Been precoccupied, will be back to regular posting starting this week!

I’ve been traveling a bit for doctor visits, then had a fender bender.

I’m working on a new series of art, and should be back to regular posting, longform writing as well as images, this coming week!

 

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start rough, then refine

working with landscape in tattooing, getting a natural look to a landscape

 

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also some extra things that have happened recently

 

 

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“gathering” show ending, Feb 2

show is ending. if you bought pieces you can pick them up; giveaway piece will be going out on the third, and the remaining pieces will be listed on our shop page for sale!

 

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100<100

for the Kendall Yards first Friday artwalk in February, we’re doing one hundred pieces of art, each priced less than one hundred dollars! prints, originals, mini paintings and full sized works. it’ll be a mix of works by Traci Manley, Anji Marth, and Beth Swilling.

 

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getting tattooed with scars from self-harm-answers to common questions.

I’m not going to include many photos in this post, to provide my clients with some privacy.

side note: this information applies to most any kind of scar, not just self injury.

 

don hertzfeldt tattoo

 

I’ve got some scars from self harm. I know a lot of people do. it can be really embarrassing, or feel shameful to have them seen. if they’re in really visible areas, it’s even worse.

I’ve had mine covered with tattoos (I stopped cutting years ago, when I was still fairly young). I’ve gotten images that remind me of what I’ve been through and of what I’d like my future to look like. I want you to know you’re not alone with this, first of all. I also want you to know that not only are you not alone, I have seen and tattooed worse scars than yours- burn wounds, surgical scars, all of it. yes, you may have done serious damage to yourself, but no- it’s not impossible to tattoo over it.

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If you want to do this, here’s a few things to keep in mind.

  • you have to stop cutting in that area and adjoining areas for at least a few months before we can start working on it. the skin can only heal so much at once, so nearby open wounds will mess up the healing process of the tattoo. if you can’t entirely stop SH/SI, try to go lighter and in a completely different area for a while before you come for a tattoo.
  • make a consultation time with me first. that way we can figure out the pattern and texture of your scars and skin, what areas are “ripe” for tattooing and which may need more time. scars should be a little bit settled in before we tattoo on them, so the ink will hold properly. a consultation gives us a chance to also meet up and discuss what your goal is with the tattoo itself.
  • it’s OK if your goal is ‘hide these’, it’s OK if your goal is ’emphasize these’, it’s OK if your goal is to stop SH/SI and it’s OK if your goal has nothing to do with stopping. I won’t judge. I won’t look down on you. I know that you have your own reasons, and you don’t have to explain that to me or go into detail. you don’t have to relive your troubles just so that I will tattoo you. my goal is to make you happy with your tattoo- that’s all. I’m just here to make something positive happen for you.
  • minimal, crisp, geometric, thin-lined, pale, wispy art doesn’t cover or hide scars. if your goal is to camouflage the scars, we will likely end up doing painterly, saturated, textured organic shapes of some kind. branches, trees, flowers, plants, animals. things that have volume and texture. if your goal is NOT to hide or cover the scars, let me know, so that we can work out what you do want to do.
  • scars that are fresh, still healing, or very livid usually don’t take ink very well. usually, moisturizing often with vitamin e and/or a good scar reducing lotion for a few months will fix this. this is yet another reason to stop harming the skin in the area you want tattooed and the surrounding area. we need to give your cell walls a chance to regenerate, to hold the ink in.
  • don’t be afraid to email me or contact me EVEN IF you aren’t coming to me for the tattoo. I’ve been through some shit and I know how intimidating it can be to walk in to strangers and talk about this stuff. I can always answer questions, possibly suggest understanding artists in your area, or even just listen. I think everyone deserves a good experience when getting tattooed, and I’m here for that if you need it.
  • you’re likely to get an endorphin high during or after the tattoo, similar to what you’d get from shallow cuts or abrasions. getting heavily tattooed was part of how I broke my cycle of self harm- I realized I could get that sensation in other ways. it’s almost the same chemicals released as a “runner’s high”- so just speaking from personal experience, running and getting tattooed are both good ways to get that little kick, without doing more damage.
  • come prepared to comfort yourself. your favorite blanket, pillow, headphones, dress in comfy clothes. self-soothing is totally welcomed in my space, I will never mock you for making sure you’re comfortable and feeling safe. bring a snack as well, or something you like to munch or drink (no booze!) you can bring a friend or come alone- whatever makes you feel safer.

 

yes, that's me

me getting my upper arms worked on.

 

if you need further information, email me, or, preferably, comment below. I’ll try to answer any comments I get here as quickly as I can.

"don't cover them"

“don’t cover them”

it goes without saying that SH/SI is dangerous and you shouldn’t do it. we all know that. but I know, and you know, that sometimes it’s a thing we do to cope, and we can’t just stop until you find better ways to cope with all the bullshit life throws at us. I hope we all find better ways to cope, I hope everyone reading this is able to find things that help. I did-and if I can do a thing I am damn sure that you can do the thing.

I understand that it takes time and work so again-don’t feel ashamed. It’s just a thing some of us do. Be as safe as you can be.

 

(sterile saline wound wash, steri-strips, and clean hands help a lot)

 

xox

using a scar as a design element

using a scar as a design element

after. the indentation and raised areas become an asset to the design

after. the indentation and raised areas become an asset to the design

 

 

 

 

you just found the perfect tattoo idea online.

listen to me.

if you see tattoos and artwork online that you really like and would like to have tattooed on you, that’s totally a good thing. the next step is not to copy that thing exactly, but to find a tattoo artist whose work you like, bring them that thing, and say “I want something like this, and I like this piece because (reason you really like that idea)”

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the tattoo artist will tell you they can’t copy it, and will draw you your very own tattoo using your taste and that idea as a starting point. that’s what good tattoo artists do.

it’s OK if you printed it out, traced it, or saved it to your phone for us to look at. don’t panic. it’s OK. just tell us that you found it online and want something like it because (reasons you like it so much). seriously, it’s OK, bring it along and tell us why you like it.

it’s good when you find things you’d love to wear. showing us that stuff helps us figure out what your taste is, what qualities you want in the finished piece. it’s totally fine to want similar ideas to other people’s tattoos. it’s just not OK to try to copy exactly.

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find a good tattoo artist, then talk to them. show them things you like. show them that perfect tattoo and tell them why it’s perfect. they can make it fit YOU.

we get into tattooing because we like to draw. part of our job is to figure out how to draw a thing that fits you and nobody else.

the other part of our job is to be able to reproduce a thing exactly. so if you find tattoo flash, (it’ll be labeled “tattoo flash” and have the artist’s name attached) let us know!

because usually you, or we, can buy the rights to do that. cheaply. plenty of artists draw works that are designed to be sold as tattoos. if we know the source, we can often get permission. you can also ask us what we have drawn- most of us have flash, prepared art, ideas and sketches of things we’d like to do.

 

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keep in mind you don’t HAVE to find exactly what you want. find your tattoo artist first, then show them the things related to the tattoo you want. we can work from stick figures and bad explanations! it’s part of the job.

(also, if you lie and say you drew it, we know you’re lying. although the internet is big, the tattoo industry is small and we all know each other.)

 

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over the holidays, December ’16

a few recent things.

 

I’ve added a few of the skull mounts to the shop section, I’m still photographing them and figuring out shipping costs.

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December! the Inlander, and a few ideas.

I had an interview in the inlander, which was great. They were very easy to talk with and they quoted me correctly!

 

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also, a reminder; I’d like to do more works like the following images.

painterly flowers, solid black heavy rough edges, and high contrast works. winter is a good time to get a tattoo, mainly because it’s easy to heal this time of year. I’ll be at mom’s in Spokane (and in Eugene for the evergreen convention in March)

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the missing flash

even though it was all stolen, I have every original drawing from ALL of these sheets, ready to tattoo!

 

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Gathering, Art Opening, First Friday of December

Nature isn’t cruel or kind; it’s just hungry.

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"Phineas"

Statement for the collection, “Gathering”, which will be on display for First Friday in Kendall Yards in Spokane in December.

 

Facebook event information.


I work with the feelings that remains and found objects give me, to make a piece that expresses that creature’s life.
Many artists who work with animal remains are more humorous than I am about it. I see the remains as a medium for art, with some neutrality, but I don’t make jokes with them. The horrors of life, death, and the hard times most animals go through, are the stories behind each of my works.

 

Usually, animals live difficult lives, and their bones speak to me about this.

 

rugged dog skull, taxidermy art

I often get questions because there are other artists that do slaughter animals in the context of their work. I don’t do this.

 

Many of my pieces come from road strikes. I have been working on a series of photographs and an extended essay about roadside nature and roadkill, human safety, and how highways effect the animals that live near them.

 

As a consequence of this work I have seen that these wild animals are the survivors of repeated injuries (fractures and old healed injuries in their skeletons attest to this) and the way they interact with the road, the difficulty of their lives, fascinates me.

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I work with human bones too. It is easier to buy human bone than many animals. I get my human bone from places which sell vintage anatomical displays and specimens. Yes, these bones are legal. I didn’t kill anyone to get them. I don’t use anything illegal, and I avoid using items which violate CITES or the MBA.

These works are dark. I don’t get silly feelings from death.

her roses resonanteye

I’ve sold work and done commissions for vegans- for people who are animal and conservation activists. My work speaks of  people’s misunderstanding of the natural world. Nature is full of drama, death, struggle, and strangeness. I try to use the materials I have to portray that.

Reminders of mortality are not for everyone. And yet, we need to be confronted with these reminders, because there’s a beauty in impermanence, a longing sensation, and we crave the reality of time’s dark passage.

The winter is the best time to think about endings, about death. Rebirth will come, but first we have to pass through the solstice- the darkest hour is always just before dawn.

 

 

 

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