Artist of the Month: Max Rathbone

Max Rathbone is the owner of Second City Tattoo Club in Birmingham UK.

Max has his own style, mixing Japanese and other Asian motifs with Neo-traditional colours and styling.

Bold as hell red and black neck peony.
Large piece from the back of the neck leading up onto the head featuring a beautiful peony and a wine corker.

If you’re looking for some sweet flower pieces, Max is your guy. He of course tattoos other designs and pieces, but he’s well known for his flowers, particularly peonies and cherry blossoms, pairing them with snakes, skulls, dragons, etc.

Full negative space sleeve, heavy on the black and featuring peonies and cherry blossoms.
Full back, front, and sleeves. Ouch!

The majority of Max’s work is colour, but he also does amazing black and grey and blackwork.

Black and grey throat piece of a stag beetle and cherry blossoms.
Full rib panel with a cat and fruit.

While he does do some smaller scale pieces, the majority of his work is quite large. Things like back pieces, sleeves, and torsos.

Full colourful chest piece of an angry snake and peony flowers.
Quartz skull, snake, and peony back piece.

When doing smaller scale work, Max doesn’t shy away from the “job stoppers”. Taking a look at his Instagram you’ll find neck pieces and hands galore!

Cherry blossoms on the hand.
Matching red and yellow/orange shoulder peonies.

If you’re in the area, definitely make sure to check his work out and book yourself some time. To do that, check out his Instagram and send him an email. https://www.instagram.com/maxrathbone_tattooer/?hl=en

Spirited Away Tattoos:

Spirited Away is Hayao Miyazaki’s most popular film to date. It is an Academy Award winner, and Japan’s highest grossing film of all time. It came out in 2001 and is still one of the most popular Japanese films out there.

brando Chiesa
Bright neon, neo traditional take on Haku and Chihiro with a smiling No Face underneath. Done by Brando Chiesa in Florence, Italy.
Hugo in south korea
Dotwork No face with soot sprites and bath house done by Hugo on Seoul South Korea.
Russel Van Schaick in Orlando FL
Yubaba and heads done by Russell Van Schaick in Orlando Florida.

The film was created without a script. The artwork came first, and it was drawn, directed, and written by Miyazaki himself.

carly kroll
Cute little soot sprites and cherry blossom branch done by Carly Kroll at Seven Tails Tattoo in Melbourne Australia.
jessica channer
Three tiny soot sprites done by Jessica Channer at Tattoo People in Toronto Canada.
littlemissjesstattoos
Watercolor Haku by Jess Hannigan at Paper Moon Tattoo Collective.
scott_m_harrison
No face with leaves done by Scott M Harrison in Melbourne Australia.

The lead character, Chihiro, was actually based on one of Miyazaki’s friends’ daughters. She was supposed to be a relatable character and as average as possible. This was to show that ordinary people, particularly young women, could be heroes too.

Kozik_tattooer
Black and grey portrait of Chihiro with some kanji, done by Kozik in Melbourne.
joice wang
Haku and Chihiro in a geometric background done by Joice Wang at Grit N Glory in New York City.
Lunie Chan
Cute No face with cherry blossoms by Lunie Chan at Coup de Foudre.
violette bluenoir
Dotwork geometric No face done by Violette Chabanon at Bleu Noir in paris France.

A common occurrence in Miyazaki films are the quiet scenes of inaction. These are often some of the most beautiful scenes in his films. In Spirited Away, these scenes include driving, various nature scenes, and characters staring off into the distance.

Chris Stockings at Legacy Tattoo
Another vibrant Haku with cherry blossoms done by Chris Stockings at Legacy Tattoo.
josh legend
No face offering his gold done by Josh Legend who is a traveling tattooer.
marc Durrant
Sketchwork watercolor Haku done by Marc Durrant at Hidden Los Angeles Tattoo.

Spirited Away has many memorable characters that make for fantastic tattoos. Some of the most popular characters for tattoos are no face, Chihiro, Haku, Yubaba, and the cute little soot sprites!

david legoon
Another soot sprite hard at work, done by David Le Goon in Melbourne Australia.
Josh Crotty in Duluth MN
Start to a sleeve featuring Chihiro, Haku, and the bath house. Done by Josh Crotty in Duluth MN.
Josie sexton
Whimsical Watercolor Haku done by Josie Sexton.
Matteo Nangeroni
No face with the bath house and sky inside of him, done by Matteo Nangeroni.

These tattoos are often done in blackwork, neo traditional, dotwork, and watercolor.

hori Benny
No face in full rage done by Hori Benny in Osaka Japan.
Jules Gordon
Dotwork No face and soot sprites done by Jules Gordon at Frontier Tattoo Parlour in Cardiff Wales.
simon zook
New school Haku head done by Simon Zook in Santiago Chile.
Simon K Bell
Bright geometric No face done by Simon K Bell at Design 4 life in liverpool England.

Who is your favourite Spirited Away character?

Monmon Cat Tattoos:

Monmon is a Japanese term for tattoo, and a monmon cat is a cat with tattoos. They were designed by Horitomo, a Japanese tattoo artist well known for his hand work (tebori) and his monmon designs. He published a book entitled Monmon Cats and has inspired other tattoo artists around the world.

cat Amber Bananafish at Bananafish Tattoo Parlour
Sassy looking cat with skeletons by Amber Bananafish at Bananafish Tattoo Parlour.

Monmon cats are usually done in traditional Japanese style, and usually have their own Japanese tattoos. They can also be done realistically, in black and grey, and have other tattoos such as American traditional, flowers, and skulls.

cat Ash Valentine
Realistic cat with rose by Ash Valentine.
cat by Simina at Old Bastards Tattoo Shop in Romania
Samurai cat by Simina at Old Bastards Tattoo Shop in Romania.
cat Heather Sinn at Tattoo Room in Simi Valley CA
New school cat with geisha back piece by Heather Sinn at Tattoo Room in Simi Valley, CA.
cat horitomo 1
Matching foot monmon cats by Horitomo at State of Grace tattoo in Japantown SJ, CA.
cat horitomo 2
Another by Horitomo with American traditional tattoos.
cat horitomo 3
Stomach cat by Horitomo with peony tattoos and a fun ball of yarn.
cat horitomo 4
Full sleeve with monmon cat also by Horitomo.
cat Horitomo
More matching monmon by Horitomo with mean looking Oni!
cat Jason Rose
Monmon cat doing its own tebori tattooing by Jason Rose.
cat Jamie Negro at Behardcore Tattoo
Large monmon with koi fish and cherry blossoms by Jamie Negro at Be Hardcore Tattoo.
cat Kika Blunt
Monmon with waves by Kika Blunt.
cat Luana Cavalcoli
Monmon with cloud and wind designs and cherry blossoms by Luana Cavalcoli.
cat Sarah Baldwin at Control Tattoo in Florida
Monmon drinking sake with a wicked dragon tattoo and flowers by Sarah Baldwin at Control Tattoo in FL.
cat Sebastian Giraldo Nieto
Cute cat with peony flower tattoos by Sebastian Giraldo Nieto.
cat Steph White at Cock A Snook Tattoo Parlour in Newcastle
Blackwork monmon cat with skull inspired by Takiyasha the Witch and the Skeleton Spectre by Utagawa Kuniyoshi done by Steph White at Cock A Snook Tattoo Parlour in Newcastle.

Monmon cat tattoos are a must for cat lovers!

Geisha Tattoos:

The geisha, or, “person of accomplishment” date back to 1751 in the mid-Tokugawa period in Japan. Geisha’s were originally men, but eventually became women.

geisha Ami James
Deep in thought by Ami James.

Geisha’s were trained artists skilled in tea ceremony, flower arranging, and as singers, dancers, storytellers, servers, and conversationalists. These women were all literate and were familiar with poetry and tales of warriors in order to entertain their patrons. Geisha’s were not prostitutes, but worked in the pleasure districts, also called “the floating world” and while not they were not sex workers, some did become concubines or mistresses for men who would buy their contracts from their masters.

geisha Andrew Mcnally at Northside Private Rooms in Newcastle
Black and grey neo Japanese geisha with cherry blossoms by Andrew Mcnally at Northside Private Rooms in Newcastle, UK.
geisha Anna Yershova
Realistic side/stomach piece with cherry blossoms by Anna Yershova.
geisha Asakusa Horiyasu
Brilliant Japanese back piece by Horiyasu.

Geisha’s are known for their musical prowess, particularly with an instrument called samisen, which today is also used in kabuki plays and has an inherently “Japanese” sound. As for appearance, while working a geisha would wear a kimono tied from the back, which is another difference between a geisha and a prostitute as a prostitute would have her kimono tied in the front. A thick white foundation of makeup is applied to the face, neck, and upper chest, with a line around the hairline creating a mask like appearance. Other makeup includes black around the eyes and eyebrows with bright red lips.

geisha Daniel Gensch
Fantastic neo traditional neck piece also with cherry blossoms, by Daniel Gensch in Berlin, Germany.
geisha Emily Rose Murray
A more Westernized neo traditional geisha by Emily Rose Murray in Melbourne, Australia.
geisha Gakkin
Blackwork Japanese piece of a sly looking geisha by Gakkin in Amsterdam.
geisha Horihana in Brasil
Another traditional Japanese back piece with cherry blossoms, skeleton, and Buddhist imagery by Horihana in Brazil.
Geisha Jarrad Serafino at The Sweet Life Tattoo in Melbourne
Dark American traditional geisha and flower by Jarrad Serafino at The Sweet Life Tattoo in Melbourne, Australia.

Geisha’s still exist today, though due in part to the rigorous training in order to become one, are much less frequent. Today, geisha’s mainly entertain politicians at parties.

geisha Kevin Nocerino at Still Life Tattoo
Neo traditional namakubi or severed head geisha with peony by Kevin Nocerino at Still Life Tattoo.
geisha Mark Wosgerau
Realistic black and grey geisha by Mark Wosgerau at Sinners Inc in Denmark.
geisha Michael Litovkin
Bold mix of black and grey and colour in a realistic style by Michael Litovkin.
geisha Pavel Krim
Soft, colourful, realistic geisha by Pavel Krim in Stockholm.
Geisha Reuben Todd at Kapala tattoo in Winnipeg
American traditional black and red work by Reuben Todd at Kapala Tattoo in Winnipeg.

As a tattoo a geisha will generally be done in Japanese traditional style, neo Japanese, American traditional, neo traditional, black and grey, or realism.

geisha Shon Lindauer in Hollywood
American traditional work by Shon Lindauer in Hollywood.
geisha Thomas Pineiro at Black Garden Tattoo in the UK
Fantastic Japanese piece by Thomas Pineiro at Black Garden Tattoo in the UK.
geisha Tony Nilsson in Norway
Bold American traditional piece by Tony Nilsson in Norway.
geisha Victor Octaviano
Modern watercolor piece by Victor Octaviano in Brazil.
Geisha William Roos in Stockholm
tiny blackwork geisha and hannya by William Roos in Stockholm.
Geisha Zak Partak in Toronto
Geisha head and fan by Zak Partak in Toronto.

Geisha’s are an important part of Japanese history and make a fantastic design!

Winnipeg Artist 4: Sean Cushnie

Sean Cushnie is a talented artist working out of Kapala Tattoo in Winnipeg. His style is both neo traditional and neo Japanese. Sean uses a mix of black and grey with bright colours to make his work pop. Sean’s black and grey work borders on realism while his colour is solid neo traditional, making it not only a mix of colouring, but also mixing style.

1
Monkey King!
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Neo Japanese sleeve featuring a hannya, chrysanthemum, and waves.
3
Neo traditional black and grey woman with red flowers.
4
Another neo traditional woman with skull and flowers.
5
Bright red hannya.
6
Very royal looking neo traditional woman mixing black and grey and colour.
7
Neo Japanese peony flower and snake with vibrant colours.
8
Japanese shoulder koi with cherry blossoms and waves.
9
Black and grey woman and hannya with red flowers.
10
Black and grey religious Sacred Heart.
11
Another mix of black and grey and colour with bright orange and red, featuring nature themes.
12
Mermaid with skull make of waves.
13
Bright neo Japanese dragon sleeve with clouds as background.
14
Neo Japanese body panel with a huge tiger.
15
One final neo traditional sleeve of Roman warrior and skull.

Sean is a must see Winnipeg artist for your neo trad needs.

Artist of the Month: Nissaco

Nissaco is a tattoo artist based in Shinsaibashi Osaka at an unnamed private studio that goes by the name room_23_26 on Instagram.

Nissaco 1
Smaller scale pieces. Healed waves and fresh geometrical shell design.

Nissaco does mainly large scale pieces such as full sleeves, back pieces, and even body suits. His style is black geometrical work and it is extremely detailed.

Nissaco 2
Big and painful back of the leg going right over the knee ditch with some popping red in the mandala and linework designs.
Nissaco 3
Full back piece right over the butt and legs leading into a great sleeve on the left arm. Some great use of negative space in the back.
Nissaco 4
Fantastic sleeve with bird skull and eye mixed with geometrical designs.

His work is hard sought after with visitors going to see him from all around the world. Along with having clients from around the world, he also travels, going to various tattoo conventions. Most recent he will be at the 13th London Tattoo convention in September 2017.

Nissaco 5
Filler neck/throat piece that fits great with the adjacent neck pieces.
Nissaco 7
Matching geometric sleeves.
Nissaco 8
Full back and legs with a lot of heavy blackwork for filler.
Nissaco 9
Full front is a tender area going right onto the nipples, with brilliant line work and heavy blacks.
Nissaco 12
Brilliant full torso, sleeve, and two leg sleeves with geometric designs and a hidden face.
Nissaco 13
Half body suit full of heavy blacks in large scale geometrics.
Nissaco 15
Fantastic intricate healed geometric design.

Along with being geometrical in design, Nissaco’s work also often features classic Japanese elements such as dragons, waves, flowers, snakes, koi fish, and hannya masks. These pieces are almost entirely black, but occasionally feature a small amount of red to make them really pop.

Nissaco 6
Full front, sleeve, and half leg sleeve. Featuring a brilliant Japanese dragon, and flowers such as chrysanthemums and cherry blossoms.
Nissaco 10
Great geometric koi fish with some colour thrown in.
Nissaco 11
Heavy blacks and lots of negative space with this angry hannya.
Nissaco 14
Another hannya coming off of a sleeve and onto the back.

Nissaco is a must see artist in Osaka, Japan, but book well in advance as his books fill up fast!

Artist of the Month: Ichi Hatano

Ichi Hatano is an artist working out of Tokyo, Japan. He has been tattooing since 1998 and has tattooed around the world in the United States, England, and Germany.

ichi-2
Backpiece featuring a samurai.
ichi-3
Japanese woman backpiece.
ichi-6
3/4 sleeve with a fantastic dragon.

His specialty is the traditional Japanese style of irezumi. His work is bold and precise. Ichi has brilliant attention to detail, and his work is full of the Japanese culture and tradition that people go to him for, from around the world.

ichi-1
Brilliant koi backpiece.
ichi-4
3/4 sleeve with beautiful clouds as the background.
ichi-5
Half sleeve of cherry blossoms, clouds, and wind.
ichi-7
Colourful Oni looking ready for a fight.
ichi-8
Samurai and a dragon in a delicate embrace.
ichi-9
Gruesome Namakubi.
ichi-10
Beautiful, tiny peony flower.
ichi-11
Great contrast in this sleeve between the bright and dark.

Ichi Hatano is a must see artist if you’re in Tokyo.