Wow. As I reflect on 2014, I can’t help but think about what an amazing year it has been and how much I have grown both as an artist and as an individual, however those thoughts are overshadowed by the excitement of what I have planned for 2015 and the changes it will bring.
One of the major changes was my decision to leave Laughing Hyena Tattoo Studios to free up more time for travel, conventions, guest spots and open a private studio of my own. I have tattooed and pierced nearly everyday for the past 10 years, in 6 shops full-time, won awards and tattooed at over 30 conventions and countless guest spots all over the US. I’ve held nearly every title in the industry from shop bitch/apprentice to shop manager but the one thing I’ve never experienced was running a tattoo shop of my own.
As my travel schedule quickly filled up with conventions and guest spots, it became clear that it would not be possible to continue working in a shop that felt entitled to a cut of every penny I made and was irritated any time I requested some time off. I am to the core of my being a traveler, one of the most appealing perks of being a tattoo artist was that I would be my own boss with the ability to travel the world and work while I did so. Being forced to work day after day in one spot was definitely taking a toll on my sanity and quickly began to dread doing the very thing that I had loved for so many years before. Being a self-made tattoo artist who has spent over half his life with drawing, tattooing and painting as his main focus, it became clear that I needed to embark on my own and am currently taking all of my tattoos out of my own private appointment-only studio in Washington DC. The studio doesn’t have a name yet and the location will never be made public.
The studio is an all disposable tattoo studio, all tubes and needles are pre-sterilized by the manufacturer for one time use only and are disposed of after each tattoo in a proper sharps container, the use of an autoclave is not necessary. All of my tattoo inks 100% vegan and bought from companies who are respected industry leaders, every surface that comes in contact with my gloves during this process is bagged or covered with medical barrier plastics.
I strive to maintain levels of cleanliness above and beyond industry standards by staying updated on the latest sanitation practices and preventive measures and I attend as many seminars and classes as I can specifically designed for the industry. Scarily enough, this practice is not state required but insures the safety of my clients even further and guarantees you a safe and sterile environment to receive the best tattooing experience possible. If you have any other questions about disease prevention and sanitation practices, please feel free to email me or ask before your tattoo appointment.
MAKING AN APPOINTMENT WITH BOBBY ROTTEN
I feel that working as a custom artist working in a private studio allows me to create more original pieces of art tailored to your personal style, without the distractions that come with most walk-in shops. Over the years I have compiled a long list of amazing return clients that I love as much as my own family, but I am always open to proposed tattoo ideas from new clients.
All new clients should send me an email with a detailed description of the tattoo you are interested in getting to email@example.com or fill out the appointment form at the end of this section. Please include in your email any images of photo reference (please try to stay away from images of others people’s tattoos), where you are wanting to place the tattoo, how big you want the piece and when you are trying to schedule your appointment. I reserve the right to refer you to another artist if I believe the tattoo is something that doesn’t match up with my artistic style and artistic freedom is strongly preferred. Please don’t email me a photo and expect me to just copy it, nothing is more insulting to me and usually won’t get a response from me.
Depending on the time of year, the amount of travelling I will be doing and the volume of work I have taken on there could be a wait anywhere from a few days to a few weeks. When booking my appointments, tattoos that are in progress and return clients always get first priority. I will NOT book any appointments over Facebook, Twitter, phone, etc. and I will not begin drawing ANY tattoo without the required $50 deposit, this deposit is non-refundable and will count towards the total price of your tattoo and secure your appointment date. I will not tattoo anyone under 18 years of age and need proper state ID as proof of age. If you’ve received an email from me about your tattoo, but scheduling doesn’t work out at first, please email me again. I usually ask people who are waiting to stay on my list by sending me a reminder tattoo every month to let me know they’re still interested.
I charge an hourly rate which is to be discussed when I receive the email about the piece you’re interested in getting, and the price for single session pieces will be given upon the completion of the piece based on the elapsed time, however clients are encouraged to give a spending limit in advance, which helps me tailor the amount of time I spend on that tattoo for that session. Normally I quote the price based on the criteria of however long it will take me to complete the project to make sure it is as perfect as it can get, it can be more or less depending on many factors so an hourly rate ensures that neither the client nor I gets locked into a predetermined price that is no longer correct in the end.
With all that being said, I am super excited about 2015 and even more about embarking on this journey with the private studio and travelling the rest of the time. I just wanted to thank all my extremely loyal clients that have followed me everywhere I have gone and been supportive of everything I have done. Without all of you, none of this could be possible and I love you all. I am also excited to see what new clients and travels 2015 will bring. I will be posting a projected travel schedule soon and I gotta say, it’s gonna be a great year full of great art, tattoos and positive vibes. Take care and hope to tattoo each and every one of you soon.
Be sure to check me out on Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/bobbyrotten
I’m standing in the rain outside of my warm Maryland home, loading the last of my tattoo gear and luggage into the back of a run-down airport shuttle and embarking on my journey to New Orleans.
My driver, a short elderly man with no sense of amusement at all, ignores my jokes and stories along the ride, which in no way at all discourages me but rather only forces me think of more annoying, offensive comments to make.
But no matter, in 40 minutes I will be at BWI and at 6:40 I will be on a plane to NOLA to tattoo at the Tattoo Voodoo expo Friday-Sunday.
Words have failed my brain to try and describe the mixture of emotions I am feeling leaving my lovely home at 3 am, but over-all I am relieved that this trip is underway and excited that in a few short hours I will be with my friends in New Orleans for 5 days of pure mayhem and insanity.
If you don’t already, be sure to follow me on twitter to be kept in the loop of this convention: http://www.twitter.com/bobbyrotten13
Unless you have been living in a cave, you probably know that DC registered an 5.8 magnitude earthquake today. It actually is what woke me out of bed this afternoon and has been on my mind all day, so I came up with this #asketchaday sketch.
I haven’t been keeping up with this #asketchaday project how I had liked, but I promise I will start back at it again tomorrow and keep at it every day.
I hope you guys will understand, I have had a lot going on with work and my personal life and now apparently I have to add earthquakes to this never ending list of worries haha.
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I went to The Montgomery County Fair last night with a bunch of friends and co-workers from X2 Ink. I stuffed my face with fair food, saw some pigs and a sheep with five legs, met the usual confused riff-raff you would meet at such an event and I left.
I never want to attend another fair sober again as long as I live. However, I did get a few cool pictures of random animals and some sketchy rides.
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I thought I would continue with the underwater theme so I drew this crab today while I was waiting on an appointment at the shop. Maryland represent, come and get it.
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I spent my 4th of July oceanside at Bethany Beach in Oceanview, DE. I’m not really big on this holiday but jumped at an opportunity to escape the city to drink and party with some friends.
These are some of the pictures I took, to see the rest of the pictures I took click here.
I have been talking about uploading all my “Epic Cellphone Pictures” to a Photobucket for a few months now with some friends and I finally got around to doing it last night.
I seriously love the camera on my phone and I love taking pictures of wherever I may be at the time so I manage to compile a lot of pictures in a small amount of time.
Last night I uploaded 593 pictures and that was only from the past 90 days or so, I will be uploading more tonight so be sure to check back or add me on Photobucket: Bobby_Rotten.
In this batch of uploads are pictures from APP in Vegas, Baltimore Tattoo Convention party, sketches I’ve done, some flash work, tattoos I’ve done, pretty much an inside look into my life for the past three months or so.
I will be attending the Association of Professional Piercers conference until the 11th.
I will return to tattooing at X2 Ink in Germantown on Monday, June 13.
Still feel free to call the shop at 240.686.0234 to make an appointment with me at either shop.