Sorry Friends, for not posting anything for you in last month, guys what to say the life got so busy that I din get time to be online to write something for you. The fact was that I had been on a trekking trip to the hills of Kullu-Manali, India, and there was no cyber café over there to post something for you. Anyways, please forgive me and read further an interview with Anabi of ‘Anabi-Tattoo’, Szczecin, Poland.
Eloping from home to become a tattooist is something interesting and this interesting story is about Anabi, who ran from home at the age of eighteen and today he is a master of tattoos. Know his work and him better in this interview.
Disha Singh: Let’s start with your first rendezvous with the art. When did it started and how?
Anabi: Since I was a kid I used to like drawing 🙂 I was reading a lot of books and comic books, drawing my favourites heroes and make my own histories 🙂
Disha Singh: What’s the inspiration behind your creative tattoo designs?
Anabi: Inspirations for me is a lot of things… paintings, sketches, photography, digital art, etc…
Disha Singh: Are you a perfectionist? Are there any tattoos, paintings, etc. that you wish you could change?
Anabi: My clients know that I will sit with them until every little thing will be done as good as I can 🙂
I finish work in first approach very seldom, I spread sessions on instalments most often, I have perfect control as tattoo over due to healed and where I need to correct something to make him beautiful.
Disha Singh: How did the idea of becoming a tattoo artist come to your mind? Were your parents comfortable with your decision to become a tattoo artist?
Anabi: When I was 18 years old I ran away from home, I have taken up residence in catholic internat, one of colleague had self made tattoo machine,
He knew that I possess drawing skills and he asked me about design for him.
I looked for a while how he tattooed himself, then I said “give me a try”
…and that’s how it began 🙂
Then I searched hints in tattoo studios.
Between 2002 – 2004 I was practicing two years in “alien tattoo studio run by Joseph” in my hometown – Szczecin. Eight months ago I opened my own tattoo studio, and it’s first custom tattoo in Poland.
I don’t have albums with tattoo flashes, every design is individually made for each client.
Disha: What we see Anabi doing when he is not tattooing?
Anabi: I spend whole day in my tattoo shop…when I’m not tattooing, I spend my time at drawing, making new tattoo designs, working in gym and spend some time with my girlfriend and friends.
Disha: Which machine and ink do you use?
Anabi: I use several machines… at this moment my favourite is Shader from SUNSKIN, I use it for colour works too. Another good for colour/shader machine is “SWAN” from “WORKHOUSE”
For outlines I’m using custom machine from “VIKING TATTOO POLAND”
which I won as an award in contest for best tattoo flash.
Last one is shader from our live tattooing legend Piotr Zurawski, who got first tattoo shop in Poland.
Ink that I use is Intenze and Starbrite for colour works and Indian ink and destilled water for shading.
Lately, I bought set of 21 ink concentrates made by Waldi Wahn from Shockin’ City.
Disha: Which is the strangest request you have ever had for a tattoo?
Anabi: 38 year old woman want a cobra on her face. She always dreamed about it, so I did it 🙂
Disha: How much does a piece cost?
Anabi: It’s belong from piece 😉
If It’s a piece that need more then two session, I Usually take charge by session…
How much is belong how long session is, and how big is progress at session.
Disha: How have things changed regarding your inking over the years?
Anabi: Over years? I just started and I’ve got a looong way to go 🙂
Disha: Who is Anabi in flesh and blood?
Anabi: You need to ask my friends!
Disha: Finally, what suggestions do you have for the newbie in the industry and especially to those who want to get tattooed?
Anabi: Choose good artist and show him your satisfaction with a fat tip 😉
Wow! a Graphic & Web Designer, turns to be a tattooist. Todd Dumas thinking to do something different has starting practicing tattooing on himself and here is one of his efforts.
The first tattoo by him on himself is very different which was he made just to create it. He says,
“I am attempting to teach myself the art of tattooing. Right now, I am just doing some “freestyle” experiments with lines, colors and shading. As I get farther along (and more skilled), this will turn into a neo-tribal, abstract piece. This represents about 5 different 20-minute sessions.
This tattoo is damn embarrassing in its current state. The lines are shaky and the shading is terrible.”
However, he agrees to the fact that most new tattoo artists practice on themselves, and mistakes are expected. Though most new tattoo artists have spent a great deal of time in tattoo shops. He thinks that a lot can be learned from just being in the environment and getting work done. Before this, he only had a tiny, black piece that he got over ten years ago.
Thus, I make more mistakes than most would. But each session gets a bit better, and my lines are getting cleaner. Hopefully, I can salvage the design before I have to ink my entire foot black , he added.
Colin Dale of Kunsten på Kroppen Tattoo Studio, Denmark, inked this Søren tattoo.
Talking about the tattoo he says,
Søren’s tattoo was hand poked using traditional tools of a type used in the Scandinavian Bronze Age. The design is also inspired by petroglyphs and rock art from the same age. The warrior is meant to move and fight as Søren does… protecting his back.
Søren is a Viking who trains and competes in traditional sword fighting.
The first time I saw this tattoo I just fell in for it….after digging deep my heart became heavy to know this great piece is in a memory of someone who left this world to rest in peace. Beautiful lines, worth reading….Don’t miss.
William Schaff, an artist by profession, etched this memory tattoo on his back by TJ Mcinnis of Mcinnis Tattoo, Rhode Island, US.
William got this tattoo after the death of someone he cared for, he explains this tattoo as,
“It is a piece of writing that Josh Spinelli did, in an effort to describe himself. In reading it after he died, I felt strongly about the words, as though I could have written them myself and my own search. Knowing they were from him connected me that much more to a man I did not get to know long enough.”
Disha Singh: Your comment about the tattoo.
William: I miss you Josh, and hope you are at peace.
William wears many other tattoos among which there are many words/ lines on his arms.
When you think of a tattooist an image of a funky guy striving to add oomph in his life strikes your mind. Earlier we interviewed to Nick Baxter living a vegan straightedge lifestyle and today please welcome Lokesh Verma of Devilz Tattooz, 35, Basantlok, PVR PRIYA complex, Vasant Vihar, New Delhi. He doesn’t like parties and is over five years in tattoo industry.
“There are those who are born artists, others who accomplish their dreams by earnestly toiling behind closed doors. Lokesh Verma is both.” Let’s not stretch his introduction more and we leave you here to read about him yourself.
Disha Singh: First of all Lokesh tell us about the significance of tattoos for you and do you also wear any tattoo?
Lokesh Verma: Tattoos have a lot of significance in my life, I cannot imagine my life without tattoos….I don’t know what would I be, had tattoos been not there….I think I would have been some kind of artist only.
Disha Singh: Who inspired you to take up tattooing as your career and when you inked for the first time?
Lokesh Verma: I always wanted to do something different….took up a lot of part time jobs after I finished school, while doing graduation I did a lot of part-time jobs like at Mc Donald’s and stuff…..also worked as a DJ to earn some money which helped me to buy the Tattoo kit which was very hard to get at that point of time when I was 19…..started tattooing on myself and then friends were interested in my artwork, today here I’m…. going strong everyday, there’s a lot to come.
Disha Singh: Tell me frankly, what is there in tattoos, despite all the pain, that drive people crazy?
Lokesh Verma: I believe tattoos are a kind of identity, people want their own identity and get their unique tattoos done which mean something to them, few people get tattoos just to flaunt around and their designs are mostly off the wall.
Disha Singh: What do you think about the tattoo industry in India? Are you looking forward to make it more popular and acceptable here?
Lokesh Verma: Tattoo industry in India is growing at a rate which was never expected 4 years from now…..I’m doing my best to bring it up to the international level and I can see myself growing with the industry everyday. It’ll take sometime to be at par with the International legendary artists, most of famous International artists have 15+ years so I think after few years we’ll be in their arena.
Disha Singh: How far would you like to take your tattooing?
Lokesh Verma: As I said It’s a part of my life….its hard to tell and set any limits….even the best artists are improving everyday…..only time will tell….it’ll go along with me all the way…..
Disha Singh: Which is your favorite tattoo and why?
Lokesh Verma: The Buddha backpiece is still an old favorite….I’ve worked apprx 18 hours on it but sadly it’s not complete yet……I think 12-15 more hours to go…..it’s my first backpiece and people don’t get huge tattoos here in India so that tattoo is still fun to work on…..the guy who is getting it doesn’t get enough time and I have appointments sometimes so we are not able to complete it fast…..hope to finish that soon.
Disha Singh: Which are the most popular designs you are frequently requested to make and why?
Lokesh Verma: Angels and butterflies…..also a lot of Tribal flash. A lot of people are also getting religious tattoos done now days.
Disha Singh: Do you think tattooing have changed over the years.
Lokesh Verma: A lot……initially I used to get a lot of Tribal tattoo requests which had no meaning….just to flaunt around……now more people are getting meaningful tattoos done which is a positive change.
Disha Singh: How much do you charge, approximately, for a piece of art?
Lokesh Verma: It depends on the intricacy of the piece so it varies a lot.
Disha Singh: Please throw some light on your tattoo parlor and also share how you approach towards a piece of art. Lokesh Verma: My studio is a compact studio, the approach is very conventional and basic…..but we do a lot of custom pieces….I like to draw unique pieces for the clients….I love free handing too….we trace the stencil by hand…..no thermal fax, it makes the tattoo easier to do when you know the flow and curves of your stencil….I’m tattooing for five and a half years now and I’m at this place since the last three years…..I opened up with my friends who were planning to open a beauty-spa that time, I was looking for a tattoo studio, we collaborated….all went well….now the work is increasing everyday so we are planning to renovate and make it lil’ bigger so that I and my assistants/students can work easily….
Disha Singh: As we have seen many people in India get tattoos by road-side tattoo hawkers. We know this is risky and please can you reveal some facts which should be kept in mind about tattoo ink/machine before getting tattooed whether it is a hawker or a tattoo studio.
Lokesh Verma: I’ve seen a lot of bad tattoos and few of the studios also do the road-side job….so its very necessary for people to check the work of the artist before they get inked…there is no other way…you cannot rely on anyone…see it yourself,, I know about few wannabe artists who show you someone else’s work just to get the client, so make sure you see some live work if possible…..also make sure the needles are opened in front of new and the Inks are branded like Starbrite , Kurosumi and Intenze to name a few and not some cheap quality…see the place yourself and make sure its clean and hygienic….do a lot of research before you tattoo anywhere.
Disha Singh: Your words for newbies in this industry?
Lokesh Verma: As Chris graver said “ ITS EASY TO BECOME A TATTOO ARTIST BUT ITS VERY HARD TO BECOME A GOOD ONE” The only thing you need to start anything is passion for that work, for tattooing if you have passion try to find a good mentor, if you are not passionate about a thing like tattooing and just seeing the money part of it……just forget it, money comes a lot later, when you are established your work speaks for itself, you have to give your days and night into it, there is no substitute for hardwork.
Disha Singh: And, finally, who is Lokesh in flesh and blood?
Lokesh Verma: I’m just another 25 year old guy who is chasing his dreams everyday and proving myself everyday, when I drive back home after work I feel I did better then yesterday but still very far from where I want to be…..everyday I’m struggling to be like my idols Chris graver, Alexander dallier, Brandon bond, Sean Herman, Josh woods, Guy and Hannah Atchinson, Anil gupta, Paul booth, Bob tyrrell, Katherine V drechenberg and many more……I look at their work whenever I find time (which I rarely find)….I don’t like to party a lot and my idea of partying is to sit at a friends place, cook with friends (as I don’t like to eat out also) and have fun.
Nick Baxter one of the iconic figures of tattoo industry was interviewed by Piercingntattoos.com to reveal his mind and soul inside and outside the tattooing world. He’s not only a tattooist but an actor, a painter, photographer as well as a writer. He’s the most eligible bachelor in the tattooing industry, who’d not like if you won’t wish him on his birthday i.e. on 5th September 😉 Born at New Haven, Connecticut, now plans to move from Transcend Tattoo, CT, to Austin, Texas, with his friend and fellow artist Jeff Ensminger, Dallas.
This winner of many tattoo convention awards: best sleeve, tattoo of day, etc., will be now seen off and on in CT. Let’s hear more about him in his own words in this interview.
Disha Singh:It’s been about eight years in the tattoo industry, how does it feel and how have things changed regarding your inking over the years?
Nick Baxter: Being 8 years into it feels great, I feel like I have accomplished so much of what I originally set out to do. I love having a network of friends and colleagues whom I travel the world with, work on fun art with, help inspire, and be inspired by. Pretty much everything has changed since I started, it’s completely different now‹a lot has changed in the industry, too, it’s really exploded in popularity and talent level. However, in some ways nothing has changed – I still feel like I’m just me, doing what I love to do, just like always. I till have so much to learn and experience and I still feel young, and like a beginner at times, because there are still many goals I haven’t reached yet and aspects of my art and technique I want to improve.
Disha Singh: How did it feel when you did the first tattoo?
Nick Baxter: It was completely nerve-wracking. I was scared and excited, and overwhelmed with all the things you need to remember to do while tattooing. It felt great though, I had a real sense of accomplishment.
Disha: What’s the inspiration behind your creative tattoo designs?
Nick: It could be anything, really. Life in general is inspiration, all the experiences and memories and emotions and thoughts and interesting things that comprise it. I try to tap into whatever type of inspiration I need for the particular project I’m working on.
Disha: Who are some of your influences, inside and outside of tattooing?
Nick: I have many influences and try to be eclectic, so it’s hard to form any kind of complete list, so just a portion of them I can think of right now are Salvador Dali, J.P. Witkin, Simen Johan, Mark Kessel, H.R. Giger, Guy Aitchison, Tim Hawkinson, Nikko Hurtado, Cindy Sherman, Richard Estes and all Photorealist painters, Charles Santarpia, Megan Merrell, Todd Schorr, Alex Grey, Caravaggio, Michaelangelo, Ron English, Eric White, Leonardo DaVinci, Adrian Dominic, Jeff Ensminger, Russell Mills.
Disha: In a true sense you are an artist who paints body and canvas, as well as a photographer. Please can you throw some light and reveal yourself in all these different roles?
Nick: These are all different aspects of my one driving creative energy. I get to express different parts of myself in each medium, and explore different themes and concepts. I also get to develop and refine different artistic disciplines and physical skills, or crafts. My painting and photography is very meticulous, refined, almost clinical in its approach to technique and subject matter, which appears often to be the opposite of those qualities‹very organic, warm, visceral. My tattooing is more spontaneous, loose, and holistic in its approach.
Disha: You have received many awards, what are the memorable conventions you’ve gone to and is there any target in your mind to be achieved?
Nick: I’ve always loved attending the Hell City tattoo conventions every year, because they are really well put together, organized, fun, and especially accommodating to the artists. I don’t have a target in my mind to achieve at conventions aside from just having a good time and producing some good work if I can.
Disha: What’s your imagination like? How long will you sit and think about a tattoo design before you actually ink it? Do you just bang it out in one shot or do you chip away at it on paper until it’s perfect and then on skin?
Nick: My imagination is a constant back and forth tug of war between the right and left brains, opposing urges for order and rationality and structure, and the opposite attributes of chaos, feeling, intuition. It’s like a never ending lottery-ball machines I definitely feel like I think too much. My tattoo conception process usually involves much more thinking at first than actual drawing. I’ll picture things in my mind, then look at reference materials for ideas and inspiration, then when I sit down to draw it usually gets completed all at once. I don’t bother with making the drawing perfect, in order to allow myself the freedom to create more on skin, and leave the tattooing process open to intuition and spontaneity.
Disha: Are you a perfectionist? Are there any tattoos, paintings, etc. that you wish you could change?
Nick: I am, for better and for worse, an unrelenting perfectionist. There’s a saying that makes me laugh at myself that goes: Perfect isn’t good enough. I analyze everything after I do it and always find something I could improve or try to do differently.
Disha: How much do you charge for a piece?
Nick: I charge an hourly rate for tattoos, and my paintings are reasonably priced as far as fine art prices are concerned, considering the amount of time and effort I put into them.
Disha: What are your likes and dislikes?
Nick: I like the outdoors and nature, creativity, positivity, problem solving, meeting challenges and goals, learning, nice people, animals, hardcore/punk music, freedom, living a vegan straightedge lifestyle. I generally really dislike any form of coercion and violence in order to control other people, or animals, as well as war and fighting, intolerance, suffering and despair, and all those associated ills of the world.
Disha: How did the idea of becoming a tattoo artist come to your mind? Were your parents comfortable with your decision to become a tattoo artist?
Nick: I was always fascinated by body art because it was rebellious, somewhat mysterious, and a really unique way to express yourself. I started to become interested in pursuing it in my mid-teens, and my parents were very unsupportive of that at the time. I think they were uncomfortable with me being a tattoo artist at first, but once they saw that it could be a legitimate, respectable career that could do positive things for me and my life, their opinions changed drastically. Now they support and respect me.
Disha: What we see Nick doing when he is not tattooing?
Nick: Usually I’m making some kind of other art, like painting, drawing, photography, or writing. I also like to experience the outdoors, play sports, read, listen to music, go to hardcore/punk shows, go to art galleries and museums, eat awesome vegan food, meditate, hang out with my cats and human friends.
Disha: Which machine and ink do you use?
Nick: I use mostly Pulse tattoo machines, and 3 brands of tattoo inks: Eternal, Starbrite, and Unique.
Disha: What do you think about FREEDOM -2 ink?
Nick: I’ve never tried it, and haven’t heard much about it. It seems like a great idea. I don’t have much interest in it as of yet, but I am curious to see if it works and if it stays looking great over time.
Disha: Finally, what suggestions do you have for the newbie in the industry and especially to those who want to get tattooed?
Nick: For new tattooists or apprentices, I recommend to stay focused on your art at all costs, be willing to put hours of every single day into study and practice, and stay disciplined. Be honest with yourself and develop a good sense of self-critique. Be hungry for knowledge, but don’t be too proud or afraid to go back to basics whenever necessary, whenever you feel stuck, or frustrated. For potential tattoo collectors, I recommend to be patient and do your research and homework first. You can read an article I co-wrote just for new tattoo collectors, at this address: http://www.offthemaptattoo.com/get-the-perfect-tattoo.html
Thanks for your precious time Nick, it was great to know your better!
He says, “The basic idea behind the ‘BEGEMOT’ tattoo is to carry on the number of tattoos I have based on fictional and/or mythical animals. Begemot (or Behemoth) is the name of the talking cat in my favourite novel ‘The Master and Margarita’ by Mikhail Bulgakov, in which the cat is Satan’s companion when he descends upon Moscow in the 1920s.”
“Other animal tattoos I have are ‘The Owl and the Pussycat’ original artwork (my favourite tattoo), and the Tortoise and the Hare.”
Regarding the satisfaction of his tattoos he added, “So far I am happy with the way the tattoo is holding up, although I was concerned about losing a lot of ink in the first fortnight, because of the near-continuous movement of the arm on a daily basis.”
This is his fourth tattoo, but the first to feature text. He also plans for more text tattoos in future and if he gets some picture tattoo then it’ll be a monkey.
On 1st of this month Larry Silverman released his latest independent feature documentary, “Flesh & Blood.” Doing several stories on people modified by Steve Haworth for the television series, “Ripley’s Believe It Or Not”, Larry got inspired to make “Flesh & Blood” – a film Larry thinks will surely change people’s outlook towards body modification and “will have a greater understanding about the more extreme side of body modification.”
Not taking your more time you read the interview yourself to know more about the movie.
Disha Singh: First and foremost are you a body modification freak. Do you wear any tattoo, piercing or any other body modification on your body?
Larry Silverman: I love art and personal expression of all kinds. And I love people. But it is not my choice to wear tattoos, piercings, or even jewelry for that matter. But that doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate great art, even if the canvas is human skin.
Disha: What inspired you to make “Flesh & Blood”?
Larry: I was a director/producer/writer on the television series, “Ripley’s Believe It Or Not” and did several stories about people who Steve Haworth had worked on. When I proposed doing a story just about Steve, it was rejected. So I decided to make the documentary on my own. I really like what Steve is doing and wanted to show it in a non-judgmental way.
(Steve Haworth showing his fresh Scarification)
Disha: Why only Steve Haworth, when there are so many other body modifiers around the globe?
Larry: As a documentary filmmaker, I prefer smaller stories about individuals. I was not trying to make a documentary about everything in the body modification realm. That’s been done before. I think it’s wonderful to be able to talk in detail about a subject so that the audience really gets to know them.
Disha: How the title Flesh & Blood came?
Larry: I often have a difficult time coming up with titles. The working title for this film was originally “Thick-Skinned.” But when I finally had to choose, I picked a title that has a double meaning… first, and most obvious, is that Steve deals with both flesh and blood. Second, at the end of the movie, when Steve’s daughter says she wants to be a piercer and do implant procedures like her Dad, she says, “It’s in the blood.” So flesh and blood refers to family ties and specifically to a daughter who wants to carry on in her father’s footsteps.
Disha: Can you throw some light on F&B? Especially it’s presentation, storyline and what does ‘Deleted Scenes’ cater?
Larry: I will answer this backwards… the Deleted Scenes are scenes that I like that were in an earlier cut of the movie, but for one reason or another slowed the movie down or didn’t quite fit. However, I felt that fans of Steve and body modification would like to see them.
Regarding the storyline, here is the prepared description I like to give…
Every artist needs a canvas. For Steve Haworth, it’s human flesh. He’s one of the most controversial practitioners operating in the world of radical body modification. He sculpts Teflon and stainless steel implants into horns, stars, and other objects, then surgically places them under people’s skin. Some of the most extreme looking people in the world have spent time under Haworth’s knife. They’re people who’ve become bored with even full-body tattoos and piercings. They’re people willing to endure the pain. They’re people like David, who’s on a quest to cover himself with stainless steel objects that are not only ornamental, but can be screwed in and out of his body.
Some come for a sexual charge, some for the pain, and many just to be different. “Flesh and Blood” is an unflinching glimpse into an intense and mysterious world Haworth helped to create, and the obsessed people who inhabit it.
THIS MOVIE IS NOT RATED. IT CONTAINS NUDITY AND MATURE SUBJECT MATTER. VIEWER DISCRETION ADVISED.
Disha: Do you think this film will change people’s outlook and increase their knowledge towards body modification?
Larry: I do think that people will have a greater understanding about the more extreme side of body modification, but it’s important to understand that this a story told in Steve’s own words. The film makes no judgments for or against body modification. I do not hold the hand of the viewer. I take a very even-handed approach. It’s up to the viewer to decide if they like it or not.
Disha: What was the biggest unexpected pleasure you got while working on the film?
Larry: Some of the subjects of the film have become lifelong friends. You can’t ask for more pleasure than that.
Disha: How was the five year life in shooting F&B?
Larry: I shot the film while living in Los Angeles. From time to time, I would travel to Phoenix, Arizona where Steve lives and stay there for up to two weeks at a time. Steve and I would keep in touch and whenever I sensed something happening in his life that I wanted to capture, I would go back. During that whole time, I had other projects that I worked on at the same time so it was hectic travelling back and forth.
Disha: In recent years we see several documentaries made on body art whether tattoos, body piercing and body modification, which is something of new topic. Why do you think it’s on people’s mind?
Larry: People throughout time have always looked for new ways to express themselves, both inwardly and outwardly. Today, we are inundated with so much stimulus that it starts to wash over us and often has the effect of making us numb instead of inspiring us. Body modification offers many a way to feel again, and connect with both the world around them, and themselves.
(Steve performing 3D surgery)
Disha: How has working with Steve and others been?
Larry: Working with Steve has always been a pleasure. We have such terrific mutual respect and admiration towards each other. That’s goes for Beki, John, and others in the film.
Disha: Someone on net accused you of “leading the audience into sharing your disgust for those featured in your documentary.” What do you have to say?
Larry: I’ve never heard that before. That person sounds like someone who has never seen the film. The only criticism I’ve heard is from a few people who think the Preview Trailer comes off like a horror film. I admit I wanted to get some attention with that trailer, but the movie itself is nothing like that. All I can say is, why do all the people in the movie love it so much? They would be the ones to be angry if I made them look bad. I get lots of thanks from people in the body modification community who tell me that the movie inspired them to do more with their bodies, participate in suspensions, and so forth. The only people who’ve actually seen the movie who think it’s negative are people who have never seen these kinds of mods before and are scared of it.
Disha: Another wonders if the man thrives on the flesh he modifies or feeds on the innocence of those seeking ways to be different?
Larry: Steve neither thrives on the flesh he modifies, nor does he feed off innocent people. Steve talks about this in the film. He has strict rules. He will not modify anyone who does not already have a lot of very visible tattoos and piercings. He doesn’t want to be the first person to put them in a position of having society judge them. He usually tells people to think long and hard about their decision to alter their bodies. He’ll have them wait weeks or even months before he’ll perform a procedure on them. If after all that time, they still feel strongly about the modification, only then will he perform his artistry. This is what I love about Steve. He really cares about the impact his work will have on the lives of his clients.
Disha: Who is Larry Silverman in flesh and blood?
Larry: I am the teller of other people’s stories. And I’ve tried to stay true to each and every one of them.
Disha: What would you say to encourage people to check it out?
Larry: I think the movie is a fun ride. It’s intense, it’s beautifully photographed, and it’s even funny at times.
Disha: Is there anything else you’d like to pass on?
Larry: I love telling stories about people who I love and admire.
(Trailer of Flesh & Blood)
Thanks Larry for sparing your precious time and clearing the haze from our reader’s eyes.
Purchase DVD from www.fleshandbloodmovie.com/ Price: $19.95 (without shipping) and $24.79 (with shipping)
(Lionel at Work)
Please welcome the great tattoo artist from France – LIONEL. As you cannot hold sand in your hand similarly the free tattoo artist cannot be seen tied in the chains of a tattoo studio. He keeps touring and you can find his availability list on his website. His tattoos are his reflection, making him taller than all other tattooists. His tattoos will surely bring a smile on your face as well as they will take you back to your childhood.
For me his tattoos rejuvenate the child heart lurking inside me. Let’s see what fuels the fire in him to bring out such cute masterpieces on the canvas of skin, through this interview with him.
Disha Singh: Let’s start with your first rendezvous with the art. When did it started and how? Lionel: Hi, since the beginning and as far as I do remember, my mom brought us to see any kind of exhibitions… we were living in a poor and very industrial city but there were lots of exhibitions with free admittance and my mom always tried to make our eyes wide opened! Thanx to her! The same with music. Even if our parents were strict, we had access to art! We could draw at home and I was a very quiet boy. I could spend hours alone just playing alone and dreaming… a little bit like now!ahahahaah!
(A complete tattoo one of Lionel’s Paris Client)
Disha: Your tattoos are like a trademark for you, which are not like regular tribal or Biomech tattoos. Under what category do your tattoos fall for you and how do you get the idea of a design? Lionel: Well I think I do something very near the person. I don’t impose anything, I just try to talk and discover the universe of the person. On through his/her belief I try to tell the story of this person on a positive way! Tattoo were forbidden in our culture, so it meant it was very interesting to my eyes when I was younger, but culturally I always preferred art history, illustration books for kids than bikers designs! My tattoos try to reflect the soul of the people who ask me a design…
Disha: What fuels the fire within you to keep going on and on? What sense of fulfillment do you get after inking a design?
Lionel: When I finish my work I discover the result which is not mine anymore! I work for someone, not really for me! It is lots of concentration, taking care on every details, then when it’s finished the design has being done by me but it is not mine anymore! I need a few days before rediscovering the tattoo I have on the picture I took… it is strange, and hard to explain because skin is an alive canvas!
(A Skateboard designed by Lionel and his four children)
Disha: Who are your main inspirations?
Lionel: My four children, my wife, the sun, the clouds, the landscape, nature, love stories, sky, books, exhibitions and a few painters artists like Cy Twombly, Georg Baselitz and Andy Goldsworthy and Thibault de Reimpré, art printings, people…
Disha: Could you please share any good or bad or some funny experience/request, you’ve encountered for a tattoo?
Lionel: Mmmh… not really! Maybe one! One old man came to me one day and wanted me to put a microscopic electronic system in the ear of his dog. So that he could follow his dog if he would be lost with a military satellite system!
(Lionel with his two children) Disha: How have things changed regarding your inking over the years? How far would you like to take your body art?
Lionel: I am lucky. Everybody was spitting on my back for 8-9 years because my tattoos were not traditional enough and now I travel a lot, have wonderful customers and I can express myself more than in the past! People get tattooed on a younger age, their culture is changing of course and now you have lots of tattooists that specialize in one style. Then you can travel to discover the good inker!
Disha: Why do we see Lionel mostly traveling and can someone see him fixed at one stop. If yes, where? Lionel: I had a shop (OUT OF STEP, the enemy of the sun) but I felt depressed by staying in this place everyday! Before tattooing I was a professional guitarist in a punk band and I was on tour for 11 years… Then becoming the owner of a shop made really depressed… I tried two times to run my own shop but after six months I had to do the guest somewhere else!
It permits me also to have more time at home with my family and taking care of them much more. That’s also why it takes so long to answer to everybody!
Disha: Who would Lionel have been if he was not a tattoo artist?
Lionel: I was a professional musician in a punk band called PORTOBELLO BONES for eleven years. I was also organising tours in Europe for my band and some others… So I really think I would work in the music scene as music is a large part of my life!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Disha: For our readers information please tell us how much does a piece cost?
Lionel: It costs the price a customer want to spend. He has to think it is for life, he doesn’t buy a pair of shoe when he has an appointment with me. We talk and then I decide if I’m tattooing him with his budget.
Disha: In addition, who is Lionel apart from a being a tattoo artist?
Lionel: A normal guy who lives and dreams in the west of France, who loves life and who would love to visit India for sure!
Disha: Finally, what suggestions do you have for the newbies in the industry and especially to those who want get tattooed?
Lionel: Please take your time. Ask, watch, think, use your head and have fun!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Thank you so much Lionel for sparing your valuable time from your busy schedule.
The big grandmother of tattoo industry Shanghai Kate Hellenbrandhas joined hands with Art N Body, Williamsville, NY. It is a one stop to ensure your choice of body art as well as clothings from various eminent brands like Ed Hardy, Sailor Jerry, Suicide Girls, Affliction and Black Market and more.
Kate has been tattooing since 1971 in all styles whether custom or classic. She has worked with Sailor Jerry Collins of Hawaii, Don Ed Hardy, Jack Rudy, Bill Funk and many others. Very soon you’ll see her personal clothing line hitting the store.
Know more about her new apprentice, Art N Body, from the following interview.
Disha Singh:Can you take me through the evolution of Art N Body?
Shanghai Kate: Art N Body was conceived in the Buffalo region to give the public a new and better idea about tattooing. As tattooing becomes more mainstream, we felt there was a need to satisfy more mainstream clients who were not satisfied with the options they had in the past. Tattoo Shops have had a somewhat less than satisfactory image and there is room for improvement and we wanted to be the leader in that movement. By placing our shop in a suburban setting, we hope to draw clients that normally would not visit a traditional “tattoo shop” in an urban area, while still being located where tried-and-true tattoo clients would still visit.
Our goal was to offer the highest quality tattoos and piercings as possible. After all, if the quality of the work is substandard, sales would suffer. Along with the highest quality of work, we would offer the highest sterilization protocols. Our shop would exceed all local, state and Federal standards, as well as OSHA regulations. All artists would be fully licensed and would continuously attend health related seminars. Along with the tattoo and piercing services, we would offer a great number of tattoo-based clothing lines and accessories for our clients to purchase in an upscale retail environment. The store would also sell artwork by local artists of all kinds as well as music by local musicians.
Disha: What’s an ideal connection for you, between you and your client I mean?
Kate: To develop a harmonious long-term relationship while offering the highest artistic completion of their projects performed with the best state-of-the-art technological advances under the safest protocols known. We want to preserve the client’s vision while adhering to the body’s dictates for the best result over time. We want our clients to feel comfortable in a friendly atmosphere while maintaining a strong professional attitude.
Disha:You say you’ve “combined cutting-edge equipments and sterilization procedures with a comfortable, creative environment,” can you please detail it? For the benefit of our readers.
Kate: We have spent the first year of our growth investigation and pursuing the best hospital-style sterilization components to incorporate into our “clean room.” Our artists are well versed in all the latest protocols and study Universal Precautions on a routine basis. We spare no expense in keeping a store of single-service, preventative safeguards in the studio and our products for tattooing are the best, most investigated items on the market. Including our inks, needles, tubes, machines. We have our fingers on the pulse of what’s new out there and continue to purchase and grow with the best our industry has to offer. We spend time investigating the newest developments. At the same time, we don’t want our clients to feel they’ve entered a “hospital” or “clinic” . . . one look at our photos shows a relaxed and gorgeous interior geared toward fun and bright retail items. It’s a store where you can come to shop, search and learn. While we’re deadly serious about what we do, we don’t want to browbeat anyone into anything. This is a great business. We want to have fun.
Disha:Art N Body opened its doors one year back. Looking down the line, what are your hopes for the space and business?
Kate: We have so many great ideas to bring into fruition. We can’t let too much out of the bag but, while our first year in business has been fraught with lessons and paying dues, we think the worst of it is over. We believe in our shop and concept and what we want to do and we think the community will respond because we have some great things on board.
Disha:How do names like Ed Hardy, Jerry Sailor, Suicide Girls, etc. are associated with you.
ArtNBody: Some of the names you mention are directly linked to our shop because we have Shanghai Kate Hellenbrand working for us now and she spent the earlier part of her career working with Sailor Jerry, Ed Hardy and others. This is an incredibly personal connection, no other shop in the world can make that same boast. She is intimately involved with both of those names and she brings her own collection of images with her. And we expect to develop a Shanghai Kate clothing line in the future in the same grain as the aforementioned names. She also brings with her many personal stories and books . . . and we expect to include these in our future marketing. The other names are direct off-shoots of the very popular Hardy and Jerry empires. We do carry their line and we look to other cutting edge clothing to incorporate in the future.
Disha:There are various artists under one roof. Do you guys push each other to grow as artists? Or, be honest, you’re just too busy competing with each other?
ArtNBody: We very much push each other to grow and become better at what we do. We are not competitors. We believe that may have been the climate of the past, but we now live in an age of communication. Why would we harbor secrets or techniques to use only in our own little cubicle when we could all work more smoothly, more enthusiastically and more efficiently if we all share? Competition can lead to price gouging within the team, that leads to paranoia and turf guarding that leads to the sociopathic personalities we’ve all come to know and love in some of the less progressive shops. That is really OLD School and we want to be the wave of the future. Sharing creates fun creates money creates happy artists, happy clients and a wonderfully informed public.
Here, are the names of the crew members of Art N Body:
Shanghai Kate Hellenbrand, The Manager
Sarah Grabowski, Retail/Counter
Bill Robins, Chief Operating Officer
Check out our Image Galleryfor some selected Tattoos from the great Tattoo artists of Art N Body!