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About davelang

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  • Biography
    My name is Dave Lang. I have been tattooing since 2001. Scorpio.
  • Location
    Juneau, Alaska
  • Interests
    tattoos, painting, skateboarding, motorcycles and Alaska type stuff.
  • Occupation
  1. I know that Gordon McCloud put together two books of Pinky Yun designs, not painted flash, but two volumes of designs. From the collection of Mav Mess, I believe. He runs Bulldog Tattoo parlor in Lacey, Washington. I think they have an instagram and American Graffiti sometimes sells his books at their booth at SFO.
  2. davelang


    matryoshka doll
  3. davelang


    healed tattoo modified Alphonse Mucha design
  4. davelang


    Equator cross
  5. tattoo by Dave Lang, Design By Mike Dangeli
  6. I've taken on an apprentice. I'm 12 years in and do not feel like I could've or should've taught anybody before this. First, a little shop background I work in an small isolated area that is expensive and inconvenient. You can't drive in or out and while we have some of the modern conveniences, like costco, we do not have a lot of things, like art supply stores or fast food restaurants. I bought the shop almost two years ago from the original owner, who moved back south. I did not ever expect to take on an apprentice. I also did not think I'd work alone for a year and half straight. I thought I'd make the shop the best I can and some one would slip right in to that glass slipper and it'd be sweet. Well, nobody did. A few artists expressed interest, but costs, inconvenience and ever gloomy weather killed the deal every time. Sometimes the tattooer would be pumped, but their significant other couldn't hang with living a borderline "village" lifestyle. So I worked alone for a while. I wanted the best for the shop, so I didn't turn down anything and worked myself silly. I got a sweet eye twitch out of that that has finally went away unless I'm really tired. So after talking to enough artists about why they couldn't make the move, I started to realize that I may have to grow my own. I took on one of our shop's regulars as counter help. How do you get to work at a tattoo shop? I wasn't looking to hire a friend as I've seen that go bad, so I hired someone that I had built a professional relationship with already, because they were always at the shop getting tattooed. Once I saw that he was doing a good job and began to notice that his other plans (school, etc) starting to fall to shit, I realized that I may be able cultivate a mutually beneficial apprenticeship. It wasn't that I didn't want to mop, or I wanted my ego stroked or I wanted to try and get an extra $15,000. We talked a lot about his future and future plans before we entered in to this and if fulfilled, he will contribute back into the shop for several years as his obligation for having a place to learn and a person to learn from. It was understood that he would not be tattooing for quite a while, it would be the slow road and that he's going to have to learn a lot of things that are other people don't, like needles, mixing pigment, painting flash, taking apart machines, making footswitches and all the other stuff folks with real deal apprenticeships learn. I'm trying to give him a combination of the apprenticeship I had and the apprenticeship I wanted. So far, I'm pretty proud of the little fucker. He filled a sketchbook of traditional designs cover to cover ( most tattooers I know haven't done that), put a machine together, rewired a footswitch, made needles and we've done an oversized split sheet on coquille. He studies a lot. He looks at good stuff. And while we have a pretty good generational gap, I'd like to think we've become friends. Being busy, isolated and working by myself made me feel like I was a little stagnant. He's into it and younger, so he looks at both my influences and shows me the stuff he's into. So it's not out of the question for him to introduce stuff to me, even at this point. When you have to teach, it makes you step back and present things to somebody else. That step can often make you put thought towards something that had previously become automatic. So, in that respect, I get charged up on shit again. That's the new blood factor. Overall, I hired a regular who was already familiar. Not a friend who will break my heart if things didn't work out right away. And I do feel as though there is a need for entry level tattooing at the shop here. That can free me up a little to do the best I can on the bigger projects for now. There is another factor that I don't know if it has been addressed directly (richard's quotes were closest) but yeah, it takes time and a lot of effort to teach somebody right. I'm invested in this shit now. I have a one year old baby and a wife, and I'm sneaking out in the middle of the night to teach him how to make liners at 3am on a friday night. Why would I ever do that for a stranger? I don't know if I could even hang in the same room with the person,let alone have to teach them all these pain in the ass aspects about tattooing in the middle of the night. Also, If I still tattooed down south, I would never take on an apprentice. There was just never a need. ps- I also asked the people who taught me if it was ok for me to teach someone. They looked at me like they had nothing to do with the decision and granted me permission, but the fact it, if those important people to me said no, I wouldn't have an apprenntice right now
  7. That's sick! That's what I'm talking about with the large scale formline! Shit... I think we may have highjacked this thread. Might have to start another specific to this style.
  8. I meant that the cost of a tattoo machine and flash, or a book or original painting could add up past your pocket money real quick, especially if you fall in love with something you were not expecting to see. Not necessarily that tattooers or machine builders regularly use or accept credit cards, or should. It works for our small shop (two tattooers) but could be real nightmare if we had six tattooers and one wanted to use paypal, two got scanners for their phones, one who refuses to accept credit cards because it ain't how the old timers did it, etc. I think if I were charging a bunch of tattooers the processing rate for their transactions, all those headaches would add up real quick. Plus, as the whole contractor/employee line. My other guy uses my machine and he doesn't lose any money. My rates have come down since I've been at it a while. I also think you're right in that the card machines themselves will become antiquated as electronic payments advance. I looked into iphone card readers a while ago and it came down to me feeling a little more comfortable with my regular bank, which I could go across the street and go talk to someone directly if I had a problem. The rates were pretty high on them too, at least the one I looked at. They've probably come down with more options available now. If my other tattooer found a great one and wanted to use it, or just wanted to accept paypal as gifts or something, that'd be fine by me. I've considered going back to cash only just to keep it simple and protect ourselves against any card fraud or identity thefting, but these days especially since we've already had it, It'd be tough to go back. I don't fault any shop or artist for being cash only. Way easier and it worked forever.
  9. If he specializes in the style, then he will probably have great reference. As a tattooer, I tell people to bring in any reference they want if it is going to help me see what they are after, but not worry about having to assemble the tattoo for me, just show me things they like. But if he's known for japanese, he probably has a good library on the subject so bringing in a googled koi or dragon might be a little redundant, unless you are showing them a specific element. Even if you are looking to show the artist specific elements that you'd like incorporate, the best place to start (especially if they are known for a specific style) would be their own portfolio. Of course, you're not trying to have them duplicate things they've already done, but with japanese tattooing for example, you can always show them that you like the way the subject matter interacts with the background on a particular tattoo, or a color combo that catches your eye, or a common element like water or flames or something.
  10. "My (in-progress) sleeve is an interpretation of the Raven myths, and because it's being done by Thomas Hooper it's interpreted through a sort of hermetic lens with some sacred geometry, Ernst Hackel references, and so on. The eye of the raven is referenced directly from Bill Reid's drawing on the cover of the book The Raven Steals the Light. I'm thrilled with it. I've been also thinking of one day getting a gagiid mask, maybe done sort of in the style of a hannya. I'm still figuring that one out though." That sounds rad! Hope to see those tattoos one day. I'm also in love with american traditional and had Chad Koeplinger put a raven head with a sun it's mouth on my hand at the 2011 SFO convention. (I'm not sure I posted your quote the proper way, I'm still figuring this computer stuff out). I see tons of room for interpreting the stories and legends over a variety of styles. Stories could be illustrated like japanese style interpretations of their legends, broken down and fit within the style of american traditional like Chad did for me and explored in the abstraction of form line tribal, but taken more in the large scale tribal style of the europeans... I'm excited to explore these in the future.
  11. davelang


    A carving I made from the collection of A.Freriksson
  12. a carving I made that turned into a walk in tattoo
  13. I think a lot more shops where people also sell machines, flash, paintings or books would probably tend to have credit card machines. A big tattoo, plus a machine and set of flash can add up real quick even if you did bring a bunch of tattoo money.We have the card machines at our shop, but we are in a tourist town and it seems like 70% of our business goes on the card. I see the fees as part of the artists percentage, so he doesn't have any extra charge. I could see why shops and shop owners wouldn't want to deal with it, but it works for us. I personally think it's weird to charge a tattoo and not pay cash, but I think it's really weird to see people using cards at McDonald's. That's just the way it's going these days. *customer tips* -when you are asked "debit or credit?" in a shop, ask which has the lowest processing rate. For my shop, we get charged lower for debit, so we prefer that if possible. Plans vary, so ask if they have a preference. -If you plan to tip on a card, ask if the tip can be written in like a restaurant or has to be entered in to the total. It's a different plan for that write in tip line and I know we haven't had that at any of the shop I worked at that accepted cards. -If you are getting tattooed at a convention or in a cash only shop and have to use a cash machine, most banks have an $300 or so per day that you can get out of the atm. If you get stuck and need more, you can call and raise that daily limit over the phone.
  14. really crappy photo of my forearm snake by Jeff Rassier from around 2000 or 2001.