictures hanging outside of tattoo shops in my hometown. I never thought about it as an art expression until these TV reality tattooing shows came out and I became obsessed.

How did you become an artist? My grandfather was a musician, my mother is a painter, so I guess art is in my DNA. I knew that if I wanted to become a good tattoo artist I would need more information. I was studying fine arts in Barcelona at the time, but I wasn’t getting what I wanted out of it, so I quit and got into Illustration at the Superior School of Design in Palma. That was game changing for me, I finally got the knowledge I needed and became more confident about tattooing.

My first job as a tattoo artist was in a nightclub, I always say if you can tattoo in a nightclub you can tattoo anywhere! It was a lot of fun and I gained what felt like years of experience in just a couple of months. I’m very grateful for that opportunity, although I would never do it again. I then worked for the same company in downtown Palma and after three years I had gained enough clients that I decided to open my own tattoo shop.

How long have you been tattooing? Ive been tattooing for almost 10 years and hope to keep doing it for a very long time.

How would you describe your work? I would describe my work as “delicate and detailed”. I have some sort of Horror Vacui, so even if it’s a small piece it needs to be full of details. I’m a perfectionist and in small tattoos there’s no space for errors. I think that’s what I love the most about fine line and small tattoos, every piece is a challenge and you need to be focus a 100%. I also love the aesthetic, love to see a sleeve full of small tattoos and think of the story behind each one of them.

Have you always tattooed like this? When I started tattooing I tried a little of every style, mainly because when you work for a company you don’t really get to choose what you tattoo or just do the things you like. You have to do a bit of everything. Instagram and social media really helped me develop the audience and clients that I wanted. I only posted the kind of tattoos that I wanted people to ask me for. Now I’m very grateful that I can decide what I want to tattoo and what I don’t.

What do you love to tattoo and what would you like to do more of? I love tattooing anything related to nature. Now more than ever tattoo trends change so quickly and I find something timeless in nature related tattoos. You can see them 10 years from now and they will still work. Insects and plants are my favourite, and pet portraits too when you see the client’s reaction. I would love to do more portraits of people, I absolutely enjoy it and it’s the biggest challenge for me.

How has the pandemic affected you and your tattooing? I can’t really say the pandemic affected my business in a negative way. I had to close the shop for four months and stay at home and that gave me the chance to work on other projects that I had going on.

Once we could reopen I think I had even more clients than before. Bars and restaurants were closed, social events were cancelled so people that love tattoos had the time and money. I’m very aware that this hasn’t been everyone’s situation so all I can say is how grateful I am to all my clients that kept on coming to the shop in this hard times.

The bad part of the pandemic for me was the fear. Obviously the nature of our job demands us to take extra care regardless if we are in a pandemic or not. In the beginning it was very unclear what was the best way to keep everybody and ourselves safe.

Can you tell us about your own tattoos? Are you a tattoo collector? Most of my tattoos are handpoke. I’m very lazy on the aftercare, and handpoke doesn’t require a lot of it. I always have to think a lot for my clients, so when it comes to my own tattoos I prefer to go to my friends’ flashbooks and choose the first thing that calls my attention. 

I’m more of a friends’ tattoo collector, I love tattoos that makes me laugh when I see them or remind me of a special person. I have a lot of tattoos that were made by friends that had never done a tattoo before and they’re my favourite. I also have a lot of insects, animals and matching tattoos with people I love.

Plans for the future? I’m currently in the process of opening a second tattoo shop so I can have more artists with me. I love working with people and the inspirational flow it creates so I’m very excited about it. I’m also gonna be participating, for the first time, in a tattoo convention in October and I think that will be an amazing experience.

Give Hernán a follow on Insta for more incredible tattoos and keep up to date with his future plans.



Interview with tattoo artist Fan Wu

Posted by Admin in th-ink on 07 30th, 2021

New York based anime tattoo artist Fan Wu tells us about her journey into becoming a tattoo artist and how her love for anime inspires everything she does…

What inspired you to become a tattoo artist and how did you become one? I really love drawing, have done since I was a kid. I’m introverted so I spent most of my time drawing. My major was printmaking in college, which is similar to tattooing as it’s a handmade process. Now I’m drawing on the skin instead of on the paper.

I was so curious about the tattoo process, that at first I started to learn it by myself. The more I got to know about the tattoo world the deeper I fell in love with it. I could, and still can, see lots of different styles and techniques from all over the world. So, I transformed into a tattoo artist instead of a printmaker, after I finished a tattoo apprenticeship.

How long have you been tattooing? Have you always worked in New York? I’ve been tattooing for almost four years now. I started to learn to tattoo when I was in college in Philadelphia. I used to tattoo on myself and my friends to practice, after graduation, I moved to New York and started my real tattooing life.

What inspires your work? What is it about anime that made you want to make it your signature style? I think what inspires my work the most is anime, florals, geometry, and galaxy patterns. I remember during my childhood the main thing I was doing was drawing and watching anime. The anime world is full of magic, craziness, and imagination. I’m always impressed by the characters and the stories. It’s so real, but it’s also not real.

Every time I watch anime I’m encouraged and touched by the spirits of the characters. I can tell how the author wants to express himself to the human world, and that’s the most important and impressive part to me. It’s just so amazing! So, I want to create more anime designs and custom pieces related to anime. Like the authors of the anime I love, I want to show people, who also love anime, the view I can see. I want to express my feelings through anime pieces.

How would you describe your work? Have you always tattooed like this? What drew you to this type of tattooing? My work is all fine line style. When I was an apprentice, I started to learn fine line style. It suited me as I really enjoy doing details and I love to spend time practising thin line. I worked as a printmaker for a while after graduating. Printmaking requires lots of detailed hand drawing and similar techniques, so I transferred these to tattooing. 

Can you tell us about the process behind your tattooing? I like to play my favourite music playlist before I draw., as songs inspire me too. Whenever I get a strong inspiration, I will start the sketch immediately. If I decide to finish a drawing, no matter how late it is, I will finish it.

What do you love to tattoo and what would you like to do more of? I love to do anime work the most. I also like to do custom pieces, like animal portraits, florals, and things that are meaningful to my clients. But I will say anime work is my favourite. I think I will try more coloured work in the future.

Can you tell us about your own tattoos? Are you a tattoo collector? Yes I am a tattoo collector! I’ve done loads of guest spots in different cities and I’ve met lots of amazing tattoo artists. I’ve been so impressed by all the different styles and the artists’ flash work, that I love to collect flash pieces from different artists that I like. I also like to draw the design myself and find the right tattoo artist to do it on my body.

Give Fan a follow on Insta.



The Handpoke tattoos of Charlotte Bolton

Posted by Admin in th-ink on 07 5th, 2021

Our founding editor Alice Snape spent the most gorgeous Friday afternoon inside the walls of The Gilded Rook Tattoo Studio, in Chesterfield. The studio owned by Liv Frost is up some winding stairs and it feels like an escape, there’s some seriously good vibes going on. Alice got tattooed by resident hand-poke tattoo artist Charlotte Bolton, who was gentle, patient, funny and warm; she tattooed meticulously in tiny movements while they chatted about lockdown / love / dogs (obvs). Our editor Rosalie Hurr caught up with Charlotte to find out more.

How long have you been tattooing? The Gilded Rook is the first professional studio I have worked in, and I started there in October 2020! Before then, I had been practising and teaching myself for about a year.

What inspired you to become a tattoo artist? I am a very creative person, and it has always been one of my career goals and dreams to be a tattoo artist. I just see it as another exciting art form to work in.

I’ve always had a massive interest in tattoos anyway, and knew I wanted to be covered in them myself! I also think it’s so special that people are willing to have your own unique artwork tattooed on them permanently.

I actually had a very short lived apprenticeship when I was 18. When I gave that up I always felt like I’d missed my chance at tattooing, so I’m super grateful that Liv (owner of The Gilded Rook) gave me the opportunity to come work in her studio.

Alice’s tattoo is an inky reminder of what brought her joy in lockdown – dogs and bunches of flowers!

What drew you to handpoking? Have you ever used a machine to tattoo? I actually tried out handpoking because I thought that it would be something I could teach myself and that would also be a lot safer and hygienic to do at home. I never actually realised that handpoke tattoos were done in professional studios before. When I realised that, it gave me the motivation to be really serious about learning it and being hygienic in the set up and process.

I also love how therapeutic it is. In my own creative practice, I’ve always enjoyed making things that are quite time-consuming and finicky, and I feel like there’s more control with handpoke, so it seems like the perfect technique for me. I did a few machine tattoos back when I was 18, but I would love to have a proper go at learning again some time. 

Can you tell us about your process and set-up. I am a very eco-conscious person, and obviously in tattooing there are a lot of single-use products that are mainly plastic based. So for my set-up, I try to be as eco-friendly as possible and I use plant-based covers and ink caps from Greenhouse Tattoo Supplies and sometimes tin foil for my trolley. For my needles, I simply tape them to wooden lollipop sticks with some cute washi tape!

I use exactly the same needles that are used in machine tattooing, but obviously it is all done by hand. Because of this, handpokes definitely take a lot longer than machine tattoos, but I personally think they hurt a lot less as they’re more gentle on the skin, which most of the time means the healing process is a lot quicker and nicer to deal with too!

What inspires your designs, how would you describe your style? I would say my style is cute, fun and playful! I love to draw animals and characters – sometimes I just can’t believe people want my silly drawings on them, I love it!

I get a lot of inspiration from things I just have lying around the flat, I’m such a hoarder for quirky little souvenirs from charity shops that I have an endless supply of objects to draw inspiration from! I also get a lot of fun custom ideas from people too, I recently did three little ducklings that were wearing a bucket hat, a sombrero and a leprechaun hat!? I have the best clients!

What do you love to tattoo and what would you like to do more of?At the moment I’m actually such a fan of tattooing writing, which I never expected! I would definitely love to do more writing, but anything animal or character related is always a fave for me. 

What would you like people to know about handpoke tattoos? Because handpokes are a bit of a niche and people don’t know much about them, everyone is scared of them! So I’d just like people to know that it is honestly a lot less terrifying than you imagine, I think it’s actually quite relaxing and a lot easier to deal with the pain (if any!). People also assume that handpokes aren’t permanent like machine tattoos, and although they may need a touch up in the future – they are definitely permanent.

Give Charlotte a follow on Insta.



Interview with tattoo artist, Dario

Posted by Admin in th-ink on 06 22nd, 2021

Sydney-based tattoo artist Dario tells us about his journey to becoming a tattoo artist, how his style has progressed and some advice for tattoo first-timers…

When did you first know you wanted to be a tattoo artist? What attracted you to the world? I used to paint graffiti and street art, since I was 14 years old. When I turned 18, I was getting tired of the problems it brought. Tattooing was a legal way to keep making art and I knew I wanted it to be my job.

What did you dream of being when you were a child? I wanted to be an architect when I was very little, after that I always imagined I might become a pro skateboarder.

What is it that you most love about tattooing people? Being able to travel overseas and constantly meet interesting people. I have really missed that during the pandemic.

What’s the tattoo scene like over in Sydney? I know there are lots of amazing studios and would love to visit one day – when the world opens up again. The tattoo scene in Sydney is massive. Heaps of studios, incredibly talented tattoo artists, people love getting tattooed and getting more into the tattoo culture. Also in Sydney the weather is very nice most of the year, so tattoos are visible and it is normal to see high quality tattoos on the street. I reckon that helps to keep this growing every year.

How do you like to work with your customers? Would you consider any of your works to be a collaboration? I like to work with clients that have a solid idea about what they want to get tattooed. That always helps to create something even cooler than they had in their mind. I’m very open-minded to accept ideas. I try to represent both the meaning of the tattoo and the way it looks in the best way possible that I can.

 
How would you describe your style? What inspires you? I currently do realism in black and grey (bng), but there’s also a mix of every single style I have tried before – I like to mix realism with dot work or geometric style, for example. I’m okay to label my style as bng/realism but I do way more than that.

What inspires me the most is to observe and study natural things, anything organic has always called my attention since I was a kid.

What draws you to black work / darker art? I love horror movies. I believe a horror piece that is well done is always going to have a reaction in someone who is observing it – whether that’s good or bad, it doesn’t matter. People are not indifferent to a very dark piece that is scary, and to get that result for me is gnarly.

How have you found the pandemic, have you found time to be creative or been feeling blocked? I was very motivated at the beginning of the lockdown – I had time to draw, as many hours as I usually tattoo every day. I finished some pieces that took more than 50 hours of work and started some others, so yeah it helped to feel creative. Well, at least for the first month, after that I started focusing more on working out and eating well so it would kill most of the bad energy that the pandemic brought.

What are you currently working on? Heaps of big projects, a lot of sleeves and full leg pieces… these are a few of my recent favourites:

Is there anything you would like to tattoo that you haven’t yet done? I have set up a collaboration with a friend from Spain, but the pandemic has forced us to reschedule it. I haven’t done collabs tattooing with other artists so far, so yeah I would love to make some. Hopefully that one is coming up soon.

What advice would you give to first-timers who are nervous? It is normal to be nervous the first time you get tattooed. The best thing to do is research as much as possible for the right artist for you in your area. Try to find the best person who does the style that you are looking for. The day you are getting tattooed, just have a nice breakfast, try to think about how much you want your tattoo, trust your artist and you’ll be alright. It is a really cool experience – enjoy it!

Any hopes for the future? I hope to be able to travel overseas soon, and go back to tattoo conventions.  In terms of the world, I hope this pandemic has changed people to be conscious about the simple things, like hugging a friend when you got the chance, not just to stack toilet paper.

Give Dario a follow on Insta.



Interview with tattoo artist Jing

Posted by Admin in th-ink on 06 14th, 2021

Fineline tattooer Jing works in a private studio in the Arts District of Los Angeles, a hidden gem of a place where she has lots of plants and sunlight. Jing tells us her Chinese name is ?? meaning peaceful moon, which fits beautifully with her private studio, a space she can focus on her designs in and work peacefully.

What inspired you to become a tattoo artist? How did you become an artist? To be honest, I never planned to become a tattoo artist. I became a tattoo artist by accident. In China, tattoos are still connected with gangs and gangsters, and I had negative opinions about them for this reason. It took me almost half a year to understand why people were getting tattoos. But I will share how I got from there to where I am today…

My uncle is an artist, specialising in oil painting. He has an art studio in Chengdu, China. I was his very first student when I was a little girl. After high school I got accepted by the China Central Academy of Fine Arts (??????) to study arts and design. During senior year, I went to Zurich University of the Arts in Switzerland (Zürcher Hochschule der Künste) to study style and design. At that time, my dream was to become a visual merchandise designer or a UX designer.

One day while helping a friend shoot for a video, we went to a tattoo studio. At that time, my life was boring as I was preparing for the GRE exam. So I thought learning to tattoo could be a fun hobby. So I started my apprenticeship, and because of Instagram, I was lucky to have clients who supported me and helped me move to Los Angeles. Then luckily again, I met Eva Karabudak. She was a big inspiration for me, and she helped me to see the value of my work, and build a stronger technique.

Today, I study Chinese traditional painting and Chinese calligraphy. My goal is to bring traditional Chinese Arts into tattooing and integrate them.

How would you describe your work? Have you always tattooed like this? What drew you to this type of tattooing? I say the tattoo is my client’s “mark of the soul”. As a HSP (highly sensitive person), I can easily have connections with my clients, and help them to make their ideas come to life. Even though right now, during this crazy time, I can’t do consultations in-person. Even so I always spend hours talking with my clients and adjusting the designs with them.

I know perfection is impossible, but I always try to make my designs and tattoos as close to perfect as I can. I treat my clients with love from the bottom of my heart. That’s why I can’t tattoo too many people in a day, otherwise I would burn myself out. 

For the style: from the beginning, I’ve done small fine line work. Now I would like to take those skills and tattoo more East Asian style arts, both colour and fine-line. I will say my master Pingguang Zhou ??? helped me to step into the traditional Chinese art world. I paint with him every week, and this work draws me closer towards to this type of tattooing, and also the peaceful lifestyle of a Chinese artist. It guides me on my way to becoming a better artist and a better person.

Can you tell us about the process behind your tattooing? Actually, my tattoo process is really casual. That’s why I hope my clients are chill people. (Luckily almost all of them are chill and nice people!)

  • Step 1: Clients fill the booking form from my website when I open booking.
  • Step 2: After the appointment is confirmed, I will read their tattoo ideas before we meet. If they already have certain ideas, usually I will have the designs prepared for them. But sometimes, clients don’t have specific ideas, maybe either it’s their first tattoo, or they want too many elements in one small tattoo. Then I will talk with them in person first and design the tattoo with them.
  • Step 3: I will wear my earphones and focus on tattooing. My rectangle tattoos usually take one to one and a half full days, depending on the placement, size and details of the design.
  • Step 4: When the tattoo is fully healed, clients will give me feedback on how their skin took the ink. Because I do colour packing (which means each spot packed colour three to five times), most tattoos heal great. If there is any spot that didn’t heal great, I welcome them to come back for a free touch up session within a year.

What inspires your designs? East Asian culture is always my biggest inspiration, especially traditional Chinese painting (especially from Song Dynasty), Japanese Ukiyo-e, Jingdezhen porcelain, Dunhuang Murals etc.

What do you love to tattoo and what would you like to do more of? I like tattooing both fine-line and colours. For fine-line, I love tattooing Chinese meticulous line drawings. For colour tattoos, I love the rectangular designs with many details. I feel satisfied after seeing my client’s surprised face after their tattoo session. In the near future, I want to design and tattoo more shapes with Chinese paintings.

Can you tell us about your own tattoos? Are you a tattoo collector? I don’t have many tattoos yet. But all of them are important to me. My first one is by my friend @yuantattoodesign, it’s a moon. I got it during my apprenticeship, mostly because I wanted to experience the pain that I was causing to others when I tattoo them.

My second one is from @gloriatattoo. We tried nine machines on a two and a half inche fine-line tattoo. I used myself to test which machine was good for fine-line, the differences of pain levels and healing progress.

My third one is from my friend @ink_by_bae. I got it when I became a tattoo artist. During that time, I felt huge peer pressure and competition. So I got the tattoo to remind myself: “Don’t compare your life to others. There’s no comparison between the sun and the moon. They shine when it’s their time.” 

My fourth and fifth tattoos were made together from my friends @ink_by_bae and @frommay_tat: they’re a leaf branch and my grandma’s favourite flower, Japanese honeysuckle. She is the one who raised me, and I really miss her.

What is the tattoo scene like in L.A? How are women in the tattoo industry treated, how has your experience been? Los Angeles a city that’s very tolerant of different cultures and immigrants. I feel happy, safe, respected and blessed to work as a tattoo artist in this city. Most of my clients are women, so I feel lucky as a female tattoo artist. I can create really feminine designs, and also neither of us will feel awkward about sensitive body placement, like the chest. There are some times that I don’t feel safe to work late alone, but all in all, my experience is really great.

Make sure to follow Jing on Instagram for more beautiful fine line tattoos.



Interview with Artem Koro

Posted by Admin in th-ink on 04 10th, 2021

A tattoo artist and keen traveller Artem Koro creates incredible tattoo compositions. We caught up with Artem to learn more about his avant-garde tattooing and love for the craft…

I have always been attracted to the trade and have been a tattoo artist for the past six years. I first got tattooed when I was 14 years old and at 28 I realised that I could combine my love of tattoos and travelling the world into one profession. I then set out to become a tattoo artist.

I would define my style as avant-garde. It’s a style that has evolved and continues to evolve. That’s something that is very important to me; it’s important that my style and myself will continue to constantly develop. I don’t believe in staying in one place in terms of style and what I create.

I think it is very important to note that there is always some growth in my art. Development is the root of success as is growing as an artist.

I get inspiration from many aspects of life, including music, movies and places I have visited. I get lot of inspiration from nature, my roots and where I grew up (in the Middle East). For example, a lot of my textures and compositions are inspired by desert areas, Middle Eastern music, patterns on carpets etc. 

Each appointment can take a full day, but the tattoo itself will take between three and six hours maximum. I like a darker atmosphere in my tattoos, and these days I prefer to work with black ink only. I try to perform work with a high contrast so that the tattoo will last for a long time in the best way possible.

I like to design animals that are not seen every day as well as different textures and unusual compositions. I also like to emphasise the aesthetics and flow of the shape of the body.

In the first two months of the pandemic it was very difficult for me to create and it affected my work. But over time I tried to keep doing the things I love in general (not only tattoos), and eventually this blockage passed. I can say I have remained active for the past year which has helped.

I cannot imagine life without tattoos. My life has changed 180 degrees since I started doing this work. It is very difficult for me to describe in words how much the world of tattoos has affected me. I believe it would be impossible to understand this feeling without experiencing it yourself.

Make sure you follow Artem on Instagram for more awesome avant-garde tattoos.



Interview with Artem Koro

Posted by Admin in th-ink on 04 10th, 2021

A tattoo artist and keen traveller Artem Koro creates incredible tattoo compositions. We caught up with Artem to learn more about his avant-garde tattooing and love for the craft…

I have always been attracted to the trade and have been a tattoo artist for the past six years. I first got tattooed when I was 14 years old and at 28 I realised that I could combine my love of tattoos and travelling the world into one profession. I then set out to become a tattoo artist.

I would define my style as avant-garde. It’s a style that has evolved and continues to evolve. That’s something that is very important to me; it’s important that my style and myself will continue to constantly develop. I don’t believe in staying in one place in terms of style and what I create.

I think it is very important to note that there is always some growth in my art. Development is the root of success as is growing as an artist.

I get inspiration from many aspects of life, including music, movies and places I have visited. I get lot of inspiration from nature, my roots and where I grew up (in the Middle East). For example, a lot of my textures and compositions are inspired by desert areas, Middle Eastern music, patterns on carpets etc. 

Each appointment can take a full day, but the tattoo itself will take between three and six hours maximum. I like a darker atmosphere in my tattoos, and these days I prefer to work with black ink only. I try to perform work with a high contrast so that the tattoo will last for a long time in the best way possible.

I like to design animals that are not seen every day as well as different textures and unusual compositions. I also like to emphasise the aesthetics and flow of the shape of the body.

In the first two months of the pandemic it was very difficult for me to create and it affected my work. But over time I tried to keep doing the things I love in general (not only tattoos), and eventually this blockage passed. I can say I have remained active for the past year which has helped.

I cannot imagine life without tattoos. My life has changed 180 degrees since I started doing this work. It is very difficult for me to describe in words how much the world of tattoos has affected me. I believe it would be impossible to understand this feeling without experiencing it yourself.

Make sure you follow Artem on Instagram for more awesome avant-garde tattoos.



The handpoke tattoos of Mellowpokes

Posted by Admin in th-ink on 03 22nd, 2021

Mellowpokes from Toronto talks to us about how she got into tattooing, why she loves handpoke and tattooing during a pandemic…

How long have you been tattooing and how did you get into it? I’ve been tattooing for three years. I went to OCAD university here in Toronto and studied illustration. After university I always made time for creative projects, but generally found that they didn’t pay enough to actually make a living, so I started doing graphic design. There were parts of it that I enjoyed, but for the most part I didn’t find it very fulfilling. I found a lot of the jobs to be tedious, and often found myself working for large corporations with many different people to please.

I didn’t actually start getting tattoos until I was in my mid-20s, but once I started I got really excited by all the incredible talent in my city. I got a backpiece done by the absolutely incredible Jess Chen and we talked a bit about having both gone to OCAD and afterward doing graphic design out of necessity more than passion.

She suggested I try tattooing. I ended up mentioning this conversation to one of my best friends, Dana, and like a month later she bought me a stick and poke kit. I am so immensely grateful to Jess for pushing me on this path and for giving me a bunch of super helpful advice when I first started. And I’m grateful for Dana who forced me to actually START doing it. I did my first tattoo on Dana, and I think if it weren’t for that push it would’ve taken me a lot longer to actually take that plunge.

What drew you to hand poke tattooing? When I first began tattooing, I didn’t intend for it to become my full-time job. I was interested in learning tattooing, and I thought that the handpoke technique would feel more intuitive and similar to working with a pen. (Turns out I was wrong, and in a lot of ways using a machine is more similar to the act of drawing than handpoking is!) I intended to just try handpoking, and if I liked it, potentially upgrade to machine tattooing.

But, once I started, I fell in love with handpoking, and the quiet and intimate nature of it. I’m generally fairly tech-averse and prefer drawing most of my designs with pencil and paper. I bought an iPad and it took me about six months to actually break it out and start using it. I do intend to introduce machine tattooing to my practice eventually though, just to broaden the scope of what I can achieve!

What inspires your tattoos? I’m inspired by the world around me, although I guess that’s not a particularly interesting answer. I love drawing animals and women. I think when I first started I was really focused on making tattoo designs that looked like tattoos, but now I just tattoo whatever dumb stuff I draw.

One of my favourite exercises that generates a ton of my flash is posting on Instagram asking people what I should draw. I get so many silly submissions and I draw them all quickly, and usually without any references. Those weird moments trying to draw a crocodile from memory ended up making some of my favourite flash designs. 

What do you like to tattoo and what would you like to do more of? Right now I’m in the process of introducing a tattoo machine to my practice, so I would really like to do more work with the machine. I think it will lend itself nicely to the intuitive looseness in some of my drawings, where poking was more precise and slow.

In terms of subject matter, I want to make sure I don’t get stuck in a niche doing specific things. I love doing dogs and cherubs, and they’re two of my most requested images, but I always want to push myself and expand. I would love to do more larger pieces and more experimental compositions.

Do you prefer working in colour when you handpoke? How does this differ to handpoking black ink? This has two sides. On one hand, I love tattooing in black ink because I find it easier. The ink is hyper-pigmented and the perfect consistency to push into the skin by hand. The ink makes less of a mess and is generally easier to work with. However, I love tattooing in colour because I love the end result.

Coloured ink looks so beautiful in the skin, and introducing colour into a composition gives you so many more options for where to take a design. Colour heals so differently on different skin tones and I love seeing how the colours heal and integrate with people’s bodies. I always love when a client is open to colour, even if it takes a bit longer and is a bit tougher to work with.

Can you tell us about some of your experiences getting tattooed? Do you prefer handpoke or machine tattooing? I love both methods! I think in general handpoke tattoos hurt less, and in general machine tattoos hurt more. There are always exceptions to this (depending on the artist, the design, the placement) and I’ve definitely had poked tattoos that were excruciating and machine tattoos that I barely felt.

There is also a bit of an assumption that handpokes don’t heal well or don’t last, and that machine tattoos heal better, which is also not necessarily the case. It all depends on the artist, the placement, and how you treat the tattoo while it’s healing. Anyways, I love both methods and don’t tend to choose my artists based on what method they use, but rather based on their artwork!

How has COVID affected your tattooing? COVID has been really tough on so many people and industries. We had to shut down in March 2020 for the initial lockdown, and we remained closed for five months. We were able to reopen again in August, but were forced to close for lockdown again in November, and remain closed now. It’s been very difficult.

The Canadian government hasn’t provided much support to small businesses, particularly newer small businesses who don’t have the financial history to qualify for government support. The uncertainty of things adds extra strain (both mentally and financially) since it’s impossible to plan. We have no idea when we will be able to tattoo again at this point. Not to mention that an important part of my job, and one of my favourite parts, is being able to travel and guest in different studios around the world. I had plans to travel to London and Paris to tattoo (literally had flights booked) as well as to the US. None of that happened, and now I’m not sure when I’ll be able to do it again.

I am trying my best to explore other art forms in my downtime from tattooing, and have been getting back into painting and making merch. At the end of it all, though, I am so grateful for my health and understand that COVID has hit many more people far more directly than it has me. Just want to hammer this point home – please be careful, please wear a mask, please be considerate of others!

Follow Mellowpokes on Instagram for more handpoked tattoos.
















Clickbank Products
   
 

Find Your Favorite Tattoo Design here.
If you are looking for high quality tattoo designs, then this is the place. Check the growing database of thousands of ideas. Choose from Tribal Tattoos, Arm Band Tattoos, Belly Button Tattoos, Butterfly Tattoos, Cartoon Tattoos, Cat Tattoos, Celtic Tattoos, Chinese Tattoos, Cross Tattoos, Devil Tattoos, Marmaid Tattoos, Dragon Tattoos, Eagle Tattoos, Fairy Tattoos, Fantasy Tattoos, Fish Tattoos, Flower Tattoos, Zodiac Tattoos, Harley Tattoos, Heart Tattoos, Insect Tattoos, Japanese Symbol Tattoos, Lizard Tattoos, Lower Back Tattoos, Angel Tattoos, Abstract Tattoos, Animal Tattoos, Monkey Tattoos, Monster Tattoos, Religious Tattoos, Patriotic Tattoos, Women Tattoos, Rose Tattoos, Skull Tattoos, Snake Tattoos, Sport Tattoos, Star Tattoos, Sun Tattoos, Symbol Tattoos, Tiger Tattoos, Celebrity Tattoos, and much more. Find that perfect tattoo to print out and take to your favorite tattoo artist.  

Copyright 2011 Tattoo42