100 Paintings vol. 1 is a book by Joe Spaven, from Scarlet Rose Tattoo. It showcases 100 amazing Japanese paintings of all sorts of subject matter!
Joe Spaven has been steadily making his mark as one of the UK’s finest Japanese tattoo specialists. A talented tattooer, Joe is truly devoted to his craft and strives to study Japanese tattooing to the fullest extent. He has recently completed a series of 100 paintings, but this is only the beginning – Joe intends to produce 1000 paintings before he will consider this project a wrap.
Our crew recently met him at the Tattoo Collective in London and asked him something more about his projects…
You’ve recently completed your ‘100 Paintings’ and have even started on a second edition. What about this project?
After I’d completed around 20 of the small paintings I decided to do a series of 100. Ash Davies from ‘Atonement Books’ offered to publish the series for me and the book has been released in March. Ash has got a lot of cool books in the pipeline, so it’s really exciting to be amongst them. When I was approaching the end of the series, I went to see the Hokusai exhibit at the British museum. Aside from how incredible the art was, it was the volume he produced that inspired me; 15,000 documented pieces of art! He carried on into his 90’s, right up to his death, always trying to reach the next level. I want to live like that, never giving up and always trying to progress. It was after going to that exhibit that I decided I was going to extend the series to 1000 and do 10 volumes of the book. I’m at 117 as of today, so I still have a long way to go, but I’ll persevere and have fun along the way!
Do you feel that your paintings have shaped or informed the way you tattoo since embarking on the project?
Absolutely. Drawing speed, composition, colour palette, confidence – it all improved from the paintings. I believe that painting is essential if you want to improve as an artist and do better tattoos.
Read the full interview here