Brandon Bond – It’s All Or Nothing
Brandon Bond is a very busy guy. Between numerous conventions, he tattoos in his two studios in Atlanta, Georgia, and is booked about a year in advance. He also owns a publishing company, makes books and videos, designs clothing, and has a multitude of other creative projects in progress.
As far back as Brandon can remember, he has loved and wanted tattoos. “I was fascinatedby the whole process, the lifestyle, the artwork,the application, and it looked like a fun way to make a living; it turned out to be a lot more than I had hoped for…it’s amazing, and it has become who I am.”
He apprenticed 15 years ago at Tattoo Zoo in Fort Walton Beach, Florida, under Jim Wolfe (Brandon says he’ll be forever grateful to Jim and his family “for changing my path forever.”) These days Brandon’s clients tend to be very serious collectors, who often fly in from out of town just to get tattooed. Brandon’s studio provides shuttle service from Atlanta’s international airport, as well as hotel reservation booking, transportation to and from hotels to the studio, and then back to the airport.
Brandon says his work is generally based in realism, but is not realism at all. “I have been working to push the realism/expressive illustrative aspects of my composition for some years now, I tend to creat imagery from a photo, and embellish and change the actual feel, layout, and mood of the orginal imagery into something entirely different. Most of my clients let me do whatever I want on them, within reason. So, I keep a stockpile of images, drawings, and conceptualized ideas that are ready to go, and when a client arrives at the studio, we go through the piles of imagery to see what best suits the body part.”
He’s been working with several new inks and machines lately, among them freedom 2 pigments, an ink that is easier to remove with only one laser treatment than other tattoo inks on the market today. “This ink has been the source of great controversy throughout the tattoo industry,” says Brandon. “And yes, I agree that tattoos are sacred, and their permanence is a big part of why they are special, but the truth is that all tattoos are removable. This ink just comes oout with less trauma and expensive. It’s permanent, so it’s great for people who want their tattoos forever and it’s easy to get out if you decide to change up your skin art on a decade or so. Best of all worlds and I believe it is the next evolutionary step in tattooing.
“Hell, I could get tattooed all day, every day for free, but I am limited on what I can do with my bodysuit because I got so heavily tattooed at a young age,” Brandon says. “My clients get waaaaaay better tattoos than I have and that sucks. I’m jealous every time someone leaves with a fresh piece of art. When I started tattooing fifteen years ago, there was no art like what we are seeing today, the art form has exploded. And I want some of that.”
All or Nothing is Brandon’s “public studio” and accepts walk-ins. His private studio, A.N.T.I. Art Elite, is by appointment only and is a gallery that houses two movie theaters, two koi fish ponds with waterfalls stocked with rare fish and turtles, and two art gallery spaces featuring his collection of art from the world’s top tattooists. There are wireless video games in every room, a Jacuzzi (for the artists) complete with surround sound and wireless gaming, decorative hand laid Brazilian flooring, sand blasted and etched glass, nine-foot-tall hand carved statues, and much more. “I needed a private space to tattoo and focus on art all day without interruption and it’s great. No restrictions, no distractions, no questions interrupting me, no phone calls, nothing but me and a client in an adult Disneyland,” says Brandon.
When he’s not working, Brandon loves to shoot guns. He says he gets a lot of grief about this interest from some folks and explains that “I was born into a wonderful family and there I was taught that the protection of that family is my job as a loving participant. I learned to shoot guns before I even knew what a cuss word was. I was taught safety. Respect, and regard for human life. I learned that a gun is as safe as its owner is, and I am extremely careful with my firearms. I have very little free time, and what free time I have I like to spend with close friends and quality firearms. It’s a hobby, like quilting.”
He’s also involved in dog rescue and has assisted in placing over 200 animals (mostly rescued pit bulls) in loving homes, which Brandon says is “the awesomest thing ever.”
Between the demands of his personal life, plus his many business obligations, you may be wondering if Brandon ever sleeps? “I’m exhausted and almost dead,” Brandon confesses. “For real – be careful what you wish for.” -Michelle Dellio
Brandon’s two studios
are located in Smyrna, Georgia.