"Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote!" -Benjamin Franklin

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Really, portraits? That's a bad idea.

Well folks, it's another Wednesday, which means another review(?) of the new episode of Best Ink.  I got up this morning planning to put my kid on the bus and then sit down with a cup (or 3) of coffee and watch the new episode.  Well, I got my coffee and turned on the TV only to find that it hadn't recorded- crap.  It also wasn't on 'on demand' yet.  A few hours later I broke down and spent the $2.99 and watched it on iTunes- not because I couldn't wait, but because I didn't want you, my loyal readers, to have to wait. And, lemme tell ya, it was well worth the 3 bucks.
The show started with a short segment of everyone talking about how much Jessica sucked and how they're glad she's gone- pretty funny.  This week, what they refer to as the flash challenge was really more of a life drawing challenge.  Nicky, my new person to bash, said some shit about having broken his glasses this morning and not being able to see the model.  What the fuck?  You travelled away from home for however many weeks it took to shoot this dopey show, and you didn't think to bring an extra pair of glasses just in case?  Alexis wins the competition and is rewarded by being the only contestant to get to vote on the bottom 3.  I would love to be in that position- I'd vote for the bottom 6, have everyone go home, and have the damn show be over.  Then there's a scene where they're all sitting around talking and Kyle pops up and says something like "Joe always says things like it needs more black.  Fuck his opinion".  WOW!  Now, I'm not defending Joe here just because he's my friend, and I certainly don't think that he needs me to defend him, but he's an excellent tattooer, and Kyle, well, not so much.  Maybe Kyle should try to learn anything he can from Joe during the course of the show- just sayin'.  OK, Kyle, from what I've seen on the show, your tattoos need more fuckin' black!  They need help in other ways too, but they could definitely use more black.  My personal opinion is that when you think you've got enough black in a tattoo, put some more in.  
They're told that they're gonna be doing portraits and Charlie has a little tear-fest because she knows she shouldn't be doing a portrait.  As someone who does a good number of portraits, I know that it is not something for everyone- it takes a special kind of crazy to do portraits properly.  I almost feel bad for the people getting the portraits.  If ya want a good portrait, you go to someone that DOES portraits, you don't get tattooed by someone that you are stuck with on a TV show.  Charlie gets upset when she finds out that she will be working from a passport photo- but the photo has been blown up, so it's not tiny.  She apparently doesn't realize that for someone that has never done a portrait, she kinda lucked out.  It's an old photo, and there's not a whole lotta detail, making it a little easier to duplicate the photo. They're given 5 hours to complete a portrait- that's reasonable.  I generally tell people that most portraits take me anywhere between 3 and 5 hours to complete.  Midway through, Joe does a walk around and looks at everyone's tattoos.  At this point, Jon's tattoo looks the best.  We get a cutaway to Kyle saying "I'm not all that concerned with what Joe has to say".  You're diggin' your own grave buddy.  
Again with the mad face from Joey at the beginning of the judging- hell yeah!  Joe lays into Kyle and tells him that he has a bad attitude, then blows up at the whole bunch of 'em.  I love that he uses the term 'new fangled tattoo guys'.  I can't even tell ya how awesome the explosion from Joe was- you gotta see it to fully enjoy it- I rewound it a few times.  At the end of this I'm gonna post a link to a video on the Oxygen website that has a great segment from last nights show, that shows Joe losing his shit on Kyle- you gotta go watch it because it's fuckin' awesome. A river of tears from Charlie who actually did a really nice tattoo considering that it was her first portrait.  Jon and Alexis were the top 2, with Jon coming out on top.  Alexis voted Kyle, Charlie, and London in the bottom 3.  Nicky should have been in the bottom 3 but he's buddies with Alexis, so that didn't happen.  Kyle goes home, but Nicky did the weakest tattoo by far, and should have been the one to go home.

Now, this is awesome and you should all go watch it:  VIDEO
This is the kinda stuff that should have been kept in the show.  I wanna see all of this stuff, and I'm guessing that other people would enjoy it as well.

Now, since the episode was about portraits, here's some shameless self promotion- some of my favorite portraits that I've done over the years:

Monday, April 23, 2012

Helmet and Stupid Tattoo Day

Here's another helmet I just did.  

This one and the others were dropped of with my friend Joey this morning.  Joey is gonna clear 'em for me and then, hopefully, I'll get to start working on the striping on them Wednesday.  Here's a shot of all 3 headed to Joey's.

Saturday, for the shop's 15th anniversary, we did nothing but stupid (read awesome) tattoos.  We had a great time and put a lot of stupidly awesome tattoos on people.  We got kinda backed up because we had not foreseen people wanting multiple stupid tattoos.  Very few people got just 1.  We heard things like, "I want the broccoli, the fart cloud, the pizza and the party shark".  There were a bunch of designs that nobody got, and some of them were super cool, like the Manson-Butterfly, the Quadruple Amputee Gymnast, the Nick Cage Skin Rip, Mark David Chapman, the Tiger Prawn- the list goes on and on....These designs will remain available throughout the year (at the regular prices).  Here's some pictures from Saturday.  There were also free donuts in the morning and free pizza in the evening.  We stayed till 1am to get everyone tattooed.



The Pizza tattoo was done as both 'Takin' Care of Pizza' and 'Pizza Care of Business'.  I'm pretty sure that 'I Love To Stab' was the most done tattoo of the day.  My buddy Joey topped everyone by getting Nick to do 6 small tattoos all clustered above his knee- it pretty much looks like a small sheet of flash on Joey's leg- Hilarious.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Here we go again....

Best Ink episode 4, here we go....
As usual the Flash Challenge is retarded.  At least this time they were working with actual art supplies, and some of them actually drew some nice designs.  I loved the look on my 'friend' Jessica's face when the guy told her that her shitty tribal look 'Evel Knievel-ish'- EXCELLENT- I am at the point where I really enjoy seeing her get crushed (remember, I'm a dick).  At least this came closest so far to them actually drawing flash.  What they really did was design a custom tattoo for a specific client- that's not really flash.  Flash is not drawn for 1 particular person- it's meant to be sold over and over to many people for many years.
On to the tattooing...
They had to design tattoos for people that have never been tattooed before, that all want tattoos for their best friends.  Of course, they all had to tell their stories about why they want to honor their best friends.  A little side note- I'm sick and tired of hearing why people want their tattoos and what they represent- this is a relatively new phenomenon- since the days of tattoo TV shows.  I stop people in my shop all the time and tell them, "Do you see cameras here?  I don't need to know your life story."  I'm not trying to be a dick, but there's no reason for me to know the meaning behind your tattoo- I just have to design you a nice tattoo based on what you tell me you want.  The fact that you want it because when you were in the 4th grade, your pet puppy was killed by a meteor isn't gonna help me with the drawing, unless you want a tattoo of a meteor smashing a puppy (which would actually be a pretty sweet tattoo).  Whoo hoo, then they throw the switcharoo at 'em and tell them that they have to tattoo 2 people instead of 1.  Not too much to say about the actual tattooing- nobody flipped out.  Nicky had to deal with a customer that moved around a whole lot, but didn't handle it like a tattooer.  By handle it like a tattooer, I mean yell at her and tell her to sit the hell still.  The first time someone moves on me I'll tell them that they need to sit still.  The second time, I say something like "You REALLY need to sit still or you're gonna have a fucked up tattoo".  The third time I yell, and then they usually take it seriously.
Then we move on to the judging.  For some reason, before the judging even starts, you get a shot of Joe sitting on his throne looking pissed (I'm really glad they gave Joe a throne).  The guest judge- some actress- shows a tattoo on her wrist that is absolute shit.  Why would she show that thing, and why would they show it on TV?  Of course Jessica has a little breakdown before they vote for the bottom 3- can't have an episode without some kind of Jessica breakdown.  I liked the tattoos that Alexis did the best, and she ended up winning this time, so I guess the judges felt the same way.  Jessica gets voted in the bottom, and then gets hammered by the others in the bottom.  Some of whom shouldn't have been in the bottom 3 (or in this case 4), but the voting by the contestants is no longer about the tattoos, but about the personality clashes.  They basically tell her that she's a giant pain in the ass and they wish she was gone.  Jessica ends up going home, and the others are thrilled- the 'Ha Ha' look on Alexis' face was pretty good, but I'm a little upset about them sending home my favorite person to pick on.  What am I gonna do now?  I'll have to find someone else to talk shit about.  Maybe it'll be Nicky- he definitely doesn't seem like a tattooer to me- a little too wimpy, girly, emo.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Helmet and a little bitchin'

Sorry folks, didn't watch Best Ink last night, but not to worry, I have it recorded and will watch it tonight....

Painted this helmet the other day- shitty pics.  It looks unfinished because it is.  It needs to be cleared, then I'm gonna add some stripes....

As promised, here's a sneak peek at some of the stupid (and when I say 'stupid', I mean SUPER AWESOME), designs we will be offering this Saturday.  We will ONLY be tattooing off of these 2 sheets of flash that day, so If you want a butterfly or you're girlfriend's name, please don't come in, you will only be disappointed.  If you want to get a SUPER AWESOME STUPID TATTOO in celebration of 15 years of Good Clean Fun, then we'll see ya there.

 Now for some bitchin...
Last week a kid at my child's school pushed down 2 other children and stomped on them until the PE teacher stopped it.  One of the children suffered a broken leg.  Here's a link to the news story:

Boys Says Bully Caused Broken Leg at School: MyFoxATLANTA.com

What I want to know is why was this child allowed to stay at this school?  I don't know what punishment was given to the child, but expulsion should have been on the damn list.  Not only was this child allowed to stay in school, but they have moved him to my daughter's class?!!  My daughter had issues involving verbal bullying with this same kid when they were both in the same 2nd grade class.  Obviously, this kid is a bad kid- he's probably got shitty parents too.  I think that they have allowed this child to stay in the school because there are only 6 weeks left in the school year, then he (along with the rest of the 5th graders) will be going on to middle school, and won't be the problem of Pharr Elementary anymore. They don't want to deal with the trouble or possible repercussions of tossing this kid out on his ass. Well, he is your problem, and when he hurts another kid at a different school, people like me will be asking why appropriate actions weren't taken after the first incident.  I am trying to find email addresses of Gwinnett County school administrators so that I can let them know exactly how I feel about this situation.

Stay tuned for my Best Ink coverage....

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Best Ink- Round 3...Ding Ding

Once again, the flash challenge doesn't have a damn thing to do with flash.  That kid Nicky ended up on my shit list for the use of 1 simple word- Haters.  He referred to Roman and London as Haters.  Well, I'm a hater- I hate anyone that uses the term 'hater'.  This is one of the biggest piles of bullshit to come around in recent years.  People these days refer to anyone that disagrees with them as a hater.  The fact that someone has a differing opinion does not make them a hater, it just means that they don't agree with you.  Only a few minutes into the show, and Jessica has another breakdown when John implies that she is not an artist- fucking hilarious.  I like when Jessica loses it- not because I'm a dick (I am, but that's not the reason).  I like it because last week she read and commented on my blog.  Here's what she said:


I didn't even know what FUPM meant- someone filled me in- it's Fuck You, Pay Me.  What the hell does she want to get paid for?  I can watch her cry for free every Tuesday night at 10pm.  So, now, because I am a dick, I'm gonna hammer her after each episode- guess that makes me a hater.  It's amusing to me that she even found and read my blog.  She must be doing google searches for the words Best/Ink/Jessica- seems a little narcissistic if ya ask me.

I thought Roman quitting the challenge was great- I'd have quit too and said, "How about you have us actually do some flash?  It's called a flash challenge".  Just call it a fuckin' 'Art Challenge', and I wouldn't have such a problem with it.

I guess it's Jessica bashing time again- she said that 'Seasoned Tattooers' don't like doing kanji.  Don't get all wrapped up in yourself and think that you're too good to do kanji.  We're tattooers (well, I am at least)- bottom line, you put pictures on people- you're not something special.  These stupid shows (besides all the other ways they've hurt the tattoo industry), have made tattooers think that they're doing something so damn special- you're drawing on people- get the fuck over it.  Well, after 19 years of tattooing there are days that I wish someone would ask for a kanji or a simple little rose.  Some days, I just don't want to get involved in a project.  You do what the customer wants and hopefully they leave happy (and a little lighter in the wallet).  In fact, I have to go to work early today to try to catch up on some customer drawings that I'm behind on.  Man, if they just wanted kanji....

I thought that most of the tattoos were mediocre, which was proven by the top 2 tattoos.  Neither one was overly impressive.  The tattoo Nicky did sure as fuck didn't look like 4 hours of tattooing, and the gray shading looked scratchy.  Give me 4 hours to do a B&G skull and rose tattoo, and you'll get a hell of a tattoo.  Here's a B&G skull and rose tattoo I did on a friend of mine a few years ago, and I know it didn't take 4 damn hours.


There were some super Joey mad faces at the end of the show when Roman basically quit.  I thought he was gonna pop a blood vessel.  Calm down Joe and stick to making these kids cry.  If you're gonna get all worked up could ya at least give us some of those sweet Joe Capobianco hand gestures- kinda like angry guinea jazz hands.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Blue Helmet

Did this helmet today.  Turned out better than the last one.  Made sure to not tape over any paint.  Now I gotta clear it (once it's cleared, it will be for sale).  A little less ambitious than the first attempt, but I'm pretty happy with the finished result.  The pictures could be better- some of the real dark blues look black in the pics.  This thing looks pretty snazzy out in the sunlight though.

You can expect another entry from me tomorrow- I'm gonna watch the new episode of Best Ink tonight, and you can bet your panties that I'll have something to say about it.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Best Ink part 2 & Helmet Failure

So, I watched Best Ink again last night, and I got some stuff to gripe about- imagine that.  First off, I was a little disappointed in Joe's performance- he only made 1 person cry this time- you can do better Joey!  The show started with the 'Flash Challenge' again- Flash Challenge?  What flash?  I didn't see any flash.  What I saw was a bunch of people painting on douchebags.  I've never met any of them, so maybe they aren't all douchebags, but they were the California, TV 'pretty people', so I'm guessing that at least 50% of them are probably douchebags.  If ya wanna call it a 'flash challenge', then have them create some damn flash, otherwise just call it a challenge.  There's a good chance that most of the contestants have never drawn a sheet of flash, but why would they have?  These TV show have convinced the general public that flash, or anything off the wall, is undesirable.  'It's gotta be custom, it's gotta be custom!'  This is the cry of the new generation of customers- the ones raised on Miami/LA/New York Ink, and now Ink Masters and Best Ink, but to them, custom is something they found on the first page of Google image search.  Lemme tell ya something- I'd rather do a sweet piece of flash than another goddamn flock of bird silhouettes or rib lettering any day.  On to the main challenge- tattooing.  This week was the Pin-Up challenge.  They did a switcharoo thing with the artists and clients which caused some issues, and some tears.  I like the tears- you can pretty much predict them coming- oooh, ooh, here come the waterworks.  A little side note here- tattooers don't fuckin' cry.  The one girl, maybe it was Charlie or Jessica (I don't know), had a breakdown and cried "I can't do this, I don't know what to do"- boo fuckin' hoo- Bam, you're off the show, pack your shit and go home.  If I were running the show, as soon as I saw a tear, you would be headed home.  The one guy, Roman, got into an argument with his new client, and she left in tears because he refused to do what she wanted.  So, they got him a new client and gave him the same amount of time as the others.  In my opinion (which really doesn't count for shit, but I can force it on you because I have a blog) he should have been tossed off the show for failure to complete the challenge.  If he wasn't thrown off, they should have at least told him that he still had to finish his tattoo at the same time as everyone else- he should have just lost the time that it took to get someone else for him to tattoo.  They each had 5 hours to complete their tattoos.  Five hours is plenty of time to do a nice tattoo, but, to me, the majority of the tattoos did not look like 5 hours of work.  Maybe it's just that I work fast, but If these people had actually been paying clients, they should have been pissed that they got charged for 5 hours when they got a 2-3 hour tattoo.  I'll watch again next week and will surely give you my impressions of the show, but I'm not sure that I can watch through to the finale.  They should just put clips on YouTube of Joe making people cry- that's really all I'm watching for anyway...

Spent the day yesterday experimenting with painting a helmet with AutoAir Candies (I think it was Joe that suggested that I try the AutoAir line), and found out the hard way that you CAN NOT tape over these paints.  Apparently you need to shoot clear over them before taping over them, which kind of defeats the purpose of using them- I'm trying not to spray a bunch of heavy urethanes in my garage. I really only want to clear them after they are done. I'll have to experiment with them a little more because I really want to do some helmets in that 70's style heavy flake, crazy lowrider shit.  Here's a couple of pics of my first (failed) attempt, you can see where the masking film/tape pulled up the paint: