Wednesday, 29 April 2020

Studio etiquette

Studio etiquette's quite weird. You know, there's some studios where like they're closed off in the front and nobody else is allowed in the back. Only the client. There's a reason for that, generally, it's because people have a tendency to arrive with an entourage. And that's really that's no fun for an artist who's actually trying to concentrate on what he's doing. So there's some things that are very important, be on time, it's super important that you're on time, your artist spent time drawing and preparing for you. If you're late, you're going to irritate the crap out of him, and that's not something that you want to do. Next thing, come into the studio clean. If you're gonna get your foot tattooed or your ankle tattooed and you've been running around in your dirty sneakers all day long. Seriously? And you want me to work on that? I need a gas mask to work on that The other thing is, the studio is not your father's yacht. Okay? So have a little respect. We work very, very hard to keep our studio sanitary and sterile. And you dropping your Coke all over the show and hanging out like you just don't care is not gonna cut it. Okay. So behave. There's a nice adage we use. Always be nice and kind to the man with the needle. Remember that.

Monday, 27 April 2020

Social media review

Social media's like exploded, we're all on social media, my business relies on social media, I'm doing these videos for social media. So it's become very, very technical, and for a person like myself who has always worked with his hands and doesn't really have a grip on all of that social media and hashtags and tagging and reviewing and all. And I'm not, I'm not really au fait with all of it, but there are some, they are important in getting our message out to people and our business out to people, it's important that we do that. So when you get tattooed here, and then you're taking photographs and selfies of yourself and of your tattoo. It's very important that you spend a little time thinking about tagging us, doing some hashtags about the studio and also go to Google review. Please go to Google and review. This is very important because what it does is it rates us higher and higher on Google. So when other people go looking for us, they find us a lot easier. We really appreciate all the help that we can get in this regard as social media is constantly evolving. So if anything is working for you, please use it for us as well. We really appreciate that.

Friday, 24 April 2020

Tipping or not tipping

Tipping or not tipping, tipping is quite weird because you'll tip your waiter all the time. I mean, this guy carries your plate of food to you and you tip the waiter. It's a bit weird, but I understand that a lot of those people work on a commission basis, so we don't want to upset them. In the US, tipping is like par for the course. Other places I've worked in Italy and I've worked in Holland and we don't, they don't tip. We don't see that much at all. Here in South Africa, tipping is really not a big deal. We get a lot of international clients, so we get that every now and then. But it really doesn't happen much. But remember that an artist's livelihood can also be as difficult as a waiter or waitress. So having somebody give you a tip every now and then is quite nice.

Monday, 20 April 2020


Choosing the right size tattoo, often we get asked to do tattoos that are way too small. Let me explain what I mean by way too small. If the lines are too close, there's a tendency for them to crush. So what I mean is if the lines run too close to each other like this, then if this one will spread a little, they will all spread in the skin, skin is soft and it gives and you're breaking into cells so the pigment will run in a little and they'll all spread. So if one spreads a little and the other spreads a little, what you have is the lines touching and you have lots of detail. So doing a face the size of a thumbnail is useless, what detail are you gonna get in there? Absolutely nothing. You'll get a little dot for an eye and you know another and then a little stripe from mouth. And that's the best you're gonna get, that's gonna hold. And in time even that's gonna look terrible. So a face the size of the palm of the hand is always a very good idea. And think about that. You know, often people like freak out about size. That's not something you should be worrying about when you're getting tattooed. What you need to be worrying about is what's it going to look like 10 years from now, 20 years from now. I know a lot of people say I don't care. Believe me, you'll care, you still want to look good when you're 60. And sure, we'll all be wrinkled and shit like that. But you don't want to look like a blue, wrinkled person. You want some nice shit on you. So take the time. Get the right thing. If it means you wait another week or two or a month or two months before you get it, it's worth it. It's your skin. So be responsible. Don't waste your time and your money.

Saturday, 18 April 2020

Tattoo Placement

Tattoo placement. I have my own theories about tattoo placement, and I always like to believe that they're good, solid theories and I base mine on size and style. You know, the back being the largest uninterrupted canvas on your body is always great for a really big, beautiful piece. Just imagine a canvas, A3 canvas, and you got and put a splotch just at the top, a little black design at the top. What's the point? You've wasted that canvas. You know, there's a whole lot more space you can use. So think about placement, utilize the area, like if you're going to do a shoulder piece then utilize the whole deltoid, you know, so that it works within that shape of the deltoid and it takes that space up. When it comes to styles and mixing styles. I also find that placement is very, very important. If you have a forearm that's Oriental and then the top Tribal, it just looks shit in my opinion, it just looks terrible. And what it says is you just really don't know what you like. If you want to do that to the whole arm Oriental, do the other arm Tribal and all of a sudden it starts, it speaks of a different look and style and knowledge. And it really shows everyone that, you know what you're doing when it comes to tattooing. This is a personal opinion. So take it. Leave it. Do what you like. I just think as a tattoo artist, when I see people that are covered in all sorts of styles, it kind of says something about them for me, I'm being a little judgy, I'm sure, but that shit happens too

Wednesday, 15 April 2020

Hygiene and cleanliness

Hygiene and cleanliness. We've talked about this before, but it really is something quite important. We try and be as clean and sterile as we can for you and we go through a lot of hard work at retaining that, you coming in like something the cat dragged in. "Speaking of cats", something the cat dragged in is just not going to cut it. I mean, it's really it's uncool and it's disrespectful. And remember that like as it is, I'm shaving you, do I need to wash you before I shave you as well? So really think about it. You're walking into a studio, you can be exposed. You're gonna be laying there, be clean. It helps a lot.

Sunday, 12 April 2020

Fads trends

Trends and fads be weary of these things. The Internet has made a lot of resources available to people and what has happened is we've seen a lot of fashion style tattooing, and fashions will change season to season your tattoo is not going too. Show jumping on a fad that is maybe not going to be that cool, it's not such a good idea. Think about the 80s and the 90s when everybody went on those really badly designed travels that now we spend half our lives trying to cover up. So be wary of that. Remember that good quality tattooing will stand the test of time. So things like Western traditional, oriental, good tribal will always last. Remember, bold will hold. If it's not bold, chances are it's going to come out of your skin. It can be swallowed up and you're not going to have a decent tattoo five years from now. For some of you, that might not be such a bad idea.

Friday, 10 April 2020

Back pieces

Large tattoo's, I get to do a lot of large tattoo's and I try and push for that because I kind of like that long longevity in the work and I like developing relationships with clients and big tattoo's allow for that. They're not the end all the be all. And it's not something that it's ultimately it's for everybody. But I like them. And I really think that a really large back piece always looks amazing. It's such a great statement. Having said that, let's go through the process. A lot of people are under the illusion that these things happen quickly. They just don't mean the very first session of a back piece. I do. I will line with a thin and light gray line and I'll put the whole stain slowly. Once I've done that, the client goes and they heal. They can be back two weeks later. Then we start in one corner and we can literally work on almost a weekly basis. We can start at one end to move to like another shoulder. Then over to the other shoulder, then back down again and around and around, around so that we're never touching on areas that we've just tatooed a week ago. This means I can probably finish a big full Carlebach piece in several months. Let's say maybe five months max. But it's expensive. So we'll normally do a deal with big pieces, but it is expensive and we need to work with your budget, obviously. So once that first session is in, your budget can also allow us to work over a longer period so we can take it. You come in once a month instead of once a week or you skip a month because you know, you're having a tough time that month. So that's the process. We need to get that first session in so that it's they in essence, what I'm doing is I'm putting a permanent stain, so on. Once they're permanent stencils on you, then we can scale it down or we can ramp it up depending on how you do financially and physically.


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