Thursday, December 30, 2010


Ugh. Not feeling too great today. major tooth pain last night has left me pretty wiped out....

think I need to sleep....

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Winter Storms!

I know we're not getting it very bad considering most big cities on the east and west coasts have been hammered by winter storms these past few days. But DAMN is it cold! here in Phoenix we're getting a nice icy rain and the forecast says that our low on Friday will be 20 degrees. for us down here in the desert, that is some seriously cold weather!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Tattoo Shops Everywhere

There has been a TON of new tattoo shops opening up in the Phoenix Metro Area, mine included. and more all the time. Kind of surprising considering the economic downturn, not as many people have the money to put into tattoo work. A luxury, I know.

But it seems that there are too many, the market is on it's way to a bubble burst and with an over saturation in tattoo shops, it seems to me that demand will taper off, and as such a lot of these shops will be short lived. Part of it I think, is that a lot of people have gotten into the business for the money and don't have the background that I would expect a tattooist to have - an Art background. Also, too often I hear about poor treatment of the collector and a generally dismissive tone toward those that keep the industry alive, the client and their interests.

To me there needs to be another model for tattoo shops and the artists that work them. Granted, Club Tattoo's "retail" model does really work, but it seems too impersonal to me. For me, the experience of getting a tattoo and everything that goes into it is a very personal experience. I think that just  as much attention should go into the collector as does the design and execution of the work. Hence why I call a tattoo collector a Collector, other  than a customer, client or consumer. They are commuting to skin, not just their ideas, but your approach and execution as an artist, and how the artist goes about producing the design and helping the collector decide exact placement and all possible considerations will have more than a lasting effect. it's permanent after all. You're tattoo will be with you longer than any job or car.

But as the "old" model of tattoo shops and artists is confronted with newer approaches and more skilled practitioners (as it has for a good ten years now), things will change, and I think the tattoo parlor will continue to evolve toward more of an Art-House kind of environment. Already the stigma is fading, the quality of work is improving and the practice is becoming more acceptable and transparent, not to mention cleaner.

But it's a double edged sword. Anyone can get equipment now which increases the likelihood of getting work by an inexperienced tattooist, and also reducing the prestige and mystery of the tattooist (like a kind of Jedi). Yet at the same time, the doors have been opened to allow other artists a shot, like myself that aren't into the tough guy, gangster, biker kind of character that is commonly associated with tattooists and street shops.

There will always be the people that don't care, and want to pay $10 and a sixpack for a tattoo, and there will always be tattooists that are just suited towards taking care of that end of the market, but for most of us that want to ensure that they are getting professional, clean, quality work from someone who cares as much (if not more) about how that work turns out, the options are clearly growing everyday. And for the discerning Collectors out there, you should easily be able to find a skilled artist in your area, they all seem to be opening their own shops these days. Just like me.

Liberty's Room

A few pics of The Cherry Blossom Tree I did in Liberty's Room. Took about 8 hours. I'm showing the original sketch and some of the process photos.

The first thing with something like this (room painting) is to do a smaller drawing of the overall idea, which should be worked up as much as possible so that you get a familiar Idea with how everything will interact and look overall (composition).
 With The composition figured out, I use a black crayon and sketch out the design directly on the wall. Crayon cleans up pretty easy, just be sure to use it lightly. You shouldn't be able to see the drawing from any kind of distance. It should stay simple, no real detail, just work out things where they should go. I used quick circles to mark out the flowers.
After the sketch is adjusted, start painting in your base colors. Just a flat color, starting with your darks and largest colors.
I left the branches broken or avoided painting the trunk where I knew the lighter blossoms would go. This way the lighter paint doesn't have to compete with the darker paint. Having darker paint under the lighter paint will affect the lighter colors and make less bright, or at worst, muddy looking. When the Darks are painted in (still not much worried about the details) I then went in with a base pink for the flowers, following up with lighter pinks for highlights and darker pinks/light maroons for shadows.

 I used the window in the room to pick the light source, so all my highlights were on the sides of the flowers closer to the window, the shadows went away from the window. This made it really easy lighting scheme to follow. thinking of lighting when you add more colors and detail will add lots of depth and interest to your painting. After the lighting effects, I added more details, and variations to the flowers. Stuff that looks nice up close, but you wouldn't notice from any distance. These kinds of details are always last, but make a big difference in the end.

And thats it. I used pretty simple, cheap materials; 2oz acrylics that cost $2 each, cheap craft brushes and a 1" paint brush. No clearcoat, I like how the flat colors of the tree contrast with the semi-gloss lilac.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

A recent Tattoo to start things off.

This is the Sin City Piece I've been working on for a couple months now. just finished, I still have to get the healed pics. Composition by me, elements based from the comic series and movie.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


I will try to update every thursday, and keep things interesting around here. So the first big update will be the 30th.

Also expect to see lots of info about the Jade Monkey, the Tattoo shop I work at, as well as links to stuff on Facebook, and weird stuff I see around the web.

There will be a period of experimenting with this page as I find my most desired version of the available features.

New Blog!

Ok so here's another spot where I will rant and rave about all kinds of things.

But mostly art.

Also I will post pics of my art. Mostly tattoo pics I'm sure, but also comic projects, random drawings, paintings and that sort of thing.

See you around!