Monday, March 7, 2016
I walked through Sheffield, England this morning drinking my cappuccino. After a great week of tattooing and painting, a great show at the London, Tattoo Convention, with the award for "best of show" for Friday and Saturday, and looking forward to an interview for a feature article with the number one selling Tattoo magazine in Europe. I sat down in the city center, and heard the sweetest sounding jazz guitar being played. It a was a guy playing for pocket change on a fender strat through a little practice amp. Here's the thing... I've been playing music for 17 years, I have six guitars, a drum set, a piano and two basses. I've worked at it and never got past mediocre. Here's a guy playing for pocket change... and he'd blow me out of the water, every day of the week, and twice on Sunday. Playing for change. He was so good. and playing for change. The thought overwhhelmed me of the "definition of success." I often quote, " There is nothing more common than unsuccessful men with talent." What is success?... Money? Recognition? Fame? Travel? Compliments and ass kissing?... Maybe a little... maybe... All I know is this guy was ten times more successful than I have ever been at playing the guitar. I love playing the guitar. I love writing songs. I have practiced and practiced, and I couldn't do what he was doing today.
Point being... True success can't be measured by the masses, but by that inner voice that says you have done all you can do to reach as far as you can, fulfilling your own full potential... That sounds like a life long journey, doesn't it?
Salvadore Dali said, "A true artist is NOT one who is inspired, but one who inspires others... I encountered a true artist today... playing for change, he changed my life with a few chords and a, "cheers" as I dropped my pocket change into his flimsy guitar case.
To the "jazz player"... thanks,
Monday, January 4, 2016
Thursday, November 29, 2012
Tuesday, November 27, 2012
Most of the time I can stay in that frame of mind; I do the things I do because I enjoy it. I enjoy the feeling of accomplishment after cleaning up my back yard leaves, or signing a fresh painting, or wiping clean a new tattoo on a client. Life is what it is and I am where I'm at in my life. Instead of wondering about the unknown or wanting what I don't have, like extra time in the day, I need to try and enjoy the moment, as cliché as that sounds.
Tuesday, January 3, 2012
112 Cottage Street
Easthampton, MA 01027
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Off the Map Tattoo Expanding to Grants Pass, Oregon
Off the Map Tattoo and Jeff Gogue will be joining forces to open a second location in Grants Pass, Oregon. Jeff Gogue will continue to tattoo and lead workshops as the head resident tattoo artist, but in March of 2012 the location will reopen as a rebranded Off the Map Tattoo. Off the Map Tattoo Grants Pass will mirror the original studio and main office in Easthampton, Massachusetts. This will include tattoo-savvy customer service, additional resident artists, and scheduled monthly guest artists - having many notables already setting dates. With Off the Map Tattoo handling the management of the studio, Jeff will be able to focus on what he loves the most: working hard to create and inspire around other like-minded artists.
Jeff Gogue started tattooing in 1999 and has not looked back since. Jeff is now being recognized with worldwide acclaim and shares his techniques in tattooing and painting through various seminars and instructional DVDs. Jeff continually strives for excellences in every venture that he pursues, and takes heed to the power of self-worth and one's duty to share whatever can be offered. “…..,” says Jeff about the partnership.
Off the Map Tattoo was established in 2005 with the goal of creating a professional, sterile, educational environment for artists and collectors alike. Now in its sixth year, Off the Map Tattoo is home to four full time resident artists and attracts forty plus guest artists from around the world annually, it is safe to say that that goal is being lived out. Also, Off the Map Tattoo hosts the Paradise Tattoo Gathering (TattooGathering.com), Paradise Artist Retreat (ParadiseArtistRetreat.com), and houses the offices of TattooNOW (TattooNOW.com).
All in all, with the combination of Off the Map Tattoo’s proven business plan and Jeff Gogue’s drive to create and facilitate inspiration, Off the Map Tattoo Grants Pass is the perfect match. Visit OfftheMapTattoo.com for daily news updates and GogueArt.com for Jeff Gogue’s portfolio.
Mary Bowen – Studio Manager @ Off the Map Tattoo
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
It’s 4 am on October 25th 2011. I’m in the airport in Rome and my body is tired. I just spent three days with a small group of friends speaking at a conference about staging a rebellion against mediocrity in our field; art and tattoos. I find myself saying it in separate terms though I don’t see the separation. Tattooing is a form of art of course, but the trade of tattooing has meandered through the avenues of the average and the common for most of it’s modern existence. Rome. What an appropriate place in the world to do such a thing. Surrounded by the epitome of high standards in art and dedication to one’s craft. As I walked through the streets; the humorous attempts by vendors to sell trinkets made in china, bobble headed pope statues, disco style hand held laser pointers, and plastic miniatures of the colosseum reminded me that the majority of the population remains in the realm of the average and the addicted to mediocrity. Graffiti and trash were everywhere obnoxiously stating that so many people consume and discard, rather than contribute and nurture.
I’m sitting here with a headache from the two hours sleep I struggled through since I haven’t been here long enough to get over the jet lag yet I’m heading back home already. I often find myself sort of reveling in being tired. In my case it’s more often the result of being somewhere in the world that most people would say is a trip of a lifetime. I find myself routinely resolving as the plane takes off; that if it goes down in flames, I am satisfied that I have had many many trips of a lifetime, and that my family and friends will know that I tried with all my heart, to live well, to experience more, and to inspire others to do the same.
My friend (Nick Baxter) was one of the other guest speakers this weekend. I have known him for years and worked alongside him often around the world. I had the privilege of attending his seminar and it is as the rumors have it; it is life changing. He is one of the few people I know that shares the the stage of the exceptional, intriguing and inspiring individuals among the masses. Alex Depase, of Italy also ignited a new drive in me to reach for higher ground personally, artistically, and professionally. I was honored to share the stage with Nick, Alex, the world class tattooer, Boris of Hungary and business leader Gabe Ripley of Tattoo Now and The Paradise tattoo gathering. This was an unprecedented event in the tattoo community. Not open to the public, or to people tattooing; it was a true conference for artists to be challenged to step up to the next level in many facets. I am honored and grateful to be one of the people who got to share my thoughts, perspective and insight, and I feel especially grateful for the immediate return of insight, inspiration, and education I received myself. If you get a chance to attend any event like this in the future, I suggest you do what it takes to make that a reality.
Thursday, August 25, 2011
I want to thank the staff of Tattoo Jam for their incredible hospitality and support at this year's show, especially Editor: Sion Smith, Events Manager Shelley Bond, and Managing Director Stuart Mears! You all are awesome and great to work with. The Venue was super cool, clean and easy to get around. the people attending and working were all cool, kind and great to meet and be around. I got to do a painting Demo with Jason Butcher, Lianne Moule, Jesse Smith, and Nikko Hurtado! Nikko and I painted from a live model, in front of hundreds of people sitting three feet behind us... nerve-racking! Jesse did an amazing monk painting! Jason did an awesome green skull and Lianne did a beautiful bird, (Didn't get photos) The paintings are being auctioned for charity through Skin Deep Magazine! Such and Honor. All the artists attending the show were inspiring and made me want to come home and work harder. I finally got to meet Chris Crooks in person and deliver his painting, he also purchased the colaboration I did with Jason Butcher. I had the privilege of winning "Best International Artist" which was so cool! Thank you all for the support! I got to tattoo some old friends, do a new piece and do a figure study along side my good friend Nikko the last night. Great time! Great show! Again, to the staff and help of Skin Deep, Tattoo Master, and Tattoo Jam.... Cheers! You guys rock!