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FOO DOG TATTOO: IMPERIAL LION

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There’s a reason why so many have referred to artist Robert Pho as a master tattooist.

Asian style tattoos have long been a staple in the world of tattoo. Regardless if the work is done in black and grey or color, it’s not necessarily the medium which dictates it’s impact, but the style. Asian art in itself is unique because of the ritualistic images and mediums found in the art. There’s a rich cultural heritage behind the imagery, and it comes as no surprise that this timeless style has impacted the lives of many.

The tattoo above was done by Robert Pho and his work speaks for itself. The central focus of the tattoo is the Chinese guardian lion, which is often referred to as an Imperial Guardian Lions or in Western culture as a “Foo Dog”. The lion has become common sight and the lion is said to safeguard the health and wealth of those who own or wear one.

They were traditionally found in front of Imperial palaces, Imperial tombs, government offices, temples, and the homes of government officials and the wealthy, from the Han Dynasty (206 BC-AD 220), and were believed to have powerful mythic protective benefits. They are also used in other artistic contexts, for example on door-knockers, and in pottery. Pairs of guardian lion statues are still common decorative and symbolic elements at the entrances to restaurants, hotels, supermarkets and other structures, with one sitting on each side of the entrance.

THE ART OF COVER UP TATTOOS.

 

Cover up tattoos by Andy Pho.

I used to dread cover up tattoos, but not now.

 

I won’t lie. There was a time when I used to dread cover up tattoos, but not now. I’ve learned to love them and as of late, it’s become one of my specialites. There’s a certain art and systematic process that’s required when doing an effective cover up and the process has definitely grown on me. From incorporating the new design, to making sure that the older ink is camouflaged, there’s something powerful about doing one well.

See another cover up I did a few days ago. 

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Cover up tattoo: Getting rid of the past. 

Probably the biggest joy is knowing that you’re helping someone get rid of their unwanted past and this time was no different. To be honest, you can’t get rid of the past if you don’t erase the any reminders, so I understand why so many customers want them gone. Truth be told, last year my client Brye was engaged to be married, which is why he got the date 5/13 tattooed on him for his fiancé. Unfortunately, Bryce learned a few things about her that changed his decision to get married, and he’s glad he learned sooner than later. To make good on getting rid of his unwanted past, he wanted to remove that tattoo, and he opted for a cover up – definitely a wise choice before his next girl started asking questions.

For this particular cover up, Brye requested camellia flowers. Being that his skin is dark, it added to the complexity of working in the details and covering it up. We went big enough to cover up the unwnated piece while keeping it in proportion to the existing bull which was going to stay. Once this heals, we’ll be adding an angel on Brye’s upper chest/shoulder and we’ll keep you posted on any progress.

Thanks again Bryce for trusting me with this cover up and we’ll see you soon!

~AP

 

COVER UP TATTOO ARTIST IN VEGAS.

 

A cover up tattoo is an art in itself.

Looking for a good cover up tattoo artist? Look no further.

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Cover up tattoo I completed a few days ago. 

Before getting into the process of the cover up tattoo, here’s how the story initially began.  At the age of 16, Anthony wanted to get his first tattoo but since he was underage he had to take his dad with him for consent. Fast forward to present day, he wanted to cover up his first tattoo with a memorial piece in honor of his father, who recently passed away. This time around, he decided to go big and it all fell in perfect alignment with the old adage, “The bigger you go, the easier the coverup will be”.

After making the trip out to Vegas from Philadelphia, he decided to create a tribute piece to his father that was going to be unique and heart felt. The time on the clock was set to 8:04, which was the exact time his dad passed away, and the dove represents his father’s funeral and his entry and rebirth into heaven.

This frequently requested tattoo imagery has been done over and over by so many tattoo artists so it’s always tough to make it just a bit different. As for the coverup, I used a rose as if it was part of the clock’s design and instead of the white highlights, I used grey ink, separating it from the other rose and dove. This made for an easier coverup since the darker color would still show through white ink. One way to put it, as I searched on Instagram is that it’s a “black and grey and gray” tattoo.

Thanks again to Anthony for taking the trip down to Vegas and it was honor to work on you. If you’re interested in viewing more of my work please click here for my gallery.

~ AP

HANNYA MASK TATTOO

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Oriental tattoos by Andy Pho

Asian tattoos, Oriental tattoos, call it what you’d like but this style is simply timeless. The tattoo above was done by tattoo artist Andy Pho, and the full wrap around leg sleeve came out absolutely incredible. In addition to adding the clouds and the Hannya mask, the tattooed leg sleeve also has a portrait of Geisha girl as well as many other asian themed subjects and images.

If you’re interested in some of the cleanest asian style tattoos in the game, then be sure to drop by Skin Design located in the Chinatown District of Las Vegas, NV. With over 40 years of collective experience, Skin Design is hailed as one of the best tattoo shops not only in Las Vegas but all throughout the world.

Our staff of highly trained artisans have won some of the highest accolades in the industry bu we’re more proud of setting a benchmark for the ultimate tattoo experience. Stop on by if you’re in or around town and if you have any questions please feel free to drop us a line.

MEMORIAL TATTOO OF KAHLUA

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Dog portrait tattoo by Andy Pho

When Erica’s dog, a 7 year old Golden Retriever named Kahlua, passed away in her sleep, the owner decided she was going to get a memorial tattoo done in memory of her beloved friend. That’s when she decided to catch a flight from Washington to Las Vegas, to get a black and grey portrait tattoo done by Andy Pho.

You see, a dog’s love is uncontested and unconditional, which is why they’ve earned the term, “Man’s best friend”. They see no wrong, they pass no judgement and in the end they will become  a part of our lives, but to them, we are their whole lives. So when Erica flew in from Washington, DC flew to get a tattoo we weren’t surprised by her devotion and dedication. In fact, resident Vegas tattooist Andy Pho was more than happy and honored to take on the job and the end result was stellar. That said, we’re sure that Kahlua is looking down proud and wagging her tail knowing that her owner’s love and memory of her hasn’t faded one bit. A special thanks to Erica for trusting us with such a precious and powerful piece.

SIDDHARTHA GUATAMA TATTOO

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Fresh tattoo by Andy Pho. 

Tattoos of buddha are pretty popular, but ask around about Siddhartha Gautama, and many will have no answer. This tattoo which was just completed by Andy Pho is of Siddhartha Gautama and here’s how his story unfolds.

Siddhartha lived in northern India in the 6th century C.E., and was born into a Hindu family of the ruling caste. According to records from Ancient Buddhist, there are different variations as to how Siddhartha became a”Buddha” or “enlightened one,” but here is the most common version.

Siddhartha was about 5 days old when his father called a group of priests together for a feast. He asked them about the infant’s future. They prophesied that the infant would either become a great king or a great sage. The father preferred his son to become a great king, so he structured his son’s life such that he never had to face any of the hardship or struggles of life.

Why?

Because in the Hindu tradition of the time (which you can read about here), those who became holy men or sages followed a path of renunciation. At a certain point in their lives, they would renounce what was called “householder” life – a life of marriage, family, work, etc. – and go live in the forest where they spent the rest of their lives in study, meditation and other spiritual practices.

Siddhartha’s father did not want his son to become one of these renouncers, so he made sure his son’s life was as perfect as possible, offering everything wonderful and nothing negative or upsetting. The father made sure his son was shielded from anything that would make him want to leave the kingdom.

TATTOO REMOVAL SYSTEMS.

 

The most highly rated tattoo removal system in Vegas.

Aside from being home to a family of award-winning, and published tattooists, Skin Design also offers laser tattoo removal.

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The most effective laser tattoo removal system in Las Vegas

Old or unwanted tattoos no longer need to haunt your life, let alone your skin. At Skin Design Tattoo Removal, our experienced staff, certified laser tech, and in-house doctor, can help you remove unwanted ink. Aside from being able to get pain medication prescribed, our state of the art tattoo removal system is the most effective and highly-rated units in the Vegas community.

Pictured above is a before and after photo of an unwanted tattoo after just four sessions. Also remember that a tattoo does not have to be entirely removed if you’re doing a cover up. Tattoo removal can be done completely, partially or in some cases we can simply lighten or fade it as shown above.

At Skin Design we offer free consultation, can give your our professional opinion and help you achieve the end results you’ve been looking for.

To see more of our laser tech’s gallery please click here.

Skin Design Tattoo Removal provided the best service yet! It was a lot faster than I thought, and the staff was very knowledgeable and accommodating. ~ Lynn Burton (Patient)

I went to Anthony for tattoo removal and I’m glad. After going to another local spot for my first treatment, I was referred by another artist to Skin Design and I’ve stayed here since. ~ Fernando (Patient) 

DIY TATTOO REMOVAL DANGERS.

Want to remove an unwanted tattoo? Well DIY kits are not the way to go. Need proof? Watch this video produced by BBC.

Unwanted tattoos can be a kick to your self esteem, but would you rather have a bad tattoo or a nightmare of a skin infection and possibly permanent damage? Probably not, which is exactly why you should avoid any DIY tattoo removal kits which can be found on line.

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A picture of one woman’s tattoo before she tried a DIY tattoo removal kit

Just a few days ago, the BBC did a piece on one women who tried a “DIY tattoo removal kit” and the end result was not only be a painful reminder of her once unwanted tattoo – but also a terrific reminder that she should have just left it. Sometimes called a peel or “chemical peel” the ingredients in these kits can not only burn your skin but leave you with an indentation coupled with an infection.

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The result after her trying the kit.

The reason? Well most of these tattoo removal kits simply attack the top layer of the skin and it results in the chemicals simply burning the skin with corrosive chemicals like trichloroacetic acid, a substance that’s banned in cosmetics in many countries, and hexachloroethane, a chemical used to make grenades. These chemicals do not get to the middle of the skin, where you’ll find the ink from a tattoo.

On the flipside, others use a “pin-prick” method in which they use a needle to try and leech the ink out of the skin, while others use chemical goes and creams which have been known to cause cause an immune system reaction and therefore destroy the ink. In most cases such archaic methods cause irritation infection, and scaring to those that try to remove the tattoos themselves.

Medical professionals and artists alike both discourage these methods of removal and still recommend laser tattoo removal as the safest possible treatment out there.

 

H2OCEAN x SKIN DESIGN: PRO TEAM

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We’re pleased – and honored – to announce that Fernie Andrade and Robert Pho have joined the H2Ocean Pro Team!

 

This art, this culture, saved me. Literally.

Many moons ago, I went on a “vacation” only to come out with a skill set that I was passionate about. That skill set was tattooing. Since then it’s become my life. Aside from my family, the love I have for this art comes second to none and I respect it not only as an art, but as a lifestyle as well as a tradition.

With that said, I’m a difficult one to please. I’m my biggest competitor, and I strive to achieve nothing less than perfection. I expect the best from myself, as well as those around me, and of course that pursuit comes with plenty of personal doubt and times spent questioning my abilities. Then again, I think that’s what happens to anyone who’s passionate about what they do. But in the end, all I can do is hone my craft and try my best.

Along those same lines, I also believe in aligning myself with the best in the business. I don’t jump on the latest trends, and I don’t cosign what’s popular. For me, I like to align myself with brands, companies and individuals that I believe in. I need to believe in my heart that these entities are representing – or servicing – the art for the better and that brings me to my next subject: H2Ocean.

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Just a part of the H2Ocean product line. 

If my memory serves me correct, I was first introduced to their brand back in 2003. It seemed like a promising product, but as with anything new you gotta try it out, so I did. A few years later I was still buying their products, but this time around my rep approached me and asked me to join a new program they had called, the “Pro Team”. Now I’ll be the first to admit that I had my hesitations – H2Ocean was still in its infancy, but it had a good product – but as I said earlier, I’m not one to just jump on what’s new and trending.  Needless to say, as the years have passed, I’ve carried their products religiously and the bottom line is they work, and they work well. In addition, H2Ocean was no fly by night company resting on hype, and looking to make a quick buck. Since then they’ve gone on to become a benchmark in the aftercare category. As for the offer to join the Pro Team, well it seemed to have gotten overshadowed by daily life, work and building up Skin Design.

 

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Fernie Andrade, Eddie Kolos & Myself. 

 

Fast forward to 2015, and as fate would have it, I ran into the H20 Family this past weekend at the BTSOE. It was good to reconnect with reps, both old and new, and I also had a chance to meet and greet with Eddie Kolos – the owner. It was good to meet the man behind the brand, then to my surprise, a few days later, they dropped by the shop, and after a giving them a tour and some good conversation, Eddie once again extended the invitation to join their Pro Team to both Fernie and I. He basically said, “It’s time”, and needless to say, both Fernie and I were honored and happy to join.

Now as a I write this blog post, I think back to 2003 and all I can say is that H2Ocean has come a long way. They’ve stood the test of time, provided quality products, and they’re testament to the fact that hard work does pay off.

In closing, I’d just like to thank Eddie for offering the invitation to us while extending a warm congratulations to him and his team on their continued success. It’s good to see H20cean evolve into what it has become today, and we’d like to thank you once again for keeping us in mind. We’re both honored and humbled to take part of your team.

 

ABOUT H2OCEAN

H2OCEAN specializes in developing natural products for safe and effective healing without using harmful chemicals. Their patent on sea salt and water allows us them the exclusivity to bottle the natural healing powers of the ocean – thus the name. Safe for all ages, skin types and diabetics, their products have no side effects and are nonaddicting. Sold in more than 13,000 retail locations throughout U. S. and International markets, they’re the First in First Aid. 

 

TATTOO DESIGNS: LAS VEGAS

If you’re looking for tattoo designs, then there’s thousands of ideas and referrences that can be found all throughout the web. From animals, religious, black and grey to color, the list of tattoo designs can be broken down into 100’s of categories.

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Hand lettering or “script” tattoos are also a popular category. Tattoo by Vandal.  

One of the most searched categories has to realistic portraits, and Greek or Roman themed tatts, and both are typically inspired by images of your choice. But when looking for a color or bng artist that specializes in the aforementioned, you’re going to want to look at the details of the artists work. From the smoothness of the artists shading, to the accuracy of their work, these are just a few of  the elements you’ll want to look for.

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Cover up tattoos are another big category and here’s an example of a work in progress by artist Andy Pho

So take a look around and you’ll see that every artist has a different way of interpreting your favorite image. Some do cartoon looking depictions while others nail the proportions and characteristics to the wrinkle. You also want to see how the tattooist is able to merge and integrate tattoos. It’s an important part of the tattoo process – especially if you want to end up with a sleeve – so be sure to do your homework.

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A great example of a photo realism, gangster inspired tattoo by Robert Pho

In addition, take a look at the placement of the tattoo you want. Placement affects the way a tattoo will look and the wrong placement will distort and possibly disfigure the image. Then again, a qualified tattoo artist will be help and guide you so be sure to know what you want and see what they have to say.