Lady Gaga tattoo by Fernie Andrade

Here’s a killer black and gray tattoo done just last week by resident artist, Fernie Andrade. This Lady Gaga tattoo was knocked out in one 10 hour session on Steve Kassakikian, and Fernie used his trusty Bishop Rotary machine to kill it. If you’d like to see more of Fernie’s work click here.




When it comes to tattoo realism, there are many factors to consider when choosing an artist. You have to look into their ability to keep proportions when working with contours – because there’s no part of your body that’s flat like paper. In addition, you have to look at their attention to detail, their gradient shading as well as the finesse of their fades. A good tattoo exudes all of these factors and in addition, you have to make sure that you work with an artist that best suits your style as well as your budget.




Of course, cheap tattoos aren’t good and good tattoos aren’t cheap, so be prepared to accept that you get what you pay for. In Las Vegas, there are a handful of great and talented artists, but when it comes to the largest assembly of the most highly noted, and globally acclaimed artists (under one roof) then look no further than Skin Design Tattoo.

Located just a few miles from the Las Vegas Strip, and a stones throw away from the Palms and Rio, Skin Design is home to the most sought after artists in the game so be sure to stop on by or view each artists online gallery and portfolios.





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Sheriff Woody tattoo by Fernie Andrade

For most, getting a tattoo requires a lot of forethought and consideration. First you need to figure out what you’d like to get, then you need to find the appropriate reference photos and then decide where on your body you’d like to place it. From there, you need to find an artist and then you need to consider the placement of the piece in relationship to your bodies natural contours.

Now this is where it gets tricky. The body’s natural curves plays a vital role in how your tattoo will look and if the tattoo is a bit big for that area, some artists may suggest making your piece smaller, whereas an  experienced tattooist can typically work their magic. Regardless if  it’s on your wrist, ankle, ribcage or arm, it’s really important to make sure that your artist has a mean “wrap around” game.


Take a look at how this tattoo wraps around the ankle. 

The ability to lay down a larger tattoo, and make it wrap around the natural contours of the body is what we call, “wrap around” game. While it may seem like an easy task, it really isn’t. The human body is full of contours, and a good tattooist should know how to make your piece look right.

Take for instance this Woody Sheriff tattoo that was done by Fernie Andrade. To have the tattoo wrap around the ankle may sound like an easy task, but it’s really not that simple. To be honest, the only thing that’s “easy” is the fact that it’ll be easy for a novice to jack up your tattoo, and leave you emotionally scarred with a tattoo that has bad and elongated proportions.



Last night DJ Ashba came through the spot to get his hands tattooed by Fernie Andrade

To get a picture of the tatted hands of DJ Ashba was pretty epic. These are of course, the hands of the lead guitarist for Guns N’ Roses and Sixx:AM. As a musician, producer and songwriter he’s been responsible for making some of the most influential, heart pounding music that hit’ll you in the ball sac – and his songs have probably also been responsible for creating thousands of babies a year. But all jokes aside, his guitar work is powerful, detailed, and influential, and that’s definitely a short list of ways to describe his performances.

On the flipside, his music is so empowering and thought provoking that it actually got me upset – upset at the fact that mom made me learn how to play the accordion. Then again, my fingers were too short to play the damn thing so I doubt I’d be any better at the guitar.

Needless to say, it was an honor to have DJ Ashba come through the spot and just in case you’ve been living in a house that has a boulder as a roof, be sure to check out some of his performances. You won’t be disappointed. Thanks again DJ Ashba, it was an honor.

Solo of La Bella Vita. Powerful. Emotional. Compelling. 

Thought provoking.

This is the kind of song that’ll make me think I can take an 8-ft drop on my mountain bike and lift an extra 100 pounds during my workouts. 




Medusa tattoo by Fernie Andrade.


Medusa has long been an image that has fascinated most of us since child birth. She was the one that would turn you into stone if you looked in her eyes, and the thought of her hair made of snakes was nothing short of trippy and mesmerizing.

Often referred to as “snake head”, she’s a part of Greek mythology, and generally described as having the face of a hideous human female with living venomous snakes in place of hair. Most sources describe her as the daughter of Phorcys and Ceto, though the author Hyginus interposes a generation and gives Medusa another chthonic pair as parents.

Medusa was beheaded by the hero Perseus, who thereafter used her head, which retained its ability to turn onlookers to stone, as a weapon[4] until he gave it to the goddess Athena to place on her shield. In classical antiquity the image of the head of Medusa appeared in the evil-averting device known as the Gorgoneion.

In most versions of the story, she was beheaded by the hero Perseus, who was sent to fetch her head by King Polydectes of Seriphus because Polydectes wanted to marry his mother. The gods were well aware of this, and Perseus received help. He received a mirrored shield from Athena, gold, winged sandals from Hermes, a sword from Hephaestus and Hades’s helm of invisibility. Medusa was the only one of the three Gorgons who was mortal, so Perseus was able to slay her while looking at the reflection from the mirrored shield he received from Athena. During that time, Medusa was pregnant by Poseidon. When Perseus beheaded her, Pegasus, a winged horse, and Chrysaor, a golden sword-wielding giant, sprang from her body.

Jane Ellen Harrison argues that “her potency only begins when her head is severed, and that potency resides in the head; she is in a word a mask with a body later appended… the basis of the Gorgoneion is a cultus object, a ritual mask misunderstood.”



Here’s some flicks of the three tattoos that Fernie Andrade knocked out this past weekend at the Ink-N-Iron Festival which went down in Long Beach. These three tattoos shows his range, and also gives you a cool idea as to what he’s capable of. From Greek themed statuary to Roman Gods, all the way to your favorite Tim Burton characters he’s got you covered.


Tim Burton’s character Frankenweenie.


Tom Hank tattoo of the character he played in Saving Private Ryan. 



Guan Yu tattoo - God of War

Fernie Andrade’s tattoo gallery has been updated. Click here to visit. 

If you’re in or around the Los Angeles area be sure to stop by the Skin Design Tattoo booth at the upcoming Ink N Iron show which will be held at the Queen Mary in Long Beach, CA. It all goes down from June 12th to the 14th this upcoming weekend so don’t miss out! Catch a budget and break bread.


About Ink N Iron:

With the success of the 2003 Long Beach Tattoo Convention – the second to be held aboard the Queen Mary – it propelled Long Beach to a central position in the tattoo world. The 60,000 visitors that have come aboard the Queen Mary since then, sends a very clear message on the extent of the event which will be even better and more enthralling this year. It couldn’t be otherwise, considering that Long Beach was the tattoo cultural engine of the West Coast, the center around which technique and trends evolved. Long Beach was the home of Bert Grimm’s World Famous Tattoo, the longest operating tattoo shop in America 1927-2003. From this tiny shop on the Nu Pike in Long Beach Bert Grimm fostered a culture that influenced today’s godfathers of the American Tattoo industry; names like Ed Hardy, Bob Roberts, Lyle Tuttle, Col. Todd, Bob Shaw, and Phil Simms to name a few. Bert Grimm’s was a place where, if you knew the right guy you could obtain the most sacred of tools; the tattoo machine, these pieces of equipment were not available to just anyone.

In marrying the city’s tattoo history with a 1930’s luxury ship the Queen Mary, with her WWII service history, there couldn’t be a more perfect setting to perform this sacred art form. The idea of organizing a tattoo convention in Long Beach stems from the desire to pay a tribute to the great tattoo art tradition. This tradition contributed to spread this art all over the world, pulling it out of the Middle Ages. The best tattoo artists in the world and a series of additional events will make this 2015 festival a hit. There will be 280 artists from 25 States and 25 Countries representing all the tattoo styles pricking away with their machines in an exciting atmosphere, where a car show and music become an integral part of the event, mingling with the artistic expressions of the artists at work. This convention will be both a sort of art gallery and community festival. The tattoo booths will be located on the three floors of the Atrium Exhibit Hall aboard the ship which are very easy to access.

Tattoos can be a passion and an art form, for most people a very popular fashion trend, which exploded a few years ago thanks to advertisements, fashion and music bands which use tattoo icons for messages that underline the freedom of choice of each individual. This festival is an event that draws lots of different visitors, something very few events can boast. Many love tattoos and travel around the world to take part in tattoo conventions, because it is a time in which this art is experienced on one’s own skin and, it is difficult not to be affected by the unique atmosphere that makes tattoos a very familiar and easy form of art. Besides taking advantage of the festival to get a tattoo from a great artist, the organizers are very attentive to the entertainment of all those who chose to spend three days in the tattoo scenario – 3 stages will showcase the weekends bands, cabaret shows, tattoo contest, and pin-up pageant while the grounds are decorated with America’s finest Iron dressed in period perfect style. Tattoos will stand out not only on skin but also on canvases, paper and photos, through an exhibition able to give an enhanced artistic value to the exhibition.




Elephant and lion tattoos rule the animal kingdom when it comes to tattoos.

The tattoo above was created by our family member, Fernie Andrade. Done a few years back, the tattoo was done on the thigh of a client and it remains one of the most talked about animal tattoos on the web.

So what does the elephant represent or symbolize?

Well, elephants represent a lot of things. They are identified as a symbol of strength and patience, while others see it as an imposing power which boasts authority. They actually have many meanings and are also associated with strength, royalty and ancient wisdom.

Watching these majestic animals has also taught us a lot. They’ve taught us about gentleness, commitment, trust and love. These deeply committed creatures are loyal to the soil, and they will go to extreme measures to protect their family.

The sheer strength of an elephant is unlike any other in their domain and they’re one of the most interesting animals in the world.

Elephants are also great team players. Actually they’re not great, they’re extraordinary. For a family of elephants to to survive in the wild they must all work together and stick with each other to fight for food and protect themselves from predators. An even more important part of their strategy to survive is their complex system of communication.

Here’s a few things you probably didn’t know about elephants:


Elephants are one of the more interesting animals to tattoo simply because of the detail of their wrinkles, but the wrinkles have a function. All the little folds help disperse heat from the animal and that’s why they take mud baths. The mud gets trapped in the little wrinkles and the moisture trapped in those folds helps continually cool the animal down. The mud also protects it from insects, sun and moisture loss.


The trunk of this powerful animal consists of 100,000 individual muscles – compared to the human body which has less than 800 individual muscles in total. Even more impressive is that the trunk is a few hundred times more sensitive in smell than any dog in the world. The reason it’s so effective is because the entire trunk is lined with olfactory sensors.

So how strong is their trunk? Well all those muscles translate into a powerful tool which holds a little over 2 gallons of water and can carry over 9,000 kilograms.


Elephants only have 4 teeth and they are all molars. There are two in the from to the mouth and two located in the back. But here’s where it gets interesting, when the front two wear down, they drop out and the two in the back move forward. Then 2 new molars grow in the back of the mouth to replace those that have moved forward. The back molars are able to be replaced 6 times throughout their life. When the last set wear out, they can no longer chew and die of starvation. Teeth are very symbolic, and are considered receivers and transmitters of energy linked by connecting paths throughout the astral body.


An elephant eats between 220 and 440 pounds of vegetation per day, but when you consider that they weight between 5,000 to 14,000 pounds, it should come as no surprise.






Save the date and be sure to join us for the Ink N Iron Festival in Long Beach, CA. Robert Pho and Fernie Andrade will be in attendance so be sure to stop on by and say hi. It’s going to be another great event spent with industry fam and colleagues so don’t miss out, and we’ll see you all there in a few weeks.



Fernie’s gallery has been updated. Please click here to view more of his work.