Wednesday, March 17, 2010
Lima is a rad city. Peru is a real gem. It is full of unexpected surprises!! We were scheduled to do a seminar at the convention put on by Ramon. There are 2 conventions that happen there, one is put on by Ramon and the other by Miguel... We prefer Ramon's convention. It is bi annual and very professional.
We usually arrive at least a day prior to the event so we can iron out any kinks before we do the seminar, wether we need to buy tools, supplies, copy participation certificates or whatever it may be. On our way to do our shopping routine, we walked past a music store, saw some stuff we wanted to check out. While we were there, a guy came up to us, he said he recognized us from Thrasher Magazine from 1990!! He was an ex-sponsored skater named Juani Masias... we made friends and set up a time to surf in the morning. Morning came too soon, but we were excited to surf Peruvian waves!!! He picked us up and we were off...
Peruvian Surf Vehicle
We drove south down the coast passing old parts of the city which were once trendy and have lost their modern appeal. These places were full classic architecture, and very colorful. You would expect this country to be warm all year round but that is not the case! Remember, when you move further from the equator, in either direction, you start to have seasons. These seasons on opposite ends of the globe, are opposite from each other. For instance, when it's winter in Canada, it's summer in Argentina. Same as Peru. We were there in their fall... the water was cold, in this photo, you can see the greyness... look at Steve freezing his ass off...
Behind Steve is where we surfed. The beach was called Caballeros... it breaks into a cove, there are rights and lefts. This day, there were waves, it was 6-8 feet on the face. If you look to the left in the photo, around the middle of the picture, you will see some waves breaking WAY outside... this peak is called "Pico Alto". This is a HUGE wave.. it breaks way out and you have to be towed into it in order to get on. You wouldn't have the strength to paddle onto it on your own. In this photo, we're facing the ocean, what do you think is behind us when you're looking toward the ocean? Topical Greenery? Palms? NOPE!!!
Sand dunes and more sand dunes. Those are all little ghetto houses on the side of the dune. As desolate as it looks, it has a real cool personality. The waves were clean and good... strong and relatively uncrowded. It was a good time. Our friend Juani, shaped one of the boards we took out. Totally functional but visually unconventional. We came in and got some food at the restaurant/surf shop there before we headed back to the city.
Art and Juani eating chips and talking shit.
The way back was interesting too!! We were re routed to different roads due to a potential riot about to happen. There were cops in riot gear, shields and helmets... people on the other side of the street ready to go. Not sure what it was about, but after many travels in South America, we could guess that it may have something to do with the government f*cking their people over in some way.
How many of you readers have eaten ceviche? It's a raw fish prepared in lime juice. The lime juice "cooks" the fish. Peru is well known for that dish, as well as a juice made out of corn! This was on the menu for us that night. The traditional Peruvian foods we ate were great. There was one in particular which was NOT so hot... anticuchos... cow heart. Not so good.
The tattoo convention was great, it was packed. In our seminar, we met several artists from different countries, the most standout ones were the Naranjo Brothers. They are from Ecuador, Quito to be exact. The shop they own is called House of Style. They are unreal artists... both of them. Mauro is the older brother, he is a machine builder as well. His creations are original and very well tuned. It shows in the tattoos he does... we met other brothers there who bought machines from us. In the photo below, they teamed up on a back piece. They finished this in 5 hours. The client sat like a champion!
All that red is NOT blood!!!
The convention was a success for us and even if it wasn't monetarily profitable, just being there is worth every penny you spent. The culture is rad, the people are cool, the scenery is unbelievable, the waves were quality, the food delicious... can't wait to go again!
Monday, March 15, 2010
I rode professionally for H-Street from 1987 til 1989. I had a few signature decks - one had a turtle graphic on it, it is one of the re issue decks coming out on H-Street. The other shape is a more modern shape with a new graphic I drew. It comes with 2 different drillings for the front truck to change the wheel base from 15" to 15.5". I rode for H-Street after several bad runs with companies which were not quite honest... receiving checks for $4.00 for one month of board sales, companies who didn't want to be a part of competitive skateboarding, some who lacked any experience in how to treat professionals who rode for them. The list goes on.
Art Godoy - Toronto NSA contest 1988
I was stoked that I was given a chance. It was difficult in that time, to find companies who were willing to take us on. We (Steve and I) were not trendy like the rest of the skaters on the circuit. Being a tattooed professional in the middle of 72 other pros who had that "gay" 80's INXS look, we stuck out like a sore punk rock thumb. The queer fluorescent colored clothing, the dyed / bleached bangs was something we could not tolerate!. In our opinion, though a lot of the products were innovative, the fashion was the worst.
In that time, my twin did tons of graphics for H-Street. some are pictured below. It was all hand done color separations and camera work, all decks were silkscreened. Now it's all sublimated transfers... the work took hours and hours to do. There is a book available by Sean Cliver called "Disposable Skateboard Bible". It is full of skateboard graphics from the 60's to today's decks. We have our own pages in it as well, where lots of other decks that we've done can be seen. There is also a story.
There were several other H-Street model decks that we drew: John Schultes large and mini models, Eddie Elguera vert deck, Danny Way's first pro deck, Ron Allen... Some of the decks were pulled from distribution because H-Street heard that there were hidden messages in the artwork... ha ha ha, there may have been!! At the time, we were also doing work for Hobie, Bees Wax, No Fear, Pirate Surf, O'neill, Andy McDonald, Ben Pappas... and tons of other companies and professionals. We were also tattooing part time to supplement our incomes since some of the royalty checks were not so great. When a skateboard career ends, and you don't have a skill to fall back on, life can sure get tough real quick. We were lucky that we had tattooing... some others weren't so lucky. Take a look at "Rising Son"- the story of Christian Hosoi or "Stoked" - the rise and fall of Mark "Gator" Rogowski. These were both TOP professionals from my era who prospered when they were on top and fell hard when it was all done. Christian is back, skating as good as ever.. Gator, still in prison.
IT wasn't the most glamorous life as it is now to be a pro skateboarder, but we traveled all over the world, doing what we loved to do. Skating, surfing, seeing the world. We were very fortunate to have had such a cool experience.
We are proud to announce that Jory Helmes - good friend and ex coworker has won "Best Large Color" and second place in "Best Portrait" at the Capital City Tattoo convention this past weekend in Victoria BC!!! Doesn't surprise us... in case you don't know, Jory can do anything, any style any size. This is an example of one piece he did while he was with us at Funhouse.
In the early days, Jory started as a client, I tattooed his leg so long ago!!! I can't even remember what year that was... but we were at 15 E. Broadway at the time. He always had an interest in getting into tattooing back then, so, just like anyone who is dedicated to the art, he went to work on the oil rigs in Northern Alberta so that he could afford to pay for his apprenticeship at a shop in Red Deer Alberta. He has done his time and paid dues, which is something of a rarity these days where everything is so readily available for the backyard scribbler - pre made needles, suppliers who will sell to anyone, how to books...
Jory was with us for YEARS before he decided to go to Duncan BC to open Bully Boys Tattoo, his own studio! The transformation he underwent while he was with us was amazing. The work always had potential but one day it was as if the light bulb turned on in his head and this is the stuff that started to come out!!
If any of you readers find yourselves in Duncan, go see Jory... even if it's just to talk sh*t.
Saturday, March 13, 2010
HEY!!! Welcome to Funhouse Tattoo Canada... To start, let me say that we have no association with any other Funhouse Tattoo studios anywhere in the world, any similarity is purely coincidental. Our name came from the BEST Stooges album ever!!! When the idea to open the shop was in process, there were several names I was thinking of and since I was listening to this album alot during those days, in 1998, it was the logical choice. I followed the name with the word "tattooing" as in the constant act of tattooing.. not "tattoos". "Tattoos" sounds like a limited catalog of small images. Tiny and final... not like an unlimited act of constant and infinite ideas.
Below is what we look like now, we have had a few locations over the years. Some of you may remember the East Broadway days, or the Upstairs Funhouse at Laurel and Broadway, before some shower shark waiting for me to drop the bar of soap, moved into that location... We are currently located at 3001 Cambie St. in Vancouver BC Canada, at the corner of 14th, 2 blocks from the city hall. This is our fish bowl.. all glass, natural light... pink and black checkered floor, T.V.'s to watch movies all day, unreal story tellers, a safe and casual fun atmosphere... good restaurants and coffee shops all around us in case you come early to your appointment.
We have set up this blog to update you with events & appearances, tell stories, voice opinions, and more. Everyone at the shop is F*CKING great. Great artists and great people. No egos & no attitudes. We all have a strong respect for the art and our clients. We do our best to tattoo everyone with exactly what they want to get tattooed. We will never compromise the quality of the work you want and push some lame idea on you because of any inadequacies (which is typical in our industry) we may have. We are all confident, world famous, veteran tattoo artists capable of tattooing any style any size. We do work that most people in this city would turn away, BECAUSE WE CAN.