Artist of the Month: Duncan X

Duncan X is a old school artist whose inspiration comes from early photographs of old school tattoos. These photographs are of course all in black and white, so the tattoos appear black even if they were colourful. This led to Duncan tattooing in only black.

Bold anchor and rope.
Lock and chain.

He is one of the most popular artists in London, and he works out of Old Habits Tattoo shop.

Filler rib piece.
Lines and lines on a portrait tattoo.

Duncan was born and raised in London in the 60’s and was introduced to tattoos through the punk scene. Artist Dennis Cockell taught him tattooing and helped him shape his unique style.

Black work castle.
Full sleeve done by Duncan X.

While Duncan uses mainly old school motifs for his source of inspiration, his style resembles medieval wood carvings and is distinctly working class.

Foxes on feet.
An evil and beautiful looking crow.

To learn more about Duncan and see his own tattoos watch David Penn’s short film here.

Another back done by Duncan X.
Torso in progress.

Build your own blog using the link below!

Artist of the Month: Jacob Doney

Jacob Doney is the owner of Envision Tattoo Studio in Grand Terrace, California.

bold dagger and rose with popping reds and yellow against a strong black
painful scorpion on the noggin

Jacob tattoos in American traditional style with popping colours and lines that are bold as hell.

pin-up girl
two way burning candle

Though his main style is American traditional, he will make tattoos with a more Neo-traditional look as well. That being said, his themes are strongly American traditional, taking inspiration from old school motifs and keeping the true spirit of a traditional tattoo alive.

brilliant back piece featuring Jesus Christ

Jacob does both large and small pieces; everything from gap fillers to massive back pieces.

classic American eagle

His line work is crisp and clean and his colours are mainly classic traditional, black, red, green, and yellow.

mean looking snake head

If you want to reach Jacob you can find his instagram @jacobdoneytattoo

black and grey nautical chest piece

Make sure to reach out well in advance if you’re going to be in California and get yourself something cool!

bold anchor on the hand

Artist of the Month: Kelly Smith

Kelly Smith works out of Cry Baby Tattoo in Sheffield, England. Kelly mainly does American traditional pieces, but also works in black work and Japanese styles.

Screen Shot 2018-12-01 at 9.14.27 PM
Bloody panther head and a deadly looking snake.
Screen Shot 2018-12-01 at 9.19.37 PM
Some gorgeous pink peony’s paired with solid black filler in a forearm half sleeve.
Screen Shot 2018-12-01 at 9.22.17 PM
Some old school flowers for a bold neck piece.
Screen Shot 2018-12-01 at 9.25.10 PM
Badass scorpion ready to sting for this side neck piece.
Screen Shot 2018-12-01 at 9.28.24 PM
Japanese kitsune, or fox spirit.

Kelly’s work is bright and bold as hell, mixing the traditional themes of Americana and Japan with the bright colours of a Neo-traditional style.

Screen Shot 2018-12-01 at 9.15.07 PM
Some classic clasped hands and trad flowers on the collar bone.
Screen Shot 2018-12-01 at 9.20.16 PM
Traditional geisha wearing a beautiful kimono.
Screen Shot 2018-12-01 at 9.23.26 PM
Anchor featuring Neck Deep lyrics.
Screen Shot 2018-12-01 at 9.25.43 PM
Good luck horseshoe and some mountains done in blackwork style.
Screen Shot 2018-12-01 at 9.29.11 PM
Badass Sailor Jerry inspired piece.

If you’re looking for a banging one off then Kelly is the one to see, but don’t be shy about getting a big piece! A back or torso design will be a brilliant addition to your collection.

Screen Shot 2018-12-01 at 9.18.18 PM
Toad getting that zen life.
Screen Shot 2018-12-01 at 9.21.20 PM
Lots of green in this gorgeous back piece featuring Eve and Lucifer with that dratted apple.
Screen Shot 2018-12-01 at 9.23.51 PM
A painful spot for a mean looking eagle.
Screen Shot 2018-12-01 at 9.26.05 PM
Wicked snake head with some bright colours.
Screen Shot 2018-12-01 at 9.29.37 PM
Very painful looking old school piece featuring a tiger and a snake battling it out.

If you happen to find yourself in the Sheffield area Kelly is one to visit. I know I will!

Screen Shot 2018-12-01 at 9.18.46 PM
Blackwork lady and rose.
Screen Shot 2018-12-01 at 9.21.51 PM
Namakubi hand banger. Gorgeous blue tones in that bloody head.
Screen Shot 2018-12-01 at 9.24.41 PM
Another peony, featuring a cute old school butterfly.
Screen Shot 2018-12-01 at 9.27.56 PM
More pink peony’s and solid black. These pieces are great for some heavy contrast.
Screen Shot 2018-12-01 at 9.30.10 PM
Sick traditional dragon looking ready to get into some mischief.

You can find Kelly on Instagram at @kellysmithtattoos

Winnipeg Artist 12: Joel Mijker

Joel is an artist working out of Rebel Waltz Tattoo in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

19050668_114138802519903_4171161170020925440_n
Classic cry baby.
21227838_1911066432489773_4498621738799595520_n
Big panther and a snake locked in battle.
23507051_707890292730205_3103499958855139328_n
Deconstructed anchor and a bit of a seascape/sunset.
24327516_164825514123866_116878077442654208_n
Fingers crossed.
33312084_222922991630010_363788467320127488_n
Swallows and a heart for mom.
36495502_244732883004715_2215594184272773120_n
Spooky demon.

Joel does classic American traditional tattoos. He has plenty of flash to choose from, or you can bring an idea to him.

19121769_667836373416229_3509325547433885696_n
Good luck horseshoe. This design used to usually be done with the horseshoe facing upright, to keep the luck in. But now people seem to get it upside down more and more, seeming to be a sign of making your own luck.
21820453_486287831745686_6562685976471142400_n
Nice vacation in a bottle with this one.
23595877_564158030595727_244506208919093248_n
Geisha with a beautiful kimono and umbrella.
24327718_1532803656755207_754577899381587968_n
Blackwork stomach with geometric flowers and peony. Lots of lines!
33323986_446419269131394_7536114252247990272_n
Black rose and Bert Grimm crying heart.
36028578_513503199047994_8488448277186871296_n
Mean looking spider and crying eye.

Joel does both colour pieces as well as blackwork.

19985345_618559188351668_8587405182680170496_n
Blackwork peony in more of a Japanese style.
21911090_739303336271055_467964423797997568_n
Twisty dragon, an American take on a Japanese design.
24125531_267216573804722_2617393094982631424_n
Geometric vase and wrap around snake.
33059078_518253991905968_8479302367668338688_n
Traditional Aboriginal lady head.
33880623_206762056803714_3712999386305789952_n
Fortune teller lady head and Bert Grimm tiger head.

You can search him up on Instagram and see when he is doing walk-ins, or contact him and set up an appointment.

20986999_339607343156528_353477200030203904_n
Sleazy Mickey.
23348049_346457922492510_1163252296818098176_n
Blackwork snake.
24174840_518263201879487_5035548193316667392_n
Tough boxer and rose in blackwork style.
33146546_470027996764601_5671113433689358336_n
Butterfly for a gap filler.
34068687_180747579281393_2439136520381136896_n
Crowned Jesus blackwork piece.

Joel sticks to the classics, and does it well. He has crisp bold lines and solid shading, all within a readable trad piece.  He is a must visit artist if you’re in Winnipeg.

Pharaoh’s Horses Tattoo:

The pharaoh’s horses are an American traditional design that dates back to the early 1900’s when it became a staple as a back and chest tattoo, along with other designs such as the Rock of Ages and The Last Supper.

Alexander Tyrrell in Melbourne Australia
Horses with horseshoe and eagle done by Alexander Tyrrell in Melbourne Australia.
Don Ritson Rebel Waltz Winnipeg
Brilliant mix of red and black in this traditional piece done by Don Ritson at Rebel Waltz in Winnipeg.
Hamish Clarke in Bisbane Australia
Traditional blackwork piece done by Hamish Clarke in Brisbane Australia.
Kirk Jones Melbourne Australia
In progress back piece done by Kirk Jones in Melbourne, Australia.
Rich Hadley at Inri Tattoo in Manchester
Very old school looking design by Rich Hadley at Inri Tattoo in Manchester, England.

One of the earliest examples of this design is by Gus Wagner who worked as a tattooer, and circus performer from the late 1800’s until his death in 1941.

Ben McQueen in Indianapolis
Horse, anchor, and roses done by Ben McQueen in Indianapolis.
Done at Wild Rose in Seoul
Full traditional sleeve topped by horses done at Wild Rose tattoo in Seoul, South Korea.
Herb Auerbach in Santa Cruz
Angry looking horses done by Herb Auerbach in Santa Cruz.
Matt Kerley in Ashville
Bold design on the back of a head done by Matt Kerley in Asheville.
Rich Hardy
Gorgeous stomach piece done by Rich Hardy.

The design of the pharaoh’s horses comes from biblical times, when horses were seen as a symbol of wealth, status, warfare, and power. Horses are specifically linked to pharaoh Ramses II who lived more than 3000 years ago. These horses of course portray a sense of power, but there is also an implied reference to Exodus 14 which reads thus. “The water flowed back and covered the chariots and horse-men the entire army of Pharaoh that had followed the Israelites into the sea. Not one of them survived.” This appears to be a warning of following a singular pursuit without regard to the consequences.

Collin McClain
Chest piece with some nice blue done by Colin McClain at Tide and Tattoo.
Duan Woo Sick Rose Tattoo Parlour in Shanghai
Smaller horse piece done by Duan Woo at Sick Rose Tattoo Parlour in Shanghai, China.
Jason Donahue at Liberty Tattoo in Seattle
Chest piece with classic flowers done by Jason Donahue at Liberty Tattoo in Seattle.
Nick Mayes at North Sea Tattoo in Scarborough, UK
Big stomach piece topped by an eagle done by Nick Mayes at North Sea Tattoo in Scarborough, UK.
Shon Lindauer in Hollywood CA
Heavy black design by Shon Lindauer in Hollywood, CA.

These tattoos are often done as large pieces on backs or chests, but can also be done as larger parts of a sleeve or leg piece. The horses are often accompanied by flowers, horseshoes, chains, and other traditional pieces such as eagles.

Dan Pemble Artist & Owner @ Sacred Tattoo Studio Marquette, MI
Brilliant full front torso as a piece of armour by Dan Pemble at Sacred Tattoo Studio Marquette, MI.
Frank William in Chicago, IL
Large stomach piece full of flowers done by Frank William in Chicago, IL.
Kai Soong at Sick Rose Tattoo Parlour in Shanghai
Chest piece by Kai Soong at Sick Rose Tattoo Parlour in Shanghai, China.
philip yarnell
Traditional blackwork piece done by Philip Yarnell at Skynyard tattoos, UK.
Tammy Kim at The Okey Doke Tattoo Shop
Fantastic back piece featuring an eagle, websm and flowers done by Tammy Kim at The Okey Doke Tattoo Shop in Toronto.

Which is your favourite tattoo?

Artist of the Month: Zhuo Dan Ting

Zhuo Dan Ting is the owner of Shanghai Tattoo as of January 2007 (located in Shanghai, China) where she tattoos people from all around the world. People seek out her art from far and wide, and are not disappointed with the results.

1
Black and grey baby portrait.
2
Realistic elephant half sleeve.
3
Black and grey bio mechanical sleeve.

Zhuo Dan Ting has been an artist since an early age, where her father (an art teacher himself) and his friends would teach her new techniques. She went on to art school in Harbin after high school, but quickly moved onto something entirely different.

4
Black and grey Asian leg sleeve featuring Fu Dog, peony, and great wall of China.
5
Bio mechanical/ripped skin/ realism back piece!
6
Bright dragon and flower half sleeve.
16
Amazing realistic Greek Poseidon sleeve.

Ting found the subcultures of death metal and punk music, which is where she fell in love with tattoos. Ting started off tattooing her friends in Harbin’s underground music scene, where she quickly started making a name for herself in the tattoo world.

7
Full black and grey realistic sleeve with monster, lightning, waves, etc.
17
Ting doing her thing, tattooing a painful chest piece!
8
Surrealist color sleeve with angel, skull, and watercolor.
9
Color realism owl, skull, and eyeball half sleeve.

Ting does brilliant black and grey, photo realism, portrait art, and Asian styled pieces inspired by both Chinese and Japanese art. Along with making beautiful art, Ting was also the first woman in China to open her own tattoo shop, a big step for the Chinese tattoo community!

10
Black and grey Monkey King half sleeve.
11
Realistic color eye.
12
Brilliant Japanese style peony flower.
13
Realistic Japanese/Chinese style dragon sleeve.
14
Realistic portrait.
15
Terrifying zombie clown portrait.

If you’re in Shanghai, Shanghai Tattoo is the place to go!

Winnipeg Artists 1: Carly Montgomery

Carly Montgomery is a Winnipeg tattoo artist who works out of First String Tattoo. Carly has fantastic attention to detail, doing both colour and black and grey work, as well as fantastic script.

11950606_1485043628462326_1629503122_n
Fun lazy sloth with script
12749985_570654056446309_898971674_n
Hedwig and Hogwarts for Harry Potter fans
12816968_818288394944318_986272999_n
Partially finished Japanese koi leg piece
13320111_956394114477602_1488799412_n
Bright and colourful peacock
13721309_929796580465590_2129598756_n
Wrapping crow
14276414_1796578033956987_1403463667_n1
Deaths hand moth and tree

Carly has done a number of my own tattoos, including these.

img_8513
Black and grey chest piece. Anchor, rose, and heart.
img_8507
Calf knight, bat wings, and tree.
img_8506
Carl from Pixar’s UP.
img_8505
Harry Potter quote and Deathly Hallows mark.

Be sure to check Carly out if you’re going to be in Winnipeg!

Swallow Tattoos

Swallows are a staple of American traditional tattooing, and were first tattooed on sailors. They are as popular as ever to those who love travel and the sea, and are now done in other styles such as black and grey, realism, linework, dotwork, surrealism, and watercolor.

The meaning of a swallow tattoo was firstly to indicate that a sailor had sailed 5000 miles. They also mean a return home, as swallows would migrate, returning to their homes. A metaphorical return also meant that if a sailor died at sea, the swallow would carry their souls to heaven.

tumblr Josh Stutterby Melbourne, Australia
Traditional swallow and rose by Josh Stutterby in Melbourne, Australia.
tumblr Ryan Jessiman
Black and grey matching hand swallows by Ryan Jessiman at Old Habits tattoo in London.
tumblr Adrian Bascur
Surrealist starry sky swallow by Adrian Bascur in Viña del Mar.
tumblr Diana Katsko
Linework swallow by Diana Katsko in Russia.
tumblr Simona Blanar
Watercolor matching foot swallows by Simona Blanar at Black Bull tattoo in Prague.
tumblr Harry Harvey
Simple traditional swallow by Harry Harvey at Vagabond tattoo in London, England.
tumblr Hugh Sheldon Cloak and Dagger
Traditional swallow by Hugh Sheldon at Cloak and Dagger in London, England.
tumblr Dr. Woo
Dotwork and linework hand Swallow by Dr. Woo at shamrock Social Club in Los Angeles.

Which one is your favourite?