Monday, April 25, 2011

Collector Spotlight #3 Jeremy Servais's Lady Luck Piece

Took a bit to dig up the pics for this piece. I'm actually pretty lucky that I found what I did, since I've lost some pics along the way... I'll probably get a couple shots of the piece now that a year or so has gone by, but we'll do that later.

This Collector, Jeremy, is a longtime client and great friend of mine who has been a huge part of the Jade Monkey from the beginning. You could say the Monkey wouldn't be what it is and has been, without him.

So, this is his Lady Luck half sleeve. We did this in my garage, after I left Artistic. it was actually over this tattoo that I knew I had to open a shop of my own...

Anyway, The Design:

 Jeremey wanted a piece that would capture his interest in gambling and poker as well as include his Letterman Jacket and bear a similarity to his Wife.
whats shown is the final drawing design, and a pic of Jeremy's wife. we went thru quite a number of versions on this one, slowly dialing it in to the finished idea, I would have posted more of the previous sketches, but I cant find them...

Next is the outline of course... this took me quite a while, as I hadn't done this much detail in very many pieces before this. The hard part though was drawing out the stencil by hand. No Thermafax, no stencil printer. just spirit paper. but after that, the outline in the skin wasn't too bad. I was pretty scared though when doing this piece, hadn't done a pinup yet, and it was the most complicated piece I was doing in my garage at the time, so it was pretty intimidating at first.

After the outline, the only part I was worried about getting right was the face, and so I worked it as light as I could just to make sure that what I was doing would work. At this point though, one of the strongest aspects of the piece overall was the dice. For me, personally, The jacket was some of the most fun I I had with it, and the Dice...
 After working the foreground colors, and the tattoo had healed, we still had to go in and work out the background colors of the oversized poker chip with the skulls, and the smoke shading. Some of the stages of this tattoo took me two, three sessions. Just doing background coloring and shading took a few. That doesn't happen much anymore, more than three sessions for a given tattoo, unless it's something large and complicated, then I often tread carefully. I'd rather have to do more, than wish I didn't do too much.

 Then we end at the detailing, the most fun of this whole piece. which took two sessions, and a touch up. (sometimes I just don't want to let a piece go) Jeremy had come in to get a couple parts touched up, he expected to sit for 30 min or maybe an hour, and I spent more than two hours just doing fine touches. I just couldn't help it.

So there it is. Not on Sunday, but Monday... it seems easier on me that way, so I think thats how it'll go from now on.

Next Spotlight.... Who knows, maybe something more recent (I have to make sure I have all the pics for the piece...)

Wednesday, April 20, 2011


Here is a proposed solution to the problems faced by the united states: mass free education. From K thru PHD. Total free education (on a state level, ivy league schools could still charge for "premium" quality) in fours years i bet you'll see employment rise, innovation and efficiency skyrocket, lower prison attendance, drug use and crime would drop and poverty and entitlement programs shrink, cities would clean up and be improved, All while our populace becomes better informed and educated as is better able to vote and make good decisions for their lives, children and society. Our gdp would increase and we would have the most valued export in the world: experts. This solution is good for the people, free education means better life options in every aspect. For govt you'll have smarter, better qualified workers and a more honest electorate. For business, you will have better qualified workers and increased efficiency, not to mention loads of new innovation. The quality of what we do and how we do it will be improved.
This solution isn't going to solve crime, poverty, drug use, corrruption, exploitation or war, but likely it would minimize those things and make them a rarity in our society instead of our average, everyday lives... it wont lead to a utopia, or crush religion, or stamp out ignorance and intolerance, but it would make the difference in a civil, well balanced society where freedom (only truly understood with education) is the domination philosophy governing the system and cultures of our people.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Collector Spotlight #2: Jeremiah Kaplan"s Werewolf BackPack

Finally! Collector Spotlight #2

This piece is special to me in a number of ways;
1. It's Werewolf. I have always been a fan of werewolves and especially the Whitewolf roleplaying game Werewolf: the Apocalypse, which this piece is connected to, and as far as werewolves vs vampires, I'm a Garou fan all the way, F the Leeches! and don't get me started on Twilight... I didn't even like Buffy.
2. It is my first full back piece of this level that was my design (to Jeremiah"s specs of course). Major personal milestone as a tattooist.
3. Jeremiah is a great guy, and we were kindred spirits from the start, I wish I went to highschool with him.
4. It's not done.

But really, on with the tattoo.
Stage one was a lot of fun and took quite a while actually. I think this was the first piece that took months to research and prep for. What I'm showing here is just a sample of individual sketches and drawings of the overall design and the primary element, the Alpha Garou I have roughly 30 samples of different elements for the prep of this design. even the piece on the far right isn't the final design that went on Jeremiah"s back, we moved the obelisk to his ribs, and have yet added the Elder (top left) or the cubs (bottom)

Stage Two wasn't too bad once we got the stencil on him. We went through three razors to shave Jeremiah's back the first time (I had help). The whole "werewolf" tag really fits him! ha! To simplify the initial outline, I left out parts beyond the elements we still plan to add later, so the sky detail and the initial brambles were left out this session. I can't remember how long the initial outline session took... you would have to ask Jeremiah, I have long since lost track of the time investment so far in this piece.
Stage Three has been the longest stage for this piece, even more so than the design, however it has been the most fun, and easiest to prepare for. Unfortunately I did not take enough process pictures from the many sessions to show a more clear progression, due to forgotten camera, dead camera battery, crappy pics, and every other possible camera snafu you could imagine... but I got enough for our purposes here I guess.
As you can see, we also added the sky details and lower brambles on the rocky outcropping where the Elder will go. Technically, this piece has never left this stage, as we haven't finished it. Though Jeremiah is still coming in when he can, (this guy is non-stop busy) there are still certain events that will have to occur before we add the Cubs and the Elder.

Lots of shading, and we have added some additional outlines to certain elements to separate them better as well as adding some color elements. The blue glow comes from the obelisk we moved from the  main design to Jeremiah's ribs, couldn't find a pic of that one, sucks... but thats where the glow comes from, the foundation stone of his person and aspirations.

And this is where we are at with the "Werewolf BackPack" get it? it's a werewolf pack... on his back...? nevermind.... I name everything in a way that describes the piece visually, I don't make a painting of a blue square next to a red circle and call it "the dynamics of mother and child" I call it "blue square and red circle", it's easier for me, and besides, "blue square and red circle" is probably what everyone else would call it, regardless of what title I put on it, besides crap, ha!

As always, if you want to get a better look, ask Jeremiah, he's starting to get used to taking his shirt off now... ACTUALLY tho,  He will be coming in this week to get some good photos of our progress so far, and I will post those here as a follow up.

Next week (no, seriously) We'll do Jeremy Servais' Lady Luck piece! (honestly, I'm getting the pics all sorted out tonight)

Sunday, April 17, 2011

On track

Brought my hard drive home last night, that means a collector spotlight will be going up later today. For now tho, I'm going to hang out with my 3 month old daughter

Thursday, April 14, 2011


So much going on, and at the worst possible time, I have lost my flash memory drive with all the work I've been putting together for upcoming tattoo's, Corset Photography designs, and my sketchbook.... SUCKS.

alas, we move on. cant just blame it all on a missing flash drive... so it is time to do a lot of makeup work, and quickly!

Friday, April 8, 2011

The next Jade Monkey Art Show!!!

This next Jade Monkey Art Show is going to be a special one! We've got some good friends, The Slave of the Muse coming down from Vegas to enthrall and entertain, with various performances and acts including FIRE BREATHING (we're excited) and an incredible audio experience!

We're going paint a TON of shit that night too! Some pieces will be for sale, some wont, but it'll be a great show to watch!

BYOB, no reservation, come as you are, and be ready for a WILD night!

Monday, April 4, 2011


First of all, No Collector Spotlight this week, swamped with work, and other duties, and I forgot my hard drive at the shop again *ugh*.

Second, got another TV interview. abc ch15 tomorrow, and my 5th qr code. From there I think I'm going to put together a collection of all of this hype around the qr code tattoo. and maybe I can get Colbert or Stewart to ask if I'm the anti-christ on national tv. that would be fun. as long as the angry mob stays on the interwebs.

I imagine joining people that would protest me and the qr code tattoo, I would help out by protesting WITH them, but I would have a sign with a qr code on it...

Also, I have established a Personal Tattoo Policy to help me better manage the increase in work I'm experiencing. hope that will help. And starting work on my second sketchbook, amongst other projects.

Strike while the Iron is hot, right?