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nd this whole fieak-out thing needs to stop. And I cant tell if my knees are trembling from the eight hours of standing still as a canvas, or if it's the five-inch platform heels I reluctantly pulled out of storage. Or the adrenaline. I do love adrenaline. 'Cause it's all here. And you should see these gorgeous specimens I'm surrounded by - some of them completely covered in body paint. If I weren't trying to be conscious of my lipstick, Td probably be drooling too. It's damn hot in this kitchen. And they're screaming out there. Hundreds of them. The music is so immensely loud that it's drowning out. the thumping in my chest. I'm trying, believe me; but for the sake of shit I cannot remember the last time I've been this nervous. Tonight, I model. 1 embody. I immerse myself in tliis madness.

They call this Embodiment. It's a four-week event in sleepy San Luis Obispo, California, that celebrates the human form as a canvas. Art that talks back. Art that breathes, dances, entertains, and seduces. To us tattooed folks, the concept of art interacting with skin isn't really bizarre at all, but the naked ones are really grabbing hold of this, and taking it to a whole new level. Inner exhibitionists are massaged into existence. Men and women from all walks of life strut the runways, covered head to toe with paint. And the whole thing is undeniably sexual, alluring, and brave.

"I do think there's a certain sexual tension that develops between some of the artists and their models. There's definitely a level of arousal involved..." commented Sean Paries, event creator and owner of Native, the night club where these fantastic orgasmic events have taken place on Thursday nights over the past four weeks. But is that tire reason for the event? The sexual tension? Obviously not. It's more like a mostly fortunate side effect, Sean wanted to come up with a series of artistically bound big events that would unite and excite tire local art community. And apparently Sean Paries doesnt fuck around. Because Embodiment rocked -and it rocked hard.

Crazy is as crazy does, and although I've never had any idea what die hell that means, it seems appropriate here. Why? Well, the week before tliis all began, the potential in this event became evident to me, and before I had processed any thoughts about it at all, 1 blurted out something to the effect of, "hey guys, sign me up!" "For all of it!" Uhh wait. Wait just a second... what just happened? Do 1 really want to prance around in front of hundreds of people, in my underwear? Uhh. Sliit. Yeah, 1 guess I do. Luckily the underwear prancing was saved for the finale... so m J

piyiicifxtfed in the fastseqpon.

I had a full three weeks to mentally prepare for the meltdown. But I'm still not convinced that any amount of time would have helped, and I'm also not sure that one could technically call it a meltdown. I too have an exhibitionist inside of me, believe it or not, and she's quite sassy, and it's true that I do like to "dive right in" to my work, but holy shit - these models have balls. Big freaking balls. (For most of them I'm speaking hypothetically, of course) But really folks, this modelling stuff isnt easy. 5

Tattoo Art SuKvlsmart

entirely different than Jeffs. His work is meticulous, pre-planned and sketched out. "Each final piece was made up of a bunch of little paintings connected together. It was really challenging to come up with a good composition. It was all little compositions inside a big composition. Ami the body as a canvas was like many cylinders... it was fun and challenging." Week Three was student night. And then the finale, sporting an enchanting theme of Black Magic. And every week the crowds came back for more. An avid show-goer described the experience to me as feeling almost like chapters in a story. Or like a drug. Always. Wanting. More.

So how did Sean pull off an event like this in a sleepy coastal town? (And can I say secretly, a town that can sometimes be kinda conservative). "This event has really gained momentum here locally in the arts.

If the energy in these Embodiment events could be bottled, we'd have ourselves an instant global sensation. Every single person I talked to was thrilled to be there - and you could feel it. And with Embodiment in only its second season of existence, Sean should be quite proud of this beautiful baby he's created. Local artists, local models, salons and other businesses, working together... a real sense of community was inherent in the events. Some of the artists painted at every one of the four shows, so I snagged one of them and asked him what it was about the event that made it so special. Charlie Clingman, co-owner of Forever Stoked, who, by tile way, worked his ass off at all of these shows, said; "I think it's the combination of interesting things. Artwork is interesting on its own. And bodies are interesting. And especially on beautiful bodies. When you combine

The QfOstic tqtto& community uforiduTulc really pqOed the ufcy <ytd opened 4 doofJo-eûen qllouXus to-pull off <yt eOentlilie this-. ft seems thqtuhthin the Iqst decide, the gfàukng qcceptxyice of tattoos info mqins tieq/n society ht& mqde people mote open foetfents like this-.

the two you get something much greater than the parts. Then you add the music and the show, and everything really comes alive. It's a transformation!"

A transformation, every Thursday night, for four weeks in a row. This is what my heaven will look like. Each week had a theme - first was Urban. Think bricks, and graffiti, and yummy loads of grungy goodness. Local artist Jeff Claassen told me a bit about his style and the process in general... "Ilike the element of the unexpected. Drips and smears are not mistakes - you just turn them into something else. There shouldn't be any rules in art, so why use a pencil first?" Then Week Two: Surf. We are in California after all. Surf Artist Charlie Clingman has a process

And the growth in the artistic tattoo community worldwide really paved the way and opened a door to even allow us to pull off an event like tliis. It seems that within the last decade, the growing acceptance of tattoos into mainstream society has made people more open to events like this."

Let's talk some more technique. We have paint. And bodies. We have all day. And not a tattoo machine in sight. Is it more or less difficult to paint a human than it is to tattoo a human? I asked Jason Youth, a tattoo artist from Tried N' True in Arroyo Grande, California, He participated in the Urban night. "I think it's harder in a way because there's no stencil. But then again, tire totally different style and the impermanence of it makes it easier."

Harder? Really? Wow. Easier? Both? So of course I had to know. I grabbed my brushes and geared up for that whole "immersion journalism" thing that I do. Problem is, although I can ever so slightly call myself a painter, I am definitely WOT a tattoo artist. So, I guess this little experiment is a bit shit, really. I dont have the perspective Jason does, so I think we'll have to trust him. What I can tell you is that painting on a living canvas is a bizarre and magical experience. My brushstrokes caused goosebumps. Inner thighs twitched. Wervous giggles. Laughter, And soon those brushstrokes had formed a bond - not only between my model, and myself but also amongst everyone in the room. 1 smiled at my canvas. And my canvas smiled back. As an artist, I felt whole. Alive. Fulfilled. We all painted for nine houis straight in a brilliantly blurry marathon of a day. I'm guessing maybe the sensation 1 was feeling is similar to a successful day of tattooing. Only, tonight, my work would be gone - flushed down the shower drain in a forgotten little rainbow. But I digress... The people came out in huge numbers for the show - again - Surf night. Excitement, Lights. Music, Butterflies battling goosebumps in my tummy as my models walked the runway. I was proud. They were jellyfish. And in what seemed to be an instant, it was all over. By the time 1 hugged my models after the show, the paint had already started flaking off. Impermanence strikes again.

There's an interesting dynamic going on here with that impermanence. It seems to be working like a magnet. Jeff Claassen, who, like Charlie, painted every week, was attracted to the show for a lot of reasons. " Othei than the beautiful ladies? (he chuckles) Well, the coming-together of local artists, the exposure, the networking, and the challenge and opportunity to paint on people. I like graffiti art, its anonymity, and temporary nature. One

has to come to the show to enjoy it, and I really like that,"

And enjoy it they did. Jaws were diopping light and left. Diinks flying off the bar. And the place sold out. "We went from begging people to participate in last year's show... to the point where we are now placing them on a waiting list," said Sean, "there's value in this event for everyone. That circle of value is key. And this event could not have happened if it weren't for some of the tattoo artists that participated in the first season. The very first Embodiment last year was all tattoo artists. We figured they had the most experience with the human body. And many artists are intimidated painting on the human form. It was difficult to convince people in the beginning that this was art." What began as an event that only tattoo artists would take on has now grown to include artists from a plethora of disciplines - surf artists, folks from the liberal arts, urban and deconstiuction artists, and even some high-end poitiait artists. "We kept an open mind," said Sean, "People surprise you. And when they are challenged, they really rise to the occasion."

Participating artists included Jeff Claassen, Charlie Clingman and Chiis Pederson of Forever Stoked, Joshua Jesse, Eric Soderquist, Tiffany Fabricius, Neal Breton, Jay Castro, Antonio, Jason Youth, Brian Christopher, April Worley, Peter Ryan Worley, and so many otheis that the list would go on and on and exhaust you to eternity.

So who's running the show, anyway? 'Cause this show is running damn smooth. And after participating from every angle possible (except for maybe mixing drinks at the bar, which no one wants me doing) I am duly impressed. Model castings on Mondays. Shows on Thursdays. Upwards of thirty artists and forty models in the finale alone. 10 o'clock paint start time. Lunch and dinner provided. Live DJs. Packed house. Smooth as a cucumber. No pun intended. (I think). Anyhow - give it up to Natalie Magaña, executive producer extraordinaire, Biandie Coffman and her incomparable model-wrangling

skills, Johnny Kenny and l^^^B

his stealth-bomber artist-recruitment, and Tyrone ]H i

Galgano, master of logistics. H 1 According to Sean, this is P h the A-team, "one of the 17

the opportunity to work with." And 1800 Tequila -the event's major sponsor ^^H a - provided extra incentive to the artists by opening up a competition for a new custom bottle design for their "Essential Artists Series" -using one photo, of one piece of body art, from the Finale Show.

Yeah. Okay. I know. There's a lot of thanking going on. But tliis community is tight - everyone says so. And this show worked because of it. Energy was flying off the walls, and all over everyone. It was unavoidable. Each show was like a massive orgasm after nine hours of torturous foreplay. Each piece, an integral part of a beautiful puzzle. And at the core of it all... beautiful bodies... as canvases. There are few things in life that bring me more joy.

This whole experience is one not to be forgotten. It's infecting people, like a virus. "It's something to add to my book of life", said Jarred, who modelled at the finale. And the lovely Gabrielle explained, "The energy is contagious. It's a unique experience of the union of art and the human body."

So do we give Embodiment a big freaking thumbs up? You bet we do. If you'd like to stay up to date with future shows, you can find Sean Faries and his A-team at

Peace, Love, and Body Art.^

ji* Tattoo'Art ^fppletne-ut

Not a stranger to a camera, she also sits in front and behind the lens both with stunning results and iias just been signed up for celebrity clothing company Affliction Clothing.

Ctyt you tell me 4 bitq.boutyour history 45 qn qjiist?

I don't tliink I've been around long enough to have one. It hasn't even been one year since the release of my first vampire artwork 'Vampires of Rookwood'. I am very pleased to say that I have been able to develop a very loyal fan base, and have just signed my first licensing deal in the USA, so I am really looking forward to see what 2010 yields.

^leyou self-taught (utdhofe you iuyl qfty fotfnqj<yi training, college?

I hated high school and couldn't wait to get outta that joint. I didn't study art in school, that period of my life was very much about my guitar and song writing; I was messing around with Photoshop back then, but never took it seriously.

The thought of leaving high school, only to go on to study at university or college was unfathomable.

Whqf mediums do-you fife to uTorkuMh?

I'm always receiving comments from fans and other artists aslting what mediums I use. Some think that I draw; some think that I paint and some think I take photos, and they'd all be correct. I fuse photography with digital drawing and editing. Some artworks have more of one medium than others, and some pieces are entirely drawn with no photography whatsoever. I am comfortable will all three mediums and simply use whichever one is needed to create the desired effect.

r\rc qjlyou/.subjects in youT pointings ft$m fetf/the afterlife?

Notliing is from real life. I find reality about as interesting as tits on a bull. But the afterlife is perfect as it's open to inteipretation. Everyone has then own spin on the subject and you're allowed to cliange your mind as you go along, even Anne Rice has abandoned her vampires for subjects with more Christian values.

WhtfitfevfyBU to pointing Qiyttpires <yut gsthic imagery?

I just never saw myself painting fairies or fruit baskets, ya know? When tire time came to choose the subj ect matter for my art, 1 just looked around my studio and saw skulls, candelabras and pentagrams, I went to my bookshelves and saw Edgar Allan Poe, Anton LaVey's Satanic Bible and Anne Rice's Vampire Chronicles. My art is simply a visual representation of the shit I'm into. I mean, I could probably draw you a fruit basket, if you really, really wanted me to, but the fruit would be rotten, the colours would come from a dark and menacing Bosch pallet, and the basket itself would be sitting next to the stone throne of some cool naked vampire demon that's just brought forth the extinction of tire human race...that's just how I see it. Hmm, I think I just came up with my next art work: "The Fruits of Extinction",..

Who-tire yourlfqfeurite artists/ pointers eytd utfutfis itqbmttheu" uforli flutf inspires you?

I love H.R Giger, his shit is just so dark and fucked up. Although his influence probably isn't that noticeable in my art, not un-like Hieronymus Bosch, I think his influence is clearly visible in many of my pieces. The tiling that I love about his art is his choice of colours and his sense of irony and humour.

I see you ejfi tqftooed: tfo-youpfqt on getting cyty more t^nd if so, ukio uXxdd be youifchoice to-do-lhe lûéfk?

I have quite a few tattoos myself. As soon I was 18,1 had a flower tattoo on my chest which was a birthday present from Von, my fiancé. A year later I got the Japanese dragon on my left shoulder, which is definitely my favourite. They should have told me that the pain was addictive, within a year; my right upper arm was sleeved ! The last tattoo I had done, over 3 years ago now, was the rose on my right wrist, I'm already looking for new designs for my next tattoo, and will probably go with black and white, as the tattoos I have are very colourful, I'd like to 'Goth' them up a bit.

Wh&<itc yourfyTourite tqftooists?

In Australia, I'd have to say Dave and Chris Rand from Rand Ink. This father and son team are awesome and have done all my tattoos. Their lines are strong and their colours are very bright, Chris once said to me he loves tattooing me, because I'm so pale, almost transparent, so the colours take really well

Do-y ou find uforfatg uftth tattooed indiiïduqls interesting?

Definitely, I find that working with tattooed models gives my art a modern edge that traditional art lacks. Although, shooting a tattooed model for say a '16th century' themed shoot may be out oi place, I'd probably leave the conflicting styles together just because it makes the end result more interesting. 3

/ find fkqjity qboutqs interesting qs tits on ci butt. 'But the afterlife is-* perfect qs it's open t& in terpretcition.

/ think hiffe& artists qfe extfemety underrated: net enty is theuTayuftp thtee Uimensienqf but it s c&OeteU in bleed. uMggles <tfound <ytd ufyits engage them in conOefeqfi&n they uforfa

The debate of having modern tattoos within century specific artwork has recently become a topic of conversation for my fans; just recently, I received this email from Shane in Canada, who commented on this exact point:

"Iloved your Lucy Westenra! It reminds me of some close-up shots in The Exorcist, actually - but I wanted to ask you: the hand holding the crucifix in the image is clearly tattooed up ro the wrist, and when I saw that] wondered, why is that there? Icouldnt find anything else in the piece to explain it although, since it does make the image instantly contemporary, I can see how that may lend it broader appeal to collectors.

Shane, Ontario, Canada

Wfutfd&yeu. thin^ efteift&eists <{& qrtists qjtd tflce ife/iq?

I think tattoo artists are extremely underrated: not only is their canvas tliree dimensional but it's covered in blood, wriggles around and wants to engage them in conversation as they work. For me, that would be fucking annoying! The average human body also doesn't come with an UN-DO button.

Do-you gfTuy/e yea. et/efseen your <yi become 4 fqfteo?

Yes! And I was so excited when I first saw the photo I nearly wet myself! This first happened with a photograph of one of my Ville Valo photos, The singer from finish band HIM, It was such an honour when Ian said he'd picked my picture from many because he felt I captured Ville's 'essence' in that live shot.

More recently, I was contact by a fan named Hans in Poland, who had my artwork "Vampires of Rookwood' tattooed on his calf! This totally blew my mind. The tattooist Darek Darecki's studio

Darkness Tattoo' now displays several of my artworks and he informed me recently that someone has already booked to have "The Exorcism of Lust Westenra" immortally bestowed upon them. Fans having my art tattooed on them is happening more frequently now, I absolutely love it, it's the biggest compliment anyone could give me and my art, I mean, that tattoo is on your for life!

Wko-ttfe yeur'mqji influences <ytd uttuit inspires yeu?

Other artists inspire me, but my biggest influences would have to be movies, music and literature, I'm a visual creature, 1 can't tell you how many times I've watch a movie only to be inspired by the director's camera angles or choice of lighting. I also find listening to music heavily influences my art, as an example, I was listening to Cradle of Filth's 'Godspeed On The Devil's Thunder' record whilst creating my artwork 'Empathy' Tliis demonic artwork was definitely inspired by the band's sound.

De-ym hqtfe qny qmbitisns uftth yBuf^tfeihehoise?

Yes! I mean, apart from world domination, later this year I will be releasing a new range of clotliing for both men and women, all printed with my art as well as releasing my gothic pendants which I have been designing for the last few weeks. I'm hoping that the people that buy my art to hang on their wall would also like to wear my vampire clothing. It's really hard to find cool vampire t-shirts, and this was originally why I decided to start putting my art on clothing.

I'm also thrilled to announce that Attitude clotliing have jumped onboard and will soon be selling my clotliing range, and look forward to many new opportunities that 2010 may present.

Cqn yen Mus-~ semeffung qbeutyauf bqftd qftd music?

Sure! My band is called As Angels Bleed and our sound could best be described as Gothic Metal, Von Lehmann (guitarist) and I have been writing songs together since I was 16 years old. We've spent the last few years away from the live scene, and focused on developing our own unique sound within the Gothic Metal genre.

For the last 9 months, Von and I have been busy recording our full-length album, which included the full orchestration of the 11 songs, as well as recording a full church choir.

The album 'Electric Funeral Fire' will then be mixed and mastered, and we're very excited to share these songs with the world.

The music is the soundtrack to my art, so you can expect it to be just as dark, vampiric and intense. The songs have heavy low tuned guitar riffs, crazy metal solos, and melodic sing-along choruses with gothic and vampiric themed lyrics. If you are into Type O Negative, Witliin Temptation, Evanescence or Cradle Of Filth, I think you will enjoy our album,

Gothic Grey Wash Stone TattoosGftuy Tryn


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Tattoo Designs and Becoming a Tattoo Artist

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