We’re getting ready to start the Boston Tattoo Convention, but I realized that I hadn’t posted any photos of tattoos that I had been working on this month.  Oops.  You’ll see that there are a few birds (love to tattoo them, hate them in reality), part of an epic back piece that I’ll unveil later, and a double portrait of a client’s grandma and grandpa.  The portrait was super fun to do, and I really like doing them, but given how the industry is becoming more nichified, people mostly look at my stuff and think “Japanese.”  Don’t get me wrong, I love doing Japanese style tattoos, but it’s fun to work a totally different skill set, too.

I recently saw this TEDx talk and found it pretty inspiring, and I thought you all should see it.  It basically says that your brain, when it’s happy, has a distinct advantage.  It thinks better, is more productive, and is better at problem solving.  So how do you make your brain happier?  Watch the video and find out!

And here are a whole slew of things- stay tuned for more photos of the Boston Tattoo Convention.


Cyndi Lou Who?

August 22, 2012

Cyndi:  Hey! 

Phuc:  Welcome! Thanks for taking the time to do this.

Cyndi:  Of course!

Phuc:  So, I have to say- I think it’s been a pretty smooth transition.  How’s it been for you?   Other than not wearing shoes in the shop?! 

Cyndi:  Haha! I expected it to be great, and so far I’d have to say it’s been better than expected!

Phuc:  Speaking of smooth transitions, have you pooped at the shop yet?

Cyndi:  Actually no.  But I’m counting the days; it’s only a matter of time.  I can’t hold out forever.

 Phuc:  Just do it.  Even Mike has already pooped at the shop.

 Cyndi:  We already talked about my system. There is no mystery left to be excited about.  I’ll make sure I let everyone know.

 Phuc:  Fair enough.  So I’ll ask you a few in-depth, hard-hitting journalistic type questions so that people can stop wondering.  So here’s your chance to say it:  why’d you guys close the shop?

 Cyndi:  We saw a better opportunity and the timing was right.  Keep ’em comin’, Barbara.

 Phuc:  Oh, I will.  We’re going full frontal Oprah, now.  What about the autonomy of having your own shop?  Emoticons don’t count as replies.

Cyndi:  You mean do I miss it or feel I sacrificed it?

Phuc:  You can interpret that however you like.  Consider it a verbal Rorschach test.  Or Horshack test.

 Cyndi:  To answer my own question I’d have to say no, it doesn’t feel like a loss.  I thought a long time about how it would feel and realized that for me, right now, it’s all about the tattooing. The old shop was a different venture when it started, and it seemed like time to find something new- not to mention work with some new people.

Phuc:  What’s your dream job?

Cyndi:  As of right now I’m doing it. Maybe later in life it could change.  I know I always want to work with people.

Phuc:  Good answer!

Cyndi:  True story.

Phuc:  What’s your favorite thing about tattooing?

Cyndi:  Just one thing?!

Phuc:  Or favorite thing about being a tattooer? It can be a few things…

Cyndi:  Those are two very different answers for me… hang on!

Phuc:  This is where you cry because I asked you something meaningful.

Cyndi:  Hang on- I’m choking it out through tears and boogers.

Phuc:  Again?

Cyndi:  One of my favorite things about tattooing is the intuitive challenge. I was just telling my client today that I feel like I’m always illustrating and tapping into what fits the client as well as what makes a good tattoo. I guess it’s the process of processing that I enjoy. My favorite thing about being a tattooer is…

Phuc:  All the free stuff?  It’s like that Eddie Murphy skit where he pretends to be a white guy and doesn’t have to pay for anything.  We just walk around and get free shit, right?

Cyndi:  Haha!  It’s the life experience. And as cliché as it sounds, it really is the moment when I get to see someone really happy about what they got from me. I like being able to do that for people. To me it often feels sacred. I see myself as very lucky to be in these shoes right now.  I also enjoy the constant evolving as a human and an artist. 

And free stuff.

Obviously. I just came here so people would kiss my ass and call me amazing everyday.

(That last part is a joke.)

 Phuc:  That’s why I do it!

 Cyndi:  I knew it!

Phuc: So this leads me to my next question: what areas do you see yourself growing in? Or, to put it another way, how would you like to push yourself as an artist/tattooer in the next, say, five years?

Cyndi:  Do I get to ask why you like tattooing?

Phuc:   No.  Hahaha… sure.  Maybe that can be another blog entry.  I’ll be asking the questions here. (I’m wearing my Homeland Security shirt.)

 Cyndi:  In the next five years I want to be doing more large work. That isn’t to say I want to be doing only large work. I want to take some time to refine everything. I want to have a more diverse palette. I would like to also put more time in to studying form and dimension.  And I also just want to explore and see where it takes me.  It feels like an adventure.  I also want to paint again.

Phuc:   That sounds great- although I’ve seen you do a fair amount of big stuff at the shop even the short time that we’ve been working together.

Cyndi:  I do a bit of it now and really enjoy it! My mind is looser when I work large. When I work small it’s more like a science project which I equally enjoy. Because I have a group of very open and trusting clients, I have so far been able to do a lot of exploring with their ideas. I’m excited to see where it will go next.

Phuc:   That’s the half of it, right?  Having clients that trust you?

Cyndi:  Trust is essential.

Phuc:   Okay last question!  Who are your top five favorite tattooers?  Of all time.  Ever.  In the world.

Cyndi:  OMG…  let me edit.

Phuc:   Yup.  I told you I was going to go OPRAH on you.

Cyndi:  The people I have always looked at and watched the most I’d say are…

Phuc:   No using Google!

Cyndi:  I’m narrowing down my answers.

Phuc:   And you don’t have to say why but you are welcome to say why.

Cyndi:  I could, but I’d go one forever.  I’d say they are all current working artists. Not because I don’t want to give the obvious answers that attest to the history of the craft but because I have been watching current artists evolve since before I started tattooing and I’d say they are my favorites because they were more accessible to me at the time.

 Sarah Schor

Peter Lagergren

Lars “Lu’s Lips” Uwe

Annie Frenzel

Thomas Hooper

 That should cover the map for me, if I must.  I will say I have obviously been influenced most by the people I have worked with though.

Phuc:   Nice! Okay – any final words for the interview?  Your chance to say whatever you want to “all” our readers out there.

Cyndi:  Gimme your money.  Just kidding.

Phuc:  Nice- stay classy!

Cyndi:  I’m just really excited about the next few years! It’s been a strange road so far. Tattooing has brought me into and out of a whole slew of experiences. It’s been a rollercoaster. And as of right now. I’m okay with thrills and excitement. Here’s to the future!

Here are some of the great projects that Cyndi’s been working on since she’s come on board.  Enjoy!