So my trip to Western Australia was wonderful. It started out with a week of work at Five Star Tattoo, with a huge crew of some of the coolest people I’ve had the pleasure of guest-spotting with. Most of the tattoos I made were on the Five Star crew, which was extra cool because not only did they get interesting tattoos, but it gave me the opportunity to get to know a lot of them. I really enjoy mellow towns like Fremantle, it has character and charm, not to mention the coffee was EPIC and I got to experience real Australian barbecues. One of my favorite days at the shop was when the owner, Ricky Luder, gave Luke Wessman and I his book. It is a book about his 40 years as a tattooer, Rick gave us some really in-depth history lessons about tattooing in Australia as he explained some of the photos in the book. He told colorful stories from his past and had Luke and I smiling from ear to ear. Here are some photos of my experience at the shop.
I was overjoyed to get home from my last trip to see the new Tattoo Artist Magazine write up on Lindsey Carmichael. I had the extreme pleasure of doing the interview with him and I’ve had the honor of having Lindsey as one of my best friends. I could never say enough good things about Lindsey and his work, get tattooed by him and you will see. If you don’t have the means of getting a tattoo from Lindsey then simply introduce yourself to him, his extreme positivity and good nature will rub off on you, trust me. Pick up this issue and read more about Lindsey, and to view Lindsey’s work go to his Instagram @lesismoore11
I just saw this video of my mentor, Dan Dringenberg, courtesy of his daughters instagram. I love listening to Dan’s words. Dan has a way of speaking that is so honest and strong, just tlike the machines he builds. Watch this video
The Thomas Asher One Hundred & 99 Problems, Pin Up Designs. This sketchbook is GREAT, it holds 112 pages of classic but uniquely drawn pin up designs. At first browse I knew I had to have it in my collection. Not to mention Thomas is a solid tattooer, super clean painter and more importantly, a hell of a good guy. Thomas Asher’s Pin Up book is an essential for any shop and we are very proud to be selling on our store. www.swtattoosupply.com
Last Weekend I flew out to NYC for a quick 3 day trip to attend the Left To Right art show at Wooster. Wow, it was a total success, Luke Wessman and Bobby Ruiz sure can put on an event. I was there early on and helping a tiny bit as they hung all the artwork and organized the evening. We came back around 7:30 and there was about 20 of the homies hanging out, went and got dinner and returned at 8:30 to a MAD-HOUSE. By 9:30 it was off the hook and ended up being one of the best parties I’ve been to in NYC. Good vibes, good people, good times. Here are some photos of the event. Photo Credits are listed on each photo, big thanks to Big Tiny and Peter Pabon
The artwork will hang for a month following this event, so go check it out.
Recently, while in NY for the Left To Right art show at Wooster, I was talking with Bobby Ruiz about the C/S project he created. He was telling me about an interview he recently posted on Frank Sifuentes, aka Mr. Con Safos. I came right home and watched it, it’s magical. Bobby informed me that Frank has since passed away, I felt compelled to re-post this interview and send a thanks to Bobby Ruiz for his continual search for knowledge and growth.
Here are the words straight from the C/S website:
“There are times in your life when you meet people who have so much historical knowledge that it’s hard to get a true grasp of what it must have been like to walk in their shoes back in the day. Over time, these true life experiences become so misconstrued and re-interpreted in blogs and google searches that the original facts of it’s origin cease to exist.
Frank Sifuentes was not only the founder of Con Safos magzine but was also a writer, educator, mentor and community activist. In our eyes he was also a historian. We were fortunate enough to spend some precious time with him to capture just a fraction of that history.
The information contained in this video will forever change what most people think they know about the term Con Safos and the C/S symbol. May it serve as a dedication to the memory of Francisco “Kiko” Sifuentes aka “Mr. Con Safos”. His legacy will live forever.”
I just got my Thom DeVita back from the framers, I’m ecstatic. They had an old school frame for it as well which made it even cooler. If you would like to pick up your own DeVita original artwork go to www.thomdevita.wordpress.com
I will be flying to NYC in a few days for an event that Bobby Ruiz and Luke Wessman have put together, here is the press release to inform you about it more:
LEFT TO RIGHT: AN ARTISTIC VISIT FROM THE WEST
California’s Premier Tattoo Artist, Painters, Pin Stripers & Photographers Take-Over NY Ink
NEW YORK (April 2013) – The studio known worldwide as NY Ink is gearing up for a West Coast invasion. Wooster Street Social Club is pleased to announce Left to Right: An Artistic Visit from the West a group exhibition featuring works by California’s premier tattoo artists, painters, pin stripers and photographers Thursday, April 11 from 7:30 to 11 p.m. at 43 Wooster St., SoHo, New York City.
Curated by SoCal-natives Bobby Ruiz and Luke Wessman, the event showcases California-inspired artwork from more than 30 artists, including NY Ink’s Tim Hendricks and Tommy Montoya, as well as music by DJ Stack-Aly.
“This art show is the first of its kind for New York,” said Luke Wessman, curator and featured artist. “Never has such a group of heavy-hitters from California been assembled to show at the same place, at the same time in New York City. But, this show is about more than art, it’s about friendship and unity, everyone coming together.”
All artist featured, include: Estevan Oriol, Risk, OG Abel, Chuey Quintanar, Sal Elias, Maxx 242, Franco Vescovi, Tim Hendricks, Carlos Torres, Steve Soto, Placaso, Gustavo Rimada, Johnny Quintana, Manuel Cisneros, The Deadend Brothers, Ben Grillo, Alex Garcia, Tattoo Tony, Luke Wessman, Big Checho, Flaks, D.A. Garcia, Latisha Wood, Mr. Rhythm, Jae Bueno, Brown, Morgwn Pennypacker, Boog, Carlos Macedo, Big Tiny, Tommy Montoya, Bobby Tribal, and “The Wooden Crosses.”
To RSVP please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
This months 9 and 9 is with Alex Trufant. I had the pleasure of meeting Alex recently while he worked at Gold Rush Tattoo for a few days. Even though I only got to work with him briefly I’m glad I got to get to know him a little bit. Alex has a good outlook on tattooing, he’s very humble and has a damn good sense of humor; not to mention he lays down a bad-ass tattoo! I am looking forward to him coming back so I can schedule a few more days to work with him, so I can pick up a little bit of great traditional tattoo style that I love so much. Thanks Alex, for bringing great work to the table of tattooing and thanks for participating in this months 9 and 9.
follow Alex Trufant here:
Instagram – @alextrufant
Facebook – www.facebook.com/alex.trufant
shop Facebook – www.facebook.com/trufantbrostattoo
1. Who taught you and when? ~ I didn’t serve a traditional apprenticeship, I started tattooing my buddies when I was like 15 or 16 back in like 99… I was so terrible, no guidance no tattoo education, no romodel haha. All my friends were in the lowrider scene back then and everyones dad, or uncle or cousin had tattoos and I thought they were tuff as shit. I tattooed for about 5 years pretty much in the dark haha, before I started to learn anything. My brother Aubrey had done an apprenticeship in Colorado somewhere, and when we started working together I began to learn a lot. In 2006, I met Dean Williams of Elm Street Tattoo in Dallas, Tx, he kind of took me and Aubrey under his wing. Dean brought me out of the dark and put me on a path for success. I owe him so much, Richard Stell and Tony Hundahl both have also bend a tremendous help in my tattooing.
2. What is your favorite style of tattooing to do? ~ I don’t necessarily have a favorite, anything that is strong and bold are gonna be my favorites. I try and tackle every project with a traditional technique, solid black outline and black shading, even when im doing black and gray tattoos.
3. What is your least favorite style of tattooing to do? ~ Im not to big on tattooing tight knot celtic designs, though they look tough as shit when they are done right. Color realism is also a pain in the ass, new school bubbly eyed buck tooth bull shit also one of my least favorites. A wise bald headed white braided beard man taught me a man’s tattoo should be tuff, because a man always wants to feel tuff even when he’s and old man. A woman’s tattoo should always be sexy, cause a woman wants to feel sexy even when she’s old and dried up. haha…
4. I personally believe in solid outlines and black shading. Why do you think a lot of newer tattooers think they can get away without these fundamentals of tattooing? ~ These tattooers are not in tattooing for the long haul, they don’t approach tattoos with the intent that this tattoo has to last 20-40 years. They are attention whores saying ,”look at me and look what I can do with a tattoo machine.”, I think they just want a sweet pic for their portfolio. They probably just lack knowledge of tattoo history and tattooing fundamentals in general. Solid black outlines and black shading will always prevail…
5. Do you think drugs can help your tattooing/painting style? ~ No and Yes… Everyone is capable of different things while under the influence of the poison of their choice. Most people are ridiculous while they are under the influence, but I feel there is a select few who’s artwork and or ideas are brilliant while they are under the influence of certain drugs. I myself don’t think I can tattoo all day without caffeine and cigarettes.
6. If you could own any tattoo-based artifact, past or present, what would it be? ~ There is just way to much stuff I would want to own, to much to name, Anything Greg Irons used to create with, draw with or his tattoo machines, just with the hope he left some kind of magic that I could use haha. Greg Irons was ahead of his time.
7. I heard you were in the military, do you think being in the armed forces helped or hurt your tattooing and/or work ethic? ~ Well before the military I had zero work ethic haha, so yes 100% the military has helped my work ethic. In basic training the tear you down and build you from the ground up, the military taught me how to be a student as well as a leader. I gained so much from my short military career, I was a jet engine mechanic in the Airforce. I use to work on F-15 jet engines. So when you’re working on millions of dollars worth of equipment and the job you do plays a part in the safety of the pilot flying your engine, you have to hold your self to a high standard and take pride your work. The Airforce motto is INTEGRITY FIRST, SERVICE BEFORE SELF, AND EXCELLENCE IN ALL YOU DO. I try and apply that motto in tattooing everytime I show up for work.
8. Do you believe that in any point of human advancement and evolution tattooing might become irrelevant (don’t laugh, I’m serious)? ~ No, tattooing is old as mankind, and it will be here a hundred years from now, even if asshole robots are doing the tattooing in the future haha!
9. I know you own a shop with your brother Aubrey. Does owning a shop with family ever get difficult, or does it help motivate a little healthy competition and tattoo progression between you two? Or both? ~ Both!!!!!!!!! It’s totally awesome working with my brother, and I think we have been vey successful sticking together. We are brothers and we do fight from time to time(fist fight haha), we are lucky to have such great parents that help us mediate our differences when things get to crazy. I think we are lucky to work with each other and be doing so well, he’s the only brother I got, I love him to death. We used to compete with each other all the time and that caused a lot of fights between us… haha. Over time we stopped really competing and just started feeding off of each other and making each other better with every tattoo we put out.
Trufant Brothers Tattoo
1719 Caddo Street
San Angelo, TX 76901
Tattoo Nation is a look into the world of black and grey tattooing and how it all started. The tattooers featured in this film are the guys I admired while growing up tattooing in Southern California. They were the pioneers of the West Coast style; guys like Charlie Cartwright(Goodtime Charlie), Jack Rudy, Freddy Negrete, Mark Mahoney and Corey Miller. These guys may not know it, but I had pictures of their work taped up in my garage while I tattooed local street kids with home-made equipment. I am so honored to be involved in a documentary about their story and elated that they would consider me a peer. For more information about this movie go to www.tattoonation.com
I noticed Tattoo Artist Magazine had posted an update on what is going on with the Amsterdam Tattoo Museum. If you have been following this story up until now you would know that that Museum is “being held hostage” so to speak. Here is the latest update from the Tattoo Museum, and for more on the Museum updates please refer to tattoomuseum.wordpress.
By Annemarie Beers: The situation of the museum is still very complicated. The woman who was supposed to be our financier is bankrupt and there’s a curator now in the museum and they’re still figuring out who owns what. In the meantime we still cannot enter the museum or take the collection away. Every time they postpone the date the collection is to be released because of difficulties. However, it should last no longer than one month…
Thanks to all the fundraising, individual people, but also big events all over the world, we could afford a lawyer. This is very important as we didn’t want to lose the collection because of legal matters. We expect to get the collection back at least, and that is the most important thing. And we could afford to start a new pop-up shop in honor of the museum. We have a great book selection and a tattoo gift shop. Our museum office is also in this location. Without the help of this great tattoo family, this could not have been possible. We realize this every day and are very grateful to all contributing! We still need financial support, as we still get bills from the lawyer and if we want to open up a new museum, we’ll have to raise a bunch to rent a new place, renovate, etc…
We have no direct contact with the company and the woman who threw us out of the museum. We don’t know how this legally works, but the police won’t let us enter either. It’s called “intrusion” and the person who rents the building doesn’t want you to come in has the rights to refuse you. The crazy situation now is that neither the owner of the building and the owner of the collection (Henk) are allowed in the building and the person who rents it but doesn’t pay her bills is allowed to stay there. Something about Dutch law…
We know a lot of people are wondering what the hell is going on and why they don’t hear anything anymore. The truth is, at some point we almost lost faith in ever getting the collection back. We were very confused and it was very hard to continue the fight. At that moment we couldn’t inform you, because we didn’t have a clue what was going on and were afraid we could only deliver really bad news. But thanks to all the support and love we received from you guys, we got the spirit back and have good hopes now! A very, very big thank you!!!
And people who donated, please send us your address and e-mail, we will eventually send you something from the Blue Bone Society as soon as we can enter the museum! email@example.com.
If you’re in Amsterdam, please come and visit our shop: van Woustraat 78. Much love and respect from the ATM/Blue Bone Society crew,
Henk, Louise, Annemarie, Chris, Danny Boy, Yushi and Tiziana