Butterfly Flash, Norman Collins aka Sailor JerryIt has been mega fly time at the lake. When we get to the house in the evening, there they all are, clustered at the windows banging to be let out, or dead in groups on tabletops, corners and the floor. It is weird doings and I cannot fathom why this moment for the flies to gather here, chez moi. It most definitely could be something agricultural—as the Luckystone is near open fields and vineyards. But why now and why in general?

“Good work isn’t cheap. Cheap work isn’t good.” Sailor Jerry

I have been trying to learn about Norman Collins, tattooist going by the moniker, Sailor Jerry. The interweaving of Sailor Jerry’s life, art, local and the rise and legalization of tattooing is taking me on a wild ride from blogs to websites to tattoo shops. The history is intriguing as is the source of the imagery—but to me Norman Collins steady and sure hand, his drawing rocks my world. This untrained guy—a sailor, musician, poet and tattooist, was remarkable when it comes to simplifying an image, making a limited palette work, and then sheer good design skills. A rose is a confident series of lines that is complemented with solid color leaving the highlights white without blend or gradation. However, as in the woman’s head I posted yesterday, look at the deliberate use of gradient/tone around her eyes to really take something simple and really sex it up. The eye gradient makes the tattoo. His interest and relationships with master Japanese tattoo artists peeks through his work. One can see bits of Utimaro and the brevity of line and tone work right there in his flash .

I am also surprised to find out that tattooing became legal in 1997. Look at the mad popularity that expanded after that date. Hmmm.

more musing later.

Tattoo You

Tattoo You, Q. Cassetti, 2012, black and whiteNew tattoo. I am having two done…one of this lovely swallow (pretty big, 2”x2”) and a heart one that is about the size of a business card. Psyched. One more in the works, a bee… 1.5” x 1.5” that can be applied as a singleton or as a group. Next stop is a coaster or two to make sets, and maybe sell them. What with the raft of weddings and parties for all these wonderful women I know, coasters and tattoos will be nice adds to the offerings. Maybe a button too?

I have been cruising on a design/illustration time. I have been really hunkering down on a few projects and enjoying the focus and flow of the work. Plus, it is all for people who will like this work (or so I feel it in my bones). I have a bit more to do in the next few days…and then it will be a wrap.

Tonight is DJAQ’s Dance Jam. We are expecting around 60. Alex says the only offering should be water, however, thanks to Nick (a friend) we will need to have snacks—so I plan on getting to the store to buy out the chips and nibbles. Rob will be working on paperwork, so I will do the same with Farmers Market fun.

This blog is going to take on a few more links, tweaks and changes. Keep your eyes open.


Chris Conn Askew

Fox and Girl, 2007

Chris Conn Askew is a former tattoo artist who is coming to the fore with his illustration and personal art. There was a great article on him in Juxtapoz which inspired me to want to learn more. I love his storybooky topics that he twists using a very simple palette with strong design/line work with a simple color palette (much like tattooing). Its interesting his new work is so strongly in vertical rectangles (which is a framed shape that might morp from a tattoo arm or leg shape. His type is sublime. I would love to see some wine labels done by him...or even some exotica like absinthe advertising.

I am fascinated with these tattoo artists...either the working guys in the business and also those that stop the tattooing and segue to art. Mike Giantand Ed Hardy,Chris Conn Askew are top of mind--but I plan to do a bit more boning up on this as I love the structure of their work, the integration of color (often ancillary to the design), the line work, and the simplicity of the message. My work is evolving and this channel could give me insight with these elements. There is a cool magazine, Tattoo Artist Magazine might be a good reference in addition to the Taschen book(icon).

Off topic but exciting, Perseopolis, the graphic novel by Marjane Satrapi is a movie (art house)which has recieved a Golden Globe Nomination for Best Foreign Language Film. The books were very good--perhaps because I am a girl as it addresses a ton of women's issues, viewpoints and attitudes--but particularly expressive in her simple and strict black and white illustration. Here are some clips>>

Cleaning up some projects for Monday. Going to start the Toughcat to be paired with our old pal, the choker. More later, I hope!