Nick Colella

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Posts posted by Nick Colella

  1. Now that the dust has settled and things are getting back to normalcy in mine and my family's life and the lives of the crew at Great Lakes Tattoo I wanted to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their support of not only myself but the crew and ultimately Great Lakes Tattoo itself.

    It has been an amazing last few months and the support and acknowledgment of the shop has been overwhelming and very humbling. The shop is something that is a part of all of us who walk through its door everyday. It's shows the dedication of not only myself and crew but the behind the scenes dedication of my wife and family.

    We invite everyone to come through the shop either to get tattooed or just to see it. We are very proud of it.

    Thank you.

    Nick Colella

    Great Lakes Tattoo

  2. This event will showcase Jon Reiters entire Dietzel collection which is the foundation for his two books on Amund Dietzel. If you missed the show at the Milwaukee Art Museum this is your opportunity to see it in a more up close environment.

    The opening night party and opening weekend will be an event to raise funds for Jons hospital bills due to some recently discovered blood clots in his brain. All proceeds from the Dietzel tattoos done that weekend will go directly to those bills. This is a chance for people to pick off the actual flash that hung in Dietzel shop in Milwaukee.

    We will also be selling both copies of the Dietzel books as well as event Tshirts and limited edition hand screened prints. Opening night will also have either a raffle or silent auction from various tattooers and other artists donating work.

    Please stay tuned as more details become available.



    Nick Colella

    Great Lakes Tattoo

  3. I wanted to address the forum as to not let speculation get to out of hand. I am actually amazed that anyone is concerned about me leaving Chicago Tattoo and the amount of support and well wishes i have received is very humbling. I want to thank everyone for reaching out. I spent ALOT of time at CTC ALOT! from the first time I walked in at 15 with Erik Gillespie and was promptly told to leave to the last 18years (almost half my life) I have been in awe of that place. In awe of the history, the stories, the people, the friends, the tattooing, the flash, the neighborhood. Everything was just amazing to me. I always wanted to be there. Always. I treated it as my own and most people didn't even think otherwise.

    I have met some of my dearest fiends through there and through tattooing and I owe a lot of gratitude to the institution that I believe I helped build and to the owner Dale Grande. Like all people my needs started to change, my family started to grow and my career really started to get in a great groove. It seemed like the hardwork I had put it was paying off but there where issues that needed to be addressed at the shop that couldn't be resolved. I've sat on this decision for quite some time actually over a couple years. I've done a lot of soul searching and confided in my closest colleagues and friends and especially my wife on what to do and I came to the decision to leave Chicago Tattoo. I wanted to move on still in love with tattooing still in awe of the history and still amazed at 18 years of amazing times some great some not so great. I have a lot of things in the works. Nothing to crazy or unexpected but I can say that I will continue to stay to true to tattooing and what got me to where I am without tattooing I couldn't say where I'd be.

  4. So heres 3 tattoos by Ralph Johnstone done at what i figured was the 400 S State Street shop that he and Tatts worked until they changed the law to 21 in 1963 and everyone closed shop..

    This guy said he was pretty young when he got tattooed by Johnstone but said he was always very nice to him despite the super scary guys that hung out there. He said Johnstone introduced him to some mob guys that used to hang out in the shop when he was there claiming that one of them was Capones brother.




  5. its been a while since i posted but heres a few more old timers, the anchor and tiger where done on a guy named Chuck Renslow. Chuck was "partners" with Cliff Raven and actually introduced Cliff to Phil Sparrow. Chuck was learning how to tattoo from Phil in the late 50s and decided it wasnt for him, but thought Cliff should pursue it. The rest is history.


    The next two images where done in Milwaukee around 1965, this guy said that they where done by two different guys at the same shop. He said he was 15 when he got them and that the tattooers seemed ancient to him, so I am assuming they where done by Tatts Thomas and Amund Dietzel since they where working together at the time.



    this post has turned out to be pretty cool im stoked to see how many people have contributed..thanks for doing so i love seeing these old tattoos and how they have aged.

  6. its a sorry state of affairs..ive dealt with this entire process from the word go,, Investors calling the shop wanting to buy the rest of Cliffs flash to half wit designers asking for opinions, to me screaming at all of them..its a lost cause. the only good that came out of it is that Erik Gillespie and I where able to obtain all of Cliffs personal tattoo photos, family photos, letters, awards and tattoo portfolios because they didnt think they could make money off of it,,the flash that they have is pretty amazing though

  7. It's crazy. I would have never been and still am not that cool. A guy who I work with named Dave he's been tattooing for 25 years. He got a cock that hangs below his knee from Dietzel when he was 16. Imagine the amount of cool and F U you gotta gave to get that tattoo at that age. He has all these tough tattoos from Tatts Thomas and some other guys. All super rough and tumble stuff. I just wish I coulda been that cool.

  8. Nick, I'm currently playing a game where I'm just the nanny, and Henry and Adeline's real parents will be here to pick them up any minute now. Knowing that I only need to keep them happy until they get picked up takes some of the pressure off!

    im gonna try that..thanks for the tip