Flipshades: Denver’s Sticker Patch Wizard
Ya’ll ain’t never seen sticker tattoos like Flipshades is turning out
If you didn’t know any better, you’d probably think that Flipshades’ clients coming out of Long Live Tattoo Collective were covered in vinyl stickers or embroidered patches. But trust us when we tell you, those aren’t adhesive slap-ons nor are they sewed into the flesh of those lucky customers—those are tattoos, designed with style, imbued with Flipshades' charismatic flair, and executed with a whole lotta’ love. He’s pushing artistic boundaries, testing his limits as an artist, and weaving his own sense of humor, influence and soul into them. Behold: Denver’s Sticker Patch Wizard!
Shop: Long Live Tattoo Collective / Denver
Years Tattooing: 21
Style/Specialty: sticker/patchwork, traditional, new school, illustrative, surrealism or realism, blackwork and japanese
Shameless Plug: flipshadesofficial.com longlivetattoo.com
How/when did you get into tattooing?
I started tattooing in 2001 or so. I’ve always been an artist, searching for new knowledge, mediums, and other people’s experiences. After getting tattooed for a few years, I met a dude around age 19 that had equipment and started tattooing with his stuff before really knowing anything about it. Just this old how to tattoo book from the 80s. Now I’m a co-owner of Long Live Tattoo Collective, and travel worldwide tattooing as many people as I can.
What about sticker/patch style tattoos draws you to that style?
The sticker and patch tattoos are super fun and I love designing them. They’re truly challenging from concept to finish. I love trying to make the finished product something that people look at and say wow. It both pushes myself and sharpens my artistic capabilities.
How do you come up with ideas/where do you find inspiration for designs?
Composing designs is what I do best. I start with the space to tattoo (a pic of the actual area) and then draw on top of that. I’m great at visualizing what people describe. I had someone tell me once I have ear glasses, like I see an image of what they are saying in my head. Then I just try and put it together In some way that is well balanced and thought out and as clean as possible. I usually go through a few rounds of designing and refining until I’m happy with the design. I believe that if I dedicate real time to composition I develop substance and good form and flow and then it’s just a matter of application to skin.
What is your favorite part about making such crazy out-of-the-box art?
The best part about making art to me is pushing the limits of what I think I can do. Using the techniques I have learned to make new art that may be at one point I would have said wasn’t possible. It’s fun to sit with a client and my iPad and prep the art right in front of them with their input, making them part of the process as much as I can.
You're a professional artist—what's your favorite part about your job?
The best part about being a Tattooer is that we connect to folks and even help them on their journeys. For example we cover scars and old memories. We help people remember things they always want to think about. We help individuals see themselves differently then they have before. Tattooing can be very powerful and emotional. People often tell me that they remember the day they got tattooed, my energy and what we talked about every time they see the tattoo. Knowing that, I try to make this permanent body changing experience just that, a tailored to the individual, memorable, and joyous experience .
Anything else you want people to know about your art?
It’s not just a job or a tattoo or art, even–it’s a luxury service that I try to make the best I can for everyone involved. There are a ton of Tattooer’s that can do amazing work, so I’m trying to create a whole different vibe for my clients and give them not only a tattoo but an experience to boot. I want to continue to grow with my amazing and trusting clients, and make the best possible art and can for them and for myself. Let’s go !!!