"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, May 16, 2012

And the winner is...

OK, so last night was the final episode of Best Ink...
I can't believe I made it all the way through to the end.  It's the first Tattoo (un)reality show I have ever watched, and again, I would not have watched a single episode if it weren't for the fact that Joe is on it.  Ever since the first stupid tattoo show aired, I have had customers constantly asking, "Do you watch (insert dumb tattoo show name)".  My answer (up till now), has always been NO.  Then, they always ask why not.  I start my answer to their question with a question- "What do you do for a living?"  If they reply "I'm an electrician", I say something like, "Well, after doing electrical work all day, do you want to go home and watch it on TV?"  Most of the time they get it.  I do though finally understand the reason people are attracted to garbage like this.  The last couple of episodes have been a let down for me.  Why? Because there were no tears, no meltdowns, and no Joey yellin' at people.  I guess I enjoyed the dumb ass drama- CRAP, I really thought I was better than that.
At the beginning of the show there was a little clip of Alexis saying that whoever wins tonight, wins Best Ink and what a big deal that is.  Lemme clue ya in on something Alexis- it's not that big of a deal.  A week from now, nobody's gonna give a fuck, and a month from now, most of 'em won't even remember.  Plus if you go to a tattoo convention and start telling people "I won Best Ink", no one is gonna fuckin' care- at least not anyone with 2 bits of brain to rub together.
There is no (non)flash challenge.  Instead, there is a portfolio review with some lady from Tattoo Magazine.  This segment of the show was totally unexciting.  She didn't look at their portfolios- she looked at a couple of shitty drawing from each of them and then the segment was over.  I'll tell ya what I would have liked to have seen- Joe reviewing their tattoo portfolios.  I've seen it happen, and it's always fun.  I have been at conventions with Joe when someone walked up to his booth and said something like "I'm a really big fan of your work, and I'd like for you to look at my portfolio".  At which point, I've heard Joe answer with something like "If I look at your work, I'm gonna be brutally honest, so do you still want me to look at it?"  Fuckin' classic!  I would have loved to see Joe rip into their work.
They each have to do 3 tattoos for the final Ink Challenge- all based on love, and they're going to be tattooing people that they have already tattooed during the course of the show.  Not too much to report on the actual tattooing, but at the end of the 3rd tattoo, there is a shot of London, with his gloves still on, picking up his drink and taking a sip- FUCKIN' NASTY!
London wins the competition, which is cool.  Of the 3 final contestants, he is the one that I wanted to see win.

OK, on to real life...
Still working on my buddy Joey's beer labels, and I've been having a lot of fun doing them.  There was about a half a second where I thought to myself "why did I stop doing illustration work", and then I remembered- Art Directors are as bad, if not worse than tattoo customers.  To all my awesome customers- don't get me wrong here- you're great, but there are some customers that are not so great.  Both Art Directors and Tattoo Clients can ugly-up a design real quickly.  You do something that you really like, and then they make changes to it that you absolutely hate.  But, the bottom line is that they're the ones paying for it, so ya do what they want.  Well, in this case, Joey isn't paying for these (I wouldn't take money from a friend that I've known for 13+ years anyway), and he is pretty much just letting me do what I want, which is why they've been so much fun to work on.

Here's a finished pic of the Mud Cat label that I posted an in progress pic of last week:

I also did a small design- a Devil's Fiddle Brewing logo for the necks of the bottles.  I don't know why this thing looks so bright here- it's actually all pretty dull colors- I guess it has something to do with the fact that I had to convert it from CMYK to RGB to upload it...

And, here's a progress pic of the label for Hoppy McBitterton.  I'm hoping to finish this one up tonight, then I need to start thinking about what I want to do for the last one- El Heffe.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Whole Lotta Bloggin' Goin' On

Last week, after talking about Best Ink, I thanked my buddy Joey for clearing the helmets for me.  Going back and reading it, I see that it may have been a little confusing to some folks- I have more than 1 friend named Joe.  I was talking about my friend Joey Holmes, not Joe Capobianco.  Both great friends, both Joe's.  I'm actually working on some stuff for Joey Holmes.  Besides being an awesome painter- he's the one that painted Carla for me, he is also an excellent brewer of delicious beer.  Joey recently took 2nd place in a beer competition against about 200 other brewers- pretty fuckin' awesome. Anyway, Joey has a big event coming up, for those of you that are local, it will be held at the American Tavern in Loganville, and for a measly 10 bucks, you can have all the home brew you want.  Here's a link to the event page on FB for anyone that's interested in attending: Home Brew Party.   Joey will have 3 beers there- Mudcat IPA, Hoppy McBitterton (another IPA) and El Heffe- a wheat.  So, I'm working on labels for the beer.  Here's a work in progress shot of the label for Mudcat.  I'm hoping to get some more work done on this (maybe even finish it up) when I get home tonight.

Now, on to the latest episode of 'Best Ink'...
The show opened with lots of tears from Alexis over the fact that Nicky is gone.  Too fuckin' bad- Nicky sucked, and he was not a tattooer.  Sure, he works somewhere doing tattoos, but that does not make a tattooer, at least not in my opinion (which doesn't count for much, except for here- remember, this is MY DAMN BLOG).
Before the flash challenge, they introduce the guest judge- Porcelain Black.  What the fuck is a Porcelain Black?  So, I went to youtube to find out just what Porcelain Black does- more shitty disposable music for the dumb mASSes.  The flash challenge is actually an illustration challenge, where they have to create an album cover for this dopey twat.  This creature should not be allowed to claim Detroit- that's the home of The Stooges, The MC5, Negative Approach, Laughing Hyenas....bands that rocked and still sound as good today as they did when they came out.  A year from now, nobody will remember this lady and her shitty music.  They'll say "who was that girl with the black and white hair?  Remember, she had that 1 shitty song?"
We go into the Ink Challenge, and Joe gives them a little speech basically telling them to step it up a notch.  The challenge is to do a Michael Jackson tribute tattoo.  OK, I've never liked Michael Jackson.  His music never did anything for me, although I would gladly listen to every MJ song before listening to a single song by Porcelain Black.  He spent his life turning himself into a complete and total freak.  He was a pedophile who named his child Blanket, and I can't say that I gave a crap when he died.
During the tattooing, Jon seems more interested in getting into his client's pants than in doing the tattoo.  At the end his customer gives him a hug with her ointment covered, freshly tattooed arm- fuckin' nasty.
London wins the ink challenge and Charlie gets sent home. 
Now, here's something I found interesting.  It's the first time I was really paying attention to the end credits, and I wrote this down, so that I could remember it.  Here's what popped up on the screen:

The Judges considered input from the producers and Oxygen in reaching their decisions.

Really?  What the fuck is up with that?  So, apparently the judging is not based solely on the abilities of the tattooers and the quality of their work- it's also based on who some stupid TV executives think looks best in front of the camera?  Who they think is a good 'face' for the Oxygen network?  Maybe it's who they think can bring in the most advertising dollars.  TOTAL FUCKING BULLSHIT!  I don't know why I didn't expect this- it's typical Hollywood fuckery- that's how we ended up with Kat Von Douchebag.  Here's a big FUCK YOU to all the Hollywood types and TV execs that continue to rape the tattoo industry and destroy what I love.  You have ruined the tattoo industry, and turned it into a charade- parading around your mediocre, pet tattooers, and turning them into faux rock stars.  You have convinced the world that tattooing is something that it is not and that it should never have been.  In the words of Waylon Jennings, 'I hope your plane crashes'.

Rode down to Community BBQ on Sunday with some friends for some awesome food.  Community BBQ is owned by my friend Stuart and 2 of his friends.  They're trained chefs (Stuart used to be a Pastry Chef at a number of fancy hotels), who decided to open a BBQ joint, and they do that shit right! I had the Brisket, which was awesome.  It was so good that I didn't even think about taking a picture of it till it was all gone, so I'm recycling this pic from the last time I was there.

And, here's a picture of Stuart looking very sexy.

Here's a link to the Community BBQ page- Community BBQ

Did some tattooing recently that I didn't completely hate, so here's a couple of pics.  First is a St George piece that I hope the guy will come back and let me get healed pics of.

Next we've got a coverup of an old Unicorn.  It's pretty much a sin to cover a Unicorn considering how rare they are anymore.  Covering a Unicorn is like killing a Condor.  She said she wanted a Traditional style Day of the Dead girl head- that's a super easy coverup- just do lots of hair.

Last, but certainly not least is Kevin's 'Sweet Ass Tribal'.  Kevin may win the prize for the best stupid tattoo with this one...

Now, I'm no trained chef, but I do have a few specialties, and Italian Sausage and Peppers is one of them.  I made some last night (and I took a picture).  Here's my gripe- here in the south, it is very hard to find real Italian Fennel Sausage- you can get sausage that tastes decent, but it's missing the fennel.  I have found a place, in Dunwoody, called the East 48th St. Market that sells amazing sausage (I believe they make it themselves), but it's hard to find the time to drive 45 minutes each way just to buy sausage.   Of course, when I do get over there, I buy more than sausage because it's the only real Italian Deli I have found in the south.  In fact, I can't walk out of there without spending at least $100.  Heres a pic of my Sausage and Peppers for ya....

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Turtle Soup

Another Wednesday, another 'Best Ink' blog....

Thank god I record these things.  I do it so that I can fast forward through the commercials, but fast forwarding through the stupid opening of this show is a bonus. The show opens and we see Nicky putting a rosary around his neck.  Now, I'm not religious, but this recent fad (I've seen it in the last few years- mostly on very ghetto/gangsta type people) of wearing rosary beads is retarded.  A rosary is used for prayer- specifically the prayers you have to say as penance for your sins- it's a Catholic thing.  You use the beads to keep count of all the prayers you're supposed to say after confessing.  It's not meant to be worn as a necklace.
 For the dopey ass flash challenge, they are told to paint an animal print on a white boot.  It would have been way cooler if they had just let them do whatever they wanted on the boots.  At the end of the flash challenge, they bring in the people that will be getting tattooed, and their pets!  They all want tattoos to remember their pets by.  One of the people is a crazy lady all dressed in pink with her dyed-pink poodle.  There's also a guy with his pet turtle.  He says something about the turtle getting too big and having to be returned to the wild in a year.  Too big? The damn turtle fits in his hand.  Lets get something straight- A dog is a pet, a cat is a pet, even the snake that the 1 person brought is a pet, but a turtle- that's soup.  Snakes, lizards, even fish, will recognize you when you approach their tank- they have personalities.  A turtle just doesn't give a fuck.  I've had a tank with a turtle in it, and I've had turtle soup, and I can tell ya that the soup was way more satisfying.
I always love the way people get all nervous when Joe walks over to see what they're doing.  He walks over to Jon and the first thing he says is "Man, you're slow as hell"- fuckin' great.  At this point, Nicky has by far the worst tattoo.  I don't like this kid- he's definitely not a tattooer in my mind.  He's obviously rattled by Joe's presence over his shoulder- awesome.
Since they're down to the final 5 contestants, there is no more voting for the 'bottom 3'.  The judging starts and, wow, the tattoo Nicky did sucks.  Fuckin' scratchy garbage!  Alexis and Jon are chosen as the top 2, with Jon winning for the week.  Nicky goes home, which is great, because that kid sucks.  Some tears from Alexis because her little buddy got sent home- boo-fuckin'-hoo.
I was a little disappointed that there was no sweet rant from Joe- last week was so good- I want more of that.

Here's some pics of the helmets I put up not too long ago.  Got 'em cleared (thanks Joey), and I gotta say they look pretty sweet.  I decided not to do anything else with the blue one- it looked real nice just the way it was.  The gold/root beer helmet I did a good bit of striping on, and it really brought it all together.  I haven't decided if I'm gonna stripe the green one yet.  All 3 are for sale- they are all Large, HCI, DOT approved helmets, and they are $200 each.  You know your coconut would look sweet in one of these fancy lids.

Went for a nice ride with friends on Sunday- Jeff, Jason (Earl), Jason (Big Sexy- he doesn't know that that's his new name..yet), and Paul.  We rode up to Dahlonega and up the mountain.  We left after meeting for lunch at Hot & Cold Chinese Buffet- it's about 80 miles to where we stopped, so by the time we got to the top of the mountain, I was more than ready for a smoke and a cold drink.  When I opened my saddle bag, I found that my bottle of Vitamin Water had opened up and soaked everything, including my whole damn pack of smokes- crap.  There was also a puddle of 'Energy' flavored drink in my damn bag.  So, while I used the cap to the bottle to bail the sticky liquid out of my saddle bag, everyone got a good laugh, except for me.  I just kept repeating "This is Bullshit, This is BULL SHIT!"  So, here's some pics from the ride, including one of the bailing incident.