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04.03.17

Full Back Piece By Jeff Gogue

In 2012 I began working with Jeff Gogue at Off the Map Tattoo as a shop manager. At the time I had minimal exposure to the world of tattooing and over the months and years I had many experiences and came into contact with countless artists of whom had helped to shape my understanding of what tattoos and tattoo culture could be. One aspect that stood out and appealed to me in a profound way was large scale work covering vast areas of the body. The kind of imagery that could be seen from a distance with subject matter so large that there was no mistake as to what the viewer was seeing.

 

 

Shortly after I began working with Jeff he had started focusing primarily on large scale work and after seeing a few full back, full torso and even some full body projects begin, I knew that I wanted something of that scale and caliber covering my body. We discussed my idea of The Green Woman, a mythological protector of the woods who uses trickery and seduction to lure destroyers of the forest away from their havoc only to maim, murder, or devour them for their atrocious behavior. The Green Woman is of the forest and often cloaked in forest creatures, woodland trinkets, and the bounty of nature's beauty. The raven and fox skull which adorn her symbolize her trickster nature, her goat horn representing the dark and felonious side of her otherwise sweet and gorgeous outward appearance. I've always enjoyed this myth and felt a kinship with the qualities that represent these stories. We set the first appointment, which was no short wait, and I patiently abided my time in anticipation while familiarizing myself even more so with the whole process as I was fortunate enough to watch Jeff work on such pieces on a daily basis.

 


The day had finally arrived, simultaneously nervous yet confident, anxious but with a still and stoic calmness washing over me, I let go. I immediately gave in to the process and allowed it to take me where it needed me to go. I had no interest in controlling or influencing this experience, I simply wanted to experience it for it's own sake. I wanted to learn from it, to feel it, to know it and to give myself into it completely. This wasn't to be a journey that belonged to me, it was a journey that countless others had taken before me and of which many will take after, a journey I was simply a part of, something larger than just me and my tattoo. It's a concept I struggle to articulate, but of those who have partaken in this journey, many seem to have this sense of knowing and belonging to this larger experience that transcends us as individuals.

 


 

Over the course of almost 3 years working on this project I experienced many peaks, plains, and plateaus. At times I trudged through the burden of a treacherous mental and emotional landscape, hanging on by just a thread as the pain in some areas became excruciatingly difficult to manage. I tapped into previously untouched and unknown aspects to my own inner being as I felt the needles jab into my skin over and over, ad infinitum. I often left having what I would describe as a deeply spiritual experience, not always in a positive manner, but moving nonetheless. Many times I battled with my own self will, conquered inner demons, and learned a bit about mind over matter. I've left sessions feeling a sense of doom for no good reason, and I've left feeling more accomplished and renewed than I had previously known, as well as everything in between and outside of that spectrum. I have learned a great deal about patience, dedication, and prowess. I am both honored and humbled to have gone through this experience.

 


While I look forward to taking a little break from getting tattooed after having completed such a grand project, with great anticipation I am also eager to begin filling in the empty spaces of my body, to work towards a personal sense of wholeness in becoming tattooed. I owe the debt of my gratitude to Jeff for his dedication and determination, his talent and ambition in pursuing this project with me. It has been of the highest privilege to not only have gotten a tattoo of such scale and caliber from Jeff but to have also been a student, co-worker, and comrade over the years. With great honor and appreciation, thank you Jeff, thank you so very much.

03.22.17

Ramblin' On

 

After having spent a year tattooing alongside Johnny Smith and the crew at Sweetwater Collective in Jacksonville, OR I have decided to dedicate some of 2017 to traveling for both work and play. In doing so I will be parting ways with the crew and company and will be closing my books for the time being. I am booked mostly solid until I leave for the first stretch of my travels in May, but I will be back and will open up some time starting in mid-June of which I will post details once I have some dates and a location set.

 

It's been a great year working with this crew. I've gained a lot of insight regarding personal motivation, direction, and process. I've shared some fun and memorable times with some great people and made new friends. I've grown my clientele base while maintaining current relations and am as always so very thankful to each and every one of you for your support. It means the world to me! I've grown in many ways as an artist and individual, but this restless heart needs to ramble on.

 

I'm looking forward to grand new adventures and meeting new people during my travels. I'm also eager to set up some guest spots at some studios around the country to spend some time with fellow tattooer friends in new settings. To learn from others and gain some new inspiration. I'll be posting travel dates and locations as they are set, so keep an eye out for those.

 

If you have a tattoo in progress and do not already have some time set up with me before May, please get in touch with the shop ASAP at 541-702-2439 and we'll do our best to find an available spot for you. I'm looking forward to returning from my travels with a fresh outlook and some hefty doses of inspiration. And of course, I can't wait to get started on some new tattoos upon my return as well as continuing current projects. See you in June!

02.14.17

Art for a Cause

I'm honored to have donated two of my limited edition giclee prints to the environmental advocacy group KS Wild for their silent auction at this year's Siskiyou Film Festival. I've been a supporter of KS Wild by various means for some time now and it is a priviliege to contribute my art to a cause dear to my heart. 

 

 

Both prints were part of larger gift bundles and the auction seemed to be well recieved. I'm sure these prints have found wonderful new homes and I want to thank those who contributed as well as those whose bids will support the much needed efforts of environmental justice groups during these turbulent times.

 

 

02.01.17

Valentine's Day Flash Tattoos

I'll be honest, I'm not a huge fan of Valentine's Day. I could bore you with my laundry list of complaints, but I'd rather just have fun with my disdain. So, with that said, I'm offering up these fun flash tattoo designs on Valentine's Day for $80 each. I will only have 6 spots available, so call the shop at 541-702-2439 ASAP to secure your spot!!! See ya then!

 

11.18.16

Create and Destroy

I have an affinity toward transitions, whether seasonal, bioregional, personal, political, historical, artistic, ad infinitum. There's just something that stirs inside of me when experiencing, learning or creating these passages in progress. When a static repetition becomes the status quo I can't help but yearn for a little refashioning and variation in the most serene and subtle ways to the most abrupt and violent. To bring fierce movement to a stagnant impasse.

 

Situationist ideas have been a valuable influence in my approach towards life and art and keeps me in nearly constant transition as I continually push perceived limitations and boundaries. I desire the fundamental reconstruction of everyday life. A life that strays from the passive media spectacle and the instrumental banality of advanced capitalist society. A life achieved through the construction (or destruction) of situations which merge art, everyday life, and revolutionary fervor with intent to revive the values of play over the mere routine of survival in a world gone mad. Every moment a potential encounter with life.

 

 

I try to approach tattooing and other creative endeavors with these qualities in mind. To continually reconstruct what I believe a tattoo to be and to challenge the self imposed limitations I've constructed within my own mind. To think about the worth of the tattoo beyond the spectacle of social media platforms and that short lived dopamine fix it accompanies and to instead consider longevity and integrity, a clients lifestyle and future life plans, as well as designing tattoos which match an individual's character and fits their specific body type well.

 

As Fall transitions into Winter, life in general seems to slow down a bit and I look forward to having some extra time to put into art and tattoo projects, both ongoing and new. To play with new ideas on paper with the intent to bring them to life on skin. To breakdown and unlearn all that has influenced my current ideas of what art and tattoos are to be and to reconstruct new approaches. All with the hope that this will trickle down into other aspects of my life facilitating in the creation of situations containing infinite possibilities.

 

It's no easy endeavor, unlearning and challenging perceptions and ideologies embedded into my thoughts and actions, but the difficulty of the task at hand is the exact reason to embark on such a journey. To disturb the comfortable and comfort the disturbed. A transition toward life and art as an ecstatic collaboration between creation and destruction. Every encounter a potential moment for revolution.

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