Whenever I let a client bring in or use numbing cream in the past, the skin would be un-tattooable. They made the skin about the consistency of a fat lip, and I had to tattoo at about one fourth the speed of my normal tattooing. Also, their cream was so wet and slimey that I couldn't draw on the skin or apply a stencil and the skin would become alert in about 30 or 40 minutes... INK-EEZE hasn't done any of that, and is no different than tattooing un-treated skin, and my clients' experiences have been numb for about 3 hours. Because of normal skin texture, I'm able to tattoo at my best without any bother or distraction at all!!!
Clark has been profiled, quoted and featured in such publications as Tattoo, Flash, Tattoos for Men, Savage, Mini Truckin Artist Profile, International Tattoo & Tattoo Arts as well as featured and quoted in USA Today, The Travel Channel and A&E’s reality show “Inked” doing his first tattoos on himself and friends as a teen.
He was helped out by Mark Mahoney (then at “The Rose” on the Pike in Long Beach) and occasionally, Mike Brown. Clark was tattooing illegitimately thru the 80’s and did not legitimately enter the professional side of the business until he was sent to Rick Walters by Mark. From the early to mid 90’s, Rick taught him to design, paint and be a professional tattooer. He was then hired by Kari Barba as a custom artist in her Anaheim shop called “Outer Limits.” He worked for Kari from 1995 to 2004. His last two years with Barba were spent planning, designing, setting up and managing her Costa mesa, CA side-show themed shop, which opened in 2002. In 2004, Clark moved to Las Vegas, NV to work at Hart & Huntington. He can currently be found at Kent Kelley’s Staytrue Tattoo in Las Vegas.
THE INNER ART OF CLARK NORTH, “by Shotsie Gorman”
The art form that Clark practices today is deeply connected to the history and style of early American tattooing. Although the look of his work is heavily influenced by this tradition, he uses modern materials such as acrylic paints and ink to achieve the final look, and to bring it closer to his interpretation of his creative urge.
Spending all your creative time making paintings of display design sheets, or as it is more commonly known in the tattoo trade, as “flash” is an important part of a professional tattooists life. There are many techniques brought forward from the early part of the 20th century tattoo traditions. One is known as ”spit shading,” so called because artists would use saliva to spread the black ink across the page and stain the pages with coffee finishing color with watercolor to best represent the look of a tattoo on skin. Clark North has mastered design, flow, concepts, composition and form through drawing and painting for many years. He brings all his skill together prior to the final application in the skin for each custom tattoo he designs. Clark has been trying to honor one of the oldest forms of decorative tattooing, the “Japanese Tattoo.” Although the decorative tattoo has been in America for just over 100 years, the Native Americans practiced tattoo forms long before the advent of Europeans. Tattooing existed in ancient Europe as documented in records from early Roman historians show that that the Gauls, Goths, and Teutons all from North Western Europe were heavily tattooed. It was brought back into vogue in Europe and America from 18th Century oceanic tours of Captain Cook rekindling the royalty of England and the upper positioned American military to tattoo in a like manner to the chiefs of the Maori from New Zealand and other chieftains of Oceanic cultures brought home to Europe by Captain Cook. Large scale full body suits that were of one complete thought or Mythological heroic story illustration were specifically in the realm of the Japanese. The imagery came primarily from Chinese literature introduced during the Tokugawa Shogunate has its true beginning in late 19th century Japan. It has completely revolutionized the tattoo concepts of the modern western world much like Japanese calendar art causing the evolution of the impressionist and fauvist painters’ movement in 19th Century Europe. This so-called Japanese style, along with Clark’s unique visionary symbols, has led to his recent body of work. Clark has tried to tap the unconscious memory of all of the world’s most powerful symbols and use them is at the core of his work. Clark North’s belief is clear; “It is important for the artist to find new ways to show the strongest and most repeated archetypal themes, as they are deeply linked to human psyche and will always be important to express the door to the soul.”