Huge Update in the Guy Aitchison Tattoo Galleries!
It's been a while since I've had the chance to go through my tattoo photos and prep them for my online galleries. Too long, in fact... so when our friend Durb Morrison asked me to do an interview for Tattoo Magazine, it gave me the excuse to sit down and go through all these photos, pick my favorites, and do the necessary cropping and cleanup necessary before posting them in my galleries at HyperspaceStudios.com and GuyAitchison.com. You may have seen a lot of these pieces posted on social media, but not in this kind of detail- the galleries at our websites feature large, high resolution images so you can really see the detail work in these large pieces. It's a big body of work that I feel pretty excited about, drop by either site to check it all out!
I also wanted to remind you of the print gallery we have at Hyperspace Studios, featuring high quality archival canvas reproductions of some of our favorite paintings. We've recently acquired a large format printer and are adding new images to the catalog on a weekly basis. Drop by the print gallery to see what we've got... all reproductions are archival for 125 years, signed by the artists and perfect for your home or tattoo studio.
Reinventing The Tattoo Guest Writer Phil Garcia!
One of the most exciting things about the new electronic edition of my educational package Reinventing The Tattoo is the participation of a variety of guest writers who all excel at different styles and subjects in tattooing. So far this year we have added chapters by Russ Abbott, Nick Baxter, Megan Jean Morris, Halo Jankowski and Don McDonald on subjects ranging from color theory to client relations to large format stenciling. These writers are allowing us to expand the Reinventing curriculum to encompass the interests of the entire tattoo industry, making it potentially useful to almost anyone, regardless of style or level of experience.
So we are particularly jazzed about adding the chapter by Phil Garcia, who many of you know as being the artist who has completely redefined the rose tattoo and brought it to a new artistic level. Phil's roses are not only realistic, but perfectly proportioned to the body part, bold and clear, with just the right exaggerations to make it read nicely on the skin and hold up to aging. In his new chapter, Attention To Detail, Phil spells out his process in a concise step-by-step format with in-depth discussion of some of the things that he considers to be the most important aspects of his technique.
There are several more guest contributions in the works at this moment, which Reinventing The Tattoo subscribers can look forward to seeing added to the content over coming months, along with upcoming expansions to the coverup chapters along with countless other improvements. Reinventing is not just an e-book, but is a dynamic educational experience that is continually evolving to fit the needs of today's tattoo professional. You can take a look at our new video promotion to see the Reinventing The Tattoo electronic edition in action.
More New Prints... Plus The Next Biomech Contest!
We are pretty excited about our new printer, after last month's limited run produced such great color results. So we have added a few more classic Aitchison images to the print catalog in a variety of moderately priced sizes. These three paintings are all featured in the book Organica, and were chosen for their strong graphic impact which translates beautifully to canvas prints. One of them, Lightform 4, had previously been available as a high quality archival print on watercolor paper, which is still available; but it is now also being offered in a larger size on artist's canvas. All three images have been carefully color matched by the artist to look as close as possible to the originals, and are archival for 125 years. We also wanted to bring attention to Michele Wortman's hypnotic new print, Potential, which is available in two different sizes which can fit beautifully in any space. The print catalog will continue to expand over coming months, so stay tuned!
We are also kicking off a new contest today at the @Biomech_Collective on Instagram. If you have any interest in abstract tattoo design, drop by the @biomech_Collective profile and see the results of our last contest, Architectural Mech, which concluded last night at midnight. This current series of six contests is unique in that, rather than choosing three winners and ranking them 1-3, we are simply looking for the highest quality images, which will then be included in the upcoming Biomech Encyclopedia book project with full credit given to the artists. This is your chance to be a part of this epic project and to show the community what can come from your unique vision. Drop by the contest page at Tattoo Education to read more! Entries are due by September 27, 2016.
Last but not least, we have produced a video ad for the new electronic edition of Reinventing The Tattoo. If you are curious about this unparalleled educational experience, take 2 1/2 minutes of your time to check out the video, which should give you a good idea of what we have to offer and what you can hope to gain by becoming a subscriber.
New Fine Art Prints Available Now!
For many years Michele and I have carried fine art giclee prints of some of our favorite paintings. This year, though, we finally decided to take the plunge and purchase our own large format fine art printer. You can look forward to seeing many new high quality archival prints on canvas, watercolor and gloss paper over coming months, but we wanted to start you out with a couple new editions.
The new permanent addition to our catalog is Michele Wortman's recent painting Potential, which celebrates birth, renewal, and the vast palette of experience that life has to offer. We are carrying it in two sizes, one of them original size and the other a slightly smaller version which may work better in some interior settings. Prints are signed by the artist and, according to the printer manufacturer, archival for 125 years! This is one of Michele's favorite new pieces and she is excited to be able to offer it as a fine art print.
I'm trying something a little different this month. I've got many, many images that I'd like to present as prints, but I don't necessarily want a catalog a mile long. So this month I'm offering a limited edition print of a painting that I did in 1996, but still feels relevant today in terms of how it fits into my current body of work. Mind Tree IV was one of my most successful lighting exercises at that time, when I was trying to figure out realistic lighting for both painting and tattooing purposes, and can be found in my art book Organica. I'm carrying it as an affordable, moderate sized print, but it will only be available until midnight on Wednesday, September 7, at which time it will be removed from the catalog. All prints are signed and dated.
Thanks, and we'll keep you posted as we roll out more new ones!
Starting today: New Contest at the Biomech Collective!
For those of you who follow the @biomech_collective Instagram feed, you may already be familiar with the contests that we've hosted there in the past, which were mainly aimed at the idea of pushing the abstract visual language into novel places and creating new shapes, textures and unexpected combinations. These contests have gone extremely well and have produced some incredible art. We are now preparing to kick off a series of 6 contests, each 2 weeks long, aimed at creating new material for the upcoming Biomech Encyclopedia book project. Winners will earn a prominent place in the book alongside material drawn by some of the leading artists in the field.
For this first contest, we are wanting to see Architectural Mech. That is, and abstract/biomech design work that is inspired in some way by architectural themes and motifs. We have already posted some architecture imagery at the @biomech_collective and are hoping that you all will post more- just tag your images #categorycrush and people can check them out. These images are meant for inspiration and are in no way meant to set limitations on what you can do. Winners will be judged based on:
- clever incorporation of architectural elements
- architecture is made to flow nicely on the human body
- overall composition and execution
Entries can be done solo or in collaboration; we encourage collaborations because it's fun and results in surprising things. You've got two weeks, and then it'll be time for the next theme. This next three months will consist of nonstop art contests at @biomech_collective, and we hope you'll be involved! You can read up on the rules and guidelines at the @biomech_collective contest page at TattooEducation.com.
Thanks, and we'll see you in the Instasphere!
New Ask Guy Critique on Newsstands Now!
The newest Ask Guy critique is now live! This month's critique is of an illustrative piece, which provided ample opportunity to focus the discussion on the topic of linework, and how to use linework to your advantage to make your designs as clear and readable as possible. I use Photoshop in my critiques in order to clearly illustrate exactly what I'm talking about. You can find it in this month's Tattoo Magazine, Issue #321, on newsstands now, or you can check it out at the Ask Guy Archive along with past columns featuring not only tattoo critiques but also a variety of questions on all kinds of tattoo related topics.
Several of these critiques were done specifically to illustrate points that I discuss in my electronic educational package, Reinventing The Tattoo. If you are a Reinventing subscriber, check out Chapters 2.2, 2.3 and 2.6 to see how they've been rewritten and integrated into the text, and take the time to review the important topics discussed here- Positive/Negative relationships, Contrast, and Lines/Edges. If you are not a subscriber, please take a moment to drop by www.ReinventingTheTattoo.com to see what it's all about.
This Thursday in New York: Guy Aitchison's First Major Gallery Appearance in 20 Years!
It's been 20 years since Michele and I shared a major gallery exhibition in California, and although I do think of myself as a serious painter, I've only shown a few scattered paintings in group shows in the years since then. That's why I'm so excited about Surface & Space, the show that I'll be sharing with my colleague Adam France, coming up in New York tomorrow, Thursday July 14 from 8:00-11:00pm at Sacred Gallery, 424 Broadway, 2nd Floor. We've timed the opening for the night before the Empire State Tattoo Expo, so if you plan on being at that convention and are arriving beforehand, hop a cab and drop by!
I've been working on a solid body of work over the past year or so, which will be represented not only on the body of paintings there, but also in several large backpiece tattoos that will be walking around in the room, along with a sculptural piece that I built and Adam painted, plus other collaborations. He's got a great new grouping of paintings there as well. I've just seen a few shots of some of the walls, and can't wait to see it in person tomorrow night. Whether you are already in the New York area or are there for the convention, I hope to see you at Sacred Gallery for the opening! and if you can't make it but are curious about the paintings, you can contact the gallery for more specific information about them.
New Ask Guy Critique Column on Newsstands Now!
Every month, I'm given the chance to do a critique of another tattooist's work for Tattoo Magazine, which allows me to go very in-depth in critiquing a single major tattoo piece. I use Photoshop to make an enhanced version of the original piece, making it much easier for readers to visualize what I'm talking about. This month, my column features a black and grey piece by artist Damion Cressy, and I had a lot of fun demonstrating different approaches to using positive/negative relationships to create the right mood while still keeping the piece clear and readable. You can see this month's critique in Tattoo Magazine Issue #320, on newsstands now! You can also check it out, along with all my past Ask Guy columns, in the Ask Guy archive at www.tattooeducation.com.
I also wanted to remind you that the electronic edition of Reinventing The Tattoo now has a comprehensive guide to coverup tattooing added to it. This includes a detailed video, over an hour and 45 minutes long, which uses both step-by-step photos and closeup video to demonstrate a variety of coverup tricks that any tattooist can benefit from learning. In addition to the video we've got chapters showing additional coverup examples, along with a discussion of the laser- including a useful laser FAQ that you can share with your clientele- and some examples of scar coverup projects. All this material is included alongside the core Reinventing curriculum, which you can read about in the Reinventing description page. Subscribers will be treated to new material being added regularly, not only by myself but by a variety of renowned artists from all corners of the tattoo industry. For professionals only, or apprentices working with experienced professionals.
Gallery Opening - "Surface & Space"
So I want to mention this since it's coming right up... I haven't had a serious gallery appearance in almost two decades so I'm pretty psyched about this! We've timed the opening to be the night before the #empirestatetattooexpo in mid July, so be sure to fly in a night early to catch this! I'll be sharing this gallery show with my bio brother @adamfrance and we've both been jamming away at producing a new body of work that will include a lot of new paintings, some major tattoo pieces and a number of sculptural works. There will be a couple collaborations as well. Come drop by @sacredgallerynyc and join us on opening night! #tattoo #art #tattooart #abstract#psychedelic #visionaryart #gallery#opening
New Tutorial Available- Coverup: A Fresh Look
The first seminar I ever gave, over 20 years ago, was on the subject of coverup tattooing. As the tattoo art form continues to evolve and grow in popularity, knowing what to do about unwanted tattoos is becoming more and more crucial for tattoo artists. Despite the enormous artistic growth in tattooing over the past two decades, there still seems to be a fundamental gap in understanding what coverup tattooing is all about and how to avoid making dark, dense, obvious coverups.
So I've been gathering photos and video clips over the past five years or so which I've just finished crunching into a comprehensive tutorial. For subscribers to Reinventing The Tattoo, it comes free with your subscription as a part of the curriculum. Simply log on and check the Table Of Contents, and you'll find it in Part 8. It includes chapters on several different types of coverup projects from small, single-pass pieces to large, epic transformations, and everything in between. It also goes into detail about the laser, showing several sample projects and discussing in detail the realities of the laser, including a lengthy FAQ that you can share with your clients when talking about the possibility of laser treatments. There is also a chapter on scar coverups, with examples of surgical scars, burn scars, electrical burns and other types of scarring, with strategies for effectively tattooing over even the trickiest skin.
In addition, the tutorial includes a recent video production of mine. Coverup: A Fresh Look was filmed at the 2015 Worldwide Tattoo Conference, and was designed to go over the most crucial theory behind what makes coverups either work or not work, and shows many examples in both photo and video form, alongside a detailed discussion of each example. The live format also allowed for some insightful audience questions to round out the program. This video comes free as part of your Reinventing subscription, or can be purchased separately as a DVD for non-subscribers.
If you are not yet a Reinventing The Tattoo member, it's a subscription-based educational package that gives you access to the entire Reinventing curriculum, which comes in a combination of e-book and video format and covers everything from the fundamentals of good tattoo design to working with references, using digital tools, expanding your skills through painting and other mediums, plus exhaustive chapters on tattooing technique. Since the electronic edition was released in October we've been steadily expanding the curriculum with guest chapters by Russ Abbott, Nick Baxter, Megan Jean Morris, Don McDonald and Halo Jankowski, plus new chapters by me about rotary machines and needle cartridges. We have a chapter in the works from realism maestro Phil Garcia, plus a number of other guest chapters that we'll be adding throughout the year by some of the industry's biggest names. The coverup chapters are just one of the many things that we've added this year to this expanding, high-power educational package. Drop by ReinventingTheTattoo.com if you want to read more about it.
New Ask Guy Column Addresses Issues of Design Strength
I've always enjoyed doing critiques of other artists' work, since critiquing is often one of the most direct ways to find the most obvious ways for an artist to improve. In my last critique column for Tattoo Magazine, I went a step further and did a critique that is specifically aimed at illustrating one of the key concepts in making a strong, readable tattoo design: Positive/Negative relationships. When I talk about pos/neg relationships, I'm addressing the idea of how the dark and light values in a piece are distributed in order to get the most clarity. It's a concept that I think many artists could benefit from, since it can affect many aspects of a tattoo ranging from across-the-street readability to its long term aging prospects. The piece that I critiqued for the purpose is nicely drawn, but by thinking more specifically about its pos/neg situation, there are ways to make it pop much more strongly. You can read more in the current issue of Tattoo Magazine, on newsstands now, or you can check it out in the Ask Guy archive at TattooEducation.com.
Speaking of pos/neg relationships, that's a topic that I cover in detail in my educational app, Reinventing The Tattoo, which will be available at its special introductory rate for just another few weeks. The beginning chapters of Reinventing dive deeply into fundamental design concepts ranging fro flow/fit to pos/neg relationships, contrast, color, outlining, and the use of other graphic tricks to give your work visual clarity and make it dynamic. The later chapters then get into very specific technical territory, making Reinventing The Tattoo the most comprehensive educational package available in the tattoo industry. You can read more about it at ReinventingTheTattoo.com. More material is about to be added, including a massive section on coverup tattooing. Now is your chance to subscribe and get all this material for a discount rate; introductory pricing ends soon.
Collaborative Contest, Plus New Ask Guy Critique!
Over the course of this past Fall we hosted two fun contests through the @Biomech_Collective Instagram feed. Well, we thought there was no better way to start the year than to get another contest rolling, especially since this is usually the slowest tattoo month of the year. Let's take advantage of that down time and do something new and fun!
The purpose of the first two contests was to inspire artists to look outside their normal boxes and find new things to add to their artistic vocabularies. With this being the first week of the New Year, the idea of novelty is especially a strong theme. So I'd like to announce The Novelty Effect, a collaborative contest aimed specifically at the idea of producing new visual language. With good collaborations, participating artists often find that it's almost like a third artist is in the room, a person who only exists when the two participants are working together. In particular, I've found that the first steps of the process can produce some exciting things, when the artists begin working over sketches started by each other, but taking the other artist's ideas and redrawing them in their own hand. There may be no better way to step outside your own artistic box.
- Entries must consist of TWO artists using any medium
- Entries will be judged PRIMARILY on their use and generation of novel breakthrough concepts, including:
- New shapes
- New textures or novel detailing
- Unexpected/unprecedented combinations of elements
- But also:
- Overall composition
- Cohesion of the two artists' styles into a single unified look
- Challenge level (shipping analog art back and forth is more difficult than emailing digital files)
-Only new pieces will qualify
- Contestants must repost the contest graphic in this email at their profiles in order to qualify
- Entries must be complete and submitted by January 31st, 2016- simply post and tag #Biomech_Novelty
Prizes will include art books, collaborative art prints, subscriptions to Guy's educational package Reinventing The Tattoo, plus some original collaborative art that will be announced soon. You can find out more details at www.tattooeducation.com/contest/. We can't wait to see what you all produce!
I also wanted to mention that we've just posted a new Ask Guy critique at the Tattoo Education Ask Guy archive. This time I'm looking at the work of Irish artist Colin Byrne, whose work I've critiqued in the past; he already has a pretty good idea of what makes a good tattoo, so it was fun to take it the next step in pushing the strength and clarity of his work a step further. You can find it now in Tattoo Magazine issue #317, available on newsstands, or just drop by TattooEducation.com and check out the Ask Guy archive, which is filled with critiques and other questions and answers. You can submit questions for the @tattooeducation Instagram feed at AskGuy@GuyAItchison.com.
New Ask Guy Critique Just Posted!
I'm always excited to do critiques of other artists' work, since I've personally gained so much from hearing feedback from other artists through the years. Every month, Tattoo Magazine has been giving me a couple pages to use for critiquing, which I do using Photoshop simulations of possible things that the artist could try in future projects. It's been a fun and effective way of showing up-and-coming artists ways to take their work to the next level.
This month I'm critiquing Oliver Wong, who works in the Bay Area but has apprenticed in part with the great Just Shao of Shanghai, China. I recently had a chance to do a collaborative tattoo project with Just and was blown away by his skills and vision. His style is a fusion of realism and a stylized graphic approach, so we see a lot of that influence in the work that his apprentice Oliver submitted for critique. It's a style that involves limited use of outlines, relying on strong shading for structure instead, which is an approach that introduces some new challenges that can make it trickier to make a piece appear strong and clear. You can see my detailed critique in the pages of Tattoo Magazine #316, on newsstands now, or read it at the Ask Guy archive at GuyAitchison.com.
I also wanted to mention that we've got tons of great gift ideas and are guaranteeing shipping in time for Christmas on al U.S. orders received by Dec. 16th. This includes the new Body Sketch book, which is a perfect gift for any tattoo artist; Sketched Out, great inspiration for both artists and collectors; The Coloring Book Project, Volume 2, which is perfect for the kid in all of us; and Jeff Ensminger's useful and inspirational book The Rose, which provides a multifaceted approach to drawing one of tattooing's most classic icons. Drop by the store at Tattoo Education and see what else we have available for your holiday shipping!
New Ask Guy Critique Now Available For Viewing!
It's about that time again, where we are posting the latest Ask Guy critique at the Ask Guy archive at TattooEducation.com. I'm always excited to do a critique, since there's generally such a positive response from everyone. I'm especially grateful to the individuals who are willing to come forward and have their work critiqued publicly. In this latest column I'm looking at the work of Brazilian tattooist Breno Bitarello, who recently came through Hyperspace Studios here and got his sleeve worked on. Much of what Breno is doing is in the abstract/organic end of the spectrum, which is of course one of my own specialties. So I have the dual challenge here of giving him a solid critique while still encouraging the things that he does that are different from my own work. You can check out the latest column at the Ask Guy archive, and send me your own work if you dare at AskGuy@GuyAitchison.com.
And for those interested in the realism end of the artistic spectrum, I wanted to mention our associate Dax McClellan's Realistic Portrait System course, which will be starting a new round in a few weeks. Dax uses a unique instructional method that involves a timed release of teaching material including exercises and projects, coupled with feedback from instructors, a system which has demonstrated proven results. For those who join Dax's mailing list before Thursday, he's offering a free mini-tutorial which will arrive in the form in a series of emails sharing topics ranging from motivation to technical secrets. He's made a short video describing what the course has to offer and how it could help you... sign up now to see what it's all about!
Announcing The Beta Phase of the Reinventing The Tattoo Electronic Edition!
Ever since the second edition of my flagship educational package Reinventing The Tattoo was released, I've daydreamed about making an electronic edition which could be updated to keep up with the rapid pace of change in our industry. It's been a long time in the making, but we now have the beta edition of the Reinventing e-book available, and I couldn't be more excited! For starters, it's given me a chance to go back through the entire text and rewrite parts of it to reflect our current understandings of tattooing, plus it was a chance to get the Photoshop chapters current and talk about the changes happening with equipment. But that's just the tip of the iceberg. This new edition is subscription based, with the goal of adding new content regularly so that your Reinventing experience is constantly evolving and can be customized to your path as a developing artist. The current version offers:
> Updated chapters from the original book
> Instant access to all supporting video material
> New chapters from guest writers Nick Baxter, Russ Abbott and Megan Jean Morris
> Handy format that adapts to any device and works well on your phone
> Access to new forums focused on critiquing
As we get into full swing over coming months, we will continue to refine and build the curriculum and the interface to include such things as:
> Text or email notifications of new material
> Smoother and more intuitive interface
> Special version focused on apprenticeships
> New tutorials including an acrylic painting workshop and an updated look at coverup tattooing
> Additional guest chapters from many of your favorite artists!
During the beta phase, we are offering a special one-time discount to subscribers with the understanding that you will be helping us to make the Reinventing educational experience as perfect as possible. That includes not only helping us find small glitches in the format, but also to give us your suggestions about what you'd like to see added to the experience. There's already more to offer than the classic book/DVD package (which is now out of print) ever had, so hop on board and be part of the group of professionals that helps us make the transition into the new dynamic electronic format! Special pricing will only be in effect for a few more weeks. You can subscribe now at the Tattoo Education online store.
The Portland Worldwide Tattoo Conference is just weeks away!
The Worldwide Tattoo Conference has always been one of the more unique events in tattooing, with the entire focus being on educational seminars rather than squeezing them in around a lot of tattooing and contests. I've enjoyed teaching at these events because the audience tends to be made almost entirely of intelligent, open-minded artists who are there to learn and network. So I'm psyched about this upcoming WWTC in Portland, Oregon October 19, 20 and 21.
My class this year will be called Coverup: A Fresh Look, and will be a solid two hours of nuts-and-bolts technical guidance about the most up-to-date methods for hiding old tattoos without making a dense new piece. This will include plenty of closeup video footage of the needle at work, along with enough time at the end of the session to answer audience questions. I haven't done a coverup seminar in a very long time, so I'm amped to talk about all the things that I've learned about the subject in recent years.
Tickets for the WWTC include all seminars and discussion panels, and the lineup this year is solid gold. I'll be teaching alongside some of my favorite tattooists in the industry including Nick Baxter, Jeff Gogue, Nikko Hurtado, Adrian Lee, Alex De Pase and Ralf Nonnweiler... Even the great Horiyoshi III will be skyping in!
Tickets are available now at TattooEducation.com. Airline tickets are reasonably priced right now- why not treat yourself and get a brainful of knowledge and inspiration? Thanks, and I hope to see you there!
Coming Soon: The Portland Worldwide Tattoo Conference!
The Worldwide Tattoo Conference has always been one of the more unique events in tattooing, with the entire focus being on educational seminars rather than squeezing them in around a lot of tattooing and contests. I've enjoyed teaching at these events because the audience tends to be made almost entirely of intelligent, open-minded artists who are there to learn and network. So I'm psyched about this upcoming WWTC in Portland, Oregon October 19, 20 and 21. I'll be teaching alongside some of my favorite tattooists in the industry including Nick Baxter, Jeff Gogue, Nikko Hurtado, Adrian Lee, Alex De Pase and Ralf Nonnweiler... Even the great Horiyoshi III will be skyping in!
Here's a short interview that I just finished with the WWTC promoters:
WWTC: How do you feel the new wave of educational seminars have affected the tattoo at large?
G: I think it's clear that the high level the tattoo art form has reached has a lot to do with the sharing of information that's been happening in the tattoo community, a tradition which began at the conventions and still remains centered at tattoo related events.
WWTC: What do you love the most about Tattooing?
G: It's hard to define what I think makes tattooing so great... I was drawn to it as if to a powerful magnet at a young age and the interest only deepens as I spend more time with it. I think that some people are just fortunate enough to find that thing which fits them perfectly, and I am certainly one of those people.
WWTC: Do you feel anyone can be a great tattooer like you? What are the essential ingredients to being a great tattooer?
G: If tattooing fits you perfectly then you'll create work that fits others just as well. It will take time, dedication and hard work to find your groove. Remember that what you do matters, and that you are affecting the lives of others. Finish every tattoo as if it were on your own skin, with care and attention to detail. Your clients will notice the difference.
WWTC: What will people learn from you at the WWTC?
G: This October I'm focusing specifically on coverup tattooing, taking an updated look at the possibilities and limitations, with plenty of step-by-step photos and up close video footage of the machine in action. I'll be getting into great technical detail about my very nuanced approach to hiding old work without making a new piece that's obviously a coverup.
Reference Photo Art Contest Happening This Month!
As some of you may already know, I co-host the @Biomech_Collective Instagram page along with my friend Kurt Windish. This month we're holding a contest there inspired by all the great reference photos that have been popping up in the #biomech_collective hashtag feed. It's important to get people involved in the genre, enthusiasts as well as artists. While the weather is prime we would like to encourage everyone to get out and explore the microcosmos! We will be holding a two-part contest, as such:
Part 1 (Photo Reference Contest)
Post reference material that is in any way relevant to biomech design, tagging @biomech_collective and #biomech_reference . Mechanical, organic, natural, or industrial... good lighting is important. Remixes of other artists' work or photos will not be eligible; we want original creative photos. But almost anything else is fair game!
Part 2 (Art From Reference Contest)
Make a piece of abstract art based on one of the many references posted by contestants from Part 1 of the contest. All photos from the #biomech_reference feed are available to use for your art reference, including combinations of multiple images. Post your artwork on your Instagram profile, tagging @biomech_collective and #biomech_reference .
Judging for part 1 happens August 5, and for part 2 on August 21. Prizes will include shirts, art prints, critiques, original art and the grand prize package including an Inkjecta Flite V2 tattoo machine! If interested, please read the full list of rules at TattooEducation.com/contest/, where we also have listed all of the prize packages we'll be offering.
Now In Stock: The Much-Anticipated Force In The Flesh 2!
OK, so there are a lot of Star Wars nerds in the tattoo industry. Don't ask me how or why that happens to be the case, but I'm personally guilty of being one of them, having ridden my bike countless times through dangerous traffic to see The Empire Strikes Back as a teenager. The Star Wars films, to me, were not only a great cinematic adventure but also an example of what a crew of creative people could do if they set their minds to it... and a reminder that the instructions that come in a model kit are really just suggestions. If you want to use the parts of a battleship to make a star cruiser, all the more power to you.
So it was fun to be invited to submit work to the original Force In The Flesh Star Wars Tattoo Art project a few years back. Star Wars fans in the tattoo industry were still just starting to emerge from the woodwork, so it felt like being part of an exclusive club. SW tattoos are way more common now, and with so many incredible artists doing their take on the theme, it was inevitable that a follow-up book project, The Force In The Flesh 2, would need to be published. Force 2 has just rolled off the press and it is indeed a powerhouse book, far thicker and more visually rich than its predecessor. As a tattoo book goes, it not only celebrates the Star Wars story in a graphically dazzling way but shows the incredible capability of the tattoo art form today.
We still have a handful of the first edition in stock, but they are going fast- literally, I can hold them all in one hand. If you are interested in a copy of Force 1, now is your chance. But the new edition is a bigger, thicker volume with a dizzying array of Star Wars tattoo work from a broad variety of artists working in different styles, everything from traditional to realism and everything in between. It'll make a great addition to your art book collection or waiting room library... and we have them in stock now at our online store.
I also wanted to mention that I have a new painting listed at eBay. This one was just completed the other night, and is a 12x12" acrylic spatial study from a series that I'm presently working on. I've got it framed and ready to hang... drop by our eBay store to take a look at the listing.
Wacom Weekend Coming Right Up... And New Aitchison Painting on eBay!
With our Wacom Weekend digital workshop coming up in only a few weeks, Russ Abbott and I are busy preparing the material for our classes that we'll be teaching there. This is a big deal for us, with it being both of our first effort at presenting this kind of fundamental computer graphic education for tattoo artists. We both have used digital art tools for many years and feel that it's given us an important advantage in our tattoo workflow, so having this chance to share our experience is a big deal, made possible by the backing we're getting from Wacom Inc, maker of popular graphics tablets, and the Hell City Tattoo Fest, where we'll be holding these classes on May 1 and 2 at the Downtown Hyatt Regency in Columbus, Ohio.
I speak to a lot of artists about their struggles and it seems that getting past the basic digital hurdles is one of the big ones. It's something that took me many years of trial and error to get past, since there were so few tattooists using computers back in those early days. Now it's a different story, and we've designed our weekend curriculum to help tattooists with both beginning and advanced levels of digital experience, with everything from Photoshop 101 to detailed digital tattoo design. We'll have Wacom Cintiq tablets on hand to make sure that all participants get hands-on time with the equipment under our close instruction. If you've ever wanted to know more about using computers to expand your tattoo vocabulary, I can't think of a better opportunity than this one. You can get tickets now at the online store of our sister site, www.tattooeducation.com.
I also wanted to mention that I've just listed a new acrylic painting on eBay, fresh off the easel from two weeks ago. It's one of my painterly realist texture studies, which I filmed the painting process of for a tutorial I just taught at the Paradise Artist Retreat in New Mexico last week. It comes in a handmade gloss black frame, signed and dated, ready to adorn your workstation or art room wall. It's listed now at our eBay store.
Latest Ask Guy and Bloom Features, Plus New eBay Art Listings!
We've decided to start the spring by listing some of our classic paintings on eBay to help fund our new studio expansion in Hyperspace. We're starting with one of Michele's mixed media abstract canvas photo paintings, as seen in her book Moments of Epiphany, along with a recent small acrylic painting of mine. Drop by our eBay store to take a look at the auction, and help support the construction of our new studio by buying art.
This month's Tattoo Magazine, #304, is the second issue where both Michele and I have features. I've got another Ask Guy column, this one continuing in my series of detailed critiques. This time I'm taking a close look at an artist who is working in a fairly traditional style but looking for ways to take it to the next level- check it out in the magazine or you can read it at the Ask Guy archive at www.tattooeducation.com. Tattoo Magazine also features Michele's client Lisa Daniels as she discusses her collection with great pictures showing her ink. It's part of an ongoing series of articles focusing on Michele's Bloom Project, which highlights the women she's tattooed through the years, all in her carefully balanced feminine floral style.
Also related to the Bloom Project, Michele has just posted a new video featuring longtime client Kristen Blinne, with a short interview discussing Kristen's journey of collecting and talking about not only her larger vision but the vision of the Bloom Project overall. It's a short but sweet video showing her collection up close. We've got it posted at our YouTube channel, Tattoo Television, where you can see a variety of client features and artist interviews that Michele and I have produced.
Coming Soon: The Paradise Artist Retreat!
Two years ago, Michele and I were involved in organizing the Paradise Artist Retreat at the Tamaya Resort in New Mexico. We had invited renowned visionary artists Alex and Allyson Grey as feature artists there, and the workshops they hosted were extremely well received. Other workshops, including Shawn Barber's late night Ala Prima session, left a lasting impression on the artists who attended. It was a beautiful experience, with a great core group of artists taking over this quiet desert mountain resort, getting rejuvenated after the long winter and going home inspired and ready to start the spring season. It was definitely one of the highlights of our year: high-energy inspirational workshops followed by drinks by the fire, under the stars.
So we're psyched that the next Paradise Artist Retreat is coming right up. This year I'll be hosting a hands-on painting workshop, where I'll be showing you my methods for creating convincing 3D effects on canvas. It'll involve both an early evening instructional session and a late night hands-on art jam. This will be my first workshop of its kind and I've got plans for it that I hope will make it both useful and memorable for everyone. Tuition is included in the weekend ticket price, along with workshops and seminars by an incredible roster of instructors including Jeff Gogue, Chet Zar, Nick Baxter, Tony Moore, Gabe Leonard and my sister Hannah Aitchison. Tickets are available now at the Tattoo Education online store, including tickets with special group rates. There are only 20 spots left, so now is your chance! We also offer tickets for the LiveStream edition- if you can't make it in person but want to take part in the experience online, you can stream the whole thing in HD to your home or studio.
Hot Off The Presses: Tattoo Prodigies 2!
Tattoo Prodigies 2 has been 2 years in the making, and it's finally here! This is a high quality, hardbound coffee table book that is 10 inches wide by 13 inches tall and about 2 inches thick. This book is a monster, weighing in at 9 pounds! All 600 pages are printed in full color and include 170 hand-picked tattoo artists with over 2,000 photos, 68 artist interviews plus a collaboration section in the back of the book.
Mike Devries, who published both Prodigies volumes under his Memento Publishing label, says of the project: "What amazes me the most, besides the awesome tattoos, is all the similarities in the interviews- the work ethic and determination, the passion for the art and the respect, amongst many other things." Tattoo Prodigies 2 has double the amount of artists, with over twice as many pages as the first Prodigies, yet it sells for the same price. In addition to its mind-boggling art, the book also features inspiring stories and interviews throughout, and a lot of the interview questions are not your typical questions you would get in most interviews- you'll have to read it to find out. Not only is this book eye candy for ink collectors and artists alike, the content is sure to motivate those seeking to advance and learn. Pick up your copy today and enjoy an inspiring journey!
New Ask Guy column on newsstands now!
In our last newsletter we talked about Michele Wortman's Bloom column in the Slinging Ink pages of the current issue of Tattoo Magazine, on newsstands now. What we didn't mention is that in the same issue is the latest Ask Guy column, featuring the fourth installment of my critique series. This month we're looking at work by an artist who has solid technical skills but is looking for ways to go further. As is often the case, the answer is as much about art and drawing as it is about tattooing technique, and I demonstrate these ideas by reworking some of his work in Photoshop to see how it could be improved.
You can pick up a copy of Tattoo Magazine issue #307 to take a look, or check it out at the Ask Guy archive here at guyaitchison.com, where you can also read all the past columns I've written. The most recent ones have been critiques but before that I went into all kinds of subjects. If you are a tattooist who'd like a chance at being critiqued in my column, drop me a line at AskGuy@GuyAitchison.com.
New Ask Guy Critique Column, Plus A Few Great last-Minute Gifts!
So another edition of my Ask Guy column has hit the newsstands, this time another one centered around a critique of another artist's work. Art critiques have been a standard part of artists' educations since time immemorial, and are something that you'll encounter at art school quite frequently. Many of us in the tattoo industry haven't run across this practice very much, though, which can make it tricky to get honest feedback from others in the profession. I've been enjoying the critique format of the Ask Guy column and have had some very positive feedback. You can see the latest edition in Tattoo Magazine #305, which is available now and also includes a fun interview that I did with artist Adrian Dominic, plus a lot of other fun stuff. You can also check out the column in the Ask Guy archive here at www.guyaitchison.com.
Vibrant New Art Print From Guy, Plus Major Gallery Update!
When I completed my recent painting Radiant Flux, I had a lot of positive feedback, with a number of people asking me for prints. So it's finally been photographed properly and archival fine art canvas prints are rolling off the presses right now. They're a good mid size- 16x20"- with a wide border to allow for easy mounting. We are also offering it pre-stretched, so if you know of someone that this eye-catching image would be a perfect gift for, it can arrive stretched and ready to wrap in your favorite gaudy holiday wrapping paper. It's in the print gallery now at our online store, along with a broad catalog of other prints by both Michele and myself. We can guarantee shipping in time for Christmas on all US orders that come in by Dec.16.
We've also updated my New Paintings gallery with 17 new images from this past year. In addition to Radiant Flux, I've also added 16 organic studies that I did over the past 6 months. Anyone who follows me on Instagram has likely seen at least some of these, but the Hyperspace galleries give you the full collection of uncropped images at a much higher resolution.
Latest Ask Guy features new critique format, plus new critique video
I've been enjoying writing my monthly Ask Guy column, which is published in Tattoo Magazine along with being available at TattooEducation.com and GuyAitchison.com. We are well into the second year of taking questions of all sorts from both artists and collectors, and have had many questions about improving overall tattooing. I think the best format for this is in doing critiques, which allow for an in-depth look into an artist's strengths and weaknesses. So for the time being I am switching to a critique format in the column, and the latest issue is the first example of this. The tattoos that I'm critiquing are not only discussed in detail but are also retouched in Photoshop to better describe how things could potentially improve. You can find it on newsstands now, or check it out in the Ask Guy archive.
I've also just completed a short video showing a critique that I gave a regular client of mine, where you can get a better sense of the critiquing process. The idea is to get productive dialogues going with other artists where you can help each other to identify your strengths and weaknesses to allow for more focused growth and advancement.
And before it ends, I wanted to mention the painting that I have on the auction block now at eBay, which will be over in another day or so. It's a small organic spiral piece, deep and crusty, and is both signed and framed. It's 7x9" and needs a good home with a tattooist or a serious collector.
New Skeletal Anthology Book, Plus Another Painting On eBay!
We've enjoyed all the great anthology books that have been released in the past few years by publishers such as Memento Publishing and Out Of Step Books, featuring work from diverse selections of artists, sometimes hundreds in a single volume. This would include books such as Tattoo Prodigies, Antennae of Inspiration and the more recent Cranial Visions, featuring a fun sampling of skull-and-bone themed work in every imaginable style and medium. Now comes a new release, Excavate, which presents a collection of macabre and thought-provoking skeletal art on skin, canvas, paper and sculpture by a list of artists too long to include here. It's over 400 pages, hardcover and laid out in a way that will keep you coming back and opening its pages, discovering something new each time. It's a great gift or a perfect addition to your studio or waiting room book collection, available now at our online store!
I also wanted to mention that I've listed another painting at eBay. This one is acrylic, 7x9", from 2009, and is signed and framed. It's an organic spiral from a period when I was exploring a crusty new direction with my texture and depth. Drop by our eBay store and check it out.
Portland Benefit Show, Upcoming Webinar, and Painting Auction
As we gear up for the big webcast event today and tomorrow, I wanted to mention something going on over in Portland, Oregon if you happen to be in the area. My friend Jeff Tarinelli was knocked off his bicycle and ended up with a bunch of pins and other hardware in his tattooing hand. Fortunately they did a good job and he's back to work, but with some pretty epic medical bills. So he and some friends are hosting a benefit art show at the True Measure Gallery, 3022 E. Burnside St in Portland. That's tomorrow, October 23, from 6-9 PM. I've got a few signed prints there, plus there are pieces from an assortment of other artists along with tattoo gift certificate raffles. Drop by if you can!
And of course there's the big webcast event, Evolution, where Russ Abbott and I are doing a massive collaborative leg sleeve project. Today's webcast can be viewed for free at www.TattooNOWtv.com. We are taking questions through the chat feature and will be talking about all aspects of the project except for the technical stuff. That comes tomorrow, on the 23rd, which will be for professionals only. Tickets are available now at the Tattoo Education online store. Remember that if you are in New England, you can attend this event in person as well.
Finally, I wanted to mention a painting that I have posted on eBay this week, a medium sized (11x14") piece from the Organica collection. This is a bold, striking piece that will make an impression in your waiting room or workstation gallery, and part of an ever-shrinking collection of published works from my book Organica. The auction will be closing in a couple days.
Thanks, and I hope to hear from you today at our webcast!
Wacom now offering promotional discounts to the tattoo community!
In the days leading up to the big Guy Aitchison / Russ Abbott collaborative event, Evolution, we've established a partnership with the technology company Wacom. Many of us have long been using Wacom tablets for doing art and other activities at our computers, and a few of us in the tattoo industry have gone so far as to purchase one of their deluxe Cintiq tablets, which gives you a large touchscreen that you can draw on directly with a stylus. So it's exciting news that Wacom has developed a smaller and more portable version of this tablet, known as the Cintiq Companion, which can be disconnected from your computer and used on the fly anywhere. Needless to say, Russ and I are excited to give these new tablets a spin around the block this coming week.
Wacom has offered us two of the new Cintiq Companion tablets to give away as raffle prizes to anyone purchasing tickets to the collaborative webinar. If you have already purchased tickets, your name has already been entered in the raffle, and we will be drawing names on the 22nd and 23rd of this month to announce the two winners. On the 22nd, you can view the free all-day webcast at www.TattooNOWtv.com, where you can submit your questions for Russ and I to answer. We will be demonstrating the tablets, along with the new Abbott Color wheel. Then, on the 23rd, comes the paid part of the webinar, where we will be going deep into technical detail as we work on an epic leg sleeve project. Tickets are available now at tattoo education.com, and purchasing a ticket will automatically enter your name in the raffle.
In addition, Wacom is offering a promotional code for the tattoo community for a limited time. If you purchase one of their Companion tablets through the wacom.com e-store you can save $50, or $100 off one of their full size Cintiq tablets... Model DTHA1300L is only $999 with the promotional code, which is a great deal for a tablet this versatile. Just enter promotional code TATTOO_GRWEB during checkout and the discount will automatically be applied toward your purchase. This code is valid for two weeks only, so take advantage now!
Thanks, and I'll keep you posted!
New Ask Guy Now in the Newstands... Plus Another Organica Painting Listed at eBay!
For my monthly Ask Guy column in Tattoo Magazine, I've gotten a great variety of questions ranging from artistic to professional to healing concerns, and I've been enjoying the diversity of conversation. This month, though, I'd like to touch on something a little different. We all know that tattooing can have an ugly side- as the artistic standards rise to amazing heights across the profession, the garbage being done on skin by untrained scratchers just looks worse and worse. These folks are also all too willing to tattoo minors, which we discuss in detail in this month's edition. But I believe that even situations like this one can be resolved in a positive way with a great tattoo. It's on newsstands now, or you can see it, along with all past columns, here at GuyAitchison.com.
I've also just listed another original oil painting from my book Organica on eBay. We've already moved one of them, and will be listing a number of these originals over the coming months. All of them are framed, signed and dated. Drop by the eBay store now to see the current bid, and follow me on Instagram or Facebook for updates on the latest posted pieces.
Guy Aitchison Now Listing Original Paintings on eBay!
Now that I've been getting back in front of the easel and am cranking out some new paintings, I thought it might be time to go through some of my favorite unsold pieces and list a few of them on eBay. So I've selected 16 pieces, all featured in my hardcover art book Organica, and will be rolling them out once a week over the course of the summer. These are original pieces done in either oil or acrylic paint, with most of them mounted in handmade black wooden frames. You can follow me on Instagram or Facebook if you want to see announcements of new pieces being listed as they go up. The pieces being listed range in both size and price from very small and affordable to some pieces that are much more deluxe. You can take a look at the first auction right now and see what's been listed so far.
Thanks, and we'll be in touch soon!
Latest Ask Guy Column Now On Newsstands, Plus Gallery Update!
It's been a while since I've had a chance to update my galleries of paintings and tattoos... so you'll be happy to know that we've just added a variety of new pieces to both the New Tattoos and New Paintings galleries. Enjoy... and as always, you can check out my Instagram profile to see works in progress and other fun stuff.
There's also a new Ask Guy column on the newsstands in this month's Tattoo Magazine; this time the questioner wanted to know about the collaborative process, which I tried to go into in detail, including some progress shots of a piece I did with my sister Hannah. I've been privileged to be able to collaborate with many of the industry's most innovative artists, and it's a process that I can't recommend enough when it comes to learning, inspiration, and just plain old artistic fun. You can see the column in the Ask Guy archive here at www.guyaitchison.com.
Thanks, and we'll be in touch soon!
Hot Off The Presses- Two New Guy Aitchison Prints
It's been a while since I've added new art prints to our catalog, so I'm excited to announce these two new medium-sized affordable giclee prints, based on two paintings that I completed for themed art shows over the past two months. Zero Hour is about my experience of time- there's just never enough of it for all the competing priorities and onrushing deadlines... but I had a lot of fun with it. And Perennial is about rebirth- a continuous process of gaining new strength and insight from the decaying mulch of the past.
I want to thank Miki Vialetto and Adrian Lee for inviting me to be in the shows that inspired these works. This is subject matter I can really relate to, and both were fun projects. I've got the signed, gloss-finish archival canvas prints available now at our online store.
Thanks, and I'll be in touch soon!
Finally Available: Guy Aitchison's Technique DVD
For a decade and a half now I’ve been perfecting my Reinventing The Tattoo curriculum, which teaches some of the fundamentals of artistic design in a way that can be applied toward making your tattoo work stronger, more dynamic, and more unique. It aims to balance understanding of artistic essentials with cutting-edge technical knowledge to give students a broad base of understanding toward being better artists across the board.
I’d like to announce the release of the latest installment in the Reinventing series, Technique. It’s a four disk set that shows you closeup footage of the machine in action as I work through five different projects, presented in a concentrated format. The first two disks are a special edition cut of my Guy’s Bag Of Tricks webinar, showing a project being done from start to finish as I answer a variety of questions from the audience. The other two disks, Tightening 1 and 2, go into detail about finishing techniques, showing four projects up close, with a voiceover describing every move in detail as I demonstrate line building, detailing, smoothing and other development.
This four disk set is about as technical as it gets. It’s a natural follow-up from the material I teach in the original Reinventing The Tattoo book and DVD set, but is also made to serve as a stand-alone educational experience whether you’ve read the original book or not. It’s intended for professional tattooists only, or apprentices working under the guidance of a professional. Available now at our online store!
Thanks, and we'll be in touch soon!
The Latest Ask Guy Column: What About My Sore, Tired Back?
Two Upcoming Seminars, Now Available As One Great Ticket!
After the great successes of the seminars we produced from Jeff Gogue's Off The Map location in Oregon, I'm excited about the two upcoming classes I'll be offering in the beginning of April. These are classes for professional tattooists only, or for apprentices of professionals, and go into great detail about both design and technique, a balance which I think is essential for doing top quality tattoo work.
On April 8 and 9 comes the first seminar, Reinventing The Tattoo, which is based on the long-format classes that I've given in the past; but this time I'll be offering it for both live and online participants. I'm offering a total of 30 tickets, since each student will have their work critiqued on the big screen, and will be given exercises that I'll be grading live as well. It's an immersive, interactive 2 day experience that gets right down to the artistic fundamentals important in good tattoo design, along with a lot of technical detail. I'll be answering questions from participants, both live and online- the webinar format can be just as rewarding as being there in person. Tickets are available at the Tattoo Education online store.
The weekend after that is the Hell City Tattoo Fest, where I'll be giving my other seminar, Structure, from 6-8pm on Saturday, April 12. Here I'll be focusing on ways to make your work stronger and more readable, both from across the room or across the decades. This is something that can be achieved in any style of work, including elements that are meant to be softer or lower contrast, and I'd like to share the things I've learned in the course of 25 years of experimentation. You can get tickets for this at our online store, or just drop by the Hyperspace Studios booth, where I'll be tattooing, signing my new prints and selling my new professionals-only DVD set.
For those looking to get the full spectrum experience I'm now offering a combination ticket where you'll get a $50 savings for enrolling in both classes, which cover different aspects of tattooing. I scheduled the Reinventing class to give artists time to travel to the convention, making it easier to attend both, whether it be live or online. You can find the combination ticket in our catalog as well.
Thanks, and I hope to see you there!
Coming in April: Reinventing The Tattoo Immersive Webinar!
For a decade and a half now I've been perfecting my Reinventing The Tattoo curriculum, which teaches some of the fundamentals of artistic design in a way that can be applied toward making your tattoo work stronger, more dynamic, and more unique. It's an educational program that has been attended by many artists who are now among the industry's top artists and educators. So I'm psyched to offer this first installment of Reinventing The Tattoo in interactive webinar format. That means that you can attend it online from anywhere in the world but still participate in the critiques, exercises and discussion. I'm offering a limit of 30 tickets so that everyone's work gets enough time on-screen, where I not only critique it but also use Photoshop to demonstrate ways of improving it. It can also be attended in person at a hotel near us in Marion, Illinois, but many webinar participants have found that the closeup, high definition experience they get on their computers is almost better than being there in person.
It starts on April 8, where I'll begin by going over the Reinventing fundamentals: Flow and fit, positive/negative relationships, contrast, priority and reserve, lines and edges, depth, and lighting effects. We follow that by doing an on-screen critique of each participant's work, applying the concepts that were demonstrated at the beginning of the day. At the end of the session I'll be handing out exercises for everyone to work on that night. Then, on April 9 we'll go over everyone's exercises so we can see how all the important fundamentals have been applied, and then follow up with a group of closeup video clips that demonstrate my latest understandings about technique. The Reinventing The Tattoo webinar is both immersive and interactive; wherever you live you can a part of this concentrated learning experience. Tickets are available now at the www.tattooeducation.com online store!
Coming up in April: Guy Aitchison Seminar at the Hell City Tattoo Fest!
With the tattoo art form spreading into every conceivable artistic style, it's important to take a step back every now and then and ask: What does this need to succeed as a tattoo? The question of longevity is the obvious issue, but the larger underlying importance of giving your work strength and clarity is not just about durability across time, but readability across the room.
In Guy Aitchison's new seminar, Structure, he demonstrates ways of strengthening your work, both in design and execution. It starts with a well balanced composition, with good flow and fit and strategic use of dark and light, which is then applied to skin using a variety of different ways, some which are shown in closeup video clips. Structure reflects Guy's most recent understandings of making your work strong and dynamic... if you're attending the Hell City Tattoo Fest this coming April 11-13, be sure to take advantage of this opportunity! It's happening in the prime slot on Saturday evening from 6-8pm in the Hell City Seminar Room. You can sign up at the Hyperspace Studios booth on the convention floor, or prepay at the Tattoo Education online store.
New Ask Guy Column: How Do I Educate Myself As A Collector?
I've really been enjoying the broad variety of questions I've been getting from both clients and artists for my monthly Ask Guy column that I publish through Tattoo Magazine. This month's question was pretty broad though, being from a collector who wanted to get a better education about art so they could make more informed decisions about getting tattooed. Many collectors arrive at this point, where they are starting to get larger work and to recognize that they have particular tastes and needs as a collector. I've tried to narrow my answer down to the essentials so that someone who has very little experience with art history can get more perspective on what makes a good tattoo and, more importantly, how to find the right tattoo for each particular collector's needs. Look for it in Tattoo Magazine #296, on newsstands now... or you can take a look at the column at www.guyaitchison.com, along with an extensive archive of past columns and other material. Don't forget to submit your own questions, they are what keep this column rolling!
New Ask Guy Column: How Do I Break Into The Tattoo Business?
The Ask Guy column that I write for Tattoo Magazine has given me a lot to think about- questions come from such a wide range of people and from so many different perspectives, it's really kept me guessing from one month to the next. But one question seems to be a constant, and in fact I remember asking it myself, almost three decades ago: How do I break into the tattoo industry? How can I be a part of this great thing, and go about it the right way so I don't end up burning bridges or getting off on the wrong foot?
It's been asked many times in my Ask Guy inbox, so this month I chose three different versions of the same question: One from an art student, one from an ex-con, and one from somebody who is so eager to get started that they are considering attending one of those kind of dubious tattoo schools. I tried to come up with an answer that will be helpful to everyone. The tattoo industry is a thing that those who are a part of it love and feel protective toward... but there is always room for new people if they have the right attitude and approach it the right way. Go ahead and take a look at Issue #295 of Tattoo Magazine, or check it out in the Ask Guy archive here at www.guyaitchison.com. And don't forget to submit your own questions, I'd love to hear from you!
New Tattoo Coloring Book In Stock Now!
One of the big surprise hit items that we've carried in the past few years was The Coloring Book Project by Memento Publishing, which features line drawings by a wide variety of artists touching on a broad range of tattoo themes. it's a fun book, great for kids, apprentices and adults, and can be very inspiring for artists looking to develop their artistic styles. Now comes the second edition of the Coloring Book project, this time bigger and better with more pages and a lot of new artists featured. Both books are collections with work by an incredible variety of tattooists, some names you are familiar with and others you'll be encountering for the first time. We are also offering both books together at a package price... available now at our online store!
I'd also like to remind you all about the upcoming 3-day seminar marathon that Jeff Gogue and I will be holding at the Grant's Pass, Oregon Off The Map Tattoo location. These seminars can be attended in person at the shop, but for most of you the best option is to enjoy them via live webcast from the comfort of your home or studio where you can submit your questions via the chat feature. The first workshop on February 9 will be webcast free to the public from www.tattooNOWtv.com, and will feature Jeff and I doing a large collaborative sleeve project that will include both traditional Japanese elements and some more modern techniques and effects. This will be an unprecedented opportunity for you to sit in on a unique project.
The other two seminars are available to professional artists only. On Feb. 10 will be my class, Structure, where I'll be doing a large calf piece with both illustrative and abstract elements and a number of different effects, all with the emphasis on giving the piece strength and flow. Finally, on Feb. 11 Jeff will be tattooing my hand in a seminar called Size Doesn't Matter, which will give him a chance to demonstrate how he handles a complete project from start to finish. For obvious reasons, I'm pretty psyched about that one. Tickets are available now!
Thanks, and we hope to see you there!
Announcing the Aitchison / Gogue seminar intensive!
Last year's live webinar, Guy's Bag Of Tricks, had such a great response that I've been psyched to line up the 2014 online seminar schedule. The first one, coming up in less than a month, is particularly exciting for a number of reasons. I'll be visiting Grant's Pass, Oregon to do a brief guest spot at the Off The Map location there for three days of seminars with the legendary Jeff Gogue, featured last month in Hypercast 6: The Japanese-American Connection.
On February 9 is the first class, and it will be webcast live for free to the public at www.tattooNOWtv.com. This seminar won't be going into deep technical detail, as it will be available to the public, but will cover all kinds of other things pertaining to how Jeff and I design and execute large tattoo work. It'll be a collaborative project where we will be working together on a sleeve project that fuses traditional Japanese elements alongside cutting-edge techniques. We'll be taking audience questions, so mark that day in your calendar- it'll be a rare glimpse inside a high-energy creative process.
Then on February 10 I'll be giving a seminar, Structure, where I do a large calf piece that will include both abstract and representational elements and employ a whole range of techniques. This one will get quite nuts-and-bolts technical about all stages of the process, and I'll be taking audience questions as well.
Finally, on the 11th Jeff will be giving a seminar where he will be tattooing my hand. This project will be smaller but provides an opportunity for Jeff to demonstrate his magic on a small and personal scale. For obvious reasons I'm pretty psyched about this one but I think it will be an amazing learning opportunity for all of you as well. So tune in to the free webcast on February 9, and be sure to sign up in advance for webinar tickets for the 10th and 11th. There is also limited seating available for anyone wanting to attend the seminar in person at Off The Map Tattoo- be sure to get your tickets now at the Tattoo Education online store!
Thanks, and we hope to see you there!
TattooTelevision upgrade, and Sunday night movie screening!
We've been working hard over the winter to complete a bunch of video projects, and thought that a great way to kick off the New Year would be to upgrade our YouTube channel, TattooTelevision, with some new material, new channels and a freshly reorganized front page. We now have a channel just for our Hypercasts, another for Michele's Bodyset Portraits, and others for Educational Videos, Hyperspace Videos and Music Videos.
This includes two new uploads: Check out our latest, What Is Hyperspace Studios? It's a quick statement by Michele and I about what we do, and what inspires and motivates us. Also take a look at Goddess Bodyset, the latest Bodyset Portrait by Michele featuring her client Charity. We'll be uploading more new material over coming days, so stay tuned!
Also, coming tomorrow night via live webcast will be a long night of entertainment and fascinating discussion as Jeff Gogue screens his new film, Tattoo As I See It, starting at 8 pm Eastern time. This will be followed by a Skype interview session with Jeff- he's a great interview subject, as we discovered in our latest Hypercast, The Japanese-American Connection. After the interview, from 10-11:30pm Eastern time will be a variety of guests beaming in including Watson Atkinson, Deano Cook, Marisa Kakoulas and Tom Strom. Finally, starting at 11:30, will be a screening of our documentary film Innerstate, featuring 40 of your favorite tattoo artists working on fine art projects. This whole evening of webcasting is free- just tune in to www.tattooNOWtv.com tomorrow starting at 8 pm and enjoy. If you're working that night, play it for the whole shop!
Thanks, and we'll be in touch soon!
New Ask Guy column, plus improved Hypercast page with new episodes!
We hope you all had a great New Year celebration. We had a great time rounding off the year with Hypercast Episode 7: Tattooing Past, Present and Future where we interviewed Tattoo Archive historian Chuck Eldridge, along with convention personality Chris Longo and upstart UK tattooer Bez. We'll be posting the edited version soon- but in the meantime we wanted to bring your attention to two previous episodes that we've posted recently.
There's the Collab show, featuring Litos, Don McDonald, Ty McEwen and my sister Hannah Aitchison, talking about collaborative projects in various mediums. Then there's the edit I just completed of The Japanese - American Connection with Jeff Gogue, discussing tattoo style and the interesting territory between Japanese and Western tattooing. Both episodes are filled with great visual material along with some compelling conversation about tattooing and fine art in the tattoo world.
Hypercasts are long-format interview shows, an hour or so per episode, allowing us to really get into depth with our interview subjects. We've just cleaned up the Hypercast page at www.hyperspacestudios.com, putting all the completed episodes in easy reach. These are perfect for playing at the tattoo shop, intended for both artists and collectors.
I also wanted to mention that the latest Ask Guy column is now on the newsstands in the February 2014 issue of Tattoo Magazine. This month I answer two questions related to style and career, always interesting subjects. Pick up a copy, or you can take a look at the column in the Ask Guy archive here at www.guyaitchison.com.
Thanks, and we'll be in touch soon!
Check out the latest Ask Guy column: What causes bad healing?
Once again we are proud to present you with the latest installment of the Ask Guy column, where I'm taking questions from both artists and collectors on all kinds of topics related to tattooing, and appears in this month's issue of Tattoo Magazine, on newsstands now. This month I've taken two questions related to bad healing: What causes it, how to prevent it, what to do when it happens? It's meant to be helpful for both artists and collectors. You can also check it out here at GuyAitchison.com.
I also wanted to remind you that it's still not too late- we are guaranteeing shipping in time for Christmas on all orders received by December 17th. Take a look at our catalog and see if we can help you finish your shopping.
Thanks, and have a great holiday!
Great Gift Ideas from GuyAitchison.com!
Hyperspace Studios Seeking an Apprentice!
Latest Hypercast with Russ Abbott now on Youtube, and new Ask Guy on newsstands!
Last week's Hypercast with Russ Abbott, Teresa Sharpe and Kelly Doty ended up being an epic conversation, stretching to close to two hours and covering a broad range of topics, including audience questions and some tattoo critiques. This time, just for fun Michele and I submitted works for critique as well. It goes to show that no matter how experienced you are there are many things that you can learn and improve.
This was our third Hypercast, where we are interviewing some of the industry's top talents and talking about the state of the tattoo art world, with this episode focusing on illustrative tattooing. Russ Abbott is one of the style's leading proponents and has released a number of top quality educational items, including Iron Clad: Built To Last, a DVD about technique, and Ornamental Archive, a reference book about flowing ornamental motifs that can be used in combination with other graphic elements in a tattoo. You can check out the edited version of Hypercast 3 at our YouTube channel, Tattoo Television.
I also wanted to mention that installment #6 of my Ask Guy column in Tattoo Magazine is now on the newsstands. This month I cover two topics: Acne scarring, which is something I have dealt with personally, and dealing with clients who seem to need too want changes in a design, a delicate situation to encounter as a tattooist. You can pick up a copy at the newsstands now, check it out here at GuyAitchison.com, or send me your own questions at the Ask Guy link here.
Thanks, and we'll be in touch soon!
Hypercast #3 Featuring Russ Abbott, Tonight!
October 27, 2013
Hypercast #3 Featuring Russ Abbott, Tonight!
So far Michele and I have hosted two Hypercasts, the first one featuring Durb Morrison of Hell City fame, the second one with legendary realist Nikko Hurtado. Tonight we interview Russ Abbott, known for his strong illustrative sensibility which combines a solid traditional foundation with more modern techniques and approaches. We'll be interviewing him about his new book, Ornamental Archive, and his upcoming DVD release. We'll also have special guests joining us including Theresa Sharpe, winner of last season's Best Ink, to join us in our discussion, in taking live questions from viewers, and in critiquing a few tattoos toward the end of the show.
Hypercasts are a long format interview show, focusing on topics related to fine art in the tattoo world. They are available for free through TattooNOWtv- all you need is a computer an a good web connection. We also archive all episodes- you can see both the Durb Morrison episode and the Nikko Hurtado episode at our YouTube channel, Tattoo Television. And if you are in the LA area, definitely take a look at the Nikko episode, where he discusses his current gallery show at the Copro Gallery.
Thanks, and we hope you can join us for tonight's Hypercast!
Nikko Hurtado Webcast Tonight
October 16, 2013
Michele and I are excited about the results of our first Hypercast that we hosted two weeks ago, with guests Durb Morrison and Mike Cole. We interviewed them and discussed the crossover of fine art and tattooing, and how second mediums can enhance a tattooist's career. We then wrapped things up with a few audience questions and tattoo critiques. It's on archive permanently now for you to check out any time you want.
The second episode broadcasts tonight, Wednesday October 16. This week we are interviewing Nikko Hurtado, whose reputation has exploded lately as the public has discovered his almost unbelievable realism skills in both tattoo and oil paint. His Tattooing De Los Muertos DVD has been a bestseller at our store since its release. We've known Nikko since his very first paintings and have stood back in awe as he has embraced this classic medium and mastered it in just a few short years. He currently has a solo exhibition of new work showing at the Copro Nason gallery in Los Angeles. We'll be talking with him about galleries, painting, tattooing, the industry, and where realism is going next. You can tune in at TattooNOWtv tonight at 11:00pm Central time, or you can watch an archived cut of the show starting this Friday at our YouTube channel, Tattoo Television.
Speaking of YouTube, Michele has just completed another short client portrait video starring her client Sabrina, who has collected half sleeves and an upper backpiece from her. It's a great little video documenting Sabrina's journey from having a small flash tattoo to collecting larger work, lasering and covering the old piece, and then bringing it all together into a single unified look. Come check out the video, Woodland Window, at Tattoo Television.
Thanks, and we'll be in touch soon!
October 4, 2013
Michele and I have been talking about doing a webcast interview show for a long time. We have such an amazing community of fellow artists and original thinkers around us, it has always felt like something that we needed to do. We've finally had our first episode, which some of you were able to catch this past Wednesday night at tattooNOWtv. It was a great show featuring an interview with Hell City's Durb Morrison, who has always put a high emphasis on the fine art aspect of tattooing, both in his studio and his convention, which is the best attended tattoo show in America. We also had special guest Mike Cole, who is not only an incredible tattooist but is doing a lot of mind-blowing paintings as well. Finally we wrapped up the show with some audience questions and tattoo critiques.
It was a great first episode, which you can check out now at our youtube channel. Stay tuned for our next episode on Wednesday, Oct.16 at 11pm Central time. Our guest will be world renowned realist Nikko Hurtado, and we'll be talking with him about the epic solo painting show that he's working on now. Tune in and submit your questions for Nikko, Michele or me through the tattooNOWtv chat. Or go ahead and submit tattoo photos now for critiquing on the air.
Also this week we have a new installment of my column, Ask Guy, in Tattoo Magazine. This issue focuses on various kinds of scars and how best to cover them with tattoos. Scarring can be a challenging obstacle for both clients and artists, but there are answers to these puzzles. Check out this month's article either at the newsstand or here at guyaitchison.com, and don't be shy about submitting your own questions- you are the ones that make this column possible, after all.
Thanks, and we'll be in touch soon!
Upgraded Site & Webcast Interview
October 2, 2013
Greetings, we are excited to announce the new Hyperspace Studios website!
Multimedia artists Guy Aitchison and Michele Wortman have maintained hyperspacestudios.com since 1996, and it has gone through many changes and additions during that period. This time, the site has been rebuilt from scratch, featuring a streamlined interface that navigates easily so you can enjoy the wide variety of creative content that we have here.
Check out our brand new and updated galleries, featuring work in a variety of mediums by both Guy and Michele,
our archive of magazine articles and features going from present day back to 1989, with engaging interviews and photos that you won't find in any other galleries,
Our video vault, hosting short documentary and music video work produced by Michele and Guy,
This update has been long in the making, and we hope you enjoy navigating through the new site! To celebrate this big upgrade, we are hosting our first webcast interview program tonight at 11:00pm central time at www.tattoonowtv.com. Tune in and send in your questions if you want and we'll answer them on the air. If you can't tune in tonight the program will be available as a podcast starting next week.
Thanks, and we'll be in touch soon!
Flight and Flowers Bodyset by Michele Wortman
September 19, 2013
Greetings from Hyperspace Studios!
Michele and I are blessed to have some pretty extraordinary clients. Recently, one of Michele's collectors was featured on the cover of Tattoo magazine, which may still have a few copies left on the newsstands. They celebrated by producing a short video, Flight And Flowers, describing Jen's perspective on her tattoo experience and offering a peek into one of their marathon two-day sessions. Check it out- it's a great example of Michele's unique vision and what the intent is behind so much of her work.
While you're at it, take a look at the Hyperspace Studios Youtube channel, Tattoo Television. We've got a variety of short documentaries showing events and projects we've done, and are in the process of putting together more short client videos like the one about Jen. We've also got a collection of music videos that I produced for Michele's music project Sunchannel, such as the punchy Groovebot or the dreamy Blue Moon. Come enjoy our videos, subscribe to our channel, and stay tuned for more!
Thanks, and we'll be in touch soon-
Thursday Night: Join us in a virtual panel webcast!
Wednesday, September 11, 2013
Greetings from Tattoo Education!
Although we couldn't personally make it to this year's Paradise Tattoo Gathering in Keystone Colorado, tomorrow night I'll be joining the festivities live via Skype in a webcast panel discussion. This will be taking place during the event's welcoming party, starting 9pm Mountain Time, and going for around an hour. A handful of other attending artists will be joining the discussion as well, and we'll be taking questions from viewers through the webcast's chat.
The evening's discussion is inspired by a controversy that has sprung up recently: Are webinars good for the tattoo industry, or does it spread trade secrets too easily? This has echoes from past debates about tattoo education in general which have caused the industry to continually rethink and upgrade its standards. It promises to be a lively, and hopefully productive, talk about this important current topic.
Come join us if you can at 9:00 Mountain Time at www.tattoonowtv.com, and be a part of this conversation! No special software is required- you can do everything through your web browser.
Thanks, and we'll be in touch soon-
Michele's Client on the Cover of Tattoo Magazine
August 30, 2013
Greetings from Hyperspace Studios!
Tattoo Magazine is the world's longest-running tattoo publication, and throughout our careers Michele and I have regularly appeared within its pages. This month one of Michele's longtime clients, Jenn Dawson, is gracing the magazine's cover and has a nice feature article showcasing her artwork from Michele. Her unified bodyset tattoo has been in progress for years, and her article is a celebration of careful planning and work, a great example of what a feminine unified overall look can potentially be. It's available now at your local newsstand, and you can see more of Michele's distinctive tattoo work, as well as other art, at www.michelewortman.
In this month's issue is also the latest installment of my Ask Guy column, where I'm taking questions of all sorts from both artists and collectors. In this installment comes the question: When is a laser necessary for a coverup project? I go into detail based on my experiences as both an artist and collector who has had a considerable amount of lasering and coverup work done. Take a look in this month's Tattoo Magazine, or come check out the online version at either TattooEducation.com or GuyAitchison.com. And don't hesitate to hit me with your toughest questions.
Have a great Labor Day weekend, and we'll be in touch soon!
New Art Prints Added to the Catalog
Greetings from GuyAitchison.com!
It's been a while since I've released any new fine art prints, so I'm excited to announce these two, which are some of my most recent works. The first one, Inner Works, was painted during the Innerstate live painting event in 2009, and now hangs behind my tattoo station here at Hyperspace Studios. The other one is, Expansion, from the past two years, a period where I've had little opportunity to paint.
All prints are on archival canvas with a border for mounting purposes, and are signed and dated. They're an affordable alternative to owning an original, and with the right light and mounting can look stunning. Check out our online store to see more detailed descriptions of these pieces.
I'd also like to invite you to come take a look at my Instagram page, where I share images of works in progress and other fun behind-the-scenes stuff that you won't see in our websites or blogs.
Thanks, and I hope to see you there!
Ask Guy Column in Tattoo Magazine
May 24, 2013
Some of you are already familiar with the Ask Guy page at my educational site, TattooEducation.com, where I'm taking questions from both artists and tattoo enthusiasts on a whole range of subjects related to tattooing. Because it's available to the public I've been steering clear of nuts-and-bolts technical stuff, with more of an emphasis on understanding design in a way that can be beneficial to both artists and collectors. So far we've gone over a whole range of material, but in the past few months I've expanded this into an illustrated column that is syndicated in Tattoo Magazine, the largest and longest-running tattoo publication in print.
It's been a great opportunity to share information with the public, and I've enjoyed the challenge of addressing these subjects. It's a reminder of how complex of a subject art can be, and the task of coming up with simple answers has caused me to have to think more thoroughly about design matters that I'd taken for granted for a long time. Please take a moment to check out the newest column, along with the two previous ones. Or drop by your local newsstand and pick up a copy of the July 2013 Tattoo Magazine, where you'll find it in the Slinging Ink pages.
I've now got a version of the Ask Guy column here at www.GuyAitchison.com. This may be your first visit here- it's only been live for a few weeks. It's a site where I'm focusing on a particular side of the art that I do, with hand-picked galleries and an archive of magazine features going back to 1989, among other things. You can submit questions to the column from either GuyAitchison.com or from TattooEducation.com. Either way, check it out and tell me what you think.
Thanks, and I'll be in touch soon!
Welcome to my new website!
GuyAitchison.com has been a long time coming. For 18 years now I've shared www.hyperspacestudios.com with my wife, artist Michele Wortman. But GuyAitchison.com gives me a more suitable place to blog about new art projects, tell you about my travel plans, and keep galleries of hand-picked work, both new and from my archives, which I feel best represents what I am about as an artist. We've also got an archive of magazine articles here, hundreds of pages of them, going back as far as 1989 and showing all kinds of cool stuff through the years.
There's also a page here for my Ask Guy column, as seen monthly in Tattoo Magazine, where I'm addressing questions from both artists and collectors. The magazine column is new but we've got Ask Guy content going back a couple years and covering some pretty interesting ground. Check it out, and if you want, submit a question of your own.
I also wanted to mention the upcoming Worldwide Tattoo Conference, coming June 4-5 in Boston, Mass. This will be the second WWTC I've attended- the last one, in the suburbs of Chicago, proved to be a concentrated, high-powered educational event. I'll be teaching a class on tightening up your tattoo technique; there will also be classes taught by Jeff Gogue, Nikko Hurtado, Alex De Pase, Nick Baxter and Bob Tyrrell. Tickets for this incredible event are available now.
Thanks, and I will be keeping you posted!
The Very First Guy Aitchison Online Seminar
November 24, 2012
Greetings from Tattoo Education!
Although I have taught many seminars through the years at conventions and other events, it's taken me up until now to finally take advantage of the internet for teaching purposes. So I'm psyched to announce the very first Guy Aitchison online seminar- Guy's Bag Of Tricks: A Full-Spectrum Mini Webinar.
In this seminar I'll be performing a 4-hour arm tattoo, starting with a freehand marker drawing based on a sketchbook study, then moving through all the technical steps, including the use of some of my best tricks and effects. All this will be webcast in closeup detail, including a live voiceover. You can submit questions through the Chat feature which I'll be answering in realtime. It's a great chance to learn about depth, lighting, flow and other design fundamentals, along with the nuts-and-bolts aspects of applying the piece to get a crisp, painterly look in your results. Experience all this for the introductory price of only $199... or sign up before the New Year and get the special Early Bird price of $149! Links and codes will be emailed to all participants 24 hours before the event.
We are also carrying tickets to a spectrum of other online classes including TattooNow's Building A Great Tattoo Business on Dec.2, Tattoo Photography From A-Z with Bill DeMichelle on March 10th, Stefano Alcantara's Realistic Tattooing on March 3, Black and Gray Tattooing with Big Gus on July 7, and Russ Abbott: The Tattooist's Palette, on July 28. We expect this online curriculum to continue growing in the future.
Thanks, and we'll be in touch soon!