That’s the question that always haunted me. I always wanted to get a gun tattooed on myself, but the more I thought about it, the more I started to realize that the answer was no. I saw the tattoo (pictured on the header), that Robert Pho did a while back and since then it’s always been a thought – yet it remained just that. It’s not that I wouldn’t mind having a gun tattoo, but for me, I fall in love with a new gun every few months, so to commit to tattooing just one wouldn’t work. I’d have to tattoo a whole bunch of them, and walking around looking like a gun catalog or a walking safe doesn’t sit well with me. Besides, if I were to tattoo all my favorite things I’d might as well add a rib-eye, donuts and Las Vegas landmarks – not a cool mix.


My obsession with guns ends with buying endless amounts of guns and ammo and practicing as if I were entering a competition – but I never will. I don’t like competitions because of the many egos that come with it. For me, all the competition I need is myself and unless I turn schizophrenic I doubt I’ll ever talk shit to myself. The bottom line, I practice because I enjoy it, and much like a tattoo machine becomes one with its artist, the same holds true with a weapon. In short, practice makes perfect and it’s the only way to get better and more precise.


Guns & Coffee: That pretty much summed up earlier today.

I always catch myself watching tattoo artists putting in work and their craft is no different. In tattooing, just like guns, there are levels of excellence that come as a result of practice. There are learning curves and techniques that have to be repeated time after time and we all know that repetition is the mother of learning. After watching so many tattoo artists put in work, the one thing that always gets me is the intensity you feel when they’re in the zone. You see it in their eyes, you see it in their concentration and as you watch them work you can’t help but get inspired because the focus is intense and their breaks are few.


A few more toys from our training session. 

Great artists also tend to associate with like minded peoples and talent. They share ideas, inspire each other and that inspiration can actually come from anywhere. Take this post for example. I saw the gun tattoo that Rob did earlier in the day and it made me think about my time spent at the range. There’s a certain relevancy that runs in parallel with the topic and it definitely relates because it boils down to practice.

So was this post random? Sure, but it’s as relevant as it is random, and it runs in perfect alignment with the theory of practice. Life gives you back what you put into it so work hard, hone your craft, put in the hours, but as you sit there laughing at this post, remember this, a drinkers tolerance doesn’t get built overnight, and theres no such thing as great artists that took a creative Viagra, and woke up harder than the rest. Artists have mastered their craft by putting in the necessary work, and the growth – and ultimately the success – they experience is one that is slow and steady so start your journey now.

So tonight when you’re about to fall asleep, think about what you’ve accomplished during the day. Think about what events and practices have consumed your day.

– Are you pushing yourself to become better at your craft?

– Are you trying to expand your portfolio and your clients?

– Are you making the calls to get more clients in?

– Or are you sitting around texting and waiting for it to all magically happen?

Answer those questions and you’ll be able to see for yourself what the future holds for you. But I do promise you one thing, if you spent most of your day randomly texting people or flipping through IG and FB, then rest assured you’l become better at texting – but texting doesn’t pay the bills while browsing through social media doesn’t make you a social worker.

Or does it?


– by contributing writer JV 


Want to get your ex off your back? Well if you’re talking tattoos then Skin Design Laser Tattoo Removal of Las Vegas can definitely help.

Laser tattoo removal has become increasingly popular and for many reasons. Some people want to make more room, some want to remove mistakes, and for others, they just want a fresh start. Many times when a couple breaks up, the haunting site of their ex’s name is unbearable for either themselves or their future mates, and the first thing they usually do is look for laser tattoo removal. “Getting my ex-husbands name off my back, helped give me a fresh start”, says Maria Gonzalez, “It’s hard to move forward and leave the past behind when it’s tatted on you.” Maria, along with many other Las Vegas clients have shared the same remorse, and for others they simply want to make room for new talent and art.



You can definitely say that the surge in laser tattoo removal has been fueled by regret, and the new technology that has been released makes it that much easier to have your tattoos removed. A Harris Poll which was taken two years ago, found that 21 percent of Americans have at least one tattoo, a figure which is up from 16 percent in 2003, and of those people, it’s roughly 14 percent of them who now regret their decision.


When it comes to laser tattoo removal here’s a few facts:

– Black and Grey (BNG/ B&G) are the easiest tattoo ink colors to remove. Usually, a Yag(1064nm) laser works well for these)

– Green is the most difficult ink color to remove followed by light blue (Yag 1064nm and Ruby 694nm).

– Red/brown/yellow/orange respond well in my experience primarily using 532nm laser.

– Prison or home made inks are among the most difficult to remove. 

– Do-it-yourself tattoo removal ointments and creams are available on the market, but the FDA cautioned that since they haven’t been tested, the products may cause reactions like rashes, burning, scarring or changes in skin pigmentation.



— On an interesting side note, I’ve  got a friend who has 11 names tattooed on him (a collective list of ex girlfriends and ex wives). When asked why he didn’t opt for laser tattoo removal, he said “These weren’t mistakes, these were life lessons, and keeping their names on me reminds me to do two things: 1) Be more selective 2) Do not tattoo their names on me.”

Since then…he’s added another name. I guess some people like to collect. 

by contributing SDT writer, Samy B. 



Hope your day starts off better than this guy.



It’s the truth. Regardless of the industry you’re in there’s always going to be the naysayers, the doubters, the detractors and the haters trying to throw salt on your game. In short, you can stay in your lane and mind your own business but sooner than later, someones gonna swerve and try to disrupt your trip to the top.



                                                         Agree? If so, then copy the image and please feel to repost on IG and please be sure to hashtag us. 


So what do you do when this happens? Nothing. Just keep your ego down, your skills up and keep making the moves that are making you that much more popular. Remember….Elephants don’t swat flies and no one has ever achieved greatness without a little bit of negative press.

Black and Grey tattoo by Fernie Andrade on Alphonse. This tattoo won “Tattoo of the Day” at Musink.



Inspiration behind the post: 
Recently,  I was talking to a friend (who by the way is not in the tattoo industry), and he was talking about the amount of heat he caught for recently getting a big promotion. Needless to say, people in the office were talking smack and spreading rumors and after a week it finally got to him.

About an hour into our conversation, his grand father came out and said, “Listen up cry baby, elephants don’t swat flies and people don’t talk garbage about nobody, they talk about somebody, and you’re somebody. So suck it up, and strive for more.” 


 What’s your point of view?

As we both sat there laughing, he pulled open the sliding doors with a beer in his hand and said, “This is my point of view…who cares about anyone elses point of view. I built this house on hard work, not gossip, and anyone can do the same.”

As we sat there kind of stunned he followed up by saying, “Jealousy isn’t new. It’s older than I am except  you kids call it ‘hating’, it’s a part of life, a part of the process, and a sign that you’re doing just fine. Ask MJ or Kobe if everyone liked them, or better yet ask Kim Kardashian, heck she married a guy that looks like a squirrel but heck…he’s got a whole lot of chestnuts in his piggy bank. “

Wise words from an 86 year old.

Contributed by SDT writer JV – An LA based writer with an affinity for tattoos, long drives to the beach and an intolerance for stupidity. 


You can never be too old to get a tattoo and Helen Lambin is living proof. At 82 years young, she’s amassed a collection of more than 50 tattoos and her journey began at the age of 75 – when she first decided to spend her birthday at a tattoo parlor.

Since then, the Edgewater  resident has expressed that tattoos have changed her Golden years “expansively.” Depending solely upon the expertise of her artist David McNair – a tattooist at the Chicago Tattoo Co., Helen’s quest to get more tattoos has been non stop for the past 12 years.  When asked what sparked her desire to get a tattoo, she mentioned that her daughter came home with her first tattoo some time ago and instead of passing judgement, she thought about whether or not she herself would be able to get one as well.



                                                                                                                            Putting in work. 

Since becoming a tattoo collector, Lambin did have this to say about her new medium of art and expression, “What I discovered, [is that tattoos] became a bridge, It makes you sort of a band of brothers and sisters. When someone will say, ‘Nice ink,’  you know they have tattoos . And then you say, ‘Oh what do you have?’ And you just start talking.”



               You’re never too old to get a tattoo, and you’re never too young or too old to learn.  That’s a book a lot of us should be reading. 


She also believes that tattoos have been a therapeutic medium to help her break barriers. After her husband passed 15 years ago, she said, “When my husband died I thought, ‘How will I go on now?’ ” She further mentions, “It’s made life much more interesting and positive. I’d say it’s been therapeutic.” She also adds, “Tattoos are cheaper than mental health.” Best place to buy provigil online – read more.


The Skin Design Family would like to congratulate Helen on a job well done and for being a great voice and example about the strength, unity and camaraderie found within the tattoo community and culture! So the next time someone says, “How are you going to look when you get old with all those tattoos?”, you can send them a link to this article with a note saying, “I’m going to look like a fvckin’ bad ass. That’s how I’m going to look. Phentermine for weight loss

Even better is Helen’s own description of what  she likes to call, “Aging with Attitude.”


Be sure to check out Robert’s updated portfolio by clicking here.


Need a quicker picker upper for that Monday morning? Well here it is.

Here’s an insane clip from the film, “Days of My Youth,” a Red Bull Media House film produced along with MSP films.  The flick features pro skier Cody Townsend working his magic up in Alaska and skiing down a fully enclosed couloir. It’s been called the “most insane ski line ever,” and after watching it we’re positive you’ll agree.


As the holiday season falls into full swing, it’s time to reflect on friends and family and all that we’re thankful for. It’s a time when the smell of burning wood falls hand in hand with Christmas lights, and in just a few weeks most all of us will find ourselves lost with the stress of  last minute shopping, finding the perfect presents and dealing with difficult relatives.

Yet as we get lost in the rituals of the Holiday Season, let’s not forget to give back. For so many families, the Holiday Season isn’t so bright and cheerful, which is why SDT has teamed up with HELP of Southern Nevada. This beautiful and charitable organization helps better serve the poor, homeless and those in crisis – and all of your help is needed.

Skin Design Tattoos will be hosting a food and toy drive up until Dec 18th, so please stop by to drop off canned goods and (or) toys. Every contribution helps bring a smile to someones face while offering hope and light this holiday season. If you’d like to donate directly to HELP please click here.








ABOUT HELP of Southern Nevada:

HELP was started by the Junior League of Las Vegas and was incorporated in 1970. It is a 501 (c) (3) organization that has grown exponentially since the inception, from an organization that served fewer than three hundred people a year, to one that will serve over 100,000 unduplicated people in a fiscal year.

HELP of Southern Nevada responds to the changing needs of our growing community. We strategically expand our programs and refine our service delivery systems to better serve the poor, the homeless and those in crisis who come to us as a place of last resort. We pride ourselves on being 100% local and 100% accountable and engaging other organizations through collaboration to achieve maximum impact with the services we provide and the clients we serve.


Currently, the Guinness Book of World’s Records for having the “most tattoos of the same cartoon character tattooed on the body” is held by a gentleman by the name of Lee Weir. While he has a total of 41 tattoos, Weir may currently hold that record, but Michael Baxter from Melbourne is looking to strip him of his title and he’s in it to win it. In just under a year, Michael has completed what you see here and he’s already filed all the necessary paper work to capture Mr. Weir’s title. Even though all of Mr. Baxter’s tattoos are not of Homer Simpson, they are all from the same television show (203 characters in all) so it makes him eligible for entry.


 At 52 years old, Mr. Baxter is a prison guard in Bacchus Marsch near Melbourne and says that, “his tattoos have inspired and entertained people of all ages.” With 41 Homer tattoos on his left arm alone, the Simpsons fan said, “I’m a huge fan of the show. I love the tattoo, and I know lots of other people, including my grandchildren, do too.”



So I ran across a black and grey portrait that was done by Robert Pho, and in turn I ended up throwing on a track by Miles Davis – a track which subsequently influenced this post. With the volume up and the coffee brewing, the tracks smooth and rhythmic melody brought me to a peaceful place – while the songs name, “Freddie  Freeloader”, made me bust a smirk because of all the f*cked up memories and people it can relate to. (read on and you’ll find out why)

As artists, we all have our opinions and criticisms. Whether it be about technique, subject matter, tools of the trade, or simply art, the opinions we form can be relevant, ignorant, arrogant and sometimes downright argumentative. But for the most part, our opinions help ignite creativity and bring us closer together. On the other hand, the one thing I’m sure we can all agree on is the fact we all started in this industry in the same place: The very bottom.

Regardless if you tattoo, paint, draw or even write, we spend countless amounts of hours honing our craft, mastering our techniques and building our books/ portfolios. In the beginning, the encouragement we receive from friends comes deep and plenty, but ask someone to let you take a pass at their skin and the confidence and hoorah soon diminishes. But as time progresses -as does your skill – you soon create a following, and a book of business. It’s a natural progression that happens as a result of experience, confidence and improved techniques and in short,  it’s a part of surviving.  But along with that exponential growth comes an increase in what you can charge for the work  you do.


Freddie Freeloader by Miles Davis.

Soon after you raise your rates, comes a somewhat awkward moment where you have to announce the price hike. It’s at that moment that you realize that most old clients along with new clients don’t mind at all. Sure you hook up some of the regulars at discounted rates (as a way of thanking them for their loyalty), but what about the ones that still want your rates from when you were first practicing 15 years ago? Or how about the ones that want it for free? You know what I’m talking about! C’mon now….and if you don’t have a clue about what I’m talking about then soon enough you will. These are those folks that are classified as “Freddie Freeloaders” or “Captain Mooch.”


If you still don’t know what I’m talking about then listen carefully for anyone that uses typical key phrases such as….


“C’mon homie. Hook it up. I’ve been down since day one!”

“You got a cancellation? Yo..hit up my arm really quick with a small piece!”

and once they find out about your new rates, you’ll get the proverbial….

Oh! It’s like that now?! Glad I’m still getting  the homie hookup right?”

“I know I’m not paying that. We boys. Right?”


At first you may entertain a few of the offers but soon enough they’ll pester you to a point where you can’t help but laugh – or kick them out of the shop. So are we here to tell you how to solve this problem? Absolutely not, it’s a problem that we will all encounter soon enough and a dilemma that’s handled differently by each of us. In the meantime, get your hours in, your skill set up and know your worth.

If you’ve figured out the perfect way to handle a Freddie Freeloader be sure to leave a comment.


Side notes:

So how did this track get its name? There are two sources which cite that the song was named after a friend of Davis. The friends name was Freddie, and he was known for trying to see the music Davis and others played without paying. The sources came from a documentary, Kind of Blue: Made in Heaven, and an anecdote from the jazz pianist Monty Alexander. The name may have also been inspired by Red Skelton’s most famous character, “Freddie the Freeloader” the hobo clown.