My hot mess

November 20, 2010

I thought I’d slip a quick, deep-fried, hot mess, turducken of an entry into the blog  before Turkey day actually happens!  So this last Wednesday, I dropped my shambolic lecture about tattooing at the Peaks Island Lecture Series.  Scott and Eric, the organizers, were super awesome and even hooked me and Sue up with some complementary stabilicers.  So now you know how to get me to give a lecture (or how to get me on an island):  dangle some free stuff and a boat ride in front of me.

Sue and I had a really great brainstorming session over the weekend- having some dinner at Caiola’s, enjoying some wine, rocking the baby under our table in her car seat, and scribbling down all these great ideas.  And where was the napkin on which I wrote the outline for the speech?  I lost it, of course.  The good news, however, is that I can talk about tattooing for a lot longer than anyone would want to listen.  Really.  Nature’s organic depressant: Phuc talking about __________.

All week I’ve had a gnarly head cold, and Sue even had suggested last Saturday that I not tattoo, but you can’t keep me down!  I summarily brushed aside her womanly concerns (pshaw!) and Spartaned up to work all week.  On Wednesday, we headed over to Peaks Island a little early to have dinner (and beers) with some friends before the lecture.  Who loves shepherd’s pie?!  This guy.  And then, after several beers and some capillary-breaking nose-blowing, I unleashed my head cold-addled, beer-fueled screed on the history of tattooing, genres of tattooing, and my tattooing process.  Forty-five minutes later, as the dust cleared, it was like the end of Rocky, Star Wars, and the Breakfast Club all rolled into one- a turducken of triumph, if you will.  The audience was exploding with jubilation, the Rebel Alliance was firing their blasters into the air, ladies were handing me their babies to kiss.  “Please, please, no more, no more!  You’re too kind, too kind… please!  You’re too kind!”

All kidding aside, it was a blast- the audience was really great, asked some really good questions, and I felt like it could have gone longer. Leave ‘em wanting more, right?  The questions covered an interesting range from “Why do you think tattooing is popular?” to “How does the tattoo needle work?”  And, to be honest, I thought I had put a pretty good power point together for a novice’s intro to tattooing, so if I ever need to do this sort of thing again, I’ll really be ready to go.  So let me know if any of you need entertainment for bar/bat mitzvahs (Oy vey, this hoyts!), weddings (the bride’s first “prick” on her wedding night?), anniversaries (you’re “stuck” with my tattoo for life), or funerals (tattoos really “liven up” any wake).  This show is ready to go on the road like Mad Max!

So we’re about eleven months into the blogging thing, and I’d love some feedback.  Do you want more posts but less writing?  Just an occasional photo essay?  It’s easy to snap photos and just post them up on the blog quickly.  Or would you like the meaty photo posts wrapped in a blog with bad puns shoved up the crevices?  Ooh, that sounds dirty…  or does that sound like a turducken?  I would love to get ideas/prompts from you all about things that I should blog about, because honestly, these entries are just salvos propelled by caffeine, alcohol, insomnia, or my fear of 2012.  I’m glad that we’re blogging.  I think that it’s definitely “added value” to the site and our web presence, but I’d like to see more interaction from you, the reader.  And I know that at least some of you are reading it unless all this site-traffic is from Homeland Security.

By the way, Homeland Security, this hot mess that you see?  The blogging squeezed inside my career that’s encased in my life that is deep-fried by all my other responsibilities?  This is my turducken.



















Your Ad Here!

November 5, 2010

We don’t even know where this month went!  One minute we’re in the middle of scrambling to get the shop open, and the next we’re in the full swing of things.  It’s like we were never closed.  With weddings, tattooing, babies, and Halloween all in between… but I am happy that I am too busy to blog about things (as opposed to having all the time in the world to blog about nothing).  I promise we’ll try to post a little more this month.

Here’s an exciting upcoming event:  I’ll be giving a “lecture” on tattooing as part of the Peaks Island Lecture Series – and the ironic quotation marks are not meant to denigrate the series but rather the actual value of anything that I’m saying in lecture format.  I hardly think that I am fit to lecture on anything (except maybe the perils of drinking a chocolate milkshake with tuna in it- don’t do it), but I was flattered to have been approached by the lecture series organizer.  The talk will focus briefly on the overall history of tattooing, my own personal tattoo history, and my current approach to tattooing.  I’ll have a little slideshow of work that’s recent and not so recent with some “director’s commentary” on the work.  I’ll be rambling on for about 45 minutes or so, giving plenty of time for people to heckle me afterwards.

Bring your vuvuzelas and let’s have some fun!

The event is at 7:00pm on Wednesday, November 17th, at the Common Room at the Inn on Peaks Island.

I’ve been starting a bunch of big projects lately- too many to detail here, but some day, they’ll grace the pages of our website.  Here are some photos of a sleeve that I started on a client from Harpswell.  We made some in-flight adjustments to the design (it started out as a samurai but turned into a foo-lion), but since I was free-handing the background, I just needed to have the foreground and flowers drawn.  This is a nice “process” photo series that shows the task of laying out and starting a sleeve, as unglamorous and messy as it is.  Otto Von Bismarck once said that there are two things we never want to see being made: laws and sausage. I think he might have added tattoos to that list as well.  This client is also coming in this week, so it’s the unusual opportunity to tattoo someone two weeks in a row.  We’ll see how he’s feeling after last week.

In the annals of WTF, a client of ours mentioned a site that connects people looking to sell space on their skin with corporations looking to buy tattoo space.  They sell their arm, and Nike pays them to wear a Nike Swoosh tattoo.  Walking human billboards!  This is not a new idea since the “band t-shirt” made its debut in the ‘60’s, but not many recognized the absurdity of the band shirt when it first appeared.  You, the fan, pay the band money for the right to advertise them on your body.  What a coup in the halls of marketing and advertising!  Don Draper must have been dancing around his office with delight.

What’s the difference?  Advertising a band on your t-shirt is obviously not as permanent as a logo tattoo, and on a sociocultural level, you are in control of sending a message as you choose to wear the band shirt.  At least for us Gen-X’ers, wearing your Violent Femmes t-shirt was like signaling the beacon of cool in a fetid sea of Glen Fry pop music.  Your Hüsker Dü sticker or your Siouxsie button on your jacket was a way to let others know how you did and didn’t fit in.  Did it make sense that you paid the band for the right to wear their swag?  Sure, because it was a shortcut to buying some sense of identity and letting others know who you were without actually having to talk to you.  As Nick Hornby says:  It’s not what you’re like, it’s what you like.

I can’t see corporate tattoos in the same light.  While I do think this is straight up prostitution, I can’t judge because everyone’s got a price and a situation (no, not that Situation).  If that lady who got Golden Palace tattooed on her forehead can get her house out of foreclosure or pay for her kid’s college tuition, good for her.  Her decision impacts no one but herself and her family, and while it’s not one I would make, I can’t fault her for her choice…

Okay, off my soapbox for today!  Less chattin’ and more tattin’!  More pictures than you can shake a stick at below.

Baku In-Progress

Baku In-Progress

Fudo In-Progress

Fudo In-Progress

Kenny's Koi In-Progress

Kenny's Koi In-Progress