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The importance of drawing portraits, before you can tattoo them

Hello, thanks for reading our blog. In this blog I would like to talk about, one of my favourite styles to tattoo, which is a portrait. Portraits it requires a lot of attention and passion to do them, the reason why is because you need to understand the human face structure. Studying a face is imperative, before you attempt to tattoo them , and the best way to practice is to draw portraits over and over again. Drawing a portrait, it allows you to make mistakes and learn from them, before attempting the skin. I have worked with tattoo artists in the past, who liked tattooing portraits, however they never used to draw them, so it was no doubt they were learning from mistakes they were doing already on someone’s skin, instead of practicing in a piece of paper first, and having respect for your client. That’s why I believe is so important to draw as a tattoo artist, because as this practising method applies to portraits, it also applies to any style, the only way you can develop artistically, is if you draw, so how can your tattoos look better if you don’t draw.

Anyway, anyone who is born with an artistic bone in them, do know that, they have an urge inside of them to draw or paint, just by being an artist, that’s what artists do, regardless if you are a tattoo artist or not. So when you meet a tattoo artist who does not draw or paint, how can they be considered tattoo artists? The meaning of the world tattoo artist, is someone who is art focused outside of tattooing, and bring these artistic lessons and experiences by painting or drawing to the tattooing craft.

I had a seminar with Nikki Hurtado, and the passion that guy had for tattooing portraits was incredible. He studies a portrait starting with the skull, the skull is the foundation of a portrait, so understanding the skull, will give you a deep perspective about approaching a portrait.

Having a passion for studying art, is what is going to develop your art. The more you know, the more you will want to know, it’s almost like an addiction, there’s no limits with what we can learn from art, that’s why I love it so much, it feels like you trying to reach the unreachable in a way, so that’s why I believe, being fully satisfied as an artist is hard to achieve, as we do know inside of us, that no matter where we are, we can always push it a little further. And if you are fully satisfied as an artist, you will die as an artist.

Thank you for reading

The table of grates part-4 Nicolas Tesla

Nicolas Tesla 

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.

Thanks for reading our blog 

Wiz Khalifa digital art work in progress by Louis Santos


Digital Portrait of Wiz Khalifa 


Hello everyone, thanks for reading our blog. It’s a good way to get to know what’s been going on behind the scenes at our studio in Leeds City Centre.


As I love my art, 2 styles that always comes to my mind when I consider drawing or painting is fantasy and realism. So portrait is one of my favourite styles of realism to tattoo and draw.


We play a lot of hip-hop in the studio, is a kind of music kind of chilled to work to.


Actually Joe got my in to hip-hop. I was more of a rocker before getting in to hip-hop.


So listening to a lot of hip-hop since working with Joe. I have got to like artists like 2pac, Snoop Dogg, People under the stairs and Wizz Khalifa.


So that’s where it comes the idea for this portrait. Digital painting is the best way I like to approach, to painting or drawing a portrait. It’s very practical, with no drying time.


Tattooing or drawing a portrait, is really fun for me. Sometimes the choice is mine to draw or paint a portrait I feel like I want to paint. Or to try to translate on my clients skin who needs a tattoo portrait of an important person in their life.


Thanks for reading 


Regards
L. Santos