Lettering is one of the most popular request from clients especially people who are new to collecting tattoo art. This subject can be fun to design and tattoo but can also a be frustrating endeavor trying to fulfill the patrons exceptions. We strive to adorn people’s skin with a permanent marks that compliment and beautify the person. Script tattoos tend to look best when we keep the number of letters to a minimum. Minimal letters allow us to make the tattoo more decorative and stylized, also the tattoo will more likely look solid for the rest of your life as you and the tattoo ages. One to four words is ideal for a tattoo rather than an entire song or 1/3 of the bible. A person that has a complex direction with an excessive amount of words should consider a visual illustration instead of a paragraph. We are artist and we enjoy working with our clients to create art, not reproduce literary works. You’ll never see a book on display in an art museum.
These two ladies were a pleasure to work with. They had simple ideas that are very meaningful and they allowed me to get creative with their tattoos. I truly enjoyed working with them.
Hello friends once again here is an example of how to create a nice tattoo. Sometimes it’s better if you discuss your tattoo idea with an open mind, you might just get a tattoo that comes out better than you had ever expected.
Do you know the saying a picture is worth a 100o words well this is a prime example. My client wanted to have this bile verse tattooed on his ribs. Just the words, but I explained how long it would be and how he would just look like glossary. Don’t get me wrong lettering is nice but I think a picture is in need sometimes more to accommodate to the clients needs and desires. So here is the verse and the tattoo that I translated it in to. I hope you enjoy and thank you Luke for your trust in my ability.
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The Day Is Near
11 And do this, understanding the present time: The hour has already come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. 12 The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light.
You know it’s not everyday you meet a chef that his specialty is cooking pig, pork or Barbeque, but it does happen. I started tattooing Chris a couple of years ago on a “Pike Family Tattoo Day”. This is a family that instead of buying each other sweaters like, “the giraffe wearing a Christmas hat, or yet another nic nac to put on the shelf, that you have to dust around just to notice it once again and realize its a matchbox car from the grocery store that is hot pink metal flake with neon green flames and it reminded your mom of your Honda Accord”. Well they would come in family and friends and book out the whole day and we would have a great time, telling stories usually the ones that embarrass you more than boost you, but hey that’s family. I meet Chris through his now wife, Kim. Kim use to come in with her sons Casey and Jason and their friends. But it always was the entire day and completely entertaining.
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Chris, I think at the time I met him he was a mechanic or something, but I always remember him telling me he was going to school to become a chef. Most mechanics have their wives cook for them, but he preferred to reverse the roles. He went on and studied and now is living a part of his dream of being a chef and is hoping one day to have a bed and breakfast somewhere I think in the mountains of NC with a full on Fine Dining Pork Pickin diner attached. I might have gotten part of this story mixed but anyways I always enjoy tattooing the Pike Family and Friends and hope to have more to come.
This is his tattoo of a pig skull with a chef’s knife to mark the time in his life of his accomplishments and perseverance of working towards something positive. Thank you Pike Family.
This is a tattoo done on one of our most dedicated client’s, Jeannie. She had come to me asking if I did portrait tattoos. I responded with yes, and who is the person. She replied my furry kid. This is a tattoo for most part really effects me more than others. I myself have lost 2 of my own in 2 years. It’s one of the hardest things to deal with because they are only with us for such a short time. When she had told me this I returned to her with some of my own feelings on this tattoo that I had experienced in the past with my dog Lobo. When we lost Lobo, my wife Jessica was devastated more than I have ever seen before. When Jessica asked me if I cold do a portrait of Lobo and that she wanted to have his ashes mixed upon the ink, I thought this going to be a tough one, but such a beautiful moment. Because of him being my best friend and partner for 15 years and being so connected to him more than anything else in my life, I had to push through my own emotions to make this perfect for her.
For Jeannie I wanted this to be a special moment that only she could experience. So I had told her about Jessica’s request of the ashes and asked her if she would like to do the same. She responded with “I would of never have thought about that, but I would love to.” So we made the appointment and she brought in the ashes and I gave her a moment with herself and her friend (sorry I can’t remember his name). When she was done we [singlepic id=8 w=320 h=240 float=none]
Here is a before and after of a cover-up I did on a recent client Rich. He got this old tribal tattoo done around ten years back and it wasn’t done properly (gratefully for us now he regrets the tattoo 10 years later). It was very faded, the black was almost more of a grey and the red was more like a dark pink. Anyways when composing an idea for a cover-up you generally are not looking for just coverage as much as you are looking for manipulation of what you are looking at. For example if you have a scratch the size of a dollar on the bumper of your new car, you wouldn’t just get a can of black spray paint and paint half of the bumper with no masking or design. You would most likely try and find a sticker than would cover the scratch perfectly and then apply, unless you have insurance and in the world of tattoo, the only insurance you have is going to a high quality artist with a great reputation, and portfolio of his work and not a backyard mechanic who “slingin ink” for a discount until he gets good.
So first step to a good cover-up is to think of many different things you could want on your body for the rest of your life, because let’s face it, no one wants a cover-up of a cover-up anymore than I want to do one. So have a list of some idea’s, it’s then working with your artist and relating your ideas to the shape of what needs to be covered. For Rich’s case he wanted a giant spider eating brains from a human head. It couldn’t of been a more perfect idea for a cover-up considering the could be a lot of black with out looking like a cover-up. A lot of times you see this in bad cover-ups, just tons of black with no real reason. Second thing that is important to remember is to keep an open mind of composition. It might be laid out different than you want but your tattooer is the professional, not you, so listen and trust him. It’s very challenging in doing a tattoo like this because you have to trick people who look at the tattoo to look else where than the center of the cover-up. Generally I think it is best to utilize some of the remaining skin that is fresh and open for other points of interest. For example Rich wanted a severed head with the brains being eaten with a spoon. Gross but okay because 9 times out of 10 that is what people see in that tattoo before they see the huge butt with tons of black and textures and bright color accents. Last realize your tattoo in order to cover properly and manipulate as best as possible, the size is most likely to be greater than you existing tattoo. It needs to be a lot bigger to add those other details to accent the big black spot. If you can’t afford to get the whole tattoo at once, the either wait or break it up in multiple sessions. Because of price alot of people get themselves in this predicament in the first place. Last Last …Always remember this… When in doubt black it out! Rich now wears tank tops again.
This leg sleeve is on one of the best person I know, Mr. Billy Matiernan. This great man and his great wife, Alicia watched our dog Lola while Jess and I were on our year long trip around the world. They went far and beyond for us and watched over our beloved Lola for 258 days. I owed this guy a hell of alot more than just a tattoo, but it’s the best I could do for know.
This leg sleeve was dedicated to North Carolina and all of it’s awesomeness. North Carolina is known for being the Graveyard of the Atlantic, pirates such as Edward Teach a.k.a. Blackbeard, Red Tail Hawks, monarch butterflies, and many more things. We added a few more dear pieces to the tattoo as well still holding close to good things that happened for Billy in NC, like meeting his wife Alicia. There is a thimble in this tattoo that was given to him on his wedding day from his wife. There is a small label on the rum bottle that Blackbeard is drinking from and it is Ol # 258 in to honor the amount of days he stood by Lola’s side and comforted her.
I was really proud of this piece more than anything to be able to put forth as much effort towards the tattoo as he did towards Lola. My dear Lola passed on December 11th 2010 in the Matiernan home with Jessica, Alicia, Billy, and myself , along with (Cody and Mae Mae the Matiernan Great Pyranees) surrounded by her love ones. Thank you from the bottom of my heart Alicia and Billy Matiernan for all your love and support.
This is on my client Jessica. She came to me with the idea of wanting to do great women from the past, but not any one in particular. To capture the essence of the class, women had in the past by their beauty of their finger waved hair to their peacock feather broaches and subtle blush. As for the other one, she wanted it to have a “Rosie the Riveter” look but the not of the ones that are so iconic in today’s google search images. One that just had the presence of once again, the women of our past rising up when our country needed them most. To not be scared to crack a nail but still hold on to their softness. I feel like these were some of the best semi-portraits I have done in a long while. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did creating them. Thank you Jessica.
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I tattooed this exploding grenade on Josh about two weeks ago. I always enjoy tattooing Josh and his Brother Zach. They get fun tattoos, sit well and they give me creative freedom with the composition. A good recipe for good tattoos. Thanks
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Adam won 1st place in a tattoo contest at The Men’s Club of Raleigh.