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National Tattoo Day: How UNO Alumni Make Walking Works of Art | News – Omaha, Nebraska

Omaha, Nebraska 2021-07-17 05:00:20 –

The following article was originally published in the Summer 2019 issue UNO magazine.

To see more stories about the connection between UNO and the world of art, visit the UNO Alumni website and read the magazine. Downloadable PDF Or Interactive flip book..


They are body art Sandro Botticelli. Hula Angelicos of anatomy. Keith Herrings in human form.

For a thousand years, tattoo artists have brought art to life … with a living body. Their design was a way for artists and their subjects to express themselves in oil-based inks.

Today’s tattooists are redefining the media, thanks to a sharper focus on art itself than ever before.

Designs that were ubiquitous 20 years ago-think of the tattoos on the hips and the barbed wire that surrounds the biceps-were pushed aside.

Today, the body is adorned everywhere, from delicate line and watercolor art to graffiti and pop culture-inspired designs.

And more and more, the industry is dominated by people with an artistic background and educational credibility to go along with the technical expertise that tattoos need. This includes Maverick students and graduates.

Some artists sought their careers. Others happened to enter the business.

Respect for business … and OG

For Eric Zuerlein, a 2008 art history graduate and owner of American Tattoo in Omaha, it was the right place, the right time.

“I fell into it for a moment,” he says. “I came to get a tattoo, but I never had a tattoo and talked about getting a job.”

He was always interested in tattoos as he saw them grow. However, it wasn’t always displayed at that time, and it was a little taboo.

Today, as a 20-year veteran of business, he sees more respect for it and feels long behind.

“We have changed the industry from around counterculture to mainstream,” says Zuerlein.

Dave Koenig, a tattoo artist and painter at Tenth Sanctum Tattoo in Omaha, has been in the industry for nearly 20 years.

Art ignited his interest as a child. “A big fan of Indiana Jones,” he says he always wanted to travel and experience different cultures.

At UNO, he studied anthropology, Native American studies and ethnography, and art. He evaluates his coursework with new images that inspire his work.

“My education feels like it has helped me see what I can’t see when others go and visit other places.”

Some tattoo artists are inspired by OG, a really old OG.

“The personal style of tattoos I want to do is realism, but it’s very interesting just to see how different styles have emerged throughout history,” he pursued a dual major in studio art and art history. Alexandria Barrett says.

She is inspired by artists such as Da Vinci and Albrecht Durer, whom she calls “her idol”.

People from Plattsmouth, who recently opened Inked & Spellbound in their hometown, are studying the work of these old masters and their skills.

“Everything I move to tattooing someone.”

Discipline and technology

The art of tattooing requires the same kind of discipline as any other form of art. Artists continuously evolve their level of expertise through practice.

“I’m always doing art. Jaime Craig, owner of Rawhide Tattoo Studio in Omaha and graduated from art in 2008, thinks that tattooing has definitely increased discipline for artists.

“You have to do a lot of work on it. You have to paint every day, which covers multiple types of art forms. Just because I have to do it, I Seems to be doing more and becoming more productive. “

She says the time she spent at UNO helped her career in several ways.

“It helped me prepare as an artist, manage my time as an artist, set my own priorities, and promote myself as an artist.”

She says the technology has helped make the tattoo process easier.

A few years ago she was drawing designs on tracing paper.

“Then they invented the iPad Pro, which saved many trees,

I think, “she laughs. “It also makes things a little faster.”

Design apps like Craig uses to create mandala art save a lot of time and free her into a more enjoyable part of the job, such as going out to get inspiration for plant and animal design. To do.

The influence of the internet

Other technologies are also having a significant impact on the industry.

“The Internet has made a huge difference in our industry at so many levels,” says Zuerlein. “Our clients are more or less educated, depending on where they get the information.”

He says the web has opened the eyes of clients in different styles. Decades ago, people came to his store and chose a flash from the wall. Or one of the artists adjusts the design or draws something custom.

Now he says people are bringing in the particular style they want based on something they find online.

“It’s both good and bad. Many people see what we can’t really do because of the constant restraint on our skin.”

König agrees.

“People are demanding more interesting tattoos because they watch on TV what you can do with tattoos,” says König. “But people are also editing things on TV, so I think,’Hey, I can get the whole sleeve in just two days.’ So you receive some ridiculous requests. “

Achieve great results

Converting an artistic vision into a whimsical canvas from time to time can also be a challenging part of crafting.

Achieving great results is a collaboration between artists and clients, says Barrett.

“Many people don’t understand why they end up going wrong. Keeping your skin hydrated and moisturized is very important to people. It really makes a difference what happens to tattoos. . “

For Craig, the hardest part of crafting is the technical side, she says, and many people don’t see or think too much.

“Knowing the tools you’re using is probably the hardest thing I’ve had to learn as an artist,” she says. “There are so many types and ways to do that, it can be a kind of overwhelming.

“And skin isn’t always the most collaborative canvas. Until you do that, you can’t always predict what you’ll get.”

She says the expansion of the shift from coil machines to rotary machines to transfer ink made a difference.

“Rotary machines are becoming more and more popular. It relieves a lot of pressure on the hands. It’s much easier to maintain the stamina of being able to work when your hands don’t hurt.”

Make a statement

One of the unexpected benefits of tattoos is that you see your art when you don’t expect it the most. For some, it may be like a walking art show of their work around the world.

“I came across a client when I was lining up at an airport in another country,” says Zuerlein. “At other times, I saw someone tattooed and thought,’I tattooed that man.'”

For Barrett, tattoos are her opportunity to help her clients make unique statements to them.

“Tattoos are much more personal to an individual than buying a painting on canvas or hanging on a wall,” she says.

“It’s a creative medium for me as an artist, but it’s also a way for clients to express themselves and get beautiful work that they can carry around.”

Are you thinking of applying ink?

Want to get your first tattoo? First, consider expert advice.

Do due diligence

Examine both the artists and their work to understand what your tattoo looks like. Don’t jump into a chair as soon as you find someone doing your favorite job. Then, “Schedule a meeting with them to see if your personality works,” says Jaime Craig.

Shrink real estate

“It’s not an easy process and can be very painful depending on where you put it on your body,” says Alexandria Barrett. “It’s a good idea to start small so that you can understand how a tattoo feels and whether your body can accept and process it.”

Be careful about your design choices

Yes, some people choose the design on a whim. But think of this as a permanent decision, says Eric Zuerlein. “When it’s your first tattoo, you want to think about it. It’s for life.”

I think it’s classic

You don’t have to look at tattoo ideas on Pinterest, says Dave Koenig. “Tattoos are as fashionable as clothing, so in many cases popular tattoos may not be that cool in the long run.”

National Tattoo Day: How UNO Alumni Make Walking Works of Art | News Source link National Tattoo Day: How UNO Alumni Make Walking Works of Art | News

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