Question And Answer

BRANDON NOTCH TATTOO COPYRIGHT

Tattoos are known around the world as, tatoeage, tatouage, tätowier, tatuaggio, tatuar, tatuaje, tatuagens, tatoveringer, tato, tattueringar, tatoos, and tatu

Full Name:  Brandon  Garic Notch 

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 Nickname: Sacred Saint 

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 Where are you originally from: Saint Paul Minnesota 

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Where do you live and work now: I currently live in San Bernardino, CA, where I built a private studio for myself and work by Appointment only. San Bernardino, is just an hour drive east from Los Angeles.                                 

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 Name of your studio: Sacred Saint Studio 

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--  "How long have you tattooing?"  I  have been pushing these pins since 1996, but professionally since 1998. PINS TO THE SKIN!! I learn something new every day.

--  "How did you get into tattooing?"  I was in juvenile hall when I first really got interested into tattooing. I was a young kid lost in the world trying to find my place. You know getting into trouble, ha, ha. I bought some equipment and machines, and started scratching on my friends then got new friends. Yes we all start out as scratcher’s it takes a lot of bad tattoos to get good in this game. So you tattoo for free doing anything, and everything that comes your way to lean, and progress as a tattooist. I lied about my age and went around to some shops showing off my work and, I was able to land an apprenticeship, I never looked back. All I know is after that, all I did was eat, sleep, and breathe anything that had to do with tattooing. I talk about it in my book. (Death is only the Beginning)

--  "When did you get into painting?"  I've been into art, painting and drawing my whole life. My parents are artist's.

--  "Was your family and friends supportive in your decision to become an artist?"  Yes, everyone was very supportive.

--  "Do you like to challenging yourself every time you tattoo?"  Yes, I love creating bigger and better tattoos.

--  "What do you like about tattooing?"  I love the conversations, the stories, the interaction with my clients never gets old, and the ability to create lasting art, Impressions in the skin and on the mind. The POWER of ART holds true. Creating hope, faith, motivation, change and inspiration in ones life. Artwork is changing lives and motivating the world around us, life is ART.. Let's tattoo the world with art. 

-- "Do you ever do charity work? Work cheap for the right cause/Donate paintings, Etc.?" YES HA, HA, HA... I am an artist, but this does not mean i will work for FREE, I have bills just like you.

--  "Do you have a favorite tattoo?"  I don't have a favorite tattoo, but I love things that challenge me, and people that give me large parts of their body to tattoo. I have yet to do my best tattoo only my best so far.

-- "Who or what is your biggest influence in your tattoo work and why?" My clients aren't the biggest influences in my work they give me the skin and inspiration to create. Something’s you just can't do with paint on canvas. They really are the biggest influence in my work.

-- "If I had to name my greatest motivation in life thus far, what would it be?"  DEATH (Being happy with what i have done in life, and having fun.)

Brandon Notch ribs logo sacredsaint

-- "What was the most difficult thing to learn in tattooing for you and why?" Most difficult thing for me to learn in tattooing would have to be learning how to transfer one’s idea from their mind to paper, to create a permanent piece of artwork in one’s skin. Most of the time a client will be thinking about red, but he’ll say blue, so you have to predict that. Ultimately keep in mind the flow of the art on the body. You can have a badass top-notch tattoo, but if it has no flow, or does not fit the body, ultimately it will look like shit.

-- "How do you usually advertise or market yourself?" Advertising is one thing I don’t believe in. I believe that good work speaks for itself, all my clients are referral-based. If your work speaks for itself, don't interrupt it... :) 

-- "What brand of inks do you recommend or use and why?" I can’t recommend any brands of the inks, because I use a lot of different inks there’s no one brand that’s better than the other. It all depends upon what you like. Most of my colors I make, like red I’ve been making inks for about eight years now. Some brand’s have a good color but the rest suck or are hard to work into the skin. It took me many years to find the colors I like, But if you’re talking about ink. When I say ink, I mean black because that is the only ink we use, all the colors are pigments. I still like talons white label. 

-- "What is the best brand of tattoo machines that you recommend and why?" I can’t recommend a brand of tattoo machines. I can only tell you there are two types, daily drivers and hotrods. On a long day you want something that feels good in your hand doesn’t weight too much and will not overheat. So ultimately you would need to find a machine that feels good in your own hands. 

 -- "What do you believe is the most important tattooing skill one should learn how to master, and why?" Would you believe the most important skill is, to truly understand there is still much to learn. It’s never as easy as it looks to lay down a good clean tattoo.The ability to create beautiful imagery, that is a skill honed over many years of hard work. 

 -- "What is your best advice or tips to someone new to the art of tattooing?" The best advice I could give to someone new to the art of tattooing would be, look at it like buying a car. Shop for quality and style not price! A tattoo is the only thing you can buy that no-one can take from you. Don’t get Cheap on the only thing that will outlive you. Cold, yes I know, but I’m really tired of fixing and covering up shady tattoos. If you do it right the first time it will be cheaper in the long run, Also if you need to get the tattoo right away you probably should not get it at all. Be patient and put some thought into it, and do it right. 

 -- "What is the best way to practice for those just starting out?" Practice on your friends and then get new friends, just kidding. You need to learn on your Self to get the feel of it. The depth, speed, and movement of the machine pushing that puddle of ink or pigment, the ability you give the needles. You need to get use to the minimal visibility you have of the needle because of puddling ink, and you have to love it. 

-- "What is the best way for one to land an apprenticeship?" The best way for one to land an apprenticeship would be to get tattooed, find a good shop and get tattooed by an artist you like, that’s the start. Become a hang around, help out and show your determination, eventually they will ask you. Make sure they see your determination and heart, everything else can be taught.

Sacred Saint tattoo Brandon notch logo

-- "What do you call the art of tattooing?” The Art Of Tattooing: The art of tattooing is in the ability to learn how to transfer one's idea from their mind to paper. Then to create a permanent piece of artwork in one's skin. Most of the time a client will be thinking about red but he'll say blue, so you have to predict that. Keep in mind the flow of the art on the body. You can have a badass top-notch tattoo but if it has no flow or does not fit the body, ultimately it will not look good.

--"Do you ever get frustrated sometimes when things just dont work? When making your art/painting or tattooing?” Ha, ha, ha, If you get upset when the toast burns, what are you going to do when your house burns down?

--"Do you have any advice for your fellow artist struggling to stay afloat?" Ya, never be bullied into silence. Never allow yourself to be made a victim. Accept no one's definition of your life; define yourself. Why try to be someone you're not? Life is hard enough without adding impersonation to the skills required. If the life of a tattooist is you, then DO IT!! ;)

 "How would you describe your personality?"  An outgoing straight forward comedic personality. I work hard, and party hard.


--  SOME ONE ASKED ME ABOUT TATTOO INK .... AND I KNOW THAT IT WAS A GOOD QUESTION. SO CHECK OUT THIS LINK .IT WILL HAVE ALL THE INFO YOU WOULD EVER NEED TO KNOW ABOUT TATTOO INK..... CHECK IT ALL OUT-GOOD STUFFFFFFFFFFF.....TATTOO INK!!

***WHAT TO ASK AND LOOK FOR WHEN SEARCHING FOR A NEW AND SAFE ARTIST/TATTOOIST.*** 

1. DO THEY USE NEW NEEDLES 

 2. ASK IF THEY HAVE A BIO HAZARD ROOM AND A CLEAN ROOM THE BIO HAZARD ROOM IS WHERE THEY CLEAN THE TUBES. THEY SHOULD HAVE AN "ULTRA SONIC MACHINE". IN THE CLEAN ROOM THEY SHOULD HAVE AN AUTO CLAVE. THE SHOP PERSONNEL SHOULD BE MORE THAN HAPPY TO SHOW YOU. UNLESS THEY HAVE SOMETHING TO HIDE. 

 A. ULTRASONIC MACHINE: ULTRASONICS IS THE APPLICATION OF MECHANICAL SOUND WAVES TO THE CLEANING PROCESS. THIS TYPE OF CLEANING HAS PROVEN TO BE THE MOST EFFORTLESS,QUICK AND EFFICIENT METHOD KNOWN TODAY. THE TRANSDUCERS VIBRATE AT A FREQUENCY OF 40KHz CREATING MILLIONS OF TINY BUBBLES THAT FORM AND IMPLODE. THIS REPEATED FORMATION AND IMPLOSION CREATES A GENTLE ACTION KNOWN AS CAVITATION. CAVITATION HAS THE ABILITY TO NOT ONLY CLEAN THE SURFACE OF ITEMS, BUT ALSO PENETRATE INTO THE DIFFICULT TO CLEAN INTERNAL AND CREVICE AREAS, WHICH PROVIDES THE ULTIMATE CLEANING. 

 B. AUTOCLAVE MACHINE: THERE ARE MANY DIFFERENT KINDS BUT A TRUE AUTOCLAVE IS THE COMBINATION OF HEAT, STEAM AND PRESSURE. IT TAKES ALL THREE TO KILL HEPATITIS ,TUBERCULOSIS,HIV AND OTHER BLOOD RELATED DISEASES. AN AUTOCLAVE IS AN ESSENTIAL MACHINE FOR A TATTOO SHOP FOR STERILIZING INSTRUMENTS. AN AUTOCLAVE MUST MAINTAIN A TEMPERATURE OF AT LEAST 246 DEGREES FOR 30 MINUTES IN ORDER TO FULLY STERILIZE THE EQUIPMENT. AUTOCLAVES NEED TO BE REGULARLY SPORE TESTED EVERY MONTH TO ENSURE THAT IT IS WORKING PROPERLY. SPORE TEST: THIS IS A TWO STEP PROCESS. A SPORE STRIP IS A SMALL PIECE OF FILTER PAPER MEASURING 1.0 INCH BY .25 INCH WIDE THAT IS IMPREGNATED WITH MILLIONS OF BACTERIAL SPORES. THE SPORE STRIP IS NORMALLY SEALED IN A SMALL BLUE GLASSINE ENVELOPE. A SECOND STRIP (CONTROL STRIP) DOESN'T GO INTO THE STERILIZER. IT IS FOR QUALITY ASSURANCE. THE CONTROL STRIP VERIFIES THAT THE SPORES THAT YOU PUT IN THE STERILIZER WERE VIABLE PRIOR TO STERILIZATION AND ALSO VERIFIES THAT THE TEST MEDIA AT THE LABORATORY SUPPORTS GROWTH. THE CONTROL TEST HELPS ENSURE THAT THE SPORES HAVEN'T BEEN EXPOSED TO ANY ENVIRONMENTAL CONDITION DESTROY THEM. 

--  "WHAT IS A SPORE?" A BACTERIA THAT IS ENCLOSED IN A CAPSULE. WHEN A BACTERIA BREAKS OUT OF THE CAPSULE IS WHEN YOU CAN GET SICK. 

  THE RESULTS SHOULD BE POSTED IN THE LOBBY ALONG WITH A CERTIFICATE AND A NUMBER TO CALL TO FIND OUT IF TEST WAS DONE AND CORRECT. (IT IS THE LAW.) 

 3. ASK THE TATTOOIST IF YOU CAN OBSERVE HIM/HER TATTOO WATCH HOW OFTEN THEY CHANGE THEIR GLOVES. THEY SHOULD CHANGE THEIR GLOVES EVERY TIME THEY TOUCH SOMETHING ON THEIR WORK STATION ( THE AREA WHERE THE INK,PAPER TOWELS,TOOLS AND ETC ARE KEPT). MAKE SURE THE TATTOOIST COVERS THE AREA ON THE CHAIR THAT MAY COME IN CONTACT WITH THE AREA THAT IS BEING TATTOOED. THEY SHOULD ALSO USE A HARD DISINFECTANT. THEY SHOULD CLEAN THE WHOLE CHAIR, JUST LIKE THE DOCTORS OFFICE. MADA CID 1/ OR MADA FD AND HB WIPES (GREEN TOP) ARE ONLY TWO DISINFECTANTS THAT WILL KILL HEPATITIS C, HIV, TUBERCULOSIS AND OTHER BLOOD RELATED DISEASES. 

--  "WHERE ARE THE SUPPLIES KEPT?"  SUPPLIES SHOULD BE AT LEAST 5 FEET AWAY FROM THE TATTOO AREA, UNLESS KEPT IN A DRAWER AND/OR CABINET. SUPPLIES SHOULD NEVER BE ON THE FLOOR. ALL SUPPLIES SHOULD BE LABELED PROPERLY.

--  ONCE IT HAS BEEN ESTABLISHED THAT THE SHOP IS CLEAN AND SAFE IT IS TIME TO CHECK OUT THE ART WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN A TATTOO 

1. SMOOTH CLEAN LINE 

2. CONSISTENT SHADING 

3. SMOOTH COLOR TRANSFERS ( AS IF THEY ARE USING AN AIR BRUSH) 

4. BLACK SHOULD BE NICE AND DARK 

5. ART WORK SHOULD FLOW WITH THE BODY. 

6. THE TATTOO SHOULD LOOK LIKE AN ART PIECE 

7. DO BE AFRAID TO TALK TO THE ARTIST, THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS TOO MANY QUESTIONS. IF THEY CAN'T ANSWER THEM MAYBE THEIR NOT THE RIGHT TATTOOIST. 

8. TALK PRICE DISEASES ARE BEING PASSED THROUGH THE TATTOO INDUSTRY AND WILL CONTINUE UN LESS CLIENTS STAND UP AND STOP SUPPORTING DIRTY SHOPS. 

--  DON'T YOU DESERVE A CLEAN, HEALTHY AND SAFE ENVIRONMENT.

TATTOOS ARE FOREVER SO GET A GOOD ONE AND KEEP THE ART ALIVE!!


Why I don't have a sink in the Tattoo Station
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From a letter to the County of Los Angeles Department of Health Services: 

1. Tattooing creates a five-foot radius micro spray. This micro spray would land in and around the sinks. These sinks harbor and breed bacteria as well as the surrounding areas, caulking is one example.

2. Moisture prolongs the life of hepatitis in addition to many other blood borne pathogens. Furthermore, when the sink is in use it will spread the micro spray further. This will endanger my clients and employees.

3. The reason that doctors' offices and clinics' have hand-washing sinks in each work area is that each area is a separate room. If they did not have a sink in each room they would have to pass through doors and risk cross contamination. Our sinks, which utilize a step flow system, are centrally located. With the current set up there are no doors or other cross contamination hazards that need to be passed through in order to access the pre existing sink.
For these reasons I will not place a sink at each tattoo station. It would simply cause more problems than it will solve. Sinks in the tattoo stations are a health risk. 

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 I Need To Say Thank You To My Clients/Friends.. My clients are the biggest influences in my work;they give me the skin and inspiration to create. Somethings you just can't do with paint on canvas. Like have your work out for every one to see, moving around to new eyes each day. Don't get me wrong, it is real important to work out some of the artistic frustration with paint on canvas, ink on paper, etc. It keeps your mind fresh and working so you can see what is out side the box. Thank You.. YOU ROCK!!! 

Brandon

Artwork is changing lives and motivating the world around us. ART is life.. Let's tattoo the world with art. 

SACRED SAINT GALLERY Brandon Notch

   I will do my part to keep America beautiful and keep people from getting bad tattoos.
*You will get nothing short of Top quality, Clean, Safe, Artistic Tattooing by internationally recognized artist Brandon Notch (aka) Sacred Saint. 

“Here's to the crazy ones ~ the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers ~ the round pegs in the square holes ~ the ones who see things differently -- they're not fond of rules. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them ~ but the only thing you can't do is ignore them ~ because they change things ~ they push the human race forward ~ and while some may see them as the crazy ones ~ we see genius ~ because the ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world ~ are the ones who do!!! Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart. Stay hungry. Stay foolish." -Steve Jobs R.I.P.

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Brief History of the Japanese Tattoo

As the power of the common people and working classes of Japan grew in the latter half of the Edo period (circa 18th century) horimono, or traditional Japanese tattoos, began to flourish as art form. Using images from traditional water colour paintings, woodcuts and picture books of the time as designs, the ultimate reward for the patience and endurance of pain would be a tattoo of immense beauty. To experience and enjoy Japanese horimono tattoos it is important to understand their history and background, and it is also important to continue to preserve the traditions behind them.

The origins of traditional Japanese tattoos can be traced back to the latter years of the Edo period in Japanese history.
In 1603, the then ruler of Japan, Tokugawa Ieyasu, centralised his shogunate government in Edo, what is now Tokyo. In the 200 years following this, the established feudal system began to stagnate, and in opposition to the martial upper classes, the common people of Edo began to develop their own separate, unique culture for themselves.

Rejecting the centuries-old strict ethics and morality of the Confucian beliefs of the samurai and taking up themes based on duty, ninjo (human experiences and feeling), fashion and comedy the townspeople of Edo increasingly began to enjoy novels, drama, comic tanka songs and theatre. Books such as kokusenyagassen by Chikamatsu Monzaemon, Honchohsuikohden and Satomihakkenden by Takisawa Bakin and many other publications, along with picture books and artwork all combined to develop into a system that became a massive outlet of cultural expression for the ordinary people of Edo.

In this way the society of Edo progressed, and the pride and mentality of the ordinary people, manifested in such ways as dategokoro (foppish male fashion) and shokunin-kishitsu (the pride and way of thinking of the Edo working classes) of the tobishoku, or blue-collar workers, grew amongst such townspeople as labourers, manufacturers, hikeshi or firemen (in 18th century Edo urban fires were commonplace, and a major cause of mortality, as well as an ample source of tales of heroism) and petty crooks known as gaen. Some of these predominantly working class people of Edo, in imitating the heroes of the folk story Suikohden, as popularised at the time by the famous woodblock artist Kuniyoshi (Suikohden was a legend originating in China, where outlaws who, in defying the local corrupt authorities became folk heroes as protectors of the common people; an oriental equivalent of Robin Hood) began to ritualistically and painfully tattoo themselves with designs based on folklore, such as dragons, giant snakes and Chinese lions, and also with religious figures such as the Bhudda, Fudomyo (the God of Fire), Fujin and Raijin (the Gods of Wind and Lightning) and Kannon (the Goddess of Mercy) using sharp needles to insert pressed charcoal ink under their skin.

The people who carried out such tattooing tended to be ukiyoe woodblock artists, who simply exchanged their wood-carving blades for long, sharp needles. As time progressed however, some of these artists specialised in tattooing and came to devote all their time to tattooing only, and thus became tattooists. This long process has come to produce what is known as the uniquely-Japanese traditional art form, horimono.

There are written records indicating that in Edo as early as 1830 there were formal gatherings of tattoo enthusiasts.
Although nowadays tattoo conventions are common both in Japan and in the West, the fact that in Edo such conventions were taking place over 150 years ago is an indicator of the long and rich history of traditional Japanese tattoos.
The tattoos of the Edo, Meiji and Shohwa eras are described in the classic 1936 work, Bunshin Hyakushi, or One Hundred Tattoo Figures and Stories, by Tamabayashi Haruo.
In the book, the life and works of some of the famous tattooists of the Edo period are described, such as Karakusagonta (from Asakusa), Darumakin and Iso (Yanaka), Charibun (Asakusa), Horitsun (Kameido), Ichimatsu (Asakusa), Kane (Yottsuya) and Horiichi (Osaka). However there is no photographic record of their works and designs, and so one must go by their considerable word-of-mouth reputation.
Horiuno was born Kamei Unosuke in Kanda, Edo in 1843. At this time, tattoos were undergoing a surge in popularity amongst the people of Edo.

Horiuno became a tattooist at the age of 20, but travelled extensively throughout Japan, such as to Osaka, Kyoto and Shizuoka, and only really began working full-time from the age of 40. However, he continued his business well into his 70s and much of his work can still be seen today. Many of his customers were workers in the local construction and manufacturing industries, and in 1912, some of these locals of the Kanda area formed the Kanda Choyu-kai, literally "Tattoo Friends Society of Kanda", and 10 years later, extended membership to those outside the Kanda area, to form the Edo Choyu-kai.
The members of this group, who consisted mostly of labourers such as construction workers, carpenters and plasterers, would meet every year at places such as Ojinanushi-no-taki and Marukotamagawaen, taking part in mass outdoor banquets, or in festivals such as the Asakusa Sanja-matsuri, showing off their extensive and intricate body tattoos with pride.

Horiuno was well known throughout Japan and also overseas, and was said to be Japan's most talented tattooist. However, at that time a wealth of equally-skillful tattooists, such as Horiiwa, Horikane, Kyuta and Nekokichi could be found throughout Japan.

Shimada Kunihiro, Japan Tattoo Institute
Translated by Adam Guy


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A Tattooist’s Code of Ethics
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I will provide a clean, safe environment in which to practice. 

An autoclave sterilizer will be used and maintained in accordance with APT guidelines. 

I will keep my blood borne pathogens training current. 

I will follow my local, state and federal health regulations. 

I will not tattoo anyone under the influence of alcohol or drugs. 

I will not conduct myself in a manner that will reflect negatively on my profession. 

All tools and materials used will be of professional quality. 

I will make every effort to educate my clients and the general public in what constitutes safe procedure. 

I will promote safe tattooing within my industry. 

I will provide my clients with written and verbal aftercare instructions. 

I will perform every tattoo to the best of my ability. 

I will maintain a professional attitude toward my clients and peers. 

I will respect the roots, traditions and heritage of my art. 

Sacred Saint Brandon Notch


All artwork and tattooing by Brandon Notch aka:Sacred Saint (copyright) Sacred Saint Tattoo And Art Gallery CA