Why You Hatin’ On Iggy?

I'm stoked I found this inked picture of Iggy on a motorcycle! Rad!

I’m stoked I found this inked picture of Iggy on a motorcycle! Rad!

She’s the newest thing to hit the rap scene. A white girl with a practiced rap style. Or so they say. Does she write her own lyrics? Did you she go too far with the ‘Pussy’ video? Or has she broken through boundaries by proving that rap is an art that can be driven by talent regardless of gender and race.

Now matter what you think of Iggy or how she got to where she is, you have to go back to her roots to truly appreciate what she’s done in the music business. I myself am no artist, but I do love music – and I mean ALL music – and though Iggy may have crossed some lines that I myself never would, I still appreciate her success and her music for what it is. We all have our skeletons, our short cuts, our little black deeds that we’ve done to get ahead, so you can’t possibly judge or hate on Iggy for her past because you’d just be spitting on the mirror.

10974329_796437500445877_232701760332754553_oMy point being, if you’re a sixteen-year-old female that has traveled to a completely foreign country thousands of miles and more than a dozen flight hours away from home, and then less than a decade later, you’re a millionaire with boundless success whose music can be heard almost everywhere, I think that’s something to be admired and respected. Yes, I’m a fan. I’m a fan of any woman who immigrates to this country on her own and creates a world of success for herself. Take my friend Issey (no play on Iggy I swear) for example who came here from Thailand not even knowing our language, to a place where she had no family, and while in this country, she began road racing and is now representing Ducati in her home country of Thailand. Or take any of the women who came here with nothing to their name or no family nearby to support them and yet they open their own restaurants, salons or become successful music artists. These women take a leap, alone, and make it despite all odds, proving all wrong and beating Murphy’s Law to a pulp until they can’t remember when a bad day was even an excuse.

I applaud Iggy for her success and I love her music. I never get sick of songs like ‘Fancy,’ ‘Beg for it’ or ‘Murda Business’ (which I’m peeved I can’t get on iTunes by the way). Although I’ve reached near-annoyance with ‘Black Widow,’ I’m still not sick of Iggy and I don’t think I ever will be.

I’m pretty impressed with Iggy Azalea and what’s she accomplished, mostly because of what she stands for. If you have a dream and you have the drive, there’s a no reason why you can’t be successful, no matter the obstacle, no matter the distance you have to travel to get there. And in a world where persecution, judgment and negativity run rampant, I’d say Iggy is a positive breath of fresh air.



Mark Gibson from Monkido Tattoo Studio explains the bio mechanical sleeve tattoo

Bio mechanical sleeve tattoo by Mark Gibson of Monkido Tattoo Studio.

Bio mechanical sleeve tattoo by Mark Gibson of Monkido Tattoo Studio.

You may have seen the bio mechanical sleeve I posted earlier by Mark Gibson. I was blown away how Mark was able to weave an amalgam of complex, mechanical motorbike-inspired parts onto his client’s arm in a way that yielded a flawless and fascinating piece of art work on living canvas. I was able to chase Mark down and find out a little bit more about this tattoo, which I later learned was based on Ducati parts. Not bad for an artist from a small European town. Read on to find out more from the interview.

Tell me a little more about the client. What was the inspiration behind this tattoo?

His name is Matthew Buckley, and he lives a few hours away from our studio in Oxford.  He’s a collector of awesome tattoos, and has some awesome work by many talented tattoo artists from around the UK. I was lucky enough to receive his full right arm to tattoo. His inspiration would have been his own Ducati, and also a mechanical sleeve I’d previously done based on car parts on a different client.

I saw that this tattoo took about 30 hours of work. How many sittings did the client do?

Thirty hours was a rough estimate by the time we had finished tattooing, not including tea breaks and the odd sandwich here and there. Thirty hours was just for the tattoo application, if you added on another sixty hours in design preparation you wouldn’t be far off.  The thirty hours was broken up into full day sittings at around five hours each, this meant six day trips for Matt to make.

How did you come up with the sketch? Did you freehand directly to his arm? Or did you come up with a stencil ahead of time?

This tattoo had a slightly different approach to the rest of my work, due to its complexity and it’s importance that it looked like a robotic arm instead of a motorbike engine.  We started with a lengthy consultation which included all measurements and tracings of Matthews arm/muscle shapes/joints etc.

At the consultation I received a CD from Matt that included hundreds of high quality photographs of his motorbike from all angles and details that you could imagine. From those images I basically chopped them all up, picked the bits that I wanted and ‘photoshopped’ a rough guide together. This was printed off at full scale and traced over a couple of times making adjustments and re-drawing parts  to create an image that would work on the body. Once Matt had approved the tracings a few weeks prior to his first sittings, they were carbon copied directly onto his arm.

What type of tattoo work do you typically do? Black and grey? Color? Portraits?

I really don’t like to limit myself to any certain styles, and will enjoy any piece regardless of colour/black and grey as long as my client is happy to collaborate with me on the artwork. I believe any idea no matter how rough or basic it may seem at the consultation, has the potential to be an awesome tattoo.

Do you ride motorcycles at all? If so, what kind of bike do you have and what do you love about riding?

Unfortunately I’ve not ridden a motorbike since my teens which was just a field bike. I have a lot of good friends who ride and I can certainly appreciate the custom builds that they have. A lot of their work is done by Steve Hackett who owns Hack Shack  Customs, you can see some of their stuff via http://www.facebook.com/hackshack.customs

What tattoo studio do you work for?

I work for Monki Do Tattoo Studio, we are situated near Derby in a small town called Belper. It’s pretty remote here so fortunately our clientele are happy to travel to us. I’ve never worked for any other studio as I apprenticed under Andy Bowler who is the owner.

Do you have personal website or does your tattoo shop have a website people can visit?

We have www.monkido.com for the studio, and I have a personal website on facebook, you can find me on there via http://www.facebook.com/mark.gibson.585

Mark Gibson with his mentor and boss from Monkido Tattoo Studio, Andy Bowler.

Mark Gibson with his mentor and boss from Monkido Tattoo Studio, Andy Bowler.