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Tattoo Apprenticeship : Sketches XIV

And now back to the drawing board… 

The past few weeks have been full of my own ideas and interests, but we’re bringing it back to the epicenter of where it all began… my tattoo apprenticeship at Guru Tattoo with Cooper and his list of assignments designed to prepare me for the best and worst of the tattoo industry.


The images featured in today’s blog post are from one of Cooper’s most time intensive assignments, intended to teach me how to translate a detailed illustration into one that is indicative of a Traditional American tattoo. I absolutely love traditional, and was excited by the idea of exploring the steps needed to filter an image into its purest, most basic form while preserving the core of its meaning.

 Cooper had me start with small detailed drawings, then asked me to strip any extraneous line work that detracted from the symbology of what I was instructed to depict. After about four stages of this process, each of which eliminating more and more unnecessary material, I slowly began to understand the importance of intention behind every line used to create an image. 

The next “Tattoo Apprenticeship : Sketches” blog post will feature the final stage of this process designed to instill the concept of American Traditional tattooing. Here are a few images from the first round of drawing for this assignment. All of these illustrations could roughly fit into a 2 inch by 2 inch square.


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