Archive for November, 2009

From Hieronymus Bosch to Mike Davis, Fantastic Imagery in Art & Tattoos

Posted in Tattoo shops in San Francisco with tags , , , , , on November 20, 2009 by metalinkshop

Happy Friday! Today we’re talking to Mike Davis, tattoo artist, painter, and owner of Everlasting Tattoo in San Francisco. Mike has been tattooing at Everlasting since ’92, and in the 17 years he’s been here, he’s seen a lot of change in the neighborhood and the tattoo scene, so we’re glad for the opportunity to pick his brain!

Btw, Metal Ink’s 20% off sale is going on through 11/30. Get t-shirts for only $13-$15 with code “Shop20” at checkout. Also don’t miss our new styles and designs, like the Toil & Tears Tank Dress!

Everlasting Tattoo
813 Divisadero St
San Francisco, CA 94117
(415) 928-6244

Mike Davis, tattoo artist & painter

MI: Love the artwork you have in here. Can you tell us about the paintings?

Mike: Well, I did them. I paint as well as tattoo. I have gallery shows and it’s sort of like my second job.

MI: Your paintings look very Hieronymus Bosch, maybe a little Dalí, and kind of like those still lifes that Dutch painters used to do…

Mike: I’m very influenced by Dutch and Flemish painters.

MI: You’re incredibly talented! Do you have any upcoming shows?

Mike: I have one, Mondo Bizzarro, in Rome coming up in April. Other than that probably the next show will be in New York.

MI: So what came first, painting or tattooing?

Mike: Well I have always done art since I can remember. I was doing stage sets for film and theater before I was tattooing. I started tattooing out of my house as a hobby but seriously painting has been about ten years.

MI: Do your ideas for your paintings come more from your dreams or influential painters?

Mike: The ideas are sort of based on life experiences and interpreted in my own way through symbolism and imagery.

MI: Do people seek you out for your work as a painter and request these symbols as tattoos?

Mike: Sometimes but usually not. Once in a while people will have me put some of that type of element into their tattoos but it doesn’t happen often.

MI: How would you describe your style as a tattoo artist?

Mike: I’ll do whatever people want. To me it’s commercial art. I mean, that’s my job. If you’re talking about artistic integrity, that’s what my paintings are for.

MI: You said you started tattooing out of your house. Assuming that means you didn’t do an apprenticeship, did you also not go to art school? Are you also a self-taught painter?

Mike: That’s right.

MI: That’s so amazing, your innate talent expressing itself. Let’s talk about how tattooing has changed in the 17 years you’ve been here.

Mike: I don’t think it’s changed really. The area has changed, from being a ghetto to what it is today, gentrified NOPA. In terms of the clients, I tattoo more people, but I think the type of people who get tattooed and what things they get tattooed on them hasn’t changed. It’s generally the best place for tattooing in the country.

MI: How is it different from, for example, New York or LA?

Mike: We get to do more fun stuff here. You get to be more creative with the type of imagery that we do here. On the East coast, people tend to be more conservative with imagery, a lot of religious stuff and not too much crazy stuff.

Jesus as a Cajun chef

MI: Right, you do see more of that here. A few weeks ago, we spoke to a tattooer on Haight named Barnaby who had just done a Grateful Dead bear carrying a Wu-Tang flag on a skater kid. But what about someone like Paul Booth in New York? His stuff is pretty crazy.

Mike: I’ve known him for almost 17 years. His work isn’t crazy, it’s dark.

MI: So is his artwork—he has paintings in his shop too! Is that how you got to know him? Through the art scene?

Mike: I know him through tattooing.

MI: Who else paints and tattoos?

Mike: There’s Henry Lewis at Skull and Sword. He’s a good friend of mine. Everybody does a little bit of something. But as far as being in a gallery where it’s totally disconnected from tattooing, not very many.

MI: Who are your buyers, typically?

Mike: Well they’re people a lot of times from a different city or country. They just look at it online. They are art collectors.

MI: What do you see yourself doing in 10 years? Tattooing or painting full-time?

Mike: I don’t know.

MI: Well, whatever you decide, I’m sure you’ll continue to gain lots of fans. Great stuff. Thanks so much, and I hope you participate in our design contest! Our members would love to wear a design made by you!

Stay Gold with Sagent Staygold

Posted in Designer Interviews with tags , , , , on November 19, 2009 by metalinkshop

Today we spoke with Sagent Staygold, newest member to submit tattoo art to our design contest. To see and vote on Sagent’s two beautiful designs, log in and go to the Rate Designs page. While you’re there, be sure to check out all the other designs up for voting. Remember, you choose what we print, so flex your power!

Backdoor Tattoo
1316 Del Paso Blvd
Sacramento, CA 95815-3610
(916) 927-2136

Sagent Staygold

MI: Tell us where you got your name, Staygold.

Sagent: It means, you know, stay gold—don’t forget your dreams. When you see the sun rise and you get that feeling of being new even though you’ve seen it before…it should always feel new. It’s from the movie The Outsiders. Some people get “stay gold” tattooed on their knuckles.

MI: Do you feel like you’re an outsider too?

Sagent: Sure. I’m from Hamburg, Germany, and I’ve moved around a lot, Philadelphia, some other cities. Every time I go to Hamburg, I’m an outsider. I was always the outsider. I’ve had to start new wherever I went so…

MI: So you wore it proudly, being an outsider? And it was like a message to yourself, to stay gold, whenever you had to start over again in a new city?

Sagent: Pretty much, yeah.

MI: Where did you start tattooing?

Sagent: I’ve been tattooing since 1997. I started in Ohio, then I moved to Philadelphia in ’99, then I moved to Cincinnati and I stayed there for a couple years. In 2003, I moved to Germany which lasted for a couple months. I’m so Americanized that I couldn’t stay there any longer.

MI: In Hamburg?

Sagent: Yeah. I couldn’t stay in my own hometown because every one called me the American tattooer.
A lot of people were like, what are you doing here when you have a green card? So I moved back. America is a lot easier than Germany. Too bureaucratic.

MI: You have an interesting career arc. When did you move to California?

Sagent: 2005. I moved to LA.

MI: What was tattooing in Germany like? And how would you compare it to tattooing in California?

Sagent: My stuff is more traditional than anything else, and in Germany, they were a little bit behind the times. They wanted more tribal. And the feedback I got from a lot of shop owners was that no one wants that old stuff anymore. And then I move back and a year later and I ‘m looking at tattoo magazines and everyone wants traditional now. I was before my time.

MI: Is Sailor Jerry one of your influences?

Sagent: I guess he’s known as the godfather of traditional. But there’s also Christian Warhlich, Joe Lieber, Harverd Hoffman…I’m actually going more back to the ‘20s and ‘30s when they were tattooing. Sailor Jerry based his work on their stuff.

MI: Traditional is pretty widespread these days. What’s your signature?

Sagent: My roses. When you see a piece and there’s a rose, you know it’s mine because of the roses I draw.

Sagent's signature rose

MI: What’s special about your roses?

Sagent: I started drawing them and I came up with a pattern. I draw them inside out. I do a bee shape and I go from there. And then I add more stuff or I leave stuff out. Fold the leaves over with the yellow. It’s a traditional looking rose but it’s not a Sailor Jerry rose.

MI: Sailor Jerry roses are simpler.

Sagent: Right, if it was green, it would look like a lettuce head. My rose is pretty stylized.

MI: Both pretty and stylized! And the 2 designs you submitted to the design contest both feature your signature roses. Best of luck and thanks for your time.

Viva Vida by Sagent

I Squee, You Squee, We All Squee for Metal Ink!

Posted in Maiden of the Month with tags , , on November 11, 2009 by metalinkshop

Squee what I mean? Okay enough bad puns. Today we welcome November Maiden Squee! You can see her photos on the Rate Maidens page, so go and vote for her today!


Squee for Metal Ink

My name is Squee and as you’ve probably seen already, I am currently in the November Maiden competition! Here’s a few other pics for the photoshoot I did in the Metal Ink gear.

Squee for Metal Ink

Squee for Metal Ink

So what else do I do? I’ve been a SuicideGirl and a model for a couple of years now, while also searching for my dream job in animal care. My plan is to win the lottery and set up my own conservation and education zoo…although I guess I can’t rely on that! I live in the south of England…no, I do not know the Queen, but yes, I do drink tea by the gallon!

In the last week I have also become one of those people who is getting far too excited about Christmas far too early. I can’t wait! The London lights are all going up, I get to buy the people I love pressies, I get to see some awesome people I don’t get too see all year round and there are many good times to be had (and the occasional Jack Daniels or Jagermeister, yum!). I am just waiting for the Christmas coca cola ads to be on the tv and it’ll really feel like Christmas…just break out the turkey, sit down and watch a Muppets Christmas Carol…yeah, like I said, far too excited, far too early!

Anyway, enough of my ramblings, go vote for your favourite November Maiden Squee!

Squee for Metal Ink

Metal Ink written up on

Posted in Metal Ink in the news with tags , on November 10, 2009 by metalinkshop

A big thank you to for writing about Metal Ink! Check out the article here:


More on TattooSnob: aims to be a centralized blog for both tattoo artists and collectors, allowing them to appreciate exceptional tattoo work and related subjects.

The idea for Tattoo Snob surfaced after we noticed an absence of blogs that focused solely on quality tattoo’s and tattoo-related material. We aim to make this blog a centralized location for collectors and artist to unite, share pictures, opinions, and help the art progress further. As two collectors, we’re not here with any ulterior motive other than to spotlight quality work, and attempt to pay homage to something we truly love.

What Did the Butler See?…November Maiden Natascha!

Posted in Maiden of the Month with tags , , , on November 3, 2009 by metalinkshop

The November Maiden of the Month contest is in full swing! Rate the gorgeous inked hotties on today & enjoy the entry from guest blogger Natascha!


My name is Natascha and I decided to enter the Metal Ink competition as I love the fierceness and the styles of the Metal Ink Maiden contestants before myself.

Natascha 1

I got involved with Alternative Modeling just over a year ago with GodsGirls, a site that I love and promote as much as possible. Through it I have met the most gorgeous tattooed girls from all over the world–life really doesn’t get much better than that! I have just come back from the Evian Tattoo Festival to promote GodsGirls and perform for them.

Natascha 2

My main hobby is burlesque as I love being on stage and showing off my womanly body. I believe in curves and not the size 0 look! Burlesque also allows me to tease and show off while keeping an air of mystery about what’s underneath the clothes (although it’s mainly ink and piercings)! I perform with a company called “What the Butler Saw.” We are Cardiff based but also travel around the UK for shows and festivals. I also perform with the Manchester troupe, “The Glitter Kittens,” which is a rock burlesque group fronted by my good friend Miss Zelda Saint Wilde.

GG events

When I’m chilling out, I love being around my animals. I have two rats, a cat, a Siberian Husky (who I have been to Crufts with), and a cross cob horse called Charlie. I am a huge animal lover and just love being around my pets and going up the family farm for a ride on Charlie, although I only horse ride for fun. Because of my love of animals, I became a vegetarian 7 months ago to protest against animal suffering.

I have enclosed links and photos of my pets.





Designs inspired by BAMBU!, compiled in one spot for your viewing pleasure!

Posted in Design Challenges with tags , , , on November 2, 2009 by metalinkshop

Thanks for all awesome submissions for our 1st ever Special Design Challenge, Design for BAMBU! We compiled all the entries here to make it easy for you to view & rate them! Enjoy!

You choose which design(s) will get printed, so log on to and rate today! Note: Voting for Bambu Design Challenge ends on Dec 31.

Bambu Faux Chic
“Bambu Faux Chic” by Quakerninja

“Bambu” by Jun087

Bambu Twist
“Bambu Twist” by Flash13

Qetza bambu
“Bambu” by Qetza

legend of holy pink
“Legend of Holy Pink” by Raven

“Bambu Eyes” by RydellSG

Bambu by Lyra
“Bambu” by Lyra

Ink Cap
“Bambu Ink Cap” by Laylangel

“BAMBU” by Mrdavidpoe