February 10, 2018

Initial drawings of the tattoo parlor

Each time I start a new project, one of the first things I do is to draw what I have in mind for the final project. This allows me to better focus on what needs to be done and I can decide from the start on what materials I will need. The easiest way to do this for me is to take the initial picture of the kit I'm going to work on and then to draw the basic outline in Inkscape on top of the picture. Once I'm done, I delete the original picture so that the outline remains. If I'm not going to use a kit, then I directly draw the project according to the measurements I chose.

At this point I'm ready to go. I often surf trough the web to get some ideas, such as what kind of door to create, or what the windows should look like and I collect all these little ideas by drawing them directly into the basic outline. I change the outline as needed while I draw. For this project, I decided not to change the kit much. I'm just going to add some pieces on the outside and merge the windows on the left side to allow a better view into the shop:

This is where you can be really creative, below is what I came up with. It's not yet there but it allows me to see what steps to take next. Generally, once I start working on the kit some of the initial ideas get replaced with others, but at least, this allows you a quick start.


Once I receive the kit (not yet in stock for international orders), I will also have a similar approach for the interior of the tattoo parlor. I will draw the ground 1:1 on a sheet so that I can decide about where to put which furniture. But more on that on another post. 

In the meantime, I received some awesome news and I can finally share it! My 2017 Creatin' Contest entry the "Writer's Retreat" has won an Honorable Mention! YAAAY! To be honest, this year, I was not expecting to win anything, as I was not 100% happy with my project. I wanted to do much more and did not have the time for it - this is also another reason why this year I will not change the new kit much; "more detail than size" is my motto this time. Nevertheless I'm extremely happy for the recognition and this is a great motivation to keep doing what I love the most. 

A Writer's Retreat - 1:12

Although only the honorable mentions are announced yet, it looks like a lot of great projects have been submitted again this year and I can't wait to see all the other entries! You can find them here.

Have a great weekend!

January 29, 2018

Tattoos everywhere!

I think I might have found a way around to turn the new kit into a tattoo studio. I just can't shake this tattoo parlor idea out of my head and keep coming back to it. Given that I work full time, spending the rest of my remaining free time on two separate projects (tattoo shop + contest kit) will be almost impossible, I think I will have to combine these two and make at least this one project work... On the other hand, I decided to share my progress on the contest kit with all of you this year, so I hope that this blog will finally see some more entries on a more regular basis and that I can get some helpful feedback from all of you!

I'm still trying to put the approximate visual of the final building on paper - not many changes to the basic kit to be honest, but in the meantime, I am pretty happy with the color scheme I chose after trying lots of different options:

To these colors, you will need to add some brown leather chairs, a blue/gray/brown rug, black preferably metal cabinets, a white ceiling, good lighting, and the gold poster frames...

In this tattoo studio, the artists mainly design old school tattoos and the decoration will be a mixture of old school and modern. Despite the sterile environment, it will be also a cool place to hang out and to get inspired for the next tattoo.

In the meantime I ordered some led strip light in red from AliExpress, to create the "Tattoo" sign outside of the store. I never used such a strip before and don't know if it will do what I expect it to do, but this is also the the most fitting material compared to what I had in mind in order to create the "Tattoo" sign with red light outside of the store. According to what I read, these strips can be cut and bent, so it should fulfill it's objective. But more on this later.

That's it for today, have a great start into the week!

Hugs, Susi

January 21, 2018

Tattoo Ink

After a big fight against minuscule miniature pieces flying around in my living room, I finally managed to put all together and create the tattoo ink bottles for my ongoing tattoo shop project. This took longer than expected but I think the result is not too bad. Here are the step by step images and the final product:

I started off with some paper lollipop sticks. These are pretty easy to work with, but you need to be careful to have clean cuts because the paper is actually rolled. Another guess is, that these might not be very resistant to liquids, so be careful when coloring them. I did not really have any issue using water based colors though.

Next step was to cut the sticks down to 8mm pieces and to sand one corner of each piece with medium sanding paper, to bring the corners down to 7mm approximately. The sanded side will be the upper side of the ink bottles.

To color the pieces, I attached some tiny nails to a piece of wood (wooden bbq stick) and then attached the non-sanded bottom sides of the pieces to these nails. I chose some colors inspired from a tattoo ink color range for this, but any color will do actually.

While the "bottles" were drying, I created some shapes out of black polymer clay. These will later help to create the black caps of the bottles. 4 shapes are needed in total: (they will be cut down in the next step, but for the oven I put bigger pieces, due to practical reasons) a thicker but shorter roll (the lowest part of the cap), a thinner but longer roll, small thin cones to form the body of the cap and very tiny )1-2mm thin cones to create the tip of the cap.

Once the polymer clay was hardened in the oven, I cut the first thicker roll into very thin plates (each half a mm). The thinner roll was cut in larger pieces of 1,5mm. I trimmed the bigger cones to a same size of approx 3 mm and finally the little cones to less than a mm. On the left center of the picture you can see how these pieces came together, one after the other to form the cap.

Once the caps were ready, I glued them with superglue on top of the different bottles. I printed and cut some brand labels and glued them to the bottles. Superglue won't work here, the best is tacky glue to ensure that you can still move the labels a bit to bring them in the right position on the bottle. After hours of cutting and gluing, here is the end result:

I really like how the colors came all together, the bottles look better than I thought they would - yes, I'm happy!

Another thing that made me really happy is, that my copy of the Dollhouse Miniatures arrived. What a great issue, I feel so lucky that my project has been featured in it next to all the great artists and all the great projects. When I see what other artists did create, I quickly remember though how much I still have to learn... So here is the article I, hope you enjoy.

P.S.: The rug, the pillow, the pictures on the wall and the little table lamp were actually all created by myself, but I think something got mixed up in the article. Let me know if you would like to see a tutorial for any of these...

Have a wonderful start into the week!