Tattooed Hearts–Janelle and Chris

“Something old, something new; something borrowed, something tattooed.”
Oct 14th, 2013 – Ink & Dagger friends and longtime clients Janelle Edison and Christopher Schmidt tied the tattooed knot last October at the Vinewood Plantation in Georgia.  A feeling of romance and timelessness breezed through the cool autumn air as the lovebirds made their commitments to each other under an old pecan tree in a casual (but chic) ceremony, surrounded by the love and support of their closest friends and family. 
We love them and their tattoos so much, we wanted to share a bit of their tattooed hearts with our readers.

How did you two meet?
We met in college in Denver, Colorado about 7 years ago. He had just gotten back from doing his culinary internship at Per Se in New York City and I had just started my freshman year of culinary school. One night, we both ended up a birthday party for someone neither of us knew. His tattoo was actually the conversation starter between us – Chris has a memorial piece for his father on his upper arm. It was a sweet story and I thought he was a total bad assAfter a few beers and a party trick gone horribly wrong (2nd degree burns, wrong), we exchanged numbers and the rest is history! 

How did family and friends react to your visible tattoos during the ceremony?
Covering them up never even crossed my mind. I actually chose my wedding dress based on how it accented my sleeve and back piece! As far as the family goes, we are lucky to have friends and family that are so non- judgmental and loving that the topic never even came up. I am the only one in my family with tattoos, so it was a little nerve racking being so exposed at first, but then I realized that they were all there to celebrate us on that day – which they did. Hard.  

What are your future plans?

Right after the wedding we packed our bags and headed home to sunny Denver, Colorado. We are so happy to have the mountains in our backyard again – so many activities! As for the future, we are working on our dream of opening our own restaurant here in Colorado and owning a home and raising a family in the mountains!
How are tattoos a part of your life?
Every tattoo has a story. They are daily reminders of important points in life, things we love and things that inspire us. I couldn’t imagine not having any work done; I am always thinking about my next piece!

What initially prompted you to get heavily tattooed? 
It was all about what Russ wanted to do with my idea. Size was never a concern of mine, so I just let him roll with it! I never actually thought about the size of my tattoos until Russ started my sleeve. He was like, “How does it feel to now be heavily tattooed female?” “Normal” was what I was thinking, not actually the fact that from now on, yes, sometimes you are going to get funny looks while at Target and no, not everyone is going to understand why you would do such a thing. But I find so much beauty in being comfortable in your own skin, that those things haven’t really affected me!

Do you and your husband share matching tattoos or tattooed stories?

Russ offered to do a ball and chain with our wedding date around Chris’ ankle  that one is still under discussionWe don’t have any matching tattoos…yet. We tend to like the same style though, so we stick to the same artists, like Russ, whose talent continues to amaze us!

"A Match Made in Hell", Hell City Seminar

Russ and Gunnar love each other.
FK Iron’s Spektra Rotary made special for “A Match Made in Hell”.

Russ Abbott and Gunnar Gaylord teamed up at Hell City Columbus to break a few paradigms and co-teach a seminar together. Only “A Match Made in Hell” could ignite the professional tattooists in attendance in an information bonanza that covered topics from line weight to color composition and every combination of practical application in between. The comprehensive three hour tour featured both Gunnar and Russ’s extensive experience with concepts covered as well as a multi-media presentation, swag bags, giveaways, and a plethora of learning tools. The two led the group through wide-ranging concepts while playing off their shared experience and longtime friendship.

“If this was 1990’s Gunnar he would have made this reflective light in turquoise, where now we would prefer a neutral grey that will read as cool against these colors.” Russ playfully chided.
The dynamic between Gunnar’s art-based vocabulary and Russ Abbott’s practical application complimented the lessons delightfully, while engaging those in attendance and making time for their questions.
Did he say what I thought he said?
“These kinds of things are really good for me,” said longtime friend and accomplished artist in his own right Chris Dingwell. “It’s like a refresher, color theory and stuff that I learned in art school, but it’s really easy to take that stuff for granted. You forget about more than you realize. Sitting down and going back through it is really helpful; it really brings it back to the forefront of my toolkit. It was good for me to do that, it was fun. I thought they did great together. It was good to have that balance of technical information on one side and a little bit more experienced-based information on the other side and being able to go back and forth to see how to take that technical information, and how to use it.”
Step by step with Russ Abbott.

 The seminar goers were also rewarded with tools including Russ Abbott’s “Left-Brained Labels” and Gunnar’s own booklet of anatomical templates as well as True Tubes,and True Tube Grips. Two lucky participants left with surprise give aways from Eternal Ink and FK Irons.

Robby Soulliere won the Eternal Ink collection.
“Left-Brained Labels”–Russ Abbott’s innovative compulsion to categorize. 
The two will be presenting the seminar one more time at the upcoming Hell City Tattoo Fest in Phoenix, if you missed it in Columbus, make sure to reserve your seat at the next one!
Stay tuned for details!
“This is how I hold a pen.” Russ Abbott
Gunnar showing folks how to do it.

Chris Dingwell (dot com) cruisin’ for swag
Gabriel Cece wookin’ pa nub.

Button, button who’s got the button?

Mr.Abbott was hoping he’d won…

Ink & Dagger Does Hell City–Proper.

  “Qui si convien lasciare ogne sospetto;ogne viltà convien che qui sia morta.”Dante’s Inferno, Canto III, lines 14-15Loosely translated as
“Here one must leave behind all hesitation;here every cowardice must meet its death.”

Tattoo by Javier Rivera 
The Ink & Dagger crew faced their fears of leaving Atlanta to journey into the unknown(kind of, they do it every year).  They found themselves in a dark wood (Columbus, Ohio) (not nearly as dark as it was a gorgeous weekend and a tidy town) and entered the gates of Hell City.  While not nearly as dark or as hellishly warm as the name would suggest, and by invitation only, the place kind of looked cool (especially with all of the Suicide Girlsdecorating the halls and stage).  And they were not at all alone– they found that all of their friends were already there. It was in fact, not very bad at all–it was quite the opposite.  It was a devilishly good time.
Ink&Dagger was pleased, as always, to be a guest last weekend at The Hell City Tattoo Festival , and a first-class time was had by all.  Russ Abbott, Javier Rivera, Kelly Doty, and shop manager Keith Laguna drove up to “Killumbus” Ohio  to represent the Ink&Dagger booth at one of the greatest tattoo shows in the country run by longtime friend Durb Morrison.  The weekend was chock full of jaw dropping tattoos, good times with friends, learning, and teaching — sometimes consecutively, sometimes concurrent, most times a dash of each ingredient shaken and stirred.  
I&D Client Adam Petrillo–winning with the Suicide Girls
TimmyB and Kelly Doty sitting in a tree
Tattoo by Kelly Doty
The Ink & Dagger booth was a rockin’ all weekend long  with death defying acts of tattoo, blood, and friendship. Javier Rivera stayed neck deep in tattoos with his traditionally inspired flash he had available on a first come, first tattooed biases. They were joined by “Best Ink” contender and Kelly’s road trip buddy Teresa Sharpe who made a very spooky broken doll on her client’s neck.   Timmy B came by to collaborate with Kelly Doty on a goat head rising out of a bloody book booth-side on Saturday .   Russ Abbott was joined with long time friend Gunnar Gaylord to teach the ground-breaking Seminar “A Match Made In Hell” (complete details of this in the next blog), and even had client Adam Petrillo show up to take home the coveted 2nd Place Large Color trophy.   In a celebration of friendship and the macabre, there was plenty of blood.
Ink&Dagger was brave in the face of it all and even took a moment to party down with friends after hours There was a REALLY wine-laden discussion with Joe Capobianco (holy fuck what a nice conversation) and an afterhours, in room gathering  (sorry, to preserve the innocence that debauchery will be picture free).
Tattoo by Russ Abbott
The  team continued to party the Hell out of Columbus by doing a guest spot at Durb Morison’s Red Tree Gallery the days after the event.  
Javier Rivera
Don’t worry, they all made it home safe and while they were unscathed, they were definitely affected and recharged. 

Tattoo by Javier Rivera

Tattoo by Javier Rivera

Tattoo by Javier Rivera
Tattoo by Teresa Sharpe
Teresa Sharpe tattooing 
Joe Capobianco taking a moment withI&D booth buddy Teresa Sharpe

Timmy B collaboration with Kelly Doty
Kelly Doty’s party pics! xoxo

Collaborative tattoo by Kelly Doty and Timmy B
Rob Petillo’s award winning Russ Abbott Tattoo
Tattoo by Russ Abbott

Now EAR This!

Folio Magazine (Zurich) featured Russ Abbott’s rendition of the Vacanti Mouse on Jes Strickler’s  head in their article titled “The Reluctant Monster.”  We don’t speak or read German very well, but we think they liked it! 
The caption reads (we think!):”Work of tattooist Russ Abbott. Commented one fan: We have seen work like this but he’s taken it to the next level!”

The tattoo was made at the Red Tree Gallery in Columbus Ohio after Hell City Killumbous last year.   
Jes Strickler said “My head tattoo might be ridiculous or crazy to some people but I feel it’s one of the most innovative things done with a tattoo and a body part in a long time.  To have it recognized internationally is huge for Mr.Russ Abbott and tattooing. Thanks Russ!”
Ear, Ear, Jes and Russ! 

A Match Made in Helllll… City!

Hi there, I just wanted to drop you a line and let you know about the seminar I’m co-hosting with Gunnar at the Hell City Tattoo Fest.  Gunnar and I decided to co host a seminar after spending some time together at last yearsParadise Tattoo Gathering. We both taught seminars there that focused on fundamental principals of composition, line, value, and color. We each have a unique tattoo style and teaching style so we thought it might make an even better seminar if we joined forces and split the workload. 
At first, we just thought about taking the best parts from each seminar and combining them together. But once we started brainstorming, it became clear that we were going to push each other to new heights and a deeper understanding for both of us. 
This new seminar has now been over 6 months in the making. We have entered in to the final push to prepare all of our concepts and create the presentation. The focus has been refined and the vision is now unified. We are calling the seminar “A Match Made in Hell” !  The first engagement is taking place at the Hell City Tattoo Fest in Columbus Ohio on April 20th. The second will be at the Phoenix Arizona Hell City Tattoo fest on August 24th.
In order to make the entire experience more informative and educational. We have teamed up with three of our favorite tattoo industry brands. Both Gunnar and I use these products and stand by their quality and integrity so we thought it would be nice to share some personalized samples with our seminar attendees. Eternal Ink is making a unique set of 12 color sample packs of our favorite picks from their color line Eternal is also donating a full set to one lucky participant!. FK Irons is giving a way one of our favorite machines (the Spektra Halo rotary) and some other assorted items. Durb Morrisson, the promoter of Hell City Tattoo Fest, is throwing in an assortment of his popular True Tubes (steel-tipped disposable tattoo tube) and True Grips ( disposable memory foam grip covers).
I’m attaching the seminar description and the promo image. Please share and repost and help support this endeavor. 
This unprecedented seminar experience will be hosted by 2 of tattooing’s top innovators. Renowned artists Gunnar Gaylord and Russ Abbott are teaming up to present a career-changing educational event for tattooists of all skill levels.
Learning any artistic medium, such as tattooing, the student will inevitably be faced with plateaus and pitfalls. Many times, the way to move forward and continue growing is to take a look back at the fundamentals and see what you might have missed. With a combined tattooing experience of over 25 years and several years of teachingexperience to draw from. Russ and Gunnar have truly learned the value of continued education and personal development. It is their sincere and humble goal to share some of that experience with their peers and give back to the craft that has given them so much.
Everybody loves stickers, get yours at A Match Made in Hell

Together, as a team for the first time ever, Russ Abbott (Ink & Dagger Atlanta, GA) and Gunnar Gaylord (Red Tree Gallery Columbus, OH) are offering tried and true techniques for the open-minded and ambitious tattooist including:

  • Color palette selection
  • Dynamic Composition
  • Line Theory
  • Lighting and Shadows
  • Conceptual sketching
  • Sleeve theory
  • Value analysis
  • Self- critique
Both Gunnar and Russ will continue teaching their other popular seminars at various shows throughout the year. However, this combo seminar will only be available at this year’s Killumbus and Phoenix Hell City shows. Don’t miss this rare opportunity!
Tickets are $200 per attendee or you may want to take advantage of the full shop special which offers 4 tickets for the price of 3!

Easy Come, Easy Go:The Story of Pooptionary

Hello Pooptionary, Good Bye Pooptionary.
Russ Abbott is full of brilliant ideas; sometimes they come out smoothly, sometimes they’re a bit rough.  And sometimes, he doesn’t give a courtesy flush.  We ask him to, but seeing as he IS the boss around here and we’re really into recycling… it’s hard to make it a habit.  Long story short, Russ Abbott decided to start an Instagram page for “Pooptionary”.
The basic gist of it was people using the basic free form of their excrement to make a drawing, and then add it to the  “Pooptionary” Instagram page.  It’s like the Rorschach test of feces inspection.  The idea and the page went nuts and as soon as Russ made a couple posts, people were submitting their poop inspired drawings (the laxative companies can send the royalty check any day now).
By the time 8 hours, and as many hundred of flushes had passed, the page had over 800 followers.  It could have been viral poo. But there was trouble in poo-land. Somebody flagged the account.  At first, Instagram only took down a couple of photos, then the whole feed disappeared.  Russ was victim to a very vague letter, and the general idea was that they thought the page was shitty.
So long for now,  Pooptionary, we’ll be sure to visit when we need ideas about the next I&D coffee table book… We’re throwing around the title “Drawing Part Deuce.”

13 lbs,10 oz!! Ink&Dagger Tattoo Blog is NOW HERE!

birth tattoo pic

The birth of the blog was hot and laborious–but the Ink&Dagger  team pushed through.  Sweaty and frazzled, we present for your welcome our little slice of tattoo experience. Welcome to  the home of Atlanta’s finest tattooers and all the weird shit we do and the cool people who let  us do it to them–Ink&Dagger Tattoo Parlour.
It is our intent to open up the doors of Ink&Dagger so you (dear reader) too can experience the phenomenon that is our modest tattoo shop. We’d like to use this space to get to know you, and for you to get to know us.
Tattoo is a collaboration between artist and client, your ideas and body and our experience, art , and execution; this blog would like to reflect that collaboration. Plus, we have lots of cool shit to show you.
Fair warning… things can get a little weird and wild and will definitely get silly. Comments and feedback are encouraged, spam and jerks can write a letter to Santa.
Welcome to the world Ink&Dagger blog!!!!
(Photo illustration of birth scene is a collaboration between mAry d’Aloisio and Russ Abbott)