Not a show stopper, I did what I could for the price she was willing to pay. She brought in a pretty rudimentary anklet sortta thing, I tried to make it a little more dynamic ie. giving the leaves a little dimension. I made more of a commitment to the filagree portion as well, what she had was thin and overly curly, like something a 14 year old girl might doodle in a notebook.

Not a show stopper, I did what I could for the price she was willing to pay. She brought in a pretty rudimentary anklet sortta thing, I tried to make it a little more dynamic ie. giving the leaves a little dimension. I made more of a commitment to the filagree portion as well, what she had was thin and overly curly, like something a 14 year old girl might doodle in a notebook.

Did this today, I have another peacock feather tomorrow.

Did this today, I have another peacock feather tomorrow.

This one was done a while ago, he came in to talk about the next tattoo he wants. So I got a chance to get a good pic of a healed tattoo of mine 6 months later. There’s a few spots that need touched up. Reason being those areas probably got dried out a little during healing and scabbed a little heavier. Plus I can usually find stuff I want to tweak regardless. I don’t know any artists (visual, musical, performance etc.) who are ever satisfied with their work. You just have to stop at some point before you go too far and screw something up.

This one was done a while ago, he came in to talk about the next tattoo he wants. So I got a chance to get a good pic of a healed tattoo of mine 6 months later. There’s a few spots that need touched up. Reason being those areas probably got dried out a little during healing and scabbed a little heavier. Plus I can usually find stuff I want to tweak regardless. I don’t know any artists (visual, musical, performance etc.) who are ever satisfied with their work. You just have to stop at some point before you go too far and screw something up.

Winged Victory of Samothrace.
Another finishing touches piece today. The upcoming week looks pretty promising. I have some pretty sweet stuff scheduled.

Winged Victory of Samothrace.

Another finishing touches piece today. The upcoming week looks pretty promising. I have some pretty sweet stuff scheduled.

I’m doing a terrible job of this whole 1 tattoo a day thing.
Put the finishing touches on this part of the project today, we start doing musculature on the blank side next.

I’m doing a terrible job of this whole 1 tattoo a day thing.

Put the finishing touches on this part of the project today, we start doing musculature on the blank side next.

Its good that no one knows about this page, I missed 4 days already!
Here’s a little frog to start things off. Nothing much to say about it or the lady who got it.

Its good that no one knows about this page, I missed 4 days already!

Here’s a little frog to start things off. Nothing much to say about it or the lady who got it.

The Experiment

Its the day before New Years Eve. I got a sexy camera for Christmas and I had a thought.

I’m a tattooer from Philadelphia. I’ve been at it for eight years now and  I have a decent understanding of the art form. I’m at a turning point in my career where I’m searching for my signature style and success, as opposed to just trying my best to do a solid tattoo every time. 

With all the attention that tattooing has gotten over the past several years with “reality” television, bigger conventions, and a million sub par shops dotting the countryside competition is crazy. There’s amazing talent and amazingly bad snake oil salesmen, all trying to get as many clients as they can. Just like me.

On a daily basis I compete for clients. With every person that sits in my chair I do my best to make a real connection/friendship as well as give them a tattoo that exceeds their expectation and satisfies my standard for quality. I need them to return for more tattoos, and to tell all their friends and family that I’m the guy to go to. It’s much more than the actual tattoo. The thing is its not often up to me what that tattoo is, I’m the middle man.

Which brings me to my experiment:

Whenever I dig around online looking for tattoos to admire, I gravitate to those really exceptional tattoos. The kind that make me think I should quit and do something else, because “I’ll never be that good” the top 5%. That’s who I’m chasing, that’s who I’m trying to top or be counted among. I have to remind myself that the tattoo elite didn’t wake up amazing one morning and what I’m seeing their really awesome tattoos after years of dedication; not all the mundane in between. Then I wonder, do they do boring tattoos? Do they do angel wings with 5 names and dates mashed into something that the person is only willing to spend $100 on? I’m curious to see what those look like.

My experiment is to post a tattoo a day and to tell a little story about the person wearing my work. Its not always going to be be nice, some will be unremarkable, some will be great. Some clients I’ll like, and some I’ll dread. Like I said I don’t often get to choose what it is I do or who its on, but I gotta be their friend and do a great job every time. Its about them, not me. I want to document what it is to be a decent work-a-day unknown tattoo artist. I want to show that 70% of what I do isn’t something that will get promoted or end up in the pages of my portfolio. 

So starting January 1, 2013 I will be posting a tattoo that I did every day. Obviously I do more that one a day, some days I’ll do none, and I do have days off. In those cases I’ll post a recently done tattoo. I’m also going to remain anonymous. I want to be honest here, honesty might offend some of my clients, this is documentary not promotion.

That’s the gist. I’m excited to see how this evolves.