2019 Motif Tattoo Award Winners

Editor2 by

Tara D’Agostino, Critics choice – Pirate

Emma Hamilton, Critics choice – Femme FataleWomanWithSnakeEmmaHamiltonRichmondStreetTattoo

Pete Fortune, Critics Choice – CharacterPeteFortuneAnchorSteamRGB

 

Jen Clinch Guertin, American Traditional

american-traditional-one--Jen Clinch Guertin Owner Anchor.jpeg

Chrystal Santos, Critics choice – Hand of GodCreationOfAdamChrystalSantosPheonixTattoo

Q1: What advice would you give an up and coming tattoo artist?

A: The advice I would give to an up and coming tattoo artist is to take your time with EVERYTHING. This goes from doing your apprenticeship, to actually tattooing someone because there is so much to learn. When you actually slow down and [sniff the roses] take your time soaking in the knowledge from your peers, then actually take your time while doing a tattoo, your work will become better and better. Everyone wants to become a tattoo artist as fast as they can because it’s cool. Then you’ll realize that it is MUCH more than you expected.

Q2: What’s the best/worst reaction you’ve ever gotten from a client?

A: The best reaction I’ve gotten from a client is definitely when they love the piece so much that they start crying, especially for more meaningful pieces. It is the cherry on top of finishing a piece of permanent skin artwork that both I, as an artist, am happy with; and of course, more importantly, the client is happy with. I love making people feel better about themselves. It is one of the most rewarding/favorite parts of tattooing for me.

Q3: What design are you burned out of doing?

A: I am definitely burned out on tattooing all of your basic, “I found this on [Pinterest, Google, Tumblr, etc.] and I want it exactly like this.” Hearing this hurts my brain because doing these little anchors and infinity signs just dumbs down my creativity because I can make something so much better for them that half the world doesn’t already have

Q4: How is technology changing your art form?

A: Technology has changed the whole game for the tattooing world. My favorite part is that I don’t have to waste a bunch of paper. All I have to do is print out the drawing that I just created on my Ipad instead of using multiple pieces of paper for one design. And don’t even get me started with how much time it saves!!

Q5:  Have you ever turned down a tattoo?

A: I have turned down multiple tattoos. Mainly for cover-ups because you can’t cover a 6 inch, heavily saturated black blob, with yellow flowers. AND because most people don’t realize that you can’t turn everything into a tattoo and have it look amazing.

 

Jay Blackburn, Critics Choice – Most AdventurousJayBlackburn

What advice would you give an up and coming tattoo artist?
The road to successful tattooing can be a long one. Take what you do seriously and always think of ways to better your work. Be humble and open to criticism, whether it be positive or negative. Be your own best/worst critic and try to separate your work from everyone else’s.
What is the best/worst reaction you’ve ever gotten from a client?
So far thankfully, I haven’t had any bad reactions to a tattoo! Doing a great memorial tattoo that really touches a client is a great feeling. 
What design are you burnt out on doing?
To be honest, each tattoo has its own difficulties. From the simplest to the most extravagant, they each have some sort of difficulty keeping you on your toes.
How is technology changing your art form?
It seems that technology in the tattoo process itself advances slightly, machines get better, power supplies advance and needles advance. The tablet however, has definitely helped the industry with digital design and tattoo designs.
Have you ever turned down a tattoo?
Absolutely. As unprofessional as it may seem. Sometimes it’s just not a good design, concept or location for the individual client. I will be as professional as I can with the client to express my concerns and reservations. I don’t want a person to make a bad decision they will regret later in life and I wouldn’t want to be associated with that decision.

Amanda Kryla, Critics Choice – Best VeganAmanda Kryla Black Heart Tattoo and MysticismLettering

Q1: What advice would you give an up and coming tattoo artist?
A: Know your craft, and never stop learning. There is always room for progression. Don’t worry about what every other artist is doing; it’s easy to get sucked into the social media vortex and start feeling like you have to compete with everything you see. Just draw, and don’t put so much pressure on yourself. Remember, you’re in control of your own career.

Q2: What’s the best/worst reaction you’ve ever gotten from a client?
A: I adore my clients; the best reactions are the fact that they come back again and again, and send new people my way all the time. The worst reaction was an elderly lady who got her first tattoo (Of an infinity symbol on her tissue-paper-thin wrist) demanding to have it added on to the day after she got it, and if she could speak to the shop owner. The shop owner is me 😉

Q3: What design are you burned out of doing?
A: I’m pretty burned out on designing snakes; the thing is, I love tattooing them, but can’t stand the initial process of drawing them. It’s so easy to make them look like limp noodles. And I swear, the second after I holler about being sick of snakes I book like 847339 appointments for snake tattoos.

Q4: How is technology changing your art form?
A: I used to HATE technology. I still do, but I caved and bought an iPad, and that thing and I have been tight ever since. It emulates drawing on paper nicely, and definitely has helped me produce work quicker. Nothing will ever beat my first love, paper and an HB pencil, but this is the closest yet.

Q5: Have you ever turned down a tattoo?
A: Okay, there was this old guy that walked into the shop a few months ago looking to get his bing bong tattooed. He wanted The Rolling Stones logo on it. I said no, because like, obvious reasons aside, this guy was DEFINITELY over 60. Not enough gloves in the world for that one. He tried every shop in town that night; I wonder if he got a “yes.”

Joey Moreira, Calligraphy, Line Work,& Overall Tattoo Artist of The YearWristWatchJoeMoreiraAlteredImageCompressed

Q1: What advice would you give an up and coming tattoo artist?
A: Take your time!!! Do not rush…. it’s not a race. The tattoo isn’t going anywhere. Work one section at a time and don’t move on until you are 100% satisfied with the section you are working on.

Q2: What’s the best/worst reaction you’ve ever gotten from a client?
A:The best reaction would have to be tears of joy and a big hug! Not totally about the piece I completed for them. More around it meaning so much to them to have it done. It’s an absolute honor when some chooses me to do something on them that means so much to them! The worst reaction would have to be the client actually fainting/passing out. It’s scary for everyone! 9 times out of 10….. it’s not the pain but their mind getting the best of them. Breathe!!!!

Q3: What design are you burned out of doing?
A:  I’m totally burned out with infinity symbols and or anything tribal. Great tattoos and I will do them all day. Just ….. I have done sooooo many…lol

Q4: How is technology changing your art form?OwelJoeyMoreiraAlteredImage

A: Technology has been my biggest help with only being a licensed tattoo artist for two years now! Between new stencil printers that print actual photographs to stencil, my right hand man IPad Pro and to the most innovative tattoo machines to date. I could not imagine being as productive as I am without them! It has allowed me to design, apply and complete solid tattoos so much quicker!! Props to all the artists that have been doing way longer than I have and still getting it done!

Q5: Have you ever turned down a tattoo?

A:Yes, I have turned away tattoos. If I feel as though there are other artists out there that would crush the design/ subject matter and get overall better results than myself. I will absolutely be 100% honest and give the client a recommendation. Ultimately, my goal is to produce solid work and build a solid reputation first and foremost! Although I love challenges, I also know my limitations. I think that is extremely important! It’s always about assuring your client will leave 100% happy even if that means you lose a tattoo!

 

Bill Meyers, Favorite Character/Portrait, Geometric,& Overall Black & WhiteBilMyersArtistArtistic

Q1: What advice would you give an up and coming tattoo artist?
A: (a). Practice, practice, practice. (b). Move out of this state.

Q2: What’s the best/worst reaction you’ve ever gotten from a client?
A: Once, in my 20 years on Federal Hill, I did a portrait on this dude of his brother that was recently murdered. That evening his 70 something year old Mom came into the shop and wanted to know who was responsible for the portrait on her son’s arm. I introduced myself as the artist that had done the tattoo. Her eyes instantly welled up with tears as she took my hand a told me what a beautiful job I had done and that the first sight of that tattoo brought a flood of tears and emotion to her. We chatted for a few minutes, she was still very emotional as she gave me some background to her son’s story then she hugged me and thanked me again for doing such a wonderful job.

Q3: What design are you burned out of doing? BilMyersArtistArtistic (2)

A: Godsmack tribal sun. In my 25 years, I’ve done over 100,000, documented tattoos-no joke. Probably done that one 500 times and every time, the client thought they were the first to think of it-lmfao!

Q4: How is technology changing your art form?
A:  It’s not. I still tattoo the same way I’ve been tattooing for over 25 years.

Q5: Have you ever turned down a tattoo?  BilMyersArtistArtistic (3)

A: Yes. I will turn down tattoo’s if- A.The potential client isn’t able to sit still and control themselves. B.If the potential client is drunk. C.If the potential client is underage. D.If it is a design that I, as an artist for over 50 years and a tattooist for over 25 years, would not want my name on.

Jessica Irey, Favorite Floral

Q1: What advice would you give an up and coming tattoo artist? JessicaIreyPhoenixTattoo
A: Advice that I would give to an up and coming artist is to remain humble and adopt mental and emotional perseverance.

Q2: What’s the best/worst reaction you’ve ever gotten from a client?
A: I had done this memorial piece for one of my clients and afterward he was immensely grateful and it impacted me the ability we have as artists to touch someone on an emotional level. It made me feel humbled to be a part of this industry. The worst reaction I received was from a male client, he tried to take advantage of my time and energy, when I stood up for myself he didn’t like that too much and said some disrespectful things. As a woman in any industry, you just have to learn to stand in your power, and this industry in particular, you will certainly gain many opportunities to do so, all of which I am grateful for.

Q3: What design are you burned out of doing?  
A: Oh boy, there are so many designs I do repetitively, I take every design I do as an opportunity to grow as an artist, so I never really get burned out on doing them.

Q4: How is technology changing your art form?

A: Technology has opened up a different avenue of creativity for me. Anything that will help me evolve as an individual and as an artist I find useful, however, I try to maintain a balance because in the end technology can fail you and when that happens you have to go back to the basics, which I ultimately prefer.

Q5: Have you ever turned down a tattoo?  

A:Yes, I have had to turn down a tattoo.

Danny Mendez, Favorite BlackworkStopWatchDannyMendezPhoenixTattoo&WellnessCenter

Q1: What advice would you give an up and coming tattoo artist?
A: Pay attention to EVERY little fuckin’ detail around you. Shut the fuck up, put your head down and do as your fuckin’ told because NO, you do not know everything there is to know about tattooing. Be grateful and extremely humble to have a career in the tattoo industry.

Q2: What’s the best/worst reaction you’ve ever gotten from a client?
A: Uncontrollable crying of gratitude and huge hugs for surpassing the client’s expectations. Worst Reaction – Getting looked at with disgust after I Reciprocated a fart and a wink back at a client for ripping ass while I was tattooing them.

Q3: What design are you burned out of doing?
A: Mostly EVERY basic bitch design from Pinterest/Google and 90% of the ideas clients present to me. Yeah, sure those designs/ideas make you money, but god damn do they dumb down your creativity. Especially when they don’t allow you to jazz up the design and want exactly what 500,000 ( Maybe more) people already have in the world today. It’s exhausting and a waste of skill.

Q4: How is technology changing your art form?

A:Dramatically. From using tablets to Photoshop , it’s insane! I started drawing geometric designs and stencils by hand when I started years ago to doing them now in a matter of minutes! Almost everything in the tattoo industry now is like, BOOM! Done. Except for tattooing itself, that is still the same ….. Until we have robots tattooing humans

Q5:  Have you ever turned down a tattoo?
A: Yes, absolutely! Unlike Burger King, you cannot have it your way and the client is not always right. 90% of the time the ideas clients give are somewhat doable, but those 10% percent. Holy hell, how the fuck did you even come up with that idea and what house cleaner are you huffing!? Salvador Dali would be convulsing in his grave.

Tess Perry, Best Cover UpWolfCoverUpTessPerryTattoos

Q1: What advice would you give an up and coming tattoo artist?
A: Q1: To get your start working in a shop with professionals instead of trying to learn on your own. Be willing to put the time and effort in if it’s really what you want to do.


Q2: What’s the best/worst reaction you’ve ever gotten from a client?
A: Happy tears are always the best!

Q3: What design are you burned out of doing?
A: I try not to get burned out on any because even simple ones have different important meaning to each person.
Q4: How is technology changing your art form?

A: Drawing designs on my iPad has definitely streamlined things for me. I also love that there are apps that help with the business side of tattooing- online booking, appointment reminders and things. Technology has been a help for my career but I do wish I had more time for other art.

Q5: Have you ever turned down a tattoo?  

A: I wouldn’t ever tattoo anything racist or hateful, I’ve only ever had one person ask.

 

Corey Creamer, Critics Choice – Cover Upcoverup-coreycreamer-combo

Q1: What advice would you give an up and coming tattoo artist?
A: Don’t

Q2: What’s the best/worst reaction you’ve ever gotten from a client?
A:Everyone’s reactions are different but the best ones are when they start immediately talking about adding onto whatever we just did.

Q3: What design are you burned out of doing?
A: Done with anything on Pinterest. Just stop.

Q4: How is technology changing your art form?
A:Technology is cool. A lot of old dogs in the industry hate on iPads and I get it. But I can draw with ink and pencil and if i can save time and get more clients in during the week using my iPad I’m gonna do that. Rotary machines are weird though, haven’t stepped up to that shit yet.

Q5:  Have you ever turned down a tattoo?

A: I’ve turned down a lot of young kids wanting face tattoos like mumble rappers lately.

Marisa Campinha, Critics Choice – FloralSkullFlowerMarisaCampinhaEastProvidenceTattoo

Q1: What advice would you give an up and coming tattoo artist?
A: Never give up and keep pushing yourself to be better.
Q2: What’s the best/worst reaction you’ve ever gotten from a client?
A: Best reactions was happy tears and I think the worst was just complete silence after one session.
Q3: What design are you burned out of doing?
A: Infinity symbols and tiny tattoos.

Q4: How is technology changing your art form?
A: It makes it easier to put together a piece as far as looking up references and inspiration from many resources.  
Q5: Have you ever turned down a tattoo?
A: I don’t think I have ever turned down any tattoo.   

Jen Beirola, Critics Choice – FloralJenBeirola

Q1: What advice would you give an up and coming tattoo artist?
A: I see a lot of brand new artist “specializing” and staying in a very limited comfort zone.  My advice would be to learn everything possible and strive to be proficient in all styles.

Q2: What’s the best/worst reaction you’ve ever gotten from a client?
A: Tips are awesome!  I was recently tipped with a case of Treehouse beer.

Q3: What design are you burned out of doing?
A: N/A

Q4: How is technology changing your art form?
A: Technology is improving the art form by giving us access to an abundance of reference and tools to simplify the design process.  When I started tattooing we would have to find images in physical paper files. The files were labeled by subject and contained clippings from sources like, National Geographic.

Q5:  Have you ever turned down a tattoo?
A: Not exactly.  Occasionally, someone will come in with a request that is technically not going to work out.  I’ve found that most of the time people are happy to take suggestions and thankful for the information.

Robert Young, Overall ColorRobertYoungAlteredImagesTattoo

Q1: What advice would you give an up and coming tattoo artist?
A: Never give up on getting better and put in the work. You get out what you put in.
Q2: What’s the best/worst reaction you’ve ever gotten from a client?
A: I’ve had clients cry from emotional reactions. Some can’t sit still which is the worst.
Q3: What design are you burned out of doing?
A:  Infiniti knots, and lettering.

Q4: How is technology changing your art form?

A: Tech had improved a lot over the last few years making it easier on us (though I’m still loyal to the coil) machine wise but I  really think the use of iPads can be a big time saver.
Q5:  Have you ever turned down a tattoo?
A: I refuse to do inner lip tattoos, total waste of time. Nor will I do anything offensive (racial, gang etc…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Prove that you are human *

Previous post:

Next post: