Tag Archive: Fine Line Tattoos Oswestry

Working With

Working With – Neil’s yellow rose.

Somewhat unexpectedly, I found myself doing my first proper tattoo yesterday: a yellow rose on an easy-going and cooperative chap called Neil. I wasn’t scheduled to work on a real, live subject at Fine Line Tattos until next week or the week after – but the opportunity suddenly came up this morning and I just couldn’t turn it down.

As artists, our practice constantly evolves. We are always finding new ways of working – whether expanding our repertoire of skills and applications in a single chosen medium, or extending skills and ideas into new media. Creativity knows few boundaries, and if we choose to do so, we can move from watercolour to installation, collage to pen-and-ink – all in pursuit of some particular idea or specific visualisation. Sometimes we move from the visual to other arts – poetry, performance, dance, music; again, all in pursuit of ideas and visualisations that have captured our imagination or our intellect.

I have worked in many media over the years, but none of them has really ever been quite the same as tattooing.

When we talk of painters working with their canvas, we are talking the application of brush to canvas and the response of the surface to the mark of the artist. When we talk of sculptors working with their wood or stone, we are talking about understanding the layers and grain of the material and how they respond to the working tools or blades.

But in tattooing, “working with” means literally that: a practice that takes place alongside and in cooperation with another person without whom the work cannot be completed – or, indeed, even begun. I’ve been working up until now on artificial skin – but that’s not tattooing: simply using a tattoo gun and tattoo inks is not tattooing. But sitting in a chair, working with another person’s living skin – that’s tattooing, and it makes it unlike any media I’ve ever worked in before.


My first tattoo. Any volunteers for when I start working on real skin?

Yesterday I took my “Art Works” project at Fine Line Tattoos up a notch, by doing my first ever tattoo. It’s only on artificial skin (I’m not licensed to work on real people… yet!), but it came out looking quite good, I thought.

I’ve written more about the day and the tattoo on my own blog, but I’ll bring along the tattoo to next week’s Notebook Meeting for everyone to see. It was great fun working with an entirely new medium – not one that I think most artists get a chance to try. The next step, of course, is to start doing it on actual flesh and blood victims; any volunteers…?

Art Works at Oswestry Chamber

Wednesday evening I gave a quick 15-minute presentation to the Oswestry Chamber of Commerce about ideas that Diana and I have had for promoting art and artists in the business world. From our original “Art Works” ideas for linking art and business together we’ve expanded to cover a range of ways in which these links could build a new business environment for art in Oswestry.

We’ve based these ideas on Inside Out’s experiences working with The Hand, at the Cambrian Buildings, and with Fineline Tattoos. Using these as “case studies”, we’ve come up with a range of broad suggestions for future links and ideas. For anyone who’s interested, there’s a pdf transcript of my presentation here.

The presentation was really well received, and what we do now is to establish lots and lots of dialogue between ourselves, other artists and art groups in Oswestry, and interested businesses. We’d love to talk to anyone in the group – or beyond – who has ideas of their own about business ventures and enterprises, or ways in which art as a business could do – could be – more in Oswestry.

Another “Art Works” day at Fine Line Tattoos

"Matthew", Aug. 18th 2011 - first illustration for "Art Works"

I’ve just had another great day at Fine Line Tattoos as part of the “Art Works” project. Showed Stuart and Rena the work I’ve done so far – the illustration page I showed at the Notebook Meeting yesterday. They were really taken with it (and thought the picture of Keith looked just like him, which is a relief!). Spent the afternoon with Stuart on the reception desk, watching and drawing all the people who came in with queries and ideas for tattoos. Interesting watching the kind of people-management that goes on.

So, less about the tattoos and the clients this week and more about the dynamics between the tattooists themselves. I’m in the process of working up my sketches into another “Thursday Sheet”, and will be posting that on my own blog once I get it finished.

Already can’t wait until next Thursday!

Art Works: Fineline (i)

A quick post just to let everyone know about an encouraging start to our “Artists at Work/Art Works” project, linking together businesses and artists in Oswestry.

As some of you already know, I thought I might like to work with Fine Line Tattoos, just around the corner from the Cambrian Studios Building in Oswestry.

I’ve just come back from a brilliant hour+ long chat with Stuart and Rena, the owners of the tattoo studio, and talked with them about everything and anything to do with tattoos. They’re really enthusiastic, full of ideas, and think the whole Art Works project could be really worthwhile. I told them some of our ideas – like putting together an exhibition, a trail and a travelling version of the . They also had some excellent suggestions about ways to get more background on the art of tattooing, etc., etc.

We didn’t discuss any details about exactly what I would do, but we did agree that I would start by coming in every Thursday between 11 and 3, and do some sketching, drawing, painting, talking to people and just see where things lead. I’ve already started to think and sketch and have some ideas, which I’ve been covering on my own blog.

Following comments from Jane Brown at our last get-together, I’ve been putting together a short introductory fact-sheet about the project. This sheet, which you can download here, outlines the main ideas of the project and has contact information, etc. This might be useful for people to help them introduce themselves and the project to businesses they think they might want to work with.

Anyway, just wanted to report back to the group and say how much I’m looking forward to getting started on all this and hope this encourages others to get stuck in to the project as well!

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