Wow. As I reflect on 2014, I can’t help but think about what an amazing year it has been and how much I have grown both as an artist and as an individual, however those thoughts are overshadowed by the excitement of what I have planned for 2015 and the changes it will bring.
One of the major changes was my decision to leave Laughing Hyena Tattoo Studios to free up more time for travel, conventions, guest spots and open a private studio of my own. I have tattooed and pierced nearly everyday for the past 10 years, in 6 shops full-time, won awards and tattooed at over 30 conventions and countless guest spots all over the US. I’ve held nearly every title in the industry from shop bitch/apprentice to shop manager but the one thing I’ve never experienced was running a tattoo shop of my own.
As my travel schedule quickly filled up with conventions and guest spots, it became clear that it would not be possible to continue working in a shop that felt entitled to a cut of every penny I made and was irritated any time I requested some time off. I am to the core of my being a traveler, one of the most appealing perks of being a tattoo artist was that I would be my own boss with the ability to travel the world and work while I did so. Being forced to work day after day in one spot was definitely taking a toll on my sanity and quickly began to dread doing the very thing that I had loved for so many years before. Being a self-made tattoo artist who has spent over half his life with drawing, tattooing and painting as his main focus, it became clear that I needed to embark on my own and am currently taking all of my tattoos out of my own private appointment-only studio in Washington DC. The studio doesn’t have a name yet and the location will never be made public.
The studio is an all disposable tattoo studio, all tubes and needles are pre-sterilized by the manufacturer for one time use only and are disposed of after each tattoo in a proper sharps container, the use of an autoclave is not necessary. All of my tattoo inks 100% vegan and bought from companies who are respected industry leaders, every surface that comes in contact with my gloves during this process is bagged or covered with medical barrier plastics.
I strive to maintain levels of cleanliness above and beyond industry standards by staying updated on the latest sanitation practices and preventive measures and I attend as many seminars and classes as I can specifically designed for the industry. Scarily enough, this practice is not state required but insures the safety of my clients even further and guarantees you a safe and sterile environment to receive the best tattooing experience possible. If you have any other questions about disease prevention and sanitation practices, please feel free to email me or ask before your tattoo appointment.
MAKING AN APPOINTMENT WITH BOBBY ROTTEN
I feel that working as a custom artist working in a private studio allows me to create more original pieces of art tailored to your personal style, without the distractions that come with most walk-in shops. Over the years I have compiled a long list of amazing return clients that I love as much as my own family, but I am always open to proposed tattoo ideas from new clients.
All new clients should send me an email with a detailed description of the tattoo you are interested in getting to email@example.com or fill out the appointment form at the end of this section. Please include in your email any images of photo reference (please try to stay away from images of others people’s tattoos), where you are wanting to place the tattoo, how big you want the piece and when you are trying to schedule your appointment. I reserve the right to refer you to another artist if I believe the tattoo is something that doesn’t match up with my artistic style and artistic freedom is strongly preferred. Please don’t email me a photo and expect me to just copy it, nothing is more insulting to me and usually won’t get a response from me.
Depending on the time of year, the amount of travelling I will be doing and the volume of work I have taken on there could be a wait anywhere from a few days to a few weeks. When booking my appointments, tattoos that are in progress and return clients always get first priority. I will NOT book any appointments over Facebook, Twitter, phone, etc. and I will not begin drawing ANY tattoo without the required $50 deposit, this deposit is non-refundable and will count towards the total price of your tattoo and secure your appointment date. I will not tattoo anyone under 18 years of age and need proper state ID as proof of age. If you’ve received an email from me about your tattoo, but scheduling doesn’t work out at first, please email me again. I usually ask people who are waiting to stay on my list by sending me a reminder tattoo every month to let me know they’re still interested.
I charge an hourly rate which is to be discussed when I receive the email about the piece you’re interested in getting, and the price for single session pieces will be given upon the completion of the piece based on the elapsed time, however clients are encouraged to give a spending limit in advance, which helps me tailor the amount of time I spend on that tattoo for that session. Normally I quote the price based on the criteria of however long it will take me to complete the project to make sure it is as perfect as it can get, it can be more or less depending on many factors so an hourly rate ensures that neither the client nor I gets locked into a predetermined price that is no longer correct in the end.
With all that being said, I am super excited about 2015 and even more about embarking on this journey with the private studio and travelling the rest of the time. I just wanted to thank all my extremely loyal clients that have followed me everywhere I have gone and been supportive of everything I have done. Without all of you, none of this could be possible and I love you all. I am also excited to see what new clients and travels 2015 will bring. I will be posting a projected travel schedule soon and I gotta say, it’s gonna be a great year full of great art, tattoos and positive vibes. Take care and hope to tattoo each and every one of you soon.
Be sure to check me out on Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/bobbyrotten
“It doesn’t matter what others say
Even those you call friends.
Don’t leave it out for another day
This might be your big chance.
You’re the one always beside me
When I’m lost you’re always to guide me.
It’s about time I give you something back
I’m the one selfish and greedy.
Never care enough what you needed
But even still you had the strength to get back in the end.”
“Life is so strange, so is God with games
The one wrapped tightly around me like a dog with mange
Kick me in the stomach, I shit myself in the damn street
Left for dead, wanna be knocked out like that but can’t sleep.”
Another sick jammer I did on an awesome walk-in client from Connecticut last week. Sorry, just now getting around to uploading it, things have been pretty hectic this past few weeks.
I drew this cool little tattoo last night and I would really like to do it this week, preferably on someone’s hand.
I have been slacking on my writing lately, however I have been trying to blog daily. I’ll keep trying! I’m a work in progress. Anyways, Happy Wednesday guys! Until tomorrow, check out my tumblr by clicking the image above and be sure to follow me on twitter @bobbyrotten13 to keep up with the insanity.
I have been trying my damnedest to keep most of my newer my artwork secret lately, that way whenever I come out with my sketchbook for publication, all my followers on Tumblr, Facebook or whatever haven’t already seen or tattooed everything in the book already.
However, I scanned in the first real piece of flash for the book earlier and thought I would share: I can’t wait to paint this piece later today.
I have spent the past seven hours laying sprawled out on my studio floor watching the second season of The Wire and working on some drawings for this sketchbook I am having published.
I did a lot of sketches from midnight til now, but this is one of the only ones I really liked and would really like to do it as a tattoo for my portfolio.
If anyone would be interested in getting this done, please give me a call at the shop: 240.686.0234.
I did this jellyfish tattoo a few days ago on a regular client. I also did the jellyfish to the right awhile ago.
Ok, so I missed a day or two, it’s going to happen. I had a really busy week tattooing but I hope that I made up for missing a day with today’s sketch, considering that it’s 7:48 AM and I am still up working on it.
As usual, if your interested in getting this tattooed, please drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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I am usually first to “show off” my ink to friends when I get it, however, I don’t know how quickly I will be rocking the sleeveless shirts this summer after local teens say they’re being wrongly forced to show their tattoos to be photographed by the police.
Montgomery County police have come under attack after it was revealed that it is standard policy for officers to randomly stop teens on the street and photograph them,stating it is an effort to be able to identify gang members from their tattoos.
American University Radio WAMU 88.5 reported Monday:
“Police say there are 34 gangs and more than 1200 gang members in the Montgomery County. One way law enforcement officials address the threat is by stopping and photographing suspected gang members — and keeping a record of identifying characteristics, including tattoos. But in the process, some youth advocates say innocent Latino teens are being harassed. County leaders, police and advocates are trying to balance the needs of public safety with constitutional safeguards.
Nancy, who asked that her last name not be used for fear of retribution, recalls what happened to her. “An officer, he asked me to raise my shirt to see if I had any tattoos or anything,” she says. “I told him no and he had pushed me against the wall I couldn’t say anything at the moment ’cause I was only sixteen.” Nancy says officers didn’t arrest her but took pictures and she doesn’t know where those pictures wound up. Walter, who also did not want to use his last name, says he isn’t a gang member or a criminal either but was pulled over recently. “They didn’t tell me nothing — they just lifted up my shirt and took the pictures,” he says. He hadn’t committed any crime when the police stopped his car, he says. “They pulled me over because they thought one of my cousins who was in the back looked like a runaway youth they was looking for,” he says.
Last month, the county’s Latino youth task force issued a report in December recommending that police review how these stops are being conducted. “There is reason to doubt the constitutionality of the stops and the subsequent searches and photographing of Latino males in the County, due to statements of youth who were stopped,” the group, officially called the Latino Youth Steering Committee, notes in the report.”
Click here to read the whole story on WAMU.