Random stuff today.
1. It feels like a whole new day at the tattoo shop for me now. The number of folks with large ongoing work mixed with a bunch of new customers and doing a bunch of conventions means that people were getting pushed further and further back with their session work. I knew the system we had wasn’t working but I didn’t know what to do about it. Our good friend Mel had worked out a system for her fiance, Jason Angst to handle a similar problem. They did the trial and error and we asked Mel to show us their now refined appointment system and it seems like a perfect fit! We wont get the full effect til the end of April when the appointments we had filled til then get finished and we start calling folks under the new way.
It’s weird how things have changed for my tattooing in a few very short years. I have my dream shop, my dream team (Cara and Chris), and now a waiting list. Me. A waiting list. Times like this make me feel so strange, like I accidentally stepped into someone elses life, someone I think “deserves” all this my way more than I do!
What can I do? I’ll try my best to be worth it.
2. I was crazy motivated to put out a new set of Japanese inspired flash before the Baltimore convention in two weeks. The last set I did was 2 or 3 years ago and I can barely stand to look at it nowadays. For the new shit I have 3 pages finished and 2 more to go but I feel like I’m stalling out again. It’s strange how I can almost feel the desire to paint rise and fall in me like a jar filling and emptying of water. When that tide is really low I’d rather do anything than paint or draw for myself.
For work it’s never a problem to draw and be inspired, so maybe I have been tattooing for so long that I need a deadline and other people to set parameters before I can get that fire under my ass to get going. I have no doubt that I will have the final two pages done and ready, but I’m hoping it doesn’t become a slog to get it done.
3. I had never heard of Kihachiro Kawamoto until I was Google searching for oni demon references for the above mentioned flash set. I stumbled across a still from one of his shorts films (called the Oni) and was amazed and delighted! It reminds me of the strangely beautiful but terrifying effect the stop motion work of the Brothers Quay evokes in you. There is something amazing about dolls in that you identify with them while still subconsciously never forgetting that they are cold inanimate objects. It’s such a universal fear/fascination that almost all of the movie Ghost In the Shell :Innocence attempt to suss out the answer to the question. Anyway, here it is. . .
This kind of thing is why Japanese tattooing is so fascinating, for a westerner it’s like a bottomless well of new inspiration that is founded on a system of cultural and emotional history so alien to mine that its like another world. The more you dig the more you find and the more you find the better the tattoos come out!
4. I’ve been listening to a lot of The English Beat lately and you probably should too.
5. Cara has a new Tumblr blog and even though we spend all kinds of time together its always fascinating to see her take on things. I got me a smart woman there! It’s so fun to be with someone who is as excited about tattooing as I am and yet she has her own take on it, her own particular niches that she finds inspiring that are different from the ones that I focus on.
I think a few people wondered why I decided to apprentice Cara, im sure most of them felt it was because we were dating, but anyone who has seen how fast she has grown and how passionate she is for tattooing wouldn’t doubt that what made me ask her to apprentice was that she had the fire in her eyes for tattooing that I’ve almost never seen in anyone else in this art form. Doubt this girl at your own risk.
6. Every so often I like to remind myself of something I once heard from another tattooer
A person who works with their hands is a laborer, a person who works with their hands and their head is a craftsman, and a person who works with their hands, their head, and their heart is an artist.
If you are tattooing then I firmly believe that you should be working with your hands, your head, and your heart.