ironchef

Greetings from NYC

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Hi Folks,

Just wanted to introduce myself here as I've been lurking for the better part of the past year. My name is Ricky from NYC. Born, bred, and still working/living in the lower east side of Manhattan. I got my first tattoo in 2009 at the ripe old age of 33 and have been getting tattooed every year ever since. I have two 3/4 sleeves and a thigh piece, all by Henning Jorgensen. Currently Henning is working on a collaboration with Mike Rubendall on my back.

It's been a fantastic experience getting tattooed by these two great artists. I have to say that the Internet and Instagram have been a blessing in doing research and just looking at all the wonderful talent that is out there. I'm always in awe of artists, as I can't even draw a stick figure to save my life and I personally consider tattooing a true art form.

I decided to come out from behind the shadows as I wanted to branch my collection out a little bit. In NYC, there's just so many talented artists to choose from and I'm starting to run out of real estate. What I was searching for on the forums was an artist who is really adept at nice bonji characters. I really wanted to get on Thomas Hooper's wait list, but he's booked solid and he will be moving away from NYC this coming June. I prefer to stay local and I may contact Chris O'Donnell or someone else, but still wanted to hear people's recommendation's on solid bonji work. Troy Denning has great bonji characters around his neck and I'm going to email his shop. Hopefully it was one of his artists that did them.

Anyways, thanks for putting together this great forum and hope to meet many like minded individuals who share a love and passion for beautiful tattoos. Cheers

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Appreciate the welcome folks. A friend of mine was getting work done by Henning back in 2007 and he introduced me. It's been a great artist/client relationship and friendship since then. And "Yes" all of my work done by Henning has been when he does a guest spot at Kings Avenue. Of course, it was a natural progression to get something from Rubendall having been in and out of his shop so much. Both Rubendall and Henning are true gentleman, and Rubendall and his staff have always made me feel welcomed every time I come in for work. The Kings Avenue crew is top notch. Chris O'Donnell is there now a couple of times a week and I got to chat with him briefly last week. Definitely going to get something from him in the near future.

I also follow the entire staff from InvisibleNYC on Instagram. Troy's posts are hilarious and crack me up all the time. Everyone there is really putting out stellar looking work (from this layman's point of view). I might swing by there just to ask about the bonji but I'm in no rush as I have so much more work planned ahead of me.

Oddly enough, a former co-worker of mine was getting work from Thomas Hooper and I ran into Hooper at my job site once. Chatted with him and then emailed him. Really nice guy but super tough to get on his client list. Not surprising as his work is AMAZING.

I will post some pics later this evening to share with all.

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I also agree that Instagram has become an amazing tool both for tattooers to quickly and easily show their work and for people seeking great tattoos. Seeing my feed with a constant stream of awesome work just makes me want more.

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Welcome!

Instagram is a great place to get ideas, find great artists, ect. (I agree with the above. Seeing all this amazing work makes me want more) and it sounds like you've got quite the collection.

Can't wait to see some pictures.

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Can't wait to see the pictures of your tattoos, and welcome! Having just gotten into NYC about an hour ago from Montreal for my next tattoo session, I am jealous of people who live in NYC because the sheer number of AMAZING artists in this city is unreal.

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Okay as promised, here are some pictures with commentary:

First is my left arm. It was my first tattoo ever and started originally as a half sleeve which eventually I had Henning extend his work to 3/4. Koi with splashing waves and cherry blossoms. Purple peony on the inner part of the forearm:

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My right arm is a 3/4 dragon. This piece has a lot of significance to me as I was born in the year of the dragon. At the same time, this piece in my perception sort of book ended the koi piece I had on my left arm. Don't want to get all overly philosophical so enjoy the pic. Henning actually compiled this photo together:

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So after my two 3/4 sleeves, I knew I was a big fan of Henning's koi, so I had him start a thigh piece with two koi on my left thigh. We were supposed to finish this piece on 10/31/2012...but that was the day after Super Storm Sandy hit. Needless to say, Henning's flight was cancelled and he ended up coming into NYC 3 days later and we decided to start the back piece. FYI, these pics were taken right after we put in some color in May 2012. To be continued

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Now, here's where things get a little crazy. As some of you may know, all of lower Manhattan was completely blacked out from Sandy for almost 2 weeks, me included. There was no subway or rail service and only some bus service. Kings Avenue NYC was affected as well and closed. Henning had hunkered down with Rubendall in the Long Island shop. They were within a four block radius that actually had power in Massapequa. Once the Long Island Rail Road was up and running, I made a run out there, even though I knew most likely I would be coming back to darkness with no running water for at least another day. Thus we started this collaboration back piece. Henning lined the phoenix (about a 6 hour sitting). A week later, I see Rubendall to start the dragon. I saw Mike again last week and we hammered out the back of my right thigh. I will be seeing Mike again in March.

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So I posted some pics, but apparently it needs to be approved by a mod. I uploaded them afterwards and they are in my gallery. Enjoy and again, thanks to all for the warm welcome and it's nice to be among kindred spirits.

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NYC waited a long time to become a mecca of tattooing. With that dopey-ass ban from '61 to '97 you had to go out to the Island, or NJ. Of course lots of outlaw shops flourished.

I'm out on the Island, lots of great artists here too. One day I'd like to do a NYC tattoo crawl just to check it out.

Rob

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Wow, fantastic collection. Do you by any chance have any photos from when your first piece was just a half sleeve? I had just asked in another thread to see photos of anyone who extended a half or 3/4 sleeve to a longer piece. I can sort of tell, but I'd be curious what it looked like before because it flows like it was planned as a 3/4 from the beginning.

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I wish I could start all over and have two awesome sleeves like that.And done by two of the most humble,and talented tattooers of our day.You can't go wrong with any artist at Kings Ave,and Invisible.I also like Rodrigo Melo@ North Star Tattoo.David Sena@ SENASPACE - David Sena - TATTOO - FIRE DRAWINGS

Kris Magnotti@ NY Adorned,Bern@Daredevil Tattoo

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@RScott I uploaded a couple of pics into my gallery of when I got the half sleeve. There's a stencil pic and then the finished product. Hope that helps brother.

That helps a ton. Thanks for taking the time to post those. I've been debating on who to get work from next, but seeing your sleeves makes me think waiting for Henning to come back to King's Ave would be worth the wait :).

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That helps a ton. Thanks for taking the time to post those. I've been debating on who to get work from next, but seeing your sleeves makes me think waiting for Henning to come back to King's Ave would be worth the wait :).

Happy to help. You don't need me to tell you how great of an artist Henning is. The biggest personal bonus is that Henning has become a really good friend. We communicate regularly via email. Honestly one of the nicest people I've ever met through tattooing and just in general. Rubendall is right up there with Henning, that's why they are such good friends. Made sense for me to ask them both to collaborate on my back.

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