josh cagwin

Branded Designers Round 2

Finally after months of delay, I am happy to bring you the second round of the popular "Branded Designers" series. If this is your first time here, please go check out the first round, and for those of you already familiar, welcome back. You may notice things this time are a little different, for example I tried to put more emphasis on the photos of the tattoos. And I really tried to encourage people to go in depth with the descriptions of their tattoos. So please sit back, relax and enjoy getting to know these "branded" designers.

Joel Beukelman -

joel beukelman

The Wave:

The main inspiration behind my tattoos was art and design. After spending hours upon hours in art history class, certain artists and eras started standing out to me. I'll never forget the day when I opened my book up to the page of "The Great Wave off Kanagawa." This is one of my favorite pieces, done by was Katsushika Hokusai, and figured what better place to have it than on my arm. This is obviously a popular piece of art work, but the process behind Japanese art was the tattoo deal breaker. Japanese wood block and print work is one of the contributing forces to the development to graphic deign, therefore adding personal significance to this piece.

joel beukelman wave tattoo

The Flower:

In the traditional Japanese tradition, I choose to incorporate a flower into my sleeve. My tattoos were my wedding present and I let me wife pick the flower. Her favorite flower was the dahlia, so thats how that came about.

joel beukelman flower tattoo

The Scroll:

Scroll on the back of my arm says "speak words of life" in Japanese. In Japanese art, the scroll was the location where the artist would sign his name and I wanted to use that scroll for this message. My father is a pastor and I had the privilege of having my wedding done by my father. After the ceremony, he had some words of wisdom, and thats where the "speak words of life" came from. It's main theme is to be positive, set your mind on godly things, and build (not destroy) our marriage and in life.

joel beukelman scroll tattoo

In short, my sleeve is design, art, and my commitment to my wife. Its only 1/3 done and will be completed with another on of my favorite pieces from Hokusai.

Josh Cagwin -

josh cagwin

Growing up I was always fascinated with body art. I love my tattoos, they have a lot of meaning to me, and are something that can never be taken away from me.

Right Arm:

My right arm is mostly family oriented, my mom’s name and my sister’s first initials ”R & L” are each surrounded by a flower on the front and back of my arm. My daughter’s name Makenna is on my lower forearm and the words “White Dog,” (what my last name means in Scottish) is written within a crown covering my shoulder. The praying hands represent my faith and are there to remind me of the power of prayer, along with a couple other things mixed within the sleeve.

josh cagwin right arm tattoo

Left Arm:

My left arm consists of a one eyed creature with tentacles wrapping around a skull and skeleton with an angel standing in the green moat. The creature represents evil and how it can take you down if you let it. The angel standing strong and the small banner that says “faith,” remind me to stay strong with my Faith or evil will get the best of me.

josh cagwin left arm tattoo

I also have a tattoo across my chest that says, “1 Corinthians 13”. I share that with my wife who has it tattooed on her forearm. It is the love chapter in the Bible and if you have not read it I recommend it.

Aaron Irizarry -

aaron irizarry

The Chest:

My chest Tattoo is a reminder of who I am and where I have come from. The two birds one with devil horns and the one with the halo are on each side of the heart representing the constant struggle between making the right choices (more times than not I end up as the bird with horns) In the banner above them it says “By Grace Alone”. It is the only way I make it day by day is through God’s grace. Most of my life I was not what you would consider a “Model Citizen” and I am thankful for God’s grace in my life to help me be the person I was created to be (as opposed to being the mess I made of myself). It is never easy, but it is always worth it in the end.

The years in the banner on the bottom are the year I was born (1974), and the year that God changed my life by rescuing me from myself (1995). It is a great reminder of who I used to be, and who I have become, a change that didn’t happen as a result of religion, but by relationship.

aaron irizarry chest tattoo

Kathryn Proulx -

kathryn proulx

The Anchor:

My tattoo is of an anchor, flower, diamond, and rope on my left foot. I grew up by the water, born to two parents who loved sailing (in fact, they decided where I would live growing up while at a sailboat race in my hometown.) Both of my parent's fathers were in the navy, too. It just seemed natural to get an anchor. The flower is for my mother and the diamond is for my best friend (who has a diamond in the frosting of a cupcake tattooed on her wrist for the same significance).

kathryn proulx anchor tattoo

Simon Robertson -

simon robertson

I can't imagine not having tattoos. It feels like they were always supposed to be there. I've gone for a traditional style so far, there's just something special about it that appeals and connects with me. the clipper ship represents my life, where like the ship, i have some control over where i go (sail and rudder) there are also outside forces (wind and currents) that will push and pull me in certain directions. i also like the idea that i'm on a journey.

faith hope love

The words Faith Hope and Love are found in 1 Corinthians 13:13 (New Living Translation) ‘Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love.’ I see these as being things i always need more of in my life and hope that one day i’ll be known by. As love is the greatest I have a few roses winding their way around my arm, they also serve to represent the fact that I connect most with God in creation, seeing this wonderful world always inspires me.

simon robertson tattoos


I also have an anchor with 'family' wrapped around it, this simply states that it's my family who ground me and support me and i love them.

simon robertson family tattoo

A huge thanks to everyone who contributed and supported this effort. If you are a "branded" designer and would like to be featured in the next round please contact me for more details. Also, I'm thinking of starting a list of some of the best tattoo shops, worldwide. So if you want to share with me your favorites, or maybe you work in one yourself, please leave a comment below. It would benefit the whole creative community. Thanks.

Two For One Special

Giving Thanks

A Huge thank you to all of you for your continued support and love through twitter and the comments you have been leaving. And now that Chat Creative is underway I feel like I get an even bigger chance to give back to this great community that I love so much.

Meet Firehost

If you haven't heard of Firehost yet, just wait, they are taking the hosting world by storm right now.

A few weeks ago I was having issues with my old hosting company, which seemed to be a regular occurrence, and while venting to a friend of mine was recommended that I try out Firehost. That same night another friend on twitter messaged me about a partnership opportunity Firehost was offering. So I filled out the form and BAM! the very next day I got an email from the CEO telling me they would love to partner with me.

Needless to say the past week has been a breeze getting my site migrated over to Firehost. Their support team is friendly, courteous and very knowledgeable about what they're doing. This opposed to my previous hosting provider who I held on this pedestal as the "Best Thing Since Sliced Servers", but ended up leaving me dumb-struck as to what all the hype was about. So please, go check them out at and learn about their Advance Secure Hosting services.

Back to School

Going back to college has been a constant struggle for me over the past year. One day I will convince myself that it's a good idea and the next just blow it off and continue working.

Well this past weekend my wife and I were able to spend some quality time together and talk through some things, one of which was school. And now I feel confident in my decision to go back to college and finish my degree. The plan right now is to finish my core classes at a community college the next two semesters and then starting in the Fall 2010, transfer to the College of Visual Arts and Design at University of North Texas.

I know it won't be easy, and I'll probably feel like giving up more than once, but with a good support system (a.k.a. my wife) I know I will pull through. And in the end I can look back on what I accomplished and feel proud that I stuck it out.

Meet Josh Cagwin

I first met Josh in tinychat over a month ago, and then just a few weeks ago met him in person when I flew out to Southern California. Josh recently just launched his website/blog over at where he shares his thoughts and experiences in design. Yesterday he posted up a new article called "What Makes Us Hungry" where he poses the question about what inspires us to do what we do.

I think that we as creative people, more than any others, wrestle with feelings of inadequacy and the desire to always be better. You can read more about that here. But what I really feel inspires me the most is the chance to meet (and work with) great people and do great things. Fame is fleeting but change is permanent, meaning that I could care less about being famous and more about helping people realize their true potential.

On faith

I'm not usually one to be so open about my faith. But when I'm passionate about something I can't help but speak what's in my heart. It's been a hard lesson to learn, and I still have a long way to go, but I'm learning that I don't need to be approved by anyone to feel complete in what I'm doing. God has already approved me. But I just like to share what He has done.