Tattoo and Tattoo Artist Wishlist

Some time ago I made a list of all the tattoo artists who I wish to get tattooed by sometime in my life. You can check out that list here. Until recently I’ve had so many ideas of tattoos I want, some of which I’ve slowly decided against and others which I am so sure of.

Both of my arms/sleeves, for instance, designs are locked in. When I realised this, I instantly thought of how little skin that leaves me with. I have the tops of both feet tattooedone calf, the front of both thighsone knee and (soon) part of the side of my right lower leg tattooed, the space is quickly filling up. While skin is at a premium, my tattoo artist wish list just continues to grow on a weekly basis. There are just so many incredibly talented men and women out there that I want a little something from them all, no matter how unrealistic it may be.

It’s silly to say, but it has made me anxious at times. I’m always reading tattoo magazines and looking at tattoos online constantly which immediately makes me want more, right then and there. It is this mindset which puts my brain into overdrive just thinking of different tattoo designs and ideas I could get.

This is where maturity, common sense and reading Inked Australia has benefited me most. As Ness mentions in her Editor’s Letter in Volume 3 of Inked Artists magazine (in stores today), “I’m a firm believer in seeing the right person for job. Sure, you might have to wait an extra month or so, but you’ll be carrying beautiful artwork with you forever.”

For the most part, I have decided on a vague tattoo design in a particular style and then researched artists who specialise in that style. I don’t believe there is anything wrong with a tattoo artist focusing on only one particular style, and turning down work that doesn’t fit with it. In no way does that make them any less of an artist. Each style of tattooing requires certain techniques, knowledge of particular subject matter and far more that us non-tattoo artists will ever be aware of. I’d rather choose an artist who has a vested interest in the art they’re tattooing on my skin because I know I’ll be getting the best of them.

I often write lists (like the one shown below) of tattoo ideas. Being the indecisive person that I am, ideas get added, crossed out or melded into the one piece. The placement of future tattoos is something I also agonise over. I never book a tattoo appointment before being certain, without a doubt, that I want the tattoo and that I want it from that particular tattoo artist. Call it anal, call it what you will, but it gives me comfort knowing that I’ll never regret any of my tattoos.

At the moment this is my current tattoo and tattoo artist wish list. These tattoos are ones which I’ve been thinking about for months already. Other than my Dumb & Dumber inspired tattoo, I have a rough idea of which body part each tattoo will go on. From here I still have to research which artists to assign to the remaining tattoo ideas. Luckily for me, I have more than enough free time on my hands at the moment.

As my skin slowly gets covered I’ll have to invest in art by tattooists instead. I can already imagine having flash sheets, watercolours and original paintings hanging on the walls of my own house. Here I go again….

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Tattoo Survey

I want to know your thoughts on tattoos.

I’m trying to gather data from around the world for an upcoming blog post.

Click here to fill out the survey.

 

Please share with your tattooed and non-tattooed friends.

Tesselaar Tulip Festival

 

Today I travelled to Silvan, in what felt like the middle of nowhere, to attend the Tesselaar Tulip Festival. What has that to do with tattoos you ask?

Spending the day surrounded by so many beautiful colours, I couldn’t help but be inspired. There were sculptures scattered around the farm which made me think of art, which led to me thinking about tattoos on the drive home.

I’ve finally decided on the design for my left arm sleeve. I’m going with a loose Japanese theme, with flowers such as chrysanthemums, lotus, cherry blossoms, dahlias, daisies, hydrangea, iris and lilies, incorporating them with my existing peony flower on my wrist. I’ll also have some dark clouds in the background to really make the flowers look vibrant.

Now comes the fun part of deciding on a tattoo artist and the not-so fun part of saving for the tattoo.

 

Where do you draw inspiration from for your tattoos?

 

Check out some of my favourite photos:

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How much does the alpaca look like Napoleon Dynamite?

 

The Tesselaar Tulip Festival is running only for another week. For more details click here.

Ink-spiration

Having gotten quite a few tattoos done in the last few months, they have come up in conversation quite frequently at work. It’s rare that I’ll go out of my way to discuss my tattoos (except for one here, of course) as I know the topic interests very few people. When my work mates see my new tattoo the first question they ask is “Why did you choose that?”

Television shows like LA Ink and NY Ink showcase the art of tattooing as a form of grieving the loss of a loved one. And for some it is. But for many people like me, tattooing is a representation of a myriad of emotions.

The inspiration behind a tattoo comes from various aspects of life, not limited to;

  • A favourite actor, band or musician
  • A person’s love of their occupation
  • Lyrics or a poem
  • Tattoo magazines
  • Art, whether it be street artists or history’s most recognised artists
  • Another person’s tattoo
  • Images found on the Internet
  • A dream or nightmare had
  • A particular tattoo style (ie. Japanese, Americana, Tribal etc)
  • Family heritage

Tattoos are not always to mask the painful memories or used as a reminder of the past. Don’t be fooled into thinking tattoo shows are a true representation of all tattooed people. Just like non-tattooed people, we’re all weird, wacky and complex creatures.

For me, personally, tattoos are an extension of my being. I’ve always been a visual and imaginative person, easily spending hours daydreaming, creating my own reality. I love how skin can be transformed from something so plain to a beautiful piece of art with nothing more than ink and needles (and some talented tattoo artists). I draw tattoo inspiration from most of what I have listed above. My tattoos aren’t meant to be understood by anyone but myself. I just hope people can appreciate them as art, no matter whether they understand my reasoning behind them or not.

Where do you find the inspiration for your tattoos? Comment below.

Ruin Art Collective

As you can see in a previous post, it was Ran Maclurkin who tattooed my feet back in 2010.

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The Ruin Art Collective is something he is trying to get off the ground. In his own words:

…this is about pushing art, we are not about ego, about what is in, this is a multi facet idea. A dream, a vision. This is about embracing art, and expression, fuck the main stream, this is respectful to what has come before, while also pushing things forward.

A gallery to display art

A retail store to sell art, books, clothing

A publishing studio, release art through hardcover books

A tattoo studio, a studio with an emphasis on pushing tattooing outside the boundaries it operates in.

Read more about Ran’s vision here.

 

After almost dying last year he’s even more determined to follow this path and make his dreams a reality. This is where you come in. To get the Ruin Art Collective off the ground Ran needs some help. He has set up an account on Pozible “Australia’s No.1 crowd-funding platform for creative individuals, groups and organisations’, where he is collecting donations towards his goal of $10,000.

You can donate as little as $1.00, or for $5 and over choose a reward from a specific price category, or you can choose to donate and take no reward. Whichever one you choose, you’ll know the money is going towards Ran making his dream project a reality.

 

Here are some other ways you can support Ran Maclurkin –

Buy his Abstract Noir 101 book

Ran’s art is available at ArtBoy Gallery

Ran’s Tshirt designs on Red Bubble

 

To keep up to date with Ran, ‘Like’ these pages –

Ran’s Facebook page

Ruin Art Collective Facebook page

 

Facebook have a habit of deleting some of his photos/arts, so check out his website for more updates.

 

Donate here —

Rites of Passage Festival 2012

Yesterday I went to Day 2 of the 2012 Rites of Passage Festival. It was held at the Exhibition Building in Carlton Gardens. The amazingly detailed painted walls and ceilings that decorate the building made for a perfect setting for equally amazing art being tattooed on people’s skin.

Once I stepped inside, I made a bee line to the Japanese booths. I wanted to see people getting hand poked tattoos to see what I was in for.

I couldn’t help but cringe at a young guy getting his stomach tattooed by another Japanese artist. Whenever he sat up to take a break, he looked white as a sheet. I’d love to see photos of that completed piece as I’m sure all the pain he went through would have been well worth it.

There was a slight miscommunication, as I was booked in to be tattooed 12-4pm, but was changed to later in the afternoon. It was probably a blessing as I was able to see most of the expo.

I would like to say a special thanks to Crystal from Gimeneko Books. She organises the artists to come to Australia from Japan, books their appointments with clients and acts as their translator. Crystal made sure the artists knew what to tattoo on people and answered any questions people had.

With time to waste, I made my way around the booths, trying not to spend all my money before getting tattooed. I was tempted to buy an adult animal costume at one booth. I don’t care how impractical it is, I really wanted that turtle costume.

I purchased an amazing Sam Rulz print of a hammerhead shark. I am obsessed with these creatures and hope to one day have one tattooed on me.

I love my henna tattoo that I got done on the top of my right hand. I couldn’t believe how quickly the woman drew it. She was doing all pieces completely free hand. The designs are said to last somewhere from 1 to 3 weeks.

The Outre Gallery booth was one I couldn’t miss. I finally got my hot little hands on Angelique Houtkamp’s books Tattoo Darling and Tattoo Mystique. There were plenty of Shawn Barber, Angelique Houtkamp and other artists framed and numbered prints on show.

I visited the Inked Australia magazine booth where I got to meet the lovely editor, Ness in person for the first time. I had a sneak peek of Issue 13 which is on sale this coming Wednesday, May 2nd.

Unfortunately I didn’t get around to the Tattoos for Wishes booth as I was running behind schedule due to my other tattoo. I still plan on making a donation to the Make A Wish Foundation. If you would like to also, click here for more details.

Overall it was such a great day. Being only the second tattoo expo that I have attended, I know I will be back next year. There’s nothing I love more than being surrounded by local and world renowned tattoo artists.

Inked Girls Issue 5 Review


(Credit: Inked Australia)

Five issues of Inked Girls and we’ve seen hundreds of different, individual and gorgeous tattooed women. It’s a reminder that the female tattoo community is continuing to grow. There are always fresh faces instead of recycling the same images of the same women like some magazines are guilty of.

Inked Girls doesn’t rely on heavily digitally altered imagery to sell copies. It’s the human fascination with the female form and how tattoos alter our perception. Look at a non-tattooed female and then look at a tattooed female.

The Sephora shoot is a perfect example of this. In one photo Kat Von D has every tattoo on her body concealed with makeup. In the other photo her tattoos are left untouched. There before you is the same person. Your eyes are drawn to different areas of her body.

I’m a believer in our eyes telling a story, likewise with tattoos. You may judge someone by the art on their body, but look in to their eyes and you’ll see the warmth.

I love how this magazine is another medium keeping the gypsy/freak show tradition alive. Decades ago people would pay their hard-earned money to see tattooed people in the flesh (excuse the pun). Tattooing was a novelty, a form of entertainment that people enjoyed from afar, but not a practice they would partake in.

We can project ourselves into the minds of the girls on the pages before us. Humans like you and I, they’re not ashamed to display their canvas to the world. Inked Girls is like Cleo or Cosmopolitan to some people. Seeing other like-minded women is inspiration.

Now that many women do have tattoos it’s not such a surprise to see one on the street, at University or in a workplace. However the allure still remains as heavily tattooed people are on a completely different level. It’s these women who are paving the way for others to break the gender stereotype and are attempting to dispel discrimination. There’s always power in numbers.

There isn’t much else that can be said about Inked Girls magazine other than it’s a must buy for any tattoo fan.

This will probably be my last review of an Inked Girls magazine, but you can read my previous Inked Girls/Inked Australia posts here.

Inked Australia/NZ Magazine Issue 13 – the 2nd Birthday issue is out May 2. And don’t forget that Inked Artists 2 is on its way.