Tattoo Master 12
So, this issue has a distinctly antipodean flavour to it. Having been a huge admirer of Mick Squires’ paintings and tattoo work for many years, I couldn’t think of anyone better to walk us through some of the leading lights in what is fast becoming one of the most exciting areas for tattooing in the world, and also to introduce us to some of his own influences from elsewhere in the globe. Throughout the production of this issue Mick has been nothing short of courteous and generous with both his time and his contacts, resulting in us putting together what I believe to be one of the most exciting issues of Tattoo Master ever! Throughout the past few months I have been continually gobsmacked by the sheer quality of the artwork I have been sent by the likes of Johan from Evil Twins, Rachi Brains, Jeff Gogue and of course Mick Himself. In fact, Mick will be coming to Tattoo Jam this year, as will Jeff, as my personal guest, so I look forward to sharing a beer with him in the very near future, and hopefully getting around to sitting for a fresh tattoo too.
On a personal note I also got to tattoo with the Dragonfly over the past few months and talk to a number of artists who have fallen under the spell of this wonderful little machine. I first encountered the Swedish built rotary in October of last year, when Sass Obuhov came down to my studio in Torquay and tattooed me with one. I was amazed by both its lightness and smoothness, but even more so by just how much Sass loved his machine. For a machine to stir that much fondness in its user it has to be something special indeed. Then in January, when John Anderton tattooed the outside of my leg, he had just borrowed a Dragonfly, and was happily using me as his guinea pig. Needless to say, he was also hugely impressed with the little rotary, and not long after that I too was join the fan club for this fantastic new machine. Not that I have turned my back completely on my trusty coils, or my beloved Stigmas, no there is room in my machine drawer for everyone. But the Dragonfly does bring something new to the table that we have not seen for a long time... a very real alternative to the norm. Neumas came and went, Hawks never really caught on, swash drives seem to be an acquired taste, but the Dragonfly seems to have captured almost everybody’s imagination, and certainly looks to be here to stay. Can’t line with the little bastard though!
And so, the summer is almost here, the weather is getting warmer, and people are wearing fewer clothes. That can only mean one of two things; either I have walked into a strip bar by mistake (wouldn’t be the first time), or we are all about to get really, really busy. Enjoy the magazine, enjoy your job, and don’t forget to smile. Why do tattoo artists always look so glum in photographs? We’ve got the best jobs in the world!