IT’S SHOW OFF TIME!
ON THE DIRECTORY
If you think that Beneath the Skin Tattoo, in Pottstown, Pennsylvania, is located near a college. You’d be right. The college is Ursinus, and it was founded in 1869, in Collegeville, PA, about thirty miles northwest of Philadelphia. The population of Collegeville is about 5,500. Among it’s notable citizenry (he was born in Collegeville and went to Penn State) was Horace Ashenfelter, winner of the steeplechase at the 1952 Summer Olympics in Helsinki and, the same year, Sullivan Award winner as outstanding amateur athlete of the year. Ashenfelter left Collegeville and now lives in Glen Ridge, New Jersey, where the Ashenfelter 8K Classic is held annually, in his honor. But that is beside the point. What’s important is the coal mining town of Pottstown (twenty minutes west of Collegetown, with a population of 15,000). Pottstown is famous for Daryl Hall of the Rock-&-Roll-Hall-of-Fame-winning recording artists Hall & Oates. Pottstown is also famous for Beneath the Skin, which features a sextet of winning tattoo artists, including owner Joe Lasheski, Aleks Salaneck, Stefan Salenek, Josh Potucek, Kris Ziegler and piercer/apprentice Erika Montgomery. Here are some samples of their artistry:
Note: Click images to enlarge.
GIVING PEOPLE A FRESH START
As you know, we have been building a Directory of tattoo removal services in the U.S. and Canada (we just completed our listings in Alberta province). In order to educate the general public about the pitfalls of tattoo removal (and where to go to have them properly removed or lightened), our members have been asked to contribute helpful insights to this blog. Follows is the latest offering from Chuck Powell of East Coast Laser Tattoo Removal, in Richmond, Virginia.
We are proud to work with organizations that help individuals that are trying to escape a horrific past and re-enter into society, such as G.R.I.P.S (gang reduction initiative program), O.A.R. (offender aid restoration), Fresh Start (formerly incarcerated individuals), and Grey Haven (human trafficking). These organizations help others to help themselves. I’m writing this blog article today to expose a side of tattooing that is often overlooked in our society.
Two weeks ago, a case worker from Grey Haven called and scheduled a tattoo removal appointment for one of her clients. The client was a young women, who was tattooed, “branded” with the name of her pimp on her neck. Even though she escaped from prostitution, she will always carry the past, as long as that name is still on her skin. We are helping her create a fresh start. Several of these individuals have facial or gang related tattoos that they got while in prison. In that world, you either join a gang for protection or suffer the consequences. So, how do you escape the past when you get out of prison? The facial and gang tattoos make it impossible to get a job. If you can’t find employment, you will either recidivate back into the gang life and/or return to prison.
Our work in helping these individuals is not considered a handout. We offset the cost of the procedures with documented volunteer work, that we credit at $10 per hour. This work helps our community and also helps the individuals being treated retain a feeling of self-worth.
When you go to our website, you will see two television stories that highlight and show what we do and some of the inhibiting facial/gang tattoos that individuals live with every day that keep them from becoming a contributing member of society. We ALL have many things in life to be grateful for. We ALL need to do what we can to give back to others and make this world a better place. One individual at a time.
Chuck Powell—East Coast Laser Tattoo Removal
THE BACK IS THE CANVAS
This tattoo contest is for Tattoo Backpieces. You know, those major, multi-session body art beauties that stay hidden under shirts, jackets, blouses and overcoats, but no one ever sees (except after a few beers or at the beach). Here’s your chance to show off your fabulous handiwork. We collect the entries, post the finalists (along with a Voting Booth) and let the readers choose which one they like the best. Got it? Good. So, what are you waiting for? Enter today!
The first prize is an authentic Micky Sharpz “Hornet” tattoo machine. The second prize is a copy of “Tattoo Road Trip—The Best of the Southwest.” Third prize is Fip Buchanan’s “Drawing and Designing Tattoo Art.”
Thirty hand-picked tattoo shops and the work of over one hundred artists are included in this book showcasing the blossoming body art communities in New Mexico and Arizona. Displayed are over 600 color photos of tattoo artistry. Trendsetting artists create a wide range of tattoo art in motifs as diverse as the men and women who receive and appreciate them. The artwork ranges from the small to the large. Classic black and white artistry and modern full color work are featured. Themes captured include natural scenes, animals and birds, flowers, nautical scenes and symbols, Oriental motifs from dragons to geishas, portraits of loved ones, religious art, Day of the Dead motifs, occult symbology, and much more. The artists and their shops are also featured. For anyone with an appreciation of tattoo artistry, this book is for you.
DRAWING & DESIGNING TATTOO ART
Fip Buchanan’s 128-page, $26.99 (cool pricing!) Drawing & Designing Tattoo Art won’t teach you how to operate a tattoo machine, but it will show you, step-by-step, a rewarding, well-organized method, if you do. From choosing the proper graphic tools, to consulting with the client and proper placement of the design, Buchanan shares with the reader the valuable insights and tricks of the trade that has made him one of America’s leading tattoo artists and teachers. With over thirty years hands-on experience as owner of several tattoo shops (including Avalon I & II in San Diego, California), certified blood borne pathogen instructor, international seminar leader (from San Francisco to Beijing), this graduate of the Pittsburgh Art Institute takes you through the “secrets” that made him a leader in everything from skateboard and T-shirt design to gallery-worthy acrylics and murals. Hey, he even worked alongside the legendary Don Ed Hardy, at Ed’s Tattoo City for three years… not to mention being featured in one of our very own coffee table books, Tattoo Road Trip—Southern California. There’s a lot to learn from Fip’s down-to-business commentaries and profusely illustrated gallery of finished designs (from Fip and several other world-class tattooists) to inspire even the most jaded and road-weary skin art professional.
1. Enter your best photo(s) of a tattoo backpiece that you did or was done unto you. Multiple entries are okay.
2. Send hi-rez images to email@example.com. Type “Tattoo Contest” in the subject line.
3. Include the artist’s name, shop name, city, state and phone number with each entry. If you are the collector entering the photos, include your contact information, too.
4. Entries close Friday, August 29th, 2014.
5. Voting Booth is open Monday September 1st.
Note: The winner of the tattoo machine must be a bona fide tattoo artist working at a legitimate, professional tattoo shop.
We’re looking for a new artist here at Skin Tight Tattoo! Are you, or is someone you know, a tattooist? We’re looking for a certified, experienced, clean, friendly tattoo artist! Computer/Photoshop skills a plus. We offer competitive pay! Call or bring portfolio to:
Skin Tight Tattoo, 1162 Old State Route 74, Batavia, Ohio 45103, (513) 947-9800
LETTER TO THE EDITOR
Let me start by saying I wish I had read your article (Tattoo Talk #10, “What Happened to the Money-back Guarantee?”) BEFORE I got this tattoo and… The artwork isn’t as bad as a portrait of the monkey/girlfriend that you posted, but having said that, I found an artist in McKinney, Texas, who had his own shop, good reviews by his clients and seemed to have a good work ethic to boot. We had a face-to-face consultation and I had many good pieces of artwork to show him for reference. He asked for original art as well as tat styles I liked. Then, he went to work on some pencil drawings of my piece.
I went in, looked at the work drawn, liked two of the three sketches and asked him to marry the two together in my tattoo. I was specific about my color choices and that I didn’t want a wood carving look but for it to sit on top of the skin. Not only did it turn out “wood-carving” style, but the color palette is in reverse!!! I asked for mainly blues and greens (muted not bright) and pops of brighter colors like burnt orange red, burnt yellow etc. The art was to be of butterflies and a fractal piece (¼ sleeve). The fractal turned into a red-and-yellow snail (yuck) and the butterfly swirl looks like a coiled up headless snake! The color palette is all wrong and quite ugly! It looks Southwest in its scheme, and the colors he selected are muddy, as far as the little blue and green he used. I am mortified that I paid $700 for this and sat for seven hours straight! He washed his hands of it the second that I paid and went home to heal. With my adrenaline pumping, I didn’t concentrate on him; I was working on relieving my pain!
I have attached pictures of the finished work along with the piece that I loved and showed him for reference, five minutes before he started. This, unfortunately, can’t be fixed, as I do not want a big, dark blob on my forearm and the carved-in look is here to stay, until I save enough to have it painfully removed. My lesson was blunt and severe: Never let an artist put one drop of ink on you until you know EXACTLY what the style of shading and colors are going to look like in the finished product.
—Sandra Holeman, Dallas, Texas
ON THE DIRECTORY
As an existing member of our Tattoo Shop Directory, all participating shops are invited to show off their tattoo work by sending us photos. In today’s mail were 123 images(!) from Jared Preslar of Lucky Bamboo, in Layton, Utah. We’re not going to post them all, but we will exhibit a healthy sampling from the artists, Jared, Christina Walker and Justin Hicks.
With all due respect, when photos are sent to us, they arrive in all shapes and sizes, and rather than slamming them up refrigerator-door style, we crop, re-size, lighten/darken, focus and color balance each and every one. This takes time… which we are happy to spend, because we love each and every artist on the site, but that is why, sometimes, we tend to choose and post only the ones we feel best reflect the artists’ skills and creativity. Back when I was editor-in-chief of Skin&Ink, the publisher put a limit on how many pictures we could publish from any one tattooist AND… sometimes the submissions (usually a limit of one, maybe two) never got posted for six months or a year. Or never! Now that I have an Internet magazine, I usually post next day. Amen.
Note: Click images to enlarge.
NEW FROM EIKON
Tattoo artists talked… and Eikon listened. They took their most innovative power supply on the market today, gathered feedback from artists like you—a long with advances in technology and design—and kicked it all up a notch. Prepare to be impressed with the EMS420.
● Stop fussing over voltage adjustments with the re-designed Capacitance Touch User Interface
● Tap into your desired voltage with accuracy and response
● Smooth consistent power for rotary and coil tattoo machines that doesn’t quit
● Illuminated green LED buttons finely tuned to work flawlessly through barrier controls
● Brightly lit green LCD screen delivers clear crisp voltage readings to the decimal point
● Green metallic gold fleck plastic enclosure withstands harsh surface disinfectants
● 30 minute Sleep Mode activation that saves your current settings for next time
● Four voltage presets to keep all your favorite voltage settings accessible
● Momentary or Maintain Footswitch modes
● Runtime or Stopwatch Timer modes
● Sleek vertical design with cables routed out the back for less workspace interference
● Durable, precision laser cut steel stand with Gumshoe Sticky Foot
Explore and discover all the features of the EMS420 at www.eikondevice.com/EMS420.
JOB OPPORTUNITY NEAR DENVER
Chroma Collective in Parker, Colorado (19 miles southeast of Denver), is looking for a talented and experienced artist with strong color work to start in September. The ideal artist would be comfortable with 100% custom work. Applicants should present to us a portfolio link with both art as well as tattoo examples and, of course, personal and business references. We would preferably like to hire someone already in Colorado, an artist with an existing clientele. However, we are willing to bring on someone new to the area if their work is stellar. Interested tattooists can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
—Colin and Laney Kolker, Chroma Collective, Parker, Colorado