Wednesday, October 30, 2013

15 years this month!

Sphinx art by Jessie
Awe man, I am getting older. Feels fine to me. Weird, but something I gotta get used to. Especially now that I have a wee lass to keep me on my toes ever more and makin' that clock run faster, so it seems.
I have been in a reminiscent mode since this month I am celebrating my 15 year anniversary in tattooing! Yep,  15 years! I go back to the first year I did my first few tattoos and I think I am so glad I stuck with it, endured all that I have and I am where I am now. I couldn't be more pleased with how things are in my life and I feel more empowered than ever. Thank you Freya! I have a killer crew at the shop and awesome man that stands by my side and a beautiful daughter that I can't wait to involve more in art-even though every time I paint she is right there on the floor playing while I paint.
At the same time I celebrate 15 years, Jessie at the shop celebrates a 1 year victory of tattooing solid at the shop and is doing really good. I mean really good. At 1 year for me I was no where near where she is.  It is really cool to see her progress. And we all have so much hope for her future. We know we will be proud of her with whatever she does. She has become my tattoo sister-daughter.

So, in honor of my 15 years in tattooing I have gotten a tattoo by Jessie- a Sphinx and in her claws I have roman numerals "15". I am really excited about this tattoo. It's an important one for me. I am also excited to get more tattoos. I have space left on the front of my legs and I look forward to seeing some new completed works. I get so inspired by fresh work!
Jessie tattooing the ol' thigh

photo by Kearsten Leder

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

The hard truth on lettering/words/phrases/books for tattoos

Yesterday at the shop while tattoo Lovely Lexy, me and Jessie got into a conversation about lettering tattoos. It seems to be the new craze. I think over the past 5 years lettering and phrases has become quite popular. We do a lot of wording tattoos at the shop but I think it would be wise to almost forewarn people about committing to a lot of words. Here is a list of mostly cons for doing lettering.
 1.TYPOS! I swear in almost every tattoo that consists of 6 or more words, you will always find a typo. A mis spelled word is super common. Which sucks for obvious reasons.
 2. I think lettering is rigid. I prefer organic natural flow of designs for the body since the body is an ever changing canvas. I think designs that lend themselves to change on the body is best... Lettering needs to stay legible over time. Catch my drift...
3. I am really doubting a lot of script, not done in the right size will hold up over time! And in most cases lettering needs to be small to fit a certain area. People want lettering on the arm for example- if a person has only a few inches of space like the wrist area then I would only do one word there.
4. THE RIBS are a hot spot right now for scripture and I think if you want a paragraph of text, expect to take up your whole side then.
5. Another thing that worries me is- I hope this doesn't become like the tribal thing in the 90's. If people end up wanting the words covered in the next 5-15 years it will be extremely hard to do. Lettering actually is really hard to cover up. Just like black tribal work. It is one of the worst things to cover! Lettering and black tribal is just not forgiving in case you need to re work it or cover it up.

Here is the tattoo I was doing when we started talking about the lettering phenomenon
Here's a good one. If there were two more rows of text that could be considered A LOT.
I like one word sentiments or empowerment pieces.

Monday, October 14, 2013


Quite a few questions lately so here are some frequently asked and some other goodies for fun.

1. What's the worse thing that has happened during or after a tattoo? I think the worse thing that can happen is if someone ends up not happy with their tattoo and they don't come back to tell me. If someone is unsure about something on their tattoo once it is healed I could re work it some how, I am sure. During a tattoo- I have had some weird things- one time this lady told me how ugly everything was in the shop. That was strange. I thought why are you here getting a tattoo then?!

2. Do people pass out? Yes! On occasion. That is why I always recommend eating before getting a tattoo. It helps.

3. How did you get started in tattooing? I got lucky and I was a teenager so I just thought it sounded like a great idea! Here I am 15 years later...

4. How do you manage painting, tattooing and your new baby? This is a goodie. I multi-task like crazy! I don't watch TV, I hate resting and I don't care what my hair looks like, that is why it is always messy. 

5. What do you do on down time? I don't have any! but I spend any left over time baking. And then I like antiquing. And of course, concerts!

6. What do you think about the tattoo TV shows? I think TV shows are dumb so that would go for tattoo shows too but I do like Ink Master or Mater of Ink, I like to call it. I think the people on the show are lame but what a cool opportunity they get!

7. How old were you when you got your first tattoo? I was 17. It was lenient then and I got a leopard on my back.

8. Does your husband tattoo? No. I dated other tattooers before and it was awful.

9. Why does one side of the body hurt more than the other? I am not sure but I think it has something to do with your dominant side. Most people lead with the left or right parts of their body...

10. Is it hard to tattoo older people? Kinda, older skin that has been exposed to the elements over time that was not cared for is very fragile. I have to be very careful and even so, the ink bleeds out on old skin. (like 60's and 70's).

*refer to the archives for the first round of Q&A

Working on a art show for November

Monterey bay aquarium. Saw some jellies.