I went in yesterday to spend some time with Robert Ryan.
I always gush about getting worked on by Robert; I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again- you get a heck of a lot more than just a tattoo from him. He turned my sloppy thumbnail into the perfect tattoo and spent the day cracking me up.
I also found out that Mike Schweigert is cooler than everyone who HASN’T had Pushead do an album cover for them.
My life is in a weird transition right now and this tattoo really helps solidify the changes that need to be made and helps me focus on my goals. When I started OV last year, I said “some tattoos are distilled images; sigils that compress thought into a symbol and say everything that needs to be said without having to burden the world with more mindless rambling.”
So I’ll cut out the rambling, and just thank Robert, Mike, Andy and Mike for a really cathartic day.
Posted by Shawn Porter on May 29, 2012
Driving home from work on the second night of the Philly Tattoo Convention, my friends and I got into a discussion on tattoo designs being sigils that accumulate power by repetition; that over time an image becomes stronger (in whatever context you’d like to pin on it) as it becomes shared and refined. That’s what I love about the amuletic power of Traditional Americana tattooing; that you have a connection to the designs. That the black panther head you get from Mike Wilson or Chad Koeplinger hasn’t changed much since the design originated despite them putting their spin on it.
It’s especially true when you’re getting a design off of vintage flash; something that literally hasn’t changed in a 100 years connecting you not only to the artist who painted the design but all of the clients who’ve worn it over the years.
The conversation was sparked by this tattoo by my friend Andy Perez.
Andy picked up an original stencil cut by Lee Roy Minugh- the Prince of the Pike- at this year’s Philly Tattoo Convention and knew right away that he had to use it. Luckily he got the chance. Think about it- Every time that Lee Roy tattooed that snake, he used THIS acetate stencil. Not something from the thermofax, sized and resized till it was just right and then tossed into the trash. Every person who wore this design from Lee Roy was touched by this stencil.
Andy had this to say about it:
“Bought the stencil from Eric Minugh, it was his Dad’s. I wanted to use it the second I got it, knew Pat was there and he was one of two people I would have put it on who I knew would appreciate it. (and I knew it wouldn’t take much convincing.) It took about three tries to get it on and once I did was still barely there. But we went for it. And like anything else worth doing in tattooing/life it was challenging, and nerve wracking but ultimately super fun and rewarding.”
Patrick- the fella lucky enough to get the tattoo, followed up with this:
“I feel extremely lucky to have gotten it and, like Andy mighta mentioned before it was weirdly magical. Still super stoked. I think Perez was one step away from giggling with delight through the whole thing.”
Having seen Andy immediately after the tattoo…. I can second the giggling with delight thing. Total tattoo geek stuff.
Posted by Shawn Porter on February 15, 2012
The Philadelphia Tattoo Arts Convention is quickly approaching.
There are going to be plenty of top notch tattooers working the show should you be in the market for something new. Over the next few weeks, leading up to the convention, I’m going to give a few shout-outs to tattooers who are very much worth checking out.
The first is Andy Perez.
Andy just started working at Bradley Beach NJ’s ELECTRIC TATTOO, which is in my mind one of the most comfortable tattoo shops I’ve ever been in. There’s a great vibe there that really makes you feel welcome. Andy joins Robert Ryan, Mike Schweigert and Tom Yak at Electric.
He’s taking appointments for the convention, swing by his website (here for contact information.
Posted by Shawn Porter on January 20, 2012