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The best way to cheer yourself is to try and cheer someone else up

Mark Twain (1835- 1910)

The Glass Always Half Full Tattoo

Since I wrote about the credit crunch in an Editorial a few months ago. things have not exactly improved on the global economic front. Still, here at Total Tattoo we are definitely glass-half-full-if-not-more type of people and our metaphorical skies are always blue. 2009 is only a few weeks old which means it is still fresh from the packet and full of possib lities and opportunities.

It can't be denied that many people do feel a bit bluesy during the colder, darker months of the year and the recession will certainly not help lift tieir mood. Worrying about money, your job or your housing situation is guaranteed to take the shine off anyone's year. But if you are fortunate enough to have a little desh sitting in your piggy bank or burning a hole in your pocket, there is no better way to start the year than with a new tattoo, or at least plans for one.

The dark evenings are great for hunkering down at home, throwing another log on the radiator and poring over magazines, books or the Internet for inspiration. If you feel like venturing outside, there are conventions aplenty, e/en at this time of year, and they are always happy hunting grounds for new ideas and new artists. (Years ago there was a distinct 'convention season' in the UK. running from around April to September. But now there are shows virtually all through the year, from January to November. New shows arc popping up all the time, with three inaugural ones this year in Bournemouth. Norwich and Tenby, so I'm sure it won't be long before there is a Tattoo Christmas Party to fill in that last gap on the calendar!)

I was chatting with a tattooist on the phone the other day. discussing the economic situation and how it might affect the tattoo industry. He was optimistic (my kind of person!) 3nd he said the loveliest thing:'We are in the business of cheering people up.' I'd never really thought about it in those simple terms but it is true. As long as you choose your artist and your design carefully, a visit to a tattoo studio will definitely put a smile on your face as well as a beautiful tattoo on your body! How fantastic for tattooists to know that, as a direct result of their day's work, someone is smiling.The customer may have already been happy when they came into your studio, of course, but it's even more special if ;hey were feeling down m the dumps before they got tattooed and happy afterwards.The power of ink cannot be underestimated!

Even if you can't get a new tattoo at the moment, we like to think that your monthly dose of Total Tattoo cheers you up too - this month even more than usual. Starting on page 9 is our exclusive new cartoon strip. 'Fool's Gold', written and drawn by legendary tattooist Dan Gold. Some of you will know that Dan has been a top notch artist for many a long year, others will know him from the two series of the London Ink TV programme. As well as his tattooing. Dan is passionate about graffiti and cartoon art and has long wanted to do a tattoo-inspired cartoon strip. We are thrilled that he has created one just for Total Tattoo.The strip features a quirky little tattooist character who Dan assures us is in no way based upon him! Hope you enjoy this hit of humour in each issue over the coming months.

Another reason to be cheerful this month is that we are holding a sale in our webshop. There is money off some of our t-shirts and other goodies too so pop along to www.totaltattoo.co.uk. click on the Merchandise" button and grab yourself a bargain.

So forget about the recession for a moment, put the credit crunch to the back of your mind and switch off those doom-laden news bulletins.The best thing any of us can do to get through these testing times is to cheer someone up. Putting a smile on someone else's face will automatically put one on yours. If you are a tattooist. you're already in the business of putting smiles on faces.

Anyone else who is stuck for ideas, why not pass on your copy of Total Tattoo to someone when you have read it? Of course we'e <e everyone to buy their own copy, ~ :~«se tough economic times, we don't — nC a b : of sharing!

Until next month

Sally

Total TiaooMifuma I 7

newsflash issue 053

Tattoo news and reviews for your delectation and delight K it goes on In the tattoo world, it goes in here.

Send us your news items, books or products for review and Items of general curiosity and intrigue for the tattoo cognoscenti

News Flash. Total Tattoo Magazine. PO Bo* 10038. Sudbury. Suffolk. CO 10 7WL

IT'S ALL IN THE CARDS

Tarot cards, the ancicnt system of fortune telling, are often very beautiful things, adorned with intricate and highly symbolic imagery - much like tattoos. German tattoo enthusiast Astrid Kopfler has spent the last couple of years working on a project that combines these two things.The result is this amazing Tattoo Tarot pack, with each of the classic 72 cards bearing a painting or illustration by a attooistThe list of artists who took part reads like a who's who of world tattooing:Theo Jak. Hunter Spanks. Alex Rcinke.Jef from Boucherie Moderne, Colm Dale. Aaron Bell. Daniel Dimattia. Kamil.Theresa Gordon-Wade. Dave Bryant. Jeff Ortega and many more.

The Tattoo Tarot has been produced as a limited edition. As well as the pack of cards, the gift box contains a beautifully produced book which explains the meaning of each card as well as some simple ways of reading them, along with details of all the tattoo artists involved with the project. Whether you are into Tarot reading or not. this is a truly unique item which is sure to appeal to tattoo collectors and fans around the world. It is available from www.tattooarot.com for €96 (UK and Europe) and € 106 (USA). It is also available from www.gentJenunsattooflash.com and www.freaks-books.com. By the way. if you are go:ng to the Milan Tattoo Convention on 13th to 15th February, you will be able to see an exhibition of all the artwork from the Tattoo Tarot.

Moderne Tattoos

rare tribal tattoos of the people of thoYunan Mountains to the vibrant, modern tattoo work of artists in the cities, China Tattoo takes the reader into every corner of this intriguing country which is gradually opening itself up to the influences of the rest of the world. An interesting and intelligently written introduction puts China's development as a tattoo nation into a global context (all the text in the book is also printed m Chinese too) and a full credits list at the back puts names to ail the diverse attoos on show. The artists will probabfy not be ones that you know, but I guarantee this won't be the last you hear of them. Chinese attoo fans arc hungrily embracing every style, from Japanese to tribal, from western traditional to Chinese calligraphy, from realistic to bio-mechanical and the talent the artists display is positively breathtaking. China Tattoo is a fascinating view of a fascinating and beguiling country and culture.

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