Posts Tagged ‘biography’

Roger Ingerton – Part Two

Posted: May 8, 2007 by Andreas Engel in Tattoo Artist Bios
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By Margaret Ingerton

In 1977 Roger moved to his present, much larger premises at 198 Cuba St. He intended to call the new shop ‘Roger’s Tattooart’, but on the new business card, the printer dropped one of the t’s in ‘Tattoo’. Roger liked the printer’s version, so he kept it. Hence – ‘Roger’s Tatooart’. I work with him. My job is dealing with the people who phone or come in with queries, and I organise his appointments. In short, I run the business, and he does the art.More...
In the late seventies Roger pioneered the development of Maori style tattooing (apart from the Moko). Much of the work he did in this style was his own freehand adaptation of traditional patterns. He says he has learnt a lot from Maori artists who have supplied him with patterns to be tattooed for themselves and their friends and families. He loves this style of tattooing, and has a real feel for the flow of Pacific Island patterns. It was probably this type of work, along with a pe’a he did in 1982 that first won him accolades, especially from overseas. In America particularly, his work was acclaimed. Ed Hardy published many photos of Roger’s work in the ‘TattooTime’, and National Tattoo Association published a steady stream of his work…

In 1980 when Roger and I went to our first international Tattoo Convention in Sacramento, he realised that photography was the only practical way to present a good tattoo art piece. He began to take more photos of his work.
He designs many of the tattoos himself. Sometimes people bring him exact pictures of what they want, but more often they have an idea, or a ‘sort of a picture’ and he takes it from there. He is intuitive, and has a talent for interpreting people’s ideas, even when they are not very articulate. He takes their idea, makes a few quick lines on a bit of paper, and says ‘Like this?’ Most often it is ‘like that’, and the person’s face lights up.
The whole concept of tattooing has changed and evolved in the years Roger has been in Cuba Street, and he has been at the forefront of that change. Although a lot of clients still get just one or two small tattoos, many keep coming back. Among Roger’s strengths is the ability to plan ahead, to make everything he does look complete, but at the same time making provision to add to it if the client decides to do so.
The small tattoos have changed too. Gone are the days of standard flash. Nowadays people are asking for smaller and finer designs, with ever more intricate detail. Roger has honed his system to deal with these just as well as the large, bold tattoos. He often says that the most important tattoo is the one he is doing now. The shop gets extremely busy, at times there are up to seven or eight people clamouring to speak to him, while he may be grappling with a very demanding piece of work. When that happens I have to do the best I can to help, trying to interrupt him as little as possible. People come from all over New Zealand and from overseas to get work from Roger.
The shop is set out the way he likes it – as a gallery with some old style flash, a range of photographs of his work, and lots of his own paintings and drawings in different mediums. The latter include works done in mixed media, water paints, oils, and pen and pencil drawings, some of which have been exhibited in various Wellington galleries. All of the above combine to give the shop an ‘olde worlde’ look, as well as a hint of the tremendous creative energy that has gone into the making of it People often comment on the good atmosphere. Although he has changed and updated some of the displays over the years, the shop still has essentially the same feel as it did when he opened in 1977. Until 1990, Roger ran the place by himself, with help from me. Since that year, we have sometimes had other artists working with us.
One of our aims is to make anyone who comes into the shop feel comfortable. We want people like the mature executive who recently got a rose tattooed on her shoulder to be as much at ease as any young man about town. Children come in and watch while Mum or Dad gets a tattoo, and shy young women sense that they are in a safe place. The shop is open – people can see what is going on, although of course we provide privacy when the client requires it. Parents who may not even want their offspring to get tattoos will sometimes bring teenagers to us. Their reasoning is that if the kids are determined to be tattooed, they’d better steer them to the right place.
Fashions in tattoos change. Peacocks, anchors, armbands in various styles and mixtures of styles – people still ask for these. Maori, Celtic, black tribal and abstract designs are always in demand, but there are ever increasing numbers of new, modern ideas presented from tiny symbols to full body pieces. Samoan and other Pacific Island patterns are also very popular. As with the earlier Maori work, Roger has increased his knowledge by working with ethnic artists who furnish him with artwork for their own and their friends’ tattoos. One way or another, nearly all the work Roger does now is custom work. He likes a challenge, which is just as well because he is presented with many every day.

There is a story for every tattoo and this is part of the story of a tattooed man who became a tattooer of others.




Roger’s TatooArt
198 Cuba Street,
New Zealand.
Operating uninterrupted at this location since 1977

(04) 3845242
A call from the US in the evening will connect you to New Zealand mid day on the following day


PO Box 6407
Marion Square,
New Zealand.


Laura Sadaati

Beginning life in the small northern California college town of Chico offered no reference for tattooing. Laura Sadaati’s earliest artistic inspiration was living in a home filled with art and artifacts from Iran. Her creative urge was unstoppable. She was always drawing and painting, inspired by the patterns, ornate designs and images of beautiful women.More... Her artwork has always been filled with emotional power, skill and imagination. As an artist, Laura is most comfortable painting large-scale figurative expressionist oils. Her creative impulses stem from moody social realism, which rarely depicts the happier side of life. A brief family pilgrimage back to Iran added fuel to the fire. The music scene, specifically Punk Rock, was her firsthand contact with tattooing. Her first tattoo was an eye on her ankle from Lyle Tuttle’s in San Francisco at eighteen.

When she saw a sleeve of an Asian inspired snake by tattooist Bill Salmon, it was the deciding factor in her thinking of tattooing as an artistic rendering on skin. The quest for knowledge followed and, in 1991, she graduated college with a BA in Fine Art. At the time her older sister was graduating from medical school, but Laura’s thoughts of Grad school and more highbrow art was put on the back burner in exchange for the lowbrow style. Luckily, her father has always been accepting and supportive of her career choices. Loosing no time, she moved to the Mecca of body art, San Francisco, with a few artist friends in tow. She had developed a great work ethic from time spent in the fast food grind, a variety of retail sales jobs, an art gallery and even as a sculptor’s assistant and was primed and ready for the real world.


Laura was managing a clothing store on Haight Street, just a stone’s throw away from where tattooists Aaron Cain and Marcus Pacheco had teamed up to open Primal Urge. Through an old flame of Aaron’s, Laura was invited to hang her artwork in their new shop. The shop was cranking out cool creative tattoos non-stop. Fast forward to Laura and Marcus getting married. She later helped to relocate the shop to Geary Street in 1992. Soaking it all in for a few years, she learned the nuts and bolts of the business before beginning to tattoo under Marcus’ tutelage. The first tattoo she gave was under the watchful eyes of the whole shop. She came through with flying colors; inking a small traditional Sailor Jerry rose. Learning how to translate her personal artistic style of painting with loose brush strokes and texture into a traditional tattoo style was a tough lesson. However, Laura has successfully managed to create a seamless artistic meld.

Her marriage ended around 1995, but they managed to maintain a great friendship and remained partners for many years after. In February of 2000, she was on the move again, this time to Jacksonville, Florida, to work at Inksmith and Rogers. She was a big fan of Mike Wilson’s work and excited by the opportunity to work in a traditionally based tattoo shop. A little over three years later, Laura and her beau tattooist Mike Kepper relocated to Nashville and opened Music City Tattoo, in a move to be closer to her family.

People today are more open to tattooing, with mainstream acceptance in progressive cities like San Francisco, where you still find more tattooed people and more women with tattoos. For some though, the staunch old school ethic that women shouldn’t be in tattoo shops is still thought of, but spoken less. There are those isolated incidents when she was assumed to be the receptionist in the shop or the piercer and it was a big compliment to say her tattooing was ‘pretty good for a girl’. Those moments are few and far between today. There is a great lesson learned from all this and Laura feels that it is one of acceptance. Both of herself for who she is and other people for who they are.

Laura Sadaati POC tattoo shirt

Primarily, she regards fellow tattooists Scot Silvia and, of course, Marcus Pacheco with the utmost respect and awe. She admires Scott for the combination of his technical excellence, work ethic and great personality and Marcus for fearlessly pushing the envelope and his unique approach to tattooing. Yet, there is a never-ending line of young upstarts who want to tattoo. Her advice is to be humble and explore the history of the craft and those tattooists past and present who will provide inspiration. And to simply sit down, shut up and get tattooed.

Speaking of being inked, a simple matter of logistics has hampered completion of her next tattoo. It is a work in progress of a Japanese backpiece by Florida tattooist Mike Wilson. Also, high on her to do list, are roses on the back of her legs. Laura’s crystal ball ideal tattoo to do is that of a large-scale full bodywork on a woman with little or no other tattoos. She enjoys looking at these tattoos as an integral part of the feminine form. The YellowMan second-skin creations she has done provide a pleasing alternative, meeting the challenge head on to create large-scale body suit renderings.

A major decision used to be what music should we listen to while tattooing and now, Laura has satellite TV’s in the workstations to visually distract the customers. Over time, Laura has collected volumes of sketches and renderings of completed tattoos and ideas waiting for just the right customer. There is always room to be made along side her shop worn copy of the Japanese book Flash in Skin and a slew of other reference material on topics from lettering and type design to nature. Her insatiable appetite for books on Leonardo DaVinci take up a good chunk of shelf space as well.

To unwind and recharge at the end of a long day, she has taken to running but the ultimate R&R is snuggling with Gromet her boxer, Pit bull mix and Spike the spunky chuauah to watch a classic horror film. If the house were on fire those pups would be in her arms and out the door above all else. There are not enough hours in a day for Laura and Mike. Burning the candle at both ends is nothing out of the ordinary. You would think that working at the shop 6 days a week and pumping out designs for YellowMan wouldn’t leave much time for anything else… well think again. Providing art for the human canvas is just half the story. Creating works of art for her toughest critic, herself, is the rest. Their current project is to put a painting studio above the shop and she just can’t wait to paint.

Laura Sadaati
Contact info


1022 16th Ave South

Nashville, Tennessee

Phone: 615.742.8822

Laura Sadaati Samples


Chris Conn Design process

Posted: April 23, 2007 by Andreas Engel in Tattoo Artist Bios
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Chris was thoroughly impressed when he and Peter Mui Met with the folks at Disney to talk about creating Special Edition tattoo shirts for Pirates of the Caribbean III, At World’s End. Getting a peek at the promo package and stills from their killer art department was proof positive of their incredible attention to detail. Doing his homework has always been Chris’s method to create a tattoo that conveys more than a superficial image.More... In the film a map plays a pivotal role (he had to sign in blood not to reveal more) the map is only seen for mere seconds and at odd angles yet Disney spent an immense amounts of time with a whole crew to create it. Chris looked for catch phrases that work well when lettered in flowing banners. He chose “ The Code is the Law” from the Keith Richards character, which becomes a buzzword in the film. Self-assured as a result of having done tons of small pirate tattoos and executed three major back pieces with the pirate theme he captured the authentic look and feel for his Pirates of the Caribbean garment.

Chris had a few of the requisite hand poked early teen punk tattoos. By the time he was 17 he decided it was ready for a REAL TATTOO. His inspiration came from a mid 80’s black and white Jim Jarmush film “Down by Law”. Zack was a DJ played by Tom Waits along with a pimp and their cellmate Bob doin’ time for manslaughter. They all escape and were on the run in the Louisiana swamp. Zack had tattoos on his arms reminiscent of Coleman style faces of pinup girls. They were the coolest things ever and Chris was set on getting a pin-up girl tattoo. At the time he and his buddies were hanging out at Old Man bars and the trendy tribal stuff his fiends were getting just wasn’t his cup of tea. He had no idea what to call it other than he wanted the stuff an old guy would have. So he went down to the waterfront in San Diego and after checking out a few places where sailors were getting inked he happened on Tiger Jimmy’s. Jimmy and his nephew ran the shop. It was really tiny hole in the wall in the back room of an arcade. They were both Chinese, which seemed more exotic and appealing than the bikers that ran the other shops. Everything from floor to ceiling was coated in a smoky brown cast. He immediately spotted a provocative Geisha ala, sailor Jerry, Pinky Yum but as rendered by Tiger Jimmy. Excitedly he told Jimmy that’s it I want it right here, pointing to the center of his chest. And how much is that? $350 bucks was not what he expected to hear especially since he was working at a café for $2.80 an hour. Next came the cliché response “That’s more than I can afford… What can I get for $30 bucks? He tried to convince him to do just the head and he would come back and get the rest later. Instead Jimmy got his first real tattoo, a kanji for LUCKY on his bicep. He never got the Geisha but returned soon after for an Asian dragon tattoo. Chris found out that Jimmy’s had once been owned by Doc Webb. Zeke Owen ran it for a while and it was the first places where Mike Malone and Ed Hardy had tattooed.

Chris Conn’s tattoo epiphany came at a house party where he saw a copy of Tattootime. He spent the whole night with his head buried in the Music & Sea issue. Of special interest was the piece on Bob Roberts and Punk tattoos. It was then and there that he decided to become a tattooist. A few years passed before the opportunity to apprentice. His baptism of fire was Pearl Harbor day Dec 7 1990 doing his first tattoo on a Swiss skater kid that he chewed to bits with a Leo Zueletta tribal lizard. In the five years working with Ed Hardy he had learned more than his entire career put together.

Chris shifted gears in 2006 from tattooing to a refreshing new experience creating art off the human canvas. Giving new strength and energy to side projects of making music on his computer with his son Cash and originating and reinventing images in limited impressions. As an illustrator, print maker and graphic artist Chris Conn is now providing us with his latest transformation from flat images to the human form on second skin garments from YellowMan.


Japan’s undisputed Irezumi master.

Born Yoshito Nakano in 1946, Horiyoshi III is the undisputed master of the 200-year-old tradition of Irezumi, or hand-applied Japanese tattoo. Specializing in full-body tattoos that often take years to complete, Horiyoshi III carefully chooses his clients, making him one of the most coveted, expensive, and exclusive tattooists in the world. To receive a tattoo by the Irezumi master is considered a great honor.

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