IM NO LIZARD

IM A LOBSTER.

The progression of the last decade has been undeniably absurd for me. Though I’m fairly certain things are good now.

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I love this stuff. I've stopped doing it for the money. I've stopped doing it for strangers. I've stopped treating Polynesian art like a bartering tool that I can throw to any idiot with a roll of cash. For the pieces I have done I feel very good about. However the more I meet new people the more my fear of this style is confirmed. It's turning into a purchasable commodity. It's falling out of the hands of the artists and into the clutches of glassy eyed mainstream. And to that I do not wish to contribute. The uncertainty of whether or not the wearer deserves to walk around with a style I have such heavy attachment to is more than I'm willing gamble. Race is not the bother. Culture is adaptive in every way, including art, and I'm not so shallow to believe birthright is the only avenue to appreciating art. I'm bothered when I give someone a tattoo in the style that I have have admired my entire life only to later find out that the same person that shook my hand after hours in my chair is a degenerate. I've come to know people through tattooing. I've come to discover quite a bit about the landscape of people in the world. I've tattooed rapists and thieves and it still stings. I'm no longer willing to hand this art style to any stranger.

I'll only be offering Polynesian to people I know or care about. I've gotten to know very many people through tattooing islander styles but I don't wish to sell it anymore. This will be something just for my family, close friends and myself. 

This post was not meant to disparage the piece or person in this photo. The only relevance to this tattoo is the Polynesian style. In what judgement I can make Vicente is a completely respectable person that I’m glad to have tattooed.

Seattle

Seattle was fun. I exercised some respect for my own mental health and didn't stress. I didn't overload my scheduling for this convention and I didn't try and fit in every walk up that I could. I took my time with the scheduled pieces I had and allotted enough space to provide my full attention to the walk ups I could take. I didn't rush a damn thing. It was amazing. I ate dumplings every day. They were honestly not that great but I looked so forward to each and every one. Here are two of the pieces from last weekend. I have more but have hardly found a moment to sit at my computer. I'm excited to return to Seattle. Land of the spiders. Home of the homeless. 

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Free

If you would like this painting I will have it at the shop with me today on July 14, 2018. It will be free. There will be no reservation. At any point during the shops regular hours (12-8) you are welcome to come retrieve. Ask for me and it is yours. The piece 2x3 feet.

 

Never mind. She's been taken. Thankyou.

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All Pinky No Brain

I feel like I'm watching through a window as my brain writhes in joyful delusion. I've done this only a few weeks ago but it feels like much longer. I should probably sleep. A hammock sounds nice. Somewhere just out of reach so I haven't the option to participate in the back and forth between the occasional pearls in a sea of mostly sewage and plastic. Perhaps I could be less vague and say that most people suck but there are the few that improve my day. I remember working on this piece fondly. There doesn't seem to be a point here. I think I'm just typing to avoid talking to people right now. If my fingers keep moving I think I can avoid interruption and the threat of a pointless social interaction all together. But I can see you trying to fall into my eye line. You underestimate my willingness to ignore you. I don't want to talk. I'm not even listening to anything in these headphones. I left my laptop charger at home and don't want to run the battery down by having an extra window open streaming something. 

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The Poetry King

This one felt good. 

It tapped that portion of my brain that not every piece does. The way the pins in a lock feel when they land over the cuts in the key. Or any number of unnecessary metaphors.

It was easier to breathe when this one was done.

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Robots

I made this design with a computer machine. I'm not terribly fond of bringing a computer into my drawing process but I like the way this came out. I just don't want to be the type of artist that doesn't create the design. While I realize I'm not going to win any awards for being the most noble tattooer I don't care to take too much from google image searches. It just feels cheap. For the most part if I'm going to use a photo image I'd rather it be a photo I took. If I can't take the photo myself I'll at least attempt to draw from scratch. The same goes for computer assisted drawing. While I had fun doing this one I don't want to become terribly reliant on my computer to do my job. I don't wish to judge other artists for their usage of technology but I believe there is a line where a tool becomes a crutch and in this line of work I think that my creative mind is the most valuable thing to my success. There is a lingering fear of allowing that portion of my mind to atrophy. I like to use coil tattoo machines because I can personally maintain and tune them to do what I want and in turn I will adapt within the parameters that they are able to operate. With the expansion of reach that some of these tattoo machine producers have acquired I think that a homogenization of art styles is growing. I don't want to become that. I don't want to be the same asshole with the Ipad pro and thick brimmed non-prescription glasses that doesn't know how to work an autoclave but they have a lot of followers so who gives a fuck if they can produce an original thought. I always seem to get to a negative place if I talk for too long. I think it's mostly sarcasm but maybe not. I don't know. Maybe I should just type this out and then delete half of it. Maybe nobody reads these things. Maybe I should start a cult and build a compound out with the weirdos out past the west side of the valley. I'll have like 31 wives for each day of the month so I can have 31 varieties of macaroni and cheese every night and at the end of the month, the wife with the worst mac n' cheese dies. And from the ashes a new wife shall rise. And the month after will be Spam Musubi. And hopefully by the time you've gotten this far you've stopped reading and forgotten I was being such an asshole earlier. 

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Thanks Brittany

Finally Finished. 

I enjoyed this one very much. 

That's it and that's all.

In there like swimwear.

Two rocks on a gravy tray. 

Dub-style.

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Tattoos Itch

I've been itching to do something lately. While I do have somethings outside of directly tattooing that I've been working on, this has helped to scratch the itch. It's not quite done yet but I'm happy with where we are.

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A Free Moment

It's been a while. I don't want to attempt to express myself to the void or the eight and a half people who will read this. This is a piece I did. I'm grateful to the person that let me do this with absolute freedom but I said "thankyou" and they responded "thankyou." That's it. Interaction over. There is no poorly written thankyou note to the world for letting me change society through art. There is no half-assed explanation of the emotional motivation behind the piece. This is the job. Tattoo please. Money please. Thankyou. Thankyou. Fuck off til the next one.

Goodbye.

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COLOR, COLOUR, COULOIR, COLORED, AFRICAN AMERICAN

This is the way that I like to do color. To keep it loose but still with a crisp edge. I like it because it's easy for me. Maybe it's lazy or maybe doing what comes naturally is a more honest approach then some others. Maybe nobody gives a shit. It was just a skull and roses. Not exactly new to the medium although that existing standard may be where the comfort to play with the concept came from. Maybe I've had too much coffee and can't organize my thoughts well enough to cling on to my original point. Either way; the earth is flat, birds are witches, and I don't understand proper punctuation cause my most recent literary education was at a community college in Florida. 

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Haley

This is a difficult but enjoyable cover up. Some cover ups are fun and others can be terrible. Either way this one is starting to get fun. I'm finding room to put my intention in there. The little spaces where I have no option but to cover dark with dark are starting to open up and I'm having fun. 

Different pieces are mid-heal, healed, and fresh so it was hard to get an evenly lit photo but this works I guess. The scorpion on the foot was an existing piece but I did touch it up a bit and add around it.

Peace & Pugs

It's an interesting job.

I get to meet new people. I'd be a hopeless recluse without it. I don't care to speak to most people. 

I get to discuss art and tattoos with these people. The two things I spend the entirety of my day thinking about aside from what section of the government is attempting to steal my thoughts. 

I get to place something infinitely sentimental on these people that will last on their skin till they slowly rot and on their profile pic through eternity or whenever Facebook deletes their profile for being inactive. 

Then that person walks out the door. We might be friends. We might be strangers set to walk past each other. We might meet again on the next occasion that they feel they have something worth tattooing. 

Thanks Obama.