Results tagged “Miami Ink”

Oct201222
08:06 AM
luke wessman tattoo.jpg
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).
 
Dec201020
03:46 PM


The guys from Miami Ink are doing some heavy marketing for their Ruthless & Toothless kiddie line of apparel, skate decks, sketch pads and other gift items for the holidays. In conjunction with video promos and free tattoo contests on their YouTube channel, they have posted a number of drawing and painting tutorials by Chris Garver including the one above. It's an interesting look into the design process and worth checking out. There's also an adorable video of a four-year-old girl teaching Garver how to draw "Princess Pinky Purple Blue" -- using a WACOM Tablet and Photoshop no less.

So the artsy cuteness of it all did in fact bring me to the Ruthless & Toothless online shop [the power of marketing!], but when I got there, most of the merch was out of stock and wouldn't be available for six weeks [the fail of production!].  I'll still take the free lessons.
Nov201006
03:35 PM


In last week's post on Erin Chance's Kat Von D portrait tattoo, I linked the online casting calls for the next season of LA Ink and a new show, NY Ink. I had also sent a tongue-in-cheek email around to tattoo artist friends here in NYC asking if they'll be trying out to be the new tattoo TV sensations. Turns out, well, a bunch of them are.

We've all heard the arguments against the shows. In almost every interview I've done with artists for Inked and Skin & Ink recently, there's a general lament that no reality exists in the way tattooing is portrayed in mainstream media. No great story need be behind your desire to get tattooed. No sleeve is completed within 48 minutes. And skate ramps in tattoo studios are generally frowned upon.

It's rare to hear of any desire to be a part of the shows, particularly from long-time tattooers, so I was surprised when my friend Michelle Myles of DareDevil and Fun City tattoo studios -- who's profiled in the video above -- sent me a text telling me to read her latest post on Devil City Press. Turns out that Michelle along with co-owner Brad "You Kids Get Off My Lawn" Fink, resident artist Big Steve, and pretty shop boy Reid Waters have put themselves in the running for NY Ink's casting. Here's what Michelle has to say:

Anyone who's been involved with tattooing pre-Miami Ink didn't get tattooed to be a part of a trend. I started getting tattooed because it was anything but trendy or even acceptable. Tattooing was a fringe subculture we worked our way into, and it certainly wasn't seen as a valid career choice. It breaks my heart to see tattooing get sold out to the media and popular culture. TV producers aren't on our side. The tattoo industry doesn't have a say in the way it's portrayed in the media. Overall it depresses me to see our industry be represented by such vapid host. We can only hope for the best with what gets spewed out.

Now there's a call for characters for  New York Ink, the latest incarnation of TLC's tattoo reality series. My response to the casting call?...... Sign me up. I don't really think I'm someone they would pick. I don't drink, I'm in a stable relationship, I run a solid shop, I'm not very emotional and I'm not a huge jerk who yells at people. There's two ways to respond to change. You can be bitter and mourn for what once was. Or you can step up and try to be a part of the change. We can't control how they portray us but you can control how you portray yourself.   I like seeing artist I respect on TV (Chris, Kim, Hanna...). At the same time I don't like seeing assholes represent my profession. Now to make matters worse they're rolling  into our neck of the woods. I'm hoping they don't pick a bunch of losers for this one. This one's New York. This one's ours. I'm not embarrassed to say I want to be a part of representing my community.
Yes, I would love my DareDevil friends repping me. [They are also freakin funny and would make for good TV aside from their strong portfolios.] Where my concern lies is whether one can really control how "you portray yourself" in the quick edits, scenes taken out of context and the faux drama that will be created. Will legal contracts bind the artists into doing something they wouldn't? Will we see Brad Fink in a kicky little pin-up outfit?

Despite my concern, I'm rooting for them because I don't want my NYC tattoo world turned over to scratchers and "professional tattoo models" for the masses to mock. If there will be any mocking, hopefully, it will come from me teasing my friends over the long stories we'll endure waiting to see how their tattoos turn out.

Have your say in who will be on the show by voting on RealityWanted.com.  Here are the Daredevil profiles: Michelle Myles, Brad Fink, Big Steve Pedone, and Reid Waters.

I also voted for another dear friend and fabulous artist Lea Vendetta.
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