The truth about fan art.

Now, I’ll admit  that I’m a fan of things. I enjoy things. I have problematic favorites just like anyone else. wanted to get that out of the way before I proceed.

case in point.

case in point.

 

now, about fan art. I’ll do it. I’ll do a caricature tattoo (more painterly- I don’t do photorealism) of any thing you like- especially if I like it too. however, I don’t want to copy a still frame of a film, a production photo or an exact image of a character someone else owns the rights to. it seems like bad karma somehow. those folks worked long and hard and they need to get paid for that, they own the character, the art, the film itself.

 

so my solution has always been to find a reference, a pertinent moment, and refine it into an idea that references the original without interfering in the ownership of the image. I’ve fallen down on this, all tattoo artists have. a tattoo is personal use, you see, so as long as I’m not using it to promote or create follow-up products, I’m on the ok side of things.

 

I prefer the subtle approach. for example, right now I’m obsessed with Westworld. I’ve got sketches of every damn character, based on extensive research into the actors, not based on any one moment in the series. they’re loose, painted. I’m ready to tattoo these. once. one person gets them. I may post them and tag we online (they are open to fan art) but I’m not interested in exact reproductions. I want to capture a moment or meaning, not a face.

 

all the things there were mechanical until the "upgrade" to cheaper materials like meat and bones. they were beautiful, now they're just like us. including the horses, the bison. so there it is.

all the things there were mechanical until the “upgrade” to cheaper materials like meat and bones. they were beautiful, now they’re just like us. including the horses, the bison. so there it is.

 

they can't ride that train anywhere. it's a goddamn loop around the park areas. it's headed nowhere. they can't escape. who laid those tracks? there it is.

they can’t ride that train anywhere. it’s a goddamn loop around the park areas. it’s headed nowhere. they can’t escape. who laid those tracks? there it is.

 

I’ve been obsessed with other things over the years, of course. mostly horror and sci Fi. I’d rather do something that contains the meaning of a scene, rough and raw and laid in strong, than copy and break a law or even piss someone off. there’s a lot of celebrity images in the public domain, I tend to rely heavily on mugshots, government images, and my paid Getty images access for these. I’ll use these and some of the character’s words or token totem items to make the piece. crossovers are fun, too, if I’m a fan of the actor.

 

looking at you, Walken.

looking at you, Walken.

 

looking directly at you, goldblum.

looking directly at you, goldblum.

 

 

I’ll do some things. I have dodgy soft spots. if I’m geeking on the same thing as you, I am a marshmallow and I’ll do it. I feel bad afterwards, but I love some things too much to say no outright. and I usually only do this if the creator has died.

 

Ernst Haeckel, public domain actually.

Ernst Haeckel, public domain actually.

 

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I really want to change the things to make then more my style, more to your fit, more important. I want to bring out the abstract qualities the original creator didn’t do- I want the meaning, the pith. if you’re a fan of a thing I’m a fan of, expect our consultation to be a geek fest about our fan theories and conceptual framework, finding symbols to use without infringing on copyright. that’s my goal every time.

 

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they never kiss.

from the literary description of It.

from the literary description of It.

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painting of a little sister.

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I wanted a real turtle.

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I’ll go abstract as fuck to capture the most powerful Disney villains.

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had to add sex appeal, sadness, and painterly feeling.

if, like me, you find important moments in media, like books, movies, shows… come talk to me. I like a lot of stuff, mostly horror/sci Fi and a little weird standard fiction. I’ve got a list of things I’d love to do, on standby. if our interests match, we’re going to end up with magic.

 

I was more lax about copyright in the old times of my career. after all, I need the word of mouth, the internet brings me about half my clients, and known franchises and characters will consistently outpace original works. people like the familiar and you’ll see a crap copy of a screenshot from a movie with 19,900 likes and hearts and comments, while thoughtful original content gets ignored. it’s really difficult to deal with as a creator. I’ve chased that little bump before. Won’t do it again. anything related to a media franchise from now on is all OC based on the universe in which the characters are set, all characters drawn from copyright free sources.

 

I’m an artist and I know artists need to get paid. while I need the exposure copying and making fan art gives me, and I enjoy it with my particular interests, we’ve got to find ways to change things- to use elements that are meaningful in that universe, without simply tracing a damn thing.

 

currently I’m interested in Westworld, the Wire, better call Saul, Ursula k Leguin sf (not fantasy though), everything from Stephen King, Octavia Butler, any horror movie you can think of, and of course, any celebrity who’s a little off their rocker. I’d like to do an Idris Elba, Antony Hopkins, Charlize Theron, Gary Bussey, Grace Jones, any woman in a good strong character actually from any era. I’d like to paint character actors. I’d like to tattoo a lot more characters from fiction instead of movies. true crime! but then also, I’m a horror movie creep so I’d like that too. inglorious basterds! hey just try me. if I’m not a geek for it, I’ll know someone who is.

don hertzfeldt tattoo

OH GAWD HELP ME MY ANUS IS BLEEDIINNNN-

just no direct copies. I’m not made for photorealism, my work is rugged and strange and won’t work that way. you can contact me if you’re interested by email, or with the link here: resonanteye.net/gettattooed.

I’ve been focusing more on skin and less on paper, so these images start out loose, they get refined on the skin. it’s about your interest in a thing matching mine, and your trust in the process. but I’m gritting my teeth waiting for more of this in the schedule, so please, bring it my way.

 

please. my inner nerd is underfed.

 

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outline of center areas done elsewhere, repaired and added the rest. xox John Waters

ka is a wheel. piece still in progress.

ka is a wheel. piece still in progress.

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bring these to me. please. I’m in the mood.

Seminar: Passive income and social media use for tattoo artists

13912592_10153856265657712_6602799035210498873_nSeminar: Passive income and social media use for tattooers.

Even though we all make our daily bread tattooing, we all are also human beings, living inside bodies that can get broken or worn. When you’ve got slow times or an injury or illness, passive income is a good backup, and if done properly it will complement and improve your work on skin.

If you’re using social media at all- to share your tattoo work – or if you would like to start selling your other artwork online to reach a wider audience- this class is for you.

If you see the internet ad social media as a chore, hate pinterest, and fear theft- this class is for you.

Learn to use social media properly — without compromising your copyright.

This class relates to the sale of secondary mediums beyond tattooing, and will go over the relationship between your existing client base and the collectors who will buy your work on paper rather than skin.

We’ll cover print-on-demand services, pros and cons of social media use, networking as a strategy to find collectors, consolidating your media management, and getting more reach with your work online.

Seminar text and cheatsheet handout packet, aftercare instructions, and legal consent form templates included.

electric eye candy tattoo convention, seminar info

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LINK TO PRE-REGISTER HERE

ONLINE AVAILABILITY OF WRITTEN MATERIALS HERE

On Sunday, September 11, I’ll be teaching my seminar on the use of social media and the internet for passive income, for tattooers. This seminar includes a huge packet of resources and information as well as access to a private group on which you can ask follow up questions, get recent information on changes, and talk and network with anyone else who’s taken the course. Location: Electric Eye Candy Tattoo Extravaganza
you do not have to be working at the convention to come to this seminar.

It’s a two-hour seminar- usually runs a bit longer for questions. I cover “branding”, username and site selection, basics of building a site, consolidating media, passive income streams, how to leverage your client base and word-of-mouth to reach further online, how to protect your copyright, and go over free or cheap tools you can use to share your work.

Even though we all make our daily bread tattooing, we all are also human beings, living inside bodies that can get broken or worn. When you’ve got slow times or an injury or illness, passive income is a good backup, and if done properly it will complement and improve your work on skin.

If you’re using social media at all- to share your tattoo work – or if you would like to start selling your other artwork online to reach a wider audience- this class is for you.

the course does count as continuing education credit for two hours. (I know a lot of you may not need that accreditation, but in some states your license requires this and yes, this seminar counts)

at this convention the seminar will cost $100 per person. tattoo artists at any level AND apprentices, are welcome. if you are an artist in another medium you may attend as well, although a lot of the information may be things you cannot utilize the same way.

to pre-register, email me at resonanteye@gmail.com. I accept paypal and Square. you can also show up on Sunday and pay at the door with cash or credit.

Bring pen or pencil, a piece of art you’ve made (or an image of one) and your smartphone, tablet, or laptop. there will be a wifi hotspot in the room for everyone to use as you follow along with the class.

If you’d like to speak to people who have taken this seminar to find out more, you can ask Curby Dickens, Bonnie Gillson, or Joanne Martian. All three have put a lot of the information to good use.

I can’t wait to meet you guys, I hope we have a good turnout, and good questions asked at the end! xox

No, the magic is not gone.

strength tattoo on women

(originally published 07/04/2012)

I was reading both a blog post, and some forum posts, about the state of tattooing this past week, and had a startling realization.

There are tattoo artists out there who have never worked in a studio without being asked about a TV show.

The demand for tattoos, good tattoos, and the number of people tattooing, makes this a completely different subculture than it was when I started out.

Does this mean the magic is gone? Am I no longer a wizard? Did reality TV really eat the soul of tattooing?

Maybe a year or two ago I would have said yes, and ranted for a while about it. But right now- No. I don’t think the soul is gone, we are still wizards, and the magic is still there, and as potent as ever.

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Getting your feet tattooed, and how to handle the aftermath.

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I really like foot tattoos. I think they can look great, and it’s a good place to get a smaller tattoo done. That said, there’s a few things you should think about when you decide to get tattooed on your feet. First of all, there’s not a whole lot of room, so you’ll have to pick one idea, and keep it pretty simple. Any more than that and the inevitable spreading and wear-and-tear on the ink will make it indecipherable very quickly.

 

foot rose tattoo

 

 

 

So next, make sure the image has a good amount of contrast. Edges! Soft stuff won’t hold up as well in the long run, and while you can get away with that in other areas, the feet aren’t the place to gamble with.

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The next thing to think about is healing. When you get your feet tattooed, you’ll have to go without socks, and wear only shoes that do not directly rub against the tattoo while it heals. So if that means you can’t work, wait until you have at least ten days off in a row, to allow for the skin to settle down. Also, feet can swell a lot, so be prepared to elevate your foot the next day, and maybe even ice it.

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Placement is super important too. It’s pretty obvious where the skin changes from regular skin to that wrinkled, shiny kind of skin that you find on the palms of the hands and soles of the feet. The areas that are very shiny or wrinkled won’t hold ink very well at all, at all. So plan to get the tattoo on the top of your foot, not out onto the sides very far. While you CAN tattoo back near the achilles tendon or off to the side a bit, it simply won’t hold as well as the normal skin on top of the foot does.


DSC_0247

 

To keep your foot tattoo looking good for a long while, after it’s healed (according to the aftercare your artist gives you) then be sure, in summer, to use plenty of sunscreen or wear closed/covered shoes over it. Feet get a lot of sun and you might not even think about it! Sun is the biggest destroyer of tattoos. So cover them up or give them a good layer of screening to protect them.

 


The easiest, best place to get a tattoo.

I know that the real wise advice I could give you would be; “Get it where you want to see it.” Because after all, the pain is temporary, right? The tattoo is what lasts. But I get asked this question a lot, so I’ll give you my honest, true answer.

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actually, inner forearms are cool too. For all the same reasons. They’re just harder to hide when you visit grandma.

Get it on your outside calf, shin, or on the front or outside of the thigh.

These are the easiest areas to get tattooed. They hurt the least, look the best, and last the longest with clarity to the original. Even if you gain and lose weight, these areas won’t change much. Even when you get ancient, the wrinkles on the rest of you won’t really effect these areas so much.

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If you have to hide tattoos for work, high socks or knee-length skirts will cover one or the other of these. The areas are capable of being used in either a very soft, flowing and feminine way, or a blocked, solid masculine manner- so either way, the space can be used how YOU want it to turn out. It can emphasize the curves or obscure them. It can accent muscle or smooth it.

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A design with a strong s-curve looks great in either place.

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The skin structure is good and will be more solid and consistent than ANYWHERE AT ALL ON THE TORSO. Your torso twists, bends, and the skin changes all over it with every pound gained or lost, every gym day or potato chip, every pregnancy, every time you reach for a thing your torso skin gets stretched a tiny bit. Every wrinkle and sag is concentrated on your ribs, waist, and chest. It’s the worst possible area for a tattoo really.

watercolor landscape tattoo

Going back to the start of this whole thing- calves and thighs hurt less than any torso tattoo as well. AND they will last longer. It’s win-win.

sugar skull pinup tattoo

So, if you want my real advice, and not just the thing I am supposed to say, then listen to me and get your calf or thigh tattooed. It’ll look amazing there. Promise. Big or small, get it there.

flower tattoo

 

Small tattoos look great just above the ankle bone, or just below the hipbone on the thigh. Big tattoos look great all over the leg.

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The only “bad” leg areas are the knee, the foot, and the groin. All of these areas have odd skin and won’t last as long or hurt as little as the calf and thigh. Plus the nice, flat areas of the calf and thigh make the design less likely to get distorted with movement, making them a good place for geometric work, or images with faces or human figures in them.

cbnjyfgvhj

Get your legs tattooed. It’s awesome.

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motivation.

23992_336294633370_1510191_nI have always had trouble with motivation. I have great ideas, and understand what I ought to be doing at any given time, but actually DOING it is sometimes a struggle. I suppose this comes with the territory of depression, but I hate it. Over the years I’ve tried everything, just about. Here are a couple things that have worked for me.

1.Put on your shoes.

I just- put my shoes on. This means something to my mind, apparently, because once my shoes are on, I start doing things almost right away, I don’t know why this works, but it does. Socks are a half measure and will get me to the kitchen for coffee but no further. Pants will get me from the bed to the couch. But shoes? I’ll end up doing something useful within an hour or so.

2.Close the bathroom door and turn the water on in the sink.

I have had a long hard fight with maintaining hygiene over the years. If I don’t think to myself “I’m gonna brush my teeth” but simply go into the bathroom and lock the door, then turn on the water…somehow I immediately brush my teeth. It’s like the shoes- it just works. I don’t let myself think about it. I just turn on the water as soon as I go in there. I usually have to use the bathroom right away when I wake up, so I turn the water on right when I walk in. I know it wastes a little water to have it run for a minute, but it’s the way that works, and I stick with what works these days.

3. Keep medicine next to the bed.

This works for me because I take my medicine in the morning and at night, not during the day. Except for one medicine, which I just take with me.

4. Don’t bring your laptop or phone to bed with you.

You will HAVE to get up to entertain yourself. Even just to entertain yourself. It’s way too easy to start reading something online and laze around with it.

5. Don’t rush.

I have been waking up at least an hour before I have to get ready, this past year. This gives me time to slowly wake, to get my head together before I have to get out of bed. I can get pants on and socks and get coffee early then relax for a while if I want, but on days when I really need to kind of slowly rise from the depths, it’s a lifesaver.

6. Have your clothes ready and some food ready for the morning.

Since I am at my perkiest right before bed, I grab my clothes for the next day and set them out. I try to also put out the things I need to make food with in the morning too. In fact, the more nighttime-me is considerate of morning-me, the easier mornings become.

As for cleaning the house and stuff, I have no idea. I go long times not wanting to do anything, and then suddenly have a zeal for it and will whirlwind my whole house. Sometimes just one area, sometimes everything over the course of a few days. I am still figuring that one out. Any suggestions?

 

 

(this post was originally drafted, in a much shorter form, on: May 15, 2012)

How facebook wants you to waste your money

afishayRecently, I posted about how it was a waste of time to post anything in-depth directly to sites like facebook. You might think that it would be ok to do that, if you had a bottomless source of funds to pay to “boost” your posts.

It’s still a waste of time.

As things stand, people can follow or “like” you or your page on fb. About ten percent of those people will see anything you post- the site uses a specific algorhythm to prevent everyone who followed from seeing your posts. They want you to pay for that.

People following your page probably don’t realize this; they think you just rarely, or never, post. But facebook makes sure you know that you can pay them for the privilege of letting your posts get through.

pmp

(more…)

Attention is the currency of the internet.

I’m paying attention to you for a moment.

I’ve been trying to express this for a while now. For some reason, it’s very hard to explain; I can’t quite grasp the right words to get my point across.

Websites that provoke, they just want traffic, and they get it by being intentionally offensive to you. A site that is poorly built so that you have to click around to find the one thing you went there for? Each time you click it counts as “traffic”.

When you share, or repost something you find horrible or rude, it creates more links to it- making it more relevant in searches online, so that even more people get to find it.
Let’s say you have tattoos, and have just read an article saying that people with tattoos are scumbags.
Don’t link to that article, repost it everywhere, talk about it, give it attention- because it makes that result rise higher in searches for “tattoo”, you see?

Instead, write your own opinion. A rebuttal or explanation. And link to that, talk about that.

And for people wondering why e-commerce sites don’t fix things since they “want our money”…THEY DON’T WANT YOUR MONEY. (especially if you are a seller, a user, and not a buyer)
They want your TRAFFIC, so their stock value goes up, so their ads and affiliate links pay them more. They want you clicking on their site, that is all.

No matter what the site does or if there are ads or not, attention is the currency of the internet, and clicks/hits/views are how that currency is measured.

And if you find something you agree with, that you like- well hell, share that link. Reblog, follow, add, share, twit, whatever it is that you use or do- share the good things around.

I’m through paying out attention to things that don’t feed my mind and to derivative shit.

Spend your attention wisely. ( Jun 6, 2012)
(Reposting to add, I’ve found donotlink helpful in my efforts to spend my attention wisely.
http://www.donotlink.com/dnl/faq)

 

 

the 6 worst pieces of promotion advice for artists, and the real solutions.

After countless suggestions of sites to use for promotion, I’m starting to realize that several things do not help at all:

1. Selling on more sites, adding more print-on-demand stores, or more marketing profiles.

fff

When you ask most people “how should I promote my art?” you will often get well-meaning people, telling you “you should sell at *printsite*!” or “are you on *marketsy* site yet?” or even “maybe you should sell them on *auctionworld*!”  “Do you have a *deviantshit* profile???” It’s as if they purposely misunderstood your question! “But I already sell on *somesite*!” You protest. “I already have a *americanartprints* profile, do I really need to be on *shirthoarders* too?”
You know, and I know, that you already ARE selling your work on a site like these. There is already at least one site out there with your work on it, for sale, clearly marked prices and all. What you need isn’t TEN MORE OF THOSE, you need PEOPLE TO GO TO THE ONES YOU ALREADY HAVE, and spend their money on your work. Yet asking how to do this never gets that kind of response! This is because most people have one or two sites they have heard of, vaguely, or bought something from once, and so they assume- if you are asking how to promote, it’s because you don’t even know where to list shit.

Most people aren’t trying to sell art. They’re buying it. So yeah- if ten people suggest *randomprintplace*, you should check it out, maybe. Because you already know ten people shop there. But be wary of paying for a bunch of shops or profiles on these sites, because they usually don’t offer much return. (If you DO need to know which sites to sell on, you’re not ready to promote the art yet. concentrate first on listing it, a lot of it, all in one place. I like redbubble for print-on-demand and squareup market for direct sales of originals. )

2. Writing in-depth or posting art directly on social media sites instead of your own.

nooo

I keep my favorites to the left.

Let me guess- you post your work to facebook, twitter, tumblr, instagram, googleplus, wanelo, weheartit, pinterest, linkedin, and maybe even a few dozen other places like this. You’re exhausted. You put off making stuff because you spend way too much time in an endless round of liking and sharing and pinning and chatting with people who never buy a damn thing. Then you get caught up in talking to friends and family, and somehow the day is gone and you actually didn’t do anything you could call “work”. I know. OH TRUST ME I KNOW. Then you go look at your own site, your own blog on your own domain and there’s only like two views. Ghost town. Well, of course it’s a ghost town! You don’t live there, you live in social networks, and you don’t invite anyone there- you talk to them on facebook!

How many people on there do you NOT know? How many people on there BUY things from you that way? I know I get sales to previous clients or friends on these sites sometimes, so it’s tempting to post there a lot, and spend time interacting, and all that…and call that “promotion”. But it’s not, really. It’s not work-related, it’s not promoting, if you do it that way. It’s either time spent with friends hanging out, or you’re just creating content for free so someone else can make money off of your work.
How social sites work, you see, is that people who make things and write stuff, they post these things on that site. That site then slaps ads everywhere and rolls in the dough. If they find out they can charge you to post your work too, they will. They’ll take the ad money YOU and YOUR WORK attracted, and ALSO charge you too. Without your work and your writing and your time spent there, THEY DO NOT MAKE MONEY FROM ADS or datasharing or…or any money AT ALL. YOU ARE PAYING THEM TO GET PAID. There are solutions to this, which will be in the next section (if you click through)

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