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Is this THE End of GLOOMY INKS???

After a great deal of pain and my fiance' getting me to move on it I went to the doc's. I have these tumors... and they have been bothering me, and like many, I ignored it. I work, go home, and jump online for a few hours. "I'll get to it," I say to myself. So this pain was in my huevos, and that got me to go. Not fun pain in the least. My doc asks me if she can see the tumors. I go to unhitch my belt. "Noooooooo, " She laughs, "The ones on your back." I do, and her jaw drops, she turns white as a ghost, "Cafe Ole spots, fibroma... it's Neurofibromatosis type I." (A genetic disorder, and if anyone cares, here is a link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neurofibromatosis_type_I) "That's what I thought. A tattooer friend, who knows medicine, told me that a year ago," Said I. "Consider this a second opinion," She said. This doc has known me since I was eight years old, and she used to give me sample packs of antibiotics because my family was poor. I turned to her to jokingly ask her if antibiotics would help. She was still white, she had her hand to her mouth and looked as if she might cry. Nice lady, like I said. I stopped myself right there. "Is this what the Elephant Man had?" I ask. She nodded, almost unable to speak, "Yes... I didn't want to say..." I figured that, as I had seen a documentary on Joseph Merrick, although he had both NF1 and Proteus Syndrome. I jumped in the air and ran over to her. Granted, I wanted to give her a hug, but she's a pro, and since everyone in my mind is a potential client, I gave her a high five. "YES!" I yelled. "You're happy?" "Sure I am. I know what it is now, I'll find treatment as best I can fr as long as I can (there is no "out" for this, as Stoney St. Clair said about Ben Corday who had TB, "You watch the leaves fall and regrow for a few years, and then they bury you."), and I tattoo. Tattooing was a big part of the sideshow. My lady's family were all in the carnival business. So as I see it, all I gotta do is learn to paint circus banners, become a human volcano, and swallows swords. I can be my own 10 in 1." Of course the shock wore off, and now I'm none to pleased. My lady and I will get married, but until I can get checked out at a clinic that specializes in this, my prognosis will be up in the air. Not to mention I may not be able to work for much longer behind machines. Bummer two, I just tuned my Jim Dandy's after a year with no problems and they purr like vicious kittens. Sure, I got my books I'm writing, and I figure I can still paint flash for a while, but this has become what I always dreaded. Fatal illness. And it isn't even one I would have expected. Lung Cancer. COPD. Heart Attack, or a stroke. Nope. Not a one. In fact, this has been with me since conception. I have been a ticking time bomb of badness just waiting to happen. Bitter? Naw, just bummed I might have to leave the party early. Sad? Maybe that people will see me as a freak, and since there are no more sideshows, I can't go out. (I'd be tattooing on a sideshow right now if they would have me) So now it's SSDI and Medicare for me. Sweet. But I'm not angry. Shit, if I get real awful looking I can always use it. All the world loves a tattooer? No? Yes? They loved Stoney, and love Grime, so a big tattooed guy with deformities... maybe I'll still fit in. Anyways, for my one friend on here, I'll be posting snippets of my book now and again. Buy me whiskey, for I have no money for whiskey now. Oh and 11 mags. I'm out and using 9s. Yes, you feel bad for me right? (wink)

Gloomy Inks

Gloomy Inks

 

"What is the HELL is wrong with these people?" (For artists that talk poo)

I hate to throw around the word professional. I mean, what is a professional tattoo artist? Is it some one with dedication? Someone who understands art? Someone who can pound whiskey and tattoo a few hundred sailors in a night? Or is a professional one who does not slag off competition. One who treats even the dumb with respect and kindness, but yet has a line that you don't want to cross? Or is the professional tattoo artist one simply there to collect money, the art be damned? A scammer, full of BS? Well I think the whole idea of shit talking is utter non-sence, and I'm not scared to say it. Sure there are quire a few old timers who liked to sling mud, but in this day and age you can't say, "Oh, there are too many artists." You can back it up with all the excuses you can think of, but when it comes right down it, it's bunk. The population of the US (not to mention the world) has grown, and if any one can read past a needle grouping code and do the damned math, it isn't much different numbers wise, it's just inflation. Tattoos used to be from a quarter and up pretty much. Put in the mid 70s and beyond inflation and now you got big money coming in for you. Look, I like to pretend too. I like to think of myself as a big bad Bowery tattooer, rough and tumble, and ready for a fight I'm sure to win. Were those times tough? Damned right. Were those times good for people? Ask anyone robbed or beat up, or slashed with a razor. They'll tell you it was damned rough shit, no doubt about it. Frankly, I'm damned tired of it. "No business being in this business?" What was it Sailor Jerry said, "When you think you're the best, you're already on the way out." Ever think your egos might be getting the best of you? It's counter productive pride as I see it. If Tatts Thomas had not brought the young Norman Keith Collins aboard, we'd be missing so much in the art. If Roy Boy didn't let Paul Booth work his table, just where in the fuck would that "dark art" be now except for the inside of Booths sketch books? I recently saw a very old Booth tattoo, before he worked on his own. You know what it looked like? Flat, that's what, and in color. I'm not going to get all tough guy here, but really, it's 'mersh art that sells. If you have the guts to learn more, try hard and put up with a ton of shit, any knuckle dragger can be great. It don't take great minds, it takes guts. See? Guts. I have the balls to wear my ink, work, and I don't take a whole lot of hokum from guys and gals who sadly took a whole lotta shit to get where they are now. I was recently called a scratcher. And was told to "kill myself". I laughed. If they get angry, not only have you scared them, but you have them talking about you and maybe even on the run. I'm sure the part time artist who said it was pissed. I'm taking his money and whats more, I learned the right way, from a master artist. If I'm so "bad" why do I still have clients? You could say that people don't know art. And nine times outta ten that's true. But really, I'm the guy for my place and time, much like The Dude. I fit right in there. So to anyone who might read this that doesn't tattoo, don't let the braggarts fool you. Bragging is a sign of insecurity. To those who do tattoo, shut your mouths. More to come from a guy like me, be cause I'm not a Forty Miller. I refuse to stop, bad mouthing and all. And with that, I wish you a fine morning. Sorry I'm a grump. My back hurts from TATTOOING all day yesterday. (Let the insults come, but make 'em good. 0 to 100% grading scale, with no curve. Cheers!)

Gloomy Inks

Gloomy Inks

 

Hurting the ones you love

My lady has been nothing but good for me. Whats more, she's a fan of my art, off and on skin, and cheerleader for me to others. She has encouraged me to keep it up, no matter what kind of "entitled artist" BS I might catch or even when I get down on myself after seeing work that I might never be able to get to. She's been asking me for a tattoo for almost as long as we've been together, and I keep trying to find something from my mind that would fit her. I saw Eddie and Penny Funk on a 'tube video, and Penny said that when Eddie was going to tattoo her, she told him to stop. That his hands were shaking. That Crazy Eddie is one of the guys that I looked up to when I was young. Him, Irons, Rudy, Malone, Stoney, all those old timers. I didn't get it then, but now that I'm really in love, I do. It doesn't take a NY State Supreme Court ruling to tell you that with all the advances that have come about in the world of tattooing, it's just a much more speedy version of Tattau, or tapping ink into the skin with sharp object. "A barbaric survival practice..." Mine have all hurt like a sonofabitch, and I'm not afraid to admit it. Much as I channel what I jokingly refer to as "my inner sadist" (What's the difference between a sadist and a tattoo artist? We have magazines to read while you wait.) sometimes I just stop and think to myself how this is nuts and so are the customers. I mean really, if you told me that I would pay a few hundred bucks to have some one kick me in the jimmy, I'd tell you to lay off the glue and shut up. Yes I still get tattooed to this day. But the idea of hurting the ones I love, which would include my Dad (one tattoo, but wants me to do a snake on him) or my sister (who is rapidly catching up to me in what is turning out to be a family tattoo nuclear arms race for coverage) to my soon to be wife freaks me out. The first real tattoo I did, on my old bassist Jay, I was a mess. Sweating profusely I made sure everything was ready, clean, and I got to drilling him. I was quick even then, and he took it well, but I was saying sorry every five seconds. I asked for it is pretty much what he said to me, and not only did I make a Benjamin, he tipped me five packs of unfiltered Lucky Strikes and pint of Jim Beam Black. My family means much more to me these days then it did ten years ago. Call it a misspent youth or what have you, but now I see those past times as times I could have spent with them. As to my stunning, wonderful, and kind woman, I'm at a loss. It isn't her first rodeo, she has two already. But something inside me flutters, and not in a good way when I think about working on her. But tonight I sit here, taking a break from drawing a fairy and roses based on Sailor Bill Grimshaw flash as I write this. I hope she digs it.

Gloomy Inks

Gloomy Inks

 

Black And Light Magazine

As some of you may know, I have started a magazine with a few friends and some LSTers who I have connected with over that last few years. This is just a little synopsis of my thoughts on the project. I will be posting a free online edition of the magazine and will have physical copies available for any of you who want one. It is an expression of my experience in tattooing and also something that I have made to give back to those who helped me create this indescribable idea of what tattooing means to me. Thanks, LST. Hope you guys are as excited about this as I am. I constantly get stuck between wanting to show certain people what tattooing is and letting some people do their own thing. It takes a singular individual to take what you think you know about something like tattoos and embrace a whole different reality. Tattoos are inherently cool and rebellious and counter-culture, yet professional tattooing has so many supporters who are just regular people who happen to have very good taste; however, at the same time, there are those who will show you why you will never be as in the know as they are, and they aren’t afraid to express that. And, rightfully so, because they are the ones who have paid dues and built this house to be what it is today. We owe our coolness and sense of tattooed self to these people, the people who put in hours every day, doing what they love and building discerning tastes and frameworks for tattooing’s progress. As a humble collector and writer, I recognize when some of the more involved people pass on knowledge, and I roll with it, because this culture is tradition, progress, and friendship. Thank you, 12 oz. Prophet, Last Sparrow Tattoo, and all the tattooers who have influenced my tastes, ideology, and plans for this magazine. All the tattooers who I have gotten work from, I respect you until the end, and I will proudly continue to get tattooed and listen to those who are willing to pass on parts of the puzzle. Stay enigmatic, because that’s what drives me. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart.

MadeIndelible

MadeIndelible

 

Update re: Tattoo Research Project

I've decided to start with a plain-old herbal tincture to help with the tattoo process itself. It is for folks who are getting tattooed in especially painful spots, who are really nervous, getting their first tattoo, folks who tense up during tattooing (or get muscle twitching), that sort of thing. If you are interested in hearing more about it, ask here, PM me or check out my website: http://www.quaternityholistics.com/p/products.html Mods - if this post is not okay, feel free to take it down. Figured I'd post an update since it has been so long since everyone was kind enough to help me out!!!

Fala

Fala

 

You are entitled to...

"The grand prize is (drum roll); hassles, nonsense, arguments, a possible early death, and anonymous life punctuated by some artistic pleasure. If you're lucky." What a great life, yeah? You bet it is, and I would trade it for nothing. Meaning if I could, I dunno, teach history in college, like I wanted to before I found out that anything past a needle grouping is beyond my math skills, I would. I love it, don't get me wrong. My station in life is what it should be. A, so far, known, and so-so to OK tattoo guy. Do I deserve this place in time, space, and perhaps history? Sure. Was I selected by the ghost of Phil Sparrow to do so? Hell no! You know what I'm entitled to? This blog, which no one reads (Hint. HINT! A hem...) and that, my few readers (A HEM...!) is about it. I'm glad that are people out there though, who expect to be lauded, for whatever reason. "I've payed my fuckin' dues. I'm deserve..." To shut up. So sorry that your road to tattooing sucked. As to being the best, biggest, baddest... please, just stop. My theory comes from the Bogart version of the Maltese Falcon: "The cheaper the thug, the gaudier the patter." "Cheap? My shop grosses..." No, not cheap like that. Cheap like, "Do we really need..." Yes. WE do. I was one once. What ever "one" was/is.

Gloomy Inks

Gloomy Inks

 

A Funk-y State of Mind (or why a guy in his eighties can still kick my ass)

So. In 24 hrs I met two people who have claimed to met Eddie Funk. I have not, and after writing this title, I think it might be a good idea if I don't. I was out drinking, not my usual these days (I also ended up playing guitar, so I would assume that I was at least two sheets to the wind) and I get to talking. I'm chatty anyways, and this lady comes after I'm done making a jackass of myself with six strings. We get to talking, her, my lady and myself. "I know Eddie Funk," Says she, "His shop was filthy!" Well OK... I did not go into urination as form of replenishing ink. But I did have vodka and pineapple juice. Quite a few. More than a few. This week has been a bunch of firsts, including meeting my ladies Mom and her Mom's guy. And yes, it was the next day, so I feeling and looking just like one might think. A bag of ass with a face. Oh no, no nerves or anything. I'd much rather have to tattoo ______________________ (insert intimidating name here). I sit down, and we all talked for a bit. "I'm from Philly," The guy tells me. "Do ya know Crazy Eddie?" I ask, and I was still hung over from the night before, so this is just as flippant as it reads. "Oh yeah," He says, "I know Eddie. You can't live there and not know Eddie." I'm pro Eddie Funk. I would suggest the highest office for the man. Crazy Eddie - Bowery Stan 2016 [/img]

Gloomy Inks

Gloomy Inks

 

The1moto show in Portland, Oregon

Oh what's that? You have a beard? You ride a motorcycle? Choppers you say? Me too! I actually headed up to Portland for a quick vacation and only visited one tattoo shop (due to severe weather) but I did see a ton of fancy motorbikes. wrote a blog about it, here it goes http://jetblackstains.com/?p=740

A.Sanchez

A.Sanchez

 

The1moto show in Portland, Oregon

Oh what's that? You have a beard? You ride a motorcycle? Choppers you say? Me too! I actually headed up to Portland for a quick vacation and only visited one tattoo shop (due to severe weather) but I did see a ton of fancy motorbikes. wrote a blog about it, here it goes http://jetblackstains.com/?p=740

A.Sanchez

A.Sanchez

 

"Gloomy, why are you always up writing at 3:30AM?"

I was sitting drawing roses one day. Actually it was a good lesson in trusting the artistic eye too. I was sitting there with a 4B in my hand, this blank look on face, which ain't normal for me unless I'm thinking, and I closed my eyes. I didn't have an apocalyptic vision, but I'm a fan of Chris Rock, and much like his "old guy in the club" bit, I saw myself at 60 (now granted, if you saw how I lived, smoked, and ate, you'd go, "Gloomy, you ain't gonna make it past 40."), bitterly bitching, covered in big think lines and shading with no color left. Burned out but still there. I put the pencil down and sat there. I really love to tattoo, and this thought kinda freaked me out. "Man, how do you keep from burning out? Stay off the drugs, the booze?" I asked the master. He stopped drawing hisself. "I watch TV or go the movies. Sometimes by myself," He said, and went back to drawing sad looking new school things. I do nothing. I draw, write, and on occasion I run out of paper or India ink pens and I go out, but on the whole I'm inside most of the time. If I were a nun you could call it cloister. I swear too much though. In fact I was inside so much that when dragged to the beach last, while I did put sunscreen on my tattoos, I didn't on the rest of me and ended up with second degree burns. As a former musician I have mixed feelings about the public. I like them, and now I tattoo them, but if I'm out too long, or I get too much of the prevailing wind in my ears, I start to get sorta pissy. Call it what you will. Pique. Or that I don't like people. Or myself. So the night I asked the question I ended up at the movies and it was all I could do not to throw pop corn at the screen, and I don't even remember what it was it was so forgettable. I did jeer the film though, a 'la mst3K, and had a small audience waiting for my next wise cracker. (Remember that show with the selfish robots? Dr. Forrester? Joel? Mike? Great, now I'm showing my age and geek again. My fly is up though! So you're spared that, although I bet now you're thinking about it, huh?) (Sick-O.) In the book form of Stoney Knows How, he said that Paul Rodgers was a great guy, but he had a "small mind". I couldn't reason through it. Rodgers? The guy who worked with Coleman? The king daddy machine builder? THE PAUL RODGERS??? STONEY! SAY IT AIN'T SO!!! It took me while to realize what the former sword swallowing carny was trying to say, and I had to look up Rodgers on the 'tube and see him talk, see him deal with other aspiring machine builders and show off his tattoos before I got it. Rodgers smiled. If you see a picture and see him work he's all dead serious business. But the rest of the time he grinning, and has a "gosh golly, gee wiz" look on his face. The man loved his job, people, and had a sense of duty, no, a passion for helping people be better. I think the guy might just have been a mortal muse. Think about it. You couldn't just jump online and find a Paul Rodgers machine. Yes, I know he'd dead and it was pre dijital, but he never was a big supply house. You had to know him. Sure, you had to show respect, but when you did you got it too. As it should be. (The tattoo dude or chick these days has a warped sense of that. I blame TV. OH MAN! I sound like my Grandfather! "You buncha young punks, with your ABBA and your Pet Rocks!") Mike Malone had to convince him that people wanted and needed these flesh etching devices, and I'm sure Rodgers thought about it quietly, smiled big and said, "Well, OK." Where is your smile? I'm still finding mine, and it isn't the easiest thing to do. In fact it's much easier to be a grump. I'm grappling with it like portrait work. I do like history, so I try to find the old guys that no one remembers and bring them to life again, if only in word or an old photo. If I can I try to write or call if they are still around. Sad part is that I'm past the time of many I admire. My idea of great tattooing, the kind I want from the guys, with a few exceptions, stops in around 1978. To answer the question of why it's a little past 5AM and I'm still up? I am, sadly, relentless, even in doing nothing. Or almost nothing. I can pull off a nap for ten or twelve hours. I can sit down and go into myself, but I can never shut off my mind. So I find that when I can't sleep, averaging around four to five hours a night these days, I try to do something so I'm not bummed out about it. So there you go. Just keeping busy, plodding along. And that makes me smile.

Gloomy Inks

Gloomy Inks

 

The importance of madness

People tell me I'm crazy all the time. My family, band members, friends, well the few friends I have still. I am crazy too. I'm impulsive, big time, and a little OCD (big O, little c) I think. Whats worse, I don't care if you know I'm crazy. I think crazy is where it's at in fact, and I wouldn't have it any other way. Of course like most crazy people I don't have a plan. Or when I do, it's insane stuff. "Tattoo my hands, yeah," I thought to myself. Finding a place to live can be a little rough sometimes. I think deep down we're all a little crazy, client and artist alike. If you think about it, getting jabbed with a sharp object after paying money for it... it's kinda like BDSM, of course I don't have to put on leather or latex, which is good, because I'm a fat man and my grandmother always gets me cloths for Christmas that wouldn't fit me when I was 6. I think she wants me to look like a sausage in a casing, but I'm not sure, because she's even more out there then I am. I have a track record of madness that makes me a candidate for the funny farm. Over doses, DUIs, all night drives with sweaty, stinky guys in a van that could serve as mobile vomitorium. My ink to say the least is strange. When I was a kid I wanted to be a pirate of all things, and now I feel like maybe I am. At least the ship's tattooer. I come by it honestly. Viking stock with a liberal dose of West Tennessee ex-Confederate, bottom land moonshiner loony. I don't even understand art as it stands, just what makes a good tattoo in my mind. Probably why I like Crazy Eddie Funk so much... In the end when someone says normal to me, in whatever context, I get my back against the wall and start looking for a direction to crab walk in before I get a small knife in the kidneys, liver and lungs, leading me to bleed out into my clothes. This is an opener. You'll find that this madness will prevail on this blog and suggest you come back often and check up on me. My prognosis isn't and it'll just get worse. Thank you for reading and light the the carpet on fire alligators. -Gloomy Gus

Gloomy Inks

Gloomy Inks

 

Looking for Volunteers for a Research Project about Tattooing

I'm taking a business development class as part of my herbal medicine program for the next few months. I'm learning about marketing, and developing products and resources for clients/customers. My current project entails learning how to identify clients wants and needs, for product and/or services development through interviewing them. The topic is how folks feel about the tattoo process, what works for them, all that good stuff. Basically, I'm trying to identify an overarching issue that most people have, to see what can theoretically be done to make getting tattoos more enjoyable/easier/what have you. The interview is five questions, and takes about 15-20 mins. If anyone is interested in being interviewed to help me with my research project, please PM me! The more people I can interview, the better! Interviews can be done over phone/skype or I can email you the set of questions - whichever is easier. [MENTION=675]Iwar[/MENTION], [MENTION=194]hogg[/MENTION], [MENTION=1457]slayer9019[/MENTION], [MENTION=3]steve[/MENTION] - gougetheeyes said you might be up for an interview? I guess that's it! Thanks for reading!

Fala

Fala

 

LST hibernation...

Hey guys and gals, Those of you who know me or follow me on Instagram know that I have been super busy and not active here in some time. I am nearly at the end of my apprenticeship and have started making small, traditional tattoos. Learning and tattooing and research and drawing and painting take up all of my time. I still love you guys, but have other obligations. Cheers to all of you and hope to see you around the boards a bit more in the future. If you are interested in keeping up with me, check out my Instagram @brocktat2 or check out the shop I am at... Black Tide Tattoo in Chippewa Falls, WI. If any of you are ever in the area, please stop in and say hello! All the best, Brock

Brock Varty

Brock Varty

 

Brooklyn, New York and Washington DC

I'm very proud and excited to announce that I will be traveling with Jason Phillips to New York and Washington DC this week. We will be New York tattooing November 14-16. I will be at Greenpoint Tattoo Co. and Jason will be sitting in at Smith St. Tattoo. We are also headed down to the Tattoo Paradise 10 year anniversary party and mini tattoo convention. I'm really excited to go see some old friends, hear some bands and no doubt see some amazing tattoos being put on. I still have a couple spots open so email me for an appointment at mr.bananchez@gmail.com here's my blog about it with fancy promo photos http://jetblackstains.com/?p=646

A.Sanchez

A.Sanchez