Saturday, December 28, 2013

ART SHOW Dec 2013

Winding down 2013 is quite something. It reminds me of when my daughter (almost a year) is overly tired and so she compensates by going ape shit...It is climactic indeed.
So, when I had this opportunity to show my art at a salon in Petaluma at Dukes and Dolls Salon, I was all for it. I had taken at least 5 years off of showing my art in public outside of the shop and I have taken a very long break of painting since the pregnancy and then having Sonja was all that I focused on in the past 2 years. I mostly painted late at night once the house was asleep except me-
"The Magical Steed" (SOLD)
I started out painting a anatomical heart-
"Heart" (SOLD)
"SHIP"- home ward bound (SOLD)
I also did a smaller one framed, but I did not get a pic of it before someone bought it...
Then I went into a nautical direction. I painted the ship, octopus, shrimp- that I titled "Briney the elder", get it? Ha.
Which led me to a mystical part which was the key, a steed and the all seeing eye (not pictured)...It was then ( whilst doing these pieces) on October 17 that my cat had to be put down. It sucked and it hurt so bad- that is when I had the idea that I must place these paintings up for sale and donate the money to the animal shelter...I painted a sketch of my cat twice but it was not turning out. It was frustrating, but I figured she did not want to be shown.
That is when the dragon came up for me...I was thinking about what a powerful year 2013 is and so the year of the dragon painting happened.
"Year of the Dragon" (SOLD)
Once I did the dragon I was thinking what paired with dragons? Snakes! so hence the snake-
I ended up doing something like 15 pieces maybe...Not like they were really big, but a variety of sizes...and I think I painted for 10 weeks straight. SOLID...We had the opening on Winter Solstice and it was lovely.
The remainder of the pieces are at the salon and are still for sale. Anyone is welcome to go to the salon- 25 Kentucky st. Petaluma and check them out...and buy if you like. The prices are negotiable too! And I will gladly do custom commissions!
"Thoughtful Girl"- $25. (SOLD)

"Raven" $80. (SOLD)

"Luna Moth" $140.

"Nicole"( SOLD)

"Owl" $180.
"Snake" $200. (SOLD)

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

A testimonial from a great client.

Me tattooing Carina
Jen has been my tattoo artist for two years. A couple months ago I moved far from Jen. I finally made the decision to get my first tattoo since working with Jen. Jen was always open with me, and shared her work preferences and art styles on Facebook and her blog, which always made me trust her work, vision, and flexibility. Being that art work was always a team effort with Jen, I wanted to be sure that my new tattoo artist was the same. After searching through possible shops I finally found a tattoo artist whose work I was really impressed with. I went in to meet with this artist while she worked on a tattoo for a friend of mine. I was able to see the delicate and deliberate way that she worked and I felt confident in my decision to choose her for my next tattoo. When I went in for my art consult, the artist actually sat down with me and designed the art with me so that the entire thing was our collaborative creation. She sat and measured and shaped, and resized – I really enjoyed feeling ownership of my art. I had learned from Jen that artists should have an open mind to new creations, but that artists are the experts in tattoos, and not me. Jen made me comfortable to expressing my ideas for art, while not feeling entitled to knowing what was best – I have great ideas, but I don’t know how ink and needles and skin work together. Between my new artist’s expertise and my ideas, we made a beautiful art piece. Being that the tattoo was placed on the inside of my elbow area, I had a difficult healing process. My beautifully completed tattoo needed some serious touching up. I was afraid that I had finally made the decision to get a highly visible tattoo (compared to the multiple tattoos that cover my thighs) and it was “ruined” because of dropping of color during the healing process. I went to the tattoo artist and expressed my severe stress and she was patient and kind and quickly scheduled a touch up appointment free of charge. The tattoo, recently touched up, is healing nicely once again. It was amazing to feel confident in my ideas and communication with my tattoo artist because of the safe creative space and education that Jen offers at Valkyrie. My experience with Jen will always be the foundation of my future tattoo artist searches and advocacy. Jen and Valkyrie tattoo will always be my “tattoo home”. I already plan on returning for a new piece with my mom and sister as soon as I return to California.
The wonderful Carina

Carina's tattoos

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Tattooing in a mans world?

God. I have been wanting and meaning to write about this forever but as I have blabbered before about my life- I am tattooing, running a business, rearing a little one, painting for fun in my studio at home after work- which was after dinner that I made for my family- so, you get it. But I often say, I only have one life and I hate being lazy! I am compelled to do what I do and this topic for an article has been on my mind since I have indulged in this blog...I am not even sure where to start on this one...
When I first started tattooing there was definitely only a small handful of women in tattooing. Few women got tattooed as well. I think I adjusted to being the only girl in the shops I have worked at because since a young age I always hung out with boys and was interested in what the boys were doing. I grew up as a tom boy. So when I was introduced to tattooing I was comfortable enough. It was not until a few years later that I found out that there is a weird rivalry between women and men that tattooed.
Honestly, I do not even know where to begin on this one...
From what I know about tattoo history, tattooing has always been competitive between tattooers. Tattooers in the past have been known to safe guard secrets of the trade. A lot of women that tattooed in the old timey days where instructed by their husbands and that is how they became a tattooer.
Sometime later more women started tattooing on their own without the association of a male. (I am wondering where the feminist art movement in the 70's fits in with all this...)So anyway as I started tattooing in the late 90's there were some women in tattooing on the map. Very inspirational! However,  the big names in the business was and is still men. Men owned tattooing.
When I started tattooing in SF in the 2003 I worked with other gals for the first time. All of a sudden I go from dudes everywhere to women tattooing! Everywhere! There was and is no shortage of women tattooing in the SF bay area. And they are good! Really good. They hold their own and the seem to be respected. However there is still this weird immaturity-air-around boys are better than girls thing. I was really feeling it among the traditional style guys. Like they are keeping it so traditional that they even believe women don't have a place in tattooing. But even still you know how inferiority complexes go- If boys (someone, any sex) is insecure about their position being competitive with another in their field, their attitude is just plain, well, stupid.
So here I am 22-23 years old in the middle of a boys vs. girls match. So lame. Now around this time I could pull really nice lines and pack in color solid. But that is still not enough for some and I still have not deserved a place in tattooing according to others. I hate having something to prove! Especially to others- and men. I already have my own personal drama of stife inside me going on. That is my personal take. Aside of that in the industry there is a rival of dudes vs. ladies going on. I have to mention that when Kat Von D became a famous female tattoo artist that became almost revolutionary. The masses loved her and her work. Everyone that came into the shop brought her up. I think it was a good thing. It spot lighted women in the industry and I think it made people that get tattooed think about how great it is to be tattooed by a woman and started supporting women more. On the other hand I think women coming up did and does ruffle boy's that tattoo, feathers. It is like that scene in Anchor man (Ron Burgandy), when Will Ferrel is in the bar and pist that a woman became lead anchor and the bar tender (Danny Trejo) gives him this great lecture about how times have changed and women are good at stuff now. Well, that goes for the tattoo industry. Women that are bad ass tattooers are coming up in the world and boys need to move aside-, there is space for everyone.
I have totally experienced working with guys at a shop where they thought I sucked just because I was a girl. It used to get to me then. Now I couldn't give two shits. I guess after awhile you just build confidence and believe in what you are doing, so what others say don't phase you so much.

I think tattooing has come a long way. I don't mind that it has become commercial. There is public things that maybe are not best for the industry but everyone looks at things different. What is most important is that the people that are in the industry love tattooing and care for it and do the best to represent tattooing in a positive way.  If you have no love for the tattoo world, man or woman you don't deserve to be here. That's how I see it. XOXO ~J