Piercings and Tattoos

Archive for the ‘Interviews’ Category

Jul
02

A word with Iconic tattooist, Nick Baxter

Posted by Disha Singh on July 2, 2008
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Nick Baxter one of the iconic figures of tattoo industry was interviewed by Piercingntattoos.com to reveal his mind and soul inside and outside the tattooing world. He’s not only a tattooist but an actor, a painter, photographer as well as a writer. He’s the most eligible bachelor in the tattooing industry, who’d not like if you won’t wish him on his birthday i.e. on 5th September 😉 Born at New Haven, Connecticut, now plans to move from Transcend Tattoo, CT, to Austin, Texas, with his friend and fellow artist Jeff Ensminger, Dallas.

This winner of many tattoo convention awards: best sleeve, tattoo of day, etc., will be now seen off and on in CT. Let’s hear more about him in his own words in this interview.

Disha Singh: It’s been about eight years in the tattoo industry, how does it feel and how have things changed regarding your inking over the years?

Nick Baxter: Being 8 years into it feels great, I feel like I have accomplished so much of what I originally set out to do. I love having a network of friends and colleagues whom I travel the world with, work on fun art with, help inspire, and be inspired by. Pretty much everything has changed since I started, it’s completely different now‹a lot has changed in the industry, too, it’s really exploded in popularity and talent level. However, in some ways nothing has changed – I still feel like I’m just me, doing what I love to do, just like always. I till have so much to learn and experience and I still feel young, and like a beginner at times, because there are still many goals I haven’t reached yet and aspects of my art and technique I want to improve.

Disha Singh: How did it feel when you did the first tattoo?

Nick Baxter: It was completely nerve-wracking. I was scared and excited, and overwhelmed with all the things you need to remember to do while tattooing. It felt great though, I had a real sense of accomplishment.

Disha: What’s the inspiration behind your creative tattoo designs?

Nick: It could be anything, really. Life in general is inspiration, all the experiences and memories and emotions and thoughts and interesting things that comprise it. I try to tap into whatever type of inspiration I need for the particular project I’m working on.

Disha: Who are some of your influences, inside and outside of tattooing?

Nick: I have many influences and try to be eclectic, so it’s hard to form any kind of complete list, so just a portion of them I can think of right now are Salvador Dali, J.P. Witkin, Simen Johan, Mark Kessel, H.R. Giger, Guy Aitchison, Tim Hawkinson, Nikko Hurtado, Cindy Sherman, Richard Estes and all Photorealist painters, Charles Santarpia, Megan Merrell, Todd Schorr, Alex Grey, Caravaggio, Michaelangelo, Ron English, Eric White, Leonardo DaVinci, Adrian Dominic, Jeff Ensminger, Russell Mills.

Disha: In a true sense you are an artist who paints body and canvas, as well as a photographer. Please can you throw some light and reveal yourself in all these different roles?

Nick: These are all different aspects of my one driving creative energy. I get to express different parts of myself in each medium, and explore different themes and concepts. I also get to develop and refine different artistic disciplines and physical skills, or crafts. My painting and photography is very meticulous, refined, almost clinical in its approach to technique and subject matter, which appears often to be the opposite of those qualities‹very organic, warm, visceral. My tattooing is more spontaneous, loose, and holistic in its approach.

Disha: You have received many awards, what are the memorable conventions you’ve gone to and is there any target in your mind to be achieved?

Nick: I’ve always loved attending the Hell City tattoo conventions every year, because they are really well put together, organized, fun, and especially accommodating to the artists. I don’t have a target in my mind to achieve at conventions aside from just having a good time and producing some good work if I can.

Disha: What’s your imagination like? How long will you sit and think about a tattoo design before you actually ink it? Do you just bang it out in one shot or do you chip away at it on paper until it’s perfect and then on skin?

Nick: My imagination is a constant back and forth tug of war between the right and left brains, opposing urges for order and rationality and structure, and the opposite attributes of chaos, feeling, intuition. It’s like a never ending lottery-ball machines I definitely feel like I think too much. My tattoo conception process usually involves much more thinking at first than actual drawing. I’ll picture things in my mind, then look at reference materials for ideas and inspiration, then when I sit down to draw it usually gets completed all at once. I don’t bother with making the drawing perfect, in order to allow myself the freedom to create more on skin, and leave the tattooing process open to intuition and spontaneity.

Disha: Are you a perfectionist? Are there any tattoos, paintings, etc. that you wish you could change?

Nick: I am, for better and for worse, an unrelenting perfectionist. There’s a saying that makes me laugh at myself that goes: Perfect isn’t good enough. I analyze everything after I do it and always find something I could improve or try to do differently.

Disha: How much do you charge for a piece?

Nick: I charge an hourly rate for tattoos, and my paintings are reasonably priced as far as fine art prices are concerned, considering the amount of time and effort I put into them.

Disha: What are your likes and dislikes?

Nick: I like the outdoors and nature, creativity, positivity, problem solving, meeting challenges and goals, learning, nice people, animals, hardcore/punk music, freedom, living a vegan straightedge lifestyle. I generally really dislike any form of coercion and violence in order to control other people, or animals, as well as war and fighting, intolerance, suffering and despair, and all those associated ills of the world.

Disha: How did the idea of becoming a tattoo artist come to your mind? Were your parents comfortable with your decision to become a tattoo artist?

Nick: I was always fascinated by body art because it was rebellious, somewhat mysterious, and a really unique way to express yourself. I started to become interested in pursuing it in my mid-teens, and my parents were very unsupportive of that at the time. I think they were uncomfortable with me being a tattoo artist at first, but once they saw that it could be a legitimate, respectable career that could do positive things for me and my life, their opinions changed drastically. Now they support and respect me.

Disha: What we see Nick doing when he is not tattooing?

Nick: Usually I’m making some kind of other art, like painting, drawing, photography, or writing. I also like to experience the outdoors, play sports, read, listen to music, go to hardcore/punk shows, go to art galleries and museums, eat awesome vegan food, meditate, hang out with my cats and human friends.

Disha: Which machine and ink do you use?

Nick: I use mostly Pulse tattoo machines, and 3 brands of tattoo inks: Eternal, Starbrite, and Unique.

Disha: What do you think about FREEDOM -2 ink?

Nick: I’ve never tried it, and haven’t heard much about it. It seems like a great idea. I don’t have much interest in it as of yet, but I am curious to see if it works and if it stays looking great over time.

Disha: Finally, what suggestions do you have for the newbie in the industry and especially to those who want to get tattooed?

Nick: For new tattooists or apprentices, I recommend to stay focused on your art at all costs, be willing to put hours of every single day into study and practice, and stay disciplined. Be honest with yourself and develop a good sense of self-critique. Be hungry for knowledge, but don’t be too proud or afraid to go back to basics whenever necessary, whenever you feel stuck, or frustrated. For potential tattoo collectors, I recommend to be patient and do your research and homework first. You can read an article I co-wrote just for new tattoo collectors, at this address: http://www.offthemaptattoo.com/get-the-perfect-tattoo.html

Thanks for your precious time Nick, it was great to know your better!

Please don’t miss to check out some of his mind blowing tattoo piece at our image gallery.

May
19

BEGEMOT Tattoo

Posted by Disha Singh on May 19, 2008
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Neil Jones
, Colchester (Essex, UK) got his “BEGEMOT” tattoo inked from Sheelagh Ross at ‘Sheelagh Dave Ross Tattoo & Body Piercing’, Colchester.

He says, “The basic idea behind the ‘BEGEMOT’ tattoo is to carry on the number of tattoos I have based on fictional and/or mythical animals. Begemot (or Behemoth) is the name of the talking cat in my favourite novel ‘The Master and Margarita’ by Mikhail Bulgakov, in which the cat is Satan’s companion when he descends upon Moscow in the 1920s.”

“Other animal tattoos I have are ‘The Owl and the Pussycat’ original artwork (my favourite tattoo), and the Tortoise and the Hare.”


Regarding the satisfaction of his tattoos he added, “So far I am happy with the way the tattoo is holding up, although I was concerned about losing a lot of ink in the first fortnight, because of the near-continuous movement of the arm on a daily basis.”

This is his fourth tattoo, but the first to feature text. He also plans for more text tattoos in future and if he gets some picture tattoo then it’ll be a monkey.

May
05

Interview of Larry Silverman for the World’s Extreme Body Mod Movie – “Flesh & Blood”

Posted by Disha Singh on May 5, 2008
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Larry Silverman
(Larry Silverman)

On 1st of this month Larry Silverman released his latest independent feature documentary, “Flesh & Blood.” Doing several stories on people modified by Steve Haworth for the television series, “Ripley’s Believe It Or Not”, Larry got inspired to make “Flesh & Blood” – a film Larry thinks will surely change people’s outlook towards body modification and “will have a greater understanding about the more extreme side of body modification.”

Not taking your more time you read the interview yourself to know more about the movie.
Flesh & Blood
Disha Singh: First and foremost are you a body modification freak. Do you wear any tattoo, piercing or any other body modification on your body?

Larry Silverman: I love art and personal expression of all kinds. And I love people. But it is not my choice to wear tattoos, piercings, or even jewelry for that matter. But that doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate great art, even if the canvas is human skin.

Disha: What inspired you to make “Flesh & Blood”?

Larry: I was a director/producer/writer on the television series, “Ripley’s Believe It Or Not” and did several stories about people who Steve Haworth had worked on. When I proposed doing a story just about Steve, it was rejected. So I decided to make the documentary on my own. I really like what Steve is doing and wanted to show it in a non-judgmental way.


(Steve Haworth showing his fresh Scarification)

Disha: Why only Steve Haworth, when there are so many other body modifiers around the globe?

Larry: As a documentary filmmaker, I prefer smaller stories about individuals. I was not trying to make a documentary about everything in the body modification realm. That’s been done before. I think it’s wonderful to be able to talk in detail about a subject so that the audience really gets to know them.

Disha: How the title Flesh & Blood came?

Larry: I often have a difficult time coming up with titles. The working title for this film was originally “Thick-Skinned.” But when I finally had to choose, I picked a title that has a double meaning… first, and most obvious, is that Steve deals with both flesh and blood. Second, at the end of the movie, when Steve’s daughter says she wants to be a piercer and do implant procedures like her Dad, she says, “It’s in the blood.” So flesh and blood refers to family ties and specifically to a daughter who wants to carry on in her father’s footsteps.

(Diabolus Rex)

Disha: Can you throw some light on F&B? Especially it’s presentation, storyline and what does ‘Deleted Scenes’ cater?

Larry: I will answer this backwards… the Deleted Scenes are scenes that I like that were in an earlier cut of the movie, but for one reason or another slowed the movie down or didn’t quite fit. However, I felt that fans of Steve and body modification would like to see them.

Regarding the storyline, here is the prepared description I like to give…

Every artist needs a canvas. For Steve Haworth, it’s human flesh. He’s one of the most controversial practitioners operating in the world of radical body modification. He sculpts Teflon and stainless steel implants into horns, stars, and other objects, then surgically places them under people’s skin. Some of the most extreme looking people in the world have spent time under Haworth’s knife. They’re people who’ve become bored with even full-body tattoos and piercings. They’re people willing to endure the pain. They’re people like David, who’s on a quest to cover himself with stainless steel objects that are not only ornamental, but can be screwed in and out of his body.

Some come for a sexual charge, some for the pain, and many just to be different. “Flesh and Blood” is an unflinching glimpse into an intense and mysterious world Haworth helped to create, and the obsessed people who inhabit it.

THIS MOVIE IS NOT RATED. IT CONTAINS NUDITY AND MATURE SUBJECT MATTER. VIEWER DISCRETION ADVISED.


(Hiroyuki Sugisaki)

Disha: Do you think this film will change people’s outlook and increase their knowledge towards body modification?

Larry: I do think that people will have a greater understanding about the more extreme side of body modification, but it’s important to understand that this a story told in Steve’s own words. The film makes no judgments for or against body modification. I do not hold the hand of the viewer. I take a very even-handed approach. It’s up to the viewer to decide if they like it or not.

Disha: What was the biggest unexpected pleasure you got while working on the film?

Larry: Some of the subjects of the film have become lifelong friends. You can’t ask for more pleasure than that.


(Beki Buelow)

Disha: How was the five year life in shooting F&B?

Larry: I shot the film while living in Los Angeles. From time to time, I would travel to Phoenix, Arizona where Steve lives and stay there for up to two weeks at a time. Steve and I would keep in touch and whenever I sensed something happening in his life that I wanted to capture, I would go back. During that whole time, I had other projects that I worked on at the same time so it was hectic travelling back and forth.

Disha: In recent years we see several documentaries made on body art whether tattoos, body piercing and body modification, which is something of new topic. Why do you think it’s on people’s mind?

Larry: People throughout time have always looked for new ways to express themselves, both inwardly and outwardly. Today, we are inundated with so much stimulus that it starts to wash over us and often has the effect of making us numb instead of inspiring us. Body modification offers many a way to feel again, and connect with both the world around them, and themselves.


(Steve performing 3D surgery)

Disha: How has working with Steve and others been?

Larry: Working with Steve has always been a pleasure. We have such terrific mutual respect and admiration towards each other. That’s goes for Beki, John, and others in the film.

Disha: Someone on net accused you of “leading the audience into sharing your disgust for those featured in your documentary.” What do you have to say?

Larry: I’ve never heard that before. That person sounds like someone who has never seen the film. The only criticism I’ve heard is from a few people who think the Preview Trailer comes off like a horror film. I admit I wanted to get some attention with that trailer, but the movie itself is nothing like that. All I can say is, why do all the people in the movie love it so much? They would be the ones to be angry if I made them look bad. I get lots of thanks from people in the body modification community who tell me that the movie inspired them to do more with their bodies, participate in suspensions, and so forth. The only people who’ve actually seen the movie who think it’s negative are people who have never seen these kinds of mods before and are scared of it.


(Francis Sand)

Disha: Another wonders if the man thrives on the flesh he modifies or feeds on the innocence of those seeking ways to be different?

Larry: Steve neither thrives on the flesh he modifies, nor does he feed off innocent people. Steve talks about this in the film. He has strict rules. He will not modify anyone who does not already have a lot of very visible tattoos and piercings. He doesn’t want to be the first person to put them in a position of having society judge them. He usually tells people to think long and hard about their decision to alter their bodies. He’ll have them wait weeks or even months before he’ll perform a procedure on them. If after all that time, they still feel strongly about the modification, only then will he perform his artistry. This is what I love about Steve. He really cares about the impact his work will have on the lives of his clients.

Disha: Who is Larry Silverman in flesh and blood?

Larry: I am the teller of other people’s stories. And I’ve tried to stay true to each and every one of them.


(Joe Aylward)

Disha: What would you say to encourage people to check it out?

Larry: I think the movie is a fun ride. It’s intense, it’s beautifully photographed, and it’s even funny at times.

Disha: Is there anything else you’d like to pass on?

Larry: I love telling stories about people who I love and admire.

(Trailer of Flesh & Blood)

Thanks Larry for sparing your precious time and clearing the haze from our reader’s eyes.

Purchase DVD from www.fleshandbloodmovie.com/
Price: $19.95 (without shipping) and $24.79 (with shipping)