Artistry of Mike Harmon A.K.A. "NECKBONE"

original art and design concept,Tattooing,Tattoos,Airbrushing


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Memoirs of a Tattoo Artist, True Tattoo Shop Stories

Posted by mike on January 17, 2018 at 11:50 AM Comments comments (0)

Episode 1: Oh my God, He's dying

 This didn't happen to me, but I was there when it did, heheheh.

 A lady comes in to the shop for a tattoo, (not sure what it was though). She sits down with one of the artist and gets her tattoo. She liked it so much, she makes an appointment for her and her husband to get tattoos in the near future.

 Tattoo day comes and the wife and husband arrive with daughter and boyfriend in tow. Now this is hubby's first tattoo, no problem, he's got this. After all, it's a small tattoo on the bicep, how bad could it be? Wifey, ( who is a registered nurse, by the way), goes first.  Bing,Bang,Done, no worries.

So hubby gets his stencil, settles in as comfortable as can be with legs stretched out front and slighlty reclined, looking somewhat anxious to feel the sting. As all hubby's crew is gathered anticapting the first prick and dads reaction, the artist begins tattooing. So far, So good, so boyfriend and daughter step out of the shop.

 I have a client in my chair and I'm buzzin away on his piece, when all of a sudden, at the top of her lungs, wifey starts screaming "Oh my God, He's dying", which commands the immediate attention of everyone in the shop. luckily the artist managed to get the chair reclined back to ensure the client doesn't slide out, before his wife throws a cup of water in hubbys face, then procedes to slap the shit out of him while screaming all kinds of shit like "call 911, he's dying". The artist is unsuccessful at calming her down so he can handle the situation as we are equipped and experience this reaction from time to time. My client turns to me with great concern and asks "Should I go over there?, I'm certified CPR", I say no as I'm trying not to laugh, at least noticeably, this poor lady thinks her husband is dying and is desperately trying to revive him, Old West style. At this point shes showing no sign of letting up on her husbands jaw and I'm starting to think I need to grip her up before she breaks her hubands jaw. The artist conceded at this point, slumped back in his chair and is watching this RN's emergency skillset, in amazement, by the look on the artist face he must have said fuck it, I'll let her finish, heheheh.

 With hubby still out, she procedes to place her hands around his throat and shake violently, I guess she learned that during clinicals, As shes still freakin out and yelling while choking hubby the daughter and boyfriend come back into the middle of all this shit show is going down and immediately burst into hysterically crying,( you know, the type where you cant catch your breath). rushing to her dads aid, pushing the artist aside. The boyfriend about faced and headed to the door, like he didn't want no part of it. this poor fuck client has had the shit slapped out of, choked and shaken, now 2 frantic family members sucking the air out his face as they still think hes dying, heheheh. Somehow the artist managed to get the ammonia under his nose during all this craziness and actually revive him and quell the tears. After a couples minutes the husband was good to go, no more problems.

 I guess this is why, as a general rule of thumb, medical professional should not tend to an emergency of family when others are there to act with out bias, heheheh. I wish we had that on tape.

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conveying tattoo design to your artist

Posted by mike on December 5, 2011 at 8:20 AM Comments comments (0)

Have you ever tried to guess what somone is thinking. Well thats what its like for your artist when a client is giving a vague description of their idea for their next tattoo.specifically when the description includes " i want it to look beautiful" or "I want it to pop", beauty is a matter of opinion or is in the eyes of the beholder. in other words, one persons idea of what is beautiful or visually appealling can and will vary from one person to the next.

     The best thing you can do is bring reference pictures that visually convey's what you consider to be beautiful, etc... This way the artist has a clearer understanding of what your trying to describe and not guessing what is in your minds eye, if we could read minds we wouldnt be tattooing for a living.also, if your able to sketch the general layout of your design it can be helpful for the artist to gain the basic concept of your idea.

  Practice these simple steps toward your tattoo design and your less likely to fustrate your artist. the last thing you want is a pissed off tattoo artist making permanent marks on your body, in return pissing you off because you didn't get what you are looking for in a  tattoo.

Tattoos & Symbolism

Posted by mike on June 1, 2010 at 9:34 PM Comments comments (0)

I will post, (with research references), traditional and commonly tattooed symbology information. Hopefully if you are entertaining one of these subjects as a tattoo, this information may be useful in deciding if it's right for you.

Chinese Dragons


The dragon is an important and revered symbol in China.

A 19th century engraving of a Chinese Dragon, color engraving on wood.


The Chinese dragon is a symbol of wisdom, power, and luck in Chinese culture. Unlike western dragons, oriental dragons are usually seen as benevolent and kind. Dragons have long been a symbol in Chinese folklore and art. Temples and shrines have been built to honor them.


Through the symbol of the dragon, many Chinese see divine attributes which they aspire to themselves. In fact, the Chinese are sometimes referred to as "descendents of the dragon." The dragon is held in reverence and respect in Chinese culture. It is unseemly to defile a depiction of a dragon. Dragons are referenced by several Chinese proverbs.


Chinese dragons control the rain, rivers, lakes, and sea. They can ward off wandering evil spirits, protect the innocent, and bestow safety unto all. They are called lung or long in the Chinese language.


They fly in the sky among clouds. Most pictures of Chinese dragons show them playing with a flaming pearl. Legend has it that the pearl gives them their power and allows them to ascend into heaven.

An image of a red Chinese dragon.


The Legend of the Carp says that a carp able to leap over the mythical Dragon Gate will become a dragon. Many have sought out the true location of this Gate, but none have found it. Several waterfalls and cataracts in China are believed to be the location of the Dragon Gate. This legend is an allegory for the drive and effort needed to overcome obstacles.


An image of a black Chinese dragon.


Chinese dragons have serpentine bodies, four legs, and are usually without wings. They are said to be a composite of various other animals-the body of a snake, the antlers of a deer, the talons of an eagle, the soles of a tiger, the scales of a carp, and the eyes of a demon. It is said that Chinese dragons have 117 scales.


They are usually depicted with four toes. In the traditional symbol of the emperor, the dragon is depicted with five. In Japan, dragons are depicted with three toes.


A mosaic of a Chinese dragon.


There are nine types of classical Chinese dragons. They are as follows:


   1. Tianlong, the Celestial Dragons, are the celestial dragons who pull the chariots of the gods and guard their palaces.

   2. Shenlong, the Spiritual Dragons, control the wind and the rain.

   3. Fucanglong, the Dragons of Hidden Treasures, are underworld dragons which guard buried treasures, both natural and man-made. Volcanoes are said to be created when they burst out of the ground to report to heaven.

   4. Dilong, the Underground Dragons, are earth dragons whose task it is to preside over rivers and streams. According to some accounts, they are the female counterpart of the Shenlong and they fly only in order to mate.

   5. Yinglong, the Winged Dragons, are the oldest of all eastern dragons and the only kind with wings.

   6. Qiulong, the Horned Dragons, are considered to be the mightiest dragons.

   7. Panlong, the Coiling Dragons, are water dragons believed to mostly inhabit the lakes of the Orient.

   8. Huanglong, the Yellow Dragons, once emerged from the River Luo and presented the legendary Emperor Fu Hsi with the elements of writing. They are known for their scholarly knowledge.

   9. Lóng Wáng, the Dragon Kings, are rulers over each of the four seas, those of the east, south, west, and north. Although their true form is that of a dragon, they have the ability to shapeshift into human form. They live in crystal palaces guarded by shrimp soldiers and crab generals.


© Copyright 2004-2009, Kevin Owens



Tattoo Design Choice

Posted by mike on April 1, 2010 at 1:26 AM Comments comments (1)

 The best thing you can do is ask yourself why you want a particular design. The more thought that goes into a tattoo design, The less likely you are to regret it later in life or not so later. Do not get one on impulse, it is a lot more permanent than you think, even with painful laser removal. Also, not all ideas or art work will make a good tattoo. run your idea or art work by the tattoo artist to head off any disappointment if your tattoo idea isn't workable.