WHY WE DO WHAT WE DO. (photos by Juan)

Why do we do what we do?... there are several reasons we do what we do, the way we do it...

We tattoo all day... work really hard because we have fun at work, we challenge ourselves daily so that we can be more versatile, creative and technically advanced...

We do great work, like this unreal piece (below) by Mark. We feed off of each other's creativity and are stoked when we do really cool tattoos. This inspires us to be the best we can be.

We do it so that we have stories to tell. Think this one in the works (below) that Sasha is dealing with is gonna be a good one??? I think it definitely has possibilities... we talk laugh all day long, the conversation and the stories are endless.

That look on Sasha's face says it all!! Finally, after a long week... we get to reward ourselves with... MEAT... brisket, sausages, pulled pork, ribs, rib ends, fries, cornish game hen, fries, potato salad, beans, cole slaw, barbecue sauce... pecan pie for desert!!!



A few years ago, a repeat client of mine walked into the shop seeming quite disoriented, which was unusual for him. he shows me a geometric design he wanted to have tattooed and asked for a price quote, all twitchy like.

i could tell by the psychotic glint in his eyes and his self-inflicted rantings that he was off of whatever meds he was supposed to be on. i quoted him the minimum charge and he proceeds to dig around in his pocket. he procures a bunch of twigs, leaves and bottle caps. he tells me that they are magical and sacred and wants to know if he can trade them for the tattoo.

at this point i have to giggle to myself and when i tell him no he continues to tell me how powerful they are and that he got them from a shaman. i tell the guy "cash only" and feeling defeated & possibly realising the lack of monetary value, he gives me the sticks, leaves and bottle caps because he "wants me to have them" and he leaves the shop. i actually kept them for like a year, cause they made me giggle every time i saw them, so in a way i guess they were kinda magical.

now, off-handedly in our discourse i made the mistake of complimenting dude on his dope vintage leather jacket. so half an hour later he comes back to the shop wanting to know if i would trade the jacket for the tattoo. i woulda come out on top on this deal and it WAS a tempting offer, but i just couldn't bring myself to take advantage of the guy in his debilitated state. i was kinda hoping that he would see the lack of monetary value in his jacket and give that to me in defeat also.

i learnt that day that i do have morals and that no matter how hard i tried i would never be able to pay my rent with sticks, but at least i could make a fire, adorn myself in leaves and drink out of battle caps. i always get the crazy ones.


Just some examples of what's going on lately. Some really cool pieces are happening in the shop. Here, of course are some samples of realism. Both done by Art...

FINALLY, after the Canada Line construction, which took 2 years, the "recession", the Olympics... and a rainy winter, things are picking up again. We're pretty lucky to have the Canada Line train running under our street but during it's construction, things were pretty dismal. The street was torn up from one side to the other. Foot traffic was a thing of the past. The waiting area of the shop which was as busy as a single's bar was completely dead. No cars were able to travel down the side streets, or even park in the neighborhoods due to pipe replacement.

I remember working late one night, til about midnight and hearing a loud rumbling sound accompanied by a real foul smell. I bandaged my client and went outside to see what was up. As I looked into the trench which has now been replaced by Cambie Street again, I saw a pipe puking out, what looked like a brown spray of human turds and sewer juice! The next morning, as I showed up for an early appointment, it was sealed up and the smell was gone. The city handled it pretty quickly!

Everyone at the shop is busy right now... even Fester is starting to go. Get down here!!!


I (ART) started tattooing Julia in 1991 in Newport Beach California. She walked in one day without any tattoos, hoping to get some relief from a skin condition which was a side effect of her liver producing too much iron for her blood. The skin condition manifested itself in the form of blisters which were as deep as 3rd degree burns. They commonly show up on the hands and face mostly but other body parts were affected. She made an appointment to start tattooing her body suit for the following week. Twice a week for the next 7 years and about 2300 hours later, she was the most tattooed woman in the world. I moved to Canada in about 1998 and my brother Steve took over where I left off. We have appeared on the Guiness Prime time TV show, You Asked for It, Ripley's Believe it or not, Pro Sieben TV (Germany)... and many more.

Recently, she was in Milan where she was AGAIN voted most tattooed woman. There have been several contenders but none with the coverage she has. I look at her photos and it's hard to believe that she was my project...and my brother's, and we feel so fortunate to have had the opportunity to opportunity to tattoo her, to have had the recognition we have had and at the same time, be able to restore confidence and happiness in Julia's life, by putting images on her skin which she loves to look at everyday instead of blisters and the scars they leave.

People judge all the time but they don't know her story. If I was in her shoes, I would do the same thing. When experimental medication causes blindness, when dermabrasions and chemical peels only left scars... when doctors said there was NO treatment available which would end this condition, tattooing saved her sanity & happiness. I have had one well known local artist tell me that what I did was "wrong" and that he wouldn't want to "contribute to another person's nightmare". How can this be considered a nightmare when she smiles everyday, now knows Quincy Jones, has been asked by Aerosmith to appear in the "Pink" video, she gets paid for TV appearances, she is flown all over the world - all expenses paid, to show herself off... and all because she wanted to remedy a condition which NOBODY could treat, except tattooing.


Armando "Fester" Castruita, is starting at the shop today. Great artist and friend. I've known him for many years from attending tattoo conventions in Mexico. He is a great talent, and we're stoked to have him in with us. He and Juan used to work together in Fester's shop "Ninety Nine Tattoo" in the city of Celaya in Mexico. He can do any style of tattooing... with his eyes closed!
His schedule is not yet set, it will be in the next few days. Come by and check his portfolio out or just tell him "welcome"!

script love and cross tattoos

script love and cross tattoos for men


I (Art) was tattooing at the "House of Tattoo" in Venice Beach in 96, about 2 years before moving to Vancouver. I worked at a shop on the boardwalk... it was so great cuz you when it wasn't busy, you could sit on the front step and people watch all day. Sometimes, there was a piece of dog shit on the boardwalk and with thousands of people walking, we'd place bets on who would step in in it! On weekends or on every day in the summer it was packed with tourists and weirdos... and if you in the shop, and couldn't see outside, no need to worry, they would come into the shop. Weekends there are packed... street performers and people doing weird sh*t. I swear, you could pull one of your balls out, paint it blue, sprinkle some glitter on it and people would walk by, put a tip in your hat and say, "cool ball, keep up the good work!"

Well, one day this guy walks in. He was obviously femenine and gay but was trying to act, and look real tough and straight, jaw clenched, mean look on his face... he comes right up to the counter and in his high "Rip Taylor" style voice he goes, "Who Duzzzz Cover upssss!?" I jumped up and in his same voice I go, "I dooooo!" "Well"... I said "what do you need to cover?" He says, "Oh, it's something on my back, I got it at a party, I passed out and when I woke up, it was there!" I go, "Let me see it." he says, "It, IN NO WAY, reflects who I am... I woke up and it was there!" I go, "I need to see it." He says, "It doesn't reflect who I am, Before I show you, you have to ssssssswear that you won't tell anyone... I want an orca." I go, "I sssssswear! but I really need to see it so I can tell you if it's able to be worked on." He goes, "OK, you promisssssed." I go, "Your secret's safe with me..."

He pulled up his shirt and on his back, VERY WELL DONE, was a tattoo of a man, portrait style - whoever did it KNEW their sh*t.... this man had a black leather hat, dark glasses on, a large handlebar moustache, real thick neck and shoulders- had the physique of a body builder, he had a leather vest on, black chaps motorcycle boots on AND NO PANTS!!! the tattoo had a huge d*ck that hung down past his knees... like if someone had sewn a horse dick on him!!! I stared it for a long minute... I couldn't believe it and then I said, "What shop did you say you got that tattoo at?" he got pissed and said, "I DIDN'T GET IT AT A SHOP BUDDY, I passsssssssed out at a party and there it wassssss!" I go," You're a f*cken liar, that thing is tooooo well done to have been done at a party when you were passed out. It would have taken at least 5-7 hours to do that tattoo, it's very well done, who did it?" It looked like work by some Hollywood artists who's work I knew so I threw out some names... he got so pissed, "uh, uh... CAN YOU COVER IT OR NOT?!" I said, "sure..." so we made and appointment for the next week, and he walked out the door. He never came back...

UNREAL... this is only a small part of the stuff we see in our jobs as tattooers. We could tell stories all day long... come down and see for yourselves! At the corner of Cambie and 14th!


This is a photo from the show...
L-R: Greg, Steve Godoy (drums), Art Godoy (guitar), Duane Peters (vocals), Troy Zak (bass), and ROb Milucky (guitar)...

Art Godoy wil not be in the shop until the 13th of April, because after almost 20 years, the most important line up of the Exploding Fuck Dolls has top billing at the O.C. Punk Rock Picnic. The original founders of the most successful incatnation of the band will be playing songs from the Dolls days including U.S. Bombs and Hunns tunes. DUANE PETERS (ex pro skateboarder and member of the Hunns, U.S. BOMBS, Gunfight), ART & STEVE GODOY (ex pro skaters, tattooers, and members of the Last of the Bad Men) and 2 other good friends Troy Zak from the Bad Men and Rob Milucky on 2nd Guitar.
The history of the band is tragic & triumphant. The stories are endless... though this line up`s existance was short, it was complete with a total rock lifestyle stories, death, starvation.. struggle & success at a time when that dirty grunge movement was taking over. There were tons of immitators that may or may not admit it, who would not be where they are if it weren`t for the Fuck Dolls.
The band was on the brink of a record contract when it all disintegrated. Due to differences and other things, the band was close to achieving the succes that some of it´s contemporaries enjoyed. Bands like Sublime, No Doubt, Fu Manchu, and others, who´s musical careers exploded later on, had opened shows for the 'then' successful Fuck Dolls. Duane went on to form the successful US Bombs and the twins went on to play with Deniz Tek from Radio Birdman. Time has passed and the struggle is not as necessary... it´s time.

Duane called us this week and asked if we were down. We agreed... I (Art) was in Mexico and changed my flight back to Canada, to a flight to L.A. The gig is APRIL 10.. FOR MORE INFO GO TO: http://www.ocpunkrockpicnic.com/
Some of the set will include :
American Bomb
Rumble Beach
Let´s Go
The Wrench
Radio Birdman´s "Breaks my heart"
and more...