Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Tattoo Apprenticeship : Sketches XV

Good morning to all of you and I hope you're having a wonderful Tuesday. Today I'm bringing you the second installment of American Traditional tattoo exercises from my apprenticeship with Cooper at Guru Tattoo. If you missed the introduction to this particular blog post, here's a recap of the assignment. 

I'm nearing the end of the first phase of my apprenticeship, and one of the last genres I have yet to explore in tattooing is the style of American Traditional tattoos. The previous blog post, as well as this present post, feature the illustrations from one of Cooper's more time intensive assignments having to do with this specific type of tattoo. The exercises contained within Cooper's assignment were designed to teach me the fundamentals of how to create a proper American Traditional tattoo by filtering all of the unnecessary filagree that detract from the core meaning within an image. 

When it came time to construct a new illustration
I was pitted with the same question, over and over again- 
"how do I create an image that moves straight to the heart?"

No fluff... no bullshit... no ego.

For the first time I had to truly change my mindset, from striving to create a breathtaking image (riddled with mystery and innuendo), to reinforcing a timeless emblem (free of any confusion or misinformation). I could never claim this work as my own, but I could be proud of the fact that I was replicating a lineage- hopefully in such a way that will reflect the same amount of respect and forethought that most other American Traditional tattoo artists uphold. By the time this assignment was complete, I had gained a new understanding, as well as appreciation, for the craft of American Traditional tattooing. It remains to be one of the hardest genres I have ever attempted to tackle.

Thanks for checking in,
and take care until next time!


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