The media loves Mr. X

January 4th, 2014 by Kevin -


Last month we posted this video featuring Mr. X, also known as Duncan X. Since we’ve posted the video, it’s become a ‘Staff Favorite’ on Vimeo, and it’s receiving national attention. The Atlantic featured a short interviewed Alex Nicholson, the mastermind behind the short video.

The Atlantic: How did you come up with the idea for the film?

Alex Nicholson: It was a combination of things really, summed up by one event really: I once saw Duncan walking down the street. Fifty percent of the people walking past almost got whiplash from turning around to look/stare at him. I was wondering what was going through their heads. I have been getting tattooed by him for a number of years and the way he speaks, his manner and personality all smack of a man who wouldn’t make people walk into lampposts if they knew him in this way.

TA: Do you personally have a connection to tattoo art?

AN: Only in the way that I have tattoos really. Duncan once said in an interview (paraphrasing here) that getting a tattoo was like getting a (actually very cheap considering) work of art that you can’t give away. That resonates nicely with me.

TA: What’s the process for digitally removing and then re-illustrating tattoos?

AN: Well I have to heap praise on my make-up artist (the lovely and talented Denise Kum) here who relentlessly edged out his many tattoos during the course of the day. We put them back on (when they animate) digitally. The process of removing the tattoos was a mind blowing process that I’d probably get killed for talking about in detail.

While it’s an interesting interview, I think the fact that The Atlantic published an interview about a short tattoo film is far more interesting. It says a lot about the world we live in, and how comfortable people are with tattoos.

French tattoo artists fight coloured ink ban

December 12th, 2013 by Kevin -


Did you know the government in France is discussing the idea of banning colored inks? It’s been a few weeks since the last hearing, but the last proposal would ban all colored (or coloured) inks with the exception of black, white, grey and specific shades of blue and green.

Thankfully the SNAT (Syndicate of National Artists Tattooers) has been fighting this and appealing to the government. SNAT continues to update their website and their Facebook with the latest news.

Tattoo by Mikael de Poissy

Tattoo by Mikael de Poissy in Poissy, France

Help Juan Salgado get into the Puma Garage

December 2nd, 2013 by Kevin -


I think it’s safe to say everyone knows how talented Juan Salgado is. What most people don’t know, is that Juan has been spending quite a bit of time working on graffiti lately, and he’s pretty damn good at that too.

Juan is so good, there’s a chance he’s going to paint the Puma garage. He’s one of ten finalists that you can vote for, which you can do right here. Just follow that link and click the red ‘Like’ button below the picture.

Graffiti by Juan Salgado

Keeping the Midwest in mind

November 18th, 2013 by Kevin -


Tim Beck of Freedom Ink Tattoo Co. posted this picture of his neighborhood over the weekend. Like many people, Tim lives in the Midwest and was affected by the severe weather over the weekend.

We’re asking everyone to keep Tim and all of the victims in their thoughts, and send good vibes their way. If you’re interested in doing more to helping the victims out, you can make donations to The Red Cross and the Salvation Army. The American Red Cross and Salvation Army are offering aid to help victims who have been affected in the tornado-battered region.

If any artists or tattoo shop are fund raisers for events like this, please share them with us. We would love to help spread the word.

Washington, Illinois

VICE shares JK5’s Bio Mom Story

November 11th, 2013 by Kevin -


VICE featured a great story of tattooer JK5 (A.K.A. Joseph Ari Aloi) and how he met his birth mother. Click here to read how a letter changed JK5’s life, and ultimately affected his art.

Portrait of JK5. Photos by Carlo Van De Roer

Portrait of JK5. Photo by Carlo Van De Roer.

Be a part of the ‘Beyond the Ink’ movement

October 3rd, 2013 by Kevin -


For the past couple of years, Kris Richter has been hitting the road visiting shops and conventions educating people about going Beyond the Ink. Beyond the Ink breaks down the basics of tattooing to help people understand the tattoo process from start to finish. For example, the ‘Tattoo Tips‘ break down different aspects of tattooing such as reviewing a portfolio, inspecting for cleanliness, and stylized aspects such as size and placement. Yes, I realize that you already feel comfortable with this information but the majority of people getting tattooed on a irregular basis don’t.

Kris is looking to take Beyond the Ink to the next level with a full length DVD, printed materials, and more training material. To make this happen, Beyond the Ink needs funding. Now, here’s where you come in. Kris has launched a fund raiser called ‘Join the Inkmovement‘ to raise the necessary money.

Any donation will help, and make this project become a reality. Plus, every dollar donated could potentially result in one less terrible tattoo being on the street, and I think we can all agree that would be a good thing.

Beyond the Ink

How “tough on tattoos” will the US Army really be?

September 25th, 2013 by Julene Huffman -


US Army says: no more forearm tattoosThe uproar over the “military tattoo ban” has echoed across the internet over the last 24 hours. The proposed changes to Army Regulation 670-1, a document outlining the rules concerning a soldier’s personal appearance, go beyond dictating what tattoos a soldier can (and can’t) have. I spoke to someone in a leadership position at the Department of Defense about the proposed changes; he is required to be familiar with these types of regulations, and their possible changes, in order to enforce them.

“This is a routine review of uniform standards to ensure that modern cultural trends are mitigated against the strict standards of military bearing,” he said. “They talk about fucking nail polish and braids more than tattoos.”

This Army-only policy includes a new restriction banning tattoos below the elbows or knees, and above the collar. New Army recruits will not be allowed to join if they are tattooed in these “no-go” zones. Anyone currently under contract with the Army with existing tattoos will be grandfathered in. The new rule goes into effect Oct. 1st, 2013–after that, those with existing tattoos will be required have their current tattoos reviewed by unit leadership. Any tattoo found to be homophobic, racist, sexist, religiously offensive, or otherwise offensive, will have to be removed (on the soldier’s dime) or they risk ‘separation.’

Those with less than 4 years of service will likely be administratively separated. Administrative separations happen all the time; they’re like being laid off — the military’s way of saying, ‘We don’t want you, kid – but we don’t think you’re a bad guy.’ Those with more than 4 years of service refusing to remove the tattoos will be honorably discharged with all of their approved benefits—things like the GI bill, VA loan guarantees, preferred federal hiring, etc—intact.

The Army’s ground for such actions can be found in the UCMJ, or Uniform Code of Military Justice. Article 92 of the UCMJ essentially states that you are required to follow any lawful order given. Regulation 670-1 qualifies as one such order.

“The Department of Defense policy has been ‘no offensive tattoos, period, for any reason, end of discussion’ for a really, really long time,” my DoD contact said. “The enforcement of this rule has been lax because we have too much other shit to worry about,” he continued.

It seems that lax period has come to an end. In the eyes of the UCMJ, all offenses are committed equally. You can be court-martialed and kicked out for an Article 92 violation just as easily as for going AWOL. Court martials over Article 92 violations are rare, he said, because they create a ton of unnecessary work—but they can happen.

“It all comes down to priorities and what they [the Army] choose to enforce. It’s like a cop in a bad part of town ignoring the guy smoking weed on the corner because he knows there will be a gunshot death at some point on his shift.”

TLDR; Those currently enlisted in the US Army should finish their sleeves before October 1, 2013 – the beginning of the Army’s fiscal year, and the cutoff date for being grandfathered in… as long as your tattoos would be considered non-offensive.


Tattoo Snob followers on IG seemed quite upset when we posted about this yesterday. What do you think?