Results tagged “Columbus”
In the April issue of Inked magazine, now out on newsstands, you'll find my interview with the tireless Durb Morrison -- long-time tattooer and owner of Red Tree Tattoo Gallery, organizer of the incomparable Hell City Tattoo Fests, manufacturer of True Tubes innovative tattoo supplies, and all-around nice guy. In this interview, Durb talks about how he went from punk to entrepreneur and stayed on top of the tattoo game over all these years.Many artists today say that that community feel is gone, with the whole gentrification of the art form. What do you think about that?
Here's a taste of our talk:
You started off as a punk teenage tattooing with a homemade machine to becoming a renowned tattooist, who also manufactures innovative tattooing supplies. A lot has changed over the years.
Definitely. I was a skate boarding punk rock kid. At that time with skateboarding, there was a lot of artwork rotating around it, and a lot of that art had a traditional tattoo foundation to it. There were also some really heavily covered skateboarders, even back then, who I looked up to. When I think back, I can see how I was naturally attracted to certain things, and how I'm supposed to be exactly where I am today. But I never really set out to be a tattoo artist. I had done a lot of art classes in school, and naturally did a lot of painting, so I had the art in my blood and on my mind. Right around when I was 14, that's when my friends and I started hand-poking little tattoos on places we could cover up, like our ankles, so we wouldn't get in trouble. When I was 17, I started getting professional tattoos, going to shops, and hanging out with heavily tattooed people. Around that time, a guy who saw that I had the art skills down taught me how to make one of those homemade machines. That was the catalyst for everything because, not only did I have a tattoo machine, but I had friends who willing to let me do my artwork on them.
Did you think tattooing was something you'd do for a living back then?
It started really as recreational. I didn't take it as seriously when I was just getting into it. It was punk. It was a rebellious art form. We're talking 24 or 25 years ago. But after I started getting going with it and tattooing more people and seeing the effect it had on them--how they really loved their tattoos--it drove me to continue tattooing and dive into it artistically. I started studying it, looking at all the magazines, driving hours to hang out at certain studios and watch the tattooing. Also, there was the inspiration of the community behind it. There was just so much personality. It made me want to be a tattoo artist and dedicate my life to it.
If people say there's no community, it's because they don't put themselves out there and be a part of it. They just sit in their shops, complain and separate themselves from it. I feel very strongly about the community, and because I've been a part of it for so long, I wanted to give back. For example, by doing the Hell City conventions, we've brought people together; we've created relationships. People have even got married at Hell City. It definitely has a community feel in a creative environment.
People really have gotten married at your conventions?
We've had three or four couples get married at the conventions. We had one couple get married on the main stage on a Sunday in the morning before the show even got started. They had met at Hell City and two years later got married here. It was a match made in hell!
Read more in Inked magazine.
The Hell City Tattoo Fest in Columbus, Ohio is April 19-21. Go there. You may just meet your true love. You'll definitely get a stellar tattoo.
It's been a while since we've done the Proust Questionnaire for Tattoo Artists, and so I roped David Tevenal into playing along. Dave does strong, graphic tattoos influenced by Americana, folklore, contemporary art as well as traditional Japanese work. You can find him at Memento Tattoo & Gallery in Columbus, Ohio.
The Proust Questionnaire for Tattoo Artists
What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery? Living for nothing. Having no sense of purpose.
What is your idea of earthly happiness? Watching my daughter grow, and also making fun tattoos on great people.
Your most marked characteristic? I obsess over art, more so - my work. I literally drown myself in it constantly. I'm also rather loud, and lack an inner-monologue.
What is your principle defect? I often struggle to please everyone.
Who are your favorite heroes of fiction? The Marvel Universe.
Who are your favorite heroes in real life? My fiance and daughter. They put up with so much and are extremely supportive in my endeavors. They are there for me when nobody else is and take me as I am.
Your favorite painter? James Jean. Hands down.
Your favorite musician? Well, I have a ton of favorite bands. I guess I'd have to say Glassjaw.
Your favorite writer? I don't really read for leisure's sake as much as I should, but theoretical physicist Michio Kaku's books always have a way of putting into perspective how infinitesimal we really are in the grand scheme of things.
The quality you most admire in a man? Hard work.
The quality you most admire in a woman? Well considering my search is over, the qualities I admire most in MY woman is her sense of humor and her dedication to our family.
Your favorite virtue? Sincerity.
Who would you have liked to be? Nothing, I'm pretty stoked on how I turned out. Dents and all. But I would have loved to live in Feudal Japan or be a Roman Gladiator. Death was the central aspect of their lives, so they embraced it. That's pretty deep shit.
What are your favorite names? Chloe. Lisa.
What natural gift would you most like to possess? Music. I've never been musically inclined ever in my life. I always admired those who could play music.
How would you like to die? I don't care, as long as my job here is done.
What is your present state of mind? Crush, Kill, Destroy.
What is your motto? "Plow deep while sluggards sleep." - Benjamin Franklin
See more of David's work here. Also check this beautiful time-lapse tattoo video of the artist at work, directed Sean Grevencamp.
Earlier this week, I posted Chris Stauber's Hell City Redux, which looked at the show from the point of view of the collector. Today, we have musician and tattoo apprentice, Justin Stitches, and his view from the stage.
When not playing with The Jackalopes at the show, Justin took tons of great photos. Rock on!
By Justin Stitches
I had the extreme pleasure of being invited with my band The Jackalopes (fronted by tattooist Rev. Chad A. Wells) to play this year's Hell City Killumbus convention on Sunday. My first thoughts were that the artists were going to be all sorts of pissed at the loud horror-punk noise emanating from the main stage...that and everyone knows that Sundays at conventions are traditionally recovery days for all involved. However, our set was awesome (despite no on-stage monitors, which is a nightmare, kinda like playing under water) as we actually had a crowd watching, nothing was thrown at us, and if there were any shut-the-fuck-ups lobbed our way, I sure didn't hear 'em.
As for the actual convention, it is definitely one of the best put together tattoo shows in the nation. Durb and company make sure that everyone is well provided for and has a great time. Attendees can always expect tons of things to see and do, and even the kids can get all painted up at the Heck City area.
Organizer and tattooist Durb Morrison with legendary Lyle Tuttle.
The list of artists attending is always a wet dream for tattoo fans and collectors, including Durb, Robert Hernandez, Mike DeVries, Sean Herman, Tim Kern, Dan Marshall, Joe Capobianco, Rev. Chad A. Wells, Tony Ciavarro, Rich T., Guy Aitchison, Shawn Barber, My Tattoo crew, Mike DeMasi, Jesse Smith...just to name a few. Even the vendor list was drool-worthy: Alissa Brunelli, Hardnox Clothing, Evolve Jewelry, Pulse, Godoy Machines...
If you missed it in Killumbus, Hell City Phoenix is coming up in September... get ready now!
See more photos here.