Saturday, April 28, 2012

Harry gives me shit for how messy I am when I am working, but I simply can't help it! I tell him I am just an artist at work!
Here's the tattoo I was working on that required every color I could think of. It reminds me of summer.

Jen needs a personal assistant!

I have had some personal helpers in the past, but I am kinda a control freak and a workaholic but it is time to admit to myself that I need help! I need more time freed up for myself to be able to stay on top of my drawings and sleeping less is not an option. So here is the deal:

I need someone one day a week or so to learn the ropes around here. I am also thinking a woman might be best since I already boss around enough boys :)
Here is the requirements (I will be providing the training)
~Receptionist skills! Must book appointments, call people, greet them, etc. This is where the professionalism comes in and you must be personable!
~Light gardening skills, we have indoor plants and a back patio that needs to be attended.
~ Major cleaning. This is probably the least fun part of the job description. I need the floors cleaned well, dusting, the bathroom and general tidying.
~ DJ skills, you must stay super on top of having music played and getting to know the music so you can make good music choices.
~Librarian. I need the books to stay tidy and in order. You will need to get yourself comfortable with the library to know where everything is.
~Sterilizing. This is a time consuming chore, I will need to you to scrub all my tubes and run them in the autoclave. You will be in charge of spore testing the autoclave monthly. Basically everything Bio room related- you will need to be in charge of. I will require you to do blood borne pathogen training for this. I will help you get that.
~Inventory/stocking. You must stay on top of everything being stocked. If we are running low on something you must take note of it.
~Some computer stuff, website, facebook etc.
~A butt load of organizing for my papers and stuff.

There may be more duties, but this is the most of it.
The shift is from noon-8pm
You must be totally dependable.
You must be a quick learner.
You  must be down to be here for the long term.
The point of having you here is to take stress away from me, not add to it. 

This position would be perfect for a student or artist. The compensation will depend on what we come up with trade/and possibly money!. You would be able to use the art space here for your own personal projects. You will have access to the library and  the entire art room at your disposal. You also will learn the behind-the-scenes at the tattoo shop and would possess managerial skills here.You could also earn tattoo credit!
I need a right hand woman here that will be as bad ass as all of us here. Can't have a weak link at team Valkyrie!
Please email me your information, do not call the shop or come in. I will only be taking emails for this and would like to  interview people asap!


When you email me, please tell me your age, where you work, your school stuff, where you live, etc.!!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Being a Tattoo Collector

A recent situation happened at the shop that has spurned on this article.
I actually have not thought about writing about this before,  but I think this will be helpful for others out there that are new to getting tattooed, or maybe even something others,  that are experienced tattoo collectors can relate to.
My left calf by Adam Lunoe 2011
First off, tattooers are wierd people. I think artists in general are wierd, but tattooers are definitely strange. In the head. They are like prates. Totally superstitious, guarded and just plan ole' funny. Since tattooing (back in the day especially) was full of trade secrets and basically grim and very competitive... The clients that supported a specific shop usually stayed with that shop and didn't cross breed to other shops.  There are however, different kinda  collectors. For the drifters around the world, they could get tattooed by different artists, to commemorate their travels and what not. For the rooted locals, they can frequent that one shop in town that is always there.
When I first started tattooing, there was only four shops in town, so you just went and got tattooed wherever you could. Sometimes a person would come in and they were shit starters! They would say you know that other shop over there was talking shit about you guys. That was my first taste of non-comrade re in the tattoo business. It may seem today that this happens less, but I don't think so.
So I want to go over some basics for being a tattoo collector. I myself collect tattoos from various artists, because it is a total investment for me. I admire other artists and think they are better than me at tattooing  and so I learn from them... There are many other reasons to collect from different artists. Basically, to get different styles of art from other artists is the  idea though,  I think.
The best way to collect art from various artists is to give them a specific designated area of your body.
My right calf by Tim Lehi 2007
  I think this hits the nail on the head! Very rarely does a single piece look good when you have had 2-4 artists on it. It's usually obvious and looks like you are all over the place with your ideas for your tattoos.
 Most collectors know not to have a different artist work on someone else's work unless there was a unfortunate circumstance for either party, ie: the artist dies form a heroin over dose, you move somewhere else, you have a falling out with the artist, etc...It happens. But most tattooers with respect and a decent set of art morals don't take over another artists work.
I personally do re-do's on older tattoos that would clean up nicely. If that can't be done, then a cover up may be necessary.
Most people that collect from various artists know this rule/idea/ethic without even speaking of it, but I find it funny that more people have been coming into the shop after we tattooed them, they went somewhere else got tattooed on it, and want us to work (fix) on it again...
People may need to be reminded that getting a tattoo is not the same as just walking into a barber and getting a haircut. Tattooing has so much more involved to it than that.
We have so many loyal customers at this shop. I have some clients that I have had for the past ten years! I am tattooing their kids when they turn 18. These customers would not go any where else. And then I also have clients that collect tattoos from other artists and I love seeing their other work. I don't get insecure about it. And usually the work is nice, so it's cool. They also have an understanding, nor would they want someone else to go into a piece that I had done for them. This is respect they have for me and my art and I appreciate that. I think it is great when clients honor their work as much as I honor working on them.

Friday, April 6, 2012

I shared the booth w/ Cecily (pictured)
I finished up turning this blog into a book and it is in the Que for printing. I have been all nostalgic feeling since I was putting together that book so I went digging thru stuff to find more pics. I found this old one of my station when I worked at Sacred Rose in SF. This was in 2006. I can't believe it was six years ago! Feels like it was sooner, but at the same time it feels like ages ago too. ( My current station looks a lot less cluttered.) Sacred Rose was such a small shop! I also found this other picture of when I worked a convention down in the LA area. I believe that was in '05 or '06. I remember that convention. I made the most money I ever had at a show there...and No I don't do conventions anymore. I think they are lame. But I have always wanted to do the all female tattoo expo in Florida. Maybe one of these years...

Monday, April 2, 2012

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but…
Let’s examine this for a tattoo.
Add caption
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder is a theory of mine. You will hear me say this saying at the shop all the time. I believe in this quote and I believe it applies to tattoos.  A lot of people that don’t know any better for tattoos think just any ole’ tattoo is cool, because tattoos ARE cool, but there are some things people need to be made aware of.  First off, tattoos need to be executed nicely. Lines need to be clean, straight and even. Shading needs to be solid or blended well or faded out well. And then the image needs to be designed well. A lot of artists out there rely on eye popping bright color- but that can be distracting from the image and if it is drawn poorly,  the bright color will hide that.
I am just frustrated because so many people are coming into the shop that got tattooed at other local shops close to our area (I am not naming anyone) and their tattoos are terrible! They come to me to have it fixed!
This piece when finished wouldn't
 necessarily need perfect
lines - the shading would
clean up any discrepancies.
Something that can avoid all of this is, look at their portfolios! This is rule number one. If you think their work is great go for it. But if you are on the fence, don’t let them talk you into it. Tattoo competition is high. Tattoo artists are selling themselves left and right! You can’t even listen to the radio without hearing an ad for a tattoo shop! I always say if you have to advertise, what does that say? Tattoo business is mainly a word of mouth referral business. Tattoo shops that have to try so hard getting their name out there, makes me wonder…
So back to my theory -beauty is the eye of the beholder, a lovely gal came in today that I have worked with before, and I know exactly what kind of style she likes. Well she went to another artist and got something done that she is very unhappy with. The lines are far from Stellar in my book. Everyone else that sees her tattoo tells her it is great, but when I look at it, I think the lines are unacceptable. I am a stickler for clean perfect lines, and have worked hard on achieving perfect lines. Technically speaking, if you find a liner needle that is great for you and you slow it down and stretch the skin taught, you can really achieve beautiful lines. The first thing I thought when I saw her piece was, man, that artist really needed to slow it down and stretch the skin. I have tattooed her before and I know she sits well. So I know this is not a client-not-sitting good situation. This IS totally the artist’s mistake! So anyway during our talk she told me everyone else thinks her tattoo is great, but I certainly don’t. I know I am an artist so I have a critical eye, but if this was done from my shop I would be mortified. And yes, we are human so every once in awhile there is something that is not perfect from our shop. But we strive and work very hard had producing the very best for our clients.  
 I have another short article called tattoo matchmaker that would be good to read alongside this article… I think tattoo artists need to know when to recommend a client going to another artist that would execute the design better… I also think there are a lot of people tattooing out there that probably shouldn’t be. But if they are being  supported by people that like their work, then beauty is in the eye of the beholder certainly is true!