Fine Art Friday

Direct from the King of Seattle comes this beautiful demon painting. Our long time friend Aaron Bell from Slave to the Needle painted is especially for us. What a great gift.
He even included the Pulse logo. Along with being a tattoo staple in Pacific Northwest Aaron has created a ton of great flash that we sold the wheels off for years. I would bet you could stop in to almost any street shop in America and find Aaron's designs on the wall. He has a great eye for creating what the customer wants.I also seem to remember that I spend a bunch time riding Aaron about parting with the above sailor girl painting. It was a Skin & Ink magazine cover as well as a best selling print. I love that painting (I only own a print of it) and hope he will tire of it on his wall one day and part with it. One can always hope. Still going strong -Slave_to_the_Needle_Here
Also this week comes a strong painting from artist Mike Shea. I always liked the way the classic style and tattoo elements were twisted just a bit. Mike is always doing nice work up in Boston. http://www.redemptiontattoo.com/


The New Specialist, I Think We Got It

Over the last year we have been revamping our entire line of tattoo machine frames to incorporate out new vise. It works so well that we wanted all our frames to get the treatment. When it came time to add the new vice to the Specialist a bunch of questions came flooding into my mind about some of our design choices. The Specialist was our first frame and I felt it could use a little updating. The first thing on my wish list was to do away with the back tab and the channel that we created to slip the solder lug into. It made it very easy to put the back binder onto the machine and wire it, but it also made us cut binders down just for this frame for years. It also feels a bit lopsided, I also saw an opportunity to create a window in the rear stay like the Corsair. Which I love. I also felt the side plate of the machine could go on a diet and become bit more streamlined. We have taken it in, in a bunch of places.
The new rear tab is way more aesthetically pleasing, I love the new radius and the fact we can now use a regular binder for the rear, no more shorties! All in all I am really happy with the re-design. The machine also has the new vise, is a bit lighter, and still runs those 3's and 5's like the devil. It's a whole new Specialist, and it's ready to come live with you. Check it out AllNewSpecialistHere


Fine Art Flowers

This set of paintings was created by tattooist / painter Jay Langer. Jay had done a beautiful series of paintings that interspersed bones with flowers. It was a nice mix of morbid beauty, I loved the concept and the pieces were great to mount together with the ribs up top and the hip in the lower position.
Jay is a very talented guy, along with holding down full time duties at his studio he paints, plays in a band, builds bikes, designs for a T Shirt Co., makes flash...yeah Jay is one of those guys. Super energy, super productivity -great combo. Check him out -http://www.myspace.com/jaylanger.
Another great painting that hangs at Pulse with a beautiful traditional flower comes from Grez DNA. If you are familiar with Grez then you know how clean and strong his tattoo work is. His paintings stand up to that same visual test. He has a great eye for structure and a great grasp of those classic images that define western traditional tattooing.
Is that not the perfect tattoo rose? I also remember eyeing this pieces for half a day as I cruised through a convention. I came back to buy it right before I left and was really happy. As I was thanking Grez and walking away from the table CIV had walked up and was asking Grez about this painting, it seems he also wanted to purchase it. I am sorry about that CIV, but I love the piece. Grez has been tearing it up over at Mike Rubendall's Kings Avenue Tattoo. http://kingsavenuetattoo.com/


"Knock Yerself Out" - Out Now

"Knock Yerself Out" is the sequel to the best selling Joe Capobianco sketchbook. Joe has returned with this brand new collection of sketches, drawings, and color studies. Line work to fully rendered, the "Capo Gal" never looked so good. Doll after doll is lined up and ready to be inked! Joe created this book to be used like flash and as always it's packed front to back with a bevy of beautys. Full color -Hard Cover- 120 pages - A knockout of a collection and a must for reference, with an amazing price tag -TWENTY FIVE CLAMS!!KnockYerselfOut-AvailableNow


Friday, Art Time

This week brings a great pen and ink from the one and only Greg "Craola" Simkins, and yes we do have a bunch of Craola art. One - because we love it and Two- he is most talented guy working today. I love how he blends ideas and his style is instantly recognizable. That is not an easy thing to achieve, to create and right upon sight everyone knows who did it. I think that is the holy grail for an artist. He's is getting there and trust me he is going to keep pushing himself forward into that rare league of artists working today. Take a minute and check his bio, he has done art for everyone from Kid Robot to Disney to Vans to well...Us. The kid is the bomb, don't believe me, -http://www.imscared.com/
This cool little piece was a gift and I can't remember the artist name I think it was Eric and it's signed CHUNG so I assume it's a great piece from Eric Chung the painter of people inside animals. Also if I was any animal I would be an octopus or a squid, so I made a personal connection with this piece. -Oh, and the painting wasn't a gift from the artist, that would suck if he had given me the painting and I forgot his name. -BONUS- This weeks bonus piece was also a gift from our friend and artist Kore Flatmo. Kore scripted up our name in true tattoo fashion. We always meant to do T-shirts but never quite did. We did however take to using this piece as a laser burned logo for our Archer machine box. I would still like to see it make it's way to a shirt. Flatmo rocks-http://www.plurabella.com/


"Build Your Own" Was a Great Time!

The Pulse "Build Your Own" Workshop at this years Paradise Tattoo Gathering was a blast. We set up the workshop for a dozen folks to come in and build any of our machines from scratch. We were lucky to have so much interest and actually sold out the event weeks in advance (thanks!).

We broke things down into two groups of six and Soba and I ran an open forum where we discussed a dozen different styles of machines. We looked at everything from the materials used to make the frame to the process and the geometry. I was even tired of hearing myself talk after a couple of hours.

The other team of Alex, Joe and Tim ran a hands on step by step assembling of a coil setup along with tutorials on capacitors, resistance, electricity and materials.

Then everyone assembled their machines and we switched groups. Happily all machines started right up and that sounded great. Everyone who attended had great questions. This is always a learning experience for me also. When people make you stop and think about things that can be taken for granted, it always make me think about our process.

I think it's always really helpful and healthful to examine how you do things, there is always something new to discover. The thing that blew me away the most about the workshop came at the end. As I was thanking everyone for coming I started to ask people where they were from. The artists had come from all over the country, Arkansas, Tennessee, San Francisco, New York, Michigan, Connecticut and Massachusetts. That felt really good, I didn't expect people to travel from all over and that was a nice surprise. As always SOBA from Workhorse straightened me out on a few things, and we swapped some cool ideas, it was great have Tim in the session, and I think it was good for Alex and Joe to get to be able to share their knowledge. All in all it was a really fantastic time. I think we were scheduled from 12 to 3pm but we ran until almost 5pm, and we could have gone longer! We are now kicking around the idea of offering an in house workshop a couple times a year where you would be able to come to Pulse take a tour and then we would sit down and build a rig. Next year we are going to try to put that together so keep it in mind. Thanks to everyone who came down.


Fine Art Friday

This Friday brings a great piece from artist Eric Merrill. This piece was created with pastels which are some of the best pieces I own. The thing about pastels is they have to primarily be worked and blended with your fingers. So the artist really has to get their hands dirty (literally) I also feel doing pastels takes a toll on the artist, the substance is very drying to skin so the artist fingers get cracked and dry, couple that with tattooing in latex gloves all day and you can imagine how tough it is to spend hours each day working pastels. So that means a lot when you know what goes into each piece.
The best part of this pastel is that it was a gift. I had attended a gallery opening at Hope Gallery and was going piece to piece checking out the info on each piece in the price sheet. When I got to this piece on the wall it was listed NFS (not for sale) private collection -Brett Bryan. What a great way to get a gift, it is one of the most special pieces I own and admit it that is a sexy pose. It's also quite big 24" x 36", no joke. Talented by the pound -Eric Merrill -check out the video of the new studio http://www.hopegallerytattoo.com/
...and speaking of Hope Gallery another great story is how I acquired this piece from Joe Capo. This Hope -Lost -Hope Mother painting was a give away painting at an opening. They sold a bunch of raffle tickets with the money going to a cancer charity. I bought a large handful of tickets and guess what...I won....I felt bad for a minute, I own so many paintings from Joe, but I got over that quickly because I loved the painting and it hangs in my office to this day.http://www.joecapobianco.com/


New Easy Glow Shirt, You Can Only Get it For FREE

Artist Jime Litwalk has drawn up this nifty piece of artwork for the new Easy Glow T-shirt. The best thing about the blue on blue shirt is that it's FREE! That's right just buy any set of Easy Glow pigments and get this limited edition shirt, while supplies last. Bombs away.


10 Reasons the Paradise Tattoo Gathering is Great

The Paradise Tattoo Gathering this year was fantastic. It is a unique show due to the fact it's only 1/3 show combined with 1/3 learning annex with 1/3 relaxing weekend. I don't believe there to be another show like this. Plus we had a good time making our sign for the booth. But here in no particular order are 10 reasons the Gathering is great...
#10 -The location is the Berkshire mountains in New England in Fall, the surroundings are unreal. The air is clean the location tucked away into a mountain and nature is in full effect. You can clear your head, not easy to do at most shows.
It's also like a miniature village , so you have to travel from building to building to see and do everything. One building has the convention floor, one building has the art gallery, one building has the forums, you get the idea. #9 -The people. Everyone comes to learn and share ideas. I also feel the show is mostly artists. I mean everyone, really high level talented artists were taking other people's seminars. That is very telling right there - when you know someones work is amazing and they have an international reputation but they still come out to learn. Well that right there is a lesson, you are never to good to learn and grow. It is a very positive energy -again unique to this show.
#8- There is a very dangerous, very unpredictable alpine slide. So if you feel the weekend is too laid back, strap in and loose some skin.
#7- One word "SOBA". He knows a ton about machine building, and metal smithing, and jewelry making, and raising koi, and bonzi trees, and jet boats, and lasers, beer making...is there an AA for people addicted to hobbies. I'm just saying, he knows a lot of stuff...
#6- Because you are in the woods you can totally wear plaid lumberjack shirts the whole time. It's cool, people expect it. Plus weird stuff happens like I found out that Obie Hughes and I were born in the same hospital.
#7- The accommodations are great. The suites are huge with fireplaces and full kitchens. Plus when you wake up to realize someone decided to rebuild someones tattoo machine where you were about to eat breakfast- well you can just leave after the weekend. Also there are plenty of other places to eat. #6- Everyone gets along. At the Pulse booth we were selling our machines right along side machines from SOBA, and Joe Capo. When you get like minded people together it is a good thing, you feel things moving forward and when you get home you don't feel like your stuck in the mud . Hearing fresh things and meeting new people with unique ideas is a great motivator.
#5- Bob Tyrrell tattooed this beautiful portrait of Dolly Parton on this nice girls thigh. Dolly and I share the same Birthday so I feel a connection. Great tattoo work was wall to wall. #4-The food is good, they have a turkey wrap made with real turkey. Like they cooked a turkey and then slice off the meat to make the wrap. Like the day after thanksgiving. Oh yeah it's also nice to share a meal with old friends. Also- not for nothing but Joe Capo might have an interesting opinion to share at the table. But damn that turkey wrap was good.
#3- I love the forums. I love the idea of a panel of artists talking about a topic. I like a discussion and I like a disagreement, I like the audience to participate, cause you guessed it, I like to think. An intelligent discussion always gets you to think. The topics were good this year ranging from the state of tattooing to how to work healthier, how to bring up an apprentice. I was lucky enough to moderate a forum on business of tattooing outside of tattooing that explored all the opportunities that exist -from T-shirt lines, to commercials, to gallery shows, to tattoo conventions, to television. My panel included Shawn Barber, Russ Abbott, Durb Morrison, and Guy Aitchison. They were all great and had some really good stories. Thanks to them for making the panel great.
#2- The Toy Baroness from Kidrobot spent some time in the Pulse booth, and quite frankly that rules. She was with the Carlos half of the Beast Bros. -not too shabby. #1- Kim Saigh was there tattooing. I know your are wondering, yes she looks as good in real life as she does on T.V. All in all a real good time, a good motivator, good connections, good people, good venue. I believe the show is going to become an every other year event so keep it in mind for 2011.