COOL FLORIDA SPECIAL!
TattooRoadTrip.com's Daily Blog
THIRD ANNUAL EVENT
Our friend Bale and his Por Vida crew are presenting their third-annual tattoo event, the Duke City Tattoo Fiesta, July 12-14, at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Albuquerque, New Mexico, the second weekend of July. Along with the top shops from the Southwest (Brian Everett from Route 66 Tattoo, etc., etc., etc.), Eric Inksmith from Inksmith & Rogers (Jacksonville, Florida) and Freddy Negrete from the Shamrock Social Club (Hollywood, California) will attend. I will writing about and photographing the event, plus presenting a “How to Photograph Tattoos” seminar, for artists and collectors interested in taking better photos of their work. I’ll also bring along a cool Waste of Talent, hand-tooled Tattoo Road Trip portfolio, so artists can see, first-hand, how it significantly upgrades the presentation of their tattoo photos. Those attending the seminar are asked to bring along their existing portfolios of tattoo pictures.
ON THE ROAD AGAIN
We have completed the New Mexico leg of our “Tattoo Road Trip-The Best of the Southwest” book, for Schiffer, and now it is time to hit the pavement for leg number two, Arizona. Featuring members of our Tattoo Shop Directory, we will be visiting Flagstaff, Chandler, Glendale, Mesa, Peoria, Tempe, Tucson and Phoenix—eighteen shops in all—to interview and photograph the shops, the staffs and over 250 tattooed clients, for a 300-plus page coffee table volume with over a thousand full-color images. First stop: Birch Avenue Tattoo, in Flagstaff. As usual, we will be sending stories and pictures from the road, so stay tuned.
TRENT’S BEAUTIFUL PORTFOLIO
How would you like your best tattoo images showcased in a custom, hand-tooled, leather portfolio for tattoo photographs created by Heather Bleser at Waste of Talent? Valued at $350, these distinctive portfolios are perfect for displaying your handiwork at conventions and the front counter of your shop. So, with that in mind, and the fact that we have recently posted the fifth in our series of “How to Photograph Tattoos,” the winner was Trent Valleau from Taste of Ink, in Austin, Texas. Heather has been working with Trent to come up with the perfect, personalized portfolio to show off the photos of his tattoos. And here’s Trent’s prize!
P.S Be sure to contact Heather to order your amazing hand-tooled, leather portfolio. A regular sponsor of Tattoo Road Trip, Waste of Talent‘s custom leather portfolios are unbeatable and perfect for professional tattoo artists who want to make their photo presentations look super classy!
THE COLLECTIVE JOINS THE DIRECTORY
An ongoing contributor to the Tattoo Road Trip website, Ian Preeper, has left Classy Tattoo Co., in Halifax, and opened his own shop, The Collective Tattoo Studio, with artist Kyle Young, in New Minas. With his trademark illustrator style, Ian favors the philosophy that a tattoo should be readable from fifteen feet away, thus his bright colors, defined space and traditional design concepts keep getting better and better. From what we can see, Kyle has the looser hand, preferring a more painterly style, which gives the shop a wider range of technique for the customer to choose from. Their contact information is now on the Directory, in the Canadian provinces section. Here are samples of their work:
Note: Click images to enlarge.
READ IT AND WEEP
I received this announcement in the morning’s mail:
XXXXX tattoo shop, XXXXXXX XXXX XXXXXX XXXXXXX, announces a new promotion in which one of their skilled artists will deliver 165 minutes of pure tattooing pleasure for the low price of $99. This equates to receiving XXXXXXX XXX’s top-of‐the‐line tattoo services for only sixty cents per minute. “This is a price that nobody will find elsewhere,” said XXXXXXX XXX’s Founder, XXXX XXXXXXX. “The tattoo artists that work at XXXXXXX XXX are amongst the top in the nation. They will work on our customers for 2 hours and 45 minutes, giving their all to create beautiful artwork for them.
Best of all, during this promotion they will do it all for less than a hundred bucks. That price is unheard of, especially at a high caliber shop that maintains the reputation and cleanliness that we do.”
When a customer walks into receive the special, they will know instantly that they have entered into a shop with a high degree of sophistication and professionalism. Once they request the service, or show up for their scheduled appointment, they are prepped for the treatment and the countdown begins. 165 minutes later the time has passed and the body is adorned with a whole new work of art.
This special is offered on Tuesdays and Wednesdays only. Customers will experience no scheduling problems, as XXXXXXX XXX is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
In business since 2006… XXXXXXX XXX’s shop is one of the largest tattoo facilities in the nation, and is one of only about thirty in the country to be Better Business Bureau accredited. The artists at XXXXXX XXX are amongst the best in the industry, some of them having over 20 years of experience. They use state‐of‐the‐art tattoo techniques that very few artists even know exist. This is why XXXXXXX XXX has been dubbed “The Tattoo Authority of the XXXXXXXX.”
I thought the days of signs in the windows of tattoo shops announcing ”Free Oil Change with Every Tattoo” (Las Vegas, 1990′s) were over, but I guess not. Featured here is an email I received this morning, from a supposedly legitimate tattoo shop (read the glowing descriptions they write about themselves), touting their newest offer to drum up business. Hey, I’m not against creating promotions for attracting customers, but this seems absolutely insulting, to me.
To my way of thinking, winning customers should be the result of quality work, not slashing prices to the bone. It’s like my visit to that much-maligned tattoo convention at the Fairgrounds in Pomona, where attendees would find a tattoo booth they liked, find a design in a tattoo artist’s portfolio and snap a photo of it with their cell phone, then commence going booth-to-booth, up one aisle and down the other, asking for the lowest bid. Those people should be tossed out on the ears, and a lot of artists agreed.
Slashing prices by 80 percent is demeaning to the industry and insulting the hard-working tattoo artists who are building a business based on their talent and customer service, not on discount coupons and rock-bottom prices. Yes, some shops charge less than others, because the customer base differs from city to city or they are having a special Halloween promotion, etc., but that is the exception to the rule. I’m lousy at math, but doesn’t $99 for 165 minutes work out to $36 an hour! I’m sure those artists with “over 20 years of experience” are thrilled to death when they’re given a Tuesday or Wednesday shift. And they are approved by the Better Business Bureau? I’m sure that undercutting every other tattoo business in town with these idiotic prices would not be approved by a properly educated Better Business Bureau.
I’m sure the other shops in the area have something to say about this kind of crap. I’m sure there are readers out there who will say this shop has the right to sell tattoos for whatever price they want. Yes they do, but not by kicking dirt in the faces of the competition, demeaning the standards that legitimate tattoo artists have fought for years to establish. By the way, when I went to this shop’s website, there were some stock photos of tattooed models, but no list of artists or their work. I guess you don’t get to know who the artist is or see samples of his or her work for $99.
P.S. Please comment. We want to hear your opinion.
ON THE DIRECTORY!
Tattoo Road Trip welcomes Ryan Worley, Justin Runyon and the rest of the crew (Jamison, T.L. and piercer Anthony Watts), of Epicenter Tattoo Studios, in Huntington, West Virginia, to our Tattoo Shop Directory, of the shops we recommend, in the U.S. and Canada. Slim pickins in West Virginia, but shops like Epicenter more than make up for the rather quiet tattoo scene in this rural and beautiful state. Here’s some photos of Epicenter’s tattoos from Ryan, Justin, Jamison and T.L.
Note: Click images to enlarge
Some of the very best times have been our visits with Madame Chinchilla and Mr. G, at Triangle Tattoo & Museum, in Ft. Bragg, California. Not only is the trip to their museum more than enough reward (about two-and-a-half hours north of San Francisco), but what really inhabits our memories and dreams is a ride on the river, in G and Chinchilla’s fabulous launch (a well-weathered boat and a touchy outboard motor). I can’t tell you how great these two icons and friends have filled us with joy and respect for the world of tattoo. G has recently undergone back surgery, and we wish him all the best for a full recovery, so he can get back to transferring his special kind of positive mana to the folks he tattoos. Love ya, guys!
Be sure to read their “Most Influential People in Tattoo” post.
—Bob Baxter and Mary Gardner
I’m Stefano, from Italy. I’m looking for this artist and this tattoo. Maybe you help me to find it on web?
Many thanks and kindest regards,
THAT WAS FAST!
BE THERE OR BE SQUARE
Starting this Saturday, the 7th Annual Maritime Tattoo Festival kicks off at the Forum Multi Purpose Centre, on the corner of Windsor and Young Street, in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and EIKON will be there! Click HERE for more details.