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Body Tattoo – blog about tattoo art

Body Tattoo – blog about tattoo art
Latest tattoo news, tattoo ideas, tattoo pictures, tattoo videos.

Shawn Barber

March 15th, 2008

Shawn Barber

I have been learning to tattoo. It’s been a very slow road for me: as I teach two days a week, have been working as a professional illustrator for several years, and now painting full time. I’m slowly altering my life and schedule to revolve around tattooing and painting, exclusively. This is my last semester teaching and I have cut down my commercial work, significantly, to give the medium the attention it requires to do it right and learn…

Again, it’s been a slow road.

I’ve tattooed quite a few tattooers, friends and colleagues. And have done a few walk-ins and ‘work’ one day at Everlasting in San Francisco. I’m actually at the shop right now about 3 days a week, scrubbing tubes, watching, asking questions and trying to be a sponge. Traveling has afforded me much information through the amazing artists that I have met and been tattooed by…

Tattooing is a very difficult medium and requires total mental commitment – and fear or uncertainty destroys line integrity completely. During my first dozen tattoos, the cold sweats and shaky hands were the name of the game. I think for me—being super comfortable and confident as a painter and illustrator—I put so much pressure on myself to do well, that I just shit the bed from feeling completely lost and indecisive. At 37 years old, delving into a craft that has so much history is definitely intimidating… to have this obsession and desire to pursue it without the technical skills to back it up.

Being in the situation that I am in, everyone has offered their advice and I have even been fortunate enough to tattoo in various shops on the West Coast. With this varied advice—especially in the beginning—it has been difficult taking it all in and sorting it out enough to make sense while I’m ‘in the moment’. Everyone works differently and has their own ideas on the ‘right’ way to tattoo (for them). There are a lot of universal tendencies- it’s just going to take a few years to find what works for me…

It’s really only been about a a year and a half into it (as a part time apprentice) but my time teaching is ending soon for me to be a full time student of tattoo. I’ve done about 60 tattoos—varying themes and approaches—and I feel very comfortable with shading and I am slowly working on my lines…

It’s an exciting time.

I have a few friends that have started around the same time as we have and some of them are killing it!

Cheers,
Shawn


Related Links:
Shawn Barber, Shawn’s blog

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