Friday, December 23, 2011

My Blog has mooved

Hey All, one may have noticed my severe lack of Blogging as of late. Well thats mainly because i've moved where I blog. You can now see the new Blogs (and there have been a few), at my site
IM still on here regularly checking out all of the blogs I subscribe to. But unfortunately I'll not be blogging here myself.
Thanks, and please check out my new site, and drop a word or two.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Holidays round the corner

Looking for a gift for your honeys, friends, enemies, loved one, coworkers, whats have you. Check out some oldies, but goodies, and a bunch of new stuff at the My Store.

All available online, Shipped anywhere.
Have a Merry...

Sunday, December 11, 2011

So many big things on the horrizon. But...

With so much happening around myself, and Hope gallery. New projects, Gallery shows, the TV show, and what have you. IM taking a moment to re post a letter from one Miki Vialetto. A man who's had a tremendous impact on the tattoo industry. But I'll let the letter speak for itself.

Dear Joe

I feel it is my duty to clarify my position regarding certain recent events which seem to have caused confusion. Those of you who know me are aware that I have worked in this sector for more than 18 years and I have always shown impartiality with regards to what was happening around me in the tattoo industry. I refer to editorial projects, TV shows and all those new ventures which involve the industry that I love, of which I am very much a part and which has become my life and my work.

Recently it was announced a new convention is to take place at the end of April in London which will be called The Great British Tattoo Show. Several readers, professionals and insiders in the industry have asked us if this is in any way connected to our long-established The International London Tattoo Convention. Obviously it goes without saying that the two have nothing to do with each other. The Great British Tattoo Show is organised by Stuart Mears, editor of Skin Deep and other magazines, and organiser of other events in Britain such as Tattoo Jam and Tattoo Freeze.

Many of you, however, are not aware of who is involved with what, so I have decided it’s time to make things clear. Nine years ago, I decided to organise a convention in London, since nothing like this had ever been done in this city before (with the exception of a party organised by Lal Hardy nearly 20 years ago). I wanted London to become the virtual centre of the tattoo world. I fully believed in the project and from that moment on, London became the most anticipated venue in the world of tattooing, featuring the world’s best tattooists who were proud to be participating in such an event, and which created a waiting list of at least 700 tattooists every year. The following year, after the first successful edition of The International London Tattoo Convention, Mr Mears decided to organise a convention the Tattoo Jam, which was to take place one month beforehand. So far, no problem here. He subsequently went on to set up Tattoo Freeze, which was scheduled one week before the Brighton Tattoo Convention. The first Tattoo Freeze website announced the presence of 200 tattoo artists from all around the world, unbeknown to the artists themselves . Mr Mears justified this by saying that they had only been invited and not confirmed. Needless to say none of them showed up. Right now, besides moving the Tattoo Jam 2012 date to two weeks after London, he has launched The Great British Tattoo Show. He tried, it would seem unsuccessfully, to have it held at the Old Truman Brewery (the venue for the first 4 years of the International London Tattoo Convention) and finally confirmed London Olympia.

I shall say no more, not least because details of Mr Mears’ astonishing career and other interesting information can be found on this website: I recommend you check it out.

We are going about our own business in our usual and ethical way.

I have always been supported by and I myself have always supported tattoo artists who believe in this industry for the tattooing itself, and who are not just in it for the money. I decided to write this open letter because I want as many people as possible to be informed about what is going on. I would be grateful if you would share your opinions on facebook, blogs or with as many people as possible, where you feel appropriate. The important thing is to understand the true facts, and what the reality is out there. Having said this, everyone is free to support whoever they feel best relates to their own way of interpreting our tattoo art.

Miki Vialetto

Miki Vialetto
Tattoo Life Tattoo Energy
Viale Papiniano 49
20123 Milano
Tel +39/028322431

I want to say that my reposting this letter goes out to all of those young, clueless wanna be up and comer (no Offense) tattooists who choose to travel the globe, and jump on board with any tattoo show that invites them. Without having a clue to with whom there working with.
Now don't get me wrong, i've done my fair share of globe trotting. But for lack of a better saying, "those were simpler times". Back than you seemed to know the promoter personally. Hell, most times you received an invitation via phone, direct (Hell I remember getting a call from Paul Booth Directly, Inviting me to take part in his Tattoo the Earth show. Way back when). None of this, Tweet, FaceBook, MySpace, Text, bullshit. I find nothing more insulting than being invited to an event via text. Hell, if it means that much to have an individual at your event. Take the time to get to find their proper email address, or phone #.
But I digress. This, to me seems to be just the tip of a much larger problem that has plagued this trade for the last several years. IM happy that one man has finally taken it upon himself to make his issues somewhat public.
If you know me personally, you probably know that my feelings about the convention scene here in the states is pretty low. Too many shows, too many promoters, and too much BS. And you've probably been witness to my several rants on the subject. If you don't know me personally, you may have taken note of my lack of attendance of shows here in the states (The only show at the moment is DURB's Hell City Show OH). It's mainly because I like to know the individuals I involve myself with. In the past I've had dealings with individuals I was less than thrilled with. I no longer deal with these people. I've always said, "You should know the person you jump into bed with. And if you don't. Wear a fucking Condom!" I know its crude, but...
I hope I've not overstepped myself with Miki by reposting this letter. I've nothing but respect for the man, and his accomplishments.
Sorry for the rant. I could go all day on this, but i'll end it here.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

It's official! it coming

Well, its finally been released and I can talk a bit more freely about it. Back in August and September I went out to Hollywood CA to film a TV show for 6 weeks. The show is titled "Best INK" And will Debut on the Oxygen Network, Monday January 30th.
Honestly I can't speak too much on the particulars of the show. But I can say that it is a competition based show, in which I am the head judge. While some of the artists are both young, and reletively unknown. They all have Talent, and a bit of something to prove. I'd like to think that this show will be both entertaining, and Educational to the Tattoo client, and artist alike. Letting people know what to look for in both a good, and bad tattoo.
Also check out this months issue of Tattoo Magazine for a cover feature on the show.

There will be plenty more coming on this, as the date gets closer, so keep an eye peeled.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Deck, the Freakin Hall's!

I just got around to completing a new skate deck for Jime Litwalks "Deck The Halls". Theres a portion of the decks profits going to charity. So if ya find yerself in Vegas, and dig art on skate decks, check it out.

Now while I usually dig the long format of a skate deck. I will admit to being a bit stymied for this one. Rather than doing a jovial holiday piece. I went with a less than festive theme for this one. I started with a quick sketch of a skull. Planning on kind of working with some weird colors, and blending it into the background. I wasn't overtly concerned with it fitting proper.

I than had to run out, and pick up a new electric sander. As I seem to have misplaced my old one (never know when yer gonna need the damn thing). And for this deck I tried something a bit different. When out at the art supply store, I'd seen Spray Gesso. Yup Gesso in a can. Now if you've seen this before, good for you. But for me this was new. And always interested in trying something dumb, and new. I picked up a can. It sat around for a bit. But being how I was on a bit of a time constrain, what better time than to try it out on this here deck. I'M happy to report, it worked out great.
It left a really nice tooth to paint on. But I was a bit disappointed in the fact that it was a bit to soft to really do a ton of initial pencil work with. But no big deal. I was on a time constraint, and just pulled out the ole airbrush, and started to crank away.

Like Most of my work I was frustrated, and not incredibly happy at first. But after letting it sit for a day (completed), I went back, and was very satisfied with the end result.
I'm also sending Jime A deck I did many years ago for the "Abrasions" Skate deck book, from Presto Publishing. The book is out of print to my knowledge. So this could be the last time to see this art.
Regardless, if yer in Vegas. You should check out the show. Jime tells me that there are quite a few talented artists taking part in the show. And he's already received quite a few killer decks.

Well, now I gotta run out and mail this thing. Later...

Saturday, November 26, 2011

I know it aint the tools, but the Artist, But...

Yeah, yeah, I know. It ain't what yer using, but how your using em. But Hell over he last several years i've made some big changes in my tattooing. And I must say that I find a bit of a difference. All of which IM quite happy with.
Firstly let me say that a little over 4 years ago, Jime Litwalk brought back these pigments from Brazil, and I was hooked. Less than a year later were both out in Brazil hanging with one Paulo Fernando of Electric Ink And Easy Glow was Born! Made in Brazil, and brough to the states, by Jime, and I, This stuff is By far, hands down the best damn stuff I've ever used!
But Hell enough shameless Promotion, and bragging. Heres a tattoo I started on a feller a little over 2 years ago. He came in yesterday, and I was finally able to snap some pictures of it. I know its not my normal fair, but...

Like I said, I realize its not equipment, but the artist that makes the difference. But Tell ya what... Good gear can really make all the difference.
Thanks for taking the time to come down again Ed, and let me finally get some nice picture of yer thigh.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Been a week

Wow, Been a little over a week, and too my knowledge, I've not had any artwork ripped off. Or tattoos redone on someone else's client!
Haha, well here's some more fodder for the hacks.
I started this piece quite a few months ago, and he came by to get his other side started. So I figured I'd take a healed photo of her. Healed up beautifully. Really dig er. Man, I love my "Easy Glow"

And heres what we started on the opposite rib. He was looking for another gal, with a bit of a devil gal theme, Holding a human heart.

Now this last piece was a bit of a cluster fuck on my part as it should have been done in a single day/session. But because IM an ass, I actually did it oer the course of two days, in 2-3 hour session. Yeah IM sorry Becky.

She's part of a leg sleeve of evil, villanouse woman.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Ripped, the FUCK off.

And I aint happy about it!
Over the last several years, I've published several books of my art, and tattoo work. Also over the many, many years of my tattoo career, i've had my work published in countless magazines, and art/tattoo publications. Now does all this advertisement, and self publication mean that everything I've done is up for grabs? That all the work that I've allowed to be published, wether it be in books, magazines, and on the web, is free far all those free loading, non thinking, unoriginal, Lazy, dumb ass artists, to just take, and do with what they want? I think not!
Now, for all of those individual tattooers (and the majority of this rant is directed at you all) out there who don't seem to know the rules (and there seems to be a shit ton of you out there), here they are. You "DO NOT, TAKE ANOTHER TATTOOISTS ORIGINAL TATTOOS. AND REPRODUCE THE WORK ON YOUR CLIENTS! This means, if a client of yours comes to you with a piece out of a magazine, or a print off of the internet, and says, "I really dig this, can you do it?" Your response should be "NO"!
This is a rule that I was taught, and have followed in my Near 19 years of tattooing! Its also a rule that as an artist, I find just makes sense! I wish to be the best at what I do! And that means working my ass off, every day, and for every tattoo, or painting that I do. Which means drawing, and creating my own style.
I do realize how difficult being an artist is. And I do realize that a lot of the tattooists out there, are young, and very influenced by the work they see on a daily basis. Hell, Even IM insanely interested in all of the work being tattooed today. IM blown away by the talent of some of these your guns coming out of the woodwork, of todays tattoo trade! But I've always strived to never let it sway what it is that I want to do. What it is that IM trying to create! And I would never cheapen another artists clients by ripping off an original idea. An original piece of artwork created just for them. Just so that I can say that I was able to do what another tattooist already did! Its ignorant, and lazy!
Being a great tattooist is not about doing what the status quo is able to pull off. Its about doing a great tattoo, and making your own freakin mark in this trade! But please also consider the lowly "Flash, Street shop" Artist. Hell this is a trade that seems to all but been forgotten. When I first started tattooing, all the other guys in the shop loved reproducing the art on the walls. There was a ton of it out there, and oh so many great artists that created it. And all of the flash was made to reproduce as much as you wanted. To me the biggest shame of todays young tattoo culture, is that the flash artist seems to be all but forgotten. No one wants to create flash, and God forbid there asked to do it on a client.
Trust me when I say this. That many of todays "younger" tattooists would greatly benefit form working in a street shop. And would, and SHOULD put there pencils down, and use tattoo flash for what it was meant for. To reproduce on your clients. Spend more time drawing in your sketch books, and less time trying to talk your clients into getting what you want to do, and what you've drawn. It aint always the best for you, or your clients.
I know that this sounds like a swift kick in the balls to all these young tattooists out there trying to make there marks. But trust me it is not my intention. IM just trying to make the point that getting to the top, and getting the recognition you want, is a journey. And you will only hurt your career by taking the low road.
There really is so much more that I want to say. And im certain that as the days go by, this is a subject that I will touch on more, and more. But for now, I think i've said quite enough.
Feel free to add your own thoughts, and by all means feel free to contact me with your thoughts. Just be prepared for the truth from me. IM not one who's found myself where I am today, by sugar coating and blowing smoke!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

3 in the same

Well, its the day after our Hope Gallery Halloween Party, and I wasn't nearly as hung over as you'd have thought. As a matter of fact I was up at 8 am (my normal waking time) this morning. Drinking coffee, and preparing for work. But there was no Tattooing today. So I spent my day today at Hope, Tattooing.
Had a really good time to boot. I managed to finish this piece. IM still unsure as to the title. IM going with "3, in the Same" for the moment.

I initially did the sketch for this piece for 2011 NIX "Death" art show. But wasn't feeling up to doing it back than. So I finally got around to doing her last week. Took about 3-4 sessions. IM not sure about the time.
She's about 9x17" (again, not certain of the size either). All Acrylics, on gessoed, illustration board.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

New Stuff, winter weather

Well, its been a while. And while its not like i've not been busy, or productive. I've just found myself with little time to update here. Which is a bummer, as theres quite a lot of cool stuff on the horizon.
But i'll post here with a handful of new pieces, as well as an older, healed piece.
Heres a Virgin mother I'd done a few weeks ago on the side of a fellers neck. Have I told you how much a I Hate tattooing necks?!?!

I also got to do a Zombie Hooker (his words) on a hand. Dug ths a lot as its the proper season, only days away from Halloween. & I've not tattooed a hand in a couple of months. So this was a well timed tattoo.

And Finally a healed picture of Ralph's "Angela" Rib panel. Did this about 4 years ago. Healed really well. She's gonna be accompanied by a Spawn rib panel, opposite her. Started, but far from completed.

And now you'll have to excuse me as I prepare for work, a Halloween Costume party. And what there saying will be an unheard of Winter storm, bringing 2-6 inches of snow this evening. Should bode well for our party, huh?...

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Its Fall!

Man, I love this time of year! The Cool weather, and the fact that Halloween is right round the corner. Plus we finally get to turn the AC's off at the shop, and my Electric, and Gas bill is a little more manageable at the shop!
I've several project on several burners, so keep an eye peeled for those. And for all those in the area, or willing to make the trip. Hope will be hosting our second Halloween costume party.

Hope to see some of ya's there.
Enjoy the weather.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Its On!

Well Were getting ready to head to Chi Town tomorrow (Friday the 7th) for the Chicago debut of "Quick & Painful"!

At the RotoFugi Gallery . Helping out at this event will be Patrick Cornolo, and his SpeakEasy crew. Which is a good thing, cause Q&P CT damn near killed me. And IM the only Hope guy attending the Chicago show. And if anything like the Hope show. I'll need all the help I can get!
Patrick has also allowed me to host my Seminar, "Lining, Cheatin, Stealin" At SpeakEasy. Sunday the 9th. At 5pm. Check out the Hope Shop for sign up info.

Should be a great time, and IM really looking forward to it. Well most of it at least. I think the Q&P will be just that. Just "Long, and Painful". See ya there.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

So, It was my birth day

Wow, that month just flew the Fuck by!
This past month has been a whirlwind of activity. Between arriving back from Hollywood on round the 10th, and hitting the ground running.
I did a seminar at Paradise Gathering, We had Greg Simkins, and Adrien Dominick paint the back wall at Hope. Played host to Adrien on his week long stint guest spot at the shop. Hope hosted the Baroness's "Quick & Painful" Pop art flash show (I still hurt all over because of that one).
And lets not forget tattooing daily (trying to catch up to the damage I did to my schedule having gone to Hollywood for so long)! all IM trying to say it was crazy.
But I still managed to take the time to turn 43!

The fellers, and Nichole treated me to a B-Day dinner at what is quickly becoming a favorite eatery, drinking place for me. Zafra We had a killer meal, accompanied by some fantastic rum (All recommended by the owner Dominick). He even brought me out my very own B-Day specialty Rum, complete with a candle. Hell who needs cake, when theirs plenty of great rum to be had!
On a more professional level, heres a couple of things I've been working on. The first is a tattoo that I just completed on a feller from LI, NY's ribs, He was looking for an angel similar to an angel on a pretty popular T-shirt. Wasnt diggin that, so we came up with this.

Next is a painting started on the night we did a painting evening with Adrien, and all the rest of the guys at Hope. Lotta fun. IM calling her "Heart Charmer"

Same as usual, Acrylic, on Gessoed (this time) bristol board. Still need a scan of her.
Thats all fer now. Getting ready for the "Quick & Painful" in Chicago. Along with a Seminar at Chicago's SpeakEasy Tattoo.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Greg, and Adrien Video....

Yup, our own amazing Beast Brother Carlos East has done it again. Put together this killer video of the Gaffiti event that took place at Hope Gallery just a couple of short weeks ago.
Hope you enjoy, I know I did.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Octo heaven

Its been a couple of days of OCtopus tattooing. I say this because, thats pretty much what it was. The day that Greg, and Adrian were out back painting the wall at Hope. I was tattooing a very nice young Lady from Canada.
Shantelle came if for the Paradise tattoo Gathering, and ran into me there Friday evening, after my Seminar. I started a rather large thigh piece on her last June, and explained that I had a few hours free if she were interested in driving the 2,1/2 hours back down to Hope. She figured it beat the Hell outta a 8 Hour drive from Canada, so...

Funny how some things just work out.
p.s. Why IM titling this blog "Octo Heaven is because the following day I finished tattooing a fellers chest panel with my Octo Head piece. Actually its only loosely based on the painting. But i didn't photograph it just yet. Waiting on healed shots in a few weeks. So keep an eye peeled.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Sunday, was a good day

Well, we returned from the Paradise late Saturday evening (Sunday morning) to a chilly home. But with a very special guest in tow. Greg Simkins came back to CT from the show, after his work shop at Paradise. He agreed to do a bit of painting on Hope Galleries back yard wall. All I can say is that I was pretty blown away.

Than to add even more excitement to our day. Adrian Domenic from AZ/CA showed up for his week long guest spot, and jumped right in!

All in all it was one Hell of a day for all of us at Hope. Thanks so much fellers.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Lining, Cheatin, Stealin. This Friday At Paradise

Hey All so IM gonna do our Lining, Cheatin, Stealin. Seminar Solo this Friday At the Paradise Tattoo Gathering.

As with when I do this seminar with Jime, I'll be touching on my drawing techniques, and how I cheat, and have tried to create a somewhat original, and recognizable drawing, and tattooing style.

I'll also be touching on Tattooing techniques, and what I see to be the differences between Rotary, and Coil machines. Seminar will run between 2-3 hours, cost $150. and one can get tickets at door. Look for me in the Main room at Paradise, Friday afternoon. Course includes booklets, a DVD, and a lot of knowledge. So bring your thinking caps, sketch books, and portfolios. Questions, and audience interaction is a must. So be prepared.
See ya in Paradise!

Monday, September 12, 2011

IM back Baby

Well, hello there! Yup IM back at Hope, and have already put in my first full day. But firstly, I'd like to say thanks for all your patience. And when I say your. I mean all the clients who were forced to wait several months for appointments that we were forced to reschedule due to my Hollywood excursion.
Well, I'll start by posting a lil piece I did on one Latisha Wood.
A super talented artist, and cool gal.

She was looking for an LA gal, and what she got was a Capo Gal, as an LA gal. Sorry Latisha.
But now that IM back my very first tattoo was finishing off this Statue of Liberty piece I stated just before leaving for the west coast. And also one of the first clients that had to be double rescheduled.

the Fact that we finished this on 9/11 is a total coincidence. Sorry for the delay man. Thanks for being so Patient.
And lastly, while out in CA. I stopped by and visited mr Franco Vescovi, of Bishop Rotary. Got me a whole bunch for sale. So if yer interested, drop me a line.

Well thats all for now, Short and sweet today. More in the coming days.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Friends Like these, huh...

Well, IM still out here in LA,La land, And LOVING IT, NOT! Im bored, IM tired, and I wanna go back to tattooing on a daily Basis. But I digress...
Firstly like some may know, I was supposed to be in Austria, and Germany Last, and this week. Of course this trip trumped that one, so here I sit, it my North Hollywood hotel room, bored outta my skull, waiting on yet another late start to a day of what I hope will be low drama, and just good ole fashioned tattooing, and shit talkin (Wishful thinking).

The Above photo was sent to me by friends (I use the term Loosely) while attending the Austrian show, that I sadly missed. the following sketch was doodled by friend Jime Litwalk, in retaliation to my trip out west. Nice guy huh...

Now while I am a bit upset about spending time with friends abroad, I have whole heartedly embraced this part. And I've been trying to deal with my day to day life out here as best I can. I've been drawing, and trying to line up work (difficult as my time on set seems to change from time to time, and lining a shop, and client up last minute, is not all that easy). But I've been spending a bit of time drawing, when I can, heres a few.

I wanna thank Shawn Warcot, Johnny Arias For giving me a place to work, and crash while down in Riverside. A lot of fun working down there, and good folks out there at Empire Tattoo.

IM gonna stop writing now before I write something truly hateful, or something that may get my ass in a whole lotta trouble. Just know i am still out here, Missing My Gal, our Dog, The crew at Hope, and especially my Clients back east. Please forgive me. You'll have plenty of time to give me shit should all this filming see the light of day, on the TV.

Cracked in the Head
North Hollywood....