Saturday, December 30, 2006

Seeking Tattooed Participants for Portrait Book

Two weeks ago I was contacted by Professor Kip Fulbeck of University of California at Santa Barbara (UCSB) about a tattoo portrait book project.

For those who are interested, here are the details:


We are looking for individuals who may have had incorrectly translated (or applied) Chinese calligraphy tattoos for our upcoming book Permanence: Tattoo Portraits by Kip Fulbeck to be published by Chronicle Books in 2008.

If you are in the Southern CA area and are interested in being photographed for the book please email to

Anyone with interesting or unusual (by subject, style, or just plain bad) tattoo work is also welcome to contact us. Please note: We have PLENTY of tribal, Japanese sleeves, lower back butterflies, kanji, mid-scapula crosses, and mother's names already.


  1. Given that they will probably be making money off of these "portraits", I wonder if they're planning on paying their participants?

    Me thinks probably not.

  2. I've very much enjoyed Kip's "Part Asian, 100% Hapa" project and I think he does wonderful portraits! This is about art and of COURSE he's not going to PAY the subjects. Honestly he doesn't really need to. There are plenty of people out there that would gladly do it for the exposure, and the chance to be in a book. No one got paid for the hapa project as well.

  3. I heard from Kip today... I'm in!

    The book is slated for a Spring 2008 release.

    Thank you for the original post Tian!

    the "Fish Ball Soup" guy

  4. Mark, the "Fish Ball Soup" guy writes:

    I heard from Kip today... I'm in!

    Congratulations, Mark! (I guess.)

    But wasn't Kip looking for individuals who may have had incorrectly translated (or applied) Chinese calligraphy tattoos?

    Mark, you intentionally got an unusual Chinese tattoo, but it certainly was translated and applied correctly. How does this qualify you to get into the book?



  5. Hi Alan;

    Kip liked the story and the purpose... I think it falls into the scope that he mentions on his site:

    "If you have an interesting story to tell about your own ink..."

    "It will be the first book to feature portraits of tattooed individuals along with their own short handwritten stories or anecdotes about their ink. From traditional Japanese body suits to modern one-point tattoos, from store bought flash to gang tattoos, military to musical, religious to tribal to portrait to homemade – the individuals in Permanence share their feelings about their most personal possession, their own bodies."

    I wrote him to tell the story, he liked it and wanted it in his book. He's the artist, so... :)

  6. And a few months later...

    The book has hit Amazon!