Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Tom Painter and Jason McCarty


Jason McCarty and his father Tom Painter

Tom Painter at work

Jason McCarty at work

We were filming for our DVD series at last year's Motor City show, and I remember Jason took Best of Day on Friday with a Wolverine tattoo he had started a few weeks prior. When we were filming at this year's Detroit show, and he took Best of Day on Saturday and Best of Show as well. (More from Detroit in next month's issue of PRICK.)

Tom Painter and Jason McCarty are the main artists at their shop, but Jason's apprentice, TJ Link, is no slouch either. He recently tattooed a friend of mine, and it was perfect.

They also do body piercing. Tom has been doing it for a longtime, but now they have Dan Agregaard covering the piercing and running the front counter. He's a great guy and has collected some awesome tattoos by Jason. They have an excellent work ethic and their shop attitude is always fun, positive and professional. My own daughter recently got her first tattoo, and it was Jason McCarty who did it.

TJ Link at work

Piercer Dan Agregaard

Tattoo by Jason McCarty

Body Art Tattoo Studio is about one hour outside of Washington D.C. and about 30 minutes from Dulles Airport. They have clients that fly in to get tattoos sometimes so it's very convenient. The town they live and work in only has two traffic lights, so it won't be hard to find them if you ever get to Berryville, just ask anybody. You will be glad you did.

Body Art Tattoo Studio is open Tuesday through Saturday 10-6, Fridays 10-8 p.m. Appointments in the morning and walk-ins rest of the day. For more photos of their work, check out Body Art Tattoo Studio 8A Chalmers Court Berryville,Va 540.955.0111

You can see more of Tom and Jason's shop on video in the Art Intensity Network DVD Volume 6 Issue. Available now at

Pictures from first road trip

Going through the archives and found these pictures from our first road trip in 2004 ...

Scott McCool of the Network at work.

Merle Allin, Porkchop and Mr Sex

Porkchop and myself, armed with little more than a video camera and what we thought was a good idea, made our way to the 2nd Annual Washington D.C. Tattoo Expo all in the hopes of interviewing a few artists for what would soon become the Art Intensity Network's Tattoo Video Magazine.... Now 40 volumes later!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Scott's Cross Country Road Trip

That was a great trip. It took about 40 days, almost 7000 miles, 40 video tapes and 1000 digital photos. I stopped at 30 tattoo shops and 2 conventions and visited over 100 artists.

I had a great time visiting with everyone and I got to see some awsome tattoos being done. Everyone I met was very nice, I was hooked up at most every stop along the way.
A lot of the times I stayed with the Artist at thier homes,seeing how they live and do what they do on a daily basis.

It was a great learning experience for me, I got a new insight into this crazy world we call Tattoo.

I'll be posting more soon. Check back.

Have you ordered your DVDs yet?

If your a shop owner, I have a special gift for you. Send me an email and I'll send it to you. Thanks.

Cross Country - Road Trip With Scott & the Tattoo Video Magazine Crew - Part 4

The Westside Customs Tattoos crew: Crazy Bob, Mark Tomac, Richard Baker,
Melissa Baker, Will Anders

In the last issue, Lil'D and I were hanging out with Cleen Rock One at Top Notch Tattoo in Elgin, Ill. When we left there, we went to visit Nick Wiggins of Mark of Cain Tattoo in Champagne, Ill. Nick was cool and took us to see the slammed street rod he's been working on. We shot video of it and his shop for our ongoing tattoo DVD series.

Continuing north, we decided to go see Will Anders in Joliet, Ill.

I met Will in Cocoa Beach, Fla. last year and promised to come visit him some time. He currently resides in Joliet with his fiancee Sara and works at Westside Customs Tattoos. Will has been tattooing since 1984. When he was just 15 years old, he would work on his friends in his bedroom with a handmade tattoo machine.

"My mom didn’t like it, though. My friends would jump out the window when she would come home early," he remembers. "She always knew because of the cigarette smell."

When he was 18, he moved to Denver to start tattooing professionally. He apprenticed under Mickie Kott for two years where he got to work with a lot of great guys like Jason Willis and Tom Depriest, whom he apprenticed. "There are a lot of tattooed faces in Denver," says Will.

After six years there, he moved to South Beach, Fla. and worked with Ami James, eventually making it to Artistic Body Works to work with Ed Madigan for a while.

Will has tattooed all over the country at one shop or another over his 20 plus years in the business. He's also been building custom tattoo machines for over 10 years; so if you need one, you can contact him at

And now Will is in Joliet with his old friend Mark Tomac, owner of Westside Customs Tattoos. Mark is a native of Joliet and has been tattooing for nine years. He likes to do the black & grey creepy stuff.

When we visited Westside they had just moved into their new location. The place was very clean and professional with brand new tile on the floor, new paint, a very large space with five tattoo stations and a private piercing room.

I like the half wall idea. It keeps people out of the work area that don't belong, but still allows them to watch and communicate with their friends getting tattooed.

Will at the counter

Chucho's work

Will and his fiancée Sara

They have a cool neon tattoo machine sign that sets the place off. There is some quality flash and some nice paintings hanging around the studio.

In the basement, they have a break room where they paint and draw. There is also a private bar down there and a TV so its hard to get people to leave sometimes.

They also have Richard Baker working there. He's a great artist and has been tattooing about four years now. He also does piercing along with his wife Melissa, the shop's resident henna artist and piercer. She is also tattooing now. Melissa has been doing henna for eight years, piercing for six and she just did her 27th tattoo.

Another artist that works there, Chucho, wasn't in town at the time, but Mark drove us around the city to look at some of Chucho's artwork anyway. A sculptor, painter and tattooer – Chucho is a very talented guy. Mark tells us that Chucho has been commissioned by the city to do some murals and statues. Mark considers Chucho a big influence on his tattoo career. He showed us murals that Chucho has painted in town over the years. Mark recalls staring at them when he was a kid trying to figure out how he did it. Mark is very proud to have Chucho working with him at Westside.

Richard Baker

Melissa Baker

Mark & Christie Tomac

We passed by the prison while we were driving around. The gate where they shot the scene from the Blues Brother's movie (when Jake gets out of jail, and Elwood picks him up in the old squad car) was right there in front of me; I had to film it myself.

Graffiti art is accepted pretty well here. We saw a lot of cool stuff all around the town of Joliet. It's nice to see a community embracing young artists, instead of considering them part of a gang problem. Chucho also did a sculpture in memory of a fallen police officer that stands in the middle of town.

The weekend we were there it was Cinco de Mayo, so after the shop tour, we got a hotel room in the area and met them later at a bar. I knew right away this was not the spot for me; too loud, and too many people so we left and went to a place called Glory Days where Will's fiance works and got hooked up all night. No one was there when we arrived. It was perfect;we got the run of the place.We played pool, threw darts and partied 'till closing. It was a lot of fun hanging out with the Westside crew.

The next morning, we all met for breakfast at the diner next to the shop. Some of them didn't look so hot, and others were just fine. No names here. Just kidding guys.

We had a great time hanging out with Will and Mark at West Side Customs. They really treated us great and showed us a good time. Thanks for all the hospitality!

Lil'D and I left Joliet and went to Chicago to see Hannah Aitchison at Deluxe Tattoo, then to the tattoo convention in Davenport, Iowa where we saw Lyle Tuttle and a few other friends. In Kansas City,we hung out with Ricco and saw the famous "Freaks on Broadway." Kansas City also embraces the graffiti art scene and we toured the back alleys with Ricco.

The multi-disc DVD set of the entire road trip will be available through Art Intensity Network. Check out the highlights here in Prick magazine.

In the next issue, we're off to Albuquerque, NM – home of Brian Everett, Tinta Cantina & Dave Martinez.

If you are ever in the Joliet area, you should definitely stop by their shop and get tattooed.

Westside Customs Tattoo
650 Ruby Street Joliet, Ill
Call for an appointment: 815-726-7822

Cross Country - Road Trip With Scott & the Tattoo Video Magazine Crew - Part 3

Cleen Rock One of Top Notch Tattoos

Tattoo by Cleen Rock One

After our visit with Matt Hodel at Trader Bob's Tattoo in St.Louis, Dustin and I headed north to Elgin, Illinois to meet a guy they call Cleen Rock One at Top Notch Tattoos.

It was just starting to get dark as we walked up to the shop. I could see there were lots of nice neon signage around the windows and an old school '32 Ford parked out front. We introduced ourselves to the guys who were out front smoking and they led us to the rear of the shop where Cleen Rock was working.

As we walked through the shop, I noticed it was a bright clean space with a kind of hot rod theme to it all. The walls were covered with hot rod paintings, Big Daddy Ed Roth "Rat Fink" memorabilia, and license plates from all over the country lining the top of the walls.

Cleen Rock One at work

Tattoo by Cleen Rock One

When we finally met Cleen, he was working on a sleeve but found some time to take a break to talk with us for a while. He was very cool and friendly. He reminded me of a young modern day Fonzie from "Happy Days." He's definitely a hot rod guy. In fact, he's the president of the Bare Bones car club and has a 10 car garage around the corner from the shop where he houses and works on his cars.

Cleen showed us around the shop and introduced us to the rest of his staff. His main guy is Erik Thvedt who has been with the shop for four years and does traditional Japanese with a "bold bright kind of thing." Then there's Tony1,one of the apprentices: "He's basically my Mexican connection. I can't speak Spanish. I only know swear words," says Cleen. Tony1 does mainly black and grey and is into portraits and Latino art.

Then we went to the next booth and this big guy with a big beard turns around. "This is Black Jack. He's been tattooing 13 years. He does traditional old school stuff – Ed Hardy, Sailor Jerry kind of thing." His youngest artist is Tim who likes to do new school tattoos. "He has a lot of crazy drawings and he does Asian tattoos too," Cleen says."There are no jokers working here, all my guys are top-notch artists."

Tattoos by Cleen Rock One

They have a wide selection of body jewelry on display as well. Their piercer is named Dras,but he was in Las Vegas at a piercing conference when we dropped by. "Dras is the best piecer I've ever met," says Cleen.

Elgin is Cleen's hometown. He has been tattooing there for 10 years."We are a street shop, but we pretty much only do custom work. All my guys have their own clientele. We will do flash off the wall, but with our twist on it," Cleen adds. He actually apprenticed in the same building back when there was a crack house upstairs above the shop. Even though he doesn't do drugs, he says it was "pretty cool because the crack heads would bring in bags of CDs for $15.00 or a box of Dickies shirts for $15.00. You could buy anything for $15.00. It was great!" Five years later to the day, Cleen opened up Top Notch in the same building.

Cleen showed us all his tattoos, remembering the artist and the story behind each of them. His hands were done by Lucky of Tattooland. Jeff Zuck has done a lot of his tattoos as well. He even has the tops of his feet done – a hot rod zombie by Gunter on the top of his right foot and a bright orange pumpkin on the top of the left foot with the words "LEAD FEET" tattooed across the toes.

While we were in the shop, Cleen's dad happened to be there and told us the story of when Cleen was 18 and came home and said he was going to work at the tattoo shop. His dad said, "Not those guys, they're losers. Your working at the ski lift!" (Cleen used to be a snowboarder when he was younger.) But Cleen stuck to his guns and went to work at the tattoo shop. And we're glad he did! He's got a killer shop with an incredibly talented crew.

If you’re ever near Chicago, you need to go to Elgin and meet Cleen Rock One and his Top Notch crew. There is a casino near by and plenty of hot spots around town to keep you entertained.

For more info visit

Top Notch Tattoos
216 E. Chicago Street
Elgin, IL

Cross Country - Road Trip With Scott & the Tattoo Video Magazine Crew - Part 2

Trader Bob's Tattoo: Matt Model, John Bell, Rob Gesinger, and Joe Alhoff

In our last road trippin' installment, I was visiting with Billy Jack and his Guys in Bowling Green, KY. Just before I left, Billy thought it would be a good idea for his apprentice to ride along with me, so Dustin, aka Lil D, Jumped in to help me drive and to learn some tattoo history on the trip. Dustin is a young artist, hungry to learn all he can about the business and ready to meet other artists. This trip is a great opportunity for him to do that.

Lil D and I headed off to St Louis to see "All American" Matt Model. I met Matt in Cocoa Beach at the SpaceCoast Tattoo Convention. We hung out at Ed Madigan's house after the show for a few days. Matt is a cool guy and funny as hell. We went swimming at Ed's. Matt didn't have a bathing suit, so he went to Wall-Mart and bought a women's one piece and wore that. Funny ass shit.

I wish I had a picture ... maybe not. Anyway, Matt works at the one of the oldest tattoo shops in America, Trader Bobs Tattoo in St. Louis, MO. The shop has been in constant operation since the '30s. It only moved one time do to the fact that the building they were in was torn down to make room for a highway.

Rob Gesinger at work

Allen Thompson

Nate Strautkalns

The Shop is currently owned by Nate and Allen of All-Star Tattoo. They acquired the shop from Honest Mitch's son Mike, who tried to run the shop for a few years after his father died. After a while he realized he needed some help and asked old friends Allen and Nate if they would consider buying the shop. The rest is history, as they say.

We spent a few days with Matt. He took us to a few other shops and we met some of his friends. We also went fishing at a secret spot he knows. He set up a trip with the artists he works with. Everyone caught fish, and I mean big fish, except for Matt for some reason. Lil D caught the most, and he has never been fishing before. We shot footage of everyone, and did some interviewing right there on the bank of the pond. Just like ESPN!

Dustin also wanted to tattoo someone on this trip, so Matt hooked him up. He got to do a hooker and a pimp.

Trader Bob's is located in the ghetto of St. Louis. The street in front is pretty crazy at night. I would suggest a daytime appointment. It's safe enough though. Who wants to fuck with a tattoo shop full of big dudes? Not me.

The artists are friendly enough with the neighborhood folks, and they seem to watch out for the shop out of respect. Bars on the windows and a security system don't hurt either.

Matt broke the rules and showed us the secret room where all of the old flash from the '20s and '30s is stashed. The security is really tight to get in there. We had to go through a couple of booby traps and lots of dark hallways to get to the dungeon were all the gems are kept. There were 1000's of acetate stencils made in the '20s, hand painted signs, original drawings by guys back in the '30s, and even an old machine rack and power supply that I believe Moses used to tattoo Jesus with!

There is some of the coolest old school flash I've ever seen. They have enough stuff to start a museum. The walls of the shop are also covered with original hand painted flash. Most of it has never been reproduced, and it only exists at Trader Bob's.

All the artists that work there feel a sense of pride in their shop. They have a responsibility to protect and to preserve the history that they have acquired. They feel they have an obligation to the artists that came before them to carry on the traditions of the oldest shop in America. The residents at Trader Bob's are fantastic people and excellent artists. They have fun, but are also very professional with the customers.

Nate and Allen are the best guys to take over the legacy. They have a huge respect for the history. They own two shops now, but rarely come to Trader Bob's, due to the fact that Matt Model and the other guys have got it together. They come by and bring food, beer and supplies for the shop. They provide everything the artist's need. They want all the artists to have what they need and they try to make life a little easier so they will stay, instead of opening a shop next door. They pretty much let the artists that work there handle everything themselves.

Ink Well Tattoo: Bard Humes, Matt Model, and Clark Medley

Clark Medley at work

Matt took us to meet some friends of his who have a shop called Ink Well Tattoo. The owners are Clark Medley And Don Wills. When we got there, we just bum-rushed them with the camera and started to interview them before they knew what was going on. Matt thought it would be the best way to do it, since he knew them well enough.

Clark was working on a huge Japanese rib piece. He talked with us on camera while he tattooed, then we talked with the other artists there. They even bought some of my videos. Thanks guys! Don Wills wasn't there at the time, so we decided to go to his house later in the evening.

We went to All-Star Tattoo to visit with Nate and Allen, and meet their other artists. I filmed Matt interviewing the owners. Allen talked with us while he was tattooing, telling us how he got to St. Louis, and about his influences in tattooing.

Matt Model with the All-Star Tattoo staff

Shawn Garrison at work

We met another one of their artists, Carrie, who has been tattooing for seven years. She says, "There's not to much of the ass grabbing going on here. I like that. People come here for the artwork and our friendly attitude. We all have enough business to go around. Sometimes we will pass on a tattoo to the right artist for the job, and it's about the art aspect, not so much the money. I love what I do everyday."

"When you're not working, what do you do?" I asked.

"I have two dogs, a garden, and I like to drink once in awhile. Life is good."

We also talked with Shawn Garrison, who used to work at Trader Bob's. He says it was a rough place back in the day. He had some stories about the old owner, Mitch. "Mitch was a intimidating guy. I worked there for two weeks before I even saw him. He taught me two things. One, never get your hands tattooed, which I did anyway, and two, how to tattoo a penis."

See and hear the whole story in a future video coming soon. I took some photos of the shop, said good-bye, and we skipped out to go meet Don Wills.

Scott McCool with Don Wills

Don is a collector of tattoo stuff. He has hundreds of tattoo machines, plus tons of old flash and paintings to see. He has a beautiful home and art studio, and lives in basically a tattoo museum. He showed us a bunch of old Machines and told us stories about each one. We had a great time visiting with Don. The video tour of his house is amazing.

I hated to leave St. Louis. We were having such a good time with Matt. He made a few suggestions of where we might go next, so Dustin and I headed north toward Chicago. Our next stop, Nick Wiggins of Mark of Cain Tattoo. More about that in the next installment of Road Trippin with McCool.

So much to see and do in St. Louis that I'll have to go back soon. The Old Timers Convention will be held there. I know I'll be back for that. Hopefully I'll have the St. Louis DVD available at that show.

Cross Country - Road Trip With Scott & the Tattoo Video Magazine Crew

Here's a reprint of some of our road trips in the past... enjoy.

Big Mixx and Rachael

Wes Carter

Billy Jack Gunter tattooing Skinny Deville of Nappy Roots.

It all started at a convention. I was talking with different artists from all parts of the country and they all wanted me to visit them and see their shops.

Planning the trip took longer than I thought, trying to maximize your time in as few a days as possible became a pain. I kept scratching out my calender, and starting over. Things kept changing the route. One guy could do it this time and another couldn't and they were 600 miles apart.

I eventually figured out a basic route which would keep me out filming on the road for 40 consecutive days, about 30 shops and two conventions worth. I loaded up on PRICK mags and DVDs and hit the road.

I started out from my home in Northern Virginia on April 26. My first stop was Bowling Green, Kentucky. It was about a 9-hour stretch of driving without stopping.

You may wonder what took me to Kentucky. Well, the truth is Artistic Encounter Tattoo in Bowling Green is the home of Billy Jack Gunter. We met at the New Orleans show in 2004. We hit it off and then he came to the Cocoa Beach show and helped me there, so I promised him I would come see his shops some day.

I got to town and went straight to the hotel to relax.

Later, Billy and one of his artists, Big Mixx, came to pick me up for dinner. We went to a Japanese steakhouse where the cooks all have tattoos by Billy Jack so the service and the food were excellent. They took good care of us. After dinner we went to a club, everyone there knew Billy too.

Billy Jack owns three shops in Kentucky and is currently opening another one in Dallas,Texas. He is a young tattooer, and is driven to succeed in this game. His artists are all top notch and have good attitudes. They sit around and draw all the time, it makes for a good creative environment to work in.

We went to all three of his shops in Bowling Green, each one has a manager/partner working there and multiple artists and peircers.

Artistic Encounter #1 is located at: 1407 US 31 W. By-pass 270-783-8697. Clint Minnich is the manager of the shop and also tattoos. The other artists are Lil' D, who has a thing for graffiti art and is a natural at lettering; Shelbo, who does nice color work; and Jonnie 2tone is the shop piercer.

Artistic Encounter #2 is located at: 2052 Russellville Rd. 270-746-9856. Wes Carter manages this shop and is an excellent tattooer. Brad Ausbrooks and Doughboy are two other artists that work there.

Artistic Encounter #3 is located at: 2nd street/downtown Owensboro, KY 270-685-5805. Big Mixx is the manager there along with Don Juan Demarko. They take care of the tattooing, and Rachael and Ivan handle the piercing.

He also took me to meet his mentors at Dancing Dragon Tattoo – James Phillips and Chris Pavelch. Billy says he owes it all to both James and Chris for bringing him into the business and teaching him at the beginning and guiding him along throughout his career. James and Chris have a clean shop with lots of flash on the walls. They are located near a military base, so they stay pretty busy. He told me some stories about Billy as you can well imagine. Billy sneered and made faces at some of the shit James was saying, but it was all in fun. James seems to be real proud of Billy Jack and pleased with how far he has come.

We left Dancing Dragon and headed back to Bowling Green. That evening, two of the lead singers of the group Nappy Roots came in to get work done by Billy Jack. They also live in the Bowling Green area. They were getting ready to go out on tour,and needed their tattoos worked on first. Skinny Deville got some tree roots on his shoulder and down his arm and Big V got a needle shooting the words "game" into his veins.

I filmed the process and interaction with the Nappy Roots guys. They were very cool, Big V even took Billy and I out to dinner after the job was done. He's a wild dude, down to earth in a lot of ways, but road smart for sure. We had a good time with Big V.

Then Billy and I went to the recording studio and met up with Skinny D and their engineer Joel. They were previewing some of the new Nappy Roots music. Needless to say, I left with six new unreleased tracks. It's some good shit; it's in my cd player right now!

When I left Bowling Green I had a little extra baggage. Billy Jack thought it would be good for his apprentice, Dustin, a.k.a. Lil' D, to ride along with me to learn more about the tattoo industry and meet other artists, and maybe get to tattoo someone, or at least help me drive. I said okay and we headed off to St. Louis with Lil' D.

Billy Jack is currently in Dallas, Texas building the fourth Artistic Encounter shop, located at 3920 Rosemeade Parkway. Tattooing along with Billy Jack will be Wes Middleton. Shop piercer will be Zach. The shop is scheduled to open this month. You will see all the craziness, cool tattoos and hear the new Nappy Roots music in the Art Intensity Network Tattoo DVD series very soon.
The next Road Trippin’ installment will include a visit to Trader Bob's Tattoo Studio in St. Louis, MO, one of the oldest street shops in the U.S. and home of tattoo artist "All-American Matt" Hodel.

Friday, December 12, 2008

These were bad enough to bring my posting back from the dead

So as I'm sure you can tell, I haven't been posting here a lot lately. I've been busy at work, and haven't really come across many new tattoos that are worth mentioning. However, I got an email a few days ago that seriously shook me up. Check out these terrible tattoos, all by the same artist working out of a "pro" shop.

Was the kanji there already, and the rest of the tattoo worked around it? Or was it all designed in one piece? Why is the kanji overlapping with the star? What is that weird black V at the top? It's all a total mystery, and it's all TERRIBLE.

This just makes me think of a pile of pubes, I'm sorry.

...... I don't even know what to say about this. It's not as terrible as the others but it just seems so... sad.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Chasity - Artistry of Unsound Minds

Hi all !!

Some of you might know about the Blood, Sex & Ink Tour which will be held in Melbourne and Tasmania, Australia in 2009 !!

So, in accordance to that, I would be bringing something closer to home for the folks here and also to those who will be visiting the Singapore Tattoo Convention in January 2009 !!

This is not a tour but more of a private event where 3 main elements will be showcased - Inking on Skin & Paper and Photography, brought to you by Immortal Tattoos, Singapore.

Venue : Immortal Tattoos, Singapore
Date : 8th Jan 2009 - 12th Jan 2009
Time : Not Confirmed

Looking for -

*5 human canvases to be Inked.
*5 Artist of Different Medium to put their flavors on Paper.
*8 Females with Tattoos to be Photographed.

Want to be part of it?

Do let us know on why we should choose you for this one time event in a lifetime !!

Just email me @

Please note -
*Ladies who wish to be Photographed should email their pictures.
*Artist should email their artwork.
*The Human Canvases are free to give an idea of what they want but at the end of the day, its entirely up to the artist.