9545 Reseda Blvd. unit 2, Northridge, CA (818) 700-2818
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Starting artist searching for the right tools,

Hey guys,

First time posting here, so sorry if I don't follow some rules or something.
I've been drawing for only like a year and a half and I know it's not enough time to really get good at drawing at a high level, but with the right patience and discipline I've come a long way. I've been getting some tattoos from this really cool and talented artist and have asked him if he could take me as an apprentice and he approved.

He lives pretty far so it's a little difficult to go to his shop so often, but he gave me a task to do. He told me to research all the materials needed to tattoo and when I have the list of them all he'll order them for me (ofc I pay for everything). I've ran into a few problems though, I've decided to buy a Cheyenne Thunder machine and I'm okay with all it's pros and cons.

1st problem - What would be the best needles to use for that machine to start out with?

2nd problem - What black greywash ink would you recommend me to start out with and what color inks are good? You could say my style is similar to Mike Devries, I draw alot of realistic stuff and some more stylized abstract things too.

Hope this isn't a too long text and sorry for the English mistakes.


RE:Starting artist searching for the right tools,

I have recently got a tattoo by an artist who uses the same machine. She uses cheyenne cartridge needles. My tattoo is pretty fucking awesome!

But it also depends on your budget. She told me it can be very expensive when experimenting, but once you find the right ones, it isn't so bad.

secondly, my drawings and paintings are realistic too. However, if you've never tattooed on skin before, I doubt you'll be diving straight into realistic style tattooing. It takes years to perfect such skills. At the moment, I'm an apprentice and all my tattoos are basic traditional/old school style because they are simple designs and force you to be direct with your lines. At some point I will want to go down the route of doing realistic style tattoos, but not right now.

I don't even own a cheyenne, I own 2 coils. one by Tim Hendricks and one by Bruno Kea. I also own 2 rotary machines by swiss. But I'm not really using those at the moment. My tattoos are pretty shit at the moment but slowly improving. I have done 3 tattoos on myself. When I first picked up a machine, it felt like I was learning to draw all over again.
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RE:Starting artist searching for the right tools,

And for black and grey wash inks. I just use Fusion's basic black and mix my own washes, I haven't done any on skin yet but on practice skin, a lot of them tend to be too dark, so you just mix 2 drops of black with water and it comes up pretty dark on practice skin or pork rind. I write down what works and what doesn't. Have you asked this artist who will be your mentor and guidance about needles and inks? When I started my apprenticeship, I never even dreamt of asking those questions, it was mainly questions about hygiene and approaching customers.
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