Creativity starts with Health
As you get older, your body become less tolerant to lack of sleeping, bad diet and ignoring exercise and looking after your health in general.
After 35 years old, your body has less energy. So after reaching 35 years of age, I started to notice I needed to rest more, and in consequence, I had less time to do my art and be creative.
That was a sad news for me, as I always wanted to be as creative as possible. If I could carry on drawing and painting all night I would love to do it, however we must sleep, in order to have energy, so I must sleep for my health also.
So after not having as much energy to work, and not putting as much time to my art as I wished. I started looking at alternatives to look after my body and my mind, in order to have more energy.
When we are young, we automatically have extra energy, however when we get older, we have to create energy in our bodies. I would like to share my methods of creating energy in my body, in order to be more creative and enjoy my art as much as o can.
Morning Stretch- While we sleep, our muscles also sleeps with us. So I have a few yoga videos saved on my playlist, and do a quick morning stretch. It makes you feel so much better. Specially spending all day sat in a chair, you must contradict that time where your body is still while tattooing.
Exercise- Our bodies are made to move. If you like it or not, our bodies are not made to be static. I know a lot of people say, ah I can’t be bothered exercising. I’m not a big fan of exercising too, however in life we can’t always just do what we want all the time, or eat what we want. Actually you can, however you would reach a very unbalanced state in your life. I exercise for my health, it’s not everyday that I feel like exercising. However, dedication also means, doing things you don’t always feel like doing sometimes. I try to find a way to keep a balance in between going to the gym, going to the park. So it doesn’t get too boring and get out of a routine a little.
Eating well- Food should be a choice not a religion. I try to eat as well as I can, I believe if you eat cheap today, one day you will pay back in medicine. I understand sometimes we have to eat junk food. However there’s a difference in between having a salad once a week, and having a salad 4-5 times a week. I’m not a big fan of salad, however I eat for my well being. Eating well, it increases your concentration level. I highly recommend a hot cup of water with Lemmon, spinach on your salad, green tea everyday. Yam is an amazing potato, it makes your bones stronger, it rejuvenates you, it’s good for your blood and many things. If you have a Yam in the morning, you are not gonna need your cup of coffee. I love Yam.
Lennox Lewis the heavy weight boxer, he had Yam before he knocked out Mike Tyson, he mentioned in a interview.
Meditation- Meditation means literally, switching off your brain. I know a lot of people think... well i can’t do that. The reason why you can’t do that, is because your mind has been distracted for a long time. Your brain is like a muscle, so it won’t just shut up as soon as you ask to do so. It becomes quiet with practise and endurance. Not everyday you will find easy to meditate, specially in those days where your mind is busy with loads of issues, that’s why I choose to meditate in the morning. Anyhow, meditation helps you to make decisions, fell more relaxed and have a better sense of direction in life, and it increases your concentration level.
-Minimise and cut down stimulants
Stimulants are something that messes with our nerve system. I have a auntie who has smoked and drank alcohol heavily all her life, and she hardly can sign her signature on a paper, due to her hand shake. So how are we gonna be able to hold a tattoo machine in the future if we abuse drugs and alcohol. I’m not saying I’m against alcohol, I have a glass of red wine sometimes, however the more stimulants your body gets used to, the more you are gonna need to be calm.
Needing a stimulant everyday, your body will not operate in a normal or higher level. Your body and brain will become dependent, and so on you will only enjoy life with that stimulant present on your body.
I truly believe everything in life has a price, so if you excessively drink, smoke or take any kind of drug, you will pay for it one day. You will become unbalanced, and when things go wrong in life, you won’t be still as you need to be, your nervous system will take over, and your brain will not be able to function clear. That’s why our drug should be natural, meditation, positive mind set, eating well. All these things makes your feel so much better, and they are natural stimulants made by the earth.
Earth has provided all we need to live well, and it’s our choice to make the most of it. Instead of choosing man made stimulants, that gives us short term pleasure, and no long term gratification.
Long term gratification also comes from inside of us. A lot of people seek happiness on other people. We should be complete as a whole, and not present ourselves as a half human who needs another half in order to be completed. We are a full being, enlightened and with a lot of pretentious to be fulfilled internally, other people can contribute towards our fulfilment, however they are not responsible for it.
Thanks for reading
Getting tattooed by Victor Portugal part 3
So going from discussing with Victor about what to do on my neck. He wanted to do a mask instead of a face.
I felt like my plans, I had worked on previously, didn’t work, and I was even considering getting another part of my body tattooed, like my leg.
But then I thought. I’ve been looking forward so much to get tattooed by Victor, I’ve waited years until it was right, I crossed rivers to meet him. I came to the conclusion I had to trust his work and let him get on with it.
He left the room, and brought me an image of an mask, I thought just let him crack on with it, I’m gonna have to trust the master.
As he started the tattoo, I could see how painful it was going to be. I was like, oh god I have 2 days of this. It was almost a payback for all the pain I give to customers everyday and I can’t feel it.
Getting my neck and my head tattooed over 2 full days, it made me learn a lot about how much I should look after the client while tattooing them.
As a tattoo artist, if you don’t get tattooed often, you will forget how much it hurts, and as a consequence your client will not last as long as it should.
It was more painful than I thought it was gonna be. Before I was about to travel to Poland, I got myself ready mentally and physically for the tattoo session ahead. I thought I would meditate while I’m there and everything would be ok. However to be honest, none of my plans worked once I was under the needle of Victor Portugal.
When you get your head tattooed, you can not get away from it, feeling the vibration surrounding your head, there’s no scape from what’s happening. So I had to accept that I had to go through the consequences of getting my neck and head tattooed.
On my first session, I was under so much pain, that Victor recommended me to take some pain killers on the second day.
I was against clients taking pain killers before and during getting tattooed, however after my experience, I recommend anyone to take pain killers before getting tattooed. I’m not saying it will take away all the pain, but it will help you throughout the tattoo session.
One thing I learned while getting tattooed by Victor, is how much what you say to your client helps them to cope being under the needle for so long.
On the second day, I was taking pain killers, and my heart was palpitating faster than usual. And to make things better, I heard Victor saying in Spanish to his working colleague, that one of his friends was tattooing this guy, and the client had a heart attack and died. That was a true story.
So I’m sat in the chair listening to this story, and I was like all my god, I’m gonna have a heart attack, I’m gonna die! I know it was psychological but when you are under the same situation, it gets to your head.
So I learned to say positive things while you are tattooing someone. As everything you say it will be printed in their consciousness and it could affect your client positively or negatively.
Anyhow, when my tattoo was done I was very happy with the outcome. Victor Portugal did not disappoint with his work, he’s very skilful and talented. I was glad when it was done, it was worth all the pain, and all the money I had spent.
I think when you want to get tattooed by someone, and want their style on you for the rest of your life. Money should not be a problem and how long you have to wait. I paid 2000 euros for my tattoo, and I think it was all worth the money, as I have an amazing piece of art with me for a life time.
Thank you Victor for my amazing tattoo. For sure I will be back.
Thank you for reading
Getting in touch with Victor Portugal for my tattoo, it wasn’t easy, however I feel like it was more accessible than a lot of other big names I have previously tried to approach.
I have tried to approach a dozen of big names in the tattoo world, however it seems almost impossible to get tattooed by then.
I feel like with Victor, I had to persist a little, but not out of this world, like past experiences I had. The only little issue I had was to change the date of the appointment once, however that was before I booked my flight, so it was all good.
After making the booking, I thought I need to book the flight. I have never been tattooed abroad before, so I was quiet worried about booking my flight and they could double book my appointment, or something happen. I really didn’t want my appointment to be messed up, so I was sure to double check by email, to be sure my dates were booked.
I’ve always dreamed to get my neck tattooed, since I was a teenager. However I always thought, if not by the best no point doing it.
Victor Portugal was a good choice as, his black and grey work is amazing , he is based in Poland, not too far away from me, travelling from England. He has got his own style, very unique.
So the day arrived, I was in Poland, Kraków. I really enjoyed the city, it’s got a nice feel to it. My hotel was really nice too. I was sure to be in a nice hotel in order to have a good rest. As resting well before getting tattooed is really important.
The day of my tattoo, I was nervous, I haven’t been tattooed for over 5 years. My Hotel was not too far from the studio, so when I finally arrived, his studio has a boozer for the entrance, as his studio is based on second floor. I pressed the buzzer, the door opened and you have to go through a glass window to get up the stairs, as I got upstairs, the receptionist greeted me very politely letting me know Victor was stuck in traffic and he was gonna be a bit late.
I didn’t mind that so all, as I’m sometimes late for my tattoo appointments, I try my best not too, but sometimes life gets in the way.
His Studio has a very dark feel to it, which is expected as his studio is called “dark times” it’s kind of what you see is what you get. I sat in his sofa, and his station was right facing me. I was greeted with heavy metal playing straight in the morning, it was quiet an experience actually.
His Studio is filled with art work everywhere, which it was very inspiring for me. He has original oil paintings by Mr Dist, who does the same sort of work Victor does. His walls are filled with Trophy’s he has won over the years, the one stood out to me the most was the best of the show in London Tattoo Convention, I’m not sure which year it was.
Victor arrived finally 30 min late, very nice guy straight way, very genuine and humble, he has got a very chilled energy about him. A very calm vibration. Maybe that’s the secret why he does awesome work.
His station was no where set up or ready for the tattoo, he did everything in front of me, setting up his station. When he was setting up his station, I was looking at him and I thought… I met the master! I crossed rivers and met the master.
We went through a few ideas. I planned a few ideas on my iPad, however the ideas I had planned, didn’t really meet with what Victor was thinking.
I was planning more of a face with his style. However I imagined more like a mask.
It was a tough moment for me, because I had imagined and planned something, then when I got there, everything changed.
I think is really important to get tattooed if you are a tattoo artist, because I was now in the position of a customer, and I know what it feels if what I was planning or wished to get tattooed was out of the picture.
I was even thinking about getting a different part of my body done. But then I thought.. he’s Victor Portugal, he’s one of the best black and grey tattoo artist in the world.
So he suggested to tattoo a mask, instead of a face.
To be continued…
Thanks for reading our blog, it’s a good way to get to know what we have been up to behind the scenes, in our tattoo studio in Leeds City Centre.
In this blog I would like to talk about my experience getting tattooed at Dark Times at Kraków, Poland, by Victor Portugal.
I’ve always wanted to get my neck Tattooed for a long time, however it’s such a visible place, and such a commitment. I knew that once I got it done, I would have to succeed at art at any cost. So I thought I would wait for the right time, and make sure i would pick the right artist for the job.
I have now been tattooing for 13 years, so I thought I would present myself with a tattoo by an artist who I really admire. So I had in mind two tattoo artists who I love their work, who were Victor Portugal and Carlos Torres.
There are a lot of awesome black and grey artists around the world, and I really respect a lot of artists. However there are always some artists who catch your eyes more than others.
I love Carlos Torres work because of how an amazing artist he’s outside of tattooing. He does oil paintings in colour, his painting are amazing, but then he only tattoos in black and grey. I love his style, and when I look at his tattoos I can tell that’s him straight way, he puts his own stamp in every tattoo he does. So he was for sure one of my options.
My other option was Victor Portugal. Victor Portugal is a tattoo artist from Uruguay, who currently works in Poland Kraków.
I first saw Victor Portugal’s work in Barcelona tattoo convention 2011. It was a tattoo convention I was only visiting to watch, not work. That gave me the opportunity to see some awesome artists working, get to know them, and try to learn as much as I could. In that tattoo convention I saw Victor Portugal working for the first time.
As soon as I saw his work, I knew he wasn’t like everybody else. His work looked realistic to me, but not only realistic, he had another spin that only can be achieved if you draw outside of tattooing.
So I had to choose in between those two awesome artists, what a hard choice to make. If I could get those two guys to do a collaboration at the same time, that would be awesome. However Carlos Torres works from California, Victor Portugal from Poland. Only in a Tattoo Convention like London Tattoo Convention to get those 2 monsters crafting at the same time. I like dreaming sometimes.
So I had to be realistic, and I had to choose one.
So I tried to contact Carlos Torres first, really really booked up, which I completely understand, as the guy is good. However he was booked up to a point where it seems nearly impossible to get an appointment with him. I tried to speak to his secretary, and she said, look it’s really hard. So as much as I respect his work, it seemed really difficult, plus he was in California, a lot more far away from Poland, where Victor Portugal works from.
So i started to try to get in touch with Victor.
To be continued on “Part 2”