Help Get a Canadian Tattoo Documentary Made!!


The Tattoo Project: body. art. image.
Contact: Vince Hemingson:

The Tattoo Project takes a journey to the heart of “who we are.”

Beauty is skin deep, but a tattoo goes all the way to the bone.” 
~ Vince Hemingson

The Tattoo Project is Hemingson’s attempt to prove that his apocryphal quote is true. Experimental photo shoot, gallery exhibition, and coffee table book—so far The Tattoo Project has made waves in the photo and tattoo worlds. But where’s the documentary film?

– It’s one Kickstarter campaign away.

The Tattoo Project documentary team is turning to the tattoo and photography and art communities to help them over the final financial hurdle of editing the over 24 hours of amazing footage captured from the original three-day Tattoo Project Photo Shoot and the opening night of their one-of-a-kind Gallery Exhibition. If successful, the crowdfunding campaign will result in a one-hour broadcast quality documentary, and for the Special Edition version, another hour of behind the scenes footage and interviews with the creative team.

The film is the chance to tell the stories revealed by The Tattoo Project. To go beneath the skin and behind the eye to explore the zone where tattoo art meets portrait art. It’s a journey to the heart of “who we are.”

In this short video, Director Jack Silberman explains the vision for the film and gives a sneak preview at some of the amazing footage that will be used.

Says Hemingson: “I have always been struck by the extraordinary power that tattoos have to reveal a person’s inner self. What we wear on our skin is an outward reflection of who we are on the inside. So the symbols people choose to decorate their bodies with, they’re proclaiming to the rest of the world, “This is who I am.”

Can photography capture both the external self and the inner self? That’s the big question, and the heart and the soul of The Tattoo Project. As Hemingson says, “If the body is a temple, then our tattoos are its stained-glass windows.” Tattoos tell stories. Our film reveals those stories to you.

What the heck is Kickstarter?

Kickstarter is the premier pioneering website that offers independent artists, musicians, writers, and other creative concepts the opportunity to source financing from numerous “backers”, or as it is often called, ‘crowdfunding’. Kickstarter is definitely not charity, instead it uses reward-based crowding funding, where backers at different levels of funding receive tangible ‘rewards’ in return for their hard earned money.

What this means for supporters of the Tattoo Project

The Tattoo Project team has worked hard to create a package of rewards for our backers that they are incredibly proud of, that are original and unique, and that represent extraordinary value for their backers. By purchasing a copy of the film for as little as $10, a 2-Hour Special Edition Version for $25, a package of the Tattoo Project book and the Special Edition for $75, or even booking your own portrait shoot with award-winning photographer, Vince Hemingson for $500 (which includes the Special Edition documentary, the Tattoo Project book, and your own fine art print), you get high quality premium goods at a fair market value PLUS the feel good factor of lending a hand to co-create tattoo art history. Every dollar you pledge helps create a piece of modern tattoo history.

The Kickstarter Guarantee

Due to the unique way in which Kickstarter works you don’t pay a penny unless enough other people support the project and it reaches its target before the deadline. It’s like a focus group and a funding platform all in one. The people really do get to decide what gets made and what doesn’t. So step up, have your say, make your voice heard, declare that you want to see this story told. Declare it with $10 or $1,000, either way you’ll be part of a movement and you’ll receive your reward as soon as the creators wrap that final glorious editing session! But do it before July 30th. The Tattoo Project has less than 50 days left to meet its funding goal or this exciting film doesn’t see the light of day.

Useful Links:

Kick Starter Project:

The Tattoo Project Promotional video:

Media images from The Tattoo project for download:

The Vanishing Tattoo Documentary:

For more information please contact: Vincent Errol Hemingson

Email: / Cell: 778.987.0729

101 – 3131 West 4th Avenue, Vancouver, BC, Canada. V6K 1R6


⚓︎ ⚓︎ ⚓︎ ⚓︎ ⚓︎ ⚓︎


About the film

The Tattoo Project: body. art. image. will be a 1-hour television broadcast documentary about the intersection of the portrait camera and the tattoo (Important Note: The Special Edition DVD of The Tattoo Project: body. art. image. will include an additional hour of behind-the-scenes footage and interviews with the creative team). A group of eleven portrait photographers and over a hundred heavily tattooed subjects came together in Vancouver for three days to try to make fine art out of tattoo art. The portrait camera and the tattoo: both profess or pretend to answer the eternal question, “Who am I?” Are the portraits a mere likeness, or a revelation? See for yourself. We captured it all, up close and on film.

The film is being produced, directed, and written by a team of Canada’s leading documentary filmmakers, whose films have, collectively, won over 100 national and international awards and which have been broadcast on television networks around the world. The film is completely shot, with over 24 hours of footage. The filmmakers are currently seeking $90,000 in Kickstarter funding to complete post-production and get the film into commercial distribution.

The Tattoo Project Book

Schiffer Publishing, Ltd. has published a 240-page, 9.5 x 12 inch, four-and-a-half-pound coffee-table book about the Tattoo Project featuring photographs and essays from the photographers. The book is featured on Amazon, is in distribution in 14 countries around the world, and has sold in excess of 14,000 copies.

The book features final results of The Tattoo Project, works by 11 fine art photographers with a variety of styles who shot portraits of 100 heavily tattooed individuals. The brainchild of photographer Vince Hemingson, the event sequestered models and photographers in Vancouver’s Photo Workshop for a multiple-day shoot. Thousands of portraits were produced that aimed to explore who each of the subjects was through their ink and the photographic process. This volume features more than 200 images from the event and truly reflects not only who the subjects are, but who the photographers are as well. From differing approaches to lighting, mood, and color to different methods for engaging the subjects, each of the artists clearly has a unique vision. This is an ideal book for photography and tattoo art students, teachers, and enthusiasts.

To request an online or physical review copy of The Tattoo Project book, please contact Jesse Marth at 610-593-1777 or

Production Team:

Writer/Producer – Vince Hemingson is an award-winning photographer, screenwriter, best-selling author, filmmaker and the creator of, one of the internet’s largest, most popular and critically acclaimed websites related to tattoos and body art, which is visited by some ten million visitors every year. He co-produced, co-wrote and co-hosted The Vanishing Tattoo documentary film, which was broadcast on National Geographic International and was seen by tens of millions of people in over one hundred countries around the world. Hemingson is regarded as one of the world’s leading researchers into tattoos and their place within popular culture and he is often called upon to comment about tattoos and body art to the mainstream media.

Director – Jack Silberman studied documentary film production at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and has a Masters degree from Harvard University. He has produced, written, and directed dozens of documentaries for Canadian, American (PBS), British, French, and Japanese television networks, as well as for National Geographic, Discovery Channel, and others. His films have won more than 60 international awards and have been broadcast on television networks around the world.

Writer – PJ Reece is an award-winning writer with over 100 hours of broadcast documentaries under his belt as writer, creative director, story editor, and story producer. His client list includes most major networks including National Geographic, A&E, Discovery, and History Channel. For Bravo! Reece wrote “Radical Attitudes: the Architecture of Douglas Cardinal” which won the Leo Award for “Best Arts Documentary”. Reece’s credits include The Vanishing Tattoo, Spirit Wrestlers, Weird Weddings, Weird Homes, Storm Warning, The Nature of Things and many others.

Editor – Alec Richardson is a highly regarded and sought after Editor and Director with over one hundred hours of programming to his credit. His client list includes The History Channel, The Food Network, OLN (Outdoor Life Network), CMT (Country Music Television) Canada and the CBC. Alec’s extensive experience editing live musical broadcasts and numerous musical specials makes him an ideal fit to edit The Tattoo Project, working from the footage of two full documentary film crews shooting a dozen photographers scrambling to shoot more than a hundred tattooed subjects in three days. To date Alec has digitized and is intimately familiar with all of the 24 hours plus of taped footage. His relationships in the music industry also make him an invaluable asset when it comes to constructing and assembling the sound track of the film.

The Hard Numbers

It’s a fair question to ask what The Tattoo Project Kickstarter campaign funds are going to be used for and how they are allocated. Immediately following is an accurate approximation of the projected budget.

· $45,000 to pay the talented editors, sound mixers, our musical composer, the artists on our sound track, and on screen graphic artists. We have budgeted 8 weeks to finish editing the film.

· $28,000 to produce the great rewards available to our backers and supporters and to deliver them (that’s one third of our budget to produce what we feel will become treasured collectibles and memorabilia in the tattoo and art photography worlds).

· $8,000 goes in fees to Kickstarter

· $4,000 in boring but necessary legal and licensing costs

· $2,000 to spread the word about the film and the campaign

· $3,000 emergency back-up because our Moms taught us to always be prepared

5% of any profits from the Tattoo Project film will be used to fund other Kickstarter Projects.

Media coverage of the Tattoo Project

Marisa Kakoulas, Needles & Sins, Review of The Tattoo Project:

Bob Baxter, Review of The Tattoo Project Weekend:

Bob Baxter, Review of The Tattoo Project Gallery Exhibition:


Athletes’ Tattoo Artists File Copyright Suits, Leaving Indelible Mark

TAM Blog

By Jacob Gersham

P1-BQ442_TATTOO_G_20140616155120 Carlos Condit, who has a lion tattoo on his rib cage, gives a knee to Nick Diaz. Associated Press

Randy Harris worries that lawyers are leaving a stain on the tattoo world.

A court tattooist to basketball royalty, Mr. Harris says he has inked dozens of NBA players, drawing everything from a giant tree on Dallas Mavericks guard Monta Ellis, to a beady-eyed owl on Washington Wizards point guard John Wall, to a basketball-toting angel on Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant.

Recently, he has found himself shaking his head at the litigious direction of his image-conscious occupation as the question of who owns a tattoo has become a source of tension.

To him, it’s simple: “Once they paid for the tattoos, man, they paid for it,” he said from his shop south of Atlanta.

Other tattooists say the issue isn’t that clear, especially in the case…

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I’m no Lazarus but I Have Returned!!

SelfieI apologize to everyone who reads this blog for my 2 year absence. I’ve just been so busy with projects and really lacking any energy to write more than I have to. Also much of my philosophical skills and knowledge are being well exercised at Things & Ink and with teaching. If you don’t subscribe to the magazine, you should think about — it’s a great publication, utterly unique in the tattoo industry. Here’s a taste of what I’ve been doing over there – in print – but do go check out their blog, I do posts from time to time:

Issue 1, The Launch Issue: “Old School for Girls” — There’s Peggy the Pin-up Girl, but what about Paul the pin-up guy?

Issue 2, The Face Issue: “Herstory I & II” — a history of facial tattooing for women and a commentary on why Western culture lacks this tradition. Naomi Wolf is discussed.

Issue 3, The Love Issue: “How Do I Love Thee? Let me Ink The Ways” — a discussion of tattoo love symbols. Gadamer is the philosopher of the discussion.

Issue 4, The Art Issue: “Tattoo Art Styles: Three Different Genres of Tattooing Explained” and “His Story” a review of Shanghai Kate Hellenbrand’s book (she published it but it is written by Sailor Jerry) and a short interview with her.

Issue 5, The Celebration Issue: “A Celebration of My Absurd Life” — a discussion of my breastplate tattoo meaning, where Camus is the star.

Issue 6, The Modification Issue: “Lived Experience Colours Me” — where I interview members of KMFDM about their tattoos and the main philosophical concept of the discussion is ‘Erlebnis’; also “A Celebration of My Absurd Life: Breastplate Update” is just an update on my chest tattoo

Issue 7, The Identity Issue: “I am My Tattoos” — A discussion of the tattoo artist’s role in the identity of the tattoo. Hume is the philosopher discussed.

Issue 8 is in progress but It’s looking to be another killer issue. I’m in the midst of discussions with Vince Hemingson of Vanishing Tattoo fame about his project, The Tattoo Project: Body. Art. Image. Be sure and check out the Kickstarter project page for this amazing and most worthy project. There is also a FB page, and several You Tube Videos.

I almost quit blogging, until I got a chance read all the nice comments people sent me. So, thanks! ❤ But to strike a balance I will try to blog short things here or at least do a mental wandering of what I am working on for the magazine (I only have so much space in the magazine so it might help to exercise some demons and approaches here). Philosophy is so much apart of tattooing, and I think many of the greats we treasure have something useful to say … or fun to say. And sometimes I just love fucking with them.

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