Buck Wayne 

Name?     Buck Wayne    Shop?    Co-owner at Tattoo Underground    Location?    1231 NW Broad Street Suite 104 Murfreesboro, Tn.    Specialty?    I love tattooing horror and dot work the most . . . but I don’t specialize in one style.    Years Tattooing?   Do you mean years tattooing professionally? If so, about six years. But I really got my start when I was 14, tattooing other kids in foster homes and group homes.   What tattoo artists have influenced your work the most?    Big Paul Clark, first and foremost. He’s the reason I got my start. I have a lot of other guys I look up to, but Josh Herman, Timmy B, Bob Tyrell and Ghost 6 are the ones that come to mind.    You have an incredibly wide range of style in your output. What, in your opinion, led you to bring such diversity to your portfolio?     I choose to tattoo any style because Big Paul always told me my goal should to master all of it. I love making something from nothing, something permanent that I DID! Seeing my client happy is what makes my day.    What are the advantages of a private studio?    I prefer working at a private shop because I dont like someone making money off of my work and my name. I could care less about the traditional ways that old bikers and scum bags where loyal to. Im my own man. I make my money. You aint getting shit!!! LOL  Let’s get back to how you got your start for a moment. There’s obviously more to this story. How did you get into tattooing at such a young age?   I grew up between Murfreesboro and Nashville most my life. My parents were killed when I was 4 years old and I was sent to live with my grandparents until my grandma passed away when I was in the 2nd grade. After that my grandpa got bad off on drugs like heroin and Oxycontin. We were homeless and lived anywhere we could. I was eventually taken into state custody. But through that time, had a man that was like a father to me named Big Paul Clark. He tattooed in prison and out of his house. All the other kids would be playing games or outside playing ball and Id be hanging with him, tracing his stencils and making his set ups.     615-624-3999 Buckwaynetattoos@outlook.com IG: tattoosbybuckwayne FB: Buck Wayne       
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Permanent Change

Cincinnati Tattoo Artist Proves Racial Issues Are More Than Skin Deep 

 By Darin Burt 

Jamison Walker loves lettering and was using his talents to create a window mural outside Black Fern Tattoo memorializing the names of fellow African-Americans across the country killed in confrontations with police. It was Walker’s way to support those in his Cincinnati community — and throughout the country, affected by systemic racism and police brutality. Little was he aware that he was about to be caught up in the issue.  

 

A peaceful protest had earlier taken place a few blocks away at the Hamilton County Courthouse. Officers had closed off the street, and protesters were making their way home ahead of the city’s nightly curfew. Walker was almost finished with his project when he was confronted by police about what he was doing. Walker tried to explain that he worked at the shop and had the permission of other officers to be out on the sidewalk past curfew. But this new group of officers would have none of it.  

 

“They just wouldn’t listen. They were already enraged and I guess they took my explanation as a sign of disrespect,” Walker says.  

 

In a video of the May 31 incident, officers can be heard telling Walker’s coworkers to go inside. Walker started to follow, when he said another officer blocked his path.  

 

“When I did turn around, they pushed me up against the glass and then pulled out the taser,” Walker told WCPO news.  

 

“It happened so fast — they were twisting my arms and zip-tied my hands,” Walker continued.  “I’m not one to fear people, but in that moment, I was so fearful because I knew I couldn’t fight back.” 

 

Walker, 27, was charged with misconduct at an emergency for breaking curfew and spent the night in the Hamilton County Justice Center. But he wasn’t alone. In all, police made more than 200 arrests.  

 

“I heard they had already written out the arrest papers before any of the protesting even started,” Walker said. “Many of the people were just trying to return to their cars, but it didn’t seem to matter — people were getting stopped, and even pulled out of their vehicles, and arrested.” 

 

Walker was bailed out by the owner of Black Fern and is determined to contest the charges. Ironically, before becoming a tattoo artist three years ago, Walker, who grew up in Long Beach, California, had thoughts of putting on a badge. Maybe now, not so much. In tattooing, he’s found a likeminded and supportive family. 

 

“The tattoo community, at least in our city, is completely accepting of the Black Lives Matter movement,” Walker said. “Anyone that gets tattooed is marked in society, so I think they have an understanding of what it feels like to be perceived negatively.” 

 

That’s not to say Walker hasn’t felt prejudice inside the tattoo studio. He recalls once where a customer looked at portfolios without knowing who the artists were. When she saw he was black, she requested that another artist do the tattoo from his book. Then there’s just the opposite. After hearing of Walker’s arrest, a white man came in to apologize for how he’d been treated and to let him know that everything that was happening had opened his eyes about racism. Soon the man, whose negative beliefs were ingrained by his own upbringing, will be expressing his newly found solidarity with a half-sleeve designed and tattooed by Walker depicting pivotal moments in the civil rights movement.  

 

Walker has also witnessed discrimination against black people who want to get tattooed, but are turned away by artists who don’t think dark skin is a suitable canvas. “As artists, we’ve hindered ourselves by thinking that color tattoos especially aren’t going to look good. What we need to do is mold the design to work on darker skin. If I do a portrait, my contrast is higher and I treat the skin as the lightest tone, and work from there,” Walker pointed out, adding that Eternal Maxx Black and Empire’s graywash series are two of his favorites for inking people of color. 

 

Oftentimes, art can speak louder than words, and Walker makes a conscience effort to promote the work of other black tattooists. “They don’t get the recognition that they should,” he said. “It took me meeting another black artist who I respected to learn about other black artists, like Miya Bailey and Boneface, who are really amazing. Black artists are really starting to break through in the tattoo industry.” 

 

Walker also encourages artists to avoid tattooing symbols, such as the swastika, iron cross and Confederate flag, which can be viewed as hateful and oppressive. “Simply as a human, I don’t want to glorify anything negative,” he said. “I wouldn’t want a person to have to carry that symbol because you never know if they might have a life experience that would change their perception.” 

 

“I feel like we’re on the right path,” Walker said. “All of these issues have blown away the smoke and left a clear picture for everybody to see that we have an unjust system and that systematic racism has affected people of color.” 

 

Photo Credit 

Dubs
-IG @ohthatsdubs
-website: www.shotsbydubs.com 

 

 

 

PAIN Willy Cutlip Interview

Name?

Willy Cutlip

Age?

35

Shop?

Bad Apple Tattoo

Location?

Las Vegas

Years tattooing?

13

Style/Specialty?

Illustrative, Neo-Traditional, Black and Grey

Obligatory question first: What originally brought you into tattooing?

I majored in art and didn’t really know what I wanted to do with it. I started getting tattooed and thought, “I could do this.” It took a couple years until I found a shop that I thought had decent enough artists who could teach me. I basically wouldn’t leave them alone until they agreed to take me on as an apprentice.

What tattoo artists have influenced your work the most?

I’m influenced by so many artists and friends . . . Dj Tambe and all the other guys I work with; James Tex, Josh Payne, Josh Duffy, Curt Baer, Jeff Gogue, Teresa Sharpe . . . the list goes on. I change up my style of tattooing/drawing often, so my influences are constantly changing.


Best part of being a tattoo artist?

Getting to do art everyday, and the fact that people walk around with it on them . . . constantly showing it off. People get to see the art I’ve done on a daily basis. It’s not just sitting on a wall, or put away in storage . . . It’s organic and changing and aging with them. There’s something about it that is just so rewarding.

As briefly as possible, describe a day in the life of Willy Cutlip.

Eat breakfast, take the kids to school, go to the gym, go to work, draw, eat lunch, tattoo, eat dinner, watch a little TV, get some sleep.

Best part of being a dad?

Getting to spend quality time with my kids and watch them enjoy things the way only a kid can.

On your Instagram page, you describe yourself as “Extremely happily married.” Could you elaborate on that?

I was married before, and at that time, I would’ve described myself as happily married. I wasn’t unhappy, for the most part. But when I met my current wife, I hit a new level of happy that I didn’t know was possible. My wife, Kris makes me happy in a different way . . . as if my happiness isn’t solely based on my outlook of our situation. I’m so happy in my marriage that sometimes when I talk about it, I have to stop myself because I feel like I come off as overly braggy.

Tell me about your “gym addiction.”

The gym is basically my religion. I lift weights to make my body and mind feel better and to hopefully live longer and healthier because of it. I wouldn’t say I’m dependant on it to keep me in a good mood, but it definitely helps. I do it to look and feel good about myself. We can sugar-coat it all we want, but vanity is a big part of who we are. I take a great deal of pride in my physical appearance. I also just like to feel strong and want to grow old with as little physical pain and limitations as possible.

Any parting words?

Life’s not all about bitches and money, but in the immortal words of Will Ferrel, “I wanna make bank, bro, I wanna get ass, and I wanna drive a Range Rover.”

Dan Kelley

Name?

Dan Kelley

Shop?

Skull and Snake Tattoo Studio Art Gallery

Location?

North Berwick, Maine.

Years Tattooing?

10.

Specialty?

Black and Grey/Color realism

Preferred inks & equipment?

Electrum Stencil Primer, Axys Valhalla Machine, Critical XR Power Supply, Dynamic Black Ink that I mix into grey wash myself, Eternal Color Ink, Redemption Tattoo Lubricant, Helios Red Cartridges.

Rotary or coil, and why?

I use a Rotary Machine currently. I learned on coil machines from the ground up but as my tattooing evolved, I felt that the inconsistency of coil machines and having to have a different machine setup for each needle grouping was holding me back. The day I switched to a cartridge system rotary machine is the day that my work finally began to level up in ways I had been striving for but just couldn’t seem to make happen with a traditional coil and tube setup.

You have a clear penchant for the creepy and the macabre. What draws you to that?

I’m drawn to this imagery for a number of reasons. As a child, I was raised a bit sheltered from the unusual. My parents never even let me go trick or treating because they believed Halloween was too closely related to the Devil. So when I began to discover the things I was always kept from, they grew on my like a weed. The darker side of reality is something that shouldn’t be ignored. It makes me appreciate the brighter side of things even more . . . You could say it’s a coping method for my own existence. I think we all struggle with what this life is about and what we are supposed to do while we are here.

Flipshades

 

Name? Rick Meggison, AKA Flipshades

Shop? Full gypsy. I’ve been doing nothing but travel and tattoo for the last three years. #Tattourist!

Residencies

Iron Quill Tattoo—Madison Wisconsin, Electric Panther—Little Rock, Arkansa, Philadelphia Eddies (the OG location: 621!), Studio XIII Gallery—Edinburgh, Scottland

Years Tattooing? 18.

So, you started before the new wave of tattooing when it went mainstream . . .

I was the last generation of underground tattooers. I had to make needles on jigs and solder them, make stencils . . . all that OG stuff. It was way before we had the internet to help. I mean, we had the internet, but back then it was Ask Jeeves.

What do you think about the emerging trend of niche artists?

I think it’s bullshit. I think they’re not tattoo artists . . . If you can’t do more than that one thing, you’re not a real tattoo artist. You can’t just go work in a tattoo shop and tattoo a client that comes in. You have to rely on all your hipster friends to pay your bills. You should be able to walk into any shop and build a new clientele of happy customers with a completely different name. I can do that because I was taught the core values of tattooing, which is what it all breaks down to.

Composition, color theory . . . So many “artists” now haven’t learned that.

Where do you draw the line between niche artists and specialists?

A specialist is somebody who’s done a bunch of different things and can do a bunch of different things, but has found a specific style that they do best. They’re still a technician that can put ink in the skin and make it look good no matter the style. A niche artist is just a one-hit-wonder.

How can we steer the new generation of artists in a better direction?

I think people need to be more respectful of that sacred knowledge. I’m not one of those people who thinks that new artists need to learn about needle jigs and build coil machines . . . but they need to at least learn the core values. There are a lot of new tools and techniques that they can use. . . but they need to be able to work without the shortcuts. Brushes on your iPad are great, but unless you’re making your own, you’re just using someone else’s work. You should be able to create that drawing on paper without the extra help if you need to . . . It all comes back to studying art, from the Renaissance on.

Jason Thompson – AKA Tuna

How long have you been studying the craft? Tattooing and/or
piercing:

Tuna: Tattooing 19 years

What is your area of specialties? (Watercolor, black and gray,
realism, etc.)

Tuna: Polka trash, Cover ups, fix-ups, water color

What do you find fascinating about the tattoo/piercing industry?

Tuna: There’s a power in providing a tattoo for someone that is unmatched by any other profession. Helping someone heal from a loss, or mark a memorable time in their life, or even just put something fun on themselves offers something no other job can. You always get to meet a lot of interesting people and hear a lot of interesting stories.

Parting words/quote/mission statement, etc.

Tuna: Wake up and kick today’s ass is the only way to live & always try to be the only be the hardest worker in the room.

936-703-5293
jrthompsonink@yahoo.com
FB: Tattoos By Tuna or F.O.B. Tattoos By Tuna
IG: @tattooingtuna

Cody Gower

Name? Cody Gower

Shop? Against the grain tattoo

Location? Smyrna TN

Age? 30

You’re only 30 years, old, yet you’ve already been tattooing for 11 years. What inspired you to jump into tattooing so early? 

Honestly, it was my only goal in life. I was 12 years old, growing up around a local tattoo shop and the owner told me if I kept at my art I could tattoo one day. After that, there was no plan B. Tattoo or bust.

How old were you when you opened your shop?

26

Running a business isn’t easy. Was it a struggle to stay on top of the business side of things while maintaining your chops as an artist?  

At first yes. I’m fortunate now. I have a solid crew to help me make things easier. It’s a team effort among us and without the guys with me, the shop and myself would not be where we are.

Tell us a little about your relationship with Axys Rotary.

I’m one of Axys Rotary’s sponsored artists. They’re an amazing company run by two equally amazing people named Dan and Gisella. They actually care . . . not just about their team either but everyone who uses their products. Your following means nothing to them. It’s who you are as a person and that goes a long way.
Can we assume that you aren’t “loyal to the coil”?
While I respect coils, I’m not anymore. Rotaries are helping my hands last.

You came into the industry right at the evolutionary cusp between the “old school” and the “new school.” From your vantage point, what has improved and what have we maybe lost along the way?

The improvement is artists are more together and willing to share knowledge.  10-15 years ago, you couldn’t go hover over an artist in another shop down the street. Now I have dinner with the local guys and hang out with them all the time. What was lost is respect. The younger generation is not willing to pay their dues. They expect to be just doing amazing tattoos and doing the style they are inspired by without putting in the work to get their ability to match their want.

What, in your opinion is the most pivotal issue in the tattoo industry currently?

Honestly, the exposure of the artists who are taking advantage of the clients. Clients trust us to not put them in uncomfortable positions and not be a total piece of shit. World famous and FK Irons recently removed a guy for DM’ing his ‘stuff’ to female clients.  Not cool, captain. Not every client wants to fuck you.

Word around the industry is that you’re completely straight edge. Is that true?

Man, its funny. I am, but unlike straight edge people I don’t use the title. ‘Edge’ people tend to be judgy. Other people drinking or smoking doesn’t affect me but I won’t do it. It’s not my thing.

Any closing remarks?

How you carry yourself is everything in this business.  Too many people focus on their image in social media’s eye, but its what not what do you when people are watching. Its what you do when people aren’t around.  Be the standard in this industry. Set the bar. This business deserves so much more than what its been getting lately.

Miguel Luciano


 

How long have you been studying the craft?

A: I have been tattooing for fourteen years.

What (if any) certifications do you hold and what associations do you belong to?

A: I hold a certification in Blood Borne Pathogens

What is your area of specialty?

A: My areas of specialty are color, black and grey and watercolor. I love to do color the most and enjoy tattooing other types as well, but I don’t like doing tribal tattoos. I find them to be boring lol, but I’d still do them as well.

What do you find fascinating about the tattoo industry?

A: When I first started tattooing what fascinated me the most was the fact that my artwork would be carried and shown to others through my clients. My cousin was the one who first encouraged me to use my art and skill for tattooing. Now I continue my love for tattooing because of the continued learning of something new every day. Also getting to see other people’s style in art and getting to learn from that and incorporate it with my own style.

Parting words:

A: Last but not least I would like to leave a legacy for my kids, my family and my followers. Having won first place in the New Jersey Wildwood convention hosted by Villain Arts for the most unusual tattoo in 2018 I work hard at being the best tattoo artist I can be, but furthermore a role model to those whom I may have inspired.
_________________

Artist: Miguel Luciano
Shop: Inked In Tattoos & Piercing
17 South 5th ST 2fl
Reading, PA, 19602
Phone: shop:484-869-3874 Miguel:717-368-9203
Instagram: Miggie79
__________________

Road-worn and (not so) Weary: Chico Cortes and the Marked 4 Life Pro Team


 

Chico Cortes – Marked 4 Life Tattoos – Miami, Florida

Instagram: @m4l_ink
Facebook: Chicos-Marked-4-life-Tattoos-2029436367319662

“The tattoo business has evolved so much . . . there are a million artists good artists, but because of TV and social media, you kind of become entwined with the artist . . . You identify and somehow connect with that one artist. So now you’re willing to travel to see that one artist.”

Chico Cortes has a point. It’s the digital age. The world is smaller in a sense because everything is at your fingertips, but it’s also exponentially larger, because—well—everything is at your fingertips.

But he’s not going to make you travel to see him or his crew, nor is he willing to simply employ the “post and pray” method (that’s when you throw your best work on IG and SnapChat and beseech the deity of your choice for traction) to garner new business. He’s coming to you, or at least, to a convention near you, along with a rotating cast of 15 (give or take) artists handpicked for quality and style.

“It’s the Marked 4 Life Pro Team,” the 20-year industry veteran begins. “Of my team, at any time, 12 out of 15 are award winning. They’re mostly from the East Coast. We do about 20 shows a year, so there should be a reality show in this somewhere. For now, all we do is travel and come back to the two shops in Miami.

“But of course, since I’m arrogant,” he later adds with a chuckle, “the focus is mostly on me.”

If his self-analysis were true, it wouldn’t be without good reason. Those two shops he mentioned are the two branches Chico’s Marked 4 Life, a staple in the southern Florida tattoo scene that has churned out more renowned artists than most could name in one sitting. He is also the owner and operator of I.N.K. Gear, a tattoo-themed apparel brand that’s beginning to make waves of its own. But as the conversation unfolds, it becomes apparent that his assertions might just be playful bluster.

He might paint himself as an ego-maniac, but an arguably better description would be introspective and self-aware. This especially becomes apparent when he remarks on his own career.

“I was a tattooer,” he says of his early career, with the emphasis on ‘er.’ “A lot of people don’t know the difference. It’s like the difference between someone who rides a bike and someone who is a stuntman. I was the bike rider with training wheels . . . I was very basic, very flash oriented. Whatever I saw, I copied and that was it . . . I don’t want that in my shop anymore. I guess that’s pretty fucking hypocritical, since that’s what I was and maybe what I am.”

This snippet comes from a much broader conversation about his personal evolution within a rapidly evolving industry, but the hyper self-awareness all but negates his previous assertion. Say what he might, his focus is really on his diverse team of artists, many of whom he has personally apprenticed. His description of their work is straight-forward but speaks volumes.

“Quality,” he says. “Quality and friendly service. I think that’s what sets us apart now. Before, there weren’t that many tattoo artists and you pretty much had to deal with that attitude or that arrogance . . . it’s not like that anymore. Now, we’re a dime a dozen. We’re all over the goddamn place . . . it’s not hard to find a tattoo artist. You’re probably related to one and you don’t even realize it.

“I’m one of the guys who actually give a fuck,” he later adds “I care what comes out of my booth. I care about what comes out of my shop. I tell my tattoo artists that they have to tackle every tattoo with the respect of their first and the dignity of their last because that tattoo is going to travel places and their name is going to be spread miles beyond their reach.”

Considering the miles they travel, that’s saying a lot. If they’re coming to a convention in a town nearby, they shouldn’t be hard to find. Just look for the giant, 20’x20’ booth, the equally massive banners and the dozen or so dudes in matching Marked 4 Life t-shirts.

“We’re a little bit different than the rest of the guys there,” he offers. “It’s not the same cookie cutter booth. People are drawn to the difference.”
___________________

Chico’s Marked 4 Life Pro Team

Tattoos: @m4l_chico
T-Shirts & Gear: instagram.com/i.n.k_gear

Pain Favorite: Derek Toohey of Factory Edge Tattoo

My name is Derek Toohey I work at Factory Edge Tattoo in the heart of the desert Albuquerque, New Mexico. I have 19 years tattooing as a professional, with about 4 years practicing prior. Art has always come very natural for me, and started drawing at a very young age. Tattooing as early as 14 years old, I’ve worked in every style only to find that my particular passion lies in realism. I enjoy doing color as well as black and grey. I lean more towards color these days whenever possible. I believe that working in layers helps to build more shape, texture detail and depth when working in color. My favorite subject matter I would say is horror, Sci Fi and also nature themes. If I’m able to put a surreal twist into the works, then I will do so. I find things outside the norm can produce a sense of mystery or emotion. I never stop Learning and always see room for growth and pushing boundaries.

I absolutely love what I do and I’m always working to get better. I strive to make more technical discoveries that improve my work. There are so many factors that have changed in the industry, reaching new levels that I have been excited to witness and be a part of. This art form has always been very special to me, it’s what saved me as a kid and continues to motivate and push my personal growth and structure not only as an artist but other aspects in life as well. I enjoy sharing my knowledge of this craft and have had a few apprentices along the way. I suppose I can say that to teach is to learn again in a sense. I can start to explain a process and in doing so refresh my memory as well. We keep each other sharp in this industry, keep each other motivated through inspiring works, techniques and progressions. Fill up some ink caps and stay thirsty my friends! If you would like to get tattooed you can find me at Factory Edge Tattoo Albuquerque, NM (Cottonwood location), my Instagram @dtattoohey or email me dtattoohey@gmail.com Thank you all for the love and support.