Hello everyone, thanks for looking at our blog, it’s a good way to get to know what’s been going on behind the scene in our tattoo studio in Leeds City Centre.
In this blog I would like to talk about what we have been up to in the studio. As you probably know, we are going to have a new artist in the studio, we were in search for an artist for a long time, and it seems like we have finally found someone. We were looking for someone who could deliver a clean line, good personality.
Monday’s are my days off, and I was really looking forward to have my day off, however this time, I couldn’t have my day off, as I needed to pop in the studio to move everything around for Jimmy Scribbles start working.
We have a bigger studio than our previous studio on call lane, we want to keep to one more artist for now, but we could be looking at having another one, as we do have the space for a fourth artist. However for now we are happy to have Jimmy, we look forward working with him, and we hope to learn something from him.
As artists, it’s an endless artistic journey, and where it takes you to, will only be translated by your dedication and focus. In the end of the day, you get out what you put in. That’s probably my favourite artistic quote, you get out what you put in. Simple, philosophical and factual.
So from now on in the studio, we have me, doing realism and fantasy. Joe doing Japanese, and Jimmy doing letters. It’s a good balance in styles, so we gonna bounce from each other’s style and trying to take the best from what each artist has to offer.
We are very passionate about art, and meeting good artists is the way to develop artistically.
Hello everyone! thanks for looking at our blog. In this blog I would like to talk about a interesting topic which is, is it important to draw as a tattoo artist? The reason why I had the idea to do this blog, is because a lot of tattoo artist nowadays don’t draw. And when I was taught to tattoo, I learned that drawing is one of the most important things you can do, to develop artistically. So why did the tattoo world stop drawing? Some tattoo artists still draw, but a majority of young kids coming up to be tattoo artists, a lot of them, do not draw, perhaps they are not interested, or they simply do not believe it’s necessary. That’s a topic I would like to discuss in this blog.
The word “tattoo artist” means, someone who’s a tattooist, who tattoos someone, combined with someone who is an artist. So the definition is a person who tattoos someone artistically.
The foundation of art is always the drawing. The platform of art could vary, as video-games, painting, sculpting, graffiti. It doesn’t matter which type of art it is, the foundation of art, it’s always the drawing. Drawing is the foundation of all art, and without that foundation, your art will fall short. It’s like building a house without a strong foundation, it will fall eventually.
However nowadays we have technology, and that technology, will take over a lot of work previously done by the human hand. Digital painting is a good example. And Photoshop.
I love digital painting, it’s very convenient, fast and practical. However the down side to it, is as much as technology advances and try to replicate the sensitive touch of a digital pen going on the screen, and it’s so sensitive that it feels like it’s a real pen and a real paper, it will never be the same, as the machine takes over the human hand. So a tradicional drawing or painting, is always gonna feel more human and soulful than a digital paint or drawing.
Nowadays with the technology, tattoo artists are able to get an image online, and apply it on skin, already ready from the stencil machine. So it takes away, all the work we had to draw and stencil by hand before. I completely understand in realism you have to take the foundation of a realistic image, in order to be realistic, however without the ability of drawing, your image will look very static. If you notice a lot of realistic tattoos looks very good, it looks very realistic, however it looks very static. And the reason why is, the tattooist mix match a few images on photoshop, and is able to stencil on skin through a machine, and that’s it, the rest is technical ability. So if there is no drawing in the process, you are going to be very limited with the reference
Drawing and being an artist, you are able to push the boundaries a bit further. Your tattoo will look more artistic and unique, as the artist is able to do more than just a reference. Being a tattoo artist who doesn’t draw, you will get away with static well applied stickers. However tattooing is not just about that. Tattooing has a lot involved and a lot to consider. Tattooing is not just about technical abilities, if a tattooist does not draw, it will be days, where they have to do a full sleeve, or a piece flowing from chest to the arm, and there’s something to consider, that only comes with the practise of drawing, which it will result with the knowledge of proportion. Without the understanding of proportion, a tattooist who can not draw will struggle or not be able to make a tattoo flow from one part of the body to another proportionally.
A tattooist who is not interested in drawing, which is the foundation of all art, will be lost when they loose the stencil during the tattoo process. However I know some tattooists do everything not to loose the stencil, as they know if they loose it, they are in trouble, because they are unable to replicate the image they are applying on skin. I have lost my stencils so many times during a tattoo process, however, it was my ability to draw that made me get things back together, as when you are tattooing you are still drawing.
So that’s my idea about why is so important to draw. I believe if you draw, your capabilities and possibilities are limitless, and you always can progress yourself artistically, and become a true tattoo artist.
Tradicional painting and listening to meditation music
One of my favourite things to do lately is to do tradicional painting, and listen to meditation music. I could spent all day doing that, I find it really relaxing. I go into a trance and I feel like I’m in a different place.
I’m really starting to listen to my intuition lately. However, to achieve that, meditation is required. We all know that our intuition is what we should follow, we all have the power of intuition, however we are still learning how to truly follow it. And the more you learn how to follow your intuition, the more satisfied you will be with your life, and your life will become more clear, in place and in peace.
I have multiple mediums available at home, and the reason why is because I never get bored of doing art. Sometimes I do watercolours, acrylic, pencil, digital drawing and painting. All these becomes fresh and exiting. Doing one medium for too long can be quiet repetitive, and a good balance in life will make life more interesting and exiting.
I love all diferente mediums, I believe, every medium has ups and downs, like everything in life. However the beauty of having different mediums is that you can mix them, and really have fun with that. I love to mix acrylic with oil.
The reason why I love to mix acrylic with oil is that, you can apply a thick under paint with acrylic, a very basic strong layer of foundation, as Acrylic dries so fast, which is one of the benefit it has to offer, I can go over with oils, which it will give more of a glaze feel to it, which is the opposition of acrylic, it’s like waxing a brand new car.
If you are an artist and you haven’t tried these two mediums I would highly recommend it. With painting we all know we need multiple layers to achieve the outcome with want. And we need a strong foundation of painting to keep the other layers going. So that’s why I believe acrylics really gives you that strong foundation layer that you need to keep the painting going with multiple layers.
In the end I would like to mention my favourite artists who inspire me to paint, inspiration is very important, so I keep an eye on these guys websites or instagram. I love to look at the work of Boris Vallejo, Lúcio Parrillo, Alex Ross, Donato Giancola. That’s just a few, there’s a lot more.
This blog was about what I’ve been up to, I’m gonna try to post more content like this, just letting you guys know what I’m up to. Sometimes I’m a quiet deep person, but sometimes is good to keep it simple.
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 price of your tattoo. And the best way to deal with your tattoo price, and be positive towards paying for your tattoo.
When you pay for your tattoo, you are not spending your money, you are investing your money. Some clients believe the price of their tattoo is fair, and some believe its expensive. I would like to mention that the price of a tattoo is not easy to estimate. As there are multiple ways a tattoo can be done. So a price could vary a lot on detail and size.
If we approach a tattoo price considering how long we are going to have the tattoo for. It makes you realise a tattoo price is definitely worth while. When I let the client know how much their tattoo will cost in total, I can see their face drop, and they don’t believe it, however what they don’t think is how long they are gonna have their tattoo for. And how they are going to pay it in instalments.
Let’s say for instance, you gonna have your tattoo for 20 years. And you pay £500 for your tattoo. If you divide 500 by 20, it equals 25. That means you would pay 25 pounds per year for your tattoo. If you look at it like that, a tattoo it doesn’t cost that much, if you look at it in a logical way, considering it will be with you forever.
Another thing I would like to mention, it mite sound a bit rash to some people, however it is the truth. As we all know the truth sometimes it hurts some people. However, if you pay cheap for your tattoo, you will look cheap. I can see when someone doesn’t pay much for their tattoo, or don’t put much effort or time to their tattoos. I think it’s better to have one really good tattoo, than a lot of average ones. Quality for me comes before anything. Some people get tattooed for the experience, which I try to give that also. For me having an experience is important, however trying to give the best quality as possible, is very important too. So I try to buy the best needles as possible, and the best inks possible.
Needles and inks can be cheap and expensive. You can buy needles from China, that are not sterilised. Because they are not sterilised they cost less, however they are not safe, as they are not clean. The sterilisation procedure costs money, so only serious tattoo supplies, will deal with professional tattoo inks, however they are not cheap. In order for us to tattoo with sterilised needles and inks, we have to invest big budgets on out tattoo supplies, in order to deliver not only the best best tattoo artistically, but technically and sterilised for your safety.
There’s a lot more than you think, involved in order to do a good tattoo. We have to invest a lot on it, however that’s our passion. That’s why we don’t mind buying the best of everything, because that’s what we love and live to do. And the tattoo artists who don’t invest good money on tattoo supplies, is because they prefer to save up their money, to buy their beers at the weekend. Where i prefer not to drink and save up to buy the best needle and the best ink to make my tattoo procedure more fun and flowing well. When you work with the best tools, your day will be a lot smoother and enjoyable, than working with a cheap kit.
For some reason when it comes to pay for a holiday or a night out, which it will be temporary, most people don’t have a problem to pay for it, but when it comes to mark their bodies or the rest of their life, they they don’t want to invest in it. Or try to lower the price, which is in fact undervaluing our work. Never undervalue your work, specially if you are dedicated to your craft, and if you do things properly.
In the end of the day, as we all know, we get what we pay for. And tattoo artists know how much their work is worth. So if you think you are being smart because you are paying less for a tattoo session, is a cheaper that ends up being more expensive in the future. Your body has a lot of value, it is who you are, so when it comes to mark it for the rest of your life, going for a cheaper option is not a very smart approach.
I respect people with good tattoos, as I can see that they saved up, made an appointment with an artist who they love their work, and walk around satisfied with a piece of art that they will carry with them forever.
Hello everyone, thanks for reading our blog. It’s a good way to get to know what’s been going on behind the scenes, in our studio in Leeds city centre.
In this blog I would like to talk about realism tattooing studies, and how I try to achieve the best realistic tattoos as possible, through drawing before attempting the skin.
I have always been fascinated by realistic tattoos. I love how they look, however I always tried to study it, and going a bit further with it, instead of just duplicating an image, without attempting to understand shadow.
A lot of tattoo artists believe realism is just copying an image to the skin, and getting the exact image duplicated, however after I had a seminar with Carlos Torres, I discovered with realistic tattoos, there is a lot more than that.
I used to think I understood about shadows, until I had a seminar with Carlos Torres. I went to Venice, Italy. To have a seminar with one of my favourite tattoo artists, Carlos Torres, Nikko Hurtado, Shige, and my favourite painter ever, Boris Vallejo.
In this seminar Carlos Torres gave a lesson about shadow that completely turned my mind up side down with how I see shadow. He showed an example of how studying black and grey images can make you understand shadows in a deeper perception. And how drawing realistic images, it gives you the opportunity to experiment different ways the shadow could fall in to objects, and how you can play with your own shadows, changing the way the shadow behaves in your reference.
Some Tattoo Artists think realism is easy, however their work will never look like Carlos Torres. And the reason why is because they are not really interested in realism, in a degree to have the urge, to want to study and understand shadow, and also because they never draw realism.
I don’t believe I know everything about shadows, because shadow is an infinite learning experience, as in nature there are infinite ways a shadow can fall on an object. It’s known that, if you stand in the same spot everyday outside for a few different days, you will realise how different the shadow will fall in the same object.
Doing a realistic tattoo is more than copying an image, it’s making the tattoo look like you can almost touch it, as it’s coming out from the skin. There are far few artists who can make the tattoo look like that, have a hyper 3D effect. Only through drawing you can learn how to make a tattoo look 3D. I also believe only artists who are genuinely interested in realism, have more of a chance to get to Carlos Torre level one day.
One of the best tattoos I have ever seen was from Carlos Torres. A full back tattoo, it’s on his Instagram page. If you scroll it down, as it was done a few years ago, it’s a female angel riding horses. That tattoo is a true example of a master realistic tattoo. And I believe Carlos Torres doesn’t think realistic tattoos are easy, because he understands that you can always push it, and understand it alittle further.
Realism portrait of my favourite villain of all time. The Joker, the movie was just amazing, as we all know. That movie blew everyone away. I think Batman and The Joker is the best combination you can get between a super-hero and a villain. I had loads of fun doing it, for me, going from being a kid at home, drawing super-heroes, to be tattooing them forever on someone’s skin as an adult, is like a dream come true.
The bishop wand is a new tattoo machine in the tattoo industry. The Bishop has 3 types of machines, each one of those for a different purposes, lining, shading and colour.
I have been listening to a pod cast on you tube of tattoo artists. And it was mentioned a few times, that the bishop wand is a rotary tattoo machine, very common among tradicional solid artists.
The bishop wand is the rotary tattoo machine that has a closer feeling to a coil machine. So this machine works very well for artists with a tradicional tattoo work approach, with bold lines and solid colours.
I heard in a podcast, in a tattoo convention, all bishop rotary tattoo machines were sold out within hours. So I thought I needed to try this tattoo machine everyone has been talking about.
I finally bought it, and I would like to say that I’m not disappointed with it. It completely met all my expectations, it was amazing to feel a new built tattoo machine. It for sure feels like a coil machine, in a rotary way. To be fully honest, I believe you can only achieve a coil machine feel with a coil machine. The bishop wand is a machine that feels the closest to a coil machine.
Another cool aspect for the bishop new rotaries is that it has the shape of a pen. Cheyenne, came out with the pen first around 5 years ago. I didn’t buy one myself, as I was using the inkjecta, which it was another amazing machine.
However the bishop wand is my first pen shaped machine, I have to say the feeling is amazing. Having a pen in your hand, it allows you to move your wrist freely, in a way I have never had the opportunity to do before. You basically feel like you are drawing in the skin.
I love the bishop tattoo machines. I have bought the colour packer, but I can’t wait to get the shader, I want to stick with the bishop for now as they are reaching my expectations right now.
Hello everyone. We hope you are well and keeping safe in this pandemic.
In this blog I would like to talk about my sketches during the lock down.
Sketching has always been close to my heart as it’s an opportunity to develop your artistic skills, try new ideas and explore new areas.
A sketch for me is also a lot of fun, you can feel free to put down whatever comes to your head, without worrying too much about requests or opinions.
As tattoo artists we have clients to work with, and meet with their requests. Listen to their idea, and try to deliver their wishes. I love doing that, and I enjoy pleasing my customers, it’s an amazing feeling when you have given to a client what they were planning , and they are happy with the end result.
However, it’s even a better and satisfactory feeling when you have a blank piece of paper in front of you, a sharp pencil and just let your imagination flow, it’s just the artist and the paper, that feeling only artists can describe it.
Sketches are the birth of a racing creative mind, which it feels satisfied to have the opportunity to make an idea become concrete, in the eyes of the artist.
As you get older, your body become less tolerant to lack of sleeping, bad diet and ignoring exercise and looking after your health in general.
After 35 years old, your body has less energy. So after reaching 35 years of age, I started to notice I needed to rest more, and in consequence, I had less time to do my art and be creative.
That was a sad news for me, as I always wanted to be as creative as possible. If I could carry on drawing and painting all night I would love to do it, however we must sleep, in order to have energy, so I must sleep for my health also.
So after not having as much energy to work, and not putting as much time to my art as I wished. I started looking at alternatives to look after my body and my mind, in order to have more energy.
When we are young, we automatically have extra energy, however when we get older, we have to create energy in our bodies. I would like to share my methods of creating energy in my body, in order to be more creative and enjoy my art as much as o can.
Morning Stretch- While we sleep, our muscles also sleeps with us. So I have a few yoga videos saved on my playlist, and do a quick morning stretch. It makes you feel so much better. Specially spending all day sat in a chair, you must contradict that time where your body is still while tattooing.
Exercise- Our bodies are made to move. If you like it or not, our bodies are not made to be static. I know a lot of people say, ah I can’t be bothered exercising. I’m not a big fan of exercising too, however in life we can’t always just do what we want all the time, or eat what we want. Actually you can, however you would reach a very unbalanced state in your life. I exercise for my health, it’s not everyday that I feel like exercising. However, dedication also means, doing things you don’t always feel like doing sometimes. I try to find a way to keep a balance in between going to the gym, going to the park. So it doesn’t get too boring and get out of a routine a little.
Eating well- Food should be a choice not a religion. I try to eat as well as I can, I believe if you eat cheap today, one day you will pay back in medicine. I understand sometimes we have to eat junk food. However there’s a difference in between having a salad once a week, and having a salad 4-5 times a week. I’m not a big fan of salad, however I eat for my well being. Eating well, it increases your concentration level. I highly recommend a hot cup of water with Lemmon, spinach on your salad, green tea everyday. Yam is an amazing potato, it makes your bones stronger, it rejuvenates you, it’s good for your blood and many things. If you have a Yam in the morning, you are not gonna need your cup of coffee. I love Yam.
Lennox Lewis the heavy weight boxer, he had Yam before he knocked out Mike Tyson, he mentioned in a interview.
Meditation- Meditation means literally, switching off your brain. I know a lot of people think… well i can’t do that. The reason why you can’t do that, is because your mind has been distracted for a long time. Your brain is like a muscle, so it won’t just shut up as soon as you ask to do so. It becomes quiet with practise and endurance. Not everyday you will find easy to meditate, specially in those days where your mind is busy with loads of issues, that’s why I choose to meditate in the morning. Anyhow, meditation helps you to make decisions, fell more relaxed and have a better sense of direction in life, and it increases your concentration level.
-Minimise and cut down stimulants
Stimulants are something that messes with our nerve system. I have a auntie who has smoked and drank alcohol heavily all her life, and she hardly can sign her signature on a paper, due to her hand shake. So how are we gonna be able to hold a tattoo machine in the future if we abuse drugs and alcohol. I’m not saying I’m against alcohol, I have a glass of red wine sometimes, however the more stimulants your body gets used to, the more you are gonna need to be calm.
Needing a stimulant everyday, your body will not operate in a normal or higher level. Your body and brain will become dependent, and so on you will only enjoy life with that stimulant present on your body.
I truly believe everything in life has a price, so if you excessively drink, smoke or take any kind of drug, you will pay for it one day. You will become unbalanced, and when things go wrong in life, you won’t be still as you need to be, your nervous system will take over, and your brain will not be able to function clear. That’s why our drug should be natural, meditation, positive mind set, eating well. All these things makes your feel so much better, and they are natural stimulants made by the earth.
Earth has provided all we need to live well, and it’s our choice to make the most of it. Instead of choosing man made stimulants, that gives us short term pleasure, and no long term gratification.
Long term gratification also comes from inside of us. A lot of people seek happiness on other people. We should be complete as a whole, and not present ourselves as a half human who needs another half in order to be completed. We are a full being, enlightened and with a lot of pretentious to be fulfilled internally, other people can contribute towards our fulfilment, however they are not responsible for it.