Results tagged “Complex Mag”

Oct201222
08:06 AM
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Luke Wessman Tattoo on "Amer the Gamer" at Lucky's SD

Last week, Complex magazine posted an extensive interview with Luke Wessman, an artist known to reality TV fans for his appearances on Miami Ink & NY Ink, but for true tattoo fans, he's regarded a strong artist with a distinctive artistic flavor. In the interview, Luke discusses the development of his style, his experience with reality TV, tattooing rappers, and more. And naturally, there are photos from his portfolio.

That portfolio has been called "traditional gangster" style. Here's how Luke describes it in the interview: "It's the merge between growing up around street and neighborhood tattooing like Olde English and block letters and then you go and learn to tattoo at this traditional shop. My influences come from both and I guess that would be the mix of traditional gangster tattooing."

Luke Wessman tattoo2.jpg Coming from an old school tattoo education, but thrust in the middle of the tattoo tsunami of popularity that comes from being on TV (even if on the sidelines), Luke has an interesting perspective on the direction the industry is taking. Here's a bit on that from the interview:

[I]n regards to something I heard in your Self Made documentary. Someone mentioned the divide between older tattoo artists and what's trendy now, like more graphic designers becoming tattoo artists, etc. What are your thoughts on that?

It's an interesting thing. There's the main old guys, that learn how to tattoo, learn how to use the machines and they learn how to apply tattoos--the purest form of tattooing. Now there's more and more of an art influence where you're artistically skilled and you're joining that with the tattoo form. Now artists are becoming tattooers and the emphasis is bigger on art than the tattoo skill. In between that, there's this loss of the boundaries of what you can do as a tattooer and what you should do.

These artists are coming from a pure art perspective without learning a lot of the boundaries of old tattooing. You have these people doing these fancy designs because they come from a painting background without a tattoo background so this mix in the middle are all these young kids who aren't really learning from old guys or time-tested methods. There's reasons why certain things are done because there are limitations. There are no limitations to these kids because they're used to doing design and painting and graphic design. They're stretching the boundaries at first but not really knowing the consequences later on.

Read more on Complex.

Check out Luke's work on his site and on Facebook. And you can also learn more about the artist through his 2010 "Self Made" video (below).
 
Aug201202
09:41 AM


Yesterday, Complex Art + Design blog posted this video of Polish rapper and mixed martial arts fighter Popek getting his eyeballs tattooed. The video, beautifully produced by Will Robson-Scott, is graphic. There are close-ups of the needle going into the eye. But if you can get beyond that, it's fascinating to watch Popek explain why he's doing it ["I will be complete"], how he handles the process [smoking], the result [lots of hugs] and the healing process [pain "like putting cigarettes in your eyes"].

Howie/LunaCobra is the one tattooing Popek as he has done many times before. Howie first experimented with eyeball tattooing in 2007 on BMEzine founder Shannon Larratt, Pauly Unstoppable, and Josh. It was all documented on Modblog starting at this post.

In BME's Wiki page on "eyeball tattooing," it is noted that corneal tattooing is "known and done now for over 2,000 years -- it became almost commonplace in the late 19th century and into the 20th century to correct defects such as corneal scarring and leucomas." The procedures on Shannon, Pauly and Josh were not to correct any defects, but as an experiment in body modification. For Popek, he says he felt compelled to do it but cannot really articulate why (beyond any language barrier).

It's easy to point and jeer, "Look at the freaks!" And it's easy to cheer "Bod Mod FTW!" Neither helps any discourse on the seriousness of this procedure. There's little argument that eyeball tattooing could leave people blind, among other complications, and it's difficult to understand why one would take that risk at all. I'd love to see a full length documentary that explores this in some depth.
Feb201205
12:27 PM
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Despite being a New Yorker, the Super Bowl today means nothing more than free televised a Madonna concert. Perhaps my aversion to sports stems from just how bad sports related tattoos are. You have athletes making astounding amounts of cash, surrounded by handlers, and yet they get the worst tattoos money can buy. [Actually, many don't pay. I've personally witnessed one sports star become incensed when the tattooist told him how much a work would cost.]

To understand my distress, check
Jan201206
12:35 PM
toy tattoo machine.jpg Over at Complex Mag, from western cedar.

Woodworker Michael Riley of Arkansas created these toys, which measure 6 inches long by 3 inches wide, to hold most types of crayons. He also does custom orders should you, say, opt for a rotary than coil machine. The handmade awesomeness is only $20 plus shipping.

I plan on buying a bunch for my friends' little girls to replace their Princess Barbies and get them started on their art careers early.
Sep201114
03:38 PM
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Today our friend Nick Schonberger posted "The Complex Guide to Tattoo Lettering," the first in a series of tattoo articles designed to help people avoid indelible mistakes. Nick enlisted one of my lettering favorites (and all around good guy) BJ Betts to offer advice on what to consider when deciding on the look and placement of your Nietzsche quote -- the one you'll regret later on in life no matter how well the tattoo is executed.

While geared primarily towards those new to tattoos, long-time collectors will also appreciate BJ's recommendations. I particularly enjoyed his thoughts on finding the right tone and ornamentation to the writing.

Then, of course, there's the obvious reminder to check spelling. See above.
[More cautionary tales here.]

Check BJ's portfolio for quality work, like the script below. His own lettering guides are available at Kingpin Tattoo Supply.


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