More and more I'm seeing tattoo interpretations of woodcuts, etchings and engravings -- and I'm loving them. They are highly graphic tattoos that will stand the test of time, and they have a truly old school power to them with a modern styling.
One artist who specializes in this style is Kim Papanatos Rense of Papanatos Tattoos in The Hague, the Netherlands. I recently found Kim through Some Quality Meat, a fun tattoo portal with tattoo videos, images, and news items.
They also are producing a video series called "The Craftsman," which highlights "talented and upcoming tattoo artists from around the globe." Their first video features Kim. It's embedded below. Check it.
As if we didn't have enough to do...we now have a Needles & Sins Pinterest Tattoo Board.
We figured it was time to jump on the pin-board photo sharing site because it really is a great vehicle for collecting tattoo inspiration images and highlighting the work of many different artists in a cool collage way. As noted on Wikipedia, the website "allows users to create and manage theme-based image collections such as events, interests and hobbies. Users can browse other pinboards for images, 're-pin' images to their own pinboards, or 'like' photos."
On our tattoo board, we'll be sharing our own tattoo photos and those artists featured on the blog, but we'll also be repinning images of beautiful tattoo work found elsewhere. Most important -- and unlike many other tattoo boards -- we'll be making sure the artist credit is in every pin so you can explore more of his/her work.
So follow us, and also hit us up on our Facebook group page in the comments to this post to recommend other boards to follow.
You can also find me on Twitter & Instagram.
While we rarely highlight an artist with less then five years experience, I'm happy to make an exception and share the work and words of Jasmine Wright, 26-year-old rising tattoo star, who has been tattooing 4 1/2 years (yeah, ok, it's close to 5 years) and is based out of Buju Tattoo in Mission Hills, San Diego. Jasmine has been on an intense 4-month travel streak, which concludes with her guest spot at New York Adorned from April 1st through April 5th.
I chatted via email with Jasmine about her work and also her thoughts on being a woman tattooist today. Here's how it went:
What type of tattoos do you love to do?
My favorite types of tattoos to do change all the time! More often than not, I'll prepare for a piece that I think I'll be super stoked on, and it ends up being a nightmare, and vice versa. I'll be dreading an upcoming tattoo, and then it ends up being a favorite. It's weird. But speaking in generalities, I always enjoy color pieces, things with lots of smooth, organic shapes. And as much as I like "feminine" tattoos, I also love a good "mean, manly" tattoo as often as possible.
I particularly love your renderings of female characters because they have a lot of soul to them. What goes into creating these types of works to give it the personality they have?
When I draw out women, I've recently tried to add as much expression as possible, usually based on the client who's getting the tattoo. Most of the female images I've tattooed are on male clients, so sometimes I'll try to envision what kind of chick they'd be into in the real world. The ones that are on female clients, I try to keep more whimsical and soft, to really draw an ultimate feminine vibe. I try to reference old Playboy models, vintage fashion magazines, makeup models, things like that. Especially the high-end fashion models who always have those intense expressions, which make for awesome reference material. Dramatic features n' whatnot.
What other references do you look to?
My reference material is all over the place. I have a ton of books, old magazines, botany, and animal anatomy illustration books. I also keep an eye on a handful of other tattooers and try to pull bits and pieces of stuff from everyone. I'm afraid of being categorized into tattooing too closely like another artist, so when I reference other tattoos I've seen, I always try to just use a small bit I've seen, or just the color palette, and not too much of the entire tattoo. It's hard to stay original, so it's a definite challenge.
Have you ever been met with any difficulty -- or any benefit -- being a woman tattooist?
If it were my choice (or even remotely realistic) I would love to tattoo anonymously without a name. Only because I want to be respected as a tattooer, not a FEMALE tattooer. There are a lot of instances that prove women tattooers get many things with less effort, or lower skill, or are just less deserving in general than their male counterparts, and I really hate that...There's a huge population of chicks that have come up recently, who only got to where they are by putting out half-ass tattoos and showing way too much skin to gain clients & popularity--simply by being a cute chick...I never want to ride off of being a girl to get anywhere in this community. I've really been working my ass off to just do good work that I can be proud of and gain respect of tattooers that I look up to from the work I do, not because I flirt. In that sense, I suppose it's an easy thing to fall into, and it's a difficult thing to work to avoid.
Also, I've met other tattooers who basically have spit in my face for being a girl; they told me I'll never make it, and that there's nothing I can do to ever be worthy. I think those people can kiss my butt, but I also agree in a small sense for those half-ass female tattooers I mentioned previously. There's a fine line that separates the legit women *artists*, versus the ever-increasing number of trendy "chick tattooers." Personally, I've had both benefits and hang ups by being a girl. I wish it wasn't the case in either direction.
Are you all booked up at NY Adorned (NYA) yet? If not, what's the best way to make an appointment?
I actually have no clue how my schedule at Adorned is looking yet, but I know I've got a handful booked. I'm sure I still have time left. Clients can email me through my website to discuss ideas and time frames, and follow up by calling NYA to pick a date and leave a deposit.
What other future guest spots and conventions are coming up?
I have a tattoo road trip in the works, most likely July/August, which will probably include multiple cities across the country (definitely Portland OR, Austin TX, Tempe AZ, and a handful of East Coast cities for sure). Those plans will be locked down by the end of April. I also guest spot in San Francisco at Seventh Son Tattoo almost every other month, and Unbreakable Tattoo in Los Angeles pretty often as well.
Anything else you want people to know about you?
I love my Aussie shepherd puppy, Albee, and I also love eating big awesome steaks! Haha! Otherwise, I'm a total old lady. I travel and tattoo, and sleep.
Luxury designer, Christian Louboutin, known for his trademark red sole shoes, is bringing the tattoo couture by translating your own tattoo artwork onto his fancy footwear.
Louboutin explains the idea behind the tattooed shoes, as quoted by Forbes:
It started as an idea of a present for a friend, I made a pair of shoes for him embroidered with his tattoo. A lot of my friends have tattoos, I realized that it's not only just a part of pop culture but a bit of a map on someone's body which says something about people. A part of their life, like an armor or a crest. Instead of carrying someone else's crest on a loafer, I thought it would be modern armories, your own crest on your own shoe. Instead of a classical made to measure bespoke shoe, which other men's shoe brands do very well, this is my modern approach to bespoke.To get your shoes tattooed, you'd have to visit one of the designer's "tattoo parlors," located in the Christian Louboutin Men's locations in New York, London, Paris, and Los Angeles. Your tattoo will be photographed and the image will be sent to Paris "where the designer himself will review and approve it," according to Forbes. Then you pick the style of shoe, fabric, embroidery, colors, placement, and the designs and materials are sent to Italy and India for production and embroidery. After three months and a new mortgage on your house, you have your custom kicks. The cost starts from about $1,400 to greater ridiculousness.
If you don't want to wait, there's the ready-to-wear pre-designed tattooed line of Loubs like this one, which you can grab for about $1,600.
Personally, I'm saving my cash for the real tattoo deal, but it's still interesting to see how the worlds of tattoo and high fashion play together.
In honor of St. Patrick's Day, I naturally had to feature work from The Celtic Tattoo Queen herself, Pat Fish.
Collectors from around the world travel to Pat's Santa Barbara studio for her intricate knot and dot work tattoos. Last year, I posted an excerpt from my Inked mag profile on Pat, and I figure it's fitting today to post a bit more from our Q&A, where we talk about how she earned her royal title:
You're called the "Queen of Knots" in the tattoo community. How did that get started?
Lyle Tuttle gave me the name "Queen of Knots, and the title "Celtic Queen of the West Coast" came from a Skin & Ink magazine article. When I started [to tattoo], I was thirty years old. You can really do what you want till you turn thirty, but at that point, you better specialize and chose a profession, something that you are. I put myself through college doing research interviewing, and then I got hired by the local weekly newspaper to interview people. I did it for over a decade. But after a while, I got to where I didn't want to be edited anymore, where they'd brutally cut my work to make room for more advertising. I finally just decided that I wanted to do art full time. At that point, I thought that tattooing seemed to be the most legit way to do art. That's when I went on my quest to find who I should learn from and the rest is history. Now it's almost 28 years. Simultaneously, I decided something else I really needed was to find out my true identity because I was an orphan and lived all my life with a chip on my shoulder that somewhere, in some office, was the truth of about where I came from. I put a private eye on to find out who I was, and it turns out that I'm Scottish. It just made sense to me that everyone else in the world has ethnic pride--has an identity--and here I was finding it out and at the same time learning to do this new skill. So I decided to specialize in Celtic art, bringing back that tattoo tradition of the Europeans.
Like what traditions?
People think that the Europeans started getting tattooed when Captain Cook came back from Tahiti with tattooed sailors, who had gotten souvenirs when they went and explored. That isn't true. The Pictish people were known for their tattoos. It turns out that I'm a Campbell and the clan Campbell are Picts. It's an extremely small ethnic group. I thought it was something I should explore and one of the ways to do that would be to bring back alive this tradition of the heavily tattooed Pictish people--to bring these designs back to life in skin. One of the better choices of my life was to learn to tattoo and then to specialize in this.
See more of Pat's work on Luckyfish.com. Slainte!
Athletes bodies are generally not known for great works of art, despite the money available to them. One tattooist explained to me that he felt the reason why the tattoos of celebrities were so bad was because they are used to getting what they want, when they want it. And if you have someone who lacks impulse control and foresight, well, that can be a recipe for a tattoo disaster.
So, when I come across a story about a sports star who really put thought and research behind his tattoo, it stood out.
The Los Angeles Dodgers slugger Matt Kemp was in the news last month for his chest piece honoring his grandparents (his grandfather had passed away just a month before he was tattooed). The work was done by black & grey rising star, Jun Cha, who works out of a private studio in LA.
A couple of days ago, a behind-the-scenes video look of the tattoo, and Kemp talking about his thoughts on getting this tribute, was posted on Jun's site (and embedded below). In it, you'll also see Jun's process in creating the work and his interesting stylization of the portrait. Worth a look.
The greatest gift of this blog is getting messages from y'all sharing your own beautiful works of art and the stories behind them. Unlike what reality TV shows tell us, not every tattoo has to have some great deep meaning. Much of my own tattoos were done simply because I like the way they look. But surrounding the tattoo -- whether it be the process, the symbolism, the design, and even just what your mama said about it -- is, indeed, a story.
Fellow New Yorker, Elaine, sent me a message about how she arrived at her recent work of art and was gracious to let me share it with you.
Elaine, who is of Filipino heritage, had commissioned West Coast-based artist Christian Cabuay for her own original Baybayin calligraphy. Baybayin was the ancient written language of the Philippines prior to the Spanish arrival in the 16th century. Christian is an expert in Baybayin, and I highly recommend exploring his site for tutorials and further information. Interestingly, Christian has a Baybayin translator on his site, but it comes with the warning not to use it for tattoos, as "the program is accurate but it's only as good as what you enter." As in most general tattoo advice, it's best to get it done custom and by an expert.
With her custom calligraphy in hand, Elaine was looking for an artist to translate the design on her body. She found Black Tattoo Art and my writing on the Tatak Ng Apat Na Alon Tribe -- a group of people, largely based in the US, of Filipino ancestry, who are reviving Filipino tattoo traditions. The Tribe works with a number of tattooists around the world in translating the ancient tattoo patterns and writing on skin, and one studio they work with is Tattoo Culture in Brooklyn, NY.
Tattoo Culture's renowned resident artist, Gene Coffey, worked with Elaine to create her Baybayin tattoo, incorporating his trademark splatter and color swath, resulting in this wonderful work shown above, which Elaine is "over the moon about." I love hearing that!
In sharing her story, I wanted to convey that coming up with a work like Elaine's could often take time and a lot of research, but the result is worth every bit of it all.
I had a wonderful time yesterday at Fordham Law School for the Fashion Law Institute's discussion entitled Art Attacks: Perspectives on the Use of Fashion Logos, where I chatted on their panel along with Ralph Lauren's in-house counsel Anna Dalla Val; brand consultant and former in-house counsel of Louis Vuitton, Michael Pantalony; and David De Buck, owner of the De Buck Gallery, whose roster includes prominent street artists. The panel -- and the Fashion Law Institute as a whole -- is the brainchild of Susan Scafidi, whom I've had a law nerd crush on for a long time after discovering her fantastic blog, Counterfeit Chic, many years ago. She's a pioneer in fashion law, which -- like tattoo law -- is constantly developing and is pretty exciting.
The focus of the discussion was fashion logos and their appropriation in art as well as commerce. Naturally, I gave the tattoo perspective. As requested in our Facebook group, I'll give y'all a taste of my talk.
But before we get to it ... What is a Trademark or Servicemark?
Ok, with that in mind, I started my talk off with the very first tattoo to be issued a registration by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office: Master piercer Elayne Angel's famous wings backpiece, tattooed by the infamous Bob Roberts in 1987 -- a tattoo that inspiring a myriad of copies throughout the world.
Those wings just didn't become easily identifiable with Elayne, but her piercing services and Rings of Desire studio in New Orleans (which closed post-Katrina). It was Elayne's brand.
In 2003, when I wrote "The Tattoo Copyright Controversy," I interviewed Elayne about her servicemarked tattoo, which had been registered the year before. She explained that a customer, who was a lawyer, told her that he felt her wings were recognizable enough -- in relation to her as a professional piercer -- that protection was warranted. The process took six years but, on November 5, 2002, her backpiece was registered. It was not just the first tattoo registered, but it is believed to be the first feature of the human body to be registered. Cool!
But then I turned my discussion to people who get the brands of others on their bodies. People like the Gucci face guy or the Louis Vuitton sleeve dude below.
I tried to get in touch with these logo lovers, but to no avail, so I put out a call on the Facebook group page asking people to tell me about their logo tattoos. I'm grateful for all the responses. Many of y'all have band tattoos and great stories behind them, but as the focus was fashion for the panel, I was particularly interested in the story of talented tattooist Ania Jalosinska, of Kolektiv Tattoo in Warsaw, Poland.
Ania wears the United Nude logo and shoe design, which you can see here. The work was designed and tattooed by JEF. Here's what she said about it:
It says nothing more then a total loyalty, love and appreciation of a brand. Their shoe design is brilliant, both from an aesthetics standpoint and engineering standpoint. Getting a logo wasn't an initial idea; I wanted a leg on a side of my leg, but since I love UN shoes and wear them all the time, it was a no brainer what shoe the leg will wear. Their logo is just one of the graphic elements, which I also put in there because, as a tattoo artist and a graphic designer, I do appreciate design of it as well.I also think the Coco Chanel quote, "Elegance is refusal," is a nice touch to the tattoo.
Naturally, I also had to talk about how some brands are banking on tattoo cool in their marketing, like Marc Ecko's Branded for Life promo, where those who get Ecko logo tattoos also get "20% off For Life" on Ecko merch. When I first heard about the promo, I really couldn't imagine anyone would buy into it. I was really, really wrong. The Ecko tattoo fan gallery goes on for pages, filled with thumbnails of the tattoos like those shown below.
In the Ecko case, the brand courts the tattooed masses.
But what about luxury brands?
Do they want the great tattooed unwashed repping their fashion houses?
And if they don't, what can they do about?
Simply wearing the logo will not necessarily get you in trouble as there's little "likelihood of confusion," whereby, one could believe that the brand sponsored or is associated the wearer of the logo tattoo. Do we really look at the Gucci face guy and think he really is the new face of the brand?
Then there's the argument of "trademark dilution," in which the brand believes that the tattoos would "tarnish" their identity by presenting it in an inferior light or associated with "unseemly services." It's a fun legal argument, but practically, I don't think we have to worry about Louis Vuitton going after our skins.
I ended my presentation by acknowledging the power of logo tattoos and the desire to brand oneself with a brand that speaks to them, which can be beautiful. Of course, I couldn't help but note that we should also honor our very own identities, and like a couture gown, get a work of art that is specifically tailored to our own bodies.
Like everything else on this blog, it's not intended as legal advice. Just my personal blah blah.
Tattoo above by Cecil Porter
While I still find more tattoo odes to ODB than MLK, I'm heartened that, every year on this Martin Luther King Jr Day, there are more people commemorating his legacy on their skin. It's particularly fitting that MLK day is celebrated this year on the second Presidential Inauguration of Barack Obama -- and I particularly love this President Obama tattoo with Martin Luther King Jr looking on behind him, created by Stefano Alcantara. A snip of the tattoo image is below.
As I wrote last year, one of the greatest things about tattoos is that they inspire communication. People are naturally curious over what others painstakingly and permanently put in their own skins. We hunger for a good story ... and many of us hunger to tell one. A mother may want you to know that the name above her heart is her beloved daughter. The veteran with the memorial tattoo on his arm lets you know about the courage of his lost friend. This communicative value also allows for teaching moments. A Dr. King tribute speaks not only about the how the activist inspired the tattoo collector but may also educate another who does not know of King's life and legacy.
It's powerful, what tattoos can do. And it's why I appreciate it when I do find tributes to inspiring figures, as they can be daily reminders to be better to each other and ourselves.
Below are some MLK tattoos we've featured in past posts -- beautiful tributes worth taking a second look.
Tattoos (above left to right) by Joshua Carlton, Mike DeMasi, and Logan Aguilar.
Tattoo above by Jason Grace.
Happy New Year, beautiful freaks!
As we begin lucky 2013, we wouldn't be a proper blog if we didn't take a look back on a very interesting year in tattoo culture. So, I've pulled ten of the most popular posts of the past year -- "popular" being determined by the less-than-scientific method of seeing what got the most hits, Tweets, Likes, FB Comments, and hate mail. Naturally, it was free giveaways that garnered the most love, but outside of our contests -- and there will be many more in the new year to come -- here's what was hot in no particular order:
The Eyeball Tattooing Video. Surprised?
Vice's Tattoo Age Series. An absolute favorite for thoughtful and fun filming of tattoo life, without drama.
WM3's Damien Echols on Tattoos & Tattooing. We were all thrilled for the release of the West Memphis 3, and even more so that Damien Echols found comfort in the tattoo community, and even picked up a machine himself. Here's my Q&A with Damien about his tattoo experience.
Contaminated Tattoo Inks. Risk of serious infection found through the use of non-sterile water in inks.
Arizona Supreme Court: "Tattoos are Free Speech." Our big legal victory of the year! [Many legal posts were also popular, including my usual blather on tattoo copyright, new state legislation, as in Florida's tattoo rules, and how tattoos have weighed on immigration issues.]
Of course, artists profiles are a huge part of the site and they get lots of love. Some of the most linked were posts on Miya Bailey, Chris Dingwell, David Allen, Jef Palumbo, Kristel Oreto, Pat Fish, and more recently, Guy Aitchison & Michele Wortman.
The most shared guest post was that of Paul Roe of Britishink: "The Skuse Family, Batty About Tattooing." It's packed with fantastic tattoo history. Another guest post that was incredibly "Liked" and "Retweeted" was the beautiful tribute Doug Moskowitz wrote on Father's Day about his legendary father Walter Moskowitz in "The Dad Royal."
A Tattoo to Transcend a Breast Cancer Battle. The story of Allison W. Gryphon -- and how she kicked cancer's ass and got the tattoo that marks her victory -- inspired many.
The Latest Tattoo Statistics. People just love nice, neat numbers.
Finally, we're grateful for the love you've shown us as we continue our own tattoo collection. While the actual 8-hours of rib tattooing wouldn't be the highlight of my year, the result certainly was a big one. Thank you, Dan DiMattia! And Brian also started and finished his backpiece by Mike Rubendall (55 and a half hours under the needle). It's nothing short of stunning. But yeah, after long, grueling sessions, your support really has meant a lot.
In fact, we appreciate any time you spend with us, reading the blog or sharing your thoughts on our social media forums and in person at conventions and other events. You have my thanks and most passionate kisses.
For those who spent too much money over the holidays, we have something you can score for free -- and it is gooood. Sullen Clothing is giving away an incredibly badass hoodie designed by black & grey guru Bob Tyrrell to a lucky Needles & Sins winner. The sweatshirt normally sells for $60 on the Sullen store, so this is a sweet deal.
As usual, here's how to play: One winner will be selected randomly from those who comment -- any love note will do -- on this post in our Needles & Sins Syndicate Group on Facebook or hitting up @NeedlesandSins on Twitter. On January 3, 2012, we'll put all the names of the commenters into Randomized.com to pick the winner.
Also, if you haven't entered to win a free tattoo from Bob Tyrrell (exclamation points), you still have until December 31st. More details on the Sullen Facebook page.
Ok, maybe it's the gift of ouchless-er tattoos, but numbing creams, gels, and sprays are a great present for those looking at some major time in the tattoo chair. Face & Body Professionals has a special bundle for only $85, which includes three of their most popular pre- and post-procedure anesthetics:
Prepcaine is a pre-procedure topical anesthetic.
You can also buy them individually here.
Holiday shopping is painful enough; order online at Face & Body Professionals for a quick and easy way to bring some comfort to those on your gift list, or even a present to yourself.
A long-time supporter of the Needles & Sins family -- and long-time supporter of the tattoo community at large, Professional Program Insurance Brokerage is offering a holiday special to all N+S readers: 10% off on all new policies.
PPIB has been covering the tattoo & piercing industry for 20 years. Their programs include:
For more info contact: Stephanie@tattoo-ins.com or call 415.475.4300. Check them online at Tattoo-ins.com.
So I'm at a friend's house last night and we're trying to dissect the never-ending popularity that is "Gangnam Style," the pop song by South Korean rapper Psy whose video, according to the Chicago Tribune, "recently became the most watched item ever posted to YouTube with more than 800 million views." I made an offhand comment that something so viral in pop culture will eventually be someone's tattoo.
We googled. And we wept.
There is not only a Gangnam Style tattoo, there is a video of its own. Our dismay, however, was more about subject matter than actual execution. The tattoo, which is documented in the video from sketch to finish (perhaps a minute too long), is actually pretty good. But I nevertheless think that parodies and tributes should generally stay on YouTube and not in skin.
What do you think about these pop culture fad tattoos? Post your comments in the N+S Facebook Group or Tweet at us.
Today, I came across Gemma Angel's blog post "The Tattoo Collectors: Film & Fiction," a fantastic piece on the macabre theme of flayed tattoo skin as collected art in literature and movies. Gemma is a tattooist and PhD student, who studies the preserved tattoo skins of the Wellcome Collection, a London museum that houses an array of medial artifacts. So she's my go-to source for the history and culture surrounding the post-mortem preservation of tattoos, which she explores throughout her fantastic blog Life and Six Months. [We've written about Gemma's work before here.]
In The Tattoo Collectors post, she particularly focuses on Roald Dahl's Skin and the German film Tattoo by Robert Schwentke. She offers these thoughts on both works:
It is interesting to note that both Schwentke's film and Dahl's story locate the preserved tattoo within the sphere of the art world - both treat the tattooist as 'great artists' in their own right, whether he be a painter or Japanese tattoo master. The value of the work is considered to be far greater once the artist/tattooist is dead. And both narratives identify the collector of tattooed human skin as fine art collectors who possess a cultured appreciation of the tattoo. Despite this, Dahl and Schwentke's collectors look down upon the tattooed themselves, occupying a more privileged class position.Gemma also discusses the very real practice of tattoo preservation, most notably the collection at the Medical Pathology Museum of Tokyo University, and she even offers an interesting anecdote about "the fetishistic tattoo collecting practices of Ilse Koch, the wife of commandant Karl-Otto Koch at the Buchenwald and Majdanek concentration camps."
The whole post is a great read. Check it.
Tattoo above by Electric Linda.
Tattoo by Christopher Allen.
I know many of y'all aren't big on this big fat American holiday for many political, social and even dysfunctional family reasons, but I just wanted to take this opportunity to give thanks to all of you who have been such a support and inspiration to keep sharing all the beautiful and just freakin cool things we love about tattoo.
Vengeful Vegan tattoo above by Jesse Smith.
One of my favorite photographers who works heavily with those in the tattoo and music worlds -- and is a walking work of art himself -- is London-based badass Craig Burton. Craig has shot me and numerous other collectors for my own books and contributes to Total Tattoo, Tattoo Life and Inked Magazine, among many others.
To check his work online, the best place for a daily pic fix is his newish blog, which I'm loving. There's a diversity of editorial and fashion -- from portraits of beautiful men & women, often covered in beautiful tattoo work, to convention coverage.
He also posts fun videos. Here's one below on the London Convention.
To contact Craig to shoot your model portfolio, live gig, art show, corporate function, or 20-lb tattoo tome, hit him up at info [at] craigburtonphotography.com.
Today, Part 1 of the Tattoo Age feature on Mutsuo of Three Tides Tattoo was released on Vice.com, and as anticipated from the trailer we posted last week, it provides viewers with a very real portrayal of one of Osaka's finest tattooers, artistically and on a personal level.
It opens with a great quote from Chris Garver (which was also in the trailer), about Mutsuo receiving a "90s style tattoo education" -- that is, taking every request that walked in the door and learning the skills to master the different tattoo styles requested by clients. The fact that he was mentored by all the shop's artists and guest artists played a big role in developing these skills as well. As Garver says, "He's a maverick." The footage is also a great peak into the daily life at Three Tides Tattoo.
To see more of Mutsuo's work, also check his Facebook page and Tumblr.