Teagan and I have arrived and are staying at a hotel right downtown in Vancouver for the next few nights. Unfortunately the wi-fi is only free in the lobby, and I'm far to lazy to go down to make an actual blog post with pictures tonight. Im sure there's a way to upload pics from an iPhone to blogger, but again, to tired to attempt to figure it out right now.


Teagan and I leave for Vancouver tomorrow morning for a couple of days.  Saturday night we'll get to see The Cave Singers and Fleet Foxes at the Vogue.  Pretty damn excited.  I think I may have posted this already but whatever, it's good enough to be posted twice. 

New Shirt & Sign

Both made with love by our one & only Sasha....

M L XL available

Made in 2 long days for our booth at the Westcoast Tattoo Show


As promised, a tattoo photo.  I know it's only one, but it's one more than none. 

Here's a section of Adam's arm after finishing the colour the other day.  You can slightly see there's a lighthouse on his elbow.  I'd love to include photos of the lighthouse, but we'll have to wait until it's healed.  Adam's arm was pretty swollen in my photos, making the lines look anything but straight, so I left those photos out for now.


I couldn't decide which to post so I'll just put 'em both up.  Either way, I've enjoyed a much needed day off and that will continue tonight on the blog. 

.... I'll be back with tattoo photos tomorrow....


I know I said I'd post tattoo photos today... but I lied.... I also know that I'm sounding like a broken record at this point, but I'm tired... After returning from Penticton, I worked 12 days in a row, took one day off to do my taxes, and then worked another 5 days in a row.  That's 17 of the last 18 days working at the studio.  I finally have a few days off starting tomorrow to catch up on rest and a few projects, then Teagan and I head out to Vancouver for a couple of days.  Pretty excited.

I finished the last little bit background on my friend Dave's sleeve today and even had time for  about an hour or so of touch ups.  Dave's awesome.  He brought me homemade margarita and sangria jelly today.  Thanks Dave! 


I finished Adam's lighthouse today, but I'm beyond tired and do not in any way feel like editing photos tonight... I'll post it tomorrow...

In other news, Mr. Ollie Schell will be making another trip out to Edmonton in the not to distant future to tattoo with us at Ink Machine.

He'll be here June 2nd to 9th.  Contact him through his website to set up an appointment sooner than later.  He's a popular guy around these parts and his time books up fast.  Super excited to get to work with him again, it's always fun times when Ollie's in town!

from: Redd G.
to: tiangotlost@gmail.com
date: Fri, Apr 22, 2011 at 9:35 PM
subject: tat translation...

She is a moron... so I'm wondering if her tattoo really says "love is a slow form of suicide".

If it does, I will be nothing short of shocked...

I have consulted this with Alan, and this is what he had to say about the tattoo:

The tattoo is properly written in Japanese (except for the horizontal line in フォーム which should be vertical in vertical writing like this).


But this is rather puzzling and difficult to understand.

It literally means:

"Love is a late form of suicide."

"Late" is really supposed to be "slow" (遅い can mean either) so I guess this really was intended to be a translation of "Love is a slow form of suicide."

The word フォーム is borrowed from the English word "form," but in Japanese this word is usually used only for paper "forms" or such. It certainly would not appear in a poem in the intended sense of the word "form." A different Japanese word would be used for that. Since the "paper form" word is used, a Japanese person reading this would be very confused about what a "late form" is and what it has to do with love or suicide.

My guess is that someone just threw the sentence "Love is a slow form of suicide." into Google translate, translated into Japanese and tattooed the puzzling results onto the arm of the unsuspecting customer.


First appointment today was working on Sean's underwater sleeve.  I coloured the background and a few yellow fish on the inside of his arm as well as this orange fish on the back of his arm.  One more session of colour and a few touch ups and we'll be done.  He also bought the last Amsterdam print today, so they're officially all gone now.  Thanks Sean!
Second appointment today was working on Lucas' sleeve.  I finished up most of the water today by colouring in this large section on his elbow.  He as well is nearing completion on his sleeve.


I outlined a sleeve today, but my camera's battery was beyond dead, so no photos.

My wife had the best taste in music and that's a fact. She's 100% a music nerd/junkie/collector and started making podcasts and posting them on her new blog. Check it out, I guarentee each podcast she posts will be amazing. She had 3 up already and plans on posting twice a week. Awesome.


Here's what went down at ye olde studio today-

First appointment was working on Carmen's Coho Salmon backpiece.  We coloured the fins and tail today which finishes off the fish for the most part.  We'll need to do a few touch ups and go over the cover up one more time to call the fish 100% complete.  One more session of water, one or two for touch ups and we'll be done.   Pretty awesome.
Second appointment was tattooing my friend Jon.  He wanted a spiderweb for background behind his elbow.  It's obviously a fresh photo so it should soften up a bit once healed.  I didn't use any black, it's all done in gray washes.
from: Tanya A.
to: tiangotlost@gmail.com
date: Thu, Apr 21, 2011 at 4:07 PM
subject: another stupid tattoo question

Dear Tian,

I just ran across your blog and love it!

Question: about ten years ago I took the character for "Courage" that I found in a Chinese Dictionary into a tattoo parlor. I really wanted the character for "courage" on my back, but the dictionary said that the character also stood for "gall bladder."

I wasn't sure that I actually wanted the character for "gall bladder" on my back, so when I saw a character that also supposedly meant "courage" on a sign full of symbols and pictures hanging on the tattoo parlor wall I said to myself, "tattoo parlors don't lie!" and asked for that one instead.

I was recently told by a Chinese friend that my tattoo actually says "Dog Passing."

(I've known for years that the second character says "passing," but only recently found out about the "dog" part. I was told that this particular symbol for dog is archaic, which is why many of the non-Asian students of Chinese and Japanese that I asked before didn't know it....)

I'm hoping you might verify.

Thank you!

It is not "dog passing" or 犬過.

大過 [たいか] serious error; gross mistake


I only have one of the Amsterdam prints left.  Just one... when it's gone, that's it.  There won't be anymore printed.
If you're interested in buying it, you can do so here-

from: Roxanne P.
to: tiangotlost@gmail.com
date: Tue, Apr 19, 2011 at 9:11 PM
subject: please help me asap

so my boyfriend got this tattoo the other day and was told it ment loyalty in japanese kanji and just so happens my friend has loyalty also in jap kanji and they dont look anything alike please helppppp me asap

I sure hope Roxanne's boyfriend really enjoys eating noodles.

[めん] noodles


Finished my taxes last night, even thought it took all night... Glade that's over for another year...

Here's Marcie's back that I outlined yesterday.  Birds and flowers, love it.  Again, more of this please.  Much more... I could be happy tattooing birds, flowers, and small nature scenes everyday.


Unfortunately, no blog post tonight featuring tattoo photos.  Sorry.  I've decided to stay up all night and finish my taxes for the year.  Not me yet... but getting close...
from: Kate D.
to: tiangotlost@gmail.com
date: Sat, Apr 16, 2011 at 8:19 AM
subject Some Terrible Tattoos

I thought I'd send you some pictures I found from www.checkoutmyink.com of truly terrible Chinese tattoos. There's so many awful mistakes, I don't even know where to begin!



First character of 性感 (sexy) has been split into two!


Why would anyone tattoo "golden pig" on his back, and why is the character for pig, , upside down?!


I finished my friend Noel's tattoo today... but that's not the most important thing that happened today (sorry Noel), and I didn't get around to editing the photos I took of his tattoo.  However...

Yea, it's an older picture.  I tried to get a family photo, but they just weren't cooperating tonight.  Happy Birthday Tomas Magnum and Aku!!!  7 years ago I decided to get cats instead of cable TV for entertainment.  One of the best decisions I've ever made.  Totally my best friends and the best cats ever. Here's to many more years together!


Nicole stopped by this morning so I could take a few healed photo of her 1/2 sleeve.
In other news, it took a bit of puttering around tonight, but Teagan and I finally figured out how to sync my iPhone and our home computer's iCal using MobileMe.  It seems to be working pretty effectively, so now I can add appointments on my phone, she can add appointmenst on the home computer, and they update perfectly.  Looks like we're in business!


Here's 1/2 of what was worked on at the studio today-

I added a second peony to Kevin's phoenix, and finished adding colour to the bird.  It's done for now, but obviously he'll be adding on and finishing the top of his arm, hopefully in the not to distant future.
My afternoon appointment was tattooing an octopus in Sandy's armpit... Yup... armpit.  Ouch, ouch, ouch ouch, ouch....  I tried to take photos, but since I couldn't even wipe it by the end of the session without having Sandy hit the roof, the photos did not quite turn out.  I will say that he sat amazingly considering how much pain he was in.  Hopefully I'll get a few healed photos in a couple of weeks.


The last 2 days I've been working on finishing and touching up Brian's Alice in Wonderland sleeve we started 3-4 years ago.  We still need one more session to get all of the old colour that's 3 years old on par with the new colour we put in the last few days.  No photos because I've been tattooing all day and drawing all night for the past few days.....

I had friends of mine come in today to check out drawings, and I must have looked extremely tired.  It's a pretty rare thing when a client tells me "wow, stop working so hard... take a break."  Which was actually timed quite well and will be the subject of today's blog post.

For most of my 12 years tattooing, it's been a one man show.  I've done everything- drawing, tattooing, answering emails, booking appointments, cleaning, editing photos, updating the website, blogging... even at times screen printing my own shirts.  At this point, to say it's become a bit more than a full time job is an understatement.  Unfortunately thing have finally gotten to a point where I just can't keep up anymore.  The last few weeks I've fallen behind on drawings, emails, and sleep... The old system just isn't working anymore.

So after a few weeks of discussing a game plan, I'm extremely happy to say that my amazing wife Teagan will be helping me out a bit more on a daily basis.  Probably a couple of you know that  a few years ago, I owned a small tattoo studio in Vancouver, and towards the end of that era, Teagan ran the show/ managed the studio and did an amazing job at it.  A few months later,  I had to fire the best help I've ever had so I could date her... and fall in love with her... and eventually marry her...

I guess everything comes full circle at some point, and I'm extremely happy she's back helping out with small tasks that will make my life 120% better.  For now, she's agreed to take over answering emails and a bit of scheduling so I can focus more of my time on drawing, painting, and tattooing... and getting back to a normal sleep cycle...

I'm extremely lucky to have her helping out again, as she probably knows more about tattooing and the tattoo "industry" than 1/2 the tattooists in this town.  We still need to figure out a few small detail on how this will work effectively, mainly how manage and book appointments, but we have a few ideas.  She started catching up and attacking my inbox today, and it was an amazing feeling even after one day to have one less thing to worry about.

Thanks Teagan, you're awesome!


One of my favorite clients/friends sent me a few awesome photos that I'd like to share with the blog world today.  Josh has gotten some of my favorite tattoos that I've ever had the pleasure of tattooing.  She has the large koi backpiece, the grain elevators on her stomach, and a really fun traditional styled boxer girl that I need to get healed photos of.

Last time she was in getting tattooed, she bought one of the Amsterdam prints and told me that she was heading back home to visit her parents on the farm in Saskatchewan, and was going to have her dad help her make a custom frame for the print.

Check it out, they did an amazing job.  I'm really happy she sent photos of end results, I'm not 100% sure, but that looks like old barn wood to me.  Thanks a bunch for sending me photos Josh, you're awesome!


Since I have nothing of any importance to post tonight, might as well post something ridiculous.   Thanks Taryn.


So for now it's finally nice out in Edmonton.  It's unreal how fast the snow has been melting.  I thought for sure with the amount we received this year, we would have had snow on the ground until July.  Nicer weather and sunlight until almost 9:00pm now means nightly walks around our neighborhood,  which make me quite happy.

I love this house and walk by it all the time.  I wish you could see the amazing 70's orange curtains below and the amazing lush garden they have in the window on the top floor
 Saw this new addition today to a house that primarily has a southwestern decorations in the front yard, like plastic cactus, plastic cow skull, etc.  Obviously homemade and awesome.
 I think I may have posted this motel before, but I love it.  Fantastic old signs, telephones, family rates,  cable color TV, outdoor pool, and some air conditioning.  Maybe one day I'll inquire if that means only a select few of the rooms have air conditioning, or it they all have AC, but only some of the time.


Tattoo Artist Magazine is the only tattoo magazine worth buying these days.  I guess the only problem for the general public is they consider it a "trade" magazine, meaning you can only buy it from tattoo supply companies and only if you are a tattooist.  So most people never get to see it....

Anyways... I ordered the new copy of TAM last week and was pleasantly surprised to see that I sort of have a piece of art in it! 

Last March, Deadly Tattoos in Calgary hosted a skateboard art show.  Unfortunately I wasn't able to make it down to the opening party, but I did submit 2 decks that I had painted.  There was a bit of a rumor that Tattoo Artist Magazine may run an article on the show... and I guess a year later, they did.

One of the decks I painted made the article!  I'm extremely flattered since they only had photos of 24 of the skateboards, and over 60 were submitted and hung for the the show.  Pretty neat!  The unfortunate part is that the magazine decided not to credit anyone of the artists skateboards they published.  So I have a skateboard in the new TAM, but no one will ever know it's mine....

I'm not picky... I'll take whatever I can get!  If anyone wants to see the skateboard I painted up close,  it's sitting above my booth at the studio.

I actually just checked their website and you can read the article and see a better photo here

Big thanks to either TAM or Deadly Tattoos for choosing to include me! 


More birds and flowers today!!! Love it.  Coloured both roses and thickened up a few lines.  Awesome.
 I also got healed photos of Taryn's manatees today.  I'll photoshop them together over the next few days and get them up on the website.


Today's doings at the studio-

Coloured 2 of Kalika's flowers this morning.  I started with the roses since I knew I could finish them really quickly.  This is her first tattoo, it's fairly big and goes onto her back.  Pretty neat, I love tattooing flowers and birds.  More tattoos like this please.
This afternoon I worked on my friend Nick's stomach.  Is that a reaper, unloading 2 uzis? Yes.  Are those dollar bills, diamonds and coins falling?  Yes.  Is that a toonie I see?  Yes.  Is that the skyline of Edmonton?  Yes.  Really, is that a little Hotel MacDonald I see in the background?  Yes. 


Finished this weird skull and rose thing on Jon today.  He had a few problems healing his ditch from the last session, so we'll just omit those photos....
Came home to find this in the mail today.  New Timber Timbre pre order pack, super awesome, and....
...it's on white vinyl.   How good is that? Looks amazing with the purple sleeve.  I love coloured vinyl.
And finally, while waiting for photos to upload to blogger, I found this on another blog I follow so I should repost it before I forget.  I hope way more of these types of videos surface in the future.


Here are the last few iPhone photos from my trip to Penticton.

Best Damn
Hotel had free continental breakfast, including make-your-own-waffles.  
Stock up before the drive home
Future wine.  I love grapes so much.
Drive Home
 Field, BC


 Shaved a full hour off my time on the drive home from Penticton today.  Ten and a half hours in a car by myself....  I'm exhausted....
Here's the photo of Jenn's foot that I tried to upload last night.


Day 5.  I tattooed Tracy who drove down from Vancouver this morning.
And this evening I did a small cover up on Jenn's foot.... which I've been trying to upload for 30 minutes...  I don't know if it's blogger or the hotel's internet connection, so I guess I'll try again tomorrow from home...  I'm tired..11 hour drive tomorrow...


Penticton, Day  4.  I tattooed Corals feet today... both of them.  I have my feet tattooed, I could not imagine getting both done in one day.  She sat like a champ.  I did the roses, I did not tattoo the script.
 After tattooing, we went for Mexican food across from the Beach.  Duncan and Coral were tired.  
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