Since the birth of Tattoo Lou’s in 1958, no other tattoo shop in New York has been able to compete with the immaculate shops and extraordinary work! This two-generation family-run business is home to over 30 World Famous tattoo artists, piercers, and management staff. Tattoo Lou’s knocks out more tattoos and piercings in a single day than other shops only dream of doing in a month. What’s the secret? “Experience,” says Tattoo Lou Senior. “The trick is to do quality work at the right price. Why overcharge for doing something we love! Practice makes perfect and our artists have had a lot of practice.” At Tattoo Lou’s, artists are apprenticed for months by experts like Irish Jay or Andrea the Argentinian before they can even hold a tattoo gun or piercing needle. This apprenticeship is like boot camp for a tattoo artist or piercer. “You can learn something from anybody,” says Tattoo Lou Junior. “I love to come into one of my shops and see one artist explaining a shading technique to another artist sitting next to them.” Tattoo Lou Jr. is the second generation of Tattoo Lou’s. He grew up in a tattoo shop and by the time he was 20 he was knocking out ink from morning till night. Tattoo Lou Jr. says, “When I send a friend to one of my shops for a tattoo, I’m always confident they will love it! Tattoo Lou’s is not Number One because I do all of the Tattoos. It’s Number One because of the amazing artists in every one of the shops. When you get a tattoo you need to feel confident that the artist is an expert at what he or she does!”
Recent statistics indicate that the tattoo industry has grown more over the past decade than any other art in the world. Most people frowned upon tattoos 15 years ago. Today, some of those people are getting their 5th tattoo! This is due mainly to shops like Tattoo Lou’s, that give tattooing the image it deserves – an image that the tattoo industry will never forget and will carry on for generations to come. To quote Tattoo Lou Sr., “Where else are you gonna get something that will last a lifetime? Tattoo Lou’s…where it all began. Forgettttaaaabout it!!!!”
We had the opportunity to interview Zhang Po (aka Po Po) this week. From the Capital of China, this guy travelled to the US in search of the ultimate tattoo experience. Po Po says, “New York is the heart and soul of the Tattoo Society. As an artist, I am always learning. What could be a better place to master my art than the best tattoo shop in New York?”
When Po Po first got to the US, the only word of English he knew was TATTOO! In the past six months, Po Po learned more English than some US citizens learn in years. We asked Po Po if he looked up to a specific artist working at Tattoo Lou’s. “I look up to all the artists. They are all great! I learn something from Irish Jay one day and Sharpie the next. As an artist I will never stop learning. The Tattoo Industry in China is growing, but not fast enough! 10 years ago, the only people that got tattoos were criminals. Now, more people are starting to get tattoos, but not enough for me. Also, in China, we tattoo differently. Shading is different and most people want black and grey tattoos. In the US, people want bold colors and all types of tattoos. Its great because now I can really diversify my portfolio.” Po Po will be headed back to China in January, but will return shortly after. He says he wants to start a family in the US and ink hard at Tattoo Lou’s. You can find Zhang Po in Tattoo Lou’s of Selden. Also, be sure to check out his Tattoo Portfolio at Tattoolous.com
Artist Corner…Are you ready to really start showcasing all of those tattoos or piercings you have been working so very hard on? Lets face it, when people walk in the shop the first thing they want to see is some of your work. We are willing to bet that if you had some kick ass photos to show off your talent you will have… well, more work. The first thing you need to know is that it does not – repeat: DOES NOT – take a $5,000 camera to take a really great picture. Next time you finish a piercing or tattoo, try some of these techniques, which should really add some professional kick to that portfolio:
Turn off that ridiculous flash! This might be the simplest and fastest way to take a better picture. Use AVAILABLE light. Even cheap digital cameras have the button which looks like an arrow crossed out – don’t be afraid to disengage it. Lighting subjects with flash is much harder than lighting subjects without it (unless of course you are in a very dark environment). Don’t be afraid to take your customer outside if you need to, or place them under the brightest light in the shop. Then turn that flash off and take your shot. You will want to keep the camera as still as possible, so leaning the camera on the tattoo chair will help. If your camera has the option of changing the “ISO”, that will be helpful for taking pictures in lower light without the flash. Be careful not to raise it too much, as this will add noise to the photo! So play around with the setting on your camera and take some shots. We can guarantee these pictures will give your hard work more pop than using the cheap flash photos that you are used to.
Don’t feel like the photo on your camera is the final product? Well, this is 2009! Photoshop and digital photo software are a dime a dozen. All bitmap software programs utilize a lot of the same techniques which will make your photos unique. Number 1: all digital photos need to be sharpened. Some more than others, so play with unsharp mask or the sharpen option on your software. Number 2: colorful tattoos will always look better if you bump up the saturation. However, skin tones never look good with additional saturation, so don’t over do it. Number 3: crop your photos. People looking at your work do not want to see the mug on the person who got the tattoo. They want to see the TATTOO! Finally, number 4: contrast, but not too much contrast. This knob will darken black areas and lighten light areas of a photo. This adjustment will give your tattoos a lot more pop, especially those black and grey pieces. Again, make sure you don’t over do it. This is a destructive process and you will never be able to go back to the original unless you duplicate the file before you start to mess around with it.
World Famous Clothing by Tattoo Lou’s. That’s right – just in for 2009. Come check out the fresh new clothing line by New York’s Tattoo King. Made from the highest quality fabrics and inks, these clothes are what you have been looking for. Of course, we have to put ‘em on sale for the holiday! $19.99 Any shirt, any size…. These make great gifts for your
whole family, so check out our whole line up. World Famous can be purchased online at Tattoolous.com, or in any of our four shops and select clothing stores around New York.
Stay tuned: World Famous will have a new line up for 2010 which will blow your mind. Hats, sweat shirts, and long sleeves will be included. Of course, all of our clothing is designed by New York’s best tattoo artists, the supreme representatives of the art of Tattooing. Show your love for the art and arm yourself and your super cool friends and family with World Famous.
Tattoo Lou’s Gives Back. This year Tattoo Lou’s gives back to people in need. For Thanksgiving, anybody who donated a turkey got a free $25 dollar gift card to Tattoo Lou’s. All of the turkeys were donated to the St. James Pantry and given out to families in need. We will be running this promotion again for Christmas. Dec. 18th through Dec. 22nd bring in a turkey and get a $30 dollar gift card – LOU RAISED IT FROM $25! Enjoy the Gift Certificates! Check out tattoolous.com for similar promotions.
For the Holidays anybody who purchases a gift certificate to Tattoo Lou’s will enjoy 10 percent off. So a $100 dollar gift card will only cost you $90. A $300 dollar gift card will cost you $270. In addition, we will be giving another 10 percent to the American Cancer Society!!! What could be better than that? Buy yourself or someone else a great gift at a discounted price and know that your money is going to a great cause. Where else can you get somebody a gift that will last a lifetime? Hurry! We are only running this deal for the holidays.
The Senate, pictured above, releases their new album entitled “Return to Democracy.” These guys can rip it up. Blending hip-hop and rock, they are a new face in the music industry. Mike (lead vocals) also owns a recording studio on the Island called Get Open Studios and represents Tattoo Lou’s at all events and concerts. Tattoo Lou’s is the choice tattoo shop for this group. Russ (guitarist) says, “Tattoo Lou’s is the Great! They have the best artists and the most kick ass parties. We all wear World Famous when we jam.” You can check out the senate at www.myspace.com/thesenatego and buy their album online. It’s a great CD and we are sure you will enjoy it!
Tattoo Tip of the Month When it’s time to get a tattoo, whether it be your first one or your 20th, there are a few things you will want to think about when stepping into a shop. Although many shops may claim to follow county health codes, not all of them do. You will want to make sure your tattoo shop adheres to proper health code procedures before even sitting in their chair, regardless of what they tell you. These practices are just a few of the things enforced at Tattoo Lou’s that ensure a clean and safe tattoo and body piercing environment. First and foremost, look around and make sure that all tattoo artists and piercers are wearing gloves. Also, if they decide to use the bathroom or take a break, make sure they exchange their gloves for a fresh pair. Make sure that when they prepare to tattoo or pierce, the needle comes out of a sealed package which is sterilized. Make sure there is no food lying out around the artist’s station. When the artist pours his or her ink into caps, make sure they are on a table which is covered by a sterile pad and not on an exposed table; even a table that looks clean can contain bacteria and germs. Check the photo to the right for a view of a properly set up station. Double check to make sure the shop you go to for your tattoo or piercing has a health inspection certificate. If you are not sure, ask. Remember, health codes differ from State to State and County to County, but a proper tattoo/piercing environment should not be taken lightly. At Tattoo Lou’s our staff is supervised by a strict management team. Artists are tested randomly to ensure the safest and cleanest place to get a tattoo or body piercing is at Tattoo Lou’s.
Italian David Returns on January 10th 2010. This guy is an amazing artist. His work is Unbelievable with an Italian vibe. David’s attention to detail is extraordinary and his use of black and greys is unmatched! Check out his work at tattoolous.com. A few of his current tattoos are pictured below.
Tattoo of the Month by Tattoo Master Ray Alfano. Ray has been tattooing for over 15 years and has an amazing technique. Check out his work at tattoolous.com. The first 5 people to identify the name of this film character and the movie that it’s from will receive a free $25 Gift card. Email responses to firstname.lastname@example.org
Piercing of the Month Dual Hip piercings. 14 gauge 3/4″ surface bars. This piercing was done by Nick Holes. He is a great guy and an unbelievable piercer. Nick has been piercing at Tattoo Lou’s for over 10 years. His attention to detail is amazing and his work speaks for itself. Nick earned his name putting thousands of holes in skin, including radio jocks like Randy from WBLI. He takes pride in knowing he is one of the World’s finest piercers and will continue to pierce for years to come. Check out Nick’s portfolio online at tattoolous.com.