112 cottage st. easthampton, ma | (413) 527-6574
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Back piece day! I LOVE large scale tattoo designs and as of late I've been very fortunate to be working on a lot of them! Full backs, sleeves, and chest pieces take an enormous amount of time and sometimes extreme dedication to finish. However the feeling I get to share with my clients after completing such a huge task and seeing the full scope of the vision for the first time is... powerful. The work just comes alive at that scale, to me there's nothing else like it.
Today I'm continuing color on the Vajrapani full back piece. I'm really excited to see the outcome of this session. I've spent most of the time thus far focusing on just the cover-up area which is ALWAYS slow work. Today I get to really cover ground and show big progress.
Tonight I'll be doing post production on Sorin's prints as well as prepping his interview for the blog. Look for that in the next couple days.
and just for fun...
Just finished up a print order for another bio organic digital media artist. I really enjoy doing prints for this style because it's the first time the image has existed outside of a computer screen. We've chosen a great archival paper and the colors have come through rich and vibrant. Look for an interview with Sorin, the artist, soon here on my blog.
In preproduction currently is my co-worker Frank Ready. Frank has been on fire with the amount of work he has produced lately and I'm very excited to do a couple runs of his favorite pieces.
The last half of the day i'll be lost in shapes and lines as I layout the other side of the mandala I posted in the most recent segment of THE GRIND
I got to start this sweet mandala tattoo a few days back. It's still in progress but I liked this shot a lot and had to share.
Soon she will be returning to have this mirrored on the other side, so I'm gonna wait to put up gallery pics then. I loved my clients suggestion to throw in the splash of color!
Thanks for looking everyone!
Only a couple of these prints left in the store!
Head over to theartofjoeking.bigcartel.com to snag one before they disappear forever.
Another thanksgiving holiday has passed and for me it has once again helped solidify the value of family in the enrichment of everyday life. I'm truly grateful for the people I'm fortunate enough to be surrounded with and supported by. Also I'm happy to once again be in awe of the wonderful adventures and amazing lives this world has to offer. I find that it's real easy to to get lost in the small problems and distractions in life, so as I stumble through the shittier parts of my path and I happen to look up at the amazing world around me.... I'm trying to stop, and be grateful. Thanks so much for all the love and support everyone!
Today I'll be expanding a sleeve up to the chest. The plan was made from the beginning of the arm so the new addition should go super smooth. Check the Instagram @ritual_art for progress shots.
" The Mandala is a reflection of the true face of the Universe-
it's particles span the Universe and each point in that ocean is the center of a vast,
Cosmic mandala that stretches endlessly in every direction."
So a little while back, just after spending a week in Keystone Colorado immersed in the spectacle of nature, I got really inspired to try landscape painting. Landscapes are something that as far as the tattoo world is concerned I don't see much of a demand for so... I had never really sat down and tried, Which is sad because it was really fun! I've been missing out! I did however feel the need to put my own spin on the scene so I threw in an alien invasion for a little drama. As it turns out, people are into it! If you've been to my bigcartel site then you've already seen this first attempt and your aware that it is very much gone...sold with no hope of reproduction.....
No worry though, I enjoyed this little fella so much that that I'm gonna shift painting gears totally in this direction for a while. At least for the rest of the year anyway. You can check out @ritual_art on instagram for updates on sketches and in progress shots.
Well the cold is setting in quick here in jolly ol' Easthampton. With wind sharp, the air dry and daylight fleeting, it's good to be busy tattooing in the warm home base of Off the Map! Today I'll be continuing a leg sleeve that I can't wait to share. I've done all the blackwork and it's just begging for a splash of color. After that I'll be doing a second pass on a custom Celtic inspired arm tattoo. Celtic is a bit different of a request for me but I really like what we came up with. Its good to be challenged.
In other news, "The Grind" will now feature updates in printmaking. I've been doing fine art printmaking from home for a little while now and its growing in exciting ways that need to be shared. I've been collaborating with a lot of really great artists on some truly beautiful prints so I would like to share these projects with you the public, and hopefully give more opportunities for these artists to share a bit about themselves and the work they have created.
I've got two print projects on the desktop currently and one pending that just came in...translation....BUSY! I'm only printing a couple days of the week so for now orders are closed and I can give these pieces the full amount of attention they deserve.
Thanks for tuning in!
...sweet nerd tat Brah!
Today I'll be laying color in an epic Marvel Comics, Wolverine vs. Sabertooth back tattoo. I've already set the black foundation work on this one so the days labor will be relaxing and exciting. Zero layout/stenciling/lining stress and at the end of the day the piece will have totally transformed! On top of that we get to sit and talk comics while sludgy rock and roll cascades through the air...perfect. As always, tune in to the instagram machine for pictorial updates and progress shots. @ritual_art
UPDATESHello all! Projects a plenty to mention in this installment of the blog. For starters I'm about to mail out the second variant of "path of the initiate". This one Is in a set of only 18 and appears as a hand made postcard. Each have been antiqued like the first set except these are hand painted with single color washes. I love the look of the cards, each one feels as if it's from a different era. I imagine the stamp and postmark will only add to that illusion. The biggest deference in this set however is that they are not available for purchase or request...you get one, if you get one. Next, I'm in the early stages of a large painting commission. To soon to say much about it although I will disclose that my rabbit hole of research has made me madly interested in a man by the name of Dodgson. I'm having a wonderful time imagining this painting and can't wait to share! Lastly, I've been invited to tattoo the crew of Beats Antique next month to sort of celebrate their kickstarter, fan funded, fall tour!! I had done live painting at a bunch of shows a few years back with the Beat Cartell and the ones with beats antique remain my favorites. I'm really excited to work among them once again, it's sure to be an exciting couple days!
"PATH OF THE INITIATE"
8x10 antiqued variant
This set is limited to 20 prints.
The original inking has been giclee printed on a heavy cold press paper using archival inks. Each individual print was then stained with coffee, giving them dense sediment trails.
After two days of coffee stain the prints were given two additional days of tea stain to produce a yellowing similar to the paper of aged books.
Lastly they all received white highlight with chalk in order to provide a sense of frailty to the piece and add a bit more depth to the image.
there are only a few left in this set, act fast! To order visit my store THEARTOFJOEKING.BIGCARTEL.COM
The time has finally come! It seems like forever ago that I dove down the rabbit hole of proffessional print making but at last here we are!
For my first release I decided to do a run of an older piece I've titled "The Crown", actually it's been called a couple different things but thats what I put on the prints, so yeah...
really love how this image came out and many people have asked for the original but my wife loves it because it's sort of about us and well, I don't cross the misses, she feeds me too well. :)
Anyway, "The Crown" seemed like a great launch for my beginnings in print production.
I've limited the run to only 10 prints ever. Each print is hand signed, numbered, and embelished by lil' ol' me and includes a custom certificate of authenticity with an original mandala print on it's reverse side. Three prints of the set are done in a blood red signature (The Ritual Variants) and include an original ink drawing!
ONLY $30 at THEARTOFJOEKING.BIGCARTEL.com
A video for the making of "The Crown" can be found HERE
This has been a labor of love and I'm thrilled to be able to produce prints and limited edition works of art on a regular basis!! Soon I can get these pieces out to there new homes and move on to the next project!
Many new things are in the works! Thanks for all the love folks!
The Drawing BoardSo I've been silent the last couple weeks both here and on Instagram but rest assured production and inspiration has been full force. I have tons of things in the works and I'm super close to the finish line for this phase. Print production should be ready by the end of the month and hopefully the long awaited mandalas will be on that same schedule. As far as tattoos go I've had a bit more interest in nature related art which I'm very happy about as well as mandala and spiritually themed tattoos. If this sounds like your thing hit me up! Nothing makes me happier!
Summer TimeThe solstice is almost upon us and summer time is in full effect in the lovely town of Easthampton Massachusetts. One of my favorite activities around this time is to stroll the town for new flower reference and covert them into fresh tattoo designs. I've got tons I've drawn in the past and even more photos that I haven't drawn at all. If your a fan of nature and love the smell of summer in the air then come by Off The Map and have a chat with me. We can look through some of this seasons pictures or you can bring your own. My client tomorrow for instance is bringing in a photo of a beautiful tropical flower she saw on her recent vacation! Nature is always timeless imagery!
WWTCDay two of the World Wide Tattoo Conference is underway starting with Nick Baxter's holistic approach to tattooing and art. Later I'll hear from both Nikko and Jeff Gogue! I can say for certain I'm gonna be ready to create when I get home.
WWTCAlmost finished with day one of the worldwide tattoo conference. Alex Depase delivered an amazing seminar filled with a one of a kind perspective and a splash of humor. Minds were blown friends! Next up an all star cast of artists will be critiquing tattoos sent in by the attending artists followed by a moderated discussion panel. Then the night begins with dinner and drinks!
WWTCThe conference is underway with guy aitchison delivering an eye opening lesson on tightening your work and adding lasting detail. The turnout is great and the energy high as we now begin bob tyrell's portrait seminar. This years World Wide Tattoo Conference is already amazing and it's only just started!
Road TripIm on the road to Boston with my road trip buddys Tim Senecal and Johnny Smith. Soon we will be swimming in pools of knowledge and tattoo wisdom as we attend the World Wide Tattoo Conference! It's sure to be grand adventure so stay tuned folks ill be droppin updates throughout the trip both here and on Instagram.
The GrindToday's "Grind" is brought to you by the letter "A". As in Awesome! I'm jumping back in on a Wolverine vs. Sabertooth upper backpiece that I started a while back. It's got a neat comic book layout approach that I've experimented with in the past bust never to this magnitude. I'm loving the look of everything so far and today I'm gonna make a major push toward the finish line. Also I'll be doing a Crimson Ghost first thing this morning. Fun to be had all day!
The Drawing BoardLots of fun projects in rotation right now! I'm currently working on a koi leg piece that I'm pretty excited about. I've finished one side of the leg already and now we're expanding to connect on the other end. Loved the way the first design healed so I can't wait to see it all complete. Also I'm working on my second redraw of a Vajrapani full backpiece. This design has defiantly been a lot of work but I'm loving the way these new changes have reshaped the overall image. Lastly I've been painting on my submission for an upcoming reference book of loads of great artists from all over the world! It's been a super productive day so I'm gonna keep the fire burning and jump back to it! Thanks for checkin in!
The GrindExciting day ahead! I'll be extending the eagle tattoo in my gallery into a full sleeve with a Statue of Liberty piece. Can't wait to have this tattoo finished and polished. Stay tuned for a progress pic in the neat future. As always check out your Instagram feed for real time updates!
Lightning Strikes Twice!!It seems I've had another last minute cancellation! If your interested in getting tattooed today at good ol Off The Map Tattoo give us a call 413 527 6574 Thanks a bundle!
Change of plan...Well I had a massive cancellation today totally last minute, always a bummer. :( However it looks like a great opportunity to tattoo my wonderful wife Anna! Planning to do a mandala design I worked up that she fell in love with. She's my favorite person in the world so I'm extremely greatful for the time. I'll post pics soon. Check Instagram for real time updates. Thanks friends!
Well, I really wanted to make it to the black foundation and be ready for color on the next sitting but, I only managed to get the outline on for this Hannya.
Chest tattoos are exhausting! However it makes for a great opportunity to share a bit of my tattoo process.
I love lines! I find myself constantly trying to improve not only the quality of my line work but also the character of the lines I choose.
Lines should describe the shapes they are trying to represent, meaning if done correctly
a line drawing will already begin the illusion of 3D form and illustrate depth. Also, in tattooing lines tend to be the thing that will last the longest,
so to me a well thought out line drawing is the most important part of a lasting tattoo.
I had a great time on this one and I'm really pleased with the overall fit! Stay tuned, next time I'll share black foundation ...
The GrindStarting a Hannya and waves chest piece today! Really enjoyed the drawing. If your on Instagram search theartofjoeking and check it out!
Pattern WorldThe mandala project is sooo close to being ready! I've decided due to overwhelming response to do two mandala releases at the same time. As soon as final drafts are finished we can begin spreading these portals of transformation as far as these legs can take us! Stay tuned friends...
Fresh OfferingsCouple new photos up in the gallery! Great examples of where my head is at these days. Today I'll be finishing up a fox tattoo I started a while back. Gonna be a fun one filled with sacred geometry and transcendental symbolism! Check the ol' Instagram machine for fresh updates.
The GrindFun day of tattooing ahead! Back to work on the dragon leg sleeve and starting the fill in on the Wolverine vs. Sabertooth piece. The dragon sleeve is a long ways off but I might get a progress shot after today's session.
BUSY BUSY BUSY!!!
I've started a new project and I'm almost done with first phase!
the flower titled "Grow in Light" will soon be sent to the printer for a very limited run of unique prints!
The mandala is something special and free to anyone interested in spreading its meditative love...
More on that soon.
I've shifted directions a little bit, stay tuned!
It's fun times in the Off the Map Tattoo Backroom these days! We've got a full house with me working along side two extremely talented artists and all around great guys! Ernesto Nave and Matt Stebly! If you not familiar with their work then do yourself a favor and follow the links. These two work hard so there is always something new to see.
On the agenda for me today, two giant leg tattoos I can't wait to finish. One, the smaller, the client and I have titled "The Cosmic Mary" and the other is a full leg sleeve of three dragons! Life is lovely, I'm so grateful to you all!
Well Detroit's Motor City Expo has once again come and gone and as usual I'm beat! Had a great time, got to catch up with some old friends, and got to make some new ones! If you missed your chance to get tattooed then please stay in touch because I'm sure to be back next year!
Next up is Hell City in Columbus, OH. I'm currently completely booked for this show however I will be doing a guest spot the following week in my former stomping ground of Lexington KY April 23rd through the 26th with my good friends at Charmed Life Tattoo. Space is limited for my stay so if your interested in a spot in Lexington then please email me ASAP.
Now, time to get back to the drawing board! Until next time...
Find me on instagram!!!
The best way to stay current on everything Joe King!
Download in the app store then search theartofjoeking in the user list.
The More You Know
Fraud in Tattooing
by Shannon Larratt
There is a very ugly tendancy today in tattoo business of taking pictures of fresh tattoos, doing realism that will look like shit in twenty years — or in four months even — and going from convention to convention, making 100% black money, with no touch-ups, no follow-up of clientele. Those are the most famous artists in the world. I have no problem doing tribal [edit: he is referring to an image I posted of a "less than inspired" tattoo that I spoke ill of] for people who ask. If I can’t change their mind, I’ll do it. It allows me to keep cool pricing for everybody, to keep tattoo art something it SHOULD remain, that is, a POPULAR art form.
You can build up a realistic tattoo that is stable — P*** A*** and J*** G*** can do it, so it’s possible, but when you see older tattoos from D*** or S*** [edit: he's naming top artists here and I don't need another lawsuit], it’s nowhere that impressive. As a matter of fact, the “convention” tattoo artists don’t give a fuck, at least, a solid majority of them don’t. When you work mostly in your shop, you see people again, and therefore you can’t afford to mess up that bad. I would even say that *** *** Inks, as a whole concept, are just done for that — put in a single-pass easy color that will look cool till you’re paid, took your photo, and took part in the “Best of Day” competition… but it’s just the worst shit I’ve ever used. It’s a whole culture that is taking over, and it’s a shame, because everybody feels forced to adapt to it.
I agree whole-heartedly. Although I can’t say whether “convention artists” doing these pieces that fail once they heal are willfully committing fraud when they fill their portfolio with fresh pieces that look nothing like the healed examples, but that is what it amounts to, intended or not...
To read the full article as well as many more related topics visit BME's MOD BLOG
The More You Know
By Anna Poplawska
As a yoga teacher as well as an artist, I am blessedly aware of the risks of repetitive stress injuries and very sensitive to the aches and pains caused by long hours of work. These concerns are echoed by Dr. Katherine Duvall, who is with the Health in the Arts Program (HARTS) within the University of Illinois at Chicago's School of Public Health. Whether it's the ballerina standing on her toes, the pianist hitting his keys all day or the painter gripping a brush, artists tend to place excessive stress on key body parts. This problem is exacerbated by the fact that many who work in the arts do not carry health insurance and, being in many cases self-employed, aren't covered by disability. Even a minor injury can be serious if it prevents them from working. On the other end of the spectrum is the artist who, preparing for a big show, feels that there is no choice but to keep going. In such a case, what seems like only a minor injury can become a career-threatening health hazard.
Because of these types of situations, much of the focus of Dr. Duvall's work focuses on education and prevention. Many of her suggestions are common sense. Artists who work with chemicals need to be certain that their studios are ventilated and kept clean, that containers are properly closed when not in use and that equipment is well maintained. She points out that good ergonomics is as much a matter of thought as expense. A comfortable chair and good lighting can go a long way. In addition, her concern extends to work habits. She suggests regularly scheduled rest breaks, which include some stretching. She's found the use of a timer particularly effective; otherwise artists at work generally find it easy to lose track of the time.
As a yoga teacher, I've been following this practice for some time and have become convinced that it improves the quality of my drawings by keeping my hand steadier. I might add that another thing that I found particularly useful, especially for my neck, was switching from working at the dining room table to working at a drafting table. I've also found a number of yoga-based stretches to be particularly useful. Try them and see if they work for you.
For the shoulders: Do the arms position of gomukhasana (cow pose) by reaching one hand up over your head, then bending the elbow so that the hand reaches down the back, while the other hand snakes up the back, elbow near the waist, palm facing out. Try to clasp the two hands between your shoulder blades. If you can't do this, then use a towel or yoga strap between your hands to pull them closer together. Then do it on the other side.
For the hands: Place your hands together in namaste (prayer position) behind your back, as high as possible; try to get them between your shoulder blades. This is very soothing for the hands after a couple hours of work. A pair of Chinese exercise balls also work well. These smooth solid balls stimulate energy meridians when manipulated in the palms of the hands. They can be purchased inexpensively at Relax the Back Store at 1925 N. Clyburn Ave. or at most oriental gift stores. You can also try doing some wrist curls with a light weight.
For the full article and many other gems of knowledge go >HERE<
time keeps on slippin
Well a week turned into two so I'm a little behind on updates however the submissions for the Lucky Dog Art Show are complete, sent, and uploaded to the art archive for your viewing pleasure! Aside from that I've reignited my love for oils and busted out two new mini paintings that I'll have for sale at the Detroit Motor City Expo next week. I'll throw up some pics of those in the next couple days.
Been feeling really inspired and alive lately. Surrounded by great people and challenging art....life is good! Thanks to all who contribute!
I'm thrilled to announce my involvement in the "Lucky Dog Art Show/Funraiser" March 9th in Denver Colorado!!! Including my self 11 artists will be producing 2D media in the format of "gig posters" for the event in order to raise funds for a no kill animal shelter in Denver. I've decided to do two pieces for the show and I'm about half way through them both. Since I've still got around two weeks before deadline I'm gonna buckle down and put in as much time in as possible before I post anything, but expect to see at least one by next week.
I love doing shows like this, just enough structure to produce a coherent display but not limiting in regard to subject matter. time permitting I definitely would like to get involved in a few more art shows this year. If your hosting an event and need artists please email me at:
New projects are in the works! Not much time to cover everything at the moment so I'll just throw out a couple of the big/close ones and cover each in detail for the coming week...ish.
-Benefit art show in Boulder, CO. This will be my first none tattoo related show in over 10 years! Very excited to be included in this!
-I'll be interviewing one of the industries best and brightest for TattooMachinesNow.com! I'll be sure to give updates as this develops!
-More Video!! A few different ideas are brewing so expect much more sweet digital video goodness in the coming months!
-Travel. travel, travel! Most pressing of which is the Detroit Motor City Expo NEXT MONTH! Also, additions to the list including Oregon and California later in the year.
-MORE TATTOOS!! it's been almost a year at Off The Map Tattoo, and that means I'm finishing up a lot of larger work, as well as, establishing a wider clientele base that want the kind of tattoos I do best!
Like this one, for instance. A fun illustration of a mushroom, I could do nature tattoos all day!
Check out the new pieces in the gallery then come see me at:
Off the Map Tattoo
Hard to believe it's been over a year since I first traveled to the north seeking a new life at Off the Map Tattoo. I'd like to take a moment and thank the crew for taking me in and making me and my wife feel like part of the family. It can be very hard to start new, especially when so far away from the ones you've loved but had to leave behind. Looking back at the move that seemed a near impossible task, I don't think I could have made it without the enriching atmosphere, inspiration, and all around kindness that these people provide.
So to all the Off the Map staff, thank you! You make it easy to love life and wake up inspired!
Now, time to create!
"...knowledge is a hindrance when it has become a tradition
which shapes or conditions the mind to a particular pattern."
returning to paradise...
The Paradise Tattoo gathering last year in Keystone Colorado was by far one of the most artistically invigorating experiences of my life. Anyone thats spent any time with me since then has heard all about it... repeatedly! Keystone it's self is an absolutely gorgeous place; every day of the event was like waking up in a postcard photo! Surrounded by mountains and my artistic heroes I was able to learn information I'm still processing and gaining deeper understandings of today. This year, Paradise returns to Keystone to once again ignite the fires of creativity and inspiration! Check out this awesome recap video by the one and only Richie Bulldog of Hustle Butter!
If you have any interest in attending Paradise, then don't hesitate, get you tickets now!!! TATTOOGATHERING.COM
-Crash, Tattoo Artist Magazine
Ink Slinger's tattoo magazine article
Today I get to lay the black work in this Pirate Queen I outlined a while back! Fun times are at hand!
DETROIT!! Man do I love tattooing at the Motor CIty show. It's been two years since my last visit, which of course was awesome, and I've been eager to get back ever since. Hosted by Eternal Ink, the Motor City Tattoo Expo is in its 18th year and taking place at the architecturally excellent Marriott Renaissance Center. As an added bonus the Detroit Institute of the Arts is just a couple miles away! The DIA houses rotating collections of some of the worlds most exquisite paintings, sculptures, and artifacts ever created. It's an awe inspiring place to say the least!
I'll be taking walk ups only for this show so if you would like to get tattooed come see me in the Eternal isle!
See ya soon!
TCM in review...
Tattoo Culture Magazine provides a wide-angle view of the tattoo world I know and love. The one filled with vibrant, intelligent characters with a zeal for life and the type of artists built with honesty and humility. TCM's mission is obvious; it seeks to stimulate the industry it serves rather than leech off of the hard work of dedicated artists. Best of all, they've done so in a way that speaks to both the artist and the collector on a level field, with a message of balance and unity.
The great people of Tattoo Artist Magazine, a trade journal for artists that has a superb reputation for quality printing and engaging journalism, bring us this new publication. Tattoo Culture Magazine bridges the client-artist gap, creating a spark that ignites something a bit brighter for the tattoo world, our personal communities, and ourselves.
Editor Crash introduces the inaugural issue, with an empowering "call to arms" to the greater tattoo world and beyond. It immediately unfolds into an honest and inspiring interview with Jeff Gouge. Continuing on, TCM is littered with amazing tattoos and paintings while showcasing inspiring photographers, musicians, and collectors.
As you read further you find that these aren't run of the mill interviews and pointless filler articles. These are real topics, approached with conviction and intelligence. Nick Baxter's article challenges the readers to take hold of a better way of being, and Mike Rubendall not only shares his experiences as a tattoo artist, but also his approach to a healthier lifestyle. TCM then provides a brief section on yoga and examples of different postures to further encourage its readers towards a healthier career and lifestyle.
Do yourself a favor, go to the website and subscribe! This is already something to be proud of and it's only the beginning!
Today life is presenting me with a couple firsts in the form of product review. I've never done an actual review before, I've definitely spouted my half assed opinion, many times, but never a full on analytical statement. Fortunately I care about/believe in both products so this should go pretty smooth!
The first is just for tattoo artists, a product that in a relatively short period of time I've grown to really love and am honored to support. The other is for everyone! An upcoming publication geared toward both the artist and the client in the hope of creating a better industry and a better future. So, after a "cover to cover" and a long session of typing and retyping, as to not sound like an idiot, I'll post them here for you the hungry online public; that you may be filled with a 'knowledgy' goodness and the lingering aftertaste of quality tattooing!
"I have a strong belief in art, a certain faith
that it is a powerful current that carries a man to a haven,
although he himself has to put in an effort too."
-Vincent van Gogh 1883
little preview shot of the eagle for the America themed sleeve.
Personally, this is my favorite way to approach a sleeve. All focus is on objects that represent the idea. Then you make 'em big and bold! Can't wait to get into color!
But before I do that....EXPANSION! I've been given the green light to go full sleeve on this one. (including half chest) So, in order to achieve a balanced color scheme and overall composition I'll be designing the rest of the arm first and bringing those pieces to their foundation stage like the eagle above. A sleeve can be a long road if rushed so I'm thankful for my clients patience for the process. Be on the lookout for updates on this lil' gem throughout the year!
"Mommy, where do tattoos come from?"
Dude comes in and says "I wanna get a full sleeve for America!"
"Cool, what kinda stuff you want in this sleeve to celebrate these great states?"
He leans back in his stance and peers into the heavens because, as we all know, that is the spot to look when you have no clue what to say next. "Don't know, what'cha think would look good?
I pause for just a moment, not long, a speck in the great sands of time. But, long enough to peer deep into my collective experience in the ways of tattooing and choose my words with the utmost care and precision. And just before I reply I review my thoughts one last time to polish the yet to be spoken words with what was nothing short of literary excellence! "An eagle dude! A huge, badass eagle looking like a total hard ass!"
Moved by my speak he exclaimed "Agreed!" Then we threw up some metal horns, gave a righteous high fives and I went to town manifesting the coolest eagle the world has ever seen!!
at least thats how it played out in my head…
Today the saga continues! I threw a liberty bell in for the inside of the arm and I believe I'm gonna lay some black foundation on that today but the eagle should be ready for some quality WIP shots that I can upload on here tonight.
Thanks for tuning in!
on the schedule today: a freehand rendition of Image Comics hobo/hero The Maxx! Now I'm always gonna prefer to do my own art but, if I have to reproduce something I love when that something is the art of comic books! To me comics are at the center of how I try to draw and tattoo, not to mention they're the core of my childhood! Needless to say, today is gonna be fun!
If the exploits of illustrated heros and villains tickle your fancy and you would like to permanently mark your canvas with such scenes, please, get in touch. I would love to hear from ya!
112 Cottage St.
The past couple months brought much change to my world. They forced me to analyze a lot of the....messy topics that we are subject to cross at one time or another. Without divulging to much of my personal life I'll at least say this, the end of 2012 was profound. Maybe not in a globaly apocolyptic way but for me at least, the limitations and inevitable endings of mortality were made very clear. The important things of this life were brought to light, and imbalaces that can impede were brought into focus.
And now, the year is NEW!
With a new year comes new ideas, new travels, and MUCH more art!!! First up is the Motor City Tattoo Expo in Detroit MI. If you would like to book in for this event Please email me with a description of the tattoo you would like to receive and your contact info ASAP. Detroit is always a good show so if your in the area stop in and say hello! After that (March 25th-28th) I'll be heading of to New Mexico for the Paradise Artist Retreat to enjoy four days of inspiration, learning, and creating alongside artists such as:
Alex and Allyson Grey, Guy Aitchison, Shawn Barber, and MANY more! This is a one of a kind learning experience for any artist and should not be missed! For ticket information visit paradiseartistretreat.com.
I'm very excited for this new year to create and experience as much as possible with you all.
This just in!!! I will be tattooing at both the 18th Annual Motor City Tattoo Expo in Detroit, MI - Feb 22nd-24th, 2013 and Hell City Tattoo Fest in Killumbus, OH - April 19th - 21st, 2013!!! If your interested in getting tattooed at either of these shows please email me a brief description of your tattoo and I will get back to you ASAP. 2013 is gonna be fantastic!
Time just keeps whizzing by! Seems like just yesterday I was immersed in the beauty of Keystone, Colorado having my artistic eye squeegeed clean by my heroes in the tattoo and art communities. I am so grateful for the experience, fellowship, and inspiration! The Paradise Tattoo Gathering is one of a kind and should not be missed!
I really don't have much to report (hence the silence) at least nothing I can articulate at this time…I can say this however. With great inspiration comes great change. A shift is on the horizon…be excited for the future friends, I certainly am!
As I mentioned before, I'm on Instagram!
Find me @theartofjoeking and watch all the art and tattoo designs you see on here unfold in real time!
The Pig Sty
in 1492 Columbus sailed the ocean blue...that was the first time the new world was introduced to pigs. Seemed harmless enough, they were just pigs. The problem is that the pigs stayed and evolved into the filthy, grotesque creatures we know and fear today. These swine are everywhere, and own everything....
Personally I'm tired of it! I can't do anything without having to go through a filthy pig first! I would love to buy a home but I sure as hell don't wanna be in the pocket of a banker pig! The government is simply crawling with this infestation. They even have em' patrolling the streets to make sure we don't step out of line! And don't even think about leaving, those border pigs are ruthless! It would be so nice to be able to spread the word, but it seems that the media is filled with pigs as well.
It's time to act! Introducing tattoo series #3
"The Pig Sty"
If your tired of living in a pig sty then help me identify the characters. I'll do up the permanent propaganda poster and you carry it proudly from town to town showing everyone you cross until one day our tiny voices are loud enough to lead these pigs to slaughter!!!
As you can see iv'e done up a couple sketches to get the ball rolling but I'm really looking forward to your ideas! If you wanna join the movement contact me at:
Off the Map Tattoo
112 Cottage St.
And remember, the only good pig...IS BACON!
The Royal Garden
If you follow me on instagram ( @theartofjoeking ) then you are well aware of the fact that I have been teaching myself to use markers and doing so in a series flowers. If you don't follow me on instagram then please, take a moment to use the context clues provided and bring yourself up to speed.
In regard to these flower designs I've decided to use them for the second tattoo theme. The subversive theme I mentioned in an earlier post is still in the works, just needs a bit more time. So until then, I present:
"The Royal Garden"
Pretty simple really, if you see a flower you would like to get tattooed…Book it! After the tattoo is completed the corresponding piece of art is yours to keep! (i'm also thinking of another little goody to throw in there as well) And of course, just like any other piece in a proposed series, all pieces will be documented in detail for future publication.
Well, there ya have it! Look through the garden, if you want to pick a flower for yourself or a loved one please contact:
Off the Map Tattoo
112 Cottage St.
Chiggity Check It!
The nautilus tattoo is all healed up and lookin smooth!
I love doing stuff like this!
I'm a little off schedule on my updates but these things happen. Been a crazy couple weeks! Aside from turning 30, I have overcome my addiction to cigarettes. Starting to feel like a new man.
Production has been high, new oil paintings started, large custom tattoos in progress and on the books, a new tattoo theme created to "stick it to the man", travel plans are just around the bend, and soon fall will overtake New England...
Stay tuned. The next transmissions should be exciting!
today began the process of a body suit.
Two samurai shall battle for the blessing of the tiger...the winds shall be strong...intentions dark. The color of the flowers will be the only beauty on that day.
along with the jellyfish backpiece, this is shaping up to be a good year!
the living gallery
things are good. art is moving. people are happy.
I'm gonna try something a little different now. I would like you all to participate.
Sometimes, I feel, the tattoo consultation process can be a little rigid. It seems that as a client it's easy to get overwhelmed by the near limitless possiblities surrounding the choice of "your" tattoo. What if, as the artist, I were to throw out the framework for a tattoo?
Or suggest a topic that most people can relate to, but in their own personal way.
For instance, the first topic I'm presenting (there are many) is titled: "Till Death Do Us Part". This series focuses on the passions of man; the journey of life. For myself this would be art, the thing that drives me, inspires me, and excites me in a way that no other task on this planet has come close to doing. A romance that continues untill the day I die. The only finish line. The images in this series will depict the tools of the clients passion/trade coupled with the human skull.
This could be a very unique tattoo experience.One, I believe, that has potential to evolve into many interesting directions. However, it all depends on you, the client. What do you love? What inspires you?
I have some ideas for presentation a bit further down the road (Info on the client and their tattoo...book perhaps?) For now let's explore this idea of a living series of art.
I'll present a new topic in about a week...
If inserested in participating in the
"Till Death Do Us Part" tattoo series email me or stop by:
Off the Map Tattoo
112 Cottage St.
I look forward to seeing what we come up with!
Up and running!
Phase one of the website is complete! world domination is at hand....on another note, here is the first bit of news! (and it is good)
It's been beautiful in easthampton! I've been settled in at Off the Map for a couple months now and I've gotta say... New England is my kinda place! I'm thrilled and honored to be here. Clientele have been fantastic and I've started some really big/fun pieces. tomorrow I hope to finish a nautilus I started a while back on this guys calf. Should be fun times! (well for me anyway...)
ArtofJoeKing.com Is LIVE!
Joe King @ Off the Map Tattoo now has a TattooNOW template website. Stay tuned for Joe's custom designed website in the near future!