Tuesday, August 31, 2010


In case you didnt know, young Manders has been coming up lately. Well done. Get tattooed by her!


Our friendly neighborhood Corona started his chest with Ron a bit back. Dont have picture of the tattoo just yet but this pretty good on its own. Enjoy.

Bender, Eben.

These are a couple of really fun tattoos. Eben Bender is a multi-talented man, and this all started with the idea of doing a "Tug Life" tattoo. In the end, we left out the lettering, and we opted for the straight design. He got a train to fill out the stomach shortly after.
Thanks Eben, that ruled.
Even if it doesn't say it, these tattoos ARE tug life. That is one Gangsta stomach.

Jeremy Riley vs. Ronan Boyle

Here's a painting I did for Ronan Boyle in February. He got the panel prepared for me, and I ruined it. It was up for the ArtWalk around the Olympics here, and hosted by Grace Gallery.
The paintings are 6 feet by 4 feet.

Here's the process, from the blank to the finished product. It wasn't exactly fun, but it was done in three days, with a combined total of 40 hours. No sleep. Thanks Ronan,  I'm okay with it.
Next time Watercolor. I am not down with acrylic.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Kristen's Art Therapy Tattoo

Kristen just received her Graduate Degree in Art Therapy. During her 3rd year at school, a mentor and class instructor of hers was diagnosed with cancer, and passed after a short and difficult battle. Her instructor, Carol, along with her grandfather, were both very important influences in her life at different stages, and having completed a huge goal in her life, wanted to recognize, and pay tribute to the path that has brought her to where she is now:

I wanted to combine different visual elements with the look of this tattoo. The geometric solidity of the labyrinth, mixed with loose watercolor treatment to the poppies. Something stationary, with lots of movement in and around it. Hard lines, and soft bleeds.

I myself was present in her struggles through grad school, and lost touch when Carol was dying. I'd carried guilt about that for a long time, and getting to design and execute this tattoo for Kristen was a healing process for myself as well.

Here's a portion of the email Kristen originally sent me regarding the Poppies, and Cretan Labyrinth in her tattoo idea:

"These two things came to me in a dream, separately and then together over a long period of time. It took me forever to try and figure out the connection between the two. I knew where the labyrinth came from but I couldn't figure out the poppies. The only time I'd ever seen them was when I went to England as a little girl and they were surrounding my Grandpa's house. I guess I've always associated them with him. So I did some research and turns out that poppies symbolize a lot of stuff, most commonly death. Not in a morbid creepy sort of way, but in a more ceremonial way. Poppy's are commonly placed during funerals and burials, at least they were a long time ago. They symbolize death and sleep but interestingly enough they also have been associated as a symbol of healing. The contrast of these two things and the eeriness of my unconscious connections made in my dreams was a bit too much to ignore. Without knowing anything about the symbology of poppies, my dreams brought them to me in an almost synchronistic way. How appropriate is it that it represents both mourning (for Carol) as well as healing (art therapy). It makes that whole concept of the "collective unconscious" brought up by Jung a little too hard to shut down. Given that most of my work lately has been so focused on my dreams it seems appropriate. ...The Cretan labyrinth was on a necklace Carol wore everyday and was buried with. I remember seeing that around her neck at the viewing and feeling a chill. It was the only thing that made it feel like it was her. Another element that I have always associated with art therapy is wind and movement. This may sound pretty strange but we did so much work with breathing and body movement that I can't think about art therapy without taking a deep breath. ...Okay, so that's a lot of information but again, I don't want to put too many restrictions on this. If there was ever a person who knew me and this experience well enough to do this tattoo it would be you. I really trust in your process and I'm sure it will blow my mind. I'm open to whatever you've got."

Got it. :)

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Miranda's Tree/Woman Half Sleeve

Miranda left 99% of the design up to me. :) She wanted a female, in tree form. Also a couple of birds, but the rest was all mine. After a slew of blue pencil sketches and getting closer to what I envisioned, I finally got it down. 9 hours over 3 sessions and voila!

The hummingbird on her collar bone was a pre-existing tattoo, just a simple outline of a bird with a red heart. I adjusted it to match her arm piece.

The second-to-last sketch:

The final sketch (minus the reworked bird and wildflowers on the bottom left):

Ron's Tribute to his Father, 9/11, and Firefighting

Ron found me about 2 years ago while I was working at Voluta. I remember him coming through the back door unexpectedly. The front door was locked (as usual), so being a fireman, he found another way in. His wife Carla ended up getting a small piece from me, and it wasn't until recently that we ran into each other at a bar in Fountain Square. He had an idea stirring in his head, of a phoenix, rising from the ashes. I got to work, and set the bar high on his first tattoo:

The original sketch, after a few revisions:

The final color mock-up:

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Belmont Barbershop featured in Vancouver Magazine.

Our neighbor and friend has been getting press for his store, and rightly so,
his Barbershop and Haberdashery are pretty amazing.

Vancouver Magazine Article
Issue on newstands now.

The Belmont Barbershop
Mr.Lee's General Store

We would like to say thanks for all the support to the boys at Belmont and Mr.Lee's,
and to Dustin himself.

Here's a couple of tattoos done on Dustin: