Tattooing Taft: a Guest Post by Matt Adamson
My name is MattAdamson. I am a tattoo artist from a small town in the North East of England currently working at Kings Avenue Tattoo in New York City.
I actually first heard about Taft through Facebook. I kept seeing their new products pop up on my Instagram and kept finding myself drawn back to their website. It didn’t take me long to put my first order in--the Jack boot in grey/oxblood. I love the mix of practicality and style that they bring, they are super versatile and look great for literally any occasion. I’ve worn a pair with a suit for a wedding and also with just a pair of jeans and a t-shirt. I now also own the Jones Boot and my personal favorite, the Dragon V2 in London Fog. For that reason, this is the boot I decided to paint for Taft.
My aim was to come up with something that worked in harmony with the shape, texture and colour of the boot--something that could flow naturally together. The Dragon Boot in London Fog actually has some tan colouring along the sole and in the interior of the boot, so I decided to mimic that with the colour of the leather paint so it would lend itself to a more natural look--like it was supposed to be there from the very start.
In tattooing, I particularly enjoy working on large scale projects, using out of the ordinary compositions to create unique and bold tattoos. I wanted to translate that onto the boot for Taft. The reason I decided to use the chrysanthemums is because of their ability to be manipulated to flow perfectly with almost any shape. On top of that, they also symbolize optimism, happiness and joy which is what I really like to try and spread through my work.
Getting down to technical stuff here, I researched a few different ways of painting leather and found that for me and these particular boots, the best way was to just completely free-hand the chrysanthemum using a lining brush and ‘Angelus’ leather paint. Without having a patch of the original leather to test on, the first few lines were definitely nerve wracking as I had no real way to practice how the paint would react to the texture of the boot. But once the first few lines were down the chrysanthemum started to come together and I was able to really start having fun with the shape, manipulating the petals to really reach all the way around the boot. Like I said, playing with interesting compositions is one of my favourite things in tattooing so I transferred this onto the boots by painting each one to balance the other and to really work as a pair together.
I’d really like to thank the lovely people over at Taft for trusting me with this project. It was a great experience being able to work alongside a company that shares the same passion for their work as I do.
(To see more of Matt's incredible work, check him out on Instagram - @mattadamson - we're honored to have him work on a pair of our boots. They came out even more beautifully than we could have anticipated. Thank you, Matt!)