The Art of Ink: New School

The Art of Ink: New School


– [Timmy] Everyone’s tattooing is a reflection of who they are. And when I’m creating a new school tattoo, some of the stuff that
just happens is madness. – [Adam] All their lines, more exaggerated perspectives, a different color palette. You can do anything. – [Lindsay] The subject
matter that people are asking for, it’s a little more creative. We get a lot more freedom
within that design. It just makes for a
more interesting tattoo. – [Timmy] New school is
based on like your vision of something that already exists so you can really get inspired by anything. – Imagination’s one of
the most important things as a new school artist because
those images don’t exist. As long as you challenge yourself and push yourself there’s really no telling how good you can get. – The way I got into new school
was completely by accident. When I first started tattooing
I just thought it was just gonna be a way to draw,
have fun and pay the bills. – I can’t explain why I
gravitated towards new school. It just seemed like that is
the way that it came out of me. I saw how people were
doing the new school style. I guess like that sort of
planted a seed in my head and then it germinated into whatever it is that I’m doing right now. – I was 17, still in High school. I used to just draw on myself
constantly with gel pens. And then one of my friends got a tattoo and I was just obsessed with him. So I started doing tattoo parties. I had release forms so whenever I tattooed kids in my high school their parents would come and sign off on it and then it just kind of went from there. I kind of fell into new
school not by trying. Over a span of time it
just developed into that. – A new school tattoo is basically evolved from the graffiti style of the 80’s. Lots of bold lines, popped color, exaggerated perspectives and I think a lot of people took aspects from that and then brought it into tattooing and it just became a whole life entity on it’s own. – To me new school goes very far back it just didn’t have that title. When you think about tattoos
from 70’s or 80’s of Taz, Taz is 100% a cartoon character
and they were everywhere. It was always tattooed in
the more traditional style but the idea of tattooing
these bold cartoons like Bugs Bunny and Porky Pig
and Taz, those are cartoons. And new school used to be categorized way more as a cartoony style. I feel like new school started
differently for everybody. But for me, growing up in Massachusetts, there was a guy named Tony Ciavarro. Once I saw his work I loved it. There was bold lines, powerful imagery, super solid color but with
some back lighting on it. You know, there was like these elements of realistic lighting to a flat design and I just thought it
had a little more to it. So I was a little more drawn to that. – A new school tattoo has
nice clean sculpted lines with very bold colors and
everything is completely filled. I can create atmosphere and distance just through line work it kind of creates the illusion of fore ground,
middle ground, back ground. – The most recognizable symbols as far as new school tattooing goes is probably really warped perspectives. Where instead of getting just a car on the side it’s like this and then down and then the character’s reaching over. Even something as simple as a skull, like instead of doing it
completely straight on, the jawbone might be completely flipped like more Corpse Bridey Tim Burton stuff. – I just tattooed a saber tooth skull and one of the giant teeth just kind of twisted up and turned into
a branch at the bottom. And there was a strawberry down there. Like it doesn’t make any
sense, but you realize that you are crazy but people trust you enough to just let you do it. – When it comes to color
theory I think a lot of artists need to realize
that it is your own voice and you really
need to speak with it. It’s a way of putting
yourself into the tattoo and you really have to style that aspect if you’re ever gonna grow
and evolve as an artist. I mix my own colors because
I think every client is different and they
deserve a little bit extra. When it comes to a color
that would look good on my skin it may not
look the same on your skin and also sometimes the color
you want doesn’t exist. Mixing your own colors just makes sense. – I think new school tattoos have a lot of the bright colors to grab your eye. You want people to look
at what you’ve done and very bright colors will
absolutely do that for you. – A lot of my warms are very true. My reds are usually pretty intense. I dress pretty much the way I tattoo. I wear drab clothes, mostly black and gray and everything with a red hat. All my tattoos have bright reds usually and like muted everything else. It doesn’t even happen intentionally, it’s just you can see a
lot of myself in my pallet. – Working on skin is
one of the most exciting challenges I think I’ve
ever faced as an artist. As every canvas is different. There’s no consistency in skin tone, but it’s also the texture and everything. Everyone’s body shape is different. Everyone has had
experiences in their lives that has literally physically
shaped who they are. – It’s just such a gamble
every time you tattoo. I enjoy the challenge of it but it’s also so infuriating when you can’t do the best tattoo possible
because of your medium. – The biggest misconception
of new school tattooing is that it is easy but every tattoo’s easy if you don’t try hard enough. Aside from maybe with the
exception of hyper realism it’s one of the most pain in
the ass styles of tattooing to do because a lot of people expect you just to line something
once, pound your black and pound your color and
then be done with it. But when it comes to new school you can take aspects from realism in terms of selling the atmosphere. In terms of muting down your colors, cooling down your colors, warming them up, really selling the roundness of an object with more than just black and white. – People used to just get a portrait of their dog in a frame. And now they ask for, you know, a portrait of their dog
dressed like a scientist because he seems to think about
things more than other dogs. People are way more creative. It takes a tremendous
amount of imagination to put it all together. – What I love most about tattooing is just being able to challenge
myself everyday honestly. Because you don’t know what’s coming in through that door even
if you have a client. It’s always something different. I have no idea what I’m gonna
get myself into right now. I just know that I’m gonna use all the things that I’ve
learned over the years and I’m gonna try to do
to the best of my ability. I think that’s the most
fun thing about it. It’s not even just being able to pay my bills doing something that I love. I get to hang out with my friends who are constantly
gonna tell me if I suck. And they aren’t afraid to tell me, oh you should try this, do this more. I love that, with tattooing,
there is no plateau. And if you feel you’ve
reach one, that’s a problem. Tattooing itself has
shown me who I am more as a person than I think anything else that I’ve ever experienced has. Because I get to be myself
the most while I’m tattooing. – [Lindsay] New school artists
are definitely not afraid to show that we are fun
people and that we have fun. Everything we draw is sort of like a reflection of what is inside of us. – Everyone has a certain presence
to them, a certain energy. And if you want to have fun and you’re not a miserable prick then
you’re gonna have fun here. Everything’s kinda changing
in tattooing so rapidly. Inks are getting better and people are taking care of their skin better. I mean, everyone ages and everything’s gonna look like shit when you’re 80. And that’s okay. All I can really say for myself is that I hope everything just
keeps going like it’s going. New school is fun. It can be goofy. And as long as I have fun drawing what I’m drawing that’s a pretty good life.

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