First tattoo? Choosing a good studio

First tattoo? Choosing a good studio

Choosing the right tattoo parlor is just as important as the design you pick. When deciding to get a tattoo for the first time, it’s very important to get the very best advice you can (from the most experienced guide you can find). Once you find a person you can connect with, it’s time to begin the serious step of planning that tattoo. (BTW- that’s the REAL key, finding someone qualified that you can trust. Don’t be taken in by those who prey on customer ignorance, either on the street OR at a shop! Get informed. Be patient. And BE DISCERNING!)

Arthur Petrov tattoo

When someone actually makes the decision to get a tattoo for the first time, the next logical step is finding the right tattooist to do the work. BUT WAIT- how do you do that?! Tattooers are a dime a  dozen, these days! Well, for the majority of new tattoo collectors, it often and inevitably begins with finding the right tattoo parlor. This is a great place to start. Realistically, if you go to a less than ideal tattoo parlor, you’ll more than likely end up with less than the ideal artist and, hence, a less than ideal tattoo. No problem. It’s easy TO AVOID the most common mistakes made by the majority of people just getting into tattoos; the answer: simply be more informed than the majority!

Before you decide on a tattoo parlor to do your tattoo, you need to compare what’s available to you and weigh out your options. The higher quality tattoo parlors certainly MAY cost a bit more money, but you’re worth it! What you could have saved by getting a cheaper tattoo is almost always a fraction of what cover-ups or laser treatments cost later, and your safety is the most important factor of all. Hepatitis won’t just ‘go away’, nor will a myriad of other infectious dangers you inherently face with every tattoo decision you make. Choose wisely

hand tattStart your search with the very best tattoo parlor in your area. It’s a safe bet to begin with the oldest and most respected tattoo shop around. There’s a reason they’ve been around so long, (even if others don’t understand why that is.) Think about it this way, you really can’t go wrong by seeking out the most experienced professional you can find who does what you need, no matter WHAT area of life you need it– be it for car upholstery, dentistry, tattoos, surgery, or even your next haircut Quality matters, so try to remember this: Experience is KING. That’s what an expert issssss.

Safety and cleanliness are often stated to be the areas of MOST CONCERN for people getting their first tattoo, and for good reason. The very best tattoo parlors will certainly invite you in with open arms, anticipating your concerns and being prepared to carefully walk you through every aspect of their safety and sterilization procedure. (*HINT- Boiling equipment on the stove is NOT sterilizing it.) The more experienced the shop, the more they will demand from the artists they employ, (which includes not just application of tattoos, but also the proper service and safety of their customers). Now, of course- it isn’t always true that the oldest is going to be ‘the best’, but it IS a damn good place to start this journey of artistic self-expression.
Regardless of where you ultimately go to get tattooed, clean equipment and a clean studio are the most essential factors to consider when obtaining your first tattoo. If you are seeking to get a tattoo you should see to it that the studio is licensed and clean, that the equipment is sterile, and that the entire tattoo area of each artist is disinfected and sterilized after each and every tattoo. This applies to counters, chairs, floors, papers, waste baskets, lamps, bottles, disposables, etc, etc, etc; EVERYTHING that gets touched during a tattoo (by you or your artist) is unclean and considered contaminated. (How many scratcherswould you willingly gamble on and trust with your LIFE? Because that’s what you’re doing, with every tattoo.)

TAM traditional bundleUnfriendly salesmen are always common risks with virtually any modern company, particularly when they are trying to ‘sell you’ something. But tattoos are a personal service and tattoo parlors should always be open and friendly, not using pressure tactics to get you in the chair. Be wary if that is the case. Although the more knowledgeable tattoo artists will certainly provide their advice and suggestions, (and they may even have lines they won’t cross, like copying someone else’s tattoo you found on Instagram), they should not attempt to push you around or try to make you get something other than what want, after hearing all their advice. If a tattoo artist believes there may be a problem with your design or its placement on your body, or if they think they can do anything to enhance it, he/she will certainly let you know.

Good luck!

ps- It may be difficult to do, but it is recommended that you start by talking with someone with at least a decade or more experience behind them in the art (& craft!) of tattooing. Nearly every leader in the professional tattoo world agrees that it was after the 10-year mark that they finally started to master their trade. This experience can’t be bypassed and it can’t be hurried. It just comes with time; like professional athletes vs weekend players, there is a qualitative difference that comes with dedication, practice and experience, over a long period of time.

How to unlock if your locked out

 Unlock your car in 10 seconds

Almost everyone gets in a sticky situation with locked doors and keys still in the car. Here is a pretty easy way to unlock your doors just using your shoe lace. We know this won’t work with newer cars, but there is still many older ones on the road!

How to build your own record player

Jeremy Justice: How To Build Your Own Record Player

 So you’ve got a few records and you want to delve into the vinyl hobby a little further. One place to start would be your turntable. There are an endless amount of options when choosing record players from £100 yard sale finds to £250,000 ultra high-end reference turntables. Stashed somewhere in the middle, there is the DIY turntable. A DIY turntable is exactly what it sounds like; a turntable you build yourself. There are many options when building your own turntable, in fact you are only limited buy your own creativity. I will layout a couple of different approaches to give you with some basic knowledge of turntable design. Armed with this seed of information and Google you can build your own turntable and have a lot of fun doing it…

Custom creations can range from minimalistic designs like this turntable made by fellow tattoo artist Mike Tweed,

to this more elaborate, albeit less practical, multi-tonearmed table, complete with DIY unipivot tonearms, made by myself.

Here is a basic overview of the essential parts that make up a turntable:

  • Plinth- the plinth is the base of the turntable
  • Platter and bearing- the platter is the part the record sits on, supported by a spindle which sits in the bearing
  • Tonearm- the tonearm is the pivoted arm that allows the cartridge (needle) to track the record
  • Motor- for this article we will be using external variable speed motors available online.

To start, you must first decide on the parts you will be using. A plinth can be made out of just about anything: wood, slate, and acrylic are a few of the more popular materials used. The material of the plinth does have a great effect on the sound of the turntable. You could choose to experiment with different materials or go with tried and true methods for more predictable results.

When looking for a platter I recommend using a platter and bearing from a vintage transcription turntable as demonstrated by Mike Tweed’s turntable. These platter and bearing assemblies can be found online and work great. It is possible to cut your own platter out of wood , however it is essential for the platter to be perfectly round so a CNC or water jet-type of cut will be necessary.

Moving on to the tonearm- The possibilities are endless here. Many different tonearms are available in just about every price range. If you choose to buy a tonearm, do some online research. Reviews of just about any tonearm model are available and can help you find the one best suited for your project. You may also choose to build your own DIY tonearm. The first place to start with DIY tonearms is a unipivot design, where the arm pivots on a single point. Much like tattoo machine building, tonearm building tends to suck you in. It can be really fascinating, difficult, and rewarding.

Once you have chosen your parts, plinth design is as simple as marking the distance from your center spindle to the tonearm. This is the only really essential measurement of the plinth design. The plinth is your opportunity to really get creative, the shape, size and material are all up to you. Here are a couple of different approaches.

Mike built this turntable out of red oak and Padauk hardwood. He opted to use a platter and bearing from a QRK transcription turntable. Transcription or broadcast turntables make great donor tables because of their sturdy design. These bearings were designed to give trouble-free operation for radio stations, 24 hours a day, day after day, year in, year out. Mike then chose the Rega rb250 tonearm. This tonearm is an elegant design with strong aftermarket support and endless upgradeability. Using the mounting distance needed for the tonearm, he plotted his center point and tonearm mounting hole on the Red oak. He then cut away the unneeded wood, shaping the final product into a strong and functional tear drop shape. Mounting the motor outboard allows its placement to be moved around to find the best configuration.

For my turntable I wanted something a little different. While its design is certainly wild and attention grabbing, its main element is function. By keeping the plinth diameter close to that of the platter and placing the supports outside of that diameter I can mount up to three tonearms quite easily. Why would you need three tonearms on one turntable you ask? Well for me I wanted to have a set up where I could design different tonearms and have a reference platform to test them on. I started with the platter from a Transcriptors hydraulic reference turntable (the one used in Clockwork Orange!). Then using downloaded crop circle geometry I plotted my center point and three outboard mounting points for tonearms. I cut out the plinth into a four interlocking circles design using a simple jig saw and some extra plywood. The really fun feature on this table is the tonearms. The first one is made from a drumstick.

I used the dimensions of a 12” tonearm. There are many benefits to the 12” design and it is a little easier to work with. I used mostly household items for this arm, including nuts and bolts, some foam core board and a penny. I even used some needle bars to add some tattoo flavor to it. For my second attempt,

I used some flat Zebra wood and a scratch awl for the pivot point. This arm uses the geometry of the smaller 9” Rega tonearms and again nuts and bolts were used for the adjustable counter weight.

Overall this is a very brief introduction to DIY turntables. If you would like to build one, an enormous amount of information is available online. This has been a very rewarding experience and I highly recommend it to anyone.

Muhammad Ali Gets Battered To The Ground In An Unlicensed Fight

The world of unlicensed boxing is a unpredictable and dangerous place (even for the greatest boxer of all time). 


Rumour has it that the name of the kid in the video is Emmanuel Dapidran Pacquiao – he’s competing in a fight you may have heard off – you know… the one against Floyd Mayweather (just kidding of course).


In all seriousness Muhammad Ali was a great man. There is nothing else to be said about it.


On this day: The 25th of March 1807 AD

World’s first passenger train service begins

Swansea, South Wales

Whilst the Stockton and Darlington Railway is rightly remembered as ushering in the railway age, using steam power to haul its trains, another line deserves to be celebrated as a world first, and an earlier one at that. Some 18 years before the first train set out from Shildon to Darlington on September 27 1825 , Swansea in Wales saw the first horse drawn rail service begin.

Railways were not a new phenomenon, indeed they had been used to transport coal as early as the beginning of the 17th century. In South Wales, a line existed at the start of the 19th century to shift stone from Mumblesaround the bay to the canal in Swansea, whence it could be shipped to distant destinations.

Three years after the line was built one Benjamin French, who was a shareholder in the company running it, paid the princely sum of £20 for the right to run a passenger service on the line.

The inaugural run was on March 25 1807. An iron and wooden coach, built to seat 12, was pulled by a single horse, taking paying passengers from Swansea to Oystermouth, an out-of-the-way resort where they could spend a pleasant few hours before returning later in the day. It is thought that the fare in these early days was two shillings, which would have meant that only the well-to-do could undertake such a trip.

So while George Stephenson is remembered as the father of the railway, Benjamin French perhaps deserves to be known as its grandfather.


Tattoo Art’s journey through time

Tattoo art keeps changing with time, but one thing remains the same – the desire of some individuals to adorn their skin with it. Take a journey through time and get to know more about the transformation in the designs of tattoo.

Tattoo Designs of the Past

Ancient people use sticks and other spiky objects for tattooing. They intentionally wound themselves and pack ashes or dirt into the graze. They have their unique tattoo art.

It is assumed that men in prehistoric era puncture their skin and add color to it by applying the black substance from the cooled burnt sticks. They usually create tribal markings.

Otzi ancient tattoo

For the ancient men, there were no terrible tattoos. They wear their tattoo as a protective charm to safeguard them during the hunt. They also viewed tattoos as a way to align their lives with God’s purpose, ensure the preservation of their body even after death, as a sign of their status within the tribe, and boost fertility and virility.

Tattoo Designs of the Not-So-Distant Past

General Photographic Agency / Getty Images

In the 1930s and 1940s, the only men and women who wore body ink were those in the service, circus people, or criminals. Popular tattoo art designs were anchor, ships, ferocious animals, ladies, weapons, eagles, and anything that can depict the patriotism of the men and women in service.

Wearing a tattoo for art’s sake, and nothing more, became popular in the 1960s. There were people who decided to collect tattoos as if they were collecting paintings or antiques. Cosmetic tattooing is among the top favorites.

John Pratt/Keystone Features / Getty Images

Popular designs have something to do with rock bands, transportation and different religions. Wearing a tattoo connected to a cause also began to emerge.

Artists practicing traditional fine art embraced tattooing in the 1970s and they brought innovative imagery. The tattooing gadgets became more advanced and new pigments provided more color variety. More shops that offer tattooing service were born.

1970 tattoos

Tattoo Designs of the Present

Tattoo designs of today reflect the individuality of the wearer. Some enthusiasts, with famous tattoos, turned their body into a living journal. Every tattoo in their body represents a life-turning experience, an unforgettable adventure, or anything that they want to remember for as long as they live.

Tattoo by Cheongho

The designs can be random objects that one can see every day like a horseshoe, four-leaf clover, butterfly, a loved one’s face, modern tribal design, name, symbolism, and anything that you can think of. The designs today are more diverse, and so are the colors and tattoo design ideas.

Tattoo by Nissaco

What lies ahead for tattoo art? You only need to continue the journey, and witness everything with your own eyes.

On this day: The 24th of March 1387 AD

Battle of Margate

It is a peculiarity of medieval history that naval encounters are recorded very poorly compared to battles on land. Perhaps this was because fighting at sea was not thought to be right and proper for princes and nobles. Perhaps it reflects the fact that sea battles were even more chaotic than those on terra firma, fleets becoming mixed up in the general melee, at the mercy of the elements as much as controlled by man. Strangely too for us, many naval clashes at this time were not even named, as for obvious reasons thee were no landmarks linked to the fight.

This view of naval battles seems strange to modern eyes, particularly when engagements as decisive as the Battle of Margate, on March 24 1387, are concerned.

The encounter off the coast at Margate was of huge significance in British history. For the previous two years the French, aided by their Castilian allies, had built up forces and equipment with the aim of invading England. From the summer of 1386 a huge fleet, the greatest seen in France since  William the conqueror’s in 1066, was readied, preparations centring on the port of Sluys.

The young Charles VI, who had come to the French throne in 1380 at the tender age of 12, would have his fleet disintegrate at Margate, the English ships commanded by the Earls of Nottingham and Arundel proving far superior. When the battle ended more than 100 French vessels had been destroyed or captured by the English.

England was in a state of some confusion, Richard II , himself only 20 in 1387, was far from safe on the throne. The country had seen the Peasants’ Rebellion just six years previously, revealing the weakness of the crown, and the Black Death before that had reduced the population dangerously. The French losses thus cut far more deeply than just damage to the French navy. Had the battle gone the other way, it is highly probable that the French would have invaded, with a good chance of victory given the divided nature of the state at that time. So while Margate in chivalric terms is something of a footnote, it is clear that in practical terms it was one of the great turning points in British history.


Things you need to do to avoid getting terrible tattoos

The terrible tattoos that you see when you surf the net or go to the mall could have been prevented if the wearer planned everything carefully from the start.  A tattoo is a permanent mark on your skin, and it won’t be easy to erase in case you don’t want it anymore.

Don’t rush things

Just because all of your friends talked non-stop about the great job that their tattoo artist did on their skin does not mean that you should immediately dash to the next tattoo salon and let them ink you. Tattoo enthusiasts do not get their tattoos on a whim. They usually plan everything before telling their favorite artist to proceed. There are studios that do not give their services to someone with shallow reasons for having it.

Visit events about tattoo

If you are a complete novice in the world of tattooing, then it is advisable to attend tattoo events and learn things. Tattoo artists usually go to such events to display their skills and fish for new clients. Some hold seminars, exhibits, and contests. You will meet tattoo enthusiasts and it is a good idea to ask for some advice. You will be able to determine if having a tattoo is something you really want when you attend such events.

Conduct a background research

Investigate your target tattoo studio and artist if you already made up your mind about getting one. You need to make sure that everything will turn out fine and you won’t end up in the list of individuals with terrible tattoos. Different artists have different fees. You need to determine their level of expertise, intricacy of the design that you want to ink on your body, size of your tattoo, and location of the studio.

Choose the artist who can help you decide

Having a tattoo is more than just a fad. It is good to aim for a spot on the list of famous tattoos, but it should not be your main concern. A true tattoo artist who has passion in his chosen craft will tell you right away if you have what it takes to get inked or you need to postpone your plans until you acquired the right mindset. The tattoo chooses you, and not the other way around.

A tattoo should make you feel comfortable in wearing it. It may not look horrible but if you regret having it after a few weeks to a few months, then it is still considered one of the terrible tattoos. Choose carefully, so you can truly love the skin you will be wearing afterwards.

Make sure you don’t regret your tattoo

When people get drunk, they do crazy things. They dance a little weirder. They call their exes. They crave for crispy, greasy fast food. Worst case scenario is if they get into an accident while driving. However, nothing immortalizes the drunken craziness quite like—no, not tagged Facebook photos—tattoos. More importantly, terrible tattoos.

Tattoo regrets

However, getting terrible tattoos is not exclusive to those who went a little crazy at the bar, and those who got it while nursing a broken nose. Anyone can be a victim of this, just because of sheer carelessness or not doing proper research.

Tattoo regrets

Perhaps the most common mistake is getting a tattoo of a significant other’s name. Unless he/she can promise the kind of forever that a tattoo makes, one should steer clear of names of loved ones, although make an exception for names of children or parents as those are sure to remain the same for all of eternity. A more disastrous situation is getting a portrait of a significant other. These are more terrible tattoos because these are usually bigger than a name, and unfortunately not a lot of artists can render a good portrait tattoo.

Tattoo regrets and misspelled tattoos

So if the design is not an old flame’s name, what else could fall under the category of terrible tattoos? Mistakes in spelling, grammar or language. Before getting inked always, always do thorough research. If it is in one’s native language, make sure to check the spelling and grammar. When in doubt, make sure to look through a dictionary or even Google. Also, wait for the tattoo artist to spell out the words before he puts down the needle.

Tattoo regrets

No matter how much research was done, if the tattoo artist spelled it wrong then there is no turning back. If the tattoo is not in a language one speaks or reads, then the best way is to enlist the help of someone who does. No one definitely wants to end up with a Chinese character for chicken noodle soup when what he or she wanted was the Japanese character for love.

Tattoo regrets

There are a lot more ways to get terrible tattoos, but it could fall under one of two things: bad decision at a bad time, or an artist of unreliable reputation. Whatever the case may be and whether the tattoo is the first one or the tenth, always make sure to do it with a clear head and good judgment,  both on your side and the artist’s.

Say Hello to Another Movie!

 ‘Scarface’  Moving Forward with New Writer


Universal has confirmed plans to move forward with another remake of Scarface, the third iteration of the American crime story.

The Hollywood Reporter announces that Jonathan Herman, known for writing the script for upcoming Straight Outta Compton, has been tapped to pen the next draft. Paul Attanasio and David Ayer made previous stabs at the script, and the studio appears committed to seeing this remake through to the end.

Of course, this may be a hard pill to swallow for fans of Brian De Palma’s 1983 classic of the same name. Many of us hear “Scarface” and immediately imagine Al Pacino wildly brandishing a machine gun with makeshift rocket launcher.

These are some BIG shoes to fill, and while we don’t know who will star as the main character (they may change his name from Tony Montana), we do know the director. That would be Pablo Larraín, best known for directing the Academy Award-nominated drama No with Gael García Bernal.

While the Chilean director will be keeping the central premise of an immigrant’s ascent through the world of crime, Larraín is reportedly moving the story from Miami to Los Angeles.

Now that the earliest pieces in are place, it’s just a matter of time before some casting news comes out. Stay tuned.