For our Art and Entertainment sections we bring a couple hometown boys. We have Pase showing us how he started his climb to the top of the graff game. We also talk to my boy Danny Gee, a pro wrestler out of Albuquerque!! Much love to those guys for dedicating their life to their passion. And last, but not least, we have a new shop in Albuquerque called Good Fortune Tattoo and it’s creating quite a buzz! We talk to the owner Frankie and he tells us a little about his inspiration behind his new shop and what they represent. For this issue’s tattoo collectors, we were lucky enough to run into two artists / collectors out of Tacoma Washington and captured some photos of their really nice and unique tattoo collection. Hello again and welcome to 2017! This issue is packed with cool stuff so lets jump right in. First, We are honored to have Steve Byrne from Rock of Ages out of Austin Texas to kindly give us an interview & some cool pics of his shop as well as a taste of some of the bad ass tattoos he’s done. I was really excited to see how this article came out since Rock of Ages has been a shop that I have admired for a very long time. We also got another one of my favorites, Mike Chambers to sit down for an interview. Mike is a tattooer out of Philly who specializes in doing traditional style tattoos. He owns one of the most successful tattoo shops on the east coast so be sure to check his section article. Next we head over the Atlantic to bring you an extremely talented artist, Nicklas Westin, out of Barcelona who does his thing in a very untraditional way! This artist was brought to my at-
tention by Michael our creative director and at first, I wasn’t familiar with him, like Who? From Where? “I got to see this!!” and once I saw his work I was like “Let’s do it! Get his stuff in!” He does some of the most beautiful work in that style that I’ve seen. So be sure to check him out. We talk to Johnny Quintana, a talented artist and tattooer out of California. Johnny is the owner of Ink Shop and we were fortunate to have his art on our cover. For our history section, I asked my good friend and coworker, Dragon Chris, to do a writeup on an old school tattooer. He picked the perfect person, Brooklyn Joe Lieber! For those who don’t know, Lieber was one of the greats whom Sailor Jerry was influenced by. Chris did an in depth study on him and gave us an amazing write up on it. So thank you Chris on that one!!
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Finally, we spend some time answering an uncomfortable but frequently asked questions in the tattoo shop. “How much should I tip you?” Yes! It’s a simple question and a good one, but it is always awkward and one everyone should know… so we talk with a collective of artists and ask for their advice for a tattoo collector the next time he or she gets a tattoo. Thank you to all of our readers again for picking up our magazine and making 2016 a hugely successful year for us. We work hard on it and we hope you all enjoy it! We are always looking for feedback. If you have suggestions, I’d love to hear what you have to say. You may email me at email@example.com or even better, mail it to me at Tattoo Marque Magazine, 1014 Central SW. Albuquerque N.M. 87102
President Bale Sisneros Publisher Kevin Baca Communications Helm Sisneros Media Relations Richard Nava Creative Director Michael Harrison Account Executive Monica FrĂŠsquez Contributor Ryan Duran Contributor Shannon Cole Contributor Justin Ballard Contributor Chris Sanchez Photo Editor Kyle Treadwell Photographer Travis Ruiz
Special Thanks Jaclyn Harrison, Emily Stewart, Kevin Urban, Cyrus Harrison, Steve Byrne, Johnny Quintana Missy, Kirk Hjelmstad & Meme Skulls Cover: Johnny Quintana | Ink Shop Tattoo This Page: Steve Byrne | Rock of Ages
Interested in advertising your business or event in Tattoo Marque Magazine? Contact our sales dept today!
Michael Harrison Email: firstname.lastname@example.org ph: (505) 750-3488 tattoomarque.com Jan/February 3
Myke Chambers Steve Byrne
Featured Artists Nicklas Westin 6 Myke Chambers 12 Steve Byrne 18 Johnny Quintana 26 Art & Entertainment Danny Gee Pro Wrestler 30 Graffiti Artist: Paser 32 Good Fortune Tattoo 34 Canvas Artistry 38
Brooklyn Joe Lieber
Tattoo In Time Brooklyn Joe Lieber 40 Tattoo Gallery 46 Collectors Kirk Hjelmstad & Meme Skulls 68 Lifestyle & Events Tips for the Collector 76
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Advertise with us & get your business seen email@example.com
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Nicklas Westin Many artists strive to execute an Oriental/Japanese style tattoo with boldness, precision, and individuality. Nicklas Westin isn’t one of them.
keeping Japanese style conceptual over purist.
“I have little interest in keeping it [Japanese style] purist, as in just keeping on The consistency and implementation with a tradition for the sake of it. I (or of a Japanese style tattoo is something perhaps my clients) often base the conpure, an art that seems straightforward cepts on Oriental mythology and Japayet is quite demanding. Adding per- nese tattooing, but the ideas of my clisonality or a twist to this traditional ents are more important than anything and challenging craft is even harder, yet else, so anything goes really, and few Westin has spent histattoomarque.com career focusing on things are sacred in terms of combin6 Jan/February
ing elements or placement, says Westin. “Being a conformist is not my biggest priority.” As a way of expressing oneself, tattooing is an art form that Westin had very little knowledge of. At first just familiarized with sailor-style tattoos, Westin applied his background in graffiti art and began his career as a tattoo artist specializing in realism and whimsical pieces. It was all about beasts, warriors, ornamental
jewelry, misty backgrounds, and “cheesy stuff like that.” After a meeting a tattoo artist who showed him sharp, black lines and bright colors, he realized he could do his art just as well on skin as on any other type of canvas. With the encouragement of friends and family, he gave tattooing as a career a try. Flash forward to today and Westin is now known internationally with a vivid and impressive portfolio that is easily admirable. Though you can see him at conventions world-wide, he enjoys the space and convenience of his shop in Barcelona. “It is fun to meet people, but I prefer to work in a more calm and planned environment,” says Westin. His preference to a calm and predictable atmosphere translates to his learning style and how he got to where he is today. The complexity of tattooing is not something learned overnight, and becoming an international sensation can eventually be achieved, but with patience. “Establishing yourself is always an issue for any beginner, so that’s definitely a challenge that takes time to overcome,” says Westin. “Today it’s easier though, with tools like those in social media, to reach a wider audience, but at the same time the standards have been raised due to the exponential growth we’ve seen in the tattoo industry the last decades.” Thanks to before-mentioned social media and television, tattoos have grown from what was a steady rate to a rapid acceleration. Westin doesn’t see how the popularity will fade if you consider how widely accepted it has become to getting tattooed. To Westin, “it was about acceptance, and not about trending.” To avoid artists from just specializ-
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ing in trends, Westin advises to focus in on small steps to slowly build up your knowledge, and try to find your unique approach as you pick up pieces of inspiration from other artists; this would be a good start, rather than concentrating on current fads, which is the modern version of doing flash off the wall. “Keep a steady eye on your goal. It will take years and there is no rush that is going to get you there,” Westin says. “Be the turtle and not the rabbit in short.” Not only has the popularity of tattoos increased over the years, but Westin is pleased to say how technological advances have improved his career and ultimately his health. The variety of products and quality offered today has exponentially improved Westin’s daily grind as an artist. “I started to use rotary machines five years ago because of hand problems, as I couldn’t use coil machines more than two to three hours before getting severe pain issues.” Westin says. Losing 200 grams of the weight of standard coil machines completely eliminated that problem, a huge jump from the first decent machine he bought—a coil machine built by Johnny Lundgren from Sweden.
While machines and the whole dynamic of tattooing has twisted and turned throughout the years, Westin strives to turn his art into more than just a daily job he uses to earn a living, something he says, unfortunately, happens to many artists. “I just try to keep pressing myself into doing my best, to still keep making progress, and to avoid seeing my profession as merely a job,” says Westin. “I don’t know if this classifies as giving back to the industry, but I am trying to set a good example to the best of my abilities.” Because tattooing is more than just dabbing color on a person’s arm and throwing it in your portfolio. It’s about the work created between the artist and client, and turning it into art. “It’s an interaction between the artist and collector to reach a common goal. I make no distinction between other art forms and tattooing, except the degree of involvement and influence in the process and outcome that the client has.” You can follow Nicklas Westin on Instagram at @nicklaswestin and Facebook at facebook. com/nicklastattoo. - Shannon Cole
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photograph by Jamie Siever
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Myke Chambers, a tattoo artist for over 20 years, is quite possibly one of the most positive fellas you’ll come across. What you would expect to find from a typical rugged, tough artist is not portrayed through Myke, who actually would like to see more positivity and love in the tattoo industry—you know, all that hippy shit. Getting started in the punk rock age of the 90s, Chambers jumped into tattooing because he thought it was pretty cool, but honestly, he was also out of options. “Ultimately, the reason I started tattooing is because I thought it was fucking awesome. It was cool. I mean, that’s the reason people get tattoos, because they’re cool,” says Chambers. “They can say that it has some deep meaning to them, it’s a tattoo for a loved one, or someone that’s deceased, which is fucking awesome, but in the end the reason they got it is because it was cool.” Chambers’ initiated his career applying tribal tattoos when the mid-90s saw a peak in that style. “I really just loved dots and lines and shapes. I see that making a resurgence now and I think it’s fucking awesome,” says Chambers. And it wasn’t easy at that time to get started and succeed in the way artists do today. With a huge resurgence of tattoos in today’s age, the support and companionship amongst artists has changed for the better in comparison to his earlier years. “When I first started to learn to tattoo it wasn’t easy because there weren’t very many shops. There weren’t a lot of people that were willing to teach you,” Chambers says. Today, Chambers says it’s not exactly easy to get an apprenticeship, but if you really want it bad enough, all you
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really have to do is “fucking draw and paint your fucking ass off.”
The scale at which artists are surging in the industry and really make a name for themselves has skyrocketed since Chambers’ early days. And quite frankly, it’s pretty mind-blowing. “I’m seeing so many tattooers that are up-andcoming that are just so good. Like they’ve only been tattooing for a couple years and they’re better than I was in 10 years,” says Chambers. With Chamber’s non-traditional style, he has been one to look out for in this industry where an artist could be so incredibly revolutionary, or just a complete hack. That’s the shitty side of tattooing; there is really nothing you can do about the artists who complete maybe three-month apprenticeships then go on and apprentice others. According to Chambers, that shit is going to happen. But as always, with Chamber’s “hippy” attitude, he looks at things with a “glass is half full” mentality. “People are going to get bad tattoos and then they’re going to get educated some point—well hopefully they do anyway,” says Chambers. “Then they’re going to get blast over tattoos and hopefully good tattoos. If there’s people out there doing bad tattoos, that’s just going to create more money for people to do cover-ups and shit like that.” Chambers is just a guy who appreciates the art of tattooing, who wants to see positivity in everything. Because frankly, he won’t listen to you otherwise. “So many people I hear are just complaining about this or that and I don’t really want hear it,” says Chambers. He knows there are artists who honor their work, those, like Chambers, who want to carry on the admirable aspects of the industry. Integrity and respect are going to get carried down. But it has to be passed down.
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“Good tattooers have to take on apprentices, or
it will get lost,” says Chambers. He doesn’t understand why people can be such “fucking assholes,” but Chambers has since seen a huge upswing in positivity, and that’s what keeps him motivated. Chambers says, “I feel that that positivity fuels creativity and that’s pretty inspiring. I like to gravitate towards posi-
tivity and giving that back. The ripple effect. Everything comes back to you.” Maybe that’s why his version of traditional work is incomparable, where he uses a traditional base that is reworked with his own style. With his mentality on how amazing attitudes and perspectives have shifted over the years, no wonder he produces kick-ass work. You can follow Myke Chambers on
instagram.com/mykechambers, facebook.com/Myke.Chambers. or online @ mykechambers.com. - Shannon Cole
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Rock of Ages
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Austin is one of the oldest cities to embrace non-traditional aesthetics, even in the workforce. One such area where this is exceedingly clear is in tattooing. Everyone in this city is inked and pierced, and as such, there is no shortage of tattoo shops scattered about. One of the oldest (and most sought after) shops is Rock of Ages down on ever-vibrant South Lamar. I sat down with Steve Byrne and discussed the shop, his work and his origins. Steve Byrnes: I’ve been tattooing since 1997 in the north of England, a city called Leeds. I moved to America in 2009 with an American wife and three kids. She got sick of living abroad and I was up for a new adventure, so we took a couple of road trips and settled on Austin. Justin Ballard: Why Austin? SB: This shop, really. I did a guest spot here a couple of times, informally, got
tattooed, hung out, and really fell in love with the city. We were thinking about California, or the east coast, but we settled on Texas. I feel very at home, it is my home now. I miss it when I’m not here.
idea and think “yeah this sounds like a good idea” and I’m lying down thinking “what the fuck am I doing here.” I just have shitty spots left now.
JB: So, when did you first think about being a tattoo artist? When did tattooing catch your eye?
SB: I got an Om symbol on my back.
SB: I wouldn’t know a year or anything, but I remember seeing tattoos on people. I remember seeing Kurt Russell in Escape from New York with this super cool snake on his stomach, and that was one of my earliest memories of seeing tattoos in the media or movies or anything like that. I got my first tattoo when I was fifteen, so, I was pretty young when I started, but I’ve been six foot seven, 250 pounds since I was thirteen or fourteen, so it was pretty easy for me to walk into a tattoo shop and hang out there and no one would ask me any questions. I was tattooing at age eighteen. I love getting tattoos. Every now and then I’ll get an
SB: No real reason.
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JB: So what was your first one?
JB: So, when did you know that you wanted to be an artist, and how did you pursue that? Did you apprentice? SB: Yeah, I moved to Leeds, got this new circle of friends, a ton of tattoos and started going to punk and hardcore shows. The two go hand-in-hand, really, so I started drawing a ton and taking them to tattoo shops, getting tattoos, eventually this one guy said to me “hey you should really do this, you could probably get away with doing this for a living.”
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JB: So what was your most prominent influence, as far as a tattoo style? SB: American traditional. Well, Western traditional. They were all doing the same kind of imagery, around the same time, just swap a German flag for an American one or a Norwegian one, some eagles, ships. So that was how I started making a name for myself, with bright, solid tattoo work, but started
mixing it up with some Japanese style stuff, all kinds. Heavily inspired by Ed Hardy and his proteges, just to kind of bring something else, honor those guys by doing something different. I think Texas, Austin particularly, has its own style. Just like, crazy, color bomb stuff, no holds barred, people are up for anything here. It’s diluting a little bit with the influx of people coming from all over the country, but I would still say it has its own distinct kind of feeling.
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JB: So what about conventions? You make the circuit? SB: Yeah, I’m trying to do less, but I still enjoy them so I feel trapped in many ways to keep doing them. Normally every year I’ll do Salt Lake City, Montreal, San Francisco, London. I didn’t do London last year. I want to go to Cape Town in March, but I’m fifty-fifty on that.
JB: That’s a long way to go. SB: Yeah, with having three kids at school, it’s going to be difficult for me to convince my wife that it’s a good time for me to go there, because these things are always fifty percent work, fifty percent fun. JB: Right, like you have to work just so you can get away with saying “I had to go.” SB: Right, exactly, “we’re not going for any nice dinners, or any nice excursions, we won’t be doing any waverunning today.” JB: What trends are big now? SB: Honestly, I don’t really know, I’m trying to avoid it. I’m inherently dubious of anything that doesn’t look like it takes great skill to do. I’ve seen a lot of
simplistic line work just floating around the internet and I’m not very impressed with that at all. I know why, you can get it done fast, cheap and big. JB: Have you had to turn people away for stuff like that? SB: No, no I don’t like to turn people away, I try to explain to them like, that might not be the best place on the body, let me show you what would work. Actually I do remember the last time I turned someone away. It involved a cover up, and she just wanted the impossible. There was no way I could make it happen. So you get embroiled in this argument with them, like, “why, why can’t you do this?” “Why? It’s impossible, you want a fucking white lotus on top of a black checkered flag.”
JB: So when you’re not tattooing, are you embroiled in art? SB: I’ve got a new book that’s being released December 9th, it’s the second in a series of books I’m doing. I’m assembling tattoo stencils, and doing cut and paste with them in this big almanac of designs. It’s a really ambitious project, it’s going to be really cool. JB: Any parting advice for a collector? SB: Avoid trends, maybe avoid some rockstar tattooer, just hold out and get tattooed by the person you want to get tattooed by, instead of just going to the person down the road. I see that all the time, where you just get a knock off. Seek the roots, not the fruits, you know. -Justin Ballard
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for my tattoo shop and a great rapport with many tattoo artists in my industry.” Teaching art, helping educate more tattooers and helping them become tattoo artists is his next endeavor.
“The thing I love most about what I do is being continuously creative, and meeting many beautiful people. I’ve become great family friends with some if not most of the people I get the pleasure of tattooing.”
Johnny Quintana is the owner of Ink Shop Tattoo for over 11 years now. He graduated from Art Center College of Design in Pasadena California in 2005, where he majored in Illustration and minored in Fine Art and Entertainment Design. We were fortunate to have an opportunity to chat with the Arcadia Ca. tattoo shop owner. Here is what he had to say: “I got into tattooing by watching my older brother do it. He is 6 years older than me and as a kid my big brother was a huge influence on me” says Quintana who began experimenting with tattooing and did his first tattoo at the age of 10. “I must admit that I wasn’t really into it at first, but a
few years later I landed in a juvenile detention center where my love for tattooing blossomed.” All of his work is original, and Quintana feels it is his personal responsibility to give each and every one of his clients a custom fit and one of a kind tattoo. Looking back at his tattoo career, he has no reqrets. “I had many goals that I set for myself when I decided to dedicate my life to tattooing. Since then I have accomplished many of those goals and didn’t waste any time doing so. I have traveled the world and I have published 2 books “Till Death” & “Do us Part”, and created a successful name
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Quintana has been drawing ever since he can remember, and at about 11 years old he started experimenting with oil painting. “To be honest I just picked up some paints and started figuring out how to get the results I wanted. It wasn’t an easy or a smooth transition into painting, but my eagerness and curiosity was my ally.” He later enrolled in painting classes, though he never waited to take them to start painting. “As an artist by profession and education, I know that any style we currently have is temporary. A true artist never ceases to evolve, grow, learn and create. I can appreciate many styles of art but “Chiaroscuro” is my absolute favorite style to paint and currently am using for my tattoo work.” As far as his tattoos, he mostly gets tattooed by his friends and people he knows on a personal level. “I have
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tattoos by Franco Vescovi, Rock Espinoza, Chuey Quintanar, Fonzy, Ivano Natale, Macko, Mr. Flaks, Tattoo Baby, Jay Miyagi, Freddy Robles, Carlos Rojas, Jorge Corcuera, Danny Lopez…” I would like to give a huge thanks to my Ink Shop Tattoo Family. My wife Nata-
lie Quintana who also helps to manage Ink Shop Tattoo and does laser tattoo removal, micro blading, scalp micro pigmentation, and all the super talented tattoo artists that work with me , Freddy Robles, Mike Avena, Eddie Bird, Jorge Corcuera and Anthony Davis. Thank you Ink Shop Tattoo Family…
Anyone interested in looking further more his work can find him here: Instagram Johnny_Quintana facebook.com/eljohnnyquintana www.inkshoptattoo.com
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Danny Gee Pro Wrestler
The world of professional wrestling is a tough and vicious sport. Those who say that it is fake are gravely mistaken. Sitting down with professional wrestler Danny Gee, he dispels some of these myths. Talking about how in order to make it in this life one needs to be able to take the punishment. Though much of the moves and events in a match are predetermined, all the moves are real. From being slammed to the mat, kicked, punched and even thrown, all these moves are real and the wrestlers must be able to take it all. Growing up in Albuquerque, New Mexico Danny Gee did not have an easy life. Being caught up in the gang life in Albuquerque at a young age sent him down a difficult path. Talking about his start in the gang life he says, “My early teen years I had got involved with gangs and everything that came with it from selling drugs at the park, to my friends getting killed.”
That final part is what would push him out of the gang life and into using his natural talent. The death of a close friend is what opened his eyes and gave him the kick in the ass to do something different and to change his trajectory. When asking him about what sparked his career into professional wrestling he mentions about how as a child he used to practice the moves with his friends. It was in these childhood, roughhousing moments that made him click and want to try wrestling in school. Yet, it was poor grades and the gang life that would keep him from doing it. Following the death of his friend Danny, moved out of New Mexico and went to Texas, more importantly San Antonio. It was here that he would begin to hone his skills in wrestling by joining the Texas Wrestling Academy. This is where he learned the basics that would push him to the place that he is now.
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However, the life of a wrestler is not an easy one having previously mentioned the fact that it is not fake. Many do not take into account the amount of training that goes into keeping up this life. Constantly training to make sure your body is up to snuff. He mentions about spending almost day and night training that coupled with the brutality of the matches. From being slammed, kicked, punched, and thrown “it takes a toll on the body” he goes on to say. Speed, strength, and muscle mass are highly needed if not required to continue from day to day. When many think of professional wrestling they immediately jump to the WWE, yet that is not the only organization out there. There are many smaller companies where the wrestlers work and hope to potentially get that contract. However, that has not stopped Danny from marketing himself. Talking about how today’s use of social media has made
it possible for his career to spread. Many of the fans being those who may have never seen a fight in person contribute to the rapid growth of this worldwide fan base. Though Danny Gee is known more in Texas and Arizona, he recognizes his roots and keeps close to them. When he came back to New Mexico, he began learning more about Lucha Libre. Which to those unfamiliar with it, it is a wrestling style from Mexico. Using the theatrics that are familiar with American professional wrestling, Lucha Libre focuses more on the Mexican heritage. The connection to his roots is also shown in the art that he chooses to decorate himself in. Being a fan of tattoos, Danny has a wide array of them covering various parts of his body. Many of them are to what inspires him in his life, for example money. Many of the other ones connect to heritage of Mexican and Aztec styled pieces. He touches on several of his tattoos, one being a huge Scarface inspired piece saying, “The world is yours.” This is an inspiration to remind him that one can do anything they want to in this world. A few others are pieces that he received when young showing his pride in his race and town. Many of Danny’s tattoos come from Mario Saiz from Stylistic Ink here in Albuquerque. Danny is a true inspiration to follow one’s dreams and to work hard for them. That added to the fact that he does not forget his past and roots make him a person you want to see move on up in the ranks of his sport. -Ryan Duran
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When it comes to the world of graffiti those involved go through many difficult tasks to have their art shown. Graffiti a style that is considered by some nowadays as still uncultured and “gangster” but has been changing in recent years. Many of the graffiti artists that are out today display a wonderful talent and sense of space. Having to do many of their pieces on the fly (at least when starting) these artists have to be aware of their space and utilize it to its fullest. We here at Tattoo Marque had the wonderful opportunity to sit down and speak with one of the local talents in this urban movement. Paser is an artist that was born, raised, and cut his teeth here in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Having more than two decades under his belt as far as doing ”Graff ”, Paser is one who does
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not plan. He elaborates on this by saying, “None of my pieces are really planned out. I just pick a good color scheme go up and freestyle. I don’t sketch it out beforehand.” This here just goes to show that many graffiti artists rely on just eye balling and letting the paint do its work. When asked about his style he goes on to say that, it is a simple style. His focus is primarily on letters, lightly touching on that his style has changed over the years but he is still pretty much doing what he did in the 90s. Going with idea of “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” Paser is an artist who sticks pretty close to his roots, which owes a lot to being from the South Valley here in Albuquerque. The talent from the people who come out of this area is straight up and in your face.
Being an artist he has a multitude of inspirations from fellow graffiti artist Fayz, Threat, 2Face, Giant, Crek to name a few to more recently being inspired by those around him, primarily his friends who tattoo and do Graff themselves. He allows himself to be a canvas for those artists, which to name a couple are Bale and Disum, both coming out of Por Vida. The life of a graffiti artist is a wild ride from running from the cops, to being shot at, to traversing huge buildings and billboards to get their work shown. Paser has been through it all. A true artist willing to risk life and limb to get some recognition it was an honor speaking to him. -Ryan Duran
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“Giving back to the community” has been the philosophy that Frankie Montoya, owner of Albuquerque’s Good Fortune Tattoo, built his entire shop around. Originally founded in January of 2015, Good Fortune was blessed with tremendous growth over the last year, with 10 artists, 5 apprentices and 2 full-time staff making up the Good Fortune Family as of December 2016. What makes this collective of artists unique is that each artist is their own boss; while Frankie owns the shop, he rents booths out to each artist, giving them room to operate independently within the framework of the shop. This allows each artist to focus on developing their craft on their terms, and Good Fortune has prospered from such a positive creative environment. It wasn’t always this way though. Frankie began his apprenticeship at a local shop that is no longer in business, where circumstances left Frankie no choice but to run the shop on his own before he and his fellow artists found themselves without jobs right before Christmas of 2014. This left Frankie, his family, and
his fellow artists in a precarious spot. Frankie was undeterred by this, so he and his now-unemployed coworkers decided to open Good Fortune the following month. Like most shops that are just starting
out, Good Fortune stayed in relative obscurity while the artists worked hard to put it on the map in Albuquerque. Within a year, the artist that co-owned Good Fortune with Frankie left to start
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his own shop along with the other tattoo artists, leaving only Frankie and his apprentice Bryan. Frankie felt discouraged and considered closing the doors to Good Fortune. Having weighed out his options, Frankie and Bryan ultimately decided to continue on with the Good Fortune name. A chance encounter with artist Ericksen Linn at a tattoo convention ultimately led to him, Alex Werder, Rudy Lopez and Ericksen’s apprentice Fabian Pedroza joining the Good Fortune team over the summer. Many things quickly fell in place, which brings us to Good Fortune’s current roster, which includes the aforementioned Ericksen Linn, Alex Werder, Rudy Lopez, Fabian Pedroza, Lorenzo Baca, Zach Pedroncelli, Aaron Walker, and Victor Vegas. Many of the artists had worked together throughout each of their careers at various shops in New Mexico, with many artists coming back around full circle at Good Fortune. Frankie started Good Fortune with the intention of creating a shop that gave artists more freedom. He did this by utilizing a booth rental system instead of
commission, allowing the artists to act as their own bosses as a collective under a looser infrastructure than a typical shop. Frankie hoped this would give each tattooer the room to focus more on their art. Something he felt would lead to a happier shop environment for not only the artists, but their clients. “As artists, we have been given the blessing to do what we love as a career. This is a gift that has been given to us, and Good Fortune wants to take that gift and give back to our clients, the ones who make this possible, and to the city of Albuquerque .” This sentiment has been the mission statement Frankie based his shop around since day one. With such a large collective of artists, Good Fortune was lucky enough to find a large space that provided plenty of opportunities to throw events and fundraisers. At Good Fortune’s grand reopening this past October, the artists raffled off sessions as a way to say thank you to all of the clients who had helped their tattoo artists continue doing what they love best. Another one of these opportunities that the space provided for them was to partner up with the shop’s neighbors For The Good, a screen printing company with a similar heart for the city. This partnership culminated into an event being held on January 14th for The Dream Center, a national organization that just opened an Albuquerque branch. The Dream Center focuses on battling sex trafficking, ending chronic homelessness and providing support for addiction. Good Fortune and For The Good will be teaming up with other Albuquerque shops to provide tattoo work for victims of sex trafficking, covering up the tattoos used to identify victims within the illegal trafficking industry. This event will serve as Good Fortune’s 2nd anniversary and will be just one of many that the shop will be throwing left: alex werder right: lorenzo baca
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throughout 2017, including art galleries, further fundraising and a drawing/painting class taught by Ericksen Linn and Rudy Lopez, which will be hosted after the January event. With these events, Good Fortune hopes to partner with other tattoo shops and local businesses, because Frankie Montoya believes that the more that businesses come together, the more that Albuquerque as a whole benefits. â€œAt the end of the day, Good Fortune as a shop wants to look towards the future while respecting and learning from the past and the history that made the tattoo industry the place it is in the present. Every artist here is grateful for the opportunities that have brought them where they are today, and hopes to use that gratitude and make it something larger than themselves and Good Fortune.â€? With 2016 being a year of rebirth and a fresh start for the shop, Frankie Montoya and Good Fortune Tattoo donâ€™t plan on going anywhere any time soon. - Brian Gaiser goodfortunetattoos.com @ Goofortunetattoos
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top left: Ericksen Linn lower left: fabian pedroza right: rudy lopez
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Located centrally in the Nob Hill District of Albuquerque, New Mexico is Canvas Artistry. Canvas’ one of a kind, synergistic approach to art in all of its forms has been the perfect addition to the Duke City. There are four main focuses at Canvas Artistry, each of which is an art in itself: Art, Music, Kitchen, and Bar. The art which adorns the walls of Canvas Artistry is all local to the region, and reflects that in the cultural statements which they make. Mixed Media, Folk, Graffiti, Flash, Traditional, and Abstract are the current styles employed by the artists chosen to display their work in Canvas. Rotations are made quarterly to the art selected for your viewing (and purchasing, if you are so inclined). In addition to the regular rotations made, a supplemental quarterly display is held in the form of art shows intended to showcase up and coming local artists. This ever-changing gallery was all a part of the original design for Canvas Artistry. In recent months, the original design was expanded by adding two painting classes to the event schedule each month. An artist local to Albuquerque, Melissa Dougherty, puts together materials and plans for classes she teaches every other Sunday. Included in the admission price for each class are the materials used as 38 wellJan/February as an entrée of tattoomarque.com each individual par-
ticipant’s choice from the Canvas Menu. The menu is a work of art which is also changed quarterly to accommodate the fruits and vegetables which are in season. The plates are the chef ’s canvas. The culinary team has found inventive ways to prepare street food found all over the world in a way that regardless of the region from where it came, it works beautifully with other items on the menu. The creative culinary minds working behind the scenes at Canvas have put their own twists on international street food in a way that tricks your eyes and palates into believing that there is no
way these dishes could have ever been inspired by a food truck. Not only are taste and presentation a central focus, but supporting the local economy is paramount. Approximately 80% of all foods chosen for use in the kitchen are locally sourced from farmers and vendors. All that any individual could ever want, whether they care that the food is local, fresh, or if gluten free and vegetarian options are what one needs; Canvas accommodates all of the above. Not too far off of the culinary tip is the bar. The team of craft bartenders
is passionate about you knowing exactly what goes into each glass. Neon colored mixers with ingredients that you have to stutter and squint to pronounce are a no-no at Canvas. All syrups are house made, with only fresh fruits and vegetables. House made infusions using recipes written by the mixologists at Canvas are creative and delightful. There is always a batch of their signature Spiced Rum or their everpopular Lavender Vanilla Bean Vodka in the works. As with the kitchen menu, the bar menu is on a quarterly rotation, and the team behind the bar are the masterminds behind the cocktails found on the menu. Not only do you taste the artistic creativity of the bartenders’ abilities with each sip, but the visual beauty of each cocktail and garnish are an experience all on their own. If you prefer brews to booze, Canvas prioritizes local craft beers and some of the best craft beers from Colorado and California. If you are the type of beer drinker who doesn’t care for the intensity of craft beers, you’re covered too. All of the classics are offered as well. Cocktails and beers don’t satisfy your palate quite like wine and champagne? No worries! Canvas makes sure to rotate wines quarterly as well to compliment the season and food offerings. Who says art has to stop with pleasing the eyes and taste buds? Canvas likes art for the ears, soul, and body as well. Music is in the forefront of what Canvas finds to be important. Live bands playing acoustic music, funk, reggae, and other genres are regularly scheduled for intimate performances at Canvas Artistry. There is a weekly schedule of deejays who love to get you up and out of your seat while they spin the best in Golden Era Hip Hop, Funk, Soul, Reggae, and occasionally, House Music. Special events such as the annual Dia De Los Muertos celebration, (which has been running long before Canvas first opened their door to the public in September of 2015) will showcase live dancers for your viewing pleasure. These dancers celebrate the indigenous forms of dance to this region, and execute their performances beautifully. If you’re local to the Albuquerque area, or if you’re just visiting the Duke City, make sure you experience Canvas Artistry for yourself. Canvas has so much to offer, and continues to expand that not all could be covered. To stay up to date with what is going on with Canvas, visit their website: www.canvas-artistry.com For inquiries regarding booking an act, scheduling a special event, or simply reservations, contact: Jesus Gomez - 505.227.6999 or Herman Sanchez 505.401.2510 - Amy Knabenshue
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Tattoo in Time Brooklyn Joe Lieber
Sailor Jerry has received much of the well-deserved attention in the last decade. Old Iron Sights or Hori Smoku as he dubbed himself was profoundly American and damn proud of it. He is credited to be the Godfather of The American Traditional style and with good reason. So it is no surprise that his influences would come from his beloved homeland. There were many sources of inspiration that he had mail correspondence with trading their (at the time) well protected secrets of the trade. These men included the legends Owen Jenson, Charlie Wagner and the man we will be focusing on today… the one and only “Brooklyn” Joe Lieber.
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To this day it is unknown where he got the name Brooklyn Joe as records show him working nearly exclusively on the west coast. In Albert Parry’s 1933 book Tattoo it is stated, that Lieber who was based in San Francisco was one of the United States best tattoo artists. While it is well documented that he was most active between the 1930s thru the 50s, business cards held in the tattoo archives from the early 40s state that he had 45 years experience. That would place his tattoo career beginnings as early as 1895. When looking at one of his flash paintings or tattoos, it is plain to see why he was such an inspiration to and arguably one of the creators of modern American Traditional. His paintings were lightyears ahead of the folk art developing at the time in the
industry. With the bright color schemes, solid black placement and bolder outlines. His pinup paintings were also very indicative of the style Jerry later used in his own tattoos and paintings. He made many designs that are considered the heart of American Traditional such as roses, pinups, eagles, flags, animals, and military themed tattoos the path was paved for future development of the American Traditional style. One can picture what it was like to be tattooed by him in the 30s, an extremely tough and sometimes violent world that tattoo artists existed. It was very different from the sterile and almost doctor office approach of many modern shops. Tattoo shops were scary, mean and very rough and tumble definitely not a world for pussies. In his day
only the brave and crazy would tend to venture in and if you wanted a tattoo the design choices were extremely limited. Virtually every reputable tattooer had a selection of hand painted flash sheets that you could choose your tattoo design from. His were clearly among the best in his time period. Large scale work was extremely rare in the western world. Even so you can easily find old black and white pictures of entire back pieces made by him.
including C.J. Eddy and J.C. Kidd at one of their famous shops of that day. His later career was also earmarked with having worked alongside another legendary tattoo figure Doc “Davey” Jones. He had a long fruitful life and career from the late 1800s to 1953 where he finally passed away. During his last years he had correspondences with “Sailor” Norman Jerry Collins where he traded art, pictures of tattoos he made, and hand carved acetate stencils along with other safeguarded secrets of the trade that Jerry likely took to the grave. A famous Sailor Jerry quote goes “always hold back your death blow special, in case you need to use it against them”. Brooklyn Joe’s art was definitely a death blow in Jerry’s repertoire.
In the 1940s Oakland California was a Mecca for world class tattooing on the west coast, Brooklyn Joe worked at the Fun Center Arcade on Broadway. This must have been a longtime stay for him because Tattoo Archive has multiple cards of his at this address. He worked with many of the greats of his time - Chris Sanchez tattoomarque.com Jan/Frebruary 41
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bernalillo · albuquerque
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London Reese @london_reese
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Reynosa Angel @angel_reynosa
Nore @toptobotm_pv tattoomarque.com Jan/February 59
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Tick @ticktat2 62 Jan/February tattoomarque.com
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Uzi @waachip tattoomarque.com Jan/February 65
Wilson Adan Sanchez @adansanchez_
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Kirk Hjelmstad Melissa â€œmeme skullsâ€?
Kirk and his girlfriend Melissa are two tattoo artists and collectors who both got into tattoos for the same reason; their toughness and rebellious symbolism that tattoos have withheld for many, many years. Based in Tacoma, Washington, their tattoo shop, Ink Spot Tattoo, is where they apply their work to many faces and personalities who wander into their parlor, most of whom are local, loyal clientele and military personnel. But it was punk rock, the biker scene and outlaws that got Kirk and Melissa (aka Meme Skulls) into tattoos. “When I was a little kid, the bikers really stick in my head. I knew I wanted tattoos. I loved the way they looked and the people that wore them,” Hjelmstad says, “I thought they looked tough as hell.” Even at the tender age of eight, Hjelmstad found tattoos to be fascinating and purely jaw-dropping. He recalls a family friend who showed off a fresh tattoo to him and his family, a Peter-
built truck running over a state patrolman. “I thought that was the coolest thing I ever saw in my life and I knew right then and there I wanted to do that to people.” Meme didn’t quite get into the tattoo scene until she was 19, with the mentality that rebellion is the way to go. Unlike her beau, who collects art that is as classic and tough as can be, Meme likes adding designs to her collection that just make her happy, such as her bro tats or numerous matching tattoos (and Bill Murray from Where the Buffalo Roam). And of course, the more color, the better. “I don’t get sad tattoos,” Meme says. Though they differ in what they add to their personal collections, they both are very versatile when it comes to their artistry. They both do a little bit of everything, and Meme says they keep it interesting with their clientele who usually keep them on their toes. Hjelmstad prefers American Traditional, but makes it a point that he tries to be good at everything.
For a couple who has been tattooing for a combined total of about 22 years, they have a tremendous appreciation for the past and the greats who revolutionized the tattoo industry, whether directly or indirectly. With so many up and coming artists, the actual art and value of tattoing seems to have faded, and that includes how artists are making it in the industry and how artists apply their ink. When it comes to the tattoo industry, Meme says she would bring back the old school way of earning your career and not having it all handed to you. “I think it’s overcrowded with artists that don’t seem to care about the past. How can we move forward without paying respect to the past?” As for Hjelmstad, he takes it a step further by saying tattoos should be outlawed, giving tattoos the defiance it once had which will make them “cool” again. Hm. While that may not be happening in the near future, Hjelmstad continues to develop as both an artist and a
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collector, idolizing other artists that are flourishing in the Northwest like Casey Buxton, Paco Rollins, and Adam Craven, all extremely well versed in applying traditional tattoos. Hjelmstad admits his collection of tattoos are not necessarily meaningful—though tough, of course— but his ever-changing themes of traditional art through the years replicate the classic designs the guys he looked up to wore. “I can pick a classic design right off the wall and be happy as hell about it,” says Hjelmstad. And as the both of them develop their work, it continuously influences what they add to their collection and by who. Meme says, “I have a better understanding of what makes a good tattoo and what will age well. I love watching other artists work so I can continue to learn, so I pursue artists I respect and admire.” Meme stresses the fact that anyone can be a salesman, and checking out any artists’ portfolio is a must before getting their work. Every avid collector and pure admirer for the art of tattooing knows to let the work speak for itself, or just take Hjelmstad’s advice and “get tattooed by the old timers before it’s too late. Pay your respects.” Hjelmstad and Meme have gone as far as Arizona to add to their collections, stopping by to permanently don the works of Aaron Coleman, another traditional artist whose vibrant and clean-cut work were worth almost a 3,000 mile roundtrip for the couple. And if the life of an artist and a collector ever sounded difficult, think again— though who would? Because according to Meme, the life of an artist and collector go pretty hand-in-hand, You can find their work on Instagram at @ClassActKirk and @Memeskulls. - Shannon Cole
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The Art of Tipping
Tipping is always a hot topic here in the states. The question always arises as to when, how, and why one should tip. Culturly here in the US is big on the idea of tipping; this is primarily focused on the food service industry. There are those out there who feel that tipping is an unneeded act and that they should not have to tip someone for doing their job. That mentality is highly controversial and it extends even into the tattoo world. The act of tattooing is a service that is rendered to the client and the question still comes up, “should one tip, and if so how much?” There are varying opinions on tipping your artist some even talking about how tipping is not required just appreciation of the work that the artist had done for their client. This is only one opinion the majority of the others are all
in agreement that tipping is not required but greatly appreciated. To be a tattoo artist your pay is always based on the amount of work you do during the time at the shop. All artists rent their booths and need to pay a percentage of their earnings to the shop. That along with having to purchase their own materials the act of payment is a big issue. With the question of tipping being answered and the majority all agreeing that it isn’t required but is still greatly appreciated, we come to the next question “what should one tip?”. Unlike with food service there is no set limit on how much a client should tip their artist. Some mention that 20% is a good starting place, others not caring on the amount and finally some just agreeing that $20 is a fair amount. That being said treat it as
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if you are at a salon. Like tattoo artists’, stylists rent their own booths so the sliding scale of 10-20% should be noted. The big thing is no matter how much you plan on tipping it is something that is highly appreciated by the artist. The reason being is that is shows them how appreciative you are of the work they done on you. Also is just a good idea when some does something for you as a service. The big thing though is to never ask how much you should tip. That makes the situation awkward for all involved. So remember always show appreciation and if you tip use your best judgment on what you should leave for the artist. - Ryan Duran
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Artist Index Nicklas Westin
Shi Ryu 50
Brooklyn Joe Lieber
Distribution List Albuquerque
Good Fortune Tattoo Deuces Barbershop Albertos Tire Shop Por Vida Tattoo Tractor Brewing MDK Barber Shop & Salon Rio Rancho Gas Pipe Rude Boy Cookies Blazes Smoke Shop Jessie’s Barbershop Sports & Wellness Riverside AT Tires & Custom Wheels Tony Tattoo Supplies Audio Express Wolf ’s Head Tattoo Duke City Ink 71 Tattoo Hometown Heroez Tattoo No Limit The Mixx Bad Ass Coffee
Stay Gold Tattoo Marble Brewery Cheba Hut M&M Smokeshop LA Underground Perricos Yale Location Campus Barbershop Masks y Mas Canvas Artistry Kitchen Up in Smoke BZ Skateshop Illest Cuts Brick Street Dive Stone Face Tavern Joann Gabaldon-Chavez Farmers Insurance Star Tattoo Tinta Cantina Smoke World Rio Rancho Route 66 Fine Line Tattoo 78 Jan/February tattoomarque.com
Santa Fe Vida Loca Gallery Tia Shophia’s Anytime Fitness Concrete Jungle Smokeshop Chopstix Oriental Food Dawn’s Custom Tattoo Four Star Tattoo Lost Cowboy Tattoo and Gallery El Parasol Talis Fortuna Talisman Body Art Dungeon Tattoo Evil Emporium of Tattoo Don’s Auto Works Genoveva Chavez Community Center
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