I rarely retire a tattoo machine I like. On the other hand I rarely like a tattoo machine enough to have it become one of my regulars. This one I liked though. I got it as a tip in 1999 while working J.D. Crowe & Dennis Dwyer’s Tattoo Tour. It was a surprise tip from a guy named Jim that worked for Dwyer’s Precision Tattoo Supply and was always running around like a madman at the shows taking care of Dennis’s stuff and in the case of the Tattoo Tour itself most all of the little details us non show promoting artists never think about. I tattooed the guy back in I think 1997 at one of the Hollywood Ink Slingers Ball conventions (which I used to work every year) and he said he was going to give me a machine as a tip. I saw the guy at maybe a dozen shows around the country between then and 99 and he never mentioned it again. He got another tattoo appointment with me for the Anaheim California Tattoo Tour stop and then later surprised me with this machine after I had pretty much forgot about it. Though it was officially a tip I registered it more as a gift since he also gave me a cash tip and the guy I had working my booth with me also was given a custom machine made to his visual liking. It was if I recall correctly a frame with a wolf or coyote howling at the moon.
I own a total of 7 aluminum framed machines that originated with Dwyer’s precision Tattoo. Of the seven only one is used for shading. The rest are liners. Three of the machines I use semi often.
This particular one I use a few times a month.
When I originally got it I tuned it to have a long stroke with a medium punch and a super slow cycle. I’d guess about 130 per sec or so. It was awesome for thin very black sculpted lines.
I now run it as sketcher. It runs fast, has a medium stroke, close to zero punch, and is one of two machines I use to get soft pencil style looking lines.
The Grim Reaper, sometimes called the Angel of Death. He is a skeletal figure carrying a large scythe and clothed in a black cloak with a hood.
I am not sure what causes our fascination with this grim specter, but he is a figure that many are drawn to.
This particular Reaper is one of the my favorites when it comes to my own tattooing.
The reason for that was the shade style the client went with (true grey) went well with the imagery so I had a lot of fun doing it.
Roses are red,
Violets are blue,
Sugar is sweet,
And so are you.
So the poem goes, but obviously roses aren’t always red and for that matter I wouldn’t say violets are really blue or even violet.
Red is however the most commonly thought of color for a rose.
Here we have went yellow accented with some soft lavender.
Style = Simple NeoTraditional American with a pinch of Aarron. Location is basically on top of a shoulder towards the neck. Or if you are nerdy like me think between the clavicular head of the pectoralis major and the trapezius cruising into the deltoid.
I dig big cats.
Every species of wild cat is cool in my book. They are cool to look at, and amazingly all adapted to their habitats in ways that boggle my mind.
The word “Cheetah” is derived from the Hindi word “Chita” meaning “spotted one”. Cheetahs have been clocked at up to 70 miles per hour in a sprint. They choke out their prey and eat fast because they are not the toughest of creatures and fear their food will be stolen by a bigger and badder predator.
Though most of us think of a cheetah as one of the great cats they are not considered so by the labelers of species because they can’t roar.
They are super smart cats and also can get along with man pretty well compared to other big cats. As a matter of fact… way back it was not uncommon for wealthy folk in certain countries to keep them as pets. They also acted as hunting partners in Asia way back in much the way dogs were used in Europe.
Sadly their pretty fur has been their downfall and humans have hunted them to the point they are endangered of possible extinction. Not cool.
So… How this tattoo came about:
Cheetahs are obviously famous for their running so make for a cool tattoo choice for a person into running.
A client who I have done maybe 5 or so tattoos on over the years came in and asked for a cheetah tattoo.
He wanted it to look pretty realistic.
He wanted the cheetah tattoo on his leg.
He wanted it to be running.
He wanted it running down his leg at knee level so it would bend..
I ended up watching cheetah running videos to make sure the creature didn’t end up in a non realistic pose when the client had his leg bent. I had to find a compromise pose that would show a true movement for the cheetah in about 5 different angles….
Ouch! Not the most easy task.
I like artistic challenges however so I worked it until it all fell into place.
The end result I think is pretty groovy.