Uploaded on Nov 9, 2010
Not only is All or Nothing the name of his studio in Smyrna , Georgia , a suburb of Atlanta , it's also the way he sees his life and his art.
"Everything in my life is based around tattooing and I love it," says Brandon , 32, "All tattoo artists should be that way; we look like tattoo artists, we act like tattoo artists, we breathe like tattoo artists, and that's who we are."
There's no use wasting words noting Bond's achievements. Google "Brandon Bond Tattoo" and you'll 217,000 results " everything from interviews to merchandise to tattoo pictures to listings of his umpteen awards. I've got Brandon on the phone on a Sunday morning. I tell him I've got to keep the article to 1000 words; I mean, I'm mot writing a book. He says that's cool, he's already got that format covered with Whore, his insane outburst of photos, drawing, and verbiage he's described as "extremely personal, powerful, motivating, artistic, and f**ked up...and uncomfortable window into an extremely disturbing and blunt reality."
Brandon opened All or Nothing Tattoo in 2004. At first it was Brandon on his lonesome. It wasn't long before Dave Tedder ("an all-around bad muther f**ker"), now shop manager, and tattooer Albie Rock made their appearance. "That's when everything started to explode into something greater that I could've ever anticipated," Brandon says.
The simple townsfolk of Smyrna weren't quite ready for Brandon and his gang. There'd never been a tattoo shop in town, but Brandon was determined to make this his home. "It was an insane pain in the ass. They were rebuilding the city and making it all yuppified. I had to show them we weren't trying to build some f**khead biker drug shop and that we were just good artists."
Where some businesses sponsor little league baseball teams to show goodwill in the community, All or Nothing supports the city's police SWAT team. "We pay for their outfits and they let us be the bad guys during their training exercises," Brandon says. "One time there were snipers on the roof and they ended up tear gassing us and breaching the house, killing us. I shot five of them before we went down. It was awesome."
Having an art gallery in the shop also helped spin peoples preconceived negative notions about tattooing. "The mayor even came to our first gallery reception. Now it's cool and the community has accepted us really well."
All or Nothing Tattoo has become one of the busiest studios in the state, if not the country. They were recently named Best Tattoo Parlor and Best Piercing Studio in Atlanta . Brandon was even honored as Best Friend of the Arts and Tedder was picked as Best Emerging Visual Artist.
"The crew that's involved is amazing, "Brandon says of All or Nothings family of artists, including Sean Herman, Joe Waulken, Josh Woods, Tim Orth, Tim McGrath, Chris Vennekamp, Matt Dunlap, John Lloyd, Jeff Paetzold, Bryan Reynolds, and piercer Max Brand. "They all have such diverse styles, yet they all work together on every image and bust each others balls and make each piece different."
Brandon has feigned retirement a number of times, but he'll be the first to admit he's busier than he's ever been. His bold style he describes as "realism with illustrative execution techniques. Images that have life, color, vibrancy, and intensity...images that jump off the skin and b*tch slap you."
"More than anything, I'm influenced by my staff. We're constantly inundated by our own stuff and that makes us grow and develop our own unique niche."
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