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About JaySpike89

  • Rank
  • Birthday 08/10/1989

Profile Information

  • Biography
    Anything ya wanna know, just ask :)
  • Location
    Birmingham, England, UK
  • Interests
    Music, Guitar, Motorcycles, Comic Books & Graphic Novels, Painting, Drawing, etc.
  • Occupation
    Working on it...
  1. JaySpike89

    Hi, I'm Zeke

    Yeah, I have to agree with daveborjes here - bit of an novice drop there. Guns kill people, tattoo machines create art.
  2. When I was learning - I say that loosely because I did not have a traditional apprenticeship at all - I tattooed my own knee and it really wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. My thighs were the most painful...I couldn't even finish the outline! Safe to say, those two pieces are gonna get covered-up at some point. After scouring back through posts, I was amazed to see the great @Valerie Vargas on here! Her work is absolutely brilliant!
  3. Wow man, that Shishi piece is absolutely beautiful! Welcome to the forums @tattooscience :)
  4. Wow, everyone has been up to loads of cool stuff! I've been working on my artwork lately, re-learning watercolor painting and learning how to work with charcoal (I'll post some stuff in a few weeks when I've gotten used to it) but compared to everyone else's posts, mine is not NEARLY as exciting :(
  5. My worst one was a dodgy spider's web on my elbow - then it was twice as bad getting it faded down for a cover-up with laser treatment... the tattoo itself felt like a deep cut, the laser a few months later felt like a hot razor peeling my skin off :/
  6. My advice would be to talk to your artist and ask them for their input, too. You should never be afraid to consult your artist when the prospect of having work done is the subject matter - I have a half sleeve around my first tattoo (which was a reaper's head) that the artist free-handed onto my skin and then when we both agreed, he went to work on it and it came out just fantastic! If you have any ideas in mind, always try to communicate with your artist - you guys should be a team :)
  7. JaySpike89

    hi all

    From one Brit to another, welcome to the Forum pal :)
  8. Van Gough's Starry Night is one of my favorite pieces, too... Welcome to the Forum :)
  9. JaySpike89

    Hi, I'm Zeke

    If you're happy with working in digital and traditional art mediums, good for you buddy. If people like your stuff, then that's great - but there will always be room for improvement with every piece of art you do, and while tattooing is no different, it is a completely different ball-game. I suggest that you do your research on the industry, travel around to different studios and get tattooed by highly reputable artists (yeah, you will have to travel, but this is small price to pay for a beautiful piece of art that will be on your skin forever). Collect a few tattoos and talk to artists about your own artwork, ask for their criticism or advice - if they like your personality and work, they MIGHT just give you a shot...just be prepared to work for it (and I mean SERIOUSLY work for it). Be yourself, be humble and remain open-minded and ready to learn. BECOME AND REMAIN TEACHABLE. Tattooing is serious business - either go for it 100%, or leave it to the professionals. Just my two cents...
  10. @SeeSea - thanks dude, that means a lot. I was simply a naive person who knew no better - I now know for a fact you should never pay anyone to teach you, because you're just as expendable but you stand to lose a small fortune if anything goes wrong. I lost three and a half grand that I'll never see again, but it was a learning experience. In the words of Myke Chambers, one of my favorite artists and sort of a hero of mine: 'May I remain teachable until the day I die' :)
  11. I won’t even call my ‘training’ an ‘apprenticeship’ because I now know that’s not what it was. I got sucker-punched out of 3,500 pounds and then after about six or seven weeks I was let go, because there was no room in the shop for me – despite the fact the owner of the studio I ‘learned’ at had just signed the lease for a second studio a few miles away. The owner of the studio was unfortunately seriously injured in a brawl at his other business, a gym, where he was thrown over the railings of the fire escape about ten feet onto his head. He died from his injuries in hospital and due to some shit talking from another ‘artist’ in that shop, I wasn’t permitted to go anywhere near the shop to pay my respects – that in itself is another story entirely, which I won’t go into right now...ask me again some other time, maybe. I tattooed grapefruits, pig skin and myself – before doing free tattoos on friends and random walk-ins who’d heard the shop had apprentices that give out free tattoos in order for them to learn. Most of which were dodgy street gang type thugs, so I ended up doing just line work with a bit of black and grey shading for the majority of this ‘apprenticeship’... I don’t recall one instance where I actually fucking used colour. Now when you bear in mind that this was all within about six weeks (not long at all – and no, I don’t think I should’ve been tattooing ANYONE because I wasn’t confident and I wasn’t that good). I look back on the whole thing now and I realise it was a waste. The guy who was meant to be teaching me was never around and I learnt most of the basics from another artist who now has his own studio and has been quite successful, winning a couple of awards at local conventions last I heard. The only thing I got out of that period was meeting that artist, who was also the only artist in there who tattooed me and we’d chat and draw together (lots of what I know about artwork came from him) – well, not counting the other ‘apprentice’ who scared the fuck out of my right forearm and my right lower leg, blowing out lines fucking everywhere and lining too deep...and to add insult to injury, he even once sprayed my forearm down with neat disinfectant over FRESH LINEWORK. I very nearly punched the kid square in the mouth...thankfully, restraint kicked in and I just screamed through it. He laughed and apologised, but if that’s a way of messing with someone, I can think of better and safer ways. That was three years ago – I eventually went into another shop, but that one didn’t work out and the guy I was apprenticing under said I was better following my music career as he’d never met anyone so knowledgeable on music before (I’d just finished up two years of music studies at college, and am currently topping that up with a Foundation Degree). So two failed attempts later, I gave up. My family were gutted because they all said I showed real promise and had the talent, I just needed to unlock it and not take people’s bullshit so seriously, so I did some real growing up and now I’m here. Still not tattooing, but reading as much as I can, working on my artwork and am learning to use watercolour paints. The machines I do have, I take them apart, tune them, strip them, put them back together, etc (might aswell get some use out of them!). I’m still on the lookout for that one artist who I just click with – who can teach me all I want to learn to set me on the right track and after that, it’s up to me. I’ve never been an academic person, much like my parents, I’ve always been on the creative side of things...if I can just find ONE artist who can teach me how to solder a needle by hand, I will be extremely happy... If anyone has any advice or words of guidance, please feel free – I’d be extremely grateful to hear the words of wisdom from other artists (or even other apprentices – even you guys are higher up the ladder than me, so please don’t leave yourselves out). Cheers.
  12. Hello and greetings to everyone here at The Last Sparrow Tattoo Forum! Allow me to introduce myself - my name is Jay, and I live in England all the way over here in the UK. We have a pretty okay tattooing scene here but nowhere near as big as the USA. I guess that even though I did do an 'apprenticeship' - I say that with the Dr Evil 'Laser' gesture because that time is a horror story all of its own... but anyway, I don't class myself as a tattooist because I never managed to get a job in another shop after that (this was almost 3 maybe 4 years ago). So I guess now, I'm just a guy who's very respectful to the industry. I'm a huge fan of the traditional art of guys like Sailor Jerry, Ed Hardy, Mike Malone and I love the artwork of Horiyoshi III, too. So I guess if I were to specialise in a type of art, it'd probably be traditional and Japanese. I also play guitar in a rock band and I love doing that - been playing since I was about 13 or 14 years old, so roughly around 10 years in music. So enough about me! Why am I here? Well...one day I'm on youtube giggling a train wrecks of people trying to teach tattooing via the internet and I happen to stumble across an interview on a channel called LastSparrowTattoo. I watched this video from start to finish and it was about an hour and a half long - this video opened my eyes and seriously changed my entire outlook on tattooing. So I watched a few more - I would first and foremost like to thank the following people for making me realise just how special this whole thing really is - people like Scott Sylvia, Jeff Cribb, Oliver Peck, Juan Puente, Dan Dringenberg and Freddy Corbin. Hearing all these old stories about how they got started (especially Jeff Cribb - because my story is very similar to his) - really made me sit up and think. I want to learn as much as I can, as often as I can. I would love to connect with you guys and share thoughts and stories and maybe learn something from it. On closing, Scott Sylvia, thank you for founding this website and generating an awesome online community. I would love to meet you one day and get tattooed by you - seriously, from the bottom of my heart, thank you. I hope to speak to many of you guys here soon! :)