A Sunday Afternoon Jaunt through Lower East Side

List in hand and going on 2 hours of sleep, the courageous blogger sallies forth to LES. Visit the Metal Ink website at metalinkshop.com.

Daredevil Tattoo
174 Ludlow St
NYC, NY 10002
(212) 533-8303

Brad & Amanda at Daredevil Tattoo

Brad & Amanda at Daredevil Tattoo

Brad Stevens
Tattoo Artist
Brad’s tattoos

MI:  How did you get started tattooing?

Brad:  I just drew a lot, painted a lot. I just wanted to go in that direction until someone taught me how to tattoo.

MI:  What do you draw?

Brad:  Traditional Americana tattoo designs. But maybe more fancy—I  don’t know how to put it. Maybe more cleaned up, but it’s basic, classic. You know, the really traditional sailors, Sailor Jerry, birds, skulls.

MI:  What was your first tattoo?

Brad:  It was on the guy who was teaching me how to tattoo. It was a razor or something like that.

MI:  And what was the first tattoo that you did on someone else?

Brad:  My first was a heart and rose, pretty standard.

MI:  Who are your inspirations?

Brad:  A lot of my inspirations are the older tattooers who don’t tattoo anymore or are dead. Bert Grimm, Owen Jensen. Long dead, from the 30s. It’s kinda cliché now, but I like Ed Hardy’s tattoos.

MI:  What’s special about this shop?

Brad:  There’s a lot of people with specializations. Like Amanda who does a lot of painterly stuff. And I do a lot of classical stuff.

MI:  What’s your proudest work, or your favorite work?

Brad:  I wouldn’t say there’s a proudest because I try to do my best on every tattoo. So ideally, my favorite tattoo would be the first one I did.

MI:  What do you think about tattooing becoming more mainstream?

Brad:  I don’t know…I don’t like it. I wish it still had a dangerous element. People come in with a chip on the shoulder and they’re like, “I’ve seen Miami Ink. I know how it’s done.” How tough can someone be if they can buy it at a mall? I see soccer moms are coming in with their Ed Hardy t-shirts.

MI:  So speaking of malls, what do you think of the chain tattoo store idea? Tattoo nation.
Brad:  Actually there was a guy who came in here doing a story. Even he was like, “How cool can a tattoo shop be if it’s in the shadow of a Lady Footlocker?”

MI:  So it’s just a trend that will pass?

Brad:  I think it’ll die down and I think the tattoo industry will take a hit too because it’s becoming so mainstream. There’s so many people starting to tattoo now and the mediocre ones won’t have anything to do when it dies down. I think tattoos will be like Hammer pants.

MI:  Ouch.

Brad:  It’s just a surge. Like in the 90s it was popular. 10 year cycle.

MI:  But you have to admit, it’s bigger now than it was then, and hammer pants have yet to make a comeback. What about how soccer moms are the fastest growing demographic to get tattoos? Why do you think soccer moms are getting tattooed?

Brad:  Because they think it’s cute. It might be a midlife thing—they always wanted a tattoo and now they can because it’s acceptable. It’s more acceptable, it’s more accessible, it doesn’t have that seedy element and their friends are going to approve of it. I don’t think that demographic is being more risky. It’s the same as it always has been. It’s just more acceptable now.


Amanda's unique painterly designs

Amanda's unique painterly designs

Amanda Wachob
Tattoo Artist/Painter
Amanda’s tattoos

MI:  You have an interesting name. Where is it from?

Amanda:  Scotland. Usually if I meet a Wachob, I’m relatd to them somehow.

MI:  Your tattoos on your arm are so flirty and feminine. Your tattoos are really unique!

Amanda:  They’re from sheet music from around 1910. There’s a lot of nameless art floating around out there; the artists didn’t get credit.

MI:  Where do you find it?

Amanda:  You’ve seen old sheet music with art on the front covers? I usually go to flea markets or estate sales—you kind of have to hunt around a little.

MI:  It reminds me of Aubrey Beardsly.

Amanda:  Yeah definitely. I’ve done some Aubrey Beardsly and people often bring in his stuff as a reference.

MI:  So they don’t just point and ask to replicate? They ask you to take that as your source of inspiration?

Amanda:  Right. They like the line quality the detailed illustrative style. I’m also a painter, and I’m always looking for a way to combine the two mediums. I used to feel like I had to admit to one thing but not to the other, but I love both things equally, so I wanted to figure out a way to make them overlap.

MI:  Name a current trend in tattooing.

Amanda:  Cherry blossoms.

MI:  That’s very Japanese. How do you feel about it?

Amanda:  You know it’s fun the first couple of times, but when person after person comes in wanting cherry blossoms in the same watercolor style, it becomes kind of monotonous and not very unique.

MI:  Where do they usually get it done?

Amanda:  Arm and shoulder area.

MI:  Branches haha. What’s the most out there part of the body you’ve tattooed?

Amanda:  It’s always interesting being asked to tattoo genitalia.

MI:  Is it usually men or women who ask for this?

Amanda:  Well, I haven’t done a lot, but it’s equal.

MI:  I would imagine it’s more painful for a man.

Amanda:  I couldn’t even guess, honestly.

MI:  So there’s a lot of different parts, you know, machinery, on a man…where do they want to get tattooed? Shaft, scrotum?

Amanda:  The whole junk, everything.

MI:  What are the designs that they want?

Amanda:  Well, it varies. I sort of curse those tattoo books floating around because it just gives people ideas.

MI:  Give an example of what you’ve done.

Amanda:  A cupcake, on a woman.

MI:  Aww, that’s so sweet. Did it have a cherry on top?

Amanda:  Yeah.

One Response to “A Sunday Afternoon Jaunt through Lower East Side”

  1. Oi Amanda eu não consigo entrar em contato com voçê, você poderia trocar algumas palavras comigo sobre tattoo? o meu email é billy_tattoo@hotmail.com Tnk!!!

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