Best way to approach your tattoo
In this blog I would like to give a bit of guidance in how to approach your tattoo artist and getting tattooed. I can only speak from a tattoo artist point of view. I’m gonna try to give guidance based on my 13 years experience being a tattoo artist, and learning how to deal with clients, and lessons I have had over the years, with following my intuition and learning what to do and what not to do.
First of all, I would like to start mentioning probably the most important way to approach your tattoo, is to choose a style that you want, and contact a tattoo artist who specialises or enjoys doing that style you are looking for. It seems like a really simple and obvious way to get tattooed, but you will be surprised, how many clients approach a tattoo artist, without being aware of the style the tattoo artist specialises in, or enjoys doing. You can not approach a tattoo artist and ask them to deviate from their style, it’s like asking someone not to be themselves, or asking for someone to act like they are somebody else.
Only approach a tattoo artist if you are 100% sure about getting tattooed, and 100% sure about getting tattooed by that tattoo artist you have chosen. And you should approach a tattoo artist, because you want their work and style, on your body for the rest of your life. So if you love someone’s work, and you know their style is what you want to get tattooed, you will do everything possible to make it happen, you will save your money, you will take a day off work, you will be patient, you will be there whatever time the tattoo artist asks you to be there, you will contribute with everything you can to make that possible. And the reason why I’m speaking like that, is because, the more easy going you are with your tattoo artist, the better work your tattoo artist is going to produce on your skin.
I have done my best work in my clients who gave me the opportunity to work in a good frame of mind. If you are a stress head, it’s more likely you will stress your tattoo artist too. If you worry too much about how your tattoo is going to look, you are not having faith in your tattoo artists skill. I know some of you mite be thinking, but I want to know what my tattoo will look like when it’s done. In my opinion as a tattoo artist is, the more you let it be with your tattoo, the better the outcome will be. I know the tattoo will not look exactly how you were thinking, but it will come out better.
Let me show an example, with my strategy on how I get tattooed. I say to the tattoo artist what they want to hear, and by doing that, I can see their excitement to tattoo me.
When I approached Victor Portugal, one of the best tattoo artists in the world at black and grey, I was really nervous. The reason why I was nervous is because, I’m also a tattoo artist, and I didn’t want him a bad experience, basically, I didn’t want him to think I was an idiot, because the word would be quickly spread around the world, as all the tattoo artists in the world know him, and respect him. So I think that’s a good way to think when you approach a tattoo artist, be respectful of what they mite think of you.
When I approached Victor Portugal, I gave him a few ideas, I gave him 3 ideas, and I let him choose which one he felt more comfortable doing, and I was sure to tell him, that I wanted his style on the tattoo, and I wanted him to be free. By saying that, his eyes lit with joy, and that contributed to his excitement about tattooing me. I said how much I loved his work, and why I chose him to tattoo me. All that gave him not only excitement, but also confidence to tattoo me. The tattoo didn’t come out exactly how I was thinking, but it came out better than I was thinking, and that’s why I chose him to tattoo me, it’s because I trusted his art.
If you do not trust someone’s art, do not approach them to tattoo you, it seems like such a simple way of thinking, however, you will be surprised how many people approach me, making me feel like I’m not capable to do my job. I have clients asking me, can you do this, can you do that. You should look at someone’s portfolio, and find out for yourself, what they can or can not do.
To be complete honest, us tattoo artists, we do not look forward to see every single client we have, because some clients make such an awkward situation, such an unpleasant vibe, and when the tattoo is finished, we are so glad. So please don’t be that client, to make an awkward vibe on your tattoo. You must have faith in your tattoo artist, and stick with the process of your tattoo, under any circumstances, and the reason why you should stick with your artist, and even wait a few months to get tattooed by him, is because you made the choice to have his art work on your body for the rest of your life, and you must have faith until the end.
Jumping from one tattoo artist to another, is only gonna mess your tattoo up even more, and the reason why, is because, even knowing a few tattoo artists mite have the same style, every artist works with a different frame of mind. Every artist has a different perception about art, and how to approach their work.
Also I would like to mention about clients who approach a tattoo artist asking them to replicate the same tattoo they see on Pinterest. You must realise that, a tattoo when it’s done, it was on that moment that the tattoo came out that way, and that moment can not be replicated exactly the same. Even if you take the tattoo you love, to the tattoo artist who executed it, if he tries to replicate the same tattoo on you, is never gonna come out exactly the same, because your tattoo artist mood will be different than previously. It’s also important to know that, tattoos are produced with moods, and we are not in the same mood everyday, so a full sleeve will never be duplicated exactly the same, it will always be a momentous emotional journey.
Thank you for reading our blog, I will share more thoughts on how to get tattooed in another blog, I hope everyone is keeping safe, take care.
I’ve always had this idea if I could for one night, have a meal with people who inspire me, no family members, only people who are no longer here, but who left a legacy.
Born in July 10th, 1856. Nicolas Tesla was probably one of the great minds who ever lived.
His birth was very similar to his life’s work purpose, as his mother was in labour during a massive light storm. And she proclaimed, he will be a child of light, and she wasn’t wrong.
Tesla is the reason why we have electricity, he spoke several languages and was able to memorise books in his head. At University he only had to attend 3 years instead of 4, he was a very bright individual.
Nicolas Tesla actually worked with Thomas Edson. That’s what Nicola Tesla had to say about Thomas Edison. “ I came from Paris in the Spring of 1884, and was brought in intimate contact with him “Thomas Edinson”. We experimented day and night… His existence was made up of alternate periods of work work and sleep in the laboratory. He had no hobby, cared for no Sport or amusement of any kind and lived in utter disregard of the most elementary rules of hygiene. There can be no doubt that, if he had not married later a woman of exceptional intelligence, who made it the one object of her life to preserve him, he would have died many years ago, from consequences of sheer neglect. So great and uncontrollable was his passion for work”.
Tesla’s relationship with Edson only lasted 6 months, as they disagreed in a lot on alternating current and direct current. Also one of the big reasons why Tesla stopped working with Edson was because, Edson had challenged employees to build 2 different machines, and who successfully did it would receive a huge bonus of 50.000 dollars, which it translates to millions of dollars today.
Tesla completed his task and presented his work, and was denied the bonus promised by Edson. Edson claimed the challenge had been presented jokingly, and stated to Nicolas Tesla “Tesla, you don’t understand our American humor”
Nicolas Tesla then deceived to open his own company, where he was going to research and work with alternate current.
As an amazing intelligent inventor Nicola Tesla was, his personal life was filled with sacrifices, he never got married, and stayed by himself to make sure he could focus on his work. He said “I do not think you can name many great inventions that have been made by married man”-Nicolas Tesla
He was dissatisfied with attitude of modern women of the 1920’s, he stated “I had always thought of woman as possessing those delicate qualities of mind and soul that made her in these respects far superior to man. I had put her on a lofty pedestal… I worshiped at the feet of the creature I had raised to this height, and, like every try worshiper, I felt myself unworthy of the object of my worship. But all this was in the past. Now the soft-voiced gentle woman of my reverent worship has all but vanished. In her place has come the woman of my reverent worship has all but vanished. In her place, has come the woman who thinks that he chief success in life in making herself as much as possible like man- in dress, voice and actions, in sports and achievements of every kind”. -Nicolas Tesla
Maybe feminism started in them times? I don’t know, however by his statement, it seems like he use to worship woman, but then he changed his opinion due to how they had become in his modern times. I understand some people not agreeing with his opinions and philosophy, however a man with his sort of brain and intelligence will not think like most people do, to be the first person to come out with the idea of electricity, is not for everyone.
He lived large at The Waldorf-Astoria in New York, spending 20 thousand dollars which is half of a million of today’s money. That’s what really got him in debt. However living in New York, he had the access to rich people who were willing to invest in his inventions, some successful and some failures. However it’s know that a lot of amazing inventions by Nicola Tesla was copied by another inventors of his era, specially Thomas Edson, who wanted to provide paid electricity to the public, while Nicola Tesla wanted to provide for free. That’s probably the reason why Nicola’s Tesla does not get the credit he deserves, because he didn’t work with “the system” the government. While Thomas Edison did.
That’s probably the reason why in schools, they mention about Thomas Edison, however it’s not mentioned about Nicola Tesla. It’s a pity to know that I have only came to discover who Nicolas Tesla was, as an adult, how crazy is that. That proves how much history is whatever they want to tell us. And only people who they choose to be know, will be mentioned I’m books and history.
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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.
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Louis Santos Personal Blog
Creativity starts with Health
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.
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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.
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The Masters of the Universe Project
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.
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