talk to strangers.

bride portrait

Originally published 12/5/2011

I was looking at the viewing statistics for the site here and noticed that one person among the couple hundred went through every post just about in the space of a day or two. OMG ARCHIVE BINGE! It made me extremely happy and I felt warm, and loved.

Whenever I find a site or an artist I like online I just read EVERYTHING from them, I will binge until I am reading their diary from ten years ago, if it’s posted. Like when I found crimelibrary the first time, or when I started looking at explodingdog. I just went nuts, spent all my internet time following the trail back to the start. I suddenly realized that you guys read my stuff and look at my site the same exact way I look at yours and that made me feel really good. So thank you, anonymous archive binge person, for making me both happy and more educated about what I am trying to do, and how people feel about it.

THEN- I have gotten a slew of emails from total strangers, asking questions, tattoo and art process stuff, and general sort of things. I LOVE talking to you guys. Man, if you’re reading my stuff someplace and suddenly have a question, and you email me that you like my things and want to know the answer, I get sweaty excited about it. It makes me feel good- I love sharing information, and while I am not the most educated or the most knowledgeable about everything the things I DO know I love to share. And sometimes even if I don’t know, I can send the question to someone who does. And that feels great too.

.

And also- I spent the last few days interviewing a series of artists for a longer article I’m putting together. I’m working hard to write something useful about it. It’s taking me some time to assemble but I think it’ll be good. Talking to new people who get it, and who are working in smaller ways to affect the world- people who put their hands on the work and make things that have deeper meaning as well as visual aesthetics- that’s been really eye-opening and inspiring to me too.

Oh, and, last of all, I spent a day making paper. That was fun as all fuck, too.

I love talking to people about art. I don’t know how approachable I seem but really, I like talking to new people and I really feel great when I can help someone, give information, or just even see that people are interested in what I’m doing. So thanks guys for reading along.

If you have questions for me to answer, let me know in the comments. Or email me!

(you can find more of me by googling resonanteye, I am literally everywhere online. I talk to all the strangers!)

Three ways to end a creative block, right this very instant.

noncomplianceFirst of all, sit down. Clear a place on the couch and sit your ass down. Creative blocks are evil. I mean evil, wicked, bad things that get all of us at some point. I hate when it happens, and the worst is when you get into that feedback loop- you know, worrying about it and trying to start working on stuff, but it won’t come, so then you worry some more, then try and you still can’t do anything, and so you worry…that worry and fear is the root of it, sometimes, and it can turn into a neverending battle.

Other times a block isn’t really a block- it’s that you have fed your head so much that it is still processing. You’ve taken in a lot of inspiring work or ideas lately from other artists, and now your brain needs some down time in the dark to ferment it all into delicious beer. (or bread. whatever.) Either way, you can end it. You actually can end it, but it’s going to suck, just like breaking down a real wall sucks and is heavy work. It’s not easy but it’s pretty much dead simple. (more…)

The evolution of tattoo culture

tiger tattoo

tiger tattoo

To understand the current popularity of tattoo art in the US and Europe, it is important to know a little bit about its past.

Tattooing is one of the oldest art forms known to exist. The oldest preserved human skin ever found is decorated with tattoos that were done during life. It is used as a form of expression in the majority of the world’s cultures, and has been used for many purposes throughout history. In the last century in the West, it has been less common than in other parts of the world and in previous times. Recently, there has been a resurgence in its popularity.

(more…)

relax don’t do it

Originally published 10/26/2007

 

working female tattoo artist
As a tattoo artist for many years, I’ve seen many people who are interested in learning the trade. I’ve also seen many make the mistake of trying to take a shortcut to becoming a tattoo artist at home, or as a hobby.

If you are planning to tattoo “for fun” or as a hobby, you should know that in most states this is illegal. The biggest, and most serious reason, is for the health and safety of your (potential) clients. Tattooing in a bacteria-ridden space, with unsterilized equipment, or even worse, non-disposable equipment, is extremely risky.

The risks associated with home tattooing start with minor Staph infections and end with septicemia (which can be fatal) and transmission of serious, life-threatening viruses. Also, using your home as a tattoo studio puts you and your family at extreme risk of infections and diseases. Simply put, this is not safe, and is most likely against the law.

When you decide to learn tattooing it’s best to be careful. There are unscrupulous people who will try to take advantage of your interest, and knowing the usual steps taken to become a tattoo artist can help you avoid them.

Having an interest in tattooing and being able to draw, while necessary, are not the only things you’ll need. You’ll also require a lot of dedication, patience, and sociability. It is hard to become a tattoo artist. A typical apprenticeship is tiring, demanding, and difficult. The process of apprenticeship is designed to weed out those who are not capable of dealing with the stress of the job, and those who are not patient enough to cope with its demands.

hourglass and candle tattooIf you apprentice, you will be granted the respect of your peers, and have more access to knowledge, equipment, and skills than if you try to muddle through (dangerously) on your own.

Artists the try to learn on their own do, rarely, become respected in the field- but this takes decades of hard work, rather than a few years.

Most will never achieve acceptance if they have not apprenticed properly.

If you’re the typical starving artist, tattooing can look very lucrative compared to where you’re at right now, but it’s not really a craft you can learn on your own (despite what those unscrupulous people might say).

If you can’t be patient and persistent, you won’t be a good tattooist anyway.

Dealing with clients is much more difficult than learning to tattoo, and without the barriers and obstacles to learning there would be no way to ensure the temperament of potential tattooists.

(more…)

relax don't do it

Originally published 10/26/2007

 

working female tattoo artist
As a tattoo artist for many years, I’ve seen many people who are interested in learning the trade. I’ve also seen many make the mistake of trying to take a shortcut to becoming a tattoo artist at home, or as a hobby.

If you are planning to tattoo “for fun” or as a hobby, you should know that in most states this is illegal. The biggest, and most serious reason, is for the health and safety of your (potential) clients. Tattooing in a bacteria-ridden space, with unsterilized equipment, or even worse, non-disposable equipment, is extremely risky.

The risks associated with home tattooing start with minor Staph infections and end with septicemia (which can be fatal) and transmission of serious, life-threatening viruses. Also, using your home as a tattoo studio puts you and your family at extreme risk of infections and diseases. Simply put, this is not safe, and is most likely against the law.

When you decide to learn tattooing it’s best to be careful. There are unscrupulous people who will try to take advantage of your interest, and knowing the usual steps taken to become a tattoo artist can help you avoid them.

Having an interest in tattooing and being able to draw, while necessary, are not the only things you’ll need. You’ll also require a lot of dedication, patience, and sociability. It is hard to become a tattoo artist. A typical apprenticeship is tiring, demanding, and difficult. The process of apprenticeship is designed to weed out those who are not capable of dealing with the stress of the job, and those who are not patient enough to cope with its demands.

hourglass and candle tattooIf you apprentice, you will be granted the respect of your peers, and have more access to knowledge, equipment, and skills than if you try to muddle through (dangerously) on your own.

Artists the try to learn on their own do, rarely, become respected in the field- but this takes decades of hard work, rather than a few years.

Most will never achieve acceptance if they have not apprenticed properly.

If you’re the typical starving artist, tattooing can look very lucrative compared to where you’re at right now, but it’s not really a craft you can learn on your own (despite what those unscrupulous people might say).

If you can’t be patient and persistent, you won’t be a good tattooist anyway.

Dealing with clients is much more difficult than learning to tattoo, and without the barriers and obstacles to learning there would be no way to ensure the temperament of potential tattooists.

(more…)

Creating your own photo reference

Originally published on 06/14/2008

PHOTOGRAPHYWe all know how boring it can get to see the same few poses, faces, or roses tattooed again and again. It’s a strange ethical question in some ways- is a still from a film, a figure model on the internet, or a flower you find on google, stolen property if you trace/redraw slightly, and tattoo it?

You can start fixing this by beginning to create your own photo reference library. If you have a relatively decent camera, whether or not it’s digital (although digital is easier, and what I’ll be discussing here) you can acquire a lot of reference that nobody else has access to.

Photograph everything. Get a big memory card- it’s a write-off- and start taking pictures of the flowers in your garden, ask your friends to pose for you. Have them stand and sit in different positions and make different faces, different emotions and moods. Just be sure to organize your pictures by sunject, not by date! That way you can always find “red rose bud” in the mass of pictures you will end up with.

This brings originality to your work, while allowing you to stay fairly true to life. If you plan to specialize in photorealistic or “color zombie portrait head” style work, you’d better start shooting now, because if I see another devil’s rejects stillframe #13892 again I will scream.

this is a test post.

floral paintings, flower art, floral tattoo flashI’m trying something out

with formatting (more…)

Three things I miss about 1989.

tumblr_llv78nlRaH1qepg0fo1_500I miss watching Female Trouble a few times a week.


It was the first movie I had ever seen that completely acknowledged how I felt about life, that made perfect sense to me. It was reassuring in all the right ways and it influenced my speech, my life in fact. It made me feel all right about being a xenophile, and being unable to fit in. We were strange people and the world shit on us regularly- and somehow this movie made it all ok, because it meant there was a whole world of other strange people out there, and they all had been through it and survived. 

And yes, it came out in 1974- around when I was born(ish). But I saw it in 1989 and that for me is the era I associate it with, being that I was only a toddler when it was made.

(more…)

6 reasons to post your art online (even if you’re nervous)

shy owlI know, you’re shy! It’s ok, so am I.

Posting your art online can feel very exposing, much like a gallery show. Posting it to social media or other sites can feel scary; and a lot of the time the fear of negative response keeps people from presenting their work online. You don’t have to be afraid, though. Yes, you may get negative responses to your work. You may get criticisms, or even personal jabs at you. But there are benefits to posting online  that definitely outweigh the emotional turmoil these things can cause.

(more…)

Gel medium to transfer drawings and sketches, DIY

So I got a huge tub of soft gel medium, and immediately decided I wanted to put some of the drawings I’ve been doing (mostly figure studies) onto some cedar planks I had. I searched for a how-to, and could only find people discussing photocopies, printed photos.

Nobody seemed to be interested in putting their own drawings onto other surfaces- or if they were, they were willing to photocopy them first.

I wasn’t interested in that- I wanted to draw the piece on paper myself, in reverse, and then transfer it right to the wood.

I read up about the way gel medium works. If you’re using something that soaks into the paper, it won’t transfer. You need to be using something that sits on the surface of the paper, like prismas on tracing paper, or like inks on copy paper, or dry paints.

(more…)

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