I don’t remember how I ended up subscribing to VTW, but I happened to virtually “attend” (i.e. watch live) a 6 hours long virtual tattoo workshop with the incredible tattoo artist Aaron Della Vedova.
Hosted by top industry brands like Eternal Ink, Bishop Rotary, Sullen Clothing etc. (forgive me if I forgot to mention anyone), it was for professional tattooers only and they checked each person that applied.
One Torch to Guide Us All
The design he was going to tattoo during the workshop was sent to the subscribers beforehand, it was a fiery torch with the fire morphing into filigree and back into flames; it was so beautiful that it made it hard to wait to see it happen.
For 6 hours, with several cameras closing in on him tattooing, Della Vedova gave SO MUCH information, in such a humble and honest way it was adorable. He spoke about everything; his design process, materials he uses and why, his setup, his techniques, struggles, experiments, frustration and pleasure from the art of tattooing, he got technical and artistic, business-like and spiritual, revealing and answering everything asked of him and always stressing that the most important thing is to care, really care about what you’re doing and the people involved in it. It was captivating to watch a 45 year old tattooer with over 22 years’ experience conveying the synergy he makes between the old tattooing world and the new one with the all-disposable equipment, rotary machines, cartridge needles, collectors rather than walk-ins, social media and iPad Pro.
I’ve learned a lot, but most of all, I was reassured.
I was always technically challenged as to tuning my coil machines, I had never heard of “stroke” or “give”, I just felt the voltage, listened to the hum, sensed the depth of the needle against the stretched skin and adjusted accordingly. That’s how I was mentored.
Then came the rotaries, with all that “stroke” and “give” talk in millimeters and it reminded me of my college photography classes where the shutter speed and aperture talk would become indecipherable to me. Frustrating. You just wanna make some art.
The Tattoo Machine from Beyond
But then I found Bishop rotaries, and it was a match made in heaven for me (I’m not getting anything out of this, I swear!) because that’s what Bishop machines work on: feeling it.
This incredible machine asks just one thing of you: “bond with me, let’s become one”.
This is the most important thing I got from Aaron’s workshop, since he was using the new Bishop Fantom (coming soon they said) – if you spend enough time tattooing with a Bishop, it becomes an extension of your hand, and you feel it. You feel when it needs more voltage, more stretching, more depth or less… if you listen carefully to the skin and your machine talking to one another.
So no more spoilers, you know what to do. It costs $80 to watch the replay now but I honestly think it’s worth it (again, I’m not getting paid by anyone to tell you this), and will help you improve your tattooing plus motivate you incredibly.
Subscribe here if you want some more!
Love & Ink,