Artist of the Month: Jack Peppiette

Jack is a black work artist working out of Insider Tattoo in Edinburgh, Scotland.

18579816_658547777672962_6956156894054449152_n
Peony in the ditch.
19762006_941756909295449_8768800600985960448_n
Back of the neck and across the shoulders in a more Polynesian layout.
29739930_1809539596007238_3320500226548039680_n
Two cuffs, leading onto the hand.
31326640_167827533896775_141134476477464576_n
Heavy black and some dot and linework in this sleeve, featuring mandalas.
31425431_165698597448727_2396788774202769408_n
Lots of flowers!
33940710_1832213170414896_2974634988466601984_n
Gorgeous hand and cuff piece.

Jack uses geometric patterns, adding flowers, mandalas, solid bands of black, and sometimes religious icons.

19227577_1943671182575560_9065200859633156096_n
Healed and heavy on the black.
19933230_1972013243032774_9180370064078012416_n
Chest piece with laurels.
30077646_198874834172061_7406293720355569664_n
Gorgeous finished Ganesha back piece.
32406977_192678431454143_424557250921627648_n
Flowers and collar.
33818254_216162039161553_6985703936883687424_n
Matching shoulder peony flowers.
35575617_262802347801313_5490443379525287936_n
Detailed back of the neck piece, all the way up onto the bottom of the head.

Jack has incredible attention to detail, making large pieces filled with incredible line and dotwork.

19367438_174429829761533_6561384335092482048_n
Ganesha and geometric patterns.
20836937_135914673680445_4144081276665593856_n
Healed full sleeve with sacred geometry.

Jack does do some smaller pieces, but most of them are fairly large. Such as sleeves, backs, half sleeves, and chest pieces.

19379771_446414652402828_3018685306925744128_n
Beautiful face tattoo.
29737919_766575703549928_6041027963187625984_n
3/4 sleeve with lots of dotwork for the shading.
30602859_430952954022106_464393708247187456_n
Forearms added to existing pieces leading onto the hands.
36086310_1999907326898476_3114367424409894912_n
Mandalas, dots, and lines on the legs, leading onto the feet.

Jack is a must visit artist if you are in Scotland.

Tattoo History 8: Myanmar’s Tattooed Chin Women

All pictures are by Eric Lafforgue, not myself.

There are 135 different ethnic groups in Myanmar. One of them is called Chin, after the Chin state that they live in. Each of these groups has rich cultural traditions. The Chin people are known for their remarkable face tattoos. The women of Chin state have been getting face tattoos since the eleventh century according to legend.

263BF0DF00000578-2975384-image-a-18_1425297177687

The tradition of tattooing the faces of girls started when a Burmese king visited the area. Becoming enthralled with the young women he kidnapped one young girl to be his bride. The elders then decided to tattoo their young girls faces to dissuade other men from stealing them. It is also said to make them more beautiful, and to be able to tell them apart from the women in other tribes. The third legend of the beginning of face tattooing is that local pastors told them only those with face tattoos would get into heaven. This being after the area was colonized by British missionaries.

263BF0CF00000578-2975384-image-a-16_1425297173095

There are different tattoo patterns for different groups within the Chin state. For example, the M’uun women have more sloping, curved shapes, the Yin Du have long vertical lines that cross the entire face, and the Uppriu have their entire face tattooed full of dots.

263BF0EF00000578-2975384-image-a-11_1425297150105

As with most of these ancient tattoo traditions, it is extremely painful to get them done. The tattoos are made using leaves, grass, and soot. The leaves are used to make colour, the soot is sued as a disinfectant and binding agent, and the grass shoots are later used to wrap the tattoo, giving a natural bandage. The tattoo is given using long, sharp cane thorns. The face would stay swollen for 5-7 days, but it was all worth it for the beauty and tradition!

263BF0F400000578-2975384-image-a-26_1425297205357

The government banned getting these tattoos in the 60’s, but some women still practise this ancient tradition since they are so far from the capital.

263BF21A00000578-2975384-image-a-42_1425297284114

The women who still have their face tattoos love them and see them as a beautiful addition to their bodies. The younger generations don’t seem to like how they look for the most part, but the older women stick together and still admire each others art.

263BF21200000578-2975384-image-a-39_1425297267667

Artist of the Month: Joel Mijker

Joel is an artist working out of Wild Rose Tattoo Co. in Calgary, Alberta.

A finished full sleeve.
A classic hand tat for mom.
36495502_244732883004715_2215594184272773120_n
Classic demon.
A bold back of the head Japanese inspired skull.

Joel does mainly classic American traditional tattoos, as well as some more Japanese inspired pieces. 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.
Gorgeous cross with great placement.
Beautiful flower, always classic.
33323986_446419269131394_7536114252247990272_n
Black rose and Bert Grimm crying heart.

Joel does both colour pieces as well as blackwork or black and grey.

19985345_618559188351668_8587405182680170496_n
Blackwork peony in more of a Japanese style.
Two great healed pieces. Love the fortune teller in particular.
21911090_739303336271055_467964423797997568_n
Twisty dragon, an American take on a Japanese design.
24125531_267216573804722_2617393094982631424_n
Geometric vase and wrap around snake.
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.
24174840_518263201879487_5035548193316667392_n
Tough boxer and rose in blackwork style.
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 Calgary.

Artist of the Month: Jimmy Ho

Jimmy Ho is a tattoo artist in Hong Kong. Jimmy has had his own shop since he was 14, and was tattooing before that, thanks to his father, James. His father opened Hong Kong’s first tattoo shop in 1946 called “The Rose Tattoo”, and by 1950 the shop was working non-stop to fill the demands of American soldiers getting tattooed. Jimmy has had his own shop since 1958.

10518074_1500374686919762_2052409366_n
An in progress pic of chest panels and half sleeves done in traditional Chinese style.
11378992_1631207273757972_1209279623_n
Jimmy tattooing a dragon onto Chinese movie star Michael Chan in the 1970’s.

Jimmy started tattooing sailors at night before he was 14, when his fathers shop was technically closed. He wanted to help out and make some money so he started doing them himself, and has been tattooing ever since.

10860228_817496348357199_10578179_n
Three Chinese dragons.
11417320_1105180646178558_1989320523_n
Tiger flash from 1983

During the Korean war he and the other artists at his father’s shop would tattoo 30-40 men per day due to the high demand. Jimmy would tattoo soldiers everyday from 11am until 4am, non stop.

11311605_1626821754262514_1411809875_n
Chinese dragon as a full back piece.
14474063_252245341843485_660368307139903488_n
Raijin and dragons done in 1984 or 85.

Jimmy has his own style, modelled after his fathers. A mix of traditional Chinese and American traditional, but specializing in dragons.

11336272_1484702638488727_894316177_n
Dragon and lady done in 1975.
13573445_1576022719368342_681332170_n
Beautiful forearm dragon piece.

Jimmy still tattoos, but most of the pictures on his Instagram are from the 70s-90s if you’re trying to find a portfolio.

11337217_811905408906359_1292636259_n
Chinese movie star Andy Lau in 1997.
14099809_557130617828821_2062410290_n
Sign for Jimmy’s tattoos in Hong Kong.

There are some differences between Chinese and Japanese dragons, as you’ll see in Jimmy’s work. His dragons usually have 4 claws, which was used in ancient Chinese history for high ranking officials and nobility, while the 3 toed dragons were for common people, as well as the Japanese.

11355157_686535294810418_2091692763_n
Eagle and mudan flower from 1982 or 83.

If you can’t make it all the way to Hong Kong for a tattoo you can always get some of Jimmy’s flash off of big cartel here.   tattooflash.bigcartel.com

12224671_1000024063390488_1069815190_n
Jimmy with some of his flash that you can buy on big cartel.

Namakubi Tattoos:

Namakubi tattoos are one of the most popular and recognizable motifs in Japanese tattooing.

Alessandro Lauricella
More of a neo Japanese style hand namakubi, done by Alessandro Lauricella.
Hide Ichibay Three Tides Tattoo Tokyo
Very traditional lady namakubi done by Hide Ichibay at Three Tides Tattoo in Tokyo.
Ichi tattoo
Namakubi chest piece done by Ichi Hatano at Ichi Tattoo in Tokyo.
sergey vaskevich
Namakubi and snake done by Sergey Vaskevich in Warsaw, Poland.
zachblacktattoos
Heavily stylized namakubi done by Zach Black at Akara Arts Tattoo  in Wisconsin.

Namakubi are severed heads, usually fresh, and sometimes impaled on stakes, arrows, or swords/knives.

Alex Rusty Artist:owner at @Lighthouse_Tattoo in Sydney, Australia
Blue and bloody namakubi done by Alex Rusty at Lighthouse Tattoo in Sydney, Australia.
Horiei Shinshu 信州 彫英 based in Japan🇯🇵Matsumoto City,Nagano
Neo Japanese piece done by Horiei Shinshu in Matsumoto, Japan.
Jeremy Deboer • Tattooing since 2011 • INK WIZARDS- Adelaide
Broken katana through the head done by Jeremy Deboer in Adelaide.
Shinya Studio Muscat Tokyo
Heavy black piece by Shinya at Studio Muscat in Tokyo, Japan.

Namakubi can have a number of different meanings including respect for the enemy, overcoming a fear, or accepting ones own fate with honour.

Andrew Nectar Fine Tattooing, Lethbridge Alberta
Three arrows through a head in a more American traditional style piece. Done by Andrew Nectar at Fine Tattooing in Lethbridge, Alberta.
Horihana Kirin Tattoo Brasil
Bleeding head done by Horihana at Kirin Tattoo in Brasil.
Lango Oliveira at Black Heart Tattoo in San Francisco
Ghastly namakubi done by Lango Oliveira at Black Heart Tattoo in San Francisco.
Stephen Doan
Blackwork namakubi with arrows done by Stephen Doan.

In ancient Japanese history, taking the head of ones enemy is the ultimate sign of respect and honour. It is also a representation of life’s full circle coming to an end.

Ash Davies Stronghold Tattoo, Cardiff Bay
Sword right through the cheeks by Ash Davies at Stronghold Tattoo in Cardiff Bay.
Horishige Osaka Japan
Japanese namakubi part of a bodysuit, done by Horishige in Osaka, Japan.
Matteo Ceccarini ◇JAPANESE TATTOOING◇ Black Line Tattoo Studio, Mallorca:Extreme Needle Tattoo Studio, London
Half sleeve with maple leaves done by Matteo Ceccarini at Extreme Needle Tattoo Studio in London, England.
Tamar Karp Now taking bookings at The Black Lodge, Portishead...Bristol
Crazy eyed namakubi done by Tamar Karp at The Black Lodge in Bristol.

Namakubi are almost always done in a traditional Japanese style, but can also be done in neo Japanese, neo traditional, and American traditional styles.

Dan Arietti Tattooist:owner Black sails tattoo Brighton
Rotting neo traditional namakubi done by Dan Arietti at Black Sails Tattoo in Brighton.
Horiyoshi 3 Yokohama Japan
Sliced open namakubi done by Horiyoshi the third in Yokohama, Japan.
Rich Handford Kapala Tattoo Winnipeg
Matching legs done by Rich Handford at Kapala Tattoo in Winnipeg Manitoba.
Zach Black Akara Arts Tattoo, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Another neo Japanese piece done by Zach Black at Akara Arts Tattoo in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Which is your favourite?

Shibari Tattoos:

NSFW. Shibari is the ancient Japanese artistic form of rope bondage. In Japanese, Shibari simply means “to tie.”

Alix Ge Alix Ge tattoo, chez @misericorde.sete France
Snake and woman in Shibari ropes done by Alix Ge in France.
Phil Kaulen Tattoo Cologne | Tattooer&Star Wars Geek! 🔫 Partner in crime to @ohheavyheart | Working at Elektrotinte Tattoo
Blackwork woman in kimono done by Phil Kaulen at Elektrotinte Tattoo.
zhuo dan ting shanghai tattoo
Full Shibari back piece and octopus done by Zhuo Dan Ting at Shanghai Tattoo in China.

Shibari dates back to the 1400’s when police and samurai would use Hojo-jutsu, the martial art of restraining captives. This was used to both imprison captives as well as torture.

Alvaro Contreras Barcelona
Woman tied up, upside down done by Alvaro Contreras in Barcelona.
SAD AMISH Tattooer BODY LOVER OPEN JUNE BORDEAUX
Delicate blackwork piece by Sad Amish tattooer at The Church tattoo in Bordeaux.
Wes Harrison Black Wren tattoo , Bendigo . Devils ink tattoo , Melbourne
Neo traditional demon woman in Shibari rope done by Wes Harrison at Black Wren Tattoo.

By the late 1800’s and early 1900’s this evolved into a new kind of erotic rope tying called Kinbaku. Today, this erotic art form is generally just called Shibari.

Clara Welsh Tattooer at Evil From the Needle, Camden UK
Red rope Shibari woman done by Clara Welsh at Evil From the Needle in Camden UK.
Scott Garitson 💀TIL' DEATH DENVER
Heart and Shibari rope by Scott Garitson at Til’ Death Denver.

The knots used in Shibari accentuate characteristics in the models body, and show sensuality, vulnerability, as well as strength. The ropes create geometric patterns on the models body that contrast the bodies natural curves.

inserseriusseries La Coruña: Working at two of hearts tattoo
More Japanese style piece, featuring her own Japanese tattoos done by inserseriusseries at Two Of Hearts Tattoo.
Sergey Vaskevich
Torture by Shibari done by Sergey Vaskevich in Warsaw.

Shibari tattoos are erotic and sensual, showing off the human form in all its beauty. They are often done in black work, black and grey, realism, and neo traditional styles.

Lopes_Onepunch 💣Tattooer at @Gonefishing_Tattoo, Portimão, Portugal
Blackwork heart and rope done by Lopes Onepunch at Gone fishing tattoo in Portugal.
Tine DeFiore ::tiny of the flowers::Chicago::owner @blackoaktattoo:
Leg wrapped in rope by Tine DeFiore at Black Oak Tattoo in Chicago.

To see some live Shibari art please check out shibari.jp to see my favourite Shibari artist, Hajime Kinoko.

Németh S. Csilla Deep Art Tattoo, Nové Zámky
Realistic black and grey piece done by Németh S. Csilla at Deep Art Tattoo in Nové Zámky.
Ufoo Tattoo ✖️Dark Comics Work✖️Blackwork✖️ working at Kult Tattoo Fest
Blackwork shibari and video camera done by Ufoo Tattoo at Kult Tattoo Fest.

To learn more about the history and art of Shibari please check out http://www.artofcontemporaryshibari.com

Winnipeg Artist 10: J. Majury

J is the owner of First String Tattoo in Winnipeg, Manitoba. He works in a number of styles including black and grey, Polynesian, black work, realism, Japanese, and neo traditional.

10249222_1464106880536851_996537235_n
Fantastic coverup with deer skull, flowers and a book!
10729462_883753104970669_1441257283_n
Massive peacock. Look at those details in the tail feathers!
15624121_365384020496447_2832924140262916096_n
Realistic black and grey Japanese Kitsune and skull.
11910508_1628486124091132_602267033_n
Big sugar skull inspired rib panel.

He does both large and small pieces, from sleeves and back pieces to tiny one shot pieces!

10254242_1430487867202679_403742706_n
Creepy crawly head tarantula.
10727422_1783131195244778_1530328756_n
Some feathers and an awareness ribbon.
10964100_1572492426328265_1658375538_n
Healed black and grey lighthouse.
17437719_1293583007364066_3611415846317981696_n
Viking themed frost giant on a bloody rampage!

You can check out his flash on his Instagram or in person and choose something cool, or talk ideas with him!

10354342_635905066497172_1746795625_n
A lovely loon covering up some old script.
10784914_305547686300888_1650634287_n
Neo traditional lady head.
11078686_1397679247219060_1627057675_n
Japanese koi fish as a chest panel to lead onto a half sleeve.

As well as working in Winnipeg, J also guest spots in Saskatoon at Rites of Passage Tattoo.

10454034_1383748735218993_317069363_n
Neat drawn on Polynesian inspired piece.
12237271_1057321050968206_1871450181_n
Polynesian elephant.
11282073_818303618266005_595977365_n
Bright neo traditional owl!

If you’re looking to have some ink removed he can also do that for you as he does laser tattoo removal right out of the shop. If you’d rather have a piece covered up he does lots of that too.

10570187_686274791450620_2122904543_n
Brilliant brightly coloured sleeve with some skulls and flowers.
10808606_1483440785211599_193578695_n
Healed Where the Wild Things Are themed piece.
11856695_1634077683528423_323435674_n
Realistic black and grey snow leopard.

He has an incredible attention to detail and is sure to make you happy with any style you choose.

10693508_493511027418024_1944854284_n
Huge flower for a coverup.
10809641_1617212721863592_163610875_n
Fresh and healed. Sugar skull and a more nature themed skull.
11358249_1456035984691942_182263847_n
Healed shots of an octopus sleeve.

J is a must visit artist in Winnipeg or Saskatoon!

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.

30830476_2042295312458586_7139974046849957888_n
A girl and her cat, the start and the moon.
34420592_1804736559617761_8728482385768742912_n
Victorian octopus lady looking very serious.
34616850_1629058350537384_4226431240137342976_n
Fantastic night time land and city scape.
32307965_379821199189856_2813399635547127808_n
Gorgeous Venus piece!
31920717_282131112351293_3505305333490778112_n
Lovely jellyfish in a jar.
32247699_993910357439348_4058640122151698432_n
Three adorable foxes cuddling.
32070137_164810507520982_2350098992181805056_n
A girl and her big dog!

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

31897696_168446423822566_1657461375976341504_n
Eleven from Stranger Things!
33788417_483777995387390_2867886776075157504_n
Severus Snape wearing Neville’s Grandmother’s clothing.
32287516_347482725775590_3710996290868346880_n
The first years heading to Hogwarts!

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

30602831_363613174140176_7518400772032167936_n
Brilliant portrait of Van Gogh with his own sky design as the background.
30841564_1892887094063627_292451010448719872_n
Frida Kahlo as one of her own portraits.
34409125_312406252626780_4878373027600924672_n
Dot and blackwork Picasso vase!
30856202_368157093684418_2131175451018657792_n
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.

26388215_538511883177399_8461765019766358016_n
Sloth bathing in some tasty ramen!
29415394_575317139496547_7503021031016103936_n
Super cool badger rocking out.
29417315_1505902186198686_5393927604594016256_n
Pirate kitty!!
30085427_192864924774379_5983002237759127552_n
Narwhale with a cool space theme.
34982582_252942768809628_7959071292844408832_n
Brachiosaurus in some fancy clothes.
33740385_256699644896959_5627538593879687168_n
Very pretty mermaid.
33091110_192623124698042_1737405393258151936_n
A heavily tattooed and bearded merman.

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

Getting a Tattoo in Japan:

Getting tattooed in another country can be a daunting experience. Where do you even start? This post is designed to walk you through the steps of getting a tattoo while visiting Japan and make it a little less stressful.

I was tattooed in Japan on June 2nd, 2018, by Hide Ichibay at Three Tides Tattoo in Tokyo.

IMG_2448

If you’re getting a tattoo in Japan, i’m going to assume you’re wanting some sort of Japanese tattoo, whether it’s traditional or just something to remember your trip by. Traditional Japanese tattoos are their own style, but Japanese themed pieces can be done in a few different styles. Such as traditional Japanese, neo Japanese, realistic Japanese, black and grey, and black work.

Once you know what style you want you can start looking for artists. The best way to do this I find, is to look in a specific city. So for myself I started with a simple google search of traditional Japanese artists in Tokyo. I sifted through the first three pages on google, looking at some websites and portfolios and chose my top three shops and a few different artists. Once I had those I looked more at their sites and checked out more portfolios, pricing, and most importantly their hygiene. Lots of artists will also have Instagram accounts, such as my artist, making it easy to see their work.

IMG_2450

Tattoo shops in Japan aren’t regulated like shops are in Western countries since in Japan only someone with a medical degree can legally tattoo. Therefore the shops you’re seeing aren’t regulated by the government, so you want to make sure they aren’t re-using any tattooing instruments that touch blood, and that the shop is clean. Most sites will have a section on this, and if the site is in Japanese and you can’t read it, such as myself; you can always use google translate to get the gist of it. If you’re still questioning it you can also send an email, or just pick another shop.

Once you have a shop and artist picked out you can send an email. Some shops, such as Three Tides, will have a receptionist that you will deal with, rather than the actual artist. You’ll want to email at least a few months in advance (some artists will require more time than that, even up to a year in advance), and request an artist, and give a few different days that would work for you. You should also include some reference pictures for what you would like, include any needed information like if the tattoo will be in colour or not, and how big you would like it and where it’s going on your body. Once that is set up you may also have to include a picture of where on your body it’s going, especially if you have other tattoos in that area that the artist has to work around.

IMG_2447

You may also be required to send a deposit to hold your spot. This is normal and most shops will use PayPal, though if you don’t have PayPal and don’t want to get it you may be able to work something else out such as a direct deposit.

The next step is getting your tattoo finally! If you have tattoos then you know what to do and you’re all set. The only difference may be that you’re used to having a consultation first, and for this tattoo you’ll spend the first thirty minutes to an hour basically doing that. If it’s your first tattoo then you’ll want to make sure you eat something before your appointment, and maybe have a juice box with you incase your blood sugar gets low.

This was my first time getting tattooed in a country that is so hot and humid, but I had gotten some tips from other people who had been tattooed in Japan as well. Most people have their favourite cream or gel that they like to use for healing (mine is vitamin E gel or a cucumber cream) and you can still use that, but for dealing with the heat I recommend using a chilled coconut oil. You can keep it in the fridge (it will harden quite a bit) and use a tiny amount when it’s dry. The coolness feels fantastic in the heat of Japan. Thanks to my new friend off of Reddit for that tip!

IMG_2454

Finally you can enjoy your new tattoo! Have fun being tattooed in Japan and on your trip.

IMG_0794
My healed Japanese tattoo by Hide Ichibay.

If you have any questions about getting tattooed in Japan feel free to leave a comment.