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Bryan Burk

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    Los Angeles

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  1. I don't care what your old tattoo machines look like! lets see some photos of your tattoos!!
  2. thought I'd start a thread about things people use & know about Watercolor (& Gouache, Ink, FW etc) after painting several things on actual loose Arches paper, I'm doing a big piece on one of their blocks and I think it SUCKS!! The quality of the paper just doesn't seem as good, everything is just sticking so hard, have to pre-wet everything til it practically seeps through the lines... I remember Bob talking about how even in the rolls it's never as good as the individual sheets. I just scored a big sheet of 400lb, haven't used it yet. anyway, I like Speedballs, Chinese/Japanese lining brushes (MenSou), Daniel Smith watercolors, some Holbien, squirrel hair brushes for watering, series 7 brushes, although DaVinci's are nice too. There's a lady in england I found out about who's supposed to make amazing brushes that are reasonable, haven't tried her out yet. paining wise, as it relates to tattoos, I really love Hokusai, Kyosai, Ed, Roper, Ichibay, Lehi, Nick Rodin if you wanna read a lot about different watercolor brands, this is rad: handprint : watercolor brands anyone have material/technique stuff to share?
  3. I'll also be there with Adam & Taku (Horisuzu) from my shop! Looking forward to it, pretty much always have fun at this show, regardless of how much tattooing I do.
  4. hello man!

    i was in LA a few months back and wanted to get a tattoo from you but i just had like 2 days..

    i had to leave for SF and three sessions in three days!!(hands,chest and shinleg)..

    but coming back to the states in january next year..

    would love to get a tattoo from you then..

    great interview by the way!

    cheers from Sweden!

  5. I want to! I loved working at the Family Business, probably gonna try to come back in the next 12 months for sure
  6. Lee was a big influence on a few of my friends, although I also never met him. my best to his friends and family
  7. I'm gonna be in the Philly/Reading area from Sunday to Wednesday with Jacob, how long you guys gonna be there?
  8. thanks for the tip Like most tattooers, I think Horiyoshi tattoos who he wants, and doesn't tattoo anyone he doesn't want to tattoo. I also know that, as of Taku's last trip to Japan, Horiyoshi was still doing some color by hand, at his discretion. I've spent a good amount of time with him, and it's my opinion that when he decides to do his final tattoo, it'll be done partially by hand. I think it's part of his soul, and he'll never give it up totally. again, just my opinions, what do I know?
  9. First time I went to Japan was 1989 I think, I was in high school & I had some family there, went for 2 weeks. I returned to tattoo in 2001, and since have made 7 more trips, the last one was in 2008, might be going back this year with the guys I work with (Taku's still getting tattooed, Adam has never been) BTW there are many tattooers who know way more about this than I do, and these are just my opinions, not facts. If people want to know about how Japanese tattoo families generally work, Taki's "Bushido" is a pretty good primer on it, there's also this really good book called "A History of Japanese Bodysuit Tattooing" that I think is the best book in english on the subject, as it's REALLY comprehensive. this is important in general in Japan, but really controls tattoo stuff in my experience: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Senpai_and_kōhai "Senpai," Another Protector in Japan and this (Dari) Honne and tatemae
  10. If the original post was asking for info about the politics of the Japanese tattoo world in itself (their drama within their own tattoo culture, tattoo families etc), I apologize in advance for this long post about having tattoos in Japan. I've spent a lot of time in Japan, most of it centered around tattoo-related things. I've tattooed there a good amount, as have many of my friends. I work with a japanese tattooer who specializes in their traditional style of tattooing, working with machine and by hand. Both of us have been tattooed by Horiyoshi 3 extensively, by hand in Yokohama, which puts you right in the middle of where tattooing intersects with the underworld in their culture (Juan could also talk a lot about that I'm sure, having managed to get dozens of Yakuza naked and photograph them). We talk about this stuff all the time, and I've also had many hours of lengthy discussions with other tattooers who've spent way more time in Japan than I have, pre-dating the Japanese "open" tattoo scene that they have now; as well as years of talking to Japanese friends who live here and there. Given all that, I don't see any reason why people shouldn't discuss this publicly. In fact, I'd say it SHOULD be discussed, so tattooed people who'd like to go to Japan can have an idea about how to behave/what to expect/basic rules of thumb for services etc that might be effected by your having tattoos. I had a customer telling people the other day "you don't show a KOI tattoo in japan!!" which, while at least sensitive, is a little extreme and oversimplified. The above links have really good info. One of the best snippets I found was roughly "in Japan, the Yakuza are never far". That's really true, but not in the way you might think. In Japan, organized crime is an accepted part of the culture, and frequently they are involved in business that comes into contact with regular people (construction, high-interest cash loans which are very popular, nightclubs, property management etc). A friend of mine's elderly mother needed the roof on her house replaced: she got a bid of around $20,000, contracted the company to do it, paid them, and they stole her money. Although her deceased husband had once been the mayor of the town they live in, she was powerless to do anything. It's not like here where as long as you're pretty much not trying to deal large amounts of drugs on the street, or walking around in the ghetto dressed like 2-pac, gangs are pretty much going to leave you alone, because you're not moving in their world. In Japan, the Yakuza make their living off the normal people (as I understand it), so there's always the threat that ordinary people might have to deal with them. There are magazines you can buy at 7-11 in Japan that are basically like "Yakuza Weekly", it's that accepted. One of the famous ones is called "Document" This intimidation is where a lot of their power comes from, from what I can tell. Japan is a very "polite" society, where fitting in is stressed to a degree that we can't comprehend. People are quiet for the most part, humble, keep to themselves. The idea of a thug coming into a small business and making a commotion (most indoor spaces in Japan are small) by shouting or simply threatening to make a scene is intimidating enough that most business owners would want to pay money, monthly, to avoid such a mess. Every street tattoo shop in Japan I've ever asked pays these kind of fees, as I'm sure many, many businesses do. Even extremely well connected people I've met still pay, just heavily reduced amounts. Asian culture in general is just so much more homogenous than life as we know it, to stand out at all is to really draw attention to one's self. So tattoos not only go against the grain in the larger social sense, but they're also something that touches the ever present "yakuza" nerve in the minds of much of the population. It's like a double whammy for a largely mild-mannered people. An easy way to think about it is imagine being at the library with your kid, or at a restaurant, and seeing some guy walk in with "MS13" or "Slauson Crips" tattooed very visibly on his neck; would make most normal people uncomfortable. In Japan, to SOME people, it doesn't matter if you've got My Little Pony on your arm and you're as white as Howdy Doody, if you're showing a tattoo in public, you're a thug, and probably a criminal. I've had little old men come up to me and call me a Yakuza, and even after I explained in Japanese that I'm not Japanese so I can't be Yakuza (which isn't really true anymore), they just keep pointing at the tattoos and saying "Yakuza, Yakuza..." But keep in mind, that's the exception. In Japan, pretty much anyone who's not Japanese is seen as kind of a monkey anyway, so even without tattoos, there're going to be things they don't want you doing/participating in. I've gotten dirty looks without anything showing in a Bob Dylan themed bar for merely invading their little world. But I've also been shown enormous kindness with a lot of skin showing by elderly people. Kind of like here, I find young adults and middle aged people tend to be most offended, while kids, teenagers, and the old & elderly are usually interested or inquisitive about foreigners and/or tattoos. I've also seen many Japanese people showing tattoos in public, even very traditional ones. I'd be happy to answer any questions that I can, but in general: In Japan, many people live in tiny apartments that don't have a bathroom or even a toilet, let alone a shower (imagine living in a bed & breakfast with no shower). Many people who do have the square, deep traditional baths big enough for one in Japan will acutally re-heat bath water for themselves to save water & heating costs. Because of these constraints, and because it's so nice, the "Sento" or public bath is still very popular. Sento are kind of like an indoor public pool, but it's a bathhouse which has a separate side for men and women. There are little faucets with very hot water that you sit in front of on a stool, next to other people doing the same. Here you wash yourself with soap before getting into the very hot bath, which is usually big enough for 3-6 people. There are also showers, but the real fun is the bath, which feels amazing (there's usually an even hotter one right next to it). Sento is everyone's basic right, to take a bath, so it doesn't matter how many tattoos you have, you're welcome. When you hear japanese tattooers talking about seeing tattoos for the first time in the bathhouse, they mean Sento, not Onsen. Onsen are the natural hot springs scattered all throughout Japan, almost all of them have minerals that good for your health. Usually there's some kind of facility built up around them, whether it's a huge wooden building, a hotel, a rustic retreat, or even just a vessel that looks like a swimming pool. Some onsen are outdoor, some indoor, some co-ed, some public, some private. Unlike Sento, Onsen is a luxury activity, and a source of much national pride. It's like going to a spa here, many elderly people and families are on vacation, tour groups have chartered busses, schools are taking class trips etc. They want to enjoy the scenery relax, deeply, and they're naked in public (all Sento and Onsen are nude all the time). They don't wanna see Scott asking them to scoot over in some language they don't understand. Therefore, many Onsen don't allow tattooed people, they figure "why bother trying to sort out the good tattooed people from the bad, all Yakuza are bad, period, and many Yakuza have tattoos". If you want to enjoy Onsen, I'd say look for those that are more rural and private, not too fancy, connected to a hotel or inn. I've only been to a few, and the ones I know don't allow tattoos tend to be some of the most famous and beautiful. But I HAVE enjoyed seeing snow fall in ultra hot water under the night air with many naked tattooed guys, so it can be done. Hotels AFAIK don't turn away anyone, all have private baths. Some have Sento or "rooftop Onsen" which are nice and usually small, so you dhouldn't be shy about using them. Capsule hotels seem to be the exception, as they have a kind of Sento only, and since they're located in nightlife heavy areas, that means many Yakuza, so they don't want tattooed people in the public bath inside. Many nightclubs in Japan have specific "rules" which, as a monkey, they're going to think you of course don't understand; so you might get turned away, even if you're with a Japanese person, but not always. In Japan, just be polite, bow your head a little to people, say "Sumimasen" if you say nothing else (excuse me), and put soy sauce on your rice if you want, you're an American. anyway, I typed a lot & I wanna do something else, but happy to help anyone who has a question if I can
  11. after reading all of huck's book (the best part was how I turned to the "shading" chapter first, and the first thing is says is "most people will turn to this chapter first"), and tattooing myself with Kaplan machines, I realized that the next thing I needed to get ahold of was an old man with lots of tattoos and experience to show me how to do this... suffice to say I found one I also realized that probably the most important thing was a lot of this (from my personal archive):
  12. yeah yeah, we all know how fast you are Scott... now I'm gonna barbeque Adrian just so he can say my side went faster nothing compares pain-wise to getting my ribs colored in by hand from Horiyoshi
  13. really cool hearing about how things were when Freddy got into the business, I also like the stuff about "what if" it were illegal. I'm inspired by his PMA
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