Grime is a talented tattoo artist based in San Francisco, California and is currently working at Skull and Sword. He works mostly in a traditional style with lots of color and has a very cool recognizable style that is all his own. His work can be seen in his book, Iron Will, which is currently sold out. Be sure to follow Grim Tattoo to see more is this artists work or book him for your next Tattoo here.

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Nikita Zarubin is a talented artist residing in Novosibirsk, Russia. He works in both Color and Black and Grey and his “realism” is truly inspiring. His attention to detail is incredible and some of his pieces are hard to believe they are actually tattoos on human skin.  We are excited to feature him as an Ink Army featured artist and this is one artist you are going to want to keep your eyes on! To see more of his work be sure to follow him on Facebook and Instagram.

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 Francine Schaepper Photography

Born in Palmerston north, Manawatu, Aotearoa / New Zealand. Tattooing since 1987. I opened my first shop in wellington on cuba street.

During the next few years I learnt a lot of what I know from two master carvers and Ta Moko artists, Tom Bishop (waikato / maniapoto- mothers side, aitutaki / cook islands- fathers side) and Rawiri (Ngati Kahungunu / Ngati Porou- mothers side, Ngapuhi / Te arawa- fathers side). without their inspiration and mentoring I wouldn’t be doing what I do today. thank you.

I have also had the pleasure and inspiring experiences of working with ta moko artists Inia Taylor III (Moko ink), Tommy Downs (Wellington) and Mike ‘e’.

In the years following I have done a lot of travel, working alongside some of the worlds best tattoo artists. Spending time working in places such as ‘Into You’ (London), Tokyo Hardcore (Japan) and Saved Tattoo (Brooklyn, New York City)

I feel a deep spiritual connection with what I do, Maori tattoo/Ta moko. I started to become aware of its spiritual presence and importance many years ago. That what I was doing had a significant effect and purpose with the people I was working on. I started noticing in some cases that once I had completed a piece on my clients, they would have an uncontrollable outpouring of emotion, an opening up, an emotional release, crying, laughing, a letting go. Releasing a deep emotional sound. To the individual, some would find this embarrassing, and not understanding what was happening would apologize. I would reassure them, to let it come, or let it go.

What I could hear, see, feel happening was an opening up, a healing, and I knew there was a reconnection happening, a feeling of them connecting to the Mauri- the force, the energy, the life, the source of emotions.

I felt there was something bigger going on here. Occasionally I would hear back from my clients. They would explain about how a change had occurred, a shift in their lives, whether it be a healing of some kind, emotional. A letting go of unwanted or unneeded emotional baggage. Also a feeling of connection, and calm. A move forward.

Over the years I paid more attention to what was going on. Letting go myself and opening up to the energy. Previously I would draw the design up for the person beforehand, but this didn’t always feel right. I began to realize I needed them there present. That the energy flowed better that way. I learnt that once I stood next to them, and let go and opened up, that the flow of energy coming up from them into the universe and down to me, and through me, was where the design they needed was coming from. I began to listen, and let it happen.

This process was letting me know what ‘Their’ design is through them, and the universe. Almost like I am downloading the design already created for them. It wasn’t coming from me anymore, this persons design is already created. I am just delivering it, or bringing it to the surface. It is their story, their life, their energy. Therefore the design already exists.

Sometimes in the days or nights before certain clients, I will have dreams giving me what images or symbols need to be included in their design. Or an image or idea will spontaneously appear in my head during the day letting me know that this needs to be included. Afterwards when I am explaining the design to them, the receiver will let me know that those specific things have important relevance to them, whether ancestral, emotional, or a life event.

I would like to share a memorable event that happened while tattooing a friend/client a couple of years back. The night before the tattoo I had some images appear in my head. I knew these needed to be included in this persons design. Along with his family members and story, an albatross (Toroa) needed to be included. After I had drawn the design on, I was explaining to him the story, the korero, of his design and which sections represented who and what. When I pointed out the representation of the albatross he stopped me with amazement and began to tell me a story of something that had happened a few days earlier.

He was driving with his son in the car and a giant albatross landed in front of them and just stood there. They got out of the car to have a closer look and to show his son the albatross. A meeting with the albatross. And for a while they all just stood there looking at one another. He explained it was a very eerie experience. A contact. A guardian. An ancestor. Whatever had happened felt very significant.

We then proceeded to start the tattoo. As I had traveled to Wellington to do this tattoo, we were at his home. Set up in the lounge in front of some bay windows. It was a cloudy overcast Wellington day outside, and had been all day. As I got to the point of tattooing the section representing his son ‘Ra’, the clouds parted and the sun shone through with overwhelming energy and brilliance. It shone upon us for the entire time I tattooed his son onto him, warming us and bathing us in pure light. As soon as I had finished that section the clouds closed over the sun again. Ra is also the Maori name for the sun.

As we progressed through the tattoo there came a moment when there was a noise behind us and something dropped. We were the only ones in the house. I continued to tattoo. I felt a presence behind me approach and felt someone standing behind me, looking over my shoulder. Whenever I would glimpse back I would almost see somebody but no-one was there. All I could hear in my head was… ‘It’s his uncle, it’s his uncle, everything is good’. I didn’t mention anything and we completed the tattoo. That night I couldn’t sleep, and kept thinking about what had happened. I felt he had to know. We arranged to meet for coffee the next morning.

We began talking about the tattoo and I asked him if there was anyone he was particularly close to while growing up. He looked at me and said, “Yes, my uncle.” Simultaneously we both spoke saying, “But he has past away now.” He sat there looking at me stunned and I said, “Yesterday when we were tattooing, that noise we heard, that was your uncle. He stood behind me watching over us. He was giving us his approval.” Emotion welled up in him and he expressed his appreciation and thanks, and was so happy hear this. It meant so much to him to know this.

This story is one of the many things that have occurred during my life of tattooing. I hold those moments very respectfully. When I think about it, everything has an energy or a vibration. Everything vibrates at a certain frequency. Trees, plants, people. Even images and words evoke a certain vibration. This is why symbols have been so important over the eons, because they vibrate a certain energy triggering a certain cause or effect, an effect in reality. Applying these images and symbols, these lines, I believe invokes a certain vibrational change or balance. Channelling it from the universe or bringing it to the surface, either way, I believe tattooing has a profound effect on the wearer. Physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

To see more of Shane Gallagher’s work visit his website

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Tdan tattoos is a talented artist based in Russia. DenisTorikashvili writes…

“I took great interest to tattooing in 1997. That time tattoo art was just being arose in Russia. Before that moment tattoo had been in isolation, being spread only in criminal & military environment. The community had negative attitude to tattooed people. By the end of 90’s the situation has started to change a little. First tattoo studios appeared, mainly in cities, including my native city Rostov-on-Don. I came to see out of curiosity & became addicted to tattoo till the rest of my life. That moment I didn’t suppose that my teenage hobby would become my profession.

In the beginning, the process developed slowly. Experience exchange was impossible by many reasons. At first, there was no access to the Internet, at second, artists, who had some experience in tattooing, reluctantly wished to share it, at third, any editions about tattoo didn’t exist at all. My close people were adjusted negatively to my hobby. There were the conditions in which I had to start. I had to self-educate, mastered primitive machines, used inks I was able to purchase, and tried different styles. That kind of way I went on till 2004. That year I learnt that in St.Petersburg would be held The International Tattoo Convention. Such an event I mustn’t have missed, so I bought a ticket and went there. To say I was impressed by what I’ve seen means to say nothing. I met there adherents, got acquainted to such a great artists as Pavel Angel, Dmitriy Rechnoy, Sergey Bardadim and others. I’ve learnt from this trip much more then I have had during last previous years. I was charged by tattoo energy and, being inspired, came back home. The quality of my works noticeably increased. From that time I’ve started to visit the convention every year. It has become the place where information and other kinds of tattoo activities were accumulated together, the place of meetings and communications of people who were in love with tattoo.

Already in 2006 I could brag my first success: my work was recognized the best among the works which were made during the Convention. I tattooed the portrait of my daughter on my wife’s back. Since that time I had a lot of awards but the First was the most important for me. In 2007 I joined the Guild of Russian Professional Tattoo Artists , which joined together the best ones in this profession and struggled for the safety of tattoo process. At the moment I work in my own studio. I have plans for world traveling, meeting well-known tattoo artists, visit great foreign tattoo-conventions.”

See more of his work or contact him here.

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Interview with tattoo artist Erick Bravo – “Sharky” – Dark Side Tattoo which is located at: 3033 W. Clarendon Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85017

1. First of all we want to thank you for the opportunity to interview and feature you on inkarmy.com.  How did you get into the tattooing? How long have you been tattooing professionally?

I appreciate it, it’s definitely an honor to be interviewed by inkarmy.com. I’ve been drawing all my life, it’s been a passion of mine since I was a youngster. My friends kept pushing me to tattoo them since I was so good at drawing, so one day I made a  homemade tattoo gun & inked the homies up.

2. Tell us about your style of tattooing. Currently you specialize in realism and black and grey. Do you like to do other styles of tattooing or do you mostly focus on that?

I love doing realism style tattoos, black & grey & color too but I mostly focus on black & grey. I don’t mind doing other types of styles, traditional, oriental, Chicano style, I just love tattooing in general.

3. What do your family and friends think out you getting into the tattoo business?

Most of my family weren’t really okay with it at first, I come from a family that’s into Christianity. But having a tattoo shop for 5 years now, they can see that it’s been very beneficial so I’d say that they’re okay with it now.

4. What do you think about the scratchers out there?

Honestly, you gotta start somewhere. But I would recommend those “scratchers” to get an apprenticeship at a shop so they can learn how to tattoo right & stop messing people up. It’s nothing like drawing, you gotta know how to manipulate the tattoo machine & work with people’s skin.

5. Is there any artists in particular who have had a strong influence of you along the way?

When I first started tattooing, I really looked up to Mr. Cartoon & Pint. Now I’m extremely influenced by Robert Paul & Chente Rios for the black & grey, also Daniel Rocha & his realism. My color influenced I would say Nikko Hurtado

6. What is your favorite part about the job?

The best part of the job is to see that at the end of the day people are satisfied and happy with my work, as well as seeing the finished results of my tattoos

7. Did you do an apprenticeship?

I wish I could have. Unfortunately I didn’t, I learned everything on my own. How to work with people’s skins, how to put my tattoo machine together & how to rearrange it whenever it would mess up. Back when I was learning, there wasn’t many opportunities for apprenticeships

8. Are there any parts of the body you will not tattoo and why?

Yeah, I don’t like tattooing the fingers. Simply because the ink fades there.

9.  How long have you been Tattooing  in Phoenix?

I’ve been tattooing in phoenix for almost 9 years now & I like AZ. It’s the place to be.

10. Is there anything else you would like to add?

Well I would like to thank inkarmy.com for choosing to feature me on their website & I hope to get better in the future. Check out my work on Facebook or on Instagram @erickbravosharkytattos. If you’re ever in AZ & want to get tatted just get at me!

One love.

- Sharky

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Photography by: Jay Gau

 

Francisco Sanchez is an Ink Army featured artist based in Dallas, Texas. He specializes in realism and custom tattooing. See more of his work on his Facebook page or on his website

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Piotr Dedel is a realistic tattoo artist from Poland. He was born in Poland in 1982. He started his tattoo adventure in Cracow in 2006. During that time he worked with 9th circle tattoo in Cracow, Rock’n’Roll Tattoo studio in Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow (Scotland), 2nd Skin in Zurych (Switzerland) and Xiao Tang in Xiamen (China). He is currently working at Extreme Needle in London. To see more of Piotr Dedel’s work you can check out his facebook page here.

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Christos Galiropoulos is a tattoo artist from Greece, He was born march 21,1984. He is new to tattooing and has been only tattooing for 2.5 years. He specializes in realistic and black and grey work. He runs and operates Blackline Tattoo Studio in the city of Lamia, a small town of central Greece. See more of his work on Facebook page here.

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Miguel Bohigues is a remarkable tattoo artist from Spain and is currently tattooing at V-Tattoo. Visit his Facebook page here. See more of his work on his website here.

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Kostas Tzikalagias  is a tattoo artist at Dirty Roses Tattoo in Thessalonki, Greece. See more of his work here.

Dirty Roses Tattoo & Piercing Studio
Alexandrou Svolou 25,Thessaloniki
Greece

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