Results tagged “Neo-traditional tattoo”

07:21 AM
lighthouse tattoo.jpgcaptain darkside tattoo.jpgrose tattoo.jpgAt the Brighton Tattoo Convention this past February, I had the opportunity to meet some wonderful up-and-coming artists, whose names you'll definitely be hearing more of in the near future, if not already. One such artist was Vasilis Tzamalis, better known in tattoo circles as "Captain," for serving the Greek navy and wandering the seas for 10 years, before pursuing his dream as a tattoo artist. Tattooing for just two years now, Captain got a real dream apprenticeship at the renowned Sake Tattoo in Athens, one of Greece's finest.

Since March 2015, Captain has been working at Dark Side Tattoo Society, also very well respected in Athens, specializing in custom traditional tattoos. Captain took some time away from his vibrant color work, to play along with our Proust Questionnaire. 

What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?

What is your idea of earthly happiness?
Living good and healthy along with family and beloved friends

Your most marked characteristic?

What is your principle defect?
My patience

Your favorite painters?
Rembrandt and El Greco

Your favorite musicians?
John Coltrane / CCR / Pantera 

Who are your favorite writers? 
Not much of a reader, but really enjoyed "Still Life with Woodpecker" by Tom Robbins.

Your favorite virtue?

Who would you have liked to been?
Michael Jordan

How would you like to die?

What is your present state of mind?

What is your motto?
"There is a scratch in everything , that's how the light gets in."  - Leonard Cohen

Find more of Captain's work on Instagram, Facebook, and on the Darkside Tattoo site.

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12:02 AM
erin chance tattoo.jpgThe US imported exceptional tattoo talent when New Zealand's Erin Chance decided to make Richmond, Virginia her new home. I became a fan of Erin's work, which leans towards the neotraditional, from her time at Auckland's renowned Sacred Tattoo studio, and I'm stoked that Erin will be sharing her talents on the road in North America (and places beyond). I grabbed Erin for a quick email Q &A. Here's how it went down:

First off, when did you officially make the US your home?

I finally got my Green Card right before Christmas 2012, so I've been here just over a year now. Best Christmas present! I'm based in Richmond, VA., but on the road a lot.

Has moving to Virginia had an impact on your work?

A little, mainly what machines I use, etc.. My art has been going through some changes. I'm sure tattoos will follow suit before too long.

You have a wonderfully diverse portfolio, but also one with a particular bent towards neotraditional work. Do you prefer to work in different tattoo styles or focus on one genre?
Thank you! I really enjoy Neo-traditional/illustrative work above all else, but I also enjoy recreating fine art as tattoos from time to time. Not photorealism, at least in colour. That terrifies me! Ha! More like comic covers or fantasy paintings. I'm a nerd.

erin chance tattoo 1.jpgSince you began tattooing in 2006, has there been any experience, whether it be in tattooing or personal, that had a profound affect on your work?

Traveling has been a huge part of my career since early on. I've been places and met people I probably wouldn't have had the chance to if it weren't for tattooing, and it's impossible not to learn from those experiences. Also getting the job at Sacred, so early on in my career was an opportunity of a lifetime. Dean Sacred and Dan Andersen were amazing mentors and I wouldn't be where I am today without them. Chris Bezencon of Eastside Tattoo in NZ was my first mentor. There I learned a unique approach (by modern standards) to tattooing. Rotaries and single needle outlines! As a result, I am much more comfortable using a tight 3 than a 9rl [round liner]. Ha!

One of your tattoos that has made its way all around the internet is the stunning fox hunt themed backpiece, (shown above). Could you tell us more about that piece?

The fox hunt scene is on an old family friend. I've known Steve my whole life, and he was actually a huntsman for years so this was a tribute to that time in his life. Although we don't actually have foxes in New Zealand. Haha. It took somewhere around 70-75 hours (7 full days and 2 halves) over 2 months. He is a machine!

If you could sum up your philosophy on tattooing, what would it be?

Work hard. Give the cleanest tattoo you can. Make people happy, but not at the expense of your own professional integrity, or sanity!

erin chance tatto2.jpgYou recently showed your fine art work at Glitch Gallery. What are the parallels between your fine art and tattoo work?

Generally, my art and tattoos are more or less the same style, but for this show, I definitely pulled away a little in some pieces. I think, as I start painting more, the shift will become more noticeable.

Where is the best place online for people to purchase your artwork?

You can by my prints at

When you're not tattooing or painting, what do you love to do?

I'm a gamer, haha! Not that I ever get time for video games these days. I read a lot, and I have 3 lovably annoying cats that love sitting on my lap or shoulder while I'm trying to draw.

Any guest spots and conventions coming up?  

So far, I have a guest spot at Archive Tattoo in Toronto coming up, then Hell City Columbus, Silver State Reno, a guest spot at Red Rocket NYC, the New Zealand Tattoo & Arts festival, and the Melbourne Body art Expo. I'm sure there will be more added in between though.

See more of Erin's work on her site, Instagram, and Twitter.

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08:39 AM
lore morato tattoo .jpgOne of the reasons I love traveling to tattoo conventions is meeting artists and getting excited about all new kinds of work that I haven't seen before. At the last London Tattoo Convention, one artist whom I fell in love with is Lore Morato -- not just for her beautiful tattoo work but for her generosity of spirit. After many years tattooing outside her native Brazil, particularly in Germany, Lore has returned home and is opening her own tattoo atelier Golden Times Tattoo in Belo Horizonte. She took a break from building her shop to talk to us about her fascinating life and work.   
When did you first dream about becoming a tattooist?

Since I was 16, when I used to hang out with friends and sketch their tattoos on paper.

What were some of the most important moments in your path to fulfilling this dream?

When I went to Europe as a 20-year old, I was already dreaming of being a tattooer. I arrived with no money at all. I was a punk seeking adventure. I had no idea what would happen to me, but it was better not to think too much... hehehe. So in the beginning it was really hard because I had no home. I used to live in squats in Barcelona and eat recycled food out of the trash ("freegans" you know? Hehehe). I needed to work really hard in small jobs, like babysitting or handing out flyers on the streets, in order to get money to buy my first used machine. The path was long, but I knew that good moments would eventually come.

There were so many important moments for me, for example, when I finally found a cool lady: Petra Kempka, who helped me a lot and got me a job in my first good tattoo shop in Germany. Or when I finally started tattooing only what I really love; and also when people write me telling me they are so happy with their tattoos, and I see that I can help them with my machines... like when they go through an important moment or when they need to heal wounds from the past, and they want to transform this in tattoos and choose me for that! This is the best part.
lore morato tattoo 3.jpgYour distinct style of tattooing blends Neo-traditional with the spiritual. Could you explain your approach to this work?

My mother and grandmother back in Brazil raised me in a very spiritual way, teaching me about magic stones, plants, making wishes and believing in the universe. My mom always said we women are powerful witches. Their teachings are the greatest source of inspiration for my work. Since then, I started studying and celebrating the Divine Feminine, the magic and mystery about being a woman: worshiping different goddesses, seeking the balance between male and female. My work is part of me, is part of what I believe. It's all together, all in one.

You have very strong female archetypes represented in your work. What are your influences and inspiration behind them?

As I said before, all the goddesses that I worship are sources of inspiration, but mostly I draw on the archetype of the Sumerian Goddess Inanna, my favorite goddess and also my guide. She is the queen of heaven in the Sumerian mythology and goes down to the underworld to face her sister, who is also her own darkside at the same time. She learns to embrace her shadow in her journey, and when she does it, she goes back to heaven as the queen of both heaven and hell. I am fascinated with this story!

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What are your thoughts on being a woman tattooer -- do you believe there are still obstacles women in the industry must overcome today? What have been the more positive aspects of being a woman artist?

I believe there are still obstacles for we women in many places around the world, not only in the tattoo industry but in most other jobs as well. This is so sad and something we can't deny, even when we think it's 2014! There is still a lot of things to fight for. As one of my favorite singers, Melissa Auf Der Maur, says in one of her lyrics : "As we stumble together, we fall alone". So if we want to overcome sexism or any other "ism" that diminishes us, we need to stand together as artists, as workmates, as sisters.

The most positive aspect of being a woman artist is just the fact of being a woman! We were all born powerful, and when we start to realize it, the tattoos we make will become more than just tattoos, they will become tools for healing.

Tell us about the creation of your new studio. What are your goals for Golden Times Tattoo?

This a dream coming true for me, and in my own tropical country. Can you imagine a "tropical new-traditional tattoo shop"? Hahahaha! My boyfriend and I are the owners and we expect to bring some artists from Europe and the rest of the world to work with us as guest artists. The new-traditional scene in Brazil isn't that strong yet, but people are always curious and very excited about it, so interest in neo-traditional here is definitely growing. We are also an art gallery, and every month we will have space for artists to make exhibitions, not only tattooers but all kinds of artists we want to support. Our goal is to make this place a place for dreamers, for inspired people to give and receive inspiration, a place that people feel good and at home.

What conventions/guest spots do you have planned for the new year?

I will be in Europe from August to the middle of October:  I will be at the London Convention (26 to 28th September) and at the Stockholm Ink Bash (29 to 31th August) also making some guest spots in Zurich (Switzerland), Leeds (UK), Berlin and Cologne (Germany). Dates and shop names will be in my page very soon:

lore morato tattoo 1.jpgWhat is it you most want to accomplish in the new year?

I want to paint more oil and watercolors and do other projects besides tattooing, and dedicate this year to enjoy my shop here. I also hope to continue following my spiritual path since I am now back in Brazil, which is my home.

If there is one thing you'd like people to know about you, what is it?

That it doesn't matter where I am and what I am doing, I will always believe in dreams and magic; and that my tattoo equipment are healing tools for me, I do my job from the bottom of my heart. If you get a tattoo from me, it will not be "just a tattoo," we will be doing magic together!

What do you love most about your life?

The fact that I can travel a lot while doing my job, because I looooove traveling so much!

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Find more of Lore's work on Facebook and Instagram.
05:32 PM
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I know. I've been remiss in not featuring more Traditional and Neotraditional tattoos lately, so what better way to get back on track than to showcase new work from Americana maestro Myke Chambers.  Myke is a prolific tattooer and painter, making his Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram feeds, which he regularly updates, incredibly dynamic online art galleries.

While Myke's home base is Northern Liberty Tattoo in Philadelphia, PA, he frequently works conventions and guest spots around the world.  You can check his 2013-2014 schedule here, and as noted on his site, appointments book up fast.

For reality TV lovers, Myke appeared as an expert advisor on the show Tattoo Rescue. You can watch the full episode in which Myke appears here

Also check him on his live tattooing webcam.

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10:37 AM
swallows and daggers.jpgPhoto by Joshua Gordon.

On my list of favorite tattoo blogs, for a long time, has been Swallows&Daggers. It's my go-to source for everything about traditional and neo-traditional tattooing, with artist profiles, galleries, and articles on the history behind iconic tattoo imagery.

This month, the Swallows&Daggers crew (who are based in the UK) have created a streetwear brand that is inspired by these traditional tattoo motifs as well as hardcore and hip hop cultures.

Check for their debut line, which features artwork by Clark Orr, Zach Shuta, and Matt Skiff that is clean and bold, just like a good traditional tattoo. The tees and hoodies can be purchased online and in select retail partners in the US & UK.

If you want to watch cute and really young tattooed boys play around in the shirts, see the video below. Also hit their lookbook on Flickr and Facebook

02:55 PM
swallows and daggers.jpg
When I got back to Brooklyn from the Traditional Tattoo & World Culture Fest in Ireland, I found the latest issue of the wonderful Swallows & Daggers tattoo zine waiting for me. Considering it's published in the place I'd just come from, I've gotten to continue my love affair with the Irish beyond their pubs their lush scenery and vast cultural institutions.

Swallows & Daggers highlights Traditional and Neo-Traditional tattooing, promoting established and up-n-coming artists working in these styles. And they do so in the coolest of old school and new school ways by offering a paper zine (almost like a tattoo newspaper) with a dynamic blog. Bookmark it!

You can order the hard copy zine, as well as the digital version, through their online store, which also includes flash, tattoo books, prints, and some nice looking tees.

I particularly love the thoughtful tattoo interviews, but also check their section on the meanings behind common tattoo motifs, their growing convention coverage, and sketchbook reviews. In fact, there's a great article in this latest issue that explores the good and bad of mass-produced sketchbooks sold by tattooists and suppliers. ["Do they show a tattooer's particular approach to design or just make it easier for the uncreative?"]

Cheers to Cian David Wright who works his butt off putting it all together.
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