My Largest Painting Project so far

Hello everyone,

Hope everyone is keeping safe in this quarantine.

In this blog, I would like to speak about this large paint project I’m working on.

I started with A4 size for oil painting, I believe in walking before you can run. I planned to really know what I was doing, before I attempted a large canvas.

I have a book on illustration, by Boris Vallejo. A true master of fantasy art. And in his book of drawings, he mentions that “an artist should not attempt to draw, unless he develops completely control of their drawing skills”

I completely understood what Boris was trying to say. He was trying to say, an artist who attempts to paint without practise drawing first, the paint will not look in proportion”

I was studying oil painting when I heard this quote by Boris Vallejo. And I put my books to one side, and only focused on my drawings. And that was around 8 years ago. Only now, I’m going for my oil painting.

I believe Boris Vallejo was right. I see a lot of artists attempting large oil paintings, and the foundation of the painting “the drawing” is not as strong as it could be.

I understand art should be free. However I follow Boris Vallejo’s philosophy, as it’s very rare when I can see an oil painter to his level. He has achieve artistically, what I believe not many will achieve.

As art means, arse in the chair! And not every artist will put their arse in the chair when they are having a bad day. Or because it’s Sunday, it’s sunny. To achieve Boris artistic level, you have to get your arse in the chair under any circumstances, that’s what’s gonna differentiate your skills to the rest of the field.

Thanks for reading!

The Masters of the Universe

The Masters of the Universe Project 

Hello,

Thanks for reading our blog, it’s a good way to get to know what we have been up to behind the scenes, in our tattoo studio in Leeds City Centre.

In this blog I would like to talk about a digital painting work in progress I have, of probably my favourite cartoon animation of all time, which is He-man the masters of the universe.

As an 80’s kid, it was truly staggering to see one of the greatest animations ever made such as, He-Man, Thundercats, Dungeon and Dragons and The X-men.

I’m grateful to have been a kid in the 80’s and 90’s and experience all this awesome movies and cartoons. What a great era for creation, of movies and cartoons. I can mention a few of my favourites, Robocop, Predator, Back to the future, Rambo, Masters of the Universe, Labyrinth, Batman and so on. I’m sure I haven’t mentioned a few. 

I have heard that they are making a new series of Masters of the Universe. And that got me really exited, as it would be a real dream come true, to be able to see a movie based on my favourite cartoon as a kid.

I believe with the technology they have nowadays, CGI, they would be able to make justice, to translate to a movie all the magic the cartoon endured. Standards that the first making of Masters of the Universe didn’t achieve, due to the lack of technology. 

The very first Masters of the Universe movie was released in 1987, I was only 5 years old. I remember going to the cinema various times to watch it. And when it came out on cassette tapes, before dvds, I think I must watched it over 15 times.

He-man the masters of the Universe movie, is one of those movies made in the 80’s, that when I watch it nowadays, I still enjoy it just as much as when I watched it in the 80’s.

To be an artist, maintaining the child inside of you, is what gives you a fire under your butt, and inspire you to do art. I’m pretty much still like a kid in my head, and I hope to keep like that for many years to come. And get exited about watching fantasy movies and cartoons, and feel motivated to sit on the chair and translate my experience to a paper or a canvas.

Thanks for reading our blog

A change of plan to a Japanese Sleeve by Louis Santos

A change of plan to a Japanese Sleeve by Louis Santos 

Hello everyone,

In this blog I would like to speak about Bens sleeve work in progress. 

I got a phone call from Ben, requesting for a cover-up on his whole arm, I was surprised when he requested me to black out his arm, as he thought there was no way to fix his arm. He had visited many studios, and apparently all the studios visited by him mentioned a cover-up was not possible, and the only way around would be to black out his whole arm.

All this conversation was over the phone. And usually with a situation to this level, I would say sorry we don’t black out peoples arm. But I tried to convince Ben to come in to the studio, and let me have a look at his sleeve. I remember him repeating on the phone “honestly, it’s really bad” So I really thought it was gonna be so bad, that I would not be able to cover it with an normal image.

Few days went by and Ben came in to the studio for a consultation. As soon as he showed me his arm, I thought… that’s not as bad as I thought. And I knew he didn’t have to black his arm out. However I thought, If he was gonna be ok with the possibility of not blacking his arm out, as he already had the idea of doing so.

I mentioned about the possibility of not blacking his arm out, and he seemed surprised, as I was the only tattoo artist he had visited who had mentioned about this possibility. After the shock, he kind of started asking which options he had.

I introduced the possibility of turning his arm in to Japanese sleeve, and he considered the suggestion. We started to look at Japanese images, he seemed to like the Coy Carp’s, Lotus Flowers, and Japanese Phoenix. I thought… great! He was open minded, and ready to accept to look outside the box, and consider a better way to solve his problem.

We have so far worked on 2 sessions on Bens sleeve, I’m really enjoying having him, and free handing every Japanese theme on his arm he requests.

The reason why I chose to share this experience with Ben, was because I wanted to let everyone know how being open minded, and willing to think outside the box, and change your mind about your first idea, it could really help to achieve, the best and most effective outcome of your tattoo. 

Sometimes some clients are quiet stubborn, and don’t want to really listen to the artist. We have to listen to the client too, however what a few clients don’t realise is that, we want to do our best for them. However sometimes, some clients are not willing to listen to our advice, and the tattoo outcome is not the best as it could be, due to a lack of thinking outside the box and being open minded.

Thanks for reading our blog. And a big thanks to Ben for listening to me.

Thanks for reading and Thanks to Ben for listening to me.

Corona Virus and Tattooing

Corona Virus and Tattooing 

Hello,

Thanks for reading our blog, it’s a good way to get to know what we have been up to behind the scenes, in our tattoo studio in Leeds City Centre.

In this blog, I would like to talk about the Corona Virus and how it has affected tattooing and the world.

As everyone knows, Corona Virus has taken the world in a way nothing have before. It started kicking in when I was still in Brazil, on my holidays. When I was in Brazil there were no cases yet, so I could I enjoyed my holiday in peace.

When I came back from my holiday, I had nothing in my mind but work hard as I could, as i had two weeks off. I was well rested and ready to get back on track and work, then when I came back to England, things just got from bad to worse. Then we had to shut the studio down for 3 weeks.

When tattooing we are opening people’s skin open. And having immediate contact with the client. Corona vírus can be transmitted by just touching the person I heard. So we did work for a bit, but we have decided to shut the studio down for 3 weeks, and have no contact with our clients whatsoever.

I think this virus is gonna change the world. It already has, we haven’t been through something like that in our life time, being world wide affected in a large scale like that, not in my life time I haven’t seen it anyway. 

I think we mite be going back to basics for a long time, we are gonna have to live simple and humble until we recover from stoping working for so long. 

I believe all this epidemic is gonna have a positive point to it. I’m already studying art and working on projects I had in my mind but had no much time to act on it due to lack of time and energy, after a full day tattooing for 6-8 hours, it’s hard to go home and spend the rest of the night painting.

Now I’m staying at home, I’m getting a few paintings ideas on the board and making it happen. I’m gonna be posting my painting on my next blog.

I just hope we all get out of this safe and carry on with our lives, now we are realising how much freedom we had, and how much we could do, we used to complain about little things in life, and we had the freedom to go wherever we wanted, now we have to stay at home and have faith that this is gonna get solved.

I’m pretty sure everything will be ok, I have faith we will get back to normal. 

Stay Home-Stay Safe!!

Regards

Familia Tattoo

Zeus god of Thunder

Zeus god of Thunder

Zeus is the sky and thunder god in ancient Greek religion, who rules as king of the gods of Mount Olympus. His name is cognate with the first element of his Roman equivalent Jupiter. … Zeus‘ symbols are the thunderbolt, eagle, bull, and oak.

Getting the opportunity to tattoo a Zeus the god of thunder is getting the opportunity to do a piece of art. So it should definitely not taken for granted. 

The request for this Zeus god of thunder was made with Zeus holding a snake, which it made me even more exited about it. Sometimes clients have an awesome idea. Sometimes I try to move them in a better direction, trying to do the best I can if the allow me. However sometime their idea is so awesome, that I don’t feel like I need to interfere much with the idea.

As a tattoo artist sometimes is a matter of getting the balance right in between listening to your client and give them what they want, and be honest with them about their idea, and try to move the client in a different direction in order to try to give them a better outcome.

Geek gods are for sure in the top 5 of my favourite subjects to tattoo. For sure I don’t just do the tattoo, I put a lot of thought and love to it. I feel like if I tattooed 10 Zeus god of thunder, I would be exited about doing every single one of them, trying to approach each one of them in a different way.

I have heard sine tattoo artists saying, I’m sick of doing “lions” and sick of doing “clocks” however I feel like it’s a lack of creativity, as every lion you approach as an artist, or every clock you approach as an artist, using your creativity and intelligence, you could do them in a different and exiting way, every time you approach it.

One of the best lessons I have ever had in art. It was in a podcast by an amazing artist called “John Park” he has worked in games like “Halo” movies like “Avatar 2” he has worked on a lot of big movies and video games. 

In the end of the pod cast, he mentioned something that really caught my attention. He said “your art is not gonna get better with time, it has to get better with how you approach, it and your attitude towards it”

I found these words very true. As some artists complain that they are tattooing loads of lions, however they are not producing the best lions. So they could try to approach in a better way every time they have the opportunity to do a lion.

Thanks for reading our blog.

Getting tattooed by Victor Portugal part-3

So going from discussing with Victor about what to do on my neck. He wanted to do a mask instead of a face. 

I felt like my plans, I had worked on previously, didn’t work, and I was even considering getting another part of my body tattooed, like my leg.

But then I thought. I’ve been looking forward so much to get tattooed by Victor, I’ve waited years until it was right, I crossed rivers to meet him. I came to the conclusion I had to trust his work and let him get on with it.

He left the room, and brought me an image of an mask, I thought just let him crack on with it, I’m gonna have to trust the master.

As he started the tattoo, I could see how painful it was going to be. I was like, oh god I have 2 days of this. It was almost a payback for all the pain I give to customers everyday and I can’t feel it.

Getting my neck and my head tattooed over 2 full days, it made me learn a lot about how much I should look after the client while tattooing them.

As a tattoo artist, if you don’t get tattooed often, you will forget how much it hurts, and as a consequence your client will not last as long as it should.

It was more painful than I thought it was gonna be. Before I was about to travel to Poland, I got myself ready mentally and physically for the tattoo session ahead. I thought I would meditate while I’m there and everything would be ok. However to be honest, none of my plans worked once I was under the needle of Victor Portugal.

When you get your head tattooed, you can not get away from it, feeling the vibration surrounding your head, there’s no scape from what’s happening. So I had to accept that I had to go through the consequences of getting my neck and head tattooed.

On my first session, I was under so much pain, that Victor recommended me to take some pain killers on the second day. 

I was against clients taking pain killers before and during getting tattooed, however after my experience, I recommend anyone to take pain killers before getting tattooed. I’m not saying it will take away all the pain, but it will help you throughout the tattoo session.

One thing I learned while getting tattooed by Victor, is how much what you say to your client helps them to cope being under the needle for so long.

On the second day, I was taking pain killers, and my heart was palpitating faster than usual. And to make things better, I heard Victor saying in Spanish to his working colleague, that one of his friends was tattooing this guy, and the client had a heart attack and died. That was a true story. 

So I’m sat in the chair listening to this story, and I was like all my god, I’m gonna have a heart attack, I’m gonna die! I know it was psychological but when you are under the same situation, it gets to your head.

So I learned to say positive things while you are tattooing someone. As everything you say it will be printed in their consciousness and it could affect your client positively or negatively.

Anyhow, when my tattoo was done I was very happy with the outcome. Victor Portugal did not disappoint with his work, he’s very skilful and talented. I was glad when it was done, it was worth all the pain, and all the money I had spent. 

I think when you want to get tattooed by someone, and want their style on you for the rest of your life. Money should not be a problem and how long you have to wait. I paid 2000 euros for my tattoo, and I think it was all worth the money, as I have an amazing piece of art with me for a life time.

Thank you Victor for my amazing tattoo. For sure I will be back.

Thank you for reading 

Olinda Brazil

My trip to Brazil

Hello,

Thanks for reading our blog, it’s a good way to get to know what we have been up to behind the scenes, in our tattoo studio in Leeds City Centre.

I’m so grateful to have had the opportunity to go to Brazil.

Every time I get over there, it’s a mixture of emotions. I get to see my family, and my childhood friends. My mind runs back 20 years earlier, memories of my childhood and teenage years are still pretty much vivid in my memory.

I was born in a town called Olinda, greater Recife. Which it was colonised by the Portuguese. Other countries tried to invade Olinda, and take the town of the Portuguese colony. 

The Dutch actually succeeded in invading Olinda, however they were soon kicked out by a fire caused on purpose to get them out of Olinda.

Olinda is well known for its famous carnival. The 3 best carnivals in Brazil are, Rio de Janeiro, Bahia-Salvador and Olinda.

It’s a big discussion, of when Brazil was discovered, if it was discovered in Olinda or Bahia. I’m not sure which one it was. However I have been to Salvador Bahia, and over there they truly believe, Bahia was the birth was Brazil. However Olinda citizens, have also the same belief that Olinda is the birth of Brazil. So I’m not sure which town should get the credit for it.

Olinda is a place full of culture, the culture over there is probably the strongest point of Olinda. It has a culture that is very unique. We have a type of music called “frevo”. Frevo is a very unique carnival type of dance. I would recommend checking it on YouTube. And also “Maracatu” it’s one sort of music which I love from Olinda, with a lot of percussion and drums. 

Olinda is also a very spiritual place, if you are spiritual, you would definitely feel the spiritual vibe in the place. It’s important for me to visit Olinda, to remind me where I come from. When I see maracatu beats in the streets, it feels like I belong there, I feel my roots inside of me, and that’s something that’s never gonna be taken away from me.

If you haven’t been to Olinda, I would recommend it.

Thanks for reading our blog 

Getting Tattooed by Victor Portugal part-2

Getting tattooed by Victor -part 2

Getting in touch with Victor Portugal for my tattoo, it wasn’t easy, however I feel like it was more accessible than a lot of other big names I have previously tried to approach.

I have tried to approach a dozen of big names in the tattoo world, however it seems almost impossible to get tattooed by then.

I feel like with Victor, I had to persist a little, but not out of this world, like past experiences I had. The only little issue I had was to change the date of the appointment once, however that was before I booked my flight, so it was all good.

After making the booking, I thought I need to book the flight. I have never been tattooed abroad before, so I was quiet worried about booking my flight and they could double book my appointment, or something happen. I really didn’t want my appointment to be messed up, so I was sure to double check by email, to be sure my dates were booked.

I’ve always dreamed to get my neck tattooed, since I was a teenager. However I always thought, if not by the best no point doing it.

Victor Portugal was a good choice as, his black and grey work is amazing , he is based in Poland, not too far away from me, travelling from England. He has got his own style, very unique.

So the day arrived, I was in Poland, Kraków. I really enjoyed the city, it’s got a nice feel to it. My hotel was really nice too. I was sure to be in a nice hotel in order to have a good rest. As resting well before getting tattooed is really important.

The day of my tattoo, I was nervous, I haven’t been tattooed for over 5 years. My Hotel was not too far from the studio, so when I finally arrived, his studio has a boozer for the entrance, as his studio is based on second floor. I pressed the buzzer, the door opened and you have to go through a glass window to get up the stairs, as I got upstairs, the receptionist greeted me very politely letting me know Victor was stuck in traffic and he was gonna be a bit late.

I didn’t mind that so all, as I’m sometimes late for my tattoo appointments, I try my best not too, but sometimes life gets in the way.

His Studio has a very dark feel to it, which is expected as his studio is called “dark times” it’s kind of what you see is what you get. I sat in his sofa, and his station was right facing me. I was greeted with heavy metal playing straight in the morning, it was quiet an experience actually. 

His Studio is filled with art work everywhere, which it was very inspiring for me. He has original oil paintings by Mr Dist, who does the same sort of work Victor does. His walls are filled with Trophy’s he has won over the years, the one stood out to me the most was the best of the show in London Tattoo Convention, I’m not sure which year it was.

Victor arrived finally 30 min late, very nice guy straight way, very genuine and humble, he has got a very chilled energy about him. A very calm vibration. Maybe that’s the secret why he does awesome work.

His station was no where set up or ready for the tattoo, he did everything in front of me, setting up his station. When he was setting up his station, I was looking at him and I thought… I met the master! I crossed rivers and met the master.

We went through a few ideas. I planned a few ideas on my iPad, however the ideas I had planned, didn’t really meet with what Victor was thinking.

I was planning more of a face with his style. However I imagined more like a mask.

It was a tough moment for me, because I had imagined and planned something, then when I got there, everything changed.

I think is really important to get tattooed if you are a tattoo artist, because I was now in the position of a customer, and I know what it feels  if what I was planning or wished to get tattooed was out of the picture.

I was even thinking about getting a different part of my body done. But then I thought.. he’s Victor Portugal, he’s one of the best black and grey tattoo artist in the world.

So he suggested to tattoo a mask, instead of a face.

To be continued…

Getting tattooed by Victor Portugal Part-1

Getting Tattooed By Victor Portugal- Part 1
Hello,
Thanks for reading our blog, it’s a good way to get to know what we have been up to behind the scenes, in our tattoo studio in Leeds City Centre.
In this blog I would like to talk about my experience getting tattooed at Dark Times at Kraków, Poland, by Victor Portugal.
I’ve always wanted to get my neck Tattooed for a long time, however it’s such a visible place, and such a commitment. I knew that once I got it done, I would have to succeed at art at any cost. So I thought I would wait for the right time, and make sure i would pick the right artist for the job.
I have now been tattooing for 13 years, so I thought I would present myself with a tattoo by an artist who I really admire. So I had in mind two tattoo artists who I love their work, who were Victor Portugal and Carlos Torres.
There are a lot of awesome black and grey artists around the world, and I really respect a lot of artists. However there are always some artists who catch your eyes more than others.
I love Carlos Torres work because of how an amazing artist he’s outside of tattooing. He does oil paintings in colour, his painting are amazing, but then he only tattoos in black and grey. I love his style, and when I look at his tattoos I can tell that’s him straight way, he puts his own stamp in every tattoo he does. So he was for sure one of my options. 
My other option was Victor Portugal. Victor Portugal is a tattoo artist from Uruguay, who currently works in Poland Kraków. 
I first saw Victor Portugal’s work in Barcelona tattoo convention 2011. It was a tattoo convention I was only visiting to watch, not work. That gave me the opportunity to see some awesome artists working, get to know them, and try to learn as much as I could. In that tattoo convention I saw Victor Portugal working for the first time.
As soon as I saw his work, I knew he wasn’t like everybody else. His work looked realistic to me, but not only realistic, he had another spin that only can be achieved if you draw outside of tattooing.
So I had to choose in between those two awesome artists, what a hard choice to make. If I could get those two guys to do a collaboration at the same time, that would be awesome. However Carlos Torres works from California, Victor Portugal from Poland. Only in a Tattoo Convention like London Tattoo Convention to get those 2 monsters crafting at the same time. I like dreaming sometimes.
So I had to be realistic, and I had to choose one. 
So I tried to contact Carlos Torres first, really really booked up, which I completely understand, as the guy is good. However he was booked up to a point where it seems nearly impossible to get an appointment with him. I tried to speak to his secretary, and she said, look it’s really hard. So as much as I respect his work, it seemed really difficult, plus he was in California, a lot more far away from Poland, where Victor Portugal works from.
So i started to try to get in touch with Victor.

To be continued on “Part 2”




Tattooing Richard and working on his half sleeve

Tattooing Richard, and starting a Fantasy half Sleeve on him.

Hello,

Thanks for reading our blog, it’s a good way to get to know what we have been up to behind the scenes, in our tattoo studio in Leeds City Centre.

In this blog, I would like to talk about The balance of stencils, free hand, and tattooing Richard and  his sleeve we are working on.

We have done Richard a half sleeve on his other arm, as soon as he came in to the studio, I knew everything was going to be ok, it was his first tattoo, however he seemed like a nice and easy going guy.

I was happy to do his first tattoo, which it was a family crest, the progress went really nice and smooth. We enjoyed our sessions listen to our favourite kind of music, and I was sure to make the progress easier for him, offering a bit of cinema services, we are both in to movies too, it really helps when you have the same interests as your clients, it makes the tattoo process so much more natural.

Soon after that, his first daughter was born, so we did a clock inside of his arm with the time his daughter was born.

After that I didn’t see him for a while. Then he came back to me with an  idea that I was really happy to do, which is my sort of style.

He asked for a Angel warrior holding a sword, trying to kill a Devil. And the devil is gonna have skulls around him. 

I’m a big fan of Fantasy art, and pieces like that is a great opportunity for me to translate to a tattoo, all the movies I watch, all fantasy painting I look at, and all video games I play.

Fantasy is an art style you can find in different art forms nowadays. The newest fantasy art firm I have been looking at, is the series on Netflix “Witcher” 

“Witcher” is a Netflix series based on a vide-game. I have never played the game, however after watching the series, I’m very interested in playing the game now.

Nowadays having technology on our side, Fantasy is a form of art seen in movies and games, as we have the technology to bring to life any fantasy stories I used to read as a teenager, in my opinion we are living the best times for fantasy art. 

PlayStation 5 and new Xbox coming out next year, I’m very exited about that too, as more fantasy games are going to get better, and I will be very exited about seeing them and playing it too. 

Thanks for reading our blog