(The name of the website this appeared on has been forgotten. It was a Canadian tattoo-themed blog style site.)
(1) Your' (tattoo) work has a message behind the art. What's the thought process like before you go to design the piece? Is there a lot of talk between you and the client during the design stage?
Usually there is a good bit of back and forth emailing, or a 10-30 minute consultation in person to get the ball rolling. After that, I usually discuss things as they come up during the design and drawing process, after things start to shape up a little in my head or on paper. Then there is usually a final brief discussion or recap right before starting the piece to make sure everything is okay, during which I try to explain what my plans and steps will be in tattooing the piece. If anything else comes up during the course of the tattoo sitting(s), I'll talk to the client about it and proceed accordingly. Most of my clients seem to be very receptive to my own thoughts, visions and concepts relating to the piece and its symbolism, so it usually works out really well. I try to keep things loose and open to spontaneity for both the drawing and the tattoo, while at the same time trying to explain things clearly enough so the client isn't going into anything blindly.
(2) How long have you been tattooing for now?
I have been tattooing for 4 years and 9 months, as of september 2005.
(3) Where do you work, who do you work with, and can you tell me a little bit about the studio?
I work at Transcend Tattoo and Art Gallery in Branford, CT, U$A. I work with owner/piercer Kevin Walsh, and tattoo artists Anthony Plaza, Lou Jacque, George Carter, and Adrian Dominic. Everyone except Adrian, whom we imported from the desert of Arizona, is from the old Darkside Tattoo staff. Transcend was formed in january or 2005 after the demise of darkside, and our goals were to create the same artistic and high-end custom tattoo atmosphere, but with the added bonus of a functioning art gallery to promote types of art other than tattooing. So far we have been successful in stepping up the level of artistry, and the professional atmosphere, to even greater heights than we had at the old shop. (There are pictures of our entire shop layout on our website www.transcendtattoo.com)
(4) How did the PIXEL TATTOO idea come about?
The original thought to try the pixel tattoos came about after seeing a tattoo that Lou Jacque had done, in which he had a human figure dissolving into these tiny, almost braille-looking spheres which were shaded in a way that they looked like they were popping out of the skin. That tattoo was in black and grey, and it got me thinking 'I wonder what something like that would look like in color, and with actual square computer pixels, as if someone turned the resolution on an image file way down...' I let the idea grow in the back of my mind for a few months until one fall afternoon, while sitting in my back yard at the base of a tree, I happened to look up through the bright golden yellow autumn leaves at the sky, which was an intensely bright baby blue color. Thinking back on it, all I remember was knowing that the image of fall leaves over a blue background was going to be the image for the pixel tattoo experiment. So I proposed the idea to my girlfriend at the time, who was very supportive of me and my art and willing to get interesting tattoos. She agreed to get the piece, and soon after it turned into a full sleeve. Other than that, my interest in things like pixels in general stems from my interest in graphic design and digital art as a whole. But as far as the actual specific thought process of how those tattoos came to be, that's pretty much it. Believe it or not, I think that is the first time I have ever explained that whole story...my usual response to that question is to simply mention my interest in digital art and nature/technology themes. I should probably also mention that I stopped doing any and all pixel tattoos about a year ago, and that the 5 or so on my website are the only ones I have ever done.
(5) Did you attend school? And if so... what did you study, where did you study, and when did you graduate?
I attended art college right after high school, but only for three semesters. I attended Paier College of Art and Design, a small local school here in CT, and my major was going to be graphic design, but I only got in one semester of actual g.d. classes before dropping out to pursue a tattoo apprenticeship. The courses that ended up having the most impact on me artistically were my foundation drawing and oil painting courses.
(6) Did you do any art related jobs before becoming a tattoo artist?
I was doing my best as a freelance artist of sorts in high school and college, before tattooing took off for me. Meaning that I would paint an occasional mural, design the occasional album cover, logo, or shirt for local bands, and things of that nature. It definitely prepared me well for the following art phases in my life.