Jump to content
Long time no see.. Read more... ×


Popular Content

Showing content with the highest reputation since 07/20/2010 in all areas

  1. 3 points
    So, when I got here, I knew jack shit about jack shit. I quickly figured out that most of the forum members didn't offer up too much info. They would choose not to respond to questions asked. Sometimes they'd give hints on what to think about, or where to search within the forum for the answers. There are so many reasons why this is the best thing for a noob. A couple obvious reasons is: -Most people won't retain as much information if the answers are just offered up every time they ask. -When you seek out answers to your questions on your own, you're very likely to discover the answers to much, much more than you intended to discover. -Shit, I took the time to figure it out. You need to too. The answers to your questions are here, in the back threads. You just need to put the time in to read and contribute here. If you spend enough time in the back threads or current discussions, you'll discover more than you know. Shit, I still learn from here after over a year of logging on just about every day. Anyway, I took a few minutes to do some searches, and dig up some helpful tips on the basics. Like so much in tattooing, there's always a few ways to approach each scenario, but these posts and discussions seemed to be a good base for where your head should be. Read read read. Then read some more. Then read again. And not just these links. Read the back posts of this forum. Also, understand that we all learn as we go. Some posts by members, including me, can be contradictory. We all learn as we go. Take the discussions for what they are. Discussions and opinions. Opinions change. >>>here<<< There's a link to free BBP safety videos. >>>here<<< >>>here<<< >>>here<<< >>>here<<< >>>here<<< >>>here<<<
  2. 2 points
    Hello my name is Mark some of you know me on the forum but for all the new people signing up I'm one of the moderators. Please feel free to contact me with any questions, comments or concerns. I currently live in the San Francisco Bay Area of california. I have been tattooing for almost 8 years now. I have worked in three shops in the northern Bay Area and now I have taken a leave from working full time in a shop to finish my fine art degree in Illustration. I'm working privatley till I can rent my own studio space. I'm best with things regarding technique and artistic applications; for more technical questions like fine tuning machines and custom appplications feel free to ask and if I don't know it I'll find someone that can. I like to think I'm fare and will tell you what you need to improve on and any mistakes to avoid for the next time. So enjoy the forum and read and learn as much as you can. There is info here that people won't find anywhere else including their own apprenticships.
  3. 2 points
    Feel free to send us any comments, suggestions, or general feedback on this forum. Recommend new categories, shower us with praise, or discuss how we can improve this community. Our goal is to make this the best tattoo community on the web. You play an integral role in our development and your ideas help us achieve this goal!
  4. 2 points
    part of how i learnt my liner setups is when you bring that needle to the skin it shouldnt be throwing much more ink onto the skin than the thickness of the needle, you'll see one little pool when after a fresh dip but it should suck that ink right back up, if your getting ink flooding or spatter then somethings not quite right, it might be close enough to put ink into the skin but it's not good enough for consistently good line work. common culprits are too much voltage(it's surprising how little power you need to get that needle in the skin), too much or too little spring tension, tube and needle misalignment and commonly in new tattooists the wrong needle size in a machine with a set up for a much larger or smaller needle group. generally speaking the larger the group the lower the required spring gauge. All in all without having someone to sit you down and strip and build your machines with you while telling you every point to consider while tuning them your going to struggle for a while with finding a good set up. to start with you have a bad basis for comparison as your hand skills havent developed enough to know how your machine is performing properly either. The single best thing you can do is order a bucket of springs and different a bar weights and then strip and rebuild and test and play with your machines all day day after day until your fingers bleed and then some. set aside a section of your leg just to do small lines on, another section for shading and colouring, dont waste time trying to do a full tattoo piece. line by line you can compare the machine performance as the lines heal and sit side by side. my upper thighs bare all the marks of many hours of machine testing over the years and even now if i make some adjustments or try something new i'll test my machines with some water on the skin of my forearm. i like very fast liners and small needle groups so it's crucial i make sure they wont cut the skin open before i slice my client into oblivion. There is so much information about machine tuning around but very little as it relates to the tattoo as it heals or in the years to come and this is something you'll only gain with experience, no one can tell how how your tattoo will heal, as everyone says the practice of tattooing is a very personal thing, down to the idiosyncrasies(sp?) of the operator.
  5. 2 points
    Firstly, I have to say that I am against posts with any outside links to survey sites. Secondly, you'll find most everyone in the industry will more or less ignore your company and it's products simply for using these tactics. Since your product is not designed by people actually working in the field, it will be viewed as nothing more than another piece of corporate america capitalizing on the working mans hard earned dollar. While that basically describes how things generally work in america, you'll find that tattooers are not only cheap, in general, but very leery of businesses that are not based in this trade, selling products. That being said, here's some useful information for your corporate boardroom and backers. Aftercare products are great, but honestly, people are being led into an almost false sense of their purpose and function. After care, in it's most simplistic form, is simply to help prevent infection, which is all it needs to do. Modern aftercare products also incorporate ingredients to help moisturize skin, which is all well and good .. but in all honesty, modern products dont offer anything more, anything new, or anything better than proper traditional care products. Active-Care products used during the process, more specifically numbing agents, seem to be used more by younger generation tattooers than some of the older folks. They are also a tiny point of argument, depending on who you speak to. Personally, I dont use them. There's a reason our bodies transmit electrical impulses to the 'pain' center our brain. Each persons threshold and tolerance for pain is different, and serves a few very important purposes. Although numbing while working small pieces may be more convenient for a client, numbing large pieces can sometimes work against everyone, especially after they wear off, and you may have a low tolerance client passing out as they walk out your door. I for one, prefer not to get puked on 5 minutes after I finish a piece, so - not a big fan of numbing agents ... nor do I see any viable reason to have my customers spending three or four times more than they should, or have to, on care products. I can charge a customer 20 bucks for a little container of something like hustle butter, which happens to be a great product .... or they can go spend 5 bucks on enough A&D, lubriderm, etc .. to last them far beyond the expiration date. Just my opinion, of course. I'm sure there are plenty of folks here that will disagree with it - but the facts remain the same. There's no measurable benefit between fancy new care products, and the stuff we've been using for the past 30-40 years, when used properly - which is key, and ultimately the bottom line. Getting your customers to properly care for their skin in the first place. Any pharmacy will have everything you need ... but todays trend is to dumb down consumers, and simply shove over priced products in their face until they stop questioning what it is they actually need, and just buy what they're told to buy.
  6. 2 points
  7. 2 points
    if you want to get critiqued on your work, dont draw it to completion, it is a waste of time, get your crit at linework stage, then make your changes, then colour... you will learn a lot more by getting it right rather than colouring it and saying oh well fuck it, cant be bothered redrawing it now
  8. 2 points
    idea for an upcoming half sleeve, Snake and a skull.
  9. 2 points
    Been a bit busy to post lately but i found this today and thought it may help someone I got them from this sites parent directory http://bodyartweb.com/techtips/ Its a bit of reading, but it's worth it. 1 How a tattoo machine is running is referred to as machine function or machine set-up. There are two factors that describe machine function. They are: the speed of the machine the force of the machine The REQUIRED SPEED of a machine is determined by the tattooing process being done. An outlining machine runs faster than a machine used for coloring. A machine used for shading runs at a speed somewhere between the two. The exact speed at which a machine should run is dependent upon each tattoo artist's style and personal preferences. The REQUIRED FORCE of a machine is determined by the needle configuration being used. Closely spaced needle configurations require more force. Needle configurations with more or larger diameter needles require more force. Needle configurations made of short taper needles require more force than similar configurations made of long taper needles. Machine function is the working outcome of the combination of the parts and adjustments that are present on a specific machine set-up. Any alteration to machine function becomes complex due to the interactions of the machine systems. There are two basic categories of machine adjustments. They are: set-up adjustments fine-tuning adjustments SET-UP ADJUSTMENTS are made to establish the speed and force (function) of the machine. FINE-TUNING ADJUSTMENTS are made to balance the relationships of the machine systems. There are two SET-UP ADJUSTMENTS on a machine. They are: stroke length spring compression The stroke length of a machine is determined by the distance of travel of the armature bar from it's highest point to it's lowest while the machine is running. Spring compression is the term used to describe the interaction and combined effect of main spring return force and timing spring resistance. MAIN SPRING RETURN FORCE is made up of a combination of three factors. They are: main spring dimensions, main spring angle of deflection, and main spring tension. TIMING SPRING RESISTANCE is established by the dimensions of the timing spring. There are two FINE-TUNING ADJUSTMENTS on a machine. They are: Rubber band tension Air gap, point gap balance Set-up adjustments must be made with consideration of the effect those changes will have on the interactions of the machine's mechanical, magnetic and electrical systems. If the machine's systems are so far out of synchronization that fine-tuning adjustments cannot bring the three systems into balance, then changes must be made to set-up adjustments or parts must be changed to get the machine to function properly. A tattoo machine has three systems that must work together for the machine to function properly. The three systems of a tattoo machine are: • the mechanical system • the magnetic system • the electrical system The mechanical system consists of: • the springs • the armature bar • the machine frame The magnetic system consists of: • the coil cores • the yoke or base of the frame • the coil shims • the armature bar The electrical system consists of: • the coil windings • the capacitor • the binding posts and contact point screw • the springs The objective of any proper machine set-up is to achieve synchronization of the machine's three systems while controlling the speed and force (function) of the machine. Have you ever seen a tattoo artist zip through a tattoo with such ease and with lightning speed, and wonder how he does it? Well being familiar with the tattoo design sure helps but, the main reason is that he is using the right tattoo machine for the right job.You wouldn't drive a V.W in a Grand Prix and expect to win would you. In this 1st tech tip I will be discussing the tattoo machine, and at the heart of the machine is the coils. The coils are the backbone of the tattoo machine. I will try not to get too technical so that it can easily be understood by everyone. There are three different size coils being used in tattoo machines. 1. The 8 wrap coil. (wrap meaning how many layers of wire are wrapped around the center core of the coil) 2. A 10 wrap coil. 3. A 12 wrap coil. The 8 wrap coil is used mostly when doing an outline with a 1,3,4, and a 5 needle outliner. I would not recommend using an 8 wrap coil outliner machine when doing larger outline work such as when a 8 or 14 needle outline is called for. You would have to increase the voltage (by turning the power supply up) which would in effect increase amperage. When you increase amperage more power is being used and a 8 wrap coil is to small to dissipate (give off) the heat. This condition would make the tattoo machine run hotter and even possibly cause the machine timing to break up and cause an uneven outline.When you are going to use a 8 or 14 needle outliner, I would recommend using a 10 wrap coil tattoo machine. When you think about it...the more needles on the needle bar...the more skin you have to puncture...the more skin you have to puncture the greater resistance...and the greater resistance the stronger the tattoo machine you need. When you increase the power on your power supply the needles don't go up and down any faster, the magnetic field is increased, which draws down the needle down harder and allows the skin to be punctured more easily. This is what appears to make the ink go in faster. The same principal applies 's with a 10 wrap coil shader tattoo machine. If you are going to use a 4 , 5 , or six needle shader then a 10 wrap coil tattoo machine is just fine, but if you are going to use a 11 through 17 needle magnum tattoo needle then I would suggest using a 12 wrap coil tattoo machine. I've always believed that whatever works for you is just fine, but if you want to get the job done quicker and easier, it helps to use the right machine for the right job. If you work in a high volume tattoo shop like ours, and you do a lot of tattoos, this tech tip could make life a lot easier. Until the next tattoo tip..keep the ink flowing......... John Whether you use ROUND or FLAT tube tips, all tattoo tube tips need maintenance. All tubes and tips need to be cleaned and inspected thoroughly. 1. Tube and Tip Cleaning After soaking your tubes overnight in the disinfectant of your choice, I use a small nail brush to scrub my tubes and tips. After scrubbing the outside of the tubes and the tips, I use a pipe cleaner and a Q-tip to clean the inside of the tubes and the tips. This cleans out all excess ink that may be left inside. If you don't remove this ink it will stain your tubes when you sterilize them. When finished cleaning you will need to put them in the ultra sonic. 2. Tube and tip maintenance Check the tips of your tubes for wear and tear. If you notice grooves inside of your tube tips then you will need to get out a jewelers file and do some filing These grooves are caused by the rubbing of the needles against the inside of the tube. The amount of wear and tear depends on how many rubber band you use to hold your needle bars in place. You can use a flat file for your flat tube tip, and a round file for your round tube tips. If you don't file these tips the ink will start to spit and the grooves will make your needles wear prematurely.You must be careful not to create a sharp edge of the end of your tube tip. If the tube tip is warn beyond repair then it is time to replace the tip with a new one. This tech tip on cross-contamination I think will be the most important tech tip that I will ever write, because cross-contamination is something that should not be overlooked and should be taken very serious by everyone involved in the tattoo and piercing industry. For those who don't already know, cross-contamination is the spread of micro-organisms from one surface to another or from something that is contaminated to something that is not. One of the biggest mistakes that I see when I visit a tattoo shop or when I'm at a convention is cross-contamination....now don't get me wrong, most tattoo shops do follow strict methods to prevent cross-contamination..but there are a few that need to clean up there act. All the sterilization in the world is not going to make a difference to your client or to you if things are getting cross-contaminated. Cross-contamination is a very serious and a very deadly situation. When I tattoo I treat the situation with what I call UNIVERSAL PRECAUTIONS. Universal precautions is a system that prevents the spread of infections from person to person. Simply put, it means that I treat all blood and other body fluids as potentially infectious. Treat every client as if they have every known disease to mankind. With this in mind you tend to take every precaution and you are much more aware of cross-contamination. Some of the ways that cross-contamination can occur is as follows: * if strict attention to hand washing is not observed * if clean instruments are placed on unclean surfaces * if contaminated and clean instruments come into contact with one another * if one or more tattooist use the same equipment or materials Here are the most common observations that I have noticed: 1. answering the telephone with soiled gloves 2. adjusting overhead light with soiled gloves 3. adjusting power supply with soiled gloves 4. touching ink bottles or ink tray with soiled gloves 5. adjusting or handling furniture or equipment with soiled gloves 6. stuffing garbage into the garbage can without changing gloves Simple things you can do to prevent cross-contamination. Preparation of the work area is the key. It is very important that you completely prepare your work area so as to avoid having to leave the work area in the middle of a tattoo to get something that may be needed. Interrupting your procedure increases the risk of cross-contaminating surfaces. * place a container labeled "dirty instruments" in the work area for the collection of non-disposable instruments for sterilization. * cover any work surfaces with disposable coverings. * make sure all the items needed are in easy to reach places. * ensure that the work area is clean and tidy and free from items and objects unrelated to the tattooing process. Before putting on your gloves, you should be sure to cover surfaces that may become contaminated, in the event that an item has to be handled or adjusted while tattooing. 1. place the required amount of single use, disposable ink cups into your stainless steel ink cup trays and dispense inks into cups 2. cover light fittings and power pack controls with cling film 3. cover spray bottles with single use plastic bags, so only the nozzles are exposed. 4. place water to be used for rinsing between colors in disposable cups and dispose of water and cups after each customer. 5. tissues or wipes to be used during tattoo procedures should be stored where they cannot become contaminated 6. clip cord should be covered with cling wrap. 7. tattoo machine should be covered with a single use plastic bag. 8. rubber bands on the tattoo machine should be changed after every tattoo. 9. a new disposable single use razor should be used on each customer then disposed of. 10. stencils should never be reused. 11. Acetate stencils should never be used since they cannot be effectively sterilized. 12. remove petroleum jelly from container with a sterile tongue depressor. Never use your bare finger or gloves. 13. area of skin to be tattooed should be cleaned and disinfected using one of the following: a. 70% isopropyl alcohol b. alcoholic (isopropyl and ethyl) formulations of 0.5-4% chlorhexidine c. aqueous or alcoholic povidine-iodine (1% available iodine) The time between skin disinfection and skin penetration should be at least 2 minutes...but preferable 5 minutes. Multiple-use deodorants should never be used prior to the placement of a stencil. Remember cross-contaminating is not only deadly to your client but also you and your family and the whole tattoo industry. So do the right thing and KEEP IT CLEAN! JOHN P.S. if you use an ultra sonic cleaner before your sterilization, make sure that it has a top on it to prevent any microorganisms from becoming air borne and contaminating your shop. 3 This tech tip is not about how to outline, it’s more about expanding your horizons by utilizing the correct outline for the style of tattoo that you are doing. For example, have you ever seen a tattoo that was just too weak because of its outline....or a tattoo that just had too many lines and was too complicated...? In this tech tip I’ll present some outlining strategies that when used appropriately can make the difference between a good tattoo and an outstanding tattoo. Back in the 70's when I started tattooing all I used was a 4 needle outliner and I used it on everything I did. It was versatile, it could have the appearance of a 3 needle outline(fine line) if I worked off the tip or a 5 needle outline (solid bold line) if I just worked it right... I worked this way for many years.... I did this because this I the way that I learned to do things. It worked fine until I got involved with doing larger pieces. When I did larger work I noticed that something was just missing and could not figure it out. I started studying the master tattooist of that time period and what I notice was that they were using different outlines in the same tattoo. It wasn't the design, or the shading or the color (although they all contributed to a great tattoo) it was the use of varying outlines in the tattoo that did it. I started asking around to fine out how to make those different size outliners and got a lot of help from some old time tattooist that I knew. They showed me how to make a jig and then how to assemble the different needle groups. They also showed me how to make the different tubes to use with them. Now anytime that I do a tattoo that is bigger then the size of a baseball... use at lease two different outliners. When I take on large size pieces I will start with a five the beef up some lines with a eight and the beef up even some more with a fourteen needle outliner...and if I have to I will finish the job with a 3 for the real fine line detail. There is one thing that sticks in my mine that an old time tattooist once told me...if you cant make out what a guy has tattooed on him from across the room then it ain't worth the skin that it was put on. By using different size outliners in a tattoo it gives the design more of a three dimensional look. If I could use graphics in this tech tip I would show you some examples (I will talk to Gillan & Gena about using some graphics in the future) but for now you will just have to use some of your artistic abilities to figure out where to use thin lines and where to use thicker lines. Until the next tech tip...keep the ink flowing. John P.S. Just remember what I told you in my first tech tip..if you increase the amount of needles that you are using then you will have to do one of two things...turn up the power or use a tattoo machine with a larger amount of coils! 4 This tech tip will be for those of you who just buy your needles and strap them on your machine without any adjustmens or fine tuning. If you make your own needles then you probably know what will be discussed in this tech tip. Whether or not you make your own flat shaders or your own rounds for shading and coloring, there is one more thing that you need to do before you strap them on your machine and use them. If you take the time to spread the needles of the flat shaders with an exacto knife then the ink will flow down the needles at a better rate and the needles will puncture the skin a lot easier. If the needles are not spread, it is harder to penetrate the skin, resulting in having to turn your power supply up, in turn making the machine working harder, which will cause the machine to run a lot hotter, Also, if you spread the needles on your fat shaders, you will cover a larger area of skin and get the job done a lot quicker. The chances of scaring the skin is greatly reduced. One way that I find to spread the needles is to lay the needle bar flat on a piece of glass and with an exacto knife real carefully put the blade between the last needle on one side and from the needle tip slowly push down toward the solder...then spread the last needle on the other side...working your way to the middle needles. Always spread them a little at a time as not to cause the needles to split apart and separate from the group. This usually happens on the end needles. With a little practice it becomes easier and easier. You might want to practice with some used flat shaders that have been sterilized, till you pick up the knack. Now as for the round needles that are used for shading and coloring...if you are making them yourself then make or buy a jig that makes them loose, you don't want to use tight round shaders to put in color, it will not get the color in evenly and will opt to scarring more easily. And I find that if you solder the needles together further back from the tips then they wont be as tight. There is another thing that I do to help the ink puddle up on the skin (this is something that you want your ink to do) and that is to take the solder out of the groove of the underside of the flat shaders. Remember the ink travels and gets under the skin from between the grooves of the needles, the ink around the needles is usually pushed away by the elasticity of the skin. I also file all the excess solder that may be there, this keeps the splattering down. One way to eliminate splatter is to put a slight bend in the middle of your needle bar forward to compensate for the tension of the rubber bands. Good luck and I hope this helps you get the ink under the skin a little bit better and a little bit faster.......John 4 Everything you wanted to know about apprenticeships but were afraid to ask. First let me say that even though this tech tip is off the beaten path, due to an outstanding amount of email, I feel that something had to be written about apprenticeships. So here goes THE GOOD… Find someone who you feel comfortable with. Someone who has enough time in the business that knows the technical aspect of tattooing. Someone who knows the difference between a fence post and a binding post. Someone who is respected in the industry. Someone who is going to start you off from the ground up, learn about machines, to make needles, make inks, customer relationship. Someone who has a clean shop and clean work habits. > CROSS-CONTAMINATION ( http://www.bodyartweb.com/tip3.html ) Because the habits you learn from the beginning will reflect in YOUR tattooing habits. Most of all someone who will treat you and his customers with respect. Now if you could just find someone like that…don’t fear…there out they’re somewhere. Now you have to ask yourself… why should this person share everything they know about tattooing with me? What do I have to offer that person? Ask yourself… What am I willing to offer? Well first… how about a lot of time in his or her chair? Letting them do some serious work on you. By doing this you are letting them now that you are totally dedicated to the art of tattooing. While you are in the chair…talk to him or her and let them know you are interested…let them know what you have to offer him…her…or the tattoo industry. Go to shows and conventions and meet some of the other artist. Visit there shops and see how things are run in other shops… this way you get the feel of what goes on in other shops. THE BAD… Don’t let the blind lead the blind… make sure that the tattooist is a good tattooist and knows the technical aspects of the business. He or she could be the best artist that you have ever seen, but if they don’t know to technically place the ink under the skin properly and if it fades in a year or two… then you will not make it in the business very long. Check out his shop. Is it dirty? Is it run like a business or is it just a hang out for the local kids? Check out these things because if you are going to apprentice there then you are going to have to spend a lot of your time there and this is probable where your first job as a tattooist will be. Make it worth your time and effort. THE UGLY… If the first thing that comes out of their mouth is dollars and cents and sign on the dotted line…then RUN, and don’t look back! REMEMBER, the art of tattooing is taught not bought it has to come from someone who takes you under their wing because they believe that you will one day add something to this business that may be lacking and that you will add something positive that you will bring tattooing to a new positive acceptance and most of all you will represent the tattoo industry and give it the image and respect that it deserves. Don’t be used…don’t let someone lead you on by telling you that they will teach you how to tattoo but every time you go to the shop they either have no time, aren’t in the mood or just want to keep you around just to do odd jobs they don’t feel like doing-cleaning, making stencils, picking up there lunch etc… Now like I said… it is very hard to find someone who fits this criteria of what to look for in someone to apprentice under, but if you want it bad enough, then you will go get it. Also, you don’t have to apprentice under just one tattooist, you can (work) apprentice under a few different shops. This way you get a good foundation. Check out my article in Tattoo Revue, that can give you a little more insite about the world of apprenticeships. > http://www.bodyartweb.com/jbart.html I myself have never taken on an apprentice. Though I have helped out many young tattooist. Fortunately I have a 13-year-old son who has gone all out in learning the business… he comes to work with me on the weekends during school time and all week during the summer. He answers the phone, keeps the shop clean, answers the customers questions, sets up for me, mixes inks and makes needles, and draws a bit for the customers, etc. This is the way to go, from the bottom up. Last year he built his first tattoo machine from spare parts and practices on grapefruits in his spare time. Every old time tattooist that I know whose sons have grown up in this business have all done it this way, from the bottom up and everyone of them have made it in this business and have made a big impact in this industry. Remember, learn the business from the bottom up and don’t give up your full time job. Setting up your machines before you start your tattoo. Here is some simple steps that one might overlook before starting your tattoo that could effect to outcome of your next tattoo. 1. Make sure that the length of the needle is set properly whether it be set for a long stroke or a short stroke before you start tattooing. 2. Make sure that the needle bar is not rubbing on the inside of the tube. This can cause the machine to slow down and not run properly. This condition can be corrected by removing the needle bar and slightly bending the needle bar, but allow for the tension of the rubber bands. When the needle bar is not set correctly the machine usually spits ink. 3.Make sure that the loop on your needle bar is very tight on the armature bar. If not there will be too much play in between the needle bar loop and the armature bar resulting in premature wearing of the nipple on your armature bar which can result in the ink not going in evenly and will look patchy. Whether you use rubber grommets (which should be changed for every tattoo) or use tape use a pair of pliers to tighten the loop on your needle bar tight enough that it cant be pulled off easily from the armature bar. 4. Make sure that your rubber bands are not to tight or to loose. Being to tight or to loose will cause problems. To tight will cause excess ware to your tube tip, and being to loose will cause the needle to move to easily and not get a straight outline or put the color where you intend it to go. Also after putting on your rubber bands (which you must change for every customer) pull them forward and give them a snap to let them fall back into a natural position. You don't want them to be all bunched together. 5. Make sure that your contact point on your binding post and your front spring are not worn and are clean of carbon and lint....it they are then just file them with a jewelers file. 6. Check the armature bar where they come in contact with the center core of your coils for carbon build up. The carbon can easily be cleaned with a squirt of alcohol and running a business card in between while holding the armature bar down. 7. Check the needle tips under a eye loop to see if they are hooked or dull. These are some of the small things that you must do to produce a good, clean tattoo, and you should do these things every time before you start a tattoo. It saves you time and you don't have to break your concentration and there will be less chance of cross contamination. When the bottom of your armature bar wears out do to long time contact with the center core of the coils...just turn the armature bar over and use the other side! Does your tattoo machine seem like its getting old and tired? A little run down? Even after adjusting the armature bar and maybe replacing the rear spring. Well the problem might just be that you need to shim your coils. For those of you who don't know why or how to shim their coils then this tech tip may be just what your tired old tattoo machine needs. First, in order to check to see if your coils need to be shimmed you should hold your tattoo machine in front of you at eye level...then press the armature bar down and check to see if the top of the front coils center core hits the bottom of the armature bar before the rear coil does... it they both hit at the same time, or if the rear coil hits first, then its time to shim the coils. What you want is for the front coil to hit the armature bar and the back coil to be just a hair short from hitting the armature bar. Now in order to shim the coil you first must determine what coil you are going to shim... If the back coil is hitting the armature bar then unscrew the front coil from the bottom of the frame and lift the coil up enough to slide a shim under the coil and put the screw back in and tighten. Now press the armature bar down again and recheck the distance between the armature bar and the top of both of the coils center core. Again the front coil should hit first and the rear coil should be just a hair short from hitting the armature bar. If the front coil hits first but you have a lot of space between the rear coil and the armature bar then you should shim the rear coil so that the rear coil is just a hair short of hitting the armature bar. Now you may ask yourself "what is a shim?".....well a shim is a flat washer that comes in many shim sizes from most tattoo supply companies....or do like I do and just go to your local hardware or electronics store. After you adjust your shims make sure that you check the distance between the armature bar and the coil. Good luck ...any questions just drop me a line..... John P.S. When I adjust my shims I usually take the whole machine apart and clean all the parts including the frame and then resolder all wires and connectors. This tech tip is for those of you who want unlimited access to free front and rear tattoo machine springs. When I got into this business I use to make front and rear springs. It was easy and it was free. If you go down to just about any factory that receives freight on pallets you will find all the material you ever needed for free. What you will be looking for is blue steel banding wire. It is use to wrap freight onto pallets. When the freight arrives at the factory the banding wire is cut and thrown away along with the pallet. If you take the banding wire and cut it, bend it, and punch holes you can use it for front and rear springs. All you will need is sheet metal snipes and a metal punch and pliers. Just remember to file the corners smooth after you get done cutting the shape of the springs. If you don't file the corners they can produce nasty cuts. Any question just give me a call...John P.S. If you feel want to go all the way...you can also add contact points on the front springs...you can buy them at some tattoo supply companies. Its a NO NO and every once and a while I run across someone who has this tattoo on them that looks like a big blob of smeared ink. Unable to make out what the tattoo is, I then notice why. Something is missing ....an outline and shading...then after talking with the person I find out how this monstrosity got under there skin...it was the brainchild of some up and coming tattoo artist. The tattooist thought that he would break all rules of tattooing and create a tattoo without an outline and without shading....great idea...but it just don't work...YOU NEED AN OUTLINE AND SHADING !!!!....unless you are one of the great tattooist who have total command of the tattoo medium...or you are doing background or negative space tattooing, or special effects....a outline and shading is needed........OR IT WILL LOOK LIKE THIS and in five years it will look like a big blob of ink. What they are and when to use them. For those of you who have never used or heard of a bloodline, a bloodline is exactly what it sounds like. It is the technique of outlining without any ink. You use just water to lubricate the needle. When you do a bloodline it leaves a red bloodline for the time that you are doing that tattoo, and then goes away when the tattoo heals. If you are doing a large piece then you may want to use what is called a greyline. A greyline is when you mix 3-5% black ink with the water so that it will leave only a faint grey line for future reference to color or shade off of. Bloodlines are used when you don't want a noticeable black outline. This gives you a chance to pull off certain special effects such as soft smoke, background effects that you don't want to overpower your foreground, negative space and geometric shapes. When you shade or color off these bloodlines they will no longer be noticeable. Again....use a bloodline if the tattoo is to be completed in one session and a greyline if you are going to do the tattoo over many sessions...but if there is any doubts about how long the tattoo is going to take ...put in a greyline...good luck John. What makes a good-looking tribal? Nice and solid black. The right placement. Sharp and even curves. Tips that come to a clean point....Well I can't tell you how to put the black in solid (you should already know how to do that) and I cant tell you where to place the tribal (the placement works best with the curvature of the muscles) but what I may be able to help you out with is smooth curves and tight tips.....when I do any tribal work (and I do a lot of that in our shop) I use an eight needle outliner...I guess by now you must be asking why an eight? I thought that you said the tips are going to be pointy...well I use an eight needle outliner because it produces a wide enough outline that you don't have to slave over getting up to the outline without going outside the outline with the color, and this makes the job goes much faster. Also with a wide outline it is much easier to produce a nice curve or straight line then it is using a five needle or a three needle....but now you ask yourself, but what about those pointy tips of the tribal that you talked about? Well, ... what I do when I am coloring my tribal in is to turn the shader needle sideways when I come to the tips and produce the sharp tips that way...(I use a five or a six flat to color tribal unless it is really big in which case I use a 14 or 17 mag and then finish the tips with a five or six flat). See when you turn the flats sideways you produce what is equivalent to using a single needle. because all the needle on a flat shader will produce a line that is as wide as a single when used sideways...like I said in my other tech tips. This may not be for you, but it sure works well for me and also for all the other Tattooist that I turned on to this tip.... John
  10. 2 points
    Im still a new jack...can't comment on tattooing now as it was then...But one thing that pisses me off are the guys who been in as long as me (3-5 years) and they have fuckin elitist ass atitudes, and how they feel a style is so "remedial" to them and basic but these sum bitches just started pulling clean lines a year ago. Attitudes are as follows: Im coming up in an area with a class of folks who look down on script (because the majority of them CAN'T write) so they say it's beginers shit or they don't feel it so they don't fuck with it Traditional is lame and yeah...that does extend to Japanese as well with some of these guys (there's no depth..any body can run straight lines with a 11rd and up) <--- yep that's the attitude I only want to do black and grey...color doesn't even appeal to me cats wanna be a "specialized" to one particualr style of artist and they still haven't even got all the basics down ...These dudes a be licensed for only 2 years out of their apprenticeship and will turn shit down and away...And these are folks working in STREET SHOPS! Not Private Studios...Street Shops! lol Fucking ego's out of this world joe....Im telling you...I used think maybe it's because of they're age and seeing as how Im older by they time I actually got to even start tattooing I was more mature was the reason...but nah...Im seeing the bitch assness in these cats..That's just how these hoes are joe...The hating and attitudes and fronting out here get kinda fucking outta control at times
  11. 2 points
    Just finished up this design for a local auto body shop specializing in classic and custom cars. Had lots of fun with it, definitely was a learning experience setting up for screen printing. I kind of wish my lettering was a bit more dialed in. *Colors are probably a bit off on screen, but I've got that all sorted with my trusty Pantone book.
  12. 2 points
    I might or might not be under an influence of some substances that might OR might not be illegal in my country BUT regardless or not THIS appeared on a sheet of paper when I moved my magical marker over it in a whirl of *sswish* and *swashh*. Shh.. She is a little shy!
  13. 2 points
  14. 2 points
    My 3 year old told me the other day that she wants to learn to tattoo. I shed a tear. Her momma shed many, many more.
  15. 2 points
    http://forum.ink-trails.com/index.php?/topic/22625-lettering-books/page__p__255613__hl__penmanship__fromsearch__1#entry255613 Fantastic stuff here from ye olde days,beautiful to look at and you'll go mad trying to duplicate some of it Mac
  16. 2 points
    Start at the bottom looking normal and when you get to the top of the paw, serious biomechanical cyborg cat paw with fucking laser vision
  17. 2 points
    Actually, they show 1.5 Amps @ 100-240Volts ALTERNATING CURRENT. I'm not sure if it's still AC voltage going into the machine, but in that case it would be a step-down transformer, in which case you will lower the voltage, but increase the current capacity. After rectification, some regulation, and the output filter capacitors, you can certainly get 2 Amps @ 24V DIRECT CURRENT. Still looks like a flashy, gimmicky power supply though......
  18. 2 points
    Herein lies the problem, just as there are Tattoo Studios, and (tatty) Tattoo Studios, there are tattoo artists, and people who call themselves tattoo artists, we have tattooists, of which I am proud to be one..(no apprenticeship, cos none are ever available) I have my own Studio, fully Licensed, Registered and Insured....I am happy with my work, my clients are more than happy with my work...So I am basically a Scratcher who follows all the the important things, BBP,CC ABV and all the other things that can Fuk you up a lot more than a badly designed and applied tattoo.......... I have no serious art background, I worked all my days on Construction Sites.. (I went back to college @ 42yrs old to study certain aspects of art, mainly Colour Blending/Transition, and Shading and effects of Light techniques.. Which we all need a grasp of, trust me,,,these are our Skin Erasers...) I firmly believe, just as there are levels of tattoo artists, there are levels of "Scratchers" unfortunately, some "Scratchers" work under the cloak of professionalism....To me the most important thing, to ANYONE who wants to sink ink..IS SIMPLE be AS CLEAN as Fuk, make sure yourself, your area, your "tools" and more importantly your mind is free from clutter and you are more than half way there...There are a lot more important things in tattoo application than design placement, and "sinking ink".....Peace as always, and Seasons Greetings to All....P.
  19. 2 points
    have to agree with nate, nippy, and all the others. my thoughts since your first posts. wish you luck and do not wish to discourage you, but if youre growin in a vibe where its ok to fuck someone up as long as you learn, youre getting the very first basic thing wrong. that is - respecting the client, or person tattooed - they put their trust in you to mark them for life, and should never shit on that for your benefit. if it wasnt for such people i wouldnt have a living doing the thing i love.. and i can only be grateful for that. IF you really do have a mentor, he s deffo got the wrong attitude. he s not even telling you the most basic things, it shows in the work. if someday you ll learn all he knows, you ll be a shit tattooist at best. i think you can do better, and learn more by going back, practising on pigskin, reading as much as you can, draw.. you might think i m a dick to say all this - but sometimes you reach a destination faster by going back, and taking the right path from scratch.. maybe too stubborn or proud to - but i see youre going in a dead end otherwise, and its a pity ..thats the only reason i m a bit harsh in my words, nothing personal.. you dont wanna fuck your reputation up before actually getting started. i still have much to learn myself, and am not saying this with an attitude, or on an ego trip. just being clear honest.. without bs or cutting corners
  20. 2 points
    Mods- Please move or delete if this violates forum policy. Japanese Earthquake Relief From now until June 1st, 2011, I will donate 100% of the proceeds from the sale of all of the 3 Japanese colors I sell. These colors are J. Orange, J. Red and J. Pink. You can get them on the website at www.waverlycolor.com or from me directly at the Baltimore Tattoo Museum. ( Please call ahead of time if you are coming to see me in person.) The 2 oz. bottles are $ 30.00 and the 4 oz. bottles are $57.00. Thanks for your support as always and dig deep! I can't imagine the lives of people that have been changed overnight by a natural disaster. I'm heartened by the outpouring of support in the tattoo community and I see this as something I can do to get money there relatively quickly to the people who need it now. All money will be forwarded to the Japanese Red Cross as it comes in to avoid delay. Have a great day and please repost and pass on this info as you see fit. Bill
  21. 2 points
    Ok.. so the art for this piece is shitty.. being a piece of flash it should have been redrawn, or you should have told him to pick something else. The linework isnt great.. and it is pretty inconsistent.. there are lines that dont connect, and perspective is weird.. the shading is choppy as hell.. it has been said that there will be a second session.. but.. a tattoo this size shouldn't take 2 sessions.. the shading that is there could have been done better.. it doesnt need "more" shading.. That being said.. it is counterproductive to critique a critique.. because thats whats happening here.. critiques are a matter of opinion.. now certain things like experience, tend to lend more weight to critiques by certain people.. but all should be heard.. and absorbed. However.. when you simply disagree with other peoples critiques, what are you accomplishing?.. nothing.. you're making someone trying to learn second guess advice he's being given.. whats the point of that? especially when all you offer up is some idealistic rant on how there shouldn't be confining rules in art? come on now. really? There are rules in art.. rules that can and will be broken by people who have mastered them first.. thats the point. This is tattooing.. not expressionist painting.. there are right and wrong ways to do things. people will always be pushing the envelope with the art side of it.. but the very same people who will push the boundaries, I assure you, can do a solid jester tattoo that doesn't look retarded. and to the original poster.. when people give you advice like put down your machines for a while, it is best to take said advice.. people are looking out for your well being as well as your Clients.. blatant disregard for peoples well being is a sure fire way to lose respect from your peers.. and once its gone its gone.. don't be that guy.
  22. 2 points
    upon reading another thread on thievery i thought this would be good to share . about 3 years ago my studio was broken into and i lost about 5gs in equipment ( luckily i am quite respected by many studios in my area and was able to cop the goods to open the next day ) but i started pondering the adt and various security deals but opted against as by the time the cops show their gone like thives in the night hahaha. soooo , what i did was bought a webcam and started an account on USTREAM which not only live feeds the webcam but also has the option to record. when i leave the studio at close i activate my webcam and hit record. now i can see my studio from anywhere in the world 24/7 from any accessable comp / phone / ipad etc. when i go to bed at night i put my laptop on the nightstand and crank the speakers all the way up . i only live about 4 minutes away and i guarantee i`ll beat the cops here ! bad bad news me runnin through my back door at 2 a.m wearin nothin but my boxers , my dr. martens and my 9 ! seriously though if i had mice i would be able to hear em fart at any given time !!! webcam = 9.99 ustream account = free sleeping with peace of mind ... fuckin priceless
  23. 2 points
    I talked to my wife when our youngest of two boys was a about 6 months old. Told her I wanted to tattoo for a living. A ridiculously crazy idea at the time. Told her if I was gonna do it, I was gonna leave my restaurant General Manager position making sweet money, and start waiting tables again to cut down on work hours to spend more time with our son, and put in the necessary time to improve my art to where it needed to be, and then figure out a way to either teach myself to tattoo, or somehow snag an apprenticeship that would be willing to work around my family needs. My wife, without a second thought told me that if that was what I wanted to do, then that was what we'd make happen. I told her that we would have no money. Probably go thousands of dollars into debt, and our marriage would absolutely be tested. Told her if I was gonna do it, I needed her support, and needed her to remember this conversation over and over. Told her it wasn't gonna be easy, but if I made it, we'd be okay. So I quit my G.M. position, got a waiter job, and bought tattooing from A-Z. It's been a little over two years now, and I've had a good handful of screaming matches with my wife. Up until a couple weeks ago, (no bullshit) I was still averaging about 3-4 hours sleep per day. The wife and I never saw each other, and when we did see each other, I was at my desk, either tinkering with machines, drawing, or on the "God damn computer." I worked, came home, and took care of most of the household family stuff up until 9pm when I put the kids to bed. My wife worked two jobs to make up for the money I gave up as a G.M. so she got home late. After 9pm, I was at the desk until I couldn't keep my eyes open anymore. My wife would come home, give me a kiss on the cheek and go to bed. Not much said to each other. Most nights I'd be at the desk from 9pm 'til about 3 or 4 am. If I was tattooing myself, I'd get to bed around 5am. Because my wife was taking on most of the financial burden, I took on most of the family shit, so I was up around 7am to get our older kid up and off to school. We did this for about two years. My wife and I were at each other throats because of the stress, but she never once told me to quit. She and I had it out a few times, but she never stopped supporting my dream. I owe this to two things. 1. She's fucking BADASS, and that's why I love her. 2. She was getting tattooed by my regular tattoo artist, and idol, when I had just decided to learn to tattoo. He knew I was trying to learn to tattoo and told her exactly what to expect. He told her that if I was gonna make it, I had to dedicate 5 years of my life to tattooing. He said there was no school for tattooing. That one just had to earn it. He said that if I was going to make it, I had to sacrifice pretty much everything. He said that if I had what it took, she would be a distant second to tattooing, and she had to realize that was the only way. He told her get ready, and our marriage was absolutely gonna get tested. He was right. If it wasn't for the conversation he had with my wife that day, I'd either have quit tattooing to save the marriage, or have gotten a divorce by now. Now, the uphill battle is pretty much over. I got into a shop. I work steady enough to where my wife just works one 9-5 job that she loves. I'm faster and better with my art now to where I'm not up all night getting designs ready. I SLEEP. I take my wife to lunch on her lunch break at least once a week and I CAN PICK UP THE FUCKING TAB AT THE RESTAURANT. Things are good, and are just getting better. But it took an absolute obsession, and a HUGE sacrifice. I did it in a little over two years. But I have the gray hairs to show for it. How are you gonna do it? Find the time. Make the time. 1 hour a day for 30 days is 30 hours. Imagine if you could fine 2 hours per day? 3 hours per day? "Sacrifice" and "Devotion" are two of many tattoos I did on my thighs while learning. Show your wife this post. Tell her it's gonna be the biggest test of your marriage yet, but if you make it. WHEN you make it. It'll be okay. Then, it's on YOU to make sure you keep your word. Just remember though. Even after you make it, a tattoo artist works long hours.
  24. 2 points
    Well, achieving something on paper is totally different than skin. Completely different technique all together. When you're tattooing realism, you'd have to be mindful of this fact and understanding that its a different medium. Just like you can't erase with paint, its a different technique of applying the medium. Like with the different size mm pencil being different needle groupings, they may resemble one another, but they act completely different and even the same pencils in someone elses hands can have a completely different effect. It may be a 7mm pencil, but that 7mm point can be worked in several different ways. So to even compare 1 pencil in one's hand to the same exact pencil in another's hand could bare the difference of night and day. Therefor comparing a pencil to a needle would have an even larger set of differences. Manipulating the point of the pencil is a large factor of the tool which you can't do with a needle. The needle has a consistency which you have to work harder to maintain on a pencil. IMO, I wouldn't worry too much about the tattoo aspect of portraits until you're completely comfortable with general portrait work. Once you have a good grip on your portraits, a lot of your questions will already have been answered. The guide lines would be your stencil. If you make your stencil stuff or buy it, you'll have a stencil that won't come off and you won't need to blood line much, if anything. But again, everyone is different. The bottom line is, 2 different mediums which will have 2 different end results and are approached in 2 different ways for different reasons.
  25. 2 points
    Don't know if this will help you, but I softened up my liner quite a bit after I dug into one piece on my calf pretty bad, and am getting better results. I'm still going a little deep for my liking, but am getting more consistent results because the machine isn't driving the tips down so hard. With a softer hitter, you've got to really pay attention to your stretch, or it'll start bouncing around. It improved my overall lining considerably. I'm using a cutback pitbull with a medium-to-long stroke.