Location

 

This tale begins more than a decade ago in a land far, far away from these United States. Our kingdom's northern villages had been ravaged by the great storm and beasts began to roam the lands. They were vicious night dwelling creatures and their appetites, insatiable. No mortals dared go out at night and all who desired life swore allegiance to the Dark King. 

 

I was raised in the mountains by a secret society of warrior monks, remnants of the old world, and was said to have been born from a vision by a high priest millennia ago. Some say I simply "appeared" in this time…That I was destined to take the throne as my own and slay the Dark King. Therefore in my twentieth year I set out on the long journey to concur the throne of the high tower.

 

After weeks of perilous travel through the secret mountain pass a terrible blizzard came over the land, forcing me to seek refuge in a cave just outside the eastern plains.  Deep in the the caves cavernous corridors I met a traveler and mystic who like my self sought refuge in the belly of the Earth. He was a strange man and his skin danced with bizarre pictures and colors unknown in that time. After days in the cave he shared with me a sacramental herb of his land and the rituals of tattooing. I have done that ever since.

 

 

 

One of the most unique parts of tattooing compared to other art forms is the collaboration between artist and client. Tattooing can only take place when an individual is willing to get tattooed. For this reason I try to make every step of my tattoo process focused on my clients well being and ideals for their chosen tattoo and I’ve shaped my tattoo process to reflect this. 

 

 

 

THE PROCESS

1) CONSULT

All of my tattoo work starts with a consultation. This is a time for you the prospective client to briefly get to know me and the atmosphere of the studio. After filling out a short consultation form for my records we go over your ideals for the new tattoo and look over any reference material you may have. References can be printed or saved to a portable device such as cell phone or iPad and are not necessary but very helpful. Consults are best in person, however when circumstances prevent face to face interaction other arrangements can be made. Once we’ve discussed what will be necessary to complete your tattoo (time/space/budget) I collect a $100 deposit to hold your appointment which is deducted from the total price at the end of your tattoo. My normal wait time for booking your first appointment is 1-2 months.

 

2) DRAWING

For larger or more involved tattoo compositions a drawing consultation is required. These appointments are normally booked within a week of your first tattoo appointment and can take 1 1/2 to 2 hours. In order to be certain that I design exactly what your looking for and reduce time spent waiting for adjustments to a design I do the full composition directly on your skin with markers and use a transfer process to remove the image. In this time we again discuss your ideals and dig a bit deeper into the concept making any necessary revisions as we go. Once you are satisfied with the composition and I have a transfer I can then have the final line drawing ready to tattoo as soon as you arrive the day of your tattoo. For smaller work extra time is added to the tattoo appointment so that again I can work through the composition with you present. Design time is complementary. Once the image is transferred all client revisions are closed.

 

3) BILLING

Clients are only charged once tattooing begins

and are billed at the end of the session at a rate of $150 per hour.

 

4) SESSIONS

The majority of my work requires a minimum of two sessions regardless of size. For smaller work this is normally covered by the deposit and takes less than 1 hour. By requiring a final short “beauty pass” i’m able to insure that I’ve done everything in my ability to provide a long lasting tattoo that you can love and show off for the next 20 years. My approach per session is to give the most bang for your buck. My time is not cheap and since tattoos hurt it usually isn’t that enjoyable. Because of this I strive to be as efficient as possible and provide dramatic and noticeable change/progress from session to session. Normally sessions happen once a month to allow time for healing and settling and ideally last 4-5 hours.

 

5) RESCHEDULING

Regardless of how prepared or how well we plan sometimes life throws a curve ball and you can’t make it to a scheduled appointment. I totally understand, however it can be very difficult to fill a last minute cancellation. In order to cut down on time lost I require 72 hours notice for all rescheduled appointments to avoid loss of deposit. If a cancellation happens within 72 hours your deposit will be lost and a new $100 deposit will be required in order to book a new appointment. No exceptions. Repetitive rescheduling will not be tolerated out of respect to other clients who would love to book that calendar time. 3 back to back reschedules will result in loss of deposit. No exceptions. If a drawing consultation is rescheduled the attached first appoint is also rescheduled.

 

THE MORE YOU KNOW…

I’m often asked what my favorite tattoo style to work in is and I have a hard time answering that question because I like to tattoo in my own way and not in a predetermined style or genre. So in this section I’m attempting to give a clearer picture of how I like to create an image through the thought processes behind them. 

The best I’ve done at giving a title to my personal style is a ridiculous mash up of the words ILLUSTRATIVE GEOMETRIC PSYCHEDELIA. Partially because I think the need to give genre titles to every piece of art we see or music we hear is absurd so I gave mine an absurd title, also because that’s really the most precise wording I could come up with.

 

Illustrative

 

Wikipededia:

“An illustration is a visualization or a depiction of a subject made by an artist, such as a drawing, sketch, painting, photograph, or other kind of image of things seen, remembered or imagined, using a graphical representation.”

 

In my case I associate this with the look of pen and ink illustrations such as that in religious texts, medical books, or comic books. This directly relates to my approach in the drawing of the chosen subject matter and the amount of/execution of black in my tattoos. This forms the foundation pass for everything I do. Because I establish the structure of my image with black work I have the freedom of placing color in a more nondescript way and think more like a graphic designer trying to get a strong visual impact and focus more on longevity of the colors I choose.

 

Geometric

 

Dictionary.com:

"-of or relating to geometry or to the principles of geometry.

-resembling or employing the simple rectilinear or curvilinear lines or figures used in geometry.”

 

When looking at my mandala or pattern based tattoos this is an obvious title however all my work starts here. In the composition stage all subject matter is reduced to its most basic geometric form. From here the image can exist simply as shapes and the relationships between them in order to create harmony in the image before details ever enter the picture. When given design freedom I tend to include geometric framing and raw geometric shapes as motifs that contrast a more rendered subject and suggest the underlying geometric foundation of the overall design. I’m truly fascinated by the interlocking geometric structure of the natural world. Pairing plants, animals, and figures with geometric design is one of my favorite themes.

 

Psychedelia

 

Dictionary.com:

“of or noting a mental state characterized by a profound sense of intensified sensory perception, sometimes accompanied by severe perceptual distortion and hallucinations and by extreme feelings of either euphoria or despair.”

In the fine art world this would fall into Surrealism but in modern times these terms seem to overlap and psychedelia feels more appropriate for my demographic and interests. This topic most directly applies to my views on color but also blankets my entire approach. To me colors are most enjoyed at high contrast and very bold. Just a few colors cleverly placed similar to that of screen printed poster art is far more intriguing than an image that attempts to use every color found in nature. In tattooing, bold simple color schemes age far better than tattoos with excessive color transitions and blends. Visually, if this thinking is applied to an entire body (canvas) of tattoos, the wearer ends up with a balanced cohesive body of work. Every new tattoo borrows from the color scheme of the last and every image looks as if it goes with the next, regardless of their relationship or proximity to each other.

 

 

 

Aside from color use, I like to let things get weird and somewhat abstract. I enjoy playing with themes like mysticism, transcendentalism and using metaphor to tell a story through unconventional means. 

 

 

INFLUENCES AND THEMES: (in no particular order)

Screen Print, Mysticism, Comic Books, Etching, Poster Art, Ancient Cultures and Religions, Cartoons, Manga, Graphic Design, Band Merch, All things Kentucky, Triangles and Circles, Stoner Metal, Classical Architecture, Banjo, Color Theory, Armchair Philosophy, Nature, Sci Fi, Fantasy, Crystals and Minerals, Altered States, Transcendence, Records, Travel, Balance through Contrast, Folk Music, Archetypes, Folklore, Anatomy, Biographies, Experimental Music, Botanical Illustration, Mandalas, Barn Quilts, Effects Pedals, Video Games, Toy Design, Character Design, Growth and the Passing of Time

 

If while looking over this outline you felt aligned or inspired to work with me and enjoyed my portfolio, then chances are we’ll get along great and I would love to hear your ideas! Feel free to contact me through email at theartofjoeking@gmail.com or simply fill out the form in the CONTACT PAGE.