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Tattoo Books & Reference Guides

Flash From The Bowery: Classic American Tattoos, 1900-1950

$99.99
Flash From The Bowery: Classic American Tattoos, 1900-1950 Between these pages are images of the original acetate rubbings from Charlie Wagner’s turn of the 20th century tattoo shop, The Black Eye Barbershop, in the Bowery at Chatham Square in New York. This is the only known art that has survived from this shop, where Samuel J. O’Reilley’s modern-day electric tattoo machine was born and patented. The imagery of this classic flash preserves the origins of American tattoos, when tattoo art was transferred to the client from these templates via an acetate stencil. Everything was done by hand until O’Reilley’s electrified tattoo machine changed history. This rich heritage of folk art has more than 900 individual pieces of flash that provide commentary on the shop’s clientele and reveal some of the social, economic, and political ideas of the time. Including nautical themes, Asian imagery, flowers, boxers, circus characters, and plenty of girls, this is an exciting collection of early American flash and a necessary book for the tattoo artist, aficionado, and student.

Classic Tattoo Stencils: Designs in Acetate

$99.99
Classic Tattoo Stencils: Designs in Acetate. This is a staggering volume of thousands of examples of the celluloid acetate stencil, an essential tool in the history of tattooing. Mythical creatures, angels and devils, anchors and other nautical symbols, and more abound in stencil form, the classic tracing method that has only increased exponentially in popularity since the rough days of crude materials and callused hands. Before Thermofax™ and numbing cream, tattooists had to hone their tracing skills perfectly—and clients had to hope for the best. Overtime artists would ask sailors and dock workers to let them trace remarkable tattoos they got at other ports, effectively inventing design replication. Today tattoo artists use tattoo stencils to transfer designs onto wood, quilts, and even cabinets. A worthy companion to Flash from the Bowery: Classic American Tattoos, 1900-1950, this volume continues to ignite the curiosity of American history and tattoo buffs.

Classic Tattoo Stencils 2: More Designs in Acetate

$99.99
Classic Tattoo Stencils 2: More Designs in Acetate. The unearthing of authentic celluloid acetate stencils, a project undertaken by Long Island tattoo shopowner and memorabilia collector Cliff White, continues. In this compilation, thousands more artifacts emerge from “deeper inside the trunk” and expose a sprawling collection from the late ’50s and early ’60s. These facsimiles, represented in their original color and tone, include timeless designs such as anchors and panthers; famous cartoon characters; wizards, unicorns, and leprechauns; cultural and historical symbols, from Marine Corps logos to Asian designs; and hundreds of other styles too numerous to mention here. Marks of original artists shine through in the leaves of this volume, revealing the etchings of rough craftsmen of a half century ago and evoking stories of weathered sailors and hardscrabble New Yorkers that veteran and young tattooists will appreciate. Fans of scrimshaw, folk art, and engraving will also consider this book a massive source of inspiration and awe.

The New Old School: Exploring the Modern Renaissance of Old School & Neo-Traditional Tattooing

$34.99
The New Old School: Exploring the Modern Renaissance of Old School & Neo-Traditional Tattooing This book focuses on the traditional (old school) style of tattooing and its ongoing impact on today’s tattoo art. More than 300 stunning color photos are combined with tattoo artists’ personal explanations of why they love to work in the traditional style, and the artistic challenges that it poses today. For the fifteen tattoo artists in this book, the essence of real and true tattooing is the traditional one: bold lines, simple motifs, black and red colors—tattoos built to last on the skin. From the early beginnings in the late 19th century among sailors, traditional tattoos have been developed further by today’s tattoo artists. Neo-traditional, Americana, new school, old school—the names are many, but all have that single common heritage: they are based on the simple lines created on the sailors’ skins many years ago.

Tattooing New York City: Style and Continuity in a Changing Art Form

$29.95
Tattooing New York City: Style and Continuity in a Changing Art Form This book is an exploration into the unique continuity that exists in New York City between the past and present of the intriguing art form of tattooing. Here the electric tattoo machine was developed, and has had a unique influence in modern tattooing worldwide. The technical and artistic values that first coalesced here during the early 20th century now are intrinsic to the art form. This creative process was pushed underground in the early 1960s when tattooing was banned in New York. After 35 years of marginalization, the city re-legalized tattooing in 1997 in response to the unprecedented surge in public enthusiasm and demand. Today, tattoo artists explore their trade as never before in the five boroughs of New York City; such rapid growth and change has put pressure on an art that continues to emphasize the values formalized over 100 years ago. Hundreds of color photos illustrate this fascinating text, which includes commentary from artists past and present.

TattooIsMe

$39.99
TattooIsMe The 32 internationally acclaimed tattoo artists in this collection have dedicated their skills to developing the art of tattoo. Representing nine tattoo friendly countries, including France, Japan, Italy, and the U.S., these artists draw from varied art movements and styles in their approach: Baroque, Cubism, Art Nouveau, Realism, Surrealism, Pop Art, Expressionism, and more. Inspiration from seemingly unexpected sources, like hip hop, punk rock, horror films, and biomechanics inform their work: as such, they filter everything through the artful lens that is themselves. They are tattoo; tattoo is them. Having perfected their craft on the human body, these artists are now translating their talents to multiple endeavors, proliferating the art of tattoo and stretching its reach to other mediums: printmaking, lithography, film, theater production, toys, children’s book illustration, and hand-made tattoo machines, as well as clothing, skateboard, vinyl record and poster design. More than 350 images, including artist portraits and varied examples of their work, make this book essential for lovers of tattoo and art alike. Tattoo is you, too.

Life & Death in Tattoo Flash

$29.99
Life & Death in Tattoo Flash Created over the last three winters at the tattoo shop California Tattoo in Savannah, Georgia, this tattoo art story represents a period during the off-season that artist Christopher Norrell uses to hone skills and learn new ways of seeing. In this introspective mood, Norrell has engaged in an ongoing challenge with his craft in which he hates his own work enough to do it over and over until it is right. Thematically this is manifested in a struggle between life and death, good and evil, using images of the Angel of Death, predatory animals, skulls, phoenixes, birds, and flowers. Progress in Norrell’s struggle is evident throughout the more than 230 pieces of tattoo flash art and looking closely there are distinct changes in style, color theory, and composition, showing things he learned and things he abandoned. All of this exploration is in the name of Norrell’s ultimate goal to create tattoos that are sturdy, long lasting, easy to understand, and visually appealing. This is an ideal collection of flash for tattooers, the tattooed, and artists.

Bushido: Legacies of the Japanese Tattoo

$29.99
Bushido: Legacies of the Japanese Tattoo This gorgeous book delves into the elusive world of traditional Japanese tattooing. The Samurai spirit, Bushido, is an integral component of Japanese tattooing that is traced through the imagery and interpersonal dynamics of this veiled subculture. The eloquent text is based largely on Takahiro Kitamura’s experiences as client and student of the famed Japanese tattoo master, Horiyoshi III. Over 200 beautiful photos by Jai Tanju capture the breathtaking tattoo artistry of Horiyoshi III. Five original, unpublished prints by Horiyoshi III, like those in his acclaimed book, 100 Demons of Horiyoshi III, are included here. Bushido: Legacies of the Japanese Tattoo is certain to fascinate everyone with an interest in tattoo culture.

Classic Flash in Five Bold Colors

$25.00
Classic Flash in Five Bold Colors. Traditional American tattooing has a rich, extensive heritage. Often underappreciated, it represents a true folk art, encompassing design motifs and themes that are expressions of the heart, the desires, loves, and ambitions of the artists and those who wear their artworks.After carefully studying work by renowned American tattoo artists (including Paul Rogers, Leonard “Stoney” St.Clair, George Burchett, August “Cap” Coleman, Percy Waters, Owen James and others) the author distilled it into five component colors: black, red, yellow, green, and brown, and developed a new interpretation of their classic styles. Besides classic designs by the author, the images here include collaborative work with other tattoo designers. Over 640 individual flash designs are reproduced in color as a celebration of the tradition and the hope that it will continue as folk art.

Classic Flash 2: In 5 Bold Colors

$25.00
Classic Flash 2: In 5 Bold Colors In more than 100 pieces of contemporary flash, “Tilt” and his collaborators celebrate the lineage of tattoo artists who have paved the way while looking forward to the future of tattooing. Using the five classic bold colors (black, red, yellow, green and brown), the flash in this second volume continues to explore the importance of the origin and essential foundations of tattooing while making its own mark on the visual history of this folk art. Offering a broad range of themes, this is an ideal flash book for anyone in the tattoo industry.

Classic Flash 3: Japanese Style

$34.00
Classic Flash 3: Japanese Style Japanese folklore and modern American tattooing come together in this book of more than 100 sheets of tattoo flash designed to be drawn on the body in a single session. Exploring the rich history of Japanese ink drawings and making readily tattooable images were the priorities of this third book in the Classic Flash series. The artists applied themes and characters from Japanese mythology, such as yōkai, to their traditional American aesthetic. Divided into three sections, one each for designs by the artists individually, and one with flash created collaboratively, the book features designs that have gradually more complicated backgrounds, or filler. Tattoo collectors and enthusiasts with an appreciation for manga, who may be intimidated by extremely complex Japanese tattoo designs, will revel in this colorful, whimsical collection of flash.

I Love Tattoos

$34.99
I Love Tattoos Takahiro “Horitaka” or “Taki” Kitamura’s tattoo career has put him in contact with many unique individuals, not to mention many of the best artists in the biz. Here, in more than 1400 new images, Taki presents the tattoo art of nearly 200 of the world’s finest tattoo artists. This visual insider’s reference book presents a wide range of styles, from portraits to classic Americana to traditional Japanese to Polynesian and contemporary, edgy interpretations of each. Featured artists include Robert Atkinson, Colin Baker, Kim Saigh, Shawn Brown, Steve Byrne, Tim Hendricks, Freddy Corbin, Lil Roy, Crash, Klem, Mario Desa, Ben Grillo, Grime, Leo Zulueta, Don Ed Hardy, Doug Hardy, Heath Preheim, Eiland Hogan, Thomas Hooper, Horikiku, Horiken, Horimasa, Josh Howard, Timothy Hoyer, Ichibay, Jondix, Venjamin Jimenez, Eric Jones, Henning Jorgensen, Horitomo, Koji, Jason Kundell, Chad Koeplinger, Paulo Manabe, Smith Street, Steve Looney, and many more.

Sailor Jerry’s Tattoo Stencils

$25.00
Sailor Jerry’s Tattoo Stencils American tattoo master Sailor Jerry Collins of Hawaii is best known for his remarkable tattoo designs, blending the fluidity of Asian motifs into classic American tattoo imagery. Until now, most of Sailor Jerry’s work has been controlled by a handful of collectors, seen only at museum or art gallery exhibitions or in short-run, self-published books. Here is a sizeable portion of Sailor Jerry’s stencils, the newest tattoo collectible, spanning his tattoo career, from the 1940s to the early 1970s. The basic line work of hundreds of his staple and surprisingly beautiful designs—pin-ups, roses, bluebirds, hearts, and banners, and Jerry’s infamous military/political cartoons. The stencils themselves were handcut in celluloid, vinyl or acetate sheets by the master himself for use during his day-to-day thriving tattoo trade in downtown Honolulu. They are, in the best sense, permanent tattoos carved in plastic, enduring through time. In their original condition, most carry residual charcoal dust from their last use. All are signed by Jerry with one of his several distinctive signatures. This is the only book of its kind—a workbook for artists, and a design catalog for folk art historians. The value of the stencils is included, along with descriptions of stencils and their usage and a glossary of tattoo terminology.

Sailor Jerry’s Tattoo Stencils II

$25.00
Sailor Jerry’s Tattoo Stencils II “Sailor Jerry” Collins of Honolulu, Hawaii, is arguably the greatest tattoo artist of the 21st Century. His best-known contributions are the now classic designs . . . fat round roses, plump pin-ups, and scathing military/political cartoons. Now, in a second volume, more of his great stencils are reproduced. Hand-cut, hundreds of basic line works are printed here for the first time. The pages are perforated to make it easier for today’s tattoo artist to display the work of this master.

Spider Webb’s Classic Tattoo Flash 1

$25.00
Spider Webb’s Classic Tattoo Flash 1 Innovative artist Spider Webb has brought the traditional art of tattooing into the modern age, elevating the primitive or folk art iconography into modern art with startling interpretations. 400 color and black and white tattoo flash, in two volumes, feature dragons and other mythological beasts, skulls, eagles, beautiful women, hearts, daggers, serpents, and tigers of the natural and supernatural worlds. Many tattoos may be seen as social and political commentary as well. Here is an opportunity to review a prolific artist’s work that people from around the globe have been happy to bear as permanent expressions of their inner lives. This book will be treasured by all who enjoy tattoo art.

Spider Webb’s Classic Tattoo Flash 2

$25.00
Spider Webb’s Classic Tattoo Flash 2 Innovative artist Spider Webb has brought the traditional art of tattooing into the modern age, elevating the primitive or folk art iconography into modern art with startling interpretations. 400 color and black and white tattoo flash, in two volumes, feature dragons and other mythological beasts, skulls, eagles, beautiful women, hearts, daggers, serpents, and tigers of the natural and supernatural worlds. Many tattoos may be seen as social and political commentary as well. Here is an opportunity to review a prolific artist’s work that people from around the globe have been happy to bear as permanent expressions of their inner lives. This book will be treasured by all who enjoy tattoo art.

Historic Flash

$25.00
Historic Flash Hundreds of historic and colorful tattoo designs are presented–many to a sheet–to be separated from the book and hung up for frequent reference. The classic designs include patriotic, nostalgic, floral, bird, animal, romantic, military, religious, humorous, naughty, and beautiful images from throughout the twentieth century. Artists will want these for inspiration and graphic historians for authenticity. They reflect a counter culture that has strong impact on society today.

Military Flash

$25.00
Military Flash Hundreds of anchors, exotic dancers, angry daggers, and patriotic decorations are shown that adorned the flesh of veterans returning from the world wars. This collection of historic flash boards is a tribute to those who served their countries; a sentimental look at body art available in the early 20th Century; and an exciting examination of bold designs that have stood the test of time. This book invites you to peruse an exhibition wartime art from the turn of the century through World War II; art that is enjoying increasing popularity on today’s young crop of skin canvas. Perforated pages allow you to remove pages and hang them on the wall of your studio.

Japanese Style Tattoo Art: Revisiting Traditional Themes

$39.99
Japanese Style Tattoo Art: Revisiting Traditional Themes Explore the art of Rodrigo Melo’s Japanese style tattoos through more than 150 lush studio photographs of bodysuits, rib pieces, back pieces, and sleeves featuring traditional themes and imagery. See peonies, koi, tigers, dragons, and characters from Buddhist mythology presented in authentic form and color but with some modern techniques and stylings, like the use of “angry black” to increase contrast. In addition to the body art pieces, this contemporary study of traditional Japanese tattoo styles includes hundreds of images of Melo’s flash paintings, a body suit in progress, and new aesthetics for Japanese style tattoo art. This book is a must have for tattoo enthusiasts, art and tattoo students, and anyone interested in learning about tattoo culture and history.

Traditional American Tattoo Design: Where It Came From and Its Evolution

$25.00
Traditional American Tattoo Design: Where It Came From and Its Evolution: The evolution of tattoo art in America is spread before you in 265 impressive original tattoo flash sheets and insightful text written by a tattoo artist who has designed on his own since 1960. Military, religious, figural, animal, and nature themes are displayed among the many hundred designs. Changes in tattoo art over the years is shown as well as the trend today to return to earlier designs. Individual artists are listed, along with others who altered designs. This book will be an endless source of inspiration, for those who are passionate about tattoo art.