The Rebellion Electric Tattooing

A Private, Appointment Only Studio Featuring Tattoos and Artworks by Preston Chambers & Drew Kesinger

720-381-6090 /
Navigation Menu

Buh-bye Steve!

If you’re wondering where good ol’ Steve went, he headed back to the dry heat of Vegas.
We’re lucky to have spent some time working with him and wish him all the best. *tear*

Read More

Steve Mutha-F’n Thompson

Panther HeadSteve Thompson is a black sheep. Rather, since all tattooers are black sheep, Steve is a white sheep. Yes, a white sheep in a herd of all black sheep, that more accurately describes Mr. Steve Thompson. In an industry where rock-star egos, maniacal behavior and self-destructive tendencies are the norm, Steve is just a regular ol’ good guy. Considerate and morally sound, Steve goes above and beyond to make sure that his customers receive the attention they deserve, and in turn, the tattoo that they have dreamt about.

Tattooing is practically Steve’s live-in girlfriend, he is passionate about what he does and he is constantly devouring new information that he can apply to the betterment of his craft. He loves tattooing and it shows. Traditional Americana style tattooing is Steve’s specialty, and he is great at it. We are stoked to have him on the team here and can’t wait to watch his future unfold. He has been tattooing for 10 years so far and we hope he will be 10 years more with us here at The R. Do I sound like a cheerleader? I guess thats cause I am…come on down and meet him and judge for yourself.

Read More

Watercolor Painting and Tattooing

Watercolor Painting

Coors Light Advert by Preston Chambers

We here at The Rebellion are no strangers to the occasional freelance non-tattoo job. As a matter of fact we often sell our own fine artworks and even take commission jobs somewhat regularly. As an example, I was just recently hired to freelance some tattoo-style artwork for Coors Light to use in an upcoming ad campaign. I was impressed that the people at Coors and their design firm opted to spend a few extra bucks to hire a professional tattooer to do the design work, as opposed to having a staff member try to duplicate some Sailor Jerry drawings or something. I opted to use watercolors (really liquid acrylics being used like watercolors) because the process is the closest to tattooing. In fact watercolor paints and different variations of watercolor markers or other mediums being used like watercolors have a had a long history in the tattoo shop. And that got me thinking….

It used to be that if you walked in to a tattoo shop, the walls would be covered in sheets of hand-painted tattoo designs called flash. Because there was no way to color copy the flash sheets, every tattooer would hand draw and paint every single design themselves. You could choose from hundreds of these tattoos, but they were often your only option. You may receive  a pretty surly response if you asked to alter any of the designs. Also, as single-use stencils were not yet available, the tattooer had to hand make a reusable stencil for each design, and repeat the design in maybe two to five sizes, so you were also limited as to your size options.

You could choose any tattoo off of the wall, so long as the tattooer had a stencil handy. The tattooers reputation was as much dependent on his flash ability and selection as it was on his ability to execute a good tattoo. And if he was a real genius, he may be able to free-hand a design right on you, forget stenciling or drawing on the skin, just pick up the machine and go.

After the advent of the color copy machine, it became somewhat standard to buy flash sheets from either a supply company or other artists. While some artists continued to make flash at an astounding rate, it became more to sell by the set to hundreds of shops instead of as a database of their own personal tattoo designs. Most artists, especially the elite group, eventually phased out flash painting, preferring instead to design each client’s tattoo as a one-of-a-kind original. This left painting flash, in a big part, up to second-rate tattooers or artists who were not even tattooers but could make some money drawing tattoos. Some of this flash became totally standard in shops across the United States. Ask any tattooer who was in a shop during the mid-90’s how many “Cherry Creek” roses or crosses they did and you’ll likely get an answer in the millions! Or ask how many of their clients were disappointed because the David Bollt butterfly they wanted so bad couldn’t be tattooed the same size as it was on paper; 1″ x 1″.    In my opinion, that is a big part of why getting a flash tattoo has such negative connotations these days. Now that we are in the age of “custom tattooing”, most serious tattoo clients would not even consider just picking a design off of the wall.

If you are composing a unique design for every customer, it is pretty time-prohibitive to make a watercolor painting to show the customers before they get tattooed. So in the 1990’s many tattooers began turning towards colored pencils to compose their clients ideas in a full color rendering. This kinda put the tradition of watercolors at risk of falling by the wayside.

We are now in a sort of “traditional tattooing” renaissance. Many tattooers, over the past decade especially, have taken it upon themselves to work toward upholding the values and techniques of the early-mid 20th century tattooer. This includes making extra-curricular artworks, which are often done using techniques that pay tribute to the watercolor flash-painting tattoo hero’s of that era. Flash has seen a bit of a resurgence as of late, but is more often bought by collectors to hang on display in homes or shops than as an actual useful database of tattoo designs.

Although I get really excited at the prospect of hand-painting a hundred pages of flash to hang on the walls of my shop, I also really enjoy the process of designing a unique composition that a tattoo client can wear and be assured  that it is a one-of-a-kind accessory. I will refrain from positing whether the advent of custom tattooing is beneficial or destructive to our culture, but I will take my hat off to companies like Coors, who see the value of paying a nod to our history. Even if they just want to use it to tap into a tattoo-obsessed market to sell a few more six packs.

Well, that became quite the ramble. unintentionally, of course. Anyhow, I hope you enjoyed this ramble on a small aspect of our culture and world! I will post the entire piece of Coors artwork as soon as I verify that the company will allow me to. They may want to keep it under wraps for now. Believe me, I signed ALL of my rights away as far as that is concerned. Tee hee.

Read More

Big Changes for Twenty-11.

Tattoo By Preston Chambers

2011 brings in some major changes for The Rebellion. Happily, shop
owner Preston Chambers recently celebrated the birth of his first child, Everleigh Rose Chambers, born December 16th. Everleigh is a blessed and welcome addition to The Rebellion Family. After enjoying a two-week hiatus to get to know his daughter, Preston has returned to tattooing his devoted clientele. If you’re interested in getting some new work from Preston give the shop a call.
On another note, Ben and Jher are leaving The Rebellion to try their hand at this shop ownership thing. While it’s a bummer to see them go, we wish them all the best. If you wish to be connected with either of them, drop us a note, we will point you in their direction.
Despite the big changes, we are eager to continue to provide the quality service that we are known for. In fact, in many ways we are more motivated now than we have ever been! 2011 is off to a busy start and The Rebellion is eager to hear those tattoo ideas you’ve thought up over the holidays. Call the shop or drop in to schedule your 2011 appointments. We look forward to seeing you!
Read More

Think of us while X-Mas shopping…

This holiday season, think of us when you are trying to pick the perfect gift for a loved one. Tattoos are a unique and creative holiday gift idea. Tattoos are also the only gifts that are  practically guaranteed to be kept and enjoyed for life (besides boob jobs and Hepatitis C, both which are also good gift ideas).

How do you make a gift out of a tattoo, you ask? Why, with a Rebellion gift certificate, of course! We carry good old-fashioned gift certificates that we are happy to make out in any dollar amount you please.

Hope to see you soon!

Read More

Meagan Spendlove Art Show Friday!!

Painting By Meagan Spendlove

Painting By Meagan Spendlove

Yo yo yo…. Just back from London (which was a great success BTW) and totally looking forward to seeing what Meagan Spendlove has put together for her solo exhibit at The Rebellion tomorrow night. I ain’t no art critic, but to me, Meagan’s art walks this narrow line between graffiti, graphic design and maybe a little bit of comic book style illustration with some art nouveau thrown in for good measure. The combination of those elements actually sounds a little bizarre but I think that Meagan’s got the recipe just right and her work is both visually stunning and quite unique. I foresee a promising future for her and we are stoked to be hosting her show here.

The show will be part of this month’s Santa Fe Art District First Friday Art Walk, so swing by The Rebellion for some eats, drinks and art perusal then take a walk up the block to see what our neighbors have got cracking.

Meagan’s exhibit is tomorrow, Friday Oct 1st, it starts at 8:00 PM and will pretty much go until we are tired and kick everyone out. We will be supplying snacks and refreshments to assist you in enjoying the art.

You can find out more about Meagan at

Thanks, and see you tomorrow!

Read More