Ryan Uses a Computer

Matt teaches Ryan Computer Ryan and I want to make a YouTube channel.  We both do cool stuff and have fun lives.  A good friendship is rare and we have been each others yin and yang for a decade or more. We help each other quite a bit.  I think the trick to have a…

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Saturday Morning Cartoons

Cartoons Inspire Creativity I was born in 1975. The 1980’s world of Saturday Morning Cartoons was a small window of time from 7:30 am until noon. I cannot express enough what an escape those few hours were for me. The fantasy worlds of Smurfs and Dungeon and Dragons and He-Man were a stark contrast to…

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Codye.

I did Codye’s first tattoo less than a year ago. As I remember he was quite the handful. He was rather nervous and really persistent at communicating the importance of the getting his first tattoo perfect. I don’t mind. I was told a while back that the energy like this just means the client is…

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Back Piece Finished!

Congrats to August So much goes into getting your back tattooed. You need to figure out what the idea is, how to design it, how to pay for it, how to commit time to it and how to keep up the energy when your still not finished. Finishing a large tattoo is very hard.  I…

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Get Weird

A Good Kinda Crazy Team Mullet Louie’s leg is ripe with humor. I guess you could describe him as silly but he looks a serious as a heart attack. Currently he’s shaved bald and looks scary as hell but if he showed you his hidden tattoos it would throw you off. We already did the…

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I wrestled my Xterra

My yellow banana This is my forever project. I want a rig that can get me to the farthest parts and still get me home. I know “overlanding” is all the rage and yes I like everything about camping and back country traveling too. Overlanding seems to focus more on gear and sexy rigs. I…

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Competition.

Healthy Competition “When you are in competition with others, you get bitter. When you are in competition with yourself you get better.” Self Growth Competition is healthy. Like most traits, using competition in the wrong way can be self destructive. Using other’s successes as your barometer isn’t reliable. Sometimes I can get jealous of other…

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I drew the Circle Jerks poster!

I Drew the Circle Jerks Poster!!! I drew the flyer for the upcoming Circle Jerks show in St. Louis. I am beyond stoked!! The Red Flag The Red Flag is THE venue for shows. I mean it is just perfect. It is big enough to get a bunch of concert goers comfortably in the venue…

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Cheap Airbrush Booth

DIY Airbrush Booth I am too cheap to spend $150-200 on an airbrush booth. I do not airbrush enough to justify it. I found a Wagner Spray Shelter at Home Depot for $29. I added a box fan for $25 and a standard filter for another $10. That is $65 dollars compared to the $200…

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Progress on Amanda

Amanda’s Mermaid session #4 This is the 4th session on Amanda’s Mermaid today. I’m getting all the large sections worked out and slowly getting into the details. I am not too concerned with the cover up. We are still layering up. I like utilizing the bend of the arm in my designs. Here the waist…

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Becoming Tattooed

Becoming Heavily Tattooed. Swapping stories about getting your first tattoo is fun.  It’s a lot like bagging about fishing tales or near death experiences.  Your nerves overestimate the environment and the adjectives don’t quite capture the maximum effect your trying to articulate.  The only way someone else can understand is if they have been through…

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The 50% Cut.

The common business model for tattooing is the Street Shop.  It was originally an Apprentice based program for all new hires.  The single new hire relied on the mentorship of the owner to be trained from the ground up. In return, the novice artist paid him back with a 50 percent stake of all labor…

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Tattooing as a Ritual

Humans have had rituals for years.  Rituals mark the end or a beginning. It is a time to put your mind and body at one and to be consciously in the moment.  Examples would be graduating from college, getting married or how we prepare our morning coffee.  The Masons are famous for there secretive rituals. …

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I hate Instagram

Smokey Mountains

Matt Hodel hiking Gregory’s Bald In April of 2018 I awoke on a Gregory’s Bald in the Smokey Mountains.  The altitude gave me a headache and the morning air made me sick.  I didn’t take time to make a cup of instant coffee before morning light.  As I walked in through the scatted trees, every…

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5 Traits that Hold You Back

The traditions of tattooing have been deeply rooted in the echoes of time. If you meet anyone who has been tattooing for more than 15 years, they will tell you how things used to be. Truly, tattooing has changed and evolved from the sponge and bucket days. With many progressive features being most noticeable on…

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Most People Won’t

Putting the extra into your hard work is what makes you rise to the top. Nothing will be given to you. What is amazing is how many people will come to help you once you have started to help yourself. I have found that staying in motion is the key to advancing my career. This…

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Tattooing has Changed, Have You?

In 1995 there were 14 tattoo shops from O’fallon, Illinois to O’fallon, Missouri. In 1998 there were 40. With each shop averaging 3 artists working in house, that would equal 78 new jobs for tattoo artists in three years. That is almost a 300% increase in the industry. As impressive as those numbers are, where…

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Advice for the New Tattooist.

Tips for the Freshman Tattooist. Its has been said that you haven’t been tattooing until your fifth year is complete. This is when you get to see your old tattoos healed. It takes that long for your tattoos to settle. Until then, your first 5 years are very important. Here is some advice. Take it…

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Emotionally Driven Tattoos

Emotionally driven tattoos When a loved one passes away, the feelings of helplessness washes over us. The desire to “do something” gnaws at our heartstrings. Tattooing has always been the ultimate act. The one thing you can do that truly lasts a lifetime. Just getting a tattoo is a statement within itself so it is…

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Worked to Death.

Measuring success. What is your barometer for success? What are your benchmarks to get there? Have you been making progress? As self employed practitioners of the tattoo arts, we enjoy a rebellious reaction to those outside our craft. We boast of travel and freedom while we enjoy a walk of life that few will understand.…

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Want More Money? Then Stop Worrying about the Money

Your reward is a byproduct. The fastest route is a straight line: unless you’re so focused on the destination that you fall off the path. This happens when you are trying so dang hard to succeed. Sometimes we get so obsessed that we micro manage the entire journey. Have you ever counted calories or tracked…

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Become the PRODUCT!

“I just love my tattoo! It was fast and efficient!” -nobody ever Why. Why do I want to rally the troops? Why do I want to reach out to artists? Because times have changed. The product is no longer the institutional names of big shops but the future solely relies on the individual tattoo artist…

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Cancelation Policy!

People cancel their appointments. This is a simple fact of business. I do not take offense to a cancelation. Do you want to know why? I love my clients. I love hanging out with them and I put them before myself. If someone needs to cancel I do not penalize them or beat them down…

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Lessons Learned

My SELFJournal has a few parts to it. There is an opening of the day that includes writing your Itinerary, a Gratitude lList, Targets and daily Goals. Upon closing the day, you write Lessons Learned, Wins and another Gratitude List. The journal has helped me to take a daily inventory of myself and my actions.…

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