It’s been a fruity week.
We let Amy loose on a grapefruit to get to grips with using a machine.
We are often asked ‘how do you learn to tattoo?’ And this method of using fruit skin is not an uncommon starting point for most apprentices.
(Myself, I actually jumped straight into my own thighs but that was pure stupidity and desperation to learn as fast as possible)
And as such… grapefruit, bananas, oranges etc are all common starting points for apprentices to get to grips with holding a machine whilst it runs. There are several brands of ‘fake skin’ usually in the form of dismembered body parts, skulls or sheets of flat skin. This is good, but hard to apply a stencil to and less like human skin than you would imagine from the look of it. It doesn’t move, feel or flex like skin, nor does it take the needle and ink as easily.
After several attempts to apply a stencil in the ‘normal’ manner we came to the conclusion that the waxy exterior of the grapefruit needed to be washed and powdered to remove the residue and allow the design to stick. Scrunching up the stencil to allow it to become more flexible, on turn making it easier to apply to a spherical shape, we were able to get a fairly good carbon copy on the flesh of the fruit.
Amy flew into concentration mode, tattooing a peony flower, and we hardly heard a peep from her for the whole afternoon except to tell us how much she was enjoying it!
Proud mentors we are, myself and Yoji watched as she created a very beautiful piece of floral art, or food, or art food. Whatever it was it was gorgeous!
Keep checking in to see more fruit art! 🍊
Jodie and Amy are quite the ‘pear’ two in a melon and I wanna say that I love them ‘from ma head tomatos’.
What. The. Fuck.
As I mentioned in the previous update, one of the weekly tasks I have set for our apprentices is the ‘classic tattoo re-draw task’. Where I ask then to recreate a classic Sailor Jerry tattoo design but in their own style. Check out this BEAUTIFUL snake Amy did this week.
She’s also been practising some more lettering:I’m not neglecting Jodie this week, she’s having a well deserved trip to NAS festival. These young kids, I am still recovering from last weekend and it’s Wednesday! 😂
Growing old is compulsory, growing up is optional.
So… as you know we have two apprentices at Black Moon. Mad you say? Berserk? We say no… just twice the clean, twice the laughs and twice as many chances not to fuck them up completely 😂
To me having two is a really useful tool in encouraging the drive and ambition in them. It is obvious to me already that they consciously compare themselves to one another and encourage the best out of each other.
Jodie has been apprenticing longer, whilst Amy has a longer history in creative industries, Jodie favours colour and Amy favours Blackwork, Jodie is tall Amy is short… you get the picture. They are different, and this is GREAT! Neither seems to resent or feel threatened by the other, at least they don’t let it show if they do feel that way, but I can sense the fire that each lights underneath the other. The competition. It’s exciting to watch them… And I couldn’t be more proud of these kids.
As a mentor you need to always be thinking of ways to develop your little seedlings, sprinkle them with miracle grow, encourage and nurture them into strong, sturdy and mindful artists. That ain’t always easy. Sometimes just trying to think up your own creative ideas is a stretch…
BUT… On this occasion I think I have nailed it.
After the daily cleaning, shopping, setting up, researching artists, coffee fetching and watching vice documentaries about the tattoo industry is done, the girls have three additional tasks to complete.
- To re-draw a classic Sailor Jerry tattoo in their own style.
- To re-draw one of the tattoos either myself, verity or Yoji has booked in and interpret it in their own unique way.
- To do two or three words of lettering.
For now, this is keeping them busy and they both seem really inspired to produce great artwork.
I will be setting new challenges for them as their apprenticeships go on and making things harder and more exciting each time. Keep checking in to see what they get up to next!
Make tea not war.