Life has presented me with a unique opportunity. There is this tattoo artist whom I recently met on the good old Facebook that happens to be guest spotting at the world famous Lowrider Tattoo. Additionally, I’ve been trying to start a series of “”Working Class” paintings, of people that work for their money doing what they do. I’m sure that as it is my own profession I’ll have quite a few tattoo artists in there but it’s all good because most often they are the most interesting subject matter anyway.
I don’t know much about Emmy, but I know that she is a damn good tattoo artist, and not local or super easy to get to as far as my base market is concerned meaning that hopefully I will be able to come up with a piece cool enough to market or make prints. I’m not sure when I will do this or what medium or style, I guess I’ll see how it goes after I get the shots, but my girls need to get out of the house, I am free today, and this girl is out from Holland so it seems like a good day to take advantage of a good situation. Check out her work on her Facebook page under Emmy Van de Giessen or at her site for the shop that she works at, Needle Art Tattoo. She told me she built the shop’s site herself in HTML which was pretty impressive to me in light of my recent attempts at building websites.
I cruised down early to stop over at Coast Airbrush to grab a couple of things that I need on my way down to Fountain Valley and just before I got there Emmy called and said her tattoo would not be happening until later in the day. Even with the extra couple of minutes in the store I spent less than $50 which I think makes it my cheapest trip to that place ever. When I came out, we got the kid situated in the back and then the car wouldn’t start, which is about normal for random bullshit that happens to me. While I waited for AAA my lady was kind enough to run over to Auto Zone and buy me some windshield wipers and replace them in the parking lot. Back on the road, we decided we would play it safe and just leave the car running for the rest of the trip.
Finally making it to Lowrider Tattoo Studio I have to say the shop is beautiful. The layout is open but there are plenty of paintings and pictures to make it feel more cozy. Everyone was very welcoming and down to talk. It was in much contrast to how I generally feel when I go to new Tattoo Shops. I guess that is the difference between going somewhere for the purpose of doing a project or going for the purpose of pedaling my book. It was really inspiring to see pics of the whole crew at different sites all over the world. Only a couple of the places had interested me at all before, but it was really cool to think that Tattooing got them all to those places.
Emmy was supposed to be tattooing one of the guys there but he had a customer that changed the plan a little. I didn’t mind changing the plan as long as someone was making some money, I can never get mad at that. So, just for me Emmy set up in a little corner room because it beat setting up twice and I felt sort of bad about that but it worked out in the end.
I had her use this Pink tattoo machine because it is light in color and I thought it fit her well, meaning that although it is a bit feminine it works well with the rest of what she’s got going on. Emmy is a very light person with very blonde hair with pink in it but she does these hard ass black and grey tattoos so I figured that a Pink, Brass Knuckle tattoo machine fit perfect. She was using black plastic grips or covers so I had her wrap that in a paper towel so that I could have some contrast against her black gloves and dark background and also a little more texture. With gloves and grips and tubes all being of similar hardness (meaning similar highlights which I learned when I painted “Black glove Study #1”) I like the look of a soft or maybe stained paper tower in there to move the eye through the painting so I had this in for the reference shots.
Although we did end up taking pictures without her actually tattooing I think I got some promising ones and left myself some room to play for later. I really liked the Steampunk sculpture or whatever it was behind her in the one picture but I also have been thinking of doing some things in that fun/cheesecake/Joe Capobianco/big eyes sort of way. I did that a little in the last picture with photoshop to see how it would look and I sort of like it. When I start the painting I will update this post or just link to a new one.