The Art of Ink: Biomechanical

The Art of Ink: Biomechanical


(epic music) – The long sweeping
organic repeating patterns really, really appeal to me. There’s often a lot of
hosey, serpentine shapes. What people see when they
look at a biomechanical tattoo is I don’t know what that is. Then they almost immediately
go, is that a dragon. – The way it changes
the musculature, the human form. That’s intriguing. How did you do that? It’s almost like every tattoo design is creating
another world. The science behind is
it is kind of about being dark and creepy but warm and inviting at the same time. – It can look like it’s
sitting on a person’s shoulder one minute and the
next minute it might just get up and come
towards you or attack you. – I look at tattooing as
a way to enhance the body and be a part of you, breathing life into it in a way. (rock music) Before I was a tattoo
artist, I was a painter. But I found a lot
of similarities in air brushing that I
crossed over into tattooing. The shading and blending and I
was really intrigued by that. I think gravitating towards
biomechanical tattooing was a natural tendency for me. As a teenager, my three
greatest influences were Boris Fileho, Frank
Frazetta, and HR Giger. HR Giger is the father
of biomechanical. He’s a painter, dark surrealist, best know for his work
designing the alien. And I loved his work. I tried to emulate him, the
textures and the atmosphere and the depth of his
work blew me away. – I wanted to become
a tattoo artist because tattoos were
cool and punk rock. I was working as a
glorified orderly in an emergency
psychiatric unit. And a guy opened a shop kind
of on my way home from work and some friends of
mine got tattooed there. I started hanging around
there making myself useful. After awhile I
made myself useful to the point where he
had to give me a job. It was very outsider
and rebellious. It looked cool to me but when
I saw biomechanical tattoos that’s what made
me want a tattoo. – As a kid I was always
into sci-fi movies. I collected a lot
of sci-fi art books. When I started tattooing and
meeting these other tattooers that were doing this stuff, that’s what pushed me
to want to create this fantasy world on
people’s body parts. – Biomechanical is basically
anything with a mechanical man-made industrial
like feel to it. And marrying it to the organics. Imagine a machine built and
made out of muscle tissue, humanesc in a way but
absolutely not humanesc at all at the same time. – A biomechanical tattoo
has to have some form of sci-fi, some form
of robotic element, some form of an alien creature. – My work is definitely
influenced by any kind of bug or
crab or any animal without a spinal cord. You can make anything
wrap around a body because you’re creating a
pattern and making it fit. I like to see something that’s
kind of transformational with good rendering
and something that creates the illusion
of forms that are or are not there. It’s good to know a little
bit about anatomy at least so that you can create forms
that work well with the body. – Biomechanical tattoos
are mostly done large scale because you need a lot
of flow for it to work. I used to work with
a lot of greens. And that was only because green,
alien, it felt like normal. Now I use lots of reds,
burgandys, lots of muted grays, lots of muted oakers,
muted purples. You want the body to
compliment your design and you want your
design to complement that person’s body. – One of the unique things about my biomechanical
tattoos is that I use a less common pallet. I really like to use
a lot of cool grays and muted colors in general
with bright colors for accent. But browns and earth tone
green and gray and whatnot. – I generally don’t
use color in my work. I prefer black and gray
because of the longevity. It ages really well. For me if a tattoo isn’t
gonna look good in 10 years, it’s just not a tattoo. Biomechanical tattooing
while it comes from HR Giger was just so original
and dark and creepy that it spawned
generations of artists. Guy Aitchinson, an
old friend of mine, I’d say him and I
are the two main guys that really took biomechanical
into the tattoo world. We were the guys that were
really playing with the idea. Guy was taking it in
his own direction, a lot in color. I was kind of doing the same
thing in black and gray. But it’s been fun to
watch the development over the years, what was started
as me and Guy experimenting in our own ways, now there’s
biomechanical artists all over the world. – Marco Valazquez
is a friend of mine. He’s an amazing artist. I really love his art
and tattooing in general. One of the things
that we do together is collaborative tattooing where
we both work on a sleeve or a back piece or another
large scale tattoo, tattooing simultaneously. – Which makes a very
interesting and very fun. We bring both of our worlds
together and create one thing. It’s pretty crazy. – Biomechanical work tends
to be non subjective. There’s no real subject matter. It’s more about an environment. In it’s own way it’s
almost like a safe tattoo. You’re not really making
a statement of any kind. There’s no political
statements, there’s no religious statements, there’s
nothing really that you’re saying other than
check out this cool art. – I think that the
one misconception that some people would have
about biomechanical tattoos is that it’s easy. People go like, oh
I can do anything. There’s no rules. There’s no rules
if it looks good. But if it doesn’t look
good, it doesn’t look good. That makes it not easy. Client will ask me, oh well
what is this gonna be like? My answer is usually like, I don’t know I
haven’t done it yet. – Really it’s just a swirly
whirlwind in my head. I’ll get visuals ’cause
I’m a visual thinker and then I just draw and
it just comes to life. I find the less I plan,
the more creative I get. – Trying to copy
someone else’s work creates a lot of pressure. For instance somebody
wants a Dahli painting tattooed on them. When I’m doing my own stuff
I don’t feel any pressure. I feel free when
I’m doing my stuff. (epic music) People come and say,
do what you wanna do and that gives me
full freedom to come up with something that
no one’s seen before. There’s nothing
holding you back, you can create as
much as you want. – For me I guess
it’s the challenge. It’s the fleeting
moments of like I did that really good. I know when I get
tattooed, get in the shower and wash everything off
and then look in the mirror and be like, oh holy
shit I look cool. – Biomechanical is not something that you can really
put on like a decal. You need to really
make it fit the body. Building three dimensional
art on a three dimensional surface has got to be the
most difficult challenge as an artist I’ve ever faced. I think that’s why
I stay so interested because I’m still
trying to figure it out.

38 thoughts on “The Art of Ink: Biomechanical”

  1. Paul Booth and Guy Aitchison are doing some really impressive stuff but for my own taste I like biomech that looks more traditional. Have a look at Chad Chesko, Nick Filth, Alvaro Llorar, Eddy Deutsche for some great bold, gritty and raw looking strong tattoos that doesn't need all the nicey nicey color blends and overly worked soft areas.

  2. I think with biomechanical it depends on the colours used black and grey looks sick but colour just looks disgusting it ruins the style if it's done in colour

  3. I really don't like all the colours they're using in these. These kinds of tattoos only really look good either as black and grey or using exclusively metalalic colours like maybe a brassy brown.

  4. I originally read this as Biome chanicil and I feel like such an idiot now 🤦‍♀️ I was literally like “what style could this be? Get a desert tattooed on your arm with a twist?

  5. While I don't like it I think it's always awesome to hear the artists insights on the styles they love. Paul Booth part was really good

  6. Wow….i love this…… as an artist I have found this deeply educational and I have made a profound connection spiritually with what you have done visually

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