January Report 2024!
Well its cold, miserable and pretty much like everyone else Im skint after Christmas. Which was OK to be fair, I had a pretty good relax, it was over and done before it started and as is the norm now days it didn’t really feel like Christmas.
Whats new with me?
Not a lot. I did decide to have a few “sherbets” over Christmas. Not the greatest idea as alcohol is one of my allergy red flags, but I came to the decision that it would probably be OK. It wasn’t, the resulting mild but annoying allergic reaction made it very clear that the “juice was not worth the squeeze” and now I am back to eating vegetables and nothing else.
Annoyingly this once again makes me a vegan tattoo artist. I couldn’t be further from a vegan tattoo artist if I tried. If you ever wondered if my studio is “woke” wonder no more, it’s not. A cruel twist of nature has forced me down this culinary route.
Even more annoyingly after only a week, I feel energised and full of beans ( literally ), from a health point of view veganism wins the argument hands down.
But nothing tastes like bacon no matter how hard they try.
It’s already been a very busy month for me.
Tattooing seems a bit slower than usual at this time of year, I still have some slots for January and a lot of my regulars are waiting for the February dates. But I have some really good pieces in the pipeline.
Still not really posting to Social Media much, still not missing it.
I am planning some sort of photo shoot so that I can get a load of peeps with finished work in and try and get some nice healed shots. As anyone who has been tattooed by me knows, a quick snap with a phone straight after we finish is as good as my photography gets.
It does make me wonder what my work would like if I actually put some effort into the pictures?
I wont and never will run my pictures through pro create or photoshop in order to make my work look better than it is. With me, what you see is what you actually get. Too many studios are faking and filtering their pictures, don’t get caught out by charlatans, there is no substitute for years served when it comes to tattooing.
I joined a couple of facebook groups, self taught tattoo artists and beginner tattooers tips and tricks. Oh My God!! Please be careful choosing your next tattooer and do not let mates practise on you. Some of the things I have seen in these groups, it is literally a miracle no one has been killed, sepsis can do the job in 24 hours. Tattoo suppliers and the EHO should hang their collective heads in shame, they will sell to and license anyone now days. Tattooing, a craft that I love, is all about the money now and thats sad, because it is going to the dogs. I honestly think that gen Z will have the worst tattoos since the neanderthals… the situation is that bad and the trade is now full of sheisters.
That said my tattoos are ticking along, I have never been not busy in twenty years of tattooing, it’s always steady at worst. And I continue to tattoo people who actually WANT to get tattooed by me, there is a big difference to those who just want a tattoo and anywhere with a sign outside will do.
I don’t intend to change any time soon.
Paintwork, is a different story, it’s mad busy and I am having to turn work away.
Moving into a new workshop means that I do not want to take anything on with an urgent deadline and at this time of year nearly every helmet job has a mad deadline. So this month I am concentrating on a couple of bikes, I have the tins from a Harley to paint and the X-Paint Plop Enduro bike is getting picked up from the blasters this week.
I am going to build the Plop as a bit of an example of what can be done in paint, currently I am torn between turning it into a cartoon bike, covering it in “true fire” or just working a colour scheme in matt red and gloss black. I will be posting a step by step and hopefully trying my hand at some video footage so it should be an interesting project.
Once done it will be on display in the studio window on Parliament Street. You never know I may even get a chance to get out and race it once I have the workshop and studio booth as I want them.
I had to do a manic 24 hour trip across to sort out the printer heads on my decal printer. By the time we worked out the cost for parts it was easier just to upgrade it. So I have a new one and a new piece of software to learn. It’s already printing like a dream and it does cut as well, but I am going to try and hook it up with my plotter for the die-cutting. Once done I will be able to produce die-cut decals with any logo along with any graphics I need for helmet race paint.
The Manxman is impressive. I couldn’t believe the cabin they gave me, I thought I was going on a cruise around the Caribbean instead of just crossing the Irish Sea for four hours. It was a good trip, I had a nice hotel for one night and got to try a McPlant burger at McDonalds which was actually quite impressive. And I had to do Pizza Express as well.
Considering the rush it was actually an enjoyable trip. So much so I am busy planning my next trip, hopefully the next one involves a round of British Superbikes.
The workshop is nearly there, but thanks to the weather and the cancellations of a few crossings recently I am still waiting for some big bits that I need to put in place before we can build around them. It’s frustrating and it is costing the company a bit of money. I keep telling myself it will be worth it when it is done, but currently that light at the end of the tunnel looks like a pin prick of light.
The paint booth is fully operational so I can crack on with the bike projects this week. But the airbrush/race paint section is waiting on a workbench I ordered, until that arrives I cant fit the extraction, my airbrush rig or the compressor and airline. Annoying.
Once it arrives then it will be all systems go on the remaining build. I have my fingers crossed that it will all come together quite quickly once I have all the pieces and hopefully I will be able to start helmet production again on the 1st of Feb. But I am not counting on it.
The silver cloud to the pain that I am currently suffering is that once done the workshop will have three times the capacity of my current little studio, so hopefully I can really make an impact in the helmet painting world. The ability to “Race-Paint” as well as “Custom Paint”means that I can offer two price points, one that is very affordable for racing helmets that are likely to take some abuse and one for the “show” work that I do.
On The Road Tattoo:
And its fully serviced and running like a dream. It still needs some body repair and a mop, so I am going to wait for some warmer weather and undertake that job myself.
Already caught up with Kris the joiner ( top joiner and all round top bloke ) and we have a plan for the back to create more space and comfort. Thats about as far as we can take it this year. I have a lot of modifications planned to make the truck even better but they are now going to have to wait until next winter, I need the truck back on the road.
I think it will be parked at the Black Dub during TT 2024. I caught up with Al recently and we are both keen to do what we planned before the Rona hit, I am up for it, so we just need to finalise a plan.
The truck will be back on the road very soon and I will be doing studio days and mobile days this year, so keep an eye on the website for news
All in all despite my gripes its been a positive start to the New Year, I hope you have had the same..