This week, I sat down with our very own Mike Rourke (via the internets) to find out what makes him tick.

Phuc:  Yoooooooo!  What’s happening, nerd?

Mike:  Yoooodha!! Just drawing, my friend.

P:  That’s a good man.  Thanks for taking the time to do this.  And thanks for your patience.  I think I’ve cancelled on you like a hundred times…

But let’s get this interview on the road!

M:  Haha… No worries Phuc! You’re a busy man.

P:  Never an excuse, though!  Okay, we’ve been working together for four months now.  Man, it feels like longer, right?  How’s the transition been?

M:  It’s been great! I couldn’t ask for a smoother transition over all. It’s felt longer for sure. I think we all work well together!

P:  For sure!  So you’ve been tattooing for almost two years now- you’re like four months away from finishing your apprenticeship.  What next?  What would you say you’d like to focus on as an area of growth in the next year, let’s say?

M:  I know it’s crazy really! Time has flown for sure. I started tattooing full time last February and have just been trying my best. I’d say really just to try and continue to learn form, shape, depth.  Just to get better at drawing. Some days I feel like I can tattoo better than I can draw and vice versa.  I always want to feel like I’m progressing I guess.

P:  Well, I’m definitely pushing myself, too.  Welcome to the self-flagellation club.  Have you thought about taking a drawing class or two at MECA (Maine College of Art) or SMCC (Southern Maine Community College)?  We should all do that!  Imagine the three of us showing up at an art class at MECA?!

M:  I have thought of that. That would be a riot!  Working next to the two of you can really humble a young padawan.  I’m thankful to have such talented people around me in tattooing. I have a lot to learn.

Drawing classes would be a wonderful idea though.

P:  Hahaha- thanks!  That’s flattering.  I feel like drawing for tattoos is such a one-dimensional take on drawing.  There are so many other ways to “draw” and make art or express yourself visually, but tattooing makes me draw a certain way and that’s just how I draw everything now.

I don’t know how other guys find any time to make other art.

M:  Oh for sure… I want to paint more and draw for myself, but I guess I’m not managing my time correctly?!! Yeah, staying simple has always been my issue so far. Getting the basic form prior to starting to add detail, etc.   Progress not perfection.

P:  I have no idea what you do with your time.  Too much Black Ops!!!

M:  Hahahaha…. Just in between tattooing and drawing for my next days appointments. It’s a healthy break – soon, I’ll be working out!! New Year’s Resolution.

P:  You can just borrow my shake weights.

M:  Are they heavy?

P:  Are you supposed to pick them up?

M:  Yeah, fuck that.

P:  I just lay on them.  It feels really… good.

M:  That’s the butt-plug !!! Hahaha…

P:  Uh oh…

M:  Seriously, though- you guys have been wonderful, Phuc.

P:  Thanks! So what should a person who’s walking into the shop know about you, Mike?

M:  That I’m a pretty calm, laid-back person, that their ideas and thoughts are very important to me.  I always try to treat people how I want to be treated, I guess.  I love all forms of art. I love hiking in the White Mountains. I love my family and friends. I believe in karma. And the boogie man.

P:  Yeah, I love your chill vibe, and as you know, I’m like Mr. Flatline. Sue says that my affect is a little too flat sometimes. Even though I’m super excited about tattooing and the project, I just don’t emote it enough. I guess I need to “look” more excited. It’s kind of the opposite of my OCD.

M:  Thanks man. I appreciate your energy very much. I think it’s great when everyone you work with is generally a happy person. You and Sue have opened your doors to both Cyndi Lou and me, and it’s been such a gift. The Force at work. No, honestly you’re a machine, Phuc. One of the hardest working people I know. Just sayin’…  (Pay up).

P:  Hahaha… thanks! I appreciate your saying that. I’ll make sure you get the good Yankee Swap present tomorrow!

M:  Nice.

P:  We feel lucky to have you guys on board!  Good times.

M:  I’ll make sure you get the gift from Victoria Secrets!

P:  Okay- get back to drawing and take more tattoo pictures!

Mike is available to tattoo by appointment- give the shop a call or shoot us an email to set up a consultation and/or tattoo appointment with the talented Mr. Rourke.

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Holy moly!

December 10, 2012

I know, it’s been a while, right?  It’s been a crazy fall, and as Sue can attest, all my usual blog-time was consumed by preparing for my TEDx talk.  Did I also mention that I bought a motorcycle?  So there you have it, my interblogulation time was reallocated to writing, editing, and memorizing my talk; and to riding the bolts off my bike.  I lead a dichotomous lifestyle.  But I digress…

People often ask me, “What’s the weirdest tattoo that you’ve ever done?”  I usually tell them that it’s Leon’s tattoo of a penis fighting a vagina because there’s an immediate titillation factor, and most people love that idea.  Penis vs. Vagina is a timeless struggle that many can relate to – it’s like Democrats vs. Republicans, Jedi vs. Sith, Rocky vs. Apollo Creed.  It’s downright Jungian it’s so easily relatable.

Well, this past summer, I did a tattoo that could be even weirder.  I did a tattoo of a mole. No, not this mole.  This mole.

My friend David, who is an artist in New York City, came up here to finally get the tattoo that he had been talking about for over ten years.

The tattoo ten years in the making?  A tattoo of a brown mole.

Why?  David got it so that when people ask him if he has a tattoo, he can say yes.  When they ask what it is, he points to the tattoo.  They’ll say, “That’s a mole.”  He’ll then say, “No, that’s a tattoo; this is a mole,” as he points to a real mole.  Did I mention that he is an artist?

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I guess tattooing has gone meta-meta.  Getting a tattoo that doesn’t look like a tattoo but looks like a naturally occurring blemish? A tattoo that you can’t distinguish from the real thing?  Wasn’t this a deleted scene from the Matrix?

At least one more blog before the new year- I promise.