Senin, 10 Mei 2010

Jinxi's Interview With Tattoo Artist Matt Griffith

Peeking into Matt Griffith's tattoo and painting portfolio is an enchanting endeavor, because he has the ability to take cartoonish, colorful characters and weave them into a world mixed with macabre ghoulishness, without missing a beat.

Matt has a knack for taking a client's idea and transforming it into a memorable, vibrant piece; while always leaving a touch of his signature flair to remember him by. From Mario Bros characters to animal portraiture; insect/ nature themes to Einstein caricatures, Matt is well-versed in many genres of the tattoo spectrum.

As owner of 2 Dollar Pistol Tattoo Shop in Chillicothe, Ohio, this busy dad and husband runs a successful business, while keeping his tattoo chair hopping and still finds time to paint with his talented wife, Abril.

I have been lucky enough to be close friends with Matt for many years now and can assure you that if you are fortunate enough to collect his tattoo work, you will also be pleasantly surprised to meet one of the nicest guys around. Matt is a true gem and it was a pleasure to get to talk to this dedicated artist about several aspects of his life.

The Case for Dragon Tattoo Designs

Dragon tattoo designs are a creature much revered. On one hand, the Eastern dragon is understood to represent the characteristics of courage, honor, and strength. Seen as divine protectors, Eastern dragons are also esteemed as bearers of essential life water and life sustainers. On the other hand, Western dragons are viewed as the evil counterpart of the Eastern dragon. The freedom of using dragon art for tattoo designs is beneficial for both the one who is getting a tattoo and the one who is inking the design.

Dragons are a favorite design among tattoo artists because of the variety afforded to them. Design, detail, and coloration are all aesthetic liberties that the artist can take with dragon tattoos, and these tattoos also look great on the skin, wrapping around various parts of the body.

Tattoo artist Friday Jones

Tattoo artist Friday Jones attends the opening of her Friday Jones Fifth Ave. Tattoo Studio at Senses NY Salon & Spa in New York City.

Tattoo Artist Genaro David Gallegos Brass Knuckles

Tattoo Artist Moto Clube Faro

Jumat, 07 Mei 2010

Vegas wins with tattoos for soccer moms

Tattoo artist Mario Barth was expecting a huge number of people, perhaps as many as 25,000, to attend the convention he organized for this past weekend at the plush casino Mandalay Bay (the resort connected to a Four Seasons).

Mandalay Bay is not coincidentally where Barth opened an outpost of his own Starlight Tattoo chain last year. So bringing his annual tattoo convention to Vegas (in the past New Jersey was home to the gathering) was a natural to move. Expecting bigger numbers in Vegas than he had in Jersey, Barth optimistically billed the convention as the “The Biggest Tattoo Show on Earth.” When it ended, official announced attendance in fact topped out at 40,000. Barth is hoping to get the convention certified as the largest ever by Guinness.

Barth wants everyone who still thinks of tattoos as primarily the domain of subcultures like bikers, sailors and Gothed-out punk rockers to know things have changed. “For 30 years we have been trying to go mainstream, and that has finally happened where people know this as an art. And the number of people in the general public getting tattoos is enormous,” Barth says.

That was the main driver to deciding to both open his first shop outside New Jersey and bringing his convention from Jersey to Mandalay Bay. “The past five years the numbers have become so big for both tattooing and the convention that New Jersey was maxed out. We had to bring it to Vegas to get it to the next level: more credibility, more exposure and a place where the general public feels secure.” Barth says. “Now it is everyone who wants a tattoo. It is no longer a subculture where you have to be a biker. Our main tattoo customer in Vegas is a soccer mom. It is seen now as individual expression and fashion. The buyer is the general public. ”

John Huntington, who owns what is currently called Huntington Ink at the Palms, which opened under another name in 2004 and was the first tattoo parlor in a casino in Vegas, agrees with Barth’s timeline crediting the television reality show “Inked” on A&E that covered his planned parlor and incipient dramas (and the subsequent name changes) from 2004 to '07. “I think the TV show really helped. The demographic changed so much since the show hit. My first customer this morning was a 69-year-old lady who loved the show. I made a place comfortable for everyone that looked high-end and cool. That is what the clientele at the Palms wanted to see. That is what the country wanted to see.” And Huntington thinks casino executives noticed something else about the business from his television show: “Tattoo shops make a lot of money, and that was something people saw on the show. We have incredible profit margins, and the recession hasn’t hurt us one bit.”

There are tattoo parlors in Vegas casinos ranging from the Hard Rock to O’Shea’s. Two shops are owned by Motley Crue singer Vince Neil, who opened his first parlor on the Strip four years ago. Neil also sees Vegas as the perfect stage to present tattooing to mainstream America. “Our main customers are not necessarily Motley Crue fans. It is everyone who walks down the Strip, which is everyone.” Not that celebrity doesn’t play a part in what is driving the mainstream acceptance of tattooing. And Neil isn’t the only celebrity connected to a tattoo parlor in Vegas. Chester Bennington of the band Linkin Park is partner in a tattoo parlor that opened at Planet Hollywood’s mall this year. Neil says, “Every celebrity on TMZ and everyone on a reality show has a tattoo, and everyone else mimics their idols.” Neil says he plans to open more tattoo parlors around the country.

And while Huntinging credits the cable show with having pushed things along, he admits he had already seen the change coming in 2004. “The stigma was already gone. I was seeing tattoos on all the girls and all the guys I know. And I wanted to be the first one on the bandwagon.”

Barth thinks there is another reason tattoo parlors and casinos have proven such a good fit: “People know casinos are safe. We built it very open to fit in Mandalay Bay. There are no closed doors. The soccer mom can feel at every moment safe, secure and in a healthy environment.”

Barth plans to open his next project in Vegas at the Mirage by New Year’s Eve. “We are building the highest-end studio ever built. It looks like a baroque castle.” And in the Vegas Mannerist tradition this will not be a mere tattoo parlor but a mix of a tattoo parlor and what he calls an ultralounge. “You can go in hang out, have drink and get a tattoo. It is a great concept.”

And as the ultralounge name suggests, tattooing has gone not only mainstream but has surprisingly developed a luxury niche. Barth, for example, has a two-year waiting list for clients who pay a minimum of $10,000 up to where some of his work he can command hundreds of thousands of dollars to perform. “They are buying a Mario Barth. Ninety percent of my customers you would call luxury customers. They are buying on the name. They are not buying a tattoo anymore. They are buying a piece of art. It is very exclusive, and they know it. CEOs reach out to us.”

In fact, accompanying Barth one day on the floor of the convention was friend and client Sylvester Stallone. He noted that the day before he had done work on singer Usher. Tommy Lee is another friend and client. “Tattoos take time to do. You talk a lot. It is like with a hair dresser. You get to know people.”

Osaka tattoo artist

'There are tattoos that you can show and ones that you should hide," says Shura, an Osaka tattoo artist. "Traditional tattoos are only OK to show at festivals, certain public baths and during fights.

"The cute, fashionable ones, they are OK to show whenever."

That sentiment is now well established in a country that has long felt conflicted about tattoos, often revealing its feelings in officially sanctioned public prejudice.

In many ways, women are leading the way. Tattoos on starlets such as Namie Amuro and Ayumi Hamasaki are thought of as stylish by a younger, pop culture- hungry generation, while overseas fashion trends have made "getting ink" much less of a radical lifestyle choice.

Tattoo artist Kat Von D

Tattoo artist Kat Von D arrive at the 2008 American Music Awards held at Nokia Theatre L.A. LIVE on November 23, 2008 in Los Angeles, California

The Godmother of Tattoo

Shanghai Kate Hellenbrand is regarded as the pioneer in the art of tattoo in America, with the longest career of any female in the arena.

Recently named one of the top 10 American tattoo artists by AOL, Kate says the phone has been ringing off the hook ever since. Currently in Texas, Kate does a lot of traveling to shows and for personal clients, saying, "I have a huge body of unfinished work out there." Get inked by Kate once, and you'll need her back for more. And she's had her share of celebrity clients (Kate with Howard Stern, top image).

Spring 2010 MBFW

Actors Leonor Varela, Eric Balfour, and Tattoo artist Kat Von D attend the G Star Spring 2010 fashion show at Hammerstein Ballroom on September 15, 2009 in New York, New York.

Mike Monsoor Tattoo

Rabu, 05 Mei 2010

Lorenzo Mata Tattoo

“This is a praying hands and a cross and it says, ‘Only God Can Judge Me’ and it has my mom’s name in the middle. And this one’s an Aztec warrior with some pyramids that actually got added to it. It kind of represents me.

A lot of people talk smack about me and judge me and they don’t even know me. It’s my mom – she’s always been there for me and is still there for me. The cross and the praying hands – just praying for everything that she’s always done because of hard times and everything. ... I got (the tattoo) for my mom. She would always pray for me. I do it all for her.

I’m Mexican and the Aztec warrior – I’m like a warrior on the court and I do whatever it takes to win. ... Aztec warriors, they did everything for their people and I’m doing everything for me and my people – the Mexican people – another role model for them to look up to.

I got this one (of the hands and cross) last summer. And (the Aztec warrior tattoo) I got last summer and I just added the pyramids two weeks ago.

(The warrior tattoo) took five and a half hours because of a lot of detail. Obviously it does hurt. Once you start doing it, it goes numb for awhile. I’m just on my Sidekick the whole time trying to keep my mind off it.

The first (tattoo), my mom was kind of mad but then she was like, ‘Whatever.’ Then she kind of liked it. Then the (warrior tattoo), and it was two weeks, and my mom didn’t know I had it. After that I was like, ‘Might as well just show it to her,’ so I showed it to her. She was mad, obviously. I can’t take them off.

When I got (the first) one, coach Howland, he sounded surprised I got a tattoo. But then he was like, ‘Oh, it’s for your mom.’ Then I got this one and he was like, ‘How many more are you going to get?’ I’m still planning on getting a couple more this summer.

I want to get my initials somewhere and I want to get my other arm. I don’t want to get anything down here (on my forearms). Not yet. Not until I make some money. So when I make some money, I’ll get some down here. Something like a half-sleeve. My mom wouldn’t really like (a full-sleeve tattoo). It kind of hurts. I almost cried when I got it.”

Brigham Harwell Tattoo

“I have two tattoos with the Bruin ‘B’ on my left arm and then my last name ‘Harwell’ on my right arm. But the Bruin B, it means a lot to me.

Well, out of high school I wanted my last name because I’m sort of a family person. (In the Harwell family) we’re all loved and we’re all together and everything.

And then the Bruin B tattoo has so much meaning to it. It’s a Bruin B, then there’s two little Bs inside of it, which is for my two little brothers, Brent and Byron. We’ve been through so much. I can go on and on about the struggles we went through, growing up and everything. They’ve been my biggest fans throughout high school, throughout college. They go to all my home games. I love them like their my kids and everything. As I get older I want them to live with me. So they mean a lot to me. They’re 17 and 16.

‘Harwell’ I got in high school. The Bruin B I got my sophomore year after the season. I got it because I’d been wanting to get it for a long time: the shape of the Bruin B. Coming to UCLA was a blessing. Coming from my background, none of my family got the chance to go to a university. So being able to come to a university, playing for UCLA, staying close to home – I love it here. I’m a senior next year, so the time is ticking, but I had a great time here. UCLA, this program, coach Dorrell, everybody – it means a lot to me.

‘Harwell’ – really no reactions (to that tattoo). But my Bruin B: Every time we have fans come out or whatever, they go, ‘Damn, that’s a big B!’ You hear kids going, ‘Mommy, look at his arm!’ You get a lot of people saying, ‘Wow, that’s nice.’ And you hear people in the background, ‘I’m gonna get that too.’ It’s funny and everything, but I like it. You get a lot people walking around that are like, ‘Damn, did it hurt?’ or ‘Wow, that’s big.’

Mike Zaher Tattoo

“It’s kind of crazy: My brother (Joe) and I were talking, maybe a month or a couple months before his death. Another player had passed away, Greg Griffin, who was a big-time soccer player over at Furman. He got in a car accident and died. We both knew him from our respective national teams.

When he passed away, it was kind of a shock. (Joe and I) had a kind of serious conversation: ‘Hey, if something ever happened to you, I’d get (a) tattoo.’ We had a random conversation and low and behold, he passed away (after a car accident) a couple months later.

I ended up telling my mom, ‘(Joe and I) had this conversation and I’d really like to get a tattoo on my back.’

We discussed where (on my body) to get the tattoo, me and my brother. I wanted it to be in a place that was for me. Not that I have anything against tats on your arms or on places that are exposed, but it was for me. And only the people I feel need to see it can see it. It signifies he’s got my back. He’s on my back, there with me, supporting me.

It says ‘Joe ... Heaven’s All-Star ... Brothers Forever.’

We had a ritual when we used to play together in high school. We always wore wristbands around our forearms and we wrote in ‘Zaher Brothers’ around the wristband. And anytime one of us scored ... we would run up to each other in celebration and we’d hit wrists.

It came to me and I thought, ‘I really would like to get my hand and his hand.’ You know his is the one with the jewelry on it because he used to wear all the jewelry. I had his hand and my hand hitting to signify what we used to do.

My mom was there with me. She was totally supportive as long as it was something that I could live with for the rest of my life, which obviously she knew it was. She actually sat there with me for the two and a half hours that it took to get it. There’s a lot of detail. It’s our arms crossing and then in the background it has clouds and sun rays coming through. She has a tattoo on her ankle now. It says, ‘Forever 5,’ with a heart around it, for her five children.”

Bruce Davis Tattoo

“This (on my left arm) is actually done by a well-known tattoo artist. I went to him because I had to cover some stuff up under here, so I went to him and was like, ‘What can we put over it and what do you think would look the best?’ I just totally trusted his judgment just because he’s such a great artist. He’s done work on some of my other teammates like Eric McNeal. He’s done all his tattoos. So that’s how I found out about him, and he came up with this (tattoo on my left arm) and I loved it.

Then this (on my left arm), I got this when I was 16. It means ‘Fear No Man’ (in Chinese). And this (on my right wrist) is the initials of me and my brother and my sister, and it’s our birthday. I’m close with my brother and my sister so eventually they’re all going get this too. So it’s kind of like a family thing. ...

(The one on my left arm) I got about a year ago. This (tattoo of Chinese symbols) I’ve had for three years now. And this one (of my siblings) I got a couple months ago. ...

(The one on my left arm) took nine hours. I had to go to two sessions and I’m not done yet. I still got another four hours to go. He’s got to cover the whole back of my arm too. It takes a long time and when it takes a long time like that sometimes he goes over spots he’s already done and it hurts. But I mean, it’s not that bad. Once you get started, and once you get 30 minutes under your belt, then it kind of goes numb. It’s not too bad. ... I just turn my iPod up as loud as it goes and that’s it. ...

Tattooed Footballers

He has a tattoo of ‘Japanese women’ across his back as well as other tattoos on his arms. And it’s not only the boys that are getting covered in tattoos. American soccer player Natasha Kai has a whole arm of tattoos as well as tattoos on her back and torso.

Christian Vieri Tattoo

He has a collection of Chinese symbols on his right arm. He got them for the aesthetic pleasure however was pleased to find out they meant thunder, perseverance and power.

Stephen Ireland Tattoo

He has a pair of giant wings on his back. Enough said.

Fabio Cannavaro Tattoo

He has various tattoos on his body. On the inside of his upper right arm, he has written his daughters name Andrea. On the outside of his arm he has a tattoo of a warrior, perhaps what he thinks of himself. On his right forearm there is a tattoo saying Daniela his wife and on his upper back, there is a tattoo with Chinese characters. On the lower back there is a tattoo saying Christian his son. On his right leg, he has a tattoo of the sun.

Fernando Torres Tattoo

Torres has three prominent tattoos. He has the number nine tattooed on his right arm which is obviously his shirt number for the Spanish national team, Liverpool FC and formerly Atlético Madrid. On his left arm he has his name ‘Fernando’ tattooed in tengwar which is the made up language used by Tolkien in the Lord of the Rings. He is obviously a big fan of the books. He also has a tattoo on the bottom of his right leg with the date 7/7/2001 in Latin. No one is quite sure what the date is although there is speculation that it was the first date with his childhood sweetheart.

Marco Materazzi Tattoo

He has tattoos on much of the top half of his body including wings on his back and his wife and daughters names. He also has the world cup trophy on his left thigh and his wife Daniela has a matching tattoo on her right arm proving that tattoos are a family affair for Materazzi.

Djibril Cisse Tattoo

His first tattoo was of a very manly rose on his chest, now he has wings on his backs and his daughters name on his neck. Although he has admitted that getting tattoos “really hurts”.

David Beckham Tattooed

Many say that David Beckham has lead the way to the new generation tattooed footballers.
Beckham’s tattoo obsession started with the birth of his first son Brooklyn when he had his name tattooed across his back. Now he has all three sons names tattooed on his back and his wife’s name on his arm in Hindu. He has a number of tattoos including number seven in Roman numerals inked on his arm referring to his Manchester united and England number. All of Beckham’s tattoo art has been done by Manchester tattoo artist Louis Malloy.

Dave Lum Tattoo on Tattoo Artist Oliver Peck

St. Sebastian tattoo artist

Taken from an etching by Albrecht Dürer one of my favorite artists.

peony flowers tattoo

The above tattoo is of peony flowers that were done by the tattoo artist, Yujing, in Hangzhou, China.

Key West Lifts Ban On Tattoo Parlors

Tattoo artist Todd Kirkland looks at the new artwork on the body of Tara Ivanova at Key West Ink August 23, 2007 in Key West, Florida. After a 40-year ban on permanent body tattoos Key West has allowed two tattoo parlors to open as part of a legal settlement over city's rules. The ban was put in place on the island in 1966 when a Navy commander wanted to prevent sailors from getting them. Key West Ink sued the city, claiming the prohibition on their opening shops there violated their constitutional rights.

Henna Tattoo Artist

Henna is an ancient Indian body art. It is used in creating ethnic or contemporary designs and exotic patterns on various parts of the body, though traditionally applied to the hands and feet of women preparing for special ceremonies. It is completely natural, non-permanent and painess. It can be applied on men, women & children.

The best part of henna is it is painless & temporary. No needles, just a natural paste. The design fades within 2-3 weeks. It is really fun and the stain it leaves on the body looks really cool.

I am a henna artist with unique creativity, years of experience & skills developed in India, where Henna is first known to have originated. I do henna art for all occasions like weddings, birthdays, baby shower, bridal shower, house warming party or any festival or ceremony to make the moment different and memorable.I do Individual sessions too.

Saint Michael Angel Tattoo

Selasa, 04 Mei 2010

The New Trend of Rap Stars

Tattoo design the gain popularity, mainly because of their meaning, symbolism and the interest they create between individuals. Some good examples of tattoos in relation to civilization (such as Aztec, Celtic, etc.), flowers (like the lotus, rose, etc.) and many more. Similar to this tattoo, the intelligent sports tattoos of their favorite sports team logo or number of sports stars and lovers of rap artist tattoos of their favorite rap artist.

Gangsta style tattoos

Here is a bit about the culture and art of the Tattoo world, mainly gangsta style hard looking tattoos. Don’t worry. This wont hurt a bit.

The latest trend in America are gangsta style tattoos. Tattoos have always been used as a a way to recognize members in a specific gangs. Gang members use tattoos for many different reasons. For one it looks tough and mean. These tattoos may include one or more symbols that has been adopted as something unique to identify its members.

Some will have their name tattooed in large bold letters so that rival members will be intimidated. Such gangsta style tattoos are especially found on gang members who have done some time in prison.

The gangsta style tattoos are done in shades of black and gray only. This style originally came from the prisons of America. It was kind of hard to get colored ink in jail. When several tattooists saw the black and grey work they realized that there was great artistic potential in taking it on and using it in actual tattoo shops and not just prisons. To them, these gansta tattoos are pleasing to the eye or mind. These tattoo artists have developed the refined, detailed style that has become so well known and favored these days.

Popularity of Tattoos Growing in China

While tattoos have been around for almost 1000 years in China, it is only in the last few years that their popularity has taken really taken off. Tim Johnson covers this trend, interviewing tattoo artists who are so busy that new customers have to make an appointment a month in advance. The growing popularity of tattoos in China is juxtaposed with Americans, especially basketball stars, who get tattoos of Chinese characters.

In both cultures, there is an attraction to a foreign exotic aesthetic. One of the interviewed Chinese tattoo artists explains the preferences of different demographics when choosing between Chinese versus Western aesthetics : Young people like designs from Europe and America…People over 30 prefer oriental images like dragons, tigers and legendary figures. It’s also influenced by education. If you are better educated, you might get a Western design.

Tattoo artist Graham Martin with his body branding

A MEDIEVAL torture technique is the latest trend among fans body art.

Branding - used for millennia by African tribes and inflicted on slaves and criminals - is now regularly carried out in Manchester tattoo parlours.

But experts warn the technique, in which designs are burned onto people's skin, is dangerous because wounds can easily become infected.

Graham Martin, owner of Holier Than Thou tattoo parlour in Oldham Street, is now branding at least one person a week - up from just one a year.

Customers pay up to £70 for their skin to be permanently scarred with red-hot cauterising pens.

The small implement has a wire across the end, which is heated to around 1,000C and used to outline the design.

Graham, whose own arms are branded as well as tattooed, said the procedure - which carries the risk of nerve damage if it goes wrong - is no more painful than a regular tattoo.

"It is not like burning your skin on a cooker," he said. "We don't use old-fashioned cattle rods. The heat numbs the nerves so it doesn't hurt much."

Human branding was introduced as a punishment in England during the middle ages but was abandoned in the mid 18th century. The branding of livestock has been outlawed by animal welfare legislation.

But the internet and mass marketing of alternative culture has made the technique increasingly fashionable, although only over 18s can legally have it done. Tattoos and piercings are now so commonplace it takes a more extreme form of body art to stand out.

Graham, who is also president of the Tattoo and Piercing Industry Association, said: "We've always had a few people coming in to ask to be branded - from students to teachers and policemen - but it's just snowballed over the past few years."

Travis Barker Tattoo

The tattoo artist Kat Von D

David Beckham Tattoo

Daniel Weksler Tattoo

Amy Winehouse Tattoo