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Japanese Animation and the Magic of the Middleground

It was the early 90’s, around my Jr. year of high school. The Japanese kid in my art class lived a few houses down, but we never talked much. Then, the blizzard came. Everyone was snowed in for weeks. At some point he came and invited me to come down to his house and hang out. He was into manga …

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Respecting Our Past While Forging Our Future

I went to an art reception last night for one of my former art school instructors from Memphis College of Art. He is absolutely one of my favorite teachers I had in school. If you have seen the news media lately with any reference to our school, then you know that it is on the verge of closing for good. …

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Do What Sucks

It was a short conversation that one of my favorite Krav Maga teachers had with us when he gave us our workout for the day. There was no list of posted exercises on the board. It simply said, “Do what sucks.” He elaborated with an explanation that we should pick 5 exercises that we hate doing and make them into …

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Artist Resumes: What Goes In Them and Why You Need One

Tattooing is a unique line of work. It is such a tight-knit, relationship-based community. If you travel, then you probably have a network of friends in shops all over that you can stop in and work for a few days or weeks as you need to. If you have conflicts with the shop you are at, then you can always …

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Online Learning Tools for Making You a Better Artist and Better Person

I have a confession. I keep being pulled back to our recent interview with Teresa Sharpe because of the meme that Jake posted with a quote from their interview. Not only is it a great interview, but I’m a sucker for memes. Teresa’s Interview “If you want to create something new, you have to find something outside of tattooing that’s …

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10 Tips for Landing a Great Tattoo Apprenticeship (Maybe 11)

So you want to land a tattoo apprenticeship? Why wouldn’t you? Tattooing can provide a great income, plenty of free time (If you schedule it) and opportunity to travel. And at the end of the day, you only drew pictures. How bad can that be? Unfortunately, partially due to the perks I mentioned above, tattooing has become a very competitive …

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On Pins and Needles: Tattoo References Through Pinterest

I was all set. I totally had it in my head what I was going to contribute. I had listened to Jake’s episode 141 podcast on Overcoming the Mental Hurdles of your Tattoo Apprenticeship. I had a list of trite comments and my two cents on the matter. Then two things happened. First, I left my YouTube running after Jake …

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Best Magical Tattoo Artist in the South

About two years ago, I was helping a friend with a yard sale. My friend Kirk is a fellow writer who specializes in steam punky fantasy. As I was looking through a small assortment of eccentric unsold books, he reached over and picked up one particular book and handed it to me. He seemed confident that I would really appreciate …

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Tattoo Machines, Split Personalities, and Particle Physics

In Episode 136, Jake gave a bit of a rant that I wholeheartedly agree with. He mostly talked about the importance of growing your artistic skills away from your tattoo machine. He discussed the importance of stepping outside your comfort zone and experimenting in other areas, so that you can grow and evolve in your own field. This made me …