Artist of the Month: Duan Tattooer

Duan Tattooer is an artist at and the owner of Sick Rose Tattoo Parlour in Shanghai, working alongside great artists in the shop like Kai who tattooed me.

Woman and dragon
Monkey King

Duan specializes in American traditional and single needle styles, seamlessly blending old school American and Asian motifs.

Traditional woman portrait
Knee ditch webs

Whether you’re looking for bright and bold colours, black and grey, or heavy black traditional work, Duan can take care of all your needs. 

Black trad horse
Matching hands

If you check out their Instagram linked above you’ll find plenty of flash to choose from, or you can check out the shop in person and find the perfect tattoo for you.

A classic rose
Super cool cat lady

Whether you’re in the market for a full sleeve or a small filler piece, Duan is a must visit artist in Shanghai for clean and bold tattoos.

Bright and colourful dragon
Fortune teller

Edited by Harrison R.

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Artist of the Month: Tony Torvis

Tony Torvis is the owner of Mortem Tattoo in Montréal, Canada. His work consists of traditional old school designs without colour, making his clients look like the brilliant black and white photographs of days long past.

Full sleeve with hand
Battle Royale on the stomach

Tony’s work is reminiscent of the great tattooers of the late 1800’s and early 1900’s but is still recognizable as a Tony Torvis piece. 

Full back featuring a dragon and ladies
Beautiful chest piece

Expect crisp clean lines and bold, powerful motifs such as dragons, snakes, lady heads, portraits, and flowers. There is original flash in the shop to choose from, or you can bring your own idea to him, or re-create an old piece of historical flash.

Pharaohs cats as part of a back piece
Angelic ladies

Tony’s Instagram page is full of both large and small scale work, from chest pieces to full backs, sleeves, and little filler pieces.

Full front torso, some healed some fresh
Bert Grimm sintered chest piece

You’ll also notice from his Instagram page that the majority of clients are repeat customers. Tony’s tattoos are kind of like chips, you just can’t stop at one! Mortem tattoo is a must visit shop if you’re in the area, and there are other brilliant artists working there as well.

Two sleeves in progress
Full back featuring ladies

Edited by Harrison R.

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Tattoo history 14: Percy Waters

Percy Waters was a well-known American tattoo artist from the early 1900’s. Born in 1888, in Anniston, Alabama, he was (allegedly) first introduced to tattooing through the sideshows of traveling circuses that passed through his hometown. At the time he was learning the trade of molder, and tattooing locals became a hobby on the side. 

Man tattooed by Percy Waters from Docks Weird Years
Percy Waters at work, featuring Pharaohs Horses. From Gabriele Donnini

He’s known to many as a Michigan artist, and not from a small town in Alabama, due to the fact that in 1917 he tattooed someone he shouldn’t have and got in trouble. He left Anniston and moved to Detroit, Michigan. He built up a successful tattoo business where he also sold supplies to other tattoo artists. In 1929 he even got a license for his tattoo machine design, which was an adjustable two-coil electromagnetic machine that hasn’t changed too much in modern tattoo machines. It had also taken almost 55 years (from 1875) for the tattoo machine to be adjusted after Edison’s machine. In 1939 he moved back to Anniston and ran what was most likely the biggest tattoo supply company in the world at the time until his death in 1952. 

Two men tattooed by Percy Waters
Man tattooed by Percy Waters in 1921

Percy was very modest and was known to call himself “just a good tattooer”; However, he was quite well known regardless of his humility, particularly in the sideshow world where he tattooed “tattoo attractions” such as; Bobby Smith, Red Van, Detroit Dutch, Shelley Kemp, Clyde Williams, and Mrs. Ted Hamilton among others. 

Percy Waters flash from 1923 from Docks Weird Years
Battle Royale painted by Percy Waters from Docks Weird Years

His style stays true to early 20th century old school designs. With classics such as portraits of women, dragons, eagles, snakes, panthers, good luck symbols, ships, and more. His original designs are still redrawn often today, and many contemporary artists are heavily inspired by him in their own styles. 

Percy Waters design by Ryan Cooper Thompson
Percy Waters flash from Docks Weird Years

Some of the most well-known tattoos he did were Pharaohs’ Horses as a back piece, an image of a woman riding an eagle, and whole-body suits made up of patriotic American pieces coupled with images such as butterflies, flowers, dragons, snakes, and ladies. 

Percy Waters business card from Celluloid Dreams
Percy Waters business card from Celluloid Dreams

Do you have a Percy Waters tattoo?

Edited by Harrison R.

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Addams Family Tattoos:

The Addams family have been creeping people out and making them laugh since 1938 when the kooky family first appeared in Charles Addams’ cartoon in The New Yorker. Since then, they have also appeared in the 1960’s sit-com that ran for two seasons, a cartoon show in the 70’s that also ran for two seasons, a live action feature film in 1991 and a sequel in 1993, and a cartoon feature in 2019.

Addams Family quote by Meg Lewis at Stallions and Galleons Tattoo in the UK
Morticia and Gomez by Max Puga

As tattoos, the character “Wednesday” is probably the most popular for fans, followed by Uncle Fester and Thing. Quotes and other characters also make for great tattoos. The most prevalent styles are black and grey, realism, and neo-traditional. 

Hyper realistic portrait of Uncle Fester by Sólyom Dániel at James Tattoo Gallery in Budapest
Thing by Emma Maris at This Dark Horse Tattoo in Manchester, England

Wednesday Addams has long been a fan favourite, but like the other characters, she didn’t have a name until the 1960’s show. She was named after the nursery rhyme called “Monday’s Child”, detailing the days of the week, with Wednesday being described in the rhyme as “Wednesday’s child is full of woe.” In the original cartoon she is pail, dark haired, and has an obsession with the macabre. In the 1960’s show she is much sweeter and kinder, though her favourite hobby is raising spiders. The 1990’s films made her much darker again, and it’s this version of Wednesday that usually makes it to tattoos. 

A devilish Wednesday by Peter Granite Crowell at Lighthouse Tattoo Club, in Auburn, CA
Wednesday and poison by Kim Cauchi at Modern Tribe Tattoo Studio

Creator Charles Addams was known for having somewhat macabre interests and hobbies, hence his ability to create such fantastic characters and stories. His house was apparently filled with medieval weapons and torture devices. He had a particular love for crossbows and even admitted to fantasizing about shooting an intruder or robber with one.

Uncle Fester by Kyra Leigh at To The Grave Tattoo in Lexington, KY
“Stay Weird” Wednesday by Brianne Sienkiewicz at No Man’s Land Tattoo in Middletown NY

Angelica Huston (Morticia Addams) apparently grew up reading her parents’ book of Addams Family cartoons and even pretended she was Morticia. It is interesting how she ended up playing the character in the movies 30 years later. She also had to go through a daily routine of fitting into a metal corset that created the cartoonish figure of Morticia. This included gauze eye lifts, neck tucks, and fake nails. 

Cartoons Wednesday and Pugsley by Toni Mazuranic at Tattoo Hardline in Zagreb, Croatia
Wednesday and the house by Uncle Trashcan in Orlando, FL

Who is your favourite Addams Family character?

Edited by Harrison R.

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The Office Tattoos:

The Office (US) is the immensely popular series based on the UK series of the same name. While both shows are popular, the American version has seen much more popularity worldwide, while the UK version receives most of its praise within the UK. The British version came to be (mostly in part by Ricky Gervais who also acts in it) and ran for two seasons. The US version was created in 2005 and ran for nine seasons, has been nominated for a total of 193 awards, 51 of which it won, and has one of the most loyal fan-bases in television, leading to many hardcore fans getting tattoos dedicated to it.

“Identity theft is not a joke, Jim!” Done by Ryan Ashley DiCristina
“Hello, Clarice…” Done by Erin Davies at La Belle Tattoo Studio

As tattoos, many people opt for getting the more popular characters, usually Dwight or Michael; but any and all of them can be found. Direct quotes and images based on quotes also make for popular tattoo designs; such as Michael’s infamous movie ”Threat Level Midnight.” 

Threat Level Midnight by J. Partylord at Bona Root Tattoo Parlour
Matching “Nard” dogs done by Robin Patel at Timeless Tat2

The Office has become such an integral part of North American pop culture that psychologists have even explored why people are so obsessed with it. Many people have even continuously binge watched it on Netflix, on repeat (myself included). Reasons for peoples’ need to watch and re-watch the show seem to all be about comfort, such as relieving stress, dealing with trauma or heartbreak, and even coping with mental illnesses such as anxiety and depression. 

Pam’s drawing of the office done by Karina Aroca at Evilvink Studios
“We need a new plague.” Done by Landon Lewis at Black Thorn Gallery

Some fun facts that you may not know about your favourite show include: the temperature on set had to be kept at a cool 17 degrees (64 F) because actor Steve Carell has active sweat glands that could ruin a shot. Jim and Pam’s proposal scene was the most expensive shot of the show, costing around $250,000 (US) because the backdrop of the storefronts were built for the show. Rainn Wilson (Dwight) auditioned for the role of Michael Scott, Seth Rogen auditioned for the role of Dwight, and Adam Scott auditioned for the role of Jim. Clearly, the casting director made the right choices (no offence to Seth and Adam). And speaking of casting, Phyllis Smith (Phyllis Lapin-Vance) was initially an assistant casting director for the show, but the producers were so impressed with her reading of lines for those who were auditioning that she was asked to act in the show instead. 

Prison Mike done by Pierre Gwood at Deerhound Studio in Ottawa
Kevin’s famous chilli done by Shawn Patton at Trustworthy Tattoo

For many of us, The Office is a favourite that makes us laugh over and over, and can be an immense source of comfort in dark times. It’s a show that’s such a big part of our lives that some even opt for immortalizing it on their skin forever.

Dwight portrait done by Dillon Robertson
Jim’s present done by Tom Hall at Seventy Two Street Tattoo

Do you have an “Office” tattoo?

Edited by Harrison R.

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To see more Office tattoos check out Dunder Mifflin Tattoos here.

Artist of the Month: Alex Dahood

Alex is an artist working out of Santa la Muerte Tattoo in Madrid.

Realistic tiger eyes on the forearm.
Ariel from the Little Mermaid.

He has three styles that he works in, and he does them well. Realism, micro realism, and cartoon.

Micro realistic pooch head with a dash of colour.
The Mad Hatter and Alice, a Disney classic.

His realistic works are heavy on the black and grey, but he does use colour sparingly in these to make certain aspects pop, such as eyes and mouths in portraits of both people and animals.

Full realistic back piece of a snarling tiger. Black and grey with green eyes.

His cartoon pieces are like plucking a screenshot straight out of a movie or show, with great detail and colour throughout.

A classic Homer Simpson piece from Treehouse of Horror.

His micro realism pieces are great for those who want a small tattoo, and the amount of detail he’s able to pack into such a small space is unbelievable.

A portrait of Tupac done in black and grey.

If you’re passing through Madrid don’t hesitate to set up an appointment with Alex via his Instagram linked above.

Joaquin Phoenix’ portrayal of The Joker.

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Artist of the Month: Susanne König

Susanne is a tattooer at Redwood Tattoo Studio in Manchester. She does fine linework, dotwork, and blackwork. All of her tattoos use only black ink, but her intricate dotwork make a great contrast to the heavy black.

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A girl and her cat, the start and the moon.
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Victorian octopus lady looking very serious.
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Fantastic night time land and city scape.
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Gorgeous Venus piece!
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Lovely jellyfish in a jar.
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Three adorable foxes cuddling.
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A girl and her big dog!

Much of her work features popular characters or places from books, film, and tv.

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Eleven from Stranger Things!
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Severus Snape wearing Neville’s Grandmother’s clothing.
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The first years heading to Hogwarts!

She draws much inspiration from histories famous painters, and even does their portraits.

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Brilliant portrait of Van Gogh with his own sky design as the background.
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Frida Kahlo as one of her own portraits.
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Dot and blackwork Picasso vase!
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Katsushika Hokusai’s wave, one of the most iconic Japanese motifs.

Her whimsical animal portraits are fantastical and heartwarming, such as space narwhales, dogs in space, dinosaurs in clothing, etc.

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Sloth bathing in some tasty ramen!
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Super cool badger rocking out.
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Pirate kitty!!
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Narwhale with a cool space theme.
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Brachiosaurus in some fancy clothes.
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Very pretty mermaid.
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A heavily tattooed and bearded merman.

Susanne is a must see artist if you’re in Manchester!

Pop Punk Tattoos:

Pop punk is a genre that, like the title suggests, mixes pop and punk into one sound. Typically combining a fast tempo, often with a punk theme, along with pop-influenced melodies.

Won Jun at Colorfast Studios in Coral Springs, Florida. Neck Deep
Neck Deep Look on the bright side piece. Done by Won Jun at Colorfast Studios in Coral Springs, Florida.
Alex Rowntree Northern Glory Tattoo Newcastle upon Tyne, UK Blink 182
Blink 182 based off their newest album California. Done by Alex Rowntree at Northern Glory Tattoo in Newcastle ,UK.
Harriet Heath. American Football
American Football piece done by Harriet Heath.
MARAH Luxury Tattoo Baku. The Wonder Years
The wonder years bird and lyrics done by Marah at Luxury Tattoo in Baku.
Nat G ✖️Good Luck Tattoo - Melbourne paramore
Paramore piece done by Nat G at Good Luck Tattoo in Melbourne.

Some of the first big name pop punk bands include Green Day, Blink-182, and Sum 41.

Andy Sharik at Boundless Tattoo Co, pLAINFIELD, IL. Fall out boy
Fall Out Boy piece based on the song Chicago is so two years ago. Done by Andy Sharik at Boundless Tattoo Co, Plainfield, IL.
Jenna Hayes Tattooist @handanddagger , Belfast, N.Ireland Modern Baseball
What’s more pop punk than pizza? Modern Baseball tattoo. Done by Jenna Hayes at Hand and Dagger in Belfast, N.Ireland.
Mario at Lady Luck Tattoo in Tempe, AZ. Brand New
You are the blood in my veins Brand New piece. Done by Mario at Lady Luck Tattoo in Tempe, AZ.
Nate Stephens at Marion St. Tattoo and Gallery in Denver. this is for the snakes and the people they bite the front bottoms
The Front Bottoms. This is for the snakes and the people they bite. Done by Nate Stephens at Marion St. Tattoo and Gallery in Denver.

Newer pop punk (2015 onwards) also include some emo into the mix, particularly in the lyrics. Bands like this include Neck Deep, Modern Baseball, and The Wonder Years.

Bob McCarty Tattooer. AC Ink. Atlantic City. Neck Deep
Neck Deep piece inspired by their album life’s Not Out to Get You. Done by Bob McCarty at AC Ink. Atlantic City.
Jon FTW at traditional tattoo Brisbane. Brand New
Brand New inspired tattoo with lyrics and scythe. Done by Jon at Traditional Tattoo Brisbane.
Max Amos in the UK. Green Day
Green Day piece, taken off their album Nimrod. Done by Max Amos in the UK
Shannon Taber •Tattoo artist •Lucky Bird Tattoo Annapolis, MD New Found glory
New Found Glory script piece done by Shannon Taber at Lucky Bird Tattoo in Annapolis, MD.

Older pop punk tends to be more political, taking more influence from punk than pop, while newer pop punk tends to be a bit more on the poppy side, singing about relationships, broken hearts, and hanging out with your buddies.

Davey CXC XcouragecrewX A Stroke of Genius Tattoos Boca Raton, Florida Knuckle Puck
Knuckle Puck pine tree piece done by Davey at A Stroke of Genius Tattoos in Boca Raton.
Karl Cooper Mooseblood
Miserable Moose Blood tattoo. Done by Karl Cooper.
Miles Foxworthy Blink 182
I miss you… Blink 182 piece. Done by Miles Foxworthy.
Tyler at Black Lotus Tattoo AZ. Missing you by All Time Low
All Time Low thigh piece done by Tyler at Black Lotus Tattoo AZ.

Pop punk tattoos tend to be mainly in American and neo traditional styles, along with blackwork.

David at Glass Door Tattoos. The Story So Far
The Story So Far piece. Don’t paint me black when I used to be golden! Done by David at Glass Door Tattoos.
Kay Allday 🖤@Qual.Ali Full time tattooist at Studio 13 in Fort Wayne Indiana Modern Baseball
Here lies, he ran out of luck. Another Modern Baseball piece. Done by Kay Allday Studio 13 in Fort Wayne Indiana.
Myrah Oh. Tigers Jaw
Tigers Jaw piece done by Myrah Oh.
Tyson at 1st Amendment Tattoo in Temecula, CA. Modern Baseball
Another ran out of luck Modern Baseball banger. Done by Tyson at 1st Amendment Tattoo in Temecula, CA.

Winnipeg Artist 8: Dave Lao

Dave Lao is a black and grey artist working out of his private studio, Lone Wolf Studios in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

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Dark religious piece.
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Realistic Greek god/monster back piece.
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Crazy surf tattoo with shark.
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Centaur and flowers.
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Game of Thrones’ Daenerys.

Dave works in realism and sketch work styles. Much of his work is portraiture, such as characters from shows and movies, and lots of animals.

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Roman statue styled piece.
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Eyeball with a space theme.
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Beautiful elephant back piece.
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Angry polar bear.
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Virgin Mary portrait.

Dave has an impeccable attention to detail; with every line counting.

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Terrifying grim reaper.
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Greek/Roman surreal piece.
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Greek god Atlas.
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Portrait/ sketch work style lion.
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Surreal woman portrait and nature themed piece.

Most of his portfolio is made up of somewhat larger pieces, but he will also do smaller tattoos which are just as impressive.

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Nautical themed hand.
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Canadian army memorial piece.
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Realistic king piece.
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Small photo realistic swiss army knife.
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Gas mask and chopper.

Dave is a must see artist for black and grey work in Winnipeg.