Posts Tagged ‘Chris Conn’

Chris Conn Design process

Posted: April 23, 2007 by Andreas Engel in Tattoo Artist Bios
Tags: , ,


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.



Pirates of the Caribbean Tattoo Shirts

YellowMan and Disney have joined forces in creating a stunning new Special Edition series of Pirates of the Caribbean Tattoo Shirts. These shirts are created by 9 of the world’s top tattoo artists and are printed on technical fabrics for maximum performance, color and detail clarity, and comfort.

Tattoo artists for this Special Edition series include Horiyoshi III, Filip Leu, Horitomo, Horitaka, Chris Conn, Rinzing, Jason Kundell, Roger Ingerton, and Laura Sadaati.