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Everything posted by davelang

  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. a carving I made that turned into a walk in tattoo
  12. davelang


    A carving I made from the collection of A.Freriksson
  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.
  15. Another half-breed right here. But I'm from Alaska, so none of our imagery has come up in this conversation, but here you go anyway...I did a fair amount of northwest native (aka Haida or more accurately formline) style tribal during the first 3/4 of my tattoo career while I was in washington state, but I moved back to Alaska four years ago and really started to research the style. I started working with a local carver and studied on paper first, eventually painting and working my way up into a carving apprenticeship. I know this style is usually a pain for a lot of tattooers and I understand. When someone brings a design of this style in and it is tattoo-able, it's usually still a lot of work and doesn't feel too rewarding until you are done. But after studying it, I love designing formline from the the ground up and tattooing it. I know this is pretty specialized and leans more towards polynesian tribal than whip shaded indian girl heads or navajo designs that are (or were) on trend for clothing and fashion, but some things are the same for all of those different variations on American Native Art. When I see stuff in formline style, now I know right away if the tattooer found it, had to change parts for the tattoo and make up shapes, collage together a few different designs or bullshit something entirely. I image its what a Polynesian tribal artist sees when they look at designs cut and pasted by tattooers going strictly off of visual aesthetic and mixing designs regardless of meaning. "Nice half sleeve, so looking at this, from the parts I understand, your people are the shark fishermen of the mountains? That doesn't make sense". At least now, I feel like I'm learning the language of it enough to design with respect to the culture and not have to worry about if it belongs to a tribe or clan or would offend anybody. It was one of the first questions I asked when I got here "what can I and can't I draw for people?" and was assured by my teachers that an eagle I draw does not belong to the Eagle clan, unless I were to directly copy a house front design, drum, blanket, etc that has been passed down and I appropriated the design without the right to do so. If I draw it and build it from scratch, it is my gift to give to the recipient. And within this style there is plenty of possible abstraction to go even further away from anything that wound be considered disrespectful or clan property. How do the Native artists that I've talked to feel about people around the world getting their cultures artwork tattooed on them? They are fucking stoked. Especially since most of them have been commissioned by their friends and family to design tattoos for them. Just like any artists, they appreciate when it's done right and the medium and design work as one, they hate it when the design is great, but tattooed badly or tattooed well and badly designed. And I think, not to speak for all Alaska Native artists, but I know I'd rather see the art on as many people as possible, especially if I get to design it. I'd rather make the best native tattoos I can on anybody that not do it as much because of some cultural guilt. I know that this is a very specific corner of Native art, but I figured I'd chime in, because I was pretty cautious about the rules and stuff when I began to study. I've been lucky enough to design a fair amount of custom formline and even tattoo some of my carving designs. Lots of times the designs have stories, like the carving of the fish that I got to tattoo. When I carved that design I was illustrating a specific story about how Raven gave the Bullhead fish it's shape. If you look, the body is a Raven head. I won't bore you with the story, but when the customer came in who got the tattoo he asked "do you do that local native art stuff?" I said "'yeah, I carved that stuff right there", he saw that carving and went "that's bad ass. can I do that, but green instead of red?" and I was happy to give it to him. We didn't get all spiritual about the story and he was happy to get it because he thought it looked cool and he wanted some Alaskan art to remember the years he spent here. No problem, buddy. Have a seat.
  16. I kinda sound like a dick in my previous posts. There's a lot of room for communication on here both public and private and by contributing and posting more there is better opportunity to build interactions with rad people both tattooer and collector.
  17. I do understand that I can send a private message directly to an artist on this site, but there's a big difference between getting in on a conversation and cold calling someone that I don't know directly. It's just a whole different thing. Beyond setting up an appointment, or trying to buy a machine, painting or set of flash, I wouldn't bother any tattooers I look up to unless the conversation had already been established organically at a shop, convention, etc. And I do get that the spirit of this website is not to be a separatist tech forum and don't discount that it is a great place for enthusiasts to get exposed to amazing tattooers and I do think the talent on here is flat out amazing. My point was just that if someone is asking why actual tattooers aren't posting too much anymore, I just know that if I think the general public is watching, any posts I made would be kind of surface level, because I talk about tattooing differently with tattooers than I do with customers.
  18. I was super excited about this forum and check it regularly-ish. I've actually just started delving into the blogs and stuff. Fucking LOVE the interviews. I honestly don't post much for the same reasons that have been stated about the forum being public and a mix of artists and enthusiasts. I have tons of respect for the artists that are on here and would love to be in a forum that was an exchange of ideas, etc, between artists. I think a lot of us hold back in front of the public so as not to offend or confuse new, old or potential customers. I know "artist only" forums can get pissy and jaded and all that, but if there was artist section on here, where folks like Stewart, Deb, Scott and Mario are talking technique, reference, suppliers and stuff away from the public, I'd be here every day.
  19. Greg Irons on Sailor Cam. Big thanks to Cam for letting me take this picture a few years ago.
  20. First try with photos. Hope this works... The parrot and skull with top hat are Bert Grimm. The man who had them said the parrot was done in 1980, when Mr. Grimm was 80 years old in Oregon. He also had the rose from Sailor Jerry. The snake was on a guy that came in to the shop here in Juneau that said he'd gotten it at China Sea and that it was lined by Jerry, but that it was shaded and colored by a female with him watching over her. Artist unknown on the devil head.
  21. I've only borrowed one of the big cases, but I always end up doing a weight distribution shuffle. Tubes are usually a good chunk of weight for me if I'm taking a lot of them. Those always end up in my clothing bag.
  22. the big pelican cases are heavy. Real heavy. You can pretty much bet on having to pay extra because of the weight.
  23. davelang


    My name is Dave Lang and I am from Juneau, Alaska. I tattoo at a shop called High Tide Tattoo and have been tattooing nine (shit... nine?) years. I learned to tattoo at Tiki Tattoo in Lacey, Washington and since then have had the pleasure of working at House of Tattoo in Tacoma and Lit Fuse Tattoo in Olympia before returning to Alaska. I make paintings and flash now and then. Thank you
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