Greetings from Hyperspace Studios, and welcome to the fourth edition of our newsletter. These last weeks have been all about multitasking- keeping up with our tattoo schedules while finishing our publishing projects, doing collaborations with other artists, building new web sites and trying to get the still-under-construction Hyperspace Gardens behind our studio ready for the winter. It's been an exciting couple months since our last newsletter, very inspiring, but with very little time to rest.
The website for our new publishing company, Proton Press, is now live (www.protonpress.com). Check it out to see descriptions of the books and their accompanying CDs. The two books, Guy Aitchison's Organica and Michele Wortman's Moments of Epiphany, will be printed around the third week of December and will arrive here at the studio about a month later. That means that they won't be available for the holidays, but they will be arriving very soon. In the meantime, we are offering gift certificates for anyone wanting to reserve a copy for a friend or family member, or even themselves. Click here to visit our online store and have a personalized gift certificate mailed to the address of your choice.
We are working on a line of new clothing items that should be available by the beginning of December, featuring exciting new designs by Michele and Guy. This will include tees, sweats, hoodies and long sleeve tees, plus some great items for girls. We plan on sending out a special bulletin to all subscribers when these new items are in stock.
Proton is also the label that will be publishing Mihsician Steve Roach (www.steveroach.com) who has done some final sonic enhancements on the disk. Tune In should be available some time in December-- we'll let you know in our special holiday bulletin. Steve also was involved in the post-production of Michele's first disk, Moments of Epiphany, which is a soundtrack CD that is included with her book. Peter Stauber of Clean Room Studios also made important contributions to the post-production of this soundtrack. By the time Tune In is available, the website for Sunchannel will be up and running.
Guy has a new body of tattoo work at his gallery: jMajerRight, ehrenRib1, ehrenRib2, ancarrowChest1, ancarrowChest2, jMichael1, jMichael2, jMichael3, donUpperRight and markusArm. He also has added new photos of a leg sleeve he did last year (hiroLeftLeg, hiroThigh). Last month he had a chance to do a second pass on the burn coverup project that was posted earlier this year (kevin2pass1, kevin2pass2, kevin2pass3). The first pass on this extensive burn scar coverup had healed very well, retaining most of the color. The second pass was a chance to add a further level of development to the piece and to finish some areas that had to be left unfinished in the first visit. Guy is now in the planning stages of some new burn scar coverup projects.
Both Michele and Guy completed self-portrait paintings, which are in the header of this newsletter. Michele has some new tattoo work posted as well, including some major work in progress. Chanel, who is getting a pair of symmetrical 3/4 sleeves from Michele, sat for two epic back-to-back sessions on her arms, sitting for a very thorough second pass and coming much closer to completion. Yolanda, a regular client from Michigan, had her backpiece extended, while local client Corey, CoreyShoulder came close to completion on his arm piece, a tribute to his father. Sarah from Wisconsin sat for two long days on her chest before heading to the Old School Tattoo Convention in St. Louis to show it off. Her piece was a very exciting project for Michele and is a great example of the kind of feminine design she is interested in.
It was an exciting month in our studio, with many guests from all over coming through for long, activity filled visits. One of our overseas guests was Markus Lenhard (www.toetagtattoo.com), a German tattooist living in Holland. Markus is the new moderator at Guy's Reinventing The Tattoo forum, and had come for a week to get a sleeve done. To avoid too much swelling, we scheduled several days off in between sessions. It was a beautiful October week here in Southern Illinois, and we went with small groups on photographic expeditions to a few of the amazing parks in the area. Markus handled this well, even with all the fresh tattoo work. Then, despite all the hours under the needle, he still managed to sit for a major laser session on his back with Jack Morton at Unique Ink before climbing in the plane and flying back to Europe.
Later in the month we had Don McDonald and Steve Morris from Pittsburgh visit for a week of modelmaking, tattooing, painting and general mess making. This was a particularly steep week in terms of multitasking, and was like running an artistic marathon. On the first day, Don and Guy worked all day on a model they had been planning for their next collaborative painting project. The last painting they did together, which can be viewed at the collaborative gallery biomechMindTree1, biomechMindTree2, biomechMindTree3, was also based on a model thay they built together, and has been a very popular image at the site and a successful canvas print at our online store, so it was agreed that it was time to take on the next project.
The model was built on a specially prepared table with the idea that it would be lit in a particular way, and photographed from underneath from a particular angle. Since time was limited, the model was built economically so that, although it looks just right from the camera angle, it looks sort of like a frightening mutant termite nest from any other angle. It was started using soft copper refrigeration hose (modelTubing) then moved to the tattoo studio, where they could work on it over the following days during tattoo projects. They then proceeded to shape it using several hundred square feet of aluminum foil (modelFoil) and then added a skin of plasticene modeling clay on the inside (modelClay) that could then be shaped and detailed as needed. While they worked, Steve warmed up for his project the next day (steveTracing). Once Don and Guy got the first layer of skin on the model, it was time to quit for the night.
Over the following two days, Guy was tattooed on his leg by Steve (drillingGuy, guyDrilled). This piece is a large part of the front left thigh, about half way around the leg. It is an area that had been lasered clean; the old piece had been nothing but black outlines and grey wash shading, so it had been cleared to the point where it was virtually invisible-- not an obstacle in the tattoo process at all. The subject was one of Guy's own paintings, Mind Tree X. Steve used experimental methods on the piece, partly based on techniques from Guy's book Reinventing The Tattoo, including the use of Photoshop filters to produce a type of stencil that is uniquely suited to this kind of project (drillingGuyClose). Steve specializes in realistic tattooing with a painterly twist, so he was ideal for this project (guyDrilledClose).
This large piece was broken into upper and lower halves and tattooed over a two day period. During this time, Don continued work on the model, adding detail and development throughout the structure, including pieces of piping and metal (modelInsideClose). Guy took short turns at the model during breaks from the tattoo, to keep the collaborative energy as mixed up between the two artists as possible (don&guy&model). On the second day of tattooing, Guy distracted himself from the pain by working on a separate part of the model (drillingGuy.model), taking care not to move too much. Eventually his forearms got almost as sore as the tattoo from working the clay, so he had to stop-- but not before getting most of the work done on the piece. Don took a turn with this part, then it was ready for photographing (orbModel).
All together, Guy sat for about 14 hours over 2 days getting tattooed; the piece is about a third of the way done (guyLeg2sessions). At the end of the second day, Don sprayed the model with white primer-sealer, and they took it back into the garage where they set it up for photographing with lights placed carefully for a specific effect (modelUnder, modelCrop). They then took many photos with variations on the lighting and focus, and Guy began Photoshop work on it.
The next day, Guy did a large laser coverup project on Don's upper right arm (drillingDon, drillingDonClose). The old tattoo had been a well settled light black and grey piece, so it came out well after only 2 laser sessions (donBefore), and allowed them to replace it with a bright, luminous tattoo (donArmMarker, donUpperRight). That night, Guy continued Photoshop work on the model project, combining the two parts of the model and adding light ray effects. By the end of the night it was ready for projecting (donForm).
On the last day of Don and Steve's visit, Japanese collector Hiro arrived, giving Don and Guy the opportunity to do a touchup on the coverup area of the collaborative leg sleeve that they had finished on him earlier in the year (photos of leg sleeve). The coverup area had been lasered twice, and although the first pass of tattooing had healed well (hiroCoverup) it was an ideal chance to give that part a second pass and make it as bright as the rest of the leg (HiroClose). Hiro has collected a lot of work from Guy over the last 8 years, and is one of the most heavily modified people that we have ever met (donDrillingHiro). They kept the session short, so that Hiro could conserve energy for his torso tattoo, and so that Don and Guy would have time to project and trace their finished reference image onto a canvas, using a digital projector (don&guyProjecting, don&guyProjClose). After finishing the colored pencil work, they packed it into Don's Jeep, and he and Steve headed home to Pittsburgh. As of this writing, he has finished his first 8-hour pass on the painting, and it is in transit back to Hyperspace Studios, where Guy will take a turn and send it back. By our next newsletter it may be finished.
No breaks that week-- the next day, Guy began 4 days of work on Hiro (hiroFace). Hiro has a sleeve and backpiece from Aaron Cain, a sleeve and leg sleeve from Guy and another leg sleeve from Guy and Don. On his stomach he has some large scarification that he wanted incorporated into his torso tattoo work. Although only half finished, the tattoo is well under way, and uses fleshy effects to work with the scars and give a continuous look between all of Hiro's different modifications (hiroFront).
After a short break, there was another exciting week-long project with visiting artists Mike Cole and Carson Hill, but since we don't have the photos yet from that visit, we'll save it for our next newsletter.
For those who have Guy's book Reinventing The Tattoo, things are getting exciting at the forum with new moderator Markus helping to keep it running smoothly. Last month we had our first official readers' project, where a line drawing is posted and forum participants are invited to complete a value study from this line drawing and post it for feedback and evaluation. It was an energetic group of participants, with some artists posting 2 or 3 versions of the drawing as they worked to get it as perfect as possible. The project was closed on the 18th of November, and a new project has been posted, which will be up until the end of December. During this time, there will be a poll open for any reader who has a valid serial number to choose their favorite value study from the October project. The winning drawing will be posted at the new Winner's Gallery each month. Leonardo DaVinci believed that friendly competition between artists was a healthy and powerful way to keep inspired and energized. We hope that, in this spirit, the November project has an even larger group of participants than the last one. If you own a copy of the book, don't miss out on the chance to be a part of this.
We'll be in touch soon with news of our upcoming new merchandise items. Thanks, and have a great Fall!