Tattoos Teach You


(Re-blogged from )

“There’s plenty of stuff I don’t share on certain social media because I know some of my friends and family would find it unsavory. But with regard to tattoos, I’ve found a lot of friendship in that community and have received some unexpected lessons — nothing like being tattooed in front of hundreds of people to get over body image issues. Nothing like finding an imperfection in a piece to understand taking the bad with the good and moving on. Nothing like receiving a piece that’s better than you could’ve ever envisioned yourself, and understanding it’s because you let go of control and fear, and trusted someone. Nothing like seeing people with older pieces all faded and blobby to understand how an initial attraction to beauty can morph into a deeper appreciation and connection over time.

“There’s nothing like “permanence” to help you understand and accept the fact of the matter: impermanence. Mortality. Don’t be scared, have fun while you can. No doubt we all learn those lessons in different ways, from multiple sources, if we learn them at all. Please respect the paths others take to get there.

“I’m not going to any local scratch shop, I take the art seriously. I’m not getting my hands or face tattooed before I’m retired or independently wealthy. I cover up when I’m at work conducting therapy, because I want those I’m trying to help listening to what I’m saying rather than being distracted by my tattoos. People have been getting tattooed for THOUSANDS of years, all over the world. If you have a problem with it or know someone who does, now would be a great opportunity to think about it in a different light and unburden yourself/them of that problem. Thanks to Russ and the other incredible artists who’ve tattooed me, and taught me without knowing it.”


(owner of the ornamental snake tattoo by Russ Abbott via

If you’re interested in learning about Russ Abbott’s take on ornamental design you can order his book Ornamental Archive, a spiral bound reference book for tattooers, designers, and craftspeople with 50+ full color pages of original illustrations, and inspirational tattoos authored by one of the most innovative minds in tattooing.  Ornamental Archive is a hard bound foil stamped book, with a hidden spiral binding. This way the book will lay flat to make tracing easy and comfortable. Order yours today, and leave a review on Amazon!  

Steadfast Ornamental

Russ Abbott on Hypercast with Guy Aitchison and Michele Wortman


Ink&Dagger‘s Russ Abbott was thrilled to be a  guest on Michele Wortman and  Guy Aitchison’s Hypercast hosted on  In an exclusive, double length interview (two hours!) the team covered a broad range of topics from illustrative techniques, contrast and color use,  to connections with clients and how to be authentic within your art.

“When I started my apprenticeship in the late 90’s, Guy Aitchison’s work was some of the first to capture my imagination. He was and continues to be a huge inspiration to myself and countless other tattooers.” Abbott said about the opportunity.

The mutual respect  and real talk made the Hypercast a pretty cool moment in time. The tone of the interview was intimate and reverential, the  conversation between the seasoned and passionate tattoo artists with different artistic objectives covered a broad range of subjects in a detailed manner. Ink&Dagger tattooer Kelly Doty and Best Ink champion Teresa Sharpe sat in on the last half of the interview and the group critiqued audience submitted tattoos as well as each other’s work.

“All in all,” said Abbott. “It was a great experience, and I’m really excited about the discussion and the ideas that we got to share!”

 Hypercast streams live every other Sunday at 11pm at TattooNowTv and invites some of the brightest minds and hands in tattooing to discuss and share in an extraordinary air of open conversation. It is preceded by TattooNow interviews, and is followed with TattooNow‘s “Tattoo of the Day” and news. If you missed the live Hypercast streaming, no worries, here it is on Guy & Michele’s YouTube channel TattooTelevision.