Tattoo artist Jordan Gibb currently works at Tiger Tattoo Shop in Biggleswade, Bedfordshire. His style of work spans from traditional to Japanese, and he takes a lot of inspiration from tattoo artist Ed Hardy for his designs. The images above are progress photos from the past year of a tattoo belonging to my best friend Sophie, created by this talented tattoo artist. This huge back piece has already taken several day-long sessions and is due to take a few more, but even though it is not completed yet it is still a really bold and impressive work of art. I am taking a lot of inspiration for my tattoo design for this project from this tattoo, as even since before it was shaded it has been really beautiful. The elaborate design takes from the religious connotations of ‘The Rock of Ages’, in which a woman can either be interpreted as to be mourning her husband lost at sea or to be a lost soul herself in a sea of sins, clinging to Christ (the cross). Sophie didn’t feel a connection to any of these usual connotations, so her design has a additional female figure taking the hand of the other, bringing forth connotations of female empowerment and support. Sophie’s tattoo adds to her sense of self and says a lot about her, her experiences and how she views the world, and these are all things that I want to encapsulate in my tattoo design for myself.
This week I have begun the process of learning to tattoo. It took me until later in the week due to still having the flu, but I think I have made a promising start in developing my skills. I have tattooed in the past, but it was several years ago and they weren’t to the highest standard due to my lack of practice, so I am intent on learning correctly this time round. To the left are all of the tattoo supplies I used to start my practice (aside from the grip tape I used to wrap the gun).
Here is my tattoo machine. It is a pen style machine with a foot pedal and adjustable voltage. Here the machine is wrapped for grip and hygiene purposes.
Using my new and better 3mm thick fake skin I have begun practicing needle depth and how to hold and control the tattoo machine. It is quite challenging and as can be seen from my starting lines on the right, it is difficult to control the vibrations of the needle in the machine. The more I practiced though I definitely began to improve in just that short space of time, with the flowers on the left being consistently the correct depth. I have put myself under a lot of pressure time-frame wise for this project and learning to tattoo from basically scratch, but I am confident that I can do it. The short time I have left will pressure me into practicing every day until I am ready to start tattooing my final design. Below, I have started to draw up aspects of my design such as the Lotus flowers and roses on Procreate on my IPad. I have decided to create my design digitally as it will allow for the necessary adjustments to be easier to make, and is also how tattoo practitioners tend to do things nowadays. Over the weekend I plan to work on composition options and decide how I want to arrange the symbols.