My roots are in the early 1990s zine/website culture. We shared our thoughts with audiences that ranged from a few casual readers (zines) to international audiences (websites) and, DIY and digital ink being free, we shared it by the bucket.
As social media has evolved, my generation’s need to say it in as many words as we saw fit has been replaced with making our point in 140 characters or less, or posting a photo to Instagram with little to no additional information- unless it’s in a clever hashtag- to drive new eyes to our content.
I hate it.
But I always say if you can’t beat em, join em. OV now has an Instagram account. I’ve spent the last few weeks digging through photos and videos that I’ve scanned and captured for this blog and posted them, one a day, on IG.
If you’d like to follow us (with us being me) you can do so here: http://instagram.com/occultvibrations23
I first met John Himmelstein in 1992 in Daytona Beach Florida. I was checking out the shop he was working at on behalf of Guy Aitchison, who had decided to come down and tattoo during Daytona’s chaotic BIKE WEEK celebration. Guy had been invited by the shop’s owner to do the guest spot, but not wanting to go down sight unseen he asked if I’d check the shop out to make sure he wasn’t getting in over his head.
John was working that day, thankfully, and his presence at the shop made me feel comfortable recommending it to Guy. John’s artwork really stood out in the more Biker oriented world of Daytona; almost a quarter of a century later he still stands out; more Tex Avery and Ralph Bakshi than Sailor Jerry or Ed Hardy. He was a major influence on the younger generation of Florida tattooers who came up after him including Mike Wilson who used some of John’s artwork as inspiration on his first flash set.
Visiting John’s apartment was always a trip; going through stack after stack of perfectly lined drawings which each one more crisp than than the last, combing through his epic laser disc collection (laser discs will never die) for the newest and weirdest import…
Strangely, he’s always shied away from social networking. It was a total surprise to see the FOLLOWING notification on Instagram this afternoon from Himmelworks… I didn’t even take the time to finish checking it out before I started this entry.
If you’d like to follow John- and you should- his Instagram is: http://instagram.com/himmelworks
Mixing two things that I love is always a quick way to get my attention; tattoos and horror especially so. While the majority of my Instagram feed is Pushead toys, Italian Greyhounds and pictures of other people’s dinners, there’s always room to follow a new tattooer. Especially one like Josh Mcalear. Combing through his photos you’re likely to find zombies, Cthulhu, Seventies inspired weirdness and even Mario Bava images.
You can follow Josh here: http://instagram.com/joshmcalear
Julia and I just returned from a nice little Halloween getaway in Austin Texas; while we were there we decided to commemorate our vacation/anniversary/favorite holiday with a little souvenir tattoo from Affinity’s Nic Lynds. We had talked with the shop’s owner (and old friend of mine) Ryan about the design, casually, and were surprised to find that Nic had already drawn it up for us by the time we got in. We had a great time with him and the Affinity crew; getting tattooed, bullshitting and ball breaking and telling stories late into what turned out to be a killer rainstorm that ended in flooding throughout the city.
There are a lot of really amazing tattooers in Austin; we were bummed to not have visited more shops while we were in town, but I guess that gives us a great excuse to visit again. Regardless, Nic turned out to be the perfect guy for the job and we were glad to have gotten the opportunity to get a last minute tattoo from a genuine gent.
You can keep up with Nic via his Instagram Page here: http://instagram.com/nic_atx
I’ve been really looking forward to Yellow Beak Press’s newest offering “Born Weird” since Scott started sneaking me samples of some of the truly bizarre contributions that some of the world’s finest tattooers submitted to the show. That style of ‘Weirdo’ tattooing has always appealed to me.
There are some folks who do it when called upon, and others who’s style is just a little more… janky. Tattooers who’s aesthetic, regardless of the design, is always kind of out there and bordering on oddball. And that’s a good thing.
One of the folks who always comes to mind when I think of that particular style of tattooing is Ash Davies. He mixes cartoons and popculture imagery with a very underground comix edge with just enough Ed Big-Daddy Roth to make it interesting. Just my kinda tattoo.
If you’re looking for a great tattooer to follow on Instagram- Ash can be found here.
If you’re a regular OV reader, you probably know by now just how much I like Devil tattoos. Serious devil tattoos, silly ones, as long as it’s an evil red imp… I’m into it. This fella was done down at Ink Smith & Rogers in Jacksonville by the talented Dave Wulff, who you should follow on Instagram here.
He’s doing a bunch of guest spots lately, so check out his IG page for the next stop!
I spent the evening in Boston last night talking to my old friend Chad Chesko- a tattooer I was lucky enough to meet almost 20 years ago shortly after he started tattooing and who I’ve been pleased to watch grow into a DAMN fine painter and tattooer. We geeked out talking about the old days. people we’ve been tattooed by, pieces he’s done and would like to do… a fitting conversation since I was sort of dreading getting tattooed next Tuesday- he pumped me up and reminded me why we sit through the pain.
His Instagram can be found here: http://instagram.com/chadchesko