Tattoos, War, and Growth

Editorial by Jason M.A. Walter for 434 Tattoo

The other night I went to a dinner with my girlfriend’s family.  It was the first time ever that I was with the entire extended family.

Throughout my Life here in Hawaii, I have been challenged by the color of my skin.  It must sound weird for someone who is half-white to say such a thing but that’s been my experience so I’m just sharing my Truth.  There is deep-rooted historical hatred that has been passed down through generations that is still shaking its dust away from our collective experience here in the melting pot that is Honolulu.

A few years back, I was in my hometown of Hilo, and decided to get a tattoo, my first.  I’d waited for many years in part because I was indecisive and in part because I was uncertain of what to expect.  I grew up hearing my Dad regret his own homemade tattoos so I didn’t realize the depth of artistry until I walked into a shop.

Getting my first tattoo back home meant alot, I’d get another in New Orleans before making a stop at 434 Tattoo and meeting Tattoo Adam, who’d give me a shot at writing on this blog.  It was an opportunity to learn about a new craft while honing my own trade.

Over the years, I’ve written hundreds of blogs on here, I’ve shot numerous “guerrilla” marketing style of videos, and worked on some other pieces of writing for the crew.  I’ve also been blessed to get more ink and makes some great friendships with many of the faces who have walked in and out of these doors.

So to look at me today is to see a different man than the one who just a few short years ago wore no ink.  Tattoos have become a great part of my Life and something that for better or for worse have helped me to feel more at peace in my skin.

As we sat at the dinner table,  my girlfriend’s Grand-Dad told me he worked as a Tattoo Artist before…

I have seen a small piece he wore on his own arm and he has mentioned the story in passing before.  It is fascinating to hear each time because he tells a little more whenever he gets into it.

There are beautiful pearls contained within the experience of those who have walked along this longer than we each have.

Grand-Dad got into it because his father was a tattoo artist and at the age of 14 he learned himself how to practice the art form himself.  To think that 70 years ago, he was doing what I’ve only just been learning more and more about over the last 4 years and at best, collect, illustrates the point that there is much to learn from those who have been here for a much longer period of time.

He would live his Life and be drafted into Army, where he was sent first to Yokohama, then Korea.  When asked what he could do or what he had done, he shared that he was a Tattoo Artist.  From there, he got to put his tattoo skills to work serving the country.

During that time, there were people who were forced to serve the Communists, and in the process, they were given tattooed markings that identified them.  When they were captured or defected, they had the opportunity to help the US, and as a result needed something to cover the identifying mark they once bore. Grand-Dad shared that he did many roses, flying eagles, and more, images that grace tattoo flash around the world and…

he knew Sailor Jerry, who is a legendary tattoo artist, and was based here in Honolulu, in essence one of the first great Hawaii Tattoo Artists.

It was interesting to hear of tattooing serving the country in such a way because tattoos have certainly been a service in my healing and growth as a Human Being.  It also made for a great conversation in a new situation, one that helped me to grow further and just like tattoos, a step into the unknown that I rather quite enjoyed.

I have met some of realest people in tattoo shops, their jobs are in creating art that you will carry as long as you live, and consider their work to be a bit of spiritual medicine.  Art and Love are what we fight to preserve in times of conflict.  What’s so cool about tattoos is to me, they embody a whole lot of both.

Every piece tells a story, every memory etched as a beautiful scar.  Just in a few short years, I’ve changed and can recall where I was when something joined my experience.  Maybe it always lived there in the Ether, but the Love it takes to keep stepping through this at times cold world, has brought them into my physical experience and I love every bit of where they take me.

Thank you to Adam and thank you to all the tattoo artists out there hustling and do what they do.  Your work heals and if no one else says it, I will because I see it speaking any time I see a tattoo.

Get your ink ladies and gentlemen because you never know where it will lead you!

434 Tattoo is located in Hawaii’s famous Waikiki and for years has been voted Honolulu’s Best Custom Tattooing Studio.

 

 

 

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Hawaii Tattoo Artists on Instagram

Be sure to check out the 434 Tattoo website for frequent news and updates.  You can also catch some of the newest works by the talented team made up of some of Hawaii’s Best Tattoo Artists.

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Led by Tattoo Adam, who has over two decades of experience doing tattoos around the world, our Waikiki tattoo studio is licensed and certified by the Hawaii State Department of Health and has consistently been awarded Honolulu’s Best Custom Tattooing Studio.

You can also follow the team’s work and check out new tattoos on Instagram by checking out:

Tattoo Adam – @tattooadam

Karl Erik Juthans – @205_808

Lions from New York- @tattoosbylion

We offer free consultations to all customers!  So come on down and make your appointment today for your next great custom tattoo piece.

The 411 about 434:

Adam Siehr, President and Proud Owner
434 Tattoo
Custom Tattooing LLC.

Directions:
434 Ena Road
Honolulu, Hawaii
96815

Contact:
mailto: adamsiehr@gmail.com
1-808-391-8287

Thailand Tattoo Adventures

Over the years, Tattoo Adam, Hawaii Tattoo Artist and proud Owner of Hawaii Custom Tattoos Studio, 434 Tattoo, has traveled to tattoo and for tattoos around the world.

Starting his tattoo apprenticeship in his home town of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Adam would venture to Las Vegas, home to many tattoo shops and the backdrop for television’s Bad Ink tattoo TV show.  In Las Vegas, Adam tattooed people from around the world including a few famous folks like former Boxing Legend Mike Tyson.

From there Adam made his way here to Hawaii, where he helped build the Waikiki Tattoo studio Tattoolicious, worked privately in Sugar Box, and has since been the proprietor of 434 Tattoo.

Located in the Heart of the Waikiki and Ala Moana areas, 434 Tattoo has seen its share of clientele and a number of talented tattoo artists have spent time here.  In addition to running a small business, Adam is a hard-working family man, with a young son, Andrew.  With so much going on, what does he like to do to unwind?

While he loves custom tattooing, Adam also loves to travel.  He has tattooed people all around the world at the locations mentioned above and at conventions in the Philippines, Thailand, and here in Hawaii.

In a few days, Adam returns to Thailand, a place that is very near and dear to him.  Adam has visited the famed Tiger Temple in addition to receiving ink and blessings from Thai monks themselves!

Stay tuned for more updates from Adam’s adventures in tattoos and traveling.  In the meanwhile, read about past experiences and catch some videos in these posts:

Thailand Visit

Tattoos in Thailand

Tattoos in Thailand Hana Hou

Tattoo the World

The 411 about 434:

Adam Siehr, President and Proud Owner
434 Tattoo
Custom Tattooing LLC.

Directions:
434 Ena Road
Honolulu, Hawaii
96815

Contact:
mailto: adamsiehr@gmail.com
1-808-391-8287

American Hand Poked Tattoos

Recently Karl Juthans  started this piece, pictured below:

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This piece has been done in the American Hand Poked Style, and took about 6-7 hours to complete.  Picture below is the second session of the tattoo.1524790_649409325124400_903869189_n

Hand poking tattoos and tapping tattoos trace their technique and roots back to multiple cultures and this style in particular is a bit different.  For example, the Samoan and Polynesian tattooing techniques utilizes two tools to tap the the piece onto the skin.  Another variation is the traditional Japanese style of tattooing, which involves the use of a long rod to ink the tattoo into place.

Stay tuned for more updates on this style and if you’re interested in a custom tattoo, please feel free to stop by our award-winning Honolulu tattoo studio.  Our team of talented and caring Hawaii tattoo artists are very experienced, professionally licensed and certified by the Department of Health, and happy to assist you in developing a piece that you will love for the rest of your life.

We are located at 434 Ena Road and we are 434 Tattoo!!!

The 411 about 434:

Adam Siehr, President and Proud Owner
434 Tattoo
Custom Tattooing LLC.

Directions:
434 Ena Road
Honolulu, Hawaii
96815

Contact:
mailto: adamsiehr@gmail.com
1-808-391-8287