Artist

About

Brandon Notch

has been tattooing professionally since the fall of 1998 but an artist all of my life. I was nothing more than a punk ass kid and I started getting into trouble really young. I really don’t know why I chose tattooing as a career it just happened, all i wanted to do with my life was to create art. I think the first time i was interested in tattooing was around fourteen. I remember seeing a tattoo on this guy when I was in juvenile hall. I remembered this tattoo like it was yesterday and actually I might have been younger than fourteen. This guy had a gigantic skull with flames on his ribs. I remember seeing it and thinking it was so awesome, but that I could do better. At that point I told myself that it was something I had to do. I made up my mind, that I was going to become a tattooist. All I wanted to do from that point on was to learn how to tattoo. So i guess you can say the career landed into my lap but it still took some time for it to happen. I started to get allot of tattoos when I was 16-17 years old. Charlie Roberts did some of my early tattoos. At the time I was working for my dad doing architecture, drawing conceptual sketches and painting murals part time. artist-and-author-brandon_med-2I went out and bought a tattoo magazine because Charlie and Bob Roberts were in it. Looking through it, I found an ad of Dennis Dwyers tattoo kits. I soon ordered a set of machines. About a week later I ran into Diamond Dave Rothburg owner of Body & Soul Tattoo. After talking for a bit, I showed him my sketchbooks and some pictures of murals i have done. He must have liked them, because he took me on as an apprentice Soon after. Now at that time I was working full time with my dad (7am-11am) then at the shop (noon-6/8pm). After work I attended night school at Pasadena Art Institute and soon after Cal Arts. I hardly slept for six months to a year. Finally I was making enough money to work at the shop full time and I never looked back.

—So I was apprenticed by Diamond Dave Rothburg, out of Body and Soul Tattoo in Sherman Oaks, Ca. I tattooed at Body and Soul until December of 1999 when I moved to Seattle, WA. I was in a bad place in my life at that time and i had to move on to keep my sanity. So Seattle it was, I worked at Greenlake and Lynwood tattoo studios until late April of 2000. After leaving Greenlake, I got a two-week guest spot at Top Tattoo in Seattle. I had so much fun there with the crew and learned more and more every day i was working. They gave me an opportunity to stay even after the two weeks were up. I left Top Tattoo in December of 2000 and went on my own self fulfilling journey traveling through parts of Europe including France and England to further my study of the most unique art forms from oil painting to body art. (painting in the skin – tatouage – and as we call it in the west tattooing.)

—Upon returning to the states, I moved out of Seattle WA. and back down to Los Angeles CA. I was working in Top Tattoos booth at Ink Slingers Ball (tattoo convention) when i met Kat Von D (Katherine Von Drachenberg) who was the manager at Blue Bird Tattoo in Pasadena CA. and she offered me a job. I started working at Blue Bird tattoo studio out of Pasadena until i got fired for using too much MadaCide and costing the shop money (I was just keeping it safe for me and my clients, go figure.) So i got a new job at Nathan’s studio in good old San Fernando Valley. I tattooed there until I built a big enough clientele and bank roll to open my first shop in Pasadena CA called SACRED SAINT STUDIO.

—I owned that studio for about five years and had the time of my life working with my crew. It was sad to let it go and have it end, but I learned and grew so much from it. I was now going through some of the hardest times in my life. I lost one of my best friends from a drug over dose and was closing my shop due to money troubles. But only at the time when i may seam to be at my weakest is when I’m at my strongest. I quickly started over and built a new shop to work in mean time till i could build a bank roll again to create a new Skin And Art Gallery. So i worked by appointment only in my Glendale Studio for about a year or two but still didn’t have enough money to get a new shop up and running. So I got rid of my home and cars mortgaged everything left and sold most of my stuff (got to love eBay) to buy my new building that will and is my new Sacred Saint Skin And Art Gallery Los Angeles CA. I still work only by Appointment’s but i like it that way better, no distractions. I now have the room to do what i always wanted and have a real art studio with room to paint, create, do photography, and tattooing. With your help we will tattoo the world with art.Even though tattooing fell into my lap (it was not an easy road) it was something i grew to love at a young age and now i can say I got into tattooing because of the art. The fact that i can make a living by doing something I enjoy like creating art was a plus, in the skin or on the canvas.

—I would like to thank English Craig who has been kind enough to give me so much useful information and support when I was being apprenticed. Also, Charlie Roberts for giving me my fist real tattoo. I learned so many helpful hints and tips along the way from every artist i have worked beside. I would also like to thank My dad, he has been behind me ever since I could pick up a pencil.

—The largest influence to me and my artwork is my clients…….. they are the ones that make it all happen, they come to me with the ideas and I just do my thing. There would be no pushing ink with out the skin. Another influence of my tattooing/art, is seeing other artists pushing the limits. It drives my to go bigger, brighter and cleaner in my artwork .(drive right past the ledge ,and start to fly.) I love to see art evolved and progress happening. I think the things I enjoy most about tattooing, besides the fact that I love drawing, is the permanence of the art. (the commitment) I love the feeling of selling my art to people who like it. I also enjoy all the different people I meet. My favorite tattoos are big, bold, colorful, and a little bit rugged in some way. As far as my tattooing career is concerned, it is important to me that I never stop learning. If anyone has any questions relating to the tattoo industry or would just like to make an appointment or consultation you can contact me at my privet studio. As of Jan. 2011 i closed my shop in LA and Went on the road again. I’ll be having my home base in San Bernardino CA. Just email me to talk about a future tattoo.

Truth

Q&A

Tattoos

are known around the world as, tatoeage, tatouage, tätowier, tatuaggio, tatuar, tatuaje, tatuagens, tatoveringer, tato, tattueringar, tatoos, and tatu

1. Full Name: Brandon Garic Notch
2. Nickname: Sacred Saint
3. Where are you originally from: Saint Paul Minnesota
4. Where do you live and work now: I currently live in San Bernardino. I have a private studio in San Bernardino Ca and work in LA by Appointment only.
5. Name of shop where you work: Sacred Saint Studio
6. Are you the owner of the shop: Yes

— “How long have you tattooing?” I have been pushing these pins since 1996 but professionally since 1998. PINS TO THE SKIN!! I learn something new every day, just trying to get good..

— “How did you get into tattooing?” I was in juvenile hall when I first, really got interested in tattooing. I was a young kid lost in the world trying to find my place. You know getting into trouble. Haha. I bought some equipment machines etc. and started scratching on my friends then got new friends. Haha .Yes we all start out as scratcher’s it takes a lot of bad tattoos to get good. So you tattoo for free doing anything and everything that comes your way to lean and progress as a tattooist. I lied about my age went around to some shops and got an apprenticeship and never looked back. All I know is after that, all I did was anything that had to do with tattooing. I talk about it in my book. (Sacred Saint American Dreamer)

— “When did you get into painting?” I’ve been into art, painting and drawing my whole life. My parents are painters-artist’s.

— “Was your family and friends supportive in your decision to become a tattoo artist?” Yes, everyone was very supportive.

— “Do you like to challenging yourself every time you tattoo?” Yes, I love creating bigger and better tattoos.

— “What do you like about tattooing?” I love to create art. The POWER of ART holds true. Creating hope, faith, motivation, change and inspiration in ones life. Artwork is changing lives and motivating the world around us. ART is life.. Let’s tattoo the world with art.

— “Do you ever do charity work? Work cheap for the right cause/Donate paintings, Etc.?” YES HAHAHA… I am an artist but this does not mean i will work for FREE. I have bills just like you.

— “Do you have a favorite tattoo?” I don’t have a favorite tattoo. But I love things that challenge me and People that give me large parts of their body to tattoo. I have yet to do my best tattoo only my best so far.

— “Do you ever do a tattoo twice?” I don’t like to do the same tattoo twice. It’s not fair for my clients that pay for a custom tattoo. I will always make it new and different then the last and i always try to make it better looking. (Nothing is the same.)

— “Who or what is your biggest influence in your tattoo work and why?” My clients aren’t the biggest influences in my work they give me the skin and inspiration to create. Something’s you just can’t do with paint on canvas. They really are the biggest influence in my work.

— “If I had to name my greatest motivation in life thus far, what would it be?” DEATH (Being happy with what i have done in life and having fun in life.)

— “What was the most difficult thing to learn in tattooing for you and why?” Most difficult thing for me to learn in tattooing would have to be learning how to transfer one’s idea from their mind to paper, to create a permanent piece of artwork in one’s skin. Most of the time a client will be thinking about red but he’ll say blue, so you have to predict that. Ultimately keep in mind the flow of the art on the body. You can have a badass top-notch tattoo but if it has no flow or does not fit the body ultimately it will look like shit.

— “How do you usually advertise or market yourself?” Advertising is one thing I don’t believe in. I believe that good work speaks for itself all my clients are referral-based. If your work speaks for itself, don’t interrupt it… :)

— “What brand of inks do you recommend or use and why?” I can’t recommend any brands of the inks, because I use a lot of different inks there’s no one brand that’s better than the other. It all depends upon what you like. Most of my colors I make, like red I’ve been making inks for about eight years now. Some brand’s have a good color but the rest suck or are hard to work into the skin. It took me many years to find the colors I like, But if you’re talking about ink. When I say ink, I mean black because that is the only ink we use, all the colors are pigments. I still like talons white label.

— “What is the best brand of tattoo machines that you recommend and why?” I can’t recommend a brand of tattoo machines. I can only tell you there are two types, daily drivers and hotrods. On a long day you want something that feels good in your hand doesn’t weight too much and will not overheat. So ultimately you would need to find a machine that feels good in your own hands.

— “What do you believe is the most important tattooing skill one should learn how to master and why?” Or would you believe the most important check to still much to learn that one’s easy lying down a good clean tattoo. There really is no one skill you either can tattoo or you can’t.

— “What is your best advice or tips to someone new to the art of tattooing?” The best advice I could give to someone new to the art of tattooing would be look at it like buying a car. Shop for quality and style not price! A tattoo is the only thing you can buy that no one can take from you. Don’t get Cheap on the only thing that will outlive you. Cold, yes I know, but I’m really tired of fixing and covering up shady tattoos. If you do it right the first time it will be cheaper in the long run, Also if you need to get the tattoo right away you probably should not get it at all. Be patient and put some thought into it, and do it right.

— “What is the best way to practice for those just starting out?” Practice on your friends and then get new friends, just kidding. You need to learn on your Self to get the feel of it. The depth, speed and the ability you give the needle. You need to get use to the minimal visibility you have of the needle because of puddling ink. You have to love it.

— “What is the best way for one to land an apprenticeship?” The best way for one to land an apprenticeship would be to get tattooed, find a good shop and get tattooed by an artist you like, that’s the start. Become a hang around, help out and show your determination, eventually they will ask you. Then make sure they see your determination and heart, everything else can be taught.

— “What do you call the art of tattooing?”

The Art Of Tattooing: The art of tattooing is in the ability to learn how to transfer one’s idea from their mind to paper. Then to create a permanent piece of artwork in one’s skin. Most of the time a client will be thinking about red but he’ll say blue, so you have to predict that. Ultimately keep in mind the flow of the art on the body. You can have a badass top-notch tattoo but if it has no flow or does not fit the body, ultimately it will not look good.

–“Do you ever get frustrated sometimes when things just dont work? When making your art/painting or tattooing?” Hahaha, If you get upset when the toast burns, what are you going to do when your house burns down?

–“Do you have any advice for your fellow artist struggling to stay afloat?” Ya, Never be bullied into silence. Never allow yourself to be made a victim. Accept no one’s definition of your life; define yourself. Why try to be someone you’re not? Life is hard enough without adding impersonation to the skills required. If tattooing is you then DO IT!! ;)

—” How would you describe your personality?” An outgoing straight forward comedic personality. I work hard party hard.

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