Monday, June 6, 2016

Tattoo Flash Set

Five sheets in...

 Most of my time lately has been focused on my Tattoo Flash Set, "The Dirty Dozen".  I put up a Kickstarter campaign to get the word out about it.  What?  You didn't hear about the Kickstarter campaign? I'll get to that in a moment.

 When I talk about a "tattoo flash set", most people just stare at me blankly until I explain that "flash" are the sheets of tattoo designs commonly see on the walls of some tattoo studios.  My theory as to why these designs are called "flash" (because that is the next question that gets asked) is that they are meant to be designs that can be transferred quickly as compared to custom work (done on a flash) and that they are the glitz that people come to expect in a tattoo studio (the flash potential customers are looking for.

 To date, this will be my third set of tattoo designs, possibly my fifth attempt at such a set, and easily my best set.  I won't even bother showing you the old stuff. Suffice it to say that when I did my first ten-page set, I knew nothing about tattooing.  I lovingly advertised the set as "the worst tattoo flash set-ever".  I managed to sell several, but if I could I would buy them all back.  Consider them collectors items, kids, because those pages will never again see the light of day.  
Nine sheets in...

 Creating tattoo flash is a fairly straight-forward process.  The industry standard size for a flash-sheet is 11X14".  Flash is best sold as a color or "finished" version along with a complimentary sheet of "line-art" that the tattooer uses as a stencil.  Sheets generally have five to seven designs each, though some may have just one design and others may contain dozens.  While not necessary, it seems preferable for the designs to relate in some way.

 Simple, yes?  The problem comes when you elect to create 13 sheets of designs.  "The Dirty Dozen" is a baker's dozen, and clients who purchase the complete set will get a bonus "secret sheet".  Actually, I will probably offer my Valentines' Day and Friday the 13th sheets as well, but the new set will have a total of 13 pages.  That said, I am up to sheet 11, just two more to go.  The first 11 sheets contain various bits drawn over the last couple of years with a few new pieces.  In total, I am 64 individual designs into the project.  I have rejected about two dozen designs as simply being not good enough, and I am struggling to come up with the next two sheets.
Ten sheets in...

 Creating flash sheets is fairly simple. Coming up with designs for 13 sheets is a marathon of creativity.

 They're coming, though, folks, and along with them additional new items such as stickers and t-shirts based on those designs.  Stay tuned.  I am hoping to have the line art finished by the end of July.  Then, it is just a matter of coloring all 13 sheets.

 Yep.  No problem.

 So, the Kickstarter campaign.  The thing is that at various times thare are more than a few tattooers and tattoo studios running campaigns of there own.  My goal was modest, and my intent was to make those tattoo-people aware of this marvelous new set that was about to become a real thing in the world.  The intent was not to hit the goal, because the product really doesn't cater to the masses.  The word got out, which was the point, and I now have several interested parties who want a sheet or a set when it is complete.

 So, stay-tuned.  Art is happening!

 Jason Sorrell is a writer, tattoo artist, satirist, artist, and generally nice guy living in Austin, TX.  He loves answering questions about tattoos.  Shoot him an email at