Studly Steve Walters. A Chicago homie. He printed my first concert poster for me, sometime in the early-mid 90’s. Congrats on the first 20, bro!
I originally posted here about folks using my art for tattoos. I’m re-posting it AGAIN, because I’m noticing HUGE amounts of google directed people right clicking and saving certain images of mine. As I mentioned before, if you see something you like PLEASE ask me if you can use it for a tattoo. I’ll say yes, 99.9% of the time and just ask for a pic of the final piece in trade. Heck, i’ll even give you clean images instead of jpgs to use. But please, just ASK.
I’ve been going over my site stats for the past few months. Seems there’s been a LOT of people Googling and clicking on my “pinstripe skull design” and also my “Ol’ Nasty cat” images lately. People possibly wanting tattoos of them…? Dunno. But it made me decide to write this post.
About tattoos. I have a lot of them. Some I’ve designed for myself, some not.
Regardless, I feel a sense of real responsibility after I see a person getting my artwork tattooed on themselves. It’s a huge honor. But, it also kicks me into overdrive to make sure I don’t get complacent and start churning out schlock. I see too many other artists getting lazy and re-hashing stuff they’ve done a million times before. I don’t want to fall into that trap. People digging my art enough to make a lifelong commitment to having it added to their bodies, keeps me in check. So, to all of you fans of mine whom have, thank you.
There is a flip side to everything. As my fellow artist bud Von Glitschka says regarding people using his art for tattoos, “For those who commission me it’s a great gig. But for those who don’t, it’s a flattering copyright infringement when they use my art without paying for it. So ask permission before you become a walking portfolio of mine.”
So, if you’re somebody who wants to blatantly steal my art to make flash sheets, please don’t. Ask first. I’m sure there’s something we can work out.
Now, what if you’re simply a fan and you see something of mine that you enjoy and you’re thinking of adding it to your body…? Please, feel free to contact me. I can get you nice, clean line art that your tattoo guy can work from. That way you won’t have to use a cruddy saved jpg or a potentially blurry photo of my stuff which you found in a magazine.
Either way, if you DO decide to add my art to your body, thank you and please, send me pictures!
Lately, both of my sons have been bugging me for pocket knives. They saw my vintage Italian stiletto out on my desk one time and that was all it took. My boys are 5 yo. and under and (in my opinion) are both too young for a real knife. So, being a creative-minded kinda daddy, i did the next best thing… I made them both pocket knives out of recycled corrugated cardboard.
The boys loved them. Ran around the house all day with them. Then, my wife came home from a play-date with the boys at their friend’s house last night. She told me that both of my son’s friends couldn’t put down the knives either. So, today I had orders for more knives! I love making things like this with my hands, and as a child, I spent countless hours creating things out of cardboard. This was awesome super-fun for me.
I read something in a book today. Here’s an excerpt from the text. It really stuck with me….
“If you can prove you’re right you’re set in concrete. You cannot move with the times or with other people. Being right is also being boring. Your mind is closed. You are not open to new ideas. You are rooted in your own rightness, which is arrogant. Arrogance is a valuable tool, but only if used very sparingly. Worst of all, being right has a tone of morality about it. To be anything else sounds weak or fallible, and people who are right would hate to be thought fallible. So: it’s wrong to be right, because people who are right are rooted in the past, rigid-minded, dull and smug. There’s no talking to them.”
— Paul Arden
A 10 min. video of the gallery in Japan setting up for the Monsters & Misfits opening. Check it out. I designed the show catalog, which I posted about on April 5th. Enjoy.
10 years ago today, one of the good guys got called back home. Now, I didn’t know Ed personally. But I had met him on a few occasions. All of which I’m sure didn’t make nearly the impression on him, that it made on me. In a roundabout way, I once got Ed on a Chicago talk radio program for an interview back in the 90′s. I kinda knew the DJ, who was a Roth fan, but he had thought Ed had long since died. I told him, “dude he’s very much alive and lives in Utah, hunt him down”. Lo and behold, the next day, there was Ed on talk radio. DJ guy let me ask the first question. Which consisted more or less of me thanking Ed profusely for his inspiration and then it ended with me babbling like an idiot, cuz i was soo nervous. I have it on tape, somewhere…..
See, Ed was a childhood hero of mine. He was a monster-maker. A hot-rod builder. A lowbrow artist extraordinaire, even before the term “lowbrow” was invented. A modern day Da Vinci, slinging fiberglass and paint. I remember I used to build all his models and send off for his catalogs in the mail. I’d order all kindsa Rat Fink stuff, some of which I still have to this day. All of which I’m sure my mom thought, was a total waste of money.
But I didn’t care. She just didn’t “get it”. You either “got” Big Daddy and Rat Fink, or you didn’t. Period.
It’s been a great barometer for me all my life, especially in social settings. Ya see, regardless of how cool I might actually be, I’m not the most social of cats. I like to keep to myself. When people ask, “so, what do you do for a living…?” and the subject of being an artist comes up, I occasionally slip some lowbrow doo-dads into the conversation. Rat Fink being one of them. Then, I wait for a reaction. If I’m met with a glazed, blank lifeless stare, I wrap it up and head for the chips and dip. If a slow kindred sparkle and glow comes over their face, I know I’ve met somebody I can really hang with.
Anyway, the man was an inspiration to me.
Even moreso now that today, I read his response to a question asked of him a year before his death.
Posted by his wife Ilene “Trixie” Roth:
WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO BE MOST REMEMBERED FOR?
“We are all trying to get to heaven. Everybody is born with a talent. Use the talent. I encourage a person to use their talents to the best degree. Take the talents you were born with and use it. If somebody has a problem with it, then you say.. Man, I just know this and that’s all I know, and Big Daddy told me to use it. Encourage people to use what they got. There is nothing else to be remembered for.”
Wise words indeed.
R.I.P. – Big Daddy.