And some paintings
And, Lastly, a skate deck I made for John at TeamPrintShop here in Oakland for a Warhol project he was putting together.
That’s one mans opinion. When the gold standard was abandoned it was the beginning of one of the greatest shell games ever perpetrated. The new american currency is an abstraction of faith, it is paradox, it is both infinite and perpetually shrinking. If you know me, then you already know I am an avid observer of the new quasi religion we call economy, not so much because I enjoy it, but because it fascinates me. And really that’s where my head was when I drew this piece a few years back, “by guess and god” because I felt like it summed up the shape of affairs, faith before fact. The gold standard is dead, faith is the new dollar, and its an easy sway. But, all that being said, I have been a more successful tattooer then economist in this lifetime, so whats it all worth anyway.
Some new flash I worked on this last week.
Two shots of Warrens first two tattoos healed. Dragon and Koi, we are bringing them down to three quarter sleeves next month. I’ll post the photos as we work.
Got to make this for Izzy, not only a great guy, but one of the lessor talked about engines that fuel tattooing as much as tattooers, the avid collector. Neither one of us work without the other. It’s a great continuum to be involved in.
I never shy away from working life advice into tattoo designs
One sitting away from being done with this back piece
creature from the black lagoon action for Ron, we are going to be working on a series of classic creeps for his arm in the next few months.
One for my friend Dave
Lastly, some masks I brought home from Mexico this month, if I could only paint flash as good as these guys made masks I’d be in business.
Thanks for looking!
Preview of a graphic I put together for John over at TeamPrint Shop here in Oakland, print shop extrondiare, we are doing a short run of skateboard decks based on this classic photo of Andy Warhol. I think I have seven decks left that are unspoken for so If you’re interested drop me a line. It’s going to be a one time run. And the irony that I am designing a skateboard deck that if I were to ride I would die, or at least suffer a broken back is not lost on me, but I had a great time making it and I hope to have some other designs forthcoming.
Here is their shop webstore:
I had originally put this together for a pork chop sheet for my friend Izzy but it ended up as a tattoo so I will keep working on that sheet that I promised him last year. Slow and steady wins the race.
I’m trying to get my chops back in order, after being out of commission for a minute, to paint that sheet for Izzy and I am working on a pork chop sheet of dragon designs first, this being one of the first ones that I laid down.
I have the good fortune of having a friend in Jersey City named Dave, he is a hell of a frontman for a band I really enjoy called Wyldlife, and he was very generous in taking the time to put together an interview for me on the Swallows and Daggers website. Heres the link http://www.swallowsndaggers.net/interviews/entry/jason_phillips_interview/
and if you enjoy the blending of unending hooks and clever clever wordplay, as I am a sucker for, check them out! Rock and Roll is not dead! It just took a little breather.
Two tattoos on a very long time client of mine, a gentleman I much enjoy talking to because his travels make me feel novice. He asked for a heaven and hell scene, I’m not sure what he had in mind, but this is what I had in mind, and I’m glad he digs it . An Enma and a Tennin. Im really happy with how they are turning out in juxtaposition to one another.
This is one of my all time favorite tattoo designs, from the endless stable of Picture Machine west coast 70s classic. I love these designs and am honored to lend my hand to them any chance I get
And, lastly, for all tattooers, there is always that person that passed the torch along to you, with grave warning that it’s a shit show, fraught with the roller coaster perils of ups and downs. For FTW that recipient after thirteen years is Joe Gettler, who is, if you are familiar with the shop, one of the most hard working and capable human beings on every front, it was epic to watch him make his first tattoo at the shop this week. I am anxious to see what the future holds for his talents and if you are an interested party you should call the shop and make some time with him. 510. 595.0389. He is the first and only apprentice of FTW and I think he is going to go super nova with his intentions rooted in doing the best by tattooing for the sake of making good tattoos.
and thats the news for March. Thanks for looking!
Some of the things I have been working on this last week or so. Thanks for looking!
Finished this one this week, the sumi on the head is still a little dark since it was freshly done this sitting but will settle in nicely and pull back a little in a week or two.
Also finished this one, one of my favorite tattoo images, Bert Grimms Sundancer. Was a lot of fun to have the pleasure to work on this one.
Couple of finishes and a couple of starts, first this one…
and then this one.
As classic as the day is long, you can’t go wrong with an eagle tattoo
and lastly, some words I could stand to live by a little more myself. Hope everyones well, see you all around!
Back in the olden days, I think sometime before Prince was the artist formally known as prince and milk was still a six pence…. before, google glasses, Instagram, smart phones, torrents, tablets, bits, bytes my ass, before the internet ether consumed all mankind, before information was a digital fractal flicker of something you could not hold on to or for that matter ever smell like the pages of a book or a record sleeve, before the tactile turned and bowed out for most of humanity, before searching for tattoos via google was more common then going into a tattoo shop, to be honest, a time all together before any of the bullshit I myself now employ to keep working an honest day, (insert pause for an old man to catch his breath and hold his knees). I spent a lot of time at the library downtown Colorado Springs, where I existed as a transient daytime weather avoider and job evading book reader. I dabbled a lot in the books I wished I had the brain to write and a lot in the books of pictures I could never shake, one of which being Sandi Fellmans book of Japanese tattoos. That that book was even included in such a library of conservatism was a blessing, that it had not be stolen, a second, and to see it a third. If you are familiar with that book it is rich with images of Japanese traditional tattooing, and overflowing with photos of tattoos made by Horiyoshi III. I still to this day hold two copies of that book, one because I use it so much for reference, and secondly because I worry I will lose the first copy. So fast forward to 2014 and I am afforded a chance to both meet and get tattooed by Horiyoshi now so many many years later, still a weather avoider and job evader. Consistancy must count for something.
We had two good weeks in Japan and the first day started with having the honor and good fortune to meet the man who made one of those initial impressions upon me, if not the most profound. I was traveling with my girlfriend and we had set the day aside both to get tattooed by Horiyoshi and visit Yokohama. What can I say, It was 30 years in the waiting, and worth every minute, I feel incredibly lucky to have been afforded this opportunity . Afterwards, we sidetracked to Tokyo to spend some time with our good friend and annual shop visitor Mo, Horishige, who both introduced me to eating shark and made for a long long night of shinjuku driking. There are far worse fates to be had.
I am lucky to see such things. Vacations end. And the rain returns to California, as we all do…and the trip is over and you go back to work
As the sheet draws near for the end of another year, I’m looking back and it’s been good year for work, a good year for travel, a good year for visitors, and a good year all around…thanks to everyone, familiar and sundry who have kept it interesting for tattoos and otherwise. FTW is approaching our coveted lucky 13th year of operations and a harbinger of good times has reappeared on the horizon.
When Sean and I started working at the shop in 2001 with Jason Freeman, who originally owned the space until we bought it from him in, 2003?, I’m time blind, so that could be 2002 or 2004, most likely 03, we stayed the helm daily, manning our post, watching the oakland side of Telegraph avenue like fishermen, awash on a mostly unmoving thin blue strand of polluted expanse, waiting for bites, watching the world move in in the 33 panes of glass that make up the front of the shop. Watching the sharks, watching the seals, poles in the water, watching little homie, the viking walker, the strutter, the crack crowd, the transexual crowd, the daily melee, paint brushes in mouth, brush to board, T-rex on the the stereo.
In a small space with one door that creaks upon opening I have developed a pavlovian response in which my head draws up no matter what, eating, tattooing, typing a pointless blog, talking about aliens, commercial space travel, chem-trails, or abraham lincoln, door opens, heads up. So, in that melee of a wash outside the 33 panes, only select parties open the door, but daily, a gentleman we have come to call “the smiley guy”, cannot help but open the door, and breech. For the first few years, everyday the door opens, smiley guy leans in, never a full body, almost as though he is ghost riding the shop, just a head in , and mind you, the head in, is five things, a smile, sunglasses, a doorag, a hand wave, and a “helloooo”. You just wave back and say “hello”, a “hellllooo” will also do, and he goes on his way. He leaves like 12:01 pm leaves, you think nothing of it because 12:01 will be back tomorrow, it’s steady. He’s steady. And much like 12:01, thats it, nothing more, 12:01 never transcends, it’s individual and mundane all at once, it doesn’t evolve it is just a daily. For years this continues. Then it does not, and it’s not something noticed at first, any more then you would have noticed my plucking 12:01 out of your day, but after a time, it would become apparent to you, perhaps shocking, and theres nothing you can do. His absence is measured in questions for years.
You adapt to loss, your adaptation leads you to forget as it often does and you move on. 2013 comes to pass and like a comet returning to the obligation of its solar retreat or reprise, comes an open door, a smile, a doo rag, a wave, and a “helloooo”. His name is Stan, if he’s smoking he likes 100s and as for the doo rag its 365. He’s back and it’s a good year. See you all in 2014.
this was adapted from artwork a customer brought to me, as of now, it’s artist unknown, if you know who the artist is please drop me a line and I will credit it. however, this is my adaptation of art brought to me.
And, if I am casting a goodbye to 2013 it would be wrong for me to do so without saying one of my highlights of the year, perhaps my favorite, was getting to see Walter Lure from Johnny Thunders and the Heartbreakers play all the hits at the Bowery Electric this fall. Fucking Fantastic. Songs I never thought I would see played live, if you are a fan go see his band The Waldos. Chinese Rocks live! Photo taken by Adrian Sanchez.
See you next year!!
Take that however you may, Christmas, Krampus, Thanksgiving, leaf blowers, snow plows, Game of thrones, or the chicken little seasonal panic which effects so many forgetful minds during this somnambulistic time of year (I nod now to my fellow tattooers of which I am equally afflicted), it’s here, or at least its coming as I write. And, with the slow approach of this winter, I have two things on my mind, for starters gracious thanks to everyone who came down and participated in our Picture Machine flash day for Halloween. As a shop, in early September, we took on the task of repainting our favorite Picture Machine designs from the coveted late 70s sheets that circulate discreetly through our ranks like a window into the magic funk of a time filled with mushrooms, vikings, and weed glory, more succinctly put, good livin. A window into a long lost San Francisco devoid of tech money, wine bars and tech money wine bars, the Herb Caen Bahgdad by the bay, the first Dirty Harry, pre tapas google rent and a time perhaps flooded with the aforementioned mushrooms, vikings, weed glory and the historic juggernaut magic mine of the Martynuiks, as a trade we have all so richly drawn from those designs and they deserve much respect and tribute, a million thank yous for the gold. They are now, have always been, and will remain to be some of my favorite designs. It was a pleasure to dedicate a whole day to them at the shop, I would invite more of that in everyones life.
some of what we got done in a month
And Secondly, RIP Lou Reed, who passed away this week. Thanks for the tunes that would appropriately define so many moments, Sweet Jane, and about fifteen other Velvet Underground songs that make up my top ten, I’m not so good with with the math, not to mention anything off of Transformer. I’m happy to have been around on the planet in a time where those songs existed. The first time I heard the Velvet Underground I was 14 listening to the Sunday after midnight show on KZEW Dallas Texas, Herion was the song, I taped it off the radio and then had to move from Dallas to Colorado Springs….for two weeks the only possession I had in life aside from a small bag of clothes was that tape, which was ‘heroin”, husker du covering ‘8 miles high” social distortion “mainliner” and a slew of other hits, needless to say, that velvet underground song is burnt into my subconscious from the 1000 plus listens and is as much a part of me as my skin, Thank you Lou Reed, I wish I had heard Satellite of love first, but thems the breaks.
as for work, heres a little of whats been going on
This is on John from Team Print Oakland, an upperclass tradesmen of rare ability, check him out http://team-print-shop.myshopify.com/
Post Script, I will be at Smith Street in Brooklyn Nov. 15th and 16th before my partner Adrian Sanchez and myself head down to the Tattoo Paradise 10 year anniversary party on Nov 17th. See you all there, or somewhere.