Jump to content
slayer9019

Blackwork and Dotwork tattoos

Recommended Posts

Last time I talked to Thomas H. about people starting to do this style more and more he said something like "Someone needs to, I dont have time to do them all".

haha, well yeah, that's just it!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

From Jondix - " They can never copy my migraines or my travels so it will never be the same .... but it could be even better if they wanted "

Maybe much like the REAL East L.A. style something that probably has to be lived , maybe it requires living under darkened sky in damp studio flats and is a response elicited amongst the relative oasis of the natural history museum or the like I don't know, mostly I think it stems from a desire to be different . Also like that other style it has a shop , IN2U , as the epicenter in the same manner as that old "gingerbread man " shop , G.T.C .

Cool to see Negrete put his spin on it .

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Didn't think a topic like this would bring such controversy.

I've always referred to this style as "dotwork", which in my head encompasses everything from mandalas to scrimshaw to crosshatch, and the best way to view A LOT of it at once, is to just search Instagram by hashtag #dotwork. Some of the stuff I'd consider "dotwork" doesn't even necessarily contain "dots" (like the first Hooper image posted in this thread), but when I think of "black work" I think of heavy heavy black, full body tribal, etc... I just think it's an easy catchall term and people immediately know what you're talking about. In response to what Stewart said, the fact that people think they can do it has nothing to do with the fact that it has a label... it has everything to do with the fact that it's just popular right now. Maybe newer artists see it as a way to call attention to their work since a lot of people want to get this kind of work done these days, myself included. But the thing is... that doesn't matter to me. If suddenly 50 new artists a year are specializing in dotwork... that doesn't mean they are all going to become legends. That doesn't mean I'm going to get work done by any of them. I'll still go to the guys that I truly admire. For every one "forefather" of this style, there are 10 copycats... for every one forefather of traditional tattoo work, there are 1000 "copycats"! This is still a relatively new style of tattooing we're talking about here. It's just barely become a "thing", and I think it does in fact warrant a label.

I've always been drawn to all black tattoos, and got my first one from Duncan X 10 years ago. Since then I've collected them from Maxime Buchi, Jondix, Liam Sparkes, Daniel Albrigo, Duke Riley, and recently Thomas Hooper. I don't know why it appeals to me... but I do know what doesn't appeal to me: traditional tattoos, americana, classic flash. Clearly those things makes up 95% of this forum, but that's fine, people like it, I don't mind looking at it, I certainly respect most of the artists doing it (including everyone at Frith St, and not just because they post here), I just don't want the same tattoo on me as on hundreds if not thousands of other people in the world. Sure the images are "tried and true" or whatever, but so are McDonald's hamburgers, and I don't eat those either. And as I stated above, for every 1 great traditional tattoo artist, there are hundreds of average, or below average tattooers. I'd wager to say it's easier to make a living as a tattooer who specializes in classic flash, than one who does mind-bending mandalas and dreams about dots (as Jondix said he did).

Anyway, I don't want to ramble on any further, and I certainly don't mean to alienate LST's main audience, but I'm glad this thread is here and hope it grows as fast as the threads about lady heads and rock of ages tattoos.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@CercleRouge my point, or at least one of them was that this 'style' is so special and interesting, I'll be sad to see it become a recognised tattoo style that anyone thinks they can have a go at. That's my main point and just because customers ask for it, that doesn't mean tattooers should fill their portfolios and instagram with it.

Maybe I should add here that I have done tattoos in this style. I've done a lot of tattoos in a lot of styles with varying degrees of success.

I've done tattoos from Duncan X's flash and loved every second but I didn't pass it off as my own work. Same with dotwork mandalas and OpArt designs. I even added them to Japanese style sleeves after Binnie's flash but again, the photos didn't wind up in my folio because I didn't want to make a point of imitating something so fresh and interesting. I'd rather take the mechanism of their layout, approach and influences of their work and apply it to something else because a slightly tweaked version of something new and exciting doesn't make the copy more exciting.

Maybe I'm just being crusty and crotchety when I preferred it when the only place you could get any decent work of this kind was In2You in London and LTW in Barcelona.

I also think that your little dig comparing traditional tattoos to McDonalds was a little ill-though out and reactionary. Already in this (only 3 page) thread we've seen the 'same' compositions, patterns and images repeated by various artists.

I' not trying to change anything. I know that anything new and interesting will be imitated so quickly that it's difficult to tell which came first.

I'm not trying to tell anyone what to get tattooed or who to get it from. People like what they like, that's cool.

Maybe I should use less words: Just because someone tattoos like Jondix or Duncan, that doesn't mean they are anything like Jondix or Duncan.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had a dream last night my right arm was done the same way the girl in the 2Spirit Facebook cover photo is (this was done by Roxx. It's not exactly my style irl but pretty cool nonetheless, I definitely liked it in the dream). https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=406784286056675&set=a.293380224063749.67769.137372169664556&type=1&theater

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I had a dream last night my right arm was done the same way the girl in the 2Spirit Facebook cover photo is (this was done by Roxx. It's not exactly my style irl but pretty cool nonetheless, I definitely liked it in the dream). https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=406784286056675&set=a.293380224063749.67769.137372169664556&type=1&theater

Roxx's tattoos are unreal. They're not for me because I feel that they require a lot of negative space to work and that's not what I am doing/planning on doing with my body, but I think she's one of the better people doing this style.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
@CercleRouge my point' date=' or at least one of them was that this 'style' is so special and interesting, I'll be sad to see it become a recognised tattoo style that anyone thinks they can have a go at. That's my main point and just because customers ask for it, that doesn't mean tattooers should fill their portfolios and instagram with it.

Maybe I should add here that I have done tattoos in this style. I've done a lot of tattoos in a lot of styles with varying degrees of success.

I've done tattoos from Duncan X's flash and loved every second but I didn't pass it off as my own work. Same with dotwork mandalas and OpArt designs. I even added them to Japanese style sleeves after Binnie's flash but again, the photos didn't wind up in my folio because I didn't want to make a point of imitating something so fresh and interesting. I'd rather take the mechanism of their layout, approach and influences of their work and apply it to something else because a slightly tweaked version of something new and exciting doesn't make the copy more exciting.

Maybe I'm just being crusty and crotchety when I preferred it when the only place you could get any decent work of this kind was In2You in London and LTW in Barcelona.

I also think that your little dig comparing traditional tattoos to McDonalds was a little ill-though out and reactionary. Already in this (only 3 page) thread we've seen the 'same' compositions, patterns and images repeated by various artists.

I' not trying to change anything. I know that anything new and interesting will be imitated so quickly that it's difficult to tell which came first.

I'm not trying to tell anyone what to get tattooed or who to get it from. People like what they like, that's cool.

Maybe I should use less words: Just because someone tattoos like Jondix or Duncan, that doesn't mean they are anything like Jondix or Duncan.[/quote']

Or saved in Brooklyn :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Roxx's tattoos are unreal. They're not for me because I feel that they require a lot of negative space to work and that's not what I am doing/planning on doing with my body, but I think she's one of the better people doing this style.

I agree, the lines look so solid and clean. I love all the black.

As for me, I have black & gray, but my black & gray left arm incorporates a little "dotwork" type stuff in the background. I don't think I put this pic on LST... This is my inner arm after the 4th session w/a Spencer Briggs Style mandala. It's not finished yet and my iphone takes crappy/grainy pics but here it is:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I had a dream last night my right arm was done the same way the girl in the 2Spirit Facebook cover photo is (this was done by Roxx. It's not exactly my style irl but pretty cool nonetheless, I definitely liked it in the dream). https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=406784286056675&set=a.293380224063749.67769.137372169664556&type=1&theater

Fucking love that! Perfect.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I had a dream last night my right arm was done the same way the girl in the 2Spirit Facebook cover photo is (this was done by Roxx. It's not exactly my style irl but pretty cool nonetheless, I definitely liked it in the dream). https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=406784286056675&set=a.293380224063749.67769.137372169664556&type=1&theater

Now that's how you do it. That black is so solid even in the large patches and the perfect amount of negative space. Not my style, but I often wonder why all those people who come in and want that spiky tribal stuff don't get stuff like this instead.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
@slayer9019 " Who do you think deserves some recognition "

I know this is slightly off topic but I thought MsRad's question was interesting and it's not worthy of a brand new thread.

oh and was Tomas Tomas around before Hooper? i feel really stupid asking, but i only do because Hooper has said he is heavily influenced/inspired by him. i wonder the same about Jondix, but since i learened about Jondix at the same time as Hooper, i don't really know either of their histories,

I'm not a historian, so I won't attempt to give dates and I don't know how long everyone has been tattooing but knowing where those guys worked makes it clear that they all influenced each other. That makes it all even cooler to me. I didn't work with all these guys so maybe I'll miss some important detail but I know a few of them and the people they worked with.

Hooper used to work at IntoYou, when Xed LeHead worked there. Jondix used to visit and do guest spots. So did Mike the Athens and his 'student' Tas. Then, Tas' work had much more Thai/Tibetan and Borneo/Micronesian influence than it does now, so did Hooper's. Tomas Tomas moved from a different shop in London to work at IntoYou. So at one shop, including guests/friends you had:

Alex Binnie, Xed, Thomas Hooper, Jondix, Mike the Athens, Tas, Tomas Tomas and Duncan X.

There were of course other awesome tattooers working there who specialised in different styles but these 8 people are very influential in the dotwork/blackwork (non-tribal) styles.

Hooper and Jondix are close friends and have done series of paintings together and a few collaborative tattoos. I see Mike's and Alex's influence a lot in the work of Jondix, Thomas and Tas' (non Japanese) work. A lot of the dot shading comes from Xed and Tomas Tomas, I think Tomas in particular took it further than anyone, to great success.

It's been awesome over the last 8 years or so, watching this amazing work grow out of existing tattoo styles and have other influences slowly added to each person's work and seeing them push themselves and tattooing in general. To me, that's perfect way for new styles to develop, rather than someone deciding that they have invented a 'new thing'.

If these guys weren't awesome enough most of them can do great tattoos in many other styles too. I have learned a lot seeing their work, particularly Hoopers healed work in the flesh and nervously tattooing next to it.

Something like this?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I get it's a postage stamp, but if I took the maple leaf design itself would it integrate well into a dotwork tattoo?

technically yes - but a very small example. Better to have a great artist in this field do up a full size maple leaf - or several.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
@William Bergen That looks more like those rasterbation (yes, rasterbation) images than a "dot-work" or stippled tattoo. If you were to ask me, I think a much better image would come from asking a tattooer who does dot-work to draw you a maple leaf in his or her own style. I know there are some Canucks on here who would be able to point you in the right direction. Which part of Canada are you in?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
@William Bergen That looks more like those rasterbation (yes, rasterbation) images than a "dot-work" or stippled tattoo. If you were to ask me, I think a much better image would come from asking a tattooer who does dot-work to draw you a maple leaf in his or her own style. I know there are some Canucks on here who would be able to point you in the right direction. Which part of Canada are you in?

And honestly, depending on where you are in Canada, it might be best to travel out of the country for a tattoo like this anyway because there are only two people that I know of in Canada who do it well.

There's Cory Ferguson in Oakville, ON: corytattoos.com

And Mikel in Victoria, BC, though he's more towards the tribal end of things: Custom tattoos by Mikel - 4 Truths Tattoo Sangha - Victoria B.C.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.





×
×
  • Create New...