Conventions, budget, rock and roll

It took awhile for me to get moving this morning like someone was supposed to be here to serve them some breakfast. I finally did three budgets ahead for the first time in my life to make sure I can get to Austin and back with vegan goodies and a third ink blotter on the right side. It’ll be a close one because I’m budgeting a lot for my first convention tattoo ever in the beginning of June. Suddenly I caught a new wave while listening to Payton again hosting on Thunder Radio. I was then eating some spiced Texan potatoes (Non-GMO of course) looking at the Villain Arts website thinking if I could go out of town to get another tattoo this year. Well New Orleans isn’t until the beginning of September and a fairly close bus ride. So, I’ll probably do another favorites list with several of the other upcoming conventions. If I didn’t choose or get to work with Marlo again, I already like Diego Persol and Brooke Eveland. Diego has this head tat posted on instagram (March 4th) that I was staring at for awhile when ‘Get Up’ by Shinedown played while I was thinking…”What does this person do for a living?” Brooke Eveland has a lot of traditional tattoo pages she draws that look like all the ones you see on the wall of tattoo shops that are pretty impressive. Though she has many clients with like daggers going in and out of the skin on that semi-disturbing realistic effect, I guess that is the trend right now in her shop.

Last day of April

Midnight just passed here in Texas and am I’m messing myself up in Mix F? I’m challenging us. April was probably the best month of the year so far for me. Self-punishing with the daily piercings, but I took a break from some other stuff. I don’t know what it is, but life has been so impossible for the last three years. If anyone else feels that way, I know it’s sounds cliche, but you aren’t alone. I view myself as very positive with a good sense of humor and the most potential in a while, but it has been the worst of a bad luck streak. More frightening is becoming dependent on that. Suspicious of calm, silent days and why people are being nice to you. Are they taking my love the wrong way? Something that is supposed to last a decade, gone in a day? Is it America? Competition with families and the population growing with society desensitized by social media and the mind/sense numbing entertainment. It’s not easy to escape it unless you are a blind man wearing ear plugs. Then you have to trust someone else or everyone else and I can’t imagine what is really happening in the world. So thank you for April. May and June are highly volatile and I keep wanting to run away as far as I can unto solitude, but I won’t. I expect them to be great and the if the rest of the year doesn’t get better than April, then I’m not compromising. “Seize the day”, I once said to a pretty Russian friend of mine in 2012 when trying to get her to come out with me after we met outside of a Linkin Park concert in Sankt Peterbourg because I thought she was a Green Day fan. She said, “I don’t understand you and you don’t understand me”, when we met. It was a great date and I still think she was correct about that.


Dave Matthews Band 5.17 Cynthia Woods Mitchell Woodlands cab or car, David Gray 5.24 Revention public transit , Ariana 5.19 Toyota Center public transportation, Hootie & The Blowfish 6.14 Cynthia, Twenty One Pilots 6.21 Toyota Center, Beck and Cage the Elephant 7.28 Cynthia Woods, 311 & Dirty Heads 8.6 White Oak Music Hall, 8.25 The Smashing Pumpkins & Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds Cynthia Woods

Tattoo Journal

I went through my old calendar and new calendar as well as my blog posts to figure out all the dates of body artwork/ink. The main purpose of this was to be able to celebrate anniversaries of the ideas and general reasons I got the tattoo in the first place. Obviously this will change each year, but I was inspired by my experience around Christmas and my general idea I reviewed last night about a virtual wedding for Ckwal towards the end of the year in 2018. I think it didn’t really happen because some workers at the shelter got married and I was respecting the cultural rule of waiting until most of your body is covered before you get any hand tattoo. Not everyone follows this rule. You can see the post I talked about some of this on May 30th, 2018. Below I have recalled most of the dates. I am throwing the idea out there for anyone getting stuff done to keep a journal online through social networks or a personal one at home to remember at least the dates. Then you can grow with your artwork and evolve into new ideas to celebrate every now and then. After awhile the days mix into each other and you forget the meaning. No matter how cheap or expensive, how simple of complex, how deeply meaningful or surface you may never know when a certain piece will move into place in your existence that makes a big difference.

Adding anniversary post links after artist with number of years. Ex: 1 year = 1 (update 12.15.19)

#1 December 15th, 2017 – Undisclosed by Church Hill 2 2b
#2 March 14th, 2018 – 绝 对素食着 (Vegan in Chinese*) by Church Hill
#3 Sometime shortly after April 26th, 2018 – Red Cross logo from the Red Cross app by Church Hill
#4 July 1st, 2018 – Sasuke from Naruto Shippuden by Joshua Rivas 1
#5 September 26th, 2018 – Bird by Brandon Madrid 1
#6 November 4th, 2018 – Diamond by Michael Hoffman 1
#7 Just before November 11th, 2018 – Oasis logo in Korean 오아시스 by Bear 1. September 15th, 2022 – Used the red pill machine and Dynamic’s Turquoise both of which I bought on and before the trip to Jacksonville when the working in China mission failed due to Coronavirus delays to highlight the text.  I also filled in the rectangle around the text with Mom’s  Blue Smoke (Blacklight sensitive ink from the Nuclear Colors line).
#8 December 26th, 2018 – “Pinky” by Antone Pham
#9 January 13th, 2019 – Undisclosed by Alan Benavides
#10 February 9th, 2019 – Orchid and three bees by Alan Benavides
#11 March 7th, 2019 – Two more Pac-man ghosts by “Enthy”
#12 May 11th, 2019 – Black leaves adapted from Viveros’ paintings and yellow diamond from Kill the Noise’s Black Magic Remixes album cover by Justin Redsky 3
#13 June 9th, 2019 – Original Bandana by Marlo Marquise at Houston’s Villain Arts Convention.  September 15th, 2022 – Filled in 29 droplets with Dynamic’s Hot Pink to represent blood donation units to this date.  I did not include the convalescent plasma donation as I was thinking to use an orange juice looking color.
#14 June 30th, 2019 – Dragon fireball sun by Jacob Young
#15 July 28th, 2019 – Che (started outline and some shading) Post Mention.  August 1st, 2019 – Che (finished) by Miguel Gamez (Rockstar Tattoo in Houston, Texas)
#16 September 7th, 2019 – ‘Los Celos’ by Miguel (Rockstar Tattoo)
#17 October 4th, 2019 – フィオナ (Fiona in Japanese) by Miguel Gamez (Rockstar Tattoo in Houston, Texas). Inspired by Fiona Glenanne in Burn Notice.
#18 June 5th, 2020 – Exquisite Dragon Tribal by Miguel Gamez Banda (Rockstar Tattoo in Houston, Texas). Artwork by Pomidor4eg.
#19 November 16th, 2020 – ‘Mandy’ by Self. Saint Augustine, Florida.
#20 January 20th, 2021 – Mad Hatter Foods logo by Self. Saint Augustine, Florida.
#21 February 13th, 2021 – ‘Alien’ by Self. Saint Augustine, Florida.
#22 February 15th, 2021 mini c2 by Self. Saint Augustine, Florida.
#23 & #24 & touch-up of #22 March 2nd, 2021 – mini c’s star and text ‘mini c2’. March 9th, 2021 – Touch-up and added stripes to the ‘2’. March 27th, 2021 – More fill on and around mini c2. Saint Augustine, Florida.
#25 March 31st, 2021 – Vampire fangs on spade by Mike Franco. Flash design from a table book at shop (Copper Coil in Saint Augustine, Florida).
#26 April 11th, 2021 – Five hearts by Self. Saint Augustine, Florida.
#27 February 6th, 2022. Tlaloc in Goddess form by Jr. Drawing from back wall in shop (Rockstar Tattoo in Houston, Texas).
#28 February 7th, 2022 – जैतून (A kind of olive in Hindi) by BB (Prosper Tattoo, Houston, Texas). Inspired by Olivia Dunham in Fringe.

*During three year vegan anniversary activities (9/2019), findings concluded that 绝对素食者 is a more acceptable translation using these characters. Source: James J. Wang (Author of several ‘Chinese Slang’ books).

One physical album

Besides digital music I have one physical album. I sold thank u, next to my favorite record/book shop in Montrose – Half Price Books.  I never listened to the last track, “break up with your girlfriend I’m bored”.  It brought my total cash up to $4.22.  You can buy and sell video games, DVDs, records, CDs, books, magazines, cards and more there.  They also have different locations I overheard today.  I walked around downtown for awhile taking some pictures that I’ll put on instagram with a theme I came up with quickly framing the tops of buildings, excluding most everything else.  I was thinking about what to spend the cash on at the same time.  As I got hungry and the battery said it was low with the power on, I started walking to take the bus back a different way.  On the way I saw the venue Clé where Felix Cartal will be playing at the end of next month.  It looks out of place with umbrellas sticking out of the open roof and a fancy entrance in a more bohemian part of town.  That place has a pool inside from online pictures and cabana like hang outs around the pool with the DJ on one end.  Not sure if there is swimming with a show at 10pm, but it’s going to be a new type of experience for a concert where I am going to see a DJ at.  Anyways on the way back, I decided to stop in the area which is like an India Town with different grocery shops and other Indian culture tucked between various shopping and what-not.  I was pretty sure I was going to get some spice or cooking additive, but I remember the last time I was there I missed going to the Indian music store.  I discovered it walking out of the grocery store having just pretty much zeroed out my balance split on two credit cards.  There it was across the street kind of laughing at me.  So, this time I went right there.  I don’t know if you remember the story about when I first started driving in Houston.  I listened to Radio Dabang almost exclusively every morning and afternoon on the road delivering around town.  Guddi Shah was my favorite and also the Rush Hour Show with DJAJ.  I was still not moved in anywhere and staying in like a messy Keanu Reeves hostel vibe place via airbnb when I commented on Guddi Shah.  I posted online for the first time in awhile publicly raving about how much I loved her show, music choices and general radio presence.  Then not long after, she left the show to do real estate.  I was shocked, tracked her down, emailed her eventually and asked what happened.  She appreciated the comment and said she would return if she got a good offer, but didn’t really divulge into what happened, so I didn’t pry.  Possibly it was just a temporary hire or something and she went back to her other job or it was not enough money for her lifestyle.  Later I asked if she knew of any Indian dance clubs and she never responded.  After she left the show started annoying me terribly.  I can’t explain it, but it even DJAJ to this day does my radio pet peeves like immediately when I tune in.  I say I’ll trust it this time and see if I can get back into the station.  I still avoid the channel and surf like someone with ADHD mostly skipping announcers in general; not to be disrespectful.  It’s like bad ESP.  I don’t drive as much as I did before, but the radio gets like that if you listen too much, even without the personal irritation.  Probably why truckers get Sirius or other self-programmed material.  Long story’s conclusion is that I bought a two volume Indian CD in which the salesperson said would be most similar to 99.5 Dabang for four dollars on the unofficial ‘three for ten’ sales table.  I’ll be thinking about Mix 5 Part Deux with a new CD breakdown for this first week into May with additional tattoo convention artists research.

Favorites (Part I)

Here is a linkslist of favorite tattoo artists attending or showcasing at the Villain Arts Dallas and/or Houston Tattoo Arts Convention. Basically my notes while I was finding contact info and deciding on styles or art conductors for my project continuation. First are the females, but I decided to start with them first after being overwhelmed by facing too much research.  Also, it seemed advantageous since, it has been rarer to find women artists in the shops I have been around since my first tattoo on December 15th, 2017. I was more critical in Dallas because it would be more expensive to attend with travel and time off work. Also, because they (convention directors) seem to be adding artists and how I was researching, I cannot promise I looked at all the links. I may do more and add to this list.  In no particular order, instagram link is on name.

* another update (7.4.19) about Sharpies and what will probably be my only convention tattoo I’ll ever get again.

Sarah Giacalone (Both)
Megan Jean Morris (Both) contact form link, or email, deep and complex imagery with many layers, big negative is that I see she uses Sharpies for sketching on you and I have heard they are not cruelty-free/have animal derived pigment (not sure if she uses these on all designs or just bigger artwork, I noted to bring a bunch of Pilot markers of different size if trying to walk up or note in the contact form) *Update from Newell Brands “As a leading manufacturer of quality products great care is put into the type of ingredients and formulations we use. Like you, we are also concerned about animal by-products/testing. Every effort is made to avoid such practices. While we do our best we cannot guarantee that some of the third-party, indirect suppliers are as sensitive to this issue as we are. We however, strongly encourage our direct suppliers to work with their partners to avoid these practices.”
Bella Nightmare (Dallas) 312-647-6155, fun and serious,
Cee Jay Jones (Both) send email message via link, easygoing online ora, was on Ink Master, unique aged tattoo color fade look, cotton candy effect
Marlo Marquise (Both), extreme performer, gothic burlesque, knee tattoos, original bird artwork and other designs. *Update from Houston.  Used Sharpies on me.  Said she is a vegan and that they are ok.  Also mentioned tattooing is not 100% vegan.  Should I have walked away after prepaying?  I trusted her judgement and research and passed on my email received response as quoted above under Megan’s description.
Kristel Oreto (Both) Contact link, colorful things or leafy face
Melissa Cox (Houston) text 832-801-5630
Missi Blue (Houston) Appointment
Nicole Shore (Both) Voodoux Tattoux site appointments and contact info, does cool jewels and other niche designs.  *Update 7.4 – I do not recommend this artist if you do planning especially.  Does not follow up on said practices, books others in unofficial verbal appointments, gives false hope about showing up for possible waiting list until you arrive, then the story changes. *Update 7.17 – Now I think I would recommend this artist.  Just be whimsical with planning and keep expectations in the flexible and trust zone.  Her photo feed and work quality is probably worth battling other clients and using persistence.
Becca Gillen (Houston) in person only, small colorful things
Shannon Tupai (Houston) very versatile, cotton candy style is much more defined/not as powdery, impressive big designs especially Asian religious
Shanghai Kate (Both) writer/author/lecturer/explorer, feed isn’t vegan friendly, talented artist with strong vibe
Ashlee “Crash” Cave (Dallas) email form, gallery, scroll down for ‘about’
Shannon “OxiLox” Michael (Both), has that popular ink splatter look, but with defined tat over it for dimension to set them apart

Babiery Hernandez (Dallas) book apointment via website, designs available April 1st are amazing, vegan from New York, realism
Song Qi Huang (Dallas) dragonflies, full body architecture
Adrian Rubio (Houston) dm on instagram with hashtag
Sho Gun (Both) 200 minimum, texture/dimension, elaborate mystical with lots going on are gawk-at-able, simple with a little color like risqué blood angel is impressive
Shizoq (Houston), UFO color sky, cool modern flowers, demon heads are out of this world, all black stuff is safe
The Enigma (Houston) aka Paul Lawrence,, same shop base as Bella Nightmare, not sure if he tattoos at the event, their website
Victor Figueroa (Dallas) contact form on website, realistic, portrait
Alan Benavides (Houston) Stop in to Rampage on Westheimer (Montrose area) to inquire. Works unbelievably fast, yet loses no quality. Very versatile, easy to work with and can execute most requests. Currently holding a tattoo raffle for convention.

Good news Bad news

Possibly it is switched around for others. I am going to break some news that won’t be totally definite until I make a deposit to secure my time at the convention. I researched all female tattoo artists going to both Houston and Dallas which I will post possibly tomorrow. My first two emails went out to contrasting styles and headliner ladies. One who was on Ink Master and the other who is also a performer. Marlo Marquise can be found online.  She responded fairly quickly and was my first response, so I agreed quickly to make a deposit as soon as I get paid.  I talked about a design and placement either on the other side of our lady shrine extending to my right foot or the elbow on my main sleeve on the left.  These are both in some of the most painful areas to get a tattoo, so although not intended, Marlo is not a stranger to pain.  See her links and catch my vibe.  Bad news is that the 4 gauge piercing is too big.  I slept with a 10 gauge piercing stabbed on the inside of my 8 gauge buffalo ring and woke up on the wrong side of the bed.  I  am still nowhere near putting the 8 gauge flesh plug in my nose hole because the ends are not soft as I thought and flange out to a near 4 gauge on the ends.  So I am afraid I am going to have to let it heal without any jewelry unless I can find a better solution for work. It will not heal like this piercing it everyday without looking more unattractive and that is not really my goal.  April’s piercing journey was expensive and painful.  Who knows what tattoo artwork I would have gained in lost skin space in this time, but possibly I never would have reached out to someone like Marlo in hopes of booking some of her tattooing time.

Pieces F (Complete)

Will Sparks – Untouchable (feat. Aimee Dalton)
Afrojack x Jewelz & Sparks (feat. Emmalyn) – Switch
Funk Machine & Taku-Hero – Something (Quintino Remix)
Afrojack – Another Level
Armin van Buuren vs Shapov – La Résistance De L’Amour or The Last Dancer
Armin van Buuren feat. Sam Martin – Wild Wild Son (Richard Durand Remix)
Eximinds – Voyager
Darius Rucker – Hands On Me
Wet – Softens or Still Run (feat. Starchild and The New Romantic)
NF – Green Lights
Billie Eilish – When The Party’s Over (Felix Cartal Remix)
Breaking Benjamin – Tourniquet
Bring Me The Horizon – Mantra
Wheats – Poison
Cristoph & Quivver – In Name Only (Moonwalk Remix)
Tuccillo & Kiko Navarro – Auris (Canto A Obatala) [Creisi Solo Mix]
Kiko Navarro – Shining (Koki Dub)
Seether – Save Today
The Beach Boys – California Girls
Frank Sinatra – Luck Be A Lady

Save Burning Man

I have never been to this event. I don’t know what to think about having to build a concrete wall around it. Here is the link. Other than that I repierced my left ear where the skin grew over for more than ten years. After messing with my nose everyday, I just decided to push the one I wore in my nose for a day at work before I knew there was a rule against it and then lost the back. John said it was 10 karat gold with a real diamond and I believe him, so I’m not taking it out. I thought it fitting that I sold four seasons of Lost for a few dollars, two of which to buy a new back. Hey, the piercing was free… Anyways, go read that article and if it moves you to do what they need, then you have one or two days I think left. This is my comment for the record.

Spontaneous Lucky No Practice Mix (From Pieces C)

This is how I used to make mixes, but without the luck. Using an app on your phone for example typically has BPMs analyzed by the software and when you change the tempo it is pretty exact when you have a match tempos button. Now I usually practice everything or at least go through every transition with notes on the best way to make it to the end with confidence and a great mix. Last night after the post, I went straight to an old Kill the Noise album of remixes and kept adding tracks until I was like this was perfect for thinking about going to my first Tattoo Convention and getting something in Austin in just over two weeks. Then I went to Drake’s <em going through instagram after instagram of tattoo artists (starting with the females attending Houston). That’s when things were really unsettling and personal with the vibe. It made me more critical and skeptical about what I am trying to accomplish, but enlightening in that some people might be viewing this experience like that.

Mix finished at 12:07am 4.26.19

Saturn with Brillz and Minxx (Kill Paris Remix) – KILL THE NOISE
365 – Zedd, Katy Perry
All Into Nothing – R3HAB & Mokita
Habit – Nervo
Cuzco – Seldon Thaye
Recognise (feat. Flynn) – Lost Frequencies
Virus – Swanky Tunes
Starchild – Ummet Ozcan
The Love – Promise Land
Shape of My Regret (feat. Alice Berg) – Loris Cimino
Bosky – Brandon Reeve
She Wolf (feat. Sia) – David Guetta
Revelation – Dino Maggiorana

Side note: For most pieces lists I have been putting the artist first and then the title. For final mix I have been putting the song title first and then the artist. This is not standard in previous lists.